Oklahoma bound!

At some ungodly hour on Friday morning, I’m hopping on a plane, heading for Oklahoma. I’ll be boy-free and my bags will be packed with running gear because I’m meeting up with my Crazy Cat Ladies (Kate, Jess and Jen) for a weekend of running fun. I am VERY excited about the whole thing.

Some people have been surprised at the level of my excitement about visiting Oklahoma. It’s the kind of state you never expect you’ll end up visiting, when growing up in Wiltshire. And indeed, many people in California have asked me why on earth I’m going there, when I’ve mentioned this trip. However, when I was 11, my school did a production of ‘Oklahoma’ the musical and I have great partiality to the theme song. So the thought of being actually about to sing  ‘O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A-OKLAHOOOOOOOMA – YEOW!’ in the land of the waving wheat (that sure smells sweet) is very exciting to my inner 11 year old! Also, we’ll be staying in Tulsa, which is where Chandler worked for a while in ‘Friends’ so my inner 25 year old is also very satisfied.

Clearly I’m excited about seeing these faces again.

kate jess jen basin cat ladies
Well, not that little face, he’s going skiing!

However I’m also excited about running our race whilst we’re there, the Post Oak Lodge Challenge. We are all running the 25k, although at our own pace. 25k is 15.5 miles which is by far the longest I’ve run since the London Marathon 12 years ago. It’s on trails and includes a fair amount of elevation. Race reports I’ve read talk about copious amounts of ankle-twisting rocks and tough technical trails, which worry me a little, so suffice to say that I’m not ‘racing’ this – I’m out for an endurance challenge. Just getting round in one piece will be a goal which will make me very satisfied.

Training has been decent. I missed a few weeks of long runs, which concerned me, but since then I’ve pulled out a 12 miler, a 13 miler and a 15 miler. The 15 miler went remarkably well – I ran it last Friday evening, trying to accommodate the Husband’s Ironman training. My lovely friend Kat joined me for the run, she’s doing Ironman Canada the week before the Husband does Vineman. We set off into the sunset at 5.45 and just quietly, gently jogged two loops around the town. With the company and the conversation, it honestly flew by. We ended up in the pitch black, lit by head torches and flashing red lights having done it at 10.55 pace. Clearly not a speed record but that wasn’t the goal. My legs were toasted but not horrific so I hope that I can eek out another half mile if I’m careful on the hills!

Having said that, I am genuinely quite nervous about the run. I honestly think this will be the toughest run I have done for many many years. It will be the longest in terms of distance. Add in the fact it’s on trails. Add in the fact it’s rocky. Add in the fact temperatures are likely to be around 20C and it’s pretty exposed. I’m kind of expecting it to be grim towards the end and am planning to start VERY slowly.

Apparently we're running this beast twice. I thought Oklahoma was flat!
Apparently we’re running this beast twice. I thought Oklahoma was flat! Source

I’ve been trying to get my head around how long I’m going to be out there (I’m expecting about 3 1/2 hours) and how knackered my legs are going to be. I’m reading Matt Fitzgerald’s ‘How bad do you want it?’ (which should correctly be called ‘How badly do you want it?‘, ugh grammar!) and he talks about preparing yourself for the grimness so that the horror doesn’t shock you on the day. So I’m trying to prepare myself for it.

Having said all that, I’m still looking forward to the challenge! It will be tough, I’m sure, but a weekend of running with my girls? New trails? A new state? Brunch? I’m ready.

See you on the other side!

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Jen says:

    Maybe I’m underestimating the course, but I think it will be much less technical than the trails we have in CA. The elevation map is super deceiving – the hill from hell is a 6% grade for one kilometer, which is about the same grade as the old railroad track up Mt. Tam. And that’s the hardest climb. I think there’s way less than 1000 feet of climbing for all 15.5 miles – and we’ve done half marathons with 2500-3000′ gain before! So I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised (I hope!). Either way, we can pass the time by singing songs from Oklahoma! 😀 (says the inner 18 year old me who was in the musical in high school) Excited!!

    1. Cathryn says:

      I think I’m probably overestimating it but I’d rather expect the worse and be pleasantly surprised than the other way round. Definitely up for singing my way round 🙂 See you in Phoenix xx

  2. Layla says:

    Fun fact #1: In summer 2001, I flew across the country to visit internet friends in New Hampshire, and one of the things we did was attend a local theater’s production of “Oklahoma!” It was not in Oklahoma, but none of us turned out to be scary internet serial killers, so that’s a bonus.

    Fun fact #2: The title of Matt Fitzgerald’s book bothered me enough that I have no interest in reading it.

    Fun fact #3: You will have a great trip, and the run will be epic and memorable!

    1. Cathryn says:

      #1 – internet strangers are generally awesome
      #2 – YES!!! Adverbs, people
      3# – I think so too xx

  3. You are going to do awesome! Being born and raised in Oklahoma, it is not as flat as people think it is especially in the Tulsa area. Enjoy yourself and good luck! 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      NO!!! We ran up all the hills!

  4. Bean says:

    Hope you have a great time and enjoy the trails!

  5. Bon courage ! It’s a great challenge. I’m sure you can do this. Enjoy!!

  6. Angela says:

    I would say good luck but you’re probably done by now! Hope you enjoyed Oklahoma & had a fantastic race!!!

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