Eugene Marathon: Race Review
The Eugene Marathon is magnificent.
The course, the people, just everything is perfect.
A race you must cross off your bucket list.
The best gift I've ever received...
But it was also my worst race to date (in what I would like to call my second running life-more on that at a later date).
Why can't my knees be like everyone else? Despite taking time off, why won't my left knee heal? Why didn't you cave and finally see a doctor? Remember that cortisone shot in 2005, where's the syringe? Why did this have to be my worst race when the weather, the people, the course was picture perfect.
I knew I shouldn't have ran the full. I told Casey and my family numerous times I was contemplating switching to the half. As I grow older, I would like to think I've grown wiser and I have been much careful recognizing pain in my body because I want to run for the rest of my life. Bad knees runs in my family and I now know how precious they are and that I must protect them.
I knew ALL of this and I knew I SHOULD HAVE switched to the half because my body was not in the condition to run the full. Yet once again, stubborn, immature, competitive Jenny came out in full force and I made a stupid decision to stick with the full. I couldn't shake the thought that victims of the Boston bombings had just had their limbs literally ripped from them and even if mine weren't 100%, I was going to use them.
Bottom line: I have never been in so much pain during a race. I contemplated a DNF, but I could never do that even if I had to crawl across the finish (see previously mentioned stubborn, big-headed behavior) and instead of sprinting through Hayward Field...almost floating as I imagined it...riding on cloud nine and basking in the realization of the legends that laid their feet before me....I hobbled into Hayward, nearly in tears, defeated, embarrassed, pissed off and broken. I wasn't sure if running marathons and my body were cohesive anymore.
Just months after finishing the Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Marathon in 3:55:44, I finished the Eugene Marathon in a horrific time of 4:47:25. A month later and still an unhealthy left knee--I need to focus on the important part--I finished.
The Eugene Marathon expo was the cutest, smallest but most elite marathon expo I've ever been to. Hard to follow? Let's just say that despite the size, it packed a heavy list of widely recognized bloggers and elite athletes. We saw Heidi Klum in LA, cool. I saw Skinny Runner picking up her packet, Sarah from Once Upon a Lime at the Pro Compression booth and elite runner Steph Rothstein Bruce slinging Picky Bars--starstruck.
Beautiful. Am I allowed to just lay down one word like a royal flush and walk away? Boom. Beautiful.
Okay, I'll give you a little more. The course is fast, mostly flat and the second half of the marathon runs along the river which gives every runner a mental break as you stare off into the beauty that is Eugene and forget that you're even running. I think it's the first course I've been on, where the second half is actually easier than the first.
There's not much to say, other than you MUST run the Eugene Marathon. If you have a race bucket list, this should be at the top. Alright, maybe "Qualifying for Boston" sits at number 1, but numero dos belongs to Eugene. DO IT.
And now, the best for last...
Casey went into the half marathon with a goal of coming in under two hours and by golly, he did it!
So in the future, when someone asks "How was Eugene?"
I'll reply, "It was amazing."
(Casey leading the way--he's incredible)
(trying not to stand on my left side and cheesing for the camera because I couldn't be happier to be done
or to be wearing shades to hide my tears).
It should be standard in every race review to say thank you to all of the incredible spectators, fans, volunteers, race organizers and police personnel. Thank you family, friends and Casey. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Oh and thank you to the lovely lady who made me giggle on the course with a sign that read, "You're training lasted longer than Kim Kardashian's marriage" and to the wonderful woman who attempted to finish with me while I hobbled and slowed her down. The running community on both sides of the course, whether partaking in the race or on the sidelines, is truly incredible.