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Epic Comeback Marathon(s)

The worst thing about breaking my foot has not been the weeks on crutches, or how well a boot pairs with my wardrobe of short skirts and dresses, or my decreased bagel consumption to compensate for the lack of exercise…no, by far, the most devastating part of this injury was losing the chance to try and run a 3:19 marathon this Fall. When I snapped the bone 5 weeks before I was supposed to toe the line in Philly, my world felt like it had ended. Not my running world, my world world.

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Luckily, I managed to dig myself out from some pretty nasty depression and realize that the world had not actually ended, and I would have another chance to dominate that 3:20 mark in a 26.2 mile race. I immediately started researching comeback marathon options pretty much the day after I sustained the injury. And had I not broken it within minutes of that fateful Saturday’s end, I probably would have whipped out marathonguide.com on my smart phone as I limped around that very night.

While I was originally in a little bit of denial about when I could safely return to the marathon distance, I consulted my doctor and realized that as much as I thought December was totally doable for marathoning (kidding…kind of) it was actually just a fewwww weeks too soon. After doing his regularly scheduled talking me off a ledge during my appointment, he gave me the green light to plan on tackling a marathon at the end of April/beginning of May.

At the time, this seemed SO far away. But then I realized, I kind of adore marathon training and I was already a little upset that my training cycle for Philly had been cut down to 11 weeks due to my desire to spend a full month after my Ironman letting my ass bond with horizontal surfaces. I started to revel in the idea of devoting a full 16 weeks to getting my marathon training on, waking up every weekend for a long run, actually hitting all of my training workouts and speed sessions that I’ll need to achieve my goal, and spending four straight months living, eating and breathing marathon training. Suddenly, April/May did not seem so far away, it seemed perfect.

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It doesn’t hurt that some of my favorite and most desired races happen to take place in the late Spring. So I did some research, consulted some good friends, and found myself registered for my official Comeback Marathon(s ). Yeah…that’s right, marathons. Since I haven’t actually started running yet, I don’t want to set myself up for total failure if I’m not ready in time for one marathon. So I registered for two, both of which are my Comeback Marathon in my mind, and if I have to drop down to the half, or listen to my body and take it easy…or whatever, I am prepared to do it. (But if all goes according to plan, there will be no half-ing or going easy-ing, it will be all epic comeback all the time.)

While I may have given the impression that I spent hours toiling over which marathon to register for, the decision was actually extremely easy.

As someone OBSESSED with Prefontaine, I’ve been eyeing the Eugene Marathon since I started racing. The fact that I repeat Pre’s mantras to myself before, during and after every race, made it an obvious setting for my Comeback Marathon of 2012.

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Beyond being the turf of my beloved running idol, the race is rumored to be fast, full of awesomeness and it finishes at Hayward Field, the home of Pre’s legendary domination. I’ve already decorated my bedroom AND office with Prefontaine posters, watched Without Limits countless times, and memorized every Pre quote I can to prepare myself to tackle Eugene on April 29th. I’ve also received verbal commitments (or convinced  myself of verbal commitments) from some of my very favorite running friends to join me for their own epic races (or recovery runs from Boston…forget Boston 2 Big Sur, Boston 2 Eugene is where it’s at).

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Second, because ILOVERMONT and I(especially)LOVERMONT’SMARATHON, I am registered for the Vermont City Marathon, hands down my favorite race of all time.

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This race has provided me with more epic running memories than I can recount in one blog post. I watched my mom overcome obesity to finish her first marathon at age 50 and inspire me to run my own, I broke 4 hours for the first time and started dreaming about doing an Ironman, I took 9 minutes off my half PR and then cheered my brother to his first 26.2 finish and I secretly ran the marathon during Ironman training (sorry, coach). VCM is not only beautiful, fast, full of the best spectators in marathoning and organized by champs, it holds a very special place in my heart and I’m thrilled I’ll be returning to the streets of Burlington for my Epic Comeback.

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VCM is pretty much singlehandedly responsible for delaying my 50 state goal. Why race in North Dakota when I can run the best marathon ever in Vermont every single year? I mean, no offense to the Northernmost Dakota, but I’m pretty sure its marathon, scenery, cheese and local craft brews are no match for my beloved Green Mountain State and the marathon run through its biggest city.

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The presence of my big little brother, the rest of my family and my favorite gays, former running partners and bffs will be a very nice added bonus.

