Eugene Marathon: Race Review



Well, it's been 30+ days since our last post and although I'd like to apologize that may insinuate that people actually read this and I'm not about to pretend like we have a massive following or that anyone really cares if we post on a daily basis or not. With that said, we have been working the past month (literally nonstop without a day off) so the blog and running took a backseat to sleep. If we could achieve eight hours of Zzzz's, we hit the jackpot (we won this lottery only a few times on tour).


During our travels, I have contemplated what I may say in this first post back in "real life" and almost every time I'd cringe and shove the thought of this blog in a dark corner of my brain much like you would shove a mess in your room as a child into a far off corner so mom didn't see it.

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).


I'm going to get the negative juices out of the way as I don't want it to be the main focus as I've been wallowing in self pity since April 28.
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.
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MARATHON EXPO

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.


I couldn't even get the guts to say something to Sarah Skinny Runner or Steph Rothstein--nope, speechless. Just another reason why Eugene is so magical, the running capitol--Track Town, USA.


THE COURSE

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.

The marathon itself is like an amazing dream--you wake up and you can't quite put your wild imagination into words, but you plop your head back down on your pillow, close your lids and pray for five more minutes of what you thought was pure bliss.

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.

SUB-2 HOURS

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!


I couldn't have been more happy for him to achieve his goal and after the race we celebrated his success at Rogue Ales Public House. I was upset that Casey had given me this wonderful gift and I turned in such a poor performance, but I brought myself back to reality and realized my greatest gift is him.


My disappointing time and my disappointing body will not be my first thought when recounting Eugene. Instead, I'll remember the time when my boyfriend Casey blessed me with the best gift imaginable, shared my love for running, trained for a sport that he knows I love, a sport that often takes time away from him and how he achieved his goal of coming in under 2-hours. I am one lucky lass.

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.

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