Monday, October 10, 2011

Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas All on a Saturday

Night Before Oklahoma Race
Talk about a whirlwind of a trip! We landed Friday in Dallas, just in time for lunch at Sonic for our beloved tots! Greg changed our reservations and instead of a chain hotel, we stayed at Tanglewood on Lake Texoma, near the border of Texas and Oklahoma. Great choice! Bridget was immediately thrilled when she saw a large playground and pool! Us Girls had spa time, while Greg made a quick trip to pick up a 6-pack of Shiner Family Reunion (an amazing sampler pack of my favorite texas beer).

While at the spa, we learned that Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton actually live on the other side of the lake. Meg wanted to stalk, but there was no time for that (plus, why give them more material for a country song!). Dinner at hotel, which was awesome because we dined outside while Bridget played on the playground. As cheesy as it sounds, we all went back to the room to relax and veg with TV - Bridget watched her movie on her portable DVD player, Meg watched the Kardashians in the living room and Greg and I watched back to back episodes of Pawn Stars. Yep, the glamorous life!

Oklahoma Race
This race is why I love small town running events. I actually finished third in my age group. And yes, there were more than three ladies!

Madill, Oklahoma is a little town north of Texoma Lake, but it sure is big on hospitality. For a $17 race fee, I had the great experience of spending my morning running a challenging 10k through the little town of Madill, which also served as a championship race for Oklahoma cross country. I also scored a fantastic long-sleeve t-shirt of Alice in Runner-land, a pancake breakfast free to all runners and just $3 for guests, a trophy, Texoma Peanut Inn peanuts, and the standard H20 and banana (love me some fruit!). For such a small race, organizers had a photographer on hand capturing finish line shots and immediately uploading them. About 10 yards away and for only $4, you could purchase your picture and have it printed on the spot. What a great service - and priced right. Another cool feature: finishing times were posted within minutes of finishing on an adjacent corkboard.

The course was challenging. We had long inclines to tackle with the sun and humidity teasing us. Then came the strong headwinds. People were losing their hats and headbands (kind of funny, actually). Since I was in prairie land with wide open spaces and no buildings to be found on the course, my body absorbed the whole wind force. I had been maintaining steady 9:40-9:42 miles, then whack! I found myself struggling for 11s! In spite of this, I was treated to some beautiful scenery and great volunteers.

Funny story at the start line. I had asked the guy next to me why his bib was pink - which race was he running. He responded, "the long one." Uhmm, okay. He then said it was the half marathon. I kind of giggled to myself because even though I was running what he thought was the short race, I would be running a half marathon the following morning. I wished him luck anyway. He tapped my shoulder a couple minutes later and told me to cover my ears because the race was about to start. They actually had a pistol to fire to start the race. Gave new meaning to gun time!

While I was running, my family dined at Hobo Joe's I only got to hear their stories and see the outside of this place to know that I missed out on a helluva good greasy spoon. But that's ok because I was fortunate to have my own Madill experience.

And now State 35 is done! Best of all, we woke up Saturday morning in Texas, drove across the border to Madill, Oklahoma for a 9:00am race, then checked in at the expo in Wichita, Kansas by 3:30pm. All in the same Saturday. Funny side story: Meg carried her styrofoam to-go container of leftover pizza through these 3 states. We laughed that her to-go container needed patches like a backpack to show where it had traveled!

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