Friday Five: Five Goals for Grandma’s Marathon!


I’ve been wanting to do a post with my goals for Grandma’s, and I wanted to do it this week because we leave for Minnesota on Tuesday. It’s safe to say that I won’t be posting so much since it will likely be from my phone or iPad. I’m getting so excited for the trip and the race! The plan for this road trip adventure is pretty exciting. We (my husband and I) are leaving on Tuesday and drive to Ohio and spend the night. On Wednesday, we’re going to get up early, hit the road and drive north, all the way up Michigan’s lower peninsula and over the Mackinac Bridge to the upper peninsula. We’ll be camping on Lake Superior that night (kind of wondering how the weather will be for that since I saw some storms in the forecast!) and then plan to check out the Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore on Thursday. We’ll head the rest of the way to Duluth on Thursday and spend both Thursday and Friday night at the University of Wisconsin. On Friday, I’ll hit the expo and the pasta dinner and get to bed nice and early for the race on Saturday! I’m so excited. For the race, I have several goals for myself:

  1. PR (Sub 3:06:57)
    I wrote a post awhile back that stated I was training for a 3:05 at Grandma’s. For the last 10 weeks, that’s exactly what I did. I struggled with some of my Tuesday runs when it finally started to warm up here, but I had a good training block for this. I don’t know if I’m in 3:05 shape, but I do know I’m in better shape now than I was for the huge blow up at Lost Dutchman. I’m also in better shape than I was at Boston this year, where I ran a cautious but comfortable race. It’s all going to come down to what I feel like on race morning and what the weather decides to do. I’m cautiously optimistic about the weather but that can change at any moment so I’m trying to be prepared for any possible situation.
  2. Sub 3:10
    If I can’t touch my PR, I want to try to be under that 3:10 mark. It’s been a year since I touched my PR, but I got close in the fall at Chicago with my 3:08:22 so I’d like to be in that range.
  3. Sub 3:15
    I feel as though I’m better trained for this race than I was for Boston, where I ran 3:14. So another reasonable goal to shoot for would be to bring it in under 3:15 if I’m not feeling the first two goals.
  4. Boston Qualifier
    If I’m having a hard time, I’d like to run a Boston Qualifier – my 3:08 at Chicago is my current BQ time for 2016, but it’s another goal to shoot for.
  5. Sub 3:00
    This is last on the list because I honestly don’t feel I did the work to sustain the kind of pace you need for a sub-3 marathon. I would basically need to be having the same day I had last year at the Charlevoix Marathon – all the stars were aligned, and I just gritted my teeth and hammered down for my PR. I had a solid 10 weeks of training for Grandma’s, plus the six weeks of Boston training but I still don’t think it translates into a sub-3 marathon. Besides, that’s like taking 8 minutes off of a PR that I haven’t touched in a year. Going out at a sub-3 pace isn’t smart, and I’m not going to do it. But if I feel awesome – maybe I’ll make a decision at the half marathon point. I haven’t run numbers in a spreadsheet yet (yes, I do that) with paces but the idea is still in my mind. I just don’t think it should be my number one goal…it definitely belongs at the end of the list. But it still belongs on the list πŸ™‚

I also have the goal of starting conservatively regardless of the outcome. I feel better when I start slower, and I know that it takes me about half the race before I’m warmed up, so I need to honor that. Lastly, I want to enjoy the experience and just be happy to check another state off of my list! This is state #28 and marathon #36 (I think? I’m starting to lose count)!

Our trip home includes taking a route through Wisconsin and lots of camping. We are aiming to be home by the Monday after the race. Not a long vacation, but should be a great getaway and I’m really looking forward to it!

Any big races on your schedule for this weekend or next weekend? What are your goals?



40 Replies to “Friday Five: Five Goals for Grandma’s Marathon!”

  1. I love all your goals and I too think your #1 is very possible – provided conditions are right! It’s the same thing for me πŸ™‚ Weather (and how you feel race day) can have such a huge impact on the outcome of your race. I love that you still have that sub-3 up there though! If you’re feeling really good at the halfway mark, I’d LOVE to see you go for it!! Have a safe drive out there and see you again next week, lady! ❀

  2. Love this! I’ll miss having you around next week but so excited to finally meet you! Just remember, take what the day gives you, respect the weather. You’re right that a lot will depend on variables we can’t control, but I think you can definitely PR and hit your 3:05 if you relax, have fun, and run a smart race!!! πŸ™‚

  3. I feel like all your goals are realistic and attainable. There’s a lot we cannot control as runners (i.e. weather – this year at Boston was miserable…) but I think your training will definitely prove itself, and you will hit that A goal! : ) No big races or runs this weekend, I start training for NYCM in July which will be my goal race in November. I would really like to run a 3:10 there which would be a 7 minute PR for me. Very excited for you and can’t wait to see you absolutely kill it : )

    1. Thank you! OMG you can so run 3:10! I’ve seen those paces you post. You’re already running what you need to do that. Now you just have to go out and do it!!! You’re going to SMOKE NYCM!

