I did a 23 mile run on Saturday and everything went perfect. No sign of pain or discomfort in the injured leg! It would seem the healing is done!
I ran at a comfortable pace (3:13:09) and could easily have gone the last 3.2. I was picking up the pace in the last several miles despite being thirsty (or maybe because I was; wanting to get home for water).
I stashed a 1/2 liter of Poland Springs water at 16 miles but it was not enough in the warmer than expected conditions. Not to mention I was running into 30+ mph winds at some points.
Anyway, I could have finished the training run in under 3:36 so that would be an upper limit on my race time. On the lower end, my 10 mile race time from 2 weeks ago (which was soft, I never raced the distance before and underestimated myself) suggests a 3:26 marathon.
Because these are ‘soft’ estimates I will adjust them to a 3:25-3:35 range for Philly. My main goal is another BQ (one good in ’06), so that would be right in the middle at 3:30.
I expected more before the injury (based on training to that point and how easy the 3:29 was last May) but the injury caused a major disruption. If not for the training interuption I would predict my finish to +/- 2 minutes (assuming no race day problems, like getting sick or something).
I will race this time without that level of confidence. Either way, with less than 2 weeks to the race, nothing much I can do to change my fitness now.
Still, after not running any long runs over 16 for 7 weeks it was nice to go 23 so easily. That should give me at least some level of confidence.