Week 3 of Coached Training

Right now coach is dictating the desired paces on my long runs, tempo runs, and certain key runs during the week. He is also letting me know days where I should be treating the mileage like a recovery. Goal mileage right now is 55-60 mpw. I can run 6 days or 7, but no more than 10 miles in one run other than my long run day so if I want to do a 12 mile day during the week I need to split it up between 8 and 4 or 7 and 5. Long run right now is not to exceed 15 miles. This is working pretty well for me. I am aiming for running everyday but this week work caught up to me and Wednesday I had to take a day off from running. It worked out fine and I am sure my body and mind appreciated the break.

Run Down May 25th through May 31st (58 Miles)
Notes for the week-It was hot and humid early in the week but the weekend runs the temps were awesome! The trail run on Saturday was a nice little break, went with my old trail running buddies and just enjoyed the day, very easy pace, walking many of the hills.
Saturday night did some (brief) core exercises and light weights, no yoga this week because of scheduling conflicts.

Monday- 5.25 easy run 8:30 pace
Tuesday- 8 miles AM 7:29 pace (Note I am not a morning person!)
Thursday-4 Miles recovery AM 8:38 pace
Track Workout PM 8.25 Miles
Friday-8.25 miles recovery with CV 8:17 Pace
Saturday- Gorgeous Easy Muddy Trail Run 9.4 miles (So good to be back on the Buckeye Trail!)
Sunday- 15 mile long run 7:32 pace

Key Workouts:

No Tempo this week, but Tuesday coach had me keep the pace under 8 minute miles. The run went fine but it is definitely harder for me to run that pace in the morning during the week than it is to do it at lunch. Work dictated that I had to get this run in early or not at all so I sucked it up and woke up early.

Moved track to Thursday because of conflicts BB and I had.

I did a little bit of an easy warm up (1.25) before the crew got there then we got to work

Mile warm up 7:34
4*100 strides/100 recoveries

Ladder Workout Out. Coach wanted me to aim for 6:20 the first mile then pace had to be equal or better for each following interval. Last mile is just a good hard effort, not necessarily the pace we held on the intervals. Did the workout with BB and Solar so my rests were a little longer, their a little shorter.

1600: 6:15, about 3 minute recovery jog
1200: 4:35, 3:24 recovery
800: 2:58, 2:42 recovery
400: 1:26, 1:54 recovery
400: 1:22, lap recovery (4:28)

1600 Good Hard Effort: 6:18 (Same as 3 weeks ago)

I was pretty whipped after this workout! It was Humid!

800 meter cool down Slow!

Long Run:
Coach has me aiming for low 8s on the long runs for now. Problem with that and the Sunday SERC group is the people I like to run with are just a hair faster than that and I am like a chameleon I am just drawn into their pace rather than running on my own. But I felt really good this morning and it was beautiful out. Ran most of the run with Frank and CK. Had two new runners show up which was great.

Keeping it Green

For those non runners in my life a little post about another aspect of my life I have been working on. We have been trying to keep life as green as possible in the E-Speed household and so far so good!

It has been just over a year since I started taking the bus to work. I cannot tell you how nice it has been. I have been reading a ton and saving myself a ton of driving related stress. I am not sure if I am saving much money. The commute is $2 each way. Since I have to drive once a week to get to the track and I get a ride home on Thursdays from Jen it doesn't make sense to buy the monthly pass. But I am saving a ton in piece of mind and I hardly ever have to get gas. I have become a bit of a hound for singles though since the grocery store seems to run out of 5 ride passes often. Other than a couple of strange incidences and frequently having to race to get to the stop on time (speed training!) riding the bus has been pretty painless and I am so glad I made the switch!