  4. Best of luck at Grandma’s! Your goals sound very smart and reasonable. Hopefully the weather cooperates and you are able to take home a new PR.

    No races for me this weekend, but I have the Charlevoix Half coming up in a couple weeks. My training has been pretty consistent so I am hoping for a stars align sort of day like you had last year.

  5. I dunno Alison, those 20 mile runs at 7:20 pace are a pretty solid predictor for a sub-3. I don’t want to jinx anything or put unfair pressure on you but dude, I’m just gonna say that if you get to the halfway point and for a fleeting moment think, can I? Remember this: YOU CAN. And then go get it. Otherwise, have an incredible race and a safe trip and fun travels! I’ll be rooting for you!

    1. Thank you so so SO much. Seriously. No pressure at all – that’s the kind of thing I will remember when I’m at mile 13, if I am having that debate with myself!! It’s going to be an interesting day if the weather keeps looking ideal!! Fingers crossed!

  6. Those are some incredibly speedy goals. I just recently earned a huge PR at the marathon distance (3:16) and that would qualify as one of your lesser times. Very impressive! All the best in the leadup to Grandma’s – hope you get a a cool, dry day.

  7. Oh I’m so excited for you!! I have faith you’ll run your best!! You really have worked hard and your paces are killer. Looking forward to reading all about it. Ugh I’ve been so busy I hadn’t posted much at all and trying from my iPhone sucks lol

  8. I love that you have several goals and think that’s important, especially with a marathon because you can only do so many of those in a year, not like a 5K where you can run one every week. Having a lot of goals is good, never know what 26.2 miles will bring. From reading a few of your posts (I’m a new reader), it sounds like you are definitely as ready as you will get so good luck!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I agree, so important to have several goals. I’ve learned that if you go out with one big goal and it isn’t your day that it’s so easy to get discouraged and that makes for a loooonnngggg day. It happened to me in February (wasn’t the first time, just the most recent) and it’s still fresh in my mind so I plan to start conservative and see what happens!

  9. Wow! I love your goals! I wish you the best of luck on the race and I look forward to reading all about it. Do you have any tips for getting my speed up?

    1. Thank you so much! For speed, I really started seeing some big improvements in the last year and a half. I think the biggest factor is consistency – like if you are following a training plan, stick to it and try to complete every single workout. If you aren’t feeling up to the intensity of a workout, you could always just run the miles and still benefit from time on your feet rather than skipping it. Not saying you skip workouts, I tell that to anyone who asks for tips πŸ™‚ Secondly, being consistent with speed work and strength training. Track workouts, tempo runs, hill training are all important and help when done regularly. I am a new reader to your blog so I am not sure if you are used to following training plans or not. Regardless, two awesome resources that really helped me are “Advanced Marathoning” by Pete Pfitzinger and “Run Your Fastest from the 5K to the Marathon” by Brad Hudson and Matt Fitzgerald. They helped me understand how often to do speedwork and what the paces should be like. It might also sound odd, but slow some of your runs down. When you are scheduled to run easy/recovery miles, run SLOOOOW. Save your energy for the workouts that need it. I like to use the McMillian Pace Calculator for determining about what pace range I should be in for whatever workout I am doing that day! Check it out:

      Good luck!! Keep me posted if you decide to try any of the books I recommended…and thanks for reading!

      1. Thanks so much for the tips! I just started doing track work recently and I’m already seeing improvement. I just have to keep pushing myself. In the past, I have used Hal Higdon’s training plans.

      2. I’ve heard awesome things about that training plan – I know people who have been very successful with it! I think I need to check it out πŸ™‚ Keep doing that track work, you will see huge improvements!

  10. Road trip! How exciting! I hope you have the best time. I also hope you smash your PR, but sub 3:10 is still. so. speedy. I’m looking forward to reading your Grandma’s recap! As for me, I’m sticking to the local 5K racing scene and (hoping) chipping away at my 5K PR. πŸ™‚

  11. Ahh I am so excited for you! Considering your time at Boston when you weren’t pushing it, and your killer training runs recently I absolutely think you can PR. πŸ™‚
    Fingers crossed the weather cooperates!

  12. Wow 36 marathons.!! And your goals are so crazy fast.(well for me) haha. Not for you though πŸ˜‰ you’re totally ready to hit these goals.! Best of wishes πŸ™‚

  13. Just came across your blog- Wow! Beast! Sounds like you are in a great place to kill these goals! All your hard work will pay off! πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻

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