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Black Cat 20 Miler

Posted Mar 06 2011 5:39pm

Thank you all so much for your comments on my previous post – each one really touched me. I wanted the post to convey how much my family means to me, and explain why my mom is such a huge part of my relationship with running, and I was so glad that that message came through.


First 20 mile training run , check!

I had an awesome day at the Black Cat 20 miler in Salem, MA.

I was babysitting last night and stayed over, so everything had to be packed last night.

Including the food! Usually I bring a variety because I’m not sure what I will feel like eating before (or even right after) the race.

Today I ate:

  • a PBJ (in the tin foil) and coffee 2 hours before the start
  • a banana 45 minutes before the start
  • Two Clif Shots and an equal amount of water and Gatorade at the stops during the race

It worked out perfectly because my stomach was fine the entire time. (Sometimes I have a stomach of steel, other times it’s really off, so I never quite know what to expect.)


I got to the race 1.5 hours early, because I was worried about driving and parking by myself. It was a little funny how early I was, but it was worth it to me to be there early and have my car close by and be relaxed.


I got my number and my shirt, channeled all kinds of positive thoughts while sitting in my car, walked around the start, and messed around on twitter until my running friends ( Becky , Lizzy , Lauren & Bekah ) arrived!


Lizzy and I ran together for the first 10 miles (she was doing the 10-miler) – and it was awesome. We talked, told stories, and the 10 miles seriously flew by. Thanks, Lizzy! AND, Lizzy got a PR for the 10 mile distance – yay!!

(We’re next to each other in the pink and green)


The course consisted of 2 out-and-back 10 mile routes. I originally thought this might make the race go by slowly, but I actually liked the course. We got to see more spectators that way, and it was a good balance of uphill and downhill segments.


It was a perfect 50-something degrees, and there were a lot of great runners there but it wasn’t an overly crowded race.

I also got recognized somewhere along the way by a reader – Hi Amanda!


Time: 2:42:05

Mile Splits:

  1. 8:29
  2. 8:23
  3. 8:34
  4. 8:19
  5. 8:14
  6. 8:43
  7. 8:20
  8. 8:32
  9. 8:35
  10. 8:10
  11. 7:39
  12. 7:54
  13. 7:48
  14. 7:43
  15. 7:38
  16. 7:55
  17. 7:54
  18. 7:47
  19. 7:51
  20. 7:28 (fastest mile!)

I don’t know if I could be any happier with those splits – first half done in the mid-8:00′s and second half done in the mid-7:00′s, with my final mile being my fastest. Overall average pace was 8:06. I think that sets me up really well for Boston.

BlackCat3 BlackCat8

These ladies are so sweet and fun – it sounds crazy but I feel like I’ve known them for a lot longer!

BlackCat2 BlackCat9

I should really do more training runs as races. Not only did I have a great time, but I pushed myself more than I otherwise would have.

I felt strong and happy coming into the finish!

Afterward we drove to Stephy’s Kitchen for some post-race fuel.


Nothing like buttery diner food after a long run.


(Thank you to Becky ‘s mom a.k.a Mom On The Run and Bekah for some of the photos!)

This day totally exceeded my expectations. I’m recovering by laying on the couch, and there will be a lot of ice cream consumed later :)

What was the best thing to happen to you this weekend?

or What race did you have the most fun running, and why?

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