Friday, May 31, 2019


Early on when the group was larger. Notice there isn't a cloud in the sky.
A quick report from pacing the Hippie Chick Half Marathon... it was a lot of fun! Getting there as a bit iffy as the roads were really backed up trying to get to Hillsboro Stadium. Once again, traffic lights not adjusting to the crush of people trying to get to one spot. After nearly sitting in place for fifteen minutes I called an audible and eventually found my way to an official "secondary" lot at Intel that was a breeze to get into. Very glad I did that otherwise I would have been late!

We all met at the start line at the designated time. I just happened to be wearing a bright yellow shirt, which ended up working well because all the "pacer" indications were bright yellow as well. We each wore a bib on our front and back with our mile pace and then also had a balloon with it as well. No sign to hold up the entire time! Yay! Each time had two pacers. There was a group for 8:00, 8:30, 8:45, 9:00, 9:30, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, and 15:00. I was assigned the 10:00/mile pace, which was perfect, as that was my normal long run pace.

The start was a little congested but nothing too horrible. Within a quarter mile or so we had enough room and were able to hit our pace. It was interesting being under pressure to hit a certain pace. Because it wasn't just enough to average 10:00 over the course of the race, we were trying to hit 10:00 each mile! Plus, when there are two watches and they are saying different things it can be a little concerning! Luckily, I have been known to be a "human metronome" so I instinctively know that pace pretty well. So a couple times when one of our watches was saying 10:30 or 9:30 or whatever the hell, we didn't panic and just kept on trucking.

Mile 9ish. Our numbers have dwindled.
Now, a 10:00 mile in a half marathon is a 2:11:05, which is a weird time. So not a lot of people were hanging out with us. Overall time group might have made more sense. 1:45,1:50, 2:00, etc. While we had a decent group with us at the beginning, they gradually spread out. Not many people had a 10:00 mile as their goal. This race also had a Quarter Marathon, and it was funny because a woman asked which one of us would be breaking off to pace the quarter. She was quite disappointed with the "neither of us, sorry!" response we had. By the time the half split off we were basically only leading two runners.

Those two runners though, their goal was under ten. And they were using us as a measuring stick on their progress. Honestly, I didn't think they were going to make it. Because they seemed to be grinding by about mile 8 or 9, and when I've been in that situation before, I've always fallen back (to be fair, that was in marathons though). However, they both dug deep and did not let us pass them! If we caught up to one of them, they'd kick it up a little and get a bit of distance. It was a tough race because the course had NO shade and it was warm, in the sixties, during the race. Even I was grinding a bit toward the end.

My final chip time details.
Overall we did a really good job. We were targeting 9:55 miles to account for a long course and we hit that each mile within about 5 seconds either way. We did notice the mile signs getting further and further away at each mile. By mile ten our watch would beep about .07 miles too early. I did the quick math and an extra .10 at 9:55/mile would still get us under 10:00/mile on the clock. Well, while mile 12 beeped .08 early, mile 13 beeped .12 early. Crap! By then our two gals were sprinting toward the line though. We continued at the right pace and crossed at 2:11:14. NINE seconds over the goal time. First of all, that's really fucking good. Second of all, the gals we were with finished at least ten seconds ahead of us, so they were good. So despite our watches saying 9:55/mile our official pace was 10:00.

It was a really fun experience! Not only was it nice to run a race and get that race day energy without having to haul ass, it was cool to help those two gals stay on pace and get their goal. And, despite being a "ladies" event, a lot of the pace team was male, so it wasn't too awkward. If given the chance, I would definitely do it again!

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