The series of unfortunate decisions…

… That led up to my first marathon training long run should never be repeated. By myself, by you, by anyone with half of a brain.

By some miraculous event (aka – O2Gold), my long run actually went quite well but I do not plan on gambling my luck with the marathon gods again anytime soon!

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Take this post as a “do what I say, not what I do” lesson when you’re training for a marathon.

1. After a girls’ weekend away, always take a vacation day the following Monday. It’s inevitable that you will be exhausted after a fun weekend getaway and if you are not well-rested, the week will be miserable, your workouts will suffer not happen, and you will eat utter crap that will mess with your digestion system, a runner’s nightmare. Lesson learned.


2. Unless you are injured, do not make up excuses to skip a mid-week training run/workout. If you start making excuses at the beginning, it will just be that much more difficult to stick to your plan in future weeks. Yes, life happens and you may have to miss one or two scheduled runs. Don’t panic if this happens, move on and get back to your schedule ASAP. Lesson learned x2.

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3. Eating fiber and fat rich foods along with alcohol, such as Chipotle tacos with lotsa beans and a charcuterie plate and big ol’ glasses of red sangria (not that I know would from experience… ahem…), the day/night before your long run is probably not the best idea. Your stomach will hateeeeee you the next morning and all of us runners know that an angry stomach is not a fun stomach to run on. Third lesson – check!

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4. Sleep. For the love of all things precious and holy, SLEEP. Do not set out on your weekly long run with 5 hours or less of shut eye. Just don’t. Trust me, being called a loser or a granny or a fun hater is so much better than exhaustion during a long run.  Plus, closing your eyes for a quick nap mid-run is not only unsafe, it will also cause your running group to think you’re a big weirdo. Remember, you’re spending 18+ weeks with these people, it’s best to make friends ;) Lesson #4.

On a related note, as appealing as it might sound late at night, once you arrive home from a night out do not proceed to take multiple photos of your dog in his new bandana and text them to your husband who is still out with friends. He knows what the dog looks like and does not want to have to explain to his friends why you are sending him photos of your animal at 11pm.

Mitchell Collage

5. Eat more than just a tiny banana before putting your body through an intense physical workout. #twss Get some additional carbs and some peanut butter and whatever else works for your body into your system before your run so you don’t turn into a hangry monster post-run. Hangry monsters call their husbands before they’ve woken up for the day and demand brunch as soon as they return. Hangry monsters + tired husbands = crisis mode and an expensive (albeit tasty) breakfast at 7am on a Saturday. Hangry turned delicious lesson #5.

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I am thankful that my addition to love of AdvoCare and my fabulous running group pushed me through my first long run. I will not, however, be repeating any of my actions from the last week in the foreseeable future. #girlfrandsnotarisktaker

And with that, who wants to run 7 miles with me on Thursday morning?! I will be in Colorado next Saturday and plan to fit in my run before leaving because running at mountain elevation is terrifying so I can have more time for hiking and sleeping and eating and drinking!

What are your common sense tips for running?

And seriously, who wants to run with me on Thursday morning?! 5am. 10 minutes/mile. Be there <– and by there, I mean Chicago.



  1. Have I mentioned that I am so happy we are both training for our first marathon at the same time? Seriously it makes things so much more fun, hilarious, motivating and enjoyable. Thank you for posting this early on a Sunday as I head out for a long-ish semi-training run (we haven’t officially started yet but I want to run). Banana, egg and nut butter here I come! Happy Sunday xo
    Amy @ The Little Honey Bee recently posted…I’m The Most Fun Designated DriverMy Profile

  2. Live and learn!
    Jackie recently posted…Tabata workout!My Profile

  3. Oh no! Well, at least you learned your lesson. ;)
    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl recently posted…Happy Father’s Day!My Profile

  4. I wish I could join you for that run Thursday morning :) I remember I used to love getting my long run done on Fridays so I didn’t have to think about it all night Friday night haha. I am so happy your first run went well! It’s tough to remember all the dos and don’ts when training, but all it takes is that one run to remind you what you need to do :)
    Heather @fitncookies recently posted…Making things more complicatedMy Profile

  5. Haha better to learn these lessons now than when a long run is 20 miles, amiright? :-p
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted…Blend 2014: The People.My Profile

