20 Miles in the Bag! Hello Taper Time.

Yesterday I did my 20 miler! I signed up for this organized training run (so I even got a race bib, but it wasn't a race) with water stops along the way and several hundred people to run with. It was a lot of run! It went by a lot faster than if I had run it myself. And it was my last really long run of training. I'm really really happy about how it went. I didn't walk at all except for a few steps through the water stops.  And I felt like I could have gone longer! Basically I'm totally confident now that I can do this marathon.
blurry iphone #proof pic
Also, I found my little Garmin Connect stick so I was actually able to upload the workout. Here's my splits!

I found out that you're actually supposed to go really slow for your long runs compared to your goal race pace. That seemed pretty dumb to me but then my friend Army Army* mentioned that she did better in her second marathon when she did this.. so I did some more research. 

There's something called Jeff Galloway's Magic Mile. Basically there is a calculation based on a 1-mile time trial that can help you predict what you could run for a longer race (if you've trained for it). Now.. I didn't actually run a 1-mile time-trial but I fiddled around with it until I got my half marathon race time to match up:

So I just ran a 1:59 half marathon the other day, but it was a hilly course so I think a 9 min/mile pace is about right for that. According to this, I could theoretically run a 4:15 marathon (a 9:45 min/mile pace). And my marathon training pace should be 11:45. That's actually not too much slower than some of my long runs have been. I had to try really hard to go as slow as a basically an 11 min/pace yesterday but I think it's partially because a lot of people were going faster than me. I had to resist peer pressure. I was asking some people about their goal times and most people training at my pace had a much slower goal race pace.. I guess most people don't know to go slower? I guess I didn't really know until recently. Or maybe they think it's dumb like I did.

I guess then that 4:15ish is my goal time. But the Chicago Marathon is SUPER crowded so it might end up being more like 4:30. As long as I beat 4:40.. that's what James ran in the marathon he did with a 35 pound ruck on his back. I would feel kind of lame if I didn't beat that.

What do you think of the Magic Mile Pace Calculator? Does it seem about right? Does a 4:15 goal make sense for me?


  1. Congrats on completing your 20 miler! Hello taper! It's all downhill now.

    I've never heard of the magic mile pace caluculator thing-a-ma-bob, but I might be obsessed with it now. My 5k, 10k, and half marathon PR (all earned around the time I was marathon training) actually line up almost exactly with the numbers you plugged in. While my full PR is a little slower (4:25), I think I have 4:15 in me. If/when I run another one, that's going to be my goal.

    I still swear by those slow long runs. I know it can be hard to really go slowly (Stephen tells me that it hurts him to go that slow! Ha!), it really does work. I'm getting so excited for your race! Good luck!*

  2. Thanks! And yeah, isn't that pace calculator amazing? I haven't done a 5k in a while, but the 10k time is spot on for me too.


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