This past Saturday I had the opportunity to pace my first race – Team Ortho’s Women Rock Half Marathon! I am SO happy to be a part of the Team Ortho Pace Team and can see myself getting more and more involved
I heard about the opportunity to pace from my running/yoga girlfriend who introduced me to another running buddy at Grandma’s Marathon a few months ago. I had never considered pacing simply because I did not know much about it. It is actually perfect for me though as I absolutely love encouraging people to hit their goals, am disciplined at pacing as I am not one to speed up and slow down (“slow and steady” is my motto)…and let’s be honest – I spend a crap ton of money on athletic events. Very nice to get a few comped here and there!
So this was actually the first time pacing a race for both my girlfriend and me. Newbies!
|1st Time Pacers!|
Most races you receive a t-shirt but the swag you receive for Team Ortho events is always the best! This event did not disappoint. We actually had the choice of 3 options:
|Black Jacket or…|
|Pink Jacket or…|
I was set up to pace a 2:05 finish (complete half marathon in two hours and five minutes), which averages a 9:33 pace (9:33 mins/mile). My PR for a half is 1:48:47 so I wanted to start with a pace that I knew I could complete without extremely pushing myself.
|2:05 Half Marathon Finish|
Since this was my first time pacing I was supposed to be co-pacing with a lady that was very familiar with the process. When we arrived in the morning I was told she was already here and had our pacing sign so I went to line up. Not sure what miscommunication happened but I never met up with her and therefore never had a sign!
Thank goodness I was wearing a “Pacer” singlet as multiple women were asking what pace I was on throughout the race. I wound up winging it by showing “2:05” with my fingers and shouting out my time and pace – you know I had fun with this! It was super inspiring to help keep people on track to complete their goals or to simply inform them at what pace they were running.
When I run my races for time I am always by myself and in my own little world. Pacing aloud me to open up and truly understand what was going on around me. It wasn’t about my time at all. It was about staying at a pace that I know would help others reach or succeed their expectations.
I couldn’t even tell you how many women I connected with throughout the entire run. There was this duo that was striving to beat 2:05 and every time I came up close to them one would say, “You stay back there!” Ah man did I get a kick out of that. I know the feeling of being so close to beating your goal and once you see that darn pacer coming you just want to kick them and speed on ahead ha. Doesn’t count if they don’t pass you riiiight? I was finally on the other side
I wound up running with a particualar woman for a majority of the race and found out her dad and her took over the Eau Clarie Marathon three years ago. What a cool gig to have within a family! She mentioned she had 4 kids and took that on as a side-gig but it wound up being much more full-time. I can imagine! So much involved in planning and “running” a successful marathon. Also turns out we have multiple mutual friends. I may have to run her marathon sometime!!
It wouldn’t be a complete fun race without a couple a selfies eh?! So thought I’d snap a few in the moment! I think it helped give the ladies around me a little chuckle and extra motivation. At least I hope so
There was also a little group of us that clicked a little over halfway through the run. They liked my pace and they enjoyed good conversation. We wound up kicking it in to the finish line together and celebrated at the end! I had not experienced that comradery before. Very inspiring.
|Our Lil Group – So Awesome Ladies!|
I knew an old co-worker would be running the 10k as she had mentioned it on Facebook. She has made huge strides in the past few years and this was her first 10k. I didn’t realize the 10k would be meeting up the the half so I was pleasantly surprised when I heard her yelling out my name! I ran over to her and high fived her. She looked amazing and I was sure to tell her that. She later reached out saying we ran into each other when she really needed some encouragement and it really helped her. It’s amazing how support can help motivate you to finish. What it’s all about
Support of Olympic Proportions
When we were about a mile from the finish I noticed a blonde lady on the left side of the road as she was extra encouraging with a big smile on her face. As we got closer I couldn’t believe it – it was Olympic runner Carrie Tollefson! How cool of her to come support all of these women bust their bums off – and by herself! Seriously SO COOL. Of course I had to say “Thanks Carrie! Olympic runner Carrie Tollefson everyone!” I could tell others around me hadn’t noticed her as they were focused so they were happy for the distraction and all thought it was super cool she was there. Her distraction and encouragement really helped give everyone that extra bit of ooomph so close to the finish line. Thanks Carrie!!
A half marathon isn’t complete without a post-race party! Especially at a race that is in support of strong women! Of course champagne is the perfect beverage to toast our accomplishments to – cheers!
|Fruits of our Labor|
Do pacers help keep you on track or motivated during your races?