A Positive 10 Miles with Me, Myself, and I

This morning I ran 10 miles, without stopping, all by myself!


I got up around 7 a.m. and started slowing eating breakfast (a whole wheat pita with  a little almond butter and half a sliced banana) and getting ready for my scheduled 10 miler with my training buddy Ashley.

Then… disaster struck!!! I received a text from Ashley that she was sick and wouldn’t be able to come run today.

Oh no… 10 miles… by MYSELF?!?! I think the farthest I’d ever run by myself was about 7 miles, and the past few long training runs have had me wondering if I’d lost my running mojo:

  • Last weekend, I ran 7 miles in Austin with my friend Turner, but we had to stop a bunch of times for bathroom breaks b/c my stomach was upset :(
  • The weekend before, Ashley and I ran 10 miles, but it was crazing hot and humid, so we took a bunch of walking breaks and the run was generally complete torture.
  • The weekend before that, Ashley and I ran 8 miles in a good time, but we again took a few (untimed) walking breaks and I was feeling really tired for most of it.

Yikes! I decided to turn to Twitter for some motivation:


Aren’t they sweet? I was feeling more confident already!

I decided to focus on the power of positive thinking. I decided that if I told myself this would be an awesome run, and talked myself up the whole time, it WOULD be an awesome run. This was an opportunity to get outside, enjoy the weather and a beautiful trail, not worry about homework or regular work, and just RUN! And I would ROCK it. Right?! :)

I started by dusting off my iPod and bringing it along for the ride, packed with some of my favorite old school tunes. I decided this 10 miles by myself would be my time to ROCK OUT to my favorite music. :) I hadn’t used my iPod in MONTHS!


I also brought along my CamelBak! I LOVEEEEE having water on long runs. Totally don’t even notice I’m wearing this thing!


(Side note — for those of you that have CamelBaks, how do you clean/store it so it doesn’t get all gross and moldy with the water in the tube, etc?)

And then I was off! I headed down to my favorite trail. It was a beautiful morning — in the high 60s/low 70s and not humid, thankfully!


I continued to talk myself up — it was a beautiful morning, and I was out enjoying the sunshine. No homework, no computer… just me. :) This was awesome!


I also decided that I was going to run this whole 10 miles without stopping. Given the past few long runs, I was starting to lose confidence in my ability to run a long distance without a break! My dad (who is a great runner — remember my speedy and awesome Paradise 8 Miler with him?) commented that looking at my recent long run splits, I was probably going out too fast, therefore getting burned out by the end of the run. I decided I would focus on maintaining a steady, manageable pace the whole time, reining in my speed at the beginning, in particular.


Well, guess what — the positive thinking WORKED! Anytime I started feeling tired, I just started thinking things like, “This is SO great — it’s a beautiful morning and I’m out running 10 miles, all by myself, and oh yeah — I can run 10 miles! Holy crap, that’s awesome!” The music also really helped, and so did focusing on pacing myself! I also love waving and smiling or giving thumbs up to other runners as they go by. It always boosts my spirits, and hopefully theirs :)

I finished the 10 miles in 1:30:50, for an average pace of 9:05. No stopping or walking, not even at the turnaround points. Woohoo!



  • Mile 1: 8:44
  • Mile 2: 8:57
  • Mile 3: 8:57
  • Mile 4: 9:14 (turning around/hills)
  • Mile 5: 9:08
  • Mile 6: 9:09
  • Mile 7: 9:07
  • Mile 8: 9:13
  • Mile 9: 9:23 (turning around again)
  • Mile 10: 8:59

I was really pleased with my pacing — especially that I was still able to squeak back under 9 minutes for the last mile. Woohoo! I’m proud of myself :)

Have you ever tried the power of positive thinking during a challenging workout? Did it work?

If you’ve never tried it and you’ve been struggling recently with your workouts, that’s your homework! Next time you’re starting to feel discouraged during a hard work out, start thinking as positively as you can. Before long, you’ll start believing it :)


  1. 1

    I hate doing my long runs by myself too and when I do run solo, I always talk to myself (in my head of course throughout the run)… counting down miles, telling myself I only have a 10K left, 5K left, 1 mile left etc… Great job on your long run!!!! And going under 9 for the final mile! My physical therapist always says the first mile should be your slowest… I always find that hard to do but it does help..

  2. 2

    Great job! Yes, I think yelling at yourself and positive thinking are some of the best ways to push through a tough workout/run.

