Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Overcoming With Ten

Style/Workout: Long Run Turned Longer
Setting/Route:  All over the place...gotta cover 10 miles somehow!
Mileage:  10 miles  
Progress: (running mileage):  10 today/ 39.37 this month/ 312.34 year-to-date
(For May I'm aiming for...75 miles)

Today's run was...awesome. It didn't start out awesome, but it ended awesome and that is what counts. 

On a personal note, my husband drove away today, moving to San Diego. He is being transferred and since I am only halfway through the nursing program here, our kids and I are staying so I can finish (that is the plan thus far). It was a very sad day. We knew it was coming, but now that it is here, a piece of my heart is missing. 

Also, this was day 7-8 of gloomy, overcast/rainy weather here. I'm so sick to my stomach of it. Why would anyone want to live their whole lives here, I wonder? I guess we all forget about the drawn-out, dreary weather when the sun comes back. It is a beautiful, enjoyable place to live when it is sunny and warm (too bad that is not more often!). 

So back to the run...

The first 2 miles only felt ok. My goal was to stay relaxed. That seems to work very well for me. Around mile 3 I still wasn't feeling all that great but I pressed on. Mile 4 I hit my "halfway point" and decided I was feeling better than I thought. It was at this point I decided to go for 10 instead of 8. I only have a week and a half until the Helvetia Half Marathon and I have been having mini-anxiety attacks in my head about my lack of training. Once the marathon was over, I took a good break and did a little here and there. Once May hit, I made up a great training plan but I have not really stuck with it (do I ever?). Anyway, long story short, I decided then and there that if I simply pushed for 2 miles longer I could get my longest long run in and taper from there. Good plan. 

It all panned out well! I had my water bottle with me and I took a few walking breathers and kept working hard. I finished in 1:36:00/9:36 pace. Not bad! The only dangerous thing about pushing from 8-10 miles is that I didn't have any electrolyte supplements or any other fuel with me which is not a great idea. I listened to my body though and it worked out ok. 

For my post-race breakfast/treat, I made a lovely strawberry-banana pancake! Damn the weather, I'm going to try to be happy today :)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

3.3 Mile Bonk

Style/Workout: Long Run Turned Short
Setting/Route:  Seaside Neighborhoods
Mileage:  3.3 miles  
Progress: (running mileage):  3.3 today/ 29.37 this month/ 302.34 year-to-date
(For May I'm aiming for...75 miles)

Today's run was kind of a bummer. I set out prepared to run an 8-mile long run but I just wasn't feeling it. The whole 3.3 miles I did run were a struggle. sciatic nerve was pulsing all the way down my leg the whole time, as well as something going on with my calf on the same side. It just wasn't my day. 

On the plus side, I broke 300 miles today!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Champoeg Half Marathon-September 22, 2013: Why I am excited about this race

I have been researching fall runs just for the heck of it and because I thought it might be fun to get a bit of a plan. On my list are the Champoeg Half Marathon, September 22nd and the Portland Marathon, October 6th. I researched the Portland Marathon first and was taken aback by how expensive it is ($145!!). Then I moved on to the Champoeg Half Marathon and was pleasantly surprised! Here's why:

Scenery: This park is beautiful. We've camped there numerous times and it is really one of our favorites.Unfortunately I really couldn't find any pictures online that did it justice, especially in the fall. Here were a few I found:

Location/Convenience: Speaking of camping, you can settle yourself right inside the park and you are just steps from the race start! Champoeg even has cute little cabins you can rent. You can't beat that! 


Half Marathon
  • Early Bird Registration $45 (Thru 3/31/13)
  • Registration $55 (4/1/12 ~ 7/31/13)
  • Late Registration $65 (8/1/12 ~ 9/16/13)
  • Race Day/Packet Pickup $70 (After 5pm on 9/16/13)
That's crazy cheap! And for that price you still get a shirt, medal and a free beer. (I did not see that there was a bag of goodies included.)

