The Connection Runners + [training]

MCM #10: Goal-den Girl

Just six weeks to go until I run marathon number three, and I feel like I did when I was 34 weeks pregnant: ready to push out a (marathon) baby, hope that everything turns out normal and healthy, and spend the next three weeks snuggling the baby medal and not running seriously for a little while.

Week 11 Recap
Monday: 4 mi @ 9:54 (stroller)
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: off
Thursday: 6 mi @ 9:58 (stroller)
Friday: off
Saturday: 6 mi @ 9:48 (stroller)
Sunday: Run for Ribbons 5k @ 7:41

Week 11 Notes
Last week was a janky cutback week. Besides having to do my teacher jig at Open House on Wednesday night, our friends Matt & Kara came over (along with Matt's parents) on Friday evening. Accordingly, I kind of just took a big poo on my schedule and did whatever felt good.

Oddly enough, I was itching to get out and run Saturday - guess my recent LSD runs of 16, 18, 20 miles created an abnormal addiction. Because Kevin had to do some corporate America work for a few hours, Charlotte and I took the jogging stroller for a spin. I noticed that day how much of a difference a little sleep makes in a run. Compared to Monday and Thursday's miles, which were done after work and on fewer hours of snoozetime, Saturday's morning run felt great.

In the coming weeks, I'll be ramping my long runs back up to 18 and then 20 again before finally cruising in to Taper Town. Some runners despite the taper because they get restless and anxious, but I usually adore it. Short, easy weekday runs and minor long runs of 10 or 12 or 14 miles? Good stuff. After Saturday's run, though, I wonder how I'll feel during this taper. I like being lazy so I hope that the anxious, need-to-run feeling dies off a bit.

Week 11 Marathon Musing
At this point in training, I think it's safe to start really considering my goals. For inspiration, let's turn to Michael Scott/Wayne Gretsky:

He's so sad because he knows The Office should've ended when he ran off with Holly.

When we first registered for the race, my sister-in-law, Kim, and I had only two goals in mind:

1) Finish without dying.
2) Beat Oprah's 1994 MCM time.

Since I'll never beat Oprah at anything else in life, I may as well try to beat her at 26.2.

More than ten weeks later, I'm ready to consider a bit more closely my plans for the race.

In order of more likely to happen to least likely to happen:

A) Finish without dying. Still a goal, always a goal in the marathon. It's a fickle beast, so I just cross all of my crossable limbs and hope for the best.

B) Finish with a solid, potentially PR-worthy time somewhere in the land of 4:20 - 4:30. My current PR is a 4:28 and change, which I earned at Kalamazoo last year while four weeks pregnant.

C) Finish with a shiny new PR of sub-4:20. If I'm feeling real good, I'd love to see 4:15 or even 4:10. But I'm now starting to talk crazy.

D) Finish with my Mcmillan Running Calculator predicted time of 3:52, which is based off of the 5k PR from Sunday. (Someone should be a holding a sign at this point in the blog post that says "SIKE!" like it's 1992.) And can a 5K time really predict a marathon finish? Questionable, IMO.

Short version: I will run between a 3:52 and a 4:30. Yeah, that's a wide range. Who knows? If I could play it anyway I wanted, I'll shoot for goal C. A new PR without having to sacrifice myself for a sub 4:00 race sounds lovely.

How do you arrive at your goals for races, especially longer ones?

Anyone ever had success with the McMillan Calculator? Please feed into my delusional dreams and tell me yes so that I can half believe it when it tells me I'll run sub-4 even though I know it's as ridiculous as Honey Boo Boo's mom's idea of cheese puffs for breakfast.