Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Eugene Marathon 2012: Race Report!



I am so happy I chose Eugene for my 1st marathon!! That was possibly the best race experience I have ever had. Everything from the bag check to the post race massage was impeccable. A great race in a great city.

You guys all know my training. It was long and obsessive and not your run of the mill training program. I caught a lot of slack from people saying it was too aggressive etc. But I like aggressive. And I think it worked. In fact, I want more for my next training. Never in a million years would I have thought that I could run my first marathon comfortably in 3:02. Never, that sounds cocky! But please enter this dude:
Eric is the head CC coach @ West Liberty Univ. and assistant track
coach. Also, a fast guy with countless 2:30 marathons on his resume.

All I can say is THANK YOU!!! This is my friend and coach, Eric who wrote over 1000 specific training miles for me in preparation for this marathon. His never die attitude rubbed off quickly. I often doubted myself but never doubted the training. After so many months *I was* the training. So it didn't matter what I thought. I did the program. I would succeed. Numbers don't lie. At least that's what I was told. This guy said I could run a sub 7 paced marathon. After a while I started to believe it. Otherwise, this would be a totally different race report.

The Expo:
I have to add this conversation because it's funny. I went to the Pacer table and said hello. Mind you I am a pacer. I've sat at that table. But being on the opposite side is nerve racking.

Pacers: Hi, what are you looking to run?
Me: Hi, my plan is to drop the 3:05 group pretty quickly and go low 3.
Pacers: Oh really? (snicker/smile) What is your pr?
Me: It's my first marathon. I don't have one.
Pacers: Ooooh okay...wow. What's your half pr?
Me: 1:25. I total lie but that was based off a recent training run. I had to say that. I see where they were going.
Pacers: Okay, well this guy is doing the 3:15.
Me: I don't think I'll see you. If I do I'm in trouble!

...get me out of here!!

Fast forward to race day:
Coral A
All the standard no sleep, jitters and stuff applied to me too. But who cares. I dig that. I carpooled into the shuttle area at about 6am on Sunday. I took the shuttle to the start and bag check area. It was freezing and I was shivering. I waited until about 20 minutes pre-race to part with my jacket and check my bag. I talked to a few other runners. I was so cold and shivering that I had to do a warm up. So I just started running everywhere. Bum rushing port-o-let lines, excuse me, excuse me! Then ultimately packing myself in the middle/front of the coral A with not another women in sight. I looked around...ughhhh. Then I thought of Eric saying..."LaBella, you get up there, get up there..." Okaaaay!

Miles 1-10
I found a few guys who had a 2:59 or bust attitude. So we started getting excited and vowed to do the deed pre gun. We talked for a few miles. Then we disbanded somehow with the crowds and turns. But then I met another group. About 6 men and 1 women: Haley. She appeared to be the unofficial pacer for their 2:59 group. We cruised so tightly, drafting each other for a good 10 miles. Crowds cheered us and said how good we looked. It took the stress off to know that if I just stayed with them I could have a fun run. We were running high 6:40's. It felt like what you see on tv but clearly, slower...

Then around miles 10 I got antsy. I thought they were going too slow. So I left them. Then it got boring. I listened to my ipod off and on. Always pausing it near cheer sections to hear the crowds and smile back and high 5.

The Half
At the half the clock said 1:29. I had wanted 1:30 to ensure a negative split. But because the 1:29 was a cake walk I didn't stress. I crossed the mat and knew my friends back home were cheering me through. Every mat I crossed I thought of every friend who had ever influenced me. My local friends, facebook, blog followers..Benny in Texas...Spandex King...I got this!

Miles 13-19
I was alone for most of this. I kept a 6:5X pace. I knew I banked the first half with the 6:40's so I was fine with it. I felt great. I was having fun. The I saw the mile 20 mile marker sign. I knew the "race started at mile 20" like everyone says.  I thought okay, this is a 6 miler. Let's go.

Mile 22ish: I had slacked on mile 20 and 21 with a 7 pace. I bargained with myself that I would stop this recovery pace and race to the end. But then my quads and glutes felt like they were attacked by bees. They were stinging. I thought oh shit. What is this? I drank some water. Sucked on my gel. It didn't go away. So I said, okay. I will run with this stinging I guess...

Mile 23-24


I wasn't hurt per se. But my attitude started to change. I saw a few elites pulled off course with what looked like bad leg cramps. They looked like amazing runners. And here I was singing Pitbull and smiling. That made me nervous. I thought, who am I? That could happen to me next. Maybe I should just chill and have a little more respect for the distance....Then the scenery got my attention and I was watching the river white cap along the greenway. It was gorgeous. But jeezus, what the hell happen to me? Race, LaBella race!! So I pulled out my mental cards. Things that I have always thought of that would toughen me up:

*My Ultra friends. They could do this and they love it and do it 3 more times, with blisters!
*Laura B's 2:59. She did it 1st thon.
*Tim Meigs in Boston 2012 running like it was 2011 conditions.
*Joey running Tahoe Rim with little oxygen and saying it wasn't too bad. ha!
*Shannon and his Tower's Run up a moutain, weekly. Here I was on flat...suck it up!
*Every jaw dropping hilly run that Brian Douglas has ever done at 6:20 pace.
*Dan did a low 3. That means I can!
*THE GIFT..Pre said I can't sacrifice it...run harder!! the gift damn it...lol!

