Goals are Scary

26 Oct

Since Halloween is right around the corner, I figured I’d write about something that is scarier than I thought it would be.

GOALS!

That’s right, I said Goals. They’re scary things, goals are. Here’s my thoughts on this.

I’ve never been real big at setting goals — sure I throw some New Year’s Resolutions up once in a while or, I promise I’ll blog more (that’s a goal, right?) and I most definitely have an “ideal weight” goal.

Goals = Commitment. Goals are promises we make ourselves. I am NOT at all good at keeping the promises to myself.

With running, my ‘goal’ has always just been to finish. To not quit. To not get pulled from the course. And honestly, that’s done by me being stubborn more than anything else.

This year, I’ve tried something a little different. Since about mid-July, I’ve set time goals for most of my long training runs and half marathons. They line up with my expectations for the Marine Corps Marathon in 4 more sleeps (yikes!). It’s really very helpful that the Marines give us some very definite cut-off times for certain points on the course. Clock times along with a pace per mile limit.

MCM has some hard cutoff/diversion times on the course.

This year the kind folks at MCM are also enforcing “The Gauntlet” – this is a spot around mile 17.5-18 (15.5 this year) as you are about to enter The Mall. If you miss this ‘cutoff” at 12:38 you will be diverted to a spot further along the course and will not be considered an official finisher. I’m guessing you can take a medal if you want but you would know you didn’t run the full 26.2

If you’re familiar with the Marine Corps Marathon at all you’ve definitely heard about Beating the Bridge. The Bridge in question is the 14th street bridge, usually around Mile 20, but pulled back to 18 this year. In the past, in my experience, as long as you are *on the bridge* before the cutoff, you’re good. Apparently, though, you actually have to be *ACROSS* the bridge, which adds another mile + to the equation! If you don’t make this cutoff, you get on a bus and you get a ride to the finish. No running up the hill to the monument. No medal. (Edit: I found this on the MCM App after I’d written up this post – All MCM participants must reach the intersection of 14 and D Streets before the 14th Street Bridge by 1:15 p.m. This is located just past Mile 18. So yay, looks like we’re good here!)

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Started making notes…

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Mile by mile breakdown…

My goals are based on the original mileage/timing and are dependent on me crossing the start line no later than 8:08 am – this year with the Metro not opening early as in years past, the start line will not close until 8:55 at which time the 14 mm pace will be calculated/enforced. This start time should give us a little cushion (I am running with my friend, First Time Marathoner, Debby!)

As you know I am no speed demon but my goal is to hit my original times  and not think about any cushion built in.

The whole point of this post is this: I’m always kind of surprised when people talk about being nervous before an event, even if they’ve run it many times before. The ‘race nightmares’ (mine is getting lost on the course or not having my shoes!) , not able to sleep the night before. None of this has ever been my experience. HOWEVER, now that I have these goals I’m starting to get nervous.

Even though I’ve run more than 13 miles for training runs. And even though this will be my SIXTH time running with the Marines.  All these numbers are making me crazy and making me second-guess myself. I’m fortunate to have a TON of supportive friends around me to remind me that this is not an impossible journey!!

I guess this means I’m finally taking this running thing a bit more serious. Which is a good thing. I mean, it’s about darn time amiright? Let’s not get crazy, I’m not one of those “Oh my gosh I *have* to run today” people…but I am actually kind of enjoying it. So I have that going for me 🙂

So — What are some of your goals that might be trying to scare you these days?! 

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