Sunday morning I will run the White Rock Marathon for the third consecutive year. WR I, 2008, was my first ever marathon. I was pleased with my finish, coming in at just over 4 hours, 4:03:16. By the time I ran WR II, 2009, I had run a few marathons and ultras, and improved my speed. I started with the 3:20 pace group, but had to slow down after 18 or so, and finished in 3:35:32. Still a great improvement over my PR, but short of the goal: a 3:20 Boston qualifying time.
So for WR III, I have several goals.
1. 3:20:59. This is the time in which a 40-44 year old male has to finish a certified marathon in order to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Boston is the only major U.S. marathon that has a qualifying time, and it's the goal of many a runner to get there.
2. 3:35:31. If I don't qualify for Boston, at least I would like to beat my time from last year. I read somewhere about a guy who held the world record for the number of marathons in which he beat his previous time. This is my 4th road marathon (I ran the Cowtown in February of 2009; all my other marathon and longer races have been on trails.), so why not keep the streak going?
3. 4:03:15. Surely I can run faster than I did at my first marathon, when I didn't really know much about training or running a race!
4. If I can't beat any of those times, I'd at least like to have fun and finish without injury. Mark is running, too, but he says he'll be slower than me. (So I guess goal #4 could be to beat my little brother, who, as Zippy says, is nowhere near as fat as me!)