I should warn you that, although I am a program manager, my college degrees are in mathematics (yes, I am a geek).
So as I thought about what my marathon target times should be, I consulted a variety of on-line pace calculators and combined that with my own training data and gut feelings.
Here is my analysis / "predictions" for MCM:
Realistic target time (probable time): 5:10:00 / 11:50 min/mile pace
Dream time: 4:59:59 / 11:27 min/mile pace
Here is my reasoning - I am open for recommendations.
1. Based on my 5 miler time today, the models are predicting anywhere from 4:45 - 4:56 for marathon time. I think that is on the optimistic side.
2. My really long runs have been around the 12 min/mile pace. During the PWWHM I kept an 11:45 min/mile pace. I think that could have been a little better under larger crowd race conditions.
3. My shorter training runs have been consistently around a 10:35 min/mile pace - when running very easy they are just over 11 min/mile. This makes me think that an 11:50 pace is quite reachable, and 11:27 might even be possible.
4. My Parrot Predictor (based on weeks I have trained more than 26.2 miles) has indicated: 5:08, 5:16, 5:01, 4:49, 5:04 during my September training. This makes a 5:05 or 5:10 finish seem quite reasonable.
5. The race course has some hills - I have been training on flat terrain. The hills will give me a little trouble and slow me a bit in some places.
6. The weather is supposed to be perfect if the 10 day forecast is correct: Sunny skies, high temperature of 64 degrees. Low of 46 degrees. After training and running in the heat and humidity all summer, the effort should be lower (as I was so hoping).
Either way, I expect a PR since my Disney Marathon time was 5:47, and I have 10 more months of experience and training on my side.
Now did I jinx my race by making predictions???
Question: For race strategy I was going to line up with the 5 hour pace group and try to stay with them. If it gets too much I will drop back. Does that sound ok?