Easier Eighteen

in Marathon Training

Previous long runs for Marathon Training:



Another 18.0 mile long run under my belt.  I feel that much closer to my marathon goal!


I met up with Katy and Kelly at our usual spot at 5:30 AM.  Kelly did the full 18.0 with me, and Katy did the first 8.0.  I must say – I think my second time tackling 18.0 miles was MUCH easier than the first time!


However, I am experiencing a minor problem with these long runs, and maybe you guys can help me.


The night before a long run, I CANNOT SLEEP.  I was so tired last night, and I just laid in bed from 10 PM to midnight, staring at the ceiling and hugging James.  Then, when I finally do fall asleep, I wake up every hour… 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, and then at 4:15 when my alarm goes off.


The same thing happens to me the night before a race – you’d think after 18 races, I’d be totally over my nerves, but I’m not!  And I know that I have no reason to be nervous about my long runs.  For some reason, I just cannot sleep soundly.  Any ideas? Normally, I just take an over-the-counter sleep aid when I am having trouble sleeping, but I can’t be groggy for a long run.


Anyway, so I got up at 4:15, feeling tired, and made breakfast:


I had a PB bagel with a banana and coffee.


And then I met up with Katy and Kelly.  It was sooo gloomy and overcast out – I loved it!  The sun didn’t shine for the entire 3:10 hours I was running, which in Florida is a HUGE blessing.


We were chatty Cathys the first few miles and paced about 11:00/miles.  Then, we dropped down to 10:00 to 10:30 for the rest of the way.  We took about 5 walking/water refill breaks, too.


I took Goo at Mile 8.0 and Mile 14.0.  These flavors/brands are highly disgusting.  I think I’m going to switch to fruit or Gatorade mixes.  I actually gagged getting the PowerBar Gel one down.


Honestly, I hate to jinx myself, but overall the run was pretty easy!  I only felt like I was dragging from mile 15.0 to 16.0, and then Kelly started to chant my favorite motivational mantra (“Pain is temporary, Quitting is Forever!”).  That made me feel much better.  :)  I even managed to sprint a little for the last 0.25 mile!


  • Duration: 3 hours, 10 minutes
  • Distance: 18.0 miles


One of the things Kelly and I talked about during the run was how mileage becomes relative.  I know some of you read 18.0 miles and think I’m absolutely insane (I think I’m insane sometimes, too!), but once you start to train for a marathon, 18.0 miles begins to feel attainable.  Kelly and I were laughing about how marathons completely skew your perception of a “normal run” or a “long run.” 


The marathon is just something I want to be able to say, “I did it.” Once is probably going to be enough! Of course, it’s also a charity run, as I’m raising money for Team in Training in the process.  Although marathon training has been really fun, I’m excited to go back to shorter races and stick to one hour, not three hour, long runs!  :)  In addition to shorter races (like half marathons and 10Ks), I really want to do a triathlon and a full century (100 miles) bike race.


Came home, showered, and made breakfast #2:


I had a wheatgrass shot and an egg and cheese sammie. I need to eat a little more, but I think I’m due for a nap first!


Have a great Friday! 🙂



  • Evan Thomas November 20, 2009, 10:31 am

    Great job on the run! I’ve heard plain oatmeal is good for falling asleep. And the carbs probably wouldn’t hurt for the run, either. I remember one night I couldn’t sleep for 2 hours and I grabbed a peanut butter z-bar and for whatever reason that did the trick

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is November 20, 2009, 10:31 am

    So glad the run felt good! My husband struggles with the same thing when marathon training – he can never sleep the night before. When we first started dating and he was training, we’d stay up until like 4am the day before, and he’s run at 7. It baffled me!

  • Meghan@traveleatlove November 20, 2009, 10:33 am

    I never sleep before long runs! Even though I love it, I can not shake the nerves!

  • brandi November 20, 2009, 10:34 am

    great job! it sounds like it was a good run 🙂

    Hmm…maybe do one of the sleep aids but take it EARLY at night so you can sleep but not wake up groggy.

    Or try melatonin + some chamomile tea – that helps me, and I always have trouble falling asleep. Plus, it’s natural!

