20 miles

You may be wondering, “what’s it like to run 20 miles?” I’m here to tell you.  Running 20 miles can be a lot of things.  It can be painful.  It can be fun.  It can be boring.  It can be agonizing.  It can be exciting.  It can be torture.  It can be epic.

My 20 mile run on Saturday was great, except for when it wasn’t.  I was extremely lucky that it was a cool morning – about 52 degrees when I got started – and very cloudy.  I was even lucky enough to get a little bit of rain for about an hour.  Yes, I said I was lucky to get rain while I ran.  I love running in the rain.  My 20 mile run when I was training for the Marine Corps Marathon was entirely in the rain.  The kind of rain that gets you soaked immediately upon stepping outside.  Feeling the light rain this past Saturday was a little reminder to me that I’ve run 20 miles before and I’ve run a marathon before; I could make it through this run.

I headed down a road that I just started running for my long runs in about the past month.  Hubby introduced it to me as he knows the area better than I do.  I ran my usual route down that road, but I added lots of miles to it by running into nearly every neighborhood that branches off of it.  You know what was hard about that? Every single street I went down was downhill.  Downhill is good, right? Well, that meant it was all uphill on the way back to the main road.  It was hard, but it was for the best because I need to be prepared for the hills of Baltimore in less than a month.

Around mile 10, I started to think maybe I didn’t want to run 20 miles that day.  I felt okay physically.  I was actually starting to get a bit bored.  Running for hours by yourself can be really nice, especially as a mom who doesn’t get much “me time.”  However, it can also get downright boring! It would have helped if I had someone to keep me company.  That’s why I want to run with hubby when he does his 20 mile run this weekend.  I wouldn’t want him to get lonely, right? Plus, I don’t want to run 20 miles alone again!

I pushed through my 10 mile slump because I said I was going to run 20 miles so I was going to run 20 miles! At mile 15, my phone rang.  Hubby wanted to make sure I was still alive.  How sweet of him.  When I took my phone out of my hydration belt, I dropped a Gu.  I physically could not bend over to pick it up.  I must have looked like an old lady the way I had to position myself to finally get it.

At mile 17, I finally started to believe that I was going to finish my run.  I kept repeating in my head, “I’m going to run 20 miles.” And I did! I felt such a sense of relief when my watch beeped at 20 miles.  I actually did it.

20 miles in the bag

It took me a little over 3 and half hours which was an average pace of about 10:30.  Running 20 miles certainly took a lot out of me.  My legs were sure to remind me for the rest of the weekend of the agony I put them through.  My whole body was just worn out.  I felt like I had a long run hangover!

One more 20 mile run to go this weekend, then it’s taper time!

Happy running!


  1. says

    I am just starting to train for my first full marathon and I’m a little intimated by that 20 mile run, although I trust I can do it when it comes time. I’m going to keep your post in mind :) And 10:30 is an awesome pace for the run! Good luck in Baltimore.

    • says

      I can still, vividly, remember my 20 mile run. I was about 9 weeks pregnant. I remember as I looked down at my Garmin, crossing from 19.99 miles to 20.0, the tears began flooding down my face. It was the most glorious, amazing, wonderful feeling. Not everyone can do that!

      I found that ice baths and compression tights (a la Zoots) do a LOT to help those long-run-hangover legs!

      Good luck!

    • kristen says

      Corinna- I’m sure you will rock your 20 mile run! I know it’s a very intimidating distance to run.

      Amanda- You are my hero for running 20 miles while pregnant!


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