My Marathon Goal

Since I posted about my “secret marathon goal“, I’ve been feeling a little ridiculous. I’m not important enough to have “secret” goals and the point of blogging is to share these things, right? I guess I thought if I didn’t tell everyone, I wouldn’t have anyone telling me I can’t do it. I don’t wanna hear that. (Although when people tell me I can’t do something, it certainly adds a little fuel to the fire.) I decided to mention it in this interview with Everyday Hero so I guess the cat’s out of the bag. (What does that phrase even mean? Did someone put a cat in a bag once? BE NICE TO ANIMALS.) So, my goal:

Run a marathon under 4 hours.

My PR is 4:38 in the 2013 NYC Marathon.

nyc marathon finish line

I was so elated after this race!

Let me back up. I “consume” a lot of information. It’s a problem. I spend so much time reading and absorbing content and less time actually DOING things. I love learning. Especially now that I have more free time. (I didn’t even realize this was my problem until watching this video. I’m obsessed with Marie Forleo, by the way. All her videos are helpful and hilarious.)

In my “consumption”, I’ve read lots of stories about people who take hours and hours off their first marathon, but then talk about how they didn’t train for that one and were injured and dragging their leg along and walked the last 15 miles and forgot their GU or whatever and I’m all, “That’s my all-out-running PR on a perfect day and I hate you right now”. While still completely inspiring, these stories never particularly move me because even though I know the runners worked hard, I just couldn’t relate.

So as I was scrolling through Instagram on NYC Marathon day this year, I saw a post from a girl who went from almost my exact PR to a 3:59 in one year. I screen-shotted the text of her post because my mindset IMMEDIATELY changed. I could feel the shift and began thinking if she can do it, I can do it. I asked for some tips and she gave me the exact advice I give when people ask ME for tips: believe, get strong, do quality speed workouts and visualize. That’s literally exactly what I do when I have a goal and I’ve already begun doing this for my next (TBD) marathon. This girl inspired me to believe. I’ve been focusing on getting strong for months now and feel stronger than I ever have. I’ve been running faster. And when I’m having trouble falling asleep, I start visualizing myself perfectly executing a race. That’s usually the last thing in my head at night.

ragnar adirondacks

I ran Ragnar fueled on candy corn and one hour of sleep. I can do anything.

That’s how the seed for Ironman Lake Placid was planted. I saw someone who “looks like me” complete an Ironman. Someone who was a complete beginner. This quiet little voice in my head said “maybe you can do it too” and that was all I needed.

I’ve written about this this a lot; how when someone else accomplishes something, it opens the door for you to believe you can do it as well. And as I remember Ashley yelling to me out the car window while I was running my last Ragnar leg, “The body achieves what the mind believes”.

IT’S SO TRUE.

I’ll need help and time, but I can do this. I can run a sub-4 marathon. I’m surrounded by positive, encouraging people and with my support network, I CAN DO THIS. I know I can.

What’s your big goal? What inspires you?

I’m a writer currently living in New Jersey and blogging about running, fitness, wellness, and motivation. I want every reader to laugh and feel empowered, balanced, and motivated! Subscribe by email to get 1-2 newsletters a month with post updates, my favorite articles, running playlists and more!
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11 Comments

  1. November 20, 2014 / 8:23 pm

    I want a sub 2 half and a sub 5 marathon. Ran each of these distances and got a pr by 2 minutes in both, but didn’t meet my goal….right before we were ready to bring a baby into the world. So yea, haven’t “raced” in a year and a half. Eyeing spring half marathons. I know what you mean about goals, they’re scary and electrifying at the same time. You can and you will!!!

    • November 20, 2014 / 9:15 pm

      You’ve been busy with much more important things lately :) But as soon as you’re ready, I’m here to cheer you can. YOU CAN DO IT AND YOU WILL!!! Keep me updated :)

  2. November 20, 2014 / 9:32 pm

    I’m really trying to focus more on process goals right now than times, because I always wind up disappointed if my only goal is to run a certain time. So really my goals are more about running strong, not letting my mind wander during races, etc. I do like reading inspiring stories but I also like looking back at my own training. On Saturday, I ran a 5K in under 22 minutes. Last year, that same race took me over 23 minutes. So I’ve taken over a minute off my 5K time in one year.

    I seriously think making your goals known helps. Blogging about it, having a coach and discussing it with training partners, etc, whatever you decide. On Saturday, I said it out loud that I was going to have a good race- that it would be the race that turns around a streak of bad races… and it was. Just saying that to my coach and my friend helped and I think blogging will help you too, makes it that much more real.

  3. November 20, 2014 / 10:04 pm

    My one and only marathon was 4:34 so I would love to run a sub-4 hour marathon someday. Will be following along on your road to crush this goal!

  4. November 20, 2014 / 11:36 pm

    LOVE that you’re sharing your goal and I know you can totally do it! It took me a bunch of marathons to go sub-4 but it was SO exciting when I did… I can’t wait to see what it’s like for you :)

  5. November 21, 2014 / 12:20 am

    I have never ran a marathon but the 2015 NYC Marathon is on my bucket llist! I would love to run a sub 4 but not sure if that’s a second marathon goal lol!!

  6. November 21, 2014 / 1:42 am

    I am totally with you!! and now that our PR is the exact same at the exact same race i should be able to do it too!! :) I really want to run a sub 4 but i think that i need to take baby steps; sub 4;30; sub 4;15. i am not sure that i will do a marathon next year but my goal is to do a sub 2 marathon!
    I can’t wait to see how you do it and then do it!! You will be able to. Sounds like you can set your mind and body to do anything!! Go get it girl!

  7. November 21, 2014 / 3:44 pm

    As someone who is about to start training for their first marathon, this post was really inspiring! I’m excited to hear which marathon you choose!

  8. December 5, 2014 / 4:05 pm

    You CAN run a sub-4!! Dreaming big is the best part! I mean, reasonably big. If you said sub-3, we might have a different situation 😉 The biggest things that changed for me to PR my marathon a few times was both the increase in mileage (seriously, volume=huge difference) and pushing my speedwork harder than I thought I could. When I began training a particular cycle, I was not interested in hurting. My sister and I agreed to do our 10k speedwork at a 7:55 pace (pace is relative) as we had no 10ks in our history. Once I started pushing my speedwork closer to a 7 minute pace (and discovering I COULD do this) it made a huge difference. Be smart about speedwork, but don’t assume that a faster target pace is out of reach. You don’t know until you try to push that hard. My biggest problem with speedwork is that I don’t know how much to hurt. I think pain=too far. But then I watched other girls and thought “no, they are definitely more uncomfortable than I am… so… I need to go to another level of discomfort”. Push your limits.

  9. December 9, 2014 / 6:33 pm

    That’s fantastic! You put my dreams over completely running a 5K to shame!

    • December 10, 2014 / 5:53 pm

      No no NO! Every dream is equally as important – always remember that! You can do it! :) Let me know if you need help or encouragement, I’m here for ya!!

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