Up to this point, I’ve done seven races in 2019. For every one, I’ve been super close to my goal times:
- Fossil Creek Park 5k: Goal sub-21:00; actual 20:53 (under by 0:06)
- Polar Bear 5k: Goal sub-21:00; actual 20:01 (over by 0:02)
- Mississippi Blues Marathon: Goal sub-3:40:00; actual 3:36:05 (under by 3:54)
- Groundhog Day Marathon: Goal sub-4:00:00; actual 3:59:45 (under by 0:14)
- Catch Me If You Can 5k: Goal sub-21:00; actual 21:29 (over by 0:30)
- Horsetooth Half Marathon: Goal sub-1:40:00; actual 1:38:19 (under by 1:40)
- Colorado Marathon: Goal sub-3:30:00; actual 3:28:57 (under by 1:02)
What’s remarkable is that for each race, I had to give maximum effort to hit those times. Only in the Horsetooth Half Marathon did I feel that I had a little bit left in the tank at the very end.
From the above, we might be able to deduce a couple things. First, I am now very good at predicting finish times. That’s probably no surprise considering I have run hundreds of races and even developed the Fort Collins Running Club’s latest algorithms for predicting participants’ race times for their Tortoise & Hare race series. (Not to mention having made an entire business of predicting things like failure in mechanical parts.)
Second, I am also good at making goals for myself that are reasonable and attainable, yet aren’t so easy as to demand anything less than near-maximal effort.
Perhaps I could stretch some of the goals further. A five-minute mile and 19-minute 5k, perhaps?