Whenever I run, I like to be as incognito as possible. We’re talking border-line ninja. I think my goal is to blend in as much as possible so nobody will notice the super-slow girl bringing up the rear. So my running attire for races is pretty standard: black shirt, black pants, white socks. No crazy socks. No tutus. No funny hats. If nobody notices me, I’ve accomplished my mission.
So pulling on long, bright red socks Sunday morning felt pretty weird.
Granted, I wasn’t exactly running a marathon yesterday. I wasn’t even running the half or 5k. I was heading out with my husband and 3-year-old daughter for the Oklahoma City Memorial Kids Marathon. I did my last half – my fourth one – back in March so I would be able to participate with my little girl in her big race. For the Kids Marathon, runners put in 25 miles on their own and then finish the last 1.2 miles at the race. (If you don’t think that sounds far, try putting in that kind of distance when you’re legs are, like, 12 inches long.)
I read in the Landrunners Oklahoma City Running Club newsletter that people were encouraged to wear red socks in honor of those affected by the Boston Marathon bombing earlier this month. After some digging, we were able to rustle up some red socks for all of us. (That’s us in the photo above before the run.)
Granted, a 3-year-old really doesn’t have a preference on her socks on any given day, so it’s not like we really explained to her the reason she was sporting brand new ones. But we wanted her to be a part of it, even if she didn’t know why. At the expo, some children handed out bracelets braided with red, white and blue yarn. We tied one around our daughter’s wrist the morning of the race, and she asked what it was for. All we could really explain was that it was to remember some people who were hurt. It was to help them feel better.
I saw a lot of red socks during the kids event, and we spotted plenty of race finishers wearing them as they staggered away from the finish line. Lots of people wore shirts in support of Boston, including my next-door-neighbors. As we walked back to the car after the fun and celebration, we passed the Oklahoma City National Memorial. My mom overheard a dad explaining to his daughter, “This is a very special place.”
Life is full of hurts. Terrorism is one that frightens us, whether it’s in our city or hundreds of miles away. I can’t stop terrorism, but I can do small acts of love, even if it’s only socks.
In case you were wondering, here’s how registration stands for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. This year we’re doing the kids marathon as a family, and I realized I had signed up my daughter and my husband but not myself! Yikes! So hurry up and register before the price increase April 1 or before all the spots are gone for your event.
Runners will soon have the chance to participate in a sanctioned run in one of the most beautiful places in the city. The Oklahoma City Zoo is hosting a 5k again. Finally! It’s too pretty of a place not to share in this way. I reached out to Dana McCrory, executive director of the Oklahoma Zoological Society, about this landmark race April 14. (Click here to register!)
Q: Where did the idea to do the Oklahoma City Zoo Run come from?
A: The idea to revive the Oklahoma City Zoo Run came from ZooTroop – the Oklahoma Zoological Society’s young professional group. In November 2012, ZooTroop mapped nine trails in the Oklahoma City Zoo to encourage zoo guests to utilize the zoo for a safe, family-friendly walking destination. The interest in the mapped trails has been phenomenal and many of our guests asked if we would think about implementing a run.
Q: What is the course route?
A: The course is a certified, sanctioned 5K. As you dash off into the “wild” your journey will take you out the far east zoo gate, down by Zoo Lake, loop back around into the zoo, around giraffe loop and finish at the elephant demonstration pavilion.
Q: Has the zoo ever hosted a USTFA-sanctioned run? Why have one now?
A: Yes, the Zoo hosted a USTFA-sanctioned run for many years until the late 1990’s. ZooTroop decided to implement the run again to reach a new generation of runners and bring back the runners from the previous runs.
Q: What does the run raise money for?
A: The OKC Zoo Run net proceeds will go the Commitment to Care campaign for the new Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital. Each year, ZooTroop will work with the Oklahoma City Zoo to select a current project that the net proceeds will benefit.
Q: Who does this race target – serious runners, walkers, parents with strollers, people who run so slowly that you think they’re walking (like me)?
A: This race targets everyone in the zoo audience. Everyone is welcome. The serious runners will lead the race, parents with strollers will be positioned to start a little later, and people like you and me who run so slowly that you think they’re walking will start (and finish) last and yet still get a cool t-shirt.
I’m at my desk, which is, you know, indoors. I’m freezing. It seems like everywhere I go, I’m freezing.
