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20 Miles & “Celebrity” Encounter!

March 19, 2011

Back in November when I registered for the Go! St. Louis Marathon, the long runs in my training plan seemed so daunting. When you read about training runs on blogs they are discussed so nonchalantly. But 20 miles? Insane! That was the run I always had in the back of my mind. The longest run on my training plan. The last big run before the Marathon. The run.

But now I can officially say 20 miles is in my past and I’m ready to taper! Today I completed a 20 mile run all by myself in 3:10:30.

I started my day with some foam running, a cup of hot lemon water, and a whole wheat English muffin topped with almond butter and banana.

I got everything ready – my garmin, ipod, GUs, camelbak, roadID, and chapstick. I also popped a GU electrolyte tablet into my water bottle. I was sent these free with my last order and decided to have it ready for after my run. I ended up drinking the whole thing on the drive TO the run though! The tablets are 10 calories and have a light lemon-lime flavor. Tasted good but I’m not sure if it did anything.

I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t excited about this run. The spring-like weather has left me with a bit of sore throat and itchy eyes and I didn’t have a ton of energy this morning. But I remembered the quote “The road to 26.2 starts with a single step” as I started out.

My legs felt heavy. I wasn’t running very quickly. It’s amazing how during an uphill I want to die, but during a straight away or a downhill everything suddenly better. The weather was a sunny and beautiful 55 degrees, but there was a strong wind which made some parts even harder. I had phases of doubt throughout the entire run.

I added a little 1.5 mile detour onto my normal route so that each loop of Forest Park was a little over 7 miles. I liked that once I finished two laps I only had a little over 5 miles to go. I couldn’t bring myself to go around the same loop a third time so I switched it up and finished with a little out and back course. And somehow my legs weren’t nearly as sore as they were after my 19 miler – usually my calves are screaming. I DID IT!

Here are my splits:

  • Mile 1: 9:39
  • Mile 2: 9:49
  • Mile 3: 9:25
  • Mile 4: 9:23
  • Mile 5: 9:18
  • Mile 6: 9:18
  • Mile 7: 9:13 (GU one)
  • Mile 8: 9:29
  • Mile 9: 9:39
  • Mile 10: 9:48
  • Mile 11: 9:31
  • Mile 12: 9:22
  • Mile 13: 9:24
  • Mile 14: 9:28 (GU two)
  • Mile 15: 9:28
  • Mile 16: 9:39
  • Mile 17: 9:39
  • Mile 18:Β  9:43
  • Mile 19: 9:37
  • Mile 20: 9:37

Final: 20 miles, 3:10:30, average pace 9:32


After the run I was stretching in the Forest Park visitor center when an old man that appeared to be about 70 years old glanced over at me. He asked how far I ran and I found out that he had run over 20 marathons! His PR is 3:11 and it was when he was 58 years old. I immediately started picking his brain for advice, and his number one suggestion was to run 5 miles, then walk for two minutes throughout the entire run. Don (his name) said it would help me avoid burnout and that by doing it I’d feel great during the last five miles.

But get this: I told him I was following a Hal Higdon training plan and he told me he BEAT HAL HIGDON IN A RACE! Hal Higdon! The guy that ran the Olympic Trials eight times and won the four world masters championships. The guy who has contributed articles to Runner’s World for longer than any other writer. One of the founders of the Road Runners Club of America. Don is seriously like a celebrity to me! So impressive.


Once I got over my star shock, I headed home for a smoothie and some icing. Since I gave up chocolate, I can’t use my normal chocolate infusion Amazing Meal. Last time I had a berry flavored sample packet to use instead, but when I went to buy more at Whole Foods they only had the pomegranate mango flavor.

It was awful. I combined it with kale, soymilk, half a frozen banana, frozen peaches, and some vanilla protein powder and it still made me want to gag. Definitely not my best effort, but I needed the calories so I slurped it down.

I think I’m going to order the berry flavor online so I can go back to the Cherry Berry Green Monster I loved so much a few weeks ago.

Time to de-tangle the nest on the top of my head and shower! I’m babysitting tonight so I should have plenty of time to relax on a couch and read. Hope you’re having a great Saturday!

  • Have you ever had a celebrity encounter?
24 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2011 3:39 pm

    I haven’t really had a celebrity encounter! I’m from Orlando and I’ve met some Magic basketball players before which was pretty awesome πŸ™‚ but I’ve never met anyone famous! Lucky you πŸ™‚

  2. sophonisba permalink
    March 19, 2011 4:01 pm

    I saw Eric Clapton once when he came in with his daughter to Minnesota Children’s Museum, where I was working at the time! That’s about it though. Congrats on your 20 miles!

  3. March 19, 2011 4:05 pm

    Wow! Congrats on your 20 miler! What an accomplishment! πŸ™‚

  4. March 19, 2011 4:20 pm

    Great job, girlie! I really admire you for being able to complete such a feat, and even more so for believing in yourself. No matter how many miles you run, the fact that you stayed motivated and true to yourself is the real accomplishment. Running 20 miles is so unfathomable to me!

    Have a lovely day !

