Eugene Marathon: Tales From Taper

With my heart still aching over what happened on Monday,  it’s been pretty easy to keep my taper crazies under control and not stress about Eugene. I’ve put in the work and whatever happens in Eugene is OK with me. I hope I break 4 hours and will do everything in my power to reach that goal, but it won’t be the end of the world if things don’t go according to plan.

I just feel incredibly fortunate that I can run. Fast or slow, I’m grateful that I’m healthy and get to run 26.2 miles around “Track Town USA” and finish on the historic Hayward Field.

I thought this quote Monica posted on Eat Run Repeat (while not totally relevant to this post) was worth sharing.


Eugene has plans to honor Boston at the event, and I’m grateful to participate and honor Boston in a small way. Like so many runners, this terrible event has only strengthened my desire to run Boston. I want it more than ever.

I’ve got a lot of work to do before I can even think about qualifying for Boston, and I first need to make it through this taper and Eugene.

During taper you often doubt yourself and wish you had worked harder, missed less workouts. Even though my taper crazies are more controlled than normal, I certainly feel all that doubt and regret.

February was a bad month. I struggled; I didn’t want to run. The whole thing seemed too hard. Too impossible. And that crappy month is why I’m more proud of this training cycle than any other training cycle.

Unlike my past two Portland training cycles when I pretty much just gave up with two months to go, I dug deep and pushed hard to regain my momentum. I knew that I didn’t want Eugene to be another Portland. I knew I would regret not training as hard as I can to give sub4 a real shot. So I sucked it up and in the last four weeks of training (before taper) I logged just a hair shy of 200 miles. This may not be a lot for some folks, but it’s a lot for me. And as a result, I’m fitter, stronger and ready to finally break into the dang 3s.

But as I said earlier, I’m not going to freak out if I don’t finish sub4. When I ran Vancouver last year, I was totally insane with my pacing. I wore two pacing bands and spent the entire race doing math and figuring out when I would finish. I wasn’t living in the moment — I was only focusing on the end goal. Funny, despite all that, I didn’t even pace myself all that great and ran the first half faster than I should have. And I missed my goal by three minutes and 24 seconds. Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned from that?

I have a race plan that I’ll share with you later, but I’m not going to spend every mile analyzing a pace band and calculating my estimated finish time. I’m going to take it one mile at a time, and I’m not going to let myself even think about my finish time until I’m in that final 5k.

10 days to go!


One thought on “Eugene Marathon: Tales From Taper

  1. I think you are ready to give it a good shot. I hope I can hang in there with you. Whatever happens, I trust that we can handle it with grace and dignity.

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