There’s only about two-and-a-half weeks until I’ll be getting on a bus and riding to Assateague Island from Ocean City for the start of the OCMD Island to Island Half Marathon.
I’ve done the race once before, in 2014, but this will be my first time ever being a pacer at a race. My friend Veronica, who has been a pacer before, was able to help get me onto the pace team, and I’m really excited about it.
As a pacer, I’ll run the race at a certain speed in order to help people come in at or under a certain time.
I am likely going to be pacing a 2-hour and 50-minute half marathon, which is a 12:58-per-mile pace. It isn’t quite set in stone yet which time I will be pacing, but I’ll certainly be blogging about the experience afterward.
I gave the pace group organizer times I felt I could run easily, so that I only have to focus on meeting the correct pace and motivating my group, rather than worrying if I have the strength and endurance to finish in time.
I wanted to make sure I got in some practice at this pace, so today I ran four miles, and I was able to average a 12:56 pace, which I was really excited about. I did a two-minute run and then a one-minute walk, and kept repeating this. I realized I was a little behind at the end of the third mile, so during the last mile, I did two minutes and 10 seconds of running and then 50 seconds of walking, and kept repeating that.
I’m going to do some more runs at this pace, including a long run, before the half marathon to help prepare.
While I have never really run a race as part of a pace group, I’ve definitely used pace groups as motivators during races — mostly when trying to stay in front of them. I’m excited about getting the opportunity to be someone else’s motivation and help a person or people meet their goals. Maybe even for those who aren’t running in my group, I can be the person that someone is encouraged to stay in front of.
The Ocean City Island 2 Island Half Marathon is at 7 a.m. Saturday, April 30, and registration is still open until it fills up. The listed “procrastinator” rate goes until April 20, so I’d sign up soon if you want to run. (Here’s a link to the event page.) As a disclaimer, I didn’t have to pay for my entry fee because I am pacing.
I hope to see you out there, and maybe one of you readers out there will even be a part of my pace group!
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