Last year I kept bugging the hubby to let me buy a push reel mower (aka manual, no motor!) but he didn't seem too keen on the idea. Well the last mow of the season last year I broke the cord on the lawn mower and after a frustrating evening spent trying to fix it the hubby let me buy our push reel mower. With our mower broken and the timing of our vacations and storms etc we actually ended up getting a notice from the city the day I purchased the push reel mower (a little peeved about the notice because we got it the night before a predicted three days of rain and the notice stated we had to 'abate the nuisance' within 48 hours or suffer the city doing it for us and putting a lien on our property). We had actually tried to purchase a push reel mower a few days before but the stores did not have any in stock except for the floor models so I had to do some online research to locate one in our area. Well we got it and I mowed the lawn that night after putting it together.

After the third mowing the yard looks great and added bonus I can mow any time because the mower is pretty quiet! The first two mows admittedly looked a little ragged, but I did mow the first time at night in the rain because of the notice and it took a second mow before everything evened out. I haven't timed it but I am pretty sure it doesn't take any more time than it did with the regular lawn mower. And added bonus you get a bit of an upper body workout pushing the thing around.

Last year I built a rain barrel and because of our busy lives and our lack of handy man skills it took me until now to finally get the thing attached to the gutter coming off of our garage. Well I am happy to report that after just one storm the thing is already full. It is crazy the amount of runoff that comes off of your houses and goes straight into the storm system. If you haven't built a rain barrel yet this is a super easy way to take a green step, lower your water bill, and give your plants water they will benefit from. If you are local check out the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District Website, they are offering some rain barrel workshops in June and July! I'm debating making a second one since I am sure once summer comes we will go through that water quickly.

On a sad note Euclid stopped picking up recyclables. This is disappointing because most people just won't recycle if it involves any additional effort. I just checked the Euclid website and they finally have offered a reasonable alternative, so for those Euclidians like me trying to find a place to put those recyclables head on over to Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School, 18491 Lakeshore Boulevard. The collection bins are in the parking lot. Their previous solutions involved about 6 different drop off sites all for only one type of recycled product and none for plastic. Not convenient at all.

So in a nutshell that's what I have been up to in an effort to decrease my impact on the planet. It isn't much but it is a start!

Week Number 2 with the Coach

5-18 through 5-24 (54 Miles)
Monday- 3.26 easy 9:44 pace (I was pretty whipped!)
Tuesday-7.79 on the track
Wednesday- 7.74 easy 8:14 pace
Thursday- 5 miles tempo in 34:40, 8.44 miles total
Friday- 7.58 recovery 8:33 pace
Saturday- 13 Mile long run 8:04 pace
Sunday- 6.54 easy 9:06 pace
*Also did one hour of Yoga Thursday Night, Saturday worked in the yard for 5 hours

I'm supposed to be doing 55-60 miles per week so I came up a bit shy. Need to pay better attention this week :)

Details on the key workouts below:

Track Workout #2 with Coach:

Next key race is a 5k so we are starting to work on my speed and turn over. I was still tired from the half marathon and my right achilles is tweaked a bit (hurts when I put on my running shoes until I get warmed up)

Couple of easy laps then one mile warm up at 7:31 followed by 4*100 strides then 3 sets of: (4*200 on/200 easy), 800. Aiming for 40-43 on the 200s (Have I mentioned I hate 200s, I have no speed from the line!). First 800 under 3:20 and each following faster than the previous 800.

Set 1: 45.27(1:06.92 R), 43.40 (1:11.09 R), 44.70 (1:14.63 R), 43.37 (2:50 R),
800: 3:08.52
Set 2: 45.03(1:14.91 R), 42.26(1:18.25 R),41.59(1:18.49 R),41.66 (3:23 R),
800: 2:59.59
Set 3: 41.66 (1:11.74 R), 41.19 (1:13.43 R),41.99(1:16 R), 41 something (watch lost splits for this one), (2:30 R),
800: 2:53

These times aren't anything outstanding for me, looking back I have done all of this in the past, but I think the key is going to be consistency and we will hopefully see these times drop quickly.


The tempo run went pretty well. I could tell I was tired the last few miles (and it was hot!!!), but I pushed and actually upped the pace a bit. I was trying not to look at the watch as much since I started off close to pace I wanted to try and hold it without using the Garmin. It felt comfortable the first two miles then I had to work a bit. Obviously I went a little hard on the back half, likely compensating a bit too much for feeling wiped out!

