I could be way out of line here but I based my goal times based on my paces for my long runs and the 10 miler I did a few weeks ago.
A Goal: Sub 1:52
B Goal: Sub 1:55
C Goal: Sub 2:00
I am expecting my time to be somewhere between 1:50-1:55 depending on how I feel on Sunday. Two weekends ago I ran a little over 13 miles with my half marathon split coming in somewhere around 1:52-1:53. While this run was not terribly hard I did push the pace and did this as an interval sort of run. I also stopped 3 (?) times to go to the bathroom and stretch when my hip started tightening up. I also know the race course is always longer.
DC in November for an event with the Russian embassy
And then there is the issue of water stops. During every race I have done so far I have stopped at the aid stations. I think stopping for a few seconds helps me feel better throughout the race. During my 10 miler I noticed that I added 15-25 seconds at each water stop. I think there are 5+ water stops during the race this weekend, which could add up to more than a minute wasted. I didn't want to carry water with me in case I want to toss my bottle (I am really picky about my water being cold when I run so I will only run with an insulated bottle). As you can probably tell, I'm still trying to figure out what to do about this.
Sunset on my way home. Picture doesn't do it justice
While I love having a time goal to shoot for, I don't think it's healthy to only focus on your time. I like to have some non-time goals so that if I don't reach that goal I can still call my race a success.
Stay calm when something goes wrong, because it inevitably will. Minutes before the start of the Capital 10 Miler I found out that one of the earbuds on my headphones had fallen off. I freaked out since I had been doing all of my long or hard workouts with music. I started to panic and ended up spending the time I should have spent stretching rigging my headphones so they would stay in my ears. I showed up to the race start with about a minute to spare.
I am trying to be as prepared as possible going into this weekend but inevitably something will go wrong. My guess is it will have something to do with navigating DC. At that point I won't be able to make any changes so I need to roll with the punches and move on. Quickly.
Ignore negative thoughts. Another thing that I have learned is inevitable is negative self-talk. Even during my best races a few negative thoughts have creeped in here or there. I want to recognize that it's going to happen and just ignore them.When you start to listen to your negative thoughts is when you will blow your race.
Leave everything out on the course. Although I do have some time goals, my biggest goal is to go as hard as I can. If I finish in a time slower than I thought but I pushed myself to the end I will be happy. I don't want to finish the race and be able to run around later that day with my dog. I want to be tired. I want to give everything I have and see where that puts me.
I have one run left tomorrow and am off to the expo now. Good luck everyone racing this weekend!