Saturday, May 5, 2012

Eugene Marathon Race Report!

Why yes, I guess I did quality for THE Boston Marathon

Time: 3:04:00
Pace: 7:01
Place: 139 out of 2352 overall, 42 out of 190 M30-34
Heart Rate: 188 Average

I will admit that normally I try to make my race reports as short, punchy and full of fiber full of pictures as possible.  However, the Eugene marathon is going to be a bit different. While I am a lot delayed on getting this published (sorry about that - family emergency in an area with sparse internet) I'm still going to try to use it as a bit of a mental reminder of one of the best days of my life (easily top 10, possibly top 5).  So, it's going to be long.

Of course, the irony of this post is that it is probably the longest that I've went before writing a race report.  But, just like a fine wine or brewing beer, hopefully time only made it less likely to remember your name and more likely to hit on the dude at the end of the bar.


Before my wife, son and I got to Eugene (Track Town USA), I asked around to find out exactly what there was do to in the city.  The answers that I received?  They were all NOT in Eugene.  Everything was "well, if you have a car, you could drive 60 miles to something fun". Or, "Well, Eugene is a college town, so there are lots of bars!".  Or, "there are a bunch of good hiking trails".  Hmmm, so either drive far away, punish my already battered liver, or use my precious legs.  Bummer - pass on all. Soooo, my wife and I essentially did whatever we could in a college town with a 17 month old in tow. Read: not a lot.

Probably one of the most important things that we did was check out Pre's trail.  Steve Prefontaine is a local track legend who met an untimely death.  At one time he held all of the USA records from 1M to 10K.  Anywhoo, his trail was going to be the highlight of the trip (from a tourist perspective).  Turns out if you're trying to save your legs for a marathon.... It's just a normal trail that takes about 2 min to see.  Bummer:

Pre's trail. Mustache not included

Since we arrived into town a full three days early (you know, to see all there is to see in Eugene), I went to the expo on Friday to try to avoid the large crowds.  The expo was pretty decent sized, but was a bit strange.  It was in a hotel, but wandered along the main floor hallways, in and out of conference rooms.  It was similar to an IKEA store, but with fewer meatballs, no assembly required, and everything cost a lot more.  Now, I am not saying that I am the smartest runner out there, but honestly, it was all a bit confusing - to the point that I could NOT find the race shirt to pick up.  I actually had to go back on Saturday because I realized that I missed it entirely on Friday! Why they didn't have the shirts near the bib pick up is beyond me.

Conference room 1 of.... 5? Maybe? Lord knows

What else did you expect me to wear to the expo?  
Nerdy yet funny print shirt just like I wore 90% of the time in highschool?  Check.

One thing that we did actually do in Eugene was browse a hippy flea market.  I guess there are a lot of hippies in Eugene?  It essentially had everything that you'd expect a market to have: Mushrooms, knit hats, un-bra'd bosoms, bongo drums, beaded necklaces, and more dread locks than a medical marijuana convention.  But, soon enough my legs were starting to feel tired so it was back to the hotel.  Afterall, I had a race to run!

Please do not feed the hippies
Unless you have extra Doritos or some beef jerky

Sooo, like I said, we spent lots of time hanging in the hotel. Which, with a young kid is just fine by me!  10x easier than trying to keep him away from the old lady w/ the big hair in the restaurant booth behind us.

Maxing and relaxing in the hotel on the couch

Hanging out WalMart style - no shoes, no shirt, and just a diaper.  Classy
Maybe we should throw the diaper in the parking lot to round out the role-play?

Who needs toys!? I've got drawers and a mini fridge!

The last thing we did (and honestly, this is quite literally a complete listing of the things we did in Eugene) was goto a few good microbrew pubs.  I suppose that is certainly a benefit of getting to a race location really early - no pressure to not drink!  The best part was that one of the more popular ones (Hop Valley) was literally across the street from our hotel.  I can't think of anything better after a long travel day with a toddler than to drink 9, 4oz beers.  Note: While I am very serious about my training, I fully believe that you have to live your life and not let a hobby completely rule what you do 24/7.  Yes, I did have a bit too much to drink during race week.  Turns out I did just fine...

Mmmmm, carb loading

I swear I don't remember this photo being blurry

Race Day:
With all of the sights (Pre's trail), smells (hippies, hippy oils), and tastes (micro brewed beer) all out of the way, it was time to race.  The day started early, but with all of the early morning miles that I'd been logging, not that much earlier than a normal long run.  However, because of some hotel shuttle issues, I got to the start of the race EARLY. Like, so early that they were still setting up the "born to run" music, the port o pots hadn't yet been violated, and they were still finishing up with the finish line setup.

