I ran the Marine Corps Marathon yesterday and can now confirm that Hitting the Wall is a real phenomenon. I finished about 5 minutes faster than I did in Chicago (2000), but I was really hoping to break 4:30. Everything was going great through the halfway point (2:11:48 - 10:04 mpm) when a few doubts started to creep into my head. I’m only halfway? I gotta do this again? Somehow I was able to make it through to mile 17 at 2:55:30 (10:19 mpm) before things really fell apart. I remember it clearly yesterday and it seemed to be an instant replay from Chicago. I started thinking about how much further I had to go and how tired I already was. Then I think, well, maybe I need to rest up so I can finish strong, huh? Maybe I should walk through the next water break - that won’t be such a bad thing, right? And then the next thing I know, I’m walking more than I’m running. Once I start walking, I’m done. The key is not to think about how much further you have to go, but rather to take it one step at a time, but that’s obviously easier said than done. The marathon is not a rational thing - if you think about it and you let your rational mind make decisions for you, you’ll never accomplish your goal.
I’m still quite happy with finishing. I’m sore all over, but in that satisfying kinda way. I was able to take the train home yesterday and even made it to work today. And unlike 2000, I’m motivated to keep running, although I’m going to stay away from marathoning for a while. My left brain isn’t ready for it.