Now that I have chosen which race to run, my next challenge was to establish what my goals are going to be, and believe me that seemed to change daily! I have read in several places and even heard from close friends that setting a time goal for your first marathon should not be high on my priority list. The only thing I should be worried about is getting to the finish line. I can understand where this comes from; it is a daunting task to jump from a 13.1 half to a 26.2 full marathon alone without worrying about what time you will finish in. For me, I need more of a goal than just saying my goal is to finish, I need a time to strive for. If I don’t have a time goal I feel like my training will just be all over the place and I won’t be as prepared, plus if I shoot for my goal time and come up short but still finish the race isn't that still a victory anyway?
Based off my last half marathon finish of 1:57:43 the Runners World race predictor is estimating a marathon time of 4:05:26 for me which I feel is totally achievable. However, with a time so close to breaking the 4 hour mark I might as well set myself up to hit a finishing time of 3:59:59 or better. I don’t feel like that is to unreasonable of a goal and even if I don’t break the 4 hour mark but I still finish the race I didn’t fail anything I did what I set out to do, complete a marathon. I don’t like to do A,B & C goals as it gives me an out for not reaching my A goal, but in this case with so many unknowns and variables I think it is appropriate.
My Official Goals:
A) Finish the marathon in under 4 hours with a smile
B) Finish the marathon in under 4 hours
C) Finish the marathon with a smile
D) Just finish
* For quick access to my entire Marathon training journal click the "Marathon Journal" tab just below the Running In The Fat Lane header