Marine Corps Marathon Goals

Final long run of the season accomplished this past weekend – 22 miles!  I feel great and ready for the race in three weeks. Last year I finished the NYC marathon at 4:07.  It was a tough course and the harsh weather (30+mph winds) made it even more difficult.  Even though I didn’t achieve my goal to break 4 hours, I was completely satisfied crossing the finish line 7 minutes later.

Goal #1:   Again, I aim to finish in 4 hours or less (3:55 – 4:00 range).

To determine my goal time, I used two race equivalent predictor calculators: Mcmillan Running and Jack Daniels VDOT Running Calculator, with finish time from the La Jolla Half I ran in April as the basis for calculation.

McMillan prediction:  ~ 4hrs

Jack Daniels prediction: ~3:56

Each calculator has its own set of algorithms hence the variance in the predictions.  Running Times has an excellent article explaining the background and differences between the calculators.  Of course this is only an estimation as several other factors can affect performance on race day.  All I can do is trust my training and do my best.

My usual race mistake was again apparent after reviewing my NYC marathon recap – faster pace than planned during the first half of the race.  I’ve told myself many times before to stay at a conservative pace but I’ve always allowed the excitement of the race take control increasing my pace to 15-20 seconds faster than planned.

Goal #2: Start SLOW!  I plan to start with the 4 hour pace group and reassess how I feel after the halfway point. A negative split would be the most ideal.

This is the first time I’m running MCM and it’s been 20+ years since I’ve been to DC.  The beauty of running a marathon in a major city is the opportunity to run through varying landscapes and view interesting sites along the way in the span of a few hours.  Unfortunately, when I am caught up with hitting a certain pace, I zone out to the point where I don’t even notice what’s happening around me.

Goal #3: Revel in the experience and embrace the moment.

Your thoughts and comments are welcome!