Saturday, December 09, 2006

LRM TR #23, Burning Twenty

LRM Miles Trained To Date: 131

First things first: today's post is called Burning Twenty because I ran 20 miles. However, I was not the witty one who came up with that term; it was Adam Tinkoff, host of the super podcast Burning Twenty. Check him out at He is a runner who is recovering from an injury at the moment, yet he is still one of the most exuberant guys out there!

Last night I purchased some Under Armour UA Tech heat gear pants to wear under my other running pants, since my legs have been freezing lately. Now that I am looking at the tag, after the fact, the stuff is meant for extreme heat. OH WELL - it worked today. I also purchased a new long sleeved running top. My great friend Kim gave me a gift card to The Sports Authority for my birthday (a perfect choice), so it was high time I used it!

I headed out this morning shortly after the sun rose. It was 27 degrees and I was prepared with two layers on bottom and two layers on top. I had downloaded two episodes each of Phedippidations ( and Dr. Fitness and the Fat Guy ( I thought surely almost four hours of material would be enough. But we'll get to that....

Like most runs, it was effortless at first. I was trying hard to make myself go as slow as possible. As you'll recall, last week I hit "the wall" at about mile 8 of 14. Today I was cruising along. No problem. I was thankful. My course was almost an out-and-back. I was to go just past the ten mile point against traffic on my service road. Then, I was to cross the bridge and go against traffic until almost done, at which point I was going to cross back over, finish, and be driven home by my husband. Now begins the real story.

As everyone knows, I was worried about running twenty miles. That is the farthest distance I have EVER run. My previous record was an un-clocked 15 mile run over a year ago with a partner while training for my first half-marathon. As I stated before, today's run began very well. I am always amazed at how un-cold sub-freezing temperatures can feel when your body is in motion. The first ten miles were great. I could almost say that they were "easy as pie." My husband insisted on meeting me at points along the run. At first I was hesitant, but then I decided I'd be wise to accept the support. Well, I didn't see him at the halfway point and I was almost livid! I was surprised by that feeling. I finally saw him just past the halfway/turnaround point. It was safer for him to park over there. He was as supportive as ever, and I was super grateful to see him. I was doing fine. I told him I'd see him at the next overpass/exit. It was a mere three miles away...

Oh gosh - "the wall" found me shortly after that and didn't turn loose of me until I was a mile away from finishing! To recap, when I saw him at mile 14, I was in dire need of a leg massage. I'm sure it looked a bit obscene to see a man massaging a woman's legs and hips and back on the side of the road in a parking lot on a busy, Christmas-shopping-season Saturday morning, but OH WELL. I needed it! I was wondering how I'd ever finish a big race without him again. Off I went. The massaging always helped me for about a half mile, then I'd be in pain again. I'd walk/run as best I could. When I saw him at mile 16, I stumbled across a ditch into his arms where we did the whole massage thing again (right outside a busy Starbucks - let them think what they want!) I saw him again at mile 19 - good ole wonderful mile 19 - after walking the entire previous mile (a first for me). I kept thinking "How on earth am I going to run 26.2 miles? I won't quit... I can always walk." Again, a massage. But it was quicker this time because I was too busy leaning against the truck in pain/disgust/fatigue/shame. (I realized later that there is no shame in being in pain and extremely tired after 19 miles. Hello! Who can do that???) I decided, in Susan fashion, that I was going to suck it up and haul it in for a big finish! It was just a mile - I could do it. He was driving behind me now with his flashers on - like I was doing something big. Well by golly I was! It was the longest run of my life. He said he was impressed with the way I ran so fast up the hill. I don't remember a hill. I was too busy thinking thoughts like:

1) How will I ever complete a whole marathon?
2) Maybe we should go ahead and start a family so I'll be pregnant before the marathon.
3) He won't be able to massage me in the real marathon.
4) Next year I'm taking up knitting as my new passion.
5) I am going to die after this.
6) I'm going to eat whatever I want after this.
7) Why on earth did I ever decide to become a distance runner?

