Friday, December 10, 2010

Pacing and Partying

The Rocket City Marathon is tomorrow morning. Rick has been hard at work getting the course sentries and all of the stuff that goes along with that. I have the sitter ready to come at 6:45 a.m. so I can leave with plenty of time tomorrow since he will get up at about 4 a.m. to begin his duties (thank you to all the volunteers who work so hard!).
I have already learned a couple of things about pacing as I prepared to pace the 4:15 group for the marathon. First is that actually staying on pace is much more complicated than I thought! Pacers are told that the first couple of miles might be slower than pace due to the crowds at the start. Then, from miles 2-20, we are supposed to run 10-15 seconds faster than pace since we will probably slow a little at the end. Our optimal finishing time is just under the actual pace, so I would be perfectly happy getting a 4:14:59 tomorrow :) We are also supposed to take fluid at every aid station. That is new to me since I usually only take every other at the beginning, then maybe take every one near the end. I have had Rick adjust our Garmin several times, trying to get it to read what I think is the most useful information possible. Mine will show 3 rotating screens: total elapsed pace along with total distance, pace for the current mile, and then overall elapsed time. Along with that, I bought a tattoo of the 4:15 pace. I thought I was all set until Jane pointed out to me that my arm will likely be covered for the race! Oops! These are the things I am learning as I go along. A final word about this is that I have never set a time goal and finished at that time before! I once made my own pacing bracelet out of an index card, safety pin, and some packing tape. And I sometimes will set a pace goal just in my head, then I use my watch to see each split. I am interested to see if the Garmin and tattoo will help keep me more focused. And I am hoping not to let anyone down if I do fall off pace.
I have a work party tonight (not a great night to be up late but we are eating Italian so that is good!) and then Rick and I are hosting a Christmas party tomorrow at 4 p.m. This is such a busy weekend! I am looking forward to the next few weeks when I will have a break from work and also begin my trail running in preparation for Mountain Mist.
Good luck to all of the marathon runners tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. You crack me up! This is going to be a new learning experience for both of us! Can't wait to see you at the finish!!! I had no idea Rick was volunteering and getting up so early. WOW! A big thanks to him and ALL of our amazing volunteers!!! It is so very appreciated by participants!

    Good luck girl! I will be sending steady pacing thoughts your way! :)