17 May 2011

This Runner Girl Ran 20 Miles

Ready for my 20 miler!
I did it.  I ran 20 miles.  Actually, it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be (not that it was super easy either)!  I have been staring at the date May 14th on my calendar for about 3 months now with a variety of emotions, completely unsure of how I was actually going to RUN 20 miles.  Cause 20 miles...well that is kinda far!

So Saturday morning I woke up around 6:30am and had a cliff bar and banana, then layed back down until about 7:30.  I knew I should start running somewhere close to 8:30am in order to finish and be able to watch Devan's soccer game at 2:30pm.  I am proud to say that throughout my training I have never missed one of my children's basketball games nor soccer games due to my long Saturday runs.  I have ran ALL of them outside regardless of the weather and have managed to always attend my kid's games.
My silly monkey girl
My silly monkey boy
The weather was actually looking really nice and the sun was out!  It was a bit chilly though so I started off with my jacket, a tech shirt, my compression socks, compression shorts and black skort.  I had been reading up on proper fueling for runs that would exceed 3 hours (which this definitely would) and Scott Jurek had just addressed this in the latest competitor magazine.  He seems to know what he is talking about so I used his formula to figure out the high and low ends of an appropriate carb intake per hour while training or racing for my body weight.  Which turns out to be somewhere between 50-70 grams of carbs per hour.  Which is way lower than what I typically take in.  For example, one gel has around 25 carbs.  So I should have 2 per hour, each hour! 

So I planned out my carb intake as such:  2 gels, 1 pack of gu chomps (50 carbs) and 40 pretzels (50 carbs) and 2 Dove dark chocolate promises (10 carbs).  I planned on drinking plain water until mile 16 then had half of a nuun tablet to add to my water.  I used nuun on my 18 mile run in the beginning and found myself a little bit too hydrated- if you know what I mean.  Who wants to make that many pit stops?  Not me!  So here is a mile by mile break down of my run.  I will try to keep it short, sweet and entertaining.

I parked my car at the Les Davis Pier on the Tacoma waterfront and start putting myself together.  This is the first time I felt myself dawdling, knowing once I got out of the car and started running there was no turning back!  I was checking out the surroundings and there were a lot of runner's out already.  And there seemed to be some sort of race being set up (turned out to be an arthritis walk).  I finally got out of the car, started my garmin and was off.  I was wearing my jacket and had a gel and my gu chomps inside my pocket.  I went to the short end first (towards the zoo) and found that I was actually really warm already, and it is only mile 1.

Mile 2, I turn and head back towards my car.  The sun is beaming in my face and I am really warm.  I stop at my car (2.25 miles) and ditch my jacket and sweaty band, grab my hat and shove my gel and chomps in various pockets in my skirt and head off again towards Old Town.

Mile 3 I decide to take my gel even though I don't really need it.  Except that it has caffeine in it and I had not had my espresso before I left the house so I wanted it.   It was a strawberry Gu and it was really disgusting.  I would not recommend it to anyone.  So I chased it with some water, which helped a bit.  Up the hill to Old Town I went, heading down Schuster Parkway.

Mile 4 I see my family drive by and honk as they head down towards Dock street.  They were going to stalk me a bit and take some pictures so I made sure I was photo ready as I headed down the hill by The Dock.  There was also an event happening there at the Thea Foss waterway- some sort of boating competition and the people seemed very focused on what they were about to do. 
Mile 5.  Practicing my "wave while running" pose.  I think my fingers are spread a little far apart.
 I will work on a cuter wave!

Mile 5, a quick stop to say hi to the family.  Oh, and I finally got a rock out of my shoe that had probably been there since my rainy run last Wednesday!  I was 1/4 done and still felt really good.  I headed off again and was passed by some random dude running in black jeans and a tshirt, then by a tall, skinny girl who obviously belongs to some high school track team.  The sun felt really good and I was working up a good sweat at this point.
Getting the rock out of my shoe!
Niko hanging out waiting for me!
Mile 6 came as  I passed the Museum of Glass and headed to the area where the restrooms are at the far end of Dock street.  I refilled my water bottle and ate half of my Gu chomps (blueberry pomegranate) which were WAY better than the strawberry gel.  As I turned to head back to my car I noticed the wind was blowing towards me giving me some resistance. 

Mile 8 and 9 -I ate the other half of the Gu chomps as I passed back through Old Town.  As I headed back down the hill towards the waterfront I could see that there were lots of people still walking in the Athritis walk that I would need to weave through.  I was having to run over into the grass to pass large groups and was trying to not be annoyed when I turned to the right and who was standing there?  My hubby!  So he took a quick picture or two of me looking really annoyed and off I went- I didn't want to have to repass all of the walkers!
2 of my biggest fans hanging out waiting for me to run by!

