Thus far I have run one marathon and I finished with an official time of 4 hours, 52 minutes and some seconds. I don’t remember the EXACT finish time in seconds, but I am neither an Olympic hopeful nor Boston Q’er, so 4:52:50 looks about the same to me as 4:52:37, amIright?
Anywho, GOALS! On July 27th I will run my second 26.2 miler: The San Francisco Marathon. I, naturally, would like to improve upon this finish time. However, given my recent bout with the stomach flu, coupled with my many trips out of town and delayed training runs I’m going to be realistic with what is possible to achieve.
3 time goals for The San Francisco Marathon:
Plan A: 4 hours 30 minutes
Plan B: Beat 4 hours 52 minutes
Plan C. Just finish and have fun!
I can now run a sub-2 hour half marathon (1:58 woohoo!) so I am a faster runner than I was during my first attempt at a marathon. However, I felt like crumb cake by mile 20, and I’m a lil’ self conscious about how I will handle “The Wall” this time around. On a course with hills.
When I reviewed the Napa Valley Marathon on my blog, (which was described as “cute” by the Napa Valley Marathon its self!), I discussed the numerous “mistakes” I made in my first experience as a marathon runner. What I’ve come to discover, is that being a runner is a continual learning process: as you add miles and gain experience, what’s best for you as a runner will come to light. It’s not really mistakes we make, but there are things we must adjust, or correct to be more successful. (Example: Last year, I developed shin splints and then learned that I need to foam roll and ice in addition to stretching so as not to have shin splints. And now shins are good) So here are some things I would like to correct for this race, that will probably make meeting my time goals on race day much more likely:
1. Eat a good dinner the night before the race, regardless of nerves. One cannot run 26.2 miles starting on an empty tank
2. Hydrate early. This means water AND electrolytes in the week(s) leading up to the marathon
3. Get plenty of rest! It would be nice to run a race on more than 45 minutes of sleep
4. Fuel along the course. With the exception of a few orange and bananas slices and a spoon full of sherbet, I ate nothing else while running the NVM. I had no energy in the last 6 miles
5. START SLOW. I ran the first half of the NVM at half marathon race-pace, which destroyed my legs for the last 6 miles. Negative split this time, perhaps?
6. DON’T STRESS ABOUT TIME! Stress will inevitably lead to a miserable run. There is nothing at stake for this race for me except personal gain. Time is ultimately irrelevant. I run because I love running, I love races, and I love medals. Set my pace, keep a clear head and go. Zen.
There you have it, my San Francisco Marathon goals 🙂