  • Sarah November 20, 2009, 10:34 am

    I don’t know if this would be better, but PowerBar makes electrolyte jellybeans. They are much, much better!

  • MelissaNibbles November 20, 2009, 10:35 am

    Congrats on your great run!
    I would recommend the over the counter sleep aid, but if you’re already taking one, I’m not really sure what would help. It seems like it could just be an anxiety thing so maybe taking a hot bath and sitting in the dark for a few hours before you head to bed might help.

  • Marisa (Trim The Fat) November 20, 2009, 10:36 am

    How about try some yoga before bed? Dim lights, hippie music channel and some slow moves. Might relax you a little more 🙂

    I am in awe that you cranked out 18 miles with lack of proper sleep and feeling tired. You are truly amazing!

    Take a well deserved nap today!

  • Cali November 20, 2009, 10:37 am

    Try melatonin tablets! They are a great, natural way to “trick” your brain into relaxing into a good, solid sleep. Anytime I have an interview or something exciting in the morning, I find it very difficult to sleep. I just pop a Melatonin – non-addictive, and it works every time. I’m sure you can find it at a local health food store.

    • caitlin November 20, 2009, 12:49 pm

      i might try this – does it make you groggy though?

      • Jennifer @ His N' Her Health November 20, 2009, 3:58 pm

        I used to take melatonin when I was younger because I had horrible insomnia and my mom didn’t want to put me on medication. They are a vitamin I believe. They never made me groggy but other medicines usually do. I would suggest trying it!

    • Alison November 21, 2009, 12:41 am

      Make sure you read the side effects before you take melatonin…depressive mood and lethargy are definitely there (melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep/wake cycle – but you probably already googled it:-)) I used to take it and sleep like a rock but definitely noticed a “hangover” the next morning. I don’t think there is a real cure for your sleep problem – it’s adrenaline! It’s a good thing:-)

  • Molly @vegandorm November 20, 2009, 10:37 am

    Ahhh congrats! 18 miles is HARDCORE!
    Way to go!
    As for sleeping – I have had that problem too- not with my long runs ( I actually look forward to those!) but for racing. I spend 2/3 of the year with a race a weekend, and I do some intermittent road races in between. My freshman year of high school, I would spend the night before a race sitting in my bed, clutching a water bottle, crying to myself.
    Now, I sleep about the same, and I don’t get nervous until the morning of.
    I wish I had some advice to give, but my issues just faded with time. When you race that often, you really can’t live that way haha.
    Good luck with everything! You’re getting so close to the ultimate goal!

  • Rose November 20, 2009, 10:37 am

    I’m not sure what you do at 8-9-10 p.m. but maybe you can relax for a few hours before you hit the pillow? Take a bath, light some candles, whatever – to destress. Sometimes if I’m working straight up until I go to bed, I am awake much longer because my mind is still going. Do you know what I mean? It might help?

    • caitlin November 20, 2009, 12:49 pm

      hahah you mean, i should stop blogging and twittering and watching tv? hmm.

  • Tania @ Moment Anew November 20, 2009, 10:38 am

    Usually if I can’t sleep it’s because something is on my mind, whether I’m willing to admit it or not. I was having trouble with this a few weeks ago (lasted over a week) and decided enough was enough, grabbed my journal and just wrote out everything I was thinking. It sounds kind of silly but it was surprising what ended up being written and I was able to address those things head on. As soon as I finished writing I was able to fall asleep. Haven’t really had any issues since! Hopefully you’ll get some rest tonight 🙂

  • Megan @ Megzz Wins At Life November 20, 2009, 10:38 am

    I always get so nervous/ excited before a run I don’t sleep either.. I try so like breath or meditate and sometimes it relaxes me but it is tough!

  • Michelle@eatingjourney November 20, 2009, 10:39 am

    you are strong, powerful, capable and excited about the challenge of the run. you give yourself permission to properly fuel and sleep before the run so that you can conquer anything that might stand in your way.

    p.s. jealous you know katy
    p.s.s. kelly is your twin

  • Lainie November 20, 2009, 10:39 am

    Have you tried the unflavored GU brand ones? Or the unflavored hammer gels?
    They are the only ones I can tolerate…They have just the slightest, and i mean, slightest vanilla flavor…and they are not super duper sweet. Some folks I know also use those honey sticks (those straws filled with honey)..maybe try those?

