Category Archives: Long Runs

The Final 20

Somehow I’m just now realizing that marathon training is essentially over. Yesterday I ran my final 20 miler of this training cycle.


It sounds crazy to say, but I (kind of) wish that I had just one more.

I feel like there are a couple of kinks that I’d still like to iron out with my fuel belt and shoes, but I’ll have to use my last couple of semi-long runs for that purpose and hope for the best.

The run itself went fairly well, especially on the heels of last week’s failed attempt. The hip was never an issue this week thankfully.

The weather was 70 degrees yesterday with 95% humidity, not ideal … but honestly it didn’t bother me much. I run relatively well in warmer and humid conditions, its not my favorite by any means, but it didn’t cause any problems.

I did have to stop at mile 9 to lance a blood blister on my foot and I got some pretty gnarly chafing just below my belly button from my fuel belt. I can never decide whether to carry my own water with me during a marathon or not. Both times I have ended up carrying my Nathan water bottle, but its so annoying. Now I have the fuel belt and its so nice to have my hands free, but that thing is heavy! Decisions, decisions.

Looking at the calendar is kind of scary/exciting! Next weekend Tim and I are headed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to run the Louisiana Half Marathon. The following week we are running a half marathon to support our local High School’s Softball team and then it will be my final taper week before Mississippi River Marathon. The week immediately following the marathon I’ll be running the Mercedes Half Marathon in Birmingham for the 4th year in a row!

That’s 3 half marathons and 1 full marathon in 4 weeks! Scary/Exciting!

Fun Facts about my Mississippi River Marathon training:
I have run 20 miles four times this training cycle. I didn’t run 20 miles four times combined for my previous two marathons.

I have run a total of 446.41 miles so far in training.

I have spent 65 hours, 53 minutes and 27 seconds on my feet.


Leave a comment

Filed under Long Runs, Marathon Training

A Long Run & Whole30 Day 5

I haven’t written as much about running lately, but I swear I’m still out there. Most runs are fairly mundane and not blogworthy. Of course I’ve been spending a lot of time talking about my love affair with CrossFit and Paleo eating, but I’m still married to running. No worries!

Today’s run was a big question mark. The last run I did was on Wednesday and it was pretty disastrous with my hip pain and an Upper Respiratory Infection. Yuck! I rested my leg and my body for 2 full days, and then did a short CrossFit workout yesterday before trying to run again today.

My hip has continued to be mildly annoying the last few days, so I wasn’t feeling super confident about completing my 20-miler today. I went out there with the intention of running as far as I possibly could without causing any further damage, even if that meant I had to quit after 2 miles.

At about mile 6 I started being aware of my hip, although I wouldn’t say it hurt. I stopped at mile 7 and did some Downward Facing Dog and Pigeon Pose in the median of the road to loosen my hamstrings and hip. It helped a lot! So when someone in the group had to take a potty break at mile 9 I used that as another opportunity for some stretching.


“Stacked Firewood” is another good hip stretcher.

The hilly terrain between miles 11 and 13.5 really got the hip angry. I decided at that point to cap the run at 16 miles. I stretched it out one more good time at 13.5 and finished up. I actually felt much better once I got off the hills, but decided to play it conservatively.

I thought about my New Year’s Resolution and focused on “accepting myself unconditionally right now”. Right then, that was the right choice. I didn’t take the “unfinished” last 4 miles home with me, so to speak. Something that would have driven me crazy and put me in a bad mood in the past. I felt accomplished and happy with my best today! 🙂

I finished 16.13 miles in 2 hours and 25 minutes.

I iced, foam rolled and stretched my hip like it was my J-O-B once I got home. And then I enjoyed the rest of the afternoon playing “Ninjas” with my son.

My food today was pretty special, especially lunch and dinner.

Pre-run: Cashew Cookie Larabar
Mid-run: A handful of dates
Post-run: 2 hardboiled eggs (brought these in a cooler bag in my car so I could have the protein immediately after my run).



Sweet Potato Pancakes, Sausage and Grilled Brussel Sprouts.

I’m telling you, these pancakes are something special.

