I am totally up and at ‘em today!  Soooo much to do. 


A simple bowl of oats was on the breakfast menu.  No fancy toppings today.  Just wholesome goodness.


In the mix:


  • 3/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • Banana
  • Chia seeds
  • Hazelnut syrup


Setting Race Goals


One of my favorite posts of all time is How to Set Race Goals (and Not Drive Yourself Crazy) because goal-setting was a lesson that took me a REALLY long time to learn.  I tended to shoot high and be disappointed if I didn’t reach my lofty goals.  While I think that setting ambitious goals is motivating, I think it’s more important to:


  • Set your goals based on what YOU are capable of at the CURRENT time. 
  • Adjust your goals during your training and on race morning.
  • Set goals based on other factors, not just time.


With Marathon #2 right around the corner, I wanted to discuss how I’m setting my goals for this race.


For Marathon #1, I had one goalFinish alive (errr… mission accomplished!).


Seriously – people would ask me what my goal was, and I would reply, “My goal is to finish.”  And I really meant it.  I had never run over 22 miles before, and I really didn’t know HOW those 4.2 extra miles would go down.  I think that finishing is a great goal for ANY new distance race.   Just focus on having fun!


For Marathon #2 (on October 30), I do have some time goals.  :)  But I think it’s important to also create non-time goals as well.  Finishing time is a very tricky thing; there are many things that can impact your time:  weather, nutrition, the course. 


Therefore, one way to set race goals (and not drive yourself crazy) is to set time and non-time goals.  For time goals, make sure you set several different goal times.  For example:


Time Goals for Marathon #2:



Note:  Unless sh*t seriously goes down, I’m confident that I will beat my primary goal of setting a new PR.   Based on my training (I ran a 20 miler with an average pace of 10:17 and a 18 miler with an average pace of 10:10, I think 4:35 is a realistic goal.  A 4:25:00 marathon is definitely my “reach” goal, but I don’t think it’s impossible given my training runs.


Non-Time Goals for Marathon #2:


  • Primary goal:  Maintain a positive attitude throughout the race, and run a smart race.  Run the tangents as much as possible to minimize unnecessary mileage.  Fuel properly so I don’t bonk.
  • Secondary goal:  Don’t go out too fast!!!  Enough said.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Teritary goal:  If I hit the wall at Mile 18 – 23, as I did during Marathon #1, I will work harder to push through instead of giving up and spending most of the time walking.  I know I can do a regimented walk/run mile and go faster than 12:00 to 14:00/miles.  I just let my emotions get the best of me.


By setting a variety of time and non-time goals, I feel like I’ll be able to walk waddle away satisfied.


How do you set race goals or other fitness goals?  Do you focus on quantifiable or non-quantifiable goals?


PS- The winner of Friday’s @BeautifulNotes Follow Friday Twitter Contest is GorgeousNinja13, who tweeted: “Dear @BeautifulNotes my #mirrormantra is I’m beautiful, unique and special. The world needs me here.”



  • megan @ whatmegansmaking October 18, 2010, 8:37 am

    Those sound like some great goals! I am struggling with goal setting in other areas of my life. I love your idea of having time goals and other goals. You can’t always control your time goals, but you can control your attitude and how much fun you have. 🙂

  • Orla October 18, 2010, 8:39 am

    I base it on how I feel at the time of the race. With the best will in the world and all the correct training and nutrition sometimes things just don’t go right.
    I am aiming for a 4.40 marathon on October 25th. But i have had a couple of injuries meaning not as many long runs as I would have liked. I know that I have it in me to sub 5 hour so if I dont feel the 4.40 on the day I will be happy with a sub 5. Every minute below that is a bonus!But I will give it my all!
    Best advice I read was “If you think you are going slow enough at the start of a marathon, you are still going too fast!”

  • Cyndi @ Weightless Life October 18, 2010, 8:40 am

    My first goal for a race is always to finish! I do it similar to the way you do. I give myself a variety of goals, one of them being a little bit of a stretch. I think non-time related goals are important too. I always want to finish feeling good and positive.

