As you can see I ran significantly faster on my second attempt with much less emphasis on the taper. Of course, there are several other factors that come into play- experience, training buildup, number of long runs, a very lighthearted approach to marathon #2, luck...etc. Admittedly, I was nervous about doing the longest run of my life at the time, 30 miles, the week before I ran Lost Dutchman but it worked out great for me. It took the pressure off, I had the excuse in my back, and there was nothing to lose.
I think the main conclusion I draw from this very small sample set is just don't think. Don't worry about the taper or lack of taper, just run as fast as you can. Secondly, the long run is key. I had 3 or 4 runs over 20 miles leading up to Lost Dutchman vs. only one 20 miler before Vegas. These long training runs definitely gave me strength to finish off Lost Dutchman with poise. With all this being said, I still wonder how much faster or slower I would have ran Lost Dutchman with a bigger taper???
I'm ready to get back to it but my body doesn't want me to so I must be patient.