Saturday, October 24, 2009

Gotta have a goal

Well, it's getting down to the wire!  The NYC Marathon is just a week and a day away!

I've been pretty calm in most aspects concerning the actual race, and running.  My aches and pains have seemed to have all fixed themselevs (knock on wood!), and the taper has been great for me to feel refreshed and to go into each run with energy.  Had a 5-mile "easy" run on Tuesday, a great, final speed session on Wednesday behind Steelyard Commons, a rest day on Thursday, and a little faster than expected 3-miler yesterday around Tremont.  (I wore my garmin, and it just kept saying paces that were fast for me!  I kept having to force myself to slow down!)  Part of the briskness of yesterday's run was the fact that it was raining, so I just wanted to sort of get it over with and nobody likes standing around in the rain.  But it felt really nice, and that last mile passed by so quickly and I almost felt that I could do one more...but I didn't.  I need to not push so much!

Today, I was going to do 8 but I think I might save that for tomorrow and just do an easy 2-3 today...part of the reason is because it's again overcast (and supposed to clear up tomorrow), we had a lot of errands to run this morning (dry cleaning, laundry, bank, groceries), and, uh, let's just say I had a little bit too much fun with the wine last night at Rob & Claire's.  Ha ha.  Which reminds me, I totally did not stick to my original plan of not drinking a full month before the race...but I'm going to at least try to do a good 5 days before if not a full week.  (I read up online and nobody really says it's necessary to fully cut it out except for a couple days before so that you're not dehydrated.)

So, I am feeling "ready."  But how do you ever really feel ready for something like this?  Will it be easier than I thought?  Harder?  It's gotta be easier than Phoenix in that I actually KNOW I am capable of finishing, and that I trained smarter and harder than last time around.  But the course itself will be hilly!  Oh well, at least NY will have tons of crowds - and my friends and family - to pull me along.  Here's the course:

NYC Marathon Course

And here, for the first time ever...are my marathon goals!  (Drum roll)
I've heard it's smart to always make three goals: a reachable goal (like I finished), a somewhat attainable goal (like I finished having a great time without any pain, or I beat my time by a few minutes or seconds), and a harder to achieve, "stretch" goal.

Being that I only ran one other marathon, and my time was not that impressive (5:53:45), I truly feel that I can beat that time, even with the hills of NY.  I think last time, I was very tentative and was so scared of pushing too hard and hitting the wall (which, by the way, I did anyway) that I ran super slowly.  We also stopped for the bathroom a ton of times, which I don't really want to do this time if I can help it.

So Goal A: Beat my time by at least 10 minutes.

I don't really know what times to put for the others...I am thinking of "milestone" times, like 5:30 as the next goal.  I don't know why, but for some reason, the time 5:11 keeps flashing in my head.  Maybe it's cause it was my address in Madison....haha.  But I feel that that might be something to think about.

Going to the McMillan calculator and putting in my last half-marathon PR (2:17:12) gives an output of 4:49:21 for the marathon.  But that is crazy!  I don't think I am capable of breaking 5 hours...however, in that same page, the output for 5000m is second off my last 5K race time.  Creepy, huh?

So my super-secret goal, that I might be able to do if EVERYTHING worked out and the stars were aligned (weather, no clothing mishaps/chafing, no hitting the wall, fully hydrated, etc.) is to break 5 hours.


Dedications to come in a future  An easy 3-miler!  (And I mean easy!)

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