Monthly Archives: April 2012

Eugene Half Marathon Race Recap

We came.

We ran.

We ate.

We conquered Eugene.

Oh, that doesn’t count as a full recap? Fine, here are some a lot details.

The weekend kicked off with my lovely and wonderful bff Gina (who is such a good friend that she drove all the way down just to run with me and then drove all the way back to Seattle after the run) getting to my house Friday night and we proceeded to stay up way to late chatting, because that’s what girls do. Gina my have cursed me when my alarm went off at 7:00am but I made her come for the last TnT Saturday run, which was a short 2 mile shake out run.¬† Afterwards we packed all of our stuff, picked up my mom, and headed down to Eugene.

My coaches spent a lot of time telling us what not to do on the day before the race, which included spending a lot of time on our feet and exerting a lot of energy. Apparently my listening skills aren’t that good since we did both of those things. First we got lunch with our friend Joey.

Eating is a bit of contact sport in my world, it’s to be taken very seriously. Fortunately, Gina and Joey have similar feelings about it, which is probably why I’m such good friends with them.

Don't interrupt us, there's some important eating going on right now.
Alright, fine, we'll smile.
Eating is exhausting.

After lunch we went to the local and amazing ice cream place, Prince Pucklers.

It was delicious.

When I couldn’t finish mine I told Joey to hurry up with his so he could finish mine. His response was ‘I have 2 hands, what’s the problem?’

After dessert Gina and I went to visit our friend Erin and her gaggle of kids. Gina and I met when we were studying abroad in Paris, and Erin was my roommate there. It’s been years since we’ve seen Erin and it was wonderful to be able to catch up, even if we had limited time.

Then I put Joey in charge of babysitting Gina while my mom and I went to the Team in Training Inspiration dinner.

We heard from our awesome coaches, and were reminded why we run by our honored teammates. It’s hard for me to put into words how much I love being part of Team in Training, but it really is a group of amazing people who put their heart and soul into running and raising money to find a cure for cancer.

My wonderful teammates and coaches.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel to try to get everything ready,

Side note- I won that box of key lime bar mix at the expo by throwing a bean bag into a hole about 30 feet away. Boo yah.

and tried to get to bed early since our wake up call was a painful 4:45am, which came way too quickly.

Ready to race...?

The team gathered for one more group picture and then boarded the shuttle to the start line.

We got the start area with about 45 minutes until race time and had way too much nervous energy. Fortunately time moved quickly and after bag checking our stuff and navigating some crazy bathroom lines it was time to line up in our corral. My plan was to run with Gina and Kelley the whole way but Gina and I lost Kelley after our bathroom adventure so we started just the two of us.

While waiting in our corral someone tapped Gina on the shoulder and whispered ‘are you a Husky?’. Someone had noticed Gina’s University of Washington shorts. She quietly said yes, hoping any Duck fans didn’t hear. He then showed us a picture on his phone of him mooning the giant yellow O in front of the University of Oregon and said ‘me too’. As someone who doesn’t have a lot of school pride, all I could do was shake my head and laugh, while Gina thought it was awesome. And then the gun went off and we headed towards the starting line!

We saw my mom and Joey cheering for us a little bit after the start line and were excited to be running. We kept an eye out for Kelley hoping she started ahead of us and that we would catch her but it was crowded and there were a lot of people wearing purple. When Captain Kat started running with us around mile 1 we asked if Kelley had passed but Kat said she hadn’t seen her go by yet. Kat sent us on our way with some encouragement when Coach Julie, 8 months pregnant and all, jumped in to run with us for a bit. She checked in with us to make sure we were good, said she hadn’t seen Kelley either, and then sent us on our way. A few minutes later Coach Mike ran with us for a bit and sent us off with some high five. Around mile 3 Kelley and Jamie snuck up behind up and yelled ‘there you guys are!’. I can’t tell you how excited I was to see them. Kelley and I have done most of out long runs together, passing the miles talking about life, the universe, and everything in between and it just felt right to be running the race together. After we met up the miles started to fly by.

Jamie and Kelley sparkling.

Around mile 8 we saw a few of our Vancouver teammates that had driven down to cheer us on. Seeing them, and Cindy’s ‘go Maddy!’ sign, gave me a huge boost of energy and the smile on my face got even bigger. Thank you ladies, you are so wonderful!

A little bit after that there was the 1 hill of the race course. Captain Kat joined us for the first part of it, then Coach Julie run us up the middle part, and Coach Mike got us up the rest of the way. They were perfectly timed, I was so distracted with talking to them and telling them about the race so far that I didn’t even realize we were going up hill at all. And we got a bit of a photo shoot in.

Nice sparkles Coach Mike!

