Another PR! (A 20 Mile Training Run Recap)

5 Feb

Yesterday was another beautiful winter day here in Lil’ Rhody. I set out at 10 a.m. to run my longest training run for the Rock N Roll New Orleans Marathon – 20 miles. Coachy instructed me to run the first 14 miles at 10:45 pace (Marathon pace plus one minute) and run the last 6 miles at 9:45 pace (Marathon Pace). But he also told me to listen to my body, and if I couldn’t run the last 6 at race pace to stick with the slower pace since the race is only 4 weeks away. There’s no time for injuries now!

This run was interesting.

During the first couple of miles I felt super nauseous – right before Mile 3 I figured out why. I’ll spare you the gory details, but let’s just say I’m glad there was a grocery store, with a public restroom.

Once that little emergency was over I felt great. I continued on my merry way – the plan was to run the first 14 miles as an out and back to my car, then 6 miles out and back the other way.

I hit 7 miles and was starting to feel a tad sore already. I got panicky, knowing I wasn’t even half way through the run. I stopped and stretched my calves and hips, since that’s what felt sore.

I really had to push myself to maintain pace through the next 7 miles. I allowed myself to walk (briskly) every 45 minutes – so I could eat my fuel, like a water stop in a race – then I would pick up the pace and throw in some striders to stretch the legs and get back on to my target pace. Those pace changes seemed to keep my legs from stiffening up (another lesson I learned from Coachy).

I finally hit Mile 14 after what seemed like an eternity – and stopped at my car. I refilled my water, stretched some more, texted my mom (I keep her posted on my progress while I’m out running, so she knows where I’m at, how long I’ll be, etc. Always have to have someone who knows what you’re doing when you’re out running long!). I also took some ibuprofen because my legs were killing me – and it was just a sore killing me, not an “I may be injured” kind of killing me.

At this point I had a couple of choices:

1) Try to run the remaining six miles at race pace.

2) Try to run the remaining six miles at race pace plus one minute.

3) Slow down and just finish the last 6 miles.

Well race pace wasn’t happening – I tried. My legs said no, so I said okay (again – too close to race day to risk it).

Slowing down wasn’t happening either – I had run the first 14 miles within my target pace range, I wasn’t about to give up now.

I continued on my not so merry way (It was even hard to maintain  a 10:45 pace by this point – but I knew that pushing that pace wasn’t dangerous and it’d make me stronger).

Here’s what I ended up with:

20 Mile PR Summary

Adrenaline is a crazy crazy thing – when I hit Mile 19 I said to myself “You’ve made it this far, only one mile to go, crank it up and GO!”

Awesome Mile 20

I changed the playlist on my iPod for the last 6 miles to a playlist I had made a couple weeks ago when I ran in the freezing cold – it was full of “pump you up” music. It worked! This is the second long run in a row that my last mile was my best mile.

I am so excited that this run went so well – My last 20 mile training run was finished in 3:42:11 – This run is a 10:23 PERSONAL RECORD. I averaged 11:06 per mile over my last 20 miler, this run was 10:35 per mile. I am beside myself with how much faster I’ve gotten since last summer!


Look out New Orleans – I’m coming for ya!



23 Responses to “Another PR! (A 20 Mile Training Run Recap)”

  1. Bex February 5, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    Congrats!! 20 miles? I’m hurting just reading about it 😉

  2. Larisa D February 5, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    This is fantastic. Great run and I love the way you think…your not slowing down, finish strong. Inspiring! I will also be at Rock n Roll New Orleans. I am so excited. I did RNR Arizona last month and had a blast. Looking forward to the flat course in NO. Have you ran it before? Great job on your PR time also.

  3. Angie February 5, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    Way to go on your run, you truly ROCK! Looking forward to hearing about the marathon.

    Total inspiration!

  4. GOtheXtraMile February 5, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    Woooo congrats girl!!! That is amazing 😀

  5. Heather@Just a Colorado Gal February 5, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    Congrats! I think 20 miles is an accomplishment in itself, let alone how you finished it up. Great job!

  6. Eric February 5, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    way to rock out that 20 miler! Those are never easy! Good job!

  7. Michele @ nycrunningmama February 5, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    Congrats, Samantha!!! Over 10 min PR – yay!!! =) I think the same thing has happened to almost any other runner out there…that moment when you realize you have to find a bathroom – OR ELSE!!! =)

    • runcupcake February 6, 2012 at 6:41 am #

      Oh my gosh, it was such an awful feeling! I’m so glad I was able to handle it right away LOL

  8. Michelle February 5, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    So awesome! You are doing so fabulous!!! I love watching it all 🙂

  9. Theodora February 5, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    WOO HOO! Great job! It’s exciting enough to finish 20 miles, but a 20-mile PR is just amazing.

    • runcupcake February 6, 2012 at 6:40 am #

      I couldn’t stop smiling for hours afterwards, what a great feeling!

  10. Britt @ Chicago Runner Girl February 5, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    Congrats on your 20! That’s an amazing milestone to pass and you pushed through like a champ!

  11. lgsmash February 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    this is AWESOME! you’re going to kill your marathon. i like that you have a ‘pump up playlist’ to help you kick your butt in gear when you need some extra ‘oomph’.

    • runcupcake February 6, 2012 at 6:39 am #

      I live for music, it keeps my brain so happy when I’m running!

  12. JessSutera February 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    Look at you GO! You are gonna CRUSH this marathon!!!! I am so excited for you!!

    • runcupcake February 6, 2012 at 6:39 am #

      I’m starting to freak a little, since it’s so close, and all my runs now are shorter! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

  13. jobo February 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    Wow!! You did AWESOME! You surpassed the mental milestones and the physical, yet again, proving that whatever is thrown at you at this marathon, you can totally face. And face it fast too! Nice job friend!!!

    • runcupcake February 6, 2012 at 6:38 am #

      Thank you! This was definitely not as fun or as easy as last week!

  14. Cat @Breakfast to Bed February 5, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    YAYYYYYY!!! Love a PR!!!!

  15. Kristin February 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    Awesome job! You should be feeling proud and strong! You have a fantastic base going into NOLA so trust in that and your training. No freak outs necessary – leave that up to me! 4 WEEKS – AHHHHHH!!!

    • runcupcake February 8, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

      No Freakin out! You’ve got this girl!

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