Eugene Marathon
Eugene, Oregon
United States
Eugene Marathon
70F / 21C

Run - Marathon
Total Time = 4h 42m 17s
Overall Rank = 1069/1496
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 58/88

Pre-race routine:

We arrived on Friday at midnight. My idea was to get off the train, find an open Dennys or all night diner, and hang out until the Expo. Roy, having a brain, decided that this was not a good idea as we are no longer 22. He booked a room in a dodgy, but clean motel about half a mile from the train station. On Saturday we got up bright and early, found a Starbucks and had our breakfast. Then off to the Expo! Did the whole Expo thing where I met Jared of Subway fame and had my picture taken with him. The expo was smallish, but nice for a first time! I picked up a really CUTE running skirt and a marathon singlet. Sadly, my hat would not match my getup. Oh the things we go through for running fashion.

Event warmup:

Sunday morning found us up bright and early at 5:00 a.m. We were about 7 blocks from the starting line, so we didn't have to rush. It was an easy walk over. We went down to see what the breakfast was in the lobby of the nicer, less dodgy hotel. I had a bagel and peanut butter and some tea. I should have probably eaten more and this would come back to bother me to some extent later in the day. I'm used to a more substantial meal, but was on a low fiber diet for three days.

We got all of our gear on and walked over to Hayward Field. There were lots of people milling around, although not nearly as many as I'd expected. The loudspeaker was naming names of runners and where they had traveled from, which was a very nice touch! It was fun to hear them mangle Roy's name. It made us feel like "big deals" even if just for a moment.

We started to walk around to warm up and made one last dodge for the porta potty lines. I considered a gu, but as I had my normal pre-race stomach issues, decided against it. I was glad about that later on. We found our pace area. Roy wanted to hold back some, but I knew from experience that in a race with so many newbies, we didn't want to go back too far because people would certainly have seeded themselves wrong. Since half and full marathoners started at the same time, we were able to start together!



I think I ran a pretty solid run. My laps were pretty evenly split. I may have brought in a few "fast" laps too early costing me a bit in the end. Overall I feel very good about my performance. I didn't push so hard that San Diego, in five weeks, will be difficult. At the same time, I didn't phone it in. I finished with not a lot left in my legs, telling me that I made good decisions on the course.

What would you do differently?:

Bring more Gu! I was seriously HUNGRY by the time I finished. I don't think it inhibited my run, but if it had been hotter it might have.

Post race

Warm down:

I went into the food area and grabbed three bananas and wolfed them down right away (they were cut up) and stuffed a bagel into my pocket. I saw Roy and hobbled over to him and told him "I made a PR!" and started to cry. I don't know why that was so important to me. I don't know that I even KNEW it was that important to me! But it was and wow, it was really making me emotional! After grabbing some food for the train I left the food area. (Thank you, coordinators, for keeping it separate so people weren't feeding their families off the food. That's a MAJOR pet peeve of mine.) We talked about the shuttle bus, but as I knew I had 7 hours on a bus and train ahead of me, I felt it was best to walk. We walked back across the Autzen footbridge and into downtown Eugene, stopping to stretch here and there. That was a good decision, I think. My Nike+ was WAY off (telling me I had two miles to go when I crossed the finish line) so I kept it running until we hit the two miles, so I know I added at least two more miles of walking onto my day.

We found the Rogue Brewery open so went in and I had the BEST Salmon Sandwich in the WORLD and fries and a diet Coke! Oh man that was good...seriously. Nothing tastes as good as anything after 26.2 (and change) miles.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The fact that I'm not very fast, as always.

Event comments:

For an inaugural race, this went off VERY well! I was quite impressed. After hearing horror stories from the VA ING marathon, I knew to bring my own water. I didn't need it on the course, but better safe than sorry. My only two criticisms, and they are minor; start walkers either well ahead, or slightly behind the runners for everyone's safety. Have some form of Gu or gel on the course. One water station was out of cups, but they had water for you to put into your bottles if you needed it, and as I ran past a few 100 yards later someone was booking it to the station with more cups. Oh, and the Thorlo people at mile you have any idea how NOT COOL it is to be having a water fight with the water meant for the runners, rather than handing water TO the runners? Seriously! You run for over 4 hours in, by that time, the sun and see how you feel as you watch teenagers splashing each other with the water meant for you and your fellow runners. Very very uncool. You let at least 20 runners run past without water (at that point, it just hurts too much to stop) as I was going past. Shame!

