Guest post by Kristin Rosling
After reading my brother’s blog detailing his Eugene experience I felt inspired to do the same.
Typically I feel under-trained and unprepared on race day, and the Eugene Marathon was no different. I’m always wishing I could have got another 20+ in, but I’m a busy girl and running is not quite my life, but it’s certainly become a very big and very important part of my life. It keeps me healthy and its fun!
I slept at my parent’s house the night before, ate a good breakfast (banana and a bagel), and felt somewhat ready to take on the morning’s challenge. We picked up Michael and Will in Corvallis and headed down. Will was looking exceptionally cute with his pillow, his dog Fred, and his sweet little smile at 530 in the morning. I drank a lot of water (and a couple beers) on the days leading up to the race, but drank almost no water on race morning. I was thirsty, but I was really hoping this would keep me from having to pee. I went twice before the race started and felt good and empty at the start. I started at a fairly fast pace. I think my first mile was around 8:30 and I really had to weave in and out and run on the sidewalks at times to keep that pace up with all the people at the start. I saw my parents and Will early on, mile 2 or 3? Then again around 7 miles and 14-15 miles. It’s not easy to be a race spectator, but damn it is so great to see someone you know cheering you on! Thank you!! My first 9 miles felt great and I felt really good running around an 8-8:15ish min. mile pace. Around 10 miles I had the “wow, I still have a long way to go” feeling and started to notice my legs. I ran a ½ marathon PR of 1:47:12 and knew I had a definite fighting chance to qualify for Boston, but was still very unsure if I could keep up my pace for another 13.1 miles.
After I saw my parents and Will at the Autzen Stadium foot bridge I started thinking about Becky and was really hoping to see her! And I did, around 16-18 miles (can’t remember now). She was out there with her son Cameron and it gave me just the boost I needed to run my 8 min mile and smile and say hi. Cameron was looking very cute and confused. Becky told me later that he was asking “why, why?” Made me laugh, why are these crazy people running?!? I saw another friend Kelly shortly after on the course and this gave me yet another boost.
Things got pretty hard again around mile 20 and it felt like we were running really far away from where we would eventually finish on Hayward Field. We headed past the VRC and finally crossed a bridge to the other side of the river to head back towards campus and that felt good. My legs were hurting really bad at this point, but I was also at the point where I was almost certain I would qualify for Boston, but definitely not 100% certain. I thought my parents might be at mile 24 so I started focusing on this. I even thought I would have my mom run a little with me because I needed some help! Then something totally awesome happened. My dear friend Holly who said she would be out of town ended up staying in town and found me at about mile 22.5 right when I needed her most!! She was a vision in pink and I was so excited to see her. She ran with me for about a ½ mile and I had a serious shot of adrenaline coursing through my legs. It was awesome. I felt no pain for that ½ mile. This was the second moment where I thought I was definitely going to qualify. I couldn’t believe the pace I was maintaining. After Holly left me I was so close, but I also felt myself slowing and I was hurting real bad. I started to worry I would get that close and then miss it by seconds so I just pushed as much as I still could and told myself “pain is temporary” and “get yo money” and other good Reggie quotes from boxing. I had one more familiar face around mile 25, Lori, an occasional running buddy. I talked to her briefly and she told me I was looking great, and that was my last shot of adrenaline. By mile 26 I was breathing quite loud and snot and spit were flying out of my nose and mouth. I was in a weird state of extreme focus. Hayward Field was pretty sweet to finish on, but I didn’t have the push I expected to have there. All I knew was I had qualified, I was in pain, and I couldn’t wait to be done! My official time was 3:37:45, an almost 21 minute PR and well under the 3:40:59 I needed to get into Boston.
This was the first time I’ve used an iPod during a race and it was definitely useful for small boosts and also caused a few tears. At the beginning of the race I had a vision of an emotional race and that is what it became. Running has become more therapeutic than ever for me over this past year and this race felt like the culmination of one of the tougher years of my life. I definitely had something to prove and it ended on quite a high note! I love running more and more, and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for me and where I can take it next. Thanks to all my very supportive friends and family members!!
Next on the agenda….Amy and I will run our first ultra-marathon on September 11th, McKenzie River 50K (31 miles). Then we’ll head back to the pavement for the PDX Marathon on Oct 10th.
11 months ago