Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon v3

The 2014 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon was my third OKC Memorial Marathon and was just as long as I remembered. In terms of time dedicated to the race on Race Day, it was longer.

I did my normal routine on Saturday which is find good food to eat throughout the day and have my last meal around 6:00pm. I had a bachelor party to go to that night. It consisted of staying out for an hour and drinking water. The others had more fun than I did, I bet. After I got back to the house, I prepped my clothes and headed to bed.

I slept beautifully. I got up once to use the bathroom and went right back to bed before my alarm went off at 4am. I got up. Showered (I shower before I work out. No matter event, workout, time, it has to happen.) and put on my race day garb, which this year consisted of my Koda CrossFit Endurance shirt. I had my coffee and headed to the gym to open it up at 5am for the other members who were participating. There, we stretched, rolled out, talked, took care of a few things and we were out the door at 5:35am, right when the rain started.

I coach at SandRidge Energy a few times a week and was able to use my badge to park in their parking garage. It was there that we waited for an hour getting updates on the weather and delays. After a little bit, I was getting restless so I suggested we head to their fitness center across the street. They had a awesome set up: water, toast, granola bars, coffee and most importantly bathrooms. We hung out there until 5 minutes before kick-off which at this point was 8am. After we got in line, where it was still raining, it was announced that we would not start until 8:15. This quickly turned into 8:20 but what was 5 more minutes. Jared Muse, Ryan Cunningham, Michael Bowers and myself were all huddled in a group in our trash bags ready to get this thing underway. 8:20 approached and we were (FINALLY) off.

  • Start – 168 seconds of silence. Rain. National Anthem. More Rain. Gun goes off. No rain.
  • Mile 1 – Was a little nervous about the weather still. My shirt was still wet. Got worried about those nipples. Thank you quick drying Koda tech t-shirt.
  • Mile 2.2 – What the hell, Ryan!? Bathroom break already? I’ll hold it.
  • Mile 2.5 – There is Danielle. Looking strong at this point of her first marathon. “Man, it’s humid. Could use some of that rain to cool me off.”
  • Mile 3-4 – This part of the race is heading towards The Capitol is usually way prettier than it was this morning. With no sun rising due to cloud cover it was just a dreary run down Lincoln.
  • Mile 5.5-7 – Running through Edgemere Park and Gorilla Hill. Saw Joseph Arguello and Co., David Little, Gary Wood, Katie Johnson, Matt Blose and Staci Jo Welch. This part of the race was very fun as always but what made it better was all the Kodites. Wanted to grab a donut where they were handing out donuts, a glass of champagne where they were handing out champagne and vodka where they were handing out vodka but instead, I just got a water and high fives.
  • Mile 7-8 – This is where the half marathon splits and the full keeps going. It is so loud and exciting at the turn for the half marathon…. and then gets so quiet as soon as the full marathon keeps going. This is really a mental battle here. You have to keep going because you have 18 more miles to go, but with the crowds becoming few and far betweeen, you just have your thoughts to keep you entertained. A lot of those thoughts are of you stopping, so you have to fight yourself for the majority of the remaining miles.
  • Mile 10 – 3rd Relay Exchange point. Got to see Anthony Robb a few other folks at that point. It was encouraging since Classen is an incline the entire way to Wilshire it felt like. I remember thinking, I’m halfway. Halfway to Mile 20 where I’d be only 6 miles out.” That’s what you kind of have to do during such a long event.
  • Mile 11-12 – I kept looking at my watch. My pace was set for 8:00 which would have me finish the marathon in 3 hours and 30 minutes, a lofty goal considering that I weigh a little more than I did last year. I also didn’t get to do my programming like I wanted to. I did all the weekend runs, but was rarely able to do my class during the week because of the increase in popularity. A good problem to have by all means. But I was roughly 40 seconds ahead of my pace after 12 miles and I kept feeling good. I made small goals from here on out to stay the same pace until 14. Until 15. Until 17. Until 18. Until 20.
  • Mile 13.1 – For real halfway. Saw Mrs. Bowers and family as well as Family Solis and Liz Le. It was good to see them and hear their cheers.
  • Mile 14 – With the weather the way it was and the way it was being predicted leading up to Race Day, I knew it would be windy as anything getting out towards Lake Hefner. To my surprise, it was windy, but nothing like I had expected and nothing like the day that we ran our “long run” of 13 miles a few weeks earlier. I was excited about this and was still able to hold my 7:55-8:05 miles. My aunt is always volunteering at the Southwest water stop and luckily, she yelled at me before I passed completely and was able to see her.
  • Mile 17 – Just over the bridge on Grand Blvd over Hefner Parkway. I felt strong on the hills. That’s where I kept passing people. I really like this part of the course, mainly because it’s where we do our weekend runs and I know exactly what is ahead of me. I was able to see Cole, Sharp, Bo and Amanda and her sign, “Free Puppies at the Finish. Hurry!” Cole handed me my ClifBloks which were huge because it gave me a different texture than the ClifShots I had been taken. Plus they’re delicious.
  • Mile 18-20 – Was still feeling great. Holding my pace steady, surprisingly. I was hurting quite a bit last year around this area and was very excited to feel fine. Saw Natasha Bennett and kept running down Grand where we were offered a little bit a shade. It was hot by this point. We weren’t in the wind and the humidity had decreased but the sun was in full effect.
  • Mile 20 – Up the hill on Classen Curve. It’s huge. I cramped last year at this exact point. I didn’t this time. Victory.
  • Mile 21 – Now I’m heading directly south on Classen. Directly south means directly into the wind which had picked up a little it felt like. I was hitting the wall. I convinced myself I’d walk a little. So I did. Felt defeated kind of for doing so. I walked 100m and started running again. I was nervous because I knew it got easier to walk as soon as you felt what walking was like (btw, it feels soooooo good!). After that 100m walk, felt like a got a second wind and was comfortable running again, just at a slower pace.
  • Mile 22-24 – Saw Katie, Matt and Gary again. Grabbed an ice cold water from them which was clutch and kept going. I was really hungry at this point. Grabbed food at every stop that was around. However, I never did get pretzels. That has always seemed like the worst idea to me. Those dry your mouth out like crazy. I always went for the apples and orange and bananas which seemed like there weren’t many food stops this year. Maybe I was just hungrier.
  • Mile 25 – Saw Emily Pomeroy and Trent and their kids. Smiled big and waved. Then 18 steps later, my right hamstring cramped up big time and had to stop right in the middle of an intersection. The guy there asked if I wanted to go to the curb and pointed to the one behind me. Told him, “Can’t go back.” He gave me the Gatorade he had in his pocket. I was thankful and after about 30 seconds, I was off running again.
  • Mile 26.1 – The 2 or 3 miles leading up to this point seem to take forever. You want it to be over so bad and you can’t seem to make it any faster. Here, I had already made my last turn and the crowd was getting bigger and bigger as I made my way down broadway. I see Kip and then my left hamstring cramps. I don’t stop because I don’t want to stop with thousands right there watching me so I fight through it and finally make it across the finish line in 3 hours 38 minutes and 12 seconds.

