Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Thoughts of a Pacer

First and foremost, being a pacer is a privilege.  
  • If you are CHOSEN to pace, that means that:
    • You are either:
      • motivating
      • funny
      • a good friend, or
      • not too annoying to spend exorbitant amounts of time with in the middle of the night
    • You are fast enough to either:
      • keep up, or
      • push the pace
  • Expectations:
    • Stay up all night long and still be enthusiastic
    • Have tricks up your sleeve
    • Bring yummy snacks
Above all, in this sport, pacing is a training run, group get-together, all-night party, and YET ANOTHER character building activity (...as if we haven't attained enough of those!!).  With Bryce 100 right around the corner, I am starting to pull together buckets of rubbing alcohol, sponges, glow-in-the-dark bracelets, cow bells, bear-shaped cookies, and camping gear.  I am worried that I won't have enough to talk about, won't be the best cheerleader I can be, and won't be able to keep up (...all of which I know are unfounded...).  

Does anyone else get as nervous about pacing as I do?  This is a lot of pressure!!  I hope Harrison likes mints.

(p.s. I will be pacing Harrison the last 33 miles late Friday night through Saturday morning and I am so excited!!!!  He will do great and I will try my best not to blow too many snot rockets.)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Timp Trail Marathon Weekend

Timp Trail Marathon was the weekend after Ogden Marathon last year.  Last year I P.R.ed at Ogden and ran a 3:11, was on the leader board, and then set a 45 minute course record at Timp the following weekend.  I was on one.  Then I was off!  Most of your know that those two races resulted in a stress fracture in my foot that put me on the sidelines and immortalized me as the best crew person in the world (or atleast I like to think so...).                       

Needless to say, I was a little gun shy entering Timp this year.  My plan was to take it easy and run with friends, but Nick sprinted off without me.  Left to my own devices I would have to deal with my competitiveness and run my own race.  

I should probably mention that it was 50 degrees and raining at the start (not super motivating) and I was too nervous to eat.  At any rate, off we went and I had a pretty solid 13 mile in 2 hours.  Around mile 11 I did think that I was going to freeze to death until I took off my soaked arm warmers and gloves.  My Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier Jacket dries much faster in between downpours than the "warmers" underneath it could.  At this point I thought that I was in 3rd place for females and I was okay with this (remember, my goal was to take it easy and not get a stress fracture).  I tried to stay solid through the canyon, which was absolutely beautiful, walking steep parts and jogging flats.  Last year 2-3 males caught me through the middle section, so I was a little paranoid.  

In my mind, it wasn't until mile 15(ish) or the waterfall crossing that the mud situation began...  And it was  MUD SITUATION!  If you weren't running through puddles, you were weighing your shoes down with 10 pounds of clay mud.  If your shoes weren't cakes in mud while running, they were caked in mud while you were attempting to climb hills and clawing at the brush to help you along.  If anyone asks, mud added at least 20 minutes to my race time and I'm sticking to it!!

Through the freezing rain and mud I actually felt pretty solid the last 6-10 miles!  The mud, though difficult, probably conserved some energy and I was brimming with it at the end.  I ended up finishing 10 minutes (ish) behind the first place woman, and Amie Blackham was 5 minutes (ish) behind me.  I know you are all wondering about my record: still stands!  The first place woman was about 15 minutes off and in the words of Seth Hales, my record is "stout".  I do love this race.  I think to do well you need leg speed for the first have and that you achieve your place before the big ascent at mile 12.  If you stay solid during the rest, you will maintain your place!

At the blog title suggests, this is a story of the weekend...
Harrison had invited me to join him for his last long run before racing Bryce 100 in two weeks, so I drove up to Ogden the next morning, tired but feeling basically fine.  I had a great time chasing down Jon and Harrison with BJ pushing from behind!  We ended up with a pretty solid 16 miler from 22nd St. to Beus, up the canyon, and back.  Jon led the group up Beus where our muscles were strained (more uphill?!?!?!), leg were slashed (literally; bloody scratches today), and our skirts (ok, just mine) were frayed (LOTS of scrub oak!!).  

I went home, got in the hot tub, ate, and took a nap.  My legs were dead!

Lessons learned this weekend:
  1. Mud bogs beat dust bowls.  Mud is fun!
  2. Jim is a great friend to drive all the way down to Provo to see a finish in the rain!
  3. A good friend is someone that runs you into the ground even if you don't deserve it.  Thanks to Harrison, Jon, and BJ.