The Marathon Moment

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When you’re trying to increase your endurance (at any level), there are moments that are the make-it-or-break-it times.   I had one of those “Marathon Moments” this afternoon.


My schedule called for a 4.0 miler, but my legs were a little sore from yesterday’s Half Marathon.  Nothing so bad that I felt I should blow off the run, but I was feeling lazy and knew the first mile would be rough as my muscles worked out the kinks.


And then I realized: This is the moment between what you have already done and what you CAN accomplish.  If you skip these workouts, you will never get over the hump.  I’m not suggesting you should workout when you’re injured or sick!  But if you want to take it to the next level, there are moments when you just have to suck it up and DO IT.


I did 4.0 miles at a 9:30 to 10:00/mile pace, finishing around 38:30.  The Husband joined me for 2.5 of the 4.0 miles.  It was nice to have company!  And I felt really accomplished when we were done.  🙂


Pre-run, I had a mini lunch:


I smashed one Sweet Potato and Black Bean ball and some green beans in between an Arnold Sandwich Thin.  Mmm! 


And post-run, I had an apple with PB:


I also ate a Gingerbread Man, which I finally got around to icing:


If you are looking for an awesome Christmas cookie recipe, this is it!  The cookies (if you make them thick) end up so soft and squishy, and the Royal Icing dries hard, so it’s perfect for decorating.


Speaking of Christmas, it’s cold outside!  The dogs have been taking turns sitting on my heating pad all morning because I refuse to shut the windows. 


Back to work I go!  I’m getting a lot done today.


Have you ever taken your fitness to the next level?  How did you accomplish it?  I definitely remember struggling to train myself to run 1.0 mile without stopping when I first started.  But I just stuck with it and made small goals (like, just run to that next lamp post!).  And eventually, I did it!



  • Lily @ Lily's Health Pad December 6, 2009, 2:39 pm

    Usually training plans help me “take it to the next level.” If I have an actual piece of paper that says I need to run X miles at X pace, I am more likely to complete the workout. I love being able to check off workouts when they’re finished!

  • Meghan@traveleatlove December 6, 2009, 2:40 pm

    I have had lots of milestones throughout my running life, lots of setbacks too. But every mile is money in the bank, so to speak, to draw on on the day of the marathon. 🙂

  • Sonja @ ActiveFoodie December 6, 2009, 2:42 pm

    Congrats on your half marathon!! For me when training it is all about setting mini-goals. Like sprinting to the end of the block, or if I don’t have the time for a long run, then doing a short run but meeting a certain pace. I also love seeing my stats after each run on my Nike+. However, I have injured myself by pushing too hard!! So I have to also remember to be reasonable and listen to my body!

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) December 6, 2009, 2:43 pm

    I have been working on running 3 miles straight. It’s tough for me to do and I ALWAYS want to give up. Today I actually said out loud to myself at the gym…”Don’t you dare give up!” and finished strong. Love it!

  • Sagan December 6, 2009, 2:45 pm

    That’s awesome! It’s so SATISFYING to get over one of those kinds of “humps”. When we push ourselves, we’re capable of SO much.

  • Karla December 6, 2009, 2:45 pm

    I’m not sure that I’m very good at taking it to the next level. In terms of running, I love intervals. They keep me from getting bored. Right now I do run 1 min, walk 1 min, changing the speeds. Hopefully I’ll be able to work up to run 2, walk 1 min and so on. I think that’s taking it to the next level 🙂 Probably not as intense as running 7 or 8 minute miles but it works for me 🙂

  • Chloe (Naturally Frugal) December 6, 2009, 2:55 pm

    Too cute about the puppies.

    I think you’re definitely right about taking it to the next level. Sometimes we have to push ourselves mentally, and it makes all the difference in the end. Good job!

  • Julie December 6, 2009, 3:03 pm

    haha the dogs are too cute. How cold is it in Florida? 70s??

    The moment I took my fitness to the next level was when my old boyfriend forced me, um I mean encouraged me, to run without stopping for 2 miles. I could’ve beat him with a rock and left him to die, but 4 years later I thank him (quietly to myself obvi) every time I run. If he didn’t push me like that I would never have taken up running.

