Marathon Update: When Goals Are Made to Be Broken?

Hi All,

In my post “Born to Run: Five Marathon’s In, Finally Learning the Right Technique” I put my goal “out there.”  For this NYC marathon, my sixth marathon total and fifth New York, I am aiming for my best Marathon time ever.  This means breaking 3 hours and 50 minutes; translating to averaging 8 minute 46 seconds per mile over the 26.2 mile race.  

It also means it’s game time.

The summer was a lot of fun; I did my best to stay on course with the training.  I got my runs in, consistently running four days a week, including one long run, one speed workout, one hill workout and one “as I feel”.  That being said,  August was a month where I definitely was a bit more lax when it came to my wine and alcohol intake and a bit less restrictive when it came to my nutrition (i.e. I made sure to get the right balance of carbs, proteins and healthy fats but definitely permitted myself more indulgences). August was also a month where I found I was doing my best to find the balance between work and my own training, with time with Sophia, my loved ones, and some of my own down time. 

 
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Is My Goal Realistic?

I have said this before; I do not like to use age as an excuse.  Yes, my best time was done at age 32, then age 37.  Yes, I find that at age 40, I do not “bounce back” the way I used to.  I need more recovery time; nutrition, hydration, and electrolytes balance is ever more important.  I cannot go out drinking like I did in college training for my first marathon- literally half a lifetime ago- then wake up and run 16 miles.  

But how much of this is age?  And how much lifestyle?

Priorities…..

I have also said this before; at age 32, I was kidless and not a fitness professional.  What I found is the biggest challenge, which was the same challenge last year, is the logistics of running.  

When I first became a mom, I thought I would have “all the time” to workout when I was on maternity leave.  Then, when Sophia was 4 weeks old, I ran out to get, of all things, a manicure.  It dawned on me; I was always going to have to choose between something else, and spending time with my child.  It is so obvious; yet for some reason, as I was sitting just a half block away from my child inhaling the fumes yet admiring my newly polished nails, it was then it hit me.  

Sophia is now in first grade; she is more independent.  She goes to school full days, has after school activities and playdates and I am fortunate that I have a lot of family close by and people I trust.  That being said, more and more do I recognize the fleetingness of time; I do not want to miss out with Sophia.  

What that means is, I find myself running at less ideal times.  

Case in point; when training for New York, the weather is a sneaky factor.  As we are in September, this is truly the month where the training is at its height.  Long runs towards the end of the month range from 18-22 miles in length, whereas midweek runs may be 8-10 miles.  The weather is unpredictable in September, and could be unbearably hot and humid, and the runs are longer in duration.  This past weekend, I had Sophia in Sag Harbor over Labor Day weekend.  Instead of running 15 miles- which takes two hours and change- on a weekend when I had her, I waited until that Tuesday when I knew it would be 85 degrees when I started my run.  Add that to the fact that I cannot start my runs at 6am, when the weather is cooler, if I have her because clearly I cannot leave her alone in the apartment. 

When To Deviate: My “Why”

“How many marathons have you done?” My father asked me the other day.

“Five,” I told him.

“Why are you doing it again?” He said.

“Well, I want to get my best time,” I told him.

“But why?”

I am not sure.

Is it pride?  Is it that I have turned 40 and I am trying to “prove” that I could do things just as well as when I was in my early 30s?  Is it because I said I would, and I am a woman of my word? 

Saying I will do something and following through has ALWAYS been extremely important to me.    It is a lesson I want to show by example to Sophia and to my clients; I wear my Team Revolution “Never Give Up” wristband every single day.  That being said, it takes the same amount of strength to deviate - or know when to shift gears- and not let it rock your ego or pride.

So; here is my deviation.  My goal still is to get my best time so long as it does not impinge too much on my priorities.  And, with that in mind, I will do my best to keep my word, try my hardest, and work from within my lifestyle.

 
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Laura Kovall