20 Mile Training Run – 3 of them!

I did it! I did three 20 mile runs this training program!!! That’s super crazy because this will be my fourth marathon and I have never done more than one 20 in training!!! IMG_9369 (800x600)

The first time I only did one 19 miler. For the second marathon training I did one really crappy 20 miler (in Maryland). monica running maryland

And last year I did one 20 miler and one 19 miler (where my big butt got me a fan).

Even though I have faltered some with mid-week runs I have really tried to stay on my marathon training plan for long runs. This was a lot harder than my casual approach of the past so we’ll see what happens :)

This morning I woke up and fueled for my run. I wasn’t really feeling up to a 20 mile run, but I told myself this was my last long run before taper and to just knock out the miles and not worry about time. IMG_9360 (600x800)

I packed gatorade, 2 gels and a packet of sports beans. I really think eating every 5 miles is key for me on long runs! IMG_9363 (600x800)

Then, I drove to my favorite loop (complete with bathrooms and a water fountain) and went for it.

I didn’t feel amazing, I didn’t feel bad. Overall I think it was a solid run. I’m kind of ready for marathon training to be over so my head isn’t really in the game, you know?

But, I’ve decided either

a.) Marathons are for crazy people


b.) Marathon training makes you crazyIMG_9370 (800x600)

Because some of the thoughts that go through my head when I’m running for over 3 hours at a time are insane! I don’t know if it’s because I run by myself and it’s basically like solitary confinement or what, but my crazy thoughts included:

I would likely commit murder over a piece of good garlic bread

– 100% convinced porno actresses are in fact good actresses because that can’t actually be that much fun in front of people

– The post office is amazing

– Running is the great love of my life

– I should quit running all together

See?! Crazy. Don’t sign up for a marathon if you need to be of sound mind and body for the rest of your life. Just sayin’

Anyways – I did it! IMG_9364 (800x600)

Here are my splits for my personal reference:

20 miles – 3:02:50 Average Pace 9:08

  • Mile 1: 9:03
  • Mile 2: 9:00
  • Mile 3: 9:08
  • Mile 4: 9:02
  • Mile 5: 9:08
  • Mile 6: 8:58 *Gel taken right before! It works :)
  • Mile 7: 9:06
  • Mile 8: 9:22
  • Mile 9: 9:11
  • Mile 10: 9:10
  • Mile 11: 9:02 *Gel :)
  • Mile 12: 9:14
  • Mile 13: 9:14
  • Mile 14: 9:14
  • Mile 15: 9:09 *Gel devoured
  • Mile 16: 9:00
  • Mile 17: 9:09
  • Mile 18: 9:13
  • Mile 19: 9:13
  • Mile 20: 9:10

20 miles takes a lot out of a person – this is obvious from the fact that I’m holding up “0 and 2” thinking it’s “20”. Tragic. IMG_9371 (800x600)

This training program went really well and I’m just ready for a break! I learned a lot these last few weeks especially about fueling for long runs!

For reference:

My first 20 for this plan was on August 27th.

My 20 mile run week before last was super strong – I wasn’t that hardcore today.

We’ll see if more 20 milers make a difference on race day!

Straight from the run I headed to Whole Foods where I spent all my little pesos on the hot food bar…IMG_9374 (800x600)

And the Dessert Bar!!! This is a mix of 2 types of bread pudding and a small scoop of tiramisu for Ben.IMG_9376 (800x600)

Annnd a massive piece of corn bread I shared with him too. IMG_9378 (600x800)

The figs in my salad were green ones and weren’t very sweet :( I’m not too familiar with figs so I don’t know how they’re supposed to taste though. Ben and I ended up discussing them. This brings me to Ben’s joke of the day…

“The hate mongers have it wrong – God hates figs” 😉       IMG_9380 (800x600)

I have a few more sold runs this week. Then, a half marathon on Saturday – that I am NOT running fast. I was supposed to do 13 miles that day anyways. But, it’ll be taper time by Wednesday! Super happy about that :)

I took this picture at Blogher in the Gatorade booth and think today is a good day to post it…blogher gatorade

Question: Like figs?

I never buy them, so I know nothing about them


  1. says

    I’ve never had a fresh fig. I like Fig Newtons, though. Honestly, fresh figs kind of scare me.

    Just thinking about running three 20 milers makes me queasy. I’m sure all of your hardwork will pay off come marathon day.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  2. says

    Way to go on the 20 miles! I am training for my first Half right now and am considering going immediately into training for a Full. The thought of running 20 miles is thrilling and terrifying at the same time. I think a lot of crazy thoughts on my “long” runs of 6-7 miles, so I can’t imagine what it will be like.

    Regardless, your blog made me laugh today. Good luck on the Marathon!

  3. says

    Runners are crazy. During my 11 mile race today I had equal thoughts of this is amazing. I love running. I could for this for miles. And this sucks. It hurts so bad. Is it over yet. I guess it’s normal to get the high and come down during a longer run. Congrats on the 20 x 3! That’s amazing!!

  4. Angie says

    Great job on the 20 miles! I’m having a hard time convincing myself to do my 7 miler. I think I definitely need a break from training and schedules after my half in Nov. But signing up for races keeps me motivated and I make myself work out then! Ugh!

