Long Runs = Mini Milestones

One of the very best parts of half marathon training for me is the feeling I get after I complete a long run. Oddly enough, long runs are my favorite part of training because each one feels like a mini milestone.

I mean how can you not feel like a badass after running 10 miles!?

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Right around 7:30 a.m., Ryan, Sadie and I set out to run the 10 miles on our training plan. I started off feeling very sluggish. The first five miles were somehow much harder than the final five for me.

It’s very dreary in Ocala this morning and a light drizzle kept us cool and a bit wet for 80 percent of our run. The light rain felt really nice and thankfully didn’t turn into a full-out downpour, though from the looks of the sky, a storm is a-brewin’!

During our run, I made sure to fuel with strawberry Gu Chomps at the six-mile mark.

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Though it may have been totally mental, I felt much better after downing the Chomps and the final four miles ticked by fairly quickly, though I did get a bit of a cramp around mile 7.5.


As we were on our final mile of our run, Ryan turned to me saying that he had a huge craving for McDonald’s hot cakes. I remembered the delicious Stonewall Kitchen gingerbread pancake mix we got this week and suggested gingerbread pancakes to him instead. He was more than game.

Gingerbread + Pancakes!? How can you not be intrigued?

Oh my gosh, these pancakes were so good!

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We both ate a big plate full of the pancakes to quell our post-run hunger.

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These pancakes remind me of Christmas morning. I feel like they would be such a fun and festive thing to eat before diving into presents.

And now I have a craving for my mom’s monkey bread that she always makes on Christmas morning

Time to change and pack for Orlando. I’m spending the weekend with my friend Laurel and can’t wait to see her!


  1. Jessica says

    The long runs were definitely my favorite part of training.
    Actually my first half marathon is tomorrow!!!!!
    I bought sport beans to eat but then I was told GU was better and here I see you are eating those chomps.

    Do you, or anyone else, have a recommendation as to what is the best mid run fuel?


    • Meara says

      I like the gu comps as well. I have tried the gels (too sticky and not a good consistency for me) but there are the sport beans and i believe a few other varieties. Although I like the chomps, I think it is all personal preference and you should try a few things to find what you like! :]


  2. Leighann says

    Hi Julie!
    I am a fairly new reader, so maybe you have addressed this in the past. How did you become a “runner”and have you always enjoyed it? I trained for and ran a 10K about 2 years ago and felt a huge sense of accomplishment since I have never been a runner of any kind. BUT, I hated the training and never got to the point that I enjoyed my runs. All I could think about was how much further I had to go. I tried the Ipod, but never could “zone out” as others have told me they can. On a positive note, I felt awesome AFTER my runs (delayed runner’s high I guess). I was just wondered if you have any tips/tricks.

    Thanks! 🙂


  3. says

    I was thinking about you this morning because it POURED here all night..and is still pouring this morning. I was hoping it might avoid Ocala since I knew you had your long run this morning. So glad it held up- but be careful driving to Orlando- parts are already flooding. :/ Eek!
    Hope you have a fun night! 🙂


  4. says

    Great job this morning. I wish one of our dogs had it them to run with me. Annabelle might, but then Solo would be so sad being left alone.

    10 miles for me this morning as well! Slow, but done. Happy with that. Now to watch the Ironman from Hawaii on the computer. My reward for getting the run done.

    The Kidless Kronicles


  5. says

    Awesome run time! I am SO motivated for my 10K after seeing you trek along 10 miles on a Saturday AM, more power to you! 9:30 mile pace is GREAT too! We would be good running buddies, because we go at the same pace about 🙂 I haven’t kept the 9:30 up past 5 miles (that’s the longest I have gone on my 10K plan), but I think it’s a good pace to have nonetheless! Have a good weekend with your girlyfriend and I think those pancakes look SO GOOD!!


  6. Gina @ Will Run for Cupcakes says

    Congrats on the run!!!!
    10 miles is pretty bad ass.
    As for the monkey bread…i love it!


  7. says

    Congrats on the run!! I totally feel like a badass after a long run too. Love it! Yumm those pancakes look awesome. Too bad I’ve never tried monkey bread, I’ve heard it is AMAZING though.


  8. says

    Great job on your 10! The feeling after finishing a long run is seriously the best ever! I have a measly two miles on my training schedule today and I’m already putting it off…your 10 is definitely a motivator for me though!