 "After the run/walk, stay and relax! The state park has picnic tables, trees and an open field. DJ Paradox will be providing music while you enjoy your BBQ and cold beer". I think they they are referring to each family's own private BBQ/lunch time here, but at least you get live music. Seriously, for the price that's still awesome!

Family Fun: There is a kid's 1K "Dirt Dash" and a 5-Miler for members of the family who don't want to run the marathon. The kids' races include a medal, a t-shirt and a goodie bag! These races are super cheap too:

5 Miler
  • Early Bird Registration $25 (Thru 3/31/13)
  • Registration $30 (4/1/12 ~ 7/31/13)
  • Late Registration $35 (8/1/12 ~ 9/16/13)
  • Race Day/Packet Pickup $40 (After 5pm on 9/16/13)

If you’re under 18, its only $18!
8 – 18 years old
This is a perfect way to keep your teenagers in the running/walking sport without going broke. We are excited to offer a program for ages 8 – 18 yrs old too keep running 5K’s, & 10K’s without breaking Mom & Dads pocket book. This is valid on our online registration system and good for all 5 to 10k Energy Events ~ Thanks again, and we support kids, youths and adult running!

Kids "Dirt" Dash:
Ages 3-6 years old - $5
Ages 7-12 years old - $7

Race Day all races will be $10 – please register early!

How great are those prices/race options?!?

Family Support: Champoeg offers something that in my opinion is a running mother's dream: Childcare during the half marathon race!! Have you ever heard of that? I certainly haven't! 

Kid's Zone
Professional Child Care while you run!

Cost: $10 per child :: ($5 per additional; 4 max)
Rules:  Potty trained :: ages 3 to 10 :: only for participants

Your child will be in a secure area for the time period of the race. Wrist Band check-in system, with activities, games, a bouncy house, and more. Along with paid staff/volunteers to watch your kiddos while you participate in the event.

You'd better believe that I am pricing out this weekend and making a decision fast! This race is capped at 8,000 participants and the kids' races are capped at 250 so get in early! 

(Credits:  Energy Events: Champoeg Half Marathon  & 5-Miler. Retrieved from

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Going Running in the Rain

You know you are an Oregon runner if running in the rain is just "part of the experience"

Style/Workout: 6.2 Miles +Hill  
Setting/Route:  Seaside Prom+Cove  
Mileage:  6.2 miles  
Progress: (running mileage):  6.2 today/ 26.07 this month/ 299.04 year-to-date
(For May I'm aiming for...75 miles)

Today's run is brought to you by...rainy Oregon weather. And for one of the first times, I embraced it wholeheartedly. It wasn't raining when I left, but I knew it probably would rain...and I didn't mind one bit! There is something wonderful about running in the rain. It seems to just wash away your cares, your sweat, and is so refreshing. And let's face it...there's less people out and about!

Today I wore my hat, some Nike running pants, and a zip-up sweatshirt. It was a no-fuss kind of outfit. I programmed my Nike+GPS for 5 miles, but somewhere at mile 2 I decided to head all the way up the hill. I need some more hill work as the Helvetia Half Marathon has lots of rolling hills. At the hill, it really started pouring...and I splish-sploshed all the way home. My 2nd half was slower than my 1st half, mostly in part to the added weight I had gained by being soaked. 

All in all, I did not regret getting out and running in the rain today! Sure, it might be a little bit hard on my shoes, and I have to lay my stuff out to dry rather than throwing it straight in the hamper. But running in the rain gives you a chance to "look back after a difficult run and say, yes, I did that." That's a quote by Lesley Hocking in a very cool article I read recently in Boston Magazine (online). Read up...then stalk your weather forecast for some rain...and get out and run in it!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Horray for...The Stick!!!

