the two 20 milers – CIM

so i’ve already run both of my planned 20 milers for CIM. the second 20 miler was actually scheduled for next wknd, but needed to bump it up a week because i figured trying to squeeze in a 20 miler && being on call for work next wknd might not be the best of ideas! fluid training plan, see how that works, no stress here!!!

these 20 milers were like night && day from one another.

my first 20 miler was tougher than EITHER of the marathons i’ve run or training run i’ve done. also read as: my slowest training run to date.


i started this one from home. ran the two miles down the mini mountain we live on (which is obvs a breeze running down, but tough as balls to run back up. esp at mile 18 of 20) to the stagecoach reservoir. i had to run with a camelbak because there is no where to refill a handheld out here. hello next-day-sore shoulders. i honestly wanted to stick my thumb out at mile 18 to hitch hike the two miles home – or cry – not even joking. i was flat worn out. definitely didn’t feel like i was training for a road marathon.

my second 20 miler (yesterday) was my best, strongest && fastest training run to date. still on cloud nine about it. we were down in denver for the wknd to wrap up a few more things after the move. figured it would be fun to get my 20 done while we were in town. aka: A LITTLE MORE OXYGEN && HELLO FLATNESS!!! ended up running the “old faithful” route. from REI, up cherry creek, lapping wash park forever && then back. where i did all of my long runs when training for portland marathon 2011.


20 miler number one starting at 7,800 ft
3:13:59 avg pace = 9:49
elevation gain = 1,109 ft
fuel: 3 vanilla clif shots, 1 blueberry larabar (this chick was hungry okay?!)

20 miler number two starting at 5,280 ft
2:43:28 avg pace = 8:10
elevation gain = 224 ft
fuel: 2 vanilla clif shots, 1 apple cinnamon hammer

my legs felt absolutely destroyed after the first 20. it took me almost all week to rehab them. i ended up taking three rest days last week. absolutely no muscle soreness after the second 20 miler. even ended up with 40 miles for the week with three off days, neato dorito!!!

i’m thankful to have been able to run in denver this wknd. even though my spirits are good about running in steamboat, it’s very tough (for me ). example: doing what used to be an easier paced speed workout, now ends with a vom sesh. guess it means i’m ditching out a good effort in this mountain town. this past wknd gave me a much clearer picture of what i’m maybe capable of running at CIM.

will you be seeing a goal post from me for CIM. nope. just happy to be running healthy.

for anyone keeping track i also finished out october with 136.2 miles!

the 22 + 24 milers!

The last two long runs — check! My longest training runs for Portland Marathon are now 20, 20, 22 & 24! The first 20 miler — SUCKED!  The second 20 miler being MUCH better than my first. The 22 was great & fun, however I think my most successful run would be 24!

Before I get started on the long runs–Sarah came to visit a few weeks ago! It was SO good to see her! I swore off Denver Trail Runners until AFTER Portland… because I am RIDIC clumsy. However, once I found out she wanted to go… I was all for it! We got in a pretty good run! Well, Sarah & Paula had an AWESOME run, they did some work on that trail! This was when I was starting to get sick… So I was coughing, semi puking & gagging all over the place. Glad I had Luke to keep me company!

after the trail run

*LOVE* this picture of us!

the 22 miler

I got to run with Paula, Sarah & Erica! Sarah & Paula are both running Chicago Marathon & Erica is training for Twin Cities Marathon! We started from REI in Denver, took the Cherry Creek trail, did a few loops at Wash & then back! We started nice and early at 7 am! The weather had cooled earlier in the week… so it wasn’t really necessary to start any earlier. I had my typical oatmeal /chia seeds / honey before we started. The run started very nicely! Running along Cherry Creek trail, chatting, holding a nice pace. We did this until Wash Park where Erica joined us! She had 14 on deck for the day. I had to use my inhaler FOUR different times during our laps at the park. My respiratory system was totally on the fritz! A few times Sarah had to tell me “take deep breaths!” We were supposed to do 5 laps at Wash, however…apparently I’m the only one who likes is CRAZILY IN LOVE with Wash Park. So much to look at! People watch, pretty flowers…DOGGIES EVERYWHERE! A decision to just tack on a few miles once we got back to REI was made. We cut Wash Park down to 4 laps. As we were finishing up our last loop before heading out of the park, Sarah had some EXTREME achilles pain. Luckily, Erica had trigger point in her car & saved the day! I’m proud to say that even with such pain, Sarah finished the run—LIKE A BOSS! Towards the end it got pretty toasty! The last 3 miles were hellacious. Admit it girls!!! So glad we had each other — the support one another talk was going around like crazy!

the start–i think.

heyyy-o mr. muscles fireman!

Erica saving the day with trigger point!

After the 22!

(totally ganked these pictures from Sarah!)

(apparently I have super bad posture after running 22 miles.)

Might I say that running with those girls is EXTREMELY entertaining. Sarah is a HOOT & an absolute BLAST! Cheering others on, chasing geese, telling stories, saying the most HYSTERICAL things you’ve ever heard in your life! I miss that girl! MOVE BACK TO COLORADO ALREADY!

