Race day final thoughts

I'm writing this from bed, absolutely exhausted. This day kicked my ass. I could use many things, including, but not limited to, a massage, a nap, yoga, Desitin and Ibuprofen. Marathoning is pretty. I'll be walking bowlegged for a week. I'll spare you details.

I tanked today at mile 21. Up to that point we maintained a solid and steady 9-minute per mile pace. Felt great. And then BOOM. The wall. I think it was 40 percent mental, 60 percent physical. I spent a good mile just trying to convince myself it was all in my head. But as I was walking through half of mile 21, realized that, apparently, it was not.

I was pissed. Capitalized, actually: PISSED. I was so ready to run a sub-4. When I realized it wasn't going to happen as I watched the pace group drift away, I kind of wanted to hurl. Five miles is a long way to go when you don't want to move another inch.

But I learned something: breaking four hours is absolutely doable. I maintained the pace for 20 miles - held it as long as I could - before I bombed. I didn't train at that pace - nowhere near it. So if I actually focus on pacing during training next time around, and defeat my mind and legs when I hit "the wall," I'm going to have it.

So that's what I'm going to do. When training picks up again in another month for fall marathon season, my strategy will change. Pace is going to become part of the equation.

I'm seven minutes away. If I could've held on just a bit longer, I would've had it. My body absolutely shut down those last few miles, and I still pulled off a 4:07. So in the fall, I will take that wall and make it my bitch.

And it will cry. Or I will. Someone will cry. Like, right now, my body's sort of crying and wants to go to sleep. And so I shall. Goodnight, all.