Goals for 2018

What would the new year be without a set of goals.  I’m not talking about parenting goals, family goals, or work goals, rather I’m sticking to what’s important, running goals.

In truth I’m not much of a goal setter, but the F and M track club, which I run with, asks for goals each year, so I bow to the peer pressure.

My two goals this year are clear and concise, either they will be met, or I will fail.  They are not process goals, in which I’d hope to work out 6 days per week or run a certain number of miles per month.  No, my goals this year are all about performance.

Goal 1.

I plan to run a Boston Qualifying marathon.  What does that mean some might be wondering?  Simply put, I must run a marathon on a certified course and I must have a finish time that is under 3:10:00.  This is the standard that the Boston Athletic Association has set for males my age.  I’ll be 36 when I attempt my race.  Confusingly, running a time of 3:10:00 will not get me into the Boston marathon field.  Since the race is so popular, the field size has reached a limit.  Thus, athletes with the fastest qualifying times are allowed the opportunity to register first; as it should be.

Getting to Boston is about running fast.

A time around 3:05:00 would most likely be fast enough to allow for my entry, but I’d rather not just squeak in, and I believe with proper training I should be able to exceed this time quite comfortably.  Therefore, my goal is to run between 2:45:00 – 2:55:00.  I plan to register for the Pocono marathon to be held on Sunday May 20th.  To be clear, my goal is to run the Pocono marathon in under 2:55:00 and thus qualify for the Boston marathon.

I will log my training, and keep everyone abreast of my progress through weekly updates here on the blog.  I’ll be formulating my formal trainng plan once I finish my demolition work in the kitchen (we are remodaling), this should occur within the next week.  Don’t worry, I’ll share my training plan so everyone can provide me with their two cents.

Goal 2

In late July I plan to run the Harrisburg Mile in under 4:30.  This goal is a retread from 2017, as I failed in my objective, running a time of 4:41.  I want another crack at this race.  This race is the reason my marathon must take place in the spring.  After building up my training volume, I will then transition my workouts to include much more speed, which if done properly should lead to a fast mile.

Last year, I ran the race as if I had never raced before, and in fact it had been several years since I had raced such a short distance.

I was a fool.

The evening started ominously, with oppressive heat and humidity which lead to a little pop-up thunderstorm.  This storm was the little engine that could and proceeded to rumble in the race vicinity for over an hour.  Smartly, I used this extra free time to convert my car into a sauna.  Eventually, things cleared and the race was on.

I warmed up properly with some causal jogging, faster jogging, striders, skips, bounding, and plenty of nervous leg shaking.  I toed the line and we were off.  The pace felt incredibly fast but there was to much adrenaline for me to be sure, so I stayed with the pack.  We received our first split at the 1/4 mile.  The leaders went through in 53 seconds, and I was only a few seconds back.

SLOW DOWN – my brain screamed, you can’t run a sub 4 minute mile!  Idiot!

So I slowed, allowing the pack to stretch out before me.  I received a 1/2 mile spit of 2:12, which after that blazing first 1/4 mile was now far to slow.  I was running like a yo-yo, and I was now feeling the effects of my irresponsible start.  I never heard the 3/4 mile split, but I began to find my finishing kick.  As the line came into view I began to pick off a runner here and there.  Several more were within a step or two but we got to the line to soon.  I could have improved my finish placing by several spots if the race was only another 100 meters.

Not Good!

So in summary, I ran a very uneven pace and then waited to long to start my kick.  I want another shot at this race, if I execute a smarter race strategy, I fully believe that even if my fitness is the same as last year, there are seconds to be gained making my goal time of 4:30 possible.

What are your goals?  How are you going to accomplish them?

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