Ran this one on my own for the most part. CV jumped in for the 4th mile. I was a little faster than we wanted (aiming for 7) but the goal of these workouts is to get used to running 7s. I need to be able to feel the pace with no watch. Since this was my second tempo after a bunch of speed and the half last week I think it was likely the pace would feel a bit easier than it did last week when I was still coming out of marathon mode.


Long Run:

Ran with Salty in the heat of the day Saturday. Probably not our brightest decision ever. Coach wanted 13 miles at even low 8s. Mission achieved. It was really hot and I should have brought more water but I survived. Our first 6.5 went great we were a wee bit fast at just under 8 but Salty had some dehydration issues so we backed it off the second half and it evened out to the low 8s we were supposed to run. Next time Salty we hit the pavement before the heat of the afternoon!

The New Coach

I am going to try and be better about keeping this blog updated this summer but bear with me, life is (a very good kind of) super hectic lately and I have a lot on my plate.

Since 2004 I have kind of been winding my way aimlessly through marathon, triathlon, and ultra training. Some things I have done right and others in retrospect I realize could likely have been done better. Each season I learn a bit more and realize where I have missed out or what I could have done better. But I have gotten to the point where I really would like to avoid any missteps and cash in on my hard work soon. To this extent I am going to be working with a coach this year.

My friend and one of many SERC mentors GA has hinted at wanting to coach me over the past year and I have finally taken him up on his offer. He has been working with my friend BB and it has obviously made a difference for her so I am looking forward to the results of some hard focused training this year. Training started last week and so far so good. The first track workout was easier than I expected but no shocker the intensity already bumped up a little this week.

So far nothing far out there compared to what I should have been doing all along. I think the major help will be having someone who can realize my potential better than I can and can focus on the elements of my training that will be most beneficial in helping me to reach my goals. I have some confidence issues and I really think having a coach to tell me what the goal is every race and workout will help me to just do it, rather than wondering if I can do it and coming up short. I have always responded well to regimented workouts from coaches in the past as long as they were tailored to my abilities so I am excited to get to work.

I'll try to be better about posting workouts and mileage so you can see what I am up to with coach over the next months and year.

5-11 through 5-17 (55 Miles)
Monday- 7 Easy 8:03 pace
Tuesday- 7 on the track (workout detailed below)
Wednesday- 4 Easy 8:37 pace
Thursday- Tempo 5 miles (7:02 pace), 8 miles total
Friday- 6 easy 8:27 pace
Saturday- 3 easy 9:12 pace
Sunday- 13.1 Race+ 7.5 miles Easy (10 minute pace) between the warm up and pacing GP
*Also did one hour of Yoga Thursday Night and a few days of light core and upper body exercises

Details on the key workouts below:

Track Workout #1 with Coach:

Goal on this one was to start to learn my paces.

Couple of easy laps then one mile warm up at 7:28 followed by 4*100 strides then 8*400, and 1600 hard.

I ran with coach and BB on these but ran on the outside of lane one at coaches shoulder so that I would at least feel like I was running a little faster :) He let us loose on number 7 with instruction to run the same pace. I stayed on the outside but still went too fast so he ran with us again on number 8. All of those were with 200 recovery jogs/90 second rests then one lap easy followed by the mile at hard effort, he just told me to go out at a pace I could hold for the whole mile and that he would tell me if I was going too slow. Well my math skillz suck so when coach told me I slowed down the second lap of the mile I thought I had really slowed down so I may have upped the effort a wee bit too much the last two laps :) Everything felt pretty good, a nice quality workout but nothing that made me feel wasted.

1:29 oops

Mile 6:18 (1:36, 1:37, 1:32,1:32)


Ran this one with CV and the initial goal was to run 7:20 and pick up the pace if I felt good. I wasn't sure how I would react to a 5 mile tempo since my tempos did not go well before Boston and I hadn't run a tempo in several weeks. Turns out backing off the pace a bit resulted in a much better (mental) workout for me. CV and I were really consistent even into the headwind on the way back and I felt pretty good about the effort.


