The Five Mile Dash

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I rarely wake-up early to do run.  Truthfully, I’m not much of a morning person and I’d rather wait for it to warm up so I’m not shivering through the entire run.  I make early morning runs an exception under the following scenario:


  • A busy day:  It’s the morning or never.
  • Long runs:  I’ll get up early for long runs, especially for marathon training, because putting off a long run throw a wrench in the entire day.
  • Running with friends:  If my buddy insists on running early, I’ll probably get up.
  • Summer:  Gotta run early in the summer for the exact opposite reason I wait to run until the afternoon during winter!
  • Race:  Well, then I have no choice. 🙂


Today was scenario #1.  It was frosty out at 7:30 AM, but once I started to go, I was happy to be out there!

photo (32)

My plan called for 5.0 miles, and 5.0 miles was exactly what I ran!  I finished in 49:50, which puts me right on pace for a leisurely training run.  My leg muscles felt pretty sore and tight until Mile 2.0 or so – it takes me longer to loosen up in the winter – but then I was fine. 


Pre-run toast and coffee:


Post run: a big bowl of oatmeal, which included 3/4 cup oats, 3/4 cup water, 3/4 cup almond milk, 1 banana, chia seeds, and sugar on top.  I actually ended up eating this in the car as we drove to the clinic to see patients.


Then, I got my secretary face on.  Patients love Saturday hours!


We’re going to rustle up lunch, and the Husband says he has a surprise planned.  I wonder what it could be?  He warned it was ‘athletic.’  I’m hoping we’re going on hike – that would be so fun!


Question of the day:  What do you eat before you run early in the morning?  It’s hard to find something that I can quickly digest but will also fuel me through a longer run!  Toast with butter is always my fallback but I’m not sure it’s the ideal fuel (no protein).



  • Natalia - a side of simple February 12, 2011, 12:04 pm

    Good for you for getting your 5-miler in early! I still haven’t perfected my pre-run meal yet. Everything usually gives me a stomach ache or cramps . Trial and error, though! Have a great day!

  • Camels & Chocolate February 12, 2011, 12:15 pm

    Oooh I’m the same! I also work from home, so even when training for a marathon, I don’t do my 20-milers until 9 or 10am! And on race days when I have to get up super early–my gate time for the SF Marathon was 4:30am!–I can’t eat anything, as it takes me forever to digest food. I just rely on Gu and sports beans in those cases.

  • middleagedrunner February 12, 2011, 12:15 pm

    Toast with peanut or almond butter is the answer. perfect balance of your carbs & protein plus easy on the belly…

    • Jacquelyn February 12, 2011, 12:39 pm

      this is what I do too! plus, it’s so easy and takes no time to make.

    • Carol February 12, 2011, 9:43 pm

      Me as well. Today’s pre-Half brekkie was a whole grain bagel, nut butter (sunflower and almond), a banana and a glass of milk. I also had coffee, but sometimes that’s just a sip or two to ward off the caffeine headache. It doesn’t have to be a lot of food, as long as it’s quality.

    • Charise February 14, 2011, 9:55 am

      I’m not a runner, but for morning workouts, I DO need to eat something beforehand due to blood sugar issues. I’ve also found that half a piece of whole wheat toast with 1/2-1 tblspn peanut butter is easy to digest and fuels me well without filling me up too much.

  • Anna February 12, 2011, 12:18 pm

    On days I work in the morning and run before work I don’t eat anything as those runs are less than 7 miles. If I have more time or am running more than 7 miles I’ll have either a bowl of bran flakes or a bowl of oatmeal. I’m lucky that my stomach handles most anything…I don’t need to wait more than 20 minutes before I’m ready to go after having a snack/breakfast. I’ve got a 12 miler planned for this afternoon when I get off work, just going to eat a regular lunch and take some fruit snacks to munch on 🙂

  • Amanda (Eating Up) February 12, 2011, 12:19 pm

    Toast with nut butter is my staple. I’m not original, but it works great!

