Well as Meb would say, I don't know if I exactly earned my PhD in the marathon today, but I think I can at least say I earned my masters. Tom and I did a mile easy warmup and some drills to get the legs warmed up and moving. The temperatures at the start were perfect. I honestly couldn't have really asked for a better first half. Things felt good and I was nailing the splits. The rolling uphills didn't really slow me down either, and by the end of those I had passed everyone except the leaders basically. (I also got to compete against some Kenyans today, I've never done that before) I went through the half in 1:20:10, which was about as perfect as it could get. At that point my quads started to feel the downhill and I didn't feel great for the next 3 miles or so. I was also annoyed because I was planning on fruit at mile 15, but the aid station didn't have any. After that I was able to get a second wind until about mile 21 or so, and then my legs started to really tighten up. I had to walk through some of the aid stations, and it was pretty hard to keep chugging along. I also had some minor cramping in my calfs, which hasn't really ever happened before. I definitely had 2:40 fitness in me if my legs had held up.
Take aways of the day: I need to improve my form and running economy, as well as do more strength training. I feel like that may have contributed to my cramping at the end. I could also tell that my feet were fairly duck footed again. I'm motivated to give the marathon a go next year with some added fitness, and hopefully a much stronger body.