Tuesday, September 13, 2011

goals? what goals?

Back when I was training for National Marathon last winter, I had had enough of marathons. It was my second one in five months and I was ready to be done. But then, I ran the Princess Half and met Ethan Zohn (of Survivor fame) and he offered me a spot on his Grassroot Soccer NYC Marathon team.

How could I say no?

So, that was that. November 2011, I would be running another marathon. The goal from day one was always HAVE FUN. No time goals. No pressure.

But, then training started. And the miles started building. My pace zones were set for an uber-goal. The perfect day goal. I started to think, maybe that uber-goal wasn't so far-fetched. Who cares that this crazy plan I'm using peaks with a 16 mile long run? Maybe I should go for it.

Then, I caught a case of FOMO (fear of missing out) and registered for the Richmond Marathon with the posse (Note: I really hope this is the last marathon for a while, just saying). It's 6 days after NYC. That would be my "fun" race. Don't worry about time, just cover the miles.

It just fueled the fire. Burn it up at NYC. Cruise to the finish at Richmond. But wait, 26.2 is no cake walk. I started to doubt it all.

And then there's that 70.3 I'm registered for. It's my 2012 "A" race and the training cycle starts right after Richmond. Like the Monday after Richmond. But maybe it should start now? Which would mean less focus and time spent towards hitting that uber-goal at NYC (however, I might be better prepared for the 70.3 in that scenario). But wasn't that the plan anyway? Run for fun?

Needless to say, I have no focus or goals right now. And that doesn't work for me. Anyone want to tell me what to do?


runninglawyer said...

What I think you should do is relax and enjoy running for what it is: a health improver, a way of getting time for yourself, a social activity.

The goals are very easy to get too caught up in. You clearly have a history of rocking it in pretty much any race you do, so relax and trust your abilities.

Hope you get back in the groove of things soon!

MotherRunner said...

That's tough.

If the 70.3 is your "A" race, I'd say start thinking about that one. If you start focusing on that now, there's no reason that your NYC race should have to slide... and it might help take the pressure off there (and maybe make it a bit easier to take it easy during your crazy two marathons in a row).

But, if you're feeling great the morning of NYC, go for it mama!

I would just worry if you are set on making lofty goals for both races you might be setting yourself up for overtraining and/or mental fatigue.

Running Ricig said...

I'm terrible at goals. Every time I race, people ask me my goal and I literally never have one (other than not to walk). Maybe I should rethink that.

ltlindian said...

I would take one thing at a time. You can only do so much. I would say that training for the NYC and other race is considered training for the ironman too! And you still have like 6 months until Ironman, right? Plenty of time. (Says me, who's only done a sprint tri.... lol)

Running lawyer has the right idea.

Unknown said...

I think you have too many goals, no matter how small or undetermined as they seem. Just being registered for a race seems like a goal to me, the goal is to finish the race. I would say focus on the 70.3 and NYC and Richmond will be there and you will rock them!

fancy nancy said...

Wowzer!!! I would give myself a week after Richmond to start training for the 70.3 but that is just me. I know I would need a mental break after training for two marathons back to back.

joan said...

If you feel good in NYC, go for your uber-goal as best you can. Use Richmond as a very long recovery run, nothing more. Then, do your best to truly just train for your A race... Don't get tempted to race, or even sign up for (!), any other race, no matter the distance. That was a really hard part when I was training for my big race. FOMO is real, just try hard to not get sucked in. Having said all that, it is really hard to not go for it on race day when it's time to toe the line! You can do the races / runs you've signed up for. Just don't forget how you have your goals lined up! So exciting!

Karen said...

Lots of good stuff going on there! I would definitely wait until after Richmond to worry about the 70.3. Adding swimming and biking into the mix right now might take away from the running.

Katie said...

wait, the70.3 isn't until may, right? you don't need 6 months to train, especially since you are already solid on the run. take some time off after the marathons, start in jan/feb. ;)

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I think you under estimate your running ability and over think your goals/plan. Just my opinion.

If I were you with your abilities, I would use my races leading up to your tri as training for the tri. That doesn't mean you don't push it during them, it simply means you don't completely go for broke and risk injury. You run as your can that day. (Remember those 50ks I used to get my 50 miler? I bettered/PRed my 50k time on each one. It was a matter of simply being more experinced at the distance i.e., comfortable and confident and the lack of pressure mentally when I went into the races knowing that it was not 110% day it was another step to being ready for my 50 miler. When I felt things were going my way, yes I pushed but I know that given the same conditions I believe I can go sub 6 hours when the time is right. My experience with using races as training has helped me decide that it will be a major part of my own on going training efforts.)
I think you will be amazed at what you will do in your marathons if you focus on the Tri and let go of the marathon distance PR pressure. You know your biggest stumbling block is your own mind, your legs have been screaming "We've got this!" for a while now.
There is way more than my 2cents but you asked.

Rachel said...

You sound like me.. never knowing which direction to go! It's a hard decision, and since I have never trained for any type of Tri, I really have zero advice. I would probably wait until after Richmond to start training for the Tri, though.

gba_gf said...

You're T.

You're going to get caught up in the moment on the start line. If I was your running wife who has been running with you for a few years....

I would tell you to make a solid plan about NYC (a solid goal, not nec The Uber Goal) so you know what to do on Race Day, a FUN plan for RVA (a PU, if you will), take a few weeks off of serious training in Nov and PLAY, and rededicate yourself to the 70.3 plan on Dec 1.

In the meantime, swim after the long runs to reduce inflammation, which will make you feel like you're not just treading water in the 70.3 training thing, and meet your GBA GF's once a week for BAM BAM spin class. (bam bam is in all lower case if SpeeDee's not present)

But that's just what I would tell you to do. I'm not saying that's what will be the best plan.

Marlene said...

I've been having the same struggles with finding my priorities, balancing my training and setting goals. Gah!

I'd be worried that running back to back marathons is a bit risky 5 months before a half ironman... but I'm sure you can handle it if you play it smart!

Anonymous said...

I'm so behind on commenting, but I have the exact same problem with overlapping training and too many goals floating around that risk other goals. I feel your pain.

With that, you know I think Shellyrm is the bomb-diggity, and her comment above proves it. Re read, listen, and go do it. You've got this. (I still don't think you've had your day with the marathon where it all just fell into place... NYC will rock even your socks off.)