Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Eugene Marathon Race Review!

Well, two days after the Eugene Marathon, the R's can now walk across flat ground without looking like Frankenstein, so it must be time to get back at it!

Just don't ask me to walk down stairs yet...

So let's review!

After deciding to grab a hotel in Eugene for the eve of the Marathon, we hedged, then stalled, then waited, then forgot, then remembered, then forgot again, then finally got off our asses and tried to reserve a hotel room a couple weeks before the race...

Nope. None available.

"Not even the scummy places?" the wife asked.


"How about Junction City?"

I strolled through Expedia and Travelocity. "Nope," I said.

"Hmmmm..." the wife said.

"Hmmm..." I said. "Wait! I found a room!"


"Corvallis. Looks like a nice place. Only 45 minutes away," I said.

Well, I'm not going to repeat what the wife said, but I'm pretty sure it's not physically possible for my head to go up there.

Anyway, long story short: we slept in our own bed in Corvallis and had to wake up at 4:30 to get to Eugene on time.

It's been a while since I've seen five o'clock from the north side. It ain't pretty.

We made it to the Valley River Mall at about 6:00 and hopped on a bus. No line yet and they had lots of buses waiting. Nice.

Then the fun began. The bus driver took a wrong turn and we headed down the street with the Porta Potties lining both sides of the street. Did the driver stop? Turn around? Pause even?

No way! You think a bunch of pansy runners waiting for the can are going to stand in front of a moving school bus? Not likely. So down the street we went, scattering runners clutching at their bladders.

The driver let us off about two feet from the start line. Everyone standing around must have figured the elite runners had finally arrived.

Unfortunately, then we had to actually line up to run. Damn.

It was a little chilly, although it looked like it would clear later, so I wore an extra t-shirt over my running shirt. I just planned to toss the t-shirt after I warmed up a little.

I didn't even make it to the first mile and I was sweating like a dog! I stripped the extra shirt off, but felt bad slinging it into somebody's front yard, so I held onto it until the water stop at milepost two.

Finally unencumbered, I settled in with the 4:00 pace group and reeled off the first 8 miles, feeling pretty good. Up to that point, it was a little crowded in spots, but no real hills to speak of, and I felt all right.

Then we hit the first hill. In reality, nothing major: probably three or four blocks long and fairly steep, but not Mt. Hood. Still, I knew right then that my four-hour-party-people were going to drop me sooner rather than later. I kept their signs and balloons in my sights and passed the halfway point at two hours flat, but that would be my last hurrah.

I waved goodbye to the 4:00 pace group for good shortly thereafter.

Between 13 and 18, I walked a fair amount, but still felt OK. Well, except for the fact that I forgot to start my watch until about a mile or so into the race, so I never really knew how fast I was going...and I kept forgetting that my watch was about ten minutes or so off and kept thinking, "Wow, I'm going at a better pace then I thought!" Then I'd remember.

Anyway, after 18, and it may have been right around the time I was offered an Apple Pie flavored goo and foolishly ate it, I just hit the wall, both physically and mentally.

That's when I realized I had actually trained for a Half-Marathon, but registered for a Full.


Those last eight miles hurt, my friends. They hurt bad.

My pace went from "where's the finish line?" to "where's the ambulance?"

But with the help of a bunch of people I didn't know yelling "Go Scott!" I made it through. And yes, having your name printed on your race number is sort of creepy when you get right down to it. I don't want all these people knowing who I am. Slow and anonymous is always the way to go. Well, fast and well-known is nice too, but that ain't happening any time soon.

So at about 4 hours and 37 minutes, I strolled into Hayward field and crossed the finish line. And I didn't even have to go straight to the medical tent after (inside joke...don't worry, someone will get it).

The wife immediately proclaimed "I'll NEVER run another marathon!"

I won't go that far...but it won't be next month...or the one after that...or the one after that...

But hey, to all you marathoners out there - Good job! We did it!

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