This weekend I will run my 21st state half marathon (22 total half marathons) in Olathe, Kansas. This race caught my eye because of its Wizard of Oz theme. I guess being in Kansas, that's what you have to go with, as I'm not sure there are many other widely recognized Kansas pop-culture hooks. My training for this race was going well, except for the past two weeks. Family holidays and events have taken up much of my time, and to go along with the territory, my diet has also been WAY off. I missed my regular long run which would have been Easter weekend, so I squeaked one in this week on Monday. I fared well enough on the 10+ miler, but by the end I had a pretty sharp pain in the front top part of my ankle area. Ouch! I rested the next day, opting to do a nice yoga workout. Today I attempted a nice easy 5 miler just to see how the ankle was, and I made one adjustment. I decided to go sock-less. I suspected that part of my pain was due to my low-cut running socks. (Not sure why they would suddenly cause me such pain, but went with it on a hunch.) Turns out, my miles today were fine. No pain or anguish. I'm hoping the pain will stay away during the half this weekend, but just to be sure, I'll leave the socks at the hotel. And the rest of this week will be rest for me.
Getting ready for this trip, I revisited the race website and found a nice picture of the race medals for this year's event. I am so excited about the half marathon medal! It features a picture of Dorothy being chased by the flying monkeys. How cool is that!!!??? I suspect it will be one of my most favorite medals to date. I have printed out all my confirmations, directions, receipts and maps. The weather report in Olathe for Saturday morning indicates a 90% chance of rain right now. Not really looking forward to that part, but so be it. As long as a twister doesn't come rolling through, I'll be fine.
Based on the pictures from the race website, many folks dress up like Wizard of Oz characters for the race. I can just imagine some of the signs spectators will hold along the route, too: "I'd turn back if I were you!" "Run faster, flying monkeys are chasing you!" "13.1 miles to Oz." It should be fun. I'm not one to wear a costume while I run, but I am always entertained by those who do. I'm looking forward to seeing what folks come up with for this one.
Back when I was the head children's librarian at the Enfield Public Library, we spent an entire summer reading program celebrating the Wizard of Oz. This race helps bring back the fun memories of that time for me. This race is dedicated to my past and present co-workers at EPL. There's no place like home!