Half Marathon:

We just did a mini one day taper for the half and the goal was to get used to running sub 7 for 10 miles since I have yet to do that. To that effect coach told me to go out with Frank and stay with him through mile 10 then hold pace if it felt okay or back off if it didn't. Obviously that went really well ending in a surprise 4:30 PR and my best race PR of any distance.

Cinco De Mayo Run for the Border

For a serious race report check out two posts below to read about my half marathon race from Sunday, if you prefer races of the fun variety with crazy photos look no further than here :)

Two days after Flying Pig was Cinco De Mayo and last year I found out I missed out on a fun new team event downtown put on by Hermes. The race involves check points, no set course, maracas, sombreros, tequila shots, and corona chugging. AKA my kind of fun: running, partying, drinking, sounds good to me! I was not about to miss this race this year even if I did just pace a marathon. So I found a buddy and we teamed up to form the Sassy and Speedy Senoritas Team. We decided on hot pink outfits to match and the plan was to run hard but just have fun.

First stop was Rock N Roll Hall of Fame where we received our Sombreros. We were hauling along at a pretty good pace and I was surprised my legs had any speed in them. JP was running smooth so we pushed on to our next stop at Hermes to get our Maracas. We had to wait in short lines at each stop but we were flying by lots of other teams who had a head start on us. Next stop was Zocalo on E 4th for a shot of tequila and margarita mix, They had chairs lined up with bartenders pouring the shots straight from the bottle. Well here is where our smooth race went awry. Coming out of the alley post shot I turned us around the wrong way! (I'm blaming the tequila!) So we added an extra half mile or so before realizing we were going the wrong way and getting back on track to our 4th stop at Tower 230 where we chugged Coronitas and I realized I still have the skillz to go back to college ;)

To make up for the detour we raced as hard as we could back to the finish at Blind Pig. Our detour definitely cost us too much time to place but we had a lot of fun and got in a good hard 3.5ish mile run. Next year though we won't get lost and let the tequila go to my head :)

Afterwards we hung out and partied and watched the Cavs kick some more butt. It was a very fun night!

Racing through the alley after our Tequila Shots at Zocalo

Partying after the race with Daisy

Three Speedy Gals

Team Sassy and Speedy Senoritas

Ready to run

Mmm Tacos

Cleveland Marathon Photos

Landon and Gina navigating the aid station at mile 22

Just after mile one

Frank, my legs are behind him ;)

It was pretty chilly before the start!

Almost Finished

The man in his underwear on the left beat me!

Andy and Dawn during the marathon around mile 22

GP and the long waited for Boston Cream Pie

Hawthorne and my new Coach at the SERC Afterparty

Thanks to my dad for taking photos while I ran and to mom for her excellent cheering skillz!

Cleveland Half Marathon "Race" Report

So I still have multiple posts waiting to be written detailing fun stuff that has been going on the past few weeks or so but I feel compelled to interrupt all of that for a quick race report from yesterdays Cleveland Half Marathon.

I have only raced the Cleveland Marathon once and despite the race being local I honestly had no desire to race it again. I feel that the race has left a lot to be desired in the past. Particularly in the areas of traffic control, crowd support, and a course that is lacking in appeal. But there is certainly something to be said for being able to roll out of bed and drive to a big race rather than having to travel so I found myself towing the line for the half marathon yesterday.

Having just finished Boston and pacing the pig my goals this summer are to work on speed. To help with that a friend of mine from SERC is helping to coach me and he instructed me to run the half this weekend, with a goal of holding 7 minutes or better for 10 miles, then running how I felt, holding the pace if I felt good or jogging it in if I didn't. I really didn't want to pay for the race and was tempted to "bandit" and run 10 miles with my friends then cheer for everyone and help pace in a few friends. But as a pacer and a writer in the local running community I decided it would be better to do the race legitimately. Through my OSF connections I was able to score a comped entry (Ask and ye shall receive, I contacted our editor Wednesday on the off chance I could get a discounted entry and she was kind enough to get me into the race for free) and I will be donating the money I would have spent on the race to a charity this week.

