After a 12-miler (well, really 12.7-miler) at Waddell Creek last week, we were back and at ’em this week with a 16-miler at the Palo Alto Baylands trail. It was quite a big jump and we were a little apprehensive about it, but we didn’t want to fall behind in our mileage–our marathon is only 8 weeks away, after all.
The first half of the run was great–after an inital warming up period to get rid of muscle and joint stiffness, we started to get in our groove and were humming along quite nicely. But then at the 8 mile mark, I started to feel a bit off. There wasn’t anything necessarily wrong–my legs were feeling great and my heart and lungs were handling the pace and the effort quite well, but I just… wanted to be done. The thought of having to be out on the trail for another 8 miles seemed very daunting to me and it occurred to me that I was hitting a wall.
It wasn’t so much anything physical–when runners talk about the dreaded “wall,” it’s usually because they didn’t fuel properly and ran out of their glycogen stores–it was more of a mental wall. I was just tired and didn’t want to be out there. My running partner, Janine, was invaluable to me during all of this. We kept talking and trying to distract ourselves from the distance we still needed to go. When this particular wall comes, honestly, the only thing that you can do is keep moving and keep talking!
People often talk about running being a solitary sport. But for me, it is so important to run with others. This run proved it more than anything.
Of course, there were other things to be happy about along the way. For me, one of the highlights were the peanut M&M’s at mile 13. After hours of sports gels, it was nice to be able to chew on something–and when that something has peanuts and chocolate, how can you possibly go wrong?