Mile 10 I was halfway done!  I was also back at my car and saw my friend Karen and her daughter Gillian (they were doing the walk) so I said hi really quick.  I stopped at my car to grab the rest of my fuel and ate about 10 pretzels as quickly as I could.  Which is kind of hard because they are quite dry.  I decided to just eat the rest as I was running even though I felt kind of like a weirdo since there were so many people around.  I had them all in a baggy and there wasn't anywhere to put them so I ended just carrying them.  As I ran past the finishing area for the arthritis walk it was tempting not to go run across the finish line- but somehow I resisted :)

Mile 11.5 I was trying to get past these two girls who were running way slower than me.  But everytime I had the chance to go around they would spread out so there was no room!  I was about to say something to them when all of a sudden- there was Will again!  Busted!  He had been trying to get an action shot of me but those girls were in the way so I ran back around and came at him again! 
This was completely staged.  But I really was running!
Mile 12 I passed by my car again.  I stopped in the bathroom there so I could refill my water bottle.  It was really warm outside and I was thirsty!  I checked my time and focused on passing the half marathon distance.  My energy felt great still and all I had to do was get back down Dock street and back.  Then I would be done!

Mile 13.1 time was 2:09, not great but I think considering this was a 20 mile run it was pretty darn good!  I also managed to run up the hill into Old Town and just barely catch the light by sprinting across the street!  How is that for a burst of energy at 13 plus miles???

Mile 14 I decide to take my chocolate hammer gel.  Which was all melted and warm from being in the back pocket of my skort!  What a sticky mess.  But it tasted pretty good.  It was at this point I realized I only had 6 miles left, which felt completely manageable!  I headed back down the hill to Dock street where the kid working at the crosswalk there gave me a quizzical look like "didn't I see you already?" so I just smiled and ran past him.

Mile 15 was long.  At least it was relatively flat and the lady pulling out of the parking garage way too fast didn't actually hit me with her car.  That was nice.

Mile 16 I arrived at the rest area for the second time.  I actually sat down for about 3 minutes and ate my pretzels and downed an entire 10 oz of water with them.  Then I refilled my bottle and dropped in the nuun tablet and stopped to use the bathroom.  I looked at myself in the mirror and guess what?  I had chocolate gel on my face!  And salt streaks.  I was REALLY bringing sexy back this time!  So I rinsed my face and off I went again- only 4 miles left!!!

Mile 17 I was thinking out loud and saying "This is soo far- I am crazy!  What am I doing??"  Then I looked up and there was this guy standing outside of his car just watching me.  He probably agreed, I was crazy!  At least I didn't have chocolate on my face any more.

Mile 18.3 I ate my 2 dove chocolates.  Then about 60 seconds later I heard a horn honking and it was Will and Devan again!  They had dropped off Niko with my mom and just happened to drive by right as I was hitting Old Town again.  I. was. almost. done!!!

Mile 19 I was just running to my car.  That was my only focus.  I had pretty much listened to every song on my ipod and my legs were tired, my hips were sore- I just wanted to be done!  I was looking at everyone as I passed by them, trying to get my mind to be distracted.  It worked pretty well, I was suddenly at my car and at 20 miles.  I finished!!!  Total time 3:16 and my pace was 9:48. 

Usually I kind of walk around and stretch a bit after I finish running.  I think I was a bit delirious- I literally got into my car and drove straight home.  I drank a muscle milk on the way, and ate a couple of boiled potatoes when I did get home.  But otherwise I had no appetite.  I was really thirsty though! 

I ended up taking a cold bath which felt pretty darn good, then headed to watch Devan play soccer.  She scored an awesome goal and her team tied 2-2.  I was pretty much stiff and exhausted for the entire rest of the day on Saturday.  And Sunday I was also quite sore.  This morning I went to my yoga class and actually feel fully recovered and ready for my 5 mile run tomorrow!  Let the tapering begin!

Happy birthday (5/15) to my friend Kendra!

1.  I have known and been friends with her since around 1st or 2nd grade
2.  She is one of the smartest people I know
3.  She is really easy going and fun to hang out with
4.  She had more fun at my bachelorette party than I did ;)
5.  She is a great mom and wife
6.  She is back in school and going to be very successful soon!
Jaime, Kendra and I sometime around 9th or 10th grade


  1. Wow great recap of your run. It usually all blurs together for me, though I have never run20 miles before..WAY TO GO!

  2. Aww, thanks for the birthday shout-out. Great job on the run, 20 miles is amazing! You are going to rock the NODM!

  3. It was great watching I mean stalking you and getting some pics...you rock!!!

  4. Good blog.. I laughed when I read you had chocolate on your face.
    I love running with you, but man knee is hurting.. :(