With running it is good, not necessary, but good to set goals for what you want to accomplish. This will help motivate you to go the extra mile, to try and make your mile pace faster or to tackle that tough hill. Perhaps it is to lose weight, or maybe it is to feel the accomplishment of completing an endurance run.
I have three goals. The first is to continue to set PRs in all my events, but more importantly to set PRs in the longer endurance runs (accomplished: PRs in each marathon and 50k ran this year). The second is to complete an Ultramarathon (accomplished on 9/8/07 at the Stevens Creek 50k). And the third is the most recent one: to become a member of Marathon Maniacs (accomplished with three marathons or longer in a 3 month period: Silicon Valley Marathon 11/4/07, Woodside 50k 12/2, Rodeo Beach 50k 12/21), but haven't applied yet). This last is perhaps the hardest and yet the one that is driving me the most. To become a member on the ground level, which is Bronze, the easiest feat to accomplish to get in, is to do one of three things:
● Back to Back Marathons (two marathons on consecutive weekends)
● 2 Marathons in 3 Weeks (2 marathons within a 16 day time frame)
● 3 Marathons in 3 Months (3 marathons within a 90 day time period)
In striving to achieve this goal I see many positive outcomes. The amount of training that will be needed to feel ready to accomplish this will get some much needed fuel. In addition, even if I don’t become a Marathon Maniac I will have been able to push myself harder than ever and be in the best shape possible (although I know I can be in better shape once I train enough to accomplish this goal). I will know how realistic this goal is once I finish the San Francisco Marathon at the end of July. This will tell me what shape I am currently in and whether I can attempt to achieve goal #3 by the end of the year. A bit ambitious, especially considering I haven’t been training with long runs. But I know it can be done.
I will try to achieve this goal at the end of the year, and hopefully this will allow me to fulfill goal #2 as well (goal #1 of course can never be completely fulfilled because once I set a new PR I can always get out there and try and set another one). I am running the Metro Silicon Valley Marathon on November 4th. From that point on I will have 90 days to run two more marathon or longer races. On December 1st I will attempt to run the Woodside Trail Run 50k, my first Ultra. I feel I will be ready for this because by this point I will have completed 6 Half Marathons and 2 Marathons, in addition to numerous smaller distance runs. The only catch is that this is a trail run and thus harder than a road marathon. To counter this, and this may not be enough, one of my Half Marathons is a trail run, and I am running in a couple of trail 10ks as well. Of course much of my training will also be trail running and hill running. That gives me two marathons or longer in less than 30 days. Hopefully, if I can finish the Woodside event comfortably (meaning I wouldn’t mind running another Ultra) than I will run another Ultra on December 15th, the Muir Beach Trail Run 50k.
A lofty goal, I know, especially since I am coupling one Ultra with another in a two week time period, and they are trail runs to boot! I have confidence that I can complete this goal. After all, I signed up for the SF Marathon last year on a whim 3 days before the event and had zero training and I was able to run and finish that one, and I am most certainly in much better shape now than I was then. And if the second Ultra is too close to the first, well there are plenty of other Ultras I can run to complete the 3 in 90 day requirement, although I would like to complete the goal with 2 Ultras in 3 weeks. Ultimately it is not necessarily to get into Marathon Maniacs per se, but it is to accomplish the requirements to get in. What I am certain of though is that in setting my goals I will now be able to strive for them and have the motivation to become the best that I can.