Goals for the NJ Half Marathon

I have two big races on the horizon: the New Jersey Half Marathon on May 3 and the Newport Marathon on May 30. The first is a tuneup race, the second is the event I’ve been preparing for since November.

I don’t have a goal time yet for the marathon, as that will largely rest on two things: how I do in the half in a few weeks as well as how I do in my remaining key workouts between now and mid-May.

However, I am ready to declare my time goals for the New Jersey race, along with what their respective minute per mile (mpm) paces:

  • Dream goal: 1:28:30 (6:46 mpm)
  • Reasonable goal: 1:30:00 (6:52 mpm)
  • “I can live with it” goal: 1:32:00 (7:02 mpm)

Declaring race goals publicly always makes me nervous. But in a strange way, I’ve often felt that the act of externalizing one’s judgments about what’s possible plays an important part in also being able to internalize those expectations. I say, “I will perform X on May 3″ to the world and in turn my brain says, “Well, I guess I’d better get ready to perform X in a few weeks.”

10 Responses

  1. Yay!! I love that you posted your goals, it really helps to see the whole picture of where you’re going. And you are going! I’m betting that Dream goal is the one, I’ll be willing it your way. Meanwhile, I’m laughing in agreement with the folly of posting goals, but it sure helps light a fire under our asses on raceday.

  2. Declaring goals publicly is scary, but you’re right that it helps to internalize those expectations. Also, I think it can really help when you’re out there in the middle of the race and the pain is starting to get to you — You don’t want everyone to know that you didn’t make it, so you maintain pace and fight through. Good luck with them.

  3. When you hit the “post” key or whatever it is to put it in writing, knowing it’s out there, it makes it real. I also like the gap between the two races, not too long, not too short.

  4. Great goals! I, too, am often afraid to verbalize my goals to others. I am usually way off on what I think I can do. However, I think that has more to do with experience. You are definitely more accutely aware of your fitness and pace than I am. So good luck and I look forward to reading about how you rock all your goals!

  5. I think there is a scientific basis supporting what you said. Verbalizing, sharing, externalizing goals makes us accountable to other people. It’s almost like a commitment. It seems to be the principle behind sites like stickk.com and fatbet.net.

    Good luck!

  6. I’m running the NJ Full. We should defintely make arrangements to meet up before the race. I think The Running Laminator is running the half as well.

    • I really hope someone running a marathon is not going to do a HM two weeks later.

    • Ari, at the risk of sounding either like a complete weirdo or a prima donna…the May 3 race is of huge importance for me this year. And unfortunately my affect before important races veers wildly between two poles: catatonia and hysteria.

      I suspect you’ll prefer meeting me (and I’ll be better company) in a calmer venue — such as the May 14 (reattempt at) Running Bloggers Happy Hour. PigtailsFlying sent out an evite, but we think we may have missed some people. Let me know if you didn’t get it — and if you have The Laminator’s email, pass it along so we can add it. Looking forward to meeting you both!

  7. Thats a nice goal and i think you run 1:31 on the half marathon.
    The marathon is not so easy, you run every marathon faster, at that point you can run a different marathon than you expected!.
    You don’t no, it is a marathon.
    But i think when you run not to fast in the first part(10km) of the marathon and than look how you feel for faster time, than a time of < 3:10 is possibly.
    I now it is fast, but look out for to fast starting the marathon.
    Jullie, nice weekend and have run fun.
    Rinus.

  8. You have to declare goals somewhere, so why not here? It’s not as though you’re taking out a full page ad in the New York Times.

    It’s pretty cool that your “live with it” goal is a 2-minute PB. 4:12/km for the distance sounds reasonable to me.

    Thanks for the Lorraine Moller link – she was the forgotten one of Arthur’s boys.

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