This race didn't go as we hoped. I ran with my wife who was shooting for about 3:37. Things clicked along very well for the first 5 miles, but we were a little ahead of schedule and running north into the wind. We were running even splits, but I fell down as a pacer by not taking the wind more seriously. Running a couple seconds faster than target pace at that point was a bad decision - we should have gone for a negative split with the wind at our backs on the way home.
Allison started talking about dropping around mile 15, and we talked through it for a couple more miles, but by ~17.75 we pulled over to the side of the road in Jax Beach and stopped. I knew it was time - Allison has less quit in her than me by a mile. Everyone who's run for any stretch knows what it feels like on a bad day. On another day she would have run a PR, but the marathon is such a fine line anything can happen.
We borrowed a phone and called her parents, who live 3 miles away for a lift. I asked if she'd mind if I finished. I've had enough disappointments and shortcomings in my running in the last few months, so I really did not feel like a DNF.
I felt pretty guilty when I left, but my wife had already processed it and was feeling better by the time the family reunited at the finish. She's more level-headed than me, something I can learn from. I was a little more sluggish than anticipated covering the last 8 miles. My final 10k split was 38:29, 6:11 pace or so. That should be under 6 minutes, but it's where I'm at, not where I want to be.
Despite the disappointing ending, the rest of the race was a lot of fun. We had a good time doing the race pre-rituals together and running well in the first half. So it goes.