Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Eugene Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, April 28
Eugene, OR
Marathon #21
State #21
Weather - Perfect. Overcast, cool. A bit humid.

Rumor has it that there is MAGIC in Eugene. Last year, there were a TON of bloggers I follow that had amazing races in Eugene and set PR's left and right. Needless to say, I wanted BADLY to run the Eugene Marathon. I booked airfare (again, CRAZY cheap - round trip into Portland for $106!) in December. I waited a bit to register after having months of slow and painful running. Kim assured me that if I at all was considering the full that I should just register for it and the drop down to the 1/2 was simple if I had to do it.

I convinced my BFF Heather to join me in a "redemption" marathon, as L has decided no more marathons, the end. We managed to settle on a matchy matchy outfit, and off to Oregon we went...


Our flight out of Denver was just after 8:00, so we had to leave by about 6. Not to much earlier than I would get up for work, so that was nice. Spent the 2 1/2 hour flight to Portland watching a marathon of Teen Mom 2. (I know, I know). Arrived in Oregon around 9:45, and only ended up having to wait about a half hour for Heather to arrive. Picked up our rental car, and then we started our weekend. First two goals were to hit up Voodoo Doughnuts and Lululemon. (Did you know that Oregon has no sales tax???) We got a bit turned around trying to find the glorious donuts, but when we DID find them, they were GLORIOUS.

I shared the voodoo guy (raspberry filled) with L and also had a maple bacon bar. Man. Those things are good. Genius. We walked through a pretty sketchy part of town to Lululemon where L was overjoyed to find the Pinkalicious pace setter in her tall size. Then we decided that we had been screwing around long enough and decided to start the drive to Eugene so we didn't miss the expo.

Shortly after leaving the city, L spotted a sign advertising a place called "Pizza Schmizza" - aka, LUNCH.

L drove, thankfully, and it was the prettiest drive EVER. Oregon is so green and lush compared to brown, dead Colorado.

We got to the expo with about 1.5 hours to spare. Of course, my line for bib pick-up was the longest. It was crowded and chaotic. We took this fun shot though:

Um yeah. I seem to have lost all ability to make a normal face for a picture. With no plans other than 6:00 dinner near the hotel, we decided to hit up Voodoo in Eugene. You know, for some pre-race fuel.

You can TOTALLY get married at Voodoo! Starting at only $200??? My possible future spouse will be so thrilled to know that I absolutely WOULD get married at Voodoo.

I'm saying "RAAAAAAAWR"
I sure love me some donuts
We checked in to our hotel and managed to walk right past Kim's room. We chatted for a few minutes and then we settled into our room until it was time to go to dinner. We ate at Amici's at the other Holiday Inn across the lot. There were a lot of complaints about service and food. I was thrilled with the no sales tax and my sausage and pepper Panini and fries were pretty tasty. We went to the bar/tap house near our hotel. Service was bad, but my vanilla porter was so good I had a second one.

Lights out early, around 10.


Up around 5:30, with plans of leaving between 5:45 and 6:00 to drive over to the start. I thought that was a bit too late and I was really worried about parking, especially since we didn't know the area and there was no parking at the start.

Luckily, Kim coached us pretty well, and without even meaning to, we managed to all park in the same lot, only a few blocks from the start.

The start was a giant cluster of chaos. We only cycled through the bathroom line once and then took a pre-race picture:
Not my favorite - I look super chunky (Left to right - Heather, L, Alma, Kim, Sally, Me, Jess)
And then it was time to line up. The picture I took at the start is for reals the only picture I took of the entire course.

I had put my ID and credit card in the same pocket with my phone, and it seemed like too much of an ordeal to pull it out. Heather took BILLIONS of pictures (as she should have, it was the most beautiful course EVER. I will "borrow" one or two from her blog here:

Thank you, Heather, for taking the time to capture the beautiful-ness of Eugene.

Going into the race, we really wanted to not die and finish within the time limit, which was 7 hours. L gave us a time limit of 6:40 so that we would have time to shower (thanks to the SUPER awesome check out time we were given of 2:30!!)

A quieter goal was to get Heather a PR (sub 5:10 and a super loftybutmaybepossible goal of sub 5 was discussed. I did not want to wear a watch, so Heather was in charge of monitoring pace.

We started in the back of Corral C and honestly, the first few miles went by pretty quick. The course never seemed to crowded to me, and there were a lot of spectators. Sadly, the race honestly started going to shit for me around mile 3. It felt like a gradual uphill. I had no idea what pace we were running, but it SEEMED HARD. I already felt like I had to use the bathroom, which is no bueno this early in the race. I was trying to let Heather take charge of the pace and do my best to keep up with her, as long as I wasn't physically hurting.

At the turnaround, it finally felt downhill and I felt a LOT better. The next few miles went well, except for the aid station at mile 6 running out of cups. Not water or Gatorade, just cups. Volunteers were suggesting I cup my hands for a drink. Um. No thanks. I used a port-o-potty an hour ago. Bleh.

The hill at mile 8 seemed pretty small from the base. We ran up the first half... then walked the rest. Nice downhill at the backside and then we ran by the start/finish area. There were already speedy half marathoners finishing. Jealous.

