I’ve been very slack in posting any blog updates lately. It’s not been because I’ve been lazy though, I’ve been busier than ever. In the past ten days I’ve coached my high school team to a girl’s runner up finish at the conference championships (and the boys team finished 5th), then drove straight to the airport for a red-eye flight to Pittsburgh to pace the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. Then I flew the next day to Atlanta for the Mizuno Sales Conference and flew back the following day for the last high school practice. Now I’m 2 days into the Colorado State Meet with two athletes left to compete this afternoon. Little to say, blogging has been on the back-burner lately!
The Pittsburgh Marathon put the pacers up in a hotel right next to the finish line and adjacent to PNC Park. Even though I’m originally from Pennsylvania, I grew up in eastern PA and never have been to Pittsburgh with the exception of the airport. As soon as I arrived and was checking in I bumped into Jeffrey Eggleston. Jeffrey was the men’s pacer, and 24 hours later he was also the 2011 Pittsburgh Marathon Champion. We joined for an easy 7 mile run and chatted about American distance running and marathoning. We were both very gratious for the opportunity the Pittsburgh Marathon was giving us and hopeful to pace some new Olympic Trials qualifiers. (It turned out that Jeffrey had the option to finish after 18 miles and when he found himself in contention he made a bold move and won the race. You can read his race recap on JeffreyEggleston.com).
After showering, grabbing some food, and meeting the wonderful folks who organized the elite side of the race, my parents arrived in town! It was great to see them again and I was able to give my mom her mother’s day gift I was saving to give to her. Both of my parents have big huge supporters of everthing I do. When I was the kicker on my high school football team my mom would even go to all the games despite the rain or cold…and she hated football! Spending time with them over the next 24 hours made the trip that much more special.
I planned for the pacing job as I would a marathon. Making all of my bottles and gels appropriately marked and set-up for the course. I wanted to make sure that I did everything right to help the women achieve the ‘A’ standard. I ended up hitting the paces perfectly with a 1:19:31 half-way split and a finishing time of 2:38:30. Unfortunately the course was much hillier than I think the girl’s had anticipated and running sub 2:39 would have taken an extraordinary effort. I was happy that I was able to help Natasha LaBeaud of McMillan Elite run a 3 minute personal best. After the race I added on to get a 30 mile long run in to close out a 118 mile week. Not bad the week after a half-marathon in 1:05:09!
The Pittsburgh Marathon is the perfect example of a race trying to support American distance running. I’m honored that they asked me to pace and hope to come back to Pittsburgh in the future to race this wonderful event. Thank you to all of the race organizers, elite coordinators, and volunteers that made the race as smooth, efficient, and fun as it was. Another big thank you to my parents that drove 5 hours across the state and then 5 hours home to spend one day with me and watch me. I’m very lucky to have met so many fantastic folks in the running community and have the most supportive parents!
The next post will be about Mizuno with some very cool pictures! Stay tuned…