Going (Head) Long Into The Wall

So, I was fortunate enough to not have to do my entire long run on my own today.  I had great company for the first 7 miles of my run.  So, big shout out to Ron, who was a key part of keeping me on pace for the early half.

Let’s face it…it’s miserable out there.

Seriously, I’m not much of a sweater, but I had sweat pooling in my belly button.  That is NOT an exaggeration.  I was drenched.  Another day of that good ol’ swimming pool feeling.  Look, if I wanted to be soaked to the skin, I’ll hop in the pool…but I’m trying to run here.

Needless today…the first climb up Iroquois Park was tolerable.  I was running with Rob, a meteorologist, and learning that lightning causes thunder…not the other way around.  I love learning new things.  So…for about 13 miles of my planned 24-miler…I was feeling good.  So, I turned around at my 13 mile point to head back up to the top of the park again…and then…it all started to fall apart.

Only one word can describe how the rest of the run went…and it isn’t “RUBBISH” this time.  Nope…

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I don’t know if I should be blaming the new fuel I was trying, the heat, the humidity, or what.  I usually do really well in the heat.  But this humidity…it’s been insanely bad this summer.  I’ve never sweat like this.  I mean…my sports bra was a nice light lavender color at the start of my run.  By the time I was done…purple.  A jeweled purple of sorts.  Like I said…I had sweat pooling in my belly button.  WHO HAS THAT HAPPEN??!!

Needless to say, my second climb was less than stellar.  It was just…awful.  I wasn’t hurting…but I was struggling.  I was thankful for some of the shade through that portion.  I managed to get up the hill…around the top…and back down the hill with only a few stops to attempt to gather myself and find a second wind of sorts.  I was downing water (once again) like crazy.  And nothing…nothing was helping.

By Mile 21…I was done.


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I have NEVER hit the wall before.  Not in a race…not in a training run.  But this…this was one of the worst feelings in the world.  My legs didn’t want to press on.  My body didn’t want to go anywhere.  I was just…done.


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I was a mess.  I was falling apart.  And my shoes were squishy.  YES!  My shoes were squishy.  Swampy shoes…for the humidity and heat and the sweat that I was apparently raining down over my entire body.  I was just…DONE!

In fact, after my Garmin beeped over to 21 miles…I stopped.  I stopped and drank the rest of my water (that wasn’t helping!)…and dug my cell phone out of my fuel belt and dialed my roommate.

And I just started to cry…

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This is not an exaggeration.  I actually used those two words…which I hate using…especially in regards to running.

The conversation went like this…

Me: “Where are you?”
Roomie: “On 264…because things took longer than expected…”
Me: “I am done.  I can’t…I can’t go any further.  I’m out of water…I’m dying.  I’m dead.”
Roomie: “Where are you?”
Me: “Somewhere in Iroquois…I don’t know…but I’m dying.”  *bursting into an ugly cry*
Roomie: “I’m going to stop at a Kroger and get you some water and then come get you, okay?”
Me: “How am I supposed to run a marathon when I can’t even do my long runs without dying?”
Roomie: “These are horrible weather conditions.”
Me: *more tears* “These are the conditions I’m probably going to be running in.”
Roomie: “You don’t know that.”
Me: *more ugly cry* “I do…I know…Can you grab me a Sprite Zero too?  I really just want to throw up.”
Roomie: “See you in 15 minutes.”

And then…

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And then I realized…I needed to get back to the amphitheater to meet her because…I was…as I said…somewhere in Iroquois.  So…somehow…I managed to convince myself to suck it up (gluten free) cupcake and get back to the amphitheater at least.  So…I did.  2 miles more and I called it quits.  I felt horrible.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pass out or throw up.  I managed not to do either…because I’m awesome like that…but it was just…it was bad.  I looked bad.  I felt bad.  That last mile I had intended to run…wasn’t worth it.  I had no desire to even attempt it.  I walked around, hoping that would help a little…but ended up sitting down at a picnic table and doing my best to cool off.

