It’s Saturday night. 7:56pm. Race day is tomorrow. It’s time to post my goals!
I’m trusting what I wrote down in my notebook in mid-March: an A, B, and C goal. All three goals include a PR, and that’s a little scary to share with the world, but I know I can do it. Even if a couple things go wrong, barring a huge catastrophe, I know that I can cross that finish line faster than I did in 2015.
The time to beat is 2:36:39, which I ran at the Navy Air Force Half in 2015, or 2:35:20, which I ran on a training run this cycle. Has that ever happened to you before? Do you consider a non-race attempt a PR? Regardless, the average pace was 11:51.
A Goal: 10:50 pace for a 2:21:XX finish and a 15 minute PR from my 2015 race. That’s the goal pace I’ve been training for, with the exception of week 11 when an ITB issue popped up. On race day, I don’t want to linger on that. I want to channel the 2 x 2.5 workout on April 7th when I nailed 7.5 miles at race pace after five 30+ mile weeks. 10:XX is still an out-of-my-comfort-zone pace to think I can hold for more than 2 hours, but I’m sure going to give it my all.
B Goal: 11:05 pace for a 2:25:XX finish and a ~11 minute PR. I think this gives me wiggle room if I’m having trouble nailing my paces, or I feel like I need to start off slower than expected in the earlier miles. This would still be a big achievement.
C Goal: Anything under 2:30:XX, which would still be a 6-7 minute PR. I foresee this being an option if my knee doesn’t cooperate on race day, or some other factor blows up. I’d still be proud, and it would be a much faster than any of my 2016 races.
Wish me luck! Whatever happens tomorrow, I know that the hundred of miles I’ve run over the past 12 weeks have already changes me. I’m a better runner than I was before I started this training cycle, and I’ve shown myself I am capable of setting a challenging goal and getting after it.
I’ve been playing around with a lot of mantras for the morning, but nothing has felt as good as a simple, “You can do this.” I can do this.
If I do it right, I should feel the pain of racing tomorrow. My goal pace may be other’s recovery pace, but it’s what challenges my body at this point and time, and that’s okay. I’ll get there someday! I hope tomorrow is one big step toward it.