Miles 24-25 


I could be wrong but I remember running alone in what was desolate greenway. I kept thinking that we would dump back onto the streets of Univ of Oregon to head towards Hayward Field. At this point I knew even if I dropped to 7:20 pace I had a 3:02 in the bag. Now my attitude was screw it. A 3:02 is fine.....I can jog it in and enjoy it and not hurt. I was a tad annoyed that I lost my balls to the wall racing attitude but proud I was still going to roll up with a good time.

Mile 26


Where is Hayward Field??!!! Geez, I was running alone in tall grass on the greenway losing my mind then all of a sudden the streets were lined with crowds and cheering. FINALLY!! I picked it up a little bit but I was so taken aback by the crowds I must have looked like a deer caught in headlights. Then I entered Hayward Stadium like I was Beyonce being ushered backstage. Impeccable volunteers, again. I hit the track and was so grateful for the soft surface. Then I looked up and saw the stands full of supporters cheering. They called my name, "Laura Frey from Raleigh!" I have read books about this 200 mark. I see this view on posters. Shit!! I thought:

*okay smile. Oh no, don't cry..smile! Don't cry!
*suck it in, straighten up!!
*Holy shit, I'm gonna BQ! I can't NOT finish now.
*Holy crap, they just said my name on Hayward field!!
*3:02:30...uhh..let's pick this up LaBella. tick tock...
*OMG, I ran a marathon!

The rest is a blur of smiles and euphoria. Seeing so many people accomplish so much and all the support is really amazing from a runner or just a humanitarian perspective. We all did it!

Next was an onslaught of texts, calls, emails, FB's etc. People that have been with me for the last year and more when I stress fractured 3 weeks before my last, 1st marathon. I've detailed my training and had their support. Without, I would not be here. THANK YOU GUYS!!! XOXO

The Details:
It was roughly 50 degrees at the start and humid. Pretty much perfect.
I drank 2 coffee's 2 hours pre race.
I then drank Muscle Max from GNC on the shuttle.
I opened a Clif Shot Cherry Chocolate in the Coral. And ate 2 more that I carried with me.
I never took aid station water or drinks. I ran with a 12 oz bottle of water with Mio and drank 3/4 of it.
I wore Brooks PureFlow with 12 miles on them.

Garmin here

Video of finish here lol

Some pics from the race photog's. 
entering the final .2



Me post race behind the track with a foot near my sunglasses incase
you were wondering. lol

post marathon, Hayward Field, sun: HAPPY GIRL!




Thanks for reading!! I'll have to do a "Day after" post...sheeeeit!!
xoxo
LaBella!







14 comments:

  1. Great race and race report. Your amazing!

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    1. thanks! Dying for your report too!!

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  2. You, my dear, are frickin' amazing!

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    1. thank you! That was fun. Next please!!!

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  3. Awesome job Laura!!!! Proud of you!!

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  4. Great job, Laura you are amazing! I was reading some quotes from the movie Gladiator to get phyched up for my marathon and thought of this one from your race report-If you find yourself alone, riding in the green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled. For you are in Elysium, and you're already dead. Too deep, sorry?!:) Not dead, all by yourself with an incredible time!- Bob

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    1. thanks Bob!! That's awesome! Trust me, get your list of motivation and quotes ready! They do help!!

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  5. MY only worry was if you're body could hold up to the training. Never any doubt you had the drive or ability. You totally rocked those 70 mile weeks and got it done in style ! Woohoo, no limits !

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    1. thanks Joey! I was expecting an injury at some point. But week after week I felt better and better to the point of never even being sore. Very confusing but appreciated! Even the day before on my shake out run I thought okay, is it gonna break now? Mile 15? Nothing! I'm so grateful!

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  6. You are so awesome!! After all these years, I STILL want to be like my big sister!! ha ha :-) We will go to Boston together!!

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  7. Nice run. Glad you had a positive experience in Track Town!

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  8. Well done, as I always say, pity about the 2min 31, so close to a sub 3. now you know you have to do it on the next one, and by the sounds of the report you will be back to the marathon...

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    1. thanks coach dion! I hear ya! I wasn't dead set on a sub 3. If I knew how easy a 3:02 was I would have done it. I think I had it in me, but I chickened out. Lesson learned. I will do it next time!! thanks!!

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