To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Monday, September 19, 2011

Prefontaine Memorial 10K - OK, I Cried.

Isn't this pre-race dinner delicious??
Seriously, what is it about Steve Prefontaine that he always makes me cry?? I started out at the Eugene Half Marathon feeling overwhelmed with emotion and ended up crying - but I guess good tears? And the same thing happened again this weekend! This was my 25th race, and my first repeat. I ran it last year in pouring rain and completely unaware of what was ahead of me, course wise. I felt like a pro this year - not running wise, but at least I knew what to expect .... ample water stops, no chip timing, no bathroom stops and a VERY tough course!    Let me back up to the start of this.

I arrived in Coos Bay, Oregon on Friday night. Checked into my hotel, had a VERY yummy dinner at the Kozy Kitchen and then settled in for an early night and movie. I had listened to Prefontaine during my drive, then watched Fire on the Track in my room. If that doesn't inspire you to get out and run Pre's old training course then I don't know what will! Naturally I woke up every single hour checking the time - can you believe there was NO clock in my room at all? Crazy! Soon enough it really WAS time and I was excitedly up, listening to music and getting ready for a fabulous, challenging day.

Check-in was very smooth. I was in and out with my bib, shirt and the one Pre book I didn't yet own. I liked the swag!

I drove up to Marshfield High School and parked at the finish area, then walked down to town to the start. I probably should have actually started eating my breakfast way before this point. (It DID come back to haunt me.) The start area was bustling - a BIG change from last year, but the weather was also dry and much warmer. Raina found me while I was wandering around looking at festival booths. We parted ways and planned to meet at the finish. When I officially put myself in the start line it happened again. I was just overwhelmed. I was looking up at the start banner, just talking to Pre and visualizing a great run.

It must be seeing his face before I run that gets me. They started playing the Final Countdown and you could just feel a buzz of energy amongst the runners. The announcer started talking, giving thanks to people and welcomed Pre's mom to the start area. WHAT? Yes. So I was already misty-eyed just due to the importance of this race to me, but now his mom was there too. The gun goes off, we start running, I look to my right and there she is! Naturally I smiled, kept running and the tears came. DRAMA QUEEN ALERT!

The run itself was just as hard as last year. This was my fourth race in 17 days and I was really feeling it. But I pushed it hard. On mile two, the downhill, I really went for it and was in the low 8 minute mile range. Sadly it was about 3/4 of the way into mile two that I realized I was going to be sick. I kept fighting it and was happy and shocked at how fast the 5K turn around point came. I kept finding new goal points to get to ... i.e. big bushes, big rocks, conspicuous places to be sick. Finally during Agony Hill at mile 4.3 I HAD to pull over. For the first time I threw up mid-race! I felt so much better after, used the inside of my shirt to clean up and immediately resumed running. After Agony Hill I tried hard to kick it into high gear and did pretty well all things (and heat) considered. When I made it to the final hill up to the track I was done. I was so embarrassed to be walking on the track but I knew I was going to throw up again. I told myself this was stupid and made myself run. At the last corner I knew what I had to do ..... I crossed the finish line at 6:08 minute mile pace! BAM!  

I fully admit that I was not happy when I crossed. I wasn't going for a PR on this race, but when I saw my time I knew that had I not been sick I would have had it. I'm going to make a chart now! **I actually had negative splits!!**

                              2010         2011
gun time            1:13:50     1:13:59
Garmin time      1:13:20     1:13:50

Basically, I am REALLY consistent on this course! I know had this not been so freaking hilly, I would have had a solid PR. I'm actually VERY happy with my performance! Knowing I was so steady with last year's time, but last year I never got sick on the side of the road, well, I know I improved. It was a GREAT race day! The only thing I could have done differently was have my breakfast earlier - but nerves got the better of me and I couldn't really eat.

Post-race, Raina and I watched the awards together. I cheered for her as she got 1st in her age group (3rd female overall! - I saw her running - she was AWESOME!)  Then --- and this won't shock you --- a very cool opportunity came along and I could not pass it up. They are making a new documentary about Pre. AND they needed extras. Guess who stayed around and better be in it??? Yeah, that would be ME!! Naturally I'll keep you all posted on how that goes! He's just too cool.

Then we met up with her friend Danny for pizza, a parade, French fries, great conversation and air hockey. I may have also given her children tokens to play video games ... you know, because I am a great influence on children like that.
 I totally stole these photos from Raina's blog. I told her I would! ;)

And after that I went to Sunset Memorial Park to sit with my idol and inspiration. We talked a bit. And just sat before I drove home listening to Without Limits. It was a wonderful, perfect day for me and Pre!


  1. So fun to read your recap! It was HARD! Your time is amazing though, you should be proud :) My time was 1hr32min, lol. Considering I'm about to start Week 5 of C25K today I'm happy with that. The second round of Agony Hill killed me, got sausage fingers, felt yuck and I told my buddy to ditch me and she got 1hr29. (our goal was 1hr30). I had dry heaves afterwards. But I guess it means I'm addicted to all of this that I can't wait for next year! :D

  2. Wow - you did Awesome then!! I mean you are on week FIVE of C25K ... not C2 TEN K ... so dang, you killed it! Definitely the hardest course I've ever done, yet even when going up Agony Hill and I asked myself if I'd be back next year - then laughed (to myself) and said Of Course!

    Congrats to you!!

  3. It sounds like you had a great day. OMG BEING AN EXTRA!

  4. Nice recap! And great finishing time!! I cannot believe you kept going after you got sick!! Tough lady!


  5. I ALWAYS love meeting up with you. I love how excited you were to be in Pre's hometown. It is contagious and helped fire me up!!!

    Thanks so much for hanging with me afterwards and "watching " the boys while I took care of Levi's disaster #3. :)

  6. Oh yeah! If you are end up in that movie, it would be SWEET. Nice timing! :))

  7. Awesome run!! Hills kill me, I could imagine those kills!!! I want your autograph. Your going to be a star.

  8. Awesome run!! Hills kill me, I could imagine those kills!!! I want your autograph. Your going to be a star.

  9. nice race...looks like a hard course! I have never seen that book before..pretty good gift for a race!

  10. I don't know how you race so much with all the puking! I would probably never race again if I puked in the middle of a race!

    Great job though! I haven't done very many repeat races, but always hope to improve my time. Doesn't always happen though.

  11. **I guess I should have said I actually paid for the book. And I am shocked it is the only thing I bought. I did own almost everything else though.

  12. Love your race recap.
    U got my slightly teary-eyed ... :)

    Can't wait to read about you and the documentary!

  13. Great recap!! Sounds like a good time (well except for the getting sick mid-race). You constantly amaze me! :)

  14. Chick!

    Less puking. More running.


    Congrats on your race.... and the extra!??!!? Rad rad rad!

  15. I really need to watch that movie. . .

  16. Just to own up to my evil corruption ways: I think I was the one that planted the token idea seed.

    I just skimmed your race report...I'll come back later and give ya more thoughts on it.

  17. Next year, next year I am doing that race. Great job. You totally deserve to be in that movie... keep us posted!

  18. I know I'm late commenting... But noooooooooo... You broke my rule!!!!! Puke and tears are for finish line ONLY. Bad RR!


Thanks for reading my little blog, your comments rock my compression socks!! ºoº