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Athletes, Inspiration, Seekers

RUNAWAYS: Eugene
The U.S. Team Trials are right around the corner and we want to share the must-see routes and iconic landmarks this Track Town has to offer with our athlete Parker Stinson and Megan Patrignelli.

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WHEN IN EUGENE, DO AS EUGENIANS DO.
Pack your Speed Of Lite Pack, lace up and go explore The Emerald City!

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PRE’S TRAIL
The legendary Steve Prefontaine, or “Pre,” was impressed with the style and terrain of European cross country running courses while competing overseas. Upon return from Europe, he suggested to local officials about building a running trail through Eugene’s Alton Baker Park. Lane County worked with the Oregon Track Club and University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman to design and build Pre’s Trail.

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Hendricks Park-8(BLOG)

HENDRICKS PARK
The oldest city 78-acre park in Eugene, Oregon and is a little over a mile away from the University of Oregon campus.

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West Boundary Road (Dexter)-4(blog)

LOOKOUT POINT LAKE
Drive 25ish miles south to a large reservoir on the Middle Ford Willamette River in Lane Country, Oregon and you’ll find West Boundary Road; a quite, 18 mile road that’s perfect for long runs.

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Vero Espresso-2(blog)

VERO ESPRESSO
A cozy brunch, coffee & smoothie bar set in a quaint house with a porch. The perfect spot to show off your Life On The Run Collection.

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PARKER RAY STINSON
Follow Parker: Instagram, Twitter
DOB: March 3, 1992
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Currently: Eugene, Oregon
Coach: Dennis Barker
Team: Saucony Racing, Team USA Minnesota
Fav Training shoe: Triumph ISO 2
Fav Workout shoe: Type A
Fav Racing shoe: Endorphin
Fav Apparel top: Exo Jacket for all the rainy weather in Eugene, Oregon
Fav Apparel bottom: Speed Demon Jogger Pant & Speed Demon Short
Fav Accessory: Saucony Originals

Running began when I was 11 or 12 years old. My pops and sister we going out for runs to get her ready for club soccer tryouts. I wanted to be involved and more importantly I wanted to beat my sister. After a few runs my dad had to make me wait until a certain point during the run when I was allowed to start running home as fast as I wanted. I would go on runs after that but I still preferred to play to soccer and hockey at the time.”

Why Run? “I think what keeps me going in this sport is a few things. One of the reasons would have to be that I’ve been doing it for so long and so many of my relationships with my friends and my community has to do with me being a runner. Especially in Eugene, even after having graduated a few years ago I am still having people come up to me who remember what I did at the University of Oregon, it’s always a nice surprise to know that other people appreciated my running. So whether it’s something like that or the occasional high school kid who will slide into my DMs to ask for advice that is what really makes it all seem worthwhile. Sometimes you’re are so focused on getting to your goals for so long you don’t realize how close you’ve actually come to them. I still have a long ways to go for some goals but being a good enough runner that I can inspire other people to run and to be their best is a level I’ve always dreamed of being at.”

The aha moment, would have to be in 6th grade. My middle school had this pretty big and cool tradition of a 1.5 mile turkey trot. The whole school got into and if you won they gave you a huge turkey to take home to your family on the bus that day. I remember warming up before the race and these two 8th graders were going after the school record. I had heard of one of them and the high school coach was really excited about him coming out for the track team the next year. Well the gun went off, and my 5,3ft self at the time took down both of these lean 6 footers and I got the school record. From that moment on I was just known as the running kid, people didn’t really notice me that much but every year when that Turkey Trot came around I was a big celebrity for a day or two. Girls I had crushes on were making signs about me and wanting to take pictures, it sure gave me a lot to be thankful for.

The daily grind.

“I prefer to run alone or with one or two people I really vibe with. It’s more than just liking or not liking a person for me in this regard. It’s about liking each other as well as having a mutual respect with each other to not race a workout or run too hard but work together and enjoy working hard together.”

“Most of my runs are on Pre’s Trail, Hendricks Park, Dexter Lake, and Dorris Ranch.”

“My favorite workout would have to be towards the end of the season when you are getting ready for a big race and all the training is already done. Something like a hard K or mile, followed by some easy tempo like reps with short recovery, and then finish with another really hard K or mile that focuses on a big finish and changing gears. Non-running workout would have to be biking or elliptical I guess.”

