Hitting the Wall During a Marathon

I learned a lot on today's run...

  1. My body does not like gels. They sat in my stomach like glue. It's not fun being 8 miles into a run and having a stomach ache. I probably would have run better just throwing them up and eating my granola bar instead. In the end, I should have listened to what other runner's have said: "Do not try new food on a run." Well, I learned for myself and it will forever be noted.
  2. Camelbaks, wonderfully portable pouches of water. Yet, they do not need to be filled up to full capacity. I, for one, do not drink that much water on a run. I didn't know if I would've needed more since I was attempting 26.2, but now, I know that I could've filled it up about 1/3 of the way and would have been fine. I just had a ton of extra weight on my back and it really hurt.  So at mile 20, I dumped it. Which brings me to the next thing I learned...
  3. Stopping after 20 miles was not a good idea. I felt that emptying the Camelbak would have ultimately helped me. Though the weight was gone, my legs were like "Oh hey, we're done! Sleep time!" They did not like it when I started again. When I reached mile 21, my body started giving up. I reached for my M&Ms (my stomach still aching) because I needed energy and what do you know, I'm dying of thirst after. Remember who dumped out their water a mile ago. UGH! Stupid, stupid, stupid.
  4. I officially know what "hitting the wall" means. I've only leaned against them in the past. This time, I hit and I pushed the wall as far as I could, but once mile 23 came up, I was in tears. My body was at it's limit. Everything just hurt and I felt sick. I had to gracefully give up my marathon attempt.
I called Peter shortly after I knew that I could not restart my running engine again. I was desperate for Gatorade and I knew that 3 miles away, he had it. We walked until we met in the middle. I guzzled down half a Gatorade in seconds, then sipped it on the long walk to his car. Walking was even difficult.

We still celebrated my 23 mile run with pizza and I cuddled with my cat for a few hours.

Although I didn't reach my goal of 26.2, I still kicked ass making it to my longest distance of 23 miles and that's an accomplishment! I'm just going to put a marathon on hold for a few months. I'll train better next time around and surely, I will have that distance in the bag!

For now, I'm going to work on my speed and form, read some running books and get expert advice. There are definitely things I can improve upon and I'll be a better runner for it. It will make my next marathon attempt, not just an attempt, but a completed goal!

Did you ever have to give up during a marathon?

Have any snacks made you sick during a run?

What is your favorite post-marathon or long distant ritual? Food? Rest? Party?

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