I Just Learned an Awful Lesson About Hitting the Wall!

I like to be really positive on this blog, but I need to get real for a second.

The saying, “some hit the wall, some crush it” is a lovely motivational quote but it’s just not true.

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I thought it was true. There have been times when I’m feeling really tired during a run but then I get a second wind and end up finishing my last mile faster than the others. I love when that happens. I live for moments like that. I thought during those times that I was crushing the wall.

But I wasn’t.

Last night I HIT THE WALL. Big time. For real.

Why?

I’m leaving for vacation this Saturday morning and I’ll be traveling all throughout the day and for a good part of Sunday as well. Because of that my run coach moved my long run to last night.

Instead of getting up early to get the run in (I am NOT a morning person) I decided I would do it after work.

I got home from work around 7pm, and because I had 6.5 miles ahead of me there was no time for dinner, so I just had a small serving of oatmeal cereal, grabbed a bag of Honey Stingers and hit the treadmill. Mind you I hadn’t eaten since lunch at 12:30pm.

Around 3.5 miles into my run I had already eaten all of my Honey Stingers and I was HUNGRY. Big time.

Somewhere around 4.5 miles I slammed face first into the wall. And for the first time ever I knew that A.) I had never hit the wall before and B.) IT SUCKS and there’s no coming back.

If you have literally depleted your energy stores you cannot “crush” anything without refilling them.

Your car won’t run unless you add gas right? Yeah, same thing.

The last 2 miles of my run were bad. They were slooooooow and included a lot of liberal walk breaks.

I tried to trick myself into thinking I could still “crush through the wall” so I set a goal to run the last 1/2 mile straight through but it just wasn’t happening. I made it one lap around the treadmill and was just completely drained. I had to turn off my music because my brain just couldn’t keep up with it.

I stuck it out though and completed my miles and then trudged back to my apartment where I promptly drank three chocolate nutritional drinks (aka Publix brand Ensures) to get some quick calories.

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Lesson learned: never do a long run without properly fueling.

Lesson learned: do ANYTHING to never hit the wall again.

Yes, lesson learned!

How do you get through a run when you hit the wall?Β 

What do you do to make sure you don’t hit the wall?

7 comments

  1. Ali @ Hit the Ground Running

    Ugh, I definitely know the feeling!! Like any rough running experience though, you learned something valuable, so it’s worth it! Better to hit the wall on a training run than the day of the race!

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      So true. I’m glad I now know the difference between being tired and hitting the wall. It’ll definitely help me keep pushing when I’m *just* tired!

  2. Elizabeth Mehrkens

    I’m not sure if I ever hit the wall before but I’ve been close on long runs. The one time I got that the hitting the wall feeling was running on a really hot day and I made it just over a mile. I got dizzy and confused and had to send one of my kids to go get my husband to pick me up. By the time he got to me I could barely walk and I couldn’t see straight. I’m not sure if this happened from “hitting the wall” or from just from the heat. I wouldn’t think you could hit the wall after just one mile. Either way it was horrible and I’ve been more carful when running on hot days and not running on empty.

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      Oh man, that sounds awful! I’m glad you made it home okay!

  3. Karla Bruning

    Oh, I feel your pain. This happened to me on a long run a few weeks ago. It’s the worst feeling. But now that you’ve experienced it, you’ll definitely avoid it if you can help it. It’s easy to forget to fuel right. I have to constantly remind myself. Welcome to the agony and ecstasy of training!

  4. I'm Officially Mentally Tough as a Runner (Avril Lavigne Helped)! | Kristina's Blog About Running

    […] I might have fantasized about stopping once or twice, but it was never really an option, even on that awful day that I slammed into The Wall. […]

  5. genesis

    Dont drink this shakes…i got a pack that was like glue, something seriously wrong with it…nasty! Publix never replied to me, didn’t know what to say to me.

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