Race days goals

It is officially race week!!! What started as an 18 week training cycle now has 4 days left.

This will be my 7th marathon. I hesitated to write this post. I really was not sure that I wanted to put my goals out there, but I decided that I am just going to do it. What if it makes me more nervous? What if I don’t reach my goal? Too many what if’s!

Here are my thoughts.

It shouldn’t make me nervous. Every runner knows that some days are great and some days are just not. If I don’t reach my goal….oh well!!! It is just one run. One run out of about 108 just in this cycle. One race. Do I have time goals for this run? Yes. Did I work hard for this one run? Yes. Would I love for this one run to be amazing? Of course! But it is still just one run and I can only control the controllables.

The more that I race (or maybe it is the older I get), the more that I realize that some of the greatest things about running have very little to do with a finish time.


This has been a good training cycle for me whether it shows on race day or not. I even ran a 10k and a 5k and 1 mile road PR during separate speed training runs!!! I love challenging myself, setting goals and working towards them. I love seeing improvement. I love that my kids get to see all of that and be a part of it. I love the friends that I have met through my training. No matter what the time on the clock says come Saturday, it cannot take anything away from all the things that I love about training.


Of course I do have a time goal floating around in my head. I always like to set 3 goals for races. Another thing I have learned throughout the years is that no matter how good or bad your training cycle has been, you never know what to expect race day.

So, for better or for worse, here are my goals:

Goal A: 3:12-3:15- This goal scares me! I honestly think that a 3:12 is a stretch for me (but not totally out of the question), and I am not planning to go out running that pace. A 3:12 is a 7:19, but it would have to be faster because who has ever run a 26.2 mile marathon. Mine are usually 26.3 at least.


Goal B: 3:16-3:25- This is a big range, but I would still be really happy with any time in this range. My PR is 3:19 last year so of course I would LOVE to PR again this year.

Goal C: Forget goals and accept that it is just not my day and enjoy the rest of my run.

One thing I for sure want to do is to go out easy! Last year (my marathon PR) my first mile was 7:55 and my overall pace was 7:34. I need to not get caught up in the race and go crazy the first mile. Tina Muir had a GREAT post on her blog about pacing your race and not going out too fast.

So basically there are my goals for Saturday. Sometimes I am super excited and can’t wait, other times I am super nervous and don’t want to do it! I guess that is just part of it 🙂

My husband’s missions trip to the Philippines is going amazing! He has been able to help many through a medical clinic, play basketball with a lot of teenagers, speak at several churches and share Christ with a lot of people. It is a lot hotter there than it is here, and sleeping has been hard with the time change and the noisy crack of dawn roosters, but he is having a great time.

Anyone else running Richmond? Or any other marathon coming up?

Do you typically start races out slow or crazy fast?

Does it make you nervous to share your goals?



  1. says

    I am beyond excited for you and I love that you put very big (and very attainable) goals out here!! Go chase them down and I will be cheering you the whole way!!!

    • Jen says

      Thanks! You are awesome!! I think the scariest thing is that you just never know what race day will bring! ….which you definitely know!

  2. says

    GOOD LUCK!!!! I know your’e going to do awesome!!! I just ran a 3:15 and my time said 7:15/mile and ran 26.9 miles! I hate when that happens but I think we all do it for sure like you said! Mine are always like 27 miles! YUCK! LOL!

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