This morning I decided to venture out into my ‘hood for an easy 6 mile run. Temps are cooler this week but it was nice and humid so I worked up a good sweat. Now if the highs could just be about 20 degrees lower I would be a happy camper.
My legs were feeling a little dead today after my run last night (5 miles + strength training in my apt gym) so I knew today would be an easy day. There were many times during my run this morning when I wanted to cut it a little short but I knew I wanted to hit a solid 6. After about mile 4 I got a little bit of a second wind and headed home to hit just over 6 miles.
One of the runners I coach over at Luke’s (who is running Marine Corps as her very first marathon, yay!) asked me a great question about hitting the marathon “wall” a few days ago. Those of you that have run a full marathon before know exactly what the proverbial marathon wall is. Your energy stores get depleted and you really feel like you have nothing left to keep going. It’s something that is truly hard to describe to someone who hasn’t experienced it. Doing some research I found a great explanation of this from the Running Planet.
When I ran my first marathon in Chicago the biggest mistake that I made was starting out entirely too fast. The crowds were exhilarating and made me feel so powerful right at the start. I had so much energy that I pushed right through all of my glycogen reserves and I had nothing left in the tank in the back half of the race. Of course my goal for the first one was just to finish but at the end I knew why I had blown up. Going into my 2nd, 3rd and 4th marathons I used that 1st one as a learning experience and knew just how to hold back in the beginning to avoid hitting that wall. When I ran MCM last year I held back just enough, and PR’d with that sub 4 finish.
This year I do not know if I will PR, but I am going to go and see what happens. I have put in the training, the speedwork during the week, the long runs on the weekends, and I am praying that my hard work will pay off in October. With God and my mental toughness on my side I know that I will fight til the very end. And push through those barriers and those walls. I am going to trust my power!
Have you ever hit “the wall” during the marathon? How did you push through or overcome that wall? What MANTRAS do you use to get you through a hard run or tough workout?