I’m getting back into the bad habit of taking too many days off from running during the week, and to make things worse I haven’t been supplementing it with lifting. I’ve pretty much been lazy. After achieving most of my 2009 goals mid-year, and without a “reach for the stars” type goal still out there, I think my motivation is waning. My goal of a 1:23 half is probably not ambitious enough any therefore my drive to keep pushing myself is lacking; after all 1:23:00 half is 5:00 of my PR, although that was years ago. I think I need to pick out another 100 miler and set a more ambitious goal than just finishing; not because finishing isn’t good enough (it will always be my primary goal in 100’s) but because I always need to set the bar higher in order to not slack off.
One exciting development, at least I’m excited about it, is that I’ve joined the M3S Sports pace team. I’ll be leading the 8:00 per mile runners at all of M3S’s ‘signature’ events, most of which are 4 milers…a unique distance. The races are Cinco de Mayo Cuatro Miler, Dublin Irish Festival 4 Miler, Oktoberfest Vier Miler, Dead Celebrity 3 Miler, Flying Feather 4 Miler, and Holiday Run 4 Miler. Almost all of the races fall on week nights, meaning they won’t interfere with other races or my weekend long runs. For my efforts I get free entry into the races and all the good stuff that goes with it…technical shirts, etc. There are a few other perks, but I’d do it with or without them. I’m looking forward to being a part of the race atmosphere without having to shell out $ and without the pressure of having to race. It should be a lot of fun! The first race I’m pacing is this Thursday’s (7-30) Dublin Irish Festival 4 Miler…if you’re running the race stop by and say hey!
Speaking of pacing, I’ll be pacing at Burning River 100 this weekend as well, pacing the last 40 miles. I’ve never paced before in my life and now I’ll be pacing twice in 3 days! I was always kind of planning on pacing at BR but didn’t hook-up with another runner until this week for a number of reasons.
- I really would rather be competing in the event. I probably could have, my wife would have been 100% behind me if I decided to run, but she and a lot of other people new to this whole ultra thing think I need to take it easy for a while. I was holding out on pacing just in case the urge to compete got the better of me as we got closer to the start date.
- I really shouldn’t spend the money. Not that I can’t afford it but I hesitate to spend $225 on any race…it’s just a lot of money. I tentatively plan on running Mohican and Burning River in 2010 but I’ll be taking advantage of the early bird savings. Pacing is free : )
- I was really hoping to hook-up with a runner who’s successfully completed a couple ultras so I could learn a thing or two about how they approach the race. I know pacing isn’t about ME it’s about the runner but I always want to be getting better and this could be a good learning experience. It would be an added bonus if I could pace someone who is not just looking to finish, but is gearing towards a sub-24 goal or is perhaps competitive in the overall race. I’d like to see what type of mind-set is required to keep “racing” after so many hours into the event. I was just happy to be moving forward, closer to the finish, at Mohican and I lost that competitive spirit. When I've finished a few successfull 100 miles myself and feel like I know what I'm doing I'll jump at the chance to help a 1st timer through their first race and hopefully their first buckle.
- I wanted to remain a free-agent in case a runner I know would like a pacer. It would be really great to help a friend finish, and I didn’t want to commit to helping a stranger if a friend needed help. This didn’t quite work out as planned because the very next day after hooking-up with a runner a friend emailed looking for pacing help (sorry Michelle!).
In the end I’m really excited to have the opportunity to pace Jenny Chow at Burning River. Jenny’s won two 100 milers this year (at least I think it’s just two : ) Kettle Moraine and Mohican, and she also finished the Vermont 100 just a week and a ½ ago. To pretty much sum it up, she’s a machine! Our path’s briefly crossed at Mohican and she was really nice and supportive as she passed me, looking very fresh 52 miles into the race. Logic tells me that Jenny won’t be gunning to win Burning River just two weeks after Vermont, but logic sort of goes out the window in 100 milers…anything’s possible and I’ll be ready for anything. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from her, given the success she’s had over the last year. Come Saturday though my sole focus will be helping Jenny through the last 40 miles of the course. If I learn something while pacing than great, but I’m there to help her…not the other way around.
To everyone running the Burning River 100 this weekend, good luck!!!!!!!