#HugeEug 2013: WWPDD, Bruce Miles, and Dream Sequence Legged Eagles

Thanks for all the twitter/facebook/text/carrier pigeon love (jk on the carrier pigeon) on the interwebz yesterday. I was overwhelmed with excitement and, most likely, the most self-absorbed person at the Picky Bars Ninkasi party. I am sorry I told everyone about my “life unicorn” and how I’m “riding the 4th year med student high” right now. I owe whoever listened to my endorphin babbling a drink. Or five.

Anyways, the big BQ finally happened, after two and half years of trying for it. Over those two and half years, I’ve gone from terrified to believing to crushed to drinking the marathon haterade and swearing them off to finally, like a moth to a flame, back to the marathon, my goal, and, somehow, getting pretty lucky and having my little dream come true.

Yesterday, the stars aligned and I got lucky: 3:34:07, 53 seconds under the Boston qualifying time. And, here’s how it went down.

PART ONE: WHAT WOULD PHIL DUNPHY DO?

Walking to the start, Jocelyn and I starting talking about Modern Family and, of course, Phil Dunphy. Has anyone seen the episode where Luke takes up magic then wants to quit, but Phil tells him, “I’m not letting you give up on your talent, Luke!”? Well, that became the theme of my marathon, at least the first part.

Thanks, Phil, for the first 10 miles.

Thanks, Phil, for the first 10 miles.

What would Phil Dunphy say when running a marathon?

“This is my moment!”

“Ahh, what a beautiful day!”

“I’m not letting you give up on your talent!”

So, if you were in my head from the start to about mile 10, it was me and my buddy Phil “taking in the moment” and “not giving up on your talent!”

It occurred to me that I really have no talent for running, BUT the little quote was working for me so I went with it.

The first few miles were faster than I planned on starting but I felt great and like I was in a good rhythm. And, what would Phil Dunphy say to me? “This is your moment! Don’t let a Garmin telling you you’re a few seconds per mile ahead of the planned pace ruin your moment! I’m not letting you give up on your talent!”

Yes, again, no talent, but it worked.

It was also from around mile 3-16 I was around this guy who told EVERY volunteer, cheerleader, or policeman we passed, “THANKS FOR BEING YOU!” very loudly. After about the 10th time, it got a little irritating. Ok, very irritating. Phil Dunphy probably would’ve made friends with this dude. I was not making friends with this dude.

PART TWO: BRUCE MILES

Brothstein miles. Bruce miles. RC/RCH miles. Whatever you want to call them, this was where the marathon was actually won for me. (Not actually won, obviously).

Around mile 10, I was starting to get a little “hmm, been running a while here and still have a ways to go here….Phil isn’t all that entertaining anymore…”

And, low and behold, the RC swooped in to save the day.

For those not acquainted with the RC, Steph [Rothstein-Bruce] just finished 15th in the Boston marathon, was 3rd American, and has a 2:29:35 PR in the marathon. Moreover, the tiny (literally) marathon stud has been coaching me for the past 2.5 years (Lord, help her). So, to have her running with me was really special to me.

I'm sure we looked very similar to this.

I’m sure we looked very similar to this.

We talked a bit, I handed her my watch so I wouldn’t look at it, and all that “omg, I’ve already gone so far” self talk went away and changed to “omg, you have a professional marathon running with you, this is awesome, I am basically going to have to retire from the marathon after this because it’s not going to get any cooler than this.”

Around mile 11, Ben, Steph’s husband, jumped in, too. So, I had my own little husband-wife professional running duo running with me. NBD. Just like every other marathon I’ve run, right? To say I was thrilled was an understatement. It was a major instagram moment that sadly I was not able to capture.

Steph jumped out around 14 so it was just me, Ben, and Ben’s stories. Dari mart commericals. Odd habits of Eugenians. Ben’s track workouts. How we could drive 15 hours down the interstate we were passing and be in San Diego. I was very mentally occupied until Ben left at 19 (which, by the way at 17 miles, I told Ben, “I will PAY you to stay with me til 19!”).

Ben and I around mile 16. Thanks, Emily for the photo!

Ben and I around mile 16. Thanks, Emily for the photo!

I am fairly certain I slowed down during this time, but I wasn’t paying too much attention to the watch. Also, thanks Ben for getting me water. Real white glove service running buddy duties right there.

PART THREE: DREAM SEQUENCE LEGGED EAGLE MILES

After mile 19, things started to get a bit fuzzy. Like my vision had been changed to an instagram filter and I was running through a dream sequence like they have on sitcoms.

