What a great weekend! The highly anticipated trip to Stillwater for the OSU/Georgia game has finally come and gone. It was a great success!
Every trip I make to Stillwater as an adult, makes me really appreciate my time there even more and makes me want to someday find a way to return "home". I can definitely see myself as that old man who shows up to every sporting event regardless of wins/losses, weather, or appeal. I will probably be that guy in about 50 years.
Friday night was a return to the college days with plenty of bad food and way too much beer. Brandon, Megan, and I hit up the Strip and enjoyed the cheap deliciousness that is Stillwater beer. It's amazing how cheap it is to drink there. As an adult, it's bad news because I can actually afford to drink whatever I want and my budget doesn't dictate my BAC. Another oddity of going back as an adult, is that I don't hang out where I used to when I was a student. I never stepped foot into Copper Penny during college, and it has now become our bar of choice. Murphy's is always a safe bet too, but it's too crowded and the lines form way too early. You have to "prepare" to go to Murphy's and we weren't that prepared Friday evening. We did manage to make a trip to the Stonewall too. It's a very eclectic crowd in that joint and it makes for great people watching. I also ran into a foreign exchange student from Finland and chatted for a bit sharing stories about my travels there. He grew up in Helsinki and was shocked to learn of my familiarity with the country and my winter experiences. It was nice to share stories with someone who knew what I was talking about and didn't look at me like I was crazy! Friday night ended with an attempt to eat some Taco Mayo, which I thankfully lost my appetite for very quickly and ended up throwing it in the mini-fridge in our room. My stomach and my running diet thanked me for not throwing more unnecessary calories in the tank.
Saturday morning started off fairly early due to the 2:30 kickoff. We got up and around about 9 and got the ball rolling with some Starbucks and some Chick-Fil-A mini biscuits to cure the pounding head. I can't believe all the bad things I put in my body as I type this blog and recount all the damage I did to all the hard work over the past few weeks! Ha, football does crazy things to me. Especially when we are good! We ended up at the tailgate about 11 and I started it all over again. The sea of orange was a beautiful sight and you could feel the buzz and excitement across the campus. Every patch of grass was filled with someone tailgating and talking football. It was the best football gameday experience I have ever seen at OSU. It was a great site to see and I am glad I was a part of history. We bounced around several tailgates leading up to the game. It was great running into some old friends and continuing to build that relationship with Brandon and Megan. Shared experiences create great friendships. We will always have that bond of being OSU loyalists and the fact that we enjoy each other's company makes it even better. I am glad I found some OSU friends that have the same passion as I do. It's something I was lacking after I left OSU and I have finally filled that void. They have truly become great friends over the past couple of years and I look forward to continue building that bond.
Finally, at 2:10 we went into the stadium to share in the experience with 53,000 strong. It was nice to see a full stadium and hear the excitement of the fans. The hype was there, now we just needed a win. The game started off slow and I know all Poke fans were nervous that we might lay an egg. It was a great relief to break that bagel on the scoreboard before halftime and once we took the lead I was confident we would pull out a victory. The defense played great. The offense did what they needed to do and our special teams showed flashes of brilliance. It was refreshing to feel like we still had room for improvement, even after securing one of the biggest wins in school history. It's a sign that our program and our fans are turning the corner. I expect to win now. I expect for our team to do great things. I expect us to compete for a championship. It's an exciting time to be a Poke fan! I see great things in our near future.
Sunday was my day of recovery. I got back to OKC about 11:30 or so and took it easy all day. My original plan was to do my long run in the evening, but I could tell my body and my mind was not ready for it. Instead, I opted for a Target shopping run and spent time hanging out with Doug all day. I watched a little tennis and a little football and called it a night pretty early.
Today I woke up about 6 AM and had my pre-run breakfast of a bagel and peanut butter. I also picked up the Fuel Belt for the first time and filled my bottles with water and Gatorade Endurance Formula so I could give it a test run before Dallas. I also took a Clif Shot with me for the first time since it is the fuel of choice at the White Rock. I set out to Lake Hefner about 7:15 and began my trek of 9 miles after a very busy weekend. I expected this run to be a little harder than normal, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be once I got going. I did feel a little sluggish and my legs were heavy, but I know I did that to myself with all the beer and bad food. The weather was ok, but not perfect. It was a little too warm and a little too humid by the time I got going, but it wasn't hot so that was fine by me. After about 2 miles into my run, I randomly ran into a friend from college and I think both of us were shocked and excited to see each other. What are the chances? She was in town for the football game and happens to be training for a half marathon in October and was trying to get a run in before heading back to New Orleans tomorrow. She moved off to New Orleans after college and works for the Hornets and I hadn't seen here in years. It was great catching up for a bit and hear that she was doing well. After chatting for a bit, I got back on my way and fought bikers and bugs around the backside of the lake before finally making it back around to my car after a sluggish 9-mile run. It was good to get it over with and start over fresh again this week. This was the weekend I circled on the calendar for fun in Stillwater. I also have a hotel room for 3 other games, but I plan to tone down the drinking and eating as the training gets more intense. It's always good to have fun, but I don't think I can stomach a 20-mile run after 2 days of college football madness in Stillwater!
All in all, a great Labor Day weekend. I am glad to have the extra day off work and look forward to next weekend already! Ha. Football season does that to you for sure! Go Pokes!
Monday, September 7th - 9.01 miles in 1:24:45 (9:24 pace)