I wanted to wait a few days after the marathon before I wrote this. A few days turned into a few weeks.
My wife and I headed up to Eugene the Thursday before the marathon to have a short vacation before our respective runs (she was running the half marathon). We had a great couple of days in Eugene just hanging out and relaxing a bit. After the grind of training, it was refreshing to take 2-3 days and do nothing.
Eugene Marathon Expo
We decided to hit the expo on Friday to do packet pickup. The expo had previously been in the Hilton hotel, but was moved this year to the Lane County Fairgrounds. It was a smaller expo but inline with what you would expect for a marathon of this size. Packet pickup was well organized and quick. Typical vendors were at the expo (a few running suppliers, CLIF, Krusteaz (Title Sponsor). They had a large Eugene Marathon banner that all runners could sign. This was going to be sent to Boston.
Alarm went off at 4:45, but I was already awake. I didn’t want to be this guy. After having my cereal and english muffin with some peanut butter, we headed down to the fairgrounds to pickup the shuttle that would take us to the starting line. Shuttle ride was quick and painless and we arrived about 15 minutes before the 7 AM start.
I quickly found my starting corral and made my way towards the front. Double checked all my gear and waited for the start.
The gun went off a few minutes after 7 and we were on our way.
My goal was to run the first few miles a little slower (8:10-8:30 range), then aim for even splits the remaining portion of the race (7:50-8:10). Right out of the gate, my heart rate was elevated from where it had been during training. This should have been my first sign to slow down. I kept telling myself that it was just nerves and it would level out after a few miles, but it never did. I was about 165 bpm most of the day, way too high for me.
The first 5-6 miles are on residential streets and was pretty congested. I hung with the 3:35 pace group for that portion, figuring they would be running about the pace I wanted. At about mile 5 I sped up a bit and passed them.
At the half split, I was close to being on target, but could tell I wasn’t going to be able to maintain the effort for another 90+ minutes. My 3:30 goal was not going to happen, but I still kept the effort.
At about mile 19 I started to get some discomfort on the bottom of my foot, another mile in and this had me walking. Between my foot and the effort I expended in the beginning, I had hit the wall and was cooked for the day.
Mile 20-26.2 was a long, painful run-walk. It was bitter to be passed by the 3:35 pace group then the 3:45 pace group.
I ended up crossing the finish line at 3:52:59, about a 40 minute improvement from my Portland Marathon time. Not bad for 6 months between the two events.
This was also a great learning experience for me. Couple of items I took away.
1. Adjust my pace early
2. I probably should have walked or slowed waaaay down in the beginning for a few minutes to see if my heart rate would level out.
3. Should I have DNF’d? Not sure on this one
I’m still unable to run. Yesterday was two weeks from the marathon and I tried running, was able to get a half mile in before the same pain came right back. I am going to make an appointment with a podiatrist today and see if they can tell me what may be going on.
Eugene Marathon Course
This is a flat course. The first portion is all residential and the second half is along a bike path, that is all concrete. The residential section was congested (would be nice if they cleared parked cars), but it thinned out after the half marathon group split off from the full. I don’t think I would be a good judge of the second half of the course, I wasn’t really paying much attention to my surroundings.
Overall I am glad I ran it, was a great learning experience and a course that I don’t feel the need to run again.