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<span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I was tasked to pace the 3:10 group at Twin Cities this past weekend – I looked forward to a nice cool Minnesota fall marathon on a beautiful course. Beautiful course, yes – but not a cool fall day! I arrived into St. Paul on Fri and went for a 5 mile run and was shocked at how warm it was that afternoon, and very humid. Not a good sign.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Sat I ran a few miles with the pace team in the morning and then ran in the 5k that is on the last 1.55 miles of the marathon course. I figured I could run it hard and get pulled to a PR (course was favorable with a slight uphill in the first mile which became a slight downhill in the last stretch, plus a fast field to pull me along) and get to know the course a little. I had run the Flying Pig 10k pretty hard the day before pacing the 3:10 group and it was no problem at all, so a 5k shouldn’t be an issue. I PR’ed, but didn’t quite get the time I had been hoping for. The field was indeed fast as I came in 21st with a 17:22 – had I run 10 seconds faster I think I would have been satisfied but I just never felt like I had any zip.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">As I walked to the expo from my hotel on Sat afternoon, I was very concerned with how hot it was…very concerned!! I started drinking a lot and spent most of the day on my hotel bed watching football and baseball, taking a nap, etc. The Expo wasn’t much work – steady but not too crowded, and the pasta dinner was quite good. After a team meeting, we hit the rack about 9:30, watched some of the baseball playoffs and went to bed, hoping that the forecast of a cooler Sun was true. It was – but not enough!</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I ran into some KickRunners before the race (Moment’s Notice, Korbels, joplus, and a few others whose “handles” I can’t recall)…it was warm but not too bad, but the humidity was high. We were off and got right on pace (7:15/mile for a 3:10) in the very first mile, but I was already sweating at that point. The first 5 miles were 7:19, 7:01 (whoops – a little fast!), 7:15, 7:10, 7:07. The group was decent sized – maybe 60 people that seemed to be running with me. It was a little difficult navigating through the course because there were some narrow spots and winding turns. I got knocked about a little bit trying to stay in the middle but eventually we worked well together. My training buddy Doug decided to run with me as he had a slight injury that would flare up when he pushed the pace so I figured he’d keep me company the entire day as he is capable of a 2:50ish kind of time.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">The water stops were a little more infrequent than I would like and they gave you big bottles with a sport cap. Nice – but very wasteful as you’d take a few swigs and then ditch it since you didn’t want to carry it. I had my group taking a few bottles and passing them around so we’d use more (and leave fewer on the road for people behind us to trip on!) and that worked well. Still – I think more stops with cups rather than bottles would be a better choice.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Next 5 miles were 7:17, 7:21, 7:15, 7:03, 7:09 so we were looking good. The group kinda settled in and got into a rhythm and, although it was hot and I could spot some people I knew weren’t going to make it, I thought we were doing fine. I wanted to start banking some time now to prepare for the late hills so we starting thinking more about 7:05-7:10 – miles 10-15 were 7:03, 7:17, 7:11, 7:18, 7:14. This was a little slower than planned but we ran the first 10 miles about 15-20 seconds faster than I’d planned so still ok.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">At 15 I notice the group is much smaller and growing smaller every minute. Doug is still with me, as was Jorge and a few others. Doug had gone ahead to run with some ladies at one point and then fell back as they did. He peeled off around 17 and would eventually finish in 3:20ish (though he looked pretty decent). Miles 16-20 were 7:10, 7:08, 7:09, 7:06, 7:08 – pretty much perfect. The only problem was that starting around 19 it was me and Jorge – passing people left and right and we couldn’t get anyone to keep up with us. We now had 1:20 in the bank so I eased back just a little to rest for a mile before some hills hit us at 22. Mile 21 was back to 7:15 and Jorge started to fall back shortly after 21 and some of the first hills. I told him to keep the balloons in sight as best he could and I would keep plugging along (he finished about 1 minute behind me). 22 was a 7:28 and now I’m feeling it – no one left around me to fake it and look good for, and I could not get anyone to run with me for more than a minute or so as I passed them.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Around 22 or 23 I start to become concerned about hamstring cramps – when I get dehydrated, if they cramp up I can’t run. I have to stop and stretch and then I can continue until it happens again. I was very glad I had some banked time and I start to convince myself to not give away all of it at once – my goal was to run 7:25-7:30 and hold on. 23 was 7:34 so not a good sign. I had to stop a few times and stretch it to try and postpone a big cramp.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I decided I would push hard at 24 to try and get one more good mile in and then coast the last 2 if need be. The hills weren’t bothering me at all, it was just the possibility of a cramp on my mind! Mile 24 was good, a 7:05, so I still had enough time in the bank if I just didn’t have to stop. I tried to do the same thing on mile 25 – run hard and save the bank. It didn’t work as well but I only gave away 12 seconds (7:27) so not too shabby. There was a good downhill the last mile and I just wanted to get to that point and still feel OK and then I’d let it rip as best I could – mile 26 was 7:23, all of that due to the downhill and a few timely hammy stretches that staved off the cramps.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">The cramps hit after the 26 mile mark – I knew they would get me eventually and they did, about 30 yards from the finish! I hopped along, cramped and had to stop and stretch which of course the crowd enjoyed seeing me struggle!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> I managed to limp across the line and finished with a 3:09:36.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I chucked my balloons to the side the moment I crossed the line and leaned over to stretch. When I stood back up I was very lightheaded and woozy. I decided to go over to the medical tent because I wanted 1) Something cold to drink – I was very sick of warm water, 2) Shade, and 3) Somewhere to sit down for a few minutes. The medical tent nurses were great (and quite cute!!) They lay me down, took off my shoes and socks, got my finisher shirt. The soup they gave me was a lifesaver – I needed the sodium badly! Cold water was good too and I started to feel more myself after lying down for 4-5 minutes. The nurse who brought me the soup said they wanted to get a temperature on me and said they had to do it rectally got a good laugh when I said “Look, let’s just start with the soup and see how things progress with us from there!” I managed to get out of that by being lucid so I got out of there after 10-15 minutes – they were starting to get very busy so it was fine with them that I left. I talked to some friends, got my finisher photo taken (double gun flex – should be an awe-inspiring sight!) and walked the mile or so back to the hotel. The shuttle would have been faster but the easy walk made me feel a lot better.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">That was a lot more challenging than the 2:48 I ran a few weeks ago at Air Force. ANYONE who finished did well (same at Chicago) and should be very proud, regardless of the time. Thanks also to the medical staff and the crowd support – Twin Cities was a good marathon that I’m sure I would have LOVED had it been ~50 degrees!</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I’m praying for some cool weather next Sunday at Denver…I can’t do that back-to-back weekends!!</span></span>
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy"><br><br>
Tremendous!<br><br>
This day made you work, yet you still pulled it off. Awesome, just awesome.<br><br>
I know you'd like to help more runners achieve their goals, but this day just did not allow it.<br><br>
I can't believe your're pacing again, at altitude, next week. Rock on!
 

