We have a marathon coming up this Sunday. The Girl ran it last year, improving what must be her softest PR to 3:39. I ran the half marathon with the Lorax in the jogging stroller. I think my time was 1:26 and, by coincidence, I ran and chatted a little with the eventual men's marathon winner. I think his time was 2:57.
I'm using this solely as a long training run, or at least that's the plan. I don't recall ever using the race as training so I am not sure how it's going to pan out. I figure I can run the first half in 1:30 to 1:35 and then start racing. The route is hilly and there will likely be snow on the ground so these times are perhaps a little ambitious.
My marathon PR is actually 3:08, set when I was 22. Hopefully, I will get below that. Let's call sub-3 a loose goal, but it depends on the conditions. There is decent prize money so winning was a consideration. That is, until a 2:30 marathoner told me last week that he was running. He may just "jog" it, too, but his jogging will certainly be faster than mine.
I don't know if I can run the first half without "trying to keep up". I told myself that I wouldn't taper but, honestly, I have tapered plenty this week. We'll see.
As defending champion, the Girl wants to really race this one. Begrudingly, she agrees that she has gotten faster while following my training plan. I don't think she has a specific time in mind, although she wants to get under 3:39 (ie. her PR). Her other race PRs predict a 3:12 marathon (perfect conditions, perpect race, of course), so 3:39 is actually a pretty easy effort for her.