The good part about virgin port o pots? They don't smell like ass.  
The bad part? Blue water splashback. I wish I were kidding.

The entrance into Hayward Field @ mile 26.1. 
I don't remember this part of the race

As I was sitting on a step looking like a hobo in my sweats (yelling incomprehensible things hobo style at passers by.. "So, I told them...Why banana get your treehouse!!") , I was checking twitter and noticed that Ronda (Little Fruit Fly) was ALSO running the race!  She's a friend of a friend, a twitter buddy, and ran something crazy like 12 half marathons last year.  Of course, this is someone that I'd like to meet!

We chatted each other up about how awesome Pre was, her race goals, and how it was nearly the perfect day for a run.  Read about her PR race here!

Blurry pictures taken by friendly strangers suck.  

He was probably shaking at how awesome we look?

Custom made cheering shirt from SUAR

Miles 1-5: Ease into the pace like you're squeezing the toothpaste out of the tube. Don't karate chop it
(7:13, 7:11, 7:14, 7:07, 7:04)
Like I said in my preview post, I wanted to run around 7:30s and then ease into marathon pace of 7:00.  As part of my modified Pfitz 18/70 plan (18 weeks long, peak at 70 miles per week) I consistently ran negative splits so I knew that I could do it in the race itself as long as I didn't get stupid.  (so, maybe like 50/50 chance). I figured if I ran at a pretty easy pace until the first real hill I'd be home free.

Of course, when I said 7:30 pace, I knew I'd run faster than that....but I still wanted to hold it to 7:15s.  I suppose I SORT OF did that through the first 4 miles or so. Kind of. ;)

The first 5 miles started out good.   There was a bit of a crowd, but because I start up towards the front it spreads out rather quickly.  I've turned into one of those runners that's a lot like the Jeff Foxworthy bit......  "In the bedroom, men are like a firecracker.... short fuse, quick explosion. But women are like a diesel engine.... get 'em warmed up and they'll go all night long!"  So, once I get warmed up, I can go for a while.

Mile 2.5ish. I'd guess 60% of these people were half marathoners shooting for a 1:35ish finish

Miles 6-10: Oh crap, did I catch up to the 3:05 pacer?  Bring on the bonk any second.
(6:56, 7:00, 6:49, 7:07, 6:56)
Honestly, these miles sort of just chugged along.  I wanted to be running 7:00 pace by this time, so when I saw a bit of a fast mile I'd slow down a bit and when I saw a slower mile I sped up a bit.  So, I had a few zig zaggy miles in there.  Not a TON back and forth, but enough to keep it interesting.

All the while as I was running I saw the 3:05 pacer.  Honestly? It scared the shit out of me.  I knew that I could run that fast but the thought that I was actually executing on a fast race freaked me out.  Sort of like when you find a $100 bill on the ground.  You pick it up, sure.  But you kind of look around to see if you're getting a prank pulled on you.  Well, my good feelings were not a prank.

Miles 11-15: G-l-a-m-o-r-o-u-s. Flying first classssss, up in the sky.... (and other random thoughts)
(7:09, 7:03, 7:01, 6:48, 6:51)
So, around mile 10 or 11, I caught up with the 3:05 pacer.  The issue?  There were ~20 people running with him!!  It was like a 7:05 pace log jam. So, I decided that I would run with him at least through the half, because the route weaved onto a bike path and I could pass the throng anyway.

As I'm running with the masses I honestly had my first chance to think of how I was feeling.  I felt GOOD. I went through the half in 1:32:50 and didn't feel a bit tired.  When we did go through the half and the pacer saw that he was a few seconds behind, he immediately picked up the pace - and I stuck with him.

Mile 14.5.  Still had enough energy to wave!

Miles 16-20: FINE, I'll go for the Boston Qualifier.  Jeeze, get off my back!
(6:42, 6:52, 6:52, 7:05, 7:01)
Around mile 15.5, we went up a slight hill and I was sick and tired of following the massive group of people. I'm not a follower, I'm a leader!  So, I took the chance and held pace and passed them all.  They dropped back to a "normal" pace of 7:05 and I continued to speed up.  In, fact, I actually threw a 6:40 in there for good measure.

Which, in hindsight might not have been a good idea.  I really started to feel the miles on my  legs around mile 18.  I'll admit, I braced for the bonk/wall/shit coming out of my pants.

