October 22, 2015

Marine Corps Marathon Goals

On March 25th, my summer changed. I received that email telling me that I had obtained a spot in the coveted 40th anniversary Marine Corps Marathon. I still can't believe I entered the lottery. But I am glad that I did. After spending months of training, weekends of long runs, and weeks quietly considering my time goals, I am thrilled to be approaching race day! If you recall, this race I decided not to run with an aggressive time goal in mind and simply focus on having fun and successfully fundraise for the race.

Goals for the journey
1. Have fun! Without question, Danielle and I had a great time running together during the race 2 years ago. I told her last night that I was thrilled she convinced me to enter the lottery and I was really excited to experience this race again with her.
We basically smiled the whole way!
2. Enjoy the camaraderie of Team Fisher House. I have been really humbled at the outpouring of support (and $$) for my Fisher House fundraiser. In fact, I was really surprised to learn that I was one of the team's top fundraisers (9th) and also obtained one of the largest groups of individual donors (I was 3rd with 44 donors). I am really excited to meet my team members and the staff who have been helping us along the way. I look forward to lots of cowbell from our crew on the course!

3. Regain my marathon confidence. Yesterday, I did something really dumb. I reviewed, no wait, I actually compared my training data from Richmond Marathon to this cycle. And then I got kind of down. I trained really fast for Richmond and simply fell apart on race day. It left me angry, sad, and apathetic about running. This training cycle for Marine Corps has been about fun and finding my groove again. It simply wasn't about speed. I look forward to race day to prove to myself that Richmond didn't define me as a marathoner and there will be better race days.

4. Soak in the race. I did this really well in 2013. I want to do it again. High five spectators, enjoy the Fisher House cheering stations, thank the Marines. I want to do it all.

Outcome goals
So now let's talk time goals, shall we?
A Goal: This is the everything goes right on race day goal. It's the one with perfect weather (although I don't think we'll have that but I still want to keep this goal alive) and conditions. 4:10 or better. This would be an 8 min PR but I think this is realistic. It's 9:30 pace for 26.2 miles.

B Goal: This would still be a good race but not the ideal day. My PR dreams are still alive but not as aggressive.  If the weather turns sour, this is probably my A goal range. 4:10-4:18.00. This is in the 9:40-9:50 pace range. My long 20 milers were around 10:00 pace so this should be very doable.

C Goal: This is my "eh, nothing went right, but I still beat my first Marine Corps Marathon" time goal. 4:38.52 or better.

How do you establish race goals?
{Christine}

23 comments:

  1. You have very realistic expectations and goals, Christine. I can't wait to cheer you on virtually this weekend! Wish I could be there in person!

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    1. Thanks Kathryn! I really appreciate your support! :)

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  2. I think you might surprise yourself on this one. I am a complete believer in the train slower to race faster method. Honestly, it really hasn't let me down whenever I have set big race goals. Plus, you will have all of the Fisher House folks cheering for you along the way - it's amazing! Best of luck!

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    1. It's funny you say that...I've never trained fast for a marathon except for Richmond and we know how badly that went. I'm hoping you're right but with rain (UGH!), I'm just hoping we'll have a fun race and a solid time.

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  3. This year for Chicago was the first time I ever set a B goal. I knew my A goal (sub 4) was doable but with the predicted warm temps and wind, it was going to be a struggle. I didn't want to be disappointed, so I set a B goal of 4:30 with the main goal to HAVE FUN! and finish strong. Which I did. Finishing like that was a victory for me. I would definitely set A and B goals again.

    Good luck this weekend!

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    1. I rarely set B goals and after Richmond marathon, I learned it's important so that if you miss the A goal, there's still something left. I also learned that while it's great to set lofty goals, not meeting them doesn't mean total failure.

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  4. I'm trying to beat 5 hours, but finishing is good too. See you there!

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    1. Good luck Jenn! I hope you have an awesome race and see a 4-something at the finish line! :)

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  5. great goals and I think it's going to be a wonderful day! can't wait to FINALLY meet!

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    1. YES! I'll give you a shout about our weekend plans so we can figure something out.

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  6. I think you will do great! I have a hard time setting goals since my running is all over the place lately. And pretty much my "A" goals would be other runners "C" goal...haha. -M

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    1. I don't think it's about what makes your goals C goals for someone else...heck, my A goals are probably someone's F goals! :) We're all running our own races and that's what I think makes running great. Everyone has good days and bad and different race goals....and regardless of the duration, we can share those experiences together. That probably sounded really cheesy!

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  7. Good luck at the race and congrats on raising so much money for a great cause! Have fun!! :)

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth! I am so excited to run for Team Fisher House!

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  8. Good luck at the race!! Have a blast!!!

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    1. Thanks Sarah! :) I'm really looking forward to it!

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  9. Great set of goals:) I think you can do it, and I hope you can get your PR! MCM was a pretty flat course, I only remember a few hills at the beginning, but even they weren't bad at all. I have heard since I did it a few years ago, they even removed a few other hills, ones I didn't even notice, LOL But ya, flat course, depending on the corral and group your running with if it thins out and gives you space to run your pace, I'd say you got this girl:) Good luck!

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    1. There are some hills in the beginning but that will be good to keep my pace in check. You also have to consider that I train at sea level, with elevation changes of 10-15 feet on most runs! HAHA! :) My hill work is exclusively done on the TM. Thanks for your support Kristy! :)

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  10. I am like you, I set up A. B, and C goals.
    With A being if everything aligns, B being probable, and C being what I think I can do for sure even on a rougher day.

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    1. Yes that's exactly the strategy. I realized I should have included beating Oprah but I guess that's implied in A and B.

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  11. Great goals! I set up A,B,C,D goals..post is going live tomorrow. i do worry that I've focused too much on my time, but I feel like this is the one race that I've ever done that for. I've taken the last 3 races and really enjoyed them with a time goal in place, but not in the forefront of my mind. I really hope I'm not setting myself up for disappointment!

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    1. I read Amy Poehler's book this summer and there's a fabulous quote that she uses over and over..."good for her, not for me." I love it and think it applies to so many things including running. You just go run YOUR race and see how it goes! :) At the end of the day, that's the best we all can do.

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  12. Although I see many runners set A, B, C goals, this is something I've never done. My goal is always a strong finish. If I can do that, I'm happy. (Of course, I couldn't run my planned first marathon so I'm just speaking about halves.) Good luck and most importantly enjoy the race. I'm cheering for you!

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