Pacing

One week from today I will be embarking upon an adventure unlike any that I have taken before.  I was asked several months ago if I would be willing to be a pace leader for the inaugural Rock & Roll Marathon in Savannah, Georgia.  Lots of perks including running the race for FREE was a great way for me to agree 🙂  Now, after going through the paperwork process of verifying my fastest race I was told that I would be pacing the 4:10 marathon group.  How do they figure out what group you will be pacing?  Pretty simple, they take your fastest marathon time which for me is 3:25 and they add 45 minutes to that and they come up with 4:10.  They want to make sure that the pace leader doesn’t bonk out at mile 23!  So, I have been mentally preparing to lead a group of runners to what hopefully will be the race of their lives.  Then 3 nights ago, I received an email from the Pace Leader director informing me that the race organizers messed up and there actually is no 4:10 pace group, instead it is 4:15, so now I have to run 5 minutes slower than I had originally planned.  Sounds like a good problem to have isn’t it!  It’s not.  I have been working these past several weeks in an attempt to actually run the pace for the race.  9:32 was the original pace but now with an extra 5 minutes I have to pace out at 9:44 per mile.  At first, I figured this would be easy, but I have found that it is not as easy as I once thought.  I am having to change my entire mentality about racing.  First, I need to understand that this race is not about me at all.  There are many many people who are depending on ME to get them across the line in 4 hours and 15 minutes.  For most of these people this will be the race of their lives and the fastest they have ever run.  For some, it will be a Boston Qualifier.  So, if I mess this up, I potentially mess up some persons dreams!  No pressure though right!  In all honesty I am really looking forward to this unique opportunity.  Maybe if it goes well, this might be something I would like to do again.  Either way, I am needing to train some more, so I am going to head out today and work on running a 9:44 pace for a while.  We shall see how it goes.  I am just going to run today until I have this pace ingrained into my legs.  Might only need 5 miles to get it down, but then again I might need 25 miles to get it right.  We shall see.  Have a great day everyone!

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