This bowl has the most amazing textures and flavors.


It was so good, that I ended up eating it so fast that I was surprised to suddenly scraping the bottom.  Should’ve used a tinier spoon for maximum savorability (not a real word).


My bowl contained:


  • 1/4 cup Grape Nuts
  • 1/2 cup raw oatmeal (yes, you can eat oatmeal raw)
  • Pecans
  • 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
  • Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • Honey
  • Blackberries


I thoroughly enjoy raw oatmeal with yogurt.  I’m probably never going back to granola!


How to Not Hate Your Long Workouts


Note:  “Long workouts” are entirely subjective and relate to YOUR current abilities and fitness levels.  So, what might be a long workout to one person is a short workout to another.  Furthermore, sometimes our fitness levels change (due to injury, work, stress, pregnancy, laziness, whatever) and what was once a short workout is now a long workout.  Point is that I’m not just talking about 15 mile runs or 50 mile bike rides.  Long workouts are subjective!


If you’re training for a race – whether its a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon, Triathlon, or Century – there’s a day each week called a “long” day.  That’s the day you seriously step up your mileage, working towards the ultimate race distance.  Sometimes I look at my training plan for my Century race and think, “Ohmigosh, how the [bleeping] hell am I going to ride 80 miles?!”  I did a similar thing when I was trying for the Disney Marathon – I would peek forward in my schedule a few weeks and say, “I cannot ever imagine running 20 miles.”


But long days are possible, and although your fitness level is important, a major component of making long days achievable is your mental attitude.  Training for a new or longer distance is more of a mental exercise than a physical one.  If you head into your long day dreading the workout, I guarantee you it will be a horrible experience.


Here’s how to make it FUN!


  • Build It Up in Your Head:  Think about your long day all week long in a positive light.   Fake the enthusiasm until it’s real.  Repeat after me:  “I cannot wait to try to run 4 miles this weekend!  It might be hard, but it’s going to be EPIC!”  If you catch yourself constantly ruminating over your long day, you need to flip your thinking ASAP.  Also, try to imagine the workout going really well – visualize the location, how it will feel, and how nice it will be to finish strong.


  • Tell Everyone:  Tell anyone and everyone who will listen about your long day.  Tell your best friend that you’re going to attempt Week 3 of the Couch to 5K plan on Sunday and ask her to call you around noon to see how you did.  Don’t tell other people you are scared – keep spreading the positivity.  If you say it enough times, you’ll start to believe in your ability, too.


  • Trust Your Plan:  This is a big one.  It’s hard to imagine going from a 5K to a Half Marathon, but if Hal Hidgon says you can do it, you can do it.  Trust the process.  Trust the plan.


  • Break the Distance into Smaller Goals:  You’re not running 3 miles, you’re running 1.5 miles out and back.  It’s a simple Jedi mind trick, but I swear it works.


  • Do It With Friends:  Find a friend or a running group to do your long day with.  Even if your friend cannot run the entire distance with you, ask if she’ll meet you for 5 miles of your 10 mile long run. 


  • Schedule Races:  If possible, build races into your training plan.  For example, if you’re training for a 10K, do a 5K at the half-way point in your training.  If you’re doing a marathon, do a half when you’re ready.  Races break up your schedule and are a sneaky way to get in long workouts (this is exactly what I did with Sunday’s Metric Century! Instead of riding 60 miles solo, I did it in race conditions!).


  • Make It Fun:   Download new music for your iPod.  Sing aloud.  Pretend you’re in a music video (I do this all the time).  Run to your favorite movie soundtrack and pretend like it’s a new scene (I do that with the Twilight score – nerd alert!).  Dress in all black and pretend like you’re a running ninja.  Whatever.  Do what makes you LAUGH!  Exercise should be fun!


  • Reward Yourself:  When you reach your mileage goal, do something FUN for yourself.  Watch a movie, refuel at your favorite healthy restaurant, paint your nails, jump in an icy cold public fountain… just reward yourself!  You deserve to pamper yourself after your hard work.

IMG_4663 - Copy

(Yes, I really jumped in a public fountain after an 18-mile long run.)


Do you ever dread long workout days?  How do you make training FUN?



  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing April 22, 2010, 10:17 am

    I need to try the raw oatmeal thing.. that bowl does look really good!

  • Lisa April 22, 2010, 10:18 am

    Since I read on your blog about you using oatmeal in your yogurt I’ve been doing it too! You’re SO right it is Yummo!
    I love that its so similar to granola you just A) save a whack load of sugar and B) don’t feel like you’re gonna break a tooth!

  • Lauren April 22, 2010, 10:18 am

    “crapping the bottom”? ee typo!

    • caitlin April 22, 2010, 10:22 am

      hahah that was a good one.

      • Lauren April 22, 2010, 2:01 pm

        please don’t think i’m being super critical – i have an editor’s eye and always notice little typos! i thought “crapping the bottom” was pretty funny.

        btw that ninja picture makes me lol hardcore

        • Caitlin April 22, 2010, 2:44 pm

          haha i love typos like that… where they actually mean something else.