Since the race wasn't in my original plan I didn't really have much time to worry about it, and on coaches orders this was just another workout, so no taper. During the week leading up to the race I ran a good effort track workout Tuesday and a hard 5 mile tempo on Thursday as well as recovery runs Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. (Note I haven't been on the track or run tempo since Boston 4 weeks ago!)

My parents and our friend BG were in town this weekend so Friday night we were up late playing games and drinking wine. Saturday I push mowed the lawn and got in a light run, we even ended up at Dairy Queen Saturday night for ice cream before going to bed. Friday and Saturday I also spent time at the marathon expo working the Team in Training booth Friday and the Ohio Sports and Fitness booth Saturday. So really not my typical pre race plan, but with no expectations other than a good hard workout it was what it was!

I felt pretty sluggish Friday and Saturday so I wasn't expecting much on Sunday. My plan was to run with Frank for ten miles since he was aiming for a sub 3 full marathon, and I would see if I could hold onto him through mile 12 and suffer in from there. He was supposed to be aiming for 6:47 pace which I thought might be a little fast, but I was really hoping to run 1:29 despite the fact that I wasn't supposed to "race" I still liked the thought of a PR and breaking 1:30. Coach okayed running with Frank so I lined up with him at the start and when the gun went off I stuck to Frank like glue.

The miles went by pretty quickly yesterday. Frank was going a little faster than what he said he planned to do. He kept commenting every mile that we were too fast and should back it off, we'd pay for the pace later. But the pace felt pretty comfortable, we were around 6:37 most miles which is a pace I seem to gravitate to lately in races shorter than 13. I convinced myself that I should just treat this like any other Sunday run where I would not let Frank pull away from me. And since Frank kept saying we should slow down but kept going the same pace I just stuck with him.

We were getting lots of cheers from spectators excited to see a "lady." They kept informing us I was 2nd. I assumed they hadn't seen other girls ahead as I was pretty sure Beth Woodward was ahead of me and I could see at least one more girl just ahead of us with her i-pod on. Occasionally people would cry out go "girls" or "ladies" and I would assume another girl had caught us, but one of the guys in our group was wearing a pink t-shirt and pony tail and despite his facial hair I think they were mistaking him for my competition :) We had a nice little group of 5 going and although we surged a bit in one of the early miles catching up to the girl in headphones and our friend CK we eventually backed it off to try and retain Franks planned pace.

We were pretty chatty and just enjoying the day. The weather was great, nice and cool, and other than some wind really it couldn't have been nicer. I wore my new Moeben sleeves for most of the race but rolled them down when I started to get too hot (They are fun white tiger striped!). I was pleasantly surprised that the pace felt doable and I wasn't having any trouble keeping up with Frank (he went on to win his age group and break 3 hours handily!). If only I could run all races with my friends I think I would do so much better!

Around mile 10.5 we end up on the shoreway and we start to go uphill. Frank is a bunny on hills and I am not so I started to fall back from him (but knowing I had met coaches goals of sustaining sub 7 pace for 10 miles I was sticking to the plan). I was a little mad at myself for forgetting to don sunglasses because the sun had come out and was right in our eyes. The wind was a bit of a factor from 10-12 as you climbed the shoreway the higher you got the more wind there seemed to be. This section is pretty barren, but at least I had the knowledge that I was closing in on the finish line.

The whole way friends had been cheering for us. Another bonus to running a local race, your friends are out in full force volunteering. My parents were stationed at mile 1 and 12.5 and Salty even came out to cheer us on after finishing the 10k. She let me know I was 2nd female around mile 11 and I asked her if she was sure since I was still convinced Beth was ahead of me. Wyatt was catching up to us after a bathroom break and was encouraging me to finish strong.

