Monday, May 7, 2012

Epilogue on The Eugene Marathon

In my rush to get SOME sort of race report out for the Eugene marathon, I glossed over my overall impressions of the race as well as my closing thoughts.....

As I was running, I honestly wouldn’t let myself even THINK about a finish faster than a 3:10 until mile 22 or 23.  Yes, I knew that I was on 3:04 pace and was pushing to hold that, but history told me that I was only a “opps, that wasn’t a fart” away from losing 10 minutes in the bushes.  I’m pretty self deprecating as a whole, and the middle of the marathon is no different.  I certainly didn’t want to count my chickens before they hatched, blow up, and forever think of what could have been. I’d be like one of those 45 year old high school football players that constantly mutters about the “big game” that only needed one more touchdown for immortal glory.

This was the first time ever that I ran a marathon with a handheld waterbottle.  I have never mastered drinking out of a cup while running (have you SEEN my nose? My nostrils might as well be a funnel for water to slosh into) so I always carry my own water that I can squirt into my mouth (TWSS).  All in all, The Runner by Clean Bottle worked GREAT.  It has a pouch for my phone and thus I have become quite addicted to the A Capella Pandora radio station. So the first 16 miles or so I was do-bopping out to songs from Glee and The Voice.  The one issue that I spoke to in my race report was that I was an idiot and tried to refill the water bottle WHILE running at 6:50 pace.  Not only did I splash water on my phone, but when I took the lid off of the 1/4 full bottle, THAT water sloshed out too!  I spent miles 15-17 waterless.  Needless to say, I trotted through the mile 17 aid station (no, I will not tell you what pace a “trot” is) to make sure the water got into the bottle and not on my phone.

The full marathon was probably 12 or so miles on a wide bike path near a river that went through town.  GREAT for running, not so much for spectating.  So, if you are the type of runner that hates to run without seeing hilarious signs like “Worst Parade Ever” for all 26 miles then this race might not be for you.  On the flip side, the trees along the path shaded you from any wind, sun, or (at times) Garmin signal all of which would be great if you were running for 5 or 6 hours.  Honestly, it was nice to get off of the roads – even if it did make it hard to pass the huge group of people running with a pacer.

In closing, the entire race experience still seems a little surreal. In my head, I’m still the guy with the grass stained lawn shoes running around a 3 mile neighborhood loop getting excited when I run it in fewer than 30 minutes. (And then icing down my screaming shins – stupid lawn shoes)  When the Boston Marathon changed their criteria forcing me to run a 3:05, I thought it a nearly insurmountable goal.  At the time that was FASTER than my half marathon pace – how could I do that twice!? But, every journey begins with a single step and everything worth doing takes sacrifice.

So with one life goal checked off of the list, what now?  Honestly, I’m not sure.  I’ve got my eye on an ultra marathon or two, maybe a marathon time that starts with a 2....but until I figure it out I’m going to continue taking single steps towards whatever my goal is at the time. Enjoying the journey? Yes. Celebrating the achievements? Absolutely. All the while never taking myself serious? That’s what she said.

16 comments:

Chad Chisholm said...

I'm still in awe of your run. You really crushed that one.

Nobel4Lit said...

Be proud! I know you put in a lot of effort for this... so don't spend too much time looking ahead. Yet.

Mike Wells said...

Great post Adam, so entertaining and inspiring!

As a newbie runner, reading about your progress is really inspirational.

After listening to this week's Talk Ultra (sister show to Marathon Talk), I want to run Comrades Marathon in South Africa one day, sounds *amazing* - maybe that could be a goal for you too?

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

Run a marathon backwards.

Lish said...

Love your hilarious posts, but it really is what runs through most of our heads at times.

Awesome job on your pace improvements too!

pensive pumpkin said...

are you STILL fishing for compliments? LOL

yes, yes, Adam. you rock. we know this. blah, blah, blah.

just kidding. i clicked immediately. because i wanted to read it. you do rock. stop with the self-deprecation for a moment and believe that before you move on to bigger things. TWSS

Kathy said...

oh, adam, i am so proud FOR you. What GREAT race. Take time and revel in it. soak it all up. and give that baby a kiss for me. He is too cute for words!

Sue's Ramblings said...

I should hire you as my coach! You're awesome!

Johann said...

Congrats again with that super time. It seems everyone had a super experience at Eugene. I would go for that 02:xx:xx before looking at an ultra. Ultras make you slow and I'm the living proof of that.

Meredith said...

So excited for you!!!

Yo Momma Runs said...

Oops that wasn't a fart...best thing I've heard all week.

Meghan said...

I have my first half May 19th and my running partner is telling me I'm crazy for bringing my handheld Nathans water bottle - but I hate water stations - I am always a mess and wouldn't be surprised if I tripped over myself and face planted there!

Amanda - TooTallFritz said...

Amazing. And I love that you were sloppy with your refill. Things like this happen in a race we couldn't imagine them to be a problem on a normal run. Not that I will ever be running that fast. :o)

Whitney said...

I love your posts.

That is all.

Jamoosh said...

Sweet race; sweet medal. Well done.

Jamoosh said...

Exhibit #1 for how your form breaks down over the course of a marathon is The Boring Runner! Check out that heel strike. I know mine is worse, but I still cringe!