Posts Tagged ‘Eugene Women’s Half Marathon’


Training for a race is a little like dieting. Things start out really great. You’ve got lots of motivation. You’re high on the goal. You’ve got your plans laid out in front of you and you’re ready to check things off your list. You bump along the first few weeks and things don’t seem so hard. A little extra veggies, yogurt instead of ice cream, shorter runs that get you moving, but don’t kick your ass.

“This is very doable, ” you say to yourself.

Oh, but wait,  let’s add a layer….I should say that training for a race in the summer is like dieting in the summer! Twice as hard. There is so much to run and so much to eat. Your only hope is doing a lot of both and pray it all evens out.

For dieting or running in the summer, here’s what you need:

A Plan

eugene_running_clubI love a good plan. People often say I’m organized. I had a boss in the Air Force who told me once, “Wow, you really know all about management by objective!” “Of course!” I told him, “My mother taught me how to make a great list.” There’s nothing prettier than a yellow legal pad with a long list of to-do items all neatly crossed out. When it comes to my running, however, I prefer to have someone else be the list-maker and the task-master. Enter awesome coach Cathie Twomey Bellamy of Eugene Running Club. She REALLY knows me. She knows I’m a busy momma, so she adds in the “crazy” factor, she knows if she gives me a range of 6-8 miles to run that it will be 8. She knows that if she gives me a hilly day, that it will be mountains. And, like a diet, she knows I sometimes cheat. Type A that I am, it’s usually more instead of less. But she knows that too, adds that in, subtracts two, divides by 7 and spits out the perfect plan for me week after week. Right now, she’s got me on some fun weekend runs gearing up for the Eugene Women’s Half that involve 1/2 marathon pace miles. Hard. These are hard, people. But very satisfying. Knowing I can run extended miles at my goal pace builds fitness, but also confidence. It’s true, to run faster you have to run faster. At least, that’s the plan!

Good Cheerleaders

Sarah & Jessicca post-race high!

People say that if you have a goal, you should find people around you that are supportive. Done! My RMR crew of friends are absolutely the best cheerleaders ever. We even wear skirts! (Running skirts, of course, but very cheerleader-ish). And there is no better feeling than having someone to pound out the miles with or offer high fives and sweaty hugs at the end of a race. They wait for you at the wee hours, making sure you show up, they don’t judge you when you fall off the horse. I love this photo of my friends Sarah and Jessicca after the Eugene Women’s Half in 2010. This says it all.


The Occasional Treat

mckenzie_tanyaI would not do well working in a cheese factory. Anyone who knows me knows I will do ANYTHING for good cheese. I used to reward myself with a hunk of stinky blue after any run over 10 miles. (Once I started running long distances, this little system quickly became a problem, so now I just treat myself once in a while.) Anyway, along with surrounding yourself with the things that will be conducive to helping you succeed, sometimes you just need a little treat. For me, that means, in the middle of training, I have to veer off course and plunge into a space or place that I really love. Yep, I’m training for a fast 1/2 marathon, but there’s no way I’m going to give up ice cream, uh, I mean trail running! Hitting the McKenzie River Trail with 4 of my favorite people, was like having a giant blob of stink cheese delivered to my door. Well, you know what I mean.


A Solid Goal

What’s in it for you? What’s the icing on the cake?  How will this work make you feel at the end? Setting goals can be a tough part of training. I recommend setting at least three time goals and 3 other goals. For example, I have a time that I would REALLY love to hit, I have a time that I will be happy with and I have a time that, well, might just have to do and I will try to be ok with it. Then, I have other goals like fueling well, having fun, being in the moment, grabbing all the goodies at the end, being there for friends, smiling for the camera as I cross the finish in hopes I don’t look like I’m dying.


Summer is going by too fast. We talk a lot about that here in Eugene because the winter is soooo long and we’ve learned to really appreciate the sunny, dry days. Setting yourself up with a goal in the summer is great and I’m so stoked that I picked the Eugene Women’s Half. 13.1 miles is such a perfect distance. You have to work and train for it, but you still have time to enjoy the other parts of summer; like trails, and friends and…. cheese!

How is your summer? How is training going?








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You don't really need matching shirts to run in the rain at 6:00am, but it helps.

Red and I don’t really need matching shirts to run in the rain at 6:00am, but it helps.

