Paced the Des News Half this morning. I had intentions of racing the 10K to PR, but as my legs have shown me they are still recovering from the torture I put them through in June, so when offered to take a pacing position I jumped on it!
These early morning runs/bus rides sure do knock the crap out of me! I am not good at going to bed early...at all. Even when I know I have to get up before 3:00AM. I picked up my neighbor Jessica and we were off to the races.
Met the pacers and had a great ride up the canyon chatting away with everyone. I'd brought Blaine a dozen cookies so that I could pace 1:45 instead of 1:55, because I really wanted to push some sub-8's and feel a little speed in my legs before Saturday. Bribery works well :) Jonathan demanded one cookie, because without him neither of us would be there...he quite enjoyed them. I'm interpreting "food orgasm" as a good thing anyway :)
The start line was crowded and the buses were trying to drive through. It was a mad house and rather dangerous. Got a POP visit in and then sat and chatted the time away until time to line up. I got a few people lined up with me and my neighbor Jessica tried to turn her ipod on and it was dead. It wouldn't work. She had a mini breakdown, tears and all. I told her that I didn't believe in that hunk of metal, but I believed in her legs and her mind. That is all she needed! Not to put her trust in that, but in herself. She was sure she wouldn't finish and it would be horrible, but I convinced her to just do her best. Funny how ipods and being plugged in matter SO much to SO many people (I will digress from this topic now, or you'd get a novel from me! More than is already coming).
We started down the canyon and my goal was to hit 7:50 for the first 5-6 miles so that we had a full minute to play with the flats/hills/aid stations toward the end. I hit it pretty much right on target. I would tell people that we caught or that asked that we had some time and why. It was nice to see those same people sticking right with us as things flattened out. I had a kid Ryan who was running his first half and an older lady trying to get into NY and a taller older guy that would leap frog us quite often that I would continually encourage and he would talk to me as well. I also had Holly from Vigor Big Cottonwood join me again. She was excited to be a repeat customer! She stopped for a POP around mile 5 and never caught back up, but finished just shortly after me. MCat also started with us, but I lost her around mile 4; she finished 1:48!! Jessica also dropped around mile 4-5, but finished 1:51 almost 10 min for a PR. I'm SO proud of her!
The aid stations and mile markers were GREAT down the canyon and the only need I could see is maybe 2 POPs per station, instead of just one. Also, I wish they could've reduced the traffic. People were pulling out of driveways and driving down the canyon weaving through the runners. It was dangerous and frustrating...for all parties.
Along Foothill, just after mile 7 before joining the 10K course, we had our last good aid station. I was told by a higher up at packet pick-up that there would be GU available there and there was none. Kind of disappointing not to have any fuel after being promised it, but I was glad that I'd decided to bring my own. The next aid station wasn't until AFTER mile 10. Nearly 3 miles between them. For the 10K that is fine, but for the half and full that can just be dangerous. I took my GU at that later aid station, because I waited too long at the previous one waiting for them to hand it out. Now I feel like I really just wasted it.
Ryan and the older lady and gentlemen kept with me the last half of the race and the older lady just kept telling me how wonderful I was :) Great for my inflated ego! I kept telling her, it isn't me doing it...you are! Combining with the 5K course was a little difficult, because they were walking and 2-4 abreast. I just stayed on the outside of the cones. It was fun when I heard my name and it was my mom! I waved to her and my little baby Fartlek in the stroller. He got a big smile and almost jumped out with his arms open. I love that kid!
When we hit the parade route the crowd was rather unresponsive. I kept encouraging them to cheer for us and each time I'd get a meager response. I guess after Boston crowds just don't ever compare. I did have a few friends waiting for the parade that would cheer me on, that was fun to have a personal cheering section. When we turned onto 200E, I told Ryan and the NY lady to use the downhill as a push to the finish and to let it and the crowd carry them into the finish. At mile 11 I still had 30 seconds in my back pocket, so I knew it was time for me to cruise and I wanted them to keep pushing. They both did great although I caught both of them at the end. I guess I'm just good at keeping people going :) More for my ego...I know.
