1. I forgot how hard those last few miles were, beginning around mile 20 (it is different during the race than during the long run). As I prepared for my second race, I thought that during the first race it was the heat or that it was my first race. As it turns out, they ALL are hard around that time!
2. I can push myself more than I thought.
3. Traveling to a race by yourself has its advantages – I really met a lot of interesting people vs spending my time talking to someone I know.
4. Racing without an iPod is totally cool. I had so much good interaction with others on the course. During MCM, I never missed it.
5. I wasn’t as nervous the night before the race as with the first one.
6. I felt much more ready. I didn’t have that first time feeling of “I might not finish”.
7. Sport beans aren’t so bad afterall.
8. There is ALWAYS a long line for the portapotty.
9. Up hill is hard.
10. Downhill is easy.
11. Runners are the coolest people on the planet.
12. Hearing someone call you out by name is so great! I missed not having my name on my shirt this year.
13. Pace bands are a great item. Next time I will mark on the pace band when I plan to take my Clif Shots – I lose track of when I take mine (did I just take one or do I need to now?)
14. 8 hour Tylenol is your friend during the race.
15. Advil is your friend after the race.
16. Blogging friends are AWESOME!
17. Pace groups are a great way to keep moving.
18. Garbage bags can be amazingly warm on a chilly morning.
19. The feeling at the end when finishing is just as intense, and just as much a sense of accomplishment as the first time. As with the first race, I was so emotionally moved at the end, I was crying / (practically sobbing) in the finishers chute.
20. Free massages are worth the wait.
21. Jott and Twitter are a fun way to provide real time updates – I just wish I knew how to keep my comments to 140 characters.
22. Having a US Marine present you with your medal is, well, indescribable.
23. Entry fee $100, Hotel $350, Cool marathon jacket $85, Crossing the finish line of another marathon – priceless.
24. Fuel belt saves the day once again.
25. Online tracking is very cool.
26. I am 41 minutes and 1 second faster.
26.2 Bravo Zulu!