I'm running my first marathon in three weeks (November 13, 2010.) I started running this year and began following a training plan in June. I'm doing 25-45 miles per week and have completed 3 long runs over 20 miles. My times in these have dropped from around 12 min. miles to around 10:20 miles at a "conversational" pace. My first two twenty milers were great for the first 15 miles or so and then "BAM" my body gave out and I hobbled the last 5. Temperatures were in the 70's at the start and in the 80's after the sun came up with high humidity. My last 20 miler was a piece of cake (temps. in 50-60's) and I think I could have went considerably faster and further. I am planning on doing a 24 miler this weekend at 10 minutes per mile. I'm a 55 year old male. The question: what should my pace/pace strategy be for the marathon? Based on some of the prediction charts and some 5K and 10K race times, I should be able to break four hours. This seems to fast based on my time in my training runs. What I don't want to do is start out to fast and have to crawl to the finish. But I also don't want to cross the line and think I could have knocked 10-15 minutes off my time. I've read the posts about setting three goal times. Unless something crazy happens I should be able to do ten minute miles without to much problem. But, if I start out at this pace for the first 6-13 miles there is no way that I can do the next thirteen fast enough to average 9:10 miles. Thanks for any advice. Last thing: this is a great web site. I wonder how many "armchair marathoners" like me read these posts, articles and information just for the second-hand high we get from people who are so excited about doing something besides eating fast food and watching TV.