  • Shelley April 22, 2010, 10:20 am

    This post has come at just the right time for me, thank you! I already feel better about my run on Saturday from reading this woo! I will definately keep these tips in mind

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin April 22, 2010, 10:22 am

    I love this post… I especially agree with point #1 – fake it til you make it! It can be applied to many many areas of life.

    Happy Earth Day!

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs April 22, 2010, 10:22 am

    Good tips!! I was looking forward in my marathon training programme and saw two 22mile runs planned….EEEK!! But I love that ‘pretend you’re a ninja’ trick – yeah, I’ll definetly be doing that!
    I allwwaaays makes use of the ‘oh my gosh, I’m doing xyz miles on Sunday, it’s gonna be AMAZE!’ – Works everytime! And just picturing the sheer joy/feeling when I’ve finished, that always drags me out 😛

  • shannon (the daily balance) April 22, 2010, 10:23 am

    Run to your favorite movie soundtrack and pretend like it’s a new scene (I do that with the Twilight score – nerd alert!).

    reason #98246 i love you!

    great tips! i love the “tell everyone” tip, i feel like others woul definitely keep me in gear!

    love this post

  • Meghan@traveleatlove April 22, 2010, 10:23 am

    Mental toughness is SO important for long workouts. During this past Boston Marathon training, I really put positive self talk to the test, and it REALLY worked.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet April 22, 2010, 10:23 am

    Hahahah I love that 2nd to last pic. Never really did a long ‘workout.’ Have gone on a few 20-30 mile bikerides with my dad before, but never looked at it as a workout since we weren’t training for something. I think you are right – you gotta make it fun!

  • Rae April 22, 2010, 10:24 am

    LOVE these tips! And i so agree!! Note: I just did my first 80 mile ride for Im traiing….make sure you reapply body glide/etc. halfway through….it wears off and now i have a seat print where no seat print should be! LOL

  • laura April 22, 2010, 10:25 am

    good morning
    yesterday i bought my heart monitor and i dont know what is my vo2 max. do you know yours?

    • caitlin April 22, 2010, 10:29 am

      no idea! i think you have to get tested in a lab?

  • Diana April 22, 2010, 10:26 am

    Ahah, awesome tips.
    Raw oatmeal.. I think I’ll try that. 🙂

  • Leslie April 22, 2010, 10:27 am

    At the top you wrote that you wre suddenly “crapping” the bottom instead of “scraping”. I giggled, becuase I thought you acutally meant that it was so yummy, and you ate it so fast that you immediately had to use the restroom. Sorry. I just had to tell you. It made me smile.

  • Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries April 22, 2010, 10:28 am

    Thanks for reiterating that long workouts are subjective. I’m just training for a 5K right now and it’s a big deal to me. I’d like to be able to do a 10K and then Half Marathon someday, but right now, it seems impossible. This post gives me the confidence I need to mentally physche myself up and JUST DO IT! Thanks, as always 😀

    • caitlin April 22, 2010, 10:29 am

      everyone start somewhere! most people cannot do a 5K! it’s a pretty awesome feat!

  • Jess April 22, 2010, 10:29 am

    Great post! I’m running my first half mary next weekend (!) and your tips really echoed my experience. I’ve been training with a running group and have found myself being the positive talker for the group. Since I feel like I’m helping them get through it, I don’t have time to freak out! (And I know they’d do the same for me if need be.)

    My best tip is to find your “long workout pace” and stick to it. I felt silly running so slowly back when we started training, but now that we’re out for 10+ miles, it’s so important. I feel like I can run forever at that pace – so I try not to get caught up in the time.

    We also got a great tip from our coaches a few weeks ago. They told us that a lot of new runners tend to panic when a “bad patch” hits and start thinking “If I feel this bad now, how much worse is it going to be in X miles?” They said to try and curb that and realize that most of the time, the bad patches plateau…it doesn’t get exponentially worse as you go on (unless you are really hurt). That’s been very helpful for me.

    Wow…that was a long comment!

    • caitlin April 22, 2010, 10:30 am

      that is a very good point!

  • Heather ( April 22, 2010, 10:29 am

    cute post! when trianing for the disney and mardi gras half I wa sunhappy b/c it was winter and very cold. Having my husband run with me really helped a lot, as did running in a new location, more stuff to look at!

  • Christine @ Grub, Sweat and Cheers April 22, 2010, 10:30 am

    Love the karate kid shot!

    Great tips – and timely too. Had a brutal long run (13 miles) last week and am trying to psych myself up for the next one.

    One thing that gets me going is good music. And cheesy music too – I love starting and ending a run with the Rocky song ‘Gonna Fly Now’. I swear when I run my half I will probably be weeping and crawling over the line humming this.