The roomie got there soon after, and brought me the Sprite Zero.  A few small sips was where I started because…liquids were not sitting well.  Not even my water.  So…yeah…I was in bad shape.  She had water and coffee for me in the car for when I was ready for it.

Once I was certain I wasn’t going to get sick or die…I managed to snap a few photos…one badass pose and one with a Wrong Way sign…because this was the WRONG WAY to prepare for a marathon.  My 18 miler, my 20 miler, and my 23 (should have been 24) miler…all sucked.  Every single one of them.  And this does not mentally help me prepare for the difficult race course awaiting me in 3 weeks.


Wrong way to train…or badass…the fact of the matter is…it’s not going as planned.  Nowhere near.  But, I guess when push comes to shove…at least I’m out there.  At least I’m training.  Slow.  Fast.  Hot.  Face melting humidity.  Sweaty-wet shoes and all.  So…I hit a wall…time to learn how to bust through it and get to that finish line.

The taper starts this week…and my confidence isn’t there.  I will get through this.  I have 3 weeks to figure it all out.  Fueling…running…heat…humidity…everything.  And that wall.  I never want to run into that again.  SUCK!  I’ve put in all the time and effort I possibly could…working through injury…and learning new limits because of it.  Yep…time to get this body rested and ready.

Join me, won’t you?

6 Replies to “Going (Head) Long Into The Wall”

  1. Karen I’m so sorry you’ve had such rough long runs. Long runs in the summer heat can be like that. It may not “feel” like it now, but it’s working. What seems to you like a “horrible run” is, in reality, your body’s way of adapting to get you prepared for the task ahead. The human body is very good at its job!! You won’t have to worry about hitting the wall again, because your body has just learned how to power you through it.
    Taper well, and let your body finish up the learning process it’s going through. Your body will send you to the start line 100% prepared to get the job done!!! Of this I’m certain!!

    No worries Sweetie! No worries at all. You have put in LOTS of hard training. I believe this is going to be the best marathon you’ve ever run!!

    Lots of hugs and love for you!!
    Rest up!!

    1. You totally just made my day. I mean it. This whole training season has had big ups and downs. Failing to come out of my long runs like I used to has been very detrimental to the mental part of the marathon. I fear failing. I HATE that this comeback from the hip injury has made me question my technique, my ability, and often makes me compare myself to where I was before it happened. I try not to, but the numbers speak for themselves. Your message here gave me so much of your uplifting spirit, that it started to make me believe that…yeah…I can do this. You’re amazing, my dear friend. I am so happy to have met you and have you as a friend.

      1. Awwww HUGS sweetheart!! I’m so happy that I could be a small part of helping you feel better about your race!!! You are the MOST awesome runner I’ve ever met, and I’m not just saying that! I tell you that all the time, and I really mean it!! I am always in awe of your training and your fascinating race finish times!! You give me hope, lol. I am truly BLESSED to have met you too!! Love you much!! ❤️

  2. Karen, this describes all my long runs lately! I’ve never been so wet during a run. And to know your shoes are full of sweat is ugh and gross! The weekend before last on what was to be 20—but ended at 15–I had a lapse and start to choke up. Never has running sucked so much, with the health stuff and this crazy humidity, feels like I have no business training for a marathon now. Good for you for going the distance and in Iroquois too! Hills have been killing me. Been trying to keep it flat. Well, cheer up. Looks like the humidity may be outta here next week!!😄

    1. Thank you, Tammy. These long runs have been the mental hurdle I have been trying to clear…but just can’t seem to. I have been struggling and fighting and I just end up disappointed and in tears. I didn’t want to run Iroquois, but as my race is more than a little (as in…OMG…SO MANY HILLS) hilly…I figured it was best to train for the race I’m running. And then…I died. For the third long run over 15 miles in a freakin’ row. I DIED. I just can’t find the endurance these days. I want to say it’s the humidity, I really do. But I don’t know how much of it is. I have 12 to do this weekend…then 8 the following…and then…I get to die…in Hawaii. On the hills. In the heat. Embracing the tropical suck.

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