Marathon Training Long Run Success!

Hey guys! I’m happy to report that I ended up having a great long run yesterday!

running on the mt vernon trail

As I mentioned Tuesday, I was debating whether to do my long run Wednesday or Thursday (we leave really early Friday morning for a weekend trip so I wanted to get it out of the way), and I was also nervous about my right leg since it’s been bothering me. (Last week, I cut my long run to 8 miles because of it.) The weather was looking a bit rainy for Thursday and I also knew Thursday would be busy with meetings starting early, so I decided Wednesday was my best bet, and hoped my leg would hold up since I just did a track workout the day before.

Lucky for me, my friend Chelsea was interested in a short early run – I’ll take all the company I can get! It also meant I got out of bed and out the door before it got too crazy hot. We met up at 6:45 – beautiful sunrise!

sunrise run custis trail VA

Chelsea and I ran 4 VERY hilly miles together, chatting away as usual. It was nice to have the company since I knew I’d be running the rest of my miles solo, although the hills made this part of the run feel very tough!

sunrise run chelsea eats treats

I’m wearing: hydration vest, Garmin 910XT, UpRise Crossback sports bra (the best), Chaser 5” Running shorts (I’ve worn these for all my long runs – no chafing or moving at all), Brooks Ravenna 7 shoes, old fave tank from Brooks 

After saying farewell to Chelsea, I stuck in some headphones (these are my favorite headphones – they actually stay put) and carried on my way! Last time I ran solo (for the hottest 10 miler ever) I listened to a podcast, but this time I decided to fire up Pandora and rock out to some tunes instead. My favorite is the “Wagon Wheel” channel – fun country pop!

My coach had me aiming to do between 12 and 16 miles for this run depending how my leg felt. Knowing that compression sleeves always help me a ton on long runs, I put those on for the first time this training season (it’s been too hot to wear them). I’m so glad I did – between those and the one low dose ibuprofen I took before leaving the house my leg felt 100% fine – I didn’t even feel it. Whew!! It feels okay today, too. Apparently I need to wear compression sleeves for all my long runs from here on out… (I wear compression socks around the house after runs, but I prefer sleeves when actually running since then I can wear my normal socks – and get a tiny breeze at the ankles!)

compression sleeves for running

There was a relatively cool breeze and lower humidity out there yesterday morning but the run still felt pretty tough – I mean, it’s a long run, of course it feels tough, right?

Rather than focusing on how hard the run was, though, I tried to work on cultivating gratitude. I know that sounds super cheesy, but it’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking “this sucks this sucks this sucks I’m tired I want to stop ahhhhhhhhhh” the whole time you’re out there – and if you think something is sucking, it will, and it does. So instead of that, I tried to focus on how lucky I was to be out there. It was a warm but beautiful morning, and I had the luxury of going out and doing a solo long run with stunning views. How lucky was I? I know there are tons of people who would love to be able to run – either physically, or schedule-wise, or whatever. I tried to remember how lucky I was to be out there – how lucky I am that my body can carry me so far, how lucky I am to get to run (and live) in such a stunning city, how lucky I am to have a flexible enough schedule that allows for Wednesday morning long runs. 

running mt vernon trail airport

When I made it about 6 or so miles in and my leg was feeling good I decided I should just go for it and do the longer option – between 14 and 16 miles. I did a big out and back so I couldn’t change my mind! I allowed myself to take a stretching/fuel break (I had two margarita shot bloks and four nut butter stuffed salty dates over the course of the run) every few miles which helped me to keep going in the heat – and meant I could snap some extremely sweaty and unflattering photos to share with you guys. ;) Just keepin’ it real as usual over here!


I was originally planning to end my run in Rosslyn (at mile 14) so I didn’t have to run the massive hill from Rosslyn to Courthouse (and then a couple more miles of hills from there), but in the end I decided I was feeling strong and I wanted to challenge myself to tackle the big hill! I used to run that Rosslyn to Courthouse hill all the time – it’s a full mile long, and quite steep – but hadn’t in ages. I figure I need to start doing hillier long runs, though, because the Marine Corps Marathon isn’t exactly flat! My goal for the hill was to go as slow as I wanted but not to stop and walk at all. And I made it! I decided once I was at the top of the hill to run the extra 0.5 miles to my favorite local coffee shop, Java Shack, and end my run there (and just take an Uber home). 15.5 miles – so proud I did that because it was not easy!


