Race Goals: Dallas Edition

To be honest, I am hesitant to put these goals out there for the world to see, because everyone will know if I fail.  (I have a difficult enough time dealing with failure when only I know about it!  Yes, I KNOW it’s my first marathon and I KNOW I should only want to finish, but that just isn’t me.)  I figured I would muster the courage to post, inspired my friend @RunningLonely, who has been very open and candid about his 24 hour race goals.  Plus, it’s an ongoing exercise to get myself out of my comfort zone and doing this certainly causes me discomfort.  Finally, since the race is now 3 days away and I can’t think of anything BUT the race, it would be a futile effort to attempt blogging a different subject.  Here goes nothing:

  1. Finish.  Call me Captain Obvious, but, seriously, who wants to enter a race and not finish?  The race shirt we (my then running partner and I) had made last year had the phrase “Death before DNF”, and I meant it.  I expect this goal will be almost completely determined by how well my ITB behaves on race day.  As long as that sucker will allow me to bend my leg, if only a little, I’ll suck up the pain and charge on (hence my mantra; my slogan, “Suck it up, Buttercup”).   Side note: Last year ALL I wanted was the finisher shirt.  And just the other day I noticed on the Dallas Marathon website listed under Runner Benefits, “Unique Finisher Item”. <insert angry face here>
  2. Run the race without issues.  OK….I realize this is a pie in the sky goal.  I mean, WHO runs their first marathon (or any distance race, really) without any issues?  More specifically, I want to run the race without ITB issues.  But also without GI distress, an abnormal amount of chafing, blisters or muscle cramps.
  3. Hold back my pace in the first half. If I can do this, then hopefully, I’ll have energy to finish reasonably strong.  Another goal brought to you by Captain Obvious.  (I realize this should be a race strategy, not a goal.  Those who know me will completely understand it being a goal.)
  4. Time goal: 4:30.  THAT was hard to put out there, because this little dream train could be derailed so easily and quickly come race day.  Last year our goal was anything under 5:00, but secretly I yearned for a 4:30 finish.  There was a point in training this year when I began to realize this could actually happen, and I started to get VERY excited.  Of course (broken record alert), this ALL depends on….you guessed it, my ITB.
  5. Kick ass on the Dolly Pardon hills.  Let’s HOPE that I can accomplish this.  Marathoners get to experience these hills going at mile 13 and coming back at mile 18.  I’ve been practicing my mantra, “maintain effort”, to hopefully keep me from using ALL my energy on them.  I typically attack hills and I pray that this won’t be my “downfall”.
  6. Have fun!  After all, I run because I LOVE RUNNING!  Otherwise, how in the world could I be SO EXCITED about running 26.2 miles!

I have yet to pick the race day outfit.  I don’t understand why some people obsess over this so much.  Weather, by the way, is predicted to be rain and scattered thunderstorms.  This changes at least twice per day, but right now looks like the bulk of the rain may hold off until later in the race.  Until the rains begin, I’ll have to deal with some muggy heat, as the low is a projected 58 and high in 60s.  But, I’ll take that over ice any day!

Pete Delkus is my FAVORITE weather guy of all time.  He is AWESOME and is posting weather updates at least twice per day until race day!

Pete Delkus is my FAVORITE weather guy of all time. He is AWESOME and is posting weather updates at least twice per day until race day!

I am still debating what to carry.  Originally I planned to carry 2 bottles chia water and 2 bottles regular water on my belt.  Honestly, it weighs a ton, and that drags me down, quite literally.  On the other hand, 4 extra pounds on my hips would help me keep my pace down at the start.  Plus, if the rain holds off, I’ll need the water!  On the third hand, I considered ditching the chia water and just carrying gels in a Flip Belt, but didn’t train that way so that really isn’t an option, for all intents and purposes.  It’s probably a good thing that I don’t have a third hand.

Since my last run was AMAZING and I had no issues whatsoever, I am hopeful about my ITB.  Having said that, I think my biggest challenge will be not blowing my wad during the first half.  (Sorry to be so crude, but sometimes the Texas comes out.)  Anyone who knows me even a little understands that I have no self-control where this is concerned. (Refer to Goal #3)  I can almost guarantee that I will get caught up in racing people.  I considered blinders, but do they come in human size?  Maybe a pair sized for miniature horses would work?

I was also considering cutting out the music and my app feedback to eliminate me obsessing over distance and pace.  Thankfully, I have a seasoned marathoner friend who is willing to listen to my constant whining and cautioned me against this, if only to keep my eye (or ear, in this case) on my pace.  I think it best to just leave things “as is” and quit considering changing my norms.  I’m jittery and nervous ALL THE TIME, which is causing me to be more indecisive than usual.  (I had NO idea it was  possible for me to be MORE indecisive.)

I started packing my race day bag last night.  I packed an assortment of bottoms, tops and socks as well as my shoes.  I was genuinely concerned about forgetting the Vaseline, but rest easy because it is in there.  I even packed my visor for the rain.  The visor/rain situation will cause some issues with my sunglasses and that is stressing me out, because I don’t like to run without sunglasses (mainly because the race pics turn out terrible).  Mine are photochromic, which is why I can wear them when it is cloudy or at dawn/dusk.  (See? I knew you were asking that question in your head.)

I was pretty excited when I came home last night and Bobby had this waiting for me….

Just what I needed to help calm my nerves.

Just what I needed to help calm my nerves.

And then, after dinner, I opened the box of Maple Syrup Candies that @50StateCanuck gave me.  They were delicious!!  Reminded me of brown sugar, and I think we all know how much I love brown sugar! (If you can’t remember,here is the caramel crack story)

Incredibly cute AND tasty! The Canadians love their Maple leaf ALMOST as much as Texans love the Texas flag.

Incredibly cute AND tasty! And I think it is awesome that Canadians love their Maple leaf ALMOST as much as Texans love the Texas flag.

Happy Thursday, all!!

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13 responses to “Race Goals: Dallas Edition

  1. I wish I could give you a shot of relaxation. My first marathon is my most favorite of all. I loved every minute of it. I’m super type A but seemed to know for my first marathon (and then forgot along the way and re-learned this year) to go in with the goal of having fun…and then you most likely will…and everything else will fall into place.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jen,

    Great goals!! My goal time was 4:30 too. But I was afraid to put that out there. You are going to do great. If you don’t reach your 4:30 goal, do not beat yourself up. Finishing a marathon is something that less than 1% of the population get to experience. You are already more blessed than 99% of the world! 👏👏 I have complete faith in you, pace yourself! You can accomplish that. It might be the hardest part, but you can do it.
    Good luck to you and you will be in my thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am hoping your body will let you relax a little bit Fri/Sat. I loved my first marathon also. It was such an awesome course going around 4 lakes in South Minneapolis & then crossing the Mississippi river to St. Paul. Great finish at the St. Capital.

    One piece of advice is don’t change anything on race day. Everyone has told me that. Sunday should be a party atmosphere because you get to RUN! You endured the HOT Texas summer so enjoy the race!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Baring It All – Plano Balloon HM Race Goals | Crazy Cupcake Runner

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