Better Together

in Marathon Training

My first official marathon training long run is DONE!  I haven’t run 8.0 miles in… months?  Since April or so? But it was all good because I ran bites and pieces of the distance with these lovely ladies:


Michelle, Kath, Diana, and me (the sweatiest one, always).


I’m doing Thunder Road Marathon on December 11, which means I need to start revving up my long runs NOW.  One issue I had with my first marathon is that I often felt overwhelmed when looking at my training plan – when you stare at weeks and weeks of constant running, it’s pretty intimidating.  As a result, I’m only pre-planning my long runs and will plan my everyday runs on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.  You can see my planned long runs on my current workout log.  I’ve also reduced my taper from 3 weeks to 1.5 weeks and am going to try to do more really long runs as a result.


Before setting out, I ate and digested breakfast:


Greek yogurt, 1/2 a banana, flax, 1/2 cup raw oatmeal, and blueberries.  It was perfect.


After loafing around a bit, I started out on my own.  I did the first 2.0 miles solo, then ran back to my house to grab Kath for another 3.0 miles, and then we went back AGAIN to grab Michelle, Diana, and the Husband.  In total, I did 8.0 miles, but it felt like so much less because of all the different people joining me.


  • Distance: 8.0 miles
  • Duration: 1:26
  • Mile 1: 9:52 <—Solo
  • Mile 2: 9:33 <—Solo
  • Mile 3: 9:35 <— with Kath
  • Mile 4: 10:07 <— with Kath
  • Mile 5: 9:40 <— with Kath
  • Mile 6: 12:28 <— with the big group
  • Mile 7: 12:53 <— with the big group
  • Mile 8: 12:38 <— with the big group


Our pace dropped for Mile 5.0 for 8.0 because we implemented the walk/run method.  Diana, who is a Zumba Queen, is interested in getting into running.  We loosely followed a 2-minute run, 1-minute walk format per the Couch to 5K Plan, and I think she had a lot of fun!  I was impressed she could go for three miles on her first go, but I guess that’s a testament to how effective Zumba is!


Oh, when I looped back at Mile 2.0 to grab Kath, I refilled my water bottle with some Heed for electrolytes + calories. It made me feel SO good.  I could feel the energy in my bloodstream almost immediately.


And when I came back, I had a piece of Challah bread with strawberry jam to hold me over until brunch.


And… I’m off!  I hope you have a wonderful Sunday.


The winner of the Athenos giveaway is Valerie!  She said her favorite dish to bring to a dinner party is: “A bean or lentil salad. I’m vegan, and would never expect the host to whip up something special just for me. So it doubles as a protein filled main dish for me, and a tasty side dish for everyone else!”


Do you prefer to run or workout solo or with friends?



  • tanyasDaily ProductViews July 25, 2010, 12:02 pm

    your breakfast looks like mine!

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs July 25, 2010, 12:06 pm

    That’s a good idea – to not plan the middle runs. I like it!
    I have only ever run solo – I’ve NEVER had a partner! I can imagine it’d be awesome though 🙂

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape July 25, 2010, 12:14 pm

    Working out with friends is good because I know it makes me go longer and harder. I don’t want my workout to be over before my friend’s, you know? But there is somethign to be said about doing it on your own. You can go at your own pace and end whenever you want.

  • Heather July 25, 2010, 12:15 pm

    good job! I am about to start marathon training in about 2 weeks and that first long run of 8 is scaring me. since tis been so hot the most I have done is 4 lately!

  • Anya @ Fitness & Sunshine July 25, 2010, 12:18 pm

    I prefer to run/workout solo because it makes me more focused. 🙂

    great job on your run!

  • Nicci July 25, 2010, 12:19 pm

    I love my workout time to myself, but I also love running with my guy and Zumba class with my coworkers & best friend.

  • Janna@Janna's Keeping it Real! July 25, 2010, 12:20 pm

    What a fun way yo break up your run!

    For my shorter runs, I prefer solo…but my long runs, bring on the running buddies! The more the merrier!

  • Dorry July 25, 2010, 12:23 pm

    Congrats on 8 miles today! I like to mix it up between solo workouts and runs with friends. The sole workouts are great if I’m working on my speed but it’s awesome to have friends (or my fiance) join me every now & then. 🙂

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter July 25, 2010, 12:23 pm

    Wow, that is definitely a fantastic way to break up a long run! I can run with guys (well, they have to run really, really slow) but not girls. Well, maybe it’s just because the girls I have ran with aren’t distance runners and can not pace themselves. The guys I have run with are so steady and really challenge my pace. I love it.

