But I'm okay with it because I know why it didn't happen. I made the mistake of depending too much on my cardio fitness and not enough on getting the actual miles in my legs. Heat may have played a small factor, but not enough to make up for my disastrous splits in the final miles.
Things were going pretty well for the first 19-20 miles. I was off my pace a bit but still averaging 8:40/mile at that point. I had gained a bit during the downhill from 11 to 16, but could feel my legs tightening even then. By 20 I knew it was going to be a struggle.
I started walking aid stations, something I never do. Then I stopped to stretch, which helped a little. But I was just putting so much energy into fighting my legs I couldn't keep my pace up no matter what I tried. It felt like the wrong muscles were firing in my legs, and all of them pulling against each other.
Thanks to Nancy cheering me on at the finish I did squeak in under four hours with a 3:58:59 official time, but it wasn't pretty. Unlike Cellcom I didn't feel utterly wiped at the end, but my legs were useless for a while after.
Anyway, Twin Cities Marathon is in a month, and I know what I need to do. Run.