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.”