Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pre-Race in Eugene

I'm back from Eugene, Oregon. What a fun trip!  In case, you didn't hear, I scored a new marathon P.R.  But I'll save those details for another day. Today's post is about everything before the big race.

I spent pretty much all day on Friday traveling from Illinois to Oregon. I used the long flights to study the course map, prepare my mental game and conduct a proper race visualization. I tried to figure out where my rough spots would be, how I'd feel, and how to push forward. I memorized my mantras and locked down a fueling plan. By time I exited the plane, I was pumped up and ready to run.

I flew into Portland and was instantly in love with the scenery. It was so different from Illinois with rolling mountains (what we call hills in Illinois don't even compare!). Everything was in full bloom and so green compared to home. I felt like I stepped right into summertime and it was gorgeous. It was perfect weather for my entire stay - until the downpour rain on my return drive to the airport on Monday - but it's not a true northwest experience unless it rains, right?!

Kim from (Just) Trying is for Little Girls graciously hosted me for several nights of my Oregon visit. We hung out in Albany, an hour north of Eugene, for the first evening. My body was completely off kilter from the time zone change. I slept horrible and had eye problems throughout the night. Come morning, my left eye was beat red with a big white spot on the iris and incredibly sensitive to light. Kim and Alma navigated our trip to Eugene while I hid in the backseat trying to ice my eye with a water cup. Hilarious in hindsight and yet at the time, I wanted to cry...

Once in Eugene, we hit up Off the Waffle and VooDoo Doughnuts, which I'm told is a must-visit in Eugene. After years of working in bakeries and frying doughnuts, I'm not much of a morning-food kind of gal... so I stuck with my typical Luna bar and coffee. With 26.2 facing me the next day, I wanted to stick to my regular routine of food, avoid sweets, and that "heavy" feeling I get from overeating.

SHAKEOUT RUN on Pre's Trail
I watched all the Pre movies leading up to this trip to Eugene. The story of Steve Prefontaine touched me and I was excited to be on his hallowed ground... running in the footsteps of legends!!  It was not a letdown. The paths of Pre's Trail that wound through Alton Baker Park were absolutely gorgeous. Tucked away in the center of the city, these red-bark lined trails were surrounded with serene wilderness. I loved every step I took, but was careful not to run too fast or too long. I think we did about 3 miles. By far, this was the best part of my trip to Eugene!  If you are a runner and making your one and only trip to Eugene, I highly recommend Pre's Trail. Plus I got to meetup with Harmony, Megan, Traci and Amanda. It was so nice to meet you ladies - thanks for running with me!

After running in Pre's footsteps, we then ventured up the winding hill to visit Pre's Rock... the humble site where Steve Prefontaine was tragically killed. Nothing spectacular, but again, if you're a runner and relate to his story, then Pre's Rock is a must see in Eugene.

From there, we also caught some amazing views...

I don't like to eat a heavy dinner before raceday. Instead, I try to make lunch my carb meal. After our visit to Pre's Rock, we headed to Track Town Pizza, where I had the most delicious chicken pesto and artichoke pizza. Yummy!

I was saving my spending cash for this. I was determined to PR this marathon and thus was ready to buy a really cool piece of running apparel that had Eugene Marathon splashed all over it. Disappointment as soon as we walked in. The "store" was barren... very little left on Saturday afternoon. I eventually picked out a cotton t-shirt in one size too big and called it a day. Boo.

But we snapped some cool photos at the Track Town USA area...

I hurried over to the ProCompression booth because I needed the right size in my black compresssion socks. Sara aka Skinny Runner was sponsored by PC for the race, so I chatted it up with her for awhile.  We made quick work of the expo. It was smaller than I expected. The race shirts ran small, so of course mine didn't fit and there was nothing available bigger. I had to switch to a men's style. {sigh} I left the expo feeling a bit disappointed, tired and ready to put my legs up to rest.  Plus, my eye was still stinging like crazy.

Once at the hotel, I laid down for a much-needed nap. I grabbed a quick salad for dinner and then crawled back into bed before 8pm. I needed good sleep and prayed my eye would heal overnight. Sunday was a big day for me and I had to start framing my PR state-of-mind.


  1. This looks like a beautiful area!!!!!
    I am excited to read your race report.

  2. I guess I really need to familiarize myself with Pre!

  3. i'm so incredibly jealous that you got to run on Pre's trail- definitely worth organizing a group of ladies to enjoy it.

  4. I am in awe of your PR! Congratulations!!

    You are an AMAZING person that never gives up. Also, you are an inspiration to other runners.

    I look forward to reading your race report. :-)

  5. What in the world happened to your eye?

  6. Wow, that is a beautiful area. I love trails. Nothing like running on trails. You are an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your adventures.


I appreciate your feedback and comments!