  • Alisha December 6, 2009, 3:07 pm

    Completely unrelated, Haha, I’m finally watching New Moon and I just giggled with the rest of the 13 year olds around Me when Jacob took his shirt off for the first time. Team Jacob all the way lady :). So excited right now.

  • Lo December 6, 2009, 3:09 pm

    That looks like a great lunch/ post run snack. I’m having some trouble jumping onto the band wagon on running. Do you have any tips to help get started? Loving your blog by the way.

  • Matt December 6, 2009, 3:11 pm

    I agree sometimes you have to stuck it. Pushing yourself (within reason) is what takes your fitness to the next level.

  • Alisha December 6, 2009, 3:11 pm

    I think Jacob is beautiful and I would totally hold his hand, haha, omg, am I too old for this?

  • Lee December 6, 2009, 3:13 pm

    Thank you for that cookie recipe. I have a work cookie swap next Monday and have been overwhelmed by the amount of cookie recipes out there. I am so not a baker, so I need one that’s tried and true.

  • Sana December 6, 2009, 3:14 pm

    Good for you! I am a plan oriented person as well. So it helps me when I write something down and stick with it!

  • Alisha December 6, 2009, 3:16 pm

    Jacob in the rain = yum. I should have listened to my mom and married an Indian 🙂

    • Caitlin December 6, 2009, 3:32 pm

      hahaha lovin these comments

  • loreejo December 6, 2009, 3:20 pm

    caitlin, thanks for reminding how you struggled to run 1 mile w/o stopping! i’m just starting out and up to 2.4 miles, working towards a 5K. every time out is a challenge to take it to the next level but you’ve just given me some real encouragement. 🙂

  • SweetiePotato December 6, 2009, 3:21 pm

    Keeping the windows open?! Man, you’re brave… or crazy 😛

  • Marissa December 6, 2009, 3:22 pm

    You sandwich looks amazing! I am totally making those soon!

    Ps- I had no idea a Guido was something people strive for. I thought it was a joke! This is awesome! hahahaha!!!

    • Julie December 6, 2009, 3:40 pm

      dude me too! I thought it was a racial slur. who knew.

      • Caitlin December 6, 2009, 3:45 pm

        i heard the Italian America group flipped out.

  • Britt (Runnerbelle) December 6, 2009, 3:25 pm

    Not every day will be an easy run. I agree, its those runs where you aren’t feeling it or your body is tired that its helpful to push yourself to that next level. Its definitely good practice for miles 23-26.2! Its all in your head at that point and anything you can use to get you through it will help.

  • Alisha December 6, 2009, 3:30 pm

    Holy crap, Jacob even makes for a sexy werewolf, unbelievable, hehe.

  • Alisha December 6, 2009, 3:43 pm

    I wonder if they already auditioned for Leah Clearwaters part, I think I’d make a good wolf girl, Haha.

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) December 6, 2009, 3:49 pm

    Congrats on getting over the ‘hump’! I too tend to stay in my comfort zone – although this weekend we did a 7hour race on the bike which pretty much doubled the longest amount of time I have ever spent on the bike! Knowing I can do that will certainly help when I feel like slacking off with the smaller training sessions 🙂

  • Alisha December 6, 2009, 3:50 pm

    Oh man and the boy speaks his native language, swoon 🙂

  • Alisha December 6, 2009, 3:52 pm

    I just noticed that there is always dramatic music playing in the background, Haha, I guess they have to make up for the bad acting somehow, lol, love it.

  • Alisha December 6, 2009, 3:58 pm

    Robert Pattinson has gross looking nipples.

  • Alisha December 6, 2009, 4:06 pm

    Why are the Volturi dressed like cowboys? Haha, jeeze.

  • Katie December 6, 2009, 4:15 pm

    I trained for a marathon – that was def something that pushed me.

    Now I am doing Insanity which is super hard, I love it though. It is a 60 day program, and I will do it again once I am done!

