It’s race week, race week, race week. (Not quite as catchy as the “Friday” song, is it?) I’ve had goals in mind during the many months that I’ve been training, but I generally like to wait until the big day gets closer before I make those goals public. You know, so my utter shame in not even being able to attempt certain goals is only witnessed by me and not all of Internetsville. Now that training is mostly over, I might as well spill the beans.
- Finish before the cut-off. This is the cheesy part where I tell you that I respect the distance. I do. If it’s crazy hot (oh, please, no) or windy or typhooning, if I trip at mile 2 (new fear), if I get a stomach virus, if the stars don’t align, then I just want to complete the race. Marathons are hard. Finishing is a big deal.
- 4:22 (a PR). I ran Big D two years ago in 4:24. The Run Less, Run Faster plan that I’ve been using has me finishing in just over 4:22. I’m not feeling super confident, but I did follow the plan pretty closely. Plus, a PR after months of training would be so sweet.
- Sub-4:15. It’s only a little bit faster than 4:22, but it means each mile needs to be 15 seconds faster. That seems so fast in my mind! This goal is definitely a stretch, but I’m going to go for it anyway.
- Control what I can, let go of the rest. That means hydrating and eating well all week. Completing my final runs and keeping my legs fresh. It also means, taking a deep breath and accepting things like weather. All I can do is take care of the things I have control over.
- Use the hills. I’ve been thinking about the elevation chart the entire time I’ve been training. There’s no point in being conservative when you are given the gift of running downhill. I’m going to gauge my perceived effort so that I don’t go too fast, but my aim is to go fast downhill.
- Push myself. In most of my previous races, I’ve aimed to “run smart.” (Makes sense. Who wants to run stupid?) This time around, I want to be less cautious and more daring. I run the risk of bonking. I also run the risk of earning an awesome finish time. I’ve got to push myself to get it.
- Be thankful. I always feel better when I thank the volunteers out on the course. I also want to take the time to recognize how lucky I am that my body cooperates with my dreams. Especially if I don’t make my time goal, I don’t want to get hung up on what didn’t happen; I want to be thankful that I can at least try.
- Have fun. There’s no point in torturing myself for 4+ hours; I need to enjoy it. I want to high five people, cheer on my fellow runners, sing (in my head only – I won’t inflict that on others), and smile.
- Remember that it’s not just about me. Sure, it’s mostly about me (isn’t it always?), but I’ve trained with other people in mind. I’m going to be thinking of those people on race day, and I hope I do them justice.
Did I miss anything? Any other goals I should include?