Saturday, June 13, 2015

20+ Mile Run #118

I've ran a lot since 2008.  That's the year I started training for the Kansas City Half-Marathon.   I'd ran a few 5K's here and there up to that point, but it was my first long distance race.  After I completed that race, I started training for my first marathon, in Little Rock, Arkansas.  A long run back in those days was 8-10 miles.  But I began slowly, and gradually, increasing my distance until I could run 20 miles.  Since then I've ran a lot of marathons, and a lot of 20 mile training runs.  In fact, this morning's 20 miler was my 118th run of 20 miles or more since 2008.
A snapshot of my elaborate spreadsheet that I used to document mileage before Garmin Connect
So what's the big deal?  None really.  I was just looking at some of my old training logs last night and wondered how many runs I'd completed of 20 miles or greater.  I went back through my old Excel Spreadsheet calendar I built and added up the runs that weren't included in my Garmin Connect data which began in early 2010.  And including marathons and training, the total was 118.  It was a little nostalgic pouring through the details of the calendar. It had various tabs with SOOOO much information on it.  I was really proud of it because, frankly, it was awesome!  But it took a lot of data entry, and I was glad when I finally got plugged into the Garmin Connect program.

And what's so magical about 20 miles.  Well, nothing really.  It's just a round number that sounds "impressive" to some.  It's just an imaginary line that most marathon plans set as the long run standard, but there are obviously varying opinions on that.  They're obviously difficult and take a lot of work and dedication.  But they're very doable if you're committed.

Over the years I've had several experiences with runs of this distance.  When I'm in great shape and firing on all cylinders, a 20 miler is no big deal.  I can almost breeze through it and focus 100% on the pace and race prep.  But when I'm getting back into shape (like today) with almost 100%, it's a difficult run that takes a lot out of me.  I lost a lot of fluids today and it will take me a couple of days to get right.  But it felt great to get another 20 miler in the books.

So here's to you 20 mile run!  You push me.  You stretch me.  You make my body ache.  But after I complete every step of your path, I feel like a conqueror.  Hopefully there will be many more of you in the future.  Hope your running is going well!
... Be Great Today!


  1. Twenty milers are ALWAYS tough for me, always. No matter what. I'm really bad at long runs. That's so neat that you have so much running data to look back through - and probably a great tool to use if you want to assess your training compared to, say, preparations for a PR race or a time when you got injured. I can't see too much in the image, but it looks very detailed! I'm impressed you invested so much time and effort to keep that log up.

  2. 20 miles is about 32k and I agree that they can either be challenging or wonderful. I've been on 37k for the past three weeks and two have been pretty good while one was a drudge that just had to be endured. They can never be taken lightly but I swear it helps to have company to make the time pass.

  3. That looks like a nice chart for logging training. Where do you get something like that?

    I tend to look at the twenty mile run as the test for whether you are a marathon ready. If it goes well, generally you are on target for a decent marathon. Generally I am good for about 30K before the chains get put on (so to speak). At this point, running a twenty is still a commitment and something I have to plan for. Running a half -- that I can mail in at this point.

    Looks like your training is going well....

    1. I built all from scratch using Excel. I was pretty proud of it Eddie, ha!


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