I had set a goal to break 1:30 in the Austin half marathon. In hindsight, that goal was completely arbitrary -- a nice, clean number, but not much else. I've done no testing to determine if the pace required is manageable, let along realistic (the workouts were on the calendar, I just didn't do them). That 1:30 reflects a six-minute improvement over my time from last year on a slightly different course. To run a 1:30, I essentially have to run the race in the same time it took me to run 12 miles last year.
A further challenge to my ability to hit the arbitrary goal is that I tweaked my left achilles two Sundays ago. Yesterday was the first time I ran in eight days.
I guess you could argue that I'm just making excuses. But I've been involved with Endurance Corner long enough to learn that you don't magically race faster than your fitness level just because you want to. My training paces aren't screaming sub-1:30. They're not even mumbling sub-1:30.
I'm not saying I don't have a chance at 1:30; I'm saying I don't know if I have the fitness to do it.
I still plan to PR. I'm still going to try for that 1:30. I'll know if I have a chance around the halfway mark as that comes after three miles of downhill. If I'm below 45 minutes, I'll have a shot. If not, I'll just race to beat last year's time. If my legs blow up on me... well... that's my own fault for going out too hard.