Ha ha no need to apologise m'lovely. This thread will be a good place for you to get some ideas about improving your training and there is plenty of encouragement from the lovely people here and it seems to motivate you to get your finger out.
Without worrying too much about finish time, it sounds like you'd rather not be staggering in for your marathon finish. The staggering, also known as death marching, is really tough- torturous! It'd be better if one was finishing strongly with a smile on one's face and encouraging other death marchers to the finish. (In an ideal world!)
So, hopefully for Paris 2016 you can put together a (stronger and more focused than with previous marathons) training campaign that will give you the best possible experience on the day. So that when you get to Corcoran's on the Sunday evening you'll be on a marathon high!
AspirantRunner. Welcome to the madhouse. Congrats on signing up for Paris, its a great race and we'll be with you all the way. To build good endurance, the time on feet long runs will be a very important workout for you, so make sure you don't run this session too hard thus knackering your training for the following weeks (and so on). You'll need to build your mileage gradually and give yourself time to recover in between sessions. The long runs are daunting but they get easier as you get stronger. This helps you prepare mentally for the marathon. If there is anyone you can do the long with, like a club mate or pal who is similar speed to you, then its nice to have the company especially towards the end of the training cycle when the long run is 3 hours etc
Also, don't forget the med cert: (signed and stamped)
Yes Eggy but in the marathon you were still checking the watch periodically , making sensible decisions and adjustments to your pace and ultimately getting rewarded with your best ever run. In most other races you can sometimes just 'effing go for it, I did it at Reading Half and expected to run out of steam. Ended up with a PB, but one can rarely get away with that recklessness in the marathon.
Scott. I'm not sure the "go out, run as fast as I can, and see where it gets me" technique is really the wisest option and I'm not sure if Eggy really did that. He might be pulling your leg. I reckon you have to know (roughly) what shape you are in and set a realistic goal pace and stick to it. If you overcook the first half you will come unstuck the second half. If you feel like there is more in there, pick it up the last 6 miles and overtake loads of the hanger-onners. Use the force buddy. I'll be on the stalk thread swearing at the screen.