    • Shelly November 20, 2009, 11:00 am

      I’ve been warned about the citrus flavored goo being disgusting. I stick with berry and chocolate or coffee flavored ones, and have been able to tolerate the taste pretty well. My favorites have been the raspberry cream power bar gel and the strawberry banana gu- which is funny b/c I generally don’t like strawberry banana as a flavor.

      • caitlin November 20, 2009, 12:50 pm

        i like the raspberry clif one the most!

        • Shelly November 20, 2009, 1:54 pm

          Maybe it was a clif gel- the brands all get mixed up. But I think berry flavors are def the way to go!

  • kirsten November 20, 2009, 10:40 am

    Congrats on the mileage! Any chance the not sleeping has to do with fear of missing the run bc alarm not going off? That used to happen to me all the time when I had early flights, now I set two alarms and sleep way better!

  • Lexi November 20, 2009, 10:40 am

    I power off everything (tv, computer, cell phone) at least an hour before I plan to go to bed, sip some chamomile tea, & maybe casually read something simple like a magazine to get the ideas of the run & other things out of my mind. Lights go out & I try to clear my head and fall asleep.
    I hope these ideas help.

  • Britt - Runnerbelle November 20, 2009, 10:42 am

    My favorite is the “Just Plain” Gu. Its the least sicky sweet one I’ve found.

    I predict you’ll catch the marathon bug. Its so hard to do just one. 😉 That feeling at the finish line is like nothing else and it never gets old. It is truly an overwhelming experience… at least for me and I’m up to 12 marathons now.

    Make sure you get up and stretch through out the day, don’t let yourself get too stiff!

  • Christine N November 20, 2009, 10:44 am

    I can’t wait to be able to run 18 miles. Great job!! I was diagnosed last spring with PFS also and I was wondering how your knees are doing and how you keep them from slowing you down. Any tips would be awesome!

  • alli November 20, 2009, 10:44 am

    amazing job! sometimes i can’t sleep the night before a long run. i make sure to be in bed by 8:30 so if it takes me a while i am stil getting enough sleep. also, i try taking a lot of slow, deep breaths and picture my whole body relaxing.
    i’ve had that powerbar gel once and it is gross! have you tried clif shot bloks? i like those much better.
    it is funny how mileage becomes relative. right now a 1/2 marathon seems like a ‘short run’ huh?!
    i have a question; my longest run yet is 16 miles which i did saturday. after a long run i can hardly walk the rest of the day and still feel a little sore the next day. do you experience the same thing? if so, what do you do? are ice baths a good idea?

    • caitlin November 20, 2009, 12:51 pm

      ice ice ice! i dont do baths but i do ice my knees. also i have to nap afterwards. and stretch!

      i have had the bloks, beans but i just like goo more. its weird.

      • alli November 20, 2009, 1:16 pm

        thanks 🙂 i stretch right after my run for 10-15 minutes and ice my knees, legs, and hips for about 15 minutes as well. i’ll increase the times of both and see if that helps!

  • Kristie Lynn November 20, 2009, 10:44 am

    Congrats on the run – so glad it went easier for you than the first! Wish I had tips for you on falling asleep, but I’m one of those weirdos who can fall asleep anytime no matter the situation. Blessing and a curse 😉

  • Kara November 20, 2009, 10:47 am

    Glad you had such a great run!!

    I try to get to bed early (and get up early) a few days in a row before a big race or run — I get the pre-run sleeplessness/jitters too!

  • K8 November 20, 2009, 10:47 am

    As far as the goo-goes, have you given jelly beans a try? I have had good luck with the jelly-belly sports beans. The pack reseals and you don’t have to slurp/gag the whole thing down. My stomach gets far too upset and this spaces out the carbs much more easily.

  • lauren (athlEAT) November 20, 2009, 10:49 am

    congrats on the 18 miler! glad it went well for you. and I agree – I tell people ALL the time – how ‘relative’ the mileage is. Plus, so mental! once you have done it before – it becomes easier because you know you can do it.

