The weather seemed to be a bit of a hamper with rain and wind, but I wasn't thinking too much about that. The course was also a little more difficult that I was expecting too. I knew there were going to be some hills involved, but once I got to the course, I noticed a lot more hills than I expected. When the race transpired, I didn't noticed the hills and just raced. There was a good pack of 10 runners, two Americans only with me being the other one. So, we were cruising along at about 5:18 average for the first half of the race with all the wonderful hills here and there. But, once we passed through half way, we dropped a 4:57 mile uphill. It didn't seem to bad at the moment, but I faded back with another runner to our more rhythmic 5:18's for the next 3 miles. The pack left us, and then I suddenly fell behind the lone runner as we climbed another hill at mile 17.
My pace started to fall apart at that point, and I could no longer manage my 2:18 marathon pace. At this point of the race I was trying to be optimistic. I was thinking that I could fall back a bit and maintain a slower, or more "easier" pace and still run faster than my previous marathon time of 2:24. Also at this point, Laura, who we managed to get on the lead vehicle and watch the race from a nice position was completely gone with the leaders. I was so far behind anyone, I felt like I was crawling. My pace was falling apart as the course kept climbing through the city.
By the time there was 3 miles to go, I felt like I was on a death march, just trying to get to the finish line. There was no more desire to race, as I knew I was dead. Inch by inch, I crawled to the finish with a time of 2:25:36 for 10th place and of course 2nd American. It was nice to be done with another marathon, and very disappointing not to have run a PR. I thought deep down, that no matter the course or condition, I was going to crush my previous time. Now, that I look back on it, I must have mentally given up at around 20 miles. Nevertheless, it was nice to get another marathon in, and look forward to my next one in the fall. Just as my first marathon finish, I was, and still am eager to race another one. Its a great distance and I love punishing myself through a city.
Now, its back to the drawing board.....