If you got to this blog by searching on "San Jose Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon" and "Official Pacer" and "Ran that one mile too goddamn fast" and "Asshole", congratulations, you found my blog!
I am so sorry. Last year I did a REALLY good job of pacing. I came in exactly on schedule, and my mile split times were consistent, bordering on metronomic. You should have run with me then. I was awesome. This year? Aw-something, but more "ful" than "esome"
The first couple miles were a little slow. I was so busy chatting the first mile that I didn't even see the Mile 1 marker, so I didn't get a chance to check my pace until two miles into the race. By that time, we were a surprising 45 seconds behind schedule. Doh!
My pacing partner and I agreed to pick up the pace a little bit. At the third mile marker we were.... still 45 seconds behind schedule. Doh! As it turns out, locking into our race pace was a little trickier than I had planned.
By mile 6 we had shaved our deficit down to 20 seconds and were running at a slightly faster pace. At least it felt like a SLIGHTLY faster pace. As it turns out, we were running about 50 seconds too fast.
50 seconds is a ridiculous amount to accidentally shave off a mile time. We blew that mile. It's like going to a target range and aiming your gun at the cardboard cutout of the rapist, and then accidentally shooting yourself in the throat. It's that big of a miss. We looked around after that mile and noticed that our little pack of people that had been pacing along with us had somehow disintegrated. Only a few stragglers remained.
After that we locked into our pace pretty well. We were about 30 seconds ahead of schedule, so we slowed down enough to eat up a few of those seconds each mile. We managed to reconstitute a bit of our "pack" of runners, but some members of the original group were nowhere to be found. I can only assume they were crying pitifully into their cups of Accelerade, demoralized by the departure of their "supportive" pacers.
We did have some successes. We had a lovely call-and-response cheer going in the first mile, and near the end of the race we successfully motivated a whole bunch of people to speed up and pass us by (which was pretty cool). We ended up coming in a mere four seconds ahead of schedule, and afterwards, a few people thanked us for our support and general pacing efforts, so it wasn't a complete disaster, but that one speedy mile will haunt me for the next year. 50 seconds! Crikey.
If I don't have my ability to be on time, what do I really have in life? Sure, my health and family and blah blah blah, but I LOVE being on time.
So, runners of San Jose, I apologize. Give me another chance in 2008.