Now the task at hand. Last Saturday, a week ago, our running group was sitting at Panera's having food and liquids when I hear Beth telling everyone that she is doing the Run For Sight 5k next Saturday. Yeah okay. Everyone kept talking about other things. "Hey! I said I am doing the Run For Sight 5k in Ybor City next Saturday". Okay. Others are running 22 miles and some are going out of town to avoid seeing fireworks. What's the big deal. "I just wanted you guys to know. I could use a pacer because I want a PR." Now when she says "pacer", she was looking at me.
Now I have never officially paced someone for a 5k race other than my two daughters. So I'm thinking, great now I am going to have to hear crying and whining. It's hot out here. When is it over. How far have we gone. Am I going to fast. Am I going to slow. Should I have pottied before we started. Should I eat a banana before the race or after. Do you think I should wear a jog bra....wait scratch that one. This is Beth wanting me to pace. I was actually honored that she would ask me to pace her. I very much agreed to run with her.
I asked Beth what her goal time was and she said 25ish. I told her that would not do. She should go for 24ish. Never settle. I say that and I am sometimes the one that settles. But hey, the pacer can always make the rules. Does not mean he has to follow them.
Our meet time was settled. 6:30 in the a.m. at the Target. Now I would hope the first thing I hear would be, "Good morning. Great to see you. I am so ready for this race." Nope. Since she already broke the boundary in her blog, this is what I heard. "I am having woman issues." Great for me. Yippy. The Run For Sight has now become the "This Crazy Bitch Is Out Of Control 5k." She assured me that it does not affect her personality at all. Once she signed the waiver, we got in Holly's car for the ride to the race.
I stayed in the car while Beth and Holly went to packet pick-up. I would like to say I just rested and stretched while sitting in the car but I was praying instead. I just happened to look over the waiver Beth signed for me and realized she did not use her real name. Oh hell this should be fun. Welcome ipod. Don't leave home without it.
We have now moved to the starting area to stretch and linger. A girl wearing a pink running shirt approached us, well actually Beth, I just happened to be standing there. She said, "aren't you the blogger." And Beth said yes and removed a Sharpie from her waist and reached out as if to sign an autograph or her running shirt or something. It just got kind of weird for a moment. Beth did her best to include Captain Nuts in the whole reading blogs thing but this girl just said the old, "oh yeah I do." Captain Nuts could tell. He knows she doesn't.
So the race was about to begin and I told Beth that I would let her run her pace at first. I would then pick it up when the time comes. I also told her we needed to be towards the front so we don't get caught having to get around people. This would cause us to have to pick the pace up before she was ready. The Star Spangled Banner. The horn. We are off. Sure enough I told her to start getting around people. Don't you just love those runners that either walk or feel that if they are at the front it will somehow make them faster. I know we are not all super fast, I surely am not, but at least put yourself in the right position before the race starts. I digress.
Beth is cooking it. She is running a 7:15 for about the first mile. I am starting to think that I have been Punked. I do not want to say it but I am damn sure hoping that she can not maintain this pace. Only because a pacer is supposed to be with the runner at the end of the race. I know those anonymous posters will say, "not for every race." Well I would hope a pacer for a 5k would start and finish with their runner. Anyways.
She starts to slow a little which was good because I did not want her to fade too soon. She was still running about 7:30 pace. I felt good with this pace. And she only groaned and moaned a few times. She sure kept looking at that watch. Just over the halfway point we caught two high school girls that were running pretty good. The chess match began. Beth dropped them just over the 2 mile point. At just about the 2.5 mark is the first time I heard her complain. She said she was starting to fade. I told her to quit looking at her watch and just run. I would make sure she was going fast enough. Two turns left and we were at 22:50. A woman said that Beth was the 6th woman so far. That had to be great to hear. I thought it was.
Holly was just in front of us. Actually very close. I remember telling Beth before the race started that she could run with Holly. No I can't. She is fast. Knock off the doubting of yourself.
The last turn and the clock had just turned 23:00. Get in there girl, I yelled. She picked it up and finished at 23:21. No puking. She had an excellent run. She filled out her time card and put it in the box. I looked and saw that hers was the only card in the box and there no other cards on the finisher board. I knew that she had won her age group but did not say anything to her confirming it. She did so well that Holly was looking for us at the finish line and did not know we were done. Holly also won her age group with a time of 23:11. Both she and Beth had PR's.
A personal note to Beth. I know you had a few rough days this week but "YOU" kicked ass. Thank you very much for asking me to pace you. I enjoyed it. At some point you will have to pace me. Now for that, "when should I eat a banana" comment. She ate one after the race.