May 1, 2013

Eugene Marathon

This past weekend we (my mom, dad, Edu, Santi and I) drove 5+ hours down to Eugene, Oregon for my hubs to participate in the Eugene Marathon. He has been training 15 weeks or so using this book, running 6 days a week in the morning time before work - on not-amazing sleep since we have a baby and on an almost 100% plant based diet (he stopped eating yogurt which used to be a staple and ate salmon once every 1-2 weeks). We have to first and foremost give God all of the glory and praise for this experience. He blessed us in every way possible, answered our prayers for safe travels down and an awesome race, as well as brought us home safely. To HIM be the thanks, for it is by HIS doing that we were able to enjoy these days together, thank You, Father God!

I brought as much fruit as possible to fuel us on the drive down, during our stay, and for the drive back. I was planning on making a dozen fruit/green smoothies to travel with, but I found the whole fruit was easier to prep (read: almost zero prep). I also brought some kale salad that I had in the fridge so it wouldn't go bad while we were away. My parents also brought a handful of snacks - we were well stocked!


We left the home around 9:45am Saturday morning. Santiago took naps at 10:45 (30 minutes) and 12:45 (another 30 minutes) (blessings!). We stopped once or twice for bathroom breaks and feeding the baby breaks. Arrived in Eugene at 3:00pm (blessing) and took part in dinner and a visit to the marathon expo to pick up Edu's bib number. We were in the hotel by 5:00pm or so (blessing).


Once we had the Pack n' Play all set up, Santi went down for a real nap of 1 hour and 30 minutes (blessing) and when he woke we called Edu's family so they could see their nephew/grandson, then we were all in bed early-ish around 8:45pm. Of course none of us could sleep very well except Santi who was out within 10 minutes (blessing) but when a big marathon is less than 12 hours away it's not super easy to sleep. Butterflies were in my belly, Edu's mind I'm sure wasn't calming down none, and we were in a hotel that didn't look like our home, with bedsheets that felt different than ours and pillows that, although were comfy, (blessing) didn't feel like home. All factors in not-being-able-to-sleep-oh-my-goodness-sleep-is-so-important-why-is-this-so-hard that night. Anyhow, eventually sleep land fell upon us (blessing). Santi woke once around midnight for a meal (blessing) but other than that was quiet as a sleeping sheep!

4:00am alarm clock. 5:00am baby woke (blessing) and fed. Packed everything up, ate breakfast and off to the marathon we went. We quickly found parking almost right next to the start line (blessing!!!) and hung out in the truck for a bit. We had less than an hour before the start, I believe. Once we decided to exit the vehicle into colder-than-inside-this-truck land, I think we simply took some (3,000) photos, Edu ran around the area to warm up, did his pre-race exercises and soon enough the marathon (and half marathon) started. Off they went!


 There was a pretty big group - approx. 9,000 runners that morning and the weather was perfect (blessing)! Edu admitted that he was a little nervous about the climate since his last marathon was Boston last year (hello, 93 degrees and rising!) and that was definitely on his mind all last week - praise the Lord for low 50's and sun breaks. My parents and I walked around the area and I ate bananas, then we looked for a Starbucks to stay warm. Little did we realize how much free time we truly had because I was given the responsibility of passing a gel pack (ooey gooey sugary salty carb chocolate gel mixed with water in a small bottle) onto Edu around mile 9 - and we forgot to discuss around what time he would pass through mile 9. Thankfully my brain went into "past memories" archives and remembered a website that calculates race pace, as well as other running-related memories - so my mum and I made our way to mile 9 and within 10 minutes my hubby arrived.

He was running a great pace, I was able to keep up with him for 3 seconds and he said, "feeling great, everything is going well" or something along those lines. Away he ran, and back to eating bananas and walking to Starbucks before the marathon winner made his way to the finish. Soon we made our way back to the truck to wait for the runners. The half marathoners were dashing by us and Santi was due for a nap - but he was such a peaceful baby boy! He did nap for a quick 30 minutes in the stroller but beside that - nada. He glared at the world around him and seemed entertained nonetheless.


Eduardo's two brothers and I were exchanging messages over the phone and around 2 hours and 40 minutes into the marathon, I called Carlos on Facetime so he could "be there" for Edu's big finish. Keep in mind, hubs has been working to break a three hour marathon since day one. Even his papa in Mexico tried for years to run under that crazy 3 hour mark - and after 14 attempts God blessed him with, he wasn't able to. Here are Eduardo's past marathon times:
  1. New York - 03:05:51
  2. Rock n' Roll Seattle - 03:00:05
  3. Boston - 3:13:41
So you can understand why were were pumped and nervous like little children as the three-hour time frame began to get closer.  Carlos was tracking Edu by the kilometer since he started running, and he told me over the phone that his pace was pretty astonishing - faster than "they had planned" so he had been a little anxious for his brother. Once we were talking and waiting for Eduardo to appear to sprint to the finish, he told me that he could be a lot closer to 2 hours 50 minutes than 3 hours - which made us all excited - and made me pray, and pray hard.

Then he appeared. and we squealed and cheered and wanted to cry. I ran with Eduardo among the spectators and kept the camera on him for Carlos to watch. Into the stadium he went - his finish time unknown to us family at Eugene but all known to his brother Carlos, who was watching the live streaming of the finish line on the internet.


All the praise goes to our Father in Heaven, who blessed Eduardo throughout his training. The One who guided him as he ran that morning, giving him strength when he needed it the most. Our Lord, who watched over us during this entire trip and reminded us frequently of His love for us. It was such a gift to receive Edu at the finish line (some 10+ minutes later) and to embrace him as we gave thanks to God for this accomplishment.

Eduardo drank a small Gatorade, half a liter of chia gel (chia seeds soaked in water), a few bananas, and after a quick stop to Sbux, got his carb fix. We then drove, and drove, and ate, and drove, until we finally arrived at home 7:30pm Sunday evening. It was such a blessing to spend time together as a family, and oh my goodness what a calm Santi we had during the trip! Even on low sleep, not-so-awesome naps, and random feedings that probably weren't up to par with his feeding schedule, he was so good in the truck. All he did was watch us, or his grandparents, chew on toys and fruit, and stare out the window. Amazing.


1 comment:

  1. This is wonderful, and praise God Lalo was finally able to accomplish this! Love the pictures, you guys could be the poster family for Adidas jeje ;)