Monday, May 5, 2008

Eugene Half!

The weather report for the day was PERFECT! A little on the chilly side in the morning, partly cloudy, no wind. Seriously, we couldn't have asked for better weather! I got my skinny ass outta the rack at 4:00 am. I showered. I shaved. I greased
myself up with sunscreen. The house was completely quiet and I got to cook myself some breakfast. Oatmeal, 4 eggs (2 yokes), banana, coffee, water. Wrote out my race plan. Did some breathing. Then hopped in the car. This was a first for me. I've never taken the time to fully wake up and eat before a race... in general... it totally helped me to relax. I usually get myself all worked up about racing... regardless of the fact that the results really don't mean diddly-squat. What IS that anyway?

Picked up my buddy Scott in the truck. Since he wasn't racing, he volunteered to be the official driver/photographer for the race! Worked out really well! He dropped me off at another buddies place, Erich, who was also doing the race and lives 2 blocks from the race start. Erich and I mosied down to the start, did a quick 10 min warm-up, peed, and were ready to roll. We lined up toward the front... b/c we're cool.

I started this race telling myself that regardless of what happens... I'm sticking to the plan that I was given by Coach Liz... period. I knew that if I just followed the plan, things would work out exactly like they were supposed to.

Miles 1 to 3:
The plan was for me to head out in Zone 1-2 for the first three miles. My HR was high from the beginning... which was a bit frustrating... probably just the adrenalin. I kept telling myself, "breeeeeeeathe... you're fine.... settle....". Came through the 1st mile a 6:57 and then settled and relaxed for the next two miles at 7:12 and then 7:00. Then it was time to get to work.

Miles 4 to 9:
I kicked it up just a bit which took me right into low to mid Zone 3. Had a nice chat with a guy from Chicago of all places! He was running the full mary and I said to him, "Dude... you hold this pace for an entire marathon? You're a stud!" He said, "Why, how fast are we going?" Me, "We just passed mile 5 at a 6:41 pace." Him, "Oh crap!" Anyway, the pacing was a little variable for me over these 6 miles. Here's how it broke down: 7:13, 6:41, 6:49, 6:54, 6:56, 6:41. Look at my 8 mile split... 6:56. I had progressively gotten slower with each mile starting at mile 5. I knew it was happening. My HR was now at the top-end of Zone 3 and I thought the wheels were coming off. Now Scott had been riding on the course the entire time. He hadn't said a word to me... not one. At mile 8, he was riding next to me. Apparently he saw me tensing up... my shoulders came up, my face tightened. I was starting to fall apart. Scott came up on my left... about 5 feet away... and in almost a whisper... he said, "Relaaaaaaaaaaax." He snapped me out of it with that simple, gentle word. The next mile clocked by at 6:41... effortless. I'm convinced that if Scott hadn't of said that word... things would have continued to go downhill.

Miles 10 to 12:
This is where I began to descend the pace. After seeing my pace from mile 8-9, I knew that if I began descending from a 6:41... that I'd have nothing left to crush the final 1.1... so I backed off a bit. I came across mile 10 at 6:48 and started feeling a little crampy in my right calf and left quad. To this point I'd had 2 gels and just a bit of water... I knew I needed a little sodium... so the next aid station between miles 10 and 11 I took in some gleukos... which is a completely disgusting sports drink... but it gave me the sodium I needed and I didn't have any more issues. I clocked mile 11 at 6:42. I was getting tired. My form was starting to fall apart... but I didn't care... I was close... and I was really starting to suffer. I came up on a hippie... yes... a hippie. He
literally smelled of patchoulli oil and had dreadlocks... yeah... I'm not kidding. He was truckin along and I pulled up next to him. He was totally blissed out! Seriously... he was smiling this sort of stoner smile and he just kind of turned his head to me and said, "What's up?" Yeah. ONLY in the Eugene Marathon! Anyway... mile 11 went by at 6:34.

Final 1.1:
Seriously, I thought I was going to die. All I could think about was, "Liz told you to go HARD the last 1.1! What are you going to say to her if you puss out in this last mile? SHE wouldn't puss out... come ON!" Scott told me after the race that my form had gone to complete hell! I was all over the place and I didn't give a flyin fahootie! I was struggling... and it was freakin cool! Yeah. Cool. We're so lucky that we get to do stuff like this aren't we?! I mean it is freakin COOL! I came across the finish-line holding a 6:22 pace in the last mile... I don't think I could be more happy!

Final Results:
  • Time: 01:29:35
  • Overall: 58 of 2,621
  • AG: 11 of 121
I beat my time from last year by 6 minutes! I owe a LOT of that success to my outstanding coach Elizabeth Fedofsky! She trained me, calmed me down when I was sick, gave me a plan that really worked, and has been an amazing resource throughout the time that she's taken me under her wing. If anything convinced me to trust her and what she's telling me to do... it was this race. I can't WAIT to see what happens thru the rest of my season!

I also want to thank my training partner Scott. Having him out there was a tremendous help mentally. He knew exactly what to say at that one moment... THANKS SCOTT!

So much for being brief! Sorry bout that! Thanks for reading!



Drew Holmes said...


no seriously!


Anonymous said...

You look like a gazelle out there. (The animal not the Tony Little exercise equiptment).
Or is it gazerre?
Great run man.

Bigun said...

Scottie sounds a bit like....your gentle, kind, loving life partner.

Great race and race report, dude.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Bibity!!! I thought about you all day long Sat. Glad your peepee is coming along. May I say you are looking quite buff and studly.

E.L.F. said...

Congratulations Rob! Breaking 1:30 is a HUGE accomplishment in a half marathon. You did it! I gave you the plan but YOU did the hard work. You made it happen today.

jameson said...

congrats homey! I am stoked the coaching thing is working out so good for you... i know you were struggling with that earlier in the year. Keep it up!

oh yeah... sweet man-kini (tri-top)!!

emkruse said...

yes, hippies can be quite fast (I live in Boulder)


Lewie Tenorio said...

Way to go, dude! PR!

Hey, thanks for the link and giving me a *kick* start. I'm back and like my body reacts to fiber, I'll be posting regular-ly. Good reading about the good news on your prostate.

kt said...

Woot woot! Great race and fantastic last 1.1. That is so awesome.

Portly Portland Pappa said...

You didn't even break the top ten....pansy!!!!