I treated myself to a whole milk latte and a big ice water (I drank my entire 2 liter hydration vest on the run – whoa!) and cooled down while waiting a few minutes for the pet store next door to open – I had to buy Zara some more food and was multitasking with this pit stop! 

java shack arlington

I actually felt surprisingly good after this long run – better than I have after the other ones I’ve done so far this summer. Maybe it was because it was a tiny bit cooler? Or maybe the training has just been paying off! :)

My recovery was a great session with Paul from Capital Energy Training – we usually do our sessions on Wednesdays and normally I don’t work out before them, but it was actually great to have our session after a long run. We focused on light stretching and working out the kinks – felt really good! Matt had a session with Paul last night too (as you know, I’m getting my sessions for free as a blog/training exchange, but we started paying for Matt to work with him too because I liked our sessions so much that Matt got jealous)! Thanks for keeping me up and running (literally) Paul – and for my local DC runner readers, I highly recommend working with him – thanks to our strength and mobility work my hip and lower back don’t bother me at all anymore. Awesome! Love that he travels to you, too – so convenient.

Time to get back to work – busy day today wrapping up work before the long weekend! I’ll be back tomorrow morning with a Labor Day inspired BBQ/grilling recipe round up – stay tuned!

Do you listen to music or books/podcasts while you run? Or do you prefer silence? Since I almost always run with other people I’m usually chatting, but it was nice to mix it up with some music yesterday! Definitely made the miles go by more quickly.

Faves from around the web:

    Please note there are affiliate links in this post.


  1. 1

    Cheering you on as you train for this marathon, in particular. Love your thoughts on gratitude during the long run, and happy it went so well this week! When you arrive at the start line of the MCM and run your race that day, I think you will be blessed beyond measure. Life changing stuff. Blessings!

  2. 3

    Awesome job on your long run! I haven’t been able to run for a while because of physical limitations but I’m hoping starting yoga will help ease me back to good enough health to run. You said you took an ibuprofen before you went out running. I’m pretty sure I read something not too long ago about how you should try for acetaminophen if you’re going to take pain reliever before working out because of how ibuprofen affects the stomach while your exercising. Do you know more about that?

  3. 9

    Loved reading the recap. I agree about being positive during your run. I keep reminding myself how grateful I should be to able to run 14 miles and be fine the rest of the day. Also, I do everything possible to try and complete my run at Rosslyn so I do not have to run to Courthouse (where I live) but everytime I reach Rosslyn I feel I should push myself and make it through the hill! I liked reading that it’s not challenging just for me! :)

  4. 11

    Wow 15.5 HILLY miles is awesome!! You go girl! I totally agree on the positive thoughts thing, too. It can really bum you out for a long run if you start it negatively.

    When I lived in FL, all of my runs were solo and early in the morning, so I usually wouldn’t listen to anything so I could stay aware of traffic/other people. On the rare occasion I was dreading my long un, or just not feeling it, I’d listen to the Loveline podcast to cheer me up!
    Now that I’ve moved to CA, and have joined a new gym, I’ve developed a run group with about 4-5 people and we keep it pretty chatty, which is so fun! I was really glad to find running friends when I moved – you and your buddy runs always looked like so much fun – now I know why!

    • 12

      Wait, Loveline podcast as in that show that used to be on MTV back in the 90’s?! I used to LOVE that show! And I’m so glad you have found some fun buddies, too – it really does make a big difference! :)

  5. 13

    Love your thoughts on gratitude while running! A few years ago, I had a mile left of a long race. A man yelled out “run for those of us that can’t”. It was such a powerful statement and helped me get through that last mile. I often think of that phrase when a run gets tough. We are so lucky.

  6. 15

    Nice job! I have 18 miles to run this weekend and am nervous about it!

