|On the train ride down|
I ran the Eugene Half Marathon. Check.
Why so lackluster??? Well here's the honest truth. 'Track Town' isn't this mystical magical place for me. I feel like I grew up there. I raced many times as a child on Hayward Field. I went to track camp at the University of Oregon and ran on Pre's trail before I really knew or cared who Pre was. So to run a marathon or a half marathon there is not something really new or unique. It's just another race.
Granted, 'new' and 'unique' and 'magical' are NOT why I chose Eugene as the half to run. My reasons were much more straightforward and boring 1) it's a relatively fast course (or can be), 2) it's in the PNW and fairly easy to get to, 3) the timing of the race fit my schedule and 4) it's a good excuse to visit friends (don't worry Lime and Sweats, not in that order I swear). So sure, sign me up. Okay, yeah, and the last two years got me pretty jazzed to run here. Call it fear of missing out or something. Although I suppose I was one or two years behind so I already missed out... Ooops.
All that said, the lackluster bit continues into my race and any race report I was planning on writing up. So rather than draw it all out with details that bore me to tears here's the gist - in general I found this race to be a struggle. Mentally and physically. This isn't a surprise seeing as I've been riding the struggle bus for well over a week and bringing all that baggage into the race... well, can we say 'inevitable'?
I was looking at this race as a confidence booster. To put in a solid effort which would equate to a solid time (no, I wasn't looking to PR) and thus win me confidence points. I hate to be the one bursting my own bubble but it doesn't really work that way. Times don't always equal confidence. Sure, fast times do a whole sh**load to help but it's the every day work that builds confidence. It's the faith in yourself and in your goal that builds confidence. I guess it just took this weekend for me to realize these things.
There are definitely other factors that made this race, in particular, harder. A long travel day prior to the race, an insufficient warmup, eating too close to the start and an illness waiting in the wings (yeah this could be the big winner here since I landed on the couch for days with the stomach flu the night after the race). All of these things, minus the stomach flu, are lessons learned. In the end that is not lackluster.
I'm pretty stoked to carry what I learned into my training/racing in the future and I'm pretty jazzed by the feedback that I got from coach after I gave him the full rundown of my race (I guess I spilled it all over email rather than laying it out here - sorry you missed out). So I come out of this weekend flushed from the inside (that's gross) and rejuvenated to start doing the work.
A HUGE thank you needs to go out to a few people. Emily - for hosting all weekend and for letting me sweat out my sickness on your couch and your bathroom (TMI). I think I owe you toilet paper. Sarah - for all the positive vibes. Brian - kudos for being Sherpa of the year. KMet - for our talk while cheering. Sheri - for driving down from Portland to pick me up and letting me crash on your couch. That was above and beyond Aunt duty. Mom - for doing the same from Seattle to Portland and for knowing exactly what I needed when I was sick. Gabe - for being the last leg of the 'Meghan shuttle bus' from Seattle back to Bellingham and for letting me just be miserable the last few days. And Coach - for keeping things in perspective and for the virtual pat on the back.
I think it's back to the Banana costume for this girl.