After the run, we grabbed Pumpkin Spiced Latte’s & chatted a while! Paula & Sarah took a dip in the river .. basically an ice bath! I was slowly but surely becoming a cranky pants “GIVE ME FOOD” monster–so I skipped out on the river & was on a food mission! So proud of all of them! I can’t wait to run with these girls again!

The results of our 22 miler!

22.02 miles in 3:28:40

9:28 pace

total elevation gain 305 ft.

the 24 miler

It went AWESOME! Amy S. told me about Runner’s Edge…basically a group where they set up courses for long runs…water almost every 2 miles—great stuff! Wonderful group of people! I originally decided to start out with the 4 hour pace group. However, I quickly learned that was kind of a bad idea. We were seriously running an 11:06 ranged pace…. Then I realized. OHHHHH.. A LOT of people train a minute behind race pace. I knew the pace would eventually pick up–but not to the pace at which I wanted to run. I eventually figured out this wasn’t the right group for me… So I broke off about mile 1 ish. I then tried like the dickens to drop down to a pace that would put me around the same pace as my 22 miler the week before.

1 10:28.7
2 9:51.2
3 10:14.9
4 9:50.8

I caught up to the 3:50 pace group by mile 2. Stuck with them for a bit…realized I wasn’t too thrilled with that pace either. I found a gal that was just ahead of that group & we picked up our own pace. She wasn’t sure what her mileage would be for the day… So we just chatted for about a mile or 2. I left the water station faster than she did…so unfortunately that was the end of our convo!

5 9:21.9
6 9:30.9

I found myself in another conversation with a nice man at about mile 5. We ran together for a bit…then I ran through a water station.. which was where he stopped. I caught up to the 3:40 pace group & decided to settle in with them at about mile 8. There was a fellow twitter pal! Should have listened to him & started with them! There was also a girl running her first marathon on Oct 9th as well! Between myself & the two of them… we basically talked the ENTIRE time. **fun fact ** I’m pretty excited I can finally hold a conversation during a long run and not get TOO winded.

7 9:09.4
8 8:51.2
9 8:51.0
10 9:30.2
11 9:22.8
12 9:21.9
13 9:29.2
14 9:37.0
15 9:47.2
16 9:39.6
17 9:40.8

At mile 18 it breaks away from the out and back for the people wanting to do 21-24 miles. Just a tiny out & back! The girl I met, was running 22, so YAY! I didn’t have to run alone. I asked her if she was shooting for a 3:40 finish. She laughed & said…NAH, just a 4 hour finish! She then continued with “I try to train as close to race pace as I can without overdoing it. I can’t see training 1-2 mins slower on long runs…and then expect a much faster finish time!” I wanted to stop and hug her at this point. She had the EXACT same mentality as I do about long runs. Granted…I guess we are running our first marathons… newbies–clearly we know nothing. ;) :)

18 9:35.6
19 9:20.9

She broke away for her turn at mile 19. I was kinda bummed to see her run the other way–but EXCITED that I met a “newbie” with the same mentality as myself.

20 8:47.3
21 8:42.6
22 9:03.4
23 9:30.9
24 8:43.1 0.95 9:12.9

The run felt really strong! I was kinda shocked that it averaged out to almost the EXACT same pace as last weekend’s 22. I was tons more tired this time around. Then after uploading my garmin info there was nearly DOUBLE the elevation gain…minus like 3 feet. no joke. So I’m pretty pleased with that. Also about 300 something feet more than Portland!

There were a few uphill sections where I was definitely putting in like 95% effort. Overall it felt pretty comfortable. Well I mean…as comfy as your body can feel at the mile 20 point.I’m feeling pretty confident about my time goals. But we’ll see what happens! :D

**another fun fact** I didn’t have to use my inhaler once! yayyyy! :D

The results of the 24 miler :

23.95 miles in 3:46

9:27 pace

total elevation gain 704 ft.

Training rant :: side note on the 1-2 minute slower pace on LR’s** SURE, If you are an ADVANCED marathoner.. meaning you run like 4:45 – 6 minute miles for TWENTY SIX MILES–I can TOTALLY see doing LR’s at a slower pace. Doing anything under 6 minutes for 26.2 miles…TRAINING–sounds pretty intense to me. With that being said, people who can run like that.. uhm… hello…let’s throw in the words…advanced…elite… THEBOMB.COM. I’m sure they can definitely expect that & more from their bodies!

However, for the Oprah Winfrey runners (throwing myself into this range). 4:22 marathon I believe. I’m sorry, but I can’t say that there is ANYTHING advanced or elite about that. Average, yes! So it seems pretty irrelevant to me to try and train like an advanced runner/marathoner. It’s like a whole different ballgame. Work up to that point of an elite runner & THEN training like that—sure! :: end training rant*

At the same time, don’t get me wrong… running 26.2 miles isn’t by any means EASY and is hands down an AWESOME accomplishment.

In conclusion:

Aside from the first 20, the rest of my long runs were amazing! They all felt strong & had great company! I feel most confident about my 24 miler…considering the distance, gain & overall pace.

Let the taper begin!