Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pacing: Making racing fun again

At times in our sport, it gets really hard to keep an open mind and not give up when you hit that new time barrier or worse you've reached your limits on how fast you can push your ever ageing body. What are runners to do when you constantly compare yourself to your last race, your last workout or even your younger self? Mix it up!!!

All to often we get into habits, be them good or bad in our sport. We do that same workouts, we run the same distance races, and we hardly ever think outside of the box. When we put on our running blinders, we block ourselves in and we forget why we started running in the first place: To better ourselves and to have fun.

I have found throughout my running career (almost 27 years now...WOW, that's been a long time since the "Sun Run" in 3rd grade) that the best thing you can do when you find yourself in a "running-rut" is to try something new. I've recently switched my focus from the short and the fast, to the long and not-so-fast with Ultras and I am finding myself running better, more focused and really enjoying my running again even after more than doubling my weekly distance!

I also added in a truly amazing new experience this past weekend at the Bluffton Half Marathon. I led a pace group for several of our members that wanted to break 2:00.00 for the first time (9:00 pace). It was truly an awesome experience and I got more satisfaction out of this race than some major events I have competed in. I can not even express the sense of pride that I felt for the runners in my group as they crossed the line one-by-one (I really wish I could have crossed the line with each of them!!) But as the clock ticked down closer and closer to the two hour mark, I decided to run back out one last time and see if there was anyone else that could still go under. I saw one of our Club members about a half mile out and there was no way that I was going to let her miss her goal. Rachael dug in deep and kept dropping the hammer all the way till she crossed the line and beat her goal. I really felt like I won the race at that moment, and honestly I did because I got share this amazing feat with so many awesome runners!

I would highly recommend that if your training needs to be mixed up a little, think about leading a pace group in an upcoming race. Contact the local race director and they would love the help!!

Great job to everyone that ran the Bluffton Half Marathon this past weekend and to everyone who gave me this awesome feeling today... PROUD.
Thanks to Palmetto Pacer member, Gary for catching this AWESOME shot as I sent Rachael off to the finish line!!!
Bluffton Half Pace Group:
1 - 8:51 8 -9:02
2 -9:02 9 - 9:00
3 - 9:01 10 - 9:04
4 - 9:03 11 -9:02
5 - 9:00 12 - 8:56
6 - 8:59 13 - 8:54
7 - 9:02

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