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Month: March 2020

Ambitious Goals with Fierce Determination: Marathoning Mom

Ambitious Goals with Fierce Determination: Marathoning Mom

It is time for me to spill the beans about my big running goals. If I post it on the internet then there is no taking it back!

I’ve been open about training for an October 2020 marathon. I want to run faster than my first marathon and finish under 3 hours 30 minutes.  However, this isn’t the finish line that my big goal is focused on.

4 Year Plan

The real finish to my running goal is to go sub 3 hours and PR again to qualify to run in the Canadian Olympic Marathon Trials in fall 2023.  If I work my hardest, wear the fastest shoes, and have perfect conditions then I may have what it takes to qualify. 

I know my own abilities and I’m comfortable admitting that I do not have what it takes in talent or work ethic to run a 2:22 marathon and move on to the Olympics. My goal ends at the Trials.

If you’re like me and just watched the USA Olympic Marathon Trials, I should note Canada follows a different format. Canada typically uses its national marathon championships as its Olympic trials, but full team selection not guaranteed and is time based.

Making this Goal

When I made this goal it was a 4 year plan. I talked to my family about it and made sure I had their support to pursue this goal. A goal this size requires a lot of hard work and has major time commitments. I am grateful that most of my weekday runs occur after my children have gone to bed so I don’t loose time with them.  I also have the benefit of a gym at work where I can focus on strength training and stretching at lunch.  As for weekends, I try to run early in the morning so I arrive home during or soon after breakfast is finished.  

I have spreadsheets that go until October 2023 with races plotted in along the way.

Yearly goals for race distances of 5k, 10k, half, and full marathons will enable me to track my progress and stay motivated. 

Shelby is getting marathon ready
Shelby is getting marathon ready

My Marathoning Mantra


The mantra I created for this goal is ambitious goals with fierce determination.  On days I’m tired or would rather eat ice cream than go run, I think about how strong I want to feel in 4 years when I crush this goal.

Budgeting the Marathon Goal

I have crunched the numbers and this is going to be a costly goal. For this year, I’ll incur approximately $500 in race fees and $1000 in running shoes.  Travel expenses for my 2020 marathon will be modest at $500. I choose a local race to minimize travel time, which can be stressful with kids.  My marathon will only require a ferry and one night in a hotel.  After adding it up, the 2020 expenses are equal to a trip to Disneyland. Still worth it in my opinion!

Next Steps

I hope you’ll join me, a mom of two little girls, as I train, race, and ramble on about running.

Do you have an ambitious goal that you’re working towards with fierce determination? Let me know about it in the comments.