Marathon Goals

In less than 3 weeks I’m running the New York City Marathon to help Egg and Parish Hall raise money for Wellness in the Schools. In the interest of holding myself accountable I thought I’d share the goals I have for this marathon:

1. To start. Training injuries kill dreams, and I haven’t been sure every day that I’d even make it to the starting corral. I’ve had nagging pains that wracked my nerves and made me wonder if I was doomed to watch from the sidelines, country ham biscuit in hand to muffle my despair. I feel pretty good now, though, and I’ve learned a little more about what pains are deal-breakers and which are just nuisances. But consider this a knock on wood—there’s still time to blow this goal.

2. To finish. Even elite athletes have trouble finishing marathons sometimes—America’s best hope at the Olympics this year, Ryan Hall, had to drop out of his race after only 10 miles. I hope the fact that I’m running at less than half his pace will help ensure that I make it to the end, but I’m not taking it for granted.

3. To finish without walking. This is a dumb, pride-based goal that I’m willing to ditch midway if necessary. But I’d like to make it through without having to stop and walk. As Haruki Murakami says, it’s a running event, not a walking event, and I came to run, not to walk.

4. To finish in under than 4 hours. I can ditch this goal, too: first-time marathoners are always encouraged not to set time-based goals for themselves. But I would love to do better in my first marathon than Paul Ryan did in his, and to beat Sarah Palin’s personal record. And 4 hours seems like a reasonable goal—not too ambitious and not too slack—given my regular pace.

5. To raise $5000 for Wellness in the Schools. This is the big one. I committed to raise $3000, but I’d like to do better than that. WITS does crucial work in New York City’s public schools, improving school lunch options and developing wellness programs for kids.  My life revolves around the twin stars of food and my children, and Wellness does the best by both of those of any organization I’ve worked with.

Your donation to Wellness In the Schools will help me achieve all of these goals, because nothing’ll make me get to the finish line like knowing you’re backing me up, rooting us on. Or staring me down, wondering if that’s really as fast as I can run.

Company on a training run in the Catskills

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