Whelp, Tulsa Run 15k is done...my goal was to negative split the course. I have a hard time with patience. I go out fast on shorter races. I have run this race several times now and always love the course, a nice flattish run from downtown along the Riverparks and back. This is a race we would have fun with. Coach set up pace parameters keep me reigned in early on.
The night before the race we drove to Tulsa and went out to dinner. We ate at a usual spot about 3 or 4 miles East of the race start. Todd commented on some cones and tape, saying, "look, the race comes by here". I informed him, with an authoritative tone, "no dear, (silly boy) the race goes north and south down riverside, it does not come this far east". We drove closer to the restaurant, "Lori, look, there's Porta potties and more barricade stuff". Me getting a little annoyed that he would question my superior knowledge of the course, "Tulsa Run has never come this far East. It goes North South on Riverside". We left the restaurant, and I'll be danged if he didn't start in again..."Look Lori", pointing to more cones and a Porta pottie. Before he uttered another word, I interrupted him, "Todd, (my pious hand in the air) the race DOES NOT Come this far East! Conversation over.
The next morning we get to the race start. I like to start toward the front and Todd likes to start toward the back. The gun fires and we're off, downtown as usual. I'm watching my pace and slow myself down a little to get into the pace range I wanted. It was hard not to go faster. "Be patient, look around and enjoy how this feels", I told myself. No headphones to distract. I noticed the trees, the runners, the bands....and.... the left turn. East. Uhhh...wait a minute. If it weren't for the fact that there were 5,000 or more runners on the course I would have questioned a course error.
We continued East. And over hills. There were not supposed to be hills. And lo and behold, the very street we were on the night before as I piously informed Todd, the course could not possibly come this far East. The course has been essentially the same since I ran it with my dad at age 13. And more hills! The first 5k I kept my pace in check. The second 5k I increased my pace like clockwork. I was wondering when we were going to get on Riverside, surely we are going to run riverside...it's the most beautiful part of tulsa and the course! Nope, more concrete, less trees...and more hills. Little annoying ones, just small enough that I couldn't justify backing off, but just big enough to really have me hitting the max effort button to stay on pace. I couldn't help but laugh featuring the huge grin on Todds face. I was quite sure he was replaying our conversation from the previous night about the course. He was probably mimicking me as he told other runners around him! ...."the course doesn't go this far east she said..."
Oh it was fun though. It was insanely beautiful, and warm. I got a huge kick out of my own presumptions of the course, so sure of myself, that I didn't even bother to look at the course. The last 5k was mostly uphill and mostly hot! My pace faded, and I knew a negative split was not in the cards today. But the cool thing was that I didn't care. I thought a lot about how races never go as planned, just like life. We have choices about how we respond. Adapt and prosper or whine and trudge.