So much to see and do and eat in the Land of Trees & Track – also known as Eugene, Oregon – there’s never enough time to squeeze it all in! In fact, there was so much to do that I accomplished a total of two hours of work. Bummer. Now I’m behind and only have time for the highlights from this trip, which was AWESOME! (Even the editor in me agrees that all caps are needed for this one.) My Oregon crush definitely got a little fiercer during this trip.
1. Lots and lots of trees. They make the whole state feel like a fairytale. Maybe I’m just tree-deprived from living near a big city for the past eight years. Maybe it’s all the extra oxygen going to my brain. Or maybe I’ve seen too many Twilight films. Unfortunately, I’m still very allergic to the pollen-laden green giants. Even with my daily Zyrtech, I was wheezing and coughing up a storm. Sad face.
2. VooDoo Doughnuts. These confections are the best on the planet. I don’t even like doughnuts, but I’m like Homer Simpson when I’m at VooDoo! If I lived in Oregon, I’d either weight five more pounds, or I’d be running a few extra miles each week to account for the glorious deliciousness that is the Memphis Mafia fritter. So addicted.
3. Neon orange shoes. They called my name from the back of the Nike store. I’m not a shoe girl … unless we’re talking Nike Pegasus. They cost more than my wedding shoes, but I couldn’t resist. I needed new running shoes anyway!
4. A PR in the half marathon. Yeah, I didn’t see this one coming at all! Given the previously mentioned allergies, doughnuts, and the fact that I was still getting over the three-hour time difference, I was not expecting amazing things from this race. Sometimes it’s awesome to be wrong. The Eugene race is not only on a beautiful course; the people – racers, volunteers, and spectators alike – are ridiculously friendly. Nice people make for a nice race.
5. A new running friend. Speaking of nice people. There was a girl running next to me at the beginning of the race, and I thought, “She’s going at a good pace. I’m going to try to hang with her.” Eventually, we said hello, and she apologized for “run stalking” me. This was actually funny because I was run stalking her, too. (I just didn’t have a fun name for it!) We both turned in PRs on Sunday in part because of the 10 or so miles we ran together. Double bonus! Thanks again for letting me fly with ya, Jocelyn!
See you next year, Oregon!