To be honest, I didn’t think I had a BQ in me at this point. Mental math isn’t my strong suit, but I thought I was running too slowly for it to happen. But, I sort of didn’t care. I went for it. I didn’t hold back. I was doing the best I could do. I was still running. If it was a 3:38 or 3:41 or 3:34 marathon, I was pretty resigned to the fact that I was doing the best, effort wise, that I had.

Before Ben left, I asked him “when is it ok to go and it really hurts but its ok?” His reply was that around 21 I should try to squeeze down but not so much that I think I’m going to get in trouble a mile later. So, that was what I was thinking of – squeezing out a tube of toothpaste (huh? I don’t know either), but not feeling like I was going to be in trouble in 10 minutes.

Mile 21 is also where you come down a little bridge and my legs felt surprisingly ok. In fact, really good (but, of course, it was a downhill) and at which point I told myself, “You have the legs of an eagle.”

And, then a quarter mile later I realized eagles don’t have great legs. In fact, they’re more like twigs for legs.

But, the eagle with legs was really working for me so I just went with it and realized that this was probably the mile 2x endorphins talking.

PART FOUR: THE OISELLES AND THE FINISH

To say I felt in great company on the course was an understatement. There were about 22 Oiselle team members running as well as a handful of other internet running friends. I used Corey and Holly as my visual for a good while, saw Sarah Chan running in the Oiselle running dress, and saw Monica somewhere around 21-22. Mason from nuun was out on the course giving advice, support, pacing duties, and, of course, nuun.

Best of all, the Oiselle (Kmet, JJ, Lauren, Emily, Abby, Meghan, and everyone else) cheer squad positioned themselves at the start, mile 9, mile 16, and the finish. Talk about support. I felt so loved every time I passed them and it kept my spirits up, for sure. Thanks for the high fives, the chicken hat, the cowbell, and the spirit fingers/jazz hands.

Around mile 25, my watch read 3:23:xx and by some really tough mental math (not) I realized that I actually really might make it under 3:35. I didn’t get too excited though, but tried to just maintain and not fall apart.

It wasn’t too hard to do as coming up Agate to Hayward the Oiselles were out in full force and I might have teared up when passing them. Mason was near the gate at Hayward and him yelling “Go, run, now!” or something like that made me nervous that he knew something I didn’t know (like I was just going to miss a BQ) so I rounded the corner “kicking it in” although, in reality, I was probably not moving very fast.

Heyo, mile 26! Thanks, Steph, for the photo!

Heyo, mile 26! Thanks, Steph, for the photo!

Anyways, I crossed in 3:34:07, hands over hearts for Boston, and then I teared up because I really couldn’t believe I had actually done it.

I then spent the next 10 minutes hobbling and moaning with Laura (who also PR’ed! BQ’ed! And actually PR’ed in the 10k, half, and marathon all in one race!) as I think we both felt a little bit like death. Worth it, but a bit like death.

As this post is getting far too long, I’ll save you the rest.

I’m not sure if it was the crazy nail colors, the 10 temporary tattoos (including 2 unicorns), the forest fairies, the Brothstein miles, the tube of nuun I drank the day before, the Smooth Caff Picky bar, or just a little bit of luck, but I couldn’t be happier. It was a nice high note to finish medical school running on and I got that “graduation gift” (a BQ) I’ve been telling myself that I would get this spring.

Congrats to all the other finishers, PR-ers (JOCELYN! SARAH OUAL! KRISTINA with no blog! LORA) BQ’ers, first-time marathoners or half-marathoners, and so on and so forth.

Thanks for all the love. Thanks to all who have helped me over the past two and a half years. Thanks to Oiselle. Thanks to my running buddies, especially Gia and Jocelyn. Thanks to my coach, Steph. And, THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU!

TELL ME: YOUR FAVORITE MARATHON YOU’VE RUN.

Until next time.

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66 thoughts on “#HugeEug 2013: WWPDD, Bruce Miles, and Dream Sequence Legged Eagles

  1. Congrats on your BQ!! I love how you remember all that you were thinking during the race!! My favorite marathon is a toss-up between Reykjavik, San Francisco, and Boston. Boston obviously for the race itself not my race or what happened after the race…

  2. Seriously thrilled for you! Great recap. Phil Dunphy is my favorite character from that show, and Modern Family is the best show! Funny how you related the marathon to him. I will definitely be thinking of him next race I do!

