I was listening to one of the Another Mother Runner podcasts yesterday. They were talking about SBS’s time goals for her upcoming Twin Cities Marathon. Basically they were talking about how it’s incredibly beneficial to write down your goals so you can see it in black and white and to say your goals out loud, with confidence and conviction, not in a wishy-washy tone of voice, but in a voice that cries out, “Yes, I believe in myself!” It reminded me of my friend T-Dog who told me, “Just go into the race believing you can do it, and you will.”
I’m racing the Chicago Marathon on October 7th, and I’ve been training hard since the first week of June. Intense hill repeats, Yasso 800’s, 30-50 minute tempo runs, timed miles, long runs every week, often with half of the mileage at race pace. Training has been mentally and physically challenging, but it has also been going incredibly well. This weekend, I will be running my 3rd 20-mile run of the season, with the 2nd 10 miles at race pace. This will be my final long run before the much anticipated taper!
Why am I doing this? Do I have a goal? People ask me and I often answer them in a wishy-washy voice, “Well… I don’t know… I’d love to finish in x amount of time, but who knows what’ll happen and I’d be happy just finishing in x.”
I’ve always been one who doesn’t want to say my ultimate time goal out loud for fear of disappointing others and myself. Really, no one else will care, so it’s really fear of disappointing myself. But I’m realizing that I need to state my goals. I need to write them down and look at them every day. I need to say them out loud for the universe to hear. Through this process, I believe I will develop the confidence I need to achieve my ultimate goal, and I will arrive at the starting line believing I can do it.
Coaches and runners often talk about multiple goals, the A goal being the goal I’ve been training for and if everything goes perfectly – including the weather – then that’s the time I would see on the clock as I cross the finish line. My B and C goals would be slightly slower time goals that I would be perfectly happy with if it’s just not my day.
So here it goes…
A Goal- 3:35
B Goal – 3:45
C Goal- 3:55
D Goal – Chicago in October isn’t always guaranteed cool weather. If it’s over 80 degrees, my goal would be to simply finish the race without requiring hospitalization.
More important than the physical training is the mental training. Some mental games that will get me to that 3:35 include…
Counting 12 exhales over and over (for Stephanie)
Visualizing my legs like wheels just rolling along
Repeating to myself: Strong mind. Strong body. I CAN do this.
I know that to reach any of my goals stated above, it is going to hurt and it’s going to be challenging. I also know that positive self-talk and believing in myself will help me endure the pain and get me to the finish line. Come October 7th, I will be ready to take on Chicago!