Number 32 was the 2013 Eugene Marathon. I finished in 3:21:01, 362 of 2564 marathon finishers, 284 of 1342 in men and 24 of 125 in my age group. I ran a fantastic race through 20 miles, things went down hill from there. Apparently a few gel packs (4) along the way are not enough to vault over the wall. The table below summarizes the gory details. While I am naturally disappointed that I fell apart in the last few miles, I am pleased to know that I can run 20 miles at 7 minute pace. It should not be impossible to extend that limit to 26.2. The first half was the second fastest half marathon I have ever run, bested only by the 1:27:03 in New Bern. While one can certainly observe that I went out too fast, I think that sustained intensity is the only hope for a fast time.

5 K
10 K
20 Mile

I have a lot of experience going out too fast and collapsing, see races 1, 2, 4, 5 I did not fall apart in races 3,  and most memorably, 10, however. Since 10 I have mostly played the kick back seasoned runner with no real interest in winning. Winning came to me, however, in the past couple of years as I suddenly set new PRs in the 5k and half. Run 28 was a low point in the project to date, as I struggled to come in under 4 hours and finished with spasmonic legs and universal pain. Leaving complacency behind and training more seriously for the past few runs has led to serious results. I went out fast unconsciously in run 30, and thus was not surprised by or regretful of the collapse. I went out fast deliberately in 32 and am disappointed by the result. This is the third fastest of 32, however, narrowly edging out New York and Washington. It's interesting to be at the point where 3rd is a bitter disappointment. Here is the pace and elevation chart for Eugene:

Eugene pace

For those interested in the technical details, I think that my failure to finish strong was due to three factors:

In my 2002 PR run, I remember that training volume reached above 65 miles per week. I don't have precise training records (or if I do they are lost in a paper notebook in a closet somewhere), but I know that I followed advice from Advanced Marathoning. This being the modern age, this year I trained using Adias MiCoach. Here is my training volume in 2012 leading up to Kentucky on June 9.
2012 training volume

Wow, May had some seriously green content. Assuming 9 minute average training pace, May corresponded to 41 miles/week. Even at 8 minute pace, it is only 47 miles per week. While not all runs were recorded on miCoach, training volume for the Oregon marathon was conspiciously worse:
2013 training volume

My weight tracked training, leading to a low mass not seen since probably 9th grade on the day of the Kentucky race and balloon weight leading into and after Oregon:

db weight trends

I wanted to loose weight going to Oregon and resolved in January to come back down to the Kentucky weight or better. Other plans got in the way. Most likely, both increased training volume and abstention from alcohol will be necessary to limit the load I carry.

I ran Kentucky, Nevada and Oregon in Merrell true glove shoes, a wide trail version for Nevada and Oregon. While I love minialist running, I have not been able to descend stairs without pain in my left ankle for over a year. I also felt some sharp calf pains in the last few miles in Oregon. The knowledge that I am never completely healthy and the fear that I could get serious injuries looms over a plan for a faster marathon....

Loyal readers will recall that preliminary experiments with minialist shoes ended in disaster. I have, however, been completely converted for the last year and a half. However, the recent text Tread Lightly suggests that a diversity of running shoes, even better a diversity of training, may help strengthen diverse muscle groups and prevent injury. I propose therefore to broaden the range of shoes used and to increase non-running activity in the next round.

One tough question arises: perhaps I am not tough enough to go the distance. Maybe I should have run harder through the pain. I don't think that this is the case, but I am not in as much agony a day after the race as I have sometimes been. Perhaps I need to go when my legs say stop. We will see next time.

I must confess that I was a bit depressed at the end of this race. I have PR'ed at every distance short of the marathon in the past year, why must the big dance be so different. I have thought ever since I did the Boston thing that marathon times were not important. It is definitely not healthy to race in marathons. And yet, why not me, why not now? I thought, as I finished the race, that I should remember that I do not race marathons and I should finish the project simply. Speed was not in the design specification for this project. And yet, I ran 20 miles at 7 minute pace! Today I fight on, dear reader! I tell you now, though I should make you wait on events, that I will try to fix points 1-3. Though I am not as young as I once was, I am not dead yet.

Of course, if I were primarily a runner life might be different. I have a job, I have a girl, I have something going Mr. in this world. ( A song which is pretty depressing but not as depressing as this one.) I can't devote full time to training, I have other things to do. On the other hand, all we are talking about is 3 hours per week. If I go from 7 hours training per week to 10 hours, maybe I will pass this arbitrary barrier of no interest to any one but me. 26.2 instead of 20. 3 hours instead of 3 hours 13 minutes.

Speaking of my job, watch friends for Aqueti and the Kickstarter launch. It is a busy time, giving some modest alibi for the lack of training volume.

Speaking of my girl, Rachael joined me in Eugene. She ran the half, with no training, in 2:16: 17, 2543 of 4079 finishers, 1424 of 2626 among the fillies, 84 of 207 in her age group. Rachael and I used a ginormous amount of frequent flier miles to fly first class to Portland, because if we are not able to fly first class at our age when will we? I use gionormous advisedly, because I have discouraged Rachael from using this non-word but we heard it repeatedly used in Oregon.

Speaking of Oregon, it is traditional in a report such as this to say something of the venue and the crowd. In the words of jealousy, Oregon is the homogeneous home of boring vegitarian anti-growth self satisfied hermits. Stand up and pump some gas! The run begins and ends at legendary Hayward field, almost as amazing at finishing in Notre Dame stadium or finishing with a football. Here is a picture at start, before I knew I my doom, at the entrance to Hayward:
Hayaward Field

Later, I finished on the track looking like this:
Hayward Finish

Rachael and I then walked past the legends of Hayward on our way to the shuttle bus
Power of the run

Despite all this, track town USA is more than a bit sad. The "O" is O-ppressive, the University is not quite something that the track team can be proud of and the state is a bit too far from everywhere. We loved seeing old friends in Portland!, but in our minds we were going to Carolina. The run along the Willamette is beautiful, but the path is paved in painful concrete. When 51 contestants race, only one can win. Both the James and the Potomac are nicer river runs, Oregon weighs in at a respectable 21 among the 32 yet done.

Santa Rosaup33