Also, somewhere in here I tried refilling my Clean Water bottle while running at full speed.  Yeah, that worked about as well as you'd expect.  I spilled water ALL over my phone and actually spilled what little water was left in it.  Lovely.  The headphones didn't work right for the rest of the race.

Miles 20-23: Where is the bonk?  Isn't there supposed to be a wall around here...OH MY GOD I'M TIRED
(7:01, 7:11, 6:59, 7:02)
Sooooooo, here is when the miles start to get fuzzy.  I remember the following things:

  • I forgot to eat my last gel at mile 20 
  • Around mile 22 I started to let myself think that I had a chance at a Boston Qualifier 
  • I ran out of energy at mile 21. Everything else after that mile was TOUGH

Miles 24-26.2: Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston!!!!!!!!!!
(6:56, 7:13, 7:17, 6:35 - last .2)
My heart rate was 195 for ALL of these miles. My lips were tingling and it took every ounce of energy that I had to continue to push forward without walking.  But, I did, and I finished in record time (TWSS).

Last 100 meters

Thumbs up if you feel like you're going to die!
(and actually look like it)

.....and then proceed to ACTUALLY die

Ok fine.  Not dead, but close. Very very close.

When I finished I was ROUGH.  Like, people asked me if I was OK for 30 minutes after the race ended.  But, what did I care? I left it out on the racecourse!!

Boston Victory, 12 oz at a time.

In an effort to get this post out, I'll save my final thoughts for another post.  It was an amazing day and a great exclamation point on an amazing training cycle.


Lesley @ said...

And I just got excited for you all over again... oh wait, never stopped being excited for you. You deserved this. You worked for this. You earned this. It was time for you to have your day!!! Congrats!

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

I'm so glad you finally got this post out~~ You did leave it all out on the course!

Good thoughts for your family emergency.

a runner said...

Super AWESOME!!!! Congrats on a fabulously run race :)

ajh said...

Great race report. Congratulations on a great job!! You must still be giddy!

Jen said...

Great, great, great! Loved every second of this and I'm so glad that you rolled out the rainbow-pissing unicorn to cap it all off - i mean. shit doesn't get better than that!

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

I want to be dead at the end of a great marathon! Nice pacing there. Congrats.

Colin Hayes said...

Great recap to an amazing effort. Again, congrats! I'm in awe!

Missy said...

AMAZING!! Great Job!

Mark Matthews said...

Great post and story of one of those unforgettable race. I'm all in on the negative splits, if possible, and easing into marathon pace miles and running a few mid miles under. It's crazy how the best races feel the smoothest and you don't get the dreaded bonking zombie legs, and your last miles showed you weren't slowing.

Kate said...

I'm so happy for you. And I love this report.

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

Spectacular job, Adam.

Laura is Undeterrable said...

That was definitely the weirdest expo that I've been to. There was no flow to it. Ikea has flow.

Congrats again on the fabulous race!

Laura is Undeterrable said...

That was definitely the weirdest expo that I've been to. There was no flow to it. Ikea has flow.

Congrats again on the fabulous race!

Running Through Phoenix said...

Thank you from the bottom of my bowels!

Jeff Irvin said...

Congrats Adam!

It is wonderful to see when hard training and a perfectly executed race plan come together!

Way to get out there and earn that BQ!

Great race brother!

Mike said...

Amazing race Adam! You crushed it!

Cynthia said...

Congrats on an awesome race!!!

TriMOEngr said...

Congrats! Thoroughly enjoyed the report. Glad it wasn't too shortlived. :) TWSS

MCM Mama said...

Back in the days before kids, we hit 5 brewpubs in one night in Eugene.

Congrats on running a great race!

Fruit Fly said...

Wow, this whole post - and really the focus on everyone's mind was that section about ME!! ;) I feel so famous for a moment here, let me just revel in it!

It was so awesome meeting you -- and I feel extra excited that I got to wish you well right before you got your BQ. Talking to you I had this ESP that it was going to happen - but I wouldn't dare say it and jinx anything after all.

Your report was awesome. I kept quoting it to my mom next to me the whole time. So funny - and you are so freaking awesome, yet still humble. I love it!

Congratulations!! I'll start working on our Boston itinerary and schedule adequate nights where you and your wife can go to romantic dinners alone while I, the nanny, keep tabs on things back at the hotel! ;)

Brian said...

Awesome race and great recap, Adam.

Congrats on the BQ!

Yo Momma Runs said...

Congrats! This post makes me so happy. I loved the racing part, but even more, I loved the part where your baby role plays People of Walmart.