    Food/Fitness/Music & Giveaways!

  • Sam (Merit to the Carrot) December 6, 2009, 4:23 pm

    That’s definitely good advice. Your dogs are awesome! They’re so smart 😉

  • beck December 6, 2009, 4:26 pm

    Sorry but I do not consider this “pushing it to the next level”. You just ren a half marathon and your body was telling you to take a break. You are only in your 20’s! Take care of your body and LISTEN when it tells you to rest or you won’t be runnong at all in your 30’s.

    • Caitlin December 6, 2009, 4:44 pm

      i know how to listen to and care for my body. my body wasn’t saying “rest” anyway, as i wrote in that post.

  • Alisha December 6, 2009, 4:35 pm

    The movie is finally over and it was so good. Luckily I have a good imagination, so the pieces left out and the crappy acting had no affect on this 24 year old Twihard, lol. I love Jacob, and the rest of the were-pack. I can’t help but get excited when I see natives on TV, I swear, you’d think we were extinct or something, Haha. Can’t wait for Eclipse!!! Sorry for attacking your comment board with my play by plays, I had no one to share the experience with.
    Peace out, time for some fattening pizza 🙂

  • Bronwyn December 6, 2009, 4:45 pm

    I remember being able to push myself to the next level. It always felt great; super sore, tired, but also so acomplished. I haven’t done it for a while, because there was a time when I got mixed up with pushing it to the next level, and just plain crazy/obsessed.
    But my feelings lately have been that I’m taking it too easy, and I need a challenge! Half marathon? hmm. Triathlon? hmm. I can’t decide!

  • Alyssa December 6, 2009, 4:53 pm

    Way to push it (in a good way 🙂 ). That sandwich looks good, I love getting creative with sandwiches and using ingredients/toppings you might normally overlook 🙂

  • MelissaNibbles December 6, 2009, 5:02 pm

    Great job on your run. I tell myself to “Just Do It And It’s Done” when it comes to pushing myself. I used to say it so much when I first started running that my old roommate had a tshirt made for me with the saying on it. I use it to talk myself into to doing everything now. Even going on bad dates!

  • Allison December 6, 2009, 5:04 pm

    Does the soreness after a race get better the more of them you do? Or is that just a result of good training? I ran my first half marathon a month ago and I was sooooooo sore afterward, I could barely walk right for a week afterward. I don’t know if it was just because that was my first half, or because I only did two 10 mile long runs to prepare myself for that distance….

    • Caitlin December 6, 2009, 5:09 pm

      i used to be sore after EVERY race, but i’m no longer sore after a 5K or 10K really. the more you train and the more long runs you get under your belt, the easier it will be to bounce back. if i had done more training runs at “race pace,” i probably wouldnt have been sore today! it’s just a matter of adjusting your body to the impact (i think its the impact of fast runs that do me in).

  • Jenna December 6, 2009, 5:23 pm

    great job on fighting through your run!

  • Erin December 6, 2009, 5:30 pm

    That’s a really good point. I feel “stuck” a 3 miles right now but need to remember that even if it means walking, too, just getting beyond that 3 and into higher numbers is part of the battle.

  • Jenna December 6, 2009, 5:31 pm

    Great job lady. Sometimes it is super hard, but in any exercise, it is always mind over matter. And so nice of your hubby to join you. Makes time (and miles) fly by!

  • Evan Thomas December 6, 2009, 5:31 pm

    This past Wednesday I told myself time would not be a factor–I was just going to go 16 miles no matter what and if I had to walk or take breaks that’d be OK but I was going to change my mentality from “run” to “move my body” and in the end I did 16 miles and felt great about it

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg December 6, 2009, 5:46 pm

    Training for this first half-marathon was definitely my equivalent of “taking it to the next level” and proving something to myself. Now that it’s over, I need to remember how great it felt to challenge myself and realize that I could accomplish so much more than I ever thought possible.

    Thanks for the mini-pep talk at the beginning of this post!

