2013 Eugene Marathon

I ran the Eugene Marathon this year on April 28th.

Erika and I talked a little bit about my training leading up to the race on our podcast, but I realized lately that I never wrote a post about the race itself.

I realized during this race how much I really love the marathon distance. This was my second marathon after running the Portland Marathon in 2011 together with Erika.

I love the sense of community, of people moving forward together towards a common purpose, after training separately for so many months. This sense of strength and community was even more noticeable to me after the tragedy of the Boston Marathon, something that was on my mind over the course of the race.

I know that Boston was on the minds of many others that morning, both racing and spectating.  A moment of silence for Boston was held immediately before the race, and I felt like I was floating through the first couple miles. The inspirational power of sport is always amazing to me.

Eugene is also always a great place to run -- not only for the incredible running and racing history, but because I have so many great memories from my years of college spent living and running there. The race starts and ends at Hayward Field -- only a few blocks from our former college apartment and right next to campus.

The training I put into this race was very different from the first time Erika and I trained for a marathon. When we trained for Portland, we followed our training plan exactly -- never changing or rearranging runs. We did exactly what was prescribed.

This time, our company was growing every week, and that kind of dedication to a plan just was not possible.

Over the course of the 12 weeks I spent training, I ran in four different states -- Washington, Oregon, California, and Pennsylvania. Sometimes I ran on treadmills, sometimes trails, most often  roads. While home, I ran alone, but during our trips I was usually accompanied by my wonderful training partner Erika (I know, I know -- as if we really need more time together!).

Coming into the race, I was nervous. I knew I'd put in my time on long runs (up to 21 miles), and speedwork on the track, but I had rearranged and compromised a lot of my training. I wasn't as well rested as I would have liked, had just been on a plane that week to Pennsylvania and back, blah blah blah. I had lots of excuses in my brain.

I shouldn't have worried quite so much. The race went beautifully -- I tucked right in between the 3:25 and the 3:15 pace group and just ran along for the ride. As you can see in the photo above, my wonderful pacer Erika jumped in alongside me around mile 19, for support along the last 7 miles. I was able to just set my mind aside and let my body do what it had been training to do.

When I crossed the finish line, I was totally happy and relieved -- I ended up dropping more than 20 minutes off my previous time, and it was wonderful to be greeted by my wonderful friends and family at the finish line. Here's Erika and myself with our wonderful friend, Ariel! (Thanks for all the great photos, Peter).

My relief to be done with the marathon itself was also accompanied by an even bigger sense of calm that the structured and time-consuming training was also over. I'm sure I'll do another marathon in the coming years -- I love the experience so much -- but it is also just so nice to wake up in the morning and head to yoga if I just don't feel like lacing up my running shoes that day.

That said, these photos are making me feel like heading off for a run -- and it's beautiful outside! Hope you are all having a wonderful Monday.


  1. Keeley, great job on your marathon!! I would like to train for one, preferably to be run February 2014. I am sorta a runner-I have been running for recreation for about 5 years and I recently started running more seriously (adding tempos, intervals, long runs, etc) to train for triathlon. Could you give me an insight as to what your training plan was like? I don't have a coach or anything so I would have no idea how to make a plan to be ready for a marathon. My goal time would be around 3:15!!


    1. Hey Kristin!

      I used the a Nike Training Plan for my marathon -- and I found it really helpful! There is a beginner, intermediate, and advanced plan. I did the advanced plan, but since I was traveling so much I usually ended up making one of the shorter runs either another rest day or a cross training day. I also tapered more at the end of the training cycle than the plan instructs (I felt like my legs were too tired for the last long run).

      You can find the training plans on the "Nike Running" Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/nikerunning/app_269581749815664

      Besides that, I would say going into your first marathon without a strict time goal will definitely make the training more fun -- I did Portland in 2011 and went into it with no goals and really enjoyed the experience! Once you start doing longer runs (15+ miles) you'll be able to better assess what a reliable training pace is for you and use that to project your marathon time.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Keeley,

    Thanks so much for responding! I will take a look at those programs. Good advice on the tapering and cross-training. It is super important to listen to your body over what a program instructs! And from your time (yes, I looked it up-no, not a creeper haha) it looks like it worked!! I would love to go around a 3:15, but I will keep to the advice on not having any expectations for my first one!

    Thanks again!