Remember when it was 70 degrees?
Oh right. That was Friday.
Oklahoma weather is ridiculous, and I am a 100 percent certified cold-weather wimp. I have been using it as an excuse to skip morning runs. “It’s daaark and cooold! I can’t go today!” Then it occurred to me, it will be dark and cold for all of winter. This doesn’t bode well for a half-marathon at the end of March.
So I have two options: get a gym membership or bundle up like Ralphie’s little brother from “A Christmas Story.” Because I’m being cheap and stubborn, I’m choosing the second option. Here’s what Runner’s World says you should wear in the cold:
50°F and Up
Bottoms: Consider a longer-cut short than you’d wear in the summer, or wear capris.
Tops: A long-sleeve technical shirt, or a short-sleeve shirt and arm warmers. Thin vest.
Add: A lightweight baseball cap–style hat.
Bottoms: Capris or three-quarter-length tights. Alternatively: long tights or pants.
Tops: Layer two long-sleeve shirts, or wear one long-sleeve with a breathable wind- or waterproof jacket, a thicker vest, or a thin midlayer.
Add: A wicking beanie, thin gloves.
Bottoms: Brushed tights or pants; consider a pair of wool underwear. Wear socks high enough to cover any exposed skin.
Tops: Double up on long-sleeve shirts, or wear a long-sleeve shirt with a thin midlayer and thin jacket, or a heavier version of either.
Add: Beanie hat, thicker gloves. Sunglasses protect your eyes from chilly gusts. (Consider clear lenses on cloudy days.)
Bottoms: Brushed, insulated tights or pants made of wind- and water-blocking fabrics.
Tops: A long-sleeve shirt tucked into your bottoms and/or a midlayer that zips up to protect your neck, plus an insulated jacket. Long socks.
Add: A scarf or “gaiter” around your neck that you can pull over your chin and mouth. A warm beanie that covers your ears. Thick gloves that fit snugly. Sunglasses.
You’re kidding, right? Hit the treadmill!
After having such an awesome race in Tulsa, I’m eager to get going on my next run. So I checked my calendar, checked my muscles and picked something: the Dallas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half. It’s Sunday, March 24.
I feel kind of weird choosing that instead of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. I’ve run in the half for the past two years, and this city is special to me. But I’m excited to run in Dallas because it will free me up for the Memorial Marathon to run the last 1.2 miles with my daughter, who will be running in the kids marathon. (It will be so adorable!) So it’s bittersweet to give up on the race that was my first half marathon and in my favorite city.
I haven’t signed up for Dallas yet. The price goes up Jan. 31, so I’ll probably wait until Jan. 31 to register. Until then, I think I’ll just feel that pit in my stomach that something horrible is on the way.
Apparently, people can run in the snow. I would not know this from first-hand experience because I am a huge wimp who’s terrified of slipping and falling and laying stranded somewhere awkward until a random passer-by stops and calls 911. Nevertheless, running in the snow apparently does happen in some locations. Weird.
Here are some tips from Runner’s World on the experience most of us who live in Oklahoma don’t have to mess with but for a few times a year:
- Wear trail shoes.
- Run in fresh snow instead of the packed-down stuff if you can.
- Take teeny tiny steps.
- Run slowly. (Check! I’m super good at this.)
- Don’t run in snow every day. It uses those weird muscles that hibernate until you do some kind of strange exercise. Those are the ones that hurt the most. So run inside and outside – not outside all the time.
- Walk over ice. Seriously. Running on ice is just dumb.
I know, I know. The holidays are crazy. If you’re like me, you probably have been slacking like the slackiest of slackers when it comes to your running schedule because you just – for the love of God! – want to sleep in a little bit. (Do you see all those people dressed like Santa and running like champs? I am not one of them.)
But if nothing else, the holidays are a time to remember to register for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon before the first price jump. Costs go up Jan. 1.
Marathon: $95 to $110.
Half marathon: $65 to $80.
Relay: $250 to $275.
5K: $35 to $40.
5K for age 12 younger: $20 to $25.
But never fear: if you’re doing the Kids Marathon, the price never changes. It’s just $10 for children and $20 for adults running with them.
The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has issued a recall for the Baby Jogger City Versa strollers. Click here for more info. Here’s a picture of the recalled strollers.