I finished the Philadelphia marathon in a time of 3:18:02. I'm happy with my time, not as much by my performance. I struggled mentally for much of the race, thinking way too much about my splits. It was my third marathon, missing my "A" goal for the third time. Coming away from it, I know that if I ever do another one I need to add in longer training runs. Not distance-wise, but longer times running. All 3 of my 20 miles runs were completed in around 2 hours and 40 minutes. This is just about the time of the marathon where I fell apart the most.
Which brings me to what I want to write thoughts about "hitting the wall"
- The "wall" is not a wall. A wall can be overcome, and then it's in your rearview. When running a marathon, the wall is about 8 miles long. You can rid your mind of thoughts of failure and pain, then 1/4 mile further along, they come back. Fighting through the wall is a 10K process.
- No, it's not a 10K thing. I didn't suddenly hit a breaking point at mile marker 20. Maybe I should have adjusted my gameplan to think of the last 10K as it's own race, but I've never run a 10K. Let alone run one after running 20 miles, so that's kind of a stupid gameplan if you ask me.
- Irrational thoughts run amazingly rampid when you start to break down. Mine included -
- "Look at these people going the other direction. They're so fresh! They're 10 miles behind me, but they'll all probably feel great when they reach mile 24. So lucky!"
- "My toes are killing me. I've never run barefoot, but I think I could do really well running barefoot for these last 3 miles."
- "What's going to get me through this last mile and a half is to stop and do a quad stretch I haven't done in about 2 years" (hamstring nearly exploded)
- "I'm so pissed right now that these last few miles were so clearly mismeasured. Each mile is at least 2 miles in reality."
- "I hate everyone."