Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon, Goals for 2021, marathon training, Running

Marathon #6: Goals

I have had goals in mind for all of the marathons I have run. Typically, my minimal goal is to finish the race within the time limit and not get kicked off the course. After that, my goal has usually been to get a personal best time. For my last marathon, my goal was to run the race without doing run/walk intervals, I didn’t care too much about a time goal.

It has been two years since I ran that marathon and a lot has changed. I have suffered great losses, finally started the medical treatment I needed for depression, and have put on quite a few extra pounds. All of these combined really influenced my training and will impact my performance at my marathon that is now less than two weeks away.

When I started training for this marathon, I did not care about a finish time. I was just looking forward to running my favorite marathon again and racing in person again. I didn’t train to get a personal best time at this race. I chose to train so that I would be prepared, but in a way where training would not take up too much time or be too difficult and possibly cause injury. I chose to be gentle with myself and took into consideration all of what I have been through since my last marathon.

I feel really good about my approach. I have felt pretty darn good throughout my training plan. With the exception of a clumsy move in July, I have not experienced any overtraining or injury. For the most part I have finished all of my runs feeling pretty good and I have only had to cut a couple short. I have run easy, but I have also felt the push from running with others a few times.

If you’ve kept up with my blog since last November, you may recall that I have been doing a “Marathon in a Month” tracking. I take my 26.2 best mile times for the month and figure out my best marathon time and average pace from my training.

  • November 2020: 5:09:37, 11:49 average pace
  • December 2020: 5:25:24, 12:25 average pace
  • January 2021: 5:28:39, 12:33 average pace
  • February 2021: 6:02:29, 13:50 average pace
  • March 2021: 5:19:11, 12:11 average pace
  • April 2021: 5:20:10, 12:13 average pace
  • May 2021: 5:13:27, 11:58 average pace
  • June 2021: 5:33:43, 12:44 average pace
  • July 2021: 5:31:34, 12:39 average pace
  • August 2021: 5:31:14, 12:39 average pace
  • September 2021: 5:39:00, 12:56 average pace

My actual marathon times are as follows:

  • Detroit 2016: 6:34:57, 15:04 average pace
  • Detroit 2017: 6:11:42, 14:11 average pace
  • Glass City 2018: 5:59:27, 13:43 average pace
  • Detroit 2018: 5:40:23, 12:59 average pace
  • Indianapolis 2019: 5:26:04, 12:27 average pace

So how about my goals for Detroit 2021?

  • A Goal: Get a personal best time (5:26:03 or better)
  • B Goal: Average a 13 minute pace
  • C Goal: Finish in under 6 hours
  • D Goal: Just finish the dang thing without getting hurt

I am not at all hoping for a personal best. I didn’t train for it. When I got my PR, I ran the marathon without doing run/walk intervals. I will be running Detroit 2021 with run/walk intervals (run for 90 seconds, walk for 30 seconds). I know that the race atmosphere will definitely give me some pep in my step, but as you can see my overall pace has slowed down for my “marathon in a month” challenges. 
Stay tuned to see how I do – as soon as there is an updated app for tracking athletes during the marathon, I will be sure to post it to my Facebook page. I also plan on asking my friend Katelyn that will be joining me and my hubby to update my Facebook page and possibly even go LIVE during the race to keep you all in the loop on how I am doing!

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