Why am I happy? Simple. My time will be better by having to dodge fewer runners in what I imagine will be a bottle necked gridlock. I'm not elite. I couldn't start 400 meters at the pace those guys will run the entire race. I'm also not expecting to run a 5:00:00 26.2 miles. If healthy, I expect to break 4:00, and potentially run in the 3:30s. I'll know better as time goes along where reality is, and the half marathon should be a truth teller. I'll have 24 weeks after that to focus my training (using Hal Higdon's plan with some variations as needed).
To run a 3:20:59 marathon, I'll need to be in 1:35:43.9 shape (according to Merv). Might be asking too much for a first half marathon with just a half year's training, but that's the time. A 3:30 marathon equates to a 1:40 half, and a 3:45 will need 1:47.2 half speed. Below, the chart show where each time lands me, if I can get into a blessed corral. I hope to be in the B or C corral.
Time Qualifications for Seeded Start Corrals:
Start Corral Half Marathon Marathon Half Marathon Marathon
Top 100 1:10:59 2:30:59 1:20:59 3:00:59
Corral A 1:25:59 3:10:59 1:25:59 3:10:59
Corral B 1:35:59 3:35:59 1:35:59 3:35:59
Corral C 1:45:59 3:55:59 1:45:59 3:55:59
Corral D 1:50:59 4:00:59 1:50:59 4:00:59