This past December, I laid out some goals for my first three races of 2013: 2:42 for the marathon in DC, 6:05 for the 50 mile in CA, and 3:12 for the 50km in WI. So far, I'm one for two, having run a 2:36 marathon and a 6:20 50 mile. My 50 mile goal stayed stagnant throughout training this winter/spring, but, since speed work went well, I re-evaluated my marathon goal and thought that a sub-2:40 was a legitimate possibility. After finishing 3rd in that race, I thought that my 3:12 for Mad City was too conservative. I thought, "if I can run a 2:36 marathon, I can run around 3:06 for a 50km and, given that the course record is 3:03, I might even have a shot at that."
That was my re-evaluation of Mad City. But I've now re-re-evaluted! Among the things that I learned from the AR50, I learned that I could have benefited from longer long runs, and more long runs. In preparing for the Ice Age Trail 50 (IAT50), my goal is to do just that (in addition to hill work). The IAT50 is less than a month out and, with time dwindling, I don't have time for a proper taper and recovery from Mad City. Instead, I'll need to use Mad City as one of my longer training runs in preparation for the IAT50, and will need to follow it up with another long effort the next day.
This is all to say that I won't be going all out next weekend. Sure, I want to win, as much as anyone, and I'll do my best to do so; but I need to ensure that I require no more than minimal recovery from the race, and I need to keep in mind that I won't be coming in fresh. It'll depend on how I feel on Saturday, but I'm back to the more conservative goal of 3:12, with an eye toward a sub-3:10 if conditions permit.
Of course, my evaluating, re-evaluating and re-re-evaluating will all be behind me once the gun goes off. On race day, you never know what will happen.