Coach Mike sent us off at the top of the hill yelling ‘you got this rockstars, kill it!’, and that’s just how I felt. We flew down the hill and right at the bottom just before the turn back through the University of Oregon campus we saw my mom and Joey cheering. They had also planned their cheering schedule perfectly and got breakfast (their second one of the day) at a place right on the race course.

Soon enough we passed mile 10 and headed away from campus towards the Willamette River. Things started to hurt a this point. My knee, which hasn’t hurt at all this season, started hurting like it did during the Chicago Half Marathon and periodically I had to stop and stretch my quad and rub my knee cap so that it would loosen up. Miles 10, 11, and 12 took us over a footbridge, along the river, and back over another foot bridge. We all starting to feel not so great, Gina’s knee was also bugging her and Kelley’s hamstring was getting tight. Kelley was afraid that if she slowed down that she wouldn’t be able to get going again so she went ahead. She rocked the last few miles and finished in 2:11. Gina hung with me while I stopped a couple more times for a few seconds and did her best to encourage me to keep running. Coach Julie ran with us for a few moments with about a 1/2 mile to go and when I told her that my knee hurt she told me that we were so close and to just hold on. We did and soon enough we saw my mom just before entering Hayward Field.

Then it was on to Hayward Field where the running legend Steve Prefontaine ran and where many a world recond has been set or broken.

Fortunately they don’t make you do a full lap around the track, just half a lap, you can see the finish line around the corner.

About 50 yards from the finish line I asked Gina if we were going to hold hands across the finish line. Her response was ‘of course!’. So we held hands, sprinted as much as we could and crossed the finish line, and then spent the next few minutes trying not to puke. It was a close call but after we both got some ice we started to feel better. They were handing out chocolate milk afterwards which I have decided is the best post run thing to have.

Our official time was 2:13:56, so the ‘under 2:15’ mission was accomplished! We quickly found Kelley and my mom and took the obligatory post race photos.

This race was such an amazing experience. It was so different compared to Chicago. Chicago will always be special to me, it was my first big race and my first half, but Eugene was a whole different world. Getting to run with people I love made it so much fun, and running with TnT brings it to a whole different level. I loved hearing random people yell ‘GO TEAM!’ to us and meeting people along the way that had either ran with TnT in the past or thanked us for being apart of it. Seeing our coaches and captains along the way that helped us achieve our goals brought a huge smile to my face, they are such amazing people. I can’t imagine doing another big race without being part of TnT.

Speaking of another race, I’ve signed up with TnT for the Portland Marathon. Yep, going for a full 26.2 this time. The countdown starts now, 160 days!

2 Days To E Day!

I am officially dubbing Sunday “E Day”! I know, I’m soooooooo clever.

Hey, I’ve been on a lot of drugs this week, give me a break.

Speaking of drugs, welcome to day five (and the final day!) of Prednisone. Today has been full of depressed ‘roid rage. I grumpily popped up out of bed at 6:30am, 30 minutes before my alarm. I then spent some quality time poking around the digestive system of the cadaver at school before I had breakfast, which is totally how I should start every day (hello, sarcastic voice). Want to know how the digestive system works? Here’s how is all goes down.

Oh, that’s not correct? Damn. I may need to study more.

Breakfast afterwards was surprisingly delicious thanks to weird ability to block out cadaver images out of my head when I’m eating. The rest of the day has been pretty meh, the steroids sometimes make me feel very disconnected from the world, but I’ve also been reminded how awesome my friends are (love you A and Gina! You girls make my life complete). Speaking of Gina, she’s magically going to show up in my bed at some point to night and that makes me happy (get you head out of the gutter).

But anyway, back to Eugene. Tomorrow we have our last group run, just a two mile shake out run in Portland and then it’s off to Eugene! I’m getting really excited about picking my bib up, wandering the expo, getting to see some old friends, and going to the TnT Inspiration Dinner. Now I just need to figure out what to pack. Packing while on steroids is hard, I feel like punching my dresser. It’s going to be a long night.

3 Days!

3 days!

Kiki's excited!

Welcome to day four of Prednisone, I’m feeling very ragey and dinosaury today.

Rawr.

Did you know that side effects of Prednisone include: difficulty controlling emotion (why I’ve had to work really hard at not punching people lately and walked out of my teachers office hours yelling ‘just shoot me now Ed, just shoot me now!’ #overdramatic), difficulty in maintaining train of thought (why I did so poorly on my last test), facial swelling (hello chipmunk cheeks), unusual fatigue or weakness (explains why walking across campus seems like such a difficult task), mental confusion/indecisiveness (choosing where and what to have at lunch was really difficult), insomnia (I already had that one covered but somehow it’s gotten worse), anxiety/nervousness (I’m freaking out about Sunday), increased appetite (omg, that burrito was delicious, what else can I eat?), frequent urination (making it through class without getting up to pee more than once has been a challenge), sensitive teeth (ouch) and inappropriate happiness (awkward).