    I did a century bike ride a few years ago to benefit MS and loved it. Although, my butt was not very happy with me. ha.

  • Carolyn November 20, 2009, 10:49 am

    Egg and cheese sammies…simplicity=perfection!!

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels November 20, 2009, 10:49 am

    I can never sleep before something big or important either . . . or if I know I’m waking up earlier than normal (say anything before 6am) I’ll toss and turn worrying about getting enough sleep . . .

    The best thing I do is drink this amazing tea called Sweet Dreams from David’s Tea (www.davidstea.com) you can order it online but maybe you can see what’s in it and find one close. It honestly makes me feel like I’m in a coma!

  • Alison November 20, 2009, 10:54 am

    When I can’t sleep, it’s usually because I have something on my mind. The night before a long run definitely qualifies as something on your mind! I find that if I’m laying in bed awake, I’ll have an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep if I jot down a list of everything that’s on my mind and everything I’m worried about. Getting it down on paper lets me clear my mind and then I can rest.

    Something else, and maybe you’ve come across this in your marathon training research, but they say that it’s pretty common to not get a lot of sleep the night before the marathon – so try and make sure the night before “the night before” you do what you can to get a good nights sleep. You could take the same approach with long runs! Could be good practice for the big day too.

    Awesome job on the long run this morning, they are just so satisfying!

  • Janel November 20, 2009, 10:54 am

    Melatonin and meditation before you go to bed on those long run/race eves. Congrats on your 18 miler!

  • Shelly November 20, 2009, 10:57 am

    I don’t have a problem sleeping prior to a long run, but then again, I don’t get up early for them either. I have the same problem sleeping you described though when I have to get up early (at 4:30 or 5) to travel for work- or for any other reason. I just get really anxious about my schedule changing. I don’t know how to fix that though. I think it might be worth it to take a benadryl or something. I think you’d probably wake up during your run anyway.
    I do get really cranky prior to a run though. I’m not sure why- a lot of time I’m trying to figure out the weather (given that it’s almost always either too hot or about to rain in New Orleans)and about how the rest of my day is going to be scheduled. I always leave it out on the road though and come back completely happy. 🙂

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat November 20, 2009, 11:04 am

    Glad the run was easier this time. I always have trouble sleeping before races too!

    Hope you get a good nap 🙂

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite November 20, 2009, 11:04 am

    congrats of your run! awesome job!

  • Mica November 20, 2009, 11:04 am

    Congrats on a solid 18!

    Unfortunately I don’t have any advice about sleep the night before. My guess is nerves. I didn’t sleep very much the night before the marathon, but in my Hal Higdon book, he basically says that no one does. As long as you’re resting and not on your feet, apparently, that’s what counts!

  • Allison November 20, 2009, 11:10 am

    I did that too before my first half marathon! I think I got 4 hours of sleep total, in 4 one hour segments. Ugh. I think I was just so excited for the race it made it hard to sleep. Maybe it’s because I built it up in my head so much? I think you’ve mentioned building up long runs in your head so that you’re ready for them-maybe that’s what’s making it hard to sleep?

  • Melissa S. November 20, 2009, 11:14 am

    Great job on the 18 miles!!!

    I totally do the same thing when it comes to the night before races, but as of late this is my trick: EAR PLUGS, EYE MASK and TAI CHI MANTRA. Seriously, if you block everything out physically it helps so much.

    I took tai chi when i was in college and the best way i had to relax when i was trying to block things out was this thing where we pretended to look at a red ball…i used mine as a sunset on the beach…and it totally works. let me know if you want more details. 🙂

    • caitlin November 20, 2009, 12:52 pm

      hmm interesting! ive done a lot of tai chi, i should try some of the meditations before bed.

  • Susan November 20, 2009, 11:17 am

    Congrats on eighteen! You’re almost there. 🙂

    I haaaaaate gels! Like, I’m not sure I’ve actually ever swallowed one because they make me gag and it usually ends up on the sidewalk. (That may be TMI, but runners like to share!) Anyway, my favorite energy food is Honey Stingers Energy Chews (http://www.honeystinger.com/products.php#chews). LOVE THEM. They don’t taste gross, are easy to chew (especially after being warmed up next to your body), they’re organic, and (most importantly) they work! At least for me. 🙂

  • Nicole November 20, 2009, 11:24 am

    Once I tried Shot Bloks, I never looked back! I’m sure that I will have to use up my 20 gels at some point, but I’m not that desperate yet!