  • Rachel July 25, 2010, 12:34 pm

    ZUMBA?! have you tried it yet, Caitlin? SO.MUCH.FUN. 😀

    Your breakfast looks delish!

    • Caitlin July 26, 2010, 8:53 am

      Diana is going to take me. I’m excited!

  • Carol July 25, 2010, 12:42 pm

    Congrats on signing up for another marathon. I swore after my first that was it! Never, ever again…that lasted about 6 months. I decided for my second though that I was going to train better and joined a clinic group, that helped us with nutrition, proper running styles, injury prevention, speed work, hills work and the dreaded long, slow Sunday runs (the big distances). As well, it’s so much fun running with a social group of people that all love running. After all, why are we all there, right? I managed to shave 45 minutes off my time (Ya-woo!) and have already signed up for another clinic (I’m a pacer this time) and my third marathon (Toronto, Canada…FLAT!!!!). And set my BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal) to qualify for Boston before I am 50. Sadly, that’s only a couple of years away, but I’ll do it!
    The biggest thing I learned from my clinic instructor (who has run more marathons than anyone I know, and runs them fast!) is to respect the SLOW part of the Sunday long, slow runs. That is the part that will help you maintain your energy for the time out in a marathon, not just the distance. Good luck in December. Can’t wait to hear the highlights.

  • Maria @ Oh Healthy Day July 25, 2010, 12:44 pm

    I’ve never run with friends, but I guess I prefer solo for now. I feel like my pace is pretty slow (6-6.2 mph) and I’d hate to hold anyone back! Though, I’d like to give it shot, as it seems fun!

    • Caitlin July 26, 2010, 8:53 am

      That’s definitely not slow 🙂

  • Exercise and Eat July 25, 2010, 12:48 pm

    I just worked out with a friend, and it was great! Felt like more of a social thing than anything, but I got the benefits of a workout:)

  • Orla July 25, 2010, 12:58 pm

    I love running with Friends as it really helps me forget about what I am doing and I tend to run faster. However, the girl I used to train with moved to Australia!!!
    So now I have really gotten used to running along and challenging myself more and more.
    Marathon’s are pretty addictive. I am training for number 3 in October and am hoping for a sub 5 hour…..
    Happy Sunday!

  • Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun) July 25, 2010, 12:59 pm

    Congrats on the impressive long run. I find endurance sessions (whether cycling or biking) go by much more smoothly when there’s company involved. It distracts me from thinking about the challenging physical aspects of it.

    That challah bread looks so soft and chewy!

  • Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews July 25, 2010, 1:22 pm

    Great job on the run and good luck training!

  • Stacey@ July 25, 2010, 1:22 pm

    Looks like it was a fun run. Great job on doing 8 miles.

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople July 25, 2010, 1:24 pm

    Light cardio – with friends because it makes it more fun.

    HIIT or other high-intensity cardio – solo so I can get in and get it done!

  • Tina July 25, 2010, 1:27 pm

    Great job on the run!

    I generally prefer to workout solo since I don’t have friends who workout at the same intensity. If I did, then I would LOVE the extra motivation from a friend during a workout. All my friends are too whiny when it comes to fitness. Believe me – I’ve tried! LOL

  • Ameena July 25, 2010, 1:28 pm

    I absolutely have to work out alone otherwise I can get very distracted!

    Great run! And congrats on the book, I can’t imagine how great you must feel seeing it on a shelf at Borders!

  • Mandy A July 25, 2010, 1:35 pm

    i can say that zumba helped diana a lot 🙂 I hadn’t run in over a year – and had to on vacation this past may due to my only source of exercise when visiting home. Hubby and I take zumba regularly and our class is intense – I burn anywhere from 700 to 850 cals in a class! But we had no issues running 3 miles-ish each day! I was shocked!

  • Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete July 25, 2010, 1:42 pm

    Oh goodness, with friends definitely! In Germany, I had a great network of workout buddies. I’m feeling a little lonely here since my bike isn’t here with all of our household goods yet, and I don’t really know anyone yet to go out on a run with them. It will come soon though! No doubt!

  • Madeline - Greens and Jeans July 25, 2010, 1:46 pm

    I love having company on my long runs. My boyfriend rides his bike next to me on my long runs! He’s my little pace car.

