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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Remind yourself of your goals


In the words of the great Don Smythe “if you are going to run marathons, you have to decide if you want to run them fast or run a lot of them”.  Those may not be his exact words, but his point is this: you cannot simultaneously run your best time AND run marathon after marathon after marathon.   You need to decide which is more important to you- to run a great time, or to run many marathons.  Don said he decided very early on in his running career what his plan was and he has been very successful- completing his 74th marathon just a few weeks ago.  His words echoed in my head today as I was out for one of the last few runs before the famed Boston Marathon. 

What did I want? Interesting thought to ponder.  My goals have evolved just as my running has.  When I started back into running my goals were simple- run a half marathon.  That was it.  I checked that off the list pretty quickly and was quite happy about it.  After being talked into running my first marathon my only goal was to survive the experience, to cross the finish line.  That was two and a half years ago and things have changed a bit since then.  With each step I was reminding myself of my current goals:

·      Enjoy Boston
·      Set a new PR
·      Run a marathon (or longer) in each of the 50 states
·      Run a 50 miler for my birthday(I’m sure this number will grow every yearJ )


Looking back over the last seven months recounting the events I have participated in, I kept reminding myself of Don’s words. In October there were the Triple Lakes 40 mile trail race and the Rocks 50 mile Relay exactly six days apart.  In November, the Savannah Rock N Roll Marathon and the St. Augustine half (actually 14 days apart).  In December, the Las Vegas Rock n Roll Marathon and then six days later the Jack’s 50k. January was rather quiet but then February brought with it the 26.2 with Donna Breast Cancer Marathon and seven days later the Five Points of Life Marathon. The goal for March was recovery and the Tobacco Road Marathon wasn’t a go until the last minute.  Seven races Marathon distance or longer in the last 6 months most of which were separated by a week or less and now here we are 8 days out from Boston, the first of the string of 3 in 3 weeks.

Writing it all out this way helps me to see that while I have wanted to hit a new PR I haven’t set myself up with a schedule that will allow me the best opportunity to do so.  I’m not one for giving up on my goals. I’d rather strategize better and see if I can hit them all!

So while three marathons in three weeks may not be the ideal time to aim for a PR, it is the ideal time to enjoy some fantastic runs.  I’ll run what I run and I will have a fabulous time.  As I said before my goal is to FEEL great.  Running the Boston Marathon is a dream come true.  How could it be anything less than fabulous? Besides, I haven’t run a marathon in Massachusetts so that knocks that state off for me.  The Big Sur and the Pittsburgh Marathon also move me toward my 50 states goal, as I haven’t run in either California or Pennsylvania.  After these races I’ll be 9 states in, with a total of 15 races of marathon distance or longer.

No, I’m not giving up on reaching a new PR.  I’m merely shifting my focus to working toward another of my goals.  That is the wonderful thing about having a few different goals.  You think you may have fallen off course until you step back, assess your path and realize that you are, in fact, still on track!!!  

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