We hoped to see someone we knew heading in, but we didn't. We ran by our car just before mile 10 and since there wasn't a wait, used the bathrooms. I felt better for a bit. I think our pace slowed a little, but I felt decent through the halfway point, which is about where the 5 hour pace group caught us.

I knew that Heather wanted to stay in front of them. I wanted to as well. The pacer had the loudest and most high pitched voice ever. I really wanted to outrun them. My ankle started to ache (I promise this is not made up) and somewhere around 14-15 miles in is when I gave the race away. I tried to get Heather to go on without me. I felt like a total jerk for screwing up ANOTHER RACE.

But... she didn't, and we had a great time. The weather stayed on our side, and the sun came out only briefly for a few miles. The aid stations were spaced pretty well apart and again, THE COURSE IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL EVER.

At mile 23.69 there were guys handing out beer on the course. I may have told one of them that he was my favorite person on the planet. And I meant it. Beer during a race is The Best. We walked quite a bit the last 10k. Heather was saying that her right leg was hurting pretty bad, so I didn't feel AS bad about taking so many breaks.

We came around the corner and recognized the lot where we had parked and realized we were close! We were discussing a walk break when we saw Alma and Kim!! I think I'm screaming - HIIIIIIIII!

And clearly we were getting pretty darn excited for the upcoming finish. WAHOOO, look how smiley we are:

I really wanted to sprint into Hayward. I really did. My stupid crappy dumb legs were done. It was all I could do to NOT walk across the finish line.

Bib #4207
Official Time - 5:17:31
Overall Place - 2369/2561
Gender Place - 1109/1222
Division Place - 209/223
5K - 34:58 (11:16 pace)
10K - 1:10:21 (11:20 pace)
Half - 2:32:41 (11:40 pace)
20 Mile - 3:54:39 (11:44 pace)

We took a quick finisher pic and grabbed some water and then met L right outside the gates and walked to the car. We hurried to the hotel and took quick showers so that we would have time to get LUNCH AND BEER.

We went to Roadhouse and had a delicious burger and fries and I had a GIANT BEER.

It seemed silly to only go to two of the three Voodoo Doughnuts, so obviously, our only other plan was to go to the third location when we got back to Portland. I apparently fell asleep in the car, and we stopped long enough to go to another Lululemon (in hopes of L getting Aquamarine in tall, which they did not have) and some froyo from Yogurtland. Quick-ish stop at the last Voodoo:

Then we headed to Kim's house, where her and S were graciously going to host AND entertain us. We ordered some food:

And then we watched Pitch Perfect. If you haven' t seen it yet, you should. It is HILARIOUS. Early to bed again. Our flight left early Monday morning, so quick donuts for breakfast with some coffee and some chatting with Kim and then we had to be on our way.

  • Running a marathon is hard. And I don't think I want to do it anymore. I have said this before, but if I'm left with that feeling even AFTER being on the prettiest course ever, I think it's time the marathon and I break up for a bit.
  • We got TONS of comments on our outfits. (Sorry, L, it appears Heather and I are twins!)
  • The course is great great great. I can see why people come here to BQ. A year or two ago, this race would have gone much differently.
  • Plenty of aid stations. I didn't wear a fuel belt and I was fine. 2 Clif gel stations and there were 2 stations with bananas (there should have been 3, but I think one ran out before we got there).
  • Did I mention this course is beautiful?
  • I really like Oregon. I might have to come back sometime.
  • Annoyed I didn't take any pictures myself. I should have.
  • I got the worst chafing EVER on my inner right thigh - serves me right for not body gliding. Two days later it STILL hurts.


  1. Fun to read all about it. I'm so glad you had a great time here. You guys sure know how to get around!

    As I told H, there is a pretty river in downtown Portland and lots of (halfs) races that run along it. Come back soon!

  2. I'm so impressed with you & Heather running a full course. SOMEDAY I will do it, just as you are retiring (maybe for a little while?)! Glad to see you & L!

  3. I think you need to just take a break with your relationship with marathons, not a full break up though. Because I have to run all the races with you and Heather, and I have yet to run my first full! At least in the picture you LOOK like you're having a good time. :)

  4. I ran this race too. Loved it, it was my first marathon (finished 4:51:12) and I'm already planning on next year! You're right The course was beautiful. I went to voodoo donuts too...got the mafia something (banana fritter with pb and chocolate drizzle) YUM! Next time you're in Eugene try Off the Waffle- it's delicious too :)

  5. Congrats!! What a great medal,very cute! I broke up with the marathon after my last one in October, I loved the training, but the race was just painful and I wasn't into it anymore. NO marathons this year, maybe next. I'm waiting for the itch :)

  6. sounds like a perfect trip! lots of doughnuts, friends and some running. i hate i missed it and hope to be there next year!

  7. Eugene looks like a beautiful place to run! Voodoo Doughnuts is a must-visit place apparently. Those doughnuts look delicious!

  8. You are just so entertaining! I really missed reading your race recaps during that time where I couldn't figure out how to get to my blog reader.

    Glad you girls had so much fun up here... come back next year so I can cheer for you, okay? Okay, great!


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