Set two (or even three) goals.

Detroit Press/Flagstar MarathonTwo more days.  The Detroit Marathon is Oct 19.  26.2 miles of non-stop fun (I hope).  Today I ran a nice, easy three miles as my last run before the race.  I’ve been tapering the last two weeks.  And, yes, just like I heard from other people, it was hard to cut back on the running.  I wanted to do more each day but I knew I needed to have “fresh legs” for Sunday.  So now we’ll see if all the training pays off. 

During my runs this week I’ve been thinking about my goal for the race.  During the summer, when I was contemplating running the marathon, I thought my goal would be just to finish (under my own power).  Then after a couple of 20 mile runs went well, I thought my goal would be to finish in under 4:30 hours.  Then the last week or two I thought I’d be able to do 4:15.   But now I’m feeling fresh and thinking maybe I actually could break 4 hours.  I used one of the race time predictor tools online and based on my times from my summer 10k races, the calculator predicts I could run a 3:48.  So, I have a dilemma.  What’s my goal?  And what pace to I run?

Tomorrow is the Marathon Expo so I hope to talk to some of the pace group leaders and see what their strategy is.  Right now I think I’ll start at a pace to finish at 4:05, then re-evaluate at the half-way and again at 20 miles. 

Since I’m treating this like my first marathon (I did run one in 1993 but that has little impact on my running now) I have set three goals.  Worst case, I need to break 4:30; I’ll be very happy to break 4:15 and I’ll be thrilled (and surprised) to break 4:00.  (But ultimately my goal is still to just finish).

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