20 Mile Training Run Recap

Last Saturday, I made my way out for my last long training run of 20 miles for the Chicago Marathon! Most marathon training plans have your longest run hitting at least 20 before tapering down for 3 weeks.


Now, when putting my training plan together back in June, I knew that training for a marathon during the Atlanta summer was going to be long battle. However, I had hoped by the time we got to the middle of September and the longest run on my schedule, maybe the morning temperatures would be a little more tolerable. But as I’ve mentioned in quite a few previous blogs, the weather has not been cooperating. Fortunately, this past Saturday, at the start of my run, the weather wasn’t too bad.

Rather than go through my training run mile by mile…I’ll hit the highlights.

  • I started running at 6:45am, which at this point in the year, is still very dark. Fortunately, the park was already open and there were several runners already out there.

It’s hard to see, but this is how dark it was after my first mile!

  • By 8:00am, there were a lot of runners/walkers out. I think the “slightly” cooler temperature brought out everyone.
  • I listened to a 50-minute Disney-related podcast for the first 5 miles. I was fully engaged and distracted. It definitely helped with the first 1/4 of my run. Who knew that listening to podcasts would work as a good distraction for long runs?!

Love the scenery here!

  • My mile times are all over the place right now. Seriously…my fastest mile times were miles 4, 9 and 16. I will say for the most part, I stayed consistently within a 30-second window, but still…mile 16?!!


  • After I finished my 15 miler back in July, I couldn’t fathom going any further in this humidity/heat. I’m happy to say after 20 miles, I definitely felt like I could have gone a few more miles.

I’ve done several runs over 20 miles, but this is the longest with my Garmin Fenix3 watch!

  • I’m in full “taper mode” over the next few weeks. Basically, besides my normal weekly runs, I have 12 miles scheduled for this weekend and 8 miles the following weekend, before the Chicago Marathon weekend. I’m ready to go!


I look forward to sharing my experiences in Chicago the weekend of October 7-10. The race is Sunday, October 9. Wish me luck!!

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