I was finished. I had completed my 6th marathon. I was very proud of my time and how I did throughout the race. Learned a few things and am excited to hear other people’s stories of their day. Congratulations to all the participants and everyone who had a part in the race from Koda CrossFit. Might I add that those shirts looked good out there.

Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon | 5 Weeks Out

Less Than 5 Weeks

April 27th is right around the corner but don’t worry, we still have 5 weeks. Those following my programming for the first time may feel as if you are not prepared for a full marathon or half marathon because you haven’t covered the miles that you did in your previous training schedules. Trust me. You’re right on track and right where you need to be. You’re healthy, you don’t have nagging injuries and most importantly, you’re still running.

Our One and Only Long Run

For the runners out there that are worried because they haven’t had a “long” run, you’ll get your shot this weekend. The marathoners will be running a half marathon and the half marathoners will be running 8 miles. These will both be completed at RACE PACE. What does “race pace” mean? I hope by now, you have a goal time in mind on race day. Hopefully, you’ve been thinking about that time when completing our Sunday runs. This Sunday, you’ll have to focus on that race pace A LOT. It’s slower than what we’ve been running. That’s the point of CrossFit Endurance. When we take to the roads this weekend, you cannot go out fast. If you do anything right this weekend, make sure that it is this. Going out fast will ruin you for the later miles.


As we’re getting closer to Race Day, you should be thinking about your nutrition and have hopefully began practicing with it. This weekend will be a great opportunity for you to practice your Race Day nutrition and how to effectively use it. As a general rule, if you’ve been trying your hand at gels, you’ll want to take those every 60 minutes. I try to take one every six miles. My favorites are the ClifShots in Lemon Lime flavor and Chocolate. When it comes to hydration, don’t let yourself become thirsty. By that point, it may be too late. Drink regularly. This weekend on our run, I will try to have a water stop along the way for everyone to grab on the way out and on the way back in. As we get closer to the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, we will be going over game plans for Race Day, but have one going into our long run this weekend. Anyone and everyone is welcome. See you Sunday at 11am.
-Ryan Doonkeen, CrossFit Endurance Trainer

Half Marathoners Route

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Marathoners Route

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Throwback Thursday – Blog v4.1

I shan’t be updating you on the previous 9 months of my life with this blog post since my server was hacked and lost my old website. Luckily, I had saved all my previous posts and most importantly, rediscovered my Xanga. Retrieved all my posts and uploaded them to this site! This will be my 4th version of a blog so without further ado… post one:

#tbt to those Xanga entries from July 2005 to August 2009, complete with song lyrics as titles.

