It wouldn’t be a true Oklahoma day without lighting, thunder, and lumpy clouds.
We were in downtown Oklahoma City, preparing to run the 5k of the 14th Annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. It was 5:45am, the sky full of clouds, temperature warm. The race was suppose to start at 7am but that wasn’t going to happen.
They call these clouds, “cellulite clouds”
The first delay was to 7:15, then 8, then 815. Everyone hid in parking garages, staring at weather radars on their phones. However, Captain America wasn’t having any of that. He was jacking people up (at least me.)
The race officially started at 8am with 168 seconds of silence, one for each person killed on April 19, 1995. I’d lie if I said I didn’t get emotional, especially when I wanted to punch the group laughing about getting rained on. I’m sure Captain America would have joined in.
Finally, we crossed the finish line at 8:45am.
For those who don’t know, I’m not really a runner. In fact, about two years ago, the idea of running 3.1 miles for fun would have made me laugh so hard the cake in my mouth would have shot out. But now, Hailey and I do these every few months. We have only one rule for the ones we do: it must come with a shirt and a medal. You might say we’re children, but I can’t hear you over the weight of all my finisher medals around my neck (that doesn’t make sense, shut up.)
I haven’t ran much due to a minor leg surgery that hasn’t yet healed completely, but that wasn’t going to stop me from trying to go hard. Things were good for about a mile, but then the cramps started. I learned you can punch them away, but it causes people to give you weird looks. Then the uphill sections where I nearly stopped. Then the next mile. Then another.
About 100 yards from the finish line, I watched a kid vomit, his dad resting a comforting hand on his back. I thought, “That’s so sweet OH GOD I’M GOING TO THROW UP.” I fought through it, focusing instead on the tightening of my chest (that’s a good thing, right?), and I crossed the finish line.
But more importantly I GOT FREE COFFEE AND BURGERS!
Only in Oklahoma are you rewarded for running with burgers. It’s beautiful.