Today was the first day of the OKC Memorial Marathon Training program sponsored by my running club. They were only doing 6 miles but the timing was right and I was able to make it so I figured what the heck. We had 125 people show up!!! Holy Crap! This program started a few years ago with 7 people for the first run. Last year we had a handful for the first few runs and got some bigger groups for the longer runs but nothing like this. 125 people for a 6 mile run. There were many first time marathoners too. That's awesome! Very impressive. It's just too bad that the man who started this group died a month ago and didn't get to see what he started grow to this size. I suppose he's watching somewhere. Thanks Jack.
Today was also the day for a trail run sponsored by Chisholm Dupree who is a bit of a local celebrity since he ran the Badwater ultra-torture race last year. He is such a wonderful person, so soft-spoken and humble, I met him at a party over Christmas and he invited me out for this run. The total run was 50K but you were free to do as much as you liked. My ultra-insane-marathoning buddy was going to do the whole thing since he's training for his first 100 miler in February. I had never done a trail run before so I tried to hang with him for a bit. His advice was to go out easy and then get slow as the race progresses. Like I said, he's in the ultra-marathoning club that sees marathons as "cute", so he has a different run strategy than most of the runners I've met.
I was doing well for about 2.5 miles and then I hit bottom in terms of energy. I took an E-Gel and walked while I waited for it to kick in. It finally did and I was running again. It was a totally different world running on a trail through the woods than it was running on the roads as I'm accustomed. They have things that stick out onto the trail and things that stick up out of the ground! You have to watch out for these because you can get whipped in the face (once) or trip over them (Oh I lost count). There is a reason that society in general went to paving roads instead of leaving them as trails I learned. Trails have there place but running is much harder on them and I'm not sold on them yet. I hit another low-energy period around 4.5 miles so I decided I better turn around and head back. I know when I'm licked and I didn't want to get stuck out in the Oklahoma woods with dueling banjo's playing when I don't have enough energy to fight off "Bubba".
I made it back to the trail head (see I'm using woodsman terms!) and immediately headed to the nearest Starbucks as I'm sure the pioneers did when they settled this great area. I got a total of 8.7 miles on the trails. Add that to the 6 I did this morning and it's not a bad day for Willie but I was hoping to get 20 total. Oh well maybe next week.
Ok now for the big GULP. Texas Tech got stomped last night by Ole Miss. Read that as Big 12 gets it's arse handed to it by the SEC. That's what our newspaper said anyway. They made a big deal about how the Big 12 just doesn't have the defense to stand up against an SEC team. GULP. This is OUR newspaper mind you, THE Oklahoman. GULP. OK so let it be known that I'm not a huge OU fan. I'm not backing down from the bet, not at all, I'm just readjusting my expectations a little. Did I mention that I'm not a big OU fan yet? Go Buckeyes!!! I do REALLY dislike Florida though. So maybe this wasn't the best idea for Willie to make a bet on a team that he only moderately enjoys against a team he absolutely can't stand. Hmmm, maybe too much at stake and not enough to gain?? Oh well, my bet still stands. Texas Tech notwithstanding, OU will tromp Florida and Jen will wear an Oklahoma University feedsack for the Mardi Gras 1/2 marathon.