Or is it all you need is what you got? Either way. I got it!

Training for a half marathon or any race or even pulling yourself out of bed for a run comes from something deep inside of you. That’s what I love about running. “It gives you exactly what you put into it”, Red said to me yesterday. The best thing about it is that YOU get to take credit for it.  YOU got out of bed. YOU laced up. YOU put one foot in front of the other. YOU did it.


I would be lying if I said I didn’t work hard at having optimal conditions for training and running. (Well, as optimal as a full-time-working-mother-of-two-momma is gonna get) As you know, Red and I are training for the Eugene Women’s Half Marathon which is pretty darn optimal as far as races go. Hundreds of women runners, cool swag and goodies at the end. Uh, yeah, that’s part of the optimal plan for sure!

Here’s some other things you might need…

Who doesn't LOVE a beautiful place to run. I'm lucky to be in Eugene and enjoy Pre's trail.

A beautiful place to run! I’m lucky to be in Eugene and enjoy Pre’s trail.



Shoes! Uh, and some other stuff. Retain therapy goes along with the uplifting mental effects of running.


This is a little known fact about taking up running. You’re gonna need cheese. And lots of it. The good stuff.


And peanut butter, of course. This one is not a secret.


You also have to rest when your body says rest. Training is hard work. Resting is part of training. (And I’m not just saying that because I think this picture of a cat is hysterical)


You will also need the support of good friends. Like those who will sing operettas at the top of mountains you’ve just ran up.


And those who will take a picture of you taking a picture of them as you get ready for a race because we all know the real reason we run is for killer status updates on Facebook.


And, if  those friends aren’t enough, you might have to start your own running group full of friends who will lure you out of bed so you can pretend to surf in front of them at 6:00am. It was 6:00am. Who knows why I was doing that.


Ok, pause the silliness for a REAL training tip. You might need a good tennis ball to sit on when the speedwork gets the best of your bum. Ahhh, hurts so good.


Or, a nice col bag of frozen corn for your tootsies when you’re at work. (Yes, your boss will look at you strangely. Just go with it. You’re an athlete.)


Most of all, it’s great to have the support of people who love you.

I’m sure Red and I will be calling on all of these pieces of our training plan as we get closer to the Eugene Women’s Half. Like today might be peanut butter day! Tell us, what keeps you moving?

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Nicole Teter-Downin Talks with us Aug 9th & Sporthill Dress Giveaway!

2-Time Olympian, American indoor 800m champ, owner of EWH & super cool runner momma!

Let’s celebrate women’s running with our 2nd Thursday Post-Run Coffee & Chat. We have two special treats for you! Nicole Teter-Downin, owner of the Eugene Women’s Half Marathon, Olympian and 10-year record holder for the women’s indoor 800m, will be joining us for a runner-momma Q&A. Details!

Sarah & Jessicca post-race high!

Have you ever run a women’s race?

I’ve ran the Eugene Women’s Half Marathon a few years ago and it was my first all-women’s race. I run with women every week and I LOVE the energy, comfort and encouragement it brings me. Multiply this by a googleplex and you have the feeling of running in an all-women’s race. The folks at the Eugene Women’s Half have done a fantastic job of tapping into the power of women runners and the awesome vibe of track town. But don’t believe me, read it for yourself. Recently, we had the exciting opportunity to give away three entries to the race. For a chance to win, women wrote in to tell us why they love to or would love to run an all-women’s race. I started crying when I re-read them this morning to write this post (I’ve copied some of them below). From finding their inner athlete to letting their daughters know they can do ANYTHING… from tapping into the power of the female spirit to helping their bodies bounce back from childbirth, the reasons are many, beautiful and us!

Here’s some of the awesome reasons!

JH-Nothing more powerful than being a women. Throw all of us in a race together and the expereince is epic!

DL- Strong, powerful women running along side each other is exhilarating! No matter your speed or experience, your weight, your goals or the shape you’re in, you always feel supported with fun, fierce women beside you.

ES- I love setting a good example for my daughters and hope they will run it with me when they are old enough. (The mimosas are great too!)

JT- Being encouraged by strong, courageous, beautiful energy.

