Saturday, October 13, 2012

Woolaroc Road Race 8k Race Recap

I have grown up around Woolaroc most of my life.  It's always a great reminder to me of Oklahoma.  The history that is here, the beauty of the grounds, the animals, the legends of Frank Phillips and his infamous poker games and the dastardly bank robbers that would hide out in the rock formations in the hills.

When my husband and I got married we actually considered having at least the reception there but opted against it mainly because of the distance from our church but the location wasn't easily accessible for everyone.

That being said I have heard people talking about the Woolaroc Road Race for awhile.  I never thought that I would actually run it though.  Quite frankly didn't want to run it.  Why would I not run a race in a spot that I loved?  Simple, hills and lots of them.  I don't like hills.  They intimidate me but I do realize I have to run them to get better at them.  Why did I end up running the road race?  The Oilman's Challenge, a nifty little medal that I can get after completing a local 5k, 8k and 10k from August 2012 through March of 2013.  So I caved.  I was a little nervous because I have slacked off on running this week, also none of my running friends were going to be me with me.  Oh yeah, and have I mentioned I don't like hills?  This was a perfect opportunity to see how it will be when I run the Princess Half solo (with thousands of new friends).

We all got up early and headed out to Woolaroc the amazing thing was being there so early we got to see a ton of the animals roaming free, mostly deer and buffalo.  Seeing the animals out in plain view got me so excited to be able to run around Woolaroc that I almost forgot the hills.  Almost...

The beauty of the run today was just spectacular.  The fall hues are waking up, lots of green still on the ground, crisp but humid air and a slight rain for a few minutes.  I found myself in awe of the surroundings and just how stinking pretty Woolaroc is, and also realized that I need to visit more often with my family.  While most of the animals disappeared while we were running (they were conveniently being fed at that time) there were still some animals in their homes that actually ran along their enclosures with us.  Pretty cool.  

I did find myself distracted by my surroundings and was not so focused on my pace and intervals.  I just was there.   The only downside (other than the hill that might replace my nemesis hill) was that I had to stop not quite half way and fix my chip.  I didn't quite get it right and it was almost off. So I lost a  little bit of time there but couldn't help that.  I'm trying not to focus on the what ifs because I really did better than I had planned and even clocked my fastest non treadmill mile today.  I will also say that I can see that my incline work on the treadmill has paid off as I did actually run the hills.

 I had a goal in my head of 55 minutes (roughly based on my recent 10:34-11'ish pace I seem to be stuck at lately) and I finished around 50:24 (give or take a second or two).  I finally broke my pace up a bit.  Despite having the unplanned stop I'm pretty pleased with that time.

All in all it was a great race, a beautiful morning and I so can't wait to do it again next year.