|The shirt - I like the shoes!|
Getting my bib, chip and shirt was a breeze. Everyone was so friendly – and the building was nice and warm, bonus! I thought the shirt was pretty cute, but it had such a strange fit… big around the body, but short on the sleeves. I took my things and went back to my car to wait for the start and stay warm. I watched the rain come down and stared at the temperature staying at a steady 46 degrees. I decided to add on one more shirt, putting me at a total of 3 shirts for this race. On went the gloves, the ear warmer and the Garmin. I was ready to run! The bathroom line was outrageous so I decided I could hold it. Well lucky me, as I walked to the start line there were 2 potties with only 4 people in line. Score! Soon I was at the start line and accepting the fact that while I might run well for me I was in Eugene, Track Town USA, and basically I was telling myself it was okay that I would be the back of the pack. (Long story short, I was!)
The gun goes off and I started with a bounce in my step and smile on my face. I always enjoy running in Eugene. I think my ego and being around such great runners always forces me to do just a bit better. The start was pretty congested since we were running on a smaller path, but by the time we were one mile in it was thinning out. The runners had spaced out and people were pretty much in their spots that wouldn’t vary much for the remainder of the race. It was during this first mile that I discovered the person I “knew” I “had” to beat. She was so loud behind me. Nonstop chatter, which is fine, but just soooo loud. I didn’t want to force myself to go too fast at the start to stay ahead of her, and then burn out, so I just let her pass and celebrated that one small victory – the noise was gone!
Something I just loved during this half marathon was the dog! A beautiful yellow lab that seemed to run my pace – if you add in her potty stops. She was just as cute and happy as can be. Dogs as spectators always make me so happy, so to run near one that wasn’t in my way was just tops in my book! *The dog did beat me, and that’s okay. Good girl!
The course was on trails I have raced on before, except for miles 7 through 10. Seven through ten were nice, too. I got to see parts of Eugene I’ve never seen before. It was also in this stretch that I started to pick out my rabbits. I was sticking to my run/walk ratio since that’s my plan for Goofy weekend and this race was essentially a long run as part of Goofy training. The intervals were really working, too. I was feeling strong the entire race until the very end when the wind picked up and made my legs cold and stiff – but that was only the last couple of miles, nothing to complain about. Feeling great I knew that I’d have to start making my move. That loud talker from mile 1? I could see her and I declared that she would NOT cross that finish line before I did. This motivated me to pick up my pace a bit and just keep chipping away at the distance between us. It was at mile 11 that I passed her and the other runner in her Portland Marathon finisher shirt. Maybe it was just their marathon shirts that made me feel like I had to pass them, I don’t know. But I do know that it felt like sweet victory when I did pass and then keep increasing the gap in my favor. I did pick out and pass a couple more runners before the end ….
…. And then true R0nda came out. That would be the girl that sees she is doing well, gets excited and nervous and then her upchuck reflexes kick in and it’s a race of praying for the finish line to get to my feet BEFORE I throw up. I stopped trying to pass people and focused on enjoying the race, running a nice pace, breathing, and not puking. Once I hit mile 13 and could see the finish line I did go for my final sprint and did NOT get sick!!! This race was only 3 minutes slower than my finish time at Seattle Rock’n’Roll, which for me was a huge deal! I’ve been feeling so slow and sluggish since the marathon, so this made me feel like I had a huge physical and mental victory over myself!
I am really glad I signed up for this one --- and I am REALLY glad the rain stopped before the race began. We all got pretty lucky that day!