At this stage I'm no longer concerned by time (which was a constant source of concern during the race last year)
Sub 4 would be nice but I think that's a pipe dream, beating last year's 4:15 would be great and even if I'm slower but finish that will be fine too, I'd perhaps like to enjoy the event a bit more and walk less toward the end, if at all
It would be nice to think that being overambitious with P&D this time around has brought some benefits but we shall see
RRR - I think you and me will be chasing each other around the route, from the sound of it! Your plan is the same as mine - I did 4.17 last year in Rome and initially I really wanted to go sub 4 (3.59.59 would do me fine!) but like you, I think that's a pipe-dream. After this schedule however I'm similarly hoping I can beat 4.17 but ultimate goal now it to enjoy it and to walk less in the final 6 miles than I did in Rome.
At the end of the day, what time I finish in really doesn't matter - I'm not chasing a GFA or anything so even if I only beat 4.17 by one minute, it's still a new PB... A friend of mine runs marathons all the time and she barely knows what her finish times are for the races - she does them purely for the experience and the medals and pays no attention whatsoever to times. As a result, she's really consistent and normally comes in between 4.10 and 4.25 for each of them. At first, I thought she was weird but now I'm thinking 'Great Attitude'.
PS - Karl it's great to hear back from you. You sound like you're in a much better place than previously and I'm sure having the running and marathon to focus on is probably helping in some way to distract you from other events. Sounds like you're well on track for sub-3.45 with that 18 mile time! Well done!