Race Recap: 2018 Eugene Half Marathon— Eugene, OR

I had heard it before, but everyone was right. It’s a great feeling to run the track at Historic Hayward field and cross the finish line after a running a tough race. I finished the Eugene Half Marathon on April 29th and despite the forecast of rain, the weather was perfect!

Jason also ran the race as did my friend Ryan, who made the Eugene Half Marathon his very first half marathon ever. It was so exciting to go through the whole race experience with him.

Ryan and I both had interrupted training, which never leads to great pre-race feelings, but I was determined to put my knee injuries behind me. I knew I had to take the race slow and I also knew that Ryan was likely to run at least a 10 minute mile. Ryan decided he wanted to try to run with me despite my slower pace, at least for a little bit, so I developed an unorthodox race plan for the day

I knew I could finish the race, so I decided to go out harder for the first 4 miles, running with Ryan and then back off to a slower pace. When Ryan was still running with me after the four mile marker, I did switch my interval timer to a better ratio for me, but I still tried to keep my pace fairly high, since I was running with a faster running buddy.

My finishing time probably doesn’t reflect the effort I put into this race, but I raced hard at the Eugene Half Marathon.

I really started feeling the struggle once we passed Hayward field to head out for our last few miles. Jason, who had already finished, managed to cheer us on, pancakes in hand. “Ryan’s killing me,” I joked as I ran past.

The wind didn’t want us to take this mile 10 photo, but I swear the banner ahead is mile 10.

At mile 10, we stopped for my super quick, traditional mile 10 photo. What followed were 3 painful miles, the most beautiful of the race. We crossed the river twice and ran on pathways through the park. In view of Autzen stadium, the course met up with the faster marathoners, as we all headed back to Hayward field to finish.

With only a few blocks to go, I finally convinced Ryan, who was feeling great, to go for it and race to the finish.

I lost sight of him almost immediately he started running so fast!

Despite how tired I was, once I set foot on the track at Hayward field, a big grin spread across my face.

I felt like I could fly, but after racing hard, my legs did not agree and I didn’t really have a sprint left in me.

I crossed the line hearing a grandstand full of cheering people to receive an awesome finisher’s medal.

I think I thought I was running faster than I was at the finish line

Ryan, somehow gained minutes on me in less than a mile, so congratulations for an awesome first half! He’s sure to get a massive PR on his next race.

Post-race, we were handed a goodie bag and a water bottle, which was a nice change from having to balance a bunch of stuff in your arms immediately after running.

Pancakes make me happy! #eugenehalfmarathon #eugenemarathon

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I don’t advise my weird race plan and it certainly wore me out. As a result, the pancakes at the finish line tasted amazing, even though I don’t usually like pancakes.

We also aren’t sure how we got so lucky with the weather, which stayed cool and overcast, but didn’t rain a drop on us.

Celebrating a Half Marathon Finish.

All in all, a beautiful race!

Ran With: Ryan, for his first half marathon!
Time: 2:50:39
Moment of Betrayal:
There was plenty of cheering, but hills were still hard. They say the Eugene Marathon is fast and flat, but that day, I felt like the Eugene Half Marathon wasn’t. Just saying.


Goodbye Portland Marathon: Race Canceled after 47 Years

On the eve of the Eugene Marathon weekend, it was hard to hear that the Portland Marathon will not be returning this year.

I’ve only run 26.2 miles twice— and I truly had a wonderful (albeit painful) time both years at the Portland Marathon. I will miss it.

Despite the mismanagement of the race, investigation by the Department of Justice and revelations about the illegal use of race funds, I really believed that somehow the race would return.

After all, we’re talking about a historic Portland event, the flagship race for a city and state known for its connection to running. I ran the 45th anniversary of the race in 2016.

I volunteered handing out roses at this race as a young girl. I chose it as my first full marathon. I then loved it so much that I immediately signed up for it again! The community was there, cheering for me for every single mile and I loved my first marathon as much as my RunDisney race experiences.

For a slower runner like me, the other beautiful thing was the generous course limit. I never had to worry about being swept.

It breaks my heart that the actions of a corrupt few could destroy this race for the thousands. As far as registrations declining being one of the reasons (among many) to cancel the race? That was not because of lack of interest, it was because of lack of trust. After last-minute course changes and uncertainty in 2017 and an egregious course mistake (and other mistakes) in 2016, only the dedicated would sign up in 2018. Better to wait until they get their act together. A marathon isn’t like a half marathon or other shorter distances… most runners run very few of them in a year, and pick and choose carefully. I know I thought carefully when I chose the Portland Marathon 2 years in a row.

