It's official. I led my first run as a bone fide pace leader on Sunday. Two miles!
And it wasn't great.
Now, the group of runners assembled was fantastic. There seems to be a great mix of first-timers and veterans and we will have other runners join our group here as the weeks go on. My fellow pace leader was also great and offered a lot of info to the runners and was strong in her part during the run.
But the run itself was a bit of a disaster. Pace leaders are supposed to lead (duh) but I had runners get in front of me for a lot of the run. That threw off the pace and the run was way faster than it should have been.
I'm trying not to get too disheartened by it and even though I tried to get over it on Sunday, I suppose some feelings still linger about it. I'm guessing though that the only way to get past that will be to redeem myself next weekend.
After our run, we had more time to get together and talk as a group, so we did introductions and we had the runners all say their names and how many marathons they've run or what kinds of runs/races they've done recently if they hadn't done a marathon. We have runners who have done 0 marathons, 1 marathon, 2 marathons... all the way up to someone with 58 marathons. I didn't count exactly but I think about half of the 20 or so runners there were first-timers.
Of course my goal will be to keep them all there, all engaged, all motivated to run and of course pace them through runs.
Anyway, before we did introductions I told the group that that run was WAY too fast, that it was my fault for that. I also talked to them about staying behind the pace leader. I am going to have to hammer that point until they get it, and keep reeling them back when it happens. It will happen, of course. It's just natural.... one runner gets a head of steam, wants to stretch their legs and gets in front of the pace leader. That only draws the leader forward though and if it happens too much or for too long it will speed up the group.
So, I suppose that if that's my biggest headache at the start, it can't all be too bad.
And I really did enjoy meeting all the new runners and all the potential marathoners in our group. I know how grandiose and glorious it is to run a marathon and I would love nothing more than to help these runners experience that for themselves.
Oh, one more thing. I made it out Monday for a 10-miler. I worked on my pacing. Not bad, huh?
Mile 1 - 10:03
Mile 2 - 9:50
Mile 3- 9:58
Mile 4 - 10:04
Mile 5 - 10:24 (ah! my phone rang!)
Mile 6 - 9:50
Mile 7 - 9:52
Mile 8 - 9:52
Mile 9 - 9:43
Mile 10 - 9:30