To lead a pacer group is a right of passage for a runner who’s simultaneously likeable and capable of controlling his/her performance to the second. After the past few years of focusing on our own running capabilities, we wanted to give back. Roger signed us up to join the Road Runner Sports pacing group for Carlsbad Half Marathon this year. The idea was to pace the same 1:40 group together. What an honor & sweet date! I would be returning to Carlsbad Half Marathon, which was my first 13.1 mile race in 2012, as a pacer. Luckily, Roger paced the same group at Silver Strand Half, so he knew what needed to be done.
I was intimidated because it would be the first time I was going to lead a group of people that were trusting me to cross at that specific time. That blend created both stomach butterflies of excitement and knot in the throat for the fear of failing.
The week before the race, I got the flu bug that was going around and was in bed weak for a week! I would go for single digit bike rides to barely maintain fitness then go back to bed. Thankfully I had trained the month leading up to the race. Roger recommended I do 2 main workouts on race week: 1) 14 mile run for endurance strength 2) 7 miles at 7:35 or faster – race pace. I was better in time to complete both benchmarks, and it was finally race weekend.
On Expo Saturday there was a Pacer Meet & Greet with participants from 12pm-2pm in Carlsbad. Since traffic via I-5 is an endurance challenge itself (of sitting), we decided to bike (100 miles roundtrip from National City to Carlsbad & back).
Foodie bike fuel pit stops:
- 20 miles: pecan cinnamon rolls with .5 lb smoked salmon at Girard Gourmet
- 50 miles: 10″ pizza with chicken kale salads at Pizza Port
- 75 miles: large lattes
- 100 miles/pre-race meal: rice/baked salmon/steamed vegetables.
Unfortunately we could not find a home stay, so had to drive up real early. At least there was not traffic and Roger could do his morning coffee ritual in the car.
Participants walked up to us at Start Line while we waited at Wave 1 and gave us their names, how long they had been trying to get this PR and where they usually failed.
In our group, 5-8 people that had come up to us and listened to all our tips on form and breathing along the race – and reached their goal! We crossed at 1:39:50, turned around and high-fived & hugged our runners as they ran into victory.
Carlsbad Half Marathon 1:40 Strategy: Average pace is 7:35, on the uphills we anticipated 10 seconds slower and on downhills thanks to gravity we anticipated 10 seconds faster. Keep in mind, the pace is based on the course so this timing would not work also for La Jolla Half. Here are the Garmin Results.
Perhaps we will be able to experience the Triple Crown this year, as pacers?!
P.S. Temporary pics, I can’t wait to get them all!