Extremely delayed race recap!! After the race I crammed for my cumulative Anatomy & Physiology final, helped kids through the last busy week of school and then we were off to Europe.
We had 6 team members travel to Eugene racing the half and full marathon. I was very excited to make it to the start of the Eugene Half marathon after many trials and tribulations. I was not in full racing shape but felt confident in racing between 125-130 and getting back into racing mode. I had not raced a half marathon since spring of 2011! The race director Ian Dobson was very gracious in hosting our team and making arrangements for us.
We arrived on Friday and I drove the marathon course for my teammates. We would all run 10 miles together and then the course would split. I needed to be sure and not start off with them. I desperately wished to be able to start with them and run faster but I had to be honest about the running shape I was in. I headed out for a few mile shakeout run. I have been doing great ramping up the last few months and then bam after track Wednesday a little hamstring/glute discomfort. Really? Shakeout run felt great and was beautiful along the Willamette River. I could have run for miles. We got to attend Oregon Twilight track meet and watch some amazing races. Next it was a team dinner.
Saturday morning team met for a run on Pre’s trail. It was absolutely beautiful passing University of Oregon campus, winding through the woods on a nice dirt trail. I was definitely feeling race ready. I spent some time studying for my upcoming final. We had the elite race meeting in the afternoon and met a masters runner from Canada, Catherine Watkins. I decided we would adopt her for the weekend since she was traveling alone. I have to admit feeling a bit out-of-place since I was not quite my speedy self yet but just reminded me to run my own race.
Part of the fun of traveling with my teammates is all the weird idiosyncrasies we all have leading up to a race. They all joined me in stretching at the airport versus saying “mom I will sit over there while you do all your weird stuff”, obsessing about food, and I won’t mention names but one person brought a mini rice cooker. I felt slightly jealous. My other teammate helped me find the microwave tucked in the back of gift shop so I could sneak down early in the morning and make my oatmeal.
Sunday the alarm went off at 4am I bolted out of bed ready to go! Quick trip to the hotel lobby to make my oatmeal before we boarded the bus to start line. We had a great place under Hayward Field to wait and warmup, there was even indoor pole vault. I took a moment to reflect on all the amazing runners that had been there before. Weather was about 50 and cloudy and slightly humid.
The first couple miles felt faster than I wanted but they were downhill and I felt any slower I would be putting the brakes on. I found the 1:30 pacer and decided to stay with them for a couple of miles to help me settle in. After a few miles I found some Oiselle girls I met at camp last summer so ran with them for a couple of miles. The plan was to start easy and pickup the pace in increments. The rolling hills of the course felt difficult to vary the pace, I more went with the flow. I could definitely feel the hilliness of the course by mile 6-7. We had a larger hill at mile 8 and after that I was hoping to increase the speed. My quads were starting to feel a bit fatigued so I decided to wait until 10 to pick it up. We split on the river path and all the sudden I was alone and a bit of head wind. I made a plan to try to close the gap to the guys about 200-300 meters up ahead. My quads were really feeling it and I just dug in a bit remembering I did not want to finish after 1:30. The last couple miles were harder than I thought at a slower pace than I wished but I just stuck with it so I could finish strong. Hitting the track at Hayward Field with 200 meters to go I turned it on with everything I had. Again reflecting on running in the footsteps of greatness. I finished in 1:29:24 age group win, 3rd master. Not as fast as I would have liked but given the stories of other racers that day I was satisfied.