Tag Archives: race goals

2015 Philadelphia Half-Marathon Goals

Race week, race week! It’s been three months since I’ve had an event on the calendar, and even though this is not my typical swim-bike-run outing, I’m pumped to take on the Philadelphia Half for the second year in a row. Last year, I had a blast, and even though it will be tough to replicate that race-day experience, I’m excited to escape NYC, spend some quality time with my fam, and *knock on wood* string together 13.1 solid miles.


Another way to escape the city: retreat to Central Park

As a short-course triathlete, I do not view the Philly Half as a true goal race. This event found its way onto my calendar simply so I’d be motivated to focus on my run during the triathlon off-season—because if left to my own devices, I’ve be making watts around the clock. After my final tri in August, Coach Pat started increasing my running frequency and volume. I’m at the point in my running career where gaining experience (like muscle memory from running all the miles) and confidence (like logging strong 11- and 12-mile outings) is the goal. I will definitely race the half-marathon distance one day—which will most likely be preceded by a 1.2-mile swim and 56-mile bike—but for now, it’s about continuing to grow and transferring this development to triathlon.

So although there is a race plan for Philly, I feel as though I’ve already won. Thanks to Coach Pat, we’ve once again made productive use of the triathlon off-season, and I’ve improved a lot both physically and mentally as a runner. Going into last year’s Philly Half, I told him that was the most prepared for a race I’ve ever felt—and I feel even stronger and fitter this year. So even if race day doesn’t pan out as planned, I’m proud and motivated by the progress we’ve made—and I’m psyched to keep working at it. Here are my big three goals for Philly; accomplishing them will put me in a really good spot for performing my best.

Stay positive and mentally sound


Po-si-tive! Po-si-tive! Cheering on the NYC marathoners a few weeks ago.

During this year’s triathlon racing season, my mental game proved to be a limiting factor. In addition to upping my running volume and frequency, Coach Pat also suggested reading Running Within, which helped me a lot, especially in terms of reframing challenges and race happenings (i.e. not swearing when a pocket-friend passes you). You’re always going to experience highs and lows on the run, and I was able to use the strategies outlined to cope with and ultimately overcome challenges. Although I hope it’s all smiles and cute guys like last year, I know there will be low points—and now I have the tools to work through them. Bottom line, I can run 13.1 miles; my mental game will determine just how quickly they get logged.

Execute the plan and focus on the feeling


Marathon thunderstick fun #TheRabbitLife #branding

Last week, Coach Pat mapped out the race plan and broke it into sections: miles 1-2; miles 2-6; mile 7; miles 7-8; mile 9; and miles 10-13.1. Visualizing the race as smaller chunks helps me a lot mentally, especially when there is a target pace range involved. By focusing on each segment—instead of thinking about all of those 13.1 miles—and locking into the prescribed pace, I increase my chances of staying strong for the entire outing. Thinking about 1-4-mile sections seems much less intimidating too.

That being said, though, I cannot become emotionally attached to the numbers and let them overwhelm me. We have an aggressive plan. I know what I should be feeling. I know it’s sustainable. I just can’t be intimidated by the numeral values that accompany the feeling.

Have confidence—and have fun


#TheRabbitLife isn’t all fun and games: “For when you just can’t ‘adult’ anymore.”

As one of my triathlon coaches told me before Nationals, “having confidence is a choice. You need to choose to be confident.” My fitness from the tri season has carried over to this run block, and I’ve been able to build on it. I’ve done everything to put myself in the best possible situation for success.

One of my elite runner friends asked how I was feeling in the lead-up, and I told him it will be nice to do a race without the pressure of winning my age group and potentially contending for an overall podium slot. Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely love racing. But there’s something to be said for toeing the start line and only competing against yourself. Last year, I smiled for 12.5 miles, and it was time I had fun running a half-marathon. I hope to have a similar experience this time around.

Goals for Pat Griskus Triathlon

Here we are: race week! It’s been about two months since my last triathlon, and even though there have been some episodes of taper crazies, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m doing my best to trust the process and trust my training.  And I’m excited to see how strong of an Olympic-distance outing (one-mile swim, 25-mile bike, and 6.2-mile run) I can string together.


Your bathroom doesn’t look like transition? Oh.

Before South Beach, I outlined race goals. Instead of focusing on splits—swimming sub-15 minutes, biking sub-1-hr., running sub-32-minutes—I identified specific objectives that could be achieved independent of time. Because I haven’t trained and/or raced on the Pat Griskus course, and because I haven’t raced an Olympic-distance event since Nationals in August, my coach did not give me concrete time goals. Yes, there are still expectations, and with the hope of having a strong performance, I’ve established some goals for Saturday.

Swim solid

Thus far in my triathlon career, there hasn’t been a swim where I’ve laid it all out there and cranked it. Like really cranked it. And honestly, it’s been OK. But based on this season’s training (and #wannabeswimmer status), I can capitalize in the water. It just comes down to dialing into my solid/race pace; swimming steady won’t suffice anymore.

Bike “like a dude”

During Sunday’s ride, my coach told me I looked strong and “biked like a dude.” Before going all feminist on him, I asked what that statement meant. And apparently, it equates to not wussing out and getting dropped. Neither of which happened, by the way.


So brutal. And even though it’s hilly, I’ll race on my Slice.

And it can’t happen here either.

Looking back on SoBe, I rode too conservatively; there was a lot of cruising and not enough stinging. Saturday will be different, though. It’s all about being comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Run smart

I mean, duh. Let’s establish a few factors: it’s a two-loop course that promises to be hot and hilly. And even though my run has been slowly improving, it isn’t where I’d like it to be. My fitness is decent, but I don’t know how everything will feel coming off an incredibly hilly bike. The key to these 6.2 miles will be working the negative split—dialing into my pace, then speeding up and trying to hang on.

All right—let’s do it!

Do you set race goals?

My Goals for the Skinnyman Triathlon

Hiya, everyone!  Happy Saturday!  As you’re reading this post, I’m either swimming, biking, running, or recovering from the Skinnyman Triathlon.

Even though I’m still new to the triathlon world, I set some tangible goals for today’s race.  When I did the Cazenovia Triathlon at the beginning of the month, my main objectives included racing within myself and having fun; it was my first official swim-bike-run event after all.  With one triathlon under my (race) belt, I set the bar a bit higher.  Here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish today.


Use the 800 yards as a warm-up; do not attack it aggressively.

Use the freestyle for its entirety, except for circling buoys.

Stay mentally engaged; get into “the zone” and review my race plan.

Transition 1 (T1)

Jog to transition (i.e. don’t walk).

Stay standing (I sat down during the Cazenovia Triathlon), move quickly and efficiently.


Follow this mantra:  “Set yourself up for a good run.”

Shift into my “second gear” and maintain an ideal cadence (90 RMP).

Stay hydrated. (I didn’t drink any water during the bike last time.)

Ride smart:  climb (do not attack) hills efficiently; attack downhills; pass who I can, but don’t get passed on straightaways.

Transition 2 (T2)

Rerack bike quickly. (Again, this didn’t go so well during the Cazenovia Triathlon.)

Stay standing while taking off and putting on gear.

Start running ASAP.


Stay mentally strong and positive.

Run efficiently (i.e. shorten stride on the hills).

Run semi-aggressively—find a pace bunny, maintain contact, and eventually pass.  Try not to get passed at any point.

Execute a finishing kick and leave it all on the course.

On a somewhat related note, I found this graphic floating around the web.

Have a great day!