So Eugene, Vermont, brace yourselves, you’re about to get all kinds of sweaty for 3 hours and 19 minutes in 2012.

62 Responses to Epic Comeback Marathon(s)

  1. This is alllll too exciting!!! Eugene is on my list of must-race marathons, but it’s not in the cards for 2012. Can’t wait to read your recap and potentially hit the course in 2013! You are going to come back stronger and faster than ever and are going to kick the shit out of your PR. I know it!

  2. LOVE IT. Looks like you have a couple of great choices here and I can’t wait to watch this epic comeback unfold!

  3. I am pretty sure I might do Eugene this spring, pending IT band/hamstring improvement and pending I babysit enough to pay to go out there!

    I’ve heard Eugene is flat —> sub 3:20 for you definitely in the cards.

  4. Eugene marathon sounds EPIC.

  5. Yes Yes YES! So excited for you! When do you get to kick that boot to the curb? And should I do the Eugene Marathon too?? I’m already signed up for the Portland RnR Half in May and the Seattle RnR Full in June but do I need an April race as well? :-)

  6. I’m glad you have goal races in the spring! Nothing like training for a race.

  7. OH MY GOSH!!! I’ve been planning on racing Eugene since about 2 days after my last marathon! So, now I’m breaking the silence of stalking your blog to comment and say YAY!!!!! Is it creepy that I’m TOTALLY EXCITED about the possibility of maybe meeting you since reading your blog has completely inspired me in my running and helped me push myself through my plateau (rut?) I just got even MORE excited about training for this. If that was possible because I’m totally psyched for it already!

  8. Wahoo! Eugene is going to be a fast one for you! We need to do dinner/drinks when you come.

  9. Eugene sounds like a great run!…I am sure it is on the epic list of places to run for every runner….good luck!

  10. You are a true athlete in that you take your injury seriously and treat your recovery like a training plan. It’s actually inspiring to hear you not try and run like an ultramarathon in February or something.You get mad *respect* (said in Ali G voice) for that.
    And I have no doubt you will crush that comeback marathon!

  11. My dad is also obsessed with Pre. I think that’s reasonable.

  12. Glad to see that you have it all planned out. Between your first and second comeback marathon, I will be running my first marathon EVER! Can’t wait to read about all of your training!

  13. This post reeks of peer pressure.

    Also, I was thinking, perhaps we should coordinate our 2012 race schedules with any tour Celine might be doing…

  14. Exciting! I can’t wait for your comeback!

    I’ve heard good things about the Vermont City Marathon, hopefully one day I will be able to run it.

  15. YES! EUGENE FTW! I’ll be doing the half there, and cheering my bestie on to her first marathon finish! Bloggy party in Eugene!

  16. Awesome choice to do Burlington! This will be my first marathon and I couldn’t have picked a better race than the VCM to be my first full and you couldn’t have picked a better race to get your sub 3:20! You are so going to nail it!!!!

  17. I’M RACING EUGENE TOO!!!! WOOP!!! Oh, I’m SO EXCITED!

  18. Yay!!! Eugene is an AWESOME race (and an awesome town) I ran it in 2008. And although I had an epic failure at that race (it was my own damn fault), it’s a good course to RACE. Perfect for a comeback!

    Also… Big Sur is KINDA absolutely amazing…. but, it’s always gonna be there.

    Good luck! Vermont sounds like fun… never been on my radar, but maybe it will be now!

  19. Eugene is an awesome course and definitely PR worthy- I blew up there this year, but it wasn’t the course or weather’s fault. I don’t remember bagels at the end, but there were PANCAKES!! :)

    Cheers to your comeback(s)!

  20. Sweet choice, I’m already signed up for the Eugene Half-Marathon, hopefully see you out there.

  21. Yay! What an uplifting, inspiring post. I can’t wait to see it all unfold!

  22. Looking forward to following your training and come back baby!

  23. North Dakota isn’t thaaaat bad! You should look into the Fargo Marathon in May! You’re going to have to run in the midwest sometime! Or Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, MN in June is a fun one too!

  24. “not my running world, my world world”.

    LOVE IT.

    I’m sorta tempted to do Eugene too. And uhhh yeah…I chant Pre quotes to myself in races too. It’s like we’re (leg 5) twins!

  25. Yay for come back races, looking forward to comeback races has gotten me through a few injuries too. I am considering racing Eugene too, LOVE Oregon, no place better.

