Breakfast time!


Happy Sunday.  What have you got planned?  The Husband is mowing the lawn, I tidied the house, and then we’re going to lunch with friends.  I hope to squeeze in a swim at some point.  We’ll see. Smile


Cereal + yogurt:


We bought some puffed millet to make Anne P’s peanut butter bars; she uses brown rice cereal but I like to use millet in the recipe.  We had some leftovers so I combined it with Greek yogurt for a very easy breakfast.


We always eat breakfast out on the patio on the weekends… it’s starting to get too hot for that, even with a cold meal!


Tempo Runs and Fast Paces


A lot of training plans talk about doing ‘tempo runs.’  I confess, for a really long time, I was terribly, terribly confused by the concept of a tempo run.  How does it work?  How fast should I run and for how long? Do I have to wear a GPS watch to do a tempo run? 


There’s a great article on Runners’ World about How to Run a Tempo Workout.  Jenny Hadfield describes a tempo run like an Oreo cookie:


Simply put, a tempo run is like an Oreo cookie—with the cookie part the warmup and cool-down (easy-paced running) and the filling (good stuff) running at a comfortably hard effort for a sustained period of time.


Now, I can definitely understand a good cookie analogy.  I also like how Jenny creates a plan for determining tempo run pace without the need of a watch – it’s also a technique that varies according to conditions like weather and how you’re feeling that given day.  I like flexibility!


As a side note, I’m very curious to see what happens with my pace when I get back into running post-baby.  When I got pregnant, I wasn’t particularly fast or slow – I was a middle-of-the-pack runner who often used a walk/run method in races.  My buddy Jen at Runners Trials (who is truly fast, no matter how you slice and define fast) has a cute post about Why Motherhood Makes You a Faster Runner.  Fingers crossed it applies to me, too. Winking smile


Fast and slow are such relative terms, both to the runner and for that point in their life.  So is what constitutes a ‘long run.’  Right now, considering that I haven’t run in nearly 24 weeks, a fast run would be anything in which I am not walking, and a long run would be to the end of the block!  No.  Seriously. But otherwise, for me, a fast run is something under a 10:00 mile.  And a long run is anything that takes me over 45 minutes to do. 


What do you consider a fast run?  Or a long run?



  • Mary June 3, 2012, 10:22 am

    That is exactly how I define “fast” and “long”. We would make great running buddies!

    • Caitlin June 3, 2012, 10:24 am


      • Andrea June 3, 2012, 5:12 pm


  • Caryln June 3, 2012, 10:22 am

    I’m not sure what a fast run would be because I never pay attention to my pace, but for ME a long run would be anything 5 miles or greater.

  • Lee June 3, 2012, 10:43 am

    I have pretty much the same definitions as you do.

  • Kelly June 3, 2012, 10:46 am

    I think a long run is based on your ability. For someone training for a marathon a long run might be 20 miles. For someone training for a half marathon a long run might be 9 miles. And for someone training for a 5K a long run might be 2.5 miles. Sometimes people get so focused on other people’s distances that they forget about their own accomplishments. I had a friend once who set a PDR (personal distance record) of 5 miles but brushed it off as it wasn’t a long run or anything! She was too focused on seeing other people run 13, 14, or 15 miles as a long run. But that 5 miles was a LONG run for her and I hated that she didn’t see that!

    • Amy June 3, 2012, 6:17 pm

      I love this comment, seriously. Thank you.
      Yesterday I ran five miles (my longest run in awhile) and I was feeling good about it until I came home and read blogs and went on twitter. People were writing about running running 13, 15, 20 miles. Instantly I felt like my 5 miler was so lame and no big deal. It’s hard to NOT get caught in the comparison trap!

      • CaitlinHTP June 3, 2012, 6:20 pm

        Dude – 5 miles is a long ass way. You should be very very very proud.

        • Beth June 4, 2012, 1:20 pm

          “LIKE” your comment!! haha. It is a long ass way! 😉

  • tmart June 3, 2012, 11:23 am

    I do think this all depends on your ability and what you are training for. I tend to take my paces for workouts pretty seriously- although things like the conditions and how you feel are important (as you mentioned) I also think it is important to push through adverse conditions so that you gain confidence and know what to do in a race when these things happen.

    Since you asked for personal opinions, I consider anything over 16 miles to be a long run. As far as fast goes, really anything under 7:10 miles for an extended period of time I consider a pretty quality effort. Again though, these are just right for me personally as someone running 80mpw, building to 100mpw targeting a marathon near (or under! hopefully!) 3 hours.