Miles 11 and 12 were 7 minutes on the dot and I could still see the girl in headphones ahead, but she wasn't really within reach without hammering pretty hard and having a bit of luck. I was enjoying myself and didn't wasn't to push it too much, since coach instructed me to train through this race I was pretty sure he wouldn't have any sympathy for me this Tuesday on the track if I ran myself into the ground. So I just tried to hold my pace and see if I could hold onto 2nd place.

The half marathon splits from the marathoners after mile 12 and I was on my own, losing my fun pack for good. I had caught up to a man in underwear who spectators were ogling and they cried out to me that they knew why I was holding such a good pace. As if! We dueled a bit but he flew past me in the last half mile as I passed my parents and my coach. There were still two more turns before the finish and the straight away down E 9th was right into the wind and holy crap it was strong! Finally hit the last turn and cruised into the finish with them announcing my name and I watched the clock to see 1:27:52 (Looks like the kinks on the results have been worked out for the most part but for those that haven't seen updates I didn't actually win the walking division, I ran (really) and my 10k split was 41:10, not 40:10). Far better than what I expected and a really nice breakthrough on a day where I hadn't put any pressure on myself. That time is definitely my best PR of any distance so far so hopefully that means there is more of that to come!

I got whisked away to the media tent to be interviewed for the paper (there was some definite paraphrasing there but still fun to get a little plug in the plain dealer this morning, thanks to JT for mentioning me on the news, that was unexpected and very kind!) but eventually made it back to the car and my parents before heading out to cheer at mile 23 of the marathon course and then to pace in GP and Landon. Had a blast cheering for my friends and although GP missed her goal I was happy to run with her to the finish and see her get her Boston Cream Pie that she has been waiting for forever!

I must say that while the half marathon as an event was very good I was still disappointed in the traffic control in the last 4 miles of the marathon. We almost got hit by a van and I know runners had to slow or stop for traffic at several intersections. There has just got to be something the race and city can do to make that better.

Celebrated everyone's fine performances at the SERC after party which my parents kindly attended with me and even let me stay on to party without them as they headed back home to Michigan. I can't mention enough how very blessed I am to have such supportive parents. I only hope we can find a way to repay the kindness over the years ahead as they enjoy retirement! It would be nice to spoil them a bit after all the spoiling I have received over the years.

Living up the performance aftermath. I am really stoked to have run so well despite no real expectations. Thanks to everyone that volunteered and cheered this weekend! And congrats to all those that ran!

Flying Pig Marathon Pacing Report

It has been 10 days since I drafted the title for this and several other posts that I have been intending to write. Figured it was about time I posted something and I just received Pacer Jim's email including emails he received back from runners about our pace groups. I was really excited to receive so much feedback and super stoked to help so many runners at the flying pig. So now seemed like as good a time as any to finally get up a pig report.

This was by far my best pace group so far. I think runners at the flying pig really had a handle on a realistic goal for the race (maybe those hills convince them to back off the goal a wee bit). The group was huge, I don't have any idea how many runners I started with but I know the group was large enough that many following our group were not right with me. (Thank goodness my voice carries and our signs are so visible!)

I really had fun at the flying pig. I was decked out in my bright yellow asics outfit, under armour shoes (more about that later), and a visor with a pig snout on top. What had been predicted to be a rainy day was actually quite lovely with just a few sprinkles before the start. I kept a large group up through miles 20+ and this time decided that after mile 20 I would start telling stories about Boston to help encourage any females going for the BQ to stay with me and get pumped up to get that BQ! I think I really helped quite a few first timers and veterans to achieve their goals at the pig and the feedback was quite nice.

Below is my pace report I sent to Jim and it is followed by the feedback I received.

