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OKC Memorial Marathon: That training calendar on the bathroom mirror tells the story

When I started this journey to train for the half marathon at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, I printed a copy of my training schedule and taped it to the mirror in our bathroom. I’ve since marked off the days.

At first, the marks didn’t amount to much. Seemed like I had forever to get ready and so far to go all at the same time.

But now?

I’m nearly two-thirds of the way done. It’s really amazing how far I’ve come in a couple months. Used to be, I ran often. Four or five days a week was the norm. But three miles was standard and a long run for me was five miles. Now, I run five miles twice a week — and those aren’t my long runs.

I’ve got nine miles on Saturday, and while a run that long has its challenges, I don’t see the challenge as the distance itself. Rather, it’s minor things like figuring out a spot or two for water and/or potty breaks. I figure that out, and I can run nine miles.

It’s crazy how this process has transformed my thinking about what I am capable of doing.

Does that mean that I’m not scared about running the half marathon?

Nope. I’ve got a healthy dose of freak-out working when I think about the actual day of the race and about actually running 13.1 miles. But my freakout doesn’t come from knowing whether I can do it. I know I can do it. The freakout feeling comes more from not being able to plan for everything. What if it’s hotter than expected? Or colder? Or wetter? What if I need a potty break and there’s no port-a-potty in sight? What if I make a wrong step and pull something?

But even with those sorts of things on my mind, I’m more excited than scared about this.

I got an email the other day from Mike Kirk, a super guy who just happens to be the sports information director at Central Oklahoma. Mike is a runner who has done the half at the Memorial Marathon a few times, and we got to emailing about the event.

His message: you just won’t believe how cool it is until that day.

Less than a month to go.

Let’s cross a few more days of that training calendar.

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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 ›