So as a 2nd to last post pre-marathon I thought I would go ahead and talk about the dreaded topic of race goals. But first, the Last run!
This morning was my last run before the marathon- 3 Miles with 2 @ goal pace.... I follow directions ok, but this became 2 miles at goal pace and 1 well below it :)
3 Miles- 28:04, 9:22 pace
9:29, 9:28, 9:07
I had originally planned to just run at home and go on about my Wednesday morning, but yesterday afternoon I was exchanging some emails with my coach and he suggested I come do my run with his AM track group so he and I could talk about my race strategy and recovery plans once I was finished- I hopped on that bandwagon in an instant! Anyone who is naive enough to let me talk about the race and the 168465164632165 thoughts in my head is actually kind of dumb, but he volunteered! I feel good to have a plan in place that someone besides me agrees is smart, so with all that said, training and planning is done, and it's time for 48 hours of rest and panic, and then... RACE!!!!
Now... everyone talks about how you shouldn't have a time goal for your first marathon, and your goal should just be to finish- but if you know me at all, you know that is not even an option. I am an over-driven type-A who is super competitive, at least with myself, sometime others- and not having a goal would just not fly. Just finishing is not an option in this race (kind of like school wasn't an option, you just did it), I will finish, yes it will hurt, sure I may cry, but I know myself and I will finish this race or they will have to wheel me off on a stretcher.
However...I do understand that setting hard or unrealistic expectations for such a demanding challenge can be a huge let down which is why I have gone and given myself multiple goals (some even non-time related) so that way whenever I do finish I can be proud and excited about all the things I did accomplish.
Non-Time Related Goals First:
-Finish Happy, Standing, and with a smile on my face. I think that is all we can ever hope for
-Stay positive throughout the entire race. I know the pain will come at some point, and the best way to get through it for me is to not dwell on it and keep a positive attitude- so this is a major goal!
-Consistency. I have spent many hours reviewing splits from long runs and races and considering my tendencies and strengths. My thought is it will be so helpful (and distracting) to focus on keeping a consistent pace range.I would LOVE to see negative splits, but I am not naive, so I will focus on consistency!
-No walk breaks. This may seem a little harsh for a 1st marathon, and I may rescind this statement after Saturday, but I do not walk during my runs unless something is drastically wrong, it always hurts more when you start again, and I can never seem to go as fast as I was before, so I figure pain is better than prolonged pain, thus no walking!
-Run the tangents. This may seem like an obvious statement, but I am using it as one of my major distraction techniques. If I run too wide on the course, my Garmin may actually read 27.00 before I cross the finish line, and I would like to avoid as much extra distance as I can, so focuing on running the tangents hopefully will help to make sure I keep the distance as close to 26.2 as possible.
Time Related Goals:
- Goal A: 4:15:00 or less. This is what I trained for, and I am prepared to go for a 4:15. Assuming the sun, heat, or race director don't try to kill me, I think this is very realistic and attainable if I can mentally keep it together. HOWEVER...
I do realize that not everything can always be rainbows and sunshine and I have prepared myself that if things turn south to change my expectations based on the situation. I will not be disappointed if I don't hit 4:15 for a specific reason, such as bad weather or poisoned Gatorade, but I also know myself and that if it becomes obvious that my 4:15 is gone I will need to set a new goal to keep myself focused and motivated out there. To avoid Negative Nancy tendencies I am not going into my B and C level goals, because that would mean preparing for the worst, and I am putting all my energy right now into preparing for the best!