Eugene Women’s Half Marathon Recap

Long time, no post! I guess that’s what happens when you spend 25 hours over the course of 4 days driving, and then have to squeeze in family time and a half marathon. Oh, and sleep!

Sunday was the day of the Eugene Women’s Half Marathon in Eugene, OR. I decided to run the race about a month back because I knew that the Hubble and I were most likely going to come up to Oregon for the long labor day weekend and I had a shorter long run planned for the weekend. It also helped that my BFF Kate (whose wedding we recently attended in Seattle) had registered to run the race with her mom!

I’ll be posting a weekend recap later, but to make a long story short I was still feeling sick Saturday evening and then didn’t get much sleep that night at my parents’ house in Salem. My alarm went off at 4:45 AM on Sunday, and I made coffee and a peanut butter and banana sandwich for breakfast. The Hubble and I got all packed up and got in the car for the 1.5 hour drive from Salem to Eugene just after 5:30. I was feeling a bit less sick by that point, but both of us were a bit tired and cranky.

We got to Eugene probably a little too early, since the race started at 8 and nobody else was really there yet! It was kind of cool to be that part of downtown though, since I was an intern at a company right next to the start and hadn’t been back in probably 4 years. I enjoyed just hanging out with the Hubble and our little pup and watching the  elite runners warm up. It was surprisingly cold, though!

We also managed to use the Porta-Potties before the line got over a block long :-). You have to love events geared towards women- there are never enough bathrooms!

Kate and her mom met up with us a bit before the start time, and they told me they generally don’t run together during races, and that I shouldn’t worry about running with them. I had the idea in the back of my head that I could more than likely PR during the race, and even though I wasn’t feeling my best I was kind of excited about seeing how the race would go if I ran my own pace. I decided to try and start out at about a 9:30 pace and speed up toward the end if I was able, since running at that pace would result in me having a (slight) PR. I didn’t want to push myself too much and crash before mile 10 like I had done in my last couple of half marathons.

The race started pretty anticlimactically, and since it was chip timed we started back near the 2:20 pacer. Kate and I started running together, and within the first mile we didn’t see her mom anymore. The two of us stuck together through mile 7, maintaining pretty speedy splits considering Kate had been having knee issues and hadn’t run in two weeks!

When Kate stopped to walk and stretch for a bit, I realized that I was feeling great despite having started faster than I thought I should have. I realized that I could probably break the 2:00 mark, giving me a pretty substantial PR!

The next few miles ticked by pretty uneventfully. I started trying to speed up a tiny bit and was slowly but surely passing people. I was a bit frustrated because my first mile was more like 1.15 miles due to weaving around people, so my Garmin was beeping prematurely at every mile!

At around mile 10, realized that I was on the same running path that I ran my very first 5 miler on years ago. I remember being so proud of the fact that I could run a whole 5 miles despite the fact that it took over an hour. I never would have thought that I would be running marathons and half marathons, let alone training for speed!

Right after the 12 mile marker, I saw the 2:00 pacer just ahead of me. I caught up with her and then asked if she was on pace. When she told me that she was 2 minutes fast, I was so excited! I still felt like I had a lot in me and I knew that I would definitely come in under two hours!

I pushed myself pretty hard the last mile, and then really kicked up the speed the last 0.25 miles. I think I probably passed at least 20 people in the last tenth of a mile! The best part was hearing my in-laws cheering for me, and then a bit down the road hearing my parents cheering for me. I am so lucky to have such a great family who is so supportive!

I stopped my Garmin right as I crossed the finish line and saw that my time was 1:56:23! A 10 minute PR, and 14 minutes faster than my last half three months ago!

Here are my official stats and my splits from my Garmin:

  • Gun time: 1:57:03
  • Chip time: 1:56:23 (8:54 pace)
  • Mile 1: 9:19
  • Mile 2: 9:04
  • Mile 3: 8:59
  • Mile 4: 8:56
  • Mile 5: 8:59
  • Mile 6: 9:00
  • Mile 7: 8:55
  • Mile 8: 8:54
  • Mile 9: 8:51
  • Mile 10: 8:43
  • Mile 11: 8:37
  • Mile 12: 8:19
  • Mile 13: 8:06
  • Mile 13.0-13.25: 1:44 (6:55 pace)

After I finished I wandered through the finisher’s area. When I was getting my chip clipped off a lady came up to me and complimented me on my kick at the end, which made me feel really good :). I think my favorite part of women’s races is the finish area. What’s better than getting chocolate, mimosas, and handcrafted pendants after running?

All of the finishers will be getting Lululemon shorts by mail as well- how sweet is that?

Post-race, I met up with my family and Kate and her mom, and we all headed to brunch! We went to a place called the Keystone Cafe a few blocks from the finish. It was pretty busy and took awhile to get our food, but it was really good! I had an oatmeal sesame pancake that must have been a whole foot in diameter, with natural peanut butter and real maple syrup- so good!

We eventually had to say good-bye to Kate and her mom :(. Kate and I met when we lived in the same house my sophomore year of college, and throughout the years we have lived together, lived down the street from one another, and lived next door to each other. I miss the days of being able to see her whenever I want! Luckily for me, she and her husband recently moved to Salem, where my parents live, so I can see her whenever I’m up there!

Overall, I really enjoyed the Eugene Women’s Half. This year was the inaugural race, but there weren’t any of the common first year organizational issues. The course was pretty, flat, and easily accessible for spectators. There were plenty of water and fuel stations but for some reason there were no trash cans after the station, so I ended up carrying empty cups for most of the race. I would definitely do this race again, though!

Stay tuned for a post about my weekend and other training runs I have been doing!

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2 thoughts on “Eugene Women’s Half Marathon Recap

  1. Congrats on such an awesome race! A 2 hour half is a personal goal of mine, but I have such a long way to go before I can even think about attempting it. Also – chocolate and mimosas?! That sounds like my kind of race!

  2. Awesome job on your PR! I have never been to Oregon. I heard the Portland marathon was a good one, though.

    I am totally serious about having a running buddy! I want to plan which marathon I will do next and REALLY want to qualify for Boston. Do you have days/places you regularly run, or do you mix it up more? Drop me an email and we can work something out!

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