"I have a question to ask you and then a statement."
Mark was standing at the kitchen sink and I at the stove as we cleaned up dinner one night last week. The conversation had been rather pedestrian until that point, and I was taken aback by what he said. I inquired as to whether I could hear the statement first and the the question but, according to him, the order of things was crucial. If I answered the question one way, the statement would be void.
"Would you consider it a PR," he started "if someone paced you to the time during Fort4Fitness?"
Again. Taken aback.
To be honest, I have never really thought of having a personal pacer who would promise to pull me to a personal best. I was with a pace group for part of last year's Fort4Fitness, and I found the sub-2 goal quite literally looming over my head to be motivating. However, I had ran most of the race myself and had made the choice to stick with them no matter what. I had done it, accountable only to myself.
My answer to Mark's question, at best, would be laced with uncertainty but I didn't need him to make a statement. I knew what he was getting at - he was offering to pace me to a half marathon PR.
Mark has run two races of the 13.1 distance, with a PR of 1:34, but hasn't expressed a huge interest in longer events since. I think the combination of a busy track season, which means no running for him, and my performance at Athens have turned the tides this spring.
Note: Mark is not upset or disappointed in me about the race but bummed because he was so confident that I would be faster.
I haven't given Mark an answer - I have until May 5 when registration goes up - but after some encouragement from Joe on our run this morning, I am tipping yes. After all, Galen Rupp had a rabbit when he broke the indoor 5K record. I just want to run a 1:53 half marathon.
In addition to Fort4Fitness, which is in September, here are some other races on the calendar:
1. Dirty Girl Mud Run in Indianapolis on May 17. If you haven't registered, use code BLOGFRIEND for $10 off.
2. ZOOMA Napa Valley half marathon on June 28
3. Runners on Parade 5K on July 12. The 2010 race is where I set my 5K PR. I haven't tried to break it since, and I might just try it again.
What's on your calendar? Would you use a pacer?