  • Allie July 25, 2010, 1:50 pm

    great run! have you done post on fueling for marathon training (i am a vegetarian)? i am really struggling with this, especially on my long run days…which then carries in to the next day. i have no idea how many calories i should be eating- i think i am coming in way short, and i want to be sure i am fueling properly. any suggestions??

    • megan July 26, 2010, 7:38 am

      I’d love Caitlin to do a post (or a few) on this too! Always a challenge for me after a long run!

      • Caitlin July 26, 2010, 8:54 am

        On my list of things to blog about sometime this week. 🙂

  • Aundra (poweredbyzumba) July 25, 2010, 1:58 pm

    Hi Caitlin! Zumba is awesome!! I’ve been an instructor for over a year now and have lost 35 pounds doing it! You burn 650-800 calories per class, and it keeps your energy level up throughout the day. It primed me for running, too! I’m signed up for my first half marathon in September.

    You could say I’m powered by Zumba 🙂

    • Caitlin July 26, 2010, 8:55 am

      congrats on your zumba weight loss!

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] July 25, 2010, 2:08 pm

    Challah – I haven’t had that in ages, yum!

    I like to work out solo at the gym, but typically like to go running with friends.

  • Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries July 25, 2010, 2:08 pm

    I actually prefer to workout alone, so that I am alone with my thoughts. Congrats on your first long run back!

  • Miranda @ MirandasJeans July 25, 2010, 2:11 pm

    I like both. I love running with my hubby who runs at my pace (he could smoke me if he wanted to). It’s great company. But on the same hand, running can be a great solo challenge. I ran solo today for 5k.

  • Becky July 25, 2010, 2:12 pm

    Congrats on completing your first long training run. I love your approach to training for this race. Because I’m doing my first, I am pretty bound to the plan, but I would love to train like this if I do another marathon. You also have me contemplating a 22 miler. I’m only in week seven, so I’ll see where training takes me. It’s so fun to run with friends! I’m training alone, but occasionally I can persuade someone to join me and I love those runs so much more!

  • Caitlyn July 25, 2010, 2:13 pm

    It really depends on my workout and mood whether I want to go solo or with friends. If it’s a long run like you did today, friends are my motivation!! Othertimes call for a solo run…like if I need some “me” time to clear my mind!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) July 25, 2010, 2:14 pm

    I honestly like to run solo. I tend to push myself too hard to keep up with other people when I run in a group and my body can’t handle it. I’ve gotten injured before doing this.

    But classes like Zumba or going swimming or biking I love a group. I guess I’m not as competitive with those things.

  • *Andrea* July 25, 2010, 2:16 pm

    running with friends is the best! i am so amazed at your accomplishments – the published book being in stores (i asked my mom for it for my bday august 10 hehe) and ANOTHER marathon!!! you’re superwoman

  • Gavi @ GaviGetsGoing! July 25, 2010, 2:24 pm

    Congrats on getting in the 8-miler! It sounds so fun to do it with a big group of people, too. I’m definitely looking for more running buddies. Good luck with the ongoing marathon training!

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine July 25, 2010, 2:32 pm

    I love all the running partners!! I’m thinking of doing another half this fall, and I wish I could find a training buddy. It would make things so much more fun!

  • Amy* July 25, 2010, 2:35 pm

    My husband and I run together, but he is a lot faster than I am. I guess technically that means that I run solo most of the time because he’s usually way ahead of me.*

  • Megan @ Healthy Hoggin July 25, 2010, 2:55 pm

    I definitely prefer to workout with friends! When I can’t get a workout buddy to run with me, I’m fine doing it solo, but I think time just flies by when you have someone to talk to!

    I also love group exercise classes for the same reason– it pushes me to workout for a full hour (when I might have given up if I were solo) and it’s a more fun environment!

  • Camille July 25, 2010, 3:00 pm

    I’m actually a fan of the solo run. Running is like my thinking time… though running with people can be fun too!

  • sarah (this is it) July 25, 2010, 3:29 pm

    I think the first time since high school that I ran with someone was yesterday! My brother was visiting and I thought I would get out for a run before he woke up, but he insisted on joining. He was speedy for the first two miles, then I had to coax him through the next three. There is a group that runs in my town a few nights a week and it is open to the public, but it intimidates me–a lot! I can’t imagine running with strangers!
    I smiled when I saw you did 8 miles this morning, since that is what I did! It would have been nice to have a friend for the last two miles.

