This Runner's Trials

Beyond PRs: Setting other race goals

Posted by runnerstrials

Whenever someone asks me about my goal for a race I usually respond with the letters “PR”. But lately I’ve been craving something more…

SMART objectives certainly have their place in achieving most of life’s goals, but not all goals have to be measurable and time-sensitive. Sometimes reaching a goal is more about the actual experience than the end result. I still have a sub 1:40 half and finishing the Goofy challenge on my running bucket list, but I’ve also set some other race goals that have nothing to do with time.

1. Complete a full marathon training cycle. I have never made it through an entire marathon training program without getting sick. Which means I’ve had to tweak the training plan and miss some pretty big runs.


A glimpse into my Goofy training. All that purple? Sick days!

I’ve tried 3 times and failed 3 times. I have no problem following a half marathon training plan to the T, but once I start running more than 14 miles at a time, my body falls apart. I probably need to look into a more conservative training plan. I don’t even care much about racing the actual marathon, I just want to know I can make it through a full training cycle.

2. Be a pace group leader. Running can be a selfish sport, at least in my experience. I’m always so caught up in my training and my races. I really enjoyed coaching Girls on the Run and I love helping friends who are new to running, though. But offering training tips and tricks can only go so far (and it borders on being irresponsible, but that’s another story for another day). Since I can run fairly consistent splits, I’d love to run as an official pace group leader for a half marathon. (If any races are in need of a 1:50- 2:00 hour pace group leader, I’m your girl!) I’ve heard most races have pretty high standards for pacers so I don’t expect to get the official title any time soon. It would even be fun to just unofficially pace friends and help them achieve their PRs.

3. Race in a costume. While watching the Disney marathon a couple weeks ago, there were so many awesome costumes and I got a tad jealous. My mom asked me why I never race in a costume and I told her I’d much rather be comfortable during a race than look cool.


Unless bunny ears count as a costume? Probably not.

This is still true, but I’m guessing running in a costume would add extra flair to a race and make for memorable pictures. Plus, I have a pretty original idea in my head if I ever run Disney’s Princess half marathon. I just need someone crafty to help bring my vision to fruition!

4. Volunteer. I’ve run over 50 races. Guess how many races I volunteered for? Two. TWO!  That is a super embarrassing race-to-volunteer ratio. I told you I was a selfish runner. Ugh. I’m determined to remedy this as soon as possible.

Anyone have any other race goals that aren’t about time? I want to hear them. I’m trying to let my competitive side take a back seat for a while. I’d love to get ideas for other goals!

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