  • Becka April 22, 2010, 10:30 am

    That’s blue jacket park! We just shot a session there. 🙂 Couldn’t get them to jump in though. 😉

  • Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker April 22, 2010, 10:30 am

    Great post! I also find it’s helpful if I just tell my mind I need to be patient. Sometimes just feeling like it’ll take forever (like with 20-mile runs) just seems AWFUL. But if I just slow my mind pace to my running pace, everything seems to go smoother. It’s more enjoyable 🙂

  • Danielle (Coffee Run) April 22, 2010, 10:33 am

    I love all the tips 😀 My favorite one is to build it up in your head & pretend like you’re an elite athlete!

  • Bronwyn April 22, 2010, 10:33 am

    When I first did a half-marathon many many moons ago I didn’t really like long workouts. The only reason I was running long distances then was really because I wanted to burn more calories. This was entirely the wrong attitude.

    This time around, when the calorie burn isn’t my goal and simply challenging myself to train and get a PB (and have fun!) is the main objective I look forward to my long workouts so much! I can actually run for 2hours without anyone or even my iPod (something I never used to be able to do) (though when I do run with people I do push myself harder…). I love being able to just get out and focus on the run; it’s totally become me time.
    I also love being able to tell people I just ran 20k, there’s nothing like people’s eyes popping out when you say that to make you feel incredible. 😉

  • Jenny April 22, 2010, 10:34 am

    With energetic music that fits my mood and a comfortable workout outfit!

  • Laura Georgina April 22, 2010, 10:34 am

    I love these tips! I’ve started dreading my 4 mile runs lately as I’ve transitioned from doing 3 miles because it’s been EVIL hot in the mornings (used to be 80, now it’s 90 at 6:30 am!) and I feel like death out on the road. I definitely think some new music and some good visualization will help me get through it, as will tricking myself into thinking that it’s just two miles out and then back–that’s genius!

  • Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow April 22, 2010, 10:35 am

    Awesome post!

    Two things are key for me with the mental game in working out (because for me, it’s always mental!).

    – music. Oh I have to have the best, energizing, motivating, inspiring music. This works for any workout. This morning for example I was doing a recovery workout focused on stretching and strengthening my muscles (I’m doing the Insanity program by Beachbody). The piano music with a buzz to it struck a chord in my body for some reason and I was all emotional! So random! In a good way…I was focused on prepping for my hard/long workout this Saturday and I felt the energy I was putting towards it.

    – frame of mind. It’s all in your attitude baby! YOU get to decide how you want to approach a run, race, workout, or day. The power we have in our mind is freaking unreal! If we tap into that and use it, really fake it till we believe it- you can do ANYTHING! 🙂

  • Kelly April 22, 2010, 10:36 am

    My long day might be a whole 8 minutes of running today!! Thank you leg for crapping out on me 3 months ago, but hey me and mine pt are building back up!

  • Kim B April 22, 2010, 10:37 am

    I LOVE this entry! Last night I did my “long” run – 10k for the very first time ever! That was a short run for many people but a very long run for me and a distance I’ve been building up to for several weeks now. It felt amazing to finish it! I don’t think I would have nearly the motivation for this stuff without your blog!

    • caitlin April 22, 2010, 10:43 am

      thank you! congrats on your 10K. that is an awesome achievement!

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople April 22, 2010, 10:38 am

    I definitely have days where I plan to really kick my exercise into high gear. I agree that fitness should be fun, so I always make sure to grab a new book or magazine (I’m now an expert on balancing on most gym machines!) and then reward myself with some new music. Now if I could only figure out how to run and read at the same time, I would run all the time! =P

  • megan April 22, 2010, 10:38 am

    Great tips! I always find myself dreading my harder workouts. And you’re right – I have the complete wrong attitude. I firmly believe in the power of positive thinking…if you keep telling yourself that you are looking forward to it, it will be a fun challenge, etc, your subconscious will start to believe it! I just need to put this into practice. i’m going to practice on my upcoming 5k!

  • Sarah for Real April 22, 2010, 10:38 am

    LOL Thank you Caitlin! I love your early disclaimer about what’s “long” to each of us. I’m new with running (I’m doing the couch-to-5k now!) so that made me laugh. In fact the whole post was uplifting and lighthearted. I will definitely store this info in my head for when I get to the later weeks, they might look scary, but I “trust the plan.” Thank you so much!

  • Nancy April 22, 2010, 10:43 am

    Perfect Post! I’m getting ready for my “long run” today. It’s 11miles and the last run before my 1/2 next weekend. I super excited because I’m rewarding myself with yummy thai food later today for lunch!!!! I can do it!

  • Matt April 22, 2010, 10:43 am

    Long days are actually my favorite workout of the week 🙂

  • Stina @ Girl Can April 22, 2010, 10:46 am

    I am TOTALLY going to dress in all black and pretend to be a running ninja on my next long run! (I am so serious!)