1. Your performance, including the start line
1. I give myself a B+
Pace was pretty good throughout the day. I struggled to get right on though. from about 10 on we were always 20-30 seconds ahead of overall pace. For every mile I would get us close to overall the next would have a downhill or a large crowd causing pace to go back. probably should have walked every other water stop instead of jogging them. I did a good job of letting everyone know every mile where we were and informing new comers of my chip delay. Start line I think I did a good job, never had that big of a group before so I did my best to make sure everyone knew the drill. There were two miles that were faster than 8:30 or were short (mile 11 was either short or I was way too fast) and I feel badly about that although I don't think I lost anyone those miles. I did a great job of motivating and really had fun with this group. By mile 25 I sent those with me ahead and I encouraged those behind me to reel me in and finish ahead of me.

Just want to comment here that I think the pacers must have done an excellent job getting people to sign up, this was by far the biggest pace group I have ever had, and by far had the most people prepared to actually run the pace they chose.

This time around I saved my stories about the Boston marathon for the final 6 miles and kept telling the group they had to stay with me through 20 in order to hear the stories. Not sure if it helped but I had at least 5 women get to Boston that ran with me up through mile 25.

2. Your group
2. My group was just plain awesome. I had so many people I think a lot of them were just trailing the sign. The 20 or so close enough to directly talk to did a great job. This was the longest I have ever held onto runners with almost all of them still with me at 22. I encouraged them to stay accountable to their neighbors in the later miles and that helped. I had three guys who finished just a few minutes behind me and one of them commented that the two young guys grabbed him and helped pull him along after a bathroom stop.

Had 5 women that I know of make it to Boston. At least one PR who I talked with (A TNT gal who came up to show me her watch finish time). And quite a few first timers that came within 3 minutes of their goal time.

Pleasant surprise in the first mile realized I had a college teammate in my group running the half. At least 4 half marathoners that I am confident went on to make their pace.

inspirational/funny story, one gentleman in my group dressed in a t-shirt, driving shades, and a necklace with a peace sign (and long hippie hair with a beard) started the race with me. I thought for sure this guy would finish slower than 4 hours but encouraged him throughout. His ankle locked up early and he informed me that he had only trained 5 weeks and had taken the last 9 days off. Well with encouragement to stretch his ankle out every few miles and slowly catch up he managed to finish in about 3:53. Just goes to show that you really can do anything you put your mind to.

3. Suggestions for the race director
3. Better instructions for the water stops. The Gatorade and water were not always in the same order and half the stops used plastic water cups. Not ideal. I found it awkward that the stops were not every mile. not sure how much they can do about placement, but more consistent distances between aid makes it easier to instruct the group when aid is coming up.

they should get more pacers here, definitely a 3:10 and a 6 hour group. People really seemed to use the groups at this race.

The start is awkward and the berm in the middle of the road is dangerous, this happens several times, they need a better method of marking these center berms.

pace team uniforms that distinguish us as a part of the marathon. The yellow certainly was visible, but some sort of connection to the race would be nice.

4. Suggestions for the pace team
4. people liked having the pace bands so definitely bring those back.

we discussed this but perhaps provide our own signs and bibs and charge extra to the races. It was awkward using other race bibs etc.

Thanks again for the opportunity to pace! I had a great time and was glad I could help some people with race strategy before hand at the expo as well as get so many of my group to their goal time.

Check out the awesome feedback (and thanks to Jim for the opportunity to pace and sending out the feedback, since I will be pacing 3:40 in the fall at Akron it is nice to know what the runners enjoyed and what I can improve upon)!

"I ran the half-marathon in Cinci on Sunday and was in Elizabeth's pace group. She did an awesome job, so much so in fact that when I finished I told my husband that I hardly even noticed the hills! She was very encouraging and her enthusiasm was quite motivating. You are fortunate to have her as part of your pace team! So are those of us who she paces! My goal time was 1:55 but I was able to pick it up in the last 4 miles (thanks to Elizabeth’s encouragement as they veered off to continue the marathon) and finish in 1:48.58.
Please pass along my thanks to Elizabeth. Will I see some of your pacers at the Marine Corps Marathon in Wash., DC in October?
Thanks again!"

