I will apologize now…this is a LONG post. I really felt like I just needed to get it all out there. This post was four days in the making for me. Still feeling a little emotional, but much better because thinking about my thoughts has been therapeutic for me. Thank you for being so supportive of me when I was feeling so down on myself the last couple of days. I loved Nicole’s comment on my FB about marathons being heart breakers (Nicole blogs at I dream of Running). They really are! It might take me a while to officially pick myself up after Eugene, but I am getting there.
Saturday I spent some more time at the expo and met up with some friends that I had never met in person before. I got to meet Lauren over at Sassy Molassy and Raina from Small Town Runner. I also saw Amanda from Runninghood and her family at the expo (her family is super cute!). As a side note, you have to read Lauren’s post about the Eugene finish line. She got proposed to!!! How cool is that?!
Raina and I
Mr. Healthy Diva was a little cranky from hanging out in the hotel while I was being a social butterfly so I took him to the Nike store and then we drove past the most amazing place on earth- Autzen Stadium. The Ducks were having a scrimmage on Saturday so the traffic was a wee bit insane. Part of me wanted to hop out and join in on the tailgating festivities, however, tailgating and marathons don’t mesh well. We also went to the U of O bookstore so that Allie the Acura could get “ducked”. Mr. Healthy Diva was less than thrilled about this since he is WSU Cougar.
Little Allie got "ducked"
That night Meredith from Therapeutic Runnings of A Mom had invited us to go to dinner at Mazzi’s a cute little Italian restaurant. It was great company to have the night before the marathon. I loved meeting Meredith’s friend Marnee (she is training for Boise 70.3 in June) and Harmony (who was running the ½). Harmony just so happens to live in Pullman which is pretty close to Spokane! Before leaving, I gave all of them some #SweatPink shoelaces. J
L-R: Meredith, Marnee, Harmony, ME, Cassie, Jen
We got back to the hotel and I finished getting my stuff ready for the next day. At the last minute I decided I would check a bag so I started cramming everything into my backpack that I thought I might need. By 10:00 pm I couldn’t stay awake any longer. As soon as my head hit the pillow I was out!
I have no idea why Mr. Healthy Diva took this photo
Making my "coat"
Thanks Mr. Healthy Diva for taking pics of me sleeping!!!!
I was up around 4:45 am on Sunday. I felt fairly decent. I had gotten some good sleep and felt ready to run solid. I made my typical serving of oatmeal as I was getting ready. I stretched out really good prior to leaving and just felt good.
We got to Hayward Field about 6 am so I had a good hour before the race started. We took some pictures and sat around before I decided to go and check my bag and do my pre-race warm up routine- short jog with more stretching.
This was my favorite mile marker
12 weeks in the making and I made it!
Wish we had better pics of Hayward Field- we don't have legs in this picture
With about 10 minutes until 7 am I got into “corral a” and was still feeling fairly positive. I knew that I was prepared to run a 3:15. All of my training had indicated that this time was feasible. I had my splits written down on a pace band that I had turned backwards. As I was standing in the corral some super snotty lady asked me if those were my splits for the marathon. I said yes and then she proceeded to say “excuse me” as she pushed me out of the way and went closer to the front. Excuse me?! I was in the middle of the corral and I just thought that she was plain RUDE! I really felt that it was unnecessary for her to push me out of the way. People!
Meb was the official race starter. Don’t ask me what he said because I don’t remember. I wasn’t paying attention to anything at this point. Once the race started I had one of those moments where I was wondering if Sunday would be my day. You know what I am talking about it. When you aren’t sure if you have it in you, but you are hoping that you do. It usually takes me a couple of miles to start feeling good so I wasn’t worried at this point. I saw Raina within the 1st mile and she looked fabulous. I knew that she was going to run an awesome marathon.
It really messes with a marathoner’s mind when you have half marathoners starting at the same time. I knew that most of the people speeding by me were running the 1/2, but it was still hard to not chase them down. I stuck to my paces and kept trucking along. I saw Mr. Healthy Diva twice once about mile 3 and then again around mile 6. There is a nice little incline in between miles 3-4.5. I was anticipating this, but wasn’t thinking that it would be so steep towards the end. Still, it was nothing compared to what I run in Spokane. Just before mile 5 on the backside of the incline I started to notice that my foot hurt. Oh sh*t is what I thought. Almost felt like I was getting a cramp in the ball of my foot and I could tell that my stride was off. I was not going to let my foot bother me since I knew that most of it is mental. I started to think about other things (don’t ask me what because now I don’t remember) and within the next couple of minutes the pain subsided. It did visit me again at various points during the race, but once I stopped thinking about it, the pain went away again.
Photo about mile 6 courtesy of Mr. Healthy Diva ( he had to run along beside me to get this photo and he said it has hard to keep it. LOL.)
