Beacon on the Bay, Lake Hefner 25K

Today was by far the coldest day of running I have ever participated in.  A strong cold front came in late last night and  was making itself known this morning at Lake Hefner.  The temperatures were in the mid 20’s but that really wasn’t the issue.  The winds were brutal.  If I could think of a word that was more brutal than brutal, i’d use it.  The northly winds were in the 30’s and I suspect were gusting well beyond that.  The Lake added to the brutally low wind chill.  Other than the cold temperatures and winds, it was perfect day for a 25K race.

I didn’t take too many pre race pics this morning.  I did get one of me acting goofy.

Being Goofy Before the Race

Being Goofy Before the Race

Here’s pic of a bundled up Brenda.

Brenda?  I Think.

Brenda? I Think.

Anyway, the race started and 9:00 a.m. and I felt pretty good at first.  About a mile into the race, the conditions became real apparent.  I knew that this race was going to be a “gut check” for me.  About three miles into a race I discovered something, I was never alone.  You see, when its cold and the winds are unforgiving, people tend to find the big guys running.  We make excellent wind blocks.  Several times I was complimented on my wind blocking ability.  I spent the first half of the race fighting the wind as smaller runners ran behind me and beside me pending on wind direction.  It was always easy to spot a big runner, look for a pack of runners.  Put your money on the fact that the biggest runner is in the front of the pack.

Another phenomena would be the winds ability to send snot flying out of my nose without me exerting any effort.  Sorry to all of those drafting runners but occasionally i’d feel liquid fly out of my nose. 

About halfway through the race, I had to take a quick detour to find a shrub.  Little did I know that a porta potty was less than a mile away.  It was everything I thought it would be but it was hard to restart my running.

About the midway point, I met a runner named Yvonna.  She really helped me pace with her and she pushed me when we finally had the wind to our backs.  It was also nice to have some company out on the course because by this time the drafting people were either gone or behind me. 

I’d like to say that I really laid it out and finished strong today but I didn’t.  Instead, I just finished and I am totally happy with that.  The conditions and length of race really gave me the opportunity to test my mental toughness.  One would have to believe that this will better prepare me for the Little Rock Marathon.

After finishing, I waited in the car with Brenda and watched for fellow runners to run by.  This gave me the opportunity to take a few vids of Ashley and Alex.  Enjoy.

I do apologise to Ashley.  I misunderstood her when she asked “is she done?”  I thought she was checking on Brenda’s welfare.  Look forward to seeing Ashley in Little Rock in a few weeks.  Looks like a really fun person to be around.

This is Alex finishing up.  Sounds like she is in a great conversation.  Perhaps Alex is coming out of her shell and starting to talk (joking). 

Alex thanked us for staying for her (even though Brenda had her key).  Trust me when I say this….there was no way I was going to leave Lake Hefner without cheering Alex on.  This was too far of a race and the conditions were too miserable not to be there to congratulate her.

Alex Crossing the Finish Line

Alex Crossing the Finish Line

Few final thoughts…Brenda had a rough time today and I know her Allergies did not make things easy for her.  I’d like to thank the good samaritan that helped her in her time of need.  Other than that, lets hope that the weather starts cooperating on the weekends.

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10 responses to “Beacon on the Bay, Lake Hefner 25K

  1. Glad to see you guys made it through. I enjoyed your comentary on windblocking! I did the 5k, by did, I mean struggled though. In fact, I hated every single step of it. It was very very cold, if you didn’t notice and to be exacty I read the winds were 35mph making it feel about 12degrees. You were all really amazing to attempt that today!

  2. Going to the Creek Classic? On Saturday. We’ll do the Creek and then do about 10 miles on the Memorial training group on Sunday. Cannot run the full twenty given the fact that I am in Little Rock the following weekend running 26.2.

  3. Hey I wish it hadn’t been so cold as I would have looked for you after the race. As it was, I finished, grabbed some coffee and bagels, and hit the car to keep warm.

    It was brutal out there. One of those days that makes you love Oklahoma.

    See ya at the Creek Classic?

    Didn’t mean to offend with the big-guy comment. I’m no lightweight myself so I always respect us bigger runners.

  4. Not offended at all about the “big guy” comment. That was one of the funny parts of the race. I was in a group that was running about a 9:40 pace into the wind. Still new to running but this was a big learning experience for me. Never faced such conditions and I now have a better understanding how to run against a strong wind.

    Will do the Creek Classic and then 10 miles of the training run on Sunday before slowing things down and resting before Little Rock the following Sunday. I’m really starting to get amped up about Little Rock. Will not be a fast run for me but I want to do my best.

    Also, after the racing season is over I’d love to talk with you about your plan/strategy to qualifying for Boston. Ran into a wife of a Boston qualifier who took 8 years to do so. He started from a 4:40:00 first marathon time to qualifying 8 years later.

  5. Proud of you and all of the runners for doing the race! It sounds like it was absolutely miserable. It was miserable just getting out in it. I can’t imagine what it was like by the lake. Good job!!:)

  6. jason butler

    Glen shoot me an E-mail and I will send you a couple of pictures that I have of you Pre-race Beacon at the Bay.

    I gave Brenda the ride back. I could tell when I passed her that she wasn’t going to make it. Do you know if she is missing a black head band warmer? I had one left in my truck yesterday by someone.

  7. I am off of my running shoes for at least 2 weeks, so no Creek Classic or training runs for me. Hopefully, I can do some low impact stuff, let my back/legs fix themselves and then get back into the swing of things. I am dissappointed but hoping to finally get things back to where they were.

  8. Take your time and get back to full strength. You still have time to rest, recover, and still make the half marathon. However, do what is best for you and continue to listen to your body. Keep me posted on your status.

  9. I ran the Beacon on the Bay 25K on 2/28/2009. There is a saying, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I am 60 years old, have been running less than 3 years, and have yet to enter a race I did not enjoy. Kudos to all who came out and competed, what a great experience and an awesome job by the Landrunner’s Club!

  10. Thanks for the comment. I agree with your statement. The sense of accomplishment was way up after that run. Learned so much from that race about dealing with wind, will come in handy in the future.

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