Race: Eugene (OR) Marathon 5/2/2009
*This was originally posted in the Marathoner's Forum at RWOL* I edited it a bit to add some personal interest to it.
Training plan used was SmartCoach 16 weeks, very hard setting 4 days a week/ 36-40 MPW with some tweaks for distance and 2 days of shifting workouts to travel to a funeral. I have never followed a training plan prior to this race.
I was very concerned I might never make it to the start line for this race. So many factors seemed to be against me: New marathoner, started training for 16 weeks with a 6 month old, My grandpa died two weeks before the race, stomach flu hit our house at a bad time.
As my husband and oldest son were vomiting a week before my marathon, all I could think about was that I had put in THAT much work and that It might be for nothing if I got sick and dehydrated for the race.
I owe a special thanks to those who prayed for me (mostly my sanity and that I would be OK mentally). God was gracious and spared me. He did allow me to be tested, though.
Eugene was home territory for me. It was not a huge race, but one of the largest I have been in. It would be small for many reading this.
I had perfect conditions. It was cool and cloudy (starting at 55F, warming to 65F), and I dressed with a singlet under my long sleeves. The long sleeve top came off around mile 2.
After almost missing the start (due to lines at the porta-pots :/ ), I bid my friend Lori (from high school) best wishes in her half marathon. I rushed to the growing crowd, jumped the gate, wove through the crowd, jumped the gate again, found my pace marker, and (during the anthem) jumped back in with help (thank you and forgive me!).
When the gun went off, about a zillion people passed me!!!
For a moment I thought I was going too slow. Then I figured that lots of people were doing the half and trying to get a quick lead. I kept my cool and my pace.
I saw the 3:40 pace group at around mile 2 and I figured I should keep my eye on them (I was wearing both a 3:36 and a 3:45 pace band, with a back-up plan to follow the 4 hour group if I had to). At 3 I realized the pacer was going at the 3:36 pace, so I let them get a little ahead of me and kept them in sight.
At mile 5 I took a gel and some Gatorade.
At mile 9 I saw some friends (organized by Tami) and slapped their hands. It was a very encouraging moment in the race for me. Seeing everyone from my little town was heartwarming. They made it back in time for church in Small town, Or :) . I also unexpectedly saw a friend from High school on the bike path portion right before South Eugene High School. I would see her later by the Duck football stadium. I LOVE surprises!
The split off for the HM was confusing. There was a loud band playing, no signs (!) and I had to ask twice just to be sure which way to go. I even saw one guy back-tracking the HM course to get back to the marathon route.
Through Springfield's Main street, I visited with a guy from southern Oregon and we watched the 3:40 pace group, still running a 3:36 pace ahead of us! At the half, I had beaten my old half PR (pregnant) by 10 minutes. There, I took another gel and some Gatorade. I was feeling really good- like a training run.
At mile 18, I ran into another from RWOL- Longboat, and met a woman, Leslie, who was running for a 3:40. We talked some, she shared her garmin info, and paced each other periodically. By this point the 3:40 group was behind me.
At 30K I took my last gel with water. I felt great, but this is where my left quad started burning. I ignored it, and by mile 22 both quads were a tad fiery.
(Somewhere near mile 20)
I passed many people after mile 20 and just focused on finishing quickly. With 5k left, I tried to speed up more, but realistically probably ran even or slower splits- maybe 8:30.
Leslie caught up with me at .2 miles to go and we hauled it to the track (Hayward Field), finishing in 3:37:28.
(Me and Leslie just before the finish line)
DH, DSes, Mom, Dad and a few friends were there in the stands, shouting and waving :). I got my space blanket and felt a little ill.
After finding the bathroom I got a half a banana and stashed lots of Fritos and Cheetos for the kids in my bag (no way I could eat them yet!) Bren-rw (from rwol) saw me and we exchanged congratulations.
The next people who found me were Sara, Mel and Jessica- students of mine from my first year teaching at the HS. It meant a lot to me to see those girls there! They wore silly hats and were hard to miss. Sara and the girls helped me look for my loved ones.
Finally, I found my family outside the stadium. Our neighbors from down the road (the Evoniuks), my sister, mom and dad were there too! We visited for a while and I basked in the joy of the accomplishment.
Then I looked for the pants and jacket I had stashed in the bushes by the U of O dorms, since I forgot to check them in when I checked in my bag. They were there! :)
My sons, 5 , 3, & 10 months
Now it's finally starting to become real!All in all, I was very pleased to have met my goal- and glad I got some good advice from the forums about training properly. If I had ran this race when I first wanted to (before I realized I was pregnant with Levi) I don't think I would have been half as prepared.