I haven’t been running much lately. You may remember that I’ve been dealing with hip flexor tendonitis for a while. And while my hip flexor feels pretty much back to normal, I’m still not back up to my usual running pace or distance. So I’ve been staying away from races. I have a hard time not racing a race, and I’m not sure I want to (or should) test a healing hip flexor with speed just yet.
But I’ve been missing races. I miss running with a group of people and just being around runners. So when I saw the Tulsa Oilers Arena Challenge pop up, I thought this could be a great way to fuel that need to be with runners but still be easy with the speed.
The challenge is held inside an event arena in downtown Tulsa, the BOK Center. During hockey season, the Tulsa Oilers play there. The challenge is roughly 2 miles, according to the event website, with participants running up and down the arena stairs. It’s something I’ve thought about doing, but this was one race I didn’t want to do alone.
I put the word out to my strength and conditioning gym friends, and we formed a team of 9 people. While we each ran individually, the finishing time of the top 3 finishers of our team would determine our team time.
We met up sporting our gym T-shirts, ready to tackle the challenge. Wave 1 started. I got in the queue for wave 2, feeling that excitement that bubbles up at the start of every race. I love it! The horn blasted, and we were off, running the corridors of the BOK center up and around the ramp to reach the upper level, down the stairs to the lower level, back up the stairs to the upper level, and finally to the arena stairs where things really got interesting. I trotted down my first flight of stairs, turned at the bottom and ran back up the same flight.
No problem, I thought. I’ve got this.
I trotted down the next flight, ran back up, down the next flight, and back up. Three or four flights later my quads were cursing at me, and I started to wonder why I ever thought this would be fun. But I kept going. Down and back up, down and back up. That hand rail became quite helpful as time went by and my legs started to get wobbly!
And my first Tulsa Oilers Arena Challenge is history! And it was fun! Doing something different was fun. Running as a team was awesome! Getting to know my gym peeps a little better–priceless. I can’t wait to do it again!
Talk to me:
What’s a new challenge you’ve taken on lately?
Do you like ice hockey?