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Toughness is not always about the big guns!! You showed you have some big padoobies to deal with the heat and hit your pace dead-on. Sometimes, hearing the struggles of you elite types helps us slow pokes realize that even for the best, there are tough days.
 

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Awesome work! The legend continues...that'll earn you a few more man crushes. I'm just sayin! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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Way to go Chris - you kick ass bro!<br><br>
BTW - I'd say that even if you weren't my VRAA teammate...
 

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Nice jobs pacing, <b>Chris</b>. Way to man up and fight the good fight.
 

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I still can't believe you pulled off that time. So today it's 50 and fairly cold out. Fancy that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
So you pacing Disney this year?
 

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Congrats for making it all the way, and on time, regardless of how many folks you had left. And I was not one of them <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> I started feeling terrible by mile 7. I'd run ahead of you guys (big mistake) and by 9 miles you came back to me; I tried to stay with y'all but eventually dropped off the back. At the water station around 12 miles I actually stopped to down more than a couple of swallows of water and was shocked at how awful I felt. Decided to forgo the inevitable PW and long recovery, so I jogged to the sag bus at 12.5.<br><br>
Anyway, it was nice meeting you, and you deserve many thanks and congrats for the service that you do.
 

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Holy Crap <b><span>Pacerbabe</span></b>! Do you ever fail?! Amazed and disappointed that you didn't include the double gun salute! Great work. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy">
 

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Pacer - you're still my first 30s crush. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> Nice work in the Cities.
 

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Great run Chris, the conditions were brutal! I have never seen so many people walking so early (8 miles) in a marathon before. I started cramping at mile 14 and had to switch to survival mode. It wasn't pretty!<br>
It was nice to meet you, have a great race in Denver.
 

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Impressive Chris. The ability to do this back to back weekends and in nasty conditions boggles me.
 

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Really? You won't consider pacing the 3:59:59 group in Philly? Please? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><br><br>
Another truely impressive showing, Chris. I am constantly amazed at your ability to do this once, let alone week after week! Congratulations on a great race in such tough conditions.
 

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Not your typical pacing gig, hey? Congratulations on doing a fine job and not suffering too badly for it.
 
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