Double Digits

This past Saturday, I ran 10 miles for the first time in a LONG time. It was my friend Matt’s 30th birthday and he was starting the day with a 10 mile run, so I decided to join him in the spirit of actually sticking with my training plan. Somehow, my sixth half marathon is coming up just three weeks from Saturday, so there’s no more time for excuses! Not that I really had a choice with my minor surgery which sidelined me for two weeks, or getting knocked down by strep for five days, but I haven’t been very consistent this go-round with training.

The day started with a 7:30am wakeup call, and I immediately made coffee and got dressed. I almost always have an english muffin with nut butter of some sort for pre-run fuel, but I haven’t been keeping nut butter in the house lately because I can’t trust myself around it. So, I tried something new-to-me before a run:

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An english muffin with smashed avocado and sea salt. This has been one of my favorite things to eat recently, and it definitely did the trick as a pre-run mini meal.

I drove to Matt’s house and we headed to the trail, and before I knew what I had signed up for, we were off. We ran on an area of the Mount Vernon Trail that I haven’t run on in years, and it was hillier than I was used to. There was a water fountain at the 2.5 mile mark, then the 5.0 mile mark where we turned around for the out-and-back loop, so it worked out well for us to not have to carry water.

The first couple miles went by quick, but I felt like it took a LONG time to get to the turnaround point. Matt has been running way more than me lately, so 10 miles to him was no big deal, but for me it was definitely a stretch. Around the turnaround point, I took a new-to-me Clif Shot that I acquired at my last half marathon.

photo 2

Which was fine. Vanilla Bean GU is still my fav, but the price was right on this one so I went with it.

Once we got to the 7ish mile mark, I was really ready to be done. I had to slow down a bit and mentally talk myself away from wanting to stop running. I kept playing mind games with myself and taking it one mile at a time, and soon we were at 8 miles and then 9. When we had less than a mile to go, Matt took off a little ahead of me which was good because I was able to finish the run at my own pace. And then, at long last, I hit the 10.0 mile mark and stopped immediately.

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My body will never cease to amaze me whenever I run a double digit run. It is always a challenge in more ways than one, and I ALWAYS feel like a million bucks when it’s over.

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The one thing I forgot about was chafing! It honestly didn’t occur to me that I often chafe on my collar bones when I run in anything other than a tank top, and once I stopped I realized my neck was super irritated.

photo 5

Ouch. It’s already gone down considerably since then, but I can guarantee you I will not forgot body glide on this weekend’s long run!

Even though the run was really hard for me, it definitely helped me feel more confident about the upcoming half marathon. I am going to attempt 10 miles again this coming weekend, and I’m hoping it’ll be a bit easier for me this time around. I know that the challenge was more mental than anything because I wasn’t sore at all after the run or the next day, so I really just need to work on the mental part of things over the next few weeks.

Do you struggle mentally with runs? Any tips for overcoming it?

23 Comments on Double Digits

  1. Liz @ The Shrinking Owl
    February 20, 2013 at 8:45 am (8 years ago)

    10 miles is just amazing to me. I highly doubt I could even run one mile, to be honest (maybe someday I’ll get there). You are a beast and should be proud. 🙂

    • Beth
      February 20, 2013 at 8:58 am (8 years ago)

      Haha a beast! And trust me, I didn’t start there! I remember the first time I ran and went for 90 seconds and almost died. Somehow that was almost 4 years ago, which is nuts! You will get there if you want to, just start small. 🙂

  2. applepommemanzana
    February 20, 2013 at 8:49 am (8 years ago)

    I always want to stop in the first two miles. If I can get past that point, I usually have no problem settling in and finishing a long run. Once I have run for an hour or so, I really don’t want to quit short of finishing, because I feel like I’ve invested too much to quit.

    I love 10 miles! Next to 5 miles, it’s my favorite distance to run.

    • Beth
      February 20, 2013 at 9:00 am (8 years ago)

      10 miles is my favorite race distance because I always want to stop at the 10 mile mark during half marathons haha. I am running the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in April, which will be my fourth year in a row running it! I love the distance, but I feel like this 10 miler was a bit of a stretch.

  3. Ash Bear
    February 20, 2013 at 9:07 am (8 years ago)

    Great job! I know how you feel as this weekend’s 9 miler felt like the run that would never end! I’m hoping Friday’s ten miler will go better since it will be after a week of rest and healthy eating. 🙂

  4. BeBe
    February 20, 2013 at 9:10 am (8 years ago)

    I’ll be running the Reston 10 Miler next weekend (March 3) and then the Rock n’ Roll Half marathon on the 16th of March. I still get flustered at the 5 mile mark for training runs. I struggle with the distance for training, but for some reason during the race, I only struggle (to the point of wanting to quit) before the race starts. I am horrible before the gun goes off. I’m wondering why I am doing this, I am questioning everything I’ve done up to this point, etc. I wish I had advice, but one thing I have learned, that pausing my Garmin, stretching a bit and reciting “I run this body” over and over seems to help. That and a power song. Always have a power song.

