April 23, 2014

Race pacing a runner

On Sunday morning, Mitzie will be my guinea pig as I attempt to pace her for her debut at the half marathon distance.  It will be a day of firsts, since this will be my first time to pace another runner!  Here are some of the ways I hope to make the Divas Half Marathon in North Myrtle Beach a successful race for Mitzie.

*  Start Slow The excitement at the start of a race makes it so easy to get caught up in the moment.  I will have my eye on the Garmin watch to make sure we keep our pace and emotions in check.

*  Keep my runner relaxed  Tell stories and talk about things other than running!  I remember Megan talking to me and keeping me occupied before the start of the marathon last month.  It really helped to have someone diverting my attention away from the race.  She also chattered pretty much non stop during a large portion on the race.  I need to think of some fun stories to keep us entertained during the rough parts of the race.

* Hydration and Fuel  I plan to wear a belt so I can carry gels or whatever fuel source Mitzie might need.  Of course I will need some gels as well!  The course offers numerous water stops and we will devise a plan as to how to navigate those to save as much time as possible.
Necessities to do my job: Garmin, belt and fuel!

*  Smile According to my Runner's World daily calendar, squinting will zap your energy.  So I will be reminding Mitzie that we need to smile and keep our faces relaxed!

*  Negative Split Our goal is to negative split the race and my plan is to start approximately 5-10 seconds slower per mile than race pace for the first two to three miles.  We will have plenty of time in the last few miles to make up that time. We will build each mile after the first 5k and hopefully bring it home strong for the last 5k!

*  Race Day Mantra  During our meeting on Thursday morning, I am going to have Mitzie come up with our race day mantra. Last month, I copied coach Sami (and Christine) and used "Feeling strong and Looking gorgeous!"  I've got a few ideas in my head, but will save those for my meeting.

*Finish Happy We will be collecting a feather boa just before the finish line and then toasting with a glass of bubbly.  Hopefully this will be a great incentive to really go all out the last couple miles!

Now I need your help.  Have you ever paced someone.  Please share any advice you may have!
(Pam)

34 comments:

  1. Pam, you will be an awesome pacer!! You have a plan, and we all know how you like to stick to your plan!! You and Mitzie will cross that finish line with big smiles on your face!!

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    1. Thanks Lois! I sure hope so, about the smiles and of course I want to help her meet the time goal Coach Sami has set for us!

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  2. I've heard the Divas Half series are a blast! Have fun and good luck pacing!

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    1. Thanks Lauren. The weather looks great and we will have fun!

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  3. pacing is SO hard! Have a blast loved Divas last year!

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    1. I am excited Kat, especially after reading your blog post last year!

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  4. This is a great plan and I'm sure you will be an awesome pacer! I'd love to pace someone one day, I just need to find someone in need of my pacing services!

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    1. Oh Danielle, you have opened up a can of worms. Loads of people would love to have you pace them, including me!

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  5. While I haven't paced anyone, I think that as long as the pace is within your comfortable range, you won't have any problems! Have a great time! Mitzie is lucky to have you Pam!

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    1. Thanks Lisa, it is 10 minute mile pace.....we are going to have a fun time!

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  6. I've paced before...it's really hard for me because I have a hard time pacing myself lol! I love all your strategies! I know your friend will have an awesome race with you right there beside her!

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    1. Thanks Mindy. I just want her to have a great experience!

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  7. You will make a great pacer Pam! You are already so encouraging to others! Have a great race!

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    1. Thanks Meranda. Hopefully Mitzie has a blast!

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  8. Pam,
    You will do amazing as a pacer :) I think your strategies are right on. I have never paced anyone a full race, but I have helped a few friends on open courses...It's as rewarding ( and sometimes more!) than running a race for yourself :) Lisa

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    1. Lisa, I agree. I think this will be as rewarding as running my own race. Can't wait for Sunday!

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  9. You're going to do an amazing job as a pacer, Pam! Your focus and determination is so contagious, and Mitzie is lucky to have you pace her during her first half. And you get a boa and a glass of bubbly at the end? I think I need to start looking into these Diva races!

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    1. Thanks Kathryn. The Divas races look really fun and I can't wait to share the experience with so many girls from my group. Saturday night with 8 in a condo will be crazy!

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  10. I've coxed, which is kind of but not really like a pacer and I get a headset. I enjoy singing to them, holding them hostage with my inane chatter like pretending we're on a Disney ride, and mercilessly critiquing them by saying things like, "Seriously? We're getting passed by a slow moving jogger? You people are pathetic, I'm disgusted right now."

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    1. Haha. that is hilarious. I need to think up some funny things too!

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  11. Sounds like you've got this pacer thing down! You'll do an amazing job! Mitzie is lucky to have you to help her through her first half marathon! :) I would love to have a pacer like you to help me.

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    1. Kellie, I am super excited since I was fortunate to have a pacer for my big race last month. It will be fun to help someone else reach their goal.

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  12. Divas is a pretty entertaining race. You'll have a great time!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer, I think we are really going to have a fun girls weekend. Oh and a good race too!

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  13. I'm still trying to figure out how to pace myself! Good luck on your race this weekend, I'm sure you'll have a blast!

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    1. Thanks, we have a great weather forcast so that is helpful!

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  14. I've always been the pacee - I'm sure you will do an awesome job Pam, you are always so motivating!

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    1. Thanks so much Kristen. I just want it to be really fun for Mitzie!

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  15. You are going to be an awesome pacer! It sounds like you have a well laid out plan. I hope you both have a great race!
    Karen @karenlovestorun

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    1. Thanks Karen. We will be happy to collect those pink boas and skip across the finish line!

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  16. Starting out slow is THE BEST piece of advice I like to give (whether solicited or not, lol!). This totally makes or breaks a race for me. I bet you'll be a great, cheerful, encouraging and all around awesome pacer! Have fun!

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    1. Jamie, I think that is great advice. Mitzie likes to start fast and I will be reigning her in! Hopefully we have a blast tomorrow!

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  17. I can't wait to read your experience -- I think you will be a fantastic pacer and I'm predicting a great race. She's a lucky runner to have a friend / pacer like you :)

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    1. Thanks Courtney, I hope everything goes well. More than anything, the race needs to be fun for Mitzie!

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