You are right - there has been a big drop off in pace over the last year. Basically it took a while to come back from illness and when I did a standard weekday run went from 7:30 - 8:00 min mile pace down to 8:00 to 8:30 min mile pace. I have never returned to "full fitness".
The 1:36 is a fair indicator of current racing position for a half marathon. It was flat course with good conditions. I have raced two other halves since October and both were a minute or two slower but on slightly tougher courses.
I would not dream of pacing at 3:15 on Sunday - That would be a recipe for walking from 14 miles...
Question is more should I pace 3:30 and hope for race day magic that I can hang on or pace 3:45? Or compromise and pace 3:35 or 3:40? Problem is I can't see me negative splitting any race let alone a marathon! So whatever I pace at is likely to become a best time scenario.
I always tend to think you're better off with a solid plan than a range of options. You've identified a compromise position, if you'd take a 3:40 if it was offered to you today, then pace for that. When the time comes if you feel you can go a little faster when you get to the last 10k, then do it, but don't sweat it - aim for the 3:40, anything else is an unlooked for bonus.
There, now stop worrying about it and focus on being well rested, fit and ready to go come Sunday! Remember to enjoy it!
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