A tough day at the marathon today. Unseasonably warm weather for Minnesota (65 degrees at race start, 88% humidity) did not account for poor training and nonexistent race-day strategy (other than "run with the 5:30 pace group"), but it sure made it impossible for me to continue much past the 16-mile mark.
After stopping for a bathroom break at mile 8--and waiting several minutes to use the porta-potty--I knew I wouldn't catch back up with the pace group. I switched to two-and-ones (the pace group had been doing five-and-ones) but switched to one-and-ones during mile 13. At 14, I started hurting and decided to walk for a bit. I figured that walking for a mile or two might give me a bit of recovery time. I did not feel any better, and during mile 15, I vacillated between the decision to try to completely walk the last 10 miles or drop out.
Dropping out was disappointing, of course, but I am convinced that I might have suffered heatstroke (or worse) had I stayed on the course. The drop-out bus had plenty of other folks on it, most of whom were younger and certainly fitter-looking than I was.
I'm going to have to reflect upon this experience over the next few days. Am I ready to do whatever needs to be done and make the commitments that need to be made if I'm going to do more of these 26.2-mile races? Or should I switch to something else, like tennis or swimming?
UPDATE (6/20/16): I just saw that I was one of 227 who started the race but did not finish. 7,751 started the race, so that's about 2.9% that dropped out. I have no idea whether that's a high or low percentage. I do know that my preparation was insufficient for even the best conditions.