Just got back home (midnightish) after great day, having taken nearly 19 minutes off my personal best.
Best moment - when I realised I wasn't going to hit the wall this time, and when I realised that a sub 2:50 time was on.
Worst moment - didn't really have one, although my right foot hurting from mile 7 onwards (and killing me afterwards) wasn't great.
Most memorable moment - sprinting for the line with the clock on 2:49:30-odd; everyone around me sprinting too, then some poor soul collapsing less than 100 metres from the line (and not even looking back to see he was o.k.)
Having run 3:08:21 last year, my original goal this year was simply to run sub-3 hours. My training suggested I should do this comfortably, so I had a secret goal of low 2:50s. In the event I went out at more or less 2:50 pace, and was able to maintain it throughout. That is the difference between 25 miles per week training last year, and 60 miles per week this!
Although I ran a steady race, the key to my success was simply following my training programme pretty religiously in the months leading up to the race. And running slowly in training was absolutely essential. Apart from the 4 or 5 races I ran between January and April, I barely ran any training miles faster than 7:30 pace. The correlation between training mileage and marathon times is very marked.
I am immensely grateful for the support of my family throughout my training (and all the people who turned up to support yesterday). The RW forum has been a constant source of advice and inspiration over the past few months, and meeting up with forumites prior to the race was a highlight of the day. I missed the mile 18 supporters (I have no idea how!), but felt encouraged simply knowing they were there."