  • Madeline - Greens and Jeans October 18, 2010, 8:40 am

    I always set a couple of time goals and a few “non time” goals for races. For my marathon a few weeks ago I had a “dream goal” a “realistic goal” and a few personal goals (like only walk the water stations, mostly so I actually got powerade in me instead of on me).

  • Holly @ couchpotatoathlete October 18, 2010, 8:51 am

    I think your goals are great: and they aren’t too out of reach, but you’ll definitely have to work for them!

    For my first marathon I made the mistake of setting too high of a goal, and when that didn’t work out I felt so defeated — I should have been celebrating that I FINISHED, but instead I was upset that I didn’t do better. If (when?) I run another marathon I will focus on finishing, having fun and beating my previous time. Anything on top of those goals would be icing on the cake (that I will definitely eat when I finish another marathon!)

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday October 18, 2010, 8:52 am

    “Don’t go out too fast!”

    That’s something I need to work on.

  • Amy October 18, 2010, 8:52 am

    Those sound like great goals. I’m training for my first 10k now and the concept of goals (beyond “finish”) is still somewhat foreign, so this is good to read!

    (I still think my primary 10k goal will be “finish” though 🙂 )

  • Kim H October 18, 2010, 8:53 am

    What perfect timing! I JUST ran my first half this past Saturday and am thinking about what my next step will be. My goal for the half this weekend was just to finish, but my time was pretty good (2:15) so I am going to try to set a time goal for my next one.

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine October 18, 2010, 8:55 am

    Love this!! My BF has the best philosophy when it comes to setting goals: set one that’s difficult enough to make you super proud of yourself if you achieve it, but that won’t get you discouraged if you can’t make it happen.

    I definitely have a time goal in mind for my upcoming half, but I want to wait until a few weeks before the race to make sure it’s a reasonable one!

  • Stacey October 18, 2010, 8:56 am

    When I do my first marathon I am just wanting to FINISH. That’s all. Just get past that finish line before the people in cars come by and tell me the race is over 🙂 My second marathon? We’ll see about that when I get to it!

  • Wei-Wei October 18, 2010, 8:57 am

    Great goals! I wouldn’t be able to remember them all while running, though. I’d just be like, “Just keep going, just keep going, just keep going, going, going, laadidadida…” (Name that movie! …it’s a juvenile one :D)

  • Liz October 18, 2010, 9:01 am

    I have a similar goal-setting style for my first marathon. Goal #1 – finish, Goal #2 – Under 4:30, Goal #3 – Around 4 hours

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg October 18, 2010, 9:02 am

    Perfect post for me– I’m right in the middle of trying to decide what my goals are for my next half marathon.

    I think if I ever attempted to run a full marathon, my goal would DEFINITELY just be to finish!

  • Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun October 18, 2010, 9:04 am

    I love the thought of having time and non-time goals. I agree that the non-time goals are ones you have more control over and are still great accomplishments to feel proud of upon finishing. I think its so important to have goals that you can control.

    Even with things like weight loss. I think it can be good to have a goal weight in mind, but I hate when people make that the be all and end all goal. Having goals like including more fruits and veggies, regularly fitting in exercise, etc give you more control and empowerment. I love your attitude and approach to things.

  • Sarah @ Sarah's Shaping Up October 18, 2010, 9:05 am

    This is a great post. As someone who is just starting to get into competitive racing, I tend to set my goals so high and unrealistic in some instances that when I don’t meet them, I get super disappointed. I need to set more realistic goals–ones that are more within reach. And of course be happy that I’m even out there in the first place! 🙂

  • Kelly October 18, 2010, 9:07 am

    Those are great goals! I need to figure out what my half marathon goals are for next month.

  • Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow October 18, 2010, 9:09 am

    Simple but perfect oatmeal- one of the best!