  • Ali April 22, 2010, 10:51 am

    These are great tips! Thanks! I have my first legit long run for marathon training on Sunday. It’s just 6 miles, but it’s farther than I’ve ever run before! I’m trying to psyche myself for it now. 🙂

  • Erica April 22, 2010, 10:51 am

    Thanks for this post! I needed the motivation. I’m wasn’t looking forward to 8 miles tomorrow until now 🙂 I might dress in all black and pretend to be a ninja too!

  • Shellybean April 22, 2010, 10:53 am

    My long workouts are runs- and I do a few things. When I was nearing the end training for my half marathon and kind of resenting the time it took to run 10-12 miles, I started listening to a book on tape (Fragile Things, by Neil Gaiman- short stories worked really well) because I was really tired of the music I’d been running to. It slowed my pace, but it got me out there, and my pace ended up being fine during the race despite my slow long runs (I finished in 1:58.)
    Giving myself permission to be slow if I need to be is another trick I have to get me through a long run. Sometimes it’s a lot more fun for me if I’m not pressing myself to keep a certain pace. I always run, but if I wanna slow down and enjoy the day, I can.
    Finally, I view long runs as cathartic. I leave it all on the road and come back home feeling like a new (and super happy) person. I feel like I *need* those runs to renew my spirit, if that makes sense.

  • ActiveEggplant April 22, 2010, 10:54 am

    Totally off topic, but I’ve been meaning to ask – what was the first Tri you did? Reading your recap I thought it might have been another one at Moss Park…After my half-fail at the Wildman in March I want to sign up for another and redeem myself like you did at this year’s event! I’m thinking of signing up for the Women’s Tri in October…is that the one you did? How was the turnout? (Hoping more people than the Wildman, but still some newbies like me!)

    • caitlin April 22, 2010, 10:56 am

      the failed one i did was the moss park tri. i heard the woman’s tri is good though!

      • ActiveEggplant April 22, 2010, 11:22 am

        Ah – thanks! I considered doing that one but don’t think I’ll be ready in time. I’ve got a TON of work to do on the swim leg. Woman’s Tri it is!

  • Claire April 22, 2010, 10:54 am

    I love this post so much Caitlin! For me, the long runs were really tough when I was younger cause I was so hard on myself and my training. It was definitely too much of an all or nothing approach and I am pretty sure that my coaches knew this as well. I finally grew into realizing that it just another run, another day and it will be the best we can make it. I just moved to MI for work and I have no running friends which is such a bummer! I need to find some…

    P.s I had some raw oats this morning too!

  • Erica April 22, 2010, 10:54 am

    I looove long workout days and since I’ve been injured (shin splints) I’ve really missed my long runs …. so I started doing double workouts on weekends with a long swim then a long bike ride. This is a great post and I’ll definitely use it when I’m training for my next long race!

    By the way, I made your Pineapple Upside Down Cake Oatmeal for breakfast today. It was EPIC!

  • Lori K. April 22, 2010, 10:55 am

    Thanks for the post. I’ve been dragging my feet trying to make it through week 5 day 3 of the Couch to 5k (20 minutes straight). I tried it on Tuesday, but only got through 10 minutes before I had to walk. I’m going for it again today; today will be my day!

    • Lori K. April 22, 2010, 8:20 pm

      Just need to add, that I made it all 20 minutes. And it felt great! Thanks again, your post was just what I needed to push through.

      • Caitlin April 22, 2010, 9:26 pm

        you go girl!!

  • Evan Thomas April 22, 2010, 11:01 am

    I definitely dread thinking about a long run. I try to make them as spontaneous as possible. Yesterday I only planned a 10 miler but felt so good I went for 15! IT was a surprise even for me and I didn’t dread it at all.

  • Vicki April 22, 2010, 11:01 am

    Great tips! I usually need more motivation with my shorter runs than the longer ones. I love the longer ones! 🙂

  • Julie @savvyeats April 22, 2010, 11:03 am

    I have a few podcasts that I love to listen to on a weekly basis. I will save the most recent episode of the podcast for my long workout…being excited to get to listen to it motivates me to get out and start my workout!

  • Christina April 22, 2010, 11:03 am

    I often dread long workout days. Thanks for the tips!

  • kate April 22, 2010, 11:05 am

    Speaking of epic – the last 2 episodes of Glee have included the world epic. It makes me smile!

  • Me-Linh @ Sweet and Sweat April 22, 2010, 11:06 am

    Those are great tips and it comes with great timing! I’m planning on doing 8-10 miles this weekend and I am dreaaading it.

  • Therese April 22, 2010, 11:07 am

    Great tips! Thank you! I find that I can sometimes take my training too seriously and with my first half coming up in September my goal is to make it FUN! These are really going to help! I definitely use a rewards system but it’s in an odd area: my shower! I have different shower gels for different parts of my training (long runs, tempo, strength training). I can ONLY use these after their particularly specified workout. It’s simple, but some days, knowing I’ll be using my green apple shower gel or banana conditioner gets me through a workout!

    LOVE the yogourt oats! Will have to try it soon!