Recovery is just as important, I either jump in my normatec machine or get a massage the next day after the big workout and a very easy run. On my recovery days I like to go long still but just run really slow and not worry about how many times I stop to stretch or anything like that. Also, I would ice bath once a week the afternoon before the next big workout. I never ice after a big workout though unless it is a meet where I am doing a 10k/5k double.”

Every runner has their race day routine. It starts with the pre-race meals.

“I am not too picky on anything like this, in fact I sometimes have a hard time eating enough before a big race because I get nervous but also because usually the big 5ks and 10ks are late at night so you’re trying to not stuff yourself too much during the day. The problem is I am someone who loves to eat well and eat a lot so I really have to be careful on race day. The night before I will eat anything I want just not something too crazy. Then the day of the day I would hit up subway foot long at some point and then no matter how late my race is I will be sipping on some coffee 2-3 hours before.”

Followed by the pre-race warm up

“My pre-race warm up routine is pretty specific. I like to take my time getting ready and doing a lot of drills and warm up routine before I go jog. About 50-1 hour out from the race I like to jog 20 minutes. I make sure to run very slow the first 10 minutes or so and then I like to pick up the last 3-4 minutes pretty hard…sometimes I will even do a light fartlek on the way back. On the line I would say the biggest thing I think about is taking as many slow deep breaths as I can before the race starts, cause once that gun goes off oxygen is much harder to come by.”

We all toe the line with a different mind set.

“It’s never negative thoughts for me. Usually my last few thoughts are me thanking God for everything he’s given me already and just asking him to give me the courage and the discipline to run a race that can make everyone who has helped me and supported me proud.”

Who inspires you to #FindYourStrong?

“I look up to Luke Puskedra, Matthew Centrowitz, and Ben True. One of the main reasons I look up to Luke and Centro is that they are great runners but also my good friends. Being their friend has really allowed to me see what working hard every day and believing in yourself can turn into and it’s something I really enjoy getting to watch and be a part of. I have only met Ben True once but he is actually one of the biggest reasons I wanted to sign with Sacuony, not so much to train with him or anything, although that would be fun but more so just seeing how well he was doing and how excited Sacuony as a company was to have him. It just seemed like a really great situation where Ben was thriving and representing a great brand well in every aspect of his life.”

I bet you didn’t know that I owe my smile and my teeth 100% to modern dentistry and orthodontics. I think I have had something like 20 teeth pulled, somewhere around 12 baby teeth were pulled because they were so messed up the way they were sitting and then I had 4 permeant molars pulled because I didn’t have enough room in my mouth for the standard amount of teeth and then I had my 4 wisdom teeth pulled which is pretty common. Sometimes I imagine what my teeth and stuff would be like without all that and I am pretty sure I would have one or two teeth coming out of my nose or something.”

Dear Newbie Runner, Remember to break up your workouts and races into to two different types of execution goals. Set mental and physical goals for workouts and races. What I mean to say is that so many people set these time goals or place goals and that’s all they end up judging their efforts on after a race. And you won’t last long in this sport if that’s the only way you determine your self-worth. You’re not always going to be able to control how your body is going to feel on every big race day or workout and it’s not fair to yourself to be judged solely off of your physical performance. However, you can always control how you are going to mentally respond to these situations. I can’t tell you how many times in my best races I’ve run when everyone tells me how “tough I was” and I always laughed to myself because usually in my best races everything has come so easily to me physically that I did not have to do much mentally. Then, in my bad races where I’m using every bit of my mental strength and emotions to find a way to make the most of what I am given on that day a lot of people won’t even talk to me after the race or have anything positive to say to me. This could really break down a newby runner and that is why you should identify with two different types of goals for your races. Just because your body is going to give you a C+ time performance today doesn’t mean you can’t get an A+ on your mental performance. And if you do that, and you know you did that, then you won’t be discouraged by what other people thought of your race. The more times you can hit an A+ mental performance on tough physical days the better your great physical days will be and you will become a much more consistent and reliable runner.”

