Pacing is the bomb!

IMG 2027 300x300 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!

photo19 225x300 Pacing is the bomb!

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. 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. Sounds like fun! What a great feeling knowing that you helped people reach their goal. I ran a half yesterday and the pacers were way off. It definitely isn’t an easy job!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Seacoast Half Marathon RecapMy Profile

  3. I really had no sense of what a pacer DID till this post.
    VERY interesting…
    Miz recently posted..The lies we tell ourselves.My Profile

  4. you are amazing! A perfect pacer. You have the mentality and all!
    lindsay recently posted..Soul MusclesMy Profile

  5. 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

  6. Great job pacing, sounds like fun. I would like to do it someday.
    Christy @My Dirt Road Anthem recently posted..Hoofin it For Hunger 5k Race RecapMy Profile

  7. So cool! I’m thinking of using a pacer at my next marathon. It’s a small race, but they have a lot of pace times available. My other idea was to run the first 13 solo and have my brother jump in and pace me for the final 13. Mainly because if I start whining, he’s great at telling me to shut it.
    Yo Momma Runs recently posted..XTERRA Oak Mountain State Park 21K resultsMy Profile

  8. That sounds like an amazing experience and I bet you were a pretty great pacer. I can imagine that urge not to kick it in the last mile but you did your job – got people to the finish line at their goal pace. What an incredible gift to other runners.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Memories Captured: The RunMy Profile

  9. 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

  10. Sounds so fun. I am definitely not consistent enough in my running, to be able to do this yet. But maybe one day…
    Krysten Siba Bishop (@darwinianfail) recently posted..To My Body I PromiseMy Profile

  11. Great job Amanda!!! I think that pacing would be a tough gig, but you did great! I have a feeling that you will be doing more pacing in the future. :-)
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..Gettin’ my groove back!My Profile

  12. That sounds like so much fun! I love the thought of helping others achieve their goals. You’re so ready for CIM! I can’t wait to cheer you on… your Southern California cheering squad at your service!
    LisaM@RunWiki recently posted..Picky Bars Mini Gluten Free Peanut Butter PieMy Profile

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. i tried using a pacer for a half, but got impatient and went ahead. :)
    Kovas – Midwest Multisport Life recently posted..1000 Mile Goals: 8 Weeks LeftMy Profile

  17. I paced Gia for the last few miles of the Richmond Marathon, it really was a pretty incredible experience. Definitely would love to pace a full marathon at some point, once I have some more experience.
    Katherine @ Neon Blonde Runner recently posted..Richmond Marathon RecapMy Profile

  18. 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

  19. I have used a pacer – for my first half marathon and it was a great experience. I tried using one for my 2nd and 4th halfs but I started with too fast of a group for 2nd then too slow for the 4th so I ended up not using the pacer. I think being a pacer is a great thing. I know it helped me SO much for my first race.
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted..Ouchie Legs and Fun Facts Friday – HugsMy Profile

  20. I have had nothing but good experiences with pacers. I bet you were a fantastic one!
    Raquelita recently posted..Eleven Things About Eleven Days of YogaMy Profile

  21. Great job! I knew you would be a good pacer. Sounds like a great time. And congrats on the last long run! CIM is going to be great for you. :)
    Erin Henderson recently posted..Proud mom!My Profile

  22. 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

  23. Sounds like fun! I must say that I drooled over your foot landing in that picture; it looks beautiful!
    I don’t think I could ever be a pacer; I just don’t think I have even enough splits and prefer to run by feel!
    Abby @ Change of Pace recently posted..Change the pace – winter running wearMy Profile

  24. I love pacers at a race but there is a science to it. I have been in a lot of races where the pacers don’t really stick to the correct pace.

    I wish you’d come do the pacing at all my races. :) Maybe one day I’d be a good pacer.
    Katie @momslrb recently posted..17 Weeks: Workouts, Weekly Tracking and People WatchingMy Profile

  25. That’s so great that you enjoyed pacing so much! Nice job getting those people to their goals! Will you run with a pace group at CIM? Do recommend it? I really like having a race as part of a long run… mixes it up and I love the race energy!
    GreenGirlRunning recently posted..Scarf Weather & Taper TimeMy Profile

  26. 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!

  27. So happy your pacing job turned out great. Loved reading about it and congrats on the last long run before CIM!!!!
    Robin recently posted..Mommy BribesMy Profile

  28. Great job pacing!!!

    I’ve paced a couple races now, and I absolutely love it!
    Mandy recently posted..Buckeye Classic RecapMy Profile

  29. So happy to hear how well it went! Congrats on a great pace! ;)
    Kierston recently posted..Competition Season: A RecapMy Profile

  30. I’ve never used pacers, but it definitely looks like a fun and rewarding role to play in someone’s race. So glad you had such a good experience with it! And congrats on your final 22 done!
    Laura recently posted..Menu Planning Link up #7 + PopChips giveawayMy Profile

  31. Oh I can’t wait till I’m a great runner and can help pace others. I just finished my first half and had another blogger, Nicole, pace me :) it was sooooo helpful!
    Ali Mc recently posted..Tips for Runners with InjuriesMy Profile

  32. Sounds like a great experience! I’ve wondered about using a pacer for my next half marathon.
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted..Monday RecoveryMy Profile

  33. kenley jones says:

    I have never used a pacer but sounds like fun to me and a way to stay on target.

  34. Excellent Amanda!
    I ran with pacers only once: that was for my first BQ. I lost them at about mile 20 but I came in less than a minute behind them and still snagged the qualifier with 4 minutes to spare. They were fabulous!
    Marcia recently posted..Hard Yoga and Some FreestyleMy Profile

  35. So glad to hear that you loved pacing!! I knew you’d be an excellent leader!
    Jess @ Blonde Ponytail recently posted..East Coast: One WeekMy Profile

  36. Never been a pacer but I am willing to bet that it isn’t my strong suit :) I struggle with pacing myself so I definitely would not trust my skills to others!
    Heather@Just a Colorado Gal recently posted..Flashing Lights & Boston FlightsMy Profile

  37. I would love love love to pace someday! It sounds so rewarding and fun!! I’ve heard so many great stories about it. Plus, what a great way to give back to the running community!
    Charlotte recently posted..Life Is About The JourneyMy Profile

  38. Awesome job being a pacer! I’d love to be a pacer one day, but I don’t have nearly enough race experience now to attempt it anytime soon. Maybe one day far in the future!
    Kristen recently posted..I have good news!My Profile

  39. How fun and what a good experience you had. So nice to do this to give back some and use your coaching skills in that way too. Awesome!
    Elle recently posted..Handful Needs Your HelpMy Profile

  40. I would love to have you as a pacer!! It sounds like such a great time!
    Kate @ Run with Kate recently posted..Santa Barbara International Marathon 2012My Profile

  41. 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

  42. 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

  43. I would love to be able to be a pacer someday! It seems like the greatest job: Encouraging others to do well at something you love! :)
    Becky @ RunFunDone recently posted..Scaredy BeckMy Profile

  44. 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

  45. I just told my hubby last week… I think I wanna run as a pacer in a half next year. My splits are always so consistent, think I might be good at it… Hmmm.
    Run with Jess recently posted..Race Recap: Disney Wine & DineMy Profile

  46. 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 :-)


  1. [...] tag along. I knew the lead pacer–he was actually my pacing partner from last fall’s Metric Marathon–and he gave me the details on where/when to meet [...]

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