  • Paige December 6, 2009, 6:00 pm

    Nice job on the run! Have a great night 🙂

  • Stacey December 6, 2009, 6:27 pm

    When I was doing my first 5k, I was so dissapointed to see everyone bolt past me in the beginning..but I looked behind me and saw that look of dissapointment on everyone else’s faces, so I just thought who cares??!! I’m doing my first 5k and I’m going to enjoy it! It was definitely a mental challenge 🙂

  • caronae December 6, 2009, 7:10 pm

    I had one of those moments today when I semi-spontaneously ran an ultramarathon! My longest run before was 20 miles, and I knew I could more. A guy in my running club really wanted someone to go with him and I volunteered. Up to 26.2 was actually pretty easy, but the next seven were TOUGH. We ended up doing 33.4 in just over six hours, and know I know I can run any distance I want to!

  • laura prida December 6, 2009, 7:34 pm

    i have a question for you
    what do you think about people that buy real christmas trees??

    • caitlin December 7, 2009, 7:51 am

      i dont really know enough about the enviro impacts of real trees vs fake trees to form an intelligent opinion.. sorry 🙁 what do you think? .

  • lauren @ Eater not a runner December 6, 2009, 7:36 pm

    I used to think I couldn’t run more than a mile. Then I just set out saying, I am going to run until 30 minutes is up. Once I did that I thought I could do anything. And I ended up running a half marathon!

  • BalancedAnne December 6, 2009, 8:27 pm

    I ran/walked a 10K in May. It was one of the proudest moments of my life. I had NEVER gone that far. You are right, achieving an athletic goal is an amazing feeling! Before the 10K, I had never run at all before. Training toward that goal was difficult, and I really had to push myself. Unfortunately, I needed to take a break from running for several months immediately following the race. Now I am back starting at square one. My next fitness goal is to complete the same 10K…this time, no walking! Thanks for providing such great inspiration on this blog

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is December 6, 2009, 8:27 pm

    I definitely took my fitness to the next level by doing fitness competitions. The training is so hard, and it was really difficult for me to get through it some days. I am so glad I did, tho.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) December 6, 2009, 9:46 pm

    Ha your dogs use the heating pad…ours steal my snuggie 🙂

    I had that marathon moment when I trained to run a 5K post major back surgery. I was told it was possible but would be a lot of work to get up to it again. I remember a few days thinkin ghtat I couldn’t do it because of the back surgery but then thought about the fact that I could do it despite the surgery.

  • Jolene ( December 6, 2009, 10:06 pm

    That gingerbread man looks so cute … I want to bite his head off.

  • lauren (athlEAT) December 6, 2009, 10:08 pm

    I know I am late, but congrats on your AWESOME time in the half. Cant wait to see how you do in the marathon!

  • Brie (The Fit Bride) December 6, 2009, 10:58 pm

    That’s awesome.

    I’m scared to train for my half starting in January because I’m scared I’ll make the wrong choice when it comes down to decisions like that. Eep.

  • Frannie December 7, 2009, 12:20 am

    Thanks for this post today, Caitlin. I had a busy day and was thinking about NOT running. I reconsidered after reading your post and I’m glad I did.

    Also, I smiled about your ‘Running in the Rain’ post…and I’m wondering if you’d ever be interested in a guest post about running in the snow? I’m from the upper midwest, and people are sooo dedicated that the running/biking trails actually get plowed in the winter and you can often see bunches of people running down these black snake-like trails cut out of 3 ft snow. It’s super awesome!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie December 7, 2009, 11:01 am

    That is really encouraging. I know what it’s like when you don’t want to take that run but it’s crazy what you learn about yourself when you actually do it.

    It’s all about your state of mind.

  • Good Taste. Healthy Me December 7, 2009, 12:29 pm

    I’m at your beginning spot right now. I cannot run a mile to save my life! But I really want to get into it because I think it’s a great all-over workout!

  • Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama December 7, 2009, 3:22 pm

    I have been craving gingerbread for days now!

  • chocolatepickle December 7, 2009, 5:58 pm

    Your gingerbread men are too cute! I want to eat the icing off the computer screen:)

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