Did my first run around Lake Hefner was today and it felt great! I have cycled around OKC’s most popular lake many times and have wanted to run around the lake for the past few months. It is a bit daunting – 9.5 miles around with no way to cut short the run if I got tired. Well, I guess I could call an Uber, but not gonna do that.
I knew once I started the run I wanted to finish the run. Now that I have run four half marathons since Jan 1 2018 I knew I could easily handle this route. I was supposed to run 7 miles this morning with my daughter but she had to cancel at the last minute so I decided to give the loop around Hefner a try. It was really windy, like it often is this time of year in Oklahoma, and Hefner is especially susceptible to the wind since it is out in the open with little to block the wind from a bicycle rider or runner. This morning the winds were gusting about 25-30 mph out of the south, so that made at least half of the run into a strong headwind. I used to complain about winds and hills, but now they are just what they are – something to be overcome and part of the ride or run.
The first two miles my right leg felt pretty tight and stiff. I have had a few problems off and on with my right knee, but this morning it was just a stiffness in my leg. I debated whether to cut my run short so as not to risk further injury, but eventually decided to just keep running and see how it went. Eventually my leg loosened up and felt fine for the rest of the run. After mile 3 everything was working good, I just started across the dam on the north side of Hefner, and made the commitment to continue the run. It is a LONG ways across the dam and the wind just howls over the top. Most of my run was a crosswind, but eventually I had to turn and slog it out directly into the wind along the top of the dam. Damn! Slow going for a couple of miles.
Once off the dam my legs felt great, a few trees blocked some of the wind, and my run got into a nice rhythm. My fastest times were my last 3 miles and when I got to the truck at 9.5 miles I decided to make a loop around the ballpark at Stars and Stripes part to make it an even 10 mile run. I wasn’t all that tired and could have ran further, but time was getting short and I needed to get home and get some work done. All in all a very nice run. Couldn’t have done this a year ago!