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Day 33 of 112-Long Run-20 Miles-#thisishowyoudoit

DISCLAIMER #1-I actually posted this on April 2 instead of April 1 when the run actually took place.  I make this disclaimer because: 1) I am a terribly honest person and 2) It is so much easier to write in the present tense.

DISCLAIMER #2-This is a text heavy posting. No, I’m not kidding.  In order to make things flow easier, I’ve posted TONS of photos with captions at the end of the blog.  Feel free to skip all the other stuff and head right to those.

So where to start with the story of my 20-mile training run/Team Relay Marathon? How about with logistics.


I haven’t run in temps like this for over a year, and let me tell you…it makes a real big difference!  Running the whole time in 66 degrees wouldn’t have been so bad,  it’s not ever what I would want for a 20-mile run, but it would have been doable because the increase in temps by 13 degrees certainly took its toll.

I thought this to be one of the key logistics to consider. Despite applying sunscreen of 15 SPF several times during my three hours in the sun on Saturday, and despite the fact that I spent at least an hour under an umbrella, and despite the fact that it was cloudy and overcast, I got sunburned on my chest and fleshy part of my arm pit area.  In some ways it was genius.  The sunburn was located precisely in the spots where my new sports bra would be.  Why I don’t have odds like this when it comes to winning a $640 million Mega Millions lottery I do not understand.  So the look on my face below pretty much sums it up….was I actually going to be able to run 20-miles today with this sunburn and this sports bra?

At this point, I felt that chaffing was going to be the least of my problems today.

Last year when we were here in Siesta Key with my aunt and uncle (Lynne and Dan) we agreed we would participate this year in a team marathon relay.  The premise being that we would each run approximately 6.5 miles, one after the other, making up a total distance of a marathon.  Doug and I even agreed to take on the task of coordinating team t-shirts and medals (I’m sorry, even if you are running only 6.5 miles, if the name of the event in which you are participating has the phrase “marathon” anywhere in it, you deserve a medal).   We got the t-shirts printed at Chelsea Signs in Chelsea, Michigan, and the medals at Midwest Graphics, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Both quality companies with quality products.

However, last year when we agreed to do this, there were no plans for me to be training for a June 2012 marathon (Isn’t it great how life works this way?), so I threw a bit of a wrench into the situation.  But ever the flexible crew, this is how we did it.

Phase 1
Kristi runs miles 1-7.02 and Dan bikes with her providing directions on the route, carrying fuel and water, and taking pictures.

Phase 2
Kristi and Doug run miles 7.02-13.1 and Dan bikes with both of us providing directions on the route, carrying fuel and water, and taking pictures. Lynn drives in the van and stops at varying locations to also take pictures.

Phase 3
Kristi and Lynne run miles 13.1-20 and Dan bikes with both of us providing directions on the route, carrying fuel and water, and taking pictures. Doug drives in the van and stops at varying locations to also take pictures.

Phase 4
Dan runs miles 20-26.36 and Lynne bikes with him carrying fuel and water and taking pictures.  Kristi is exhausted and rides back to finish line in van with Doug, but not without stopping to pick up some bagels, a can of Mountain Dew, and other tasty treats at the new German bakery in town.

The route was 13.1 miles out and back.  Normally I hate out and backs, but I didn’t have to run the whole route (making it much more palatable) and the background was pretty much lovely to look at.  We started out in Siesta Key near Midnight Pass Road, headed northwest, north, east, northwest, and south to our ½ way point at Lido Beach, and then retraced our steps home.

The route involved beautiful waterfront vistas, historic neighborhoods, climbing the almost 50 foot Ringling Bridge, quick tour through St. Armands Circle, and eventually to Lido Beach.

We started the “race” at about 6:45 a.m.-the intent was to be on the road at 6:00 a.m., but I was suffering severe exhaustion from my rest day, which involved going to bed at 10:30 after the Internet quite cooperating and it was apparent I wasn’t going to be able to post my “Rest Day” blog.

The pace for the run was supposed to be 10:29.  Although I tend to be a bit freakish about pace times, I had planned from the get go that my goal on the run was to have fun!  Timing wasn’t going to be an issue for me.  I have run 20 miles, I know I can run 20 miles, and since I was running with other people, I just wanted to have fun.  And for the most part it worked.  Of the 20 miles I ran, three of the times were slower than the 10:29 pace, which means that 17 of them were faster.  Who can have a problem with that?

The total running time for the 26.36 miles was 4:19:16, a pace of 9:50.  My 20 miles was at a pace of 10:05 for a total time of 3:22.  The total time of the event from start to finish was 4:49.  Unlike last week, I stopped the GPS each time this week we stopped for water, changed transitions, took photos, stretched, etc.

Phase 1
I felt pretty good during this phase.  The temps were good, the scenery gorgeous, and Dan and I were having some good conversations.  At one point during this first 7 mile stint….I actually thought I  might run the whole 26.2 miles!  Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!

Phase 2
Dougie joins me at 7.02 miles and we are having a nice time.  He, sadly, is sick and dealing with some upper respiratory issues so we are trying to maintain a good pace for him.  I kept telling him what we were pacing at and he kept saying, “I’m o.k.” What a champ!  This leg of the run involved going over the Ringling Bridge, named after the guy who founded the Ringling Brothers Circus.  They are a big deal down here in Sarasota. Despite the beautiful view, it is quite a climb.  The good news…what goes up must come down.

