OK, I know what I think my goal time should be but I'd like to get some input from you guys. My log is open if you want to have a look at that, feel free.
Assuming perfect weather conditions and I'm having a great day (big assumptions, I know) I have three goals in mind.
C: 3:50 if I lose my mind.
ETA: I didn't mean to this quite yet. I thought I backed out but I must have clicked the button by mistake.
My plan is to line up with the 3:55 pacer and run with them for at least a few miles but probably for the entire first half of the race. From there I will evaluate how I feel and decide if I want to try to pick up the pace just a little or stay with them. This is of course based on the assumption that the pacer is running even splits. I know it would have to be an exceptional day to make up 5 minutes in 13 miles so I doubt I'll hit 3:50 but if it feels right that's what I'm going to shoot for.
"Address the process rather than the outcome. Then, the outcome becomes more likely." - Robert Fripp
PRs: Marathon (2:49xx; '13) Half (1:25xx; '12) 10k (40:26; '11) 5mi (29:23; '13) 5k (17:33; '13)
I'm thinking A or C in perfect conditions. Don't stop on Rock Creek to do pull ups on the equipment and you'll be golden.
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. – Chinese Proverb
I vote for going out at A too, evaluating at the halfway point like you said. You've had some good tempos, like that really strong run on 2/15, that would make me say faster, but best to be conservative at the start. I would bet that you feel good at the halfway point and can pick it up, though. Definitely going to be a huge PR for you!
thinkin about glory days
Scott, there is no doubt you are going to get yourself a HUGE PR!
I too think A is the way to go. Your tempo run this morning suggests that your fitness is better now than it was at the time of your half in the fall. I wouldn't be surprised if you end up picking it up in the second half and and coming in around 3:53. But going out at 3:55 pace still leaves you with a nice 5 min cushion to break 4 hours in case you start to run out of gas.