Well, I completed my second marathon on Sunday. It was the Avia OC Marathon presented by Nutrilite. My goal was to finish the race in 5:20, 40 minutes less then the Rock n Roll Marathon I did back in June. However, it was a more challenging course with a number of gradual up hill portions on the course. In fact, I hit "the wall" much earlier in the race this time. The increased inclines compounded with my self doubt and minor cramping in my legs contributed to my early race challenges during miles 14 through 18.
I hadn't experienced any cramping since I ran the OC Half Marathon last January. Since then I had changed my hydration habits and haven't experienced cramping since. In fact, recently I have ran in a couple half marathons plus all my long training runs leading up to this race and felt really good. So, I wasn't expecting any problems for this race. However, the weather conditions were pretty cool, it had rained the night before and it was threatening to rain (80% chance) during the race. Damn the elements.
The OC Marathon was a much different experience then in San Diego. The Rock n Roll Marathon was only offering the full marathon, so everybody in the event was running at a marathon pace. The OC Marathon was also offering a half as well as the full, so it was a mixed crowd for the first 8.5 miles. Once I hit mile 10, it was a much more lonely course. Lots more time to yourself, which means a lot more time to think. Another factor that may have contributed to the earlier wall.
All that being said, I am glad to say that I finished the marathon in 6:03:47. Very close to my finishing time in San Diego on a much more challenging course. Next is the LA Marathon, where I hope to accomplish my 5:20:00 goal, but who knows what elements will be thrown at me then.