But, I went out conservatively in anticipation of another crash and burn and finished so strong that I executed my first negative split marathon (17 secs) and my 3rd fastest. First half 1:44:33, final 3:28:49.
I battled through some dark moments around mile 21 but seeing my family and the Ship cheering section helped me through. I also struggled with a few hamstring cramps mile 24ish (just after seeing the family again) but was able to work them out, get back on the train (thanks to Dave D), and close fast averaging 7:17 over the last 1.2 miles. I think I was sprinting to the finish to see if Iram had BQ'd. Seeing the Ship cheering section 3 (three!) times during the race also helped a ton. It's nice to see not only familiar faces, but faces that have been there and done that and were pulling for you.
Hopefully I didn't beat my body up too hard so I can put in some decent training for Boston.
I think I may be learning something about this distance. Maybe.