Weekend in Track Town USA

This past weekend I had the pleasure of spending the entire weekend in Eugene, my beloved hometown of 20+ years, otherwise known as Track Town USA to running enthusiasts.

While I was super excited to visit my parents and brother, who I hadn’t seen since Christmas, I was not looking forward to the ridiculously long road trip time (4.5 to 5 hours for a typical commute between Seattle and Eugene). Luckily, my wonderful fiancé Joe offered to drive the entire way down. I just sat, napped, and (sadly) coughed my way down to Eugene.

What is up with being sick in the summer? I’ve been sick since last Tuesday and today is Wednesday. Has anyone else had a horrific cough that won’t stop? Right now I’m that girl in the office that can’t stop coughing, blowing her nose, and eating Ricola cough drops like it’s her job. Not good at all. What else can I do aside from take cough medicine and cough drops? The worst thing about being sick and training for a marathon is the lack of energy, never ending snot up the nose (sorry, TMI!), and hard time breathing. Blah. That is all I have to say.

Anyway, back to the Eugene trip. By the time we made it down to Eugene it was about 11pm. For dinner we hit up fast food. Have you ever had Carl’s JR? Apparently this was the first time Joe had ever had it. We never have fast food aside from long road trips and a 5 hour drive was the perfect time to enjoy a large charbroiled burger. Yum.

On Saturday I had planned to do my 18-mile long run but because we got in so late, I was so exhausted, and I’d been coughing up a storm, I postponed my long run to Sunday in hopes that I’d feel better. What did I do in place of the long run? Brunch, of course!

In Eugene there’s a wonderful little restaurant called Studio One Cafe that’s known for their yummy brunch. I’m normally not an eggs Benedict girl, but their Homer Bennie caught my eye. Instead of the typical English muffin, the dish consisted of home fries topped with two poached eggs, spinach, ham, and grilled tomatoes with a rich hollandaise sauce. Holy yum!

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My mom also had a unique brunch dish — essentially French toast sandwiching savory fillings like bacon. Mmm.

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One of the things I love about my parents’ home is the backyard. Growing up we’d swim in the pool and roam around the “jungle.” Having brought Lola I could tell that she was super excited about the freedom of running around and also the overflowing Asian Pear tree growing. Does anyone love Asian Pears like me? Sooo good!

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Picking blackberries in the backyard was fun. Am I the only one who loves picking fruit? I need a U-pick place in Seattle! Any recos?

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Saturday was such a busy and fun-filled day. Joe, my brother Andrew, and I spent the rest of the day hanging out together. This picture totally makes me laugh:

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We took Lola to the doggie park near Autzen Stadium. Of course I just had to take a picture in front of my school’s football stadium. Go Ducks!

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We also stopped somewhere along the Willamette River to cool down the pup. She’s such a water dog. I love it.

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A visit to Eugene, OR required a visit to the Ninkasi Brewery. They make an amazing IPA called Total Domination. I highly recommend it. Got to spend quality time with Joe, Andrew, drinking yummy beer. Might I add that the pretzels they serve there might be the best and chewiest ever.

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After Ninkasi, we decided to hit up the Lane County Fair. It’s been ages since I’ve gone to the fair. Definitely brought back memories of growing up in Eugene.

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We definitely spent a lot of $$$ on games. Yes, lots of stuffed animals were won and they are currently sitting in the trunk of my car.

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Does anyone remember the Zipper? I didn’t ride it this time around but it sure looks rickety.

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I didn’t ride any rides but Joe and Andrew did. I can be a bit of a wuss when it comes to rides. Sometimes I get motion sickness!

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After the fair it was time to head over to my parents’ Chinese restaurant. Let me tell you… my family’s restaurant is hands down the best that you will have. I crave it 24/7 and so wish my parents owned this in Seattle! Whenever we come home they cook up a feast. This is the amount of food we had for just five people. Deeelicious.

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With a full belly, I totally crashed into bed as soon as we got home. On the agenda was the 18-mile long run in the morning.

Sunday morning rolled around and t was time for me to get up at 7:30am and fuel with peanut butter toasts. I usually do bagels but felt like toast this time around. Usually have chia seeds but forgot to bring some down.

I am the best at procrastinating before a long run. I find every excuse to hang out for just a moment more. Does anyone else experience this? How do you motivate yourself to get out super early?

By the time I drove over to Autzen Stadium it was already around 10am. My plan originally was to run at least the 4-mile Pre’s Trail loop. This is the trail that Steve Prefontaine himself would train on.

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Upon running a mile on this bark trail did I realize that the long run would not be sustainable on this terrain. I decided to cut over to the pavement-based Ruth Bascom Riverbank Trail, a series of paved paths that totaled 12 miles. I did a loop around, a couple out-and-back portions, and finally ended up doing the 18-mile total.

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My shoes, in the end, were completely wrecked and my socks showed it.

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Post-long run food consisted of cheese stick apps, a BLT, and creamed corn… with a little bit of beer.

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With the remainder of the sunny Sunday afternoon open, we decided to make an impromptu road trip to the coast with Lola. Lola has become quite the swimmer but hadn’t ever been to the actual beach/coast. Now was the perfect time.

Here’s a collection of fun pictures from the trip to Florence:

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I absolutely love visiting Oregon and had such a fantastic time. If anyone ever needs recommendations on what to do, what to eat… I’m your girl!

On the way back up to Seattle we made a stop in Beaverton to hit up the Nike Employee Store. Thanks to Clarissa for hooking us up with passes! I will detail the goodies I got in an upcoming blog post.

No visit to Oregon is complete without a stop at Cafe Yumm. Most of you know that I am obsessed with Yumm Bowls and Yumm Sauce. I typically make my own homemade Yumm Bowls but couldn’t resist having one for the road trip back up. Plus I needed to stock up on two more liters of sauce.

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Thank you, Eugene, for yet another wonderful visit down memory lane!

2 thoughts on “Weekend in Track Town USA

  1. Sounds like the perfect weekend and way to get in your 18 miler!! If you are looking for blackberries around here Magnuson Park is usually pretty plentiful, although I’m not sure how well picked over they are yet!

    And, why have I not heard of Cafe Yumm, tell me more…like where I can get that sauce? 🙂

    • Oohh… good idea on blackberries at Magnuson Park! I run on the Burke-Gilman Trail near my house most of the time and lately I’ve seen so many people with their tupperware picking blackberries. I may have to do that tonight. Would it be weird if I ran with a tupperware of blackberries?! haha

      Lauren, Cafe Yumm is one of the best things ever! It’s based in Oregon and they have this crazy delicious sauce called Yumm Sauce which I buy by the liters whenever I am down there. They are now selling in select Whole Foods up here in Seattle, so you should pick up a jar asap. 🙂 http://www.cafeyumm.com/shop.html they have it at the Roosevelt, Interbay, Westlake, Redmond Whole Foods.

      The Yumm Bowls are essentially bowls of jasmine or brown rice topped with Yumm Sauce, diced tomatoes, chopped olives, avocado, sour cream (I use Greek Yogurt), shredded cheddar cheese, beans, and I douse mine in Sriracha or Tapatio. So so good! The Yumm Sauce can be put on anything… like eggs, chicken, salmon, etc. Let me know if you end up trying Yumm!

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