Let me cut to the chase: I DNF’ed at Mile 18.
Literally. I sat down at the marker for mile 18 and waited for my sister and brother-in-law to come pick me up.
As I’ve mentioned before, I stopped training for the marathon when I was a little more than half-way through the training. Given that lack of training, I was unsure as to how far I would I get but I knew I was going to start. The start itself was beautiful. The Napa Valley morning was clear, and cool, with low-lying fog over the vines:
I used the run-walk method: running 3 minutes, walking 1. This method really works! I felt great all the way through mile 10. The drop-off to feeling bad after Mile 10 was pretty quick, but I felt very good to start out with. I took lots of pictures along the way — the course was, of course, beautiful:
Around Mile 10 my legs began to ache. You may be familiar with the achy, sore feeling you get after a marathon, I was feeling that already. I knew it could only get worse. I continued run-walking to the half-marathon point (reached at 2.5) hours and then began walking. I walked until Mile 18 where the end for me, for that day, awaited. Several woman struck up conversations with me as we walked. All of them, although walking at the same sluggish pace as I was, planned to finish. Suprisingly, many of them looked like they felt worse than I did.
Not having trained, I didn’t really feel bad about stopping. The race was so pretty, though, that I wished I could have finished. Also, I had really been looking forward to crossing the finish line in such a familiar place. If I ever run a marathon again, Napa Valley will be it.