Sunday, October 20, 2013

Goals. I've Achieved Them. (And I have some more.)

"I'm going to run a 3:55 someday. In fact, I'm going to run a 3:50 someday. Yeah, I said it."

I typed those words on May 20th of this year after bonking horribly at the Rockford Marathon for the second time in a row. I was pretty sure that 3:55 was doable but I kind of wanted to reach out and take that 3:50 back after I published it. For some reason it still seemed like a number I just wouldn't be able to grasp. (At least not for a few years.)

So then I went and ran a 3:50:06 at the Chicago Marathon last weekend.


I ran a 3:50:06 and felt AMAZING the entire time. I can't even tell you how awesome it feels to still have gas in the tank for the final 5K of a marathon instead of fighting back against pain and tears and downright awfulness! Instead of slowing down in the final miles was passing people all the way to the end. I had a plan, I executed with it precision and it paid off... big.

My entire race report is here for the reading but that's not what I'm writing about today. I've had a week to recover and soak up my success. I bought an overpriced Chicago Marathon jacket to commemorate my experience and purchased a couple of my race photos. (I kind of had to right?) But as most runners do after as the post-race glow starts to wear off, I'm already targeting my next goal. My next marathon won't be until next year but the inner Type A personality in me is already aiming at the :06  that lives on the end of that 3:50 marathon time. (I mean, you don't really expect me to let that go do you?)

A lot of people don't like training. They like race day but hate the drudgery of daily workouts- the speedwork, the tempo runs, the long, lonely solo miles on an early Saturday morning. I feel like I'm the opposite. I LOVE training. Give me the daily drudge. I love pushing myself hard and seeing tiny little progressions in speed, strength and endurance. I know I'll never be an elite level runner but I feel like I have some level of talent and I enjoy seeing how far I can push it. 

So I'm going to keep pushing. A couple of months ago I floated the idea of shooting for a 3:45 marathon when I turn 40. (A Boston qualifying time for me when I hit that age.) Suddenly 4+ years from now to shave off 5 minutes seems... not ambitious enough? So instead I'm gunning for that 3:45 next spring instead. It will be a stretch for me to take off that much time again but even if I don't make it on the first try I've know now that it doesn't matter. I know that missing out on my goal twice only made me fight harder and stronger the third time around. And I'm ready to keep fighting. 

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