  • Annie April 22, 2010, 11:09 am

    What a fantastic post! You are inspiring, as usual. I think you are right in that the mental preparation for the long workout is key. Staying positive is imperative!

    I also love using the Garmin as a motivator. There’s nothing like being able to look down for a second and know that you’re meeting your goal, or that you need to step it up a bit. It keeps me focused and determined.

  • Camille April 22, 2010, 11:09 am

    For me, the key with long workout days is to never allow myself to dread it. The second I get that attitude, it is all over for me.
    Instead, I make myself really excited and focus on the feeling of accomplishment at the end!

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter April 22, 2010, 11:10 am

    Those are some great tips! Running with music really helps me. I always want to stop and dance though 🙂

  • Katie @ Two Lives, One Lifestyle April 22, 2010, 11:15 am

    perfect timing.. just did my longest run EVER and really needed an “attitude adjustment.” I’ve been going to the group long runs with Team in Training and it makes a world of a difference! I can’t imagine running without them! So the run with people tip is something I do as well as the out and back/ break it into segment tip.. I’m going to work on building it up positively in my mind. I have a few go-to songs on my playlist that help me get out of running funks, and I heard a good tip of having a quote or mantra to repeat to yourself that is meaningful to you. Thanks for this!

  • Sara April 22, 2010, 11:15 am

    Great post! Every workout seems like a long workout to me. :). Sometimes I tell myself, out loud, “you’re doing great, Sara!” or “you’re almost done already!” and that helps! Who cares if you’re talking to yourself?!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg April 22, 2010, 11:18 am

    I actually always liked my long runs– they gave me a chance to zone out, think about life, and just relax (funny as that sounds) for a while. Plus, I always felt (or feel!) so accomplished after them!!

  • Steph-exercise physiologist and artist! April 22, 2010, 11:20 am

    I LOVE the dress in black and pretend like you are a ninja recommendation!!
    I have never ever heard that one before but I think I will have to try that ASAP…. Maybe even later today 🙂

    I write a newsletter as part of my job. I recently wrote an article about “Psychological Skills Training” which is a fancy term for all sorts of physiological methods like visualization and positive self talk and the differences between the athletes who used the PST and those who didn’t in long distance running in high heat. the differences were huge!! Some of the participants took minutes off their time after using the PST for several weeks with NO change in their training program. I can forward it to you if you are interested.
    Hope you are having a great day!

  • Katie April 22, 2010, 11:20 am

    Thank you for this post! I have 7 miles (my longest run yet) planned for Saturday, it’s supposed to rain and I’ve just been DREADING it. This makes me feel better 🙂 Thanks for the tips!

  • Shawna @ Balancing Me April 22, 2010, 11:24 am

    I love that you said long workouts are subjective. Right now, my long workouts are like a walk in the park (literally, some days!).

    I’m dreading my 90 minutes of YogaX and terribly procrastinating on Twitter.

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) April 22, 2010, 11:29 am

    I give myself permission to walk. That might sound like it’s defeating the purpose of a long workout (and mine aren’t THAT long) but I’m not a super runner, just someone who does it for fun and to move a little faster. If I “let” myself walk, I have more energy to go longer and stay out. Who cares how much is walking vs. running? Better to be moving than sitting down!

  • Lisa April 22, 2010, 11:33 am

    I usually don’t dread long workouts because I don’t do them a lot. About once a week I do a long workout and that works for me.

  • lauren @ Eater not a runner April 22, 2010, 11:34 am

    I love this post! I have been secretly dreading my long run this weekend. I agree that positive visualization AND the 5 miles out, 5 miles back trick are the way to go!

  • Juli D. April 22, 2010, 11:35 am

    I hated long runs during my training last year – so this year we looked up the local running club and have been running with them! It’s nice to be in a big group for safety and to not have to plan out the route. And they set up water/snack stations so it’s a well organized way to get in my training!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) April 22, 2010, 11:38 am

    since my “long” workout days are typically hikes, it’s already fun! but i would say bring good friends and good music 🙂

  • D April 22, 2010, 11:43 am

    hey, i have a question!

    ive been having knee problems for about 9 months now and ive commented before about it. its soooo depressing.

    i recently had acupuncture for something else, but spoke to the acupunturist about my knee and she tried to help, but i didnt notice a difference. i could be making this up, but did your husband give you acupuncture for your knee once? or was it foot? did it help?

    also, i took time off and was slowly builing my running up again and i was doing really well until i came home for spring break. when im at home, i exercise every day (and sometimes twice a day) which i dont do at school, mainly because i have free time and i enjoy it. even though i dont run every day anymore (and have probably run once or twice a week for a few miles max), i do spin class, yoga, free weights, pilates, aerobics, etc. my knees seem fine when i exercise less days a week (but run more, like 8 mile runs) than if i do a lot more exercise, but less running. is there any hope for being able to do aerobics, spin etc and still run a lot? i hate the thought of not being able to exercise every day, but it seems like its a choice between that and running 🙁

    • caitlin April 22, 2010, 11:50 am

      i think exercising every day, sometimes multiple times a dat, is a lot and very hard on your body, especially if you are doing a lot of high impact stuff. honestly, it sounds like you need to take a complete break from high impact stuff and stick to something safe like swimming for a while.

      and acunpuncture can help your knee but its natural medicine so you need multiple treatments for several weeks before youd see a difference.

      i hope you feel better sooN!