    I would also recommend melatonin or Tylenol PM. I get severe anxiety before a race and some long runs, and these have always helped! I hate the fact that I have to drug myself, but I don’t do it that often, and it is worth the extra sleep!

  • Nicole (dishin') November 20, 2009, 11:25 am

    Congrats on your run! That’s really impressive and you must feel great.

    I’ve heard a carb-y snack before bed is supposed to make for a good night’s sleep.

  • Jamie in Arkansas November 20, 2009, 11:27 am

    I just started using gels and I really like the Hammer Gel Chocolate. It tastes just like chocolate frosting 🙂 🙂 and goes down easy! No gagging! 🙂 You might give it a try!

    • Laura November 21, 2009, 6:30 am

      Caitlin, I love your blog. Just discovered it via the Operation Beautiful blog today. I also have a very sensitive stomach when it comes to gels, and Hammer Gel is just about the only thing I can “keep down” without gagging on a long-distance run. Possibly because there’s no sugar? All of the other brands upset my stomach. I recommend the Apple Cinnamon. It’s awesome.

  • Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries November 20, 2009, 11:28 am

    What an amazing feeling! COngrats!!

  • Amber November 20, 2009, 11:28 am

    Melatonin helps with sleep. It’s natural so it just helps you drift off and doesn’t leave you groggy the next morning. Even my Naturopathic doctor gives it her stamp of approval!

  • Runeatrepeat November 20, 2009, 11:29 am

    Amazing job! I am not looking forward to my long run tomorrow – I hope I can sleep!

  • Alyssa November 20, 2009, 11:29 am

    Hi Caitlin! I have a question for you. What exactly is the purpose of wheatgrass shots? What benefits have you noticed when you take them? And lastly, what does it taste like? I’ve heard wheatgrass can improve eczema and psoriasis, but what other good things can it do for you?


    • caitlin November 20, 2009, 12:53 pm

      Increases and sustains energy naturally
      Detoxifies and cleanses your body
      High alkalinity helps balance your body’s pH level
      Strengthens your immune system
      Insoluble fiber gently cleanses your digestive tract and promotes regularity
      Complete food with enzymes and all essential amino acids
      Natural source of antioxidants to help repair damaged cells
      Excellent source of beta carotene, folic acid and vitamin C

      (from AmazingGrass.com)

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance...after a 100+ POUND weight loss! November 20, 2009, 11:30 am

    CONGRATS ON THE 18!!! Glad it went so good for you, hope you catch up on some sleep! =)

  • Carla November 20, 2009, 11:38 am

    Great job! LOL I thought I’d only need to do one marathon too…I had to do another one…and now I’ve signed up for a 1/2 ironman…it never seems to end! 🙂

  • Marissa November 20, 2009, 11:46 am

    Congrats on the 18 miles!!!

    Regarding sleep, I seriously used to wake up 5+ times a night. every.single.night. Soooo annoying! I then tried Sleepy Time Tea (the one with valerian) and now I sleep through the night. My dad used to take Ambien but now he just drinks a cup of tea. It is seriously the best thing ever!

  • Maggie November 20, 2009, 11:52 am

    I will second (or third or fourth) the idea that the night before doesn’t matter as much as the night before that. I have a hard time sleeping before long runs too, but everything I’ve read said that it is common and to focus on getting sleep two (or three) nights before. Doesn’t fix the exhaustion the day of the long run, but I guess that’s marathon training for ya. 🙂

    • caitlin November 20, 2009, 12:54 pm

      i do sleep well regularly, which is why its sooo frustrating to not sleep the night before a long run! but its good to know that its not going to ruin me.

