Guest post by Kristin Rosling
Eugene must be a special marathon because the only other time I’ve written about a race was after the 2010 Eugene Marathon.
I had a drama filled week leading up to the race. I was whining about my sore legs all week and telling everyone how worried I was, and how stupid it was for me to climb Dog Mountain (and run down a lot of the steep descent) one week before my race. Talk about a QUAD KILLER! I don’t think I have ever been so sore and in so much pain, ever! I went into serious therapy mode and got my legs feeling a little better, but I was still pretty worried about them going into the race.
Like all races, it feels like kind of a blur after the fact. I remember being concerned the first few miles because I felt so tight and could feel some Dog Mountain soreness, but then I kind of warmed up and kept my pace around 7:45. I saw a familiar face around mile 6. I shouted at her and she fell right into pace with me :) and stuck with me until mile 8 (I think). Around mile 9/10 I was definitely starting to feel some pain. It felt so early to be hurting, but it wasn’t totally horrible yet. I started searching people out for high fives at this point. Basically I was targeting anyone who was close enough to the road and looked somewhat lively and able to take a hard hit. The two great things about high fives are human contact and slapping someone hard enough that your hand stings a little and you forget about your leg pain for one second. I always knew about the human contact thing, but I figured out the hand stinging thing yesterday. Sorry if I hurt or surprised anyone out there. It really helps and the boost is just enough to surge a little and maintain pace.
So high fives were working for me and things were going ok for the most part. I had no idea what I might be on pace for as far as finish time but I knew I had a definite shot at a PR if I could maintain. I hit a hard wall at mile 19/20 and was really hoping to see my dad or any familiar face soon! Lots of pain, lots and lots of pain, and a couple small breakdowns. Why are you crying?? ‘Cause this sucks!! I felt like I slowed way down, but after every mile marker my watch was still close to 8 min so I felt like I really had to push and keep it up with the finish getting so close. Miles 20-26 are typically a death march, but it seemed like they were gonna be the worst they had ever been. When I saw Kelly Brennan again at mile 24 I was SO happy! Thank you so much Kelly! Getting “carried” to mile 25 felt like a gift from God on April 29th. When I reached the track at Hayward and saw that I could finish sub 3:30 I pushed with whatever I had left and clocked in at 3:29:09. Holy shit!!!
I told Kelly my race strategy these days is to start fast and see how long I can keep it up. I’ve decided this is truly a great strategy because either it’s your day or it’s not. And if it is your day then you might do something amazing, especially if you start fast. Once the pain sets in there’s no reason to slow down because it doesn’t hurt any less to go slower and the finish line is that much further away if you do. Now to forget about the pain so I can sign up for another one :)
11 months ago