Running High!


Last Thursday was the long run. I mean THE long run. The longest distance i would run before 26point2. It went as smoothly as I could have asked and it was a great prep for the Potomac River Run Marathon i’ve been talking about for so long.

I set out to run on the tow path, just along the river where the race will be held. I don’t normally run on trails or dirt, so i needed to see how my legs, ankles and feet would handle with the different terrain. I chose to run in my Saucony Shadow Genesis’s. They are lightweight but more stable than my others. I wanted my ankles to be supported and it ended up being a great choice.

I’ve been so focused on speed over the last two years that it was strange, but so refreshing to settle into a pace that was comfortable (8:20-8:40) and just RUN. Sure I had my Garmin and I knew there was pressure to finish this long run feeling good, but I felt happy and rejuvenated the entire run. I generally struggle with staying mentally positive when i’m running for so long but today I fell in love with the long run.

There was a moment early on at mile 4.5 where I already felt a runner’s high—and again at mile 8—and again around 15. It was like the best roller coaster of emotions ever. I always say this, but runner’s are CRAZY. I literally had this manic happiness just listening to the pitter patter of my shoes on the dirt. With the canal on one side of me and the river on the other there was a ton to appreciate and keep my mind busy, all while feeling proud and relieved my body was responding how i needed. There were moments I remembered where my running life started… in a residential neighborhood with a quarter mile loop. Then I thought of how lucky i am to be healthy. I pictured my life in the future, my wedding day, traveling to different countries and running in exotic locations. I broke down personal reasons I run and almost teared up (seriously don’t call me a baby, this stuff happens when your miles and miles into your own mind). Keeping thoughts positive and my mind active throughout the run is what made this particular run special.


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Okay enough with the sugar drops and lollipops.

The run was almost perfect. This is why training runs are important— to figure out what you need to do or change for race day. I can tell you, I need to fuel better. I drank two 16oz bottles of water w/Nuun & 2 GU packets. Hydration was spot on. I never felt thirsty but I could tell that 18 miles was all I was going to get out of my body that day because of food. That dreaded “wall” everyone talks about wasn’t far from me and i know that consuming only 200 calories over 18 miles just doesn’t add up to a successful race.

This is where i need your help! What do you eat or take with you or leave in your car to eat for your long runs? I’m figuring i need to eat about every 45-50 minutes.  I don’t know if i can realistically eat 4-5 packets of goop, so give me some tips!! I have one final long run this week (14 miles) and i want to experiment with different fueling.

aaaaaand shoes.


I bought a pair of Saucony Mirages on clearance for $49! I’ve read reviews that they are like a mix of the Kinvara & Shadow Gensis..which are the other Saucony’s I own and love. I’m gonna try Honey Stingers for the first time, found a pretty purple sweater and my favorite deodorant.  Shopping was a success last weekend!

Peak Week Workouts!

Monday: 20 min TRX upper body, 10 abs

Tuesday: 6.5m running/walking, 15 min triceps, 10 abs

Wednesday: 7.5m 7:44/pace tempo 

Thursday: 18m 8:30/pace (pace ranged from 8:25-8:40)

Friday: 6m easy recovery 8:41/pace (with a few 30 second walk breaks)

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 3 hrs of TRX Rip Training class, 6.3m tempo (7:28, 7:18, 7:10, 7:08 + cool down miles)

Total Miles: 44.3 <—personal record! 🙂 

Alright, help me out — how do you fuel during marathons?

Author: She's Going the Distance


22 thoughts on “Running High!

  1. 18 miles!!!! Whoo!

    I really like Honey Stinger Chomps in fruit punch, so tasty but they can get a little sticky/melty.

  2. My tip won’t help during the race unless you carry your own water but when I do long training runs, I mix gel into my water to get more calories. And obviously sports drinks provide more calories than plain water so I take that at aid stations in marathons along with 2-3 gels.

  3. I love that runners high, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that almost tears up while running. I have been loving honey stinger waffles before long runs and gels with caffeine in them during, but I’m not up to the mileage you’re at, so I’m afraid I’m no help!