  • Michelle April 22, 2010, 11:43 am

    I started to get nervous about my long runs when training for my half but then I thought about it as “after this Sunday, I will have run 9 miles for the first time in my life!”. To go along with that, I think of how proud it makes me to be able to tell my parents, friends, etc “I ran 11 miles this weekend! I didn’t think I could do it but I did!” For me its all about challenges and goals, so it worked for me!

  • Lori (Finding Radiance) April 22, 2010, 11:51 am

    I actually really like my longer workouts because they are definitely “me” time and I love how I feel afterwards. I get a little nervous for them sometimes, depending on what they are, but it’s all good.

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie April 22, 2010, 11:55 am

    Love it. It really really helps to have friends and stay positive no matter what.

    For the first time ever I don’t care about the time it takes me to do my runs but just to enjoy them because I’m not going to improve my time til after my baby comes so running is just for fun. How could that not be positive? No pressure!

  • Lauren April 22, 2010, 11:55 am

    Thanks so much for this Caitlin! My friend wants to run a half in November, which I know is a ridiculous amount of time away but the most I have ever ran was 6 miles and it was incredibly difficult. I know I can physically do it with training, but my mental strength has GOT to improve! I’m going to try for 8 miles this weekend. I ran 6 day before last so we’ll see. If I even make it 6.5 I’ll be happy 🙂

  • Maura @ Maura Me to Love April 22, 2010, 11:58 am

    I have a 16 miler coming up on Sunday for my marathon training…this was the perfect post to get me geared up! One thing I’m shocked at is my new ability to run long distances without music – Team in Training encourages everyone to leave their iPods at home and depend on their running mates for chit chat and motiviation…I thought they were cracked and heartless to ask us to do such a thing, but guess what? It works. Running with peeps is key! Do you still need music when you run with the girls?

    • caitlin April 22, 2010, 12:17 pm

      nope… never.

  • Julia @ British Bride April 22, 2010, 12:09 pm

    Ha ha ha I love the Twilight idea… I am obsessed too, I might seriously try this… easpecially the muse song where they are playing baseball.

    I love RPattz.

    J x

  • Midgetkeeper April 22, 2010, 12:13 pm

    I’ve yet to do a long work out, well I guess 4.5 miles is long for me, but I felt great. I really loved it.

    Thanks for the tips, these are great. I am training for a 1/2 marathon and I do get apprehensive about those longer distances.

  • Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion April 22, 2010, 12:21 pm

    I love this post! I just ran a new PDR of 11 miles yesterday, this post was perfect to read after that! Thanks!

  • Molly @fuelherup April 22, 2010, 12:23 pm

    Haha- I have all kinds of running fantasies! To distract me from hard speed workouts, I imagine I’m either running in the Olympics or sprinting away from a villain.

    For long runs, I pretend I’m either running in the Olympics again or that I’m out in the middle of nowhere with no choice but to run. Those long runs usually give me time to think up some creative scenario haha.

  • Alyssa April 22, 2010, 12:31 pm

    What kind of music do you like to listen to when you run? I need some new up-beat ideas, because I have a 16 miler this Sunday!

  • Lizzy April 22, 2010, 12:43 pm

    This post is so uplifting! i love it! 🙂 makes me excited for long run sundays when i train for the half! 🙂 Thanks caitlin!

  • Rebecca @ How the Cookie's Crumble April 22, 2010, 12:43 pm

    I found the last 2 or 3 miles of my half marathon singing was the only thing moving me forward. Yes, that’s right, I was running and singing. Isn’t strange how in those long runs your heart rate slows and breathing begins to slow and singing while running is even possible?! I just had some surgery and am stuck on stationary bikes or elliptical with no arm movements while I recover, but don’t think I didn’t break out in song at the gym! Lucky for the guy next to me he had his headphones on! 🙂

  • Catherine April 22, 2010, 12:52 pm

    I actually love my long workout days… the satisfied tiredness and sore feeling is actually secretly comforting to me. I love knowing I pushed myself HARD. I keep a calendar of my workout schedule so I always know when a long workout’s coming and really psych myself up for it and tell everyone about it!

  • kath April 22, 2010, 1:07 pm

    you are awesome! and your advice is spot on. I totally can see these types of tricks working in other challenges in life too.

  • runnerforever April 22, 2010, 1:12 pm

    I 100% agree with all of this advice, great post! The number one thing that helps me for the long efforts is having company even if they are on a bike it helps a ton!

