Having been ill for 17 days, and having effectively missed two long runs and a few mid week tempo and speed interval runs, I feel I have lost a lot of time. Time that I needed to get my fitness level to a point where a 4min30 Marathon race pace was realistic.
Realistic is the word I need to concentrate on - If things had gone well and I had not gotten ill things would be significantly different now. On the day I got ill I had finally got a really good tempo run done. I was aiming for 4min30 over 10km, and managed 4min25 average and did it well. At that time it was looking good, and I was expecting to build my endurance at that pace.
At this moment 17 days later, I feel I am at maybe 85%, and will need at least another week or so before I will be fully fit again. I just did a 27.8km run today where I struggled to hold 4min49 pace. I was supposed to do 32km at that pace. While I am not unhappy with the effort today, its a huge improvement from a week ago, its still a setback. Each and every long run where I fail to finish the full distance and achieve the planned pace is a sign I am not going to make it to my goal pace for the race on Oct 9.
So I need to revise my race pace goal, and revise my training paces accordingly, so that I get the full distances done and done well. At this stage, 3hr20 seems a more realistic goal. In fact it is still a big stretch and very optimistic considering where I am now, but I want to try for it.
3hours 20 is 4min45 average. When I am running well I think I can do that, maybe a little faster. Basically what I will do is add add 10 seconds to all the training paces I have planned, and see how it goes. I still think my tempo runs paces are ok. I have a speed interval on Tuesday, 1200metres at 3min47, so adding 10 sec its going to be 3min57 pace. The tempo run scheduled on Thursday is a 16km run at MP (Marathon Race Pace) which _was_ 4min30/km. 16km at 4min40 might feel a little too easy, so I may go for 4min30 depending on how I feel.