This Runner's Trials

Marathon try 2.0 goals

Posted by runnerstrials

Thanks for all the words of encouragement on my marathon decision. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared for trying the marathon again. But I am also really excited :)

Before my DNF, I had big, SMART goals for the race.

My main goal for this marathon should be pretty clear: to finish. I cannot wait to cross that finish line, wear my medal, and have marathon-sore legs for days. Seriously, one of the most heartbreaking things about DNFing was no sore legs. I want to earn them!

My other primary goal is to enjoy myself. I want to catch myself smiling during the marathon. I definitely felt this way the first few miles of the DNF (obviously, who doesn’t feel good the first few miles of a marathon? ;) ), but I also caught myself smiling during the latter part of my 16 miles on Friday. I genuinely enjoy running, and the race is supposed to be a celebration of your training. I need to remind myself of that at mile 22 ;)

If I can meet these 2 goals, I’d be a happy girl.

But I’m still Jen. And just because I DNF’d does not mean I lost my desire to run fast.

I’ve wavered on how I’m going to set time goals. I’m not going to try to qualify for Boston (a 3:40:59 marathon). Boston 2011 is closed. And even if the Boston Athletic Association doesn’t change the qualifying standards for 2012, I hope to be gestating or lactating during April 2012. So there’s no way I could run it. Yes, it’s still a huge accomplishment to BQ even without running the Boston marathon. But I want to BQ and use my BQ to run Boston. I still plan to BQ one day, just not this week.

And, my training plan was thoroughly screwed up with the DNF. I essentially tapered for 3 weeks, had one hard week of running, then tapered another week before this marathon. So an impressive time goal is probably not likely.

Time goal A: sub 3:50. Still very ambitious. I chose this goal because the pace (8:45ish) is basically 20 seconds per mile slower than what I needed to BQ.

Time goal B: break 4 hours. Chosen because in my brain, I associate sub 4 with hardcore ;) This is a 9:09 minute/mile.

If I don’t meet either time goal, that’s fine. I’m looking at this race as a set point for my marathon training next Spring. Yup, I don’t even have the marathon down yet and I’m already looking ahead. I’m glad the DNF didn’t shatter my spirit :)

How do you pick time goals for races?

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