I found myself much better prepared for my second marathon. One lesson I learned from my first marathon was to hold back early, which is especially difficult to do after 16 weeks of training. I started with the 4:00 pace group, but by the fourth mile it was clear the pace had to pick up, so I left the group to venture on my own.
Holding back early in the race paid dividends in the second half of the race. By conserving energy early and running within my limits, I was able to run the second half faster than the first. I even gained a little support from a local high school track team that was out for a run and was nice enough to let me tag along for a while. I finished the race in 3:52:40 which was good enough for 124th overall.
One of the things I enjoyed about this race was the fact that much of the course had been covered in training with Team in Training when I prepared for my first race. Knowing the course and having ran portions of the route numerous times gave me a sense of familiarity that is often difficult to find in a race.