Marathon goals

I remember when I first started running.  I didn’t really have any goals for my races.  When I did set goals, they were along the lines of “don’t die,” and “just finish.”

For my first marathon, I didn’t set a time goal.  Because you don’t set time goals for your first marathon.  Your only goal is to finish.  And, I was pregnant, so not many people expected me to be running a marathon anyway.

Since then, I’ve started setting a series of goals for each race.  Typically, I set an A, B, and C goal for each race. 

My C goal is “what I would be happy with.”

The B goal is “what I think I might be capable of doing.”

My A goal is “if everything goes perfectly and the stars align, and the entire course is downhill with a tail wind, and I feel like an Olympic athlete.”

When I ran my half marathon back in April, I accomplished my B goal.  And I was thrilled with that, although I know that I am capable of more. 

So, it is time to lay out some goals for this marathon.  I don’t know why I am struggling with this so much.  I love setting goals.  I have so many goals.  I have goals for running and school and push ups and work and cleaning my house (I don’t meet those goals). 

I’ve been tossing around some numbers in my head.  I have an idea of what I can do, based on my most recent long runs (and some online running calculators).  But, keeping those numbers in my head is much safer than throwing them out to the world for everyone to see.

Let me start by saying that there is no danger of me (ever) running a marathon in a time that starts with a  3.  I will not qualify for Boston.  I am not fast.  My goals typically involve seeing what my body can do, not necessarily seeing how fast it can do it.  (5Ks and 10Ks are different…I’d love to get faster there.)

I never really know what my body is going to do on any given day.  I guess my main goal is to have a good time and do the best job that I can on that particular day.

Can you tell I’m stalling….

Okay, here goes.

C goal…anything under 5 hours.  My first marathon was 5:08.  And I was pregnant.  And about 25 pounds heavier than I am now.  So by now, I’ve been running for an additional two years.  I have a lot more miles in these legs than I did then.  I’ve trained better and smarter.  And…I’m not pregnant!

B goal…4:45.  I think this is doable, but challenging.  If the weather is crappy, or if my GI system revolts on me, who knows what might happen.

A goal…4:35.  Like I said, all downhill and with a tailwind. 

Unfortunately, the course is not all downhill…just mostly.

But, I will thank the race designer for that nice down hill at the end.  (thank you)

Ok, there you have it.  I have written down my goals.  (isn’t that what you are supposed to do with goals?)  I have a week to positive-self-talk myself to success.

If any of you are in Milwaukee on October 7th and you would like to offer your support, I would LOVE it!  The race starts at Grafton High School at 7:30. Feel free to come up and wish me luck.   And make signs.  Marathon runners love seeing signs.

I’m hoping to be running through Concordia University sometime between 8:35 a.m.-8:50 a.m.  (Parking is at the Highland House…then follow the signs.)

I’m hoping to be at the next spectator point, around mile 17, between 10:15-10:45.  Parking is offered at Associated Bank or at Wheel and Sprocket on Green Tree Road, east of I-43. 

The finish area is at Veteran’s Park.  Spectator Parking is at the O’Donnell Parking Garage across from the Milwaukee Art Museum.  I’m hoping to be there sometime between 12:00-12:30.  You can find out all sorts of spectator info on their website.

I’m going to be crossing my fingers and praying that everything goes well.  And starting in a couple days, I’ll begin obsessively checking the weather reports.

At this point, I’m going to try to trust my training and just enjoy the race.

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