A Tough Day in Eugene (but my puppy made me feel better)
Despite near-perfect race conditions at the 2017 Eugene Marathon, my body felt far from perfect and I missed qualifying for Boston, my second attempt in the last two years. I felt sludgy from the start and bonked hard around mile 20. I gave it everything I had, but it wasn't my day. Still, I was grateful to finish, and without injury.
In an article I recently wrote for Competitor Magazine on how to bounce back from a disappointing race, pro-marathoner Matt Flaherty said, “There’s as much to be learned and enjoyed from the journey as the race. If you achieve your goal every single race, you’re probably not setting challenging enough goals.” Despite hitting the wall during my last two marathons, I still love the distance. I love that it's really f*cking hard. That it humbles and inspires. That it illuminates our fragility and our fierceness. While it's always tough to fall short of a goal you've worked hard toward, it's certainly not the end of the journey.
As for the marathon itself, Eugene is flat and fast. It's well-organized and logistically easy (convenient shuttles, bag drop-off, etc.). A good part of it runs alongside the Willamette River on shaded bike paths and finishes in historic Hayward Field. The crowds and volunteers are always awesome (I've run it twice now). Some great signs: Chafing the dream and Pain is just a French word for bread and Remember, you paid to do this!