Yesterday I was using my Half Marathon race time to predict what marathon pace I should be able to sustain in my race next month. It's a little tricky, because it was a hilly race, but still there's a pace range it predicts and that range is not that wide. When I plug my HM time in to McMillan's running calculator, it predicts a 4:05 marathon. (9:23 pace).
Initially, I felt disappointment about probably not being able to break the 4 hour mark this time. Sub-4 is a substantial goal and I want it bad. I mean, never say never, but I'm not going to start out the race at a sub-4 hour pace. That in itself was enough to make me feel the disappointment.
Then, I went for my run. The workout called for 3 x 2 miles at MP with a 10% slower half-mile recovery in between. I had been doing this workout at 9:00 - 9:10 pace, so I adjusted it down to 9:15 - 9:25 pace. It seemed slow/easy, but this work out is not supposed to be a killer. By rep number 3, I was really thinking 9:18 seems right for me for MP. I need to set aside my expectations and work within the range I'm currently at, not the one I want to be at. Get to know 9:18. Up close and personal.
After that run, I went back to the McMillan calculator and saw that 9:18 pace predicts a 4:03:30 marathon, and a 1:55:28 Half Marathon. I believe I would have run 1:55 or faster if Saturday's race was on a flat course. (By the way, next month's marathon is a flat course).
I feel I've started my last 2 marathons with a "wishful thinking" pace plan instead of a feeling of actually knowing what I'm capable of, then working within that pace range to get the best race out of myself. Not surprisingly, the results have been 2 races where I've run out of fuel with 6-8 miles of race left.
I'd really like to duplicate the good race experience I had in the Half next month. I ran within my abilities, but not holding back. I stayed in the moment and as a result, I was "in the race" the whole time. I'm going to make that my "real" A goal for next month.
"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop."-The King of Hearts