Prepping for a 20 mile race

It feels like it’s been awhile since I’ve gotten ready for a race but it’s only been four months! Marathon training (and life in general) really has been keeping me busy. Here’s how I’m prepping for Bear Water Run 20 miler.

Racing Gear

I don’t know yet what the weather is going to be right away on race morning but the high is in the upper 70s and it’s suppose to be sunny. So most likely, I’ll be wearing a tanktop, shorts and sunglasses. I have a pair of 3.5 inch C9 shorts from Target that I’ve been wearing on basically every run so those are most likely going to be my shorts for both races. I’ll also be wearing my Loony Challenge hoodie before the race but luckily Mike and Vinnie are coming along so I can hand it off to them before I start!


I spent my Friday at work last listening to music and creating a playlist. Unlike my playlist for the Lake Minnetonka Half, I don’t have a specific order for this playlist. I’m just going to hit shuffle and let it roll. Of course, I have some of my favorite Hamilton songs on it along with a lot of late ‘90s and early ‘00s pop. You can find my playlist on Google Music if you want to take a listen!

Race strategy

My race strategy for Bear Water Run is to pace myself at 11 minute miles, which will give me a finish time of around 3 hour and 40 minutes. I felt really good after Sunday’s 12 miles at a 10:45 pace and felt like I could probably keep that up for another 8 miles. But, I don’t want to push myself too hard so I’m going to try and keep it closer to 11 minute miles.

Which will be interesting since there aren’t any pacers for this race so I’ll be keeping an eye on my watch. I’ve been messing around with the training views on my Polar M400 and have settled on what is the best way for me to pace myself by seeing the speed/pace average for the current automatic lap (my laps are set to be 1 mile). This way, I can see what my current mile pace is without it being affected by previous miles.


For fueling, I’m not going to be bringing along my handheld bottle since there are water/gatorade stations every two miles. I will bring along five Gus (four for during the race and one for right before) and SaltStick Caps like I did for my 20 mile run and will be using the same fueling strategy as that run.

Water Sips every two miles (plus with gels)
Gu Energy Labs Gels Miles 6, 10, 14 and 18
SaltStick Caps Miles 4, 12, 16 and 18

I will be probably trying to sip Gatorade later on in the run (probably at miles 12 and 16 when I’m not taking in a Gu) just to see how my stomach handles it. I’ve drank Gatorade during runs in the past so I’m not worried about it causing a problem with my stomach. Since it will be offered on the Twin Cities Marathon course I want to see how it might work into my marathon fueling strategy.


Basically, my plan for post-race is to get home, foam roll, shower, eat, nap and then eat again! It’s about a 30 minute drive home so I’ll probably bring along my stick roller so I get my calves and feet during the drive. I’m pretty sure we’ll be stopping at Nelson (which is right by our apartment) to grab lunch and I’ll probably get their Health Nut salad (spinach, feta cheese, strawberries, candied walnuts and raspberry vinaigrette) plus chicken. It’s probably my favorite thing there! I haven’t been too hungry after my longer runs so I’m going to want something really nutritious post-race that isn’t heavy.

I’m also super excited for dinner as we are having homemade pizza. I made pizza dough and Mike made sauce over this weekend so we are all set for a chicken and roasted bell pepper pizza! I’m sure I’ll have my appetite fully back after my nap and be all ready for some pizza.