Tag Archives: Pacing

Adventures in Pacing

24 Apr

This past Sunday, I crossed something exciting off of my “To Do List” – I ran a half marathon as a pacer. The race was the Kansas Half Marathon in Lawrence, KS, and was expected to have an awesome turnout this year.

The pace group that I was responsible for leading was the 1:55 group. Stacy ran beside me as my co-pacer (she is a seasoned veteran at pacing) and together we had the energy and pacing skills needed to lead our group to their goal!

Smart Pacing

The pacers for this race follow a Smart Pacing strategy. This strategy helps you to run a smart race, and ensures that you don’t start out too fast. It also gives you some cushion on the hills.

I have used the Smart Pace Strategy in all of my recent races, and let me tell you – it works! If you visit the Smart Pacing website, you can learn more about the strategy, and how it can benefit you. There is also a link to Races2Remember, which uses the Smart Pacing strategy to create Pace Bands.

The Pace Bands are genius. They include a number of different races (13.1/26.2) and customize your pace band to that race. These people are SMART. And they know what they are doing. They will create a band just for you, and do it for you cheap. Please, give ’em a try for your next big race. You won’t regret it!

The pace band for my race is shown below.

And it fits to comfortably on your wrist!

Now look at the elevation chart for the race. See how this band compensates for the hills? And gives you warm up time, as well as the inevitable slow down time at the end of the race? Like I said, it is genius. And it will help you to run the way you should run.

The Race

Ok, now I will transition off of the Smart Pacing soapbox, and talk about the race.

Stacy and I lined up at the start, and met our group. We had such a fun assortment of people with us, and all were trying to achieve a goal of breaking 1:55. I love being around people who love running as much as I do, and they were certainly present in our pace group.

The stick is actually quite easy to carry!

The course was hilly, and had some questionable areas (i.e. running at least 5 miles on a sidewalk…..) but it was great overall. And most importantly we were able to keep our group together.

Around mile 11 Stacy encouraged everyone who was really feeling it to take off and finish out the race as hard as they could. We had one guy that wasn’t so sure about this, but after our encouragement he trusted that he could do it, and he ended up setting a BIG PR!

By the end of the race, Stacy and I were crossing the finish line alone. Our group had spread their wings, and flown to the finish. It was amazing to see.

Our official race time was 1:55:11. Best case, we would have finished in 1:54:59, but we stopped right at the end to cheer on some people that needed that extra encouragement (good for them, not so good for our final time).

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Pacing was a blast. And was everything I had hoped it would be! Nothing is more rewarding than MULTIPLE people coming up to you after the race, thanking you for helping them reach their goal. Everyone was so gracious, and so kind. They made the experience so enjoyable, and well worth the time I put towards it.

I hope in the future I am able to pace again (if that additional 11 seconds on my time doesn’t black ball me). I also urge everyone who has the opportunity to pace a race to snatch it right up! You will not regret it.

Have you ever ran with a pacer? Or as a pacer?

xoxo,

Ali

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Running for Others

17 Apr

I have always been a supporter of running your own race, and not letting other people get in your way. When I run races to race, I get in my ‘Me’ zone, and only focus on myself. This might sound selfish, but it is what allows me to be the best I can be, and I always tell people to follow this mantra.

The next 6 weeks however, I will be completely changing my mindset on running for myself. And I will only be running for others.

It all begins this weekend when I run the Kansas Half Marathon as a pacer for the 1:55 group. Being a pacer means so much to me, and has been a goal of mine for the last few years. I get to wear a special shirt, hold a stick for 13.1 miles, and lead a group of runners to their goal pace alongside Stacy. What could be better than that?

The next race I run will be the Chicagoland Marathon on May 20th. I am running this marathon with my dear friend, running buddy, and accountability partner, Diana.

The purpose of this race will be to get Diana into the 2013 Boston Marathon. I have NO doubts that she can do it. And I cannot wait to run next to her when we cross that finish line under a 3:45. Diana and I have had the BEST coach (ahem Stacy Scalfaro), and we will reach that goal come race day.

Diana and Stacy supporting me through my first marathon!

The last race on the list that I plan to run for someone else is the Hospital Hill Half Marathon. I will be running this race with my BFF, Nicole.

Nicole will be getting married one week after the race, and we plan to kickoff the wedding festivities with a half marathon. Nicole’s goal will be a PR, and I will be there to help her achieve this. After all, I am the Maid of Honor, it is my duty to keep the bride happy and make sure everything is perfect (and what could be more perfect than PR’ing right before you get married?!?!).

We climbed a mountain together, a PR should be a piece of cake!

Although none of these races will be ran to achieve a time goal of mine, I couldn’t be more excited to run them. Over the next 6 weeks I have the opportunity to help others achieve some major goals. I also get to be there right next to them and see that accomplishment on their faces when they do.

Running for ME is fun, but I think running for others will be an even better experience.

More details to come on all of these races….

XO,

Ali

The Spring Race Series

27 Mar

Well, it’s about dang time that I update the blog with my spring race schedule.

It appears that I have been a little ambitious this year…but I am pretty excited for the next two months! Each race I signed up for has a story. So sit back, relax, and wish me luck!

Rock the Parkway

April 14, 2012

I have heard this is a great race, so this year I decided I had to run it! Well, I went online to register (3 months in advance) and read ‘SOLD OUT’. I panicked.

I began stalking the website and harassing the race directors to let me in. Finally, they announced on their facebook page that they would be offering 50 VIP Registrations for the bargain price of $150 (when the race sold out, the registration cost was $50). So of course, I signed up. BUT on race day I get to potty VIP, and park VIP. So be jealous.

Kansas Half Marathon

April 22, 2012

The Kansas Half Marathon will be my first adventure in Pacing. I will be pacing the 1:55 group with my dear friend and running buddy Stacy.

Although this race is the day after my 26th birthday, I am still excited to wake up in the dark (at the same time I would normally go to bed on my birthday) and head to Lawrence, KS to run.

If you are running this race, or know someone running, hit me up and come by my pace group!

Chicagoland Marathon

May 20, 2012

I recently signed up for the Chicagoland Marathon. I will be running this marathon with Diana, and the goal is to get her a BQ.

The pressure is on to the be the best pacer ever and get Diana to her goal. The pressure is also on to ensure that I can run another Boston Qualifier time!! Eek!

Apparently the course for this race was just updated, and will basically be an out and back times 4. Yes, you read that right – TIMES 4!!! I hope we don’t get too bored. I think I might actually put together an Agenda of things to discus during this 26.2.

Hospital Hill Marathon

June 2, 2012

I ran the 5K of this race back in the day (like, way back…I think I was 10). This year I will be running the Half Marathon with my BFF, Nicole!

This race will kick off the week of wedding festivities for Nicole’s big day. Nicole will be getting married on June 9th, and I am Maid of Honor. This race will be wedding themed for Nicole and I…and costumes will be a must.

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So what do you think about the spring race schedule? Do you have any tips or suggestions to keep my legs moving through June?

I would also love to hear about the races you are running this spring, so please share!

XO,

Ali

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