I also got so frustrated with not being able to fall asleep last night that I started violently flipping over trying to get comfortable and pulled a muscle in my side. I win at life.

What I’m trying to say is that with 3 days left before Eugene I’m getting nervous, really nervous. Two weeks ago I had an amazing 12 mile run and I was so ready for this 13.1, but it’s been a long 2 weeks and I feel like everything has changed. I know I’ll make it across the finish line, I just feels like it’s going to be much harder of a fight than I thought it would be. Luckily I will have 2 of my favorite ladies running next to me, but boy am I nervous, very nervous.

I don't think Kiki understands how nervous I am.

5 Days Until Eugene!

Who’s excited?!

I am!

I’m also on Prednisone, so I’m inappropriately happy most of the time. Why am I on Prednisone you ask? Well, some nice friends of mine, not going to name names, decided to share some germs with me and my wimpy lungs couldn’t put up a fight. Turns out sad lungs make for tough running days, or no running days at all. So with 5 days until I have to run 13.1 miles, in the last week and a half I’ve run a total of 8. So while I’m really excited that Eugene is almost here, I’m not feeling the most prepared.

But oh well! Prednisone Maddy is still pumped about it! I’m also excited about our fundraising.

Thanks to everyone who donated! And hey, there’s still time if you want to join the party.

Speaking of parties, we had our Eugene send off party last week, complete with s’mores.

I wish I had time to tell you about all of my wonderful teammates, captains, and coach. They all have stories about who they run for, their family and friends that they lost or helped fight cancer, their own stories of survival. It’s easy to get consumed with all the running we’ve been doing, but it’s important to remember why we run.

Eugene also marks the end of our journey together as a team and I’m going to miss seeing all of these wonderful faces bright and early on Saturday mornings, or in the rain on track nights. We had our last track night tonight, which was actually a fun run around the¬†Esplanade followed by pizza and I’m sad to know next Tuesday I won’t be headed to Duniway to run in circles with everyone.

But before that I have to get through 13.1! The weather looks great for Sunday, I’m beyond excited to know that Kelley and Gina are going to be by my side. Kelley is also on Prednisone, so we’re going to be quite the pair, either laughing hysterically or crying hysterically when we cross the finish line, or maybe the whole race.

Bring it on Eugene!

Long Time, No Rambling

Holy radio silence, Batman. Sorry about that. I have an unspoken goal of posting 1-2 times a week and I’ve definitely failed at that the last few weeks. But I have some excuses, some of which might actually be legitimate. The biggest one is finals, I had 3 finals in 24 hours and my kiddo had an appointment between the second and third finals, and you can bet your ass I was there for the whole appointment. So there was that, and dog sitting for a friend’s new puppy,

Oh Kiki, you're so adorable, except when you try to use my ankles as chew toys

and going to Seattle for spring break, and having a bunch of family in town for my grandma’s 90th birthday. Oh, and I had to defend the world from the zombie apocalypse.

Take that suckers

Turns out I’m a pretty good shot.

Anyway, here are some updates in bullet form, because bullets that are not aimed at living things are actually pretty fun.

* While it may not be getting warmer in Portland (damn you rain, I’m over you), it is getting lighter, which means we can now have track night in the sunlight.

* Kiki chewed through my computer cord in under 90 seconds.

* I ran 90 miles in March. By far an all time high and I can really feel how much my endurance has improved. My legs don’t kill me after doing my long runs like they used to. I only feel like I’ve been run over by a bicycle and not a semi.

* I ate way too much sugar, but what else is new?

* I ran in the rain, a lot.

This is a picture of me sopping wet, though I guess it's a bit hard to tell, but you get the idea

* I got to spend some quality time with one of my best friends, which really makes my world better.

J'taime mon amie, even if you spent all night coughing

* I got to watch some of my teammates kick ass at Race for the Roses. Great job everyone!

* My family celebrated my grandma’s 90th birthday.

In true Tobin fashion we played a lot of Scrabble and got in a game of mini golf, black light style.

Now it’s the first week of spring quarter and it’s back to grindstone. I’ve already started it off in true clumsy Maddy fashion by standing up into the corner of a locker door and getting a giant goose egg on top of my head. I tried to run at track night tonight but only made it through half the workout before my headache got too much to run through. Guess I need to rest the ole noggin. I hate taking unscheduled rest days.

26 days until Eugene!