I had a final massage at the end, which probably looked really bad as I was sitting on the tail gate now and there were no holds barred as I was DONE and in big pain. Oh well - we're married.

OK, OK - that's enough of that. On to the timing!

Mile 1: 12:21
Mile 2: 12:01
Mile 3: 12:06
Mile 4: 12:06
Mile 5: 12:27
First Five Miles: 1:01:02
Mile 6: 14:16 (eating a third of my Pria bar, fiddling with my iPod)
Mile 7: 12:16
Mile 8: 12:27
Mile 9: 12:44
Mile 10: 12:29
Second Five Miles: 1:04:14 (not too shabby considering the slowdown at mile 6)
Mile 11: 14:56 (eating another third of my Pria bar, fiddling with my iPod)
Mile 12: 14:31 (the misery really begins)
Mile 13: 14:31
Mile 14: 14:48
Mile 15: 14:37
Third Five Miles: 1: 13: 26 (ick - but get used to it)
Mile 16: 15:13
Mile 17: 15:34
Mile 18: 16:15
Mile 19: 19:45 (the one I walked 100%)
Mile 20: 12:07 (my big finish!!!)
Fourth Five Miles: 1: 18:56
Total: 4:37:38
Average: 13:53 per mile
Calories Burned: 2997

When we got home, he told me that I was in MUCH better shape today than I was after the World Wide Half Marathon. When he had to massage me that day, he said all of my muscles were knotted up, and I got several cramps. Today he said my muscles were just tight, and I never cramped. Yay! I really can not express how grateful I am to him for all he did today. He really made the whole miserable experience a lot better!

Now I feel like next week's 14 miles run will be like a vacation. Just a short run. Ha!

And now that it's all said and done, I've realized that "the wall" came two whole miles later today that it did last week. At this rate, maybe I can outrun it on marathon day! I sure hope so.

I feel that I am in good company with all of the runner friends I have made online. One of the most supportive is Chris. She is a wife, mother and runner in Florida. I don't know how she does it all! She has a blog that I really enjoy: And, as always, I hope that I am making "Coach Terry" proud. His site is

Have a great day! I'll be resting! It's now seven hours after my run and I am doing A-OK.


MarathonChris said...

CONGRATULATIONS YOU DID IT!!!! You ran 20 miles :-) I knew you would, because you know how to hang in there when your body and brain tell you otherwise.

What great support from your husband as well!

You have done 20 miles now. Just a 10K away from that marathon. You will do great!

Anonymous said...

I have a wonderful strong amazing wife who appears to be a sane woman Monday through Friday. Each Saturday, shortly after sunrise a terrifying metamorphasis occurs and she becomes dedicated long distance runner Susan - able to run long miles on a single pria bar and a bottle of water. Neither frigid cold or a husband's worry will deter her from her goal of marathon! Keep running Susan! I'always be here to cheer you on - just don't ask me to run 20 miles in sub-freezing weather.

Katie said...

I am so proud of you! Excellent work!

runron1855 said...

I did my first 20 miler a few weeks ago, and your not alone. I have conversations like that with myself all the time.
Good luck, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

PLANET3RRY said...

EXcellent Excellent Excellent! YOU did it that is great. Do you realize that you could technically finish a marathon at this point? Yup! Right now... of course, there is more time to train. Keep this finish in the back of your mind and remember that when you have a hard run that you can run 20 miles! Way to go! WOOT.

I couldn't pass the opportunity to comment on your list:
1) One step at a time
2) This would be consider low impact cross training
3) I have a trick or two to mention to you.
4) but they'll be socks made out of tech fabric.
5) sometime after this run, just not anytime soon.
6) you've earned it!
7) Some people say that it's fun ;P

CewTwo said...

I am so glad to hear that other runners get cold "stuff." I get cold fingers. I mean cold fingers! I have brought it up to my most excellent Doctor and his advice was, "Wear gloves!" So, i do. Even when forced to run unside on the treadmill.

Susan! You are amazing! I am so impressed!