For my afternoon snack, I attempted to eat sardines:

Dinner was Lemony Lamb Dolmas and Cilantro Cauliflower “Rice” from Practical Paleo. This cauliflower is life changing, and the dolmas were EVEN better.


This was one of those meals where I had to say “day-um” every couple of bites. It was that good.

It turned out to be a really great day!

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Long Runs, Marathon Training, Paleo, pictures, Whole30

20 Miles for Day 20

I thought I’d celebrate Day 20 of my Whole30 with a 20 mile run.

2012-11-24 09.18.20

Just kidding! That was a total coincidence, pretty fitting though.

My day started at 4:45 am preparing for my first 20 mile run of this marathon training schedule. It’s been a while since I’ve run this distance, and although I didn’t feel as amazingly spectacular as last weekend it was still a really really good run.


Kaitlin, Barbara, Chad, Mike and I started without a specific route in mind and made split decisions as we went along for the first several miles. It was pretty fun for a while and then we finally decided on a route. I feel like we ran around the entire east side of Montgomery!

Before our run I had a Banana Bread Larabar and a Banana … yeah, that was kind of weird. I didn’t plan it that way, it just happened.

Instead of carrying Gu with me during my Whole30 I’ve been carrying an extra Larabar in the pouch of my water bottle. Last week I didn’t end up needing it, but today I was glad to have it. I never bonked energy-wise, but I got HANGRY at about mile 14. I believe that’s the first time I’ve ever actually eaten something while running.

After the run I headed home for a quick breakfast of fruit and scrambled eggs, before heading off to yoga.

My energy has been through the roof today! After four and a half hours of exercise I’d normally spend the rest of the day either on the couch or in the bed. Today I went out to lunch, went shopping, cleaned my entire house including sweeping and mopping and doing laundry and cooked dinner. I like it!

Dinner tonight was a simple one: baked chicken, roasted asparagus and balsamic mushrooms. Nothing fancy.


A couple of my friends have shown interest in doing a Whole30 of their own and have specifically asked about what to buy at the grocery store. Of course everyone’s taste is different but I thought I’d list a quick breakdown of what I’ve been buying and where.

I typically shop at 3 different stores: Costco, Earth Fare and Publix.

At Costco I get: Frozen Wild Alaska Salmon, Frozen Tilapia Filets, Chicken & Apple Sausages, canned wild caught Tuna, avocados, sweet potatoes, onions, eggs, bananas, coconut oil, clementines, organic apples, spinach, bell peppers, pre-cut butternut squash, mushrooms, asparagus and a fruit bowl.

At Earth Fare or HealthWise Foods (local) I get: Organic Grass-Fed ground beef and steaks, organic pork breakfast sausage, bacon, chicken legs, breasts and thighs, Larabars and sunflower butter.

Any other random ingredients or vegetables that I’m not buying organic I get from Publix.

Those have pretty much been my staples for the past 20 days.

Now I think its couch sittin’ time. Have a great night!

1 Comment

Filed under Long Runs, Marathon Training, Paleo, Running, Whole30

Whole30- Day 13 & a Long, Long Run

Today was my first real long, long run for my Mississippi River Marathon training. A long, long run to me is anything over 14 miles. Last weekend I was supposed to run 16, but because I ran a fast 13 at the Chickamauga Half Marathon I decided to scrap the extra 3 miles.

Today’s run was 18 miles. I ended up with 18.56, to be exact.

I felt gooooood! Too good. I’m really starting to think that this Paleo diet has a lot to do with it. It can’t be a complete coincidence that in the last 13 days I’ve run a PR half marathon and an amazing 18+ mile run. No energy gels, nothing.

I returned to find that my car had been tagged by my crazy friend Hilary.



I felt a tiny bit self-conscious taking my son to Toy’s R Us this afternoon with “PAROLED” written on my window. 🙂

After my run and a big breakfast I headed to yoga. I love Saturday morning Hot Yoga after a long run, its really the best way to stretch it all out and keep the soreness away. I never take the time to stretch properly otherwise.

