Eugene (half) marathon 2019 recap

Hello! How are you? Me, I’m great. Yesterday I ran the 2019 Eugene Marathon. I ran the half marathon and my husband ran the marathon! My friend from college also did the half as her first half marathon. It was tons of fun all around! My 17th half!

This weekend was jam packed from the moment our vacation started. I got off work on Thursday and immediately went for my last training run. After showering and eating, we got in the car to drive to the hotel near the airport because I had booked an early flight. I wanted to get in to Portland early so we could have time to hit the road to Eugene before the traffic hit.

Friday

Friday morning at o’dark thirty we woke up and went to the airport. As if it wasn’t early enough and my brain wasn’t tired, my husband was singing Cher at 5:30 AM while we waited for the plane to board 🤣. We were both feeling a little loopy I guess. We finally landed at PDX around 9:00 AM, picked up our rental car and hit the road to stop and have breakfast with my sister in law in Portland.

We got to Eugene around 1:00 and stopped for sandwiches and Mr. Ftof went for a shakeout run while I took a much needed nap 😴. When he got back around 4pm, we headed to the race expo and got our bibs and swag. The title sponsor of the Eugene Mararhon is Krusteaz, so I loved their giant setup at the expo!

You could also write your goals on the chalkboard before race day and so of course I had to share mine.

Kick ass

Take names

Look lit AF

I didn’t spend a ton of time at the expo because I knew I would be back the next day.

Then we went out for dinner (pizza and salad), and stopped at voodoo donuts because when in Oregon…

Then we laid out our stuff and made sure we had everything so we could make an emergency stop Saturday if we needed. Then into bed nice and early because we had had a longgggg day.

Saturday

Saturday I was signed up for the Eugene 5k but between our travel and my commitments at the expo later that day, I had to make the decision not to participate. I was disappointed but I know it made my race on Sunday better. It was the first year of the inaugural Double Stack Challenge and I was bummed to miss! I did a two mile shakeout run around the neighborhood we were staying in before we went out to breakfast.

We went to this awesome 50’s themed diner for breakfast. It was casual and a perfect way to fuel up before race day. Then, we went to Whole Foods to pick up some stuff and they gave us a discount because we were in town for the race! All I had to do was show proof of registration. I love that the Eugene community is so supportive of the event.

I went back to the expo at 11am and got to work the CIM booth for a few hours. I’m an ambassador for that event, (FATTOFIT10 for a discount!), and I absolutely love representing the race at expos.

It was neat talking to so many people who had never heard of the event before. Since I’ve only worked booths at California events and most people in CA are very well acquainted with CIM, it was neat to talk to so many people who hadn’t heard of it.

After my shift was over at 1pm, I went to the official Eugene Marathon Ambassador meet up!

It was a joy to meet all the cool people I’ve been representing the event with for the last few months.

Then after that, it was time to go home and eat and put my feet up. My go to lately has been bento boxes. I’m a huge rice fan… just be my Filipino genetics 😂

We took the rest of the day nice and casual, and made dinner instead of going out. I laid out my flat runner and got into bed. The 4:30 alarm was going to come early and I was in no mood for it. To be honest, I require lots of sleep and always have. These early alarms are ok but it often means I put myself in bed before sun has even set.

Sunday

The alarm went off at 4:30 because my husband wanted to leave at 5:30 to get to the race. I hit snooze til 5 and eventually got up and dressed. I always make oatmeal the night before a race or a long run for the next day but the truth is, I hardly ever eat it. I can never stomach anything in the morning. I bank on what I’ve eaten in the previous days to get me through.

We got to Autzen Stadium around 6:00 am. Traditionally this race has ended in Hayward Field but there is construction happening, so this year we all got to #FinishOnTheFifty at Autzen Stadium, which I liked! I have never been on a football field so the idea of finishing on the 50 yard line was fun.

After my husband and I parted ways before the race, my friend Marge showed up! It was her first half. We were very excited to see each other. We met in college and rarely see each other but when we do it’s like not a day passed by.

