Friday, September 26, 2008

Race Goals

I've heard people who are experienced runners talking about their goals for a race, and they seem to often have more than one. That is, and "all out" goal, a medium goal, and a fall back goal. I don't know all the psychology behind this, but it seems to make sense to me. My first race of this year, the Reno Rock 'n' River Half Marathon, I just had one major goal. When I realized in the second half that I wasn't going to make it, I didn't know how to feel. So, despite the fact that the Tahoe Marathon this Sunday isn't a race that I've specifically trained for, I think I can come up with a series of goals.

1. PR. That would be anything under 3:54:14, from last year's Tahoe Marathon. Now, this isn't as crazy a goal as it seems - Tahoe last year was only my second marathon, my first being way back in 1999. And my training for last year's mostly consisted of trail running on the TRT, not focused marathon training. The specific training I did for the half marathon this spring definitely made me a much faster runner than I was last year, and I seem to have kept much of that despite sickness and orthopedic issues this year.

2. 4:00:00. Well, it's nice to have a round number to try to beat. If I'm close to the PR but just aren't quite going to make it, I can at least shoot for the big 4.

3. Finishing. If I'm not under 4 hours, I just want to finish on my feet. Honestly, I don't know what's going to happen out there in the second half - I haven't run over 13 miles since the TRT 50K back in July. It's mostly going to hinge on how I feel for the hills - the Tahoe course has a big one from mile 15 to 17, and a sneaky one from mile 19 to 20. Best I can do is set an easy, steady pace up to the hills, grind them out as best I can, and hold on for the downhill and flat finish.

Cheers to the Tahoe Triple and Super Triple runners like Peter, who will be starting out this morning. "Jumping from an airplane nuts" indeed...

Oh, just a little trot around the neighborhood this morning to keep loose. Might do the same tomorrow, maybe not.

3 comments:

SnowLeopard said...

Hey man, your little trot is a regular run for me! I wish you the best of luck on Sunday- your goal is the kind I usually set for myself: run steady and see how it goes. I try to let my body tell me what it needs, and give it what I can. Always worked so far. :)

Wish I could be there with ya...

Marcy said...

Sounds good to me! GOOD LUCK!! ;D ;D

Gretchen said...

Sending you good vibes for race morning! I'll be out there, but probably won't recognize you, so just know that I'll be mentally cheering for you. You can do it!!