I don’t want to tell her race story because I want to leave that to her. This is simply a pacing story.Â I had the honor of pacing her for the second half of her qualifying race at Shamrock Marathon. Pacing – and being paced – is a real test of the bond of friendship. I discovered Sunday that it’s much more than one person relying on the other. You might think that Lisa was just relying on me, but I was relying on her just as much. Just as she relied on me to pull her, I relied on her to dig deep, listen to me, push away the demons, and believe in herself.
It wasn’t easy. I wish I could have shouldered more of the burden. I knew exactly what she was going through, because I’ve been there five times myself, but I couldn’t make it go away. At times I felt like a broken record: “just give me a little bit more, just a little faster, dig a little deeper” over and over. I handed her water, Pringles, reminded her to take GU, peeled a banana and joked that it was like being with your kids, but I couldn’t take away the pain nor could I run the race for her. That, she had to do all by herself.
A couple of times, I thought she had given up. When she stopped to walk I told her she had to choose whether to let it go or keep fighting. Walking meant letting go of the dream of a PR and BQ. And that was OK. But she had to choose. She started jogging. She kept fighting. And she prevailed. And she also did it in style.
So RunWiki is going to Boston. Hopefully I will be going with her….now I have to requalify!