How do you know when you’ve set the right goal for a race?
I think it has a lot to do with how you feel in the week before the race. If you’ve set too easy of a goal (or your goal is simply to have fun and finish), then there’s not a lot of pre-race weirdness. It’s just another down week.
If you’re me and set the easy goal, I’m generally happy and bopping along pre-race, only having logistical worries.
For the super big goals (like Ironman), which seem on the outer reach of attainability, I am almost in a state of panic in the final week. There will be periods where I almost can’t breathe, and I go very inwards–I don’t want to talk to a lot of people or be in crowds. This dissolves into a state of Zen right before and the morning of…that’s what the super big, crap-your-pants-what-if-I-can’t-do-it goals feel like to me in my final pre-race days.
I think I’ve set the right goal for Palo Duro Canyon 50K. If there isn’t a bit of fear factor in the week before, then I’m not stretching myself. And every now and then, I find myself thinking, “Why in the world did I think I could drop this much time? Am I prepared? How does this year compare to two years ago, training wise?”
However, I have a big base of confidence and only a small question of “can I do this?” I feel like I’m perfectly balanced on the high wire, and only the day will tell what can come.
And so I’ll state my goal here, because when you run for time there’s no fudge factor: you make it or you don’t, and my goal at this race is time…a finish time of under 7:00.