  • Autumn November 20, 2009, 11:54 am

    Hi Caitlin, two tips:
    1) I second everyone on the melatonin. Doesn’t leave you groggy, just helps your body figure out it’s time to sleep.
    2) Some alternatives to the goo for refueling (I would try these before your marathon to make sure you can stomach them): gummy bears, sports beans (jelly beans but made for endurance sports), fig newtons, PB&J sandwich cut into small bites, banana…

    Good luck and have fun!

  • Stacey November 20, 2009, 12:00 pm

    18 miles is amazing! I hope to have time to train for a half marathon this summer, and I am so excited about increasing my mileage (no time for that now!) I get the same anxiety/excitement problem too! As long as you get a nap afterwards, you should be ok 😀

  • Chrysta November 20, 2009, 12:00 pm

    congrats!! thats amazing. I hear ya though about not being able to sleep. The night before my ride i got like 5 hours of sleep! no idea why. Then after I couldnt sleep at all either. Its like my body needed time to get back on track. I agree with the above poster about the goo alternatives. I biked a metric century and had nutritionist along with the ride and they served us PB sandwiches with bananas along the ride. It helped a bit I think. Good luck!!

  • Lindsey @ EatReadRun November 20, 2009, 12:02 pm

    Congrats on the nice long run!! I said the exact same thing before my first marathon – “I just want to run one to know that I can do and say I’ve done it. One will be enough.” But the desire to run another one starts lurking shortly after you finish the first! I can’t wait to see if it’s the same for you.

    My current dilemma: I want to run another one, but my husband is really against it. He thinks running marathons (as is more than just once) is bad for your body and he’s really pushing me not to. I don’t know how to get him on the bandwagon.

    • caitlin November 20, 2009, 12:55 pm

      my husband says the same thing 🙂 i say, honey don’t worry about me, and i won’t worry about you 🙂

  • Jessica November 20, 2009, 12:03 pm

    Hot tea, and turn off as many lights in the room and maybe just watch the tv….i use a blanket to….

    snoozeville 🙂

  • Carolina John November 20, 2009, 12:03 pm

    You should have taken more Gu! 2 gu’s in almost 4 hours is not enough. what happens (at least 4 me) is that your recovery from the long run is more painful and longer than it should have been. Be sure you drink plenty of water today. i would have done 4 gu’s.

    btw, the vanilla gingerbread flavor of gu is awesome! it’s seasonal, see if you can find it.

    • caitlin November 20, 2009, 12:56 pm

      hehe i am a little woman, john! you are a big man who needs more fuel! 🙂

  • Adriana November 20, 2009, 12:05 pm

    I used to take melatonin which is a natural sleep aid I bought at GNC. I ran out a few weeks ago and have not replenished because I discovered something else that works well for me for long run anxiety. About 3 hours before I go to bed, I start drinking chamomile tea or any other sleep inducing herbal tea. When I finally get into bed I read any book I might have, but especially a text book of some sort like anatomy; Preferably not something to enthralling or it could backfire and you could stay up all night trying to finish it. This routine will make me sleepy in no time. Congrats on 18 miles! I ran that last week and tomorrow I am running nineteen!

    • caitlin November 20, 2009, 12:56 pm

      you’ll do great!!

  • Sarah November 20, 2009, 12:06 pm

    Hi Caitlin! I never comment, but I think those fruit flavored gu’s and gel’s are DISGUSTING too!! BUT, I really like the chocolate flavored Gu’s (not the cliff brand ones though). They taste MUCH better, just a thought!

  • maggie November 20, 2009, 12:15 pm

    Your wheatgrass shots inspire me to get my booty in the kitchen and drink some too. Love your strength girl 🙂


  • Susan November 20, 2009, 12:27 pm

    Congraaaats Caitlin! Funny you mention the perception of mileage. I know someone who was training for a marathon and she would talk about how nice it was to have single-digit maintenance runs during her taper weeks. Having only run double-digits once, I got a kick out of it. Also, I like how you called it an “Easier Eighteen” one of my pet peeves is when people refer to running as “easy.” Sitting on the couch is easy, I don’t think running should be! 😛

  • Amy November 20, 2009, 12:34 pm

    Way to rock the 18!

    Have you ever tried Sharkies, Cliff Blocks or Sport Beans? I cannot stomach the gels either, so I stick to them.

