I’m all ready for the race tomorrow and have my game plan all figured out, so let’s talk a little about my goals for race day. One of the reasons I’ve been obsessing over this race so much (and writing about it non-stop) is because I have a time goal.
A lot of times I sign up for a distance race simply because it makes me stick to a set training plan, and the race ends up feeling like the the grand finale to the training, a kind of celebration for making it through all the hard work. I usually have time goals in mind for these races, and will try to PR if I’ve been running well through training. This time is different though, I have trained with a specific time goal in mind, and that has made the race feel more like a test than a party. (Note: This isn’t a bad thing. I like tests.)
The time goal isn’t the only goal I have, though. Turns out I have five goals for race day:
1. Time Goals (I’ve given myself back-up times so that I don’t just throw in the towel and walk to the finish line if my A goal becomes impossible.)
A. The BIG ONE: 1:59:59 (or less)
B. At or under 2:05:00*
C. At or under 2:10:00**
2. Run negative splits/Follow my race plan – If I follow my pace wish list, this should happen.
3. Run a strong race – meaning don’t give up if I realize I will not break 2 hours, keep running hard and doing my best.
4. Have Fun and Smile Even if I don’t finish under 2 hours.
5. Do not slow down or make a mess while eating energy gel.
*My current half marathon PR is 2 hours and 55 seconds. If I can’t run under 2 hours, it’s also pretty likely that I will not be able to PR. My B goal is to finish under 2:05; I have only done this once (the PR).
** If I’m not making my goal, and 2:05 also slips away, I’ll shoot for under 2:10. I have done this one other time (my PR). If I can run at least as fast as my last 13 mile training run, I should be able to do this.
So, there you have it folks. I don’t think I’m being overly ambitious. (Except maybe the negative splits).
There are a few other things I’m hoping will happen but I don’t have control over:
* I get a race shirt that fits. I get serious rage when they do not have something that fits me
* It won’t rain. Weather is 40F and 40% chance of rain. Lame. Also something like 9 or 10 mph winds (is that a lot of wind? I hope not…sounds cold.)
* I don’t drop and shatter my race pint glass. We’re getting glasses, not medals. I’m going to be sweaty (well, maybe) and exhausted and trying to load up on bananas and water and pizza. I hope I don’t drop the glass.
* My support crew isn’t miserable – doesn’t get too cold or bored or otherwise uncomfortable or annoyed.
* Meb Keflezighi, Joan Samuelson, and Shalane Flanagan show up to pace me. (Shalane for the first 1/3, then Joan joins us for the second 1/3, and then Meb hops on board for the finish.)
Not too much to ask. 🙂