Despite all of these problems, I was willing to return to the race and definitely hoping to run the 50th anniversary of the race in 2021. That is just how special the experience was.

Holding the race in 2018, despite lower attendance, would have given the organization a chance to prove to runners that they had turned over a new leaf.

All this race needed was consistent quality, commitment from the organizers and support from the city. It’s a shame there will be no more running this renowned and historic race.

All that is left are the memories.

Read More:
Spectating at the 2017 Portland Marathon
Race Recap of the 2016 Portland Marathon
Race Recap of the 2015 Portland Marathon

Medals Revealed for 2018 Eugene Half Marathon and 2018 Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half

2018 Eugene Half Marathon Medal

Yesterday, on #MedalMonday, Eugene Marathon hosted a Facebook live reveal of the Eugene Marathon weekend medals!

A terrible screenshot from their live video, but it still gives you a bit of a preview of the 2018 Eugene Marathon (half) Medal!

Sadly, it looks like a better quality photo will have to wait. However, just looking at it initially, I really love that it is the shape of Oregon, with the Eugene Marathon logo on it. The full marathon medal is similar, with a gold color. Both the half and full marathon have the course on the back.

2018 Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon Medal

The Rock ‘n’ Roll race series always loves to promote its medal designs, which change every year. I’m running Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle in June, which will be my second Rock n’ Roll race after Vancouver Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Luckily, while not my favorite design, the 2018 Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon medal is looking pretty good!

Their medal designs are polarizing— I either love them or despise them. I loved the one I earned at Rock ‘n’ Roll Vancouver, but I despised the one Jason earned at Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle in 2014. It a design of a latte. I know someone who ran the 2014 race as their first full marathon, and was a little sad at the tiny cup of joe he received to celebrate the achievement.

I’m excited to earn this one and am already brainstorming an outfit for that race.

 Winter/Spring Training for 2018 races

Races are so much fun and I love sharing them, but the thing about long distance running is you spend much more time training than racing. For me, it can be tedious, hard and sometimes painful work without any of the glory of race day. I need the races to keep me motivated.

With the cancelation of the Star Wars Half weekend, my race schedule was pretty empty after the Monterey Bay Half Marathon and I definitely took a break from running.

I did have fun traveling to Phoenix, AZ for Perrin’s Wedding, another running buddy and longtime friend. Of course there was some running involved—aside from the company, it was also sunny in the middle of winter!

Running in the desert, what could go wrong?

Too hot, too much sun!

Pretty soon, I convinced another friend to sign up for his first half marathon. Jason loved running the Eugene Marathon in 2016, but neither of us wanted to commit to training for that distance this year. However, I look forward to running the Eugene (Half) Marathon and celebrating Ryan’s first finish.

Training for this race has been pretty bumpy.

For starters, late winter/early spring was particularly wet and nasty. A 9 mile run in pouring rain that turns to sleet and then to snow is no fun.

It got cold, and snowy! By the time we finished our 9 miles, there was a light coating of white everywhere.

Luckily, Mom signed up for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle, so I have an excuse to beg her to run with me. Nothing makes a miserable long run better than a partner.

And then, on Pi Day (March 14), I fell hard on a regular mid-week training run, hitting the pavement hard with both knees and ripping holes in my tights. In addition to the road rash, both knees turned deep purple with some of the worst bruising I’ve ever had. Running since then has been a challenge, not just because of the injury, but because of how demoralizing the fall was. It’s a stupid way to get injured.

I did manage to join a friend over spring break for an incredibly hilly run up a fire trail behind UC Berkeley in California. The views of San Francisco Bay were great, but it was a good reminder that although the scrapes had healed, my knees were not 100% yet.

Jason and Stephanie ran ahead of me, so I was free to take a break from the hill climb to snap photos of the view.

This past weekend, I finished my last training run before the Eugene Half, although I had to cut it shorter because of continued knee issues. I’ve had to cut several long runs short or skip them entirely, and I’ve gone through more KT tape since then than I usually do in a year.

Gotta capture that false enthusiasm… and the liberal application of KT tape on my knees and shins.

It poured rain, but we took it slow, just trying to finish the distance. A big shout-out to Mom for being a rock of encouragement. So far, 2018 has not been a great running year and I wasn’t feeling it. I don’t think I’ve gotten this wet on a run since the 2016 Portland Marathon.

