Great Day for 20 Miles!

Happy Saturday, runners!

If you read my previous post, you know that I was a tad angry due to the Government Shutdown. All National Parks were closed on Tuesday, including my regular running path on the C&O Canal.

Welllll, not too many around this side of Maryland have acknowledged the obvious signs....

Or concrete barricades....

Apparently this visitor wanted to thank Obama for shutting down the parks. ;-)

I decided to ignore the signs as well and "trespass". Everyone else was doing it! So Peter and I both went on Wednesday and Thursday. I dragged Peter along so in case there was a cop stationed there, we would both be arrested, not just me. ;-)

Well, we were not cited or received a free trip to jail, so I deemed the area "safe" and decided that I would go forward with my planned 20 miler today.

Just like last week, Peter dropped me off in Williamsport to begin my journey.

Usually, this area is PACKED with cars, but because of the barricades, cars could not enter. Instead, they just parked alongside the road. Problem solved.

I started my run with a half mile warm up. I ran from mile 99.5 to mile marker 100, took a few minutes to stretch, and then turned around to head downstream for the rest of my journey. My finish line would be just past marker 81 in Sharpsburg, where I typically run.

My pace plan for this run was simple. I wanted to keep between 10:30 and 10:45, but you know how it works with me. I never have runs go as planned. During my first 4 miles, I found that my pace was extremely sporadic!

Mile 0-1: 10:30
Mile 1-2: 10:40
Mile 2-3: 11:05
Mile 3-4: 10:50

During mile 3-4, I decided that I would challenge myself. Since making it to mile 4 would be the first 5th of my journey, I thought I would try to mock each 5th at the same pace. For example, mile 4-5 would be 10:30, mile 5-6 would be 10:40, and so on.

It actually worked very well in my favor. My strategy really helped keep things interesting and pass the time! Also, breaking up a 20 mile run into 5 parts was such a great idea!!! It made it that much easier to mentally grasp the distance.

Once I entered round 4, I felt good enough to maintain a 10:30/mile pace or better. I wanted to take a break as I planned from the get-go, but I thought that it would mess up my rhythm. So instead of taking it at mile 14, like I originally thought I would, I ended up stopping at 16.5.

I chugged back some Gatorade, called Peter, and quickly stretched, then was on my way soon after. My pace was not harmed either. I continued at 10:30 or better. 

I finished the 20 mile adventure in 3:31:14. It was slow, but I did not quit and felt great. That is truly what should matter in any run. It really drives me to believe that 26.2 is doable for me. But I guess we will see in 2 weeks!!!

Anywho, enough about me!

How was your long run this week? How far did you go or are planning to go?

Anyone "break in" to any National Parks since the shut down?

Do you stop on your long runs to take a break? Does it ever mess with your flow?


  1. i totally break up long runs into segments too. helps alot. dont think you'll have any prob with the 26.2 in 2 weeks. ii ran 10 this a.m. with the CFAR group. was a good run. did it in 1:29:02. not super fast, but felt great afterwards as well. don't usually take breaks, it does mess me up. but everybody's different

    1. I really hope I can do 26.2. I am hoping that I can find a few people to run part of it with me. So let me know if you are interested! I will make a post here soon on CFAR.

    2. yeah, i could run part of it with ya. not sure when you were going to run it but my next 2 weekends are out. have the B-more Half this Sat and will be at the beach the following weekend.

  2. NICE work on the 20 miles! If I were you I would've broken in too ;)

    1. Thanks! There is really no where else to run 20 miles without having to do it on the road. I would only do so if it was for an official marathon, I would not subject myself to the shin splints and possible injuries for just a leisurely run!


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