I completed my first marathon on May 9th in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada at the wait Fredericton Marathon. This is a very flat course that runs mainly of trails in the city that were built where the old train tracks were. Quite a comfortable run. My twin sister and I ran the first 16 miles together and while I felt surprisingly fresh she did not. She finished with a Boston Qualifying time and will likely run her 3rd Boston Marathon in 2011. I finished below my expected time but above my best case time; however, I was really pleased and as it was my first I, of course, achieved a Personal Best!
My two biggest obstacles were 1) not going too fast too soon and staying with my sister for 16 miles helped with that 2) my hamstring started to cramp with about 2 or 3 miles left (I didn't fuel properly after I left my sister) fortunately, I was able to stretch it out quickly, increase my liquid intact, and finish.
I felt great after the run and the next fews days were also excellent -- no pains, etc. However, I then decided to go for a run on the Thursday following the Sunday race and ran about 5 miles and probably a little too quick a pace. The result being a soreness in my left calf, which I ran through in the following days (although not much as I tried to take it easy). It didn't get better and eventually went to physio and they confirmed or at least agreed with what I suspected which was an injury to my soleus muscle. Regardless, I seem to have been fighting injuries ever since -- right Achilles, left knee, right quad, blah blah blah.
The biggest drag is that I am in the midst of training for marathon #2 in October and to date have done one poor attempt at a tempo run, no hills (although, there are tons of hills where I am so I hit hills every run), and aborted a number of long runs. Soccer games haven't helped the situation. Hopefully, I'm on the other side of the injuries and I will be able to manage the running and the soccer for 2 more months.
Time will tell!