Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Goals...Attainable or unrealistic

When I signed up for my first Marathon in October I had these goals of a BQ...  NOW I am just praying to Finish!  

I am completely psyching myself out!  I am aware of it and trying to figure out just what my game plan for this Sunday is.  I know what I am capable of, but in the past, my 1/2's end up with me crashing and burning and the races I excel at are 5ks...only because I can go out like a bat out of hell and know I will be done in a mile or 2 when I feel like dying.  1/2's usually find me going out a bit too fast and then by mile 10 or so I am kicking myself for not being conservative and starting out at an easy pace to be able to pick it up at the end.  For the Palm Beach 1/2 in December I started out at an 8:20-8:30 pace and finished up a minute slower.

My game plan for Miami is not even close to being finalized.  I have run all my long runs the way they should be done...start out slow, finish hard, but I am still unsure of my strength at this point.  Mr. McMillian has me clocked out at a 4:02 marathon if all goes as planned...my legs feel like they are flying, the wind is always at my back...and my stomach is settled and therefore I get to blow kisses to the port-o-potties as I whizz by.

I am just beginning to doubt myself and what I am capable of.  That 4:02 time has me running a very low 9 min pace.  I ran 21miles, 2 weeks ago in 3:25 and it was not a race and I was definitely feeling like crap...awful run.  With that said, I believe I could run that last 5 miles at a fairly low 8 min pace if my legs hold up and I feel great.  BUT I am a chicken!  You heard it from me...I AM A CHICKEN.  This marathon is on my mind 24-7 and one second I think that I should just go balls-to-the-wall and shoot for that 9:17 pace and go from there while part of me thinks I should be very conservative and run about a 10 min pace for a while even though I don't ever run a 10 min pace...just so I will feel like doing back flips across the finish line.

I am torn!  I know all will be figured out by 6am Sunday, but until then I am going to be going mad with doubt and excitement and nerves....

What was your plan for your 1st Marathon?
Did you stick to it?

I just don't want to be disappointed and I tend to set very high standards and goals for myself...
I am debating staying with the 4 min pace group?  
Have you ever run with the pace group?


  1. My first marathon my plan was to run a 3:40 to BQ. My plan was to run NO miles faster than 8:00 minutes and NO miles slower than 8:25 and I thought that would give me enough cushion. I ran 3:25 and only ran 2 of my miles slower than 8 minutes. Plans are made to be broken I guess and race day adrenaline is quite a booster!

    Someone gave me the advice once that if you think you're running mile one too slow, run slower. I did this in both of my marathons and mile 1 was almost 30 seconds slower than GP. Maybe not the best advice for some but seemed to work well for me and not allow me to take off with the gun. Then I settled in.

    Don't worry about your crappy feeling 21. I've had millions of those in training! Don't run 10 minute pace if you don't ever run it! You're selling yourself short!

    You will figure this all out and have a peace as soon as you start running! Good luck-Rooting for you!!

  2. GIRL!!! I totally understand how the marathon thoughts consume every second of your life!! I am so excited for your first marathon and you are going to do amazing. The biggest no-no is doubting yourself. You are more than physically capable of reaching your goals. Now, you just need to work on the mental aspect. Think about the positives and how amazing you are and how much hard work you have put into this marathon and that you are going to SUCEED!!! I can't wait for the recap and lots of pictures:) You got this woman!!! PS Michelle is so so crazy. I haven't watched it yet, I will be right after school!

  3. 4 hour pace group...NOT 4 min pace group. I wish I had a little secret...that I ran 4 min miles!

  4. Have you looked at those charts that project your times based on other distances? Those were pretty accurate in predicting my ability. Unfortunately, in my first marathon I went out WAY too fast. WAY. I felt awesome for the first half. And I wanted to die for the last.

    My second marathon I decided to try and hit pretty even splits based on the prediction chart. It totally worked. I felt so much happier and better. I did a post on this on my blog, actually... if you want to read it, check my sidebar post "sage advice."

    If you're thinking right now that 4 hours is probably realistic, then I would say go out with that at even splits in mind. Maybe you'll feel AWESOME at the end and run faster... or maybe you'll just knock off mile after mile at that steady pace. Either way... or any other way... you CAN and WILL do it! I'm pulling hard for you!

  5. wow, looks like you have some solid advice already from the best blog reader a girl can have! I don't have much to say that they didn't say. Just go out there and see what your body can do...I would say to have no expectations...I didn't for my first marathon. Just run, feel good, and know that you've done all the work to get there! YOu'll be great!

  6. Today's wisdom: "There is no bank. Do not think you can create one on race day."

    If I could go back and do my first marathon again, I would run the first 4 miles as a warm up. I would say to myself "G, run the first 4 at goal +30, then Run the next 12 miles at Goal -10, now Run the last 12 at Goal pace...." but oh no, that is SO not how my first marathon went down at ALL. By the end I was wandering along like a crack addict lost on a course.

    Amanda at Runninghood really nailed it though - just run, feel good, know you've done the work.

    Finally, running 26.2 miles is a Bada** accomplishment. You don't have to run it in a BQ time to be Bada**. You don't have to run it in 4:04 to be Bada**. You are going to be BadA** BECAUSE YOU RAN A MARATHON. Your goal should not be to GET a good time, it should be to HAVE A GOOD TIME.

  7. I'm so glad you stopped by my blog!! I LOVE new bloggy friends!
    You are going to do AWESOME. I remember the night before I ran my 1st marathon I didn't sleep, and the week before I couldn't think of anything else. You are so completely normal. It is such an unkown, and you just want to do so well. Well, guess what...YOU WILL! Just remember that you have put so much time in training for this awesome event. You WILL finish. You WILL learn both positives and negatives as you do it. You WILL rock it. Be proud of yourself. Marathon training isn't for wussy people, and you've already proven that you are tough as nails by getting through that. I can't WAIT to hear how awesome you do. I'll send you ALL my good luck vibes from here. YOU'RE GONNA ROCK IT!!! :)

  8. Thanks for your comment! I followed a Runner's World Run a sub 4 hour marathon plan, but modified the paces to a more realistic approach for my 1st.

    Now, I am in the 1st week of Bart Yasso's intermediate plan with 5 days a week of running, but may reduce it to 4/week.

    I can't wait to read about your marathon! YOu can totally do this!!!

  9. Hey there! I wish we lived closer, so we could talk more often-- but you can ALWAYS call me!!!

    Anyways, if you are thinking 4 hours is really realistic, but you are worried of going out too fast, I might stick with the pacer... at least to start (like the first 10 miles) and then gauge your body from there. I will say that last year I was unsure of where I would be. I thought "around 4:10" and set up a plan for that (going out 9:45 for 5 miles, settle into a 9:30 pace and then, when I felt like it (turned out to be mile 18) I turned it up). I ended up exceeding my 4:10 goal, but most importantly it taught me to negative split. Once you learn that, I think you will rock ANY race ANY distance.

    Anyways, we'll talk lots more when I get there (or you can call me tomorrow to chat). I am a total head case, too, and it so helps to talk it all out.

    ANY way you go, you'll do AWESOME!