I used the bathroom three times before the race and twice at home before we left. I was so paranoid about having to make any bathroom breaks. Because we flew up, I was worried about dehydration and was drinking water like it was going out of style the few days before the race which meant I was hydrated but also meant I risked having to stop on the course, so I made Marge wait while I used the facilities multiple times 😂.

We made our way to the start at 6:45 am because the race started at 7:00. I don’t know exactly what time we started but it was pretty on time.

I ran the first half hour with Marge and we had a great time catching up. I got in some good warm up miles. Eventually she told me to push forward to make my time goals and she was going to keep going at her pace.

I went in to this race with some overly ambitious thoughts of how I would do. I was aiming for a 2:55 finish, but I told myself if the stars aligned maybe there was a chance to push for a low 2:50’s finish. I did get my 2:55. Maybe next time around I’ll get a 2:50!

I had a great time out on the course and there were perfect aid stations and cheering. When I hit mile 3.5 I saw the first place half marathon runner on the return, which I later figured out was at the 11 mile mark. He ran the race at a 4:50 pace! Amazing! That inspired me to push a little harder and was a small boost I needed.

A bit later there was another section, probably about mile 5 where you have a section that goes out and loops around and you come back and I saw many runners, both marathon and half marathon, on the return. I kept pushing forward and felt inspired watching them and their speedy legs! It helped push me a little harder.

Then around mile 7 or so, there was a man playing the accordion out. I had been keeping my eyes peeled for him because I saw him last year and I saw him right at the time I needed a boost the most last year! My grandpa played the accordion and I played it as a kid as well, so it was u expected and openly welcomed last year, and a treat I was excited to see again this year.

I was holding on strong and was really pleased to see my watch telling me I was hitting some sub 13 minute miles. I haven’t seen those in a half marathon in a LONG time and made me feel really good about how far I’ve come. I did deal with some blistering on my pinky toes again which frustrated me and slowed me down a little. I also didn’t mentally plan well enough the hills for this event and should have paced myself a little better for them.

Around mile 11/12 things flattened out and you drew nearer to the finish area. Around that time the marathon splits one way and the half splits the other way. The marathon continues on to the River path while the half just heads straight to the finish. As I saw Autzen Stadium I knew I was getting close to finishing but I started to lose some steam which was frustrating. As you see the stadium, you actually had to loop around the back to get into the field to finish, and I wasn’t looking at my watch or mile markers and went too hard for it, not realizing how much more I had to go. I was so close and then to have that much more to go was almost heartbreaking. So I eased up and pulled it together so I could finish strong. I gave it my all for the last sprint to the finish as soon as I saw the arch, weaving around everyone near me.

There was another runner I had been leap frogging with for a while in the middle miles who stopped me at the finish to congratulate me and tell me I did nice work and he couldn’t keep up with me. It was nice and much needed after I felt demolished trying to power through the last half mile to the finish.

And then it was all over! Though I’ve run many half marathons in the last few years, this was one of my first ones in a while I was pushing hard for time. I wanted to see where I was currently at as I progress forward to aim for my half marathon PR this year.

Then after I finished, I waited for Marge to finish and was so excited to watch her finish and cheer for her!

We also enjoyed our Krusteaz Pancake breakfast while we waited for Skip to finish.

My husband told me he thought he would PR by a few minutes (current PR before Eugene was 5:21) and so when I got the tracking notification that he was at the 20 mile mark 3:38 into the race, I knew that unless he hit a horrific wall he was going to crush his PR and I was right. He came in at 4:47, a 34 minute PR at his fourth marathon. I saw him running in and was cheering like a maniac for him. I was so proud of him! He had trained so hard and did so well.

We had celebrations all around for race weekend. I was excited to check my mile splits at the end of the race.

And after some celebratory beers and ice cream, I asked everyone when we would do it again! Skip and Marge didn’t seem too convinced on the idea. Me on the other hand… I’m debating if maybe I should run the Eugene 26.2 next year and am excited to start 50k training in just a few days 😏

All in all a great and successful weekend. Until next time Eugene! Cheers runners!

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