  • Brie (The Fit Bride) April 22, 2010, 1:12 pm

    I make long workout days fun by embracing the badass. I think about how much farther I’m running than people at home laying on the couch! I also like to buy a few new iTunes songs the day before a long run–even adding one or two new ones to the playlist gets me pumped up.

  • zoe April 22, 2010, 1:13 pm

    GAH! i love your blog, seriously. it’s so motivating. your tips and positivity inspired me to sign up for my very first 10k. it’s a week from saturday 🙂 my “long run” is on sunday this week. i’m going to keep this list in mind to stay motivated! thanks!!!

  • Tina April 22, 2010, 1:22 pm

    Hmm I want to try the raw oatmeal now! And the way I get through a long workout is definitely my music. I’ve really seen how it changes my intensity and everything.

  • Olivia @ Blissful Runner April 22, 2010, 1:34 pm

    Great post! I’m going to have to give the Twilight soundtrack a listen! 🙂

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) April 22, 2010, 1:42 pm

    I used to dread longer workouts because I didn’t think I could mentally stay in the game. But telling people and breaking it into chunks totally works.

    For my 10K race I ran the first 5K and then thought about quitting. I promised myself just one more mile until it would have been dumb to turn around and just finished.

  • Jessica April 22, 2010, 2:02 pm

    “If you look and feel pretty, you will run pretty!” -Some great advice given by my marathon training coach. I wore my best and most flattering technical clothes on the long runs. Prior to the marathon, I painted all my nails, got fresh highlights in my hair, got a brow wax, etc. I’m not sure it helped my race time, but it was definitely a nice little bonus confidence boost!

  • Megan April 22, 2010, 2:02 pm

    I’ve always been a big proponent of work for reward. My reward of choice– ice cream 🙂

    I never bought into the idea of visualization until I went to a women’s running camp. I used the techniques I learned there in my next 10K and picturing how I wanted to run that race for my time brought an unexpected calm to my run. I think the visualization can be used in long runs just like races– make it EPIC as you say.

    BTW, what type of pumpkin are you using in your oatmeal? Is it the canned stuff like for pies or pumpkin butter?

    • Caitlin April 22, 2010, 2:45 pm

      its canned pumpkin (libbys brand)

  • Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly April 22, 2010, 2:03 pm

    GREAT post! I always try to think of reward for my long days! Like when I was marathon training I would say okay 18 miles and then a pedicure!!!

  • Amanda @ Cakes and Ale April 22, 2010, 2:35 pm

    I make it fun by thinking about all the YUMMY food I can eat as a part of my “recovery”!

  • Sammi April 22, 2010, 2:41 pm

    Your posts are always great for cheering me up 🙂
    To do list: Run in all black & pretend I’m a ninja 😉
    I’m loving this post so so so much!

    p.s.- Have you ever opened an artichoke hearts jar from costco by yourself? I tried. I failed. 🙁 lol

    • Caitlin April 22, 2010, 2:45 pm

      husband does it and he struggled for like ten minutes!!

  • anne April 22, 2010, 2:50 pm

    Fantastic tips!! Thanks a bunch!!

  • Heidi April 22, 2010, 3:05 pm

    My favourite trick is the out and back idea. Somehow it really doesn’t feel quite as long when you do that.

  • Jasmine April 22, 2010, 3:32 pm

    I was JUST having this discussion with a co-worker. Funny thing is I do all of the above (except run with a group because my friends think my fitness goals are crazy). I look FORWARD to long race day. I enjoy my music , sometimes I go as far as dancing. I worry that ppl think I’m crazy. Long Race Day is a great day!

  • Tonyne @ The Unlikely Success Story April 22, 2010, 4:16 pm

    I use a lot of your techniques for long work outs. My favorite was a trail run, but it actually spooked me. I wanted to do 4 miles on trail, I got through half and thought “I feel like I’m running away from a beast in a horror film” and it worked for awhile and then I just got freaked out. :p

    You run to the Twilight score? I love that, and am secretly elated that you are a bigger Twi-nerd than myself. I did however work out in my Edward Cullen giant face tee shirt at the gym this morning. (It was a 30th birthday gift from a friend, I did not buy it for myself…although it is awesome. haha)

  • Margaret April 22, 2010, 4:31 pm

    I just wanna say I love your bowls. That is all. 🙂


  • Maggie April 22, 2010, 4:57 pm

    I totally agree with all your tips, but I especially love the the first one. When I was training for my half I had such an easier time doing the long run when I looked forward to it all week and got excited and mentally prepared.

  • Kacy April 22, 2010, 5:00 pm

    Great tips! I plan to use them for my half marathon this weekend!

  • Katharine April 22, 2010, 5:18 pm

    I definitely dread my long workouts (and right now I’m disliking ALL workouts – I need to get over that, stat!) so thank you for the tips! 🙂

  • Emily April 22, 2010, 5:56 pm

    Ah Caitlin, I love you. Just what I needed to read!

