Rock 'N' Roll Marathon: The 20 Miler

October 20, 2013

I have heard that two nights before a big race is the most important night of sleep. I am glad that is true because two nights ago I had plenty of sleep but last night I was tossing and turning all night. I was too excited and nervous to sleep. This morning I ran the Alamo City Marathon Challenge 20 miler. That is me in the pink in the above photo.

I woke up this morning at 5:45am. I had packet pickup between 6 and 7am and the race started at 7:30am. I had a small breakfast- peanut butter toast and a banana. This morning was 45 degrees. I was very cold but it was the perfect weather without any wind. I got my packet, chip, and race number then did warmups and stretched before the start. The course was out and back 10 miles. My goal time for this race was 3 hours and 20 minutes. I had planned on 9:30-9:45 minute miles for the first half and then picking up the pace to low 9 minute miles the second half. That didn't exactly work the way I planned..

In the first few miles of the race everyone was running at a much faster pace than I had planned. I was behind two boys who were talking about going 9 minute miles so I decided to stay behind them and pace with how I felt. I decided not to worry about pace and just run. I looked at the course map the night before and saw that there were water and gatorade stations every few miles but decided to take my fuel belt filled with gatorade, Gu chomps, and Gu. I took a Gu chomp every 4 miles. I took regular Gu every now and then, I wasn't paying attention. I drank gatorade every few miles and drank water whenever I came upon a water station. On mile 2 these cute marines were asking what runners wanted I said water and one says "I got you! You're beautiful." That definitely made my morning ;)

Miles 1 through 10 -- 8:53 pace

My dad came along to cheer me on. He watched me start then planned to drive to mile 10 and catch me halfway then drive back to watch me end. Right when I got to mile 10 he was just jogging up. I was so excited to see him. He had a coffee and phone in hand and made a joke about running 20 miles so well that he could drink coffee while doing it. That made me laugh. We discussed pacing and how I felt for a few seconds. He yelled "Go Sara! See you at the finish line!" I made it to the turn around.

At mile 12 this group of runners were high-fiving other runners. I decided to high-five a few more also. For some reason high-fives made me excited and I began to run faster. I'm going to high-five more often! At mile 15 I turned my music on loud and zoned everything out and focused on counting down the miles. A few more miles later I saw the finish line and ran in. I had just finished 20 miles! That is the longest run of my training and the farthest distance I have run in my life.

Miles 10 through 20 -- 8:27 pace

My goal was over 3 hours and I ended up running at a much faster pace than my 9:45 and 10 minute training run mile paces. 

Official chip time -- 2 hours 48 minutes
Garmin time -- 2 hours 49 minutes 
Age group -- 1st place

I love running. And every time I push myself to go further I fall more in love with this sport. My first marathon is coming up in three weeks and I can not wait. Rock 'N' Roll Marathon, here I come!

Thank you Dad for coming to cheer me on this morning! I know it is hard getting up early and watching someone else run but having you there meant so much to me. Thank you to my family who support and encourage me all the time. Thank you friends and you guys who read this blog for your Instagram and blog comments, texts and calls, etc. Oh and thank you Kathleen for making my lunch when I didn't feel like getting out of bed!


  1. Holy smokes, Sara! Congrats! Sounds like the perfect tune-up race to boost your confidence for Rock N' Roll in a few weeks.

    1. Thank you, Madelynne! I definitely didn't think I could hold that fast of a pace for that long since most of my training has been much slower. It was the perfect race! Congrats on your 10 miler!

  2. I love high-fiving people at the turnaround. That's also where the Towpath Turtles and I give our Turtle calls. It gets me pumped up.

    1. It is great! Haha, what are the Towpath Turtles??


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