Sunday, November 16, 2008

Everybody has one

Even if you say you don't.

Even if you block it out of your mind and deny that it ever enters the realms of your thoughts.

If you're like me, you'd never speak of it......even if you did have one.

It's just to risky.

Too embarrasing.

Too vulnerable.

For a runner like me, a time goal is just too scary to even talk about in public ~ let alone actually document in writing where others (including myself) might be able to refer back to it at later date.

After all, I'm a *just finish* runner ~ so I really don't need a time goal.

Do I????

It's now two months out from the RNR Half, and I'm so happy to be right on track in my training. I'm getting two short runs in during the week (usually if all the planets align) and a long run on the weekend. And the best part is that my long runs are improving.

I've always said that my goals for my upcoming races is just strictly improvement. For me, this translates into:

1. No leg cramps at Mile 10!
2. Finish strong and with a smile :)
3. Don't die (always a good one to keep on the list)

Not too lofty of goals, really....and if I met all on them on January 19th, I'd be one happy camper. So why the thought of a time goal is entering my brain, I really have no idea.

I'm trying to repress it, but it's trying hard to come out. The thought of adding a PR as #4 on the goal list is just getting way too tempting!

My long runs lately have felt decent ~ although I was extremely tired during Saturday's run (but I think we all were, so it must have been something in the air!) ~ and for the first time, ever, I am able to average under 13mpm during a long run.

Yes, you read correctly. I know it sounds silly - slooooooow.....but up until now, I've never been able to break the 13 minute average barrier ~ obviously due to the mix of walking and running. But now all three of my last long runs (10 miles, 8 miles and 11 miles) have all broken the barrier ~ coming in right around the 12 1/2 minute mark on average. This is what is causing my mind to wander......

My PR for the half marathon distance was somehow set at the Valley of the Sun last year (don't make me drudge up the gory details and discuss how good mine and Lisa's time SHOULD have been based on our performance up until the time that I cramped up....) and averaged just over 13mpm average pace. I do have to admit that this alone is amazing due to the amount of walking we did over the last 3 miles (due to yours truly, of course...UGH)....but I digress. Our final finish time was 2:52 and some change.....when it really should have been somewhere between 2:30 and 2:40. I still get frustrated when I think back to that day.

Then long runs like this weekend and the weekends past make me wonder..........what is really possible for me this year at RNR? If I can average 12.5 on a training run, what can I do on race day?? And the carrot begins to dangle.....

Then I snap back into reality and focus on my REAL GOALS. Time may or may not be on my side this year, but I am trying not to obsess about it. The good news is that I am still two months out from RNR and have already hit some serious long run distances. There are still 12, 13 and 14 mile long runs in my future.....but I know that I am on the right track to being READY.

Ready to IMPROVE and ready to finish with a SMILE :) Isn't that all that really matters in this silly sport???

ORN: Long Run with TRC peeps Pat, Candace & Christina ~ 11 miles ~ 2:20:33 ~ 12:46 average pace.

Happy Running!!!!!!!!!!


Greg said...

Goals are extremely important, whether you write them out or just have simple ones in your head. In my weight loss and subsequent fitness improvements, I've done it mainly out of necessity. When I was taking 50 minutes to walk 2.5 miles, if I hadn't set goals I never would have improved. Even if I had, I'd have no way of knowing!

Walking begat jog/walking, which begat jogging, which begat running. The same went for my hiking and backpacking, I set goals for myself every step of the way. One of these was to climb half dome, another was to climb Mt. Whitney (which didn't happen, but not due to anything wrong on my part).

So that's my view. Goals are important. Always have goals, and when they're met, celebrate with new ones.

Stephen said...

I never set a time goal for any race distance the first time I race it. The next time, the main goal is to set a new PR. I find it motivating and have only failed to set a new PR one time in the last 3+ years of racing. Of course most distances I have only raced a handful of times which makes it easier.

Viv said...

Oh Poke we are such surf sistahs it's not even funny...We are both looking for pace time goals on the same day. :-)
First off I think it is perfectly good and healthy to set some realistic time goals, and with you training runs looking like they have, babe. You have set one that can be achieved as long as you are feeling well that day. Sometimes, we can't help race day stuff.

The stage will be set for you to hit that time mark. You have been to the dress rehersals and it will bay your day to shine.

A few weeks after you hit that goal I will be there with you to celebrate it a few weeks later!!

Go grab that darn carrot!

Viv said...

Another thing don't knock our pace. Yea it's slow but it is challenging to us right..

I got caught up in it this weekend looking at the times in my age group having to scroll way to the bottom. I let it get to me thinking geez....Then I realized I am improving so take that you speedys.

Pat said...

After our long run I was thinking about how we did, as I ate my big mac. My first thought was, 'I should have eaten this big mac yesterday', but my second one was how you and candace are like the Energizer Bunnies. You keep going and going. Seriously, we were all tired, but I was the one dropped from the back of the pack.

It's way too early to think about a time goal, you'll just have to change it for the better later.

Run strong,


Wes said...

yes! Don't die is my favorite goal!!! I'm thinking proper hydration will help you with your cramps. It made a huge difference at Disney and IM Florida. I've pretty much done away with my cramping now. It's awesome to hear that the training is going so well for you. Goals are great!! Public, or not!!

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

There is nothing wrong with setting time goals for your races. They help you continue to improve and make the training and racing more interesting. Just don't let the time goals become the ONLY motivation. Just because you don't reach a particular time goals doesn't mean that the race wasn't a good one. I've improved more by learning from my 'failures' than I have from my successes. Go ahead and set that goal.

The Running Knitter said...

You might be leaving me behind at the race with numbers like that! :)

Laura N said...

LMAO at goal #3.

Set the goal. Make a public one here, and a super secret one you cherish in your heart and no one needs to know unless you reach it.

If nothing else it will motivate you to push harder when things are going well during the race.

You're doing great!

J~Mom said...

Set it...set it...set it. He he he. I like numbers, I am a number girl. :>P

Southbay Girl said...

Nice run and Nice goals-especially the not dying!!! But I don't think it's absurd to have a time goal in mind! I'm slow too and I set time goals that I'd like to achieve-some races click and some don't!!! Luck of the draw for me I guess!!

Nat said...

I always set time goals. It gives you something to strive towards. (Even if I don't admit them publicly.)

Viv had some awesome good advice. I tend to knock my pace too. It's "just" a 12 minute mile. I'm almost apologetic about it. But you know, we work hard. As Viv says you'll be flirting with 11 soon.

Jeff said...

A PR is definitely in your sights. You've gotta have that as a goal.

Nitmos said...

Go ahead and set that time goal. If you don't get it, you can always go back and change it before you post your race report. Probably no one will remeber what it was. ;)

Catholic Runner said...

I try to be a "just finish" runner but stress each time about what my time will be...ugh, the mental anguish!

Rob said...

Most important, have fun. :), I like your list of goals.

AKA Alice said...

Time goals make me happy...but I always have your goal #3 in mind too.

Susan said...

I saw the AOR mentioned on NBC. Gosh I wish I could be there!

Calyx Meredith said...

Love your goal setting process! Thanks for sharing it. Your numbers look GREAT to me.