The week before the Birmingham Marathon, I went to Eugene's website to sign up for the half and I couldn't pull the trigger. I decided to wait till after the race. And... as you can probably put two and two together... Yeah, after the Pukefest Birmingham Race, I signed up to run the full in Eugene.
I kept this as covert as possible, only because I thought that part of the reason Birmingham turned out the way it did, was because I was so fucking nervous. And I thought by not telling people about Eugene, that I could run without pressure and see what happens.
I'm telling you what, folks, it was HARD. Coming up short in your goal race and then rolling that into training for ANOTHER goal race 9 weeks away was mentally the hardest training I've ever done. The miles and workouts came pretty easily, but damn... getting out the door most days was REALLY hard. I am so thankful that I had The KoB, Steve, My Bitches, and Nashville Striders Training Runs to keep me honest.
My personal expectations for Eugene were to run what I had hoped to run in Birmingham, and even though my training was suggesting that I was capable of running faster, I had my eye on the 3:42-3:45 range. I wanted to make up for Birmingham and finally put that bad taste out of my mouth and be able to move on.
Guess what? IT DIDN'T HAPPEN. Yeah, I ran the race and while I never really felt good, the goal felt totally attainable until around mile 18.5 and I started getting those familiar tingles in my stomach. After mile 20, I had to jump off the bike path and squat behind a tree. After that, it was all downhill. I started getting side stitches, I puked and dry heaved, I made a porta john stop, I felt sorry for myself, and then I essentially quit. I walked/ran a couple of the last miles, all the while beating myself up for not being able to push through like I did in Birmingham. It was a pretty epic FAIL on my part. To put it into perspective for you:
Through Mile 20: 2:49:31 (8:29 pace)
My finish time: 4:07:04 (9:26 pace)
That's right folks, it took me an hour and 17 minutes to go the last 6.2.
I crossed the finish line and immediately saw The KoB who was waiting just past the finish chute. We spent about 3 minutes asking each other... "How'd YOU do?" and trying to sneak looks at each other's watches. Finally, I was like... "Dude, I just finished. So, not too well." and then I found out that he had PRed!!! He ran a 2:47:48!!!!!!!!!! Like. Whoa.
We left the race and headed back to my friends place in Portland. And I have to say... as soon as I crossed the finish line and found out The KoB's time, I kinda shrugged off my bad race. I was a little bummed, naturally. But, I wasn't really all that pissed or frustrated. Sure, I was in the best shape I've ever been in for this race and sure, my asshole stomach robbed me of another PR... but, you know what? Hopefully, I'll be in even better shape next time and each marathon, it's taking longer and longer for my stomach to mess up, so maybe next time I'll make it the whole 26.2.
You can only do what you can do at any given time. And one day... my time will come.
The whole weekend was fantastic. It was great to get to spend time with my friend Stephanie, I hadn't laughed that hard in a LONG time.
This pretty much sums up the whole weekend.
And damn... the Eugene Marathon may be a total bitch to me... but, The KoB left with a shiny, new PR.
And this pretty much sums up our relationship:
Me trying to convince him to do something (smile)
and him thinking that I'm a crazy, bossy bitch (I am).
And now... I rest. FOR REALZ this time, people.