Monday, April 26, 2010

While mommy and daddy are away....

The kids go to the zoo!!

Lauren went to a ladies retreat this weekend and I had to tend to my duties at the expo for the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon, so it worked out well that my dad wanted to take the kids to the zoo! It was an incredible day and they were so excited. The Lehigh Valley Zoo isn't all that large, but it's perfect for four cousins under the age of 7 (well one just turned 8)!! They got dressed up in matching shirts and had a blast. Joshua's favorite part?? The Deere, John Deere that is...apparently he spotted one behind a fence that was doing some work and wanted Pops to stop and watch it with him!

The expo went well. The race is organized by the Lehigh Valley Road Runners and is a completely volunteer performed half marathon and 5k that sells out the field of 4,000 participants in weeks! I've been involved with the expo committee for a number of years now and for the last few years I've organized the Pace Teams. We offered 9 different goal times ranging from 1:30(6:53 pace) to 2:30(11:47 pace) and typically we have 400-500 people who participate. On Saturday we had a booth which was manned by our pacers to answer questions and provide information for the participants and it was booming all day, then in the afternoon we offered a seminar on the pace groups which was led by the pace team leaders. I set to pace the 1:40 group, this would be my 5th year as a pacer. It is a great local race, drawing people from 30 different states...the only bummer was the weather prediction...a wash out.

That didn't stop us though, we gathered in the gymnasium and assembled our groups early on Sunday. We were greeted to a steady light rain as we moved out to the start line, and with temperatures in the upper 40's it was cool, but great running weather. As we clicked the first few miles off the rain slowed. The miles were going by nice and steady and it was great to pass the other groups as we negotiated the out and back section. My group was great, got to meet some new people and hear some great stories. As we hit mile 9 or so the group got quiet and got do work. It was great to see some of them feeling good and pulling away from me as they beat their goals and it's also very rewarding to be able to "pick up" runners that are struggling in the final miles and get them back on pace. My brother was doing his first half marathon and stayed with the group for the first 9 miles and then pulled ahead to finish over a minute in front of me! I crossed the line in 1:39:51, mission accomplished.

My favorite part of pacing is seeing everyone that was in your group after we cross the finish line...everyone is excited about their race, their PR and their new goals! We're lucky to have such a great event in our back yard that raises money to enhance youth running in our area. We're also lucky to have so many motivated people organizing the race, volunteering and coming out to run and support the race annually. If you ever get the opportunity, this is one race to put on the calendar!

The excitement is building for my Trakkers teammates as the countdown to the first Rev3 race of the year is ticking down. It's been great corresponding with 40 diverse people across the they overcome the same struggles, how they train and what their goals are. It been great hearing their race reports so far this year and I can't wait to meet them in June at Rev3 Quassy. Now I need to get myself motivated and get on the bike and in the pool! Anyone want to swim 1.2 miles for me on 6/5/10?

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