7 Day Marathon Countdown Begins - BRING IT

It's so close... seven days until the North Carolina Marathon. I hope I'm ready. My running partner, Marshall, and I feel well trained. I hate to put it in print lest I jinx myself but what the heck. We're hoping for slightly better than a 4-hour marathon. I've been told you should always have 3 goals for every race - an "ideal" goal, a mid-range goal, and the bottom of the barrel goal. My goals for next Saturday are:

IDEAL: If everything falls into place - weather, pollen levels, good course, adequate water stops, positive attitude, no blisters, and the proper alignment of the planets, we're hoping to squeeze out a 3:55 race. 

MODERATE: If only some of the above takes place, I'd like to still break my PR of 4:15 as well as run the entire marathon. In my prior 3 marathons, I've walked/run from about mile 17 on. Would like to say I ran the whole race. 

BOTTOM OF BARREL: Just finish. 

As with Richmond, I feel well prepared physically. It's the mental aspect that concerns me. But I'm going to try my hardest to just treat it like a training run. I love my long training runs. It's a day of just working through the miles, chatting, finding the ups and downs of my body's tempo. Not pushing so much as just enjoying the run. If I can carry that attitude into the race, I'll be fine. 

Meanwhile, it's time for me to enter my hypochondriac pre-race phase where I check myself into the ER if I so much as sneeze. Blair loves race time. I'm just nothing but fun to be around.