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MEGAN PATRIGNELLI
Follow Megan: Instagram, Twitter
DOB: June 22, 1992
Hometown: Monroe, NY
Currently: Eugene, Oregon
Coach: Ian Dobson
Team: Team Run Eugene
Fav Training shoe: Kinvara 7
Fav Apparel top: Dash Seamless Tank
Fav Apparel bottom: Speed Demon Jogger Pant
Fav Accessory: Speed of Lite Pack

“I’ve always been active, having played soccer since age 5, but began running for fun in middle school (around age 12 or 13). I wanted to prepare for the fitness part of high school soccer tryouts, and would run 30′ Fartleks on the treadmill in my basement a few times a week.”

Why run? “Because it makes me really happy. I just love feeling the rhythm of my stride, and pushing my body to do things it hasn’t done before. Setting goals, overcoming obstacles, and seeing my own progress is such a great feeling, and one that’s hard to explain.”

The aha moment, was at soccer tryouts. I realized I genuinely enjoyed the running portion of tryouts. I looked forward to it, almost more than the actual “soccer” part. I was most confident when I was running, and realized I wanted to keep getting faster. I kept training a few times a week during soccer season, and joined my high school track team that winter.”

The daily grind.

“Most of the time I run with someone. On easy days I like to talk to other people, and on hard days I like to work together during the really tough parts. However, I also love running alone. I like using my easy runs to think through any problems that I’m figuring out, or to visualize my next workout or race.”

“There are so many places to run in Eugene! I do most of my easy running on either Amazon/Rexius Trails or Pre’s Trail, though I also run a fair amount of miles along the River Bank Trail.”

“My favorite workouts are hard mile repeats and hard sets of 1600-1200-800-400. My favorite non-running workout is circuit training on a Stand-Up Paddleboard. I paddle out far for warmup, do a strength circuit on the SUP, then paddle back for a cooldown.”

Recovery is just as important. As soon as I finish a hard workout, the first thing I do is change out of my sweaty clothes and drink some water! If I am far from home, I’ll stretch and have a quick snack at the trail or track. If I am close to home, I’ll usually just go straight home and do my stretching and foam-rolling there after re-fueling. I’ll try to stay off of my feet as much as I can, and go for an easy run that evening. The next day I usually go to a restorative yoga class after my run, which I find really helps me loosen up and feel more relaxed.”

Every runner has their race day routine. It starts with the pre-race meals.

“The night before, I like baked salmon with roasted carrots and arugula. The day of the race, it depends on what time I am running. If it’s an early afternoon race, I’ll have eggs, blueberries, bananas, a few carrots, and a spoonful of coconut oil a few hours before. If it’s an evening race, I’ll have the same breakfast, and then a meal of chicken breast, cooked carrots, and some arugula or spinach about 4-5 hours before the race. Then I sometimes have another banana with some coconut oil about 2 hours before warm-up time.”

Followed by the pre-race warm up

“I usually start about an hour out from the race. I’ll start with some dynamic warm-up drills, then go for a 20 minute run. I like to start out slower and gradually pick up the pace, while I think about my race. I always warm up with my uniform already on, under my sweats. When I get back, I’ll do more drills and some hard strides. Right before the gun goes off I take a deep breath and just think – Here we go, this is happening. Get ready.

We all toe the line with a different mind set.

“All positive! I’ve spent enough years with negative thoughts to know that you can’t race well that way. If I get nervous, I just think “I’m ready for this. I’m healthy. I’m GOING to do this.” If a negative thought tries to creep in, I just shoo it away and remind myself that I have the ability to choose what I do during a race.”

Who inspires you to #FindYourStrong?

“I look up to a lot of people, but of course my parents are who come to mind first. They have always supported me, in running and in life, but specifically in running even when I was really struggling. They never stopped encouraging me, and never told me to give it up. It’s because of their support that I was able to overcome a lot of my struggles, and find my running self again. They are the most selfless people I know, and I just am so impressed by all that they do.”

I bet you didn’t know that one year I strained a tendon in my hand from baking/decorating too many Christmas cookies…but to be fair, it WAS close to 500 cookies in one week!

Dear Newbie Runner, Don’t compare what you are doing with what anyone else is doing. Do take time to appreciate every step of your own progress, even if it doesn’t seem impressive at first. Start each day with a clean slate: no matter how yesterday’s workout went, start today’s workout with eagerness and a fresh mind.”

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