Pacing is the bomb!

The stellar race swag that came with the Metric Marathon

The miles are in the bank now for #CIM thanks to yesterday’s 22-miler, 16.3 of which consisted of pacing the 9:00-minute pace group through our running club’s Metric Marathon. And I have to say, I loved pacing!

Pacing with George and getting ready to toss my arm warmers/gloves around mile three

I was fortunate enough to be paired with a great, experienced pacer. So while I did have to pay attention to pace along with him, I let him run the show in terms of how we managed that pace. For the most part, we stayed a bit ahead of pace on the flats and then slowed a bit on the hills (and this course has some bears, let me tell you). We took water stops nice and easy so that the group could stay together as much as possible.

Over the miles of the course, we lost people/gained people, but stuck to our pace. We were required to bring people in within a minute of goal pace on either side. So the goal was a 2:26 and change and we finished up in the 2:25 range. I loved watching people in my group pick up their paces in the last mile and go on ahead of us. It was hard to resist the urge to run them in all the way, but our job was to stay on pace, so stay on pace we did.

We couldn’t have asked for better weather for the day–low 40s to start and up to around 60 by the time we finished. To make the run a full 22, I met up with friends (and fellow pacers/CIM runners) for four beforehand and then we tacked on a final two right after finishing up the Metric. All done, and it feels good!

I have to say, pacing yesterday’s race definitely whet my appetite for pacing a marathon someday–what an incredibly rewarding experience that would be.

So  bucket list item crossed off and I loved every minute of it!

Ever run as a pacer? Ever used a pacer–good or bad experience? 

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  1. says

    Great job in getting the pacing right. I’ve seen pacers who are so far off the mark that it’s not funny. I ran a half a few years ago where I went past the 1:45 pacer then a little while later past the 1:50 pacer. The 1:45 one was pretty much on target. The 1:50 pacer must have had a brain explosion. I felt sorry for the runners who tried to stick with him.
    Char recently posted..LSD, PMS and The Sweet Taste of FailureMy Profile

  2. says

    I can imagine the wonderful feelings you get from pacing- meeting new people, getting to chat with a group the whole run, seeing so many people achieve their goals- sounds like a blast! Glad you got the experience!
    Jen B. recently posted..Cold Weather CommandoMy Profile

  3. says

    I used a pace group at NYC in 2005 and I’m still in awe of how steady she was. I finished one minute and two seconds faster than the group goal after running with her for most of the race and then hung out to see her again at the finish line to thank her. She was fantastic! The pacers last month in Detroit were excellent, too–my finish time was right between two groups and I used them as gauges for where I was. I’m hoping for good pacer luck at CIM, too. :^)

    Good for you for doing this! I know the runners who worked with you at any stage of the race really appreciated it.
    Terzah recently posted..Not Tapering Yet…..My Profile

  4. says

    Congrats on a great job pacing!! I love the idea of going faster on flats and slower on uphills. I always wonder how people who use pace bands manage to run the same pace throughout the entire marathon. I’m much more of a “run how I feel” type of runner and would rather use the same effort consistently – which sounds like how you did yesterday!!
    So excited for your upcoming marathon!! =)
    Michele @ Nycrunningmama recently posted..Race for Recovery 5k/10kMy Profile

  5. says

    I had hoped to pace the Zooma race … maybe I’ll get my chance in 2013. Glad you enjoyed.

    We were at Terrapin Adventures. Definitely pushed my conservative oldest boy passed his comfort zone. His sisters are more the thrill seeker type.

    We miss Dave’s energy.
    Mara @Big Happy Family recently posted..High Ropes!My Profile

  6. says

    Pacing – sooooo important! Funny, I’d never be able to do a full (not enough under my belt) but I would easily be able to pace a half and have been thinking about it at some point. This might have put me over the edge in doing it.
    Sheil recently posted..Scaring the Crap Out of MeMy Profile

  7. says

    I knew you’d be a fantastic pacer. I bet you can really keep runners going when the urge to quit crops up. It’s good to hear you had a good time pacing everyone and a rewarding last long run before the CIM.

    As for pacing, I guess I had my first experience yesterday just trying to stay with my husband in his first 15K in 15 years. It was tough! I’m competitive and found myself wanting to speed up everytime someone passed use. It was almost harder running slower than running at race pace, but so much more rewarding crossing the finish line.
    Joanne recently posted..15K Stockade-Athon Road Race and CNYEats A Taste of Utica Butter BallsMy Profile

  8. says

    Sounds fun…and you did a great job, of course! I have wanted to pace for a while now, have looked into pacing at Shamrock as I know the course well; I think it would be very rewarding!
    Alison @ racingtales recently posted..2013My Profile

  9. says

    In the few times I’ve used a pace group it hasn’t worked out well for me. They have tried to bank too much time in the beginning which hasn’t ended well.

    I’m glad to hear you’ve got it down. Pacing is definitely a skill!

  10. says

    Sounds like you had a great day! I’m pretty good at holding pace and have thought about pacing. Haven’t done it yet, I’d consider it such a huge responsibility so a bit timid still. I’ve used pacers a couple of times but unfortunately, my experience has not been good.
    Robin Brunet recently posted..Inaugural Downsview Half MarathonMy Profile

  11. says

    As of now I’m not planning on a pacer group at CIM; too much pressure I guess. I already waste enough energy on my Garmin it would be double demoralizing to fade out of the pack. Just going to blissfully be on my own planet at Sac. But I bet it’s fun to be a pacer, especially since your a running coach etc…you just love running and love encouraging and giving people tips so I bet it’s perfect for you! Congrats on the 22.
    The hay is in the barn!
    Fueled by Spite recently posted..Long Run MissedMy Profile

  12. says

    so glad you had fun!! i’ve only paced friends and i loved it. i think i told you about my bad pacer experience at RNR providence. one pacer was having a bad day and wasn’t really doing his job, the other guy grabbed the sign and took off-WAY BELOW the correct pace! i lost them early on. i would love to have you pace me!
    elizabeth recently posted..My Little Marathon SecretMy Profile

  13. says

    I ran my first half-marathon in November. I wasn’t happy with my finish time, but I was happy that I finished, heh.

    I started off way too fast, and payed for it towards the end. When I think about it now, I wouldn’t have done way staying with one of the pacing groups and/or if I would’ve done a progression run. But live and learn I suppose.

    I have two trail runs this month, and am happy to say that I’m finally finding a rhythm :-)