What I Learned From Being A Pacer

BL Medal

As you may remember I was a pacer for the Biggest Loser race held in my hometown this past weekend.  This was my first time being a pacer and let me tell you I learned a lot!

Lesson 1

I went into this half marathon with minimal training, but agreed to being a pacer for the race because it is 2:15 a mile slower than what I typically run for a half marathon.  I would never suggest doing this, but I was fortunate that my body could handle… and by handle it I mean come out incredibly sore, but not injured. 

Lesson 2

You never realize how much your stride changes when you slow your pace until you do it for an extended period of time.  My muscles hurt so much more after this race, because my stride changed due to the pace I was running, than any other half marathon I have ever run.

Lesson 3

I went into the race knowing this race was not for me, it was for everyone else wanting to finish in 2 hours and 30 minutes.  I did not invite or tell any of my family or friends to this race, because I didn’t want to be distracted from my “job” for the race.  Although I knew the race would not be for me, I ended up taking so much out of it that the race really gave more back to me than I ever thought it would.

Lesson 4

I have heard from many people that it is a gratifying experience to pace for others, I found that out at mile 12.1 of my race.  As I passed a girl with one mile to go, i heard “F* yeah!”  I turned as I slowly passed her and asked what was up? She yelled, “I’m going to PR! My last pace was 11:52, I’m going to PR!”  At this moment I felt the true joy of pacing!  She did not stick with the 11:30 pace, but came in just slightly behind and it was awesome to see her celebrate at the finish line.  I gave her a hug at the finish line and the whole experience nearly put me in tears.

Lesson 5

I can pace myself and I can run 13.1 miles without stopping.  This was the first time I have ever run a consistent pace and the first time I have ever run the entire distance continuously.  I started out using my Garmin, but I just don’t trust that thing and the pace just seems off, so I ended up using my split cheat sheet.

Pace Sheet

Tomorrow my family is getting together for a “Grub Club”, where we all make a dish we have never made before and then we eat and evaluate them all.  I plan to make a paleo recipe, but the rest of the family probably won’t have anything remotely paleo.  Look forward to a post of paleo and non-paleo recipes soon!

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