Mission to Marathon: A Long, Slow Run

I’m not going to lie…long training runs are my downfall.  Just the thought of heading out the door alone for 2+ hours will make me come up with any excuse possible.  Thankfully Hannah is back with some great tips on how to get through those long runs and makes some sense of all of those excuses we come up with. Sigh…now I really have no excuse… 🙂


The past month has just flown by for me. We have had so many changes over the past few weeks (sold our house, moved in with the in-laws temporarily until we find a new house, started a new job, and awaiting the arrival of our second niece)! It has been difficult for me to get my training runs in and I’ve failed on many occasions. I will be adjusting my training plan so I can build mileage a bit more slowly rather than just jumping in where the plan is now. If you are in the same boat, drop a message below or on my blog and we can help motivate each other to get the runs in!

Back to the point of this blog … getting those long runs in is super hard! I often find ways to avoid them for really “legitimate reasons.” While I love the running events, trying to do 13 miles on my own is not so fun. Below find 5 Quick tips for getting your butt out the door and making the run a little easier and 5 Excuses for NOT running your long-run.


1 – HYDRATE/FUEL – I cannot stress this enough and every running source will concur. Make sure you hydrate before, during and after your run. Find what fuel works for you. For those especially long runs (hey we are marathon training) try gels, beans, blocks, etc. If those don’t work for you, try googling other options (raisins, craisins, peanuts, pretzels, etc). *Test your fuel BEFORE race day so you’ll know if you have “problems” with it.

2 – DRESS RIGHT – Pick out the best gear for the run that day. If it’s hot, wear less. If it’s cold, wear more (see my August post here on Running At Disney). In all seriousness, if you’re too hot or too cold it will be hard to get out there to begin with and even harder to finish your full mileage.

Mission-to-Marathon-Long-Run-Photo 1

3 – PLAN AHEAD – Figure out where you want to run and where you can stash water/fuel and/or stop for a potty break. Pack your gym back or layout your clothes the night/morning before your run. Just like you would with a race, plan ahead so you’re not scrambling for your favorite capris and find a reason to bail.

Mission-to-Marathon-Long-Run-Photo 2

4 – FIND A FRIEND/TELL A FRIEND – find someone else training to run with you, or just a kind soul who runs to tag along. I have a runner friend who gets people to help with certain portions of her run. For example, if she has a 12 mile training run, she’ll get one friend to do the first half with her and one friend to do the second half. Neither friend gets worn out with the full 12 when they aren’t training, and she gets a “refreshed” friend for the tough second half. That same friend, she posts almost daily about what she’s going to do and uses social media as a great resource for finding running buddies and motivation. She also posts her accomplishments and gets lots of “congrats.”

5 – REWARD YOURSELF – I’m not necessarily talking about the cupcakes, brownies, cookies (I have a sweet tooth), or even new gear. But reward yourself and celebrate small achievements. It makes the ordinary (not that long runs are ordinary) extraordinary and special. Finish your 12 miles? How about getting a pedicure later that day?


1 – THE DOG ATE MY PLAN – Um, not gonna lie…in my house this could very well be true. Make a new plan and quick. Check out mapmyrun.com for local runs others have done near you!

Mission-to-Marathon-Long-Run-Photo 3

2 – I DON’T WANT TO RUN ALONE/AT NIGHT/IN THE MORNING – Find a friend? Run at the gym on the treadmill (not ideal, but certainly gets your time on your tootsies)! Figure it out…no excuses.

3 – I’M TOO TIRED – Run anyway…You’ll feel better after. As Elle Woods (Legally Blonde) would say, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. [Happy people don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t].”

4 – I’M HUNGRY – Eat something

5 – I’M HUNGOVER/DON’T HAVE CLEAN CLOTHES/DON’T KNOW WHERE TO RUN/ETC – Stop making excuses. You should’ve planned ahead. But it doesn’t matter. Take a Tylenol, wear dirty clothes, hop on mapmyrun.com or just get outside, and figure out a solution to every other excuse you’re listing right now.

Nike said it best, “Just do it.”

Here’s my October 2014 Running Training Plan for the Goofy Challenge!

15 – Week Oct 6: Tuesday and Thursday 1 hour; Saturday 3 miles

16 – Week Oct 13: Tuesday and Thursday 45 mins; Saturday 7 miles; Sunday 17 miles

17 – Week Oct 20: Tuesday and Thursday 1 hour; Saturday 5 miles

18 – Week Oct 27: Tuesday and Thursday 1 hour; Saturday 6 miles

See you next month!



Hannah is an attorney from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She started running in 2011 while preparing for the Bar Exam as a means of helping her focus on her studying. Hannah completed her first half marathon in October 2011 at the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. In 2013 she completed 13 running events including 5 half marathons, 2 10ks, 3 5ks and 3 fun races (2 color runs and a zombie run).  She enjoys setting goals and crossing things off of her “bucket list.” Follow Hannah at www.workorrun.com, where she blogs about her everyday goals and challenges.

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  • I am currently training for the Disney marathon. I have ran several minis but this is my first full. The long runs are tough! However, I am running for LLS in honor of my neighbor who has luekemia. Jane means a lot to me. She is my motivation! I keep thinking if she can go through a bone marrow test I can run 16 miles! I am an orthopedic/sport physical therapist. I foam roll my legs every day and the night before my run. I carb up on pizza the nigt before, I drink tons of water the day before, I go to bed early the night before, and I get up early and get it done and over with. I drink a protein shake in an ice bath and wear compression socks after! My secret is I get an hour massage the Thursday before a big run! You can do this! I dedicate each mile I run to someone special to me and I rehearse scripture, save the best for last! You all can do this!!! Go run! My slogan is run Jane run after my neighbor Jane Goble!

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