Beautiful! That's one word that can describe the Eugene Marathon experience. What a great city and what a great marathon. I would highly recommend it to everyone. It is basically a "flat as a pancake" course with minor hills and exceptional surroundings. At least that's what they tell me. I really didn't look around very much during the race.
We flew into Portland and then rented a car and drove to Eugene. We stayed at the Valley River Inn. It was just a short distance from the race start and was very nice with a fine restaurant. The restaurant provided a pasta dinner the night before the race which was fantastic. I don't know, but the only real problem we had was all of the one way streets in Eugene and Portland. Are there really that many or were we just going in circles? The room we had was huge. Great for all of my running stuff and Hammer Nutrition Products. Yes, I did have an extra suitcase for all of my supplements. My Hammer supplements are an extremely important part of my race preparation. More on that later.
Took a light and easy run Saturday morning before the race on Sunday. It was raining but I ran along the bike path that ran in front of the hotel which the next day was to be part of the marathon course. Little did I know that the next day it would be raining too. Had a great run but felt a little tight both mentally and physically. After hearing about the course I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to PR. It was the course made to do it at I thought. After a snack, I took a nap and then got the race gear ready for the next day. Dinner was pasta, chicken breast, steamed vegetables, and bread. Of course, lots of bread. Had a good night's sleep and woke up at 4:00AM to get ready and have my pre-race meal. This time I had oatmeal with soy milk and soy protein. Didn't eat it all, but felt great at the start of the race and really had no trouble with hydration or nutrition during the race at all.
The race started at 7:00AM and we were greeted with a steady light rain and cool temperatures. I don't know but the rain seemed to be a dry rain if that makes sense. It was already so humid the rain didn't make that much difference. Some of the streets were a little slick but the route was ok. It rained or misted most of the race which was fine because it really kept us cool. Temperatures seemed to stay in the upper 40's to mid 50"s. It was wonderful. The air was so clean to breathe. WOW! I carried Perpetuem and Heed in powdered form on my waist belt in small plastic containers and took a hand-held bottle to mix them with water at the aid stations. I was faster in my transitions this time and it really paid off. I am getting better at doing everything on the run and just stopping to have the volunteers add water to my
hand-held. Also had plain water three times. Did 4 gels and felt very good energy all of the way! I also took Endurolytes and Endurance Amino capsules every hour. I also carried a Hammer Bar, ginger chews, and peppermints(This time I didn't need them.) Also, I have a before and after race supplement plan that I follow too. My Brooks Infiniti 2's were outstanding! It is a great shoe that really kept my foot strike light and the entire foot supported very well. It is a great shoe as was it's last year's version the Infiniti. Both shoes are amazing and really give you excellent support that allows your foot to do what it needs to do to get you to the finish line. After the finish, they had lots of food and booths for runners as well as a results tent right there where you could get your results and splits right after you finished. That was a big plus!
I had a very good pace the entire way and was pleased that I did because I did not wear my glasses because of the rain and the humidity. So I never really could see my watch or my pace band. Talk about listen to your body and foot strike. It was an amazing experience. I had been training at certain pace levels and really knew my pace but it ended up faster than I thought.
So here are the stats: 5K-24:29, 10K-49:13, Half-1:43:45, 30K-2:28:10, 40K-3:15:35. My finishing time was 3:26:29 which was a PR for me and another Boston qualifying time. I am really excited and blessed. I know now that all of the evenings that I spend on my training runs, 3 nights a week with my personal trainer, and once a week with my massage/stretching trainer are a good training plan for me. But remember, what works for me might not work for you. We are all different in terms of how much time we have to spend on our training and the resources that we have to work with. And even with all of that, without my strong faith and support of family and friends, it just would not be complete.
Next up is the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon in Deadwood, SD. on June 7th. I am really looking forward to that race!
Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!