This post was written on July 24, 2012, and has been backdated to the date of the marathon it describes.
My second marathon went much better than my first did. Of course, I was still largely drained by Mile 18, but I could keep going, and I didn't get any major cramps until juuuust before the finish line (I had to hobble across). The only problem was that the bottoms of my feet really hurt, probably because I was still running in horrible padded Asics and clonking around on my poor feet. I tossed them out at the finish line—I wasn't about to wear those ever again.
I finished in 4:13, a whole 49 minutes faster than I did in Chicago. Perhaps because I was better trained, perhaps because of the weather. It was a perfect day (40s and a little breezy at the start, and around 70 toward the end).
But if I'm ever going to qualify for Boston, I'm going to have to get faster.