I didn't come into this marathon with much of a plan. I had ran it the year before and intended to do much of the same. My training hadn't been quite as intense as 2015, but I expected my fitness levels were around the same level and hoped to run as fast as or faster than by prior year time.
I did most of the same routine as 2015. I flew into Denver early. This year I had a rental car instead of taking the shuttle to Vail and then renting a car. I met up with family for lunch in Eagle and hanging out for a bit before heading down to Aspen. Once in Aspen, which I arrived much earlier than last year, I checked into my hotel and headed to packet pick up. Pick up was at another local hotel and very low frills. Afterwards I walked around town catching Pokemon before getting the same pizza I got the year before and getting some sleep. Race day started early and I walked to the start and met up with my Maniac friend and chatted a bit before we were on our way.
Miles  to 
The first few miles brought about that familiar gasping for air that I experienced last year. I knew it took a couple miles to settle in and so didn't panic. I wound up running with the 3:40 pacer for a bit and chatting with her and another Maniac. The early miles were about settling in and getting comfortable. My pacing was already ahead of last year and I felt good.
Miles  to 
Around the 7 mile mark I felt the need to urinate. The aid stations in this race were spaced further apart and the port-o-potties even further than that. The gentle downhill led to an increase in pacing without an increase in effort, or perhaps that was just perceived since I had to pee really bad. After several miles and a couple aid stations with no bathrooms I finally gave up and used a bush on a more secluded part of the trail. Luckily there were no critters hiding in there. I did encounter 2 snakes later in the race. Outside the urge to pee, these miles were mostly taking advantage of the downhill trail and beautiful scenery of Colorado's mountains.
Miles  to [26.2]
After 20 miles the course flattens out and then adds in some rollers for hills. Nothing terrible mind you, but definitely rough after 20 miles of running downhill. To make matters worse it became quite warm. The weather was much hotter and drier during this year's visit to Colorado. I decided to start taking it easy and walked a bunch. I had been well ahead of the prior year's pacing up to this point, but I didn't feel like I needed to throw off the rest of my summer training just to beat an arbitrary goal. I did wind up finishing in just 57 seconds slower than my time the prior year and consider than a win given that it was somewhere between 5 and 10 degrees warmer at the finish. I grabbed my beer and enjoyed it before taking the shuttle back to Aspen and checking out of my hotel.