CS- I’m hoping that at least a few passer-bys will think it’s a regular race but the women are just beating everyone else. 🙂

EM- Would love to run this since we moved to Oregon in February! Trying to set the active example for my two daughters 🙂

JZB- Sensing a lot of beautiful “mommy energy” 🙂

SRL- The experience is completely different for a women’s race. You aren’t running for the race. The meaning of the race is different. You are running for health, empowerment, to be a positive influence for your children and friends. Every woman has her own reason for being there and the energy in amazing. I ran the inaugural race and was injured last year. I have volunteered each year and would love to run it this year! I love hearing my 3 year old daughter cheering for me out on the course and at the finish line!

GP- I can’t run it this year darn it! But last year’s experience was amazing. The vibe on the course was so uplifting. I saw compassion for fellow runners I’ve never seen in another race. It was also incredible to see husbands and kids lining the course with their signs and cheers of support for the runner mommas in their lives! Even if you don’t win the drawing….sign up to run! It’s so worth it! By far one of my favorite race experiences!

MW- I would love to win this race because it’s some “me” time! running is so good for the mind, body, and soul and EXPENSIVE!! haha..

KM- I want to run because when I run people ask me what I’m training for and I tell them LIFE. I’m going to run this race as one more step in this amazing journey.

MSS- I have always wanted to be an athlete!! Now that im divorced running is something just for me! Now I can truly say im a happy healthy athlete. My goal was to run a half marathon before I was 30 so I guess I will just have to wait a month! See you all there!

RC- I posted an ad on the fridge for this race after I had my baby 16 months ago. I didn’t run it then because I wasn’t in good enough shape. Now, our finances are tight, so its not likely I will be able to enter without this.  I’m a full time pre-nursing student with a 4.0 juggling mommyhood, breastfeeding, wifedom, and everything else. I’d love this entry because I’d love to prove to my son that mommy can do anything, and inspire my husband to get fit and healthy to.

LM- 18 months ago, I couldn’t run a mile. I decided to run 12 races in 2012 to motivate myself to improve and then maintain my fitness. I assumed that most races would be 5ks with maybe a 10k thrown in there toward the end of the year. So far, I’ve done 7 races including 3 10ks since Memorial Day. Would love to stretch myself even further by finishing a half this year. I love the idea of women’s races and have had my eye on this race for years but the fear of failure and $ have kept me from registering. Would LOVE to win an entry and make myself face my fear.

RY- Showing my daughter you can really do anything, even when it seems impossible! And for my own personal victory!

RD- I started running 3 years ago and have completed the Eugene’s womens half both years it was offered. As of weigh in today I’ve lost 67 from my heaviest and I’m down 20 pounds since running in last year’s race. I would to run the race again this year so see if my time has improved with my weight loss. Hopefully it will!

AL- I ran the inaugural race but i had just had a baby for last year’s. I desperately need motivation for training and getting back into shape post-baby; this would be perfect. I love the atmosphere a woman’s race has.

CW_ I am new to this area (Corvallis) and am amazed by the number of strong, vibrant and beautiful women here. Women have tremendous power when we stick together. I would love to be a part of such an amazing event and experience it with all these awesome women. Talk about an inspirational race!

KM- I have never been athletic. Ever. But weighing my heaviest after the birth of my son 18 months ago, I decided being fat and sluggish just wasn’t an option. So, I started running. Or, as I called it at first, ruking. A combo of run/walk/puke. After my first 5k, I was hooked. A few months ago I found myself training for my first ever half marathon. Each time I’d show up for a training run I’d just giggle to myself. Me? Training for a half? Wtf?! But train I did — with many supposed friends doubting my athleticism along the way — and successfully ran the Happy Girls Half! Proud doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt after. Overwhelmed at my amazing journey and accomplishment. And a surprising feeling — disappointment. Huh? Apparently, this new runner gal inside me is a tad competitive. I wished I’d run my race faster! I MUST do this again! The Eugene Womens half is the perfect opportunity to prove to myself (& all those that doubted me along the way) that I am indeed a runner. A REAL runner. And dare I say, an athlete?! It must be all that awesome girl power along the way 🙂

DC- Beautiful course and awesome company.

CK- Because I’ve run a marathon or half-marathon during both of my pregnancies thus far, and I’d love to run another with baby #3!