  • Lauren February 12, 2011, 12:19 pm

    I’m not much of a morning person either, but I’ve had really good morning long runs. I love the late afternoon/early evening runs for short-medium length runs. I stick with a banana & PB or toast + banana + PB. I always have coffee too.

  • courtney @ the granola chronicles February 12, 2011, 12:20 pm

    I love that yellow belt – so cute!

  • christine February 12, 2011, 12:20 pm

    Candy bars- okay, just once, and I’ll regret it forever 🙂 If it’s right away in the morning a granola bar or a piece of bread with PB. Beautiful view for you this morning!

  • Sascha February 12, 2011, 12:21 pm

    I think it is a good thing that toast has no protein in it, since it is harder to digest and you don´t need it for your run. You can eat plenty of protein for your real breakfast afterwards. If I know I´m getting up early for a run, I will eat a little bit more carbs the evening before. I also will have a light ´meal´ or snack before the run, almost always without a lot of protein and fiber. If I´m going for a quick run I will only have orange juice! I also like white bread with jam. It is the only time I will eat white bread, but it is less upsetting to my stomach. And I will use the sugar in my bloodstream immediatly so no hypoglycemic reaction afterwards. But I´m not a morning person either, so it is rare to see me running really early.

  • Laura @ MyReasontoRun February 12, 2011, 12:21 pm

    running in the morning makes life so much easier, but i HATE getting up early. my stomach is pretty sensitive, so i just eat a graham cracker if i run first thing in the morning if its a short run. if its a longer run i will throw some PB on top of the cracker for some protein and added fuel. if its a long enough run to require fueling during the run, i take fig newtons (cant handle gu…bleh!!!)

  • Freya February 12, 2011, 12:22 pm

    I like to have a giant apple and 2tsp wheatgerm before I head out – not too heavy, but gives me a quick burst of energy 🙂 for anything longer than 8miles or so, I;d eat more – a Clif bar or something.
    LOVE that outfit!

  • kell February 12, 2011, 12:23 pm

    i find a hard boiled egg to be perfect . . . easy to digest and i have never felt hungry with it. always boil up a bunch on sunday and then its just super easy peasy peel and go every morning.
    and btw, you look adorable in your office mode 🙂

    • Caitlin February 13, 2011, 10:40 am

      Hmm a hard boiled egg is an interesting idea.

      • kell February 13, 2011, 11:03 am

        I like to plop a bit of hummus on it too-it definitely works for me!
        Just maybe it could work for you too??? Good luck!

  • Parita@myinnershakti February 12, 2011, 12:28 pm

    The perfect pre run meal for me is a glass of milk and either a piece of toast or a larabar. I adjust according to the distance of course, but for anything under 6 miles those types of meals suffice!

  • Michelle (The Runner's Plate) February 12, 2011, 12:32 pm

    For a five mile run, toast with butter is fine. Post-run is when you want to consume protein. 🙂

    Love the mug with your husband’s picture plastered all over it. 😉

    I like getting out early for a run, but it makes it difficult when the sun doesn’t rise until 9 a.m. (I live in Alaska.)

  • Michelle @ The Cooking Life February 12, 2011, 12:34 pm

    I just got done doing a 12 mile training run with my running class and I only ate 1 piece of wheat toast this morning. I had a great dinner last night and had enough water to drink. I can’t eat more than 2 pieces of toast before I run. If I do, it’s potty #2 and who wants that in a long run???

  • Emilie February 12, 2011, 12:36 pm

    I am still trying to figure out the best pre-run fuel for the morning. Most of the time I don’t have much of an appetite that early in the morning, so it’s hard to come up with anything. Also, I’ve found that when I’m training for a longer race, it takes me longer to get into the groove of my runs–when marathon training, for example, it maybe be four miles before I really hit my stride. Anyone else have this experience? I just thought about this since you mentioned not feeling warmed up until about two miles into your run.

