Loving Long Runs

Did any of you guys make a special New Year’s Day dinner last night to hopefully bring a little luck your way in 2013?

For as long as I can remember, my mom always made pork, black-eyed peas and sauerkraut for dinner on New Year’s Day. These foods, along with a handful of others, are said to bring luck in the new year and since I like all of these foods anyway, I figured I’d keep the tradition going and prepared a meal centered around these “lucky” foods last night.

Though all of the sauerkraut was consumed last night (I love the stuff), there were some leftovers remaining that I threw together in a bowl for lunch today.

pork collard greens black eyed peas

I tossed leftover sautéed collard greens with the remaining black-eyed peas before topping the greens with sliced pork.

new year's day  lucky food

Just as good the second day!

Loving Long Runs

Right before lunch today, I took a brief 30-minute break to run three miles with Sadie.

3 mile run time

Something that seems to happen to me every time I train for a half marathon is happening to me again. I am loving my long runs, but find my midweek runs rather boring. I’m trying to vary the distance and pace of my midweek runs a bit to fight some of this boredom which is helping. Still, long runs are far and away my favorite part of half marathon training.

Each long run feels like an amazing accomplishment. When my long run is over, I am hit with a wonderful sense of satisfaction that I cannot seem to get from any other workout. While I’m out running a long run, I feel at peace. I fall into a groove and just go. Though my body may be struggling (running is never easy for me), my mind is clear as I focus on achieving a new distance record in my latest half marathon training plan.

This week I will be running 11 miles and I’ve already started to psych myself up for it!

Questions of the Afternoon

  • Have you ever trained for a race or athletic competition of some sort? What was your favorite part of training?
  • Do you hope to train for a race or athletic competition this year? Any big goals out there?


  1. says

    I experience a similar feeling about my mid week runs. It takes me a while to get warmed up and hit my stride, so I definitely enjoy long runs better. After 3 minles, I’m just getting warmed up. I’m doing a half on February 3rd! Good luck on your half!


  2. says

    I definitely know what you mean! When I was training for my half, the short runs got super tedious, but I was able to get pumped for the long runs. I’m so inspired and impressed by your consistency and commitment to your goal – keep it up!


  3. says

    Even though my half-marathon this summer didn’t go as well as planned, I enjoyed training for the 13.1-mile distance. Long runs gave me an opportunity to reflect and zone out, but they didn’t destroy my social calendar (i.e. no super-early bedtimes for 20-plus-mile runs!). And since it was my first half, each long run equated to my new “longest distance run, ever,” which was pretty neat. Looking forward to training for another! 🙂


  4. says

    I am with ya with the short runs. I’m training for my first marathon and the short runs during the week are hard to get into but the long run is great and I totally look forward to them. Keep up the great training.


  5. says

    To motivate me for my mid week runs, I do Tradmaill Tuesday! I pick a treadmill workout that’ll last 35 or so minutes and do them on…you guessed it…Tuesday. For some reason having the name motivates me to actually do a midweek run!


  6. Carly says

    I love long runs as well! The farther I run the more I get into it and want to just keep going….plus I’m one of those people that loves thinking of my body as a machine…so I love to push myself as far as I can go. 2013 will be the year of my first half marathon and I’m super excited….do something special since I’ll be turning the big 3-0! “) I have a 7 yr old German short hair pointer and the max I like to take her is 6 miles because she is starting to get a little sore after our runs. 6 miles seems to be the sweet spot…and I know it will only go down from there for her distance running. Oh how I hate running without her 🙁


  7. says

    I never realized there were so many “lucky” foods until reading the blogs this year. Now I am dying to try making something with black-eyed peas. Sauerkraut I am not so sure about yet. I tried it several years back and was not fond of it, but would like to try it again soon. I hear it is good on pizza??


  8. says

    I have always felt the same way about long runs while half marathon training. Which is probably once of the reasons I ended up seriously injured after my last half marathon – my mid-week runs bored me so much I neglected them most of the time. Yeah – bad idea.