  3. I am SOOO excited about your BQ!!! I wanted nothing more than to go with you when you came up at mi 21-22 but I had nothing. I totally wound up near the “Thanks for being YOU” guy. Had I any extra energy, I would have tripped him. JK. Kinda. It did drive me nuts. But then again I was the girl saying ow ow ow ow” and not realizing it was out loud. And trying to discretely throw up my gel. (Can I get a hot mess award here?!) Anyway, you did AMAZING out there, and I hope I can get my BQ in here soonish… (don’t ask, I might be plotting something arguably stupid). SOOO great to meet you this weekend! 🙂

  4. CONGRATS MEGGIE!!! You’ve worked so hard for this and really, truly deserve it! Now celebrate for now until forever!!!! I am so, so happy for you!!!

    (Also, this was my favorite line from this post “Like my vision had been changed to an instagram filter…”)

    • Thanks for the love!!! I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for almost two yrs about trying to get a BQ (among other things). Crazy. And I’ll try to celebrate until FOREVER! I like the way you think.

  5. Meggie! I’m so happy for you and your BQ! Sounds like a dream race (what race that finishes at Hayward isn’t?)! I’m inspired to run Chicago in October after reading this post and hopefully grab a BQ of my own. I ran the Eugene 1/2 in 2011 and loved it so much. I can only imagine that with the ladies of Oiselle on the sidelines that it would be a million times more fun. Congrats again, lady!

    • Like literally the whole thing was a dream race. Looking back, I can’t believe how much fun I had and still had the race of my dreams. Eugene is magical! You’re gonna be the hottest momma in Chicago. Can’t wait to follow along!

  6. This is a perfect recap! Fun to read, and I’m so happy for you! Huge, giant congrats. You worked hard 🙂 I’d love to run this race someday – it just sounds magical. Hope you’re feeling great still!

  7. Congratulations, Meggie! What a beautiful post this is, I’ve been tearing up and laughing at the same time. And the fact that you are celebrating two amazing finishes, the marathon and med school, just makes it that much more special. I’ve very happy for you and proud of you too! Enjoy every moment – you deserve it!

  8. CONGRATULATIONS!!! You worked so hard for this one and I’m really proud of you. I knew you had a BQ in you all the time. YOU just had to believe it – luckily some wonderful “unicorns” have come into your life. Unicorns being the metaphor for racing CONFIDENCE. (Psych 101. NBD)

    So glad I was able to be there for this weekend!!

  9. Big, huge (super HUGE) CONGRATULATIONS Meggie!!!!!! I am so proud of you! Eugene is a magical town for you. Remember that awesome 5K you ran last year?! I knew that you could BQ so I am so happy to see that you nailed it yesterday. GREAT JOB!!!!!!

  10. Just stumbled across your blog and was so excited to see your Eugene post! First of all huge congrats on your BQ! What an accomplishment! I ran Eugene, too. I had been training for a BQ but got injured, so I was happy with my first sub-4 finish 🙂 Such a great race and perfect weather. You’re going to Boston! So exciting!

  11. Many congratulations, sounds like a great race for you and hopefully it helps reinforce your belief in yourself – you ARE a runner!!! I hope to join you in Boston next year, I’m running my first full marathon on Sunday in NJ and need to get under 4:00 to qualify. Feeling confident (just ran a 1:48 half a couple weeks ago) but I know anything can happen…

  12. CONGRATS! But I knew you had it. Your training has been so spot-on.

    And I love: “And, then a quarter mile later I realized eagles don’t have great legs. In fact, they’re more like twigs for legs.”

  13. SOOOOO many congratulations!!!! What an amazing race experience and what a fabulous time to BQ!! I can’t imagine how you balanced fourth year of med school with training. You should be incredibly proud of yourself!!!

  14. Hi! Came upon your blog via a hometown friend Ali (on the run) after I posted a photo a friend took of me running around mile 16 of Eugene on facebook and you were in the background! Small world! Just wanted to say CONGRATS on a great race and BQ. I remember seeing you around miles 15/16 and you looked super strong! There was definitely some magic on the course that day .. I ended up PRing by 20 minutes, BQing (finished in 3:29:39 .. my first time trying for it too!) and having the most fun at a race ever. Congrats again, and see you in Boston next year! 🙂

  15. Hi Meggie! Congrats on such a great race! Hopefully this isn’t too creepy, but I’m pretty sure I was right behind you for the better part of this race (the Oiselle jersey and now Bruce’s blue top are reminding me). Anyway, I remember thinking for a while that your pace was excellent and I should just keep in stride behind you, so thanks 🙂 Also, I loved your socks and kept telling myself during the race to buy some afterward. Congrats again!

  16. One of the absolute best race recaps EVER! Can’t go wrong with Phil Dunphey, Brothstein + Oiselle. GREAT JOB!! Congratulations!

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