  4. I don’t think that you need to take in a large amount of calories to get through a long run/marathon, but the frequency that you take fuel is VERY important! I use a mix of honey stinger chews (pink lemonade all the way) and their honey “GU” packets. My stomach can’t handle a lot of that stuff all at once so I spread it out and eat a little bit every 3-4 miles (so about 20-30 minutes). I like doing it that way because then your glucose levels never get too low and you’ll have a steady flow of energy!

  5. I agree with Lauren. If you train your body to run on lower glycogen stores, you’ll be better at running on less of a full stomach. (I have a hard time consuming food prior to a race). For gels/eating during a race, timing is key, I have found! I like GENUcan, which is a powder you can pour into water prior to running, or you can even mix it with a little water and make your own gel/paste for during the run. GENUcan is really easy on my stomach!

  6. Also agree with Lauren – pacing is important in everything: running, hydration and fuel.

    The other thing you might learn from this experience is dealing with adversity – in the last couple of years I’ve learned about ‘chronic fatigue’, done some under hydrated runs, under-fueled and so on – all intentionally to make my body handle that adversity.

    It shouldn’t be a regular thing, but in terms of chronic fatigue this weekend I ran just over 29 miles – 15.5 Saturday as the sun set, and 13.75 Sunday mid-morning … and my legs were still feeling the night before!

    Cool new shoes – I just got a new pair of shoes, Sacuony Virrata 2’s, which are also similar to the Kinvara but even lighter and zero drop … I am loving them.

    • very true, i’ve gone on long runs well fueled, i’ve gone on runs on an empty stomach, sometimes because i planned it, sometimes cause i winged it haha, but you’re right, each run will be different and it’s not always a great thing to go in fresh or well fueled. I just never successfully prepared for a marathon before so i’m getting nervous!

      also, i just tried on the virratas! Loved them, but i’m not sure zero drop is good to throw into my running mix this training cycle. i’m thinking summer might be a better time to experiment because i did love the feel of those!

  7. Sounds like an amazing run!!! I am wondering about fueling as well!! Especially being celiac…it’s really hard to find fuel that won’t mess you up!

  8. I used to take a gel every 4-5 miles. but during my last marathon in October I hit the wall at mile 18 and actually felt hungry and couldn’t make up for my low fuel at that point. For my marathon this past weekend I filled my camelbak with Nuun (50oz water with 2 tabs- I don’t like it very strong while I’m running) and had a gu, clif shot, or hammergel every 3.5 miles. Since it was so hot I also grabbed regular water along the course. This actually worked out perfectly for me but I think I got lucky because I didn’t do all that in my training. I trained with less frequent fuel and regular water, so I think the added stuff only helped during the race. My stomach was a mess after I finished and I realized I had eaten 7 packets of gel. I don’t do well eating anything like chews or beans because I am not coordinated enough to chew and run at the same time lol. Sounds like you had a great run! I love that feeling where you get a runners high and all sappy/emotional about running.

  9. Congratulations on your 100th post AND on your successful 18 mile run! When is the marathon?

  10. That’s awesome that you had such a great run. It’s always a good confidence booster having a good training run before race day. I’ve never trained for a full marathon but my husband has been testing different fueling options lately. He really liked the Stinger Chomps and Waffles.

  11. YAY for you!!! I’m so impressed! For this last training cycle, I actually switched back to solid food, and although the race didn’t go great, my stomach was excellent, which is rare. I came to realize that all those Gus just weren’t making my tummy happy. Like Lauren, I don’t eat that much food, but I need it frequently. I ended up chopping Clif bars into 8 pieces, and eating 1 piece (about 30 calories each) every 2 miles starting at mile 6. This worked for me – but remember to practice whatever you decide on first :).

    • i like it. frequency seems to be the buzzword on this post, so i’m gonna try it!

    • I tried some real food in marathon training last year but never worked it out .. but I find all of the GU-like stuff gets icky-sweet for me, or artificial tasking, or just generally yuk. Fortunately I have a cast-iron stomach that never bugs out on me, but that doesn’t mean I like having that stuff!

      • right, too many sweet things just don’t sit right. I have had cliff bars before a run and no tummy issues, so maybe the whole chopping it up into pieces might work for me. then i can get a peanut flavored one so it will limit the sugary sweet. gah! I wish i started experimenting sooner!

  12. I’m so glad you asked this question because I need to know too! Great job on your 18 miler! You are getting so close!

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