Peak in the life of a Long Run


Earlier this year I shared a peak in the life of a treadmill long run post. The point of that post was to give you some insight as to how I go about positively preparing for and running long on the treadmill.

Staying positive and mentally tough is necessary for all runs though and is just as important as your physical ability.

The mental strength I continue to develop for running definitely stems from the tough runs I encounter, both indoors and outdoors, in which I do not give up on the run or my positive thought process.

Saturday’s long run was mentally challenging for the FIRST HOUR.

Sometimes the miles we run fly by in a blur and sometimes, like on Saturday, you remember each mile mark which makes today’s peak in the life of a long run post possible.

peak in the life of a long run

I woke up like usual, had oatmeal with banana (plus water and coffee) like usual and got ready to head outside. Even though it was warm (55 degrees) I felt that winter morning fatigue where you are cold and don’t want to take off your pajamas.

That sunrise though, as soon as I opened the front door, made me smile.


Mile 1 @ 9:44

Hmm. I know this is a warm up but I am going fairly slow for me.

Mile 2 @ 9:34

I think my calves are feeling tight. It’s okay, I am still warming up and clearly I need more warm up time today than usual.

Mile 3 @ 9:40

Seriously? What’s up with me today? When will I find my groove? Just keep going, things will fall into place. My calves feels stiff which is so odd but they are guaranteed to loosen up soon, I promise. You aren’t sick, you aren’t tired, nothing is injured, just keep going.

Don’t push, just run. Find where you are comfortable and stay with it.

Mile 4 @ 10:34

Uh huh. I should probably order myself a Black Friday pair of new running shoes. Clearly my Energy Boosts are shot, maybe that’s why I am struggling this morning.

Do not overfocus on your feet!

I don’t know what’s going on but I know it can only get better from here. It’s warm outside, appreciate the morning air.

Worst case scenario? Cut the run at 10 miles. You can run 10 miles no problem today.

Mile 5 @ 9:56

You know, I suddenly feel as though things are starting to look up. I feel myself falling into groove. It’s happening, I know it is.

Mile 6 @ 9:06

Yes! This feels awesome! I knew I could get past the first few miles and find my comfort zone. Just don’t get crazy here, it was a rough start so be mindful and cautious for a bit.

Mile 7 @ 9:00

Were my calves really bothering me today? Did that happen during this run? I feel fine now.

I opened a raspberry hammer gel at this point, I always take one with me for runs longer than 10 miles.

Mile 8 @ 9:00

If I told the average person having a tough run to just hang in there for an hour and everything will feel awesome, I think they would assume I am insane.

But gosh, I feel great now and it’s as if the first hour of this run didn’t happen.

Mile 9 @ 8:18

Hey you first 5 miles, TAKE THAT!

Mile 10 @ 8:30

OHHHHH I used to love this song as a kid!

….Ain’t nobody gonna break my stride, nobody gonna slow me down, oh no….I got to keep on moving…

Break My Stride

I really need to make an 80’s playlist – please remember you want to make this playlist when you get home. Do not forget about it like you do most of the things you think about while running.

Mile 11 @ 8:47

You didn’t think I was actually going to stop at the 10 mile mark did you? I always give myself the option knowing that 99.9% of the time, I wouldn’t take it.

Mile 12 @ 7:48

Seriously, I love running. I am so proud of myself right now for not giving up at the beginning of this run. No matter what else goes on today, I have this feeling of pride in my ability, both mentally and physically, and it’s a big deal feeling.

Mile 13 @ 8:09

Time for a cool down and then my favorite post-run breakfast.

Is this long run really over? In some ways it felt like quite the morning journey and in other ways it went by so quick.

oats in a jar

Blueberry Pie Protein Oatmeal The winner of the Skoop Giveaway by the way is Ellie! She has been notified, thanks to everyone for entering!

So put this long run in the books filed under the chapter of mental strengthening because that’s what it was.

It will now be one of those runs that I will reflect upon the next time things start out icky, the next race I run where I get a cramp or feel weird or feel like I can’t continue. Because I know that I can.

Each time we complete a mentally or physically difficult run, we teach ourselves that we can.

Peak in the life of the long run #running #fitfluential #longrun #mentalstrength Click To Tweet


How did you get through your last tough run? What did you tell yourself?

Anyone order new running shoes this weekend?

Favorite post long run meal?

