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Failed Pacing - Chicago 2011...

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Failed Pacing - Chicago 2011... Empty Failed Pacing - Chicago 2011...

Post  Jim Lentz on Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:53 am

or was it? About 3 weeks before the Chicago Marathon I got a call that they wanted me to be on the Nike pace team. I hadn't wanted to do that for some time and agreed to it even though I knew it meant not chasing a PR. I did as much training as a I could at 8:35 to prepare me for my pacing duties. The time went by quickly and before I knew it race morning had arrived.



Peggy and I got ready and took the Blue Line into the downtown area. Unfortunatley they wouldn't let her into the start area and I had to say an abbreviated goodbye to her. My borther and sister-in-law would be coming to the race a little later. We needed to be at the tent by 6:00 AM which gave me a chance to use our private porta-potties. The dowwnside was that shortly after 6:30 we had to head to the start to be sure to be lined up before 7 AM. I wish I had used the porta-potty again before we left.



I met a friend that is a co-pace leader for our training group in the corral right behind me. It was nice to talk with Robert and the time flew by. The gun went off and we crossed the start 3:30 after the gun went off. I was running with Katie (preparing to race a 3:10), Joe our captain and Witt (a last minute addition to our team. It was great running with these other runners in the pace team and Joe did a great job getting the crowd to respond by blowing his whistle. I had the timing duties and called the ssplits for each mile as well as how close we were to the time compared to the pace tat.



The first few miles went by pretty quickly. but I really wanted to stop to pee. I now see why some guys use a Gatorade bottle and garbage bag at the start. Early on Witt had to stop at a porta-potty, but caught back up with us in a few miles. For some reason pacing with this group felt natural, like we had been running together for months. By mile 10 I was having the other type of porta potty issues, but kept it out of my mind as much as I could. The warmth and sun were starting to make my legs feel fatigued by mile 17, a little earlier than expected.



I was starting to think I escaped having to do a 4+ minute porta-potty stop being less than 10 miles from the finish. By this point Witt was gone and we never did see him again. I continued to be amazed how well Joe, Katie and I were running together. We could be running on opposite sides of the street, not really looking at each other and when I would check we were almost always even with each other.



By mile 20 my legs were really feeling fatiigued, but I thought I could hold it together. Joe continued to encourage the spectators to go crazy when our group ran by. The miles were feeling like they were taking so much longer than at the start. I was hoping I could finish with the group as our pace was continuing to be really good. Unfortunatley shortly after 22 I had to stop at the porta-potty. I was in there 5 minutes and knew I would never catch them before the finish. While I was occupied I took my pacer singlet and turned it inside out so that runners wouldn't think I was still officially pacing. At first I felt horrible that I had failed at pacing. Then it dawned on me that I had helped the other team members maintain a pace for sub-3:45 for 22+ miles and I knew Katie and Joe would get them there.



Once I started running again I had the feeling post porta-potty that I have little energy and feel really fatigued. I have an appointment wit the Dr. this Thursday about this issue. I alternated between running and walking. I was suprised how hard it felt. Shortly before Roosevelt I thought to myself that I had to run it the rest of the way in. Last year I couldn't keep running up "Mount Roosevelt", but this year I did. I finished in 3:56 and some change. I called Peggy after I got finished and planned to walk down Michigan Avenue, but felt to weak. I sat down for a while waiting for them and alternated between feeling I had to throw up and go to the bathroom. When Peggy, my brother and sister-in-law showed up I said I had to go somewhere to sit down. We found the Hilton lobby and I sat there for about 30 minutes until I started feeling a little better. We went for pizza and I slowly was feeling better as time went on.



I checked as soon as I got home and found that Joe and Katie got the team in at 3:44:09, a great job pacing. Because of the way the BQ now works we had a 1 minute finishing time window instead of 2. We were asked to get the group in from 3:44:00-3:44:59. I hope I have the opprotunity to pace again. I also want to get the porta-potty issue resolved.
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Post  Michael Enright on Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:51 pm

As someone who had to stop and take a dump in the woods during my last 20 miler, I know how you must have felt! Sorry about that and the unexpected late-marathon fatigue. I hope the doctor's views on that align with whatever your expectations are, and that it's nothing dramatic.

Great job pacing. And you certainly got them through the part that's hardest to keep at the right pace. Anyone in that group who finished would have relied on pure guts and determination from the point where you left them anyway, and of course they had two good pacers left in any event.

You will pace again!
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Post  Jack_Scaff on Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:26 pm

Nothing to be ashamed of at all. Even under the best conditions, 26.2 is a challenge, and you did a fine job.
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Post  healdgator on Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:34 pm

Nice job, Jim. You got them through the first 22 miles, which is plenty. You did a good thing.
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Post  Mark B on Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:07 pm

You needn't feel as if you failed as a pacer, Jim. In fact, you were better than a lot of pacers I've seen. You helped hold the group on pace for 22+ miles, sacrificing your comfort (both during and after the race) to help them hit their goals. I can see why you'd be disappointed that you didn't finish with the group, but you're a big part of what got them there. Good job.
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Post  Randy E on Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:11 pm

Hi Jim, nice job getting those runners through most of the marathon at the target pace. You did a great job with that. I hope you get the potty issues resolved.
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Post  Jerry on Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:23 pm

22 miles, you served well, Jim. Things happen, that's why there are more than 1 pacer. Good job in a warm day!
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Post  Julie on Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:27 pm

you did well!

I hope you can get the digestive issues worked out. I have really benefited from no wheat or dairy the 2 days preceding the race and also plenty of morning coffee. It means no pasta dinners but I eat rice and potatoes just fine. I would experiment with your 20 milers day before and see what you can figure out.
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Post  JohnP on Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:12 pm

Jim, that's why there is more than one pacer in each time. Nice job getting those first 22 miles in and I'm sure you helped a number of people keep going at that pace. Let us know how the doc visit goes, hope everything is OK.
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Post  Alex Kubacki on Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:03 am

Jim sorry about the issues, but great job getting them through 22M in those conditions. Congrats on the race.
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Post  Chris M on Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:31 am

The medical issues you are having are a concern and a bit confusing so I hope that you get that worked out soon. Perhaps some kind of diet shift will be needed at least in the last week leading in to the race? Don't worry about the pacing assignment. You did great with them for the vast majority of the race and they use multiple pacers to cover exactly what happened.
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Post  Jim Lentz on Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:10 pm

Thanks Everyone! The Dr. suspects a spastic colon and has me trying a medication that I will test out for the 50/50 in 9 days. Last year I had major problems around mile 20 at the 50/50 and took a DNF for the race.
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Post  Seth Harrison on Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:28 pm

I'm glad you're already getting this situation figured out Jim. That was a tough day out there to be sure, but you did a great job pacing the other runners for as long as you could, especially given what you were going through.
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