jr - you could be me speaking about my experiences in Valencia last week. Trained really well, everything in place for a sub 4. Stupidly did 8:40 pace instead of 8:50 because I felt so good and decided to go for it (even though it was 24C). Then exactly the same experience as you. So very angry with myself for such a basic error. It is such a fine line between getting it spot on and blowing it . Definite negative split for me when I run Madrid in April.
Yes, I managed to go out far too fast and clock a 15 minute positive split....with all of those 15 minutes in the last 5 miles. I thought I was going to die at the end and could barely function until an hour after I finished, I really don't fancy going there again.
My 2 cents is that for us mid/pack of the packers there is a slightly different consideration depending on whether you are racing half marathon and below or a marathon. Going for broke in a 10k or half and overdoing it will result in pain later and a sub-par time, but is unlikely to result in the total meltdown that can happen in the last 6 miles of a marathon if you are 10 secs per mile too fast at the start. After experiencing that this year at London and turning what I expected to be a PB by at least 10 minutes into a death march at the end I will be much more cautious about "emptying the tank" early when I run my next marathon (which will incidentally be Berlin next year!)
Recently bought this book and really liked it. Am considering using the level 2 general conditioning followed by level 2 marathon plan for my 3rd marathon (after 2 Pfitzinger 18/55 cycles) - has anyone actually used one of his plans and have any thoughts on it?