|Shamrock Shuffle 2016|
I have been running out of my shoes lately, setting a 10 mile PR three weeks ago and an 8k PR last week. Based on both of those runs, the pace equivalent charts show that I should be able to comfortably run a sub-three hour marathon which would be about a 6:48/mile pace.
what to do? Part of me just wants the 3:05 PR, but another part of me says: "I may never again be in this kind of shape again, so just go for the damn sub-3:00!" If the weather is conducive to a fast pace that latter part of me will probably win out and I will just go for 2:59:59. Regardless of which pace I choose, I know that I run best when I negative split, so I will still take it relatively slowly over the first six miles to leave myself feeling fresh for the back 20. If at any point after mile six I feel like the faster time isn't gonna happen, I can slow down and hopefully still crawl to a PR. I realize that this goes against the "don't bank miles" philosophy, but a PR is still a PR.
I've also kicked around running with a pace group. From what I've read, running in a pack is beneficial to faster times and I've yet to run an entire marathon with a pace group. If I do run in the 3:00 group, they will likely start at a fast clip and try to hold it for all 26.2, which may be outside my comfort zone. However, the course has a net elevation drop over in the first half, so maybe an early fast pace would not be as hard as I think?
In any case, I'm really looking forward to the race, which I take as a good indicator that I'm ready to line up and get running. My main mantras are "no pressure" and "just relax". We can never know how much magic a race has in store for us until we start running.