Option 1: Go for a PR. Obviously I'd love a PR. However I'm not sure it's possible at this time. My PR was set a long time ago (nearly two full years ago) during an all-the-stars-are-aligning moment, and although I came surprisingly semi-close at Lincoln City in March, I was still two full minutes off. I also don't think my half marathon pace has improved any since that time (it's possible it's even slowed) and the course is eerily similar to Lincoln City's with a big 3-mile-long hill in the middle. Look at these two elevation charts:
Lincoln City Elevation: 656 feet of gain
Portland Elevation: 338 feet of gain
On the other hand, although it might not be possible, why not at least try? Running a half marathon all out should improve my marathon fitness, yes? And I'm way ahead of my marathon training, after all, and this is exactly why, because I built this race and a recovery week afterwards into the schedule. I've ran one 20 miler already and plan to run a 22 miler the weekend of June 2 (3 weeks out from the marathon).
Option 2: Make this one of my 20 milers. After running the Seahawks 12k as part of a 15 miler I was instantly in love with the race-as-part-of-a-long-run idea. It helps keeps you motivated and pushes you. It makes it something to look forward to instead of dread. It's so much easier than running the 20 miler not as part of a race. This would add one extra long run to my training schedule (making my total 20+ milers = 3 instead of 2), which would probably help my marathon fitness. I am training for a marathon here, after all (not a half marathon), and I REALLY want a marathon PR in June.
So what will improve my marathon fitness more? An extra 20 miler or racing a half marathon? Given that a PR probably won't happen, is it worth going for it?
What do you guys think? What would you do? What do you think I should do?