Pursuant to a directive from Sidewinder, I have settled on my 2013 running goal.
I've decided to focus my 2013 efforts on the half marathon distance. After a close look at my race results over the past few years, it appears that 13.1 miles is the sweet-spot distance for me; it's the race that I'm most competitive in. My overall placing in the HM always seems to be pretty high, regardless of the size of the field.
I had thought that my best distance would be the marathon, but it's time to acknowledge otherwise. Most time-prediction charts tell me that, based on my recent 5K and HM performances, I should be breaking 2:50 over 26.2 miles. However, in 34 marathons I have gone under 2:50 only twice. Although I'm proud of the marathon count, my marathon times have been much less impressive relative to my times at every other standard racing distance.
So, after studying the numbers, I'm excited to spend a full year pushing myself at what seems to be my ideal distance. My 2013 half marathon goal is two-fold...
1. Be the first Connecticut Master across the line in at least 4 half marathons, and
2. Break 1:19.
I believe this goal meets all the traditional criteria of effective goal-setting:
(1) It's obviously specific and measurable.
(2) Although I think it's attainable, I'm going to have to stretch myself to achieve it. There are certainly plenty of top-notch masters runners in CT and 1:19 has proven to be a stubborn barrier for me. Over the past 2 years I have clocked 19:something four times with my fastest being 1:19:37.
(3) I'm very excited about achieving it, having identified 13.1 miles as my best distance.
(4) there's a set deadline, which is the end of 2013.
My first 2013 HM is The Savin Rock Half (West Haven, CT) in March. Already looking forward to it!