    • Cyndi Eggers February 13, 2011, 11:51 am

      I’m going through that now – never realized it before but I also have never tried to keep up consistent, planned training through the winter. Maybe the cold temps do have something to do with i.

  • Laura Turrentine February 12, 2011, 12:53 pm

    Usually half a bagel, water, and a tylenol! 🙂

  • Erin February 12, 2011, 12:56 pm

    I found that if I have to get up super early for a run (super early for me is any run that starts before 7:30AM) it works better to eat a large dinner the night before and then have a white bagel (no whole wheat) with peanut butter before my run.

  • annette February 12, 2011, 12:56 pm

    I actually don’t usually eat much before a run…..I either eat extra carbs the night before (to fuel me in the morning) or a small piece of fruit or a small piece of toast with almond butter in the morning. But like I said, under 90 minutes, you don’t normally need anything for a run beforehand because of the glucose that will be released from glycogen stores 🙂 This is an entirely different story if you’re running/exercising more than 90 minutes, however!

  • Ida February 12, 2011, 12:59 pm

    An energy bar, or overnight oats heated up with some nut butter. Though for anything under a hour i usually just drink some water and head out.

  • Courtney Leigh February 12, 2011, 1:09 pm

    I personally favor half of a banana with peanut butter on top. Super quick. And delicious.

  • Jen February 12, 2011, 1:21 pm

    I usually eat yogurt with oats, cereal, and berries before I run. I much prefer running in the mornings.

    • Jen February 12, 2011, 1:30 pm

      I can’t drink coffee before I run! Otherwise, I have to turn around in five minutes for a bathroom break haha.

      • Caitlin February 13, 2011, 10:39 am

        Hahah hence why I drink coffee before I leave 😉

  • Kara February 12, 2011, 1:24 pm

    Before I ran 16 miles this morning I had cold leftover cheese ravioli. 🙂 That worked well, but I usually eat a pb&j sandwich (a big one)since I don’t eat a 2nd breakfast when I get home.

  • Ali @ Ali on the Run February 12, 2011, 1:24 pm

    Love your outfit! Great color combo.

    As for pre-run food, I usually stick with a granola bar. Today I did a long run and wish I had eaten more, but usually it’s enough to satisfy me but doesn’t sit too heavily in my stomach.

  • Maryann February 12, 2011, 1:25 pm

    If Im eating right before a run, Ill usually have half a bar or a rice cake/toast with some nut butter.

  • Caitlyn (A Spoonful of Life) February 12, 2011, 1:28 pm

    I always have a date or 2 before going for my morning runs. They are so (almost too) good. I have trouble stopping myself after 2!

  • Baking 'n' Books February 12, 2011, 1:28 pm

    Is your husband the only person who works at the clinic? Does he work there all day 6 days a week?!

    Cute outfit! Love the belt – fashionista 🙂

  • Lesley February 12, 2011, 1:29 pm

    I like an apple with peanut butter. Really filling, gives good energy, but not heavy at all. Cool belt! I love yellow, but I never wear it because I am capital FAIR. I like how a small bit of it made your outfit pop!

  • jen @ taste life February 12, 2011, 1:30 pm

    You look very cute in your secretary outfit!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey February 12, 2011, 1:32 pm

    I cannot eat right in the morning before a run, which is why I only do 3 miles if I am doing a first thing int he morning run. Otherwise, I have to wait until after breakfast!

  • chandra February 12, 2011, 1:38 pm

    I’m sure a dozen people have already said this, but toast & pb is my go-to usually. Adds a little protein & fat, but not so much that it takes too long to digest. Nice work on the run! 🙂

  • Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans February 12, 2011, 1:44 pm

    I have a hard time getting up to run but I always love when I do. There is nothing better than finishing a run and still having the whole day ahead of you!