I would've finished a little early and at the stop light before the finish I saw I was at 1:43 and I underestimated how long it would take to get to the finish, so I slowed WAY down...like 9:30's for a while. Then about 100yds out where the marathon joins in I looked down and only had 10 seconds! CRAP! So I gutted it out and tried to get people to follow my finishing sprint. I was still 15 seconds over, but I know it wasn't due to poor pacing, just an inflated ego trying to finish right on time rather than 15-20 seconds early.
AP: 7:59 splits: 7:47, 7:47, 7:44, 7:48, 7:53, 7:51, 7:52, 8:08, 7:52, 8:19, 8:11, 8:07, 8:35, 7:48 (last .19 recorded...I think the course was slightly long too, that is why I was 15 seconds over :) ).
Ryan and the NY lady as well as the older gentleman finished right with me! I was so proud of them and the NY lady just kept thanking me for getting her to NY. I just kept telling her it wasn't me, but her! I just really had a great time pacing this one. I like pacing a little faster. It gives me more confidence in myself as well...all for that struggling ego, right?
I ran in with bye-wing who had finished the 10K, just after me came my BIL and my 2 older sons and nephew (bye-wing's son who had broken his leg and my son his same age helped pushed him in the jogging stroller. It was a beautiful sight!). The 2 girls had finished much earlier and then my mom, her hiking friend Brian and my baby came in later. I had a great need to visit the POP so after socializing a bit I ran over and waited in line...again. I got to personally congratulate John Kotter on his win and meet him, nice guy! I rushed back over to the finish hoping I hadn't missed the female finishers. Nope! Good. Then, just a few minutes later I saw Allie come around the corner. I was SO excited!!! She had a smile on her face and I knew it had been a good race. I saw Jake fall into the crowd after leaving her so she could finish solo and went and talked to him. I loved that she had taken the UT women's record for the course and taken her title back too :) Andrea also got to run with her and it was exciting to see Andrea and congratulate her on a great come back too. Sasha was also still at the finish and I got to talk to him for a while too. The only person I missed seeing that I normal get to see there was Rossy. How could I miss him?!? :) The finish line of a marathon is SO exciting. I seriously could just live there....well, as long as finishers were constantly coming in. The energy and spirit is unparalleled! It was great to see and congratulate SO many amazing runners. Michelle, Josse, Mac, Ericka...I'm sure I'm missing 10 dozen or so, but it was great.
I then waited for George. He'd decided to do this one a couple weeks ago as a training run. I figured he'd be in around 3:45 or so. As the minutes ticked on past 4:00 I started getting nervous. I was sure he'd either DNF'd or was hurt and walking, so I decided to start walking back on the course. About 3/4 mile back I saw him. He had done well until mile 19 when his hammy and quad just gave in and he said he'd only been walking since. I knew he was in a lot of mental (let alone physical) anguish, so I just talked to him about how he should focus on the fact that it was a training run and the first 19 miles were an accomplished goal, then it was just time on his feet. It was a good training run. Don't beat yourself up at this point, look at the good you've done. I'm sure it didn't help a lot, but hopefully it did a little. Just before the last turn he decided he wanted to run, so I pushed him into the finish. I was just a 1/2 stride in front of him and told him to beat me. "You do it every other run, you can do it now!" He gave chase and had a strong finish! After getting some water, fuel, chatting and a massage we headed back on the buses. My mom and sister had taken my kids home, so I just had me to worry about.
It was a wonderful morning and I loved every minute of it! I'm glad I didn't try to race the 10K and just get feeling bad about myself and speed right now again. I feel this was a good, positive experience and now I'm ready to lay down some speed work and focus on SGM! Well, after a few triathalons :)