Motivational · Running

Your Brain On 20 Miles


Imagine a world where we were all in ah-mazing shape all the time. You know, the world where you had a life on a Saturday and could enjoy heaping’s of ice cream and lying on the couch …is this just me? Wait, what do normal people do on Saturdays anyways? I forget. Life of a marathoner: we willingly spend hours on a Saturday running for fun. Yup, for fun.

And every marathoner knows too well the 20 mile run. Necessary, Yes. Fun, well I wouldn’t go that far.

(There’s something different about running a 20 mile training run and running a marathon. Marathon=fun. I also swear there is a big difference between 20 miles and 18 miles)

Everyone and their mother is/has/will run a 20 miler this season preparing for their marathon. So I just know you can relate to some, if not all, of these!

Every emotion is fair game on a 20 miler.

Some highs – and some lows.

  1. 20 miles is seriously so far. Us runners brag about doing our 20, because we KNOW it is far. We are just as surprised as you are that we did it.
  2. It takes a good solid 6 miles to get warmed up, in a groove, and loss of all awareness of what you are doing to yourself.
  3. Bathroom mapping is not a game. Knowing where every restroom along your route is, whether restaurant, construction site port-o-john, or group of trees…Know it.
  4. When people pass you on the trail, you will have the urge to explain that you are being passed because you are running probably 4x’s what they are…but not saying anything and settling for feeling like the badass that you are rocks too.
  5. You will want to talk to yourself, sing, dance…maybe cry…by all means go for it. You aren’t crazy. You’re just on a runners high. And slap happy. And tired. And only 11 miles in. Other people might think you’re crazy though.
  6. Hydration is important so when your coach stops at a gas station to buy more necessary water mid run and you’re caught looking at the hot donuts…leave the gas station immediately. Not that I would know.
  7. You will notice how pretty things are; the bunnies are so cute, the trees seem to fall so perfect, and the bridge is just so romantic…then bam…you head on collision with a bike/runner/your running partner. Again, not like I would know.
  8. On these 20 milers, I swear you become unaware of what 2+2 is. Depends on the mile you are on of course. Knowing how many miles (to the .01 because we are already running 20, isn’t that enough?) you still have to go before you can turn around becomes harder and harder to figure out.
  9. Every problem weighing on your mind just comes out. Gets solved. With multiple outcomes from the choices. And then by the end of the run you forget you even had that problem in the first place.
  10. Think about going to like 4 yoga classes in a row…that’s how relaxed your mind is at the end of 20 miles. Freaking meditated. (Or medicated? Runner’s High I swear.)
  11. The idea that you started your run at 6 am saying ‘good morning’ to other people and STILL are saying ‘good morning’ when you finish still gets me every time. You mean to tell me that it isn’t afternoon yet? Is this a joke?
  12. Ever have a 3 hour conversation/hang out with God? Think about how cool that is.
  13. The feeling at mile 19 is the most exhilarating feeling you will have until the day of the marathon. Accomplished. Worth every step. You did it.

Have any long run feelings, thoughts, funny moments??? I’d LOVE to hear them!!

4 thoughts on “Your Brain On 20 Miles

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