I know that most of you are reading this post and probably expecting a certain time goal I’m setting as I did for Kiawah 2014, Chicago, and Boston. However; I’m going to approach this one a little bit differently.
You see – time goals are great. Yes, I do have a time goal in mind. However; they often cause me to add more pressure to myself than I’d like. This training cycle for me has been about trying to enjoy the process and not worry as much about the splits. Let’s face it – you can’t really run tempo runs or workouts without worrying in some way about splits but when I allowed my body to do what it could and didn’t try to over think it I ended up performing even better.
In my head I know the time I want when I take the start line on Saturday, but that is not what I want to focus on at this moment. I want to turn my focus to the process just like I did with my training.
Two really special friends of mine Meridith and Katie both select a Bible verse to focus on during their races. I loved this idea because it took the focus away from myself, so I decided to do the same thing this time around.
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” -Isaiah 40:29
I like to find a verse that is simple and easy to repeat to myself during the race. I wanted a verse that would help me through the hardest miles of the marathon and to me that is when we begin to grow weary and feel weak. That’s why this verse spoke to me so much and I chose to use it for this race!
Aside from choosing a verse to focus on during my race I’ve also come up with some non-time related goals:
Find the JOY. It seems like such a simple thing right? While it’s important for me to be focused it’s not worth it if I’m finding the joy in those miles. Just like I’ve focused on finding the joy throughout this training cycle I also want to find the joy in all 26.2 miles on Saturday.
Hold back to finish strong. There is NOTHING worse than going out too fast in a marathon and then not having anything to finish out the race. I’ve only executed one race perfectly and it doesn’t always happen, but my goal on Saturday is to make sure I start out conservative so that I can still finish STRONG. Those last miles are never easy but I want them to be hard and manageable instead of hitting the will.
Run for those who helped me get there. Getting to this start line was in no way done alone. It was only achieved with the help of those around me: my husband, my son, family, friends, and countless others. I want to dedicate each mile to those people who helped me get to the start line because without them it wouldn’t be the same.
Leave it all out on the course. I love working hard. I even enjoy the pain of marathons. However; the one thing that can be extremely disappointing in a race is finishing and knowing you had something left. No matter what happens on Saturday I want to finish and know that I laid it ALL out on the line. I want to know that I gave it absolutely everything I had.
Fuel Smart. Fueling is obviously important but something I struggle with. Just like I did when I ran Kiawah in 2014 I want to have a plan for my fueling and stick to it. Focus on executing my fueling strategy just as well as I do my racing strategy.
Stay in the mile. One thing I’ve worked on a lot during this training is to stay in the mile I’m in. Focus on completing each mile and executing that mile the best I can. If I can stay within each mile then I mentally am so much stronger.
No matter what happens on Saturday I know I have put in the work and given it my all in training. The only thing left to do is to give it all I have for my race.
Here we go again….Kiawah I’m coming back for you!