The Fittest Games | Ryan Doonkeen – Amateur Division

The Fittest Games was an event I had been looking forward to, one, because it was in Austin and having moved back from Austin in 2012, I was still in love with the place, and two, because I knew that the Amateur Division was stacked with really good… amateurs. As described on The Fittest Games website, “Amateur does not mean ‘beginner’ nor does it mean ‘easy’. While the Amateur division will not be doing the same WODs as the Pros (nor will they be scored against the Pros) rest assured that the WODs will be challenging and you will need a high level of fitness across broad time and modal domains. Amateur does not mean scaled. NCAA Division I athletics is Amateur, but it is the highest level before turning Pro. College football players are ‘Elite Amateurs’.” This event was my Regionals.

Going into Day 1, I was ready. I was prepared and I knew which workouts I needed to do well in and which ones I needed to hang on and not get destroyed. After the first event, which was one that I knew I’d be in the middle of the pack after, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was in the top third of the competition. Next came “The Gas Mask V.2.” This workout was one that I needed a strong showing for. It was endurance based and that is one thing that I have. I finished 6th in that workout and pushed myself to 7th position after two workouts. The toes-2-bar workout was another one where I would need to hang on. After Day 1 was done with and we were back home trying to get warm, I was in 13th place with one more workout to determine the top 10 that would go on to the final workout.

Day two began with a version of “DT” using 130 pounds but with an axel bar. 5 Rounds: 9 Deadlifts, 6 Hang Cleans, 3 Shoulder to Overhead. I didn’t practice with an axel bar and figured what better time to figure it out than in the heat of the moment. I needed a really good score to move up 14 points and finish in the top 10. I finished the workout in 3:13, good enough to finish that workout in 12th place and was able to sneak into the Top after 4 workouts. I was more than excited. I worked hard in all the weeks leading up to the event and my goal was to make the final workout. As we walked into athlete briefing the morning of Day 1, I looked around and saw my competition. I would by lying if I said that I wasn’t worried about making the final workout after seeing whom I would be going up against.

Once they announced the final workout, a series of 3 workouts with cuts after each one, I knew what I could do. The first workout favored me a little, at least enough to where I could make it in front of the “Grandstands.” When this workout began, all I could hear was Brice yelling at me. I never heard the “stay coordinated” he was yelling or I would have lost it laughing, but I did hear him say, “You got this. Be Smart. Two still left on the wall balls.” I never heard anyone else except for him. I made the final 8 and was able to workout in front of the big crowd. That was my goal going into that workout. The next stage, 20 Ground to Overhead at 155 pounds was going to take me giving it my all. I did exactly that. I couldn’t tell you what was going through my head during this event and I couldn’t hear a soul. It took forever to get to 15 reps and then those last 5 were a blur. I struggled with rep 19 and heard Brice yell, “Split Jerk!” but I knew I couldn’t get my feet that far apart. The last rep, I took my time to make sure I got it and after I was done, I saw that there were still two boxes left to stand on. I jumped on it and was onto the final-final workout… Mini Fran. As I was on top of the box, my emotions went from being excited, to being relieved, to being worried. I had one more workout and I had absolutely nothing left.

I finished the last workout in 6th place but to know that I fought my way through that final workout and finished in the final heat, I was so happy and I could feel everyone in the stands being excited for me, with Chad, Jared and Brice being on top of that list. I have completed 5 marathons and an Ironman and this was by far the most exciting moment out of my athletic achievements. I was known as, “the guy in the purple,” by the end of that workout and I had a number of people come up to me and congratulate me. It was an amazing moment in my short CrossFit life that I’ll be sure to tell you about over and over again.

Being at The Fittest Games and watching Brice battle against Games Athletes, the Team lift an incredible amount of weight during CrossFit Total, and watching Jared win the entire weekend as well as the winner-take-all final was incredible. Having the support system that Koda CrossFit has is unlike any other. We had so many people come in from out of town to cheer on everyone and be there for each other. I can’t wait to go back next year.