We finally broke down and bought The Stick!! Thank you REI rebate! This beauty gets deep into the spots in your calves, shins, etc. that the foam roller can't really get to. We purchased the {cheaper} travel-size because it totally does the trick even in it's "smaller" size!

Sweet 4-Miler

Style/Workout: 4-Miler
Setting/Route:  Seaside Prom
Mileage:  4 miles
Progress: (running mileage):  4 today/ 19.87 this month/ 292.84 year-to-date
(For May I'm aiming for...75 miles)
Today was simply a great run. I laid my stuff out the night before so that once my kids got on the bus I could head out. I started with 5 minutes of warm-up walking on the treadmill then headed out my front door! This run felt awesome. I have not run in a week and a half because I've been so busy/stressed and I needed it! 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

2.6 Miles With My Kiddos, Remembering

CG Run to Remember Logo
2.6 Miles With My Kiddos, Remembering...

Our group
 We arrived in plenty of time and it was rainy and icky out. It didn't matter, this race was for a great cause. CG Remember is an organization that was born out of a desire to do something that would honor those Coast Guard men and women who have lost their lives in the line of duty. It was very meaningful for us.

A compilation photo that I happened to be in (Black Hood/White beanie underneath)

So I brought all 3 kids out and we trudged along the out-and-back course of the Astoria Riverwalk in the rain. It did not dampen our spirits though. As the faster runners headed back to the finish, we all high-fived them and shouted lots of encouragement. There were lots of us who were doing a jog/walk combo and lots of strollers and dogs. It was like one big happy family!!
Our legs at the start! The red sweatshirt belongs to my oldest son Caleb who came in 4th. My legs are the ones with the bright blue shoes, just behind his. My other son you can see ahead of us in the Coast Guard sweatshirt. I think my middle son had gone up ahead of us.


In the end my littles and I almost finished dead last, but as you can see we did not care, we had fun anyway!  

Setting/Route: Astoria Riverwalk
Mileage:  2.67 miles

Progress: (running mileage):  2.67 today/ 15.87 this month/ 288.84 year-to-date

(For May I'm aiming for...75 miles)

Here's to Healthy Efforts!

My last post was a week and a half ago-evidence that I have not been running much lately. However, I have been making efforts toward good health!

1) I have been making smoothies galore and I believe it has really helped me pack veggies and fruits into my day (and they are yummy!)

2) I am staying strong at 138.2 lbs regardless of how much I have {not} been running.

3) I am signed up for the Helvetia Half Marathon in 3(!) weeks. Its crazy how that has snuck up on me! I'm looking forward to the run though. I am not necessarily going for a PR this time. I have heard this is a "rolling hills" race so I'm actually just looking forward to the beautiful scenery and hopefully having some fun!

4) I have been drinking tons of water! I am at the point where if I don't drink a ton of water, I can notice big time.

5) I have been cooking a lot of food from scratch. Somehow I have been able to provide a variety of foods here at home, even with my crazy schedule. What I did was I made out a great meal plan and I've been spending a few minutes each day to glance at it and hit the store for a few ingredients if need be. A little bit of planning goes a long way with healthy eating!

6) I have been catching up on rest this weekend. My life has been such a crazy mess of exhaustion lately. The last weekend I was simply home was at least 6 weeks ago. Weekends have been filled with marathon/half marathons, track meets, baseball games, and worship team efforts. It is all good things that I enjoy but it kind of stinks when you get back to Monday and don't feel like you have slept in for weeks. I slept in both Saturday and Sunday (unprecedented) and I took 2 naps yesterday!

7) Not that this applies to me, but I have implemented a new program to really cut back my kids' "screen time" aka the time they spend in front of the TV, video games (including iPhone aps), computer, etc. They get one hour per day and they check out the controllers. Otherwise the controllers are in a hidden place only Mommy knows about. So even though this particular point doesn't involve me, it involves parenting efforts toward family health. That makes me feel good.

