This time next Saturday, I hope to be approaching the finish line at the Richmond Marathon! This time last year, I was setting very achievable, very simple marathon time goals for myself. But this year, I have a very challenging goal to accompany an aggressive training session that has lasted almost a year.
My goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. For women my age, that means I have to complete Richmond in 4:00:00. Actually, they give you an extra 59 seconds. If I am feeling particularly enthusiastic on race morning and the weather is favorable, my goal will be 3:55:00. If either or neither of those things work out, then I will settle for a simple 4 hours and 59 seconds!
The number of women in my age group to qualify for Boston is 14.5 percent according to renown running expert, Amby Burfoot. That doesn’t scare me too much for two reasons. 1. A fair number of women my age might only have the goal of finishing a marathon and never really push themselves for speed. 2. I have been tapping into my speed through consistently vigorous and often painful workouts for almost a year now. And no one pays me to do it. I do it because I want to. And I don’t know many women my age who do the same. So I figure the odds are pretty good that I am in the top 14.5 percent of running women my age.
Confidence will go a long way next Saturday. I believe in myself. I believe in my goal. I know I can achieve it. This time next Saturday, in the time it has taken me to type this, I hope to be wrapped in my marathon blanket munching on a slice of pizza, sipping on a water bottle and relishing the completion of an ambitious goal!