Our Weekend Pacing the USAF Marathon

We are back and excited to talk to you after a brief hiatus from blogging last Friday. My hands and knee are fully healed and I appreciate all the sweet comments from you all wishing me a speedy recovery and emphasizing with my clumsiness. You all are the best! 

Rewinding to Friday, we did the work thing and then hit the road in the early evening to head to Dayton, Ohio to pace the US Air Force marathon. The marathon is on the Air Force base and it was our 7th year in a row pacing the marathon. It is a race that now marks the beginning of fall for me because it has become so much of a “landmark” event in our race calendar each year. We made it into Dayton for a yummy pasta dinner in the Air Force base museum. Meb was the keynote speaker for the dinner, so, yeah, it was pretty cool. We then picked up our pacing uniforms, sat at the pacing booth for a while and signed up runners, then we said hello to our pace team and headed back to our base housing for the night.

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 I can’t say that we got the best sleep, because the beds were not quite what I am accustomed to, but we managed.

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We woke up at 5:15, got dressed, and drank some coffee.

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You have now seen the full extent of my daily prep.

 

 We then headed to the start, ate a Cliff Bar each, split a banana and a bottle of water, and off we went.

em-usaf-marathon-2016 I was pacing the 3:50 group, so I started with quite a few people who were trying to break 4 hours. Todd paced the 3:35 group and he started with a very small group and quickly was all alone. The majority of my group stayed with me until about mile 15 and then started to drop off. Both Todd and I finished without anyone from our original group, but with both finished in great time. Todd hit his pace pretty spot on and finished in 3:34:14. Just because I always feel the need to be a tad bit better than him, I finished in 3:49:15. Some people ask us why we finish alone. We are required to stay right on pace the entire race, so, unfortunately, we cannot slow down to cheer someone on from our group when they start to drag. We have to just give a few words of encouragement and keep moving and hope for the best for them. Think of it this way, if all the pacers slowed down to help the runners who started to slip, then none of the pacers would finish in time and anyone looking to stay on an even pace would be left to fend for themselves. Make sense?

All in all, it was a truly fabulous day.  We got to encourage many people during the race, my injury did not flare up until the very end, and we hit our paces.  Plus, we got a very cool but heavy medal, which is always fun. 

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Then we got home, showered, and ate everything in sight, including our absolute favorite…PIZZA. Well, my second favorite next to Peanut Butter, of course, but I definitely got some of that in later.

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 We wish you all a happy week and we will talk to you later on!

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