Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chicago Marathon Goals

As I start to type this post, the Chicago Marathon is 3 days, 10 hours, 21 minutes, and 2 seconds away.  After yesterday's meltdown, I am feeling much better today.  Thanks for the positive comments BDD and Scully

Random, Useless Fact:
After consulting the internet, I found out that the average time for a woman to complete a marathon is 5 hours and 10 minutes.  The average time for a man is 4 hours and 30 minutes.  (Did you know I love weird and useless information?)

I've talked to a lot of people recently, and the majority have all said the same thing: don't have any time goal when racing your first marathon.  I can remember back to the days leading up to my first half marathon.  My goals were simple: have fun and to run the entire distance.  However, that was a little over 5 years ago, and my running has changed since then.  Sometimes I think it is better to just go out and run and not have time goals, but there is so much fulfillment in setting, meeting, and even exceding a goal. 

People also told me to follow the beginner training program for the marathon.  This makes sense for a person whoh is a beginner runner, but I did not think I fell into that category.  For my training, I followed the intermediate and advanced plans every week.  I would typically run the advanced day scheduled distance 4 days and the intermediate distance 3 days.  Things worked out pretty well for me.

Without further talking, below you can find my goals for the marathon.  They took many hours (done while running) to create.

Chicago Marathon 2011 Goals
  1. I get to start in Corral C.  In that corral, I plan on finding the 3:40 pacer and attaching myself to his/her side for the first 21 miles of the race. 
    1. Goal: Run the first 21 miles with the 3:40 pacer.
  2. Pick up the pace for the last 5+ miles of the race.  There is some contradicting debate on this: some say run with a faster pacer and if you fall off at the end, so be it.  Other say run at a more comfortable pace and pick it up at the end. 
    1. Goal: Finish the marthon strong.
    2. Goal: Finish under 3:40.
  3. Take in the sights and sounds of the city.  Although I live about 30 miles from Chicago, I rarely go into the city because I hate driving.
    1. Goal: Enjoy the city.
  4. I have decided to not drink Endurance, the Gatorade-like drink that will be served on the marathon course.  I tried it a few weeks ago and hated it.  I am going to consume GU on my own.
    1. Goal: Take 1 GU every 5-6 miles (6, 11, 16, 21)
  5. Believe in myself and all of the time I have spent training for this one event.  I plan on writing something inspirational on my hand.  I need to see written encouragement when I run, and this will help.
    1. Goal: Believe I can do this. 
I realize there are some things that are out of my control:
  • Weather - it is supposed to be hotter than normal
  • Pacer issues - going too fast or too slow
  • Nerves/nervousness
The biggest thing is believing in myself. 

"Running is 90% mental."

Chicago, I am ready for the challenge.  I am ready to run. 


  1. Great minds think alike, a couple post ago I picked 3:40 for you as well (actually looked at your past half results on your race results page and used that as a guide)

  2. GOOD LUCK to you!!! I agree its hard NOT to have time goals. I just finished marathon #1 and I gave myself a 15min time window for my goal (much slower than you!). Good luck with the whole "pick up pace the last 5 miles"... man, I was just happy my legs were still moving at that point! I know so many people running Chicago this weekend... so exciting!! Last time I ran Chicago (R'nR in Aug), the course was so packed, I never got a chance to take in the sights on the run... too busy concentrating on the people in front of me. Hope the congestion is better for you.

  3. BDD - I thought of that when you posted your guess. Great mind do think alike!