I’m just barely recovered enough from the Marine Corps Marathon to offer, for what it’s worth, runnerly support. Clearly, 26.2 miles of repetitive trauma is questionable behavior, but that euphoric finish you describe felt entirely worth it.
Unfortunately, we had a relatively warm day. I imagine the L.A. marathon sort of guarantees that kind of weather. If you feel like heading up the coast for more amenable race-day temperatures, I hear good things about the S.F. marathon. Imagine training in Los Angeles and racing in San Francisco!
Apologies for the unsolicited advice, but the Excel running log template available at http://www.davidhays.net/running/runlog/runlog.html is great for the obsessive-compulsive runner, who needs to know how many miles are on those shoes, what her average pace for a year’s worth of long runs is, and what the pace-per-mile caculation would be for fifteen miles run in two hours and three minutes.