How to hit “THE WALL” half way through a 6 mile run

It was the third mile of my run.

It had been a good run so far, but I could feel that something was changing.

It was hot and humid.  My last quarter mile was at 7:45 pace, which I knew was too fast.

I continued on, hoping to make 8 miles for the day when suddenly my brain switched to, “are you kidding me.  You can’t make 8 miles.  You can’t make 4 miles. I revolt!  I revolt!”

I hit “the wall” after only 3 miles of my run.  I suddenly got tired.  I didn’t know how I was going to get to 4 miles, let alone 8.

I made it to 6 miles and stopped.  I know my error / circumstance that created this situation.

  1. I slept poorly the night before
  2. I stopped all Ibuprofen last weekend.  I have read recently that since Ibuprofen masks pain, you can actually hurt yourself without knowing it.  Also the soreness that you experience after a workout is how your body knows what muscles to strengthen, so if you mask that pain, the process of strengthening doesn’t happen either.  No pain, no gain.
  3. It was a hot and humid day and last weekend was cool, so I needed to adjust to the heat slower.
  4. I started slow, but sped up too quickly. I need to concentrate more on mileage rather than speed; at lest during the summer.
  5. I eat at a luncheon at work, so I eat much more than I normally do during the day.  I felt bloated and heavy even at the start of the run.

I need to learn from my mistakes now more than ever.  I only have 15 weeks until the marathon and I really want to be ready.  I am encouraged that I got in 6 miles though.  Last summer I was running 2 miles a day and barely making it through.  I would like to get in 8 today if possible since I am taking Friday off to be ready for the 5K on Saturday.  This may be one of my last competitive 5Ks before the marathon.  I really need to work on distance and strengthen my body for long runs more than fast runs.  Also taking off Friday before the 5K really messes with my mileage.  I say all that knowing I’ll still run 5Ks and just deal with it, but I need to not worry about being competitive.  I need to look forward and prepare for what is most important.

One encouraging note from yesterday.  I hit the wall and kept going.  My whole being wanted me to stop, but I didn’t.

I think that is an important part of marathon training also.  Training your body to know that you master it; it does not master you.

I think my body got the hint 🙂

4 thoughts on “How to hit “THE WALL” half way through a 6 mile run

  1. Congratulations on pushing through the wall and doing the 6 miles!!
    It is so great that you identified what was going on logically and didn’t beat yourself up. You can change the things you recognize. I think that is awesome.
    I cannot wait to read all about your marathon – how exciting!!!

    • Thanks for the encouragement. I totally agree. Running is as much mental as it is physical. RS was having a hard time running and yesterday told me that he just couldn’t do it anymore. I told him to just run 2 miles. He came back from his run totally excited that he felt great and ran 5 miles!!! The great thing about running is that each day is different.

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