  • Stephanie@Thorns Have Roses February 12, 2011, 2:08 pm

    I ran this morning and I always mix my herbal tea with a T. of Enerfood and then eat ww toast with chocolate pb and half a smashed banana with cinnamon on top. Fills me up and with only half a banana doesn’t sit TOO heavy. 🙂

  • Kasey @thisbodyismyhome February 12, 2011, 2:12 pm

    I always go to bed with the intention of getting up early and going for a run. But then the alarm goes off and it’s snowy out and the only thing that can lure me out of bed is a big carby breakfast!
    I can’t wait for summer to get here, when I actually enjoy morning runs!

  • Lee February 12, 2011, 2:17 pm

    I am the exact same way as you. I will basically run early for the same reasons. If we lived in the same city, I would run at 2pm with you!

    I usually eat pb on an english muffins for longer runs. For shorter ones, I don’t eat.

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg February 12, 2011, 2:18 pm

    I think early morning runs are always the most beautiful!

    Love your belt!

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef February 12, 2011, 2:26 pm

    cute outfit! i usually eat oatmeal before long runs. before a run of 8 miles or less, i usually don’t eat anything (or i’m running later in the day so i’ve had meal(s) already). today i had oatmeal with: 3/4 c oats, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 chopped banana, dash salt (i never add salt to anything except on long runs), and 1 T natural pb- oh and water of course, because i can’t do milk before running). delicious and filling and non-crampy! i usually eat it about 1-2 hrs before running.

  • Kristy@RunTheLongRoad February 12, 2011, 2:38 pm

    wheat bread with PB or, before a marathon, a wheat bagel with PB. sometimes it gets a little old but it works for me and won’t give me any GI issues (yikes!).

  • Julie (A Case of the Runs) February 12, 2011, 2:46 pm

    Wow, Jasmine’s story is amazing!!

    Anyway, I workout in the morning for a mixture of all of those reasons, most usually the “it’s the morning or never” one.

  • Anne February 12, 2011, 3:06 pm

    For a leisurely/training run, I just grab a spoonful of pnut butter beforehand. On a race morning, I’ll eat a pnut butter and banana sandwich.

  • Alex @ Healing Beauty February 12, 2011, 3:13 pm

    The photo is gorgeous and the coffee mug is so cute! 🙂

  • Billy February 12, 2011, 3:34 pm

    Hi Caitlin, my wife and I came down from DC to run the Cupid’s Cup this morning and we believe we may have seen you in Freedom Park. You are correct, it was quite chilly but after mile one, it warmed up:-) Take care and keep up the blog. We really enjoy it.


    • Caitlin February 13, 2011, 10:39 am

      Hahah oh my Billy! So cool. I hope you had fun at Cupid’s Cup.

  • Angela (Oh She Glows) February 12, 2011, 3:38 pm

    You always look so cute and stylish! I love your office clothes 🙂 The one thing I do miss about working in an office is that it forced me to dress up more often.
    Pre-workout food is a tough one because it depends on how soon im working out. If I have to work out early in the morning, sometimes I just have a couple dates or dried fruit (like dried apricots) and then workout 10-15 min later. If I have time to wait, I will have my normal breakfast (usually vegan overnight oats or hot oatmeal) and then workout 45 mins-1 hour later.

  • Allison @ OneWhiteTulip February 12, 2011, 3:44 pm

    Love the belt!

    I actually just posted about this on my blog today, haha. I have the hardest time eating anything before I work out, if I get anything down at all I’m lucky…I’m always worried I’m not properly fueling.

  • Cara February 12, 2011, 4:15 pm

    I don’t typically eat anything before I run in the mornings, I’m pretty much out of bed and out the door. I usually eat a snack before bed and that seems to tide me over until after my run. If I do eat something it is a rare occasion, but will be a banana with peanut butter or a Kashi TLC granola bar.

  • Babycakes February 12, 2011, 4:31 pm

    that mug and your outfit are super cute! 🙂

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) February 12, 2011, 5:02 pm

    I used to eat a banana and PB. Works like a charm!

    • Caitlin @ TPL February 12, 2011, 8:49 pm

      Agreed! Or with cottage cheese but banana plus protein always gets the job done!

