ES, it's only running. I'm sure I've got a bit of dejavu though reading your post.
GBM has the right approach in that it doesn't really matter and his race reports are very funny to read. I wanted to have a go at him for his training run at VLM, but I'll leave that till Edinburgh and may bring up the Liverpool half story again.
I consider myself extremely competitive and every time I do a marathon in the past I've said never again (my OH has also). Though I still reckon I can get a sub 2.45 if I could be arsed doing a bit more mileage. And so could you, you had great training runs upto VLM and where stronger than me at the end of most of our runs.
If you start doing triathlons they are just as bad, as the AG category is even more competitive than running. Enter the oulton park duathlon in October, it's a great course, undulating and nice smooth tarmac. They are defintely a change from just running and you don't really loose much running speed, if any when you up your cycling. There's a few pool based tris locally if your interested too. Although I've not planned on doing any tris this year as I've not swam since Sept.
If you fancy getting out on the bike at a weekend early doors then let me know. It’s a change at least.