SFM Goals

It’s getting closer!


I have been saying all along this training cycle that SFM was going to be a “training run” for me, basically meaning I wasn’t going to go balls to the walls and run as hard as I can on the course since I have my eye on an A race (Portland!) 10 weeks later. 

Even so, I still have goals for this race and what better way to help myself be successful in them, than posting them for the world to see!

SFMT 069

The Game Plan

The plan is to run with Kristin for as much as possible.  I don’t see why we wouldn’t finish the race together, but 26.2 miles is a long way to go and a lot of things can happen.  We have done so many training runs together the last few months and I am so excited to run this race with her!  Besides being one of my bestest friends, fellow lululemon Ambassador and generally my partner in crime, this race also celebrates our friendship since we met training for it three years ago as our first marathon.


I am a big believer when it comes to setting race goals that I have time and non-time goals.  Time goals give me something hard to focus on when it comes to my pace, but non-time goals are other areas that are sometimes more important to me than just a number.  I have had many races where all my time goals have gone out the window, but having the non-time goals still help me find success.

Here we go!

Time Goals

  • A: 3:55:00 – Based on our training runs on the course and how we plan to attack the race this should be a realistic but still challenging goal.  Our plan is to keep the pace on the easy end (high 8’s, low 9’s) through mile 16/18 when most of the big hills end, then to pick it up after that to mid to lower 8’s.  All of our course training runs were done at a faster pace than this, so as long as everything goes according to plan, this should happen.  But we know things hardly ever go according to plan, hence B and C goals!
  • B: 3:59:59 – When I ran this race as my first marathon, my goal general was to run a sub 4.  I got pretty close, but I have always wanted to go and get a 3 in the front of my SFM time.  If Goal A isn’t going to happen, this will be the next number I focus on.
  • C: 4:04:34 – When I ran SFM as my first marathon, I finished in 4:04:35, so of course I would like to beat that time.  

Non-Time Goals

  • Run Smart – Although I do expect some recovery time, I don’t want to be stupid and thrash my legs so much that it takes me weeks to get back into training – I have an A race to train for after all!  This course is tough and definitely will take a toll on the body, but I think if I run it conservatively and stick to the plan like I stated in my A goal, I should be able to bounce back ok. 
  • Have Fun – I have been wanting to run the full again for the last couple years, but other goals got in the way at the time, so I want to make sure I have fun out there and enjoy this race!  This race will always be a celebration of my running to me, so I better have a smile plastered on my face as much of the race as possible.

No matter what happens I am so excited to be out on the course with SO many of my friends, the trainees I helped with at the beginning of the training cycle, and just being proud to be an Ambassador of the race this year.  I love this race so much, I can’t wait to run around my favorite city again, not to mention add to this collection.

July 222

Do you put your goals out in public eye or do you keep them private?

I have gone back and forth with this one, but I have decided I like being able to look back at my thought process and what I was aiming for.  Even if I don’t reach all my goals, it’s ok, it’s still good to set them and just means I will try again! 

Do you set time and non-time goals?

I have always set both forms of goals for every marathon I have ran.

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23 Responses to SFM Goals

  1. Shannon @ Mon Amour July 27, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    These are great goals! I can’t wait to hear how you do! Good luck!

  2. XLMIC July 27, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    I see you attain your A time goal and the other non-time goals this Sunday :)

    I sometimes do put them out and sometimes don’t. Recently, my time goals are not super concrete or realistic… I kind of vaguely shoot the moon :) As I get closer to an event, they do get a little more clear and a little more realistic. Working with injury hanging over my head necessitates flexibility! My non-time goal is always to have fun and to not get hurt!

    Wishing you all the very best in the SFM!

  3. Cate July 27, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    I am so excited to cheer around mile 16 and the finish! You’re going to do great!

    I love putting my goals out there but sometimes I feel a little too much pressure…like when I was so positive I would qualify for Boston last year at LA and then ran a horrible race :(

  4. Tim F July 28, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    Hi Aron – good luck! I’m sure you will do great and have a blast. You are running so strong!

    I’ll also be running it. I got a bad cold/flu recently so now my expectations are very, very low, but hoping to have fun since I never ran in San Fran before.

  5. Susan - Nurse on the Run July 28, 2011 at 5:04 am #

    Here’s to getting your A goal, and how fun to have someone to run the whole thing with…best of luck to both of you!

    I go back and forth about putting my goals out there, but I usually do. I like to make it known what I hope to accomplish, and it’s not like anyone has ever said, “I can’t believe you didn’t get your A goal…geez!” It’s great to be able to look back see what I thought I was capable of and what actually happened on race day to see how realistic I was being or how the race went.

    I always put out the goal to have fun because I really do like to run, and if I’m not having fun, then what’s the point?

  6. Carolina John July 28, 2011 at 5:48 am #

    I always set some time goals and usually some non-time goals, like “don’t die”. These seem totally achievable Aron! Have fun.

  7. marlene July 28, 2011 at 6:11 am #

    Good looking goals! I almost always post my time goals publicly (except for that *cough* secret marathon incident…. hehe) but I rarely post non-time goals, although I generally do have them in my head. Staying focused, running smart, finishing strong, HAVING FUN – all making the race a more enjoyable experience overall!