Not the loveliest day. We got very wet.

Just about the time my knees were feeling really bad, Dad pulled up with drinks from a coffee shop and a towel. The short break was enough for my knees to recover so that I could finish the run and despite cutting it shorter, I felt a little more optimistic about the coming race.

What really helped was Boston Marathon day.  I tracked Lili, sometime running partner of Jason, while she ran an amazing race. It was exciting getting her splits texted to me throughout the morning, as she was blazing through at a PR pace. Finally, I got to see her cross the finish line on the livestream.

It was inspiring seeing all the runners finishing and helped me to realize that I’m ready to put the challenging training behind me. My knees are nearly healed and my races sound like they’ll be really fun! After a rough start to the year, I’m finally looking forward to running my upcoming races.

Race Recap: 2017 HoHo 5K —Tigard, OR

Katie wore her penguin tights and I donned my holiday shirt and sparkle skirt for a fun holiday-themed run.
So many great races run through Cook Park and the HoHo 5K was another one.

Katie and I used the race as an excuse to catch up, and chatted our way through the course, not particularly worrying about our time or pace.

Unlike some holiday races, it was a small race with locals, but the post-race was awesome. They provided HoHos and Snowballs and never have ridiculous Hostess snack cakes ever tasted so good. I don’t think I ever had a snowball before though, and it was a bizarre food item. I’m still not sure what I think about it!

Ran With: Katie
Bizarre Holiday moment: Finding out that one of the raffle prizes is a fruitcake that you can return the following year for a free race entry. Some of them have circulated for nearly 10 years.

Race Recap: 2017 Monterey Bay Half Marathon— Monterey, CA

The 2017 Monterey Bay Half Marathon was probably one of the most beautiful Half Marathon I’ve ever run.

Running the Lighthouse 5K was a wonderful preview for the Race and I was pretty excited that morning.

Ready for the start of the #MontereyBayHalf! #montereybayhm

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I decided my goal for the race, since I was running it solo, was to have as much fun as possible and just enjoy being out and running. I wanted to set a good pace and not slack, but I was certainly not going for time. Instead, I had a blast posting photos on instagram mid-race!

Made it thru psychedelic tunnel to meet this guy! #montereybayhm #MontereyBayHalf

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The course was mostly an out-and-back course, following the bay. It took us through Cannery Row, past the Monterey Bay Aquarium, through Pacific Grove and past the lighthouse before heading out to Asilomar State Beach.

I had to take a picture with the Sunfish and Jellyfish!

I was really looking forward to running past the aquarium because on the previous day, a staff member who saw our 5K medals told us she’d be out cheering. A ton of aquarium staff were there, making it a really fun time!

The fun thing about an out-and-back course is spotting friends— I kept my eye out for Jason, Jason2 and Melissa the entire time, cheering them on if I spotted them. Since Jason is so much faster than me, we really enjoy our mid-race moments on these type of courses.

Once out of town and on to the pathway, the main attraction was the bay. It was gorgeous weather and I spent plenty of miles just gazing out to sea, looking for whales— after all, the race announcer promised us at the start line that he booked some whales as entertainment.
I didn’t see whales, but I did see a sea otter. Other than that, simply feeling the ocean breeze and warm sun in the middle of Novemeber was a special treat.

Beautiful! #montereybayhm #MontereyBayHalf

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Around mile 8 I could start to feel the miles, but I pushed back any negative thoughts and kept a big smile on my face. It was too nice of a day to do anything else! One tiny, yet steep, hill nearly killed me, but it wasn’t long until I was rounding the bend to the finish line!

Bling and Boats— I had to show off my medals by the marina.

Jason2 and Melissa both PR’d on this fast course and all four of us earned our Ocean View Challenge medals. Despite my goofing around, I was also pleased with my time. I had kept up a great pace the whole time and was very happy with my performance.
Overall, I loved this race and would definitely do it again!

Time: 2:46:10

Ran With: A solo run this time!

Unexpected awesomeness: I’ve seen interesting mile markers before, but the cartoonish signs in this race never failed to make me smile every mile.

Shout-out to: Random girl scout who allowed me to switch my medal from one with pink lettering to yellow lettering (seriously? Why make them different?)

Best Playlist Moment:
Running past the beautiful bay views, as the Moana soundtrack is singing out “See the light as it shines on the sea? It’s blinding…”