Connect With Us

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Pinterest
Email us UglyPaxtonSisters (at)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

#CountdownToVegas Week 10: Pace Car

Showing off those tats; pic by Tess Barnard
Week 10 of my 18 week marathon training plan.  That means I'm over halfway ready?  Yikes!  56 days to go.  We've got our hotel reservations and our Fast Bottom Girls tattoos from Mile Markings; time to get those plane tickets too.

This week started out on a low note, as my Nike+ Sportwatch GPS reached the end of its useful life.  I had been noticing some fogginess in the upper right corner after my runs the past few weeks, and although I can't see any cracks, there must be somewhere moisture is getting inside it now.  The data is all still there, because when I connect it to our PC I can still see it, but the display no longer works.

I was pretty sad about it, not so much because of the watch itself but because of what it represented.  Kevin gave me this watch for Christmas in 2012, the year I started running.  I hadn't even asked for it, but he had heard me express my frustration with using apps on my phone to track my running, and he picked this watch out for me.  So looking at this watch reminded me of Kevin and his support for me.  I know I still have that always in my heart, but I will miss this physical reminder on my wrist.

Most of my runs this week were watchless, but since they were familiar routes I still know how far I ran, just not how fast.  In my head, Monday morning's run was really fast as that's when I discovered my watch no longer worked and I pounded out my feelings on the pavement.  I did 2 miles Monday morning, then a 3 mile "taper" hill workout with #TeamMoHills Monday after work.  Tuesday I ran 3 miles in the morning, had to miss BSRC's Prediction Run after work but I did make it to LF Bootcamp where Megan came up with a great workout for us.

Wednesday was another 3 miles in the morning.  No run after work as I used the evening to shop for a new watch.  I couldn't find what I wanted, though.  Dicks and Best Buy both showed the TomTom GPS Spark on their websites, but apparently don't carry them in their stores.  So I went home and ordered it from Amazon for next day delivery.  I really don't like buying something without seeing it first, but I didn't have time to keep shopping since I had to have a watch on Saturday.

First run with the new watch
Thursday I ran 3 miles in the morning, then another 3 after work with the Flat12 run club, then headed home to check out my new watch.  I picked this one in part because TomTom also made the Nike+ watch I had previously, so I hoped this would be similar in terms of menus and operation.  Also the display size and square shape is kind of the same, so I thought it would at least feel familiar, and it does.  It's a lot lighter, though.  I charged it and figured out the basics of how to track an outdoor run, and then ran 2 miles Friday morning while I changed the display around until I had what I wanted showing.  I think I will like this watch okay.  It has a lot more features than my old one and will track things like cycling and indoor treadmill workouts as well.  I haven't finished checking out all those options yet.

Saturday was the Indy Women's Half Marathon.  Always one of my favorite races, because I have so many friends there running or volunteering.  Plus it's a beautiful course, even in the rain.  And we had so much rain this year.  But no lightning, like last year, and no knee pain, like in 2014.  I was excited and a little nervous since this was my first time as a pacer for a race.  For any readers who don't know: some races have pacers who run a consistent pace in order to finish at a set time, helping other racers set their pace and meet or beat their goal time.  I always say God didn't give me speed, but He gave me consistency, endurance and style.  So I was excited to be able to use that gift of consistency to help other runners.  I was nervous about messing up and letting them down.  I said several prayers Friday night and Saturday morning, just asking God to help me run steady and to be encouraging to anyone running with me.

Did I mention it was raining Saturday?  So. Much. Rain.  Sometimes gentle, sometimes a downpour.  Puddles.  Heavy wet clothes.  Chafing!  It's kind of a crazy metaphor for my life right now that I could be so miserable and having so much fun at the same time.  And I did have an absolutely wonderful time!  I think this may have been the most fun I ever had in a road half.

The fun started with the BRG Indy pre-race meetup.  Everyone was so excited, and there were many ladies who were running this as their first 5K or their first half marathon.  We took some pictures and wished each other luck.  Then I met up with the other pacers for a start line picture, then huddled under an overhang with the FBG until it was time to line up.

I was the 3:00 pacer, so I was with a lot of runners who were doing run-walk intervals.  They would pass me while running, then I'd pass them back while they walked, and we chatted some along the way.  I heard a couple of runners refer to me as "our pace car".  Several times as I caught up to runners I would hear them say "Oh no, here she comes!" and then speed up to stay in front of me.

At the middle of the race, from mile 6 to 7, the course does a turn around so I got to see and cheer and high five a lot of friends.  It was tough for me to hold my pace right there, because seeing so many friends gave me a boost and made me want to speed up.  My pacing strategy was to do an easy run, and walk through the water stations and while I was taking nutrition, keeping an eye on my elapsed time and walking a little longer past the water stations if I started getting ahead.

There were a couple of groups I talked to who were really hoping to finish in under 3 hours, and each time I saw them they'd ask where we were and if they were still on pace.  I caught up to them walking just before the last turn onto Vermont Street and got to cheer them on as they started their kick to the finish.  Some of the spectators along the course at that point were also cheering for them to stay ahead of me and not let me pass them, which made me laugh.

I was pretty excited when I neared the finish line and saw that the clock said 2:59.  I ended up crossing at around 2:59:20 clock time, with a chip time of 2:57:36.  I helped all those ladies who wanted to finish in under 3:00 and who were pushing to stay ahead of me reach their goals, and that felt so much better than just running for myself.  I hope I get the opportunity to pace again.  It's a different way to experience a race and definitely a lot of fun.

Total weekly miles: 40.2

Total training miles to date: 269.55

Up next: the AUSA Ten Miler next Sunday.

No comments:

Post a Comment