20 miles is a long way to run, there is no kidding yourself.
I’ve ran two full marathons before, and a few 20 mile training runs, so I knew what I was getting myself into. However constantly running for 3 hours is no easy task.
My run started off crappy with my trail being flooded. The place where I wanted to run 10 miles out and back, was flooded at mile 1.25. So when I got back to where I parked, I had to create another 17.5 miles on the fly. That isn’t how you want to start the long run.
I decided to run down the access roads to one of our highways here in San Antonio. Again, not ideal because of traffic and construction. But I made lemonade at of lemons and did my best. I weaved down a few side streets to help chew up some of the distance. It worked pretty well and I was able to time my run and distance decently.
My goal was to run the first 16 miles at a 9 minute per mile pace, and then turn it up for the final 4 minutes. This was the first time I had ever intentionally used the pace function on my Garmin. It confused me a bit at first because it kept my overall pace on the screen and not my current pace. Some miles were around 8:48 and others were 9:13. However once i figured out the nuances and my own pace, I was able to keep it within a 5 second buffer on either side of a 9 minute mile.
The course I ran was pretty hilly. Nothing too crazy, but just hilly enough to be considered sneaky. It’s funny how you don’t realize you are running down hill, until you turn back around and have to run back up it!
When I finished mile 16 I took a Gu and dug deep. The plan was to run 8:45-8:30 miles from there on out. I want to be able to finish strong and have a negative split. However, it didn’t happen. 20 miles is a long run. And thinking that you can simply “turn it on” after running for 2.5 hours is kinda bizarre. I tried my best but it didn’t happen. My last four miles were 9:14, 8:52, 9:12 and 8:53. Pretty much on par with my other miles.
With all that being said, I’m proud of myself for running 20 miles without stopping. I did it at an 8:59/mile pace and “on track” to break the four hour marathon. That will be my ultimate goal on December 7th when I run the San Antonio Rock N Roll Marathon.
It makes me a bit nervous though, 20 miles was pretty tough. Adding another 6.2 at the same speed sounds pretty intimidating. Either way, I’ll do my best and forget the rest!
Distance: 20.00 miles
Average Pace: 8:59/mile
Calories Burned: 2980