  • Janene @ One Run at a Time February 12, 2011, 5:40 pm

    Sometimes I wish I could go without eating anything before a run, but it doesn’t matter how short the run is, I HAVE to eat something… so I usually go for toast + nut butter, and sometimes banana on top if it’s a longer run.

  • Zo February 12, 2011, 5:52 pm

    I don’t eat anything before I run. I run right after I get up in the morning and I can’t really get food down that early. My stomach never feels good when I eat before exercising.

  • David February 12, 2011, 5:53 pm

    I usually eat a couple of boiled eggs on a half bagel, down two cups of coffee and go. I know that your metabolism won’t get started if you run before you eat, so in order to perform well, you’ve got to have something in your system for glucogenesis.

  • Allison @ Happy Tales February 12, 2011, 6:02 pm

    I find that either toast with PB or a banana with PB are easy to go down and digest well before a run… I can’t do too much dairy before I run, though. And I am not typically a morning person, either… but i can totally bounce outta bed and get a run on early if that’s what I need to do to fit it in! It’s refreshing.

  • Carrie February 12, 2011, 6:06 pm

    I can’t do nut butter before I run. Doesn’t sit well. I do a cup of kashi honey o’s and almond milk, and if it’s a longer run, I add chia seeds and a sliced banana.

  • Jen @ keepitsimplefoods February 12, 2011, 6:41 pm

    I do not run early in the morning. I actually don’t do anything in the morning other than force myself to eat a little something for breakfast, drink a 1/2 cup of joe and dash to work. I guess if you count the 20 min walk to work, one could say I do morning cardio. So, I basically eat a few bites of oatmeal, maybe an egg or some peanut butter toast in the morning. I really am not a breakfast person.

  • Julie @ Shining From Within February 12, 2011, 6:44 pm

    The belt looks so cute! love! I also wish I could have that oatmeal you made…yummmmie

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin February 12, 2011, 7:10 pm

    I never do early morning runs. I need a full breakfast before I can run! 😛

    Can’t wait to see what the husband had planned for you!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) February 12, 2011, 7:51 pm

    I eat a slice of ezekiel bread with PB. I can’t have anything else. I tried the banana route, but it gave me stomach cramps. :/

  • Jen February 12, 2011, 8:03 pm

    I eat a banana about an hour before the run. If the run is longer than 5 miles, I usually make a chia seed drink – water, sugar, lemon or lime juice and chia seeds.

  • amanda February 12, 2011, 8:45 pm

    I usually just do coffee before running in the am.

    Love the outfit :))

  • Caitlin @ TPL February 12, 2011, 8:47 pm

    Depends on how far I’m running. For a long (7 or more miles) I tend to have a cliff bar or toast and PB for a moderate or short I have recently become very fond of 1/2 of a banana with 1/4 cup cottage cheese, protein and carbs gets be right through!

  • Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete February 12, 2011, 9:24 pm

    I have a small bowl of oatmeal or a banana with a scoop of PB — nothing too fancy. I do need something in my belly if I am running 3+ miles.

  • Ali @ Ali Runs February 12, 2011, 9:24 pm

    I always eat toast with pb. It’s my go to meal and I know it won’t make my stomach do crazy things.

  • Maria February 12, 2011, 9:31 pm

    I love your sweater and belt!!! Super cute on you!

  • Ashley February 12, 2011, 10:00 pm

    toast with AB & sliced banana is my staple – got it from you : )

  • Ashley February 12, 2011, 10:52 pm

    Slice of whole wheat toast with pb, half a banana & a cup of coffee fueled my 18mi this morning. Definitely the best!

  • alli February 12, 2011, 11:10 pm

    i used to love getting up early to run (doesn’t happen now with a 4 month old 🙂 ) i used to run in the 4 or 5 o’clock hour and absolutely loved it! i could only stomach half an apple or a bread with nut butter and a little water. my tummy does better with less. i still eat the same now even though i don’t get to run until nap time (between 8&9am) so by the time i am finished i am starving!