8) I got a facial last week. BOOM

9) I booked my next facial for a month away. DOUBLE BOOM #lovemyfacials

Here's to a healthy week!!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

6 Peaceful Miles

Style/Workout: Getting some miles in!
Setting/Route: The Prom and Sunset Cove Hill
Mileage:  5.77 miles/ 51.35
Progress: (running mileage):  5.77 today/ 13.2 this month/ 286.17 year-to-date
(For May I'm aiming for...75 miles)
Today's run was really great. It didn't feel easy, but it was so peaceful. I took off around 7, which is uncommon for me. I discovered how nice an evening run is on the weekday. There's hardly any people, and the wildlife is just a little bit more active. My phone was dead so the only "hardware" I had was my simple watch. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Wildlife Spottings: 1 blue crane, 1 deer, numerous seagulls (naturally) and lots of cute little jumping fish! 
Turns out going for a run is the best way to start the day and the right way to end the day...:)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sweet FAST Run Back!

Style/Workout: 4-Mile Tempo Run
Setting/Route: Roads and Trails
Mileage:  4.43 miles
Progress: (running mileage):  4.43 today/ 7.43 this month/ 262.4 year-to-date
(For May I'm aiming for...75 miles)

Today's run was one of the "good ones". I know they can't all be awesome, but this one was! The sun was shining, I was feeling good and I really pushed myself. I think was I also liked about it was that I took a different route...past my son's school, around the fancy turf field, through a few trails then down a nice road that is very woodsy. I enjoyed myself!

That is something I want to focus on in the coming weeks and even past the Helvetia Half Marathon-enjoying myself while running. I have been so focused since the marathon that I really kind of need to let loose a little bit and just enjoy my runs. I think after the Helvetia Half I will try to tackle some pretty local trails.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May StrideBox Review

*Spoiler Alert!!* If you have thought about signing up with StrideBox or have yet to receive your package, skip this if you do not want the surprise ruined. 

I signed up for StrideBox last month so this was my first shipment! I saw a random ad on Facebook that was intriguing...receive a random box full of different products made specifically for runners. It sounded like Christmas every month for runners!

 I opened my mailbox today and literally let out an audible "Woohoo!" My first box was here!

Inside each box is an informative card with descriptions of each product

I will comment individual reviews of each product as I use it. The box is designed to offer you a month's worth of products to try.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Three Already-Yep!

Style/Workout: No-Goal Run...just getting back out there after the marathon
Setting/Route: The Prom

Mileage:  3 miles
Progress: (running mileage):  today/ 3 this month/ 254.97 year-to-date
(For May I'm aiming for...75 miles)

Today was my first run back since the marathon. I took 3 really good days off. Should I have taken more? Maybe. But the sun was shining and the sidewalk was calling my name!  So I did a good walk warmup and just played the run by ear. The wind was a killer (as usual...) but I made it to the 3 mile mark then walked home. My body was pretty stiff and my L ankle is sore, but it's funny...since it was nothing compared to the pain felt in the last few miles of the marathon it felt like a piece of cake!

I am now training for the Helvetia Half Marathon June 8th, which makes it about 5 weeks away. I'm starting gradually. I am running this race with a 1st time half marathoner so I'm excited about that. I have always thought Helvetia would be a great race and I have heard the same from others so I'm really looking forward to it. The weather is getting nicer and it will be a whole new course to try out. I don't think I'm going to go for a PR. I think my goal will be to simply run the whole thing comfortably without stopping, and finish strong. Oh...and maybe I'll wear a cute outfit!

April Totals

April Progress: (running mileage): 57.06 this month/ 251.97 year-to-date

For April I was aiming for 80 miles, but I will settle for meeting TWO of my goals!! 

#1: PR in the Half Marathon! 
#2: I ran my first Marathon!

The rest of the year is going to be all about mileage and hopefully just having fun running! 

Up next...Helvetia Half Marathon June 8th!

I've Learned...

