Eugene Half Marathon – Walked 13.1 Miles
Finally! Sunday was the half marathon in Eugene. The event I’ve been, both, dreading and excited about was finally here. When my mom-in-law announced last year that she wanted to walk a half marathon, quite frankly, I thought she had gone mad. She was bitten by the running bug after my husband ran the Portland marathon a few years ago. She decided to run the 5k Shamrock run 2 years ago, so I did as well. I figured if she could do it, so could I. Now this bombshell. 13.1 miles?! Wow. Well, OK. Fine. Again, I decided that is she can do this, so can I. That decision help bring this walking blog to fruition and I’m so thankful for that.
On Saturday, my husband, mom-in-law, another dear friend and I made the trek to Eugene. We had made hotel reservations too late in the game and ended up at the EconoLodge about 3 miles from Wayward Field. It was cheap, clean and fit our needs.
We had to pick up our running packets by 6pm. Luckily, it only took about 15 minutes to do this. Last year, my husband was stuck in horrendous lines. Then we had the afternoon to check out Saturday Market (the oldest in the nation) and walk around downtown.
We had a great dinner at Toshi’s Ramen. The ramen satisfied our pre-race carb needs, and the light soup was so tasty and filling.
Sunday morning we were in a cab at 6:30am to get to Hayward Field. It was the best spent $15 bucks. It saved us lots of time and we didn’t have to walk a mile to the shuttle buses. It was a beautiful, cold, sunny morning. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. I decided on shorts because I knew I’d be hot fast.
We queued up and crossed the starting line a few minutes after 7am. My mom-in-law and I were literally the last people to cross the start line. We started off in residential Eugene and so many folks were out to cheer us on. That really made it fun. One young boy was even playing his trombone on his front porch.
I didn’t stop walking to take pictures, so a few turned out a bit wonky. I’m so glad I had my iphone to snap a few pictures to remember the day. I also listened to music on my iphone. My husband created a brand new playlist just for the race.
I used the Runkeeper app on my iphone to help keep track of my time. This is such a great tool. Every 5 minutes, it would announce how far I’d gone, how long I’d been walking and the average pace of my miles. I was always trying to decrease the average mile pace by at least a couple of seconds every 5 minutes. I really love this app. It has so many tools to customize your training to you. You can see exactly where I walked in this screen capture of the app.
We walked solidly for 7 miles. I had my crazy leg pain steadily from about a half a mile into the walk until about mile 4. Both legs hurt a lot, but luckily after mile 4 the pain decreased until it was almost gone. After mile 7, we started jogging for anywhere from 30 second to 1 minute every 5 minutes.
At about mile 10, we got to walk along the river for a bit. It was so beautiful.
12 miles was an amazing thing to see. The most I had walked during my training was 11 miles. By this time, the running was starting to catch up to me. My mom-in-law can run much faster than me, but I would catch up to her when she returned to walking. It was great that we were able to stay together the entire time.
The race ended in historic Hayward Field. It was fun to run on the track for a bit and to know that I was running where the legendary Prefontaine had raced. I was so thrilled to be done, that I almost forgot to take a picture of the finish line. The stands were filled with folks rooting us on. We met up with my husband and our friend (they both finished well before us) outside of the stadium. I felt really great after the race. Yes, I was tired and sore, but I was so happy that I had accomplished this feat.
After the race, we took a taxi back to our hotel room. We kept one room an extra night just so we could have a place to shower. I felt like a new person after that quick shower. Then lunch and back home to Portland.
I ran 13.1 miles in 3:29:57. We had been shooting for 17:30 minute miles. We ended up having 16.02 minute miles. We realized around 9 mile that our math was incorrect, so we had to really push at the end to get under three and half hours. I’m so proud that we made this goal. It really was an amazing day and I’m so grateful to have had my mom-in-law’s encouragement to help me through.
Now my mom-in-law is talking about walking a full marathon. Eek!