Goals for The San Francisco Marathon

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 🙂



18 thoughts on “Goals for The San Francisco Marathon

  1. This was the first marathon I ran where I didn’t hit “the wall”. I ate a good dinner, breakfast and had a gel every 30 minutes until mile ~ mile 19 (I was feeling full, I also had a few
    pretzels & apple slices). After mile
    19 I took a gel at 23 and 25. You may think at 23 you’re good, but y

  2. Sorry, didn’t finish 🙂 what I was saying is you’re better to take a gel instead of risking losing your energy. Good luck at SF! I’ll be there too! It will be my 4th marathon.

    • Thanks for the advice! I don’t think I realized how much fuel I needed to take in WHILE running to finish a whole marathon, this time around I’m determined to be more prepared. Sounds so nice to not hit a wall, I was close to tears. How exciting!! Race day is coming up so fast, I hope you love this race as much as I do!

  3. good luck! sometimes the races you just “have fun” at are the ones you do best… as sick as it sounds (because 26.2 miles is not technically fun) just enjoy the run… if you feel good go faster if it hurts slow down… you got this…

    • Yes, I think going in with a relaxed attitude can actually help your performance. It’s a beautiful course so I’m going to try my best just to appreciate the experience. Thank you so much for the support! 🙂

  4. Excellent goals! Do you feel more confident going into this marathon having successfully completed one already?

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