Eugene Marathon

Welcome to my Eugene Marathon Race Report! This race was an awesome experience for many reasons:
  • I ran my first marathon ever!
  • My kids all got to run their own races so this was a family affair
  • The events were held at The University of Oregon-Go Ducks!
  • The weather was perfect and made for an awesome, sunny weekend!
Friday: We started off the weekend by packing up our travel trailer and heading out on Friday. We arrived at Deerwood RV Park near Goshen (just S of Eugene) at about 3pm. I love being a trailer-ite! I love that we get to sleep in the comfort and familiarity of our own space. We also save a lot of money. For example, the entire weekend stay cost us just $96 as opposed to say Valley River Inn (one of the main race hotels) which would have cost us as much as $500!! We also saved a bundle on food because we prepped in advance and brought easy food to grill or heat in the oven.

As soon as we arrived I had a huge smile on my face because not only was it warm and sunny but the air smelled of the sweetness of the trees all around us. We had booked a premium spot which basically just meant we were on the outer rim of the RV park, as opposed to being smack dab in the middle. This meant we were just a little bit more secluded. Yes, I will get to the rest of the weekend, but I wanted to write a short review in case there are other running trailer-ites like us :) I highly recommend Deerwood RV Park if you plan on running any big races in Eugene.

On to the weekend...

On the agenda for our first evening was the Health and Fitness Expo!

The Expo was located at the Lane County Fairgrounds this year, at the Lane County Events Center. We got turned around a bit in the downtown one-way streets but finally made it with about an hour and a half to spare before it closed.
My littlest man
A nice volunteer at the entrance welcomed us and gave us directions...Packet Pick-Up then Expo!

I found my name and bib number among the huge banner of racers
 We all picked up our bibs and our race bags and proceeded into the Expo Hall. The race bags were nice reusable bags donated by Safeway. Inside we got our free Jamba Juice coupon and a Clif Shot Gel (Chocolate Cherry). Every one of our bags got a Clif Gel which meant Mama got to stock up since the boys aren't allowed to eat them with the caffeine they contain ;) The rest of the goodie bags were in a virtual form with coupons mostly. I ended up using one coupon and got $5 off my registration for the Helvetia Half Marathon in June.

To be honest, I was disappointed that there wasn't more at the Expo. On the top of my list was to find a K-Tape booth and get my L ankle taped. Ben wanted to see if there was anyone there fitting folks for running shoes. There weren't any women's-focused apparel, and only one booth with about a million headbands that I just wasn't interested. Unfortunately it was just a 'meh' kind of Expo :(

On the good side, there was a nice assortment of race apparel, Oregon Track Club was represented, Tiger Tail, The Stick, Gu gels and Clif Shot Blocks, Biofreeze (Yes!), and a few more booths. There were quite a few other booths where you could sign up for other races or buy marathon-themed car decals and apparel. Each booth was offering its own discount if you registered, but I wasn't very impressed. Only $5 off coupons. When registrations are easily at least $75 for half marathons and more for fulls or special races (such as Rock n Roll), $5 doesn't even cover your surcharge at The Clif Pacers were there to chat with runners and hand out bracelets with paces on them. We stopped at the Biofreeze booth and purchased a bottle of gel and a roll-on (so cool and convenient!) at a slight discount. Way to go Biofreeze, you offered a home run, because I knew I was going to be glad I got those! Krusteaz was there with a game booth where if you threw the beanbag into the hole (cornhole game), you won a free box of baking mix. All of our boys tried it and our youngest won a chocolate cookie mix. You could also create your own pancake mix, but we skipped it.

