Every one of my 13 (it may be 14) marathons has been preceded the weekend before with a 10 mile run. I recall that in 2004 this was a 64 minute run. Last weekend it took me 67:20. Presuming the effort was similar (steady away - never hard but certainly not just jogging) then it might be reasonable to suggest I will run the marathon 8 to 10 minutes slower than my debut year, which would give me about 2:45.
Looking at it another way though - last years one week to go ten miler was 66:30 which might suggest I'll run 3 minutes slower this year over over the 26.2 -which would be about 2:50.
Back to the positive side and I feel I have prepared better for this marathon in terms of the pace runs I have completed (an 18, a 15, a 16 and several of 12-14 miles), than I did in 2010 when I remember doing a 14, missing the 16, then sticking to the schedule and doing another 14. So if this pays dividends then I might not suffer so much at the latter half of the marathon and come in ahead of target.
But what is the target?
Well, the pace runs were all completed at 6:25 pace so in theory I should stake my claim on a 2:48. Thing is I wouldn't be so very chuffed with 2:48 to be honest.
2:47:12 would be OK as it would mean a year older and a second faster, (or 0.038 seconds per mile faster), which if I could repeat annually until I am 102 will see me run 2:46:12 in the year 2071. I wouldn't really want to do that though as I reckon the course will have changed by then so the time comparison would be meaningless.
Inside 2:40 is too unlikely to even consider and over 2:49:59 would be more than a little disappointing
So lets just say I would like to run the marathon next weekend in 2 hours and forty SOMETHING minutes.
Until then I shall continue to jog round the parks and riverside trails after work and paint the fence in the newly discovered spare time before tea.