SK- Had my first born just 5 months ago, this race would be a great motivator for me to get back into running!!

TH- WOMEN, the most powerful being on the planet. Together on one day showing exactly what we are made of – determination, strength and zeal. Love to be a part of the sisterhood. WE ARE STRONG, do you really think a man could handle giving birth to a baby?

TB- The best part of a woman’s race? Being surrounded by inspiring woman who are doing inspiring things for themselves, nothing more powerful and moving than that!

SH- A year and a half ago I’d never run a whole mile. This year I did the Hippie Chick 1/4 marathon and absolutely LOVED the all-women’s race atmosphere. It is so empowering to be among women (especially the woman who was nursing as she walked to the start line!). I’m from Eugene and would love to get to make the hometown connection in an all women’s race. I especially love the idea of running through parts of the town where I used to define myself as the nerd, not the athlete. It would be such a crowning moment of the new me.

MS- It is so empowering and amazing to run with all women, I want my daughter to grow up knowing the sky is the limit and together we can accomplish ANYTHING!

LF- Laura Faiszt I love, love, love this run. The last time I ran it was right after I had gall bladder surgery so I had to walk most of it. I would love to do this again while I am healthy. I love the energy at all women’s races and this is one of my favorites!

Are these awesome or what? We’d love your feedback on women’s racing – why do you do it or want to? Oh, and don’t forget about our event with Nicole Teter-Downin and Sporthill Dress Giveaway!

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My bib is pink. That's girlie, right?

I Run Like a Girl

I’m thinking it’s never too late to get girlier. That’s a word, right? I’m not one for product home-parties, long appointments at the spa or fancy drinks with umbrellas. I was never a ‘pink’ wearer (except for that stint in 5th grade when I was sporting tight pink Dittos pants with the upside-down U over the butt), but  since bringing home my daughter who is ever-so-fashionable at age 4, I’m trying. She’s very inspiring with her coordinating polka-dot skorts and tops, pink leggings and, of course, the ever-present faux-feather pink boa. Thanks to her my closet now sports a couple pink tops and a pink skirt.  So, when I heard about the inaugural Eugene Women’s Half  Marathon and all the chat about the girlie goodies at the finish, I was non-plussed. But then I got to thinking about those treats…

The Trujillo brothers serving up some King Estate flavored mimosas. I finally got to tell them how much I love watching them run in perfect unison in my neighborhood.

1. I love me a good mimosa. Sure, at my last race they handed me a 22 oz. locally brewed IPA and that’s my fave, but mimosas are sorta like screwdrivers, right? I like those.

2. Massages are a must, really, in the life of a distance runner. While I still don’t get one as often as I’d like, they have become a medical need more than a luxury.

3. Chocolate is good. Very good. No argument there.

4. Running with a couple thousand women has a sweet vibe. Actually, a very powerful vibe!

5. The event was run by the same race directors who put on the Eugene Marathon, so of course it was going to be fun.

My mind opened and so did my wallet and a registered. So glad I did! The preview run downtown a month prior was a hoot. I saw so many friends who I run with often and not often enough. It helped me get my training in the right gear, enough for a PR on the 13.1 mile course.

I Run Like a Mother

Havin' a Shea Day! Run Like a Mother author Sarah and I sporting our runner momma tees

The real fun started the night before the race with a reading by Sarah Bowen Shea, co-author of the momma-must-read book, Run Like a Mother. Sarah graciously invited me to share her table with her while she chatted with racers at the packet pick-up and sold and signed books and tees. I have to admit I was nervous to be in the presence of a fast runner, amazing sports and fitness writer and well, let’s just say it, a famous runner momma! No need to be nervous. She was warm and hilarious and we had lots in common, not the least of which was how quickly we pit-out in the sun. To get the full scoop on our matching sweaty armpits and other pre-race shenanigans, check out the Eugene Women’s Half  video made by Julie of Chubby Mommy Running Club. Oh, and did I mention she read my favorite chapter on mental toughness? Nothing girly about that! Sarah introduced me to the idea of leaving nothing on the course; give the race everything you have. It changed my running and pushed me through my fear.

I Run to the Bathroom

It's true what they say. You can make friends with people (like Pam & Gwen) waiting in a porta-potty line before the race.

