One thing plum and carleen both mentioned was that the last 10k killed them. I don't know much about the LA course and I have only run three marathons, but this I can add:
My first two marathons were similar to plum's and carleen's -> the last 10k killed me. My next one (NYC 2000) I was determined to not let that happen. I read all of the advise available on the NYC marathon web-site and deternmined that my crash and burning in the past was due to too fast a pace at the outset and dehydration.
The race went perfectly as I ran at a controlled pace and was well hydrated before the race. I also hit the water stops religiously. Ran even paced the entire race and even commented to the person collecting my chip that I felt good enough to go back to Staten Island.
What I guess I am saying is that training will give you confidence, experience in the marathon will give you the keys to success. Good luck on your second
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