  26. YES, YES, YES!!! I LOVE that you will be running Eugene. If I’m not racing I will be spectating and it is the best to see famous bloggers on the course =)

  27. Eugene is a good choice! I haven’t run it, but spectated a few times. I might run the half this year.
    Since you are all about Pre, and you are going to run in Eugene next year, I thought I would recommend a book – Running After Prefontaine. I’m reading it right now and it’s really good. I might be kind of biased because my friend wrote it, but I’m really enjoying it!
    Good luck with the rest of your recovery!

  28. Good luck with your comeback marathons! In my “someday” world, the Eugene Marathon is on my list, will be interested to know what you think of it. This post helped inspire me to take the plunge and sign up for a spring half marathon today (KY Derby Festival miniMarathon)!

  29. Vermont is one of my most favorite marathons – and I’ve heard Eugene is fantastic. Sounds like you have a great lineup for spring 2012!

  30. VCM = best marathon ever – it was #3 and #4 for me. However, running down North Ave during #4 damn near killed me (i ran right by my nana’s!) and mentally thats when i gave up marathon-ing. At least for now :) Can’t wait to read about your epic marathon comeback (PS where in VT are you from?? I grew up in Bennington/Colchester :) )

  31. Yeah Eugene! I’m doing the half. If you need tips for good bagel places in Portland, this Jew knows where they’re at.

  32. i dont even know where vermont is and now i REALLY want to run it.
    eugene is fun and it is a nice, flat course. you’ll kill there.

  33. i have a friend who’s running the Vermont Marathon – it’s supposed to be a good one! and afterward you can get flatbread pizza, ben & jerry’s ice cream, and magic hat beer. that’s reason enough to sign up :)

  34. So excited to hear about your comeback. You have totally convinced me to put Vermont City on my calendar for 2013. I live in New England so its kinda a no brainer, but now with your high praises its a must do for me.

  35. Good luck in Eugene! As a tried and true Duck myself – I have to say there is something magical about the UO campus, we certainly still pay homage to Pre – you’ll love it!

  36. WAHOOO. Congrats on being crutchless & picking your comeback races!

    My sis and I will both be running the VT City Marathon this sring – my first marathon and her 5th (3rd VT City Marathon). Burlington is the BEST town to run a marathon in& VT is my happy place, so I”m looking forward to it! Fingers crossed it won’t be as hot, muggy, and nasty as it was last year :)

  37. Another blog stalker here. I’m an old (33) mother, so I enjoy reading about the young whippersnappers.

    I’ll be at VCM doing the thing where I stare at you until you look at me and then I look away. It’ll be all kinds of awkward. It’ll be my first marathon, so I’ll also be recognizable by the panic attack I’ll be having on the start line.

  38. HOORAY for Vermont! This year, let’s make plans to meet up way in advance so I don’t miss you again…. though I don’t plan to pass out this year.

  39. never cease to amaze and inspire me. here i am worried about houston and you’ve already picked out two more fulls before even healing!

  40. Hi, my name is Alexandra, I follow your blog through my frind Amanda (runningonwaffles). I noticed your from VT, I am as well but I’m currently livivng in Boston. I’m also running the VermontCity full!! Its my first marathon! How is it? From your post it seemed pretty great! !

  41. The Eugene marathon looks awesome! I really want to do that one!!! I graduate this year at that time, so I can’t make the trip, but I can’t wait to read your sub 320 epic race report for all the awesome details :)

  42. Hi Emily (I’m also Emily!) and I just started reading your blog!!! I have my eye on Eugene, perhaps, if i’m still living in Seattle I might just do it!!! I love that you started looking into marathon comeback plans the second you were injured. I think that is important when your injured… to look ahead a realize injuries are probably very temporary!!!

    • Welcome, Emily! The PNW has SO many awesome races I am dying to run, but I feel like Eugene is going to be the top of the top!

  43. You will LOVE the Eugene Marathon. I was lucky enough to live there last year during the marathon (couldn’t run it due to R 3rd and 4th metatarsal stress fractures), but the atmosphere is FANTASTIC! Good luck training healing (and training) for it!

  44. Well it sounds like you have the right attitude about it. This is just another chapter in your running journey, enjoy the horizontal time while you can. :) Jess

  45. [...] been signed up for two full marathons (Vermont and Eugene) since I was still on crutches last Fall. At the time, I believed I would be [...]

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