The marathon is a fickle beast: at 26.2 miles, the potential for back luck is huge. After 20 miles you’re in the Wild West and anything can happen. That uncharted territory can bring disastrous consequences, reducing your goal marathon pace to a shuffle or leading to a few too many bathroom stops.
The stuff raised in the article can be applied to any competition. While the experience may seem bad, it’s not a loss if you can learn and improve.