My marathon began at mile 20. That was at Reggae Marathon in 2009. It was my first Marathon.
I’d been running for what seemed like ages at that point. At mile 20 I knew I had run my longest race distance ever to that point. I’d trained physically for this. I was well hydrated for the warm and sunny conditions. I’d kept my head and neck covered and had used water at each of the mile aid stations to rehydrate and wet my head.
I had used all my gels by mile 20 but with only 6 miles to go I felt no matter what I would make it. Physically I did not have a problem, even if I was slow. No, mile 20 was my mental halfway point in the Marathon. That point when my mind rebelled at the thought of having to run 6 more miles to get to the finish. Actually make that 6.2 miles. More about that ‘point 2’ in another post.
Was this the dreaded ‘Wall’? I’d read a lot about runners hitting the wall in the Marathon. Even with all that I thought it would be a physical not mental thing.
At mile 20 that day at Reggae Marathon the volunteer at the aid station felt my mental anguish. She didn’t offer any words of wisdom or fake a smile. She offered me water and electrolyte replacement and quietly stood by my side as I rested a few moments. As I headed off she offered only this, “You can do this!”
I did not get her name and she will forever remain a mystery but I still hear those words whenever I hit that mental wall in every race I’ve run in since then. Thank you!
Until next time…
Reggae Marathon RunninGuy