  7. 17

    Way to go! Glad that you conquered your long run without any pain! For my marathon training, my outside runs I did without any headphones, but on the treadmill I definitely needed entertainment — I mostly listed to Serial and This American Life and Dear Sugar podcasts to keep me entertained.

  8. 19

    Yayy!! You killed it! Glad I could join you for the first four! :)

  9. 21

    Great work out there! I got in my tempo run this morning and the rain felt really nice, even if it was still a bit muggy. Have my first 20-miler of training this weekend, and I’m excited that the weather is cooling down in time for it!

    Have a good long weekend!

  10. 23

    WOW that is a long run! but good job pushing through.. all of that training is paying off! i’m getting back to hills as i start training again, it’s rough haha. i also recently bought compression sleeves, maybe i should use them, heh.

    and thank you for sharing my recipe!! i check out all/most of the links at the bottom every week (like that veggie burger, i’ve been craving a new recipe!) and had to do a bit of a double take when i saw it! :)

  11. 25

    Great job! I just tries on compression socks last weekend at the store, just 10 min wearing it made my calf relax so much that I ordered a pair that night. Can’t wait to wear it after this weekend’s LR.

    I’ve been listening podcasts lately, and all about running! :)

  12. 26

    Congrats you did it! The positive thoughts are the key to success in anything I swear. I can’t wait to try out the wagon pandora station, I’m a huge fan of country pop when I run but sometimes slow songs come on and I’m like I can’t do this! CAN NOT WAIT TO TRY OUT THE COUNTRY MUSIC! Congrats again, you did great!

  13. 28

    Glad it went well! I have been listening to the Runners Connect podcast on runs and I am loving it but I also don’t do long runs at the moment. Hoping to get back into running regularly – I just saw a chiro for my annoying foot pain and hoping to be on the up and up!

  14. 30

    Very well done, Anne. This will really pay off. Glad it all came together so well. Important!

    And I am a podcast listener on runs. If the dialogue is good, the miles go by rapidly!

    Again, great work!

  15. 32

    I’ve been listening to some running podcasts (dizruns and i’ll have another) lately while running and really enjoying that. Also, downloaded David Spade’s autobiography audiobook. It’s awesome. He is the voiceover for it so you really feel like he’s telling you about his life.

  16. 34

    Long runs are so rewarding! I always liked just silence when I ran. I feel like if I was listening to something, I would get distracted some how, if that makes sense!
    (And thank you for liking my zucchini bread!!) :)

    • 35

      It sounded delicious – happy to share! And yeah that’s how I felt yesterday in terms of a podcast – I wanted music to listen in and out to but that way if I got caught up thinking about something I wasn’t trying to come back and listen to the podcast all confused about what they were talking about!

  17. 36

    Yay Anne! What an awesome job on your run!
    I love what you said about cultivating gratitude. I was at a body positivity/ HAES seminar on the weekend (run by the Moderation Movement ladies – a dietitian and Ex Phys) and one of their points about finding joy in movement was to change from saying ‘I have to…’ to ‘I get to…’. When you’re out on a long sucky run it certainly helps to remember ‘I get to run’ rather than ‘I have to’. I’m glad you found the happy in your run :)
    Enjoy your long weekend away!

    • 37

      Yes, love the HAES messaging – thanks for sharing! I work with my clients on that regarding exercise often – it’s all about the intention. :) I’d love to go to one of the HAES seminars someday – was it useful?

  18. 38

    I listen to music! There is just no way a podcast could motivate me to move very fast. I need the beat of the music. I also love any and all music!

  19. 39

    Thank you for sharing my post on podcasts! And great to hear about your successful long run. I do the exact same thing when things are rough – cultivating gratitude. It usually works! Or just puts it in perspective… realizing running is my choice and is generally quite a selfish thing, and that I should be grateful for what my body can do and the time I have to do it!

  20. 41

    Chatting is the best, takes your mind off everything! second choice music to pump me up! I love podcasts but more for a long walk than running :)
    Glad you are feeling better on the long runs! Way to go!!


  1. […] guys know I try to keep things positive over here because I’m a big believer in cultivating gratitude, and on trying to spread joy to others, even in a small way. But I also aim to keep it real, and, […]

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