"Please let Elizabeth know she was awesome! I hung with her quite a bit, and she encouraged me and a friend tremendously. She had great running advice along the way -- I learned a lot. She saved her "Boston" stories for the last 5, which was great. She was a big part in getting me to my goal of qualifying for Boston, helping me save my energy for the last leg. I was even able to go a little ahead of her in the last few miles, finishing in 3:48:15! I didn't say much to her during the run, so am not even sure she realizes how much she helped. Thank you Elizabeth!!! Keep running!"

"I started out with elizabeths group but lost her around 4.5 - 5 mile mark. I guess I was running faster than her and was ahead for some time. That being said as the marathon went on (my first) around 22 mile mark Elizabeth pulls up still cheering me on and encouraging me as well as the others in the group. I finished behind her slightly – finish time 3:50:20. not bad for joining a pace group of 3:50:00. Kudo's to Elizabeth. Totally enjoyed the race. Please let Elizabeth know I was sorry for moving ahead. I continued running and lost her in the other runners. I did not slow down until I hit the invisible wall HARD!"

"Hi Pacer Jim,
I just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know how WONDERFUL Elizabeth my
3:50 pace leader was for this past weekend's Flying Pig Marathon! She was so motivating and helpful throughout the entire race! Thanks to her my hard work over the past 17 weeks paid off and I'M GOING TO BOSTON!!!! Please pass on my thank you and let her know what a fantastic leader she is!

"Hey Jim,
I ran with Elizabeth yesterday in the 3:50 group. I needed someone to get me in to qualify for Boston and I made it! 3:48:58, I am SO EXCITED. She was really awesome. I paced for the first time this year, Little Rock, AR, 4:45, and I'm a fitness instructor at our local gym, so I can appreciate the effort that goes into blowing sunshine up peoples' behinds for four hours. She was really upbeat, very informative about what was happening, about to happen......always encouraging and "coaching", short strides, save your energy, etc. Her confidence in running and the race spilled out on to us. Those last few miles were kicking my bohunkus, and she would turn back and power me on. I drove eight hours to get the job done and she was a major part of it happening. Great race, I loved it. THANKS!!!"

"Hi there,
I recently ran the Flying Pig half marathon. I was between the 3:45 and 3:50 goal, so to play it safe, I started with Elizabeth in the 3:50 group. I really enjoyed her during the race. She talked the entire time which made it easy to know where she was on the course even when I couldn’t see her. I was very sad to leave the group at about mile 4 because I really enjoyed running with her pace group! I am scheduled for several more halves this summer and will be running the Chicago marathon…do you know if she will be pacing any races in Chicago?
Thank you,"

"Just wanted to drop a line and say that I had a great time yesterday following along with Pacer
Elizabeth and the 3:50 pace group. I was running the half-marathon and used that group to pace me up through the big climb @ the flying pig. She was great to run with and I had a great experience running with a pacer for the first time. She was a wealth of experience and info, and was fun too :) She kept the pace well, and was good about letting us know where we were and what to expect. I did lose her a bit climbing after mile 6 and before the half and the full marathon's split up, but I was at the top in a time, and was able to cross my finish in my goal time! anyways, just wanted to say "Thanks" for the great job with the pacers!!"

"Just wanted to say thanks, and that you did a great job pacing @ the pig this weekend. I was one of your half-marathoners, and I came across well ahead of my goal! Thanks it was a blast!" JP

Pace Group Instructions

Hey kids if you are looking to run with a pace group Sunday at the Pig just get to the start a bit early and look for us holding out signs lined up behind the start in order or pace. We will be in place at 6 am. Gals will be in bright yellow asics outfits, guys in red. Pace groups start at 3:20 and go up to 5 hours. I'll be the one holding the 3:50 sign and wearing a pig snout. Just come up and say hello. Definitely for this course it is better to go out a little slow. The hill from 5 to 10 will be tough but after that there is plenty of flat at downhills to let you pick up the pace.

Good Luck! Hope to see some of you Sunday!

Oh and if you do use a pacer Sunday at the Pig or at Pittsburgh and you think they did a good job email pacerjim@hotmail.com and let him know. We can always use the feedback so we can continue to keep pacing great marathons!