I agree with Dan A's point, its really not very complicated, it's all about how hard you are prepared to work, people can discuss various nuances, but all its about really is the hard graft, I don't think you need to have certain genes to run a very very good marathon, you don't need genes, you need to work hard to run a very very good marathon.
I don't think I was "lazy" in my training for London this year. but I didn't work as hard as my teammate who is of a similar ability to me.
I'm determined to go back next year & have a very serious crack at it, its not a very complicated thing, you need to work hard, really hard, there's no other way.
Lord Didsbury, you ( & I ) will be glad to hear that those shorts have been relegated to the back of a bedroom draw somewhere, they served me well through may races, deffo 2 victorys possibly 4 in those shorts, but it got to a point where I was feeling a little bit too self conscious / uncomfortable at the start of a race worrying that my Jacob's were on display.
I treated myself only the other week to a couple of pairs of shorts from the same company that are a little bit longer in length, so hopefully I will not feel as self conscious at races in the future, there's definately been a few occassions running through villages during races wearing those short shorts where I'm not sure if the locals were offended by the spectacle or liked it haha
That's interesting what you say about the weight loss Tim.
I'd say the closest I've got to a running epiphany was when I went for a "run" a couple of days after New Year 2005, I think I managed about 12 minutes before I had to call it a day, I remember the feeling of trying to run with massive flanks of fat on my chest / back, I felt like a beached whale & must have looked like one as well, I stopped running & felt f*cked, I felt finished, I'm not sure if epiphany is the right world, I didnt have any major revelatory moment, but always remember that feeling of stopping, line in the sand moment for me.
Getting in to the London Marathon in 2005 probably saved me from the point of no return in all fairness.