We tossed around a few ideas but settled for Empire because Syracuse isn't that far away which made it cheaper and easier to get to. I ran this race in its inaugural year 2011 so I knew it was an easier course and that it would be a good "back in the swing of things" race for Meg.
John was also running the race with his friend/coworker so it made it easier in the morning since we both had to get up (also made it easier for me to sleep while he drove...). It was a very early and very cold morning, we got to the race around 7 and just tried to stay as warm as possible.
I ran without a watch, I didn't want to or need to know pace or time or distance- this wasn't my race. I was going to go whatever pace Meg was going, and maybe push her a little in the end if I could. Her previous half marathon PR was 1:43ish so we guessed she would be around 1:46-1:55ish based on not running as much since having Alden and just generally not running much for a long time(she had to take a lot of time off while trying to get pregnant).
We took the first few miles easy, I have no idea how easy but it was comfortable and I was like "hey this non-racing-race thing isn't so bad". We chatted every few minutes just keeping company and laughing along the way. I ditched my gloves around mile 3, it warmed up a little once we were running and the sun was on us. I was still glad I had some good layers on though.
|Encouraging her through the finish! I got yelled at for my bib|
being under my Saucony Palladium Jacket--Whoops!
Once we got to the turn around I saw a light go on in Meg's head. She looked at me and said she wanted to start picking some girls off (*Inner happy dance...you really are my sister! Let's go get em!*). We started picking up the pace a little (again, I have no idea how much) and slowly picked people off on the way back. I even got to high-five John when we passed him coming towards us on the way back, this made me smile.
Once we got to 10, I started picking it up and pointing out people for her to work on passing (this is something I do later on in races to motivate me and keep me moving). She started getting tired (and telling me so), so I just tried to keep reminding her that Alden was waiting at the finish, and that she has done this before and can do it again.
Within the last mile she kept looking at her watch...a LOT. I kept telling her to stop, that it didn't matter and to just keep running. We kept picking people off, and finally with about quarter mile to go...she says "I think I can PR". I was so shocked because I had no idea what pace we had been going, but I didn't question it and said "LETS GO". I really pushed her the last little bit, and grabbed her arm and got her to the finish. She missed her PR by like 20 seconds, 6 months after having a baby, and not running over 10 miles in probably 2 years. Very proud sister moment, very proud.
After we finished, we had the BEST volunteer ever give us our medals and hugs with a smile....Heather was being an awesome person and volunteered at the race, knowing I was going to see her at finish definitely made my day :)
And the other amazing thing at the finish line.....
|I have to give props to myself for dressing myself in the dark at 4:45 AM...I actually matched. [All Saucony gear: Scoot Capris, Kinvara 3, Kinvara socks, Spark tank, Drylete performance top, Pallidium jacket and Velocity run hat]|
and my all time favorite...
|SMILES ALL AROUND!|
I'm a very proud sister and auntie!
We finished in 1:43:49 (sub-8 pace), and I can't tell you how proud of my big sister I am. Pacing with her was easy- I didn't have to convince her to run, she wanted to. I didn't have to put up with tantrums, or whining even when she got tired. I didn't have to tell her not to stop when I know she wanted to, because that isn't something she would do. She was grateful for the support and showed it, and I was grateful to have the chance to give it.
Do you have a sibling/relative you have run with before?
Have you ever paced someone for a race before?