    I am planning to start training in about 2 weeks for a half marathon at the end of April! It will be my first half marathon since February 2011!


  9. says

    I’ve trained for Ironmans, half-Ironmans, Olympic and sprint-distance triathlons, marathons, and half marathons. Every distance has their ups and downs during training. I’ve had a blast competing in my Ironman and 70.3 (half IM) races.

    This year, I have a half marathon in March and in May. I’ll be riding bike in the French Alps in July (lots of climbing – good thing I live in Colorado and can train for it). I’m planning on signing up for a couple triathlons as well, as long as the schedule allows. Once your body has trained for so many years, it remembers. You don’t really lose that base. Love it!

    Best of luck in your half, Julie!


  10. says

    In the past, the best parts of training have been when I completed the last “long” run before the face–it helped me to know that race day was indeed going to go well!

    My goals for 2013 are to complete my first half marathon at the Cleveland Marathon in May 2013 and my first full marathon at the Towpath Marathon in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in October 2013.

    Have you ever tried running to a Pandora station? I ran to my 90s rap station last week and it really invigorated me on a really cold and windy day. I see the value of playlists and I definitely plan to keep utilizing my running playlist, but the anticipation of wondering what song was coming up next helped carry me through my runs, and the rush that came when a great song that I hadn’t heard for years came on was an added bonus.


  11. says

    Great job with your half marathon training! I read your Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon recap which got me really interested in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series. Now I am training for the Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon coming up in April. This is the first time that I have stuck to a real training schedule and I’m noticing the same thing about enjoying the long runs much more than the short ones. I have noticed though that doing long runs makes it much harder to make excuses for skipping short runs. Good luck in your upcoming half marathon! Can’t wait to read the recap!


  12. Cait Coletti says

    Julie, you are awesome! I read your blog religiously and I started my new years resolution early on my 21st birthday (Dec. 23rd) it seemed to fit the occasion! The resolution is to RUN! In November I started running in intervals ( a tip from one of your readers) and doing strength training after I suffered a rut for 3 months. I built up more muscle in my leg and I figured I was strong enough to run and I am! I have been running everyday and it doesn’t matter the speed … just that I am doing it! My mom asked me, “How do you feel after your run?” the answer: Accomplished and Challenged. My body is happy and I can already tell a difference. I have been running 2-2.25 miles everyday with less and less slow downs. You are an inspiration! I thank you for getting me to where I am! Just knowing that I am not a naturally talented runner and don’t have to be really got me thinking!! And I actually LOVE running now! I am working towards a 5K! 🙂 much love to you!


  13. says

    Ugh I hate long runs..and short runs..and running in general 😛 Haha! I’ve never heard that theory about eating lucky foods. Interesting 🙂 Hope it brings you luck for 2013!


  14. says

    I’m running a 10-mile race in April and I’m thinking about registering for a half-marathon afterwards since I’ll already be most of the way there!
    Long runs are a little bit of a struggle for me, I feel amazing when I finish them, but they’re so mental for me, I freak myself out mentally about the length before I even start running.


  15. says

    I am training for my first half marathon right now (well, kind of, I’m giving myself a huge head start so I am starting with a 15k). I am loving the long runs mainly because it gives me time to get into a groove and start thinking about everything going on in my life. I have been doing my best thinking during my runs. The short runs don’t always give me time to think but I do have to admit I like how quickly I finish them!


  16. says

    I am getting back into running and my goal is to run a 10K this spring… the longest race distance I’ll have run. I’m hoping to work myself up to a half marathon by fall. Since high school, I’ve had problems with shin splints and stress fractures from running so my favorite part of training is when my shins don’t hurt!


  17. says

    I have my second half marathon next Saturday–The Walt Disney World Half Marathon. I was training for it in the fall and felt good so thought I’d try for the marathon. While running 16 miles, I injured my knee and it’s not quite back to par so I’m a little nervous about next weekend. I’ve only run 9 miles at the longest since then!



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