Mickey threw his best at me on that early, early, Sunday morning but I did my best. And you know what? I accomplished what I set out to do - Finish.
Seems like the most popular question after somebody finds out you are participating in a Marathon is: How long will it take you? Although that might be right up there with "Why??" Both I think are slightly rude (although I don't think most of the inquisitive folk realize it could be perceived as such). Hence my vague reply of "I just want to finish." Which was 90% true. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have SOME idea of a desirable time for ME.
See, there are people who run MUCH faster than I, and people who are much slower too. And that's okay - I wasn't racing to win, I was running to finish. To say Yes, I've completed a marathon. To prove to myself that I could do it. Did I do as well as I had hoped? No, but I finished. Does this give me room to improve? Absolutely. Does this mean I'll probably run another one? Probably... (although those who asked that question on Sunday got a very resounding - NO).
And you know what? It was my race. So what if I didn't finish in under 4 hours, I finished.
Maybe the question people should ask runners (or walkers) is - "What is your goal?" You might find that answer vastly different than "What will your time be?"