Race day! It was exciting, nerve-wracking (mostly cuz I figured I’d be stuck in a mile-long porta-potty line when the gun went off) and fun. Found some of my “people” Deb and Lisa and hovered between the 2:10 and 2:00 hour pacer balloons, wondering, as I always do at the beginning of the race, why they play the national anthem. Being born in our neighboring country to the north, Deb hummed a few bars of Oh Canada.  When the gun went off, my nerves gelled into excitement and I immediately knew I had to get in front of the 2:00 hour pacer balloon quickly.

And It’s All Good Until it’s Not

With the 2-hour gal behind me, I felt determined. In the spirit of not leaving anything on the road, I grabbed an 8:50 pace and tried to stay there. It was hard. At mile 11 it was really hard and then something terrible happened. A gal about 15 yards ahead of me fell and hit her head on the pavement. She was cut up in a few places and bleeding, most noticeably from her head. I walked with her for a few minutes, gave her the rest of my water from my Amphipod and asked her questions about what day it was and did she know her name. I was so worried that she would take another fall when she decided to start running again, that I tried not to let her out of my sight. She was a quick one though and cruised up and on around the corner. Stopping that far into a race is hard. Your momentum is gone, your focus interrupted. It was all I could do to kick-start myself into a ‘push’ for the final stretch. My last mile was an 8:16, my mantra being “pick up your feet”.

And It’s Not Over Till the Fake Lady Sings

Not sure which is more strange: the bra on the outside or the dyed mustache

I never found the amazing woman who got up and ran through the blood and sweat, but I did find some other amazing things at the finish including the dress-wearing Nebi, as he introduced himself. (Later I learned Sarah Shea told him during the supposed-to-be-all-women-race that he’d go faster if he shaved! Being a writer, I guess you can think of great lines like that in the moment you need them.) I met some new folks I hope to run with at our Run Momma Run group and definitely enjoyed me some mimosas, chocolate, Luna bars, strawberry lemonade vodka (hmmm, that’s two drinks before noon) and some great post-race hugs from my sometimes girlie runner momma friends. See photos below!

Heather of http://www.michiganrunnergirl.com came out to run. So fun to meet her!

Are they gorgeous or what? Lara, Amanda & Julie post stellar finish

Love this shot! Sarah & Jessicca (her 1st half!)

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Super Moms Sara, Jessicca and Heather

  • Perfect temp of 62 degrees, cool breeze
  • Empty (runnable) streets of downtown Eugene
  • Chatty group of running women
  • Lots of friends and people I’ve been wanting to run with
  • Super friendly directors
  • Big o’ batch of mimosas waiting for us at the finish

Now that’s the way to start a morning!  The Eugene Women’s Half Preview Run was super fun for all the reasons above…and more. I’m not sure what I’m addicted to; the running itself or the energy of getting out there with a group of dedicated running women (oh, and that one guy I saw). It’s a club, a gang, and a secret society all rolled into one. I was never in a club, a gang or a secret anything (well, except when I was in the Air Force and we can’t talk about that or, you know, the whole I’d have to kill you thing.) Anyway, I love that ‘group’ feeling. That energy that starts you off and keeps you going to the finish. I love it that we’re all a mess at the end – crazy hair, red-salty-faced and stinky. I love it that we all push ourselves and push each other to get better, dammit.

I especially love talking to runner mommas. We do the quick check-in about how many kids we have and their ages.  Moms with the youngest kids get a reverent head-nod and an”oooh, wow”. We know how much tougher it is for them to get out the door to run it out. Met one with a 3 and 18 month old today. You’re the winner of the day, Andrea!

The Eugene Women's Half Race Directors (and little Charlie)

I was aiming for a slowish run  as I had already done a 6 mile tempo on Thursday. But how can you not speed up with so much  estrogen in the air? Ended up doing just over my 1/2 marathon pace goal. Sweet! It wasn’t timed and there were no awards, just fun.

Race day looks like it’s going to be a great course with a mix of downtown Eugene and  river path, starting and finishing at the 5th Street Public Market. Nicole Teter and Andy Downin, the race directors, must be doing a great job getting the news out for the September 5th race cuz it’s 70% full. (Max is 2,500 runners). Hey, there is still time to register, so why not? We’ll teach you the secret society handshake.

Oh, and the mimosas? Taaaasty!

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