I was trained to run a 3:20 PR. The weather forecast had conflicts from about 10 days out where it could have gone either way. In the end we had another unseasonably warm day with a start temp of 62 degrees 78% humidity, and a finish temp of 84 degrees 39% humidity.
I am not a good runner in the heat despite doing many long runs over the warm summer months in similar conditions. The way I got through my long runs was keeping a much slower pace and getting started at 5am, well before the sun came up.
I started out ahead of pace putting in a few miles well below 7:38 per min average that I needed to set my PR. After this, I was able to settle down and ease into my even splits and get my race on track.
The crowds were simply amazing. Like nothing I have ever experienced. Lots of support and it was a really great experience.
As the mile progressed I felt OK and was taking in as much water and gatorade as I could as I knew that hydration was going to be key given the terrible heat. I made it though the half right on pace with 1:40 and was still feeling good.
Miles 14 and 15 wore me down and the negative thoughts crept in. I knew I was not getting enough fluids so I tried extra hard to knuckle down and get to the next aid station and drink lots. I drank as much as I could on the run at the next stop and hoped to turn the race back in the positive direction mentally. It just was not enough.
I stopped running at mile 17. I was really bummed as I knw at this moment the PR is history. The decision was do I simpy pull out or do I try and get hydrated and finish the race. I am not a quitter so I walked to the next aid station with my HR screaming and drank about 6-8 cups of water. Soon I was much better and started running slowly again at about an 8:10 pace.
This was the rest of my race, slow run to each water station and then drinking as much as I could by walking through each aid station.
I am glad I stuck with it. A 3:40 marathon is respectable, but clearly not what I had set out to do. I had to accept the conditions were not favorable for me as I am a cool weather runner.