A great 20

Sunday’s 20 went fabulous. This was my last really long run before the marathon on Jan. 11. I now enter the taper, which cannot come a moment too soon. I treated this as a complete dress rehearsal for the marathon, except for getting up at 2:30 AM and wearing my Camelbak. I wore the socks, shoes and shorts that I wear at Disney. The top [can guys say “top” instead of shirt? or am I venturing outside the guy zone?] I plan to wear was covered with outerwear because it was 42 degrees yesterday. All worked out fine.

Let me pause here, men, and tell you about something I discovered about 2 months ago: nipguards. Yes, guys, nipguards. These little beauties look like corn pads your granny might wear but they adhere to that second most sensitive part of a male: the nipples. If you plan a long run of 10 miles or more, you should really think about these things. They don’t sweat off like bandaids. They stick to the bitter end [pun intended] and if you don’t remove them properly, well, they hurt. But since wearing them I haven’t suffered a bit from RNS (Raw Nipple Syndrome). Nipguard people, if you actually read this, I am ready to endorse your product. And tell the geeks at Garmin to send me a forerunner, dang it!

[Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.]

Fueling: For breakfast I had a PBJ sandwich with water. During the run I consumed 3 gels, one power bar of protein, lots of water/Gatorade combo, and 7 Hammer endurolyte capsules. This seems to be a successful set-up for food. I might add a banana before the WDW marathon and perhaps a small cup of coffee, since I’ll be waiting around a lot. But this lineup works. I had no energy issues related to under-fueling on this 20.

The first 10 miles felt great. I kept a nice pace of between 12 and 13 min. miles. At mile 12 I refilled my camelbak and ate half of my powerbar, while popping another set of endurolytes.

At mile 15 I started giving myself a walk break of 1 minute each mile. This worked well, as I was able to maintain a sub-12 minute mile for the last 5 miles. I plan to give Jeff Galloway a big kiss on his bald head if I ever see him. (He is the guy who came up with the run-walk stuff, right? I don’t want to kiss him for nothing.)

As I finished mile 20, I concluded that in the Disney marathon atmosphere, I could go an extra 6 miles easy. My feet hurt, my legs hurt, and my body questioned my brain for getting it into this stuff, but I had the stamina and fuel that would have allowed me to go farther. This was everything I wanted out of my last 20 miler. I couldn’t be happier.

While I ran, I listened to a bunch of podcasts, catching up on Confessions of a Runner by Jodi (http://www.confessionsofarunner.com). I listened to the podcast where she finished her first 20 miler and the enthusiasm and relief and happiness she expressed. I couldn’t help but get emotional. Knowing what it feels like to run farther than you ever thought you could, allows me to sympathize with her when she failed on her first attempt and cheer with her when she succeeded on the second. Listening to her joy lead me to visualize crossing the finish line and seeing my family. I almost lost it. Hers is an excellent podcast and I recommend it highly.

I’m trying to get a short podcast out before Christmas, so stay tuned. I am now on twitter (disneyrunner) and plan to tweet during the marathon.


  1. This was your best blog post I have ever read. Had me laughing out loud and made me miss that Dr. Harvey wit! I’m so glad to hear that it went so well, and I’m even more excited for what’s in store for you.I do have to say that in our Disney racing experience, they tell you there to get there WAY too early…so maybe waking at 2:30wouldn’t be necessary, if you ask me. It leaves you with a lot of lag time and standing on your legs before the race (which is not pleasant when you’re about to be on your legs for so long). Just my 2-cents.Hope

  2. Gordon,I’ve been listening to/enjoying your podcasts and just checked out your blog. Congratulations on completing your 20 miler. It sounds like you are ready to go. Just enjoy the whole marathon experience – it is an amazing one. Looking forward to the next podcast and hearing/reading about the marathon.By the way, I love the video of your boys. What fun!Karen

  3. Excellent, Gordon! And what a wonderful way to complete your last pre-marathon longrun. Excellent! Before my first marathon, I also had the same wonderful visualization going on. That is KEY! Congrats.

  4. Great job on the run! It sounds like you’re ready to go. I agree with Anonymous that getting to the race too early can be tough on your lengs, but a lot of people just plop right down on the ground and wait. Last year, I even brought a book to read and checked it before heading to the corral. I suspect that you’ll have plenty of people to chat with before the race, though, so you can probably leave the books at home!I hope to see you there!

  5. Sounds like you have it all down! Your fuel routine sounds very similar to mine, and with my lack of training this year, I think I’m going to be doing the walk/run method myself. See you at the start!

  6. Good luck in your marathon – sounds like you feel ready. Be sure to hydrate. My brother is an experienced marathoner and he ran Disney a couple years back. He finished – but doesn’t remember crossing the line – he ended up in medical tent after he finished – it was very humid. Take care of yourself – and make sure to hydrate!

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