ONE WEEK TO RACE DAY! And I think I’m ready:
Miles run (YTD) = 245
Calories burned from running = 21,579 (Fascinating – never looked at those figures before!)
Pounds lost = 17.8
Number of 12- mile runs = 2 (A new training distance for me! And one of these runs had an epic, uphill second half!)
Attitudes adjusted = 1 (I was SOOOO not excited about this race six weeks ago, but now I’m pumped!)
Race day ride/logistics = Figured out!
New race skirt = Procured and tested!
New race shirt = See bottom of post!
Goals created = See right here:
I like to create a variety of goals when I race, both time and non-time related. Then for time goals, I also come up with A, B, and C goals. My “A” goal is a stretch goal, and it’s contingent upon everything going right – getting enough rest the night before, favorable weather, etc. My “B” is typically my “real” goal. The one that I’m likely to make with some effort but a little margin for error. The “C” goal represents the performance that I will find acceptable, even if I miss the other goals for some reason.
In addition to race times, I’ve been trying to set goals that focus on the overall experience of racing, as well as some other achievement-related goals. For example, “not walking” is often a goal, regardless of the time I’m trying to race. With that said, here are my goals for the big race.
Since I think my training paces are slightly slower than they were before my fall half, I’m making my “A” goal to finish under 2:15 (like, 2:14:59 would be super). That would be just ONE minute and TWO seconds faster than my September half. And even though a single minute isn’t actually significant (at my pace, anyway), it would be significant to me personally to get closer to the 2 hour mark v. the 2-1/2 hour mark.
Beyond that, I will be “happy” as long as I finish with the same time (+/- a few seconds) of 2:16, so that’s my “B” goal.
And I will be “satisfied” so long as I’m under 2:20, making that my “C” goal.
NOTE: All of these goals are going straight out the window if the temperature is over 65° and/or it’s really humid. Heat/humidity are my kryptonite, anyway. And my body is extra-not prepared for those conditions after all the frigid-weather training.
Even if I have been running a little slower than in the fall, I’m pretty confident that I can at least perform roughly as well – because mentally I’m more prepared to repeat that performance. Plus, there’s the crowds and entertainment to keep me going! And although I might be running a bit slower, I feel like I’ve been running stronger. For example, I feel way less like I’d rather die than finish my long runs than I recall from the past. As a result, I intend to set out at the 2:16 pace and then hope to step it up on the back half if I’m feeling good – especially that last three miles where, last time, I kept thinking I could pick it up a little more, but I was too afraid of flaming out before the finish line.
As I did for my last race, I’m making it a goal to NOT walk, including on “the hill” I’ve been told about at mile 11. My plan is to get it drilled into my head that I. Will. Not. Walk. “I will not need to walk that hill. I will not walk the hill….” If I just believe it, then I won’t end up walking the hill. (As usual, a few steps walking through water stops does not apply to this rule.)
I am making it a goal to NOT to focus on my watch and meeting goal times MORE THAN taking in the race and enjoying myself. This is my first “big” event – with all the bands, other hoopla, etc. I want to just take in the experience AND to thank God for ALL of my blessings, including but not limited to all the blessings I’ve received through running. Finally, related to that note….
Finally – TA-DA! – I have already achieved one of my race goals! I set out to raise at least $500 for a charity called Every Mother Counts (EMC), which helps pregnant women in developing countries receive the prenatal and childbirth services they need. It was kind of a last minute decision. And since EMC is not (yet!) partnered with the Pittsburgh Marathon, I didn’t think there was anything “in it” for me like there is for the partner charities (e.g., free registration, swag bag). However, just as I was achieving my goal of $500, I learned that anyone who raises $500+ for the cause gets a EMC racing tank! (It’s actually a “singlet,” but something bothers me about that word; Why? I know not.) Wednesday, I sent a frantic email to my contact at EMC to see if I could get the shirt in time for the race. After neurotically stalking my email all day, I received a reply that she was putting it in the mail to me! Of course I’ll admit that I love me some free running gear, but mostly I’m excited that I get to look official and represent EMC on race day. As of this writing, my fundraising account shows $625, and I expect a couple more donations to come in!
And with that, all that is left to do is eat right, get enough sleep, and pray for favorable weather.
I’m looking forward to giving a post-race report next week!