Marathon 23 mile training run – Right on course

December 2 and I am right on schedule for my marathon training.  Despite getting a little behind during Tower of Terror weekend, I was able to make up the mileage nicely and didn’t get injured by increasing my long run miles by 5 miles one week, instead of the recommended 3 miles or 10%.

In the morning, my mind was trying to get the best of me.  I was feeling nervous as usual about my long run.  I slept good the night before so that helps.  I got the kids off to school and then hit the road at 9:30.  Miles 1-3 were a struggle as always.  I had a few times where I took some longer walk breaks around mile 4.  Then I started to get into a groove.  I changed up my route so that also helped me get through miles 5-10.


Then I ran my usual route through Wallingford which always seems to pass the time quickly for me and is pretty flat with sidewalks.  I started to get a little more tired around mile 16 so I walked through a few of my intervals.  I ate some sport beans and headed into North Haven.  Around mile 18 and was getting anxious.  My phone would announce my miles and the estimated finish time and I was between 4:29 and 4:40.  I really wanted to break the 4:30 mark since I came in under 4 hours on my 20 mile run.

At mile 20 I was struggling.  This always happens to me when I hit the longest mile I had done previously and add the additional miles.  The last 3 were hard.  That is why I like to go the full distance prior to the marathon so that my body had done the distance already and it is prepared, no surprises of the additional miles added to my longest run.  At mile 21 I thought about my friend Michelle Aitro who had just done the Iron Man on Sunday and remembered that she had already swam, biked 111 miles and then ran the marathon!  So I knew that I could do this.  I had also thought about my friend Kimberly Markey who had done marathons after each 3 chemo treatments.  So I knew, being healthy that I could do this.  I walked up the hills and instead of the original route I was planning on taking which would cause me to finish the 23 miles before I got to my house, I took a detour which ended up ending at 23 miles right at the bottom of my street.  This detour decision was good.  I again walked up any hills and ran downhill.  I had to switch up my intervals and instead of doing 1:00 run/30 seconds walk, I was more or less doing a 20/20.  I just wanted to finish.


I finished successfully in 4 hours 28 minutes.  After the run I felt really strong.  I took an ice bath, took a shower and went to pick up Adrienne.  I went from “runner” to “mother” and carried on with our day.  Then my husband came home and we took a trip to home depot to purchase a new bathroom sink.  So despite having done a 23 mile run, I really didn’t feel like I ran except for the extreme chaffing I had.

Running Gear

I wore different pants this time and around mile 16 my underwear started to move around.  At that point I should have stopped and made sure everything was flat and in place.  This is what caused the chaffing.  I also have special running underwear that I bought from my running store Sound Runner in Branford, CT that I used last year for my long runs and my marathon.  I should have worn those.  Lesson learned.  That’s why it is called a training run.


I tried Nuun tablets for this run instead of Gatorade.  I am not sure yet how I feel about the tablets.  I know that there is no sugar in them.  I think I need the additional sugar to overcome mental hurdles in my runs; but this could all be mental.  I had my first Gu at mile 4, another at mile 6 and 11.  Then I started to eat some Goldfish pretzels at mile 13 to add some density to the contents in my stomach.  Then I started to eat the Sports Beans at mile 16 to get some more sugar into my system.  I had my last Gu with caffeine at mile 19.  When I got home from my run I had my skim milk with Ovaltine.


After my run, I took my cold water bath for 15 minutes.  Then showered quickly and went off to Adrienne’s school to pick her up.  So I kept active for the remainder of the day.  On the way to her school I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, grapes and a cheese stick and sipped coconut water to help replenish and re-hydrate.  For dinner I had quinoa pasta with a little olive oil, broccoli and shrimp.

At night when I did get the chance to sit down I iced my knees to help get ahead of the runner’s knee that I usually feel after my long runs.  The next morning I felt great.  Little stiff, but I ice my knees again, did some foam rolling and I’m feeling pretty fantastic after this run, even after I had shaved 30 minutes off my time from last year!

During my run at mile 8 I was listening to my Mickey Miles Podcast and they were discussing training, nutrition and recovery for multi race events like the Dopey.  At that moment I was pretty serious that I wanted to run the Goofy in 2015.  But I still need to make serious consideration about that.  It’s not a small feat.  I could just plan on walking 1/4 or most of the half; but it’s still a whole element of training to prepare for.  Both Adrienne and Kevin will be in school all day so I could plan the longer back to back day runs as 1/2 days and full days off in the late fall of next year.  It’s something to consider.  I remember reading Laurel Moffitt’s blog about her DNF at Goofy and I know it is serious stuff.  I did the Dumbo Double Dare, but going from a 10K and half to a half and a full back to back are just two different types of races.  Stay tuned!


4 thoughts on “Marathon 23 mile training run – Right on course

  1. Thanks for the shout out! I really enjoyed this post, specifically, “that’s why it’s called a training run”. Sometimes I have bad runs and think, “I can’t do this!” But it’s just a chance to get my ducks in a row for the big day! I actually think a big downfall of my Goofy experience was choosing to walk a lot of the half. Walking= more time on feet, and it was definitely my feet that were killing me during the marathon. Though I had also walked around EPCOT the night before Goofy too, so I’m sure that contributed as well! My plan for 2014 is to run both and stay off my feet as much as I can during the weekend. Once again my mini fridge will be stocked with ice packs! 😀

    • I agree with the idea of walking versus running for the Goofy Laurel. When I was so tired at the last 2 miles of my run, I just wanted to run so I would be closer to finishing. And walking up the hills was actually more painful than running cause I was trying to walk faster. That’s why I think doing the shorter interval time is better cause it keeps you moving, then you can rest, then move, etc.

  2. Good job Pam – especially cutting off so much time from last year! I am still impressed that you run the full distance before a marathon, but like you said that’s what works for you and you won’t encounter any surprises on race day! I guess I’ve been very fortunate that I only train to 20 miles and have been fine each marathon.

    I’m not really a huge fan of nuun, I think it’s that sort of carbonated taste it has that I don’t like while I’m running.

    • Thanks Danielle! I didn’t care for the carbonation factor, but Kim told me if I mix it up the night before it won’t be fizzy. I may have to try it again on the 26 mile run; but then again, they don’t have nuun on the marathon course, they do the yellow power ade so I might just fill up with that to prep my stomach for it. That’s what I did last year.

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