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OKC Marathon: Cool my heels? Do I have to?

So, training for the half marathon is going great.

Or was going great.

Frankly, I’m not really sure if I should use present or past tense on this. Let me explain.

As many of you know, I’m training for the half marathon at this year’s Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. The race is on April 26, so we’re less than two weeks away.

Well, last week I had to have a minor medical procedure. Nothing super serious. I guess any time you are in a hospital gown and put under anesthesia, there’s some measure of serious, but this was an outpatient procedure. It was scheduled, not an emergency. But when I scheduled it, my doc told me that I’d be down and out anywhere from two to five days, then I’d be back to normal. “Cool,” I thought. “I’ll take a few days off running, then be back at it in time for the half.”

But then I had my pre-op appointment a week before the procedure. My doc said it might actually be a week or two before I could run again.

I did some quick math. The two-week mark would be during the week of the race, but still, it left me plenty of time.

But then my doc talked to my husband after the procedure while I was still under the anesthesia. He told the hubs that I might not be back in time for the half.


In the last couple weeks, I had mentioned to a couple very nice folks who’ve been checking on my training that I was going to have a procedure and that I was worried about training. They told me not to worry about it. They said that all the running that I’d done up until this point would be sufficient. Besides, the two or so weeks before the race are about tapering and getting all the little injuries healed before the race. No problem to miss a few days.

But miss the race?


So, the day after my procedure, I emailed my running muse, Amy Downs. I’ve told you about her before. She worked at the credit union at the Murrah Building back in 1995 and survived the bombing that horrific April morning. Then overweight, she vowed to get healthy if she came out of the rubble alive. Now, she runs and bikes and does all sorts of events, so when I decided to run the half, I knew I wanted her to be a sounding board.

She has been that and more.

But last week when I emailed her about this whole might-not-be-ready-to-run-by-the-26th mess, she gave me exactly what I needed — a dose of tough love.

In 2012, Amy had a cycling crash at the Redbud. That was two weeks before the Memorial Marathon. She had to go to the hospital. Her face was a bloody mess, so you can only imagine how the rest of her looked.

But she ran. And finished.

“So suck it up,” she texted me. “You can do it!!!”

She’s right, of course. I’m not looking to set a course record. All I want to do is finish. If I run some. If I walk some. If I stop a bunch. None of that really matters.

Thursday, I went for a short walk. Felt good.

Friday, I went for a longer walk. Felt great. I might’ve started jogging if not for the fact that I was wearing a skirt.

Then Saturday, I went out with a plan of walking a block, jogging a block, walking, jogging. But you know what? I got out there and felt so good, I ran almost the full three miles that I went.

No, three miles isn’t a half marathon, but it’s a start.

Not run the half at the Memorial Marathon?



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 ›