Also, I got my NB shoes! They are like a feather on my feet, and I haven't run in them yet because I'm too busy sniffing all of the new shoe smell out of them. But I think I'll love them. Thanks!!!

Nicole@TheKidlessKronicles said...

Congrats! It is amazing to read about all of your hard work paying off.

The Kidless Kronicles

Kelly said...

Great job and Congrats! We knew you had it in you. Love your don's shirt, too.

Kelly said...

Great job and Congrats! We knew you had it in you. Love your don's shirt, too.

Kelly said...

Great job and Congrats! We knew you had it in you. Love your don's shirt, too.

Christina said...

Awesome race report. I'm soooo happy you got your BQ. You've worked hard and earned it.

pensive pumpkin said...

Yay!!! That's just freaking awesome. And some Fergie in the middle? LOL

Sooooo glad your "accidental" BQ happened! You were rocking heading in there, and I think all of us had a good feeling about this one. Yay!!!

Shannon @I Survived and Now I Run said...

Congratulations on your finish time...that was AWESOME to read had me laughing along the did a great job!!!

Evolving Through Running said...

Too cool. The picture from the last 100 meters is awesome. Way to get it done.

Sam said...

AMAZING job! Congrats on the race and getting decent race photos! Your son is adorbs btw!

Elizabeth said...

congrats on an awesome, awesome race!!

A said...

YEAAAA BOI!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am incredible inspired by you. Congrats -- you SOOOO deserve this! :)

Suza said...

This is the best post ever!!! I am so pleased for you!!!! :D

Pam said...


P1t0 said...

Wow. Just, wow!

Hannah said...

Great report, and CONGRATULATIONS again. You ROCK and you are my hero.

kilax said...

Congrats congrats congrats! I loved reading this. It's so inspiring.

And wow. Is it just me or did Hayden get REALLY big, like, overnight? :P

Alma said...

So happy to see the unicorn peeing rainbows! Looking forward to that Boston recap next year.

Sue's Ramblings said...

Congrats again! And now, I'm looking forward to your boston recap!

Stephanie Anne said...

Awesome job!!

Shawn said...

Good job the bling and the beer pics.

You qualified for Boston...but are you going?

Runners Fuel said...

You looked great at the last 100meters!! Congrats!!

Fair Weather Runner said...

kick ass job, sir! that's it.

Al's CL Reviews said...

What an awesome accomplishment! You should be so proud of yourself.

Is the green T-shirt guy at the hippie mart using a hippie walker?

BrianFlash said...


I'm putting you down right now for a sub 3:00 marathon in your future. Piece of cake.

Katie said...

DUDE! I was so freakin pumped for you when I saw this. AMAZING UNICORN POOP!

Also, if my HR was ever 195 for 3.2 miles it would mean I was dead and the machine malfunctioned. OUCH.

runsforbeer said...

Excellent race report, and congrats on your qualifier!

MotherRunner said...

Like you, I also love IPAs and drank a few of them on race weekend, and I also had my butthole splashed by blue water. It was horrifying. Next time I have to crap in a virgin porta-potty, I'm going to try some quick side to side maneuvering to redirect the splashback. Congrats on a great race - you deserve it.

Rain said...

Congratulations on a GREAT race!

Whitney said...

I knew you would do it!!! Congrats on a great race and leaving everything out there!

Justin said...

Wow man! Sooo inspirational. You make me think I may be able to accomplish Boston! Current PR 3:24.

Nelly said...

Wow what an effort! I forget your exact saying - but you were a unicorn pissing rainbows! lol

Sounds like the race went perfect, amazing job!

Redhead Running said...

1. I love that you have the "That's how I roll" shirt.
2. You are fast.
3. You are officially faster than Spike, please feel free to shame him relentlessly.
4. You are fucking Boston fast!!!
5. So proud of you buddy. So proud.

Carrie FamilyFitnessFood said...

Congratulations!!! Amazing job!!

quix said...

Holy crap I love this post. You rocked that race. Unicorn pissing rainbows indeed!!!

The Triathlon Rx said...

What a fantastic race report, and a fantastic RACE!!!! Huge congrats on your Speedy Gonzales pace, PR, AND BQ. #bamf

Jill said...

It was your day, I couldn't be more happy for you!! Congratulations, sir - well done!! :)

2 Slow 4 Boston said...

Okay, so I'm pretty late on this comment. Kinda like you were on getting this report out, only later. I'd heard about this feat from blogland, and it just took me this long to read about it. I think this is the fastest marathon I've heard about a blogger running. Congrats on a 3:04, you are fast, even if you are a youngun.