A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Goals for the 2015 Des Moines Half Marathon

on October 8, 2015

Back in January, I had this race slated as my back up option for getting a new sub-2:30 half marathon PR. I thought I was certain to get it at the Lincoln Half Marathon, but just case I didn’t, I had this flat course in perfect weather as a back up. Life, as always, has other plans. Despite a good training cycle, I ended up not only NOT breaking 2:30 in Lincoln, I didn’t even PR. There were a lot of victories that day, including a tough finish on a hotter than expected day, but it definitely wasn’t the time goal I wanted. I wasn’t as disappointed as I had been when I didn’t break 2:30 in Des Moines last year, but I was still disappointed.

This summer, I’ve had a good training cycle, taking on a Hanson-esque approach with a lot more miles and a lot more race pace work. I’ve hit my training paces and had 5 runs of 10 miles or more. Of course, I’ve also had this little lupus thing raise its ugly head and now I’m going into this race with joint pain in my hands, elbows and knees that has me doubting my ability to run at a hard (for me) pace for 13.1 miles. This is theoretically my third try at a sub-2:30 half marathon and I have a sneaking suspicion that yet again I won’t hit that mark. I just don’t know that I have it in me right now emotionally to be disappointed like that again. When I look back at the races I’ve enjoyed the most, they haven’t been these time goal races. Certainly, the Disney races are fun because they’re built that way but the Papillion Half Marathon, which I ran just for fun, and this year’s Peak 2 Peak 10 miler, also run without a time goal, were great mornings that left me feeling good about myself and smiling even now as I reflect on them. I really enjoyed myself. Maybe for this run I should go out and just enjoy myself?

I’m waffling between trying for that time goal because I know I’m trained for it and letting myself off the hook to have a good time. By no means is having a good time failure, after all. Do we have to have time goals when we run? I don’t know that we do, but I’m arguing with the type A part of my brain about it right now. Maybe the better goal is to safely finish a half marathon as a celebration of the fact that I didn’t let a new lupus diagnosis derail me – that is certainly worth celebrating. Maybe the better goal is to finish happy rather than disappointed?

I read a quote on the Another Mother Runner Facebook page, from Meb Keflezighi (who knows a little something about running, amiright?) that seemed like an omen as I pondered my race day goals:

Most of us have enough areas in our lives we have to meet others’ expectations. Let your running be about your own hopes and dreams.

This race is about me. It’s about celebrating my hard work, both on the road running and with all life has thrown at me, not about any external measure (like that pesky clock).

With that, my goals:

A) Run a strong, safe race. Respecting my body does not mean I have to amble through the course. I will run as strongly and steadily as I can and keep a close eye on my joints.

B) Set a new post-lupus PR. My current half marathon PR is 2:32:48, on pre-lupus joints. Let’s see what these joints can do now.

C) Finish feeling good about myself.

That’s it. Logistically, it would also be nice to finish in under 3:30 hours (which shouldn’t be an issue) so I have time to get back to the hotel and shower before check out, but that’s a minor thing. 🙂

To get to these goals, I’m going to finish out the taper workouts as scheduled. I walked Monday and Tuesday, instead of running as scheduled, to give my knee a break (still getting in 2 miles Monday and 3 miles Tuesday, so I got the miles on my feet). Today, I did 2 tempo miles – instead of the 3 originally scheduled because I didn’t want to push the knee too much – and was pleasantly surprised by the fact that I could still hit and maintain the right paces for 2 miles and my knee didn’t hurt much more running that it did walking.

They've changed the treadmills at my gym! I confess this made me more nervous than it should have. I like my old treadmill and new ones could (but didn't) throw me off - literally.

They’ve changed the treadmills at my gym! I confess this made me more nervous than it should have. I like my old treadmill and new ones could (but didn’t) throw me off – literally.

My other joints actually bother me a lot more when I’m NOT running, another good reason to get out and run 13.1 miles on October 18th. 🙂 I’ll try taping my knee over the weekend to see if that helps. I’ll also stay in flats at work. Trying to wear heels yesterday made the knee pain come back big time!

I literally ditched these on the way out of the house for flats that were also hanging out in this closet. These heels are cute but painful!

I literally ditched these on the way out of the house for flats that were also hanging out in this closet. These heels are cute but painful!

I’ll keep eating and drinking well and break out the oh-so-sexy compression socks next weekend as I get close to race. I will make a playlist of my most ra-ra-ra songs to keep me going. I will do this.

Do you ever find your race goals changing over the course of a training cycle? How do you convince all parts of your brain to get on board with the new plan?


17 responses to “Goals for the 2015 Des Moines Half Marathon

  1. Your goals sound perfect. I think if you just get out there and do your best, that’s all you can do! And you might even surprise yourself with that pr. I know you’ll do great!!

  2. Sherri Odell says:

    The quote above was perfect timing for me…lately, the joy has been sucked out of my running, as I have struggled to think that I HAVE to meet my trainer’s expectations for every race. There’s been this pressure on myself to succeed and to set a PR for every race, and it was to the point where running just wasn’t any fun.

    I’ll be at the Des Moines Half, as well – my goals are very similar to yours. I’m in the I-35 Challenge, so I’ll be doing the KC Half the day before…so I just want to have fun, and to finish. Period. I have no expectations on my time, and I’m okay with that.

    Good luck with the race – I’m sure you’ll do great!

  3. I swear that you are my mind twin. I haven’t done a blog post about it yet but over the past few days have been waxing philosophical to my running buddy about not only my race (the day before yours) but about races and running in general. I am more confident than ever that I can meet my time goal, but setting one just invites hanging my entire emotional state on what happens that morning, and I’m refusing to do that. For my race, I am not setting a time goal. Instead, I’m making a plan with the main goal to have a good race. For me, that means starting out slower than my race pace and continuing a slower pace if the pace starts to feel hard. I refuse to be miserable for the whole race just to see a specific number on the clock! I think your goals are perfect. And if you go easy at first, you may have no problems finishing near your goal pace and may just PR, but that should be the icing in the cake. You’ve had an awesome training cycle, and I have no doubts you will run a strong race while respecting your body.

    • I think you are totally going to rock your race, as well as your training has gone, but you’re right – it just sucks to hang our entire emotional state on that number and ignore everything else (eerie parallel to weight maintenance too, right?). I think your goal is a good one – run strong, kick ass and celebrate at the end!

  4. I love that quote from Meb! Sounds like you have a good perspective going into your race! Only one week to go.

  5. mkadens1 says:

    I totally get the need to adjust goals as you go. Have a great race. I’m excited for you!

  6. Meg B says:

    That treadmill looks fancy!
    I feel you on the goals for a race. It looks like you have three awesome possible goals. Get it, lady!

  7. Anna says:

    So proud of you! Despite everything you are out there doing your thing and that is a “win” no matter how you look at it 🙂

  8. […] Goals for the 2015 Des Moines Half Marathon Oct […]

  9. […] how the Des Moines half marathon went. 🙂 I’m getting more comfortable with the idea of my modified goals for the race. As my non-runner husband put it, there is no “failing” if you run slower […]

  10. […] a great experience. Not only is the race itself well organized and well supported, but I think my modified goals were key. Focusing on effort and celebrating what I CAN do rather than worrying about the objective […]

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