Saturday, February 9, 2008
Don't Let The Wall Stop You
A little photoshop fun tonight. As I look back on my '06 20K run, and forward to this years 20k in May and the '09 Half.
Have you ever watched a runner hit the wall? Not a physical wall, but that point of exertion where it looks like they’ve given it all they have.
Perhaps you’ve witnessed this happen and felt bad.
Perhaps you’ve witnessed someone push through, overcome, and have been inspired.
Perhaps one of those statements rings true for yourself.
In early June of ’06 I hit the wall somewhere around the 10th mile marker of the Dam to Dam 20K.
I managed to get through the last 2.4 miles by wogging it out.
I had trained beyond that point, and even had completed a 12 mile jog two weeks prior.
So what happened?
Well a combination of things. But first, let me first say that I did achieve my primary goal of simply completing the 20K. Something I never imagined I could do.
This was the first event of its kind I had ever done. It was a benchmark that I set while working on health goals. On the morning of the race I was able to meet up with my pal Larry from work. He and I had discussed doing this event and being that we shared a similar pace, we met up in the same starting corral to run together.
We maintained a nice 10min pace for those first 10 miles.
But those 10 miles where different than anything my training had prepared me for.
I had always trained at night during the cooler evening hours. Never in the Sun.
I never trained for hills. Dam only has a few hills but the one at mile 8 took some of the wind out of my sails as we pushed through it.
In training I had one speed and once there I tried to just keep my rhythm. I found that slowing down for water stops not only threw me off pace, but it was awkward too.
Although there were no rules against it, I did not bring my IPod. (Which is something I was very used to having) I purposely left it at home because I figured Larry and I would most likely be talking to each other and motivating one another during the race.
The motivation and support was great but all the talking winded me more than I expected it to.
Around that 10th mile I made a decision that had I kept going, might have kept me from hitting that darn wall. I slowed down for a cup of water and decided to take a quick nature break. I told Larry to keep going and that I would catch up. I was back on the road shortly but I just could not comfortably fall back into my previous pace. I just felt zapped. I saw Larry up ahead looking back and waved at him to continue. Which I am glad he did.
Here is a picture of me taken between the 11th and 12th mile.
Looking at my stride you can see that I am dragging a bit here. But you know, there was never a point when I said enough or I quit.
I stuck it out and as I made the final turn, I could hear the drum line of a local high school band playing. It charged me up, and with renewed energy I sprinted that last ½ mile.
So Donald and his brick wall represent that darn wall I hit. My goal this coming May is to not only finish this race, but to avoid hitting that wall. I have a feeling that on race day it will be lurking in the back of my mind. My intention is not to break through it, but to train smarter for it and simply never hit it.
This year Larry and I are both planning on some long outdoor runs once the weather turns nice.
Although I do not think Ipods are banned, I will follow mgreenes earlier advice and leave it at home again. This time I want to soak it all in, and I feel that I can do that since I have been there before.
This year I have you guys to help spur me on when things get tough.
I certainly want to encourage you all to picture our friend Donald in the months ahead.
Push through those things that challenge you. I can't wait to see you all at that Disney finish line in '09.
Posted by Jeff W at 12:12 AM