It was an awesome day yesterday!
It was my 4th time being a pacer, my 5th marathon, and my first time pacing a full marathon!
I learned a couple of pacing lessons:
1. Even if we’re going at a pace that is super easy, we gotta respect the distance. I totally got the fueling before the race down (carbo-load the day before with Vietnamese food… as well as an unfortunate second dinner because of some miscommunication on a birthday dinner o__O). However, I completely forgot to bring some fuel (GU) with me for the race. My back-up plan was just to have Gatorade every other aid station, but luckily, my co-pacer, Will, had some extras with me. Also, the organizers offered plenty of gels throughout the whole race. Anywho… respect the distance.
2. When the GPS watch doesn’t sync perfectly with the course markings, just go with the course markings. We had pacer bands, and we tried to match the times with the mile markers (we were dead-on with some of them!… and some were off, but no need to freak out. Just adjust if needed).
So how close did we get to our 4:25 pace goal? 4:25:03.
DANGIT, 3 seconds over!! I think it was my fault because I took my sweet time at the end. Must have forgotten how long 50 meters would/should take. WHOOPS. It’s okay. Next time will be better.
We actually had someone with us until about mile 24 or 25 of the race. I told Kris, earlier on in the race, to go for it in the last mile or two if she had anything left in the tank… and she did just that… AND PR’D!!!
That’s pretty much the pacer dream!
BTW, it was Will’s first time pacing and he TOTALLY had it down perfectly! It was great to have a co-pacer to talk to, as well as being able to switch off with holding the stick (which is pretty light, but it’s still nice to have your hand free here and there). It was also good to have two watches to check pace and splits throughout the race.
Great job to all the racers yesterday! And awesome work to the Running Addicts on pacing duty!
Thank you, Linh, Albert, and Amy (and everyone) for your awesome photography!
As far as the race:
1. The Course: It was so nice! I love all the rolling hills (most likely because I wasn’t RACING it. That would be a totally different story). Train on hills if you want to get a great time on this race (it flattens out later on in the race, which is nice). We were also blessed with perfect weather. It didn’t get to hot in the later part of the race, like it did last year.
2. Volunteers and Aid stations: There was an aid station about every two miles. They offered water/Gatorade, some of them had little cut-up Clifbar pieces/cookies, and I was to say that about 1/3 or 1/4 of the stations had Hammer gel. There were plenty of volunteers and course monitors throughout the course.
3. Start/finish: pretty sure it started on time, and the finish is on the grass. I love the finish chute (with everyone cheering you on). After the race, you could have bagels, fruit, and a burrito!
4. Swag: The shirt was PURPLE for the women, with I just love! The finisher’s medal is really big and awesome. As far as the expo, people said it is pretty good, considering that this is a small local race. I got to talk to some of the vendors, and they had some pretty cool products to check out.
The only things that went wrong… CHAFING. I got a pretty horrible chafe mark from the sleeve on my left arm (my arm muscles/insulation made the sleeve too tight?), and the shorts left a weird chafe on my lower back. Ouch ouch ouch.
Okay. This was a short post about a lovely racing/pacing experience. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to pace the Morgan Hill Marathon, and I hope to be back for it next year!
Anyone race over the weekend?
How many marathons have you run so far?
Do you get problems with chafing? (I usually only get it from cheap shorts on the lower back. First time getting it from the shirt).