I'll be participating in my first marathon (26.2 With Donna in Jacksonville Beach, FL) in just over a week, and I'm struggling with setting an appropriate goal for my finish time. I've been training since October, but missed a few weeks over the holidays. My longest runs were 15 milers, which I completed in 1:58:02 the first time and 1:52:19 the second time. I've done plenty of runs in the 10-14 mile range, but without the longer 20 mile runs I'm a little concerned that I'm slightly under prepared. In addition to the long runs I've done a lot of speed training. I'd like to run with a pace group, but they are all practicing the Galloway method of running for this marathon which is inconsistent with my training.
Three questions: 1) Do you think that I'm dealing with the "first time marathon nerves" as far as my concerns with being prepared?
2) Will I'll be able to use the pace groups even though I haven't used the "Galloway method"?
3) Is a 3:40 finish time too ambitious (I've used the calculators that predict finish times based on other distances and they have my marathon time between 3:15 and 3:36)?
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