Thanks guys for your comments last week - I am sold..
Rob - yes, I forgot that I might have a guaranteed pacer in you (assuming you don't break 3 before M)
TB & Ewen - thanks for the tips re: course description
Speedygeoff - you hit the nail on the head. I am an excessive sweater and never run well in the heat, so my performance is probably 'amplified' (if I can use that word) with the much colder weather - which in this case, is in favour of M.
Glad that one issue is now sorted.
I have decided to suspend coaching for now - at least for this cycle, but I might resume again if things do not work. I have certainly improved under the coach's guidance. Althouth, my marathon PB only came down by 1 minute, but 89/94 marathon split is definitely an improvement from GCM's 92/93.
As I have mentioned previously, the training system is based on an old-skool Aussie system with 2 intervals a week (I checked with somebody who trains under Pat Carrol and the structure is exactly similar, so presumably that's the Aussie way). However, I found it really difficult to do fast intervals since I am training on my own. It is so tough to push myself in order to run fast without any pulling forces. Coach has a squad (of all levels) training together a couple of times a week and all of his runners certainly thrive under this environment on the back of the group camaraderie. I've been struggling in 'upgrading' my interval paces required for the sub-3 without the help of any 'rabbits'.
I also feel that 2 intervals a week shred my legs as evidenced by the long recovery from marathon. Furthermore, since I have gone through one marathon training cycle under Coach, probably I can repeat the program again if I want to go back to the old program. I wish all the best to Coach and congratulate him on his achievement especially with this guy.
So, what is the game plan now? I am thinking to combine bits and pieces from various sources - maybe a few workouts from Coach, a few sessions from running books or internet (Pfitz, Daniels, Bakken, Mcmillan etc), and some which will be self-invented. I really love tempo runs and fartlek, hence I will surely include these babies! lI think it's gonna be fun to write your own training plan and hopefully I can come up with something half-decent!!
Finally, in case you guys wondering about my training journals. I've been doing okay lately but not great. Lots of therapeutic easy runs and with only 1 speed session a week. Did Passion Run 25k race in 1:49 - an average of 4:23 pace which included walking breaks at 8 drink stations in order to hydrate proper. The pace is slower than my current MP (4:20min/km) but not too shabby given I don't particularly race well in the heat. I also managed to sneak into 10th and got $75 shoe voucher.
I plan to start posting about training in a couple of weeks time, which is 18 weeks out from Melbourne and that's when my training starts proper.
The goal is now to finish running before the clock turning 10 on 10/10/10. Hahaha...interesting lottery numbers :p