Slamming Face First Into the Wall

No, I didn't get into another accident. I just hit the metaphorical wall, hard, on my long run this weekend.

With an 80% chance of rain I anticipated the run being a challenging one. The moment our group started off at 6 a.m. it started to downpour. The rain lightened up a bit after the first two miles but it was raining on and off the rest of the run. I decided to leave my phone in the car (wise decision!) but hated not knowing what our mileage was. We were slated to do 16 miles with 10 at marathon pace. So, the first 5 miles were pretty easy and I was able to talk and actually enjoy the run when the rain stopped. We hit our first water break at mile 5, then picked up the pace to marathon pace until the next (and last) water stop at mile 9.  I was feeling great up until this point! Marathon pace (10:15 per mile) was challenging but comfortable.

After our last water stop I started to feel fatigue setting in. When the rains let up there was a suffocating humidity in the air. By mile 12 I was already questioning how much further I could go without stopping to walk and being left behind by the group. Around mile 13 my weekday running partner and I took a quick pit-stop at a water fountain and things went downhill for me from there. A half mile later and I told her I had to stop and walk for a bit. She took off and I planned to take a few minutes to bring my heart rate down (it was up into the 190's a few times!) I tried to run again and my calves felt like they were on fire. The humidity in the air made it feel like it was impossible to get oxygen and I just went into full on melt-down mode. I could see my group about a half mile ahead running on to the finish line and the tears started filling my eyes. The more worked up I got, the harder it was to breathe.

Eventually, I had to tell myself to just chill TFO. Either way I had to make it back to my car and if that meant walking the last 3 miles - so be it. I started repeating a mantra in my head 'last place is just the slowest winner.' I'd start to run again, feel like crap, and walk for a few more minutes. This was the first time in two months of training that I questioned whether or not I could do the marathon. Of course I'm still going to, but at that moment I felt so dejected. I had hit the wall for the first time and it won.

2013-09-21 09.32.11After making it home I felt a bit better. Ate my favorite breakfast and sat down on the couch to relax. I suddenly started to feel very ill. I was light-headed and tired but couldn't sleep. I ended up just laying there for about 45 minutes feeling like I was super hungover. I finally got up, chugged a huge glass of water with an electrolyte tab in it, and took a shower (also when I realized I had severe chaffing all along my back and legs.) I think I was severely dehydrated and my stomach was not happy after 3 hours of torture. I normally eat ALL the foods after a long run and scoffed at the notion that some people 'lost their appetite' after a run. Well, that was me yesterday morning/afternoon and the only thing I could stomach was this bomb-ass smoothie I made after asking Twitter friends for suggestions.

2013-09-21 13.06.43Later on I went to Publix to wander around in search of my treasured long-run day feast foods. I was still feeling a bit weak after the shower so I didn't even bother to blow dry my hair. #CurlyHairDontCare

2013-09-21 14.30.54

When I got to the store I realized I was craving breakfast food and sushi so that's what I did. Oh, and chocolate. Clearly my appetite came back with a vengeance by the time I got to the store and I'm not ashamed to admit I ate almost the entire box of Chex during the course of the night. I like to get chocolate mostly to eat with my PB2. I eat a little bit of each at once and it's like making a reeses peanut butter cup in your mouth.

2013-09-21 15.36.52Yesterday I woke up pretty sore for the first time since training started. Ironically, I was just talking to someone on the run Saturday about how 'I haven't been sore at all!' <--Eating those words now.

Did anyone say marathon training would be easy? Absolutely not.

Did anyone say it would be worth it? Every.Single.Time.

Have you ever hit the wall?