  3. 3

    Yay! I don’t even remember what I think about during my runs. I just get into a zone and go!

  4. 4

    Hey Anne,
    Loved this post! Question for you — how do you clean/care for your Camelbak? I just got one, too, and I’m a little anxious as to what I should be doing to keep it in good shape. Got any tips?

    • 5

      Well, currently my cleaning/caring for the Camelbak has been just trying to remember to empty it out after I run with it… lol. Hoping some readers have some good advice! :)

  5. 6

    Congrats on the run! What a great feeling :)

  6. 7

    Great job! I definitely think positive thinking is key. Can’t go out saying “this sucks” and “omg i hate being alone.” I also like knowing I’ll feel so accomplished at the end!

  7. 8

    That is so great! Your pictures of the water are beautiful. Your splits are seriously impressive!

  8. 9

    Awesome job on the run!

  9. 10

    OMG – what an awesome effort! And I LOVE your running trail :)

  10. 11

    Hi Anne! Isn’t it so gratifying to have a great run? I know how you feel about worrying about walk breaks affecting your races…however, if it’s any consolation, I’m a big fan of the mid-way-through walk break and in the four half marathons I’ve done, I’ve run ~30 sec/mile faster than I do during training runs. Must be that race mentality! Also, I rinse my Camelbak out really well and try to suck out the water from the tube before propping it open (usually with a wooden spoon) to dry thoroughly. Let us know if you get any good suggestions, though!

    • 12

      I agree, walking breaks can definitely help refresh you and improve your time in the long run in some cases! Walking through water breaks has helped me with longer races, actually, although in general I usually like to try to push through because I feel like walking breaks sometimes throw off my stride/make it hard to start up again. Today I just felt like mentally, after so many crappy runs recently, I was starting to doubt my ability to keep going strong the whole time, so I wanted to prove it to myself that I didn’t HAVE to walk :)

      Good idea with the spoon – I’ll try that!

  11. 13

    Awesome job, girl!! I definitely believe that our mentality can make or break a workout. To me, exercise isn’t just for physical improvement, but also mental. Sure, I could “force” myself to exercise and get a “good” physical workout, but that’s only part of the picture. Does that make sense..?

    The fact that you ran 10 miles by yourself while maintaining a positive outlook is huge – such great preparation for future runs!!

    • 14

      Absolutely agree – and there’s a fine line between being positive and motivating yourself, and pushing yourself through when it’s just not a good idea!

  12. 15

    Great job, Anne. Very impressive. Good pacing and, more importantly, great that you could keep your mind off running until you reached the point where you couldn’t do anything else… But hugely important to be able to “daydream” and think of other topics than running until you reach the point where, ultimately, you just have to think about running. Keeping that until the 7 or 8-mile point in a ten-miler is key, though. And it sounds as if you did just that! So, very well done. You clearly can set a PR in 10 miles, conditions permitting, the next time you do one. Congratulations! Most impressive!

  13. 16

    Congratulations on the ten miles :)

  14. 17

    I’m glad your ten miles were smooth sailing :) I usually run alone (and actually enjoy the time on my own to just focus on what my body is capable of). But my positive thinking is less like, “you can do this!” and more like, “you are so bad ass, this song is so rocking, if this were a race you’d be doing awesomely!”

  15. 19

    I always use positive motivational statements when teaching my spin classes. It seems to get them through the tough times and gives them a great sense of accomplishment! Good work on the run today!

  16. 20

    GO, YOU! Learning your “good/strong” LR pace is so key when you get into the double-digits – *every* single time that I’ve gone out too fast, I burn out about half-way through. It never fails! Your Dads smart ;)

    Seriously though, next time? I’d be HAPPY to be your running-buddy! :)

    • 21

      I totally would have been all over you to come run with me if it hadn’t been so early and you weren’t tweeting about eating pancakes ;)

      • 22

        HA! Ya know, I appreciate that – those pancakes were DELICIOUS. and, the food coma that followed would’ve created a sluggish-running heather ;)

        If you’re up for a Group Run tomorrow night, let me know!

  17. 25

    Congrats on a great run! Sometimes running alone really helps me focus on the things I need to do to run strong. Running with buddies is great, but it’s nice to feel completely in control of a long run by yourself. Nice work today!

  18. 26

    GREAT job! I’m so proud of you for getting out there and letting the positive thinking do its magic. I felt the same way the first time I did 9 miles by myself. But I learned to love it. You’re going to do so awesome on your half!