    • Caitlin June 4, 2012, 10:37 am

      I’m jeals of your speed and distance! Rock it out.

  • Julia H. @ Going Gulia June 3, 2012, 11:36 am

    Everything’s relative! I never really thought about when to differentiate by using the term “long run” actually…I think I always associated it with training plans that have that 1 day a week where you run extra long, but now that you mention it, a long run can be any kind of longer run relative to what you usually do. And I think anyone would be cheering you on for even trying to run a block while pregnant…that’s gotta be hard to do!

  • Alyssa @ Fit and Fun in Third June 3, 2012, 11:40 am

    I think it’s all up to the individual! I consider a run “long” when it’s any more than what I’ve been currently doing for workouts. When I’m training for a race though, my “long” runs are different then when I’m just running to run.
    I feel like nothing I just wrote made sense hahaha.

  • Christine @ BookishlyB June 3, 2012, 11:46 am

    I stopped stressing about what makes a “fast” run. A long run really depends on where I am training wise; I’m not running a race until September (and that’s not even for sure), so right now anything over 5 miles is long for me. When I start training my a half anything over 8 is long, and when I was attempting to training for a full it was over 12.

  • Tricia June 3, 2012, 11:47 am

    My consistent 5k pace is about 9:45. Anything over a 5k – 5 miles, I’d say, would be a long run for me. A fast run would be a 9:30 pace or faster. Impossible pace at this point would be under 9:00min/mile. But maybe one day, that’ll be doable. Last year, running a mile all in one shot was tough for me (and I was in shape! – but not a runner) and was probably closer to 11:00 min. It’s amazing what leg strengthening can do.

  • Steph June 3, 2012, 11:49 am

    I am currently training for my first half marathon (on week 2) and ran 6.5 miles yesterday, which is the furthest I have ever run! I didn’t stop and kept my pace between 9 and 10 minutes (depending on the hills) the whole time. That seemed like a long run to me!I am glad to hear you say that you feel a fast run is something under 10 minutes per mile because as a newbie to running, I was feeling kind of bad about my pace. I am hoping it will improve with time.

  • Allison June 3, 2012, 11:54 am

    That’s too ironic; those are EXACTLY the qualifications that I have for a fast run or a long run, too! 🙂

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin June 3, 2012, 12:13 pm

    A long run for me is anything over 5 miles. I’m trying to increase my endurance this summer though, so hopefully that definition will change for me over the next few months! As for a fast run, it depends if I’m on the treadmill or outside – my average pace outdoors is what I consider fast on the treadmill!

  • Katie Heddleston June 3, 2012, 12:15 pm

    Like you, I’m fast if I run below a 10:00 mile right now. I ran my first post-baby mile in 10:36 and was pretty stoked! I bet you’ll jump back into things pretty decently!

  • Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction June 3, 2012, 12:20 pm

    I totally agree! Fast for me is under 10 min mile (I’m Slow!) and Long is over 45 min!

  • Ashley June 3, 2012, 12:34 pm

    For me, making a 10:00 min mile pace used to be my fast… now 9:00 min mile is fast. And I consider a long run to be anything 6+ miles.

  • Helen June 3, 2012, 1:22 pm

    It’s amazing how it’s so different for everyone! I consider anything over 10 miles to be a long run, and any pace under 8:30 min miles to be fast. But if you had asked me that a couple of years ago, I would say anything over 4 miles is long, and anything under 10 min miles is fast. Amazing what a little consistency will do.

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats June 3, 2012, 1:28 pm

    I usually would consider it a long run if it takes me more than an hour to complete, so anything 7 or higher.

  • Amber K June 3, 2012, 1:28 pm

    A long run is another longer than two minutes of me whining “man I can please go back to walking??” 😉

  • Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy June 3, 2012, 4:56 pm

    i love puffed millet! i love to make cookies out of it for a texture-fab GF cookie! thanks for sharing!

  • lynne @lgsmash June 3, 2012, 5:44 pm

    after 2 knee surgeries last year, a long run is anthing over 1 mile! it was hard to come to terms with that after running half marathons but it’s true! i’m just getting back into running again and it’s a long road but each new PDR is a reason to celebrate 🙂

  • Keri June 3, 2012, 6:24 pm

    I think a fast run depends on the distance. If only a mile, 7 minutes is fast. A 5k–just under 8 minute miles, and a 10k 8 and a half minute miles. I’m NOT fast, but I was faster in high school.

    And a long run is anything over a 10k 🙂 Unless you’re an ultra runner!