    Goals are a huge part of my fitness life. They are what inspire my action, help me improve and grow. I always have goals. 🙂

    My goals range are typically very quantifiable (or else I won’t get there!). But there aren’t always huge goals. Sometimes small: run 3x this week. Run x # of miles. And other times they are large! Complete a century ride, a triathlon and half marathon in 2011. The big goals are my vision- they are the big pieces that I am moving towards. From those goals I create all the mini goals that will eventually get me there. 🙂

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 18, 2010, 9:09 am

    Great goals! My main goal for my first marathon was the same as yours- arrive alive! Thankfully I made it 😀 and even though I haven’t raced in a while, I tend to set goals that are time and non-time based. Non-time ones include having fun and staying mentally positive.

  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) October 18, 2010, 9:20 am

    My goal… get back on track with running after taking 2.5 weeks off (AHHHHH!!! vacation + being sick will do that)… then to successfully finish the 5k I have on October 30th.

    It’s no marathon, but I love reading about your BIG races for motivation 🙂

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) October 18, 2010, 9:22 am

    Your breakfast looks delicious! I love that you set goals like that. I set personal goals in fitness, but not running. I think it is important to always work towards something. I think keeping up with my physical health helps to keep me sane!

  • Evan Thomas October 18, 2010, 9:30 am

    I think a good goal is reachable. Sometimes, I’m really easy on myself and would consider just finishing a good goal.

  • Tabitha (From Single to Married) October 18, 2010, 9:30 am

    non-quantifiable, definitely. I’m like you, just want to finish. That or beat my previous goals. The closest I’ve come to a marathon was in 2008 when I participated in the Breast Cancer walk. (I can’t really run because of some foot problems I have.) The most I had ever walked/run was probably six miles so to go out for 23 was huge. But I did what I could. I walked 20 miles before I had to stop due to blisters the size of Texas. It was so worth it though – while I didn’t finish per se, I far surpassed my goal of walking farther than I had ever walked before.

  • karen October 18, 2010, 9:46 am

    Sometimes it is just nice to take the pressure off and run for the fun of it. I had a less than stellar 1st marathon and came back and rocked my 2nd marathon 4 months later. I am coming up on my 3rd in a few weeks and am really looking forward to just finishing it. Various running friends have asked me my time goals but I can honestly say I just want to enjoy the race. There is something peaceful about it this time. Oh there will be goals in my future but sometimes it is nice to just enjoy the day!

  • Jessica October 18, 2010, 9:48 am

    Thank you so much for this post! I just ran my first half marathon and my only goal was to finish. And I did just that! So now I’ve signed up for a second half marathon and I really want to improve my time and have more goals than just finishing because I know I can finish. So reading all of your goals have really inspired me! I always wondered why my Nike + said I was running a bit over the designated race mileage. I definitely wasn’t running the tangents. Also, I did a HORRIBLE job at fueling my body during the race and I made a huge mistake: tried eating some shot blocks that I hadn’t trained with mid-race.

    So thanks for this post! I definitely have some things to think about. 😀

  • Michelle October 18, 2010, 9:55 am

    I never knew about running the tangents, thanks for that link!

    I set a couple of speed goals when I run, and when its applicable, I set non-speed goals. My race last week had 2 speed goals (which I didn’t meet 🙁 ) but since I was pretty sick leading up to it, my real goal became “finish this race feeling good”. Which I did meet 🙂 I try to keep my goals reasonable enough to attain but high enough that I have to push myself a little to reach them.

  • Trish October 18, 2010, 10:04 am

    I’ve learned to be more realistic with my goals.

    A friend of mine tends to try to push me too much – like wanting me to do a half marathon with her when I was still struggling to run just 3 miles. My body takes a long time to adapt and build up – which is okay. I did the couch to 5k plan and had to keep on repeating weeks over and over. I just take longer to get there.

    I did reach the 3 mile point and I finally wanted to increase my distance. I originally thought I should start trying to do 4 miles. But that was, for me, too much. Then it hit me – I could make 3.5 miles my next goal. I know my body and that was plenty to shoot for at once. I’ll get to that 4 mile point – but when it’s right for my body. And while my friend can go out and increase like it’s nothing, it’s again okay that it takes me longer.

  • Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul October 18, 2010, 10:06 am

    My husband I did this same thing of setting primary and secondary goals for our race this past weekend in Baltimore. Neither of us made our “reach goal”, but both completed our ultimate goals, so we were still able to walk away feeling satisfied and excited!

  • Camille October 18, 2010, 10:20 am

    I ran my second marathon last weekend and I had time goals that I didn’t that I was under-trained for. Next time (in May) I am going to make sure I know for a fact how trained I am before I set any more goals.

  • Crystal October 18, 2010, 10:27 am

    I just finished my first marathon yesterday (yay!!!) and it was the best! I was running by myself and joined a pace group at the race, best decision ever! If you race has pace groups, I highly suggest joining. I made great friends and had a pro coach/encourage me through, so much so that I never had to stop and walk!!!

    • Caitlin October 18, 2010, 10:28 am

      that’s awesome! congrats

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss October 18, 2010, 10:27 am

    I think I’d definitely have the same goal as you did for your 1st race. Just get through it alive. 😛

    I’ve only raced short distances, but I set goals like “run the whole thing (for 5Ks)” or “beat my time”…they seem to work 🙂

  • Sarah October 18, 2010, 10:30 am

    I’m training for my first half marathon right now and I had the scariest run of my life yesterday. I overheated two miles in, could only see spots and felt like I was going to throw up. I called my husband crying and he drove out to get me. It took me over four hours to start to feel better and even today I’m still not myself 100%. My goal has always been to finish, but now I’m terrified to even run again! That’s never happened to me before.

    Does anyone have any advice about how to knock the bad run out of my head?

    • Caitlin October 18, 2010, 10:31 am

      that does NOT sound fun. was it really hot out? were you underfueled? if you don’t think you can pinpoint the cause, maybe a trip to your doctor is in order. i would ease back in slowly and go with a buddy to calm your fears.

      • eatmovelove October 18, 2010, 10:32 am

        …well, I’m just thinking of the old adage – “Get Right Back on that Horse”. 😉

        • Sarah October 18, 2010, 10:44 am

          I think I might have to tell myself that! But maybe not today …

      • Sarah October 18, 2010, 10:43 am

        It was actually hotter than I thought it was going to be – around 80 degrees (Atlanta fall is not fall) and the sun was shining right in my face the whole time. I had also only gotten about 3 hours of sleep the night before, hadn’t fueled the way I normally do and had announced to my church that morning that my husband and I are moving to Connecticut in December. So I’m wondering if the emotional roller coaster had something to do with it? Just a bad combination of everything.

        • Megan October 18, 2010, 12:30 pm

          This happened to me while training last week, and I know it was a combination of heat, not eating well all day, lack of sleep, and dehydration.

  • eatmovelove October 18, 2010, 10:31 am

    Your oatmeal looks like a “Banana Oatmeal in a Bread Bowl” I just made…not on purpose though LOL!

    Goals are an integral aspect of life. I should start setting some…

  • emptynutjar October 18, 2010, 10:42 am

    You’re so fortunate. I can’t imagine jogging 2 steps (physical reasons). People that can jog 5 minutes leave me in awe. You’re amazing.

  • Sean @ Learn Fitness October 18, 2010, 10:44 am

    The time and non-time goals are so perfect. I’m doing the same things for my run this coming weekend we’ve been training for this summer, only 5.8 miles (no marathon for me yet).

    It’s so important to not mentally feel like you failed just because you might have missed a time on a clock. If you have those non-time goals and really push to attain them then the race can have multiple successes on many fronts.

    Thanks for this post!

  • mrs. span October 18, 2010, 11:06 am

    Best of luck on the race, Caitlin! I’ll be rooting for ya. Your determination really motivates me to push myself in my own exercise goals.

  • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life October 18, 2010, 11:06 am

    I like the goals. I think it good to have a few different goals to keep you motivated for the long run.