My meals today were:

Snack (before run): Cashew Cookie Larabar

Meal 1 (after run): 3 scrambled eggs, 2 slices of bacon and a small fruit bowl.

Meal 2: Steak Salad at Moe’s with lots of veggies, salsa and guacamole.

Snack: Mixed nuts from the Earth Fare bulk bin.

Meal 3: Stuffed Bell Pepper, Collard & Cabbage Slaw and Roasted Veggies.


The best thing about long, long run days is getting to eat all the things. Guilt free!

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Long Runs, Marathon Training, pictures, Whole30

Half-Merry Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas!

I started my Christmas Eve with a Half-Marathon distance run.

2011-12-24 09.21.04

I met up with a few of my friends early this morning for a celebratory group run around Downtown Montgomery.


I think I finally feel like myself (almost) completely since the marathon two weeks ago today! The best part of this run was no pain!

Post-run breakfast was a Veggie Benedict at The Egg & I.

2011-12-24 10.15.11

O.M.G worthy.


Merry Christmas and Namaste!


Filed under Food, Friends, Half Marathon, Long Runs, pictures, Restaurants

2 Weeks Til the Race

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! Mine was spent with good friends and way too much food.


I did stay on track with my running through the holiday week though and even ran a fast (8:04 pace) 5 miles on Thanksgiving Day!

Today is the 2 week mark before the race! Its coming so fast!

Taper time is in full effect now. Today’s run was significantly shorter than last week’s run, only 12 miles. Twelve miles is nothing to sneeze at though!


Today I was thankful for only twelve. After a week of less than ideal eating I felt heavy and sluggish from the start, or maybe it is the fact that the entire first mile is uphill. Who knows?

Started getting more comfortable around the 3 mile mark, but the heavy gusts of head wind fought back at me. Luckily I had my best running buddies with me, so the conversation helped keep my mind of the actual running.

Before I knew it, it was done … and I was relaxing at breakfast drinking a customary post-run beer.

With all the usual suspects.


Headed from breakfast straight to Hot Yoga for some streeeeeeetch.

Unfortunately Hot Yoga wasn’t as amazing today for me as it usually is. I was weak and tired and wanted it to be over almost as soon as it started. I toughed my way through it the best I could and hope that atleast my legs got some benefit.

1 Comment

Filed under Long Runs, Marathon Training, pictures

3 Weeks Until the Race

This weekend marks the final countdown until my first marathon on December 10th. I say final countdown because after today its the start of taper time!

Its been a busy, crazy, fun weekend!

Started off Saturday morning by deciding to support a friend at the Turkey Burner 5K instead of running my scheduled 20-miler.


She killed it! And placed 1st in her age group.

I felt like I needed an extra rest day before my long run anyway. I’ve been feeling some aches this week that I needed to rest away. To add insult to injury I also fell a couple of nights ago and hit my knee that has been aching already. I’ve got a big black bruise, but it seems to otherwise be ok.

Saturday afternoon I did some hot yoga to stretch everything out.

I realized at some point yesterday that my long run would be 20 miles on November 20th on the last day of my 20’s! Perfect!

The alarm went off bright and early this morning at 4:45. I thought it was a cruel joke at first. But it was reality.

I’m proud to say that I busted out 21.15 miles this morning in 3 hours and 12 minutes!

It makes it so much easier to do these long runs with buddies. Six of us started out together this morning and ran various distances. I was never alone the whole time!


There was no time to rest after the run though. Today was our Thanksgiving Dry Run to test out some recipes for Thursday. I spent the day cooking, cooking, cooking and ended up with this …


I know its all kind of the same color, but it was delish! That’s how you do a vegetarian Thanksgiving. Sweet potato gratin, sweet pea and onion casserole, cabbage, potato salad, dressing with cranberry sauce and pearl onion gratin. There was also some unpictured Pumpkin Spice Cake involved and Tim’s absolute favorite of the day …


Taffy apple salad.

Took a 3 mile walk after lunch to keep the soreness away and settle the full tummy.

So happy, tired and thankful.

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Holidays, Long Runs, Marathon Training, pictures