  • Susan February 12, 2011, 11:11 pm

    I have been learning that I really have to get myself up and run in the morning, or take the time in the late afternoon (when warmest), otherwise after work, no way. I’ve been recently doing a Luna bar + Diet Mt. Dew before working out in the morning. I just can’t find myself “wasting” a half a bagel w/PB before a workout, because I love it so much and don’t think I’d appreciate it!

    I managed what I’m calling a “runner’s rite of passage” today – my first full-on fall! Tripped over my own d*mn feet, landed hands + knees. Bruising already – ouch! And it happened when I was exactly halfway – 3.5 miles – into my long run. Nothing to do but turn around, and run the way back! Finished my long run, aleve’d, and going to ice my knees a couple more times!

    • Caitlin February 13, 2011, 10:38 am

      Aww I’m sorry you tripped and fell! Now all you have to do is vom yourself and you’ll have experienced all the running rites of passage!

  • natalie @ February 13, 2011, 6:33 am

    im not a pro at running or anything but i make sure i carbo load the day before, then in the morning ill have a piece of toast with almond butter

  • Katherine: Unemployed February 13, 2011, 6:54 am

    are you a secretary? I should probably run a search, but do you have any posts about your professional life? I’m about to go for admin stuff at this point

    • Caitlin February 13, 2011, 10:11 am

      I am the Husband’s secretary for his clinic.

  • Heather February 13, 2011, 7:04 am

    Toast with butter or dry toast and a cup of black tea, works every time!

  • Caitlin February 13, 2011, 8:30 am

    I normally don’t eat anything before morning runs. I will usually drink black coffee though.

    However, the only time I run in the morning is in the summer…I get too lazy if I don’t do it right away…the heat and humidity…eek!

  • megan @ blackberries for jam February 13, 2011, 8:50 am

    I love running in the mornings, but I will never run before breakfast because I have NO energy. And the heat is never really a problem in Vermont. I usually eat a normal, easy-to-digest breakfast with coffee (an absolute necessity for my runs!), wait an hour, and then head out! If I need to start early, I just wake up suuuuper early for breakfast.

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) February 13, 2011, 9:48 am

    If I’m going for a short, quick run, I usually just snack on a few dates or something similair.

    If it’s going to be longer than 3 miles, I’ll have toast with peanut butter and a banana or a bowl of oatmeal. My stomach has slowly learned how to deal with heavier things and it keeps me feeling energized for the long haul. 😀

  • Richelle February 13, 2011, 10:53 am

    If I’m feeling hungry I will eat a date or two or a banana, otherwise I ususally don’t eat before a morning run. That is unless it’s a long run, then I got for a bowl of oatmeal a couples hours before.

  • lindsay February 13, 2011, 3:51 pm

    Beautiful photo of the water!!

  • Jazz February 13, 2011, 8:23 pm

    Before I go early morning I have a ‘power ball’ (almonds,dates/whatever food processed and stuck into balls) And half a banana.. only cause I want the other half for my oatmeal after!

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In February 14, 2011, 12:48 pm

    For weekday runs I don’t eat anything before I run. It’s really early before work, so I just take a GU during it if I need some energy.

    Before weekend long runs I have a big PB & Banana toast breakfast and wait and hour to let it digest!

  • Karen February 17, 2011, 4:39 pm

    I stick to carbs for my pre-run snack. I’m afraid of protein not sitting well in my stomach. Lately I’ve had half a slice of cinnamon-raisin toast with raspberry jam, then as soon as I return home, I’ll have the rest of the piece of toast, but I’ll spread it with sunflower butter. So yummy! Followed by a bigger breakfast of carbs and protein when I get to work.

    Love your blog, by the way! I actually blogged about you in my blog a couple days ago. Yours was the first blog that got me into blogging.

    • Caitlin February 17, 2011, 4:40 pm

      Thank you so much for such a sweet comment 🙂

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