Pictures from the Expo:
Oregon Track Club photo op!
 There was a huge banner for all of us to sign to send to The Boston Running Club

On the way out the last stop was to pick up your race t-shirt. The little boys' shirts were grey cotton with a nice logo and sponsers on the back and Caleb and I both got dark gray tech shirts of the same design. Mine was women's medium and is a little bit tight but I'm still going to run in it. Um, you'd better believe it!
All of us with our bibs! My husband ran as a chaperone for the two littles
Along with our bibs, we were given these black ribbons to wear in honor of Boston.
So the Expo was not the best...but that was actually ok with the kids. They wanted all of the free samples, pamphlets, candy, etc that they could fit in their bags and by the time we reached the end (which really didn't take long), I was ready to go.

After the Expo we headed back to our home away from home for dinner. I snapped a few pictures
Notice the Clif pacing bracelets? I was feeling very ambitious!
This bib is definitely one of my favorite!
We ate a carb-o-licious dinner of baked spaghetti, steak and whatever else we brought (um...who forgot the veggies?) then we hit the hay around 9, a decent hour. 

Saturday:  I woke up around 6am and got the coffee on as everyone took their own time getting up. The kids' races were at 8:00 and 8:30, so we left the trailer around 7:15 to get to the U of O campus in time to figure out where the starting line was. Packets were available for pick-up Saturday morning but the great thing was that by picking up our packets and bibs the night before, we did not have to worry about it! Same-day packet pick-up is nerve-wrecking!

My husband and 9-year-old and 7-year-old at the start of the 1K Duck Dash
The sun was shining, the temperatures were chilly but warming up quickly and we were ready to have some fun! The 1K started precisely at 8:00 and they were off! Not just a few minutes after they started, kids started arriving at Hayward Field, so we ran to get a spot to watch their finish!

Ben and Aaron ended up running together the whole way while Samuel took off ahead. In fact, Sam ran so far ahead I did not even see him coming nor get a picture of him at the end. He ran a 5:45 1K-not bad! All of the boys loved finishing on Hayward Field. They all felt like rockstars!
Home Stretch!
The Duck was there to cheer everyone on!
Sam had not picked up his medal quite yet, but here they are all done
I had to get a photo with my favorite mascot!
The family reunion area was great. They had some games set up for the kids, water and Gatorade, bagels, bananas, oranges, chips, fruit snacks, etc. They also had a nice pancake breakfast going on (sponsored by Krusteaz)
Cute boys and their medals!
Next was our 13-year-old's race. He was running the 5K. He did so awesome! He ran it in 20:50/6:45 min/mile...a spectacular time! He got 5th in his age group. 

Here is a video of Caleb coming down the finish:

The Rockstar after his race!
After Caleb's race, we hung out and perused the booths and things and enjoyed the sunshine. Then it was time to walk back to our car. We passed The Duck Store and had to go in. I ended up buying the "Stop Pre" shirt that I've wanted for some time. I could seriously drop some dough at The Duck Store!

Once we got back to the trailer, we grabbed a few things and headed for an hour drive to visit with my grandparents, parents, uncle, and brother's family. It was a great way to spend the day. I got to hang out with loved ones and it really took my mind off of the race. The sun was shining though and it was quite warm. I wanted more than ever to sit and bake in it all day (it felt so good!) but I sucked down water and paced myself with sunshine instead. 

Saturday night everyone got to bed early so Mom could get a good-night's rest! My family has become quite accustomed to what is expected at these race weekends. I laid out my clothes and goods so I would be all ready. I slept better than usual, and I didn't have the "I missed the start" nightmare! 

Among my arsenal...Shot Blocks, Clif Shot Gel, iPhone arm band and ear buds, Alba sunscreen, NutriGrain Bar, Banana, BodyGlide, Hat, little black gloves...and my bib and ribbon were pinned and ready!
Another great banner on the backside of the stadium...

Which is a great segway to my marathon story! 


Sunday I got up around 5:20am (no biggie for me since I've been doing it for nursing school since September). I had a nice cup of coffee and ate something. I can't remember what it was because I had zero appetite, but I ate something anyway. I got dressed and all wired up and actually remembered every single thing I needed. What a relief!

Great running weather!