    • Beth
      February 20, 2013 at 9:24 am (8 years ago)

      I LOVE “I run this body”! What a great mantra. I didn’t even know the Reston 10 Miler existed… Hmmmmm.

  5. Mary Pat
    February 20, 2013 at 9:49 am (8 years ago)

    This is amazing – such an inspiration. I’m not a runner – YET, but every time I read your blog I get an inkling!

    My question for you is about the avocado smashed on english muffin. How much avocado do you end up using over the two halves?

    • Beth
      February 20, 2013 at 9:51 am (8 years ago)

      Hi Mary Pat! I weigh the avocado and use 30 grams, which is 1 pt. It usually works out to be just under a quarter of a medium sized one. I eat that almost every day ha.

  6. Melissa
    February 20, 2013 at 9:57 am (8 years ago)

    I am not a runner, but somehow became engrossed with the idea of running under the pink trees in spring and signed up for the cherry blossom 10 miler! Haha, training has been rough considering I’ve never done more than a 5k WALK, the yucky up and down weather, and a retail schedule. But! I just did my first 40 minute “run” and after I passed 2 miles I finally felt like I was in a groove. I’ll see what happens on Saturday when I do 48minutes, but as of now, just seeing the progress I’ve made in just over a month has been enough motivation to keep pushing. It’s also good to know the more seasoned runners have those mental hurdles, too. We’re all in this together! 🙂

    • brenda
      February 21, 2013 at 1:10 pm (8 years ago)

      Great job, Melissa!!! I have found that my first 3 miles are ALWAYS my most challenging…I want to stop! But, I don’t and then I feel like I’m in a groove too. You can do it!! Good luck!!

    • Beth
      February 22, 2013 at 12:01 pm (8 years ago)

      hey melissa! I’m running that one too! It’s my fourth year in a row doing it, and it’s a great course for your first 10 miler because it’s super flat and beautiful! I’m so excited I’ve gotten in every year and hope this luck streak continues!

  7. Larkin
    February 20, 2013 at 11:40 am (8 years ago)

    Hi Beth- I definitely struggle mentally during long runs, usually with just doubting that I can finish it. It helps when I run with my lady runner friends and we take turns talking and saying god things. On one run over the summer while training for Marine Corps, we clapped every time the Garmin beeped a mile. I also sometimes use this silly mantra, “lactic acid, go away. Hot body here to stay!”

    Keep up the great work! I’m actually injured right now (broken foot from running) but love reading your posts and hope I’ll be back out on Mt. Vernon in the next 6 weeks. If you’re ever looking for a running group to join, let me know!

  8. Kristie Simpson
    February 20, 2013 at 1:45 pm (8 years ago)

    I’m addicted to avocado toast (or english muffins) right now! I’ve been eating it almost every day for weeks. Yummy.
    Thanks for the running inspiration… I haven’t done more than 3 miles in months. I need to get out there and log some miles!

  9. Jill
    February 20, 2013 at 6:55 pm (8 years ago)

    Mentally I am fantastic about running. Sadly when my IT band flares up the challenges I have are mostly physical.

  10. Rebecca
    February 20, 2013 at 7:21 pm (8 years ago)

    All my running problems are mental. Once I settle into a run I’m usually ok, but I have a hard time getting started and I get bored after about 30 minutes. I just signed up for my first 5k (Philly Color Run! Whoo!) so hopefully it gives me the push I need.

    • Beth
      February 21, 2013 at 11:59 am (8 years ago)


  11. Anne @ eatcleaneatreal
    February 20, 2013 at 7:28 pm (8 years ago)

    Awesome job on the run girl! Double digits is always a good feeling 🙂

    I have actually started having a little avocado with my pre-workout meal…it never upsets my stomach but keeps me from getting too hungry!

    • Beth
      February 21, 2013 at 10:39 am (8 years ago)

      I know you’re not supposed to eat a lot of fat before working out, but I’ve found that just a bit of avocado doesn’t have a bad effect on me. It’s kind of exciting because I love that combo so much!

    • Beth
      February 21, 2013 at 10:25 am (8 years ago)

      I have some like this for both breakfast and lunch today! lol

  12. brenda
    February 21, 2013 at 1:06 pm (8 years ago)

    You NEVER cease to amaze me!!! I have fallen off of the running wagon for a bit, but plan on going for a ‘family run’ this weekend to try to get fired up again. Prior to my little break, I had been running for quite some time and let me tell you, I have NEVER run 10 miles at the pace you’re running. I am so impressed and a little jealous! I also have several half marathons under my running belt, but still, I have yet to reach that level of speed for mileage! Go Beth!! PS. Yes, I have mental challenges all the time while running…many times I talk to myself about how one mile is not long and my goal is just that next mile. I also remind myself that there are so many people who cannot run and so I try to dedicate a mile those people, pushing me to complete that mile and the next and the next.

  13. Maria
    February 21, 2013 at 4:40 pm (8 years ago)

    Lately, EVERY run has been a hassle. I can only get myself through 1.5miles on the treadmill before quitting and moving on to the stair stepper. That’s awesome you are pushing through the mental blocks!


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