I have never been afraid to put myself out there - to set big goals and to say them out loud. I would rather be a person who aims high and has big dreams and works hard to meet them (no matter the outcome), than someone who plays it safe and sets the bar low so I know I will get over it.
No sandbagging here.
On the flip side, I am not a smack-talker or unrealistic. I think good goals are ones that are BIG and stretch what you think you can do, but aren't so far out there that they are setting you up for disappointment. I try to be realistic and at the same time, I am not afraid to take risks and reach for the sky.
So what are my goals for the Pocatello Marathon?
In regards to time on the clock, my "perfect day", everything goes right, totally awesome ideal race-day goal is to be sub 3:10. I would love a new PR that starts with 3:0?. Would that be easy? No. Is it possible? Heck yes.
I have trained at a marathon goal pace of 7:15, which is a 3:10 marathon. Unless I have a marathon miracle, I will likely lose about 4 minutes on the clock because of my stomach. Things have been much improved lately since I have gone gluten free and the longer I go, the better things seem to be, although the issues are not completely resolved. I have run one half marathon where I did not need to stop at all and I had one 20 miler where I only needed one pit stop. I am doing all that I can to set myself up for as little GI issues as possible and am hoping for very little (or none!!) but I will control what I can and not stress over what I cannot. Reading "A Life Without Limits" by Chrissie Wellington and learning about her own GI struggles helped me put this into perspective a little and not stress about it quite so much.
I have been saying my goal is to be sub 3:15, which would be running my goal pace of 7:15 and then taking into account 4 minutes or so lost in the portapotties, but my workouts, my coach, and some fast friends have all indicated that they think a faster time is very, very possible.
All I know is that my current PR of 3:27 (set in January the day after I set a PR in the half marathon at the Goofy challenge) needs to be blown out of the water. That sucker is way out of date.
The Pocatello course is a unique one in that the first half is all downhill and the second half is mostly flat - it loses about 150 feet elevation overall and has two moderate uphills. (The first half is also significantly cooler in temps because it is earlier in the morning of course and because it is up a canyon). So it is not a course set up to negative split, but at the same time you have to be smart and can't blow it out on the downhill first half and have nothing left for the second half.
I ran this last year (my first Boston Qualifying time!) and I ran the half marathon (which is the second half of the full) the year before, so I am familiar with the course. I have a plan that I will use and adjust according to how I feel.
My plan is to run aggressively but to also run smart. Finding that balance is the key to marathoning!
Some other goals I have for this race -
- Be on the award stand
- Have a strong mental race
- Enjoy the process
- Finish feeling that I ran my best
I have done the work. Now I have to take all of the training, all of those miles, all of that work, and put it together into a great race.
I am ready to give it my all.