Around this time my butt and quad tightness started to kick in, not to mention the fact my feet were really sore, which seemed weird because I wasn’t running on any different kinds of surfaces.  I tried to stop and stretch as much as I could.  So much, as I’ve said before, about my philosophy of getting tight muscles in the cold weather.  It was 75 degrees and I was drenched in sweat, so cold temps weren’t an issue.

Phase 3
Lynne joins me at 13.2 miles.  She was worried she would run slower than me and I told her several times not to worry about it.  It wasn’t about timing it was about having fun.  Although, to be honest, the way my body was feeling at this point there wasn’t a lot of fun involved.  I welcomed a slower pace and did everything I could to encourage it.

We started heading back over the Ringling Bridge around mile 15 something or other.  I knew we would hit the 16-mile mark on the bridge.  At this point I was just counting down the miles.  Actually, last week at the 16-mile mark I started to struggle and was just wishing it was over.  I guess mile 16 on a 20-mile run is like mile 20 on a 26.2 mile run.  I’ve defined a new “wall.”

At mile 17 we were over the bridge and Doug  met up with us in the marina.  He had parked the van and was waiting to shoot video and take pictures.  This was my “wall” moment.  I was exhausted.  I was crabby.  They were asking questions/saying things and there wasn’t enough oxygen getting to my brain so I couldn’t think straight.  I was snappish.  I just wanted it to be over.

I think it was about a mile later that I took off from Lynne.  Dan had met up with us and offered us water and all I wanted at this point was to just finish the fucking run (See, isn’t this fun?  Why doesn’t everybody run like this?  It makes us so happy).

I finish at 20 miles and Dougie is there to greet me, take pictures, and be such a champ.  Lynne and Dan show up a few minutes later and the Phase 4 transition takes place—Dan runs the last leg and Lynne bikes with him.  Doug and I head home to the finish line to wait for the two of them, have the medal ceremony, and start our day.

Ice Bath
As I said I would, I took an ice bath, and I think it really, really, really helped with my recovery.  The place we are staying doesn’t have a tub, so I did it in a shower, but it worked out just fine.  Christy P texted me with some great advice right before I got in—wear socks!  She said her feet being so cold last week was the real trouble and she wore socks this week and it was much easier.  I’m so glad I got that text because the cold feet were in fact “the issue” for me.

My advice for future ice bathers would also be this:  Start to run the water, get in it, and then add the ice.  This allows you to acclimate to the temps better.  There was a lot of shivering going on (legs and upper body for me) but I think it would have been worse if I got in afterwards.

Christy P wears a coat and hat on top when she does the ice bath.  Bridget just wears her sports bra.  I wore a dry t-shirt.  I am going to get on board with the idea that the warmer on top you are, the better it will be for you.

Compression Socks, Sunburn, and Chaffing
Per Bridget’s recommendation, I wore the compression socks for a few hours after the run.  Unfortunately, because we were going out to eat breakfast, I had to wear long pants, which wasn’t too bad because I had a comfortable pair of linen pants.  The real issue was what to wear on top.  The combination of my sun burn and the horrible chaffing I got during the run on my front—no chafing on the back—I had to wear a light tank top, but since it offered ZERO support, I had to wear a button up short-sleeve shirt on top of it.  I looked ridiculous and have no photo of this, which is a shame because it would be good for a laugh for all y’all.

Rest of The Day
Took a 90-minute nap, which I never do (which is totally stupid); went for a 3-mile walk on the beach to stretch my legs; ate a delicious dinner of BBQ chicken, salad, asparagus, and ice cream with chocolate sauce and Spanish peanuts; hopped in bed at 9:30 (which seemed very, very late) and was out not long after that.


  • Don’t get a sunburn the day before a long run!
  • The more beautiful the environment you run in the easier it can be!
  • Temps really do matter and will affect how you run, so be smart about it!
  • I’m giving a thumbs up for ice baths and compression socks!
  • And if there is anyway possible to run your 20-miles with the support and love of your family, who have all endured this type of event before and know how hard it is and they don’t judge you when you get all bitchy and lazy the rest of the day.  And if you can have t-shirts and medals made to celebrate everyone’s  success at the end of the event…well that is how you do it.

Carry on, friends.  Carry on.

The team at the starting line at 6:45 a.m.

Oh yeah, I'm gonna run over that about four miles.

Phase 2 Transition-the looks on our face are genuine at this point. This won't last long.

Approaching the Ringling Bridge

Going up, up, up, and up!

Over the bridge! Flat the rest of the way (until I have to do it again in a few miles with Lynne).

Kristi and Lynne ready to start Phase 3!

Lynne and I up, and up, and up, and up.

This is my "wall." I just want it to be over. I can't think straight. Let's just go!

Yeah! Yards away from 20 miles!! Feeling much butter having crashed through that fucking wall!!

Dan heads off on the final leg-Phase 4!

While Dan is doing this.....

......I am doing this!

Lynne bikes in and receives her finishing medal!

Yeah! Dan finishes and the team marathon relay is officially complete!

Success!!! OMG! Look at how pale my legs are! Next year it's back at the tanning booth before the trip for sure!

The smile is somewhat of a ruse. The soaking cold, wet towel on top of my knees is to compensate for the fact that we can't fill the shower up anymore and cover my legs. Notice the socks??? Thanks for the heads up Christy P!

Compression socks working their magic, despite the terrible fashion faux pas I am committing!

After running, ice baths, lunch, and naps...we all head out on the beach for a walk proudly displaying our medals!

Better late than never! Can't wait for next year's team marathon relay!


One Comment Post a comment
  1. You rock. Miss you so much and all this brings back good memories! I suppose my feet should start hitting the street! New York style….

    April 2, 2012

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