Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Illinois Marathon 2012 - Goals

So... the marathon is rapidly approaching. As in 62 hours until I toe the start line. 

Am I excited? YES! 

Am I nervous? YES!

Am I ready to just get the darned thing over with? Absolutely YES!

So let's talk goals for the Illinois Marathon. 

Love this quote.

My training cycle this spring has gone really well. I've PR'd in the 5km, 4-mile, and half-marathon, all while training for this marathon.

I've completed several long runs - two 18's, a 19, two 20's, and a 21. Along with a handful of 15-17 milers. And I have felt strong! (Unlike a lot of my training runs for last year's Flying Pig.) I think the secret to my great long runs has been the fact that I've had running buddies. I've also gotten the hang of mid-run fueling, which has helped a lot.

At the finish of the Columbus Half-Marathon last fall.
So, based on my training cycle and recent PR's, I've decided to go for a 3:15, which is a 7:27 average pace. Wowza, seeing that in print makes it seem so fast! Several reasons have led me to decide on 3:15, as follows.

  • Using my most recent half-marathon PR in March, I should easily be able to run 3:08-3:10 according to the Runners World and McMillan Running calculators.
  • There is a 3:15 pace group. I have had awesome experiences both times that I have run with a pace group and I want to run with a pace group. 
  • A lot of my long runs were under 8-minute pace and they felt easy. So 7:27 pace is not that far off.
  • The last 6 miles are gonna hurt regardless of how fast I'm running, might as well make it worth it?!
My current PR is 3:42, so I know that dropping to 3:15 is a lot! However, my first marathon  was pretty awful (in terms of how I felt, my training, etc...), and I know I am capable of much more. Comparing this training cycle to last year's training cycle is like night and day. Two completely different experiences.

Now... will I still be happy with a slower time? Yes. I understand that if the weather does not cooperate, or something crazy happens, 3:15 might not be possible. As long as I break my PR of 3:42, I will still be satisfied. But a girls' gotta dream, right?!

16 weeks of hard work... I'm ready to push myself and see what I can do!

My running buddies stopped by last night with a surprise for the race. Since they won't be able to cheer me on, they made me signs for my Business Man to hold up during the race! Glitter and all! :) I've never had a sign just for me before, so I was super excited.

Thanks Jim, Amy, Emily, & Jocelyn! :-D
Gah! Can't wait to come back and give a race report! 3:15 or bust!


the Rosones said...

Holy cow...that could mean you are running a marathon in just over three hours. That is insanely awesome! Good luck this weekend!!!!!

Alissa said...

You are a rockstar! Run like the wind blows!

Tyler said...

Sara, we only trained together for a short time senior year, but I already know that you're going to blow this marathon away. You have the determination and the experience to meet your goals and then some. If the elements don't allow for it to happen on this one, shrug it off and try again. The important thing is that you've traveled a long journey getting to this point and you're finally ready.

I have had to drop my plans to run in 3 separate marathons due to injury and it's been a really hard time for me to keep trying this crazy running thing. Being able to login to Facebook and Dailymile and see people like you going out and getting it has been extremely inspirational.

Thank you, and good luck!

Sara said...

Tressa & Alissa - thank you! :-D

Tyler - thanks for the kind comment! Way to get me pumped. I'm glad you keep trying! It takes a while to get in the groove, and finally feel like you know what you're doing. I am only starting to feel that way a bit now, and I've been distance running for 8 years. Yikes. :)

Simply Yours Designs: Cute Blog Designs