Dress Rehearsal

When I decided to follow the intermediate training plan, I was looking forward to attempting two 20 mile runs.

With one already behind me, I am was still nervous about this last long run.  It’s just in my nature and probably how I will always be.  There were a lot of things not lined up for this run, including my new shoes and my lack of chia seeds for breakfast.  I can’t run without chia seeds!  I prepared almost everything last night, so I could be up and out the door early this morning.  It’s a like a marathon dress rehearsal!




Packet pick up was 6:30am and with the parking situation, you had to get there early in order to avoid walking miles to and from your car.  I arrived right at 6:30 and got a pretty decent parking spot.  There was more than enough time to pick up my packet and cute new 20 miler socks, and use the potty twice.  It was a stunning morning with the full moon still hanging in the sky.




In true fashion, I made a friend, who happened to graduate from my high school (a few years after I did) in line for the potties.  We didn’t run together because she is many minutes faster than I.    At 7:30am, I walked over to the start line.  This is the perfect sized supported run, and even before it began, everyone was very friendly and helpful.  I must say I felt a little jealous of all of the running groups there together.




I ended up lined with wave 5, the second 9 min/mile wave.  When we first hit the course, I realized that I didn’t want to begin at 9 minute miles, so I pulled out ahead.  My goal was to maintain miles closer to 8:30 for the first 10 miles and then fall back to 9 minute miles for as long as I could.   Within the first 2 miles, my calves and right peroneals were burning.  I’m guessing this had to do with running in my new shoes.  In my head, I broke the race down into sections.  The first 5 miles flew and my legs started feeling better as I found my stride around 3 1/2 miles.




Mile 10 was back by the Elks, living in the park.  With half the run over, I decided to focus on the last 10 miles.  I told myself it’s an easy out and back and I could do this on tired legs.  My miles definitely slowed over the last half of the race.  I remember that mile 15 was the hardest when I ran the 20 miler two years ago, and I struggled through miles 15-16 in the marathon too.  So I was not surprised when I had to stay focused and push myself through the last 5 miles.  My goal was just to take in water when I could and maintain my pace as close to 9:00 minutes as possible.  As I passed the mile 18 sign, I was able to find enough power to finish the last 2 miles strong.  When I saw the Elks again, I knew the finish was near.  I pushed up the last little hill and sailed down to the finish.  I pushed m pace some, but also kept in mind that in the real race, I’ll have another 6 miles to go.




My Garmin was a little off from the race course, but both times met my expectations.  I had an unspoken goal of wanting to finish in 2:55, which on race day would leave me one hour for the last 6 miles.   My watch buzzed 20 miles at a time of 2:54:17 and crossed the finish at 2:55:30.  My fastest mile was 8:07 and my slowest was 9:31.  My average throughout was 8:42 min/miles with my last mile clocking in at 8:58.  I felt pretty good when I was finished and was happy to stretch, nibble on pretzels, and chat with other runners.  Even though there were tons of people running, I spent most of the time running by myself, which gave me plenty of time to think about the upcoming marathon and life in general.


20 Miles of Thoughts

Thank you Readers!  My new black shoes were AWESOME for today’s run!

I remember how hard the marathon really was.

Today’s outfit will be perfect for race day. I’ve been training in shorts, but hope to wear capri’s for the marathon.

I need a new race belt.  My current one works for tri’s when I don’t have much in it.  Today, it was bouncing everywhere and I had trouble getting my nutrition in and out of it.

Oh!  She’s wearing a cute race belt!

Don’t forget to cut up your Larabar before the marathon like you did today.

My Garmin is great for pacing!

I need a better plan for when I take in nutrition and water.

I should have packed a post run snack.

If things align, I could reach my marathon PR goal.  This is the first run where I felt like this!

Hooray for carbs and tapering!


Hey Marathoners, how did your 20 miler go?

What do you do when your Garmin and course don’t match up?

How do you decide when to eat or drink during a run?



Total Weekly Mileage

37.6 miles


Countdown to Marathon

3 weeks

18 thoughts on “Dress Rehearsal

  1. Awesome!! I am so glad yours went well too! How fun to do an organized run for a 20 miler!! Looks like you are already to go!
    My Garmin never aligns with races. No biggie! 🙂
    I take a gu/gel every 4 miles. Starting at mile 4. I change up the routine in the course of the run. I either do 1/4 at every mile for 4 miles. Lately I have been doing 1/2 at every EVEN mile. I will take 6 on the marathon. That is just what works for me! 🙂

  2. congratulations on 20 miles…wow!! I think it’s smart to break up the distances in your head, it makes it much less daunting. you are going to do great in a few weeks!

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