Unfortunately, the Eugene Marathon was a bust in a lot of ways.
Saturday (packet pickup): The website promised three different parking locations at the expo, so I figured parking wouldn't be a problem. NOPE. "Wicked" was playing in the venue next door, and we had to find parking elsewhere. Fortunately, it wasn't too far away. Once inside the expo, I found out that they had run out of t-shirts in every size except L and XL.The other merch with "Eugene Marathon" on it was ugly. I was upset, and about to rant about how I paid for this race months ago, and they should have my t-shirt, when my boyfriend placated me by promising a stop at the outlet mall on the way home from the marathon. Went to dinner with some friends--it was difficult finding a place with less than an hour wait!
Sunday (race day): Woke up nice and early, 5:40 am! Threw on my clothes and choked down a little oatmeal. My boyfriend attempted to drop me off near the start, only to find that the road was blocked. I jumped out of the car, thinking I had everything... but realized later that I'd forgotten my iPod. Walked and jogged to the start area and tried to find my friends. Eventually found both of them, and ran w/my training buddy. We started out a little faster than our goal pace, but held steady. Then things went downhill, and fast. Our pace continued to drop steadily. By mile 13, I realized I wouldn't make my goal time of 4:15, nor would I beat my previous time of 4:30. I continued to run with my friend until mile 19, when another friend joined us as a bandit. I took off, hoping to minimize the damage, but mentally, I was beat. My feet were blistering, and I felt sluggish. There were many times when I wanted to give up, to stop and walk. I told myself that the only goal I could meet was that I would RUN the ENTIRE race, and that I hadn't trained this hard to walk, or give up.
Entering Autzen Stadium, approaching the finish line, I wanted to cry. Not in the way I did with my first marathon, which was a feeling of overwhelming amazement that I had actually run a marathon. It was a feeling of humility. Of failure. I tried to remind myself that I had still run an entire marathon, that I had just finished my SECOND marathon, that it was still an accomplishment.
I didn't get any pictures at the race either. I really wish I had, since it was the first race that my boyfriend had gone to.
Do I want to do another marathon? No... and yes. I'm still dealing with my disappointment from Eugene. I probably wouldn't do this particular race again. But I really want to hit 4:15. I'm toying with the idea of doing another marathon in two months--the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon, the same marathon I ran last year. But it'd be nice to be out of training mode for awhile, to refocus on the other areas of my life.
Did anyone else race this past weekend? Any good marathon stories?