Do you set goals so big that you cannot achieve them on your own? If so, you need a pacer; someone to run along side you, encourage you and make sure you are keeping on course.
Photo: Pacers Daley Ervin (left) and Will Stinson (right) pose with Phil Theodore during the home stretch of his 100 mile run in Leadville, CO
My friend Phil just ran his first in Leadville, Colorado at 10,000 feet of elevation. It took him 29 hours and 21 minutes. He started at 4am Saturday morning and ended Sunday morning at 9:21am. He climbed 7,800 feet to a height of 12,620 feet above sea level. This was the culmination of two years of intense training and preparation. Phil will be the first to tell you he could not have done it on his own.
So what did Phil do? He recruited two pacers; two men that would take turns running next to him. The pacers job is to make sure
1.) doesn’t get lost or hurt
2.) properly hydrates (drinks water)
3.) does not fall behind or get ahead of his schedule
4.) adjust clothing appropriately for the weather or time of day
5.) eats at proper intervals and eats the right amounts and kinds of food
6.) is following his/her race plan, only deviating as necessary
You see, in an endurance race, the athlete gets tired. He or she can have difficulty making proper decisions when fatigued, cold and hungry. One wrong move, like not drinking enough fluids, can put the runner out of the race. By having someone running along side of them, they help insure their best efforts are not ruined by a bad decision. The pacers are the confidant and sometimes brains of the runner. When the runner wants to quit, the pacer pushes him or her just a little further.
A pacer is not a coach or doctor. Though they may assist in the master planning of the race, their main role is in execution of the plan.
What if we had pacers for our life? When we get tired or frustrated they tell us to hydrate (go to a seminar or read a book). When we try to bite off more than we can chew they slow us down and when we think too small they help us to think bigger. When we want to quit they know how to motivate us to keep us moving just one more step. How much further could we run if we had one?
Do you have a pacer for your life? Is there a big goal you want to accomplish that you cannot achieve on your own? Who are you running with?