Conquering the Longest Training Runs

Marla's getting ready to toe the line on race day! (Photo by John Herr)

Marla's getting ready to toe the line on race day! (Photo by John Herr)

Only two weeks left to go! Hope everyone is getting excited. I know I am (and a little nervous too!).

Over the weekend I tackled my longest run yet, the big 10-miler. All week I had been psyching myself up for it, and on Saturday morning I set out for it feeling strong. I met with Stephanie Middleberg, my nutritionist here in NYC, on Friday afternoon, and we discussed how I should be eating on days that I run hard. Because I like to wakeup and do my runs in the morning, Stephanie recommended that I eat a banana and half of a Nature’s Valley granola bar an hour before running, to ensure high energy levels. I took her advice, waited an hour, and then hit the streets. With the sun shining, the fresh air, a brand new running outfit from the Helly Hansen team, and my iPod blasting my favorite tunes, I felt like I could take on the world!

The course that I ran took me about an hour and a half and incorporated lots of hills (Have you seen the course map yet? If not check it out here. It’s going to be a hilly one!). There were moments when I felt myself getting tired, but I chalked that up to being bored—hey, no one said running 10 miles was going to be the most exciting thing! When that happened I chanted my running mantra: “Go girl! Go girl! Go girl!” Sounds silly, but it actually works and motivates me to push through and go harder. Do you have a running mantra?

After finishing, I made sure to stretch for about 10 minutes (didn’t want to wake up on Sunday with sore muscles!), drank lots of water, and then cooked myself a nice hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs with cheese, 2 slices of toast and some fruit. When I think about it, that seems like a lot of food, considering I ate a banana and a granola bar just two hours before, but Stephanie told me that my body needed the protein and carbs to refuel after running for so long. I’m thinking a big meal after the race in a couple of weeks will be a necessity!

If you’re interested in seeing my new favorite running gear from Helly Hansen, check out these links:

Now tell me: How is your training going? Are you nervous for race day like I am?