Here's the story of when I had the good fortune of getting to run a (fast! fun!) half marathon 6 days after the Napa marathon.

I was one of the Three Amigos that day, we stuck together stride by stride for almost the entire race.

The three amigos, and, a deodorant sample.  Good job Margot.

Spoiler alert! Those are age group awards they are flashing!

But first, go read about the day from their perspective--the one who revived her love for running by finishing stronger and faster than she intended; and the one who hadn't run any speedy miles, nor a full 13 miles yet, since returning from injury, but somehow her speed woke up hungry from its hibernation.

I had been in talks with Margot to run the Davis Lucky Half Marathon a couple weeks prior to the Napa marathon.  I was so excited by the invite and the opportunity to meet the Bunny and I really wanted to say yes, but my first instinct was that I would probably still be hobbling around with post-marathon legs on that Saturday (yes, Saturday, which gave me one less day to recover than a normal Sunday race would).

By Tuesday post-marathon, I knew for sure I would be fine to run.  The one perk about having a crappy race day at Napa was that I didn't deplete myself (or at least didn't deplete my legs) and I could tell the recovery was quick enough to hang with Margot at an agreed upon 7:30-ish pace.

I knew Page would be there too, and thought I would hang with her at her planned 8:30-ish pace if my recovery was slower.

Classic RoseRunner move, I cut it very short by arriving at the race about 15 minutes before it started, without having purchased a bib yet.  I thought I was probably too late to even sign up, but it turned out that signing up took a total of 17 seconds.  Crazy easy.  I used a pseudonym because I haven't yet decided my stance on whether I want non-race efforts under my name, and in a spontaneous  moment went for the alternate name.

*I should note that even though I had this grand plan of being the world's best pacer for Margot, I was actually the worlds worst pacer, because I forgot my Garmin.  I have no internal clock (?) when it comes to pace, so basically, I was worthless.  I just tagged on to her side.

Finding the Bunny ears was thankfully easy amidst the growing crowd! We hugged, I dashed all her expectations by not being a glamorous tall person with a beautiful voice (whatever voice you are picturing for me, you know it's way wrong...).  Since I was running late and the port-o-potty line was long, we got to bond over my criminal actions of peeing in a hidey spot of the high school near the start.  Good first impression!

I tried to get a sense of Margot's goals for the day, and quickly picked up on the fact that she was in full-on dread mode.  Wasn't very excited to be there, wasn't confident about how fast we should run.  I mildly tried to pump her up, but knew that whatever we ran we would be doing it in good company and it would be FUN.  The best part of running.

We noted that we should try and find Page, who was going to run an easy pace of 8:30s.  I tenderly whispered into Margot's ear that no, oh no no no, Page will not be running an 8:30 pace.  And then there she was!  And then the race started!

I had no idea what pace we were running, but it felt perfect.  A tad hard for my legs, but I looked side to side and both Margot and Page looked really comfortable in their stride.  Page said "I'm just gonna hang with you guys for a mile or two" (paraphrasing of course), get some of her itch for speed out, so the Three Amigos journeyed through Davis together on a flat course that headed out into this winding little park path, through neighborhoods, and then next to the freeway for a stretch of miles.

I really wanted to see Margot and Page run strong, so even though I had no clue what our pace was as each mile ticked by, I tried to gauge their comfort level to see if we were doing anything stupid.  Margot was clearly focused and working hard, but she looked really strong so I judged our pace was okay.  Page seemed full of energy, but I knew she was pushing it because she told us at least twice that she was going to drop her pace back, bye guys....and then I'd whip my head around with shock: "what! you're still here!"  It was so fantastic.  She couldn't bring herself to slow down.  The Three Amigos were magnetized together.

Page and I got split from Margot for a couple miles while we jetted into some port-o-potties.  We spent most of those miles remarking on how awesome Margot was doing, and how we were never going to catch those bunny ears.  I heard Page tick off one of our miles at sub-7:00 pace, which I knew must have felt great for Page after being off her ankle for so long, but I also wondered if her coach was going to kill me for letting that happen! The plan was 8:30's!

We all focused hard for the last 3 miles, steady and strong, maybe even getting faster with each mile, passing half-marathoners and people in the shorter race distances. I was mad impressed with Page and Margot because I know I fall apart during miles 9-through-12-ish of a hard effort half marathon.

Last mile I do believe.  Page won me over to the Oakley side by wearing sunglasses that were way cuter and better performing than my cheapie $15 expo pair.

I had so much adrenaline and excitement in the last mile.  I was trying to pump us all up by saying stupid shit like "one more mile, it's time to give it all you have left!" and I'm pretty sure they were thinking...shut....up...roserunner...but man it was fun to kick it in to the end with each of them.

For splits and finishing time, check out the ladies race recaps I linked to at the top of this post, since they had the watches like a smart runner should.  1:36:xx finish time, low 7:20 pace.  It was the perfect amount of hard and fun, just what I needed that day.

First, that was fun and those girls rock the world, right?

Second, my internet world just ended today when Google announced that it will be getting rid of Google Reader in a few months.  PROTEST! That is my blog reading management central.   The only way I read blogs.  I know no other way.  I want no other way! I'm also really bummed because I know a lot of my readers read through Google Reader (just checked, 740 subscribers!) and I'm worried they will all fall away into the ether and forget to add me into whatever new subscription system they go with.

So please, Google Readers of mine, don't leave me when you make the switch.  And also, please tell me where to go! What other websites or programs do a great and easy job of managing blog subscriptions in one place?