I don’t set time goals


Me and Jessica after finishing the Detroit Marathon in 2013.

My goal at the beginning of every race is to finish it. That’s all. And I have been successful in achieving this goal!

However, I’m starting to consider setting time goals for half marathons. I think I’ve done enough now and understand myself and my training enough to set realistic goals for myself.

The reason I don’t set time goals is simple: I don’t think I have enough experience distance running (or, in triathlon) to realistically be able to predict how I’ll do in a race. And I’ve been pretty right about that.

I thought I’d do better in the Marine Corps Marathon than I did but I was right in knowing that I didn’t know how I’d feel after about mile 18 so I’m glad I didn’t have a really clear time goal to meet. Otherwise, I would have been beating myself up over it. Instead, I was celebrating a finish and feeling really really great about the race.

When it comes to half marathons, though, I do have some experience. I mean, I’ve done seven of them and during marathon training we basically run a half marathon every weekend for about three months. I know how I respond to 13.1 miles. I think I’ll be doing a half marathon in March and I will – finally – set a time goal for myself. I’m not sure what it will be yet but there will be one.