  5. Abby permalink
    March 19, 2011 4:23 pm

    Great job on your 20 miler! That’s awesome! The only celebrity I have ever met is the singer Shwayze. I went to the concert my freshman year of college and we had a group of people wearing tie dye shirts. The radio station staff grabbed our group and we got to take a tour of their bus, get pictures, and autographs with them. That was kind of cool.

  6. Courtney @ I CAN DO THIS permalink
    March 19, 2011 4:25 pm

    Congrats on your 20 miler! Don’t you love the conversations you can strike up with random runners?

  7. March 19, 2011 4:34 pm

    WOAH! he beat hal higdon! thats like THE MARATHON TRAINING DUDE! seriously AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME.. you were fast too!1 for 20 miles that is INSANE!! i would have been ‘runin’ a 20 min mile at that length!

  8. March 19, 2011 5:10 pm

    Literally, so cool Clare! Me and my friends were talking about running last night and so many of them have no idea how people run over 2 miles ever. 20 is AWESOME and you’re time was amazing. You’re gonna rock that marathon πŸ™‚

  9. Paige permalink
    March 19, 2011 6:22 pm

    Hey Clare! Quick question — I recently purchased TJ’s sunflower butter and it says to “refrigerate after opening”. I was wondering if you refrigerated yours because I hate refrigerating nut butters since I think they get hard that way. Thanks!

    • Katie permalink
      March 21, 2011 5:20 pm

      Hey, I’m not Clare but I love sunbutter and I definitely refrigerate it! A cool tip- store it upside down, and it will never be too hard or too runny. Enjoy.

  10. March 19, 2011 6:32 pm

    Congrats on the 20 miler!!! Awesome!! πŸ™‚

  11. March 19, 2011 8:18 pm

    You met a guy who beat Hal Higdon?! Haha that is just too cool! Congrats on your 20 miles- that is SUCH a huge accomplishment!!

  12. March 19, 2011 9:16 pm

    Congrats on your twenty miler!! Sounds like you did amazing and I totally admire your motivation to get the twenty miles done with even tough you weren’t sure you were feelin’ it. AND that man you met sounds too cool for words. almost 60 and PR’ing? I wanna be him. lol

  13. March 19, 2011 9:46 pm

    Such a cool story! Congrats on being finished with your longest run! You give me hope, because my first half marathon is tomorrow and I’m a little nervous, but I’ll think about you doing 20 miles today and it’ll make me feel better!

    I’ve met a few celebrities. Sean Penn and Mark Ruffalo in New Orleans and Andy Roddick in Memphis. Oh and Lauren Conrad at a book signing (haha).

  14. March 19, 2011 10:56 pm

    AMAZING!!!!!! seriously 20 miles! thats so inspirational and awesome πŸ™‚ congrats girl you must feel like an exhausted amazing person haha

  15. March 19, 2011 11:22 pm

    I served Lois Lane coffee about 7 years ago!! OK it was Margo Kidder but I will always think of her as Lois Lane πŸ™‚

  16. March 19, 2011 11:26 pm

    My comment didn’t post for some reason the first time…Maybe it hit spam or something…

    I served Lois Lane coffee about 7 years ago….OK it was Margo Kidder but I will always think of her as Lois Lane!

  17. March 19, 2011 11:36 pm

    Congrats on your 20 miler!!! That is such an accomplishment.. I think I am going to register for my first full pretty soon, I just need to work up the courage. Your training is so inspiring. It proves that small girls like us can achieve anything!

  18. March 20, 2011 12:25 am

    Hooray 20!!!

    I’d recommend another Gu (or even two, actually) for your race. Right about mile 20 I mentally needed another one, when I probably physically needed one earlier. My coach (friend/yoda) actually wanted me to aim for 4 throughout my race. I’m not sure of the numbers, but you would probably be interested to check and see what runners are “supposed” to take in during long distance exercise. Who knows, maybe you’ll be even FASTER!!!! I’m guessing your next long run is 13 or so? Try 2 then and see what happens! Muscles need carbs (sugars) like CRAZY to work well!

    At a race expo last year I actually met Hal himself. I was totally and completely star struck!!! … And kind of embarrassed! πŸ™‚

  19. mel permalink
    March 20, 2011 6:20 am

    Hey Clare! Awesome job!! I never want to run that far but you did amazing!! I saw that you burned someting crazy like 2500 cals…how do you possibly go about eating all of those back while taking in the usual calories? Was the smoothie your lunch or just a snack? I think re-fueling would be so hard without being stuffed but you need those cals for energy! Just wondering! Thanks girl

  20. March 20, 2011 6:57 am

    Wow girl, 20 miles?! You are awesome!!! When i think of 20 miles, I think of the distance from my home to work…and you ran it! Congrats!!!!

  21. Natalie permalink
    March 20, 2011 10:32 am

    Congrats on 20 miles! That is incredible!! I met Michael Keaton last summer at a pizza restaurant/bar when we were out one night. I also met President George H.W. Bush when I was five haha.

  22. March 29, 2011 5:57 am

    That’s awesome! And great time!!


  1. What I Ate After 20 Miles « Fitting It All In

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