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  • Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine November 30, 2015, 5:42 am

    This sounds very similar to alot of my long runs, although at this point they feel so long ago! I feel like if I were to have documented my marathon thoughts mile by mile they would have been all over the place! It looks like we got almost the same picture of the sunrise on Saturday morning!
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Race Recovery and Thanksgiving Week ThingsMy Profile

  • Susie @ SuzLyfe November 30, 2015, 7:20 am

    I don’t even remember what a long run feels like anymore…
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Thanksgiving Weekend 2015 + Here We Go Again!My Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles December 1, 2015, 11:13 am

      Ugh, hang in there. you are doing amazing! You will be better before you know it : )

  • Michele @ paleorunningmomma November 30, 2015, 8:07 am

    When my long runs are really slow in the beginning I always worry, but then they usually speed up toward the end or for the second half! I can definitely relate. Can’t wait to be back to myself and able to run again.
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…How to Brew Kombucha at Home – Easy GuideMy Profile

  • Jamie November 30, 2015, 9:16 am

    I always treat myself to my favorite smoothie when I do a double digit run. That motivation helps me run hard until the end… or at least that’s what I tell myself. Haha. Hope you have a fabulous Monday!
    Jamie recently posted…Turkey TimeMy Profile

  • Laura @ This Runner's Recipes November 30, 2015, 9:21 am

    I always find myself speeding up for the last few miles of a long run. I enjoy it for most of the run, but then with just a few miles to go I find myself wanting to be done so I can go shower, stretch, and eat!
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Mile Markers 11/23/15 – 11/29/15My Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles December 1, 2015, 11:12 am

      Yes! That’s how I feel too at that point of the run so I speed up lol

  • Ellie November 30, 2015, 9:23 am

    I love this mile breakdown! So much mental energy is expended in a long run sometimes just to keep going.
    On a different note, was I the Ellie that won the giveaway? I haven’t recieved an email so I assume not, but I wanted to ask just in case because winning would be SWEET!
    Ellie recently posted…Week In Review [80 Mile Week!]My Profile

  • Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 30, 2015, 9:31 am

    One of the things I like most about running is actually how much it’s strengthened me mentally. That being said, I feel like I’m kind of stuck in a comfort bubble and have yet to really push myself to run for longer. Remind me!
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. no bake dark chocolate cheesecake bars .My Profile

  • Sarah @pickyrunner November 30, 2015, 9:42 am

    I remember one of my first long marathon runs feeling like this. It took me about 10 miles to get in the groove and when I finally stopped at 16, I was bummed it was over. I always take at least 4-5 miles to warm up on the longer runs though for some reason. It makes for some pretty miserable early miles but I always finish feeling great.

  • Alyssa @ renaissancerunnergirl November 30, 2015, 10:03 am

    This is so me – the first 3, 4, even 5 miles I’m checking the time, seeing how much longer I have to go, worrying about muscle tightness or cramps or stomach issues…then suddenly something happens and when I hit 7 I think I’ll go another. And another. It’s how I usually do a long run – plan for 7, and get up to 10-11 if I hit my stride 🙂
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  • Shannon November 30, 2015, 10:22 am

    Finishing a hard workout is always such a great feeling!
    Shannon recently posted…Thanksgiving Leftover RecipesMy Profile

  • Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian November 30, 2015, 3:07 pm

    Great job getting through those tough miles! It’s great to hear stories about how people work through to get to the good part of the run.
    Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian recently posted…Play! by Sephora Subscription BoxMy Profile

  • Fiona November 30, 2015, 5:09 pm

    What a great run for you! Not only got faster after a tough start but a huge difference in the pace from your early miles to the 2nd half, well done 🙂 My long run on Sunday was a bit of struggle this week too- there were crazy winds & my legs were just slow and sluggish, but I just kept reminding myself that it didn’t matter how slow I ran as long as I kept going. I didn’t round in an impressive turnaround like you but I got it done. Job done!
    Fiona recently posted…The Rain FactorMy Profile

  • Sheena @ Paws and Pavement November 30, 2015, 5:13 pm

    My favorite post long run meal for breakfast is a monte cristo and for lunch is a big burger and sweet potato fries!
    Sheena @ Paws and Pavement recently posted…Weekly Workout Recap {11.29}My Profile

  • Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes December 2, 2015, 3:13 pm

    Totally been there. I usually find that it takes me 5-6 miles to warm up somedays!