Perspectives of the Pacer
By Natalie Lincoln
Image © marco iacobucci / Fotolia
Willingness to run…check.
Happy to follow instructions…check.
Ability to give instructions…check.
Have run 62km before…um, not so much.
With advice from an article to be able to ‘skip and sing” through the required distance, and the knowledge that that is far from the case, I sign up to be pacer to my friend, Jill, for her first miler (160km ultra marathon).
What could possibly go wrong? Well, lots of things really. I will be pacing bout 20 kilometres longer than my longest run.
But with an indefatigable desire to do this, I will. I think being a pacer will suit me. I’m not a true competitor so the desire to win, or even think thoughts in this direction, don’t cross my mind. I’m super happy to tag along but I know I have the smarts to organise and make decisions as required. In this I can be flexible. And, I would follow Jill anywhere.
Pretty much everything about this venture is a challenge for me: the distance for one. Another is training through winter. I know I live on the far north coast but I’m pretty sure it was going to snow out there this morning. I have little appreciation for cold. Long tights and I are not a good combination. I also figured out that by the time I can join Jill, at the hundred kilometre mark, it will be night time. I don’t really operate at night-time; I’m an early morning type. Running through the night will be interesting for someone that s generally asleep by 9:30pm. I’m happy to start very early in the dark but the other end will be new to.
I won’t let winter bother me, I’m made of tougher stuff than that (despite long tights almost breaking my spirit). Race day/night can take care of itself; I’m going to rely on adrenaline to get me through.
What we’ve decided that really matters is our enjoyment of running together and a mutual understanding of what needs to be done. For me, it’s a whole new reason to be motivated – I’m not running for me, I’m running to solely be there for someone else. I like it.
Stay tuned. I’m sure there will be more stories to tell.