May 14, 2012

Runday Monday: Time Goals

I'm into tapering off my runs in prep for race day, getting my body ready to tackle the 21.1kms. I'm also thinking about the final moments of the race, of crossing the finish line, getting my mind ready to face the day as well. As I do, I'm thinking about my end goal and how that's shifted since the beginning.

When I started training back in January, my only goal was to finish. I decided to take on this challenge to help me get back on the running track. I had wavered from it in my final trimester of pregnancy and was struggling to get back into the routine. The start of the new year seemed like the perfect time to reacquaint myself with running and the half marathon seemed like the perfect end goal. At that time, just five months ago, running a regular 5km was rougher than I remembered. My race goal in those early days was simply to finish.

As I pushed on through training, I got better, faster, stronger. Not a speed demon by any means, but I was steadfast in my training and could see that finishing was becoming a reality. I realized with every long run that I was actually going to be able to do this and likely without too much pain and suffering. I was feeling pretty good about where I was in training and felt like I should set some sort of time goal to work toward. Thinking back to my marathon, I ran (ok ran/walked) that in 5hrs18minutes (I told you I wasn't speedy!). I figured I've come a long way since 2002, so if I cut that in half and shaved 9 minutes off, I'd be looking at a 2.5hr time goal. Half the distance in less than half the time seemed challenging, but realistic.

As I sit here today, less than a week from the event, I'm looking back on the last few weeks of running and seeing some really decent times on both my shorter and longer runs. I'm feeling confident in my ability to not only complete the race, but possibly even complete in less than the time goal I've set for myself. Soooo... I'm thinking it might be good to set a more challenging goal for myself. Something I'm not sure I can do, but something I can strive for on race day, something to keep my a$$ moving when my body is tired and my mind is telling me to quit. I'm thinking I can strive to shave another 15 minutes off and try to cross the finish line in less than 2:15. Oy!

In my career, setting goals are a key piece of my work. Making sure there's a vision to the end and starting out knowing what it is we want to achieve. I view this race no different. Based on my personal training journey, I'm going in with three goals, tiered in importance:

1. Just do it, just finish. That's what I started with and why I'm even running in the first place. If nothing else, I'll be pleased to just cross the finish line.

2. Finish in 2 hours and 30 minutes or less. Not speedy and probably behind the middle of the pack, but realistic for who I am as a runner. Anything under 2.5 hours would be extra satisfying.

3. Finish in less than 2 hours and 15 minutes. This is the ultimate goal, the one I'm not sure I can do, but the one that I'll tuck away to keep me going when the going gets tough. Anything between 2:30 and 2:15 would AWESOME, but less than that would be the icing on the race cake.

Sporting my new running jacket from D + HP
Happy Mother's Day to me :)

Now you all know where I stand. I'll let you know how it all shakes out in my next installment of Runday Monday!

1 comment:

Jennifer Wellsman said...

Good luck Colleen. I know you'll run a great race and I am sure you'll achieve all of your goals. I look forward to running with you in the weeks to come!