I therefore, used my head, dropped down to the half-marathon distance and carried the full marathoners through the first 8.5 miles to keep them on track, before I parted ways and finished with my own race. Realizing how tired even this effort made me, I knew I made the right decision. Now, I have a full two weeks until I suit up again for the marathon. I know having gone the full distance on this day would have been detrimental not only to this effort but to the rest of the year. This DNS of the marathon almost assured the chances of DNFs down the line greatly decreased.
And no one bemoans not starting a race nearly as bad as they do not finishing one.