  9. says

    You guys rock!! Nice run!

    …except now you have me thinking of Christmas breakfast. I want my mom’s traditional “Christmas morning wife saver” breakfast casserole RIGHT NOW! Is it December yet? 😉

    Have a good day Julie!


  10. Jess @ Jess Go Bananas says

    Sometimes I start off sluggish too and by the end feel so amazing that I feel as though I can run more!
    Congrats on your mini milestone! 🙂
    I have been burning a gingerbread candle and wanted to make some gingy cookies, but I was told it was “too Christmasy”….since when is celebrating a little early considered a bad thing?! Flap jacks sound delicious!


  11. says

    Hmmm I still don’t know how one can eat anything at all during a run!! I’m sure it’s fine since so many people do it–but I keep imagining that if I did that, I’d get monster cramps. I guess not? 😛 And those pancakes….so fluffy lookin’! 😀


  12. beth says

    way to go on the training and your pace! wish mine was that fast! i had a 12 miler this morning…first couple of miles felt hard as i warmed up, and then my pace magically jumped up and i had some great miles! but the last 2 were so hard but i made it and was proud of my overall pace. would have loved your pancakes afterwards!


  13. says

    Double digit runs = BAMF!
    I love long runs and enjoyed my marathon training over the summer. The marathon was last weekend and it felt awesome! My body is still healing but I’m looking forward to a nice 5 or 6-miler this afternoon.


  14. Julie says

    Hi Julie,

    Can you recommend a exercise regime for a very beginner? I am completely and absolutely out of shape although I have always taken daily walks. I don’t have a gym membership and my rent is insanely high so that I can’t afford anything either. I think I have 5 lbs dumbbells at home.
    I want to be lean and strong and would like to do cardio and strength. I’m very impatient with yoga though and I’m unsure of aerobics since I find jumping hard and I have limited space for things like that.
    If you can suggest something, please do! I’m very frustrated and really want a set weekly schedule to follow emphatically and feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of each week. To progress!
    Thanks for anything.


    • says

      try taking the weights with you on your walks and pump your arms while holding them! powerwalking makes me feel kind of silly but it can be a great workout!


  15. SaraRM says

    Congrats on 10 today!!! My group did 11 and after several halves this is my longest training run.

    I made your banana bread pancakes after I got home!!


  16. says

    We ran 10 miles today, too! And I’m with you … I enjoy the long runs the most. I love getting up early on a Saturday morning and going on a long run with my husband while it’s still quiet and peaceful! 🙂

    Of course, my pace isn’t as good as yours! Congrats to you, girl! You rock!! 🙂


  17. Mallory @ It's Only Life, After All says

    “I mean how can you not feel like a badass after running 10 miles!?”

    So, so true! This is why I love long runs. Awesome pace! After being injured for a while, I think my knee has finally healed and I might register for a half marathon next weekend. It’s a flat course and the weather is supposed to be beautiful! i just can’t resist.


  18. says

    Woo! Great job on the long run! I’ve been lacking on my long runs for my half marathon but I’ll hopefully be able to come out alright for the race. 🙂


  19. says

    I just bought that same Garmin and took it for my first run this morning! Love it so far!! It was rainy here also, only really cold (35*) and started pouring on me. I was freezing by the time I got back 🙁 Sounds like your run weather was a bit more comfortable!!


  20. says

    Strawberry Gu Chomps are delicious. I fueled with them during my half. But I didn’t eat them all at once. I ate 4 total.. beginning at 6 miles.. I had them about every 2 miles. One each time. Do you think it is better to take them all at once?


  21. says

    When I was training for my half I always had to have my energy food at the 6 mile mark. I think it was because it is kind of half way and I think after that it is all “down hill” so I would always feel much better after that too! Who knows…it probably is mental! 🙂


  22. says

    I am training for my half as well. The rain has been pouring down in Miami but I was able to fit in a run yesterday Morning. Today I am going to try the interval treadmill run you posted back in March :). Those pancakes sound amazing! Congrats on a great run!


  23. Sam @ owlmazing says

    Indeed. Even just training for my 10k today, every new km is a new thing you accomplish. It feels so good! Such a swell of pride after.


  24. Katie M. says

    We have monkey bread every Christmas morning. My mom started it when I was like in 5th grade and I have now passed on the tradition with my hubby and kids. I can’t imagine Christmas morning without it!


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