The Wall

As much as I’d like to for this post to be all about Pink Floyd’s smash hit from the 1980s, alas, it is not.

I met Mr. Wall today. Actually, I met the Wall that bullies the normal walls. No. Check that. I met the bully who picks on the bully who torments normal running walls.

And, as we say in the South, he opened up a can of whoop-%$# on me!

Here’s the deal. My family is at the beach. My kids’ spring break never matches the one at the school where I teach. So they always head to the beach and leave dad alone in the house. I can’t sleep in my empty house. My family is like a snuggle blanket for me and without them around, I find it hard to relax.

So, last night I didn’t sleep well. Plus, I overslept. I find it easy to oversleep when your spouse isn’t around to tell you to shut off the snooze, or else.
With the late start, and a bad night’s sleep, I set out for a 12 mile run. The first in my life, I might add. After 5, I was tired and my legs hurt. I knew I was in trouble. By mile 8, I could have sat in someone’s yard and fallen asleep. My legs were killing me–the whole leg, from feet to knees to hips. No gas in the tank. I had my shot bloks, my camelbak. None of that was the issue. My body just decided enough was enough. When I ignored the pleadings of my body to stop all this madness, my body’s close friend, Mr. Titanium Wall, appeared. There was no breaking through that sucker. so I ran along the length of the wall until I hit 12 miles and then called it a day. I took more walk breaks than ever, too. I know this is an important step on the way to the Dallas Half Marathon, but boy was it hard today. This is the first time in this period of training that I felt this way. Must be a sure sign that it is time to taper.

That said, I still ran it in a respectable (for me) 2:38, with a 13 min per mile pace.

Here’s a little tidbit about the shot bloks. My struggles with shot bloks have been well documented here. I don’t like to start chewing into the things right away; they stick to your teeth, you can breath the small chunks down your windpipe, all sorts of trouble. So, I just wedge them in my cheek and treat them like a Jolly Rancher hard candy. Well, I was switching a blok to the other side of my mouth and accidentally inhaled an entire shot blok. Luckily, it went down my throat and not into my windpipe. There were a couple of seconds where I wondered if I would have to find some protruding object with which to perform some crude self-Heimlich maneuver, but it slid right down. Maybe I should stick to gels.


  1. Way to go finishing that twelve despite you body wanting to stop. We have all been there when laying down on the side of the road seems like a good idea. I often joke with my wife about the fight between my legs and my brain on long runs – you just can’t let the legs win. I have a package of shot blocks to try on my next long run – but you are scaring me!

  2. Gels, gels!!!!Way to go. You really stuck it out — wow! I KNOW that was tough. I’m proud!You’re going to do an amazing job at the half-marathon!

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