My husband and I left the RV Park around 6am and were at the race start by 6:15. We were getting good at this! I walked a block or so and immediately used a port-a-potty before the lines got crazy long. It was chilly so I had brought my Race For the Roses shoe bag so I could check my coat and anything else I didn't feel like carrying for 26.2 miles. 
I wrote this on my arm on race day
Racers were assigned corrals for the first time this year. I was placed in Corral D which I was thinking might be kind of slow for me. The only bummer was that I was pretty far back and couldn't really hear anything going on at the starting line! I chatted with other friendly runners until it was our turn to start. It was inspiring to see all of the runners wearing clothes, ribbons and writing on their bodies to honor Boston. I didn't take many pictures because with the low light they would have been pretty lame.

7am Corral A started, then they started each following corral maybe 30 seconds staggered. We didn't wait long at all. Upon crossing the starting line, We Won't Be Shaken by Building 429 came on. I teared up. I was there, I was now officially running a marathon! And best of all, I was doing it with all of these other runners, determined to show we could not be shaken by jerks who try to terrorize and bully. We were there to show the world that runners are strong and will never give up. 

Here are the highlights (it's hard to remember specifics over 26.2 miles!)

Miles 1-10: I felt like a fricken rockstar. 

5K:  28:15/9:06 min/mile

Around Mile 5 my left ankle started to ache. Uh oh. Thankfully the road banked up to the L a lot here and seemed to take the pressure off. Before I reached the 10K point I had forgotten about it and it had gone away. There were a few mild hills during the first few miles of this race, one in particular around mile 8 that I remember from running the half marathon in 2010. I remember back then feeling like those hills were SO hard. This time I barely felt them! Right from the start, I utilized the water stops and got something every stop. I also used some of the Shot Gel that I had brought (Clif Citrus flavor-low caffeine). I don't love the Shot Gel, but I think the little bit of caffeine really helps! 

Between Mile 7-8 they had bananas at the water station and I went ahead and ate one along with some water, even though I'd never tried it in training. It went down fine. 

Around Mile 9 I found myself also thinking back to the half marathon thinking how badly I had started to hurt at this point. But this day I felt great!

Mile 11: I specifically remember this is where the course split from half marathon and marathon runners. I remember thinking to myself, "Ok, this is it! No turning back now!" There was a great point where the course crossed the Willamette River here too, which was spectacular!

Half Marathon: Half: 2:05:09/9:34 min/mile

At this point I was still feeling pretty strong, but I was beginning to feel it. I had to push the thought out of my mind that the longest I had ever run had been 16 miles...especially when that distance came and went and the pain began. See, around mile 13 I got a terrible side stitch in my RLQ that pretty much hung out for what felt like forever. I tried different methods of breathing that would work for a little bit then wear off and it would return. I hate side stitches, they are very discouraging. 

Mile 15: The course curved around Autzen Stadium and I saw my family! It was great! 
Here I am plugging along!
Miles 16-18: I started hurting.  My feet were hurting and my side was killing. I started letting myself do more walking here which at first was a big bummer but after a while just became part of survival mode. 

Mile 20:  20 Mile: 3:28:21/10:26 min/mile

I wasn't as excited to hit mile 20 as I thought I would be. I had officially hit the point where I just wanted it to be over! I do have to say upon looking back on the experience, that had I not been in pain, I would have been able to notice how great a course it was. It followed the river, had lots of woodsy cover, and was a really pretty course. 

Mile 21: I crossed the Owosso Bridge where there was the BEST CHEER SECTION EVER!! I don't know what it was about this particular group but they were so encouraging! I noticed at this point in the race people would cheer for me by name more than before. My name was on my bib and runners were really spread out.
My awesome husband was cheering for me the whole way!