  • Amanda (Amanda "runs") April 22, 2010, 6:18 pm

    I love the bit about c25k! My week one podcast got deleted so I’m starting on week 2… I love the fun pics too! I think this post’ll help me out! Thanks! 🙂

  • Anne P April 22, 2010, 8:15 pm

    Love this post! So true 🙂 Especially the ninja part. Lol.

  • maria @ Chasing the Now April 22, 2010, 8:56 pm

    As Monk would say, long runs are a curse and a gift. I feel amazing and on top of the world afterward… but they make me so nervous. And let’s be honest… they are TOUGH!

  • Katherine @ Lipgloss and Spandex April 22, 2010, 9:25 pm

    I definitely run with friends during a long run. Otherwise, I’d lose my mind! I’m training for a marathon, and no amount of music could make that run bearable 😛 We also treat ourselves to Starbucks afterwards, and I let myself eat whatever I want (usually a breakfast wrap, a latte, and a CUPCAKE!)

  • Heather ODonnell April 22, 2010, 9:39 pm

    I definitely tell EVERYONE about my long runs. I don’t even care if they want to hear about it or not. Just the fact that I am telling people I have a 10 mile, or 11 mile, or 12 mile run the next day gets me excited about it. Most people will tell me that I am insane for running that much, but that just makes me more proud of what I’m doing and gives me strength to prove to them and to myself that I can do it.

  • JenRD April 22, 2010, 10:14 pm

    Great advice for any challenge you want to commit to in live, especially health-related! 🙂

  • Abri April 23, 2010, 8:21 am

    Thanks for posting these tips! I’m about to start some “long” runs on the weekends to get ready to start training for my first half… and these are all really helpful!!

    Love your blog by the way!

  • Colleen April 23, 2010, 9:32 am

    That was a great tip about dividing your long runs into two parts. I just completed my first double digit run last night (10.1!!) and just thought in my head “I’m going on a 5 mile run.” Then when I got to my turn around, I again just said to myself “Ok, a 5 mile run to pound out.” And it worked great!!

    • Caitlin April 23, 2010, 10:25 am

      jedi mind trick!

  • Jen April 23, 2010, 1:06 pm

    Thank you so much for this! I normally run a 2.9 mile route, and I’ve been thinking about trying to double that this weekend. I was hesitating, but you have totally motivated me… now I’m going to have to do it! =D

  • Jaimers April 24, 2010, 12:04 am

    This is the best post ever. Love the photos and the tips are great. Thanks for sharing. p.s. that food looks YUM!

  • Malin April 24, 2010, 10:15 am

    That bowl looks fantastic! No wonder you were scraping the bottom – I’d probably licked the bowl too! 😉

  • John April 26, 2010, 11:53 pm

    Simple Jedi mind trick…good one! I’l try and keep these tips in mind for this weekends 12.5 miler!

  • Kim May 10, 2010, 9:12 pm

    I love fountain hopping! We used to do that all the time at Stanford, and my Orlando friends think I’m crazy! Last week after the Magic game I jumped in the fountain outside the Amway Arena, and my friend shouts “you’re gonna get arrested!!!” 🙂

  • Theodora @ Losing Weight in the City July 26, 2010, 4:32 pm

    I’ve been trying to deny all week that I have a really long run coming up and then not freak out about it until that morning, but that hasn’t really been working. I’ll try getting excited all week 🙂

  • Angela July 27, 2010, 3:41 pm

    I do my long runs early on Saturday mornings. By early, I leave my house by 7 or so. This works for many reasons. One, it allows me to enjoy the rest of the weekend without worrying about my long run. I used to worry about it all weekend until Sunday night and that just did not allow me to have fun during the weekend- i would be irritable and feel lazy the entire weekend until I finished my long run. Two, it gets the run out of the way before it gets too hot, there is nothing worse than running a long run with the sun shining down on you on a 90 degree day, it makes the run 10 times worse, I swear. Third, you aren’t quite awake yet to start worrying about the distance, once you get a mile or two into it you are so glad you decided to get up early and just do it- think about this when you are trying to decide if you should just stay in bed when the alarm goes off. Lastly, one of my favorite things is running on the open road without traffic or other runners/bikers, there is something peaceful about being alone (or with a couple others) and just running, and knocking off a 20-miler by 9am feels pretty great too.

  • Jessica @ Bake a Little June 22, 2011, 9:00 am

    Thanks so much for sharing your tips! I have never run a race before and am training for a 10K and am terrified. Today I have to run 3/4 of a mile in a row. Most people would say “that’s the easiest thing ever” but I have never been a particularly good runner I am pretty scared. I am sick of “not being a good runner”! I am going to take your advice and kick that 3/4 of a miles BUTT!

  • Jo-Lynne Shane {Musings of a Housewife} June 13, 2013, 9:41 pm

    I love this post. I am just starting to prepare for my first half marathon. I’ve only ever run 5K races. I am nervous but excited!!

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