Last updated: 2007-04-30 10:00 PM
04:42:17 | 26.22 miles | 10m 46s min/mile
Age Group: 58/88
Overall: 1069/1496
Performance: Good
time: 4:42:17
pace: 10:47
10k: 0: (not sure what happened there, but I think it was about 1:07)
half: 2:20:30
20mile: 3:34:25
last10k: 1:07:53

I was really going for a negative split, but slowed down too much in miles 22 and 23. Darn! It was REALLY close, though.
I did a run/walk combo with 1 mile run and 1 min walk. The last 8 miles I chose to just run, and I think if I hadn't done that, I might have done a negative split. Live and learn.

The course was beautiful! We started at Hayward Field shortly after 7 a.m. An 82 year old man who was running his 200th marathon that morning sang the National Anthem, and then Jared Fogle (Subway guy) started us off!

We ran off the University of Oregon campus and out into the surrounding neighborhoods. The streets were pretty quiet to start out, but as the day moved on more and more spectators came out to cheer us on. As the half and full marathoners started together, Roy and I were able to run the first 9.5 miles together! We hadn't been expecting that, so it was a very pleasant surprise. Unfortunately the walkers started with us, or people who were walking started during the runners time (it was supposed to be 15 min later) so we had to do a lot of dodging lines of 3-5 walkers. I appreciate the walkers, God bless them for being out there so long. It takes a LOT of gumption to do that. But it would be better to start them off either an hour before or 15 min after the runners. On 2 lane streets it's difficult to get around people walking shoulder to shoulder and really messes up that first mile. Honestly, that was only one of two complaints I had about the race.

The course wound around through more neighborhoods for another five miles or so, and then along the Willamette River. We had the great fortune of running along the river for almost 14 miles! Eugene has an amazing running/biking trail system! It was kind of neat, too, that the trails were open that day so we got lots of encouragement from passing bikers and other runners. Yes, there were a few cranky ones, but only a VERY few. Most were encouraging and cheered us on.

Around mile 8 we headed into Springfield together. The sun was coming out and it was starting to warm up somewhat. I'd bought a cheap jacket to throw away, but as I know our PNW weather can change on a dime, I chose to tie it around my waist instead. Springfield is a kind of cute little town and Roy told me about their bid to host the Simpsons Movie Opening. At about this point we turned into a park area and saw, coming toward us on another route, a police motorcycle. It was the elites! Oh man look at them go! I stopped and snapped a photograph (they're just a blur in it, I'm sure) and all us middle of the packers cheered and hooted! One of the racers name was Torrey! Yay! Another Tory, even if it was a HE and had a few extra letters in his name!

At mile nine we wound back into a neighborhood and Roy and I prepared to say our goodbyes. He was going really strong and I figured we'd both hit 13 miles at about the same time at the pace he was running. Normally I hold back for him, but today there were times when I wanted to tell him to slow down! At the split point we stopped for a moment and hugged and kissed and said "I love you!" and went on our ways; him to finish the half marathon, me to finish the full.

I turned up my music a bit, leaving one ear open to hear all the well wishers as we passed. Have to say I love having my name on my bib! It's so nice to hear, "Looking good! Way to go!" but it's even BETTER to hear "Looking good Tory! Keep up the hard work!"

At mile 11 we rejoined the half marathoners, but by then Roy was way ahead of me. In fact, I had a bit of a freak out moment. All I could see around me was yellow bibs (marathoners had green bibs) and I worried I'd taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque! Oy! Then I saw Chuck and relaxed. Then I worried, "What if Chuck took a wrong turn too??" Then I saw Rianna and relaxed some more. Then I thought "What if Chuck AND Rianna took a wrong turn!?" Then I realized I was being an idiot and kept running.

At the halfway point I was feeling strong! I said a prayer for Roy as I was pretty sure he was finishing right then, and I was right. I prayed he had a good strong finish and enjoyed his race. He did! I set my timer on my watch thinking "If I can keep up my pace and then push it a little at the end, I might get a PR!" I wasn't betting on it yet, but I was hoping!

Mile 14 took us back along the river. Man oh man what a beautiful site! There were pairs of Canadian Geese, Steller Jays, and lots of other water birds (not that jays are water birds, but they crack me up and I love 'em) along the river. The green ribbon of river was broken in places by little white caps and, in one spot, an upturned office chair...that was interesting.

At 14.5 the song "Nearness of You" came on my iPod and made me smile and think of Roy. When we were in high school, before we started dating, he had a stalker who bought a singing telegram for him on Valentine's Day. I was the one who delivered that telegram and sang it to him, on bended knee. Later our drama teacher, Mr. Dale, teased me about 'telling Richard' (current loser boyfriend) that I was 'making love with song' to Roy. Six days later Roy and I had our first date. As I listened to that song and smiled thinking of my sweetie, I turned a bend and saw a pair of white geese floating serenely in a calm inlet on the river and knew he would have enjoyed that sight as well.

