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OKC Memorial Marathon: I was told there'd be no hills

 

Saturday was my first long training run in my half-marathon training, but it wasn’t all that long.

Four miles.

(Funny, but there was definitely a time in my life when I would’ve seen four miles as unattainable, but now, it’s not all that long. Crazy.)

Even though I planned to run with the RunHers group meeting at 7 a.m., I thought long and hard about just doing the run in my neighborhood. I have a pretty good out and back four-mile loop, so it would’ve been easy. Plus, I wouldn’t have needed to drive to Edmond to meet up with the group.

But I figured that I’d go ahead and go to Edmond. I was awake anyway. Might as well go.

I’m glad I did — but not for the reason that I expected.

I’m glad I went for the hills.

Yes, hills.

You don’t realize how un-flat Oklahoma is until you’re running or walking or biking. Sure, there are plenty of places that are pretty darn flat, but there are also a decent amount of hills.

I was reminded of that fact as I huffed and puffed my way north on Bryant toward 2nd Street in Edmond. This wasn’t a Rocky Mountain sized climb, but it also wasn’t flat. And the truth is, there are going to be lots of hills along the half-marathon course of the Memorial Marathon. I need to get ready for those.

Saturday was a first step in that preparation.

In no way am I ready to handle all the hills on a 13.1-mile course, but I managed the ones on a four-mile trek Saturday. What’s more, the hills on the second half of the run were into the wind. It was blowing 15 or 20 miles an hour, not a breeze but pretty normal in Oklahoma, too. But I did OK with all those factors.

Distance: 4.04 miles.

Time: 40:14

Pace: 9:57 minutes/mile

After a rest day Sunday, Week 2 of training starts with three miles on Monday.

It’s time.

We've put together a calendar with some options. To give it a look, click here.

Red Coyote has a training program for the marathon and half marathon. Contact the store at 405.840.0033 or go to redcoyoterunning.com for information about how you might get involved.

Want your training group included on our calendar, please email jcarlson@opubco.com and we’ll get you added.

Jenni Carlson

Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football... Read more ›

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