20-mile run

I think I’ve forgotten how to blog, it’s been so long!  But here I am, many weeks into my marathon training, with only a few short weeks to go.  This past weekend was a 20-mile run, my longest to date.  It started out well.  It was a cool morning when I set out, and I took a nice, easy pace because I knew I had a long way to go.  I did 1:1 run/walk intervals and things felt really good.  At 15 miles, my pace was still pretty slow, but I felt good and so I decided to stop worrying about how slow I was going and just keep doing what I was doing.  I met my husband at the house at 15 miles and he ran the rest of the time with me.  At this point, my legs started to feel really, really TIRED and it actually felt worse to walk and so I switched to 2:1 intervals just so I could get the damn run done.  By 18.5 miles, I was feeling nauseous and my calves were on fire.  My husband told me that we’d just walk for a while. “There’s no shame in walking the rest of the way,” he told me, and I wanted to just kiss him at that point, but I also wanted to just drop where I was and not move another inch.  However, after walking for a period of time, I decided that I wasn’t quitting, that I was going to finish running and so we did.  It was ugly, but I finished that 20 miles.

Here are my results:


My watch on the left stopped at 15.5 miles, but luckily my husband had his watch and was able to track the rest of the run.

As you can see, my pace is SLOW.  Really slow.  But I feel like if I try to go any faster, I’m going to run out of gas and I’ll never get to 26.2 miles.

But what to do about the aching, cramping legs and nausea?  Honestly, I feel like it’s a fuel and hydration issue.  I had one gel during the entire run, and I had a couple bites of potato that I brought with me, since potatoes have been such a great pre-run energizing fuel for me.  I was drinking Gatorade and water throughout the run, but I was extremely thirsty after 15 miles, and so obviously I wasn’t drinking as much as I should be.

I still have one more practice run before the actual race.  I will run 22 miles next week.  I’ll use that run to experiment some more.  Perhaps 30:30 intervals?  I’ll definitely use more energy gels, whether I feel like I need them or not.  And I will be sure to drink more.

Any other words of advice from the runners out there?  I sure could use some words of wisdom right now.

6 thoughts on “20-mile run

  1. I am so proud of you! I never experienced nausea but know others who have. I think maybe you need more fuel/gels, dates, snickers, gummy bears etc. Your body depletes all glycogen within 2 hours of running. Chopped dates are good if you think the gels make you nauseous. Gummy bears or the like works well and easy to digest. You are doing so well. I’ll tell you this, the marathon is easier than the long training runs. I only experienced 3 miles of horror and the rest was not that bad. 20-23 miles I thought it was over for me. Another lady and I started singing Bye Bye Miss American Pie! lol Punch drunk from mile 23 to 26.2! lol

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  2. And don’t wait until you need it to fuel. 🙂 I made that mistake on one or two of my training runs. I think I had a gel after the first hour and then every 30 or 40 minutes afterwards. I never knew if they worked but I never hit the wall so to speak. I did have a terrible knee pain due to a steep decline (I think) for 3 miles but that stopped or I stopped noticing it. Other than that, I didn’t experience any serious issues. My last mile felt great when I saw that finish line in sight. 🙂 After mile 23, it set in my mind that I would be a marathoner.

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    1. Charlotte, I think you’re right when you say to fuel whether you feel like you need it or not. I waited two hours before I took my first gel. I need to just take them regularly. Luckily, I do really well with the Huma Chia Seed gels; I love the taste and they don’t upset my stomach. And I’ve had comments from others about how the race is different because you’re running on adrenalin and there will be lots of people at the race as opposed to running alone. I know I can do this; I’m just trying to come up with things to help me do better. Thanks so much for your support! It means the world to me!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Yep, like Natalie, the :30/:30 was like magic for my 20-miler. I don’t have advice on fueling because I only took 1 energy gel pre-run and then had 10 ounces of water during mile 17. Nothing else.

    Oh, pickle juice for cramps – try it!


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