I haven't run since Tralee, so all I have on offer are various, unstructured thoughts on the marathon.
Looking at the Garmin data, my paces for the 5 mile splits in Tralee were:
6:30, 6:41, 6:31, 6:44, 6:51, (6:45)
which in isolation doesn't tell you all that much because of the hilly nature of the course. It is clear that I did slow down after mile 15, though I already knew that before I even looked at the numbers.
Before the start there was plenty of banter on the front row, but I do remember one exchange rather clearly:
"John (meaning John Griffin), what time will the winner come in today?"
"Ooooh! I feel a surge of adrenaline coming on" (Joe O'Connor, to general laughter)
"I'll watch the winner come home the winner in 2:55" (John Griffin again, under his breath).
I did not pay much heed to the remark at the time, but I wonder if John already knew that he wasn't going to finish the race.
I saw the leaders on both out-and-back sections, and the leader, Julio Castro (who I had spoken with very briefly in Sixmilebridge last November when he won the marathon there) looked very comfortable. I was stunned when I heard he had not won and wondered if something strange had happened. That was, until I saw the name of the winner. Peter Mooney (who I had the privilege of talking to before the race) is a marathon runner of savage ability.
After the race I went shopping before going home. As I passed the sweets aisle I almost started gagging at the mere thought of eating chocolate, which is utterly alien to me. Usually I would expect to be craving sweets after a marathon, but all I could think of was salty food. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I wonder if there was some electrolyte imbalance, and if my cramping issues were related to all that.
My second half of the marathon was about 4 minutes slower than the first. Following the rule that every minute too fast in the first half costs you 2 in the second, had I run 90 seconds slower to the halfway point I would have gotten a 2:53:xx time.
At the start I had noticed a runner, Derek Griffin, because he looked fast and because his top was partly orange (and don't I know that an orange top stands out). He took off with John Griffin but I passed him at mile 16. I spoke to him for a while at the prize ceremony. It was his first marathon and he should have been able to run about 3:00. Instead he ran the first half at about 2:45 pace, and ended up with 3:16 (ouch!). He very closely matched the 2-minutes-for-every-one-too-fast mention in the above paragraph.
I keep looking at the M40 winner's trophies on the mantelpiece and I have to keep pinching myself. I still can't quite believe I walked home with those trophies.