Around Mile 23 guess who caught up to me? The Clif 4:30 pacer group! For a split second I was really encouraged! At this point with the walking and slow jogging I was capable of, I thought I was WAY behind my original goal. 4:30 was not bad! I kept up with them for a little while, but I just couldn't cut it with the pain I was in. I fell back and slogged along. At this point my quote of the day was literally, "Keep Moving Forward"

The final 5K was just the worst. I could not get it over quickly enough. I pushed and pushed and just kept moving. Every step was excruciating. Walking hurt just as bad as the shuffle I had degressed to. The course snaked through a park at some point, and past some baseball fields at another point.

The Mile 25 marker was like a choir of angels. I had completely missed the Mile 24 marker somehow and when I saw 25 I knew I was really going to do it, I was really going to finish this race! I somehow managed to pick up the pace for that last stretch, and before I knew it I had Hayward Field back in my view. I gave every last drop that I had, and trudged toward those gates! I had taken my earbuds out in preparation of this much anticipated moment. 

My husband and kids were standing just inside the gates and the University of Oregon band were just outside. As I approached I heard them playing "The Fight Song" and I could not help but grin from ear to ear. I stood up a little straighter and my feet hit that blessed bright orange track. I saw my family and gave a quick half-wave as I entered the stadium. 

The final 200M wasn't too painful. I was too excited. I passed this girl who looked like she was going to loose her lunch and for a split second almost stopped. But I knew I was barely making it myself so there was no way I was going to be able to help her. 

As I approached The Finish Line, I was nearly alone for the last 100M. For those 20 seconds or so of straightstretch I had my glory moment. The announcer called my name and before I knew it I had crossed the finish. I was most proud that I remembered to put my hand over my heart in honor of Boston. 

I found some race photos on the website of both myself and Caleb. I'm thinking I might have to order some of these! They are pretty great (well most of them)!

I show up at 2:23:45 on this race video:

So as soon as I crossed the finish, I got my medal, space blanket and posed for a picture. Then I headed straight for the med tent for some Biofreeze! I literally had her slather it all over every inch of my legs that was accessible. I didn't sit for long because I didn't want my legs to seize and cramp up. I texted Ben right away and started making my way to where they were. I grabbed a cup of Gatorade first, and a bottle of chocolate milk. Before I crossed over to the family reunion area Ben told me to turn back and grab anything I needed food-wise because once you crossed over to the side where the band and who know's what else was, you could not go back into the post-race area. I can't remember anything but the band. I was so ready to get out of there. I was hurting! 

I hugged my husband and just about collapsed into his arms crying. I think my exact words were, "I would have rather given birth!" LOL But my weepiness didn't last long. I hugged my boys and told them I was ready to go and didn't want to stay. I really never stay for post-race festivities. I am usually too tired. Bummer thing was that I forgot about my checked bag! So I now am less an Eddie Bauer jacket, a Nike headband and a pair of CEP compression socks (the last one hurts the most).

So while Ben went to get the truck, the little boys and I sat near the curb and just hung out. I ate oranges and a bagel while waiting. Once he pulled up, I requested that he take a few pictures before we left and forgot.

This was probably 20-30 minutes post-race and I was already starting to feel least good enough to smile!

Gotta represent the 'O'!!
We headed straight for the RV park as I recounted my race and received my atta-girls from my awesome family. My husband was so proud!!

Once we got to the trailer it was just about check-out time so the boys started packing up and I hit the showers. Man that felt great!! I discovered some sports bra-related chafing, and a HUGE blister on my L little toe. My legs were pretty crampy and tired so I took some ibuprofen. Other than that and feeling quite hungry, I was doing alright! After my shower, I actually felt refreshed enough to lend a hand and help pack up the trailer.

 That's really the end of the exciting part of the trip because after that we headed home! It had been a weekend of epic proportions for sure. I posted the news on Facebook almost right away but it literally took me days for it to sink in that it had really happened...I was really a marathoner!

I will finish off this post with some sweet race bling!!

Half marathoners got a green ribbon, Full wore Yellow

I did it!