Thursday, May 07, 2009

Eugene Marathon 2009 Race Report: Clouds break, sun comes out, Jordan gets a PR

The Eugene Marathon, by the numbers...

(Format is inspired by the race report my Girls Heart Rockets teammate Kelly wrote after her amazingly fast Phoenix Rock and Roll Marathon.)

Days before marathon I was diagnosed with Giardiasis: 16
Days before marathon I finished Giardiasis medication: 9
Training days lost due to Giardiasis: 4
Training days lost due to snow: 4 (3 in Portland, 1 in Boulder...huh?)
Number of 20+ mile training runs: 3
Laps around Boulder Reservoir in those runs: 7
Number of sit-ups I did during training: Not as many as Kelly
Number of times I listened to "O Saya" and "Paper Planes" from the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack during training: Too many to count
Average hours of sleep/night pre-marathon week: 6.5
Number of final projects/articles due pre-marathon week: 4
Number of finals I had to take the week after the marathon: 1
5K time at the Canine Classic, 8 days before the marathon: 21:50 (and first female, what? I thought this was Boulder...)
Miles traveled to get to race: ~1260
Modes of transportation used to get to race: 4 (car, bus, train, plane)
Bib number: 1842
Pre-race trips to the restroom: 10 +/-3
Times I saw my family during the race: 4 (~200m, ~mile 8, ~mile 17, mile 26.1)
Average pace for first 30K (18.6 miles): 7:47 / mile
Average pace for last 12K (7.5 miles): 8:24 / mile (ouch)
Final time: 3:27:49
Place in the 20-24 F division: 1
Days (on race day) until I turn 25: 14
Place among women: 35 / 768
Place overall: 267 / 1715
Minutes faster than last marathon, Hong Kong, March 2007: 27 min, 36 sec
Minutes faster than previous PR, Boston, April 2006: 6 min, 6 sec

Until I get pictures from my parents and video from my Flip cam (my brother did a good job filming, even if he got 4 minutes of ambient footage for every 1 second of me...), take a look at the official race photos. Can you spot the one where my face is melting?

Overall I had a wonderful race weekend. I flew in to PDX on Saturday (thanks, Joanna, for giving me a ride to the bus station in Boulder!) on a teeny plane basically one size up from a Cessna. My seatmate was a woman with a chronic leg-twitch from a pinched nerve. Neither of us got much sleep during the flight.

After my parents and brother picked me up, we made a short stop to see my grandmother (who lives near the airport) then high-tailed it down to Eugene to pickup my number and some swag at the race expo. My mom bought a stick. Excuse me, The Stick. That made me really happy.

Then we drove a bit of the race course -- we couldn't find the so called "hill." I found it the next day. Maybe I've been running on the flat-as-my-hair South Boulder Creek Trail too much, but it was bigger than I anticipated (though still totally negligible). It rained off-and-on all afternoon. Ahh, Oregon.

We had dinner at Beppe and Gianni's Trattoria, which was apparently the hot spot for prom night. The place was full of high-school couples with coordinated outfits -- including some girls wearing "prom court" sashes -- and runners in warm-ups. We had to wait over an hour for a table, which meant I got to sleep a tad bit later than I had hoped...

...which ended up being ok, because my dad's snoring didn't wake me up until about 4 a.m, 55 minutes before my alarm was supposed to go on. For the next 45 minutes, I would intermittently shout something like "Jesus!" or "Gahhhhh!" my mom would kick or nudge my dad, and I would get about 2 minutes and 13 seconds of peace.

But now for the race itself. Usually I zone out during races, and can't really remember much, so I'll do my best to give you some details. For example, I remember that it was drizzling at the start. I was probably more nervous than I have ever been before a race so I couldn't stand still in the corralls. I stuck with the 3:30 pace group for the first mile before taking off -- and I never looked back, woo! At some point I got within sight of the 3:20 pace group and realized I had better slow down. I felt great for the entire first half and was playing the mental game of whether I should keep up my pace (which was consistently ~7:40, although I think at one point I got excited on the lone "downhill" and ran a 7:00 split...oops) or slow down.

The course was beautiful. The rain lifted and the clouds settled into the trees up on the hills above (which luckily we were not running to). We wound around the Willamette River, past plenty of water fowl. Go Ducks! I lost count of how many times we crossed over, and so during mile 25 I wasn't sure whether we were on the Eugene side or the Springfield side. But by that point it really didn't matter.

There were just enough people to focus on and pass without the course -- mostly narrow bike paths -- being too crowded. Oh, and the fans were great. My bib had my name on it, so I got lots of "Go Jordan!" cheers. Thanks! Some people were giving out Dixie cups of beer at mile 24-ish, but I didn't see the sign that said "BEER" until after I had passed them. Otherwise I would have totally gone for it.

The last 10K was hell, as always, but this was by far my least painful marathon to date. And at least the sun came out! I never got a side ache -- the first time in 5 marathons that's happened. The final 800m was great -- the crowd was wonderful. I passed a woman in the last 50m, hee hee. I didn't get my victory lap around the track at Hayward Field, but there are rumors that they're trying to arrange that for next year. If they do, I may just have to come back. My legs felt pretty good the next day. I did some aqua-jogging and swimming on Tuesday, went for a baby run on Wednesday. And now, five days after the marathon, my legs aren't even sore...huh?

I'm not sure what my next race will be. I'm definitely doing more marathons, but at the moment I'm also tempted to see how low I can push my half-marathon time and if I can get my 5K time to where it was when I was in college -- or even faster.

1 comment:

kys said...

I'm -so- proud of you!