Today marks just four days until my next race, and my first goal race of 2018, the Loudoun Half Marathon. I ran this race for the first time last year, and immediately fell in love with the race for a number of reasons, including that it is put on by Potomac River Running (a local running store, whose races are always incredibly well organized), and that the course for the race isn’t an incredibly challenging one. Although the course has rolling hills (in our area of Northern Virginia its near impossible to avoid running on hills), a couple of miles of the race are on a local trail, which is incredibly flat while also very scenic.
I went into my Loudoun training with high hopes of being able to push myself to a half marathon PR. Although I haven’t been able to push myself to run the faster paces that I’d hope to be back to running at this point, that doesn’t mean that I won’t be giving it my all on Sunday morning. As of now, the weather forecast looks great: in the low to mid 40s during the race and very low winds. I’m incredibly thankful to see the lack of wind in the forecast, given that I’ve had to battle high winds during several of my recent outdoor runs.
As I usually do for goal races, I’ll be running on Sunday with three goals in the back of my mind:
Goal A – Finish the race in under 2:15:42 (10:22 pace) – This is my current half marathon PR, which I set back in September 2016. Although I know that this finish time is a far reach given my average pace during my recent long runs, I want to push myself and see what I’m able to accomplish.
Goal B – Finish the race in under 2:16:02 (10:23 pace) – This was my finish time at last year’s Loudoun Half. Again, I’m not sure that this goal is very realistic, but we’ll see what happens.
Goal C – Finish the race in under 2:24:13 (11:00 pace) – This is the finish time/pace that I think is most realistic given my recent long training runs.
My fingers and toes are crossed that the current forecast for Sunday remains as it is. Not having to run in the wind will certainly help me to be able to push myself towards those A and B goals.
QOTD: When you set goals for yourself, do you focus on pushing yourself, being realistic, or a combination of the two?