    Good luck this weekend. Hope you get that A goal (pretty sure you will…) and have fun in the process!

    ALSO hubs has been scouring races to decide on an “A” Marathon for next spring. Guess which one he decided on??? NAPA! You have to come!

  8. amy July 28, 2011 at 6:49 am #

    Have fun this weekend!

  9. VanessaG July 28, 2011 at 8:13 am #

    I think it’s important to have goals and share them. It makes you accountable and push harder. You have people who know what you want and they cheer for you. However if you don’t reach a goal, that’s ok. Every reace is different. Try your best is the most important thing. You are gonna do great no matter what. I mean, just finishing it is awesome. Good luck…u have lots of readers of your blog cheering you on.

  10. Bethany July 28, 2011 at 8:14 am #

    Your goals sounds excellent! Best of luck and have a blast!!!!!!!!

  11. katie July 28, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    have fun! i’m pretty sad that it didn’t work out that i could be there, so give the course a hello for me!

  12. Emily July 28, 2011 at 8:39 am #

    GOOD LUCK Aron!! You’re going to have SO much fun with this race and kick ass all at the same time. I can’t wait for the full report on the lovely time that you lovely ladies have at SFM!

  13. Melody July 28, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    GOOD LUCK! Love your goals – have a great time! Can’t wait to read your race report :)

  14. Kristin July 28, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    Awwe, this totally made me tear up! It has been so much fun running with you and doing all our training runs together. We’ve made the most out of all the stuff we have going on and we’re are incredibly blessed and lucky to be able to run together, at the same pace, for many, many miles! I have no idea what will happen on Sunday, but I’m pretty sure we can make it happen. Look at how much we’ve done together so far!

    As for posting my goals…haha. Guess I don’t have to this time around? I will just post a link to this post. Love it! But yes, I usually tell someone or post my goals at some point. It just makes me feel accountable to have them out there.

    Ahahaha!! 3 more days. Love you!


  15. Audrey July 28, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Good luck this weekend! From time to time, I’ll post my goals but it usually depends on how confident I feel :)

  16. Angela @ SF Road Warrior July 28, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    So jealous — I feel like everyone I know is running one of the halfs or the full! I will try to get out to the course on Sunday and cheer.

    I only started making my running goals public (or at least public-ish) when I made my blog. I definitely feel like it gives me some extra accountability (at least in my mind), and makes it more concrete.

    The one time I can remember having non-time-related goals was when I ended up with three separate injuries about 3 weeks out from a half-marathon. I almost didn’t go but decided I had too much invested not to try. In that race, my goals were definitely to a) finish and b) not make the injuries worse (thankfully, I met both).

    Best of luck to all of you running on Sunday!!

  17. Nelly July 28, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    I definitely think you will reach your A time goal, your training runs have been going really well. I could even see you getting close to Alyssa’s goal time of 3:47. My guess is that you get in the middle between those 2 times.

    Regardless of what time you get, just enjoy the race with Kristin and everyone else you know running it!

    I’m with you on having multiple time goals, of course my first goal is a PR. 2nd is simply running the best that I can on that day – whatever race time that ends up being. 3rd is simply finishing the race.

    Sometimes I am nervous about putting time goals out there in public, but usually I know what my body is going to do, so I don’t mind telling people what my time might be. But sometimes it is hard to guess, so I just tell people that I’ll give it everything I got.

    Have a great race!

  18. Fair Weather Runner July 28, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    i bet you meet both your time and non-time goals! sounds like you have a great plan, i hope you soak up the race and enjoy!

  19. courtney (pancakes and postcards) July 28, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    Awesome goals Aron! It’s going to be SO COOL to run this race after it being your first marathon and just think back on everything you’ve accomplished since then!

    I’m still a pretty new runner I feel, and I’ve never really RACED. I’ve just kind of considered myself a midpack or backpack runner (hah) and running to me at this point has just been about not dying! But I think I am ready for some goals now.

    SFM for me is a fun run as I really barely trained for it and my pulled quad is still a tiny bit iffy so I don’t have real goals for it. Sure, I’d LIKE to beat my big sur time (4:27) which would have been no prob with training but with very weak mileage under me I’m just going to try to not get hurt….

    …So I can pick an A race and trained for it. I’ve ran a sub-2 half and it was VERY hard for me, but my goal is really a sub-4 marathon. For me it would take a LOT of work (I was running 11 min miles when I started!) but I think maybe next year I could do it!

    Good luck and I’m looking forward to seeing you this weekend!

  20. Kelly July 28, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    hooray for the race being only 4 days away! Love reading your goals – you have such a good point re: non-time goals. I never actually pinpoint any of them and tend to focus on time. I’m going to incorporate them into my goal list for this year :) Having fun will always be on the list too!

  21. Madison July 28, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    I always set goals but depending on how I am feeling out on the course on race day, those goals sometimes just end up going out the window. I definitely need to work more on my pacing. You have this down to a science. Even after years of running, I still cannot gauge my pace. I run like a five year old..namely at whatever pace I feel like at the moment. I would like to hone my pacing skills some more.

    I hope I get a chance to meet you at the Lululemon shake-out run. Not sure if I am running yet but I will definitely be headed in that direction.

  22. Shortskirts July 28, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    good luck lady! Hope you have a blast!


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