  • Liza July 25, 2010, 4:37 pm

    I usually like running by myself, but running with a friend alwayssss makes me run faster. When a friend is available, I’m usually down!

  • Mary (A Merry Life) July 25, 2010, 5:01 pm

    That sounds like a fun way to get long runs done. 😉

    ps – I’m so excited your book is in stores!

  • Paige @ Running Around Normal July 25, 2010, 5:11 pm

    That’s a good idea to just go on a week to week basis. I imagine looking at all those miles can be pretty scary.
    You’re so lucky to have a great group of girls to run with!

  • Diana July 25, 2010, 5:13 pm

    Can’t think of a better group of ladies for my first big running trip! Thanks so much for helping me along and being so patient! 🙂

  • caronae July 25, 2010, 5:14 pm

    If you ran with me you would NOT be the sweatiest runner! Haha! 🙂

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit July 25, 2010, 5:18 pm

    Mm I love Challah! My mom makes it homemade and it’s the best. I’ve always run by myself, but I’d like to find a running partner or group.

  • Melissa July 25, 2010, 5:22 pm

    Great job on the run! ZUMBA is a fabulous workout.. you HAVE to try it!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) July 25, 2010, 6:08 pm

    What a wonderful weekend you have had!!!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) July 25, 2010, 6:22 pm

    congrats on the great run! i bet you’re stoked to start up with marathon training again 🙂

  • Nichole July 25, 2010, 6:53 pm

    I love to work out with friends, but sometimes it’s hard to get everybody’s schedules to work together!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin July 25, 2010, 6:58 pm

    That’s such a fun way to do a long run! Having all those different people join in would be great for keeping up motivation!

    I’ve never gone running with a buddy because I like to go at my own pace, but now I’m thinking it sounds like fun!

  • Wendy July 25, 2010, 7:09 pm

    I love running with friends, but unfortunately my schedule never meshes with anyone else’s, and I end up running solo a LOT. Boo.

  • Michelle July 25, 2010, 7:33 pm

    Look at you go!! Thanks for posting about your training!

    I like working out alone sometimes, and with friends at other times. If I’m doing a run that I’m monitoring for speed, I like to do it alone, because I like to focus. But if I’m just going for a run for the sake of it, I love to go with other people!

  • Rachael July 25, 2010, 7:41 pm

    Way to hit the ground running. Bad pun.
    I like to run alone – I don’t get much alone time these days, so it’s good thought-organizing and planning space. Plus, I like to look at the scenery – a whooshing world going by!

  • holly @ July 25, 2010, 9:02 pm

    I prefer to run alone — only because I like to take in what is happening around me, and if I have a friend or my husband with I tend to just want to talk the whole time!

    I like to go to the gym with friends, if I’m going to use the elliptical or bike — but if I’m running outside it is Me Time!

  • Jess-The Semi Abnormal Gal July 25, 2010, 9:28 pm

    A 2nd marathon? Did I miss that announcement somewhere? That is awesome Caitlin-I can’t wait to hear more, since it seemed like you were going to be a one marathon kind of gal after the Disney one!

  • Gracie (complicated day) July 25, 2010, 11:47 pm

    I think I missed the second marathon announcement, too – but good luck on that, I hope summer training is easier in NC compared to FL!

  • Jaime Runs July 26, 2010, 12:22 am

    I don’t have any friends who are as slow as me 🙁 but the husband runs with me and slows it down. I like running with him because he pushes me to go the extra mile or run a little faster. But most days I like running alone mosty because it’s my only quiet time that I am not working or sleeping!

  • Stacey @ Tipping the (Kitchen!) Scales July 26, 2010, 2:52 am

    How nice to run with friends. It looks like you have quite a nice little community of bloggers down there!

  • Jolene ( July 26, 2010, 12:39 pm

    I have never worked out with a friend before! I like to work out alone, but I wouldn’t mind if a friend joined me too.

  • Eric July 26, 2010, 8:47 pm

    I was thinking about the ThunderRoad as my first half, but I don’t think I will be ready by December (since my training is in limbo right now) and now I’m shooting for March 2011 (NC Marathon in high point) as my first half. When I saw you were moving to Charlotte my first thought was if you would run that race. I may come down and do the 5K. Amanda (eattolivelivetorun) was telling me that even doing the 5K at a marathon event was an awesome experience with the Expo, the vendors, the crowd etc. Good luck in December! Maybe I’ll be there too!

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