  • Heather October 18, 2010, 11:07 am

    I think those are great goals! I agree it can be tricky. I am bad at adjusting my time due to weather and a hily course. I was disapointed a couple weeks ago at my half b/c even though I PR’ed I didn’t hit my goal time bc it was hot and hilly. I am SO competitive it really hurts me sometimes!

  • Gavi @ GaviGetsGoing! October 18, 2010, 11:16 am

    I also think it’s so important to have time and non-time-oriented goals, particularly when you’re racing a new distance or race. If you don’t make your time goal, you can still evaluate your overall performance based on your personal goals. Last weekend, I crushed my time goal, but it wasn’t my best race, so I was able to look at it from two different angles. I also like the idea of having primary, secondary, and tertiary goals. I always have that main goal in my head and then that little voice in the back of my head convincing me that I can do something even beyond that goal. I love this post! 🙂

  • Katherine @ Left Coast Contessa October 18, 2010, 11:17 am

    I’ve been running distances for the first time so far, so my only goal was to finish strong (hey, any time was a PR!) I have a 10k on the 31st and my first half on the 14th. For the half I just want to finish strong but my time goal is to average a 10 min pace. For my 10k my goal is to not burn myself out. Its only two weeks before my half and its Halloween! I don’t want to burn out before I have a chance to go out!

  • Dorry October 18, 2010, 11:18 am

    I love these thoughtful, realistic goals you’ve set. I’m running my first half marathon in December and my goal really is just to finish. That’s all I care about at this point is crossing the finish line with a smile of my face and having positive self-talk during the race. (I didn’t mean to rhyme – haha!)

  • Amanda Davis October 18, 2010, 11:19 am

    I’ve always liked setting lower goals then what I feel like I’m actually capable that way when I do well I’m pleasantly surprised!

  • Sarah for Real October 18, 2010, 11:25 am

    I’ve only ever run one race so far, a 5k, and my goal was to run the whole way, no matter how slow. I thought for a short race that was a reasonable goal. Without it I definitely would not have pushed myself so hard!

    After reading so much of your advice about walking, I think I could train for a 10k by doing more of a run/walk thing. I figure my goals will be time based instead of just “run.”

  • Erica October 18, 2010, 11:27 am

    I looked at the link on tangents because I’ve never heard of it before! Oh my gosh, it makes so much sense! I’ve never even heard the term “tangent” when referring to running, but I’m all about it now! In both my half in March and my full on Satuday, I had “extra” mileage. 1/4 of a mile in the half, and my 26.2 measured 26.5 on my Garmin Forerunner (and I know I hit the button immediately as I crossed the start line, not before). But yeah, I bet you can “find” a lot of extra mileage in a 26.2 mile race! Thanks for the info! I will definitely be utilizing it!

  • Candice @ChiaSeedMe October 18, 2010, 11:43 am

    Your goals sound awesome! I still have only run one marathon, and my goal for it was definitely to finish. That day was a prime example of why you should set non time goals. We ran against a 30 mile per hour wind (gotta love Oklahoma) the entire last half of the race, and it was about 90 degrees and extremely humid. If I had only set a time goal, I know I would have been so disappointed! This way you have multiple ways to measure your success and progress!

    Good luck!

  • Lauren @ merrymishaps October 18, 2010, 11:56 am

    I have similar goals. Wish we were running the same race and could pace each other 🙂

    You’re supposed to run your long training runs significantly slower than your race goal. There’s probably a good chance you can get that 4:25 (or faster)!

  • Rachel October 18, 2010, 11:59 am

    I have a difficult time setting race goals or any other competitive goals like this. I am an only child and don’t have much of a competitive bone in my body. So my goals are usually “have fun” or “cross the finish line feeling strong”.

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In October 18, 2010, 12:00 pm

    That post was really helpful to me with my second half marathon coming up. I had been running faster while training for my first half (different schedule, colder weather) and have been super bummed out about likely not beating my time goal.
    Now I know to make a goal based on what I am doing NOW, but to also look at my attitude and other factors! THANKS! (And good luck at your marathon!)

  • Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes October 18, 2010, 12:02 pm

    This post is so inspiring to me. I love running, but have yet to enter a marathon.

  • Angela October 18, 2010, 12:06 pm

    Since I’m in the process of losing 79 lbs. (I’m currently down 36 lbs.), my pace is increasing and my goal times are decreasing, both very quickly.

    I have only run half marathons, so my next race, a full marathon in May, will probably not have a goal time, except to finish in the alloted time (6 hours). Once that is complete, I will continually look at my training and where I stand going into race weekend to really determine if my goals are realistic.

  • Anna S @ History Running Girl October 18, 2010, 12:08 pm

    I ran my first 10k yesterday! My first goal was 11 minute miles (which is pretty speedy for me). However, I forgot that St. Louis is hillier than the flatlands of Illinois, so I re-evauluated while I was there. I wasn’t disappointed.

    I’m running a marathon in June, and I’m telling people my goal is to finish sub-when the course closes.

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance....after a 100+ Pound weight loss!!! October 18, 2010, 12:23 pm

    Great Post! All your advise will surely help me in the future when I try for my 1st marathon! You postive attitude is the most important and either way the race goes I know you will be happy and have a better one this time around. =)

  • Megan October 18, 2010, 12:27 pm

    Great tips here! I ran my first ever 5k the other day (I started running six weeks ago), and my main goal was to finish. I didn’t really have a time goal, though I was hoping to finish under 35:00. I finished in 31:40, so I was proud of myself!

  • Lisa October 18, 2010, 12:37 pm

    Most of my race goals have been around just finishing, or finishing without having to walk at all. I’m not too concerned about speed yet!

  • Carol October 18, 2010, 1:27 pm

    My marathon coach said to always have 3 goals, and none of them should be “to finish”. He says that drags you down…but my 3 goals for yesterday were: PB (last race was 5:43), sub-5 (my primary goal) and lastly (my “holy crap, I can’t believe I did that goal) was a 4:45 finish. I did go out too fast (that is soooo hard to avoid) and ended up with a PB (5:21 official time), which I am so pleased with. Next race will be my sub-5…just don’t know what race that will be.
    As for the wall…what coach suggested, and I used a couple of times and it worked, was to count backwards from 300. You totally shift your focus from “how much further, my legs hurt, I’m tired, etc.” to remembering what number must come next. Really got me through. I also stopped looking at my Garmin or any clock for that matter, as I just needed to focus on running.
    Good luck on the next race…you’ll do great, regardless of the time.

    • Caitlin October 18, 2010, 3:56 pm

      YAY Carol! Congrats on your marathon and thank you for your wall advice. That will definitely help.

  • Leah October 18, 2010, 1:37 pm

    Sounds like great goals!

  • natalie (the sweets life) October 18, 2010, 1:38 pm

    just read a similar article in runner’s world this morning—i think it’s an important concept for runners to remember, thanks for sharing!

  • Julia October 18, 2010, 1:39 pm

    Great goal setting concepts! Thanks!
    And I love the comment about “waddling” – I definitely waddled after the marathon yesterday – walking was just not happening lol!

  • Meri October 18, 2010, 1:48 pm

    Hi Caitlin- I read your blog daily but have never commented. I just wanted to send you a note and see if you had heard about this:


    I love the girls on the run stuff- keep it up, you’re really making a difference with those girls!

    Meri (merigoesround.blogspot.com)

    • Caitlin October 18, 2010, 3:57 pm

      Yay for FTFW! Operation Beautiful is a featured organization.

  • Corey @ The Runner's Cookie October 18, 2010, 1:51 pm

    Definitely important to set non-time goals! I think if anyone becomes too wrapped up in the time/outcome, the joy of running and the sense of accomplishment that comes from improving is lost.

