20 Mile Training Run

This is the first time I have ever missed going to a Veterans Day service; normally I’m at one of the Veterans Parks by 11:00. I’m was really conflicted about choosing to do a 20 mile practice run over attending the service but in the end I figured that my veteran brothers would understand.

Its not often I get the opportunity to run in the light of day and have a long enough time span to run that far. I’d never ran more then 18 miles so the 20 mile run marks a new distance achievement for me and a little taste of how my body is going to react in the Marathon.

It was supposed to be an out and back run down the Silver Stand bike path but at the 9 mile point the path was closed with no way around the construction without running into traffic on the highway, the dirt by-pass was flooded. So my run ended up being out, back, past, and back which was okay except that caused the last 3 miles to be all hills; something that played with my mind.

IMG_5224I ran out of water at 16 miles so I did a slight re-route to pick-up water at the Otay River Park; this was the only other stop I made on the run, the first stop was at 7 miles at Silver Strand Beach to use the restroom.  I only brought 2 GEL packs with me downing the fist 8 miles and the second at 15. My muscles started to cramp and stomach ached at the 12 mile mark and then again near the end of my run; so i’m thinking three GEL packs would be the minimum for a 20 mile run and maybe 4 for a Marathon. I do plan on trying  Tailwind nutrition packs that The Tormented Tortoise told me about, seems, from the website anyhow,  way more appetizing and fuller nutrition then anything I’ve seen so far.

When I hit the 20 mile mark I was just a few yards from the front door of my house; I’m pretty sure I could have gone further, how much further not really sure I was pretty well spend when I hit the 20. So here are the results;

20.02 miles in 4:04 hours with an average pace of 12:13 minutes/mile might have been a little better if I didn’t have to deal with the hills but not much. I was hoping to have run better times but I’m okay with what I did. At least I know I’ll be able to keep ahead of the pacers at the race (I hope)

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8 Responses to 20 Mile Training Run

  1. therfpscribe says:

    Well done on completing 20 miles! If your stomach is playing up, it might not be that you need more gels, but possibly a different type. Look at the ingredients and note the sugars they use. I recommend you re-try one gel on a shorter run and see if your guts go funny again and try a different brand with different sugars and see how you cope. Good luck with this! Race-day nutrition does make a world of difference!

    • usabaker says:

      It was more like hunger pains that hit about the same time as the cramping in my calf’s and ankles. The symptoms would disappear about 10 or 15 minutes after taking a GEL.

      I’ve been trying to keep high fructose out of my diet so pretty much only leaves the CLIFF brand for GEL’s that use cane sugar.

  2. pauldburton says:

    Well done. Nutrition is tricky. I find that I try to eat the slower release items early in the run (cliff mint chocolate bar in three sections) and then top up with cliff shot bloks later in the run.

    • usabaker says:

      I’ve tried to eat things while running and have a hard time trying. Even those gatoraid chews are a challenge. I like to eat kasha shredded wheat and almond milk before my run, still trying to find something that works for me during the run.

  3. Brittany says:

    Great job on your first 20 miler!! I did my first during my training for Chicago this year and it was a great feeling to finish. I felt like it was THE marathon run, you know? I used to fuel with gu, I ended up switching to Gen UCan for my marathon. It keeps hunger away for way longer and fuels me better. And I took 2 chews (honey stinger) every odd mile starting around mile 5. Next race I want to try making my own gen ucan gels, though.

    • usabaker says:

      Brittany, took me a while to respond because I wanted to check out the UCan website. Looks like the kind of stuff I’ve been looking for since I was, at one time, diagnosed as pre-diabetic. Another reason GEL’s scare me, thank for the tip! I sent them an email to see how I can use it in my training and Disney run because honestly all the information I listen to on the pod casts and blogs seems geared toward people who are able to run 2 and 3 hour Marathons; I’m just and old man running LOL 12 minute miles is about as good as I got at those distances. Thanks again!

      • Brittany says:

        Totally understandable. Yeah I’m nowhere near 2-3 hour marathons at all. I think the time I noticed it best was when I drank it when I came home from work because I was starving before going to a track workout. Usually things I eat or drink help for a half hour tops but I actually finished my workout and came home not feeling starved. If you do get it, I suggest mixing it the night before you want to use it and putting it in the fridge so it will completely mix… Otherwise it has sediment hanging around and that weirds me out. Good luck!

  4. my26pointtwo says:


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