I've heard about "The Wall" and up until yesterday, have managed to avoid it.
But, at mile 18, "The Wall" and I became very well acquainted!
The race started out great. I placed myself right in front of the 3:40 pacer from the start. My plan was to stay in front of him as long as possible. I knew I had to give myself a little room to slow down the last 6 miles. I had a goal time of 3:45 (my Boston Qualifying time). The first half of the race went just as planned and I finished 13.1 in 1:48 (my best). I saw my family and gave them a thumbs up, thinking, "I've got this." But, somewhere between mile 17 and 18 something went awry and my body announced, "I'M DONE!"
And... then... bam, I hit it...The Wall!
I don't know what happened and I don't know where it came from, but my legs tensed up and it suddenly felt like I was pulling a truck behind me.
Then, the 3:40 pacer passed me.
Then, the 3:45 pacer passed me.
I tried to hang with her, but it wasn't gonna happen.
I wasn't going to qualify for Boston...just wasn't my day.
I painfully pulled myself through the last several miles and finished in 3:54.
As soon as I crossed the finish line, tears welled up.
I saw Lance and fell into him crying.
I knew my time was good, just not the goal I'd set for myself.
It's just the way running goes~ some days everything falls into place and some days one foot can barely make it in front of the other.
I haven't yet decided if I'll try again. Right now, the memory of last 6 miles (which felt like back labor) is still too fresh in my mind.
Yet, I realize, like it does with labor, my mind will eventually only remember the euphoria and excitement racing brings and I will be on to planning my next marathon.