  5. says

    The selection of thoughts from your 20-miler made me giggle, and also reminded me that we ALL think crazy random thoughts while we’re running. On my runs I often dream up new was to torture (um… I mean…) educate my students. :)

    I *heart* fresh figs! Brown (sweeter) > green. Try them cut in half with a little piece of goat cheese in the middle (and then put fig+cheese in the toaster oven – cheese-side up, on a foil-lined tray – for a minute or two until the cheese gets soft). Perfection. If you want to get really fancy, you can wrap them in prosciutto… but for me the goat cheese is sufficient.

    PS – God hates figs. Priceless!

  6. says

    Wow, way to go! I agree with you about gels being necessary on a regular schedule. I actually use them about every 3 miles (on anything over 5) because I am a much slower runner, but sticking to the schedule seems to be key. My friend posted something about eating fig butter recently. It’s kind of intriguing, but the only fig I’ve ever eaten was in Fig Newtons.

  7. Jade says

    We are all crazy. Good luck on your marathon! I’m only doing one twenty miler for my training because I feel like I’ll go crazy if I had to do it three times!

  8. says

    If that’s how fast you run 20 miles, you never have to worry about any danger in life because I’m pretty sure if your life depended on it, you could out run big foot. That is my nerdy way of saying: You run fast and I’m impressed :)

  9. says

    LOL your random thoughts while running are hilarious! I also did a 20-miler today and was RELIEVED to do it because I attempted it 2x previously only to have IT band drama or torrential rain. It feels GOOD to have that training under my belt!
    I have only had figs at catered events, because I doubt I could afford to purchase them for myself. Last year at Foodbuzz Festival, there were figs all over the place :-)

  10. Sarah says

    Figs are one of the few foods I don’t like (along with peeps and processed cheese products…not even sure those really count as “foods”). I like Fig Newtons though! Running makes me crazy/is very emotional for me. I play out conversations and scenarios in my head. I’ve confronted ex boyfriends, landed my dream job, and won races in great detail all in the same run.

  11. Ida says

    I am sure the additional 20milers will be very helpful on race day- both physically and mentally.
    I like figs but never buy them b/c I dont really know what a ripe one should look/feel like.
    love the photo- cant wait to see Hope on DWTS!

  12. Dana says

    3 x 20 mile runs! That is really impressive! I would like to start training for a marathon, only there are so many training schedules out there that I am completely confused! Do you have a suggestion for a trainingschedule / website? Which one are you using? Thanks!

  13. Amanda says

    The good figs are the dark purple ones. They’re super soft to the gentle squeeze, and on the inside it should be purple-ish interspersed with a little white. But mostly purple. If you get ’em perfect, the taste isn’t terribly sweet, but it’s amazingly delicious and kind of musky. Think good dark chocolate as opposed to milk, where milk here is a mango and dark chocolate is a fig.

    I love figs. Hands down favorite fruit for taste.

  14. says

    I am so proud of you for pushing through that run — and once again, reading blogs of people who can do double-digit runs inspires me to go out and do as much as *I* can. Today, I’m shooting for 5 miles after a looooong hiatus.

  15. Summer T says

    great job on your 20 miler!!!! 7 weeks until our marathon here in Indy!!! We did 15.25 this past Saturday, still tried and sore today. We have a 18-20 miler in a couple weeks then it is a ll down hill from there. I laughed when I read your thoughts during 20 miles, isnt it crazy what goes through your mind with that much time!! So proud Monica, you continue to inspire us gals here in the Hoosier state :)

  16. says

    I love Fig Newtons but I’ve never bought figs… To be honest, I’ve been reluctant to becuase I don’t know anything about them! I’ve seen them in purple and green [reminds me of grapes!] but don’t know if they taste the same?!

  17. Linda says

    Fresh figs are awesome; I usually get the purple ones and just eat them. A friend of mine served them once cut up and wrapped with prosciutto – delicious! And that Gatorade pic is hilarious!

  18. says

    Yesterday when I was getting nearly delirious during our run and spouting off crazy talk to Tina, we (okay, she) figured out that there’s probably a few reasons: the blood is going to your legs, not your brain; all that sugar from the Gus makes you a little crazy; and no matter how hydrated you think you are, you’re probably still a little dehydrated.

    Or we all really are just crazy people and marathoning is a good cover for it.

  19. says

    I have the most random thoughts ever on long runs…heck, I even get pretty creative on short runs. When The Husband bikes along on my runs I tend to confess random things that I normally would not even talk about…its rather scary!

  20. says

    I did 2 two 20 milers for my first marathon, but only one 18 mile run. Some of those long runs were actually on the course or a tougher, hillier course. Both things helped prepare me for race day and I felt good/strong.

    For LB, I ended up doing 3 17-18 mile runs, a 20 miler and 21.5 today. They’ve all been on the same course which is uphill for the first half. Hopefully the extra hill training will help.

    Hope the taper goes well!

    one was 21 miles on a very hilly course… it sucked

    • Dana says

      Cindylu, what training program did you use? Although also Hal Higdon and Jeff Galloway are also good, thanks for the tip Monica!!

      • says

        For the first it was an Active Trainer beginner plan. I accidentally signed up for the Active Advantage, so I took advantage of their plans. This time I used their intermediate plan. It didn’t call for so many 17-18 mile runs, the long runs were based on time. I just rounded up.

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