  • Joanne October 18, 2010, 2:59 pm

    If miles 18 – 23 are where you expect to have the toughest time, try to get all the friends and family who will be cheering you on along those points. They will give you energy. They will bring a very needed smile to your face and somehow drive you forward.
    Plan out your Gu or whatever you will take during the marathon at strategic points BEFORE you feel you need it. Good time to begin re-fueling is between 45 and 60 min. after the race start. Then set strategic points after that but be careful not to over fuel and get stomach cramps.
    Take a little water as well as a little Gatorade at the rest stops. Too much G will upset the tummy espec. if it’s cooler and you’re not sweating as much as you’re used to….but then you’re in NC..right? It’s prob. pretty warm still. Anyway, you’ll do great. You’re going into this knowing what to expect.

    • Caitlin October 18, 2010, 3:26 pm

      great tips joanne 🙂

  • Mimi October 18, 2010, 3:00 pm

    This post will surely help me in the future. I like your attitude toward the race, setting clear race goals before the run will definitely ease your anxieties, and help you build a confident mindset.

  • katie October 18, 2010, 3:09 pm

    great goals. good luck!

  • Amber K October 18, 2010, 3:17 pm

    I love the idea of non-time goals! It sounds like a great way to keep motivated without stressing too much about it.

  • Ellen@FirednFabulous October 18, 2010, 5:56 pm

    Ohh I love this idea of having multiple goals! That’s one thing that puts me off racing a little…setting a goal and not being able to reach it. (I tend to be competitive with myself.)

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 18, 2010, 7:40 pm

    I think that’s such an awesome idea to have non-time related goals as well! It’s so important to stay positive during a race, especially a marathon. And I’m sure staying positive will help you to achieve your time goals. 😀

  • Kelly October 18, 2010, 8:14 pm

    I think it’s really important to set A,B,C goals. Goal A is your reach goal (if you are having a bomb a$$ day), goal B is your main goal (if you are having a good day), and goal C is your fall back goal (let’s say you are sick or the weather is crappy. 🙂 Great post!

    I also read in Runnner’s world recently the importance of setting non time related goals. Like finish the race feeling positive with a smile on your face. I like that too.

  • ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska October 18, 2010, 8:36 pm

    I love the idea of setting several goals. Mine for my first ever 5k a few months ago was… to finish. Guess what it is for the 1/2 marathon I plan to run? To finish. Maybe in a few years I can set goals other than to finish, not finish last, and enjoy it. 🙂

  • Harry @ GoalsOnTrack October 18, 2010, 9:55 pm

    Great goals. Check out my website if you want to track your own goals.

  • maya @ finding balance in tokyo October 19, 2010, 1:19 am

    I do this as well! I ran my first 10k this weekend, and the course was up a mountain for the first half. My ultimate goal was to finish, my secondary goal was to finish in about 1:15 minutes, and tertiary goal was the 1:05 finish I thought sounded reasonable for my first 10k on a flat course. I ended up coming in 1:05:17 and know I could have done better, so I was pretty pleased.

    For non-time goals I just wanted to not push too hard on the uphill portions, finish strong, and most importantly, have fun. I think I did reasonably well on those!

  • Carina October 20, 2010, 7:17 pm

    I’ve done about a dozen marathons and I can tell you that your first goal (a PR) is common and it can be so disappointing when it doesn’t happen, so it’s key to have other goals. I think I’ve only not PR’d twice in a marathon — one race where I got really sick and one with very warm weather. But oh it’s sad to feel like you’ve been through that much agony and don’t even have a PR to show for it (and with no PR, you’ve pretty much guaranteed that you’re not finishing strong or having fun if you really thought you could PR at the start of the race). I like the goals!

  • Jaki April 29, 2013, 7:47 pm

    This is a great read. I recently ran my first half marathon and am beginning training for my second. I wanted to know what are realistic goals so that I can have some more focus to my training. I like that you not only have a primary, secondary, and tertiary goal, but also two different types of goals. I think this ensures the probability that you will achieve at least one goal, which can satisfy that “i did better” feeling. I’m going to use your method. Thanks.

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