I was right when we hit the cut off and 90% of the runners went the 1/2 route. I was soon running by myself, but slowly caught up to a group of runners. I was still feeling really good at this point and started passing people. I knew that the pace plan my coach had put in place was perfect and that I could run a PR as long as I stuck to the plan. I continued stopping at every other water station for some Gatorade. That seemed to work well as I had no swelling like I had experienced at CIM. I took my first peanut butter GU at mile 10 and the second GU around mile 19. It started to get warmer so I took off my Brooks arm warmers about mile 16 and looped them through my ampiphod belt.
I started to get a stomach ache somewhere around mile 17. My stomach had felt a touch off from the get go, but I was trying to ignore it. By mile 17 it was wrenching. I immediately knew I had to find a honey bucket STAT. I got to mile 18 and saw Amanda. She asked how I was feeling and I gave her the thumbs down. I knew my stomach was hating me and I really needed to find a freaking honey bucket! I asked a volunteer where the closest one was and they thought that they were further down the line so I kept moving. I saw Mr. Healthy Diva again at mile 18 so I tossed him my arm warmers. At this point I am freaking that I don’t see a honey bucket and that was when I spotted them. Naturally they were off the course, but I could care less. I should have hit the lap between on my watch to determine how long my pit stop was, but of course I didn’t think of it at the time. UGH. I felt a million times better after the pit stop and gradually eased back into my pace. At this point a PR was still within reach as long as I kept up my pace. While on my little detour to the honey bucket all the runners I had passed caught back up and passed me. Within a couple of minutes they were back within my sight and I passed all of them and some additional runners again. That was a nice little confidence booster. Then my darn stomach ache came back with a vengeance. Are you kidding me?! Finally at mile 22 I had to stop AGAIN! I couldn’t believe how ridiculous this was getting to be. This time the honey buckets were right on the course, but still I was pissed! While on my 2nd and final pit stop all the runners again caught up and passed me. Once I got going again my rhythm was all off. I knew that there would be no PR at Eugene. It wasn’t even feasible at that point. I knew that the best I could do was to just finish. For the 3rd time I started to pass all of the runners again and just kept trucking along. I wanted the race to be over with- BAD. It was starting to get warmer out, so I was glad that I had less than a 5K left to run. Just before mile 25 I saw my Aunt Carol for the 2nd time so that at least put a small smile on my face. Just after mile 25 I felt really woozy and must have not been running straight because a spectator asked me if I was okay. I said I was fine as stopping for the 3rd time was not an option! I have never been so thankful in my life to see mile 26! I was glad to know that I was almost done. I wasn’t going to cry even though I wanted to. I just wanted to be done. I wanted to see my husband, I wanted food, and I wanted a shower. As I was entering Hayward Field I saw sweet Amanda and my husband. That give me the extra push I needed to round the track to the finish line. I am proud to say that I sprinted past some chick on the track. She had no idea what was coming, but she got chicked in the last 100 meters. J
Once I crossed the finished line I started to get all emotional, but I think I did a pretty good job of holding it in. Looking back, not every race can be a good one. I PR’d at every race I ran in the last year so to have one bad one isn’t the end of the world. Heart breaking? YES. Can I survive? YES. I know that my fitness level IS THERE- I just need to get race logistics down. Every race is a learning curve; it just makes it more difficult to accept this when you have trained hard for a marathon and not a shorter distance. Would I change anything about my training? Absolutely not. What I do think I need to do is stick to a more consistent diet. I do a great job of this at home, but it is harder to maintain when you are on the road. My only guess is that my pasta dinner the night before was too rich for my tummy to handle. I rarely eat rich foods so my dinner could have thrown me off. Who really knows if that was the case? It could have been anything.
In the finish area it was great to have Cassie there. She was a real trooper for toughing out the ½ on a bum knee. She had trained for the marathon, but unfortunately had to downgrade to the ½ at the last minute. Mr. Healthy Diva wondered over and I got to hug & congratulate Raina who truly ran a remarkable PR. She is awesome, sincere and so talented!
I want food & a shower STAT
My conclusion is that marathons truly are heart breakers. You train so hard for 12 weeks and then on race day anything can happen. I was proud for finishing but so disappointed in my time. I know my time was great by most standards. However, when you are training to run a 3:15 and miss the mark by 10 minutes it stings a lot. I nailed every single workout I had. Yes, I missed a couple of workouts due to some aches & pains, but I still should have been able to run a 3:15 minus those workouts. At this point I feel torn. Do I continue trying to run marathons or do I stick to what I consider to be the “perfect distance”- the ½? It is a tough decision for me because I am not a quitter and because I know I can do better. The marathon is a very intriguing distance. I would love to possibly run a fall marathon and then run Boston in 2013 IF I get in. I still have a couple of weeks to make a decision if I don’t sooner.
Am I glad that I ran Eugene? YES. Would I run Eugene again? NO.