Blah blah blah, Superbowl, blah blah food salsa guacamole beer commercials, whatever. I enjoyed it as much as I’m obligated as a red-blooded American. Forgive the pathetically sad little Browns fan for not getting all geeked out on the NFL Holiday.
Prior to all the pigskin nonsense, I took my beautiful 6am face and spirit fingers north on the beach path to shower the Surf City runners with my presence.
Brian’s coworker that I stole and forced to be my friend was hoping for her first Sub-2 hour half, and wanted somebody to get through the last 3 miles with. Luckily for her, I know a little about getting near the end of a goal race and needing a friendly push…
That was not so fun. But it would have been a lot worse alone.
Believe it or not. I think.
So I did what any responsible pacer and run-friend would – got up early, sent precise course coordinates where I’d find her, and sharpie’d the splits we needed all over myself. (Yes, they are still faintly visible this afternoon.)
When I text her that picture with “Good luck see you soon!” I got this back :
Tough girl. I thought everybody threw hissy fits when last-minute derailings happen to months of hard work and training? Just me?
Brian and I ran the 6 miles up to the start (yes, together, go ahead and throw up on yourself) and caught Rebecca in the pack just as they took off. Gave her a big yell from the side lines and hoped for the best.
I got another 2.5 miles or so in (total for the day ended up being around 12) running out to our designated meeting spot and found myself along the full marathon route.
‘Oh! SR and Pam should be coming through here soon!’
photo cred – SR
If you are in the market for a very drill-sergeant’y pacer, SR’s your girl. Pam was all, “Hi SarahOUaL! So nice of you to run a bit with us, how are you hun??” and SR’s all, “QUIT TALKING YOU’RE WASTING ENERGY! SPEED UP. SLOW DOWN. LIFT YOUR KNEES SQUEEZE YOUR BUTT SUCK IN FLEX YOUR ARMS. LET’S GOOOO”
So I ran with them until SR’s threats of shanking me if I bumped Pam or derailed their race in any way became a little too much for my sensitive self to handle. I ditched them at the 18 mile mark and made my way back over to Rebecca’s pick up spot.
I watched runner after runner after hundreds of runners go by – hawkeye’ing every inch of course looking for her pink shirt and white hat.
I couldn’t help but get anxious as the seconds/minutes ticked past her projected arrival. I was nervous I’d missed her, nervous she’d be too far behind to save, and mostly, nervous I wouldn’t know what to say or do when(/if) she got to me.
All I’ll say is she was in a world of hurt by the time that point came.
I asked how she was feeling. Offered water. Asked what I could do to help. “Too fast? Too slow? Do you want to push or do you want me to stay here next to you? Do you want to hear a scandalous story to take your mind off the pain?? We’re drinking later, right??“
All of these came with either a tiny nod or weak shake of her head. I felt like the worst run-friend in the universe. Why don’t I know what’s wrong?! Why can’t I fix this?! Why can’t I give her the PR and picture-perfect finish she wants and deserves?!
Talking to her afterwards, I profusely apologized for not knowing what to do. She laughed.
R : “Sarah, I would NOT have gotten through that race without you. I missed my PR, but knowing you were waiting for me at mile 10 was the only thing that kept me moving when it started to hurt at mile 8. You did perfect. I got to the finish because of you.”
… cue teary eyes.
R : “We’ll try Sub2 another time. You’ll wait for me at 10 again?”
Ummm, F Yes I will. Game on, pacer pants. I’ll start working on my telepathy skills.