this weekend i paced my friend Cheryl for the second half of the Squaw Peak 50 mile trail run. because my race in Pocatello last weekend got cut short due to weather, Cheryl invited me to run with her to get some longer training miles in. i very thankfully commissioned a shuttle from my friend Brian's wife, Kari, to the aid station at mile 25 (Brian was also racing the entire 50). i hooked up with Cheryl at that point to run the second half of the course with her.
to "pace" someone means many things. i started with fresh legs at mile 25, as opposed to Cheryl's legs that had already done 25 miles. i reminded her to eat every 30 minutes. i asked her repeatedly if she was drinking fluids. i offered her my nuun when she needed electrolyte replacement, unfortunately she didn't like the flavor i was carrying (kola nut, which is my new favorite). i asked her if she needed to retie her shoes. i filled her water at aid stations before i filled my own. i pointed out the beautiful scenery and took silly pictures to try to get her mind off the fact that she was hurting. i told her that she was kicking butt at mile 38 going up the steepest climb of the race thus far (i thought i was going to pass out she was setting such a break neck pace. she must have passed a dozen people on that climb). i tucked cold washcloths into the collar of her shirt. i asked a spectator to give us a "little more cowbell" as we ran into the finish area. i watched her run to a new fast time at the finish line. i put my arm around her when she was puking after the finish.
it was a hot day at Squaw Peak 50. complete opposite from Pocatello 50 last weekend (see previous post). it must have been in the 80s, and we haven't had that many warm days yet this spring, so it felt a little hotter. i drank 4 liters of nuun water over the 25 miles of the course that i ran. (that's a gallon.) i tucked my shirt up into my bra and burned my belly button. it took us 7 1/2 hours to cover a difficult 25 miles in the Wasatch mountains on a hot day: that's between 3 and 4 miles per hour. (the men's winner, fyi, did 6 miles per hour for a blistering finish of 8 hours 5 minutes.) elevation gain/loss for the day was about 10,000 ft for 50 miles (of which i did about half). Cheryl's finish time was 13:38 for 50 miles. 50 minutes faster than her posted time from 2008. not too shabby.
it was a great day in the beautiful mountains with good friends. it was a night and day difference weather-wise between the Squaw Peak race and Pocatello, but really, i can't complain one bit.