Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hitting The Wall

I don't know what mile of the marathon I was at. It was far enough that my brain had stopped functioning and my legs were in complete revolt. I was not aware of anything around me except for how bad my legs were hurting. I know there must have been other runners around me but it felt like I was the only one on the road. My music was playing loud in my ears but I don't remember hearing a thing.

Then something strange happened. I was on the top of a hill just starting to descend. It was a steep hill. I looked down and saw lots of other runners toward the bottom of the hill. What I couldn't understand was why everyone was running up the hill toward me. They looked like ants scampering up the road. I thought someone must have gotten hurt behind me and they were running up to help.

After a minute I realized.....they weren't running up the hill. They were trotting along the marathon course just like I was. Looking back on the situation now, I'm sure that I was right in the thick of "hitting the wall".

I remembered this experience after reading THIS ARTICLE today. In the story, one guy said that during a triathlon he saw little purple people along the cliffs. He knew this was a hallucination but he stopped anyway to look at them.

What have you experienced when you "hit the wall"?


  1. I hit the wall at about mile 20 at the Boston Marathon. It wasn't pretty. I went from a confident and strong stride at my goal race pace to near crawling almost instantly. The final six miles of the race were excruciating. At one point I thought I saw a group of 30 or so drunk frat boys on the side of the road loudly chanting my name in unison, "Tom! Tom! Tom!" Wow. What a weird hallucination.

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