    The Sharkies are a little too sticky and get stuck in my teeth. My fuel of choice is definitely the sport beans.

    Alternatively, I just use regular jelly beans or licorice and a gatorade/water combo (for electrolytes) and it works great too!

  • Jenn November 20, 2009, 12:42 pm

    Congrats on another 18miles!! Thats amazing! Have your knees been bothering you any?? Im only asking because I have knee problems and I can’t imagine ever running 18miles but that fact that you can gives me hope! =)
    And as far as the sleeping thing goes- sometimes I take this melatonin supplement called Sleep n’ Restore. It also has valerian extract to help with anxiety and restlessness. And it has vitamin E, L-glutamine, and grape seed extract which it says they add to help the resting body restore and protect cells from damage. I normally take it an hour or so before going to sleep. It seems to help me fall asleep and sleep more soundly.

    • caitlin November 20, 2009, 12:57 pm

      no, seriously – virtually pain free. icing is amazing!

  • Chari November 20, 2009, 12:42 pm

    Clif shot bloks and gels contain organic ingredients, and personally, I like the chocolate and the cran razz flavors. They don’t upset my stomach at all probably because they digest well due to the organic brown rice content.

  • Chari November 20, 2009, 12:44 pm

    Pressed submit accidentally! I usually can’t sleep at all the night before races/runs either. I get myself so worked up and worried [about what?] that I usually end up with diarrhea as well [TMI, I know…]. If we could just calm our minds, it would all be so much easier.

  • Mrs. Myers @ Eat Move Write November 20, 2009, 12:53 pm

    I have to be honest, here. Imagining ANYONE running for 3 hours and 10 minutes is like imagining that the universe is infinite. I KNOW this is true and possible in the way that most all things are possible, but I cannot wrap my mind around it. Like, really? You ran 18 miles? I think I’d have to ride on a little scooter with you before I could really believe it. lol

    • caitlin November 20, 2009, 12:57 pm

      haha i swear it actually happened.

      soon you’ll see me doing 26.2… now that blows my mind.

  • Bernadette November 20, 2009, 12:55 pm

    I have the same problem with sleep that you do… I’ve recently started doing some things different that seems to have helped alot.
    I start winding down (wash face, put on jammies, etc) earlier, about an hour before I get in bed.
    I try to get in bed an hour BEFORE I actually want to be asleep and I will read and/or watch TV (usually both at the same time)
    Then I turn the TV off, turn the clock away from me so the light from it is not shining in my eyes and I turn on a SLEEP CD that I bought from Target. It’s a really soothing CD that is very spa-like, it gets slower and softer and I’m usually asleep before it shuts itself off…
    these things have helped me, maybe they will help you too.

    Good job on the 18 miles girlie!! I have 7 planned for sunday which will be a PDR for me!

  • Morgan November 20, 2009, 1:12 pm

    Runner’s World had an excellent on runners and insomnia:
    check it out here: http://www.runnersworld.com/article/1,7124,s6-241-285–13267-0,00.html

    I don’t know how you stomach that citrus-y taste in the goos. I can only eat the plain or vanilla ones.

  • Mary November 20, 2009, 1:17 pm

    Congrats on the long run!! I’m glad that it felt easy for you! I hear you on not sleeping the night before big runs. I have no idea how I will sleep tomorrow night before my marathon! I can’t believe it is already here. When is yours?

    • caitlin November 20, 2009, 1:24 pm

      jan 10! super pumped. good luck this weekend!

  • Karla November 20, 2009, 1:18 pm

    18 miles sounds insane to me! But I honestly respect your dedication!

    Sometimes when I read blogs I feel the need to run more. Do you ever feel pressure to push your mileage because you see others running a ton? Do you think if you didn’t have a blog you would still be training for a marathon?

    • caitlin November 20, 2009, 1:26 pm

      this is called the social comparison trap 🙂 just remember to use other blogs to inspire and motivate you, but create your own goals based on how you feel and what you want to do, not what other people do. i always wanted to do a marathon, so yes, i think i would still be running a marathon regardless. i started to run about 1.5 years before i started to blog.