  • Hillary June 3, 2012, 7:08 pm

    I’ve never really thought about this! I guess for me, a long run changes depending on where I am with my training. During half marathon training, a long run was anywhere from 8-12 miles. Now that I’m not training, a long run is anything over 5k! A fast run is, like you, anything faster than a 10 or 9:30 pace.

  • Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See June 3, 2012, 7:11 pm

    I love this! I love that you can say you’re a middle of the pack runner–coming from someone who ran track in high school but is slower now, it’s often hard to feel like I’m not a top-notch Speedy Gonzalez 🙂

  • Claire June 3, 2012, 7:15 pm

    I think generally a long run is over 10k. But in marathon training I’d say over 25km. Fast running depends on distance – for me, 10k at 4m20s per km/7m per mile, 5k 4m14s per km/6m50s per mile. BTW I did a 5k PB yesterday (two weeks post a 45k ultra!) – 21m09s. I will get under that annoying 21m barrier!

  • Katya June 3, 2012, 8:25 pm

    I really enjoy your blog 🙂 as a random fact, I think our dogs have the same food bowl 🙂
    for me, a long run would normally be over 10K, but as others have mentioned, it all depends on everyone’s personal situation. I normally run 10-20km distance events. Someone who is training for a marathon will have a different long run version.
    Right now, a long or fast run is exactly the same as what it is for you (due in 7 days!). I only ran up until I was about 8 weeks pregnant (stopped as I went on a 3 week trip and then was going to take a break anyway, so the pregnancy wasn’t the reason for stopping) and I’m totally looking forward to getting back in to running post-baby!

    • Caitlin June 4, 2012, 11:14 am

      Thank you for reading!

  • Jamie June 4, 2012, 7:25 am

    For me it’s anything over a 5K or a pace less than 9:30 min/miles. Everyone has something different to be proud of!

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed June 4, 2012, 8:58 am

    A fast run for me is the same as you, anything under a 10 min/mi pace… I’m trying to get faster though… breaking into the 9:30s!

    For length it definitely just depends on what you’re training for! Before my half a long run was 10+ miles… now I have no desire to get up to the double digits, so I think my long runs will be 6 or so!

  • Amanda K. June 4, 2012, 9:05 am

    I consider a long run anything over an hour (anything i have to refuel for during the run)

    I’m looking forward to reading about your re-entry to running. I ran until my 37th week, and it was hard/an effort to get back out there. I’ve heard that even if you run up to the day of the birth, most moms have to start from zero.

    I blogged about my first day back here:

    And the second day, too…which was tougher 🙂

  • Mellissa June 4, 2012, 9:19 am

    I had to comment that I have the exact same dog food bowls. Too funny! They are at least a year and half old from TJ Maxx.

    • Caitlin June 4, 2012, 11:14 am

      Yup! 🙂 hehe

  • Jess June 4, 2012, 10:14 am

    I’ve gotten faster post-pregnancy. I just set a new half marathon PR last month. It’s pretty exciting to see improvement because like you, I stopped running about 5 months in. My bladder just couldn’t handle it.

  • Lisa June 4, 2012, 12:57 pm

    I think a “long run” depends on who the person is! Right now, a long run would be 5 miles because I’m currently averaging about 3 at a time after a running break. When I was running a lot, my long runs were around 8 miles.

    My longest was Hood to Coast! 15 miles total in the three legs!

  • zoe@myfoodintranslation June 4, 2012, 1:21 pm

    It’s funny how perception of what’s fast varies from one context to another. From the comments it seems that under 10:00/mile is a pretty common definition of fast.
    I ran my first half marathon this spring, finishing in 1:54:16 (so that’s about a 8:43/mile pace), and I was near the back of the pack (most people finished under 1:40), so if anyone asked, I would definitely label myself as slow. Not that I had any problems with being slow, since I’m not really a runner or anything, but it’s nice to see there are different standards out there, by which I did pretty well 🙂

  • Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker June 4, 2012, 8:50 pm

    For me, a long run is anything over an hour — though usually double digits. And fast is anything under 8 minute miles.

  • Katy @ HaveYouHurd June 8, 2012, 11:13 am

    A “fast” run is either me running has hard as I can or running at a faster pace than normal.

    I consider a long run anything past 4 miles really.

  • Judy June 9, 2014, 5:15 am

    I have followed your blog for years – I wish I met you! I did the half. And it was freakishly hot so be glad you didn’t do it!

    • Caitlin June 9, 2014, 7:00 am

      Oh I wish I had met you too! It was so hot on Saturday that I was super worried about the racers on Sunday – glad you survived 🙂 I hope you had fun!!!!

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