Daily Run: Baby’s First 20-Miler

September 20, 2008 at 2:20 pm | Posted in Daily Run | 6 Comments

Time of Day: 6:20 AM

Weather: Wow I was outside a long time! Started out dark and cool. Nice sunrise. Sunny, blue sky…

Duration: 2 hours 41 minutes

Estimated Distance: 20 miles

Notes: Evan made this comment on my last post, and I liked it so I’m going to quote him:

Ahhh the 20 mile run. Where the proverbial shit will hit the fan, one way or another. Tomorrow at this time you’ll know where you stand, young lady.

So where do I stand? This week’s 20-miler was better than last week’s 18-miler, so I’m standing about as tall as my 62 inches will allow.

There were, however, several moments when I just wanted to stop running. And those moments occurred in the very middle of the run when I still had a very long time to go. This was not a perfect long run, but I wasn’t expecting a euphoric experience. My expectations for a 20-miler only include survival.

Mannn these long runs take forever! I turned around at my half way point, 1 hour 20 minutes, and thought, “That used to be my whole long run…” At 1 hour 40 minutes I thought, “Sweet! Only 1 hour to go!” The two hour mark makes me ecstatic in a delusional, energy depleted, crazed kind of way.

Long runs are practice for the marathon. Yes, their primary purpose is to increase endurance, but also to learn. I learned a few things last week that made my long run better this week:

  • I slowed my pace
  • I made my pre-run snack slightly bigger (Kashi Soft Baked Snack Bar and a banana)
  • I took two Clif Shot Bloks (took one after the first hour and another after the second)

Recovery process remains the same:

  • Slow walk around the block
  • Stretch
  • Water
  • Drink recovery smoothie while rolling out
  • Ice bath
  • Lie in death-like state for several hours
  • Coffee

I need running shorts with better pockets for my gels. Recommendations?

So I did the Big 20, and I think I can do the Big 26.2. Happy Jess is standing tall.



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  1. New reader and first time commenter! Nice job on the 20-miler! I’m running my third marathon next weekend, and enjoying the start of my taper 🙂

    I’m going to try clif blox for the first time this race (I haven’t used anything in past races), so hoping they help the mile 23 blaaaahs.

    looking forward to reading more about your training and your race!

  2. GREAT run!! I don’t have any recommendations, as I’ve never run more than 13 🙂 And no thinking required, you’ll do awesome at 26.2 🙂

  3. congrats! well on your way to running a solid time.

  4. your 20 mile run inspired me to run a…..400m workout. 8 x 400, 1:15 rest, all btwn 76-80. Not bad for a law schooler, I guess.

  5. Welcome, Jayne! So far I like the Clif Shot Bloks, but I don’t really have experience with any other gels except for the Powerbar gels, which I did not like.
    Evan: I’m impressed. I CANNOT make myself do formal speedwork anymore.

  6. You’ll kick butt on your marathon!
    On my long runs (15+) I carry a dorky hydration belt that has room for my shot blox and cell phone (in case of emergancy). It’s not sexy, but it gets the job done.

    My recovery smoothie is similar to yours, too:
    * Chocolate Soy Milk
    * Frozen Banana
    * PB2 or spoon of natural peanut butter

    SOOOOO YUM. I think about it for the last half of my run. ha ha.

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