After the Chicago Marathon last October, I was pretty bummed and burnt out on the 26.2 mile distance. But there is something about marathons that keeps drawing me back. Do I want to have that 'for-the-love-of-god-please-let-it-be-over' feeling around mile 18? No. Do I want to wake up the morning of the race thinking 'why the hell do I do this to myself?'. No. Do I want to risk another disappointing finish? No.
On the other hand, Do I want the satisfaction of knowing I finished my 8th marathon? Of course! Do I want to spend 4.5 hours along the beautiful coast of Maui scanning the horizon for whales? Of course! Do I want to enjoy replacing the calories I burn during the race at one of the many fabulous restaurants on Maui. Yes, I do! And, last but not least, do I want to further my quest to one day (not this time!) qualify for Boston? Indeed!
Maui is a redemption run of sorts for Chicago. Not redemption in that I'm seeking a PR (I'm not really) or a certain time (just not a PW would be great!). Rather, redemption in that I want to enjoy the journey. Enjoy (most of) the race. Enjoy the scenery. I wasn't able to do that at Chicago, but I will this time.
With that said, my 'C' goal for this race is: HAVE FUN!! I'm sure there will be some point in this race (probably many more than one!) where I'm ready to be done. Who really wants to run from mile 20-26? Pretty much no-one. But hopefully I can have fun the majority of the time. In order to reach this 'A' goal, I have to be disciplined and pace myself. I can't run too fast. I have to drink plenty of water. I have to feel comfortable stopping to take pictures along the way knowing my time will suffer. This will not be easy!
My 'B' goal is to have fun AND get a PR. My current PR is 4:35:42. Whether this happens will depend in large part on the weather. If it's too hot, I'm not even going to try for this because it might get in the way of my 'C' goal. As long as I don't get a PW (4:51:53), I'll be happy.
Then there's the 'A' goal. The goal that would only occur if the stars align and it's a perfect day. Given that I know it will be at least somewhat warm (so not perfect), and that I don't want to chance missing my 'C' goal, the most I will hope for in this race would be a sub-4:30. Not even shooting for the sub-4:15 I plan to get this Spring. There will be plenty of time for that.
So my 'A' and 'B' goals are in addition to my 'C' goal. In other words, if I'm not achieving my 'C' goal I won't even try for the 'A' and 'B'. Are you confused yet?
Bottom line, I don't want to focus on time, I want to focus on FUN and if that brings me a better than usual time, GREAT!
If not, I won't give it a second thought and I'll continue to enjoy my time in Hawaii:)