  19. 27

    Way to go! 10 miles is a long way. I trained for my entire half marathon last summer/fall alone. None of my friends run, and personally I like running alone. The most I did was 12 miles on a day just like today for you – beautiful, sunny, with perfect running temps.

  20. 28

    Wow- amazing job!

  21. 29

    Hi Anne,

    best advice that I got for storing my camelbak is to wash it and dry it slightly, then fold it and put it into a ziploc bag and store it in your fridge! That way, it will never be moldy. ;)

  22. 31
    Skydiver says

    Wow! Great job, Anne. Most impressive — and by yourself, too. Impressive self-discipline, determination, and fitness. Well done/congratulations!

  23. 32

    Congrats on your run!!! So empowering :-) Great motivation to keep pushing yourself!

  24. 33

    I definitely need to invest in a camelbak. I did all my marathon training with a tiny handheld water bottle – certainly not enough for summer running.
    I often times do some inner monologuing to keep myself going :) Looks like it worked for you…yay for getting your running mojo back! You are going to rock your half’s ass!

  25. 34

    Hi Anne,
    I used it for a full semester once and since I was using it the whole time I never really cleaned it out. When I got back home i rinsed it through with bleach water…VERY diluted bleach (like a drop of it). Then I rinsed it with water for a while before using it again.

    Good work on your positive thinking! :) Great attitude!

  26. 35

    Nice job Anne! I’m also training for a half marathon the same weekend as yours! My training schedule has been similar to yours too, looking back at your training calendar/schedule. Good luck with the rest of your training and with the race- looks like you are going to do great!

  27. 37

    GREAT JOB! Geez! Ok I’ve got to get back on track! I can barely run 3 miles without stopping. I’m totally going to try harder because of your positive thinking! It’s rubbing off on me, too :)

  28. 39

    Congratulations on such a lovely run! I think the mental aspect of running becomes more and more important as the distance goes up. I mean, focusing on anything for a few hours is tough, but especially when you’re doing something physically tough! I like to keep my mind focused on what I’m doing right at the moment like you were saying- remind yourself of all the good things going on. Once I start to think “oh I’m tired, I can’t wait to stop and take a shower, etc” is when I lose my drive. Great work!!!

    PS- Store your (empty) camelbak in the freezer. It keep it nice and cold for runs and all the little droplets stuck in there freeze so no molding happens!

  29. 40

    A big cheer for your 10 miler. I’m still working up to an hour and a half walking. I’ll get there. BTW I’ve seen dryers designed to be used with camelbaks. You might want to check one out.

  30. 41

    wow 10 miles alone, that is really awesome!!! I have not reached your level of running yet but hopefully real soon, you are a great motivation.

  31. 42

    ahhh what an awesome job, running all 10 miles by yourself. I wish I could run outdoors and enjoy such beautiful scenery like yours, but honestly, Chicago is still too cold for that! :( boo.

    P.s. I’m hostin’ a little giveaway for organic preserves! Does strawberry basil jam and blueberry merlot sound good to you? :)

  32. 43

    I have two Camelbaks and all I do is – only ever put water in them – no powders or gatorade or juice & I’ve had no problems with mold! :)

  33. 44

    Great job on your run!

  34. 45

    i would think the freezer is better than the fridge, cause even wet like that in the fridge can still grow fungi. the spores are in the air, they just happen. so best in the freeze, then it’s nice and chill when you fill it up for your runs. We have the camelback cleaning brush for the tube. I don’t know how much it was but it’s WELL worth it. it’s a long spring w/a brush, the size of a pipe cleaner, that you can scrub it out with. as far as if it gets funky, mix vinegar & water, and then some baking soda to deodorize….all safe and won’t be soapy. I use the straw cleaner ALL the time to scrub out my hard straw that comes w/the starbucks clear tumbler that looks like a frapp cup. those straws get all funky and I don’t like a funky straw….. euyw!

    • 46

      Thanks for the tips! I’ll pick up one of those brushes. I have actually been looking for something to clean out my reusable straws with, too! :)

  35. 47

    ok, so it’s no longer a spring w/a brush, but here it is at rei’s site:

  36. 48

    Aww, I love that you wave or give a thumbs up to runners! Sometimes where I run (the W&OD trail) seems so unfriendly – I love waving to folks when running in other cities :)

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