Running along the river took us alongside some really nice homes and condos, and a few retirement homes. It was so nice to see so many people out cheering! I waved and thanked them, high fived some kids, and kept a big smile on my face to match my hat, which said "26.2 and still smiling". I really was having a GREAT time! At mile 16.5 I passed someone who said "Way to go Tory! That's MY name too!" and we shared a "name sisters" moment. You don't meet many Torys (well, in the states, that is) so it was cool to meet my second for the day.

Around mile 18 I realized I was feeling relatively good, and I also realized that even if I pulled 11 minute miles, I could make a PR, so I made the decision to run the rest of the race in without walk breaks. I'm not sure if that was a good decision or not as miles 22 and 23 were substantially slower and perhaps walking would have kept me at a more even pace. But for some reason, mentally, I just wanted to run it in the rest of the way.

I never did hit a wall, but about mile 22 my legs started telling me that they were done. I was actually getting just slightly concerned. I'd brought three Gu with me believing I'd read there would be Gu on the route. I also had Gatorade, but avoided that nasty Gleukos they served at the stations. As I was trying to take my mind off my legs I passed a girl taking a walk break and read just the first part of her shirt that said something along the line of "If you're going to run, you have to learn to put mind over matter. When the body tells you to stop, the mind takes over and keeps you going." I knew that if I was going to finish with a PR I had to remove myself from thinking about the pain in my legs and concentrate on mind over matter.

Miles 22 and 23 were hard, but not as bad as I've had in the past.

Blessedly at the mile 24 water stop someone had some gummi bears! I grabbed a handful of those and told my growling stomach that this was it for two more miles! It gladly accepted the offering and I felt stronger almost immediately! Two of my fastest miles were miles 24 and 25 as my mind commanded my legs to start targeting people slowly and methodically. "Braids! I'm passing you! Yellow shirt guy, you're going down! Baldy Limpy Guy, I'm all over you." I'd literally point to the person directly in front of me and make the "going down" signal with my finger and push past them.

As we rounded the end of 24 Autzen Stadium came into view. I took a photo of it and told the camera, "There's our goal! That's where we stop!" Yes, I talked to the camera. Hey, you act lucid and sane a mile 24 with nay but a few Gummi Bears dancing in your tummy and legs that feel like lead! Lots of spectators and people who had already finished were cheering us on (and a few specs got in the way...people people people...after that many miles DO NOT GET IN A RUNNER'S WAY! You have NO idea how much it hurts to shift gears even slightly at that point, in an attempt to move around a kid who isn't being watched on the route.)

We passed the 25 mile marker and I called out "25! My second favorite number!" and then looked at my watch...I was on board for a REAL PR...not just a few seconds, but actual MINUTES off my best time. My best time was the Vancouver Marathon in 2005 at 4:47. Since this was "just a training run" the fact that I was going to make a PR, unless I ran in a 15 minute mile, was so gratifying! As I ran along a line of cars into the stadium (to well wishes and a few finger pointer and laughers...laugh it up, but you don't get a metal! Ha!) my legs said "no" but my mind said "GO!" I targeted people along the way and started scanning the sidelines for Roy. People were screaming at the runners, cheering, yelling, jumping up and down. I smiled and waved and called out thank you! Thank you! Thank you! as I heard my name over and over again. "Looking strong, Tory!" "Thank you!" "Keep going Tory! Almost there!" "Thank you!"

It's interesting...the marathon is not a solo race. As you run the first 25 miles you meet so many interesting people and make these fun little transient connections. Sometimes you run with someone for mere moments, sometimes it's a quick exchange with a spectator or a performer, sometimes you chat for miles. But that last mile is like a race of its own and at that point it's a solo race. It's not just a "mile" it's a milestone. It's the point at which you give more than you have left to give. You reach down and find something you didn't know you had and it carries you towards the finish line. It's the time you either open up to or shut out from the distractions around you in order to do what you need to do. That last mile is an odd combination of heaven and hell; yin and yan, pain and exhilaration.

I rounded the turn into the stadium and saw the finish line. I poked the button on my camera and took a picture. I saw the final clock as proof that I was making a PR and I started to tear up. I heard a voice calling my name above the other voices calling my name, but didn't have the energy to turn toward it...but only to grab it and hang onto it with my heart. As I crossed the finish I raised my arms over my head...marathon number six was IN THE BAG with a new personal record!

Post race

Overal decision makingl: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

Two PRs in one day!

Roy: 2:19:56
Me: 4:42:17