As the song says, “If you don’t dream big. What’s the use of dreaming?” Over this past weekend, I started dreaming and planning and plotting my path for the next year and a half…plus.
So, the big, overall goal that I’m going to be chasing down is to finish the 2017 New York City Marathon in under 6 hours. The race is more than a year than a year away. So, I could really set any time goal right now and it all seems good. In setting this goal, I’m being realistic, yet pushing myself at the same time. After all, my marathon PR was set in the first one I ran. At the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon, I finished in 6 hours, 21 minutes, 45 seconds. My next marathon, the 2015 Asics Los Angeles Marathon, I finished in around 6 hours, 50 minutes. That was the hottest Los Angeles Marathon on record. So, the time is a little misleading. My third marathon was the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon where I finished in just under 6 hours, 37 minutes. So, to get a sub 6 hour marathon in around a year and a half is not impossible at all. Its a totally doable goal. But, it will be more than a 21 minute PR if I can do it. So, there’s still that.
With the goal race being more than a year away, I’m going to need some other goal races to build upon. Races that I’ll train for in a way that puts me in perfect position to keep the dream of the sub 6 hour marathon alive all the way until I take to the streets of New York City. So, here are the check points with the goals for each race…
The first goal race will be the 2016 Disneyland 10K. This race isn’t as big of a goal race as the rest on the list. However, it is a race where I’ll want to have a good showing. The goal for this race will be the same as I had last year…to set a new 10K PR. My current 10K PR was set way back in 2013 at the Pasadena 10K. The time to beat at the 2016 Disneyland 10K is 1 hours, 15 minutes, 42 seconds. Ideally, I’d love to finish in 1 hour, 15 minutes or less. However, any time that is faster than my current PR would be a HUGE confidence boost for me. I tried to set a new 10K PR last year and fell short. I finished in 1 hour, 17 minutes even. So, I was 1 minute, 18 seconds short of the goal last year. I know that it’s possible this year and I’m going to go for it!
The first BIG check in my training will come at the 2016 Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon in November. I hope Cap will inspire my fastest half marathon yet. Like the 10K PR, I set my half marathon PR in 2013 at the Rock n Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon. As I’m in the week before I start the Avengers Half Marathon training plan, my A Goal is to finish in 2 hours 30 minutes or less. My B Goal is to set a new half marathon PR. So, anything faster than 2 hours, 43 minutes, 25 seconds will work. Even though I’d love to hit that 2 hour 30 minute mark, it would be okay with me if if beat my current half marathon PR…even if it’s only by seconds. Setting a new half marathon PR at Avengers will be enough to keep me going. The two mile stretch on the Santa Ana River Trail is the part that makes me not so sure about getting all the way to a sub 2 hour, 30 minute half. Of course, until I get closer to race day, I won’t know where my goals should be on race day. I’ll let the training dictate my goals. But, I’ll focus my training on preparing myself for a great and fast half marathon.
After the Avengers Super Heroes Half, my training will shift to the 2017 Sketchers Los Angeles Marathon. When I ran the LA Marathon in 2015, it was super hot. One of the lasting images for me was seeing the temp on a bank building in mile 23 saying it was 87 degrees…and I still had more than 3 miles to go! Yikes! I took the race easy. But marathons are no joke and I was toast by the end. My goal at the 2017 Los Angeles Marathon is to set a new marathon PR. That would involve beating 6 hours, 21 minutes, 46 seconds. I believe that I had trained for such a time back in 2015. However, the temp spiked on race week and I had no time to get ready to run a much hotter race. Also, I was on PR pace at the Chicago Marathon until 2 blisters popped in mile 22. So, another goal for this race is to finish with no blisters…or at least no blisters popping. In the 2015 LA Marathon, I had blisters pop right at the mile 23 marker. When I ran the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon, I had no blister problems at all. I’d love to get back to that. If I can set a new marathon PR at the 2017 Los Angeles Marathon, I’ll feel amazing! Plus, I’ll be well on the path to a sub 6 hour marathon at NYC!
After setting a new marathon PR at the 2017 Sketchers Los Angeles Marathon, it will be time to get hard core about time goals. I’m planning on running the 2017 Suja Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon. Just like my goal for this years race, I’m setting a goal of a sub 2 hour, 30 minute half marathon at this race. In 2015, I finished in just over 2 hours, 48 minutes. So, it seems realistic to set a time goal that’s 28 minutes quicker for right now. Plus, if I can be in the kind of condition where a sub 2 hour 30 minute half marathon happens, I’ll be in the best possible position for a sub 6 hour marathon at NYC in November 2017!
After the 2017 Suja Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon, all my energy will be focused on 26.2 miles of greatness at the 2017 NYC Marathon. If I can hit all the check marks, I will have set myself up well for a sub 6 hour NYC Marathon.
Think a sub 6 hour marathon at the 2017 NYC Marathon sounds ambitious for a guy like me? How about adding the 2018 Dopey Challenge to the list? As I wrote out a training plan, I think I could totally train for the 2018 Dopey Challenge. This might have to be a solo trip to Walt Disney World for me. But, finances are the one thing that could keep this dream from happening. However, if I plan for it starting now…who knows? I’ve always thought that doing the Dopey Challenge would be a one and done kind of thing for me. So, what better year to do the Dopey Challenge than 2018? It will be the 5th Anniversary of this challenge. So, hopefully, there will be a cool medal for completing the challenge.
I would, of course, end this long journey with running my 4th Star Wars Rebel Challenge one week after the Dopey Challenge. I never want to miss a Rebel Challenge…like ever!
Walt said it best…Our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. Tomorrow, I’ll go over the plan I’ve come up with to get me through all of this.
What do you guys think? Too much? Time will tell.