      • caitlin November 20, 2009, 1:31 pm

        oh and also, i know i am viewed as a general “healthy lifestyle” blog and i am VERY happy that all sorts of people feel included by my blog, but i really have always thought of myself as a ‘running blog.’ so yea, my mileage is high and i do tons of races, but that’s just who i am 🙂 if that makes sense.

  • Whit November 20, 2009, 1:24 pm

    I am SO GLAD to hear someone else say they are just wanting to do a marathon to say ‘I did it’. I do not plan on running another marathon after mine next month, and I am totally happy with that. Next year I want to focus on speed and shorter races. There is a really cool grand prix series here in Charlotte I am kind of excited about!

  • Jenna November 20, 2009, 1:25 pm

    great job on the run!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) November 20, 2009, 1:32 pm

    Milage is all relative. I used to think running for just 5 minutes was crazy and now I can run for an hour. Whatever is part of your training makes it normal.

  • Tay November 20, 2009, 1:33 pm

    Congrats! Very awesome 🙂 I highly recommend chocolate, vanilla, or cappucino flavored gus. I never tried the fruity flavors, but could imagine they’d be disgusting!

  • ari November 20, 2009, 1:42 pm

    whenever i have trouble sleeping because my mind is racing, i try to quiet it by focusing on my breathing. in my head i say “in, out, in, out, in out, etc” in tempo with my breaths. strange, maybe, but it helps kick all the other thoughts out of my head and usually i fall asleep pretty quickly after that. 🙂

  • Amanda November 20, 2009, 1:43 pm

    I can’t help with the sleeping thing, I never have a problem sleeping. But I was curious when you stop to refill your water and walk or whatever breaks you take, do you stop your Garmin and restart it when you start running again? I can never decide if I should stop mine or let it keep running.

    • caitlin November 20, 2009, 1:47 pm

      today i stopped my garmin for our water refills just because its a legitimate full stop (not walking and gaining mileage, which i let it run). i’m not really worked up about time in general (unless i’m racing) so sometimes i forget to stop it for full breaks.

      i actually did a whole post about this a while ago: http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2009/09/the-great-garmin-debate.html

  • Lee November 20, 2009, 1:49 pm

    No advice for you. The same thing happens to me regarding not being able to sleep.

    Have you tried the Chocolate Gu? Much better, imo.

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance) November 20, 2009, 1:58 pm

    Nice work, Mama!

  • Ingunn November 20, 2009, 2:22 pm

    You’re awesome! I’ve never even hiked 18 miles in a day, the thought of *running* them seems out of this world for me!

    I have the same problem before big hikes/climbs – this summer I ended up taking a sleep aid, otherwise I wouldn’t sleep a wink. Not a good solution…

  • Ami November 20, 2009, 2:32 pm

    You might want to lay off the caffeine/coffee the day before your long run. Sometimes that can make me anxious. I think some days when I know i have to wake up earlier than normal it sticks in my mind all night and I keep thinking its time to wake up every time my eyes open. I hate those nights! Maybe you can push your run time back a little? That might help.

    I think the vanilla bean flavor gu is actually good! It tastes like vanilla pudding. You should try it. The chocolate one on the other hand is just disgusting and made me gag.

  • Mandy November 20, 2009, 3:08 pm

    Hi! I dont think I have ever posted a comment on your site before but have been reading your blog for a couple of months and thoroughly enjoy it and all your tips!!! I had one tip for you that you might be aware of…I have problems sleeping sometimes as well and would just take Tylenol PM but them my mom heard something on the radio one morning (talk radio) and stated there was a study that came out that sleeping pills causes lesions (sp?) on the brain which can cause short term memory problems. So just wanted to give you the heads up…hope you got a better sleep after your run!

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) November 20, 2009, 9:27 pm

    18 miles – wow girl!! That is so awesome!!

  • chandra November 20, 2009, 11:09 pm

    I”m not sure if you’ve ever tried these before, but since you seem to like coffee I thought I’d mention it – I LOVE the clif or gu gels in mocha or double espresso. 🙂

  • Ally November 21, 2009, 2:10 am

    Dude…you and Kelly look so much alike!! Does anyone else see that?

    • caitlin November 21, 2009, 7:01 pm

      everyone says we look like sisters 🙂 we’re not!

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