To celebrate Labor Day I went to Eugene to visit my brothers and my dad. I really needed to get out of town to relax, hadn’t been to Eugene in a really long time and figured Labor Day was the perfect time since fall in the northwest is just beautiful. I wasn’t wrong. I had a great time hanging out with the family, eating some amazing food, drinking great wine (go to King Estate winery if you’re ever up there. HIGHLY recommended and definitely worth a trip) and of course going on beautiful runs. I also went to the Nike Store and saw the first Nike shoes that Bill Bowerman made with his waffle iron (including Pre’s!) and bought an Oregon Track Club Jacket (shut up. it was on sale and it looks good. I know it’s dorky, ok?) and a cute new shirt to run in. With as much time as I’m spending in running clothes, it’s nice to feel like I’m not a total hot mess out there.
After 2 weeks of pretty high mileage (63 the week before last and 64 last week) I was feeling pretty burned out and tired of running. Everything hurt, my brain was going nuts and I felt pretty uninspired. Especially after last Thursday’s debacle. Turns out I just needed a little runspiration (again, dorky. and yes, I know.). Running in Eugene is awesome. First of all, pretty much all of Pre’s Trail looks like the photo to the left and the cedar chips not only feel good to the feet, they smell great too. When was the last time you can say your run smelled good? Mine usually smells like exhaust, dumpsters and sweat! While I was running on the trails out there I kept thinking of all the great runners who had pounded miles on that very trail. In fact, I think you’d be hard pressed to find an elite runner in the US who hasn’t logged some miles out there.
There are miles and miles of trails (although adding some bathrooms and drinking fountains wouldn’t kill them!) that go along the Willamette River and the temps were perfect– mid 50s and slightly drizzling. It felt amazing to finish a run and not be completely dehydrated, seeing stars and drenched in my own sweat.
I ran 7.86 (the .86 being a wrong turn, oops) on Saturday, 13.1 on Sunday and 6 before I left on Monday. All of those runs were at easy pace and were somewhere in the low 9s. I felt fine… my legs were heavy initially but loosened up eventually. But boy am I glad to have a light week this week.
I expected to see a ton of serious, hardcore runners in Eugene but the mix seemed the same as here at home. Of course, Sacramento has plenty of great runners, too so it’s not like the people I saw were slow, but they didn’t blow my mind either. HOWEVER, on Sunday I saw the same really good looking guy about 3 times during my run (he was fast! and hot! and my age! and hot!) and we ended up finishing around the same time. As I was stretching and drinking water by my car he walked over and we chatted for awhile. Of course I’ve never had a good looking, educated, fast runner chat me up at home but every time I go somewhere 500+ miles away it happens… anyway… turns out he ran in college and just moved to Eugene. He’s rehabbing a stress fracture and actually had some great marathon advice for me. I figured nothing could come of it so I just drove away but if you’re reading this call me! haha. I love that about running though– we instantly had 10 minutes worth of conversation even though we’d never met. So fun. But MOVE TO SAC, please. Or hey, our email is to the right. Email me! Also, being chatted up looking how I look after 13 miles isn’t bad for the confidence either. I know how I look. haha.
While I was in Eugene my brother also drove me by Pre’s Rock where he died (creepy that people leave their race medals, but whatever), Hayward Field and the basketball stadium U of O is building. Of course I didn’t take my camera like an idiot, but they were pretty cool. And great inspiration.
Speaking of inspiration. I now have 13 weeks until CIM. It is time to get serious. Labor Day is over, summer is over and that means that the party is over. It’s time to start sleeping well, quit eating so many cookies and drinking so much beer. I have about 8 pounds I’d like to ditch before the race and that is not going to happen by accident. Plus, booze really messes with my training. So I’m not giving all that up cold turkey, but I am going to exercise some self-discipline and tell myself no most of the time. It helps that my roommate is doing CIM, too. We can be monks together 🙂
Race this weekend! I’m running the Buffalo Stampede 10 miler. I have no idea what to expect. I sort of feel fit, but I also feel tired. Hoping for a strong marathon-paced run, definitely a PR and maybe even some fun? It’s been awhile since I’ve raced anything longer than a 5k so this should be interesting.