I'm still mobility challenged so I'll post this in parts just to get it up sooner.
To tell the race report, I'll have to start on Saturday. Mom and I had some time to hang out in the morning before having to head down to Eugene, so we chatted, planned race stuff, watched the end of the Boston Marathon (she said "now I just have to see how it ends!"), had some breakfast, etc. Then it was time to clean up and get packed. At which time I discovered I apparently had meant to do laundry that week: All of my racing gear was in the hamper. Bah. Luckily we had plenty of time for me to run a load of laundry and get it all dry, except for my race shirt which can't go in the dryer but dried really quickly hanging in the back of the car.
I packed just about every piece of gear I own, in case I changed my mind about what I wanted to wear on race morning, and nearly forgot I would need, you know, other clothes to wear at some point. We hit the road shortly around noon so that we could stop in Salem for lunch. The restaurant was PACKED; there had been a local kids' race and most all of the participants ended up at Red Robin afterwards. The kids had the coolest medals; I wanted to stop a kid so I could check out his/her medal but figured the parents wouldn't be thrilled with that.
We made it to Eugene and the Hilton around 3:30, navigating around traffic blocks leftover from the earlier 5K race, in time to enter into another sea of humanity -- this one marinating in about 100 degree temperatures. Seriously, did the Hilton have no air conditioning? I was not impressed with the expo. It was as if they planned to arrange everything so as to cause the most congestion possible. The packet pickup itself wasn't too bad, but you had to dodge a zillion people in tiny corridors and stairwells to get to it, and many people seemed not to grasp the idea that people could move in both directions on stairs. (Yes, I was a tad grumpy at that point.) After a very short amount of time I needed to get out of there, so I wouldn't let my mom scope out all the free stuff and she then was grumpy too. I thought I saw Ann-Marie outside the packet pickup but by the time that registered in my mind I just didn't want to turn around and fight back through the crowds if it wasn't her. (But if you were wearing a denim shirt or vest and a hat then I think I did see you!)
We escaped from the Hilton and headed 30 minutes south to our hotel in Cottage Grove. The gal was so thoughtful, she put us on the ground floor so that I wouldn't have to climb 20 or so stairs to the second floor after the race. I had no idea at the time how much I would later appreciate that.
Not long after we had lunch, my mom wasn't feeling well. She crashed once we got to the hotel, and we spent a few hours trying to figure out if she was going to need to go to the ER for possible food poisoning. (We didn't.) But that meant I needed to track down dinner on my own, so I walked across from the hotel to KFC which was the healthiest choice in walking distance. Where I stood with several other people for about ten minutes while absolutely no one acknowledged our presence. I finally asked the other people if they had already ordered. They hadn't. By this time, I was all "my mommy is sick and I need to eat food even if it is this crap so I can go to bed before getting up at 4:30 a.m. to go run a marathon!!!" So I called out to one of the workers scurrying by if we needed to have a car before we could order (they were busy solely with the drive thru customers) or if perhaps they could spare one person for the counter. Which made all the other people standing with me laugh and cheer me on. We finally got some help, and they were extremely extra nice to all of us at that point. As well they should have been.
Anyhow, I choked down the best of the bad options and by then it was already time to try to sleep if I was going to get at least eight hours. As I've mentioned before, I often take an Ambien before a big race because I am prone to insomnia (and then I get grumpy and then I abuse KFC workers). You can get a good night's sleep and you don't get a hangover like you do from something such as tylenol PM.
I allowed myself nine hours to sleep.
I found out after the race that the Ambien had not worked its way through my system until after the race had started. That led to one of the more crazy mornings/races I never knew I had.
More on that tomorrow.