  6. Ugh … I wish I could say I didn’t relate, but I’ve been there with the terrible stomach decisions before a long run! Congrats on making it through!
    Megan (The Lyons’ Share) recently posted…7 Interesting Things I Read This Week #15My Profile

  7. At least your run ended up going well! I always need my sleep or I turn into a monster, marathon training or not. And a vacation day after a trip us always a good idea. But I still think you should come visit me – we’ll relax and eat healthy and exercise and you’ll be so well rested :)
    Laura Dembowski recently posted…Carob Chip Cookies #SundaySupperMy Profile

  8. Oh man, WHY don’t I live in Chicago with you!! And I am so glad that O2 gold + spark + friends made your first training run go smoothly despite all indications that it should have!
    Katie @ running4cupcakes recently posted…Friday Favorites: 6/13/14My Profile

  9. OMG! My stomach hurts reading this post!!
    Glad you made it!
    Cute pics of Mitchell :)
    Nicole recently posted…Friday Round-Up (29) – POPSUGAR Must HaveMy Profile

  10. :lol: But it’s the unfortunate decisions are what make the best blogging stories :P
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. link love 6/15 .My Profile

  11. BEANS BEFORE A RUN?! I thought this was a KNOWN rule, not one someone must learn! ;) But in all seriousness, I’m looking forward to some hangry brunches w/ mimosas after some long runs this summer…
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted…#BloggerProblemsMy Profile

  12. Despite my aversion to early wake up calls, you can believe that if I were in Chicago, I’d be there at 5am to run with you!!
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Happy Father’s DayMy Profile

  13. I wish I could be there! Heck I wish I had a running group! Long runs get lonely! As for my tips, I just make sure I hydrate a lot the day before and get lots of sleep. I limit wine to one glass but hey I have messed up and had 3 and still been fine as long as I have it with lots of water:)
    Brooke@SweeTnSweaty recently posted…Happy Father’s Day, New York in Review, & No Place Like HomeMy Profile

  14. Is that a plate from Tete Charcuterie in one of those pics with the delicious meats? My friend owns that restaurant! :)
    Emily @ More Than Just Dessert recently posted…The Best Hamburger Stand in America + Father’s DayMy Profile

  15. Great tips!
    Sadly, I do all of my runs on about 5 hours (or less) of sleep – it is rare for me to ever get more sleep than that.
    Kim recently posted…Balance Is Key (6/8-6/14)My Profile

  16. If I was a runner and I had tips, Id send them your way. That charcuterie plate, if you could send my way, id greatly appreciate it :)
    Christina recently posted…Keep Them Coming: TapasMy Profile

  17. Of girl! This is such a funny post. Don’t be too hard on yourself tho. My advice…get good sleep, cross train, don’t eat late at night and hydrate hydrate hydrate.
    MegaN @ the skinny-life recently posted…6/15/14 Sunday FundayMy Profile

  18. If you lived closer I would so do training runs with you in a heartbeat!

    Good that you have a training group to run with though, it would make it much easier at times I would imagine. I’ve definitely had times where I’ve regretted what I’ve eaten the day before, I can never eat before I run as I’ve had stuff repeat on me too often.
    Jan @ Sprouts n Squats recently posted…Let’s catch upMy Profile

  19. Not a chance in hell am I waking up at 5:00 am to run with you LOL! I intend to do all of the lessons you learned and then not run a single mile. YOLO.
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…{Pre-Order!} Introducing: Gluten-Free Breakfasts E-Cookbook!My Profile

  20. HAHAHA! I laughed out loud a few times during this post. I’m not training for a marathon but after our BLEND weekend, I feel like I’m still off my routine and haven’t gotten settled back in. At least my laundry is done and *most* of my clothes are put away! lol

    I LOVE that bandana!! Need to find them for our dogs. Where did you get it?
    Mollie @Sprinkles of Life recently posted…Our Weekend 6.13.14-6.15.14My Profile

  21. Definitely agree with alllll of these. Also, I would add don’t get drunk the night before. Running into a hangover is NOT fun.
    Cassie recently posted…Getting it Together on the Road: PortlandMy Profile

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