So here I was finally "pacing" (or as I liked to call it.. keeping Vandy Montana company and annoying the shit out of him for 17 miles). It had been a long day of waiting around anxiously, and it was finally time to get down to business.
Going into this pacing gig, I had all kinds of preconceived notions: I was going to be the best damn pacer there was. Vandy Montana was going to attempt to throw in the towel and everytime I was going to go all Herb Brooks on him and inspire him to the finish line. He was going to attempt to throw himself off the side of a mountain instead of finishing and I was going to talk him off the ledge. Literally. I was going to be the pacer that drived him and urged him across the finish line and all the other runners were going to be jealous that I wasn't their pacer.
Eventually we started climbing a bit and I thought... oh shit. Here we go. We got up to about we were hovering around 8,000 feet for awhile and I was looking forward to getting the hard part over with.
And then... we started going down.
And I started to get pissed. In my head I was cussing the race director. What the hell? When are we going to get this freaking mountain over with? You have us go up part of the way, to tease us, only to make us climb BACK down and then BACK up another mountain????? Ass-hole. I kept it cool with Vandy Montana though. That was my strategy for the day, when he asked me how I was doing (which, he did a lot) my response was going to always be upbeat, but not annoyingly so. My usual response was, I'm good. Or I'm okay. Even if I was suffering from acute mountain sickness I wasn't going to led on that I was in any pain or discomfort. I wasn't going to be a problem for Vandy Montana. He had enough problems. 50 of them.
Eventually we got to a clearing and Vandy Montana took a break, laying down. I looked ahead and saw this