Phase 1 Complete. On to Phase 2! Plus a marathon question

I just completed my 20 minute test run to complete phase 1. I will say that I am very impressed by how the program has helped. It is hard to see the changes day by day and these tests help show the progress. My wife had our second baby 2 weeks ago so this week's 1 mile test and 20 minute test were performed with a sleep deficit.
Baseline 1 mile test:
Time: 6:45
Cadence: unknown (different tracking app used)
Elevation Change: +40 feet
Baseline 20 minute test:
Average HR: 161
Average Pace: 7:43/mile
Average Cadence: 91

End of Phase 1 mile test:
Time: 6:29
Average Cadence: 91
Elevation Change: +39 feet
End of Phase 20 minute test:
Average HR: 162
Average Pace: 7:30/mile
Average Cadence: 87. (Extra distance was more up hill and I have trouble maintaining Cadence up hills)

Now for my questions:
I am running my first marathon in Baltimore on October 18th (roughly 14 weeks from now.). My longest phase 1 run was only 16 miles. My longest ever run was only 17.5 miles after which I got injured and needed a month off to recover. Phase 2 Long Runs are supposed to be shorter than Phase 1 but I am concerned that I won't make my distance. Any thoughts of modifying Phase 2 Long Runs to keep upping the distance to get to my goal? I think this is more of a mental challenge than a physical one...

Also, how did you determine what pace you should shoot for when running your first marathon so you don't go out too strong but also so you don't go too slow and have too much gas left at the end? (I completed my 2 race half marathons at 8:30 & 8:29 paces before working this program.)

Thank you in advance,
Mike

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Wow! Eric's plan definitely worked for me so far. I completed Phase 2 last week and did the 1 mile test a few days a go and the 20 minute test this morning.
1 mile test
Time: 6:14
Average Cadence: 91
HR Monitor did not sync

20 minute Test
Average HR: 165 (probably should have been higher but started in HRZ 2)
Average Pace: 7:01/mi
Average Cadence: 87

This means from the start to finish I improved my mile time by 31 seconds and my 20 minute pace by 42 seconds/mile. Thank you for the great program Eric!

In regards to the first marathon questions, I asked Eric via PM and he was nice enough to respond. In case anyone else has similar questions, here is a paraphrase of his response:
In terms of what to train leading to the marathon, he mentioned repeating Phase 1 Weeks 9-12 with the only change being an increase my long runs to 18-20 miles. Then work on Phase 2 Weeks 5-8 followed by a 2 week taper of 40-50%. I don't think I have time for the Phase 2 work but will hit those Phase 1 workouts hard.
In terms of pacing, Eric mentioned focusing on how I am feeling (perceived effort) during the long runs and to run my first marathon around zone 4 up until the final 10k to which I would increase to zone 5-6.

Thank you for everything! How did everyone else do on your progress through the TCI Training Program.

Congrats!  I'm only in my 2nd week, but the early progress is definitely noticeable.

Cool! Very excited to hear how things go for you! Best wishes!

Very interesting to read about your improvements Mike!

I am just starting Phase 1, and did my Day 1 today. 

Looking forward to the process! 

Good luck with your marathon, and post the results when you are done!

Awesome Jacob and Eivind. Stick with it and make sure you keep track of your results. I'd love to read about the progress for each of you in the coming months!
I just started a blog here, so if you wanted to you can follow my progress there :)
Well, I promised to update the community on when I completed my marathon. To sum it up in 6 words: Don't race with a GI bug.
It started yesterday as my wife was having some issues. We figured it was a side effect of something she started taking. Before the race started this morning, I had a couple bouts of... GI disturbances. Then in the first 6 miles of the race, I had to pull off to the portajohns twice for a couple more episodes. Needless to say, despite these detours I was able to pull up to pace groups within my goal time. I figured I was becoming dehydrated and needed electrolyte replacement so I got Gatorade at every aide station. Unfortunately, the dehydration and electrolyte losses from my episodes caught up to me in the 19th mile. My leg muscles seized up and would not loosen up. After a brief walk I tried gradually getting back into it again and after a half mile it all seized again. This time, no matter how much I tried walking I could not go faster than a slow walk without the muscles tightening causing extreme pain. So, I ended up walking the final 6-7 miles at a very slow walk. Total GPS distance (including detour): 27.2 miles. Time: 5:04. Pain is temporary. A DNF is forever.

I feel my overall fitness and training was there. I did not feel exhausted at all and barely got winded. I couldn't hear zone changes as the surroundings were too loud and I wasn't going to use earphones. My HR monitor did not read very well anyway as it read many spikes above 200 which was definitely not the case. Even the bouts to the 160s to 170s did not make much sense.
I am disappointed with the result but considering the circumstances I will take it. This is a good building point for my future runs. Perhaps Immodium will now be going into my race prep.
Congrats on your finish! Tough circumstances, and you worked it. Rarely do races go as planned, the success is in the doing. You did some serious "doing"! Learn and grow.

Way to pull thru.  Yes DNF is forever and this mental effort will reward you big time at some point.  Adversity doesn't build character, it reveals it - as you demonstrated today

Mike under similar circumstances I finished the Melbourne Marathon last Sunday in 5:05.23 having to "find a way" to finish & I'm proud of my achievement. I learnt so much about myself & my limits. Use the experience to learn for the next time. Congratulations on finishing & "finding a way" to get it done.
Well done on finishing in tough circumstances
Thank you everyone for the tremendous amount of support you are giving me. I really appreciate it and it makes me feel better. There is another marathon next month that I am thinking about doing. If not, I will hit the training that much harder and I will be back next year stronger than ever. Thank you.

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