I wrote a bit about my goals for the Army Run recently, but it felt unfinished, like I hadn't thought about it enough or set solid goals. Nicole at I've Always Been a Joiner recently shared her goals for a race in terms of A, B and C (and A+) goals. I thought it was a great idea and wanted to do the same for the Army Run, but couldn't think of anything other than an A+ goal until today when I was struggling on my run.
I wanted to have an easy recovery run but at the same time, mentally I didn't want to fall below a certain pace. It's like I worry if I go below a certain pace on a training run I will somehow get stuck there come race day.
My knees are feeling a bit better but they were tight and heavy feeling. My left shin was also bothering me, and being the worst case scenario thinker I am, I thought of all the worst possible things it could be.
I ran along the canal, enjoying the sunlight and trying not to be annoyed by the sudden influx of young, fit university and high school teams on the pathway. I maintained a fairly steady pace for the first 2km then slowed down and took some walking breaks. As I alternated between enjoying myself and struggling, my various goals for the Army Run became much clearer.
C: Just break 35:00 under my own steam
B: Beat my previous PB with a time of less than 34:29
A: Beat my previous PB by at least one minute(ish), with a time of 33:30 or better. Based on my last solid 5k training run, I know I have it in me to do this with the adrenaline of race day.
I really don't think my A+ goal is realistic unless everything about the race is perfect, but that's what an A+ is all about - reaching for the sky. I also don't want to burn too much energy given the 10k race the next weekend. Like Nicole, I want to run the race smart. I want to maintain a steady pace and stay strong, but I also don't want to push myself so hard that I am not able to complete my 10k the following weekend. I need to keep a lot of gas in my tank for the 10k, because finishing that race strong is my number one priority.
Right now the race day energy is starting to brew in the city. The people I follow on Daily Mile from the city are talking about it, the tents are set up, the road barricades are ready and waiting. I can't believe I never noticed this energy and anticipation in the city before I started running. It seems so obvious to me now. Two sleeps until I can pick up my race kit, and four long sleeps until race day! See you at the starting line!