Hey, OKC! Are you "Motivated"?

I had a chance to see the “Get Motivated” tour in Tulsa, last year, at the BOk Center. I’ve seen a lot of tweets today from you about the “GM” stop in Oklahoma City.

Please leave your thoughts and comments below. I’m planning to follow up, myself, but want to hear your comments first!

Run Your Own Race – I Did!

One of my goals for 2008 was to run a 5k (3.1 mile) race. Yesterday, I did it!

Saturday marked the 31st running of the Tulsa Run. Okay, the BIG race is a 15k, and I’m not ready for that, but I did participate in the 5k. As odd as it sounds coming from me, it won’t be my last. What a great experience!

At race time, it was a little over 40 degrees (Fahrenheit) with no wind. My “runner friends” tell me that was about as nice of conditions we could have wanted. I have to agree. It was a great!

Many runners sported t-shirts supporting one school or another, some group from their employer or club, and a plethora of political candidates up for election next month. One of the hot issues in Tulsa is the condition of our streets. It’s been an issue for some time, and I found it ironic that prominently in the 2nd or 3rd block after leaving the Start line, was an enormous pothole many runners had to swerve to avoid. Okay, point taken, I’ll check the “YES” box in propositions One and Two, allegedly to Fix Our Streets….yet again.

The course (see map) proceeded out of Downtown Tulsa, crossing an overpass into the Riverview neighborhood, before zigging over Denver Avenue and down the hill to Riverside Drive, along the Arkansas River. Shortly after hitting Riverside, was a turn-around (where we quickly passed a local cover band playing to the crowd – sorry I couldn’t tell you who it was, as I was rockin’ to my iPod by that point in the run). Then…the fun began.

About 2 miles into the run, the route turned back toward Downtown – UP Denver Avenue for about a mile. It’s safe to say the pace was a little slower after the turn, since it was certainly more UPhill. That’s okay, I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, and the training runs on asphalt (vs. treadmill) have definitely paid off. Then I saw him. My “inspiration man”.

Over the past 12 months, I’ve worked tireless hours training and changing my lifestyle to shed myself of a net of 30 lbs. I say NET because I’ve lost more than that in fat, while adding lean muscle. I must say, I’m in the best shape of my life, and say THANKS to the guys at Fitness Together Kingspointe Village for getting me off on the right foot!

With about half a mile left in the run, I was alternating a little more between my running pace and a brisk walk (runners call that “intervals”). There was another runner I noticed was swapping a lead back and forth with me. He was wearing a brown hat which sported a simple, two-word message on the back, “Size Matters”. That was all I needed. I had my mark. NO WAY was he going to beat me at the finish of this race. I am 6’3″, 260 lbs and running two races. First, I was competing against the clock. Based on my training runs, under 38 minutes was a given, and under 35 would make me VERY happy! Second, running in the “Clydesdale 230+” class, I was running against the other “big fellas” out on the road. So, in my case, size really DOES matter!

Closing in on the finish line in front of the newly completed, Cesar Pelli designed, BOk Center it was time to kick it up a notch. I couldn’t read the clock, but felt good about my pace…besides, I had uncovered my competitiveness with the “Size Matters” guy and needed to settle this once and for all. In my head, over the thumping bass in my earbuds, I heard a voice urging me to “Finish strong, Cooksey! Finish strong!” and sprung into a finishing sprint for the past 10th of a mile. As I kicked, I passed about 20+ runners who were simply spent, including my “hat brother”. When I checked the Official Results online today, I had finished 10th in the Clydesdale 230+ class (out of 27, thank you very much!).

My official time: 33:04. The site lists something called an “Age Weighted” time of 32:22. Either way, I am STOKED! It was my race and I beat my goal.

What goal will you set for yourself, commit to, and attempt? Leave your comments here on the blog!

Blast (of Rust) from the Past

In 1957, the citizens of Tulsa, Oklahoma celebrated their state’s 50th anniversary by burying a 1957 Plymouth Belevedere as part of a time capsule to be opened during Oklahoma’s Centennial Celebration in 2007. On June 15th, 2007, after countless years of rusting away underground (and at times underwater) Miss Belevedere was unearthed to the amazement and wonder of many who gathered in this midwestern city for a nostalgic glimpse of the past.

Much media attention focused on Tulsa and all the hype that has been building since that day in 1957. While some may view the retrieval of rusted-out, shell of a car and somewhat hokey live television production of her “coming out party” as a failure, I would have to argue otherwise. For starters, the time capsule itself was completely in tact. Next time, maybe they’ll weld the car inside a steel tank instead of a concrete bunker to keep out the water!

By today’s media standards, for the cost of simply burying and exhuming a car, I call the attention drawn to Tulsa, even if for a few days quite a success. The buzz created called classic American car fans from around the globe to descend on the city, some even shipping their own Belevedere’s from halfway around the world, just to see what would be found. Hotels thoughout the city were filled. Thousands of dollars of merchandise related to Route 66, Tulsarama, and the Belevedere herself continue to be sold. National and International media buzz generated continues as you read this blog…a humble, yet unique reminder that the city once known as the “Oil Capital of the World” is still alive and kicking!

For now, we wait a week for the official crew to learn and announce who has won the car. It was promised in 1957 to the citizen or their heirs who most closely guessed the population of Tulsa, Oklahoma as of June 1, 2007. I’m personally looking forward to the display of the contents by the Tulsa Historical Society at the museum later this summer. Hopefully, the car, too, will stay there in perpetuity.

If only we could have kept emcee and local radio icon John Erling‘s emotions in check and his bare hands off of the artifacts during the unveiling. Somebody get that man some gloves!