In exactly twenty-six days I will be running my first marathon in Dallas. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would use the words I and marathon in the same sentence. But here I am, training and sacrificing my social life to do what I deemed impossible.
The past four months of training have been intense to say the least. Some days were good others not. But somewhere between trying to fit in long runs during epic ski weekends to icing my knees after every run, I started to ask myself, is this worth it? Last night was a breaking point for me. I am here to tell you I almost gave up last night. Almost.
This is my final, super long week of running. It’s the peak in every marathoner’s training schedule were you have to run twenty miles. I have been mentally preparing for this week for months. Yeah, I’m crazy. Anyways, I set out to run ten miles last night per my schedule and the weather was perfect. Sixty and overcast. Plus with the additional hour of sunlight I thought, how could this run not be awesome? Little did I know.
The first two miles were brutal as expected. Don’t know why. I think my running style is similar to a locomotive. Slow and steady, but eventually pick up speed. I kept telling myself to get past two miles and everything will be fine. After I hit mile three things were not fine. My legs felt like concrete and I couldn’t breathe. Mind you I was doing nothing out of the ordinary, so I kept running.
At mile 3.5 is where things went awry. I literally stopped dead in my tracks, in the middle of Wash Park and started yelling at myself.
Self: “What is wrong with you? You have done this route a million times! Suck it up!”
Between the uncontrollable arm movements and loud outbursts, I looked like someone with turrets. (Sorry to anyone who was running in Wash Park last night and witnessed a crazy girl throwing a tantrum. Please don’t judge.) For the life of me I could not figure out what was wrong.
And then, the light bulb went on in my head. I had hit the wall. No not a literal wall, the runners wall. Basically it’s when your legs feel like concrete, you can’t breathe, negative thoughts run through your head, your strides shorten and all you want to do is stop. That kind of wall.
I don’t know why it took me so long to put two and two together. Sometimes I can be such a ditz. So I immediately stopped yelling at myself, pulled up my big girl panties and told myself I could do this! It was time to nut up, or shut up….you get the picture.
The next six and a half miles were difficult but I made it. I felt relief and joy after finishing. I don’t care what anyone says, running is more mental then physical. I am glad that I learned my lesson early because I am taking this marathon down David and Goliath style.
Fast forward to today…..
Here is the first tweet I read this morning. It was an article from Runner’s World on how to avoid hitting the wall! Go figure.
Runner’s World (@runnersworld)
3/15/11 6:10 AM
How to avoid hitting the wall—and how to cope if you do: ow.ly/4es1n #running #marathon #runnerds
Here is the link if you want to check out the full article. There are some really great tips which apply not only to running but any activity!