Motivational Monday: You’re Stronger Than You Think You Are

Hi everyone!  I hope you had an awesome weekend!  My weekend was pretty normal – lots of relaxing, a bit of shopping, and of course a long run!  Sunday’s run was 9 miles, and although I wasn’t scared about doing it like I have been about doing long runs in the past, I was kind of not feeling the idea of dedicating almost 2 hours to my run this weekend.  My legs and abs were still hurting from my Barre3 class on Friday (which I can’t WAIT to tell you about later this week!) and my husband asked if I could run less miles than I had planned.  Boy did I want to do that!  6  or 7 sounds so much shorter than 9!  Plus one of Andrew’s friends was coming over at 3:00 to watch football with us, so my husband wasn’t going to have enough time to come with me if I drove somewhere to run on a flat trail like I usually do.  But I knew I had to get this run done or I’d be kicking myself later, so I decided to run 9 miles around in a nearby neighborhood.  This is harder than it sounds because we live  only 3 miles from the Philadelphia border, and West Philly isn’t really a place I want to run alone.  So I decided to run in the opposite direction since many of my students live around there and I’m very familiar with the area.  It was so hilly!  Lots of little hills, but I felt like I was constantly running up and down.  It was also tough trying to avoid routes that would take me up big hills while still being able to get 9 miles done.  I definitely re-ran a few blocks just to make it happen, but I managed to get my run done with an average pace of 12:20 – 10 seconds faster than last week’s 8 miler!

20140119-204435.jpgYou can definitely tell when I stopped to refuel!  I walked for a few minutes while eating and then a bit afterwards to make sure my stomach was settled.

One big difference was the fact that I tried out Jelly Belly Sports Beans, which was my very first attempt at mid run fueling!  I got the fruit punch flavor, and while they had a slight vitamin taste I definitely didn’t mind the flavor.  I ate 4 beans 20 minutes before starting my run, and then ate 3 more at the halfway point of my run at 55:20.  After eating them at the halfway point I definitely had to take less of my tiny water/walk breaks, and although I still felt tired I could definitely tell a difference from how I usually feel.  And I am happy to report that there was no stomach issues!  I’ll definitely try those again, and try to fuel starting at 45 minutes.

20140119-211555.jpgThe little bag fit perfectly into my water bottle’s storage bag and was even resealable!

Now here’s the crazy part:  I felt tired only 1 mile into my run.  By 3 miles I was seriously struggling.  And then at 4.5 miles, when I could say “I’m halfway done!”, I felt a bit more energized!  Once I hit 6 miles I felt like I could push myself to go faster, and my pace definitely dropped.  There’s really no real reason for that, with the exception of the large downhill climb that I did in mile 6.  I realized as I was running that my mind was totally controlling how I felt during my run.  At 1 mile, I was still thinking about the hour and 38 minutes that I still had to run, which is not a good idea when you’re trying to stay focused and upbeat!  By mile 7 I was thinking “You can do anything for 2 more miles!” and that helped me speed up and keep going.  I’ve always known that how you feel mentally on a run is how you’ll feel physically, but it’s definitely eye opening to see the effects of that on a long run.


So here’s my motivation for your runs this week:  always think positive because you’re stronger than you think you are.  Sure, yesterday morning I had no idea if I could physically run 9 miles.  But I need to keep my thoughts positive, especially at the beginning of my run.  If I tell myself I can do it, there’s really nothing out there that could stop me (except maybe a bad stomach ache from fueling…sooooo glad that didn’t happen!).  When I ran 4.5 miles on Thursday at a faster pace than normal, I wasn’t very tired at the end and I was in a great mood.  But I was exhausted 4.5 miles into Sunday’s run!  I know it’s because I was viewing Thursday’s run as “short and fun” and yesterday’s run as “long and scary”.  That’s proof that I need to change the way I think about my runs.  I managed to get through 9 miles at a faster pace than last week’s long run, so I know I’m physically able to do it.  For my next run, I need to remember what I’m capable of and not let my mind slow me down or even try to stop me.  So if you’ve got a hard workout coming up this week, make sure to have a positive outlook on how it’s going to go!  Hopefully this will help me get through 10 (!) miles next weekend!


How do you get through long runs?  How do you stay positive when you’ve got miles to go?  And for all my Disney Princesses out there, how did you long run go this weekend?

15 thoughts on “Motivational Monday: You’re Stronger Than You Think You Are

  1. I’ve seen a lot of people posting about these sport beans. Good to know there were no stomach issues, that’s always a risky move trying something new! I love the last quote, because it’s so true. I also agree with the “whether you think you can….” and lately I’ve been so full of self doubt and negative talk, it’s spot on. Time to clean that up!

    1. I’m the same way so don’t worry! Running is so mentally tough! And yeah, I was happy about the Sport Beans working out! Obviously everyone is different, but I think they’re worth a try!

  2. Awesome run! As far as fueling goes, definitely fuel BEFORE you start to feel tired since it’ll take a bit of time for the fuel to kick in. I generally take my first shot block around mile 4 then every two miles after that and I never feel tired regardless of run length.

    1. Yeah, my plan was to start at 45 minutes into my run but then I chickened out. I just really wanted to finish that run! Now that I know I’m not going to have stomach issues I’ll definitely start fueling earlier!

  3. You did such a great job!! Congrats! Part of it also is that your body is getting used to running longer distances now so it may take a little bit longer to warm up. I usually don’t start feeling really good until about mid-way through my long runs now. It definitely makes the odd 5K I sign up for a little more challenging haha.

    I want to try those sport beans! I love jelly beans. 🙂

    1. Oh that’s good to know! I never really thought about that, but my body is definitely tired with all the extra work so it makes sense. I have a 5k on February 8th so we’ll see how that goes now!

  4. I am LOVING that last quote! Thanks for the motivation (and linking up with Motivate Me Monday!)…that’s a reminder that I definitely need to keep in mind. Our minds really are SO powerful! Anyway, great job on your long run!!!

    1. Thanks! Yeah these quotes made me really excited to try to be more positive on my upcoming runs. It’s so hard sometimes, especially when it’s my first time running that far!

  5. Long runs can definitely mess with your head! I get through mine by running with friends and breaking it up into chunks. I definitely feel energized when I get halfway. I think I might have to give the jelly beans a try!

    1. I wish I had friends who wanted to run 9 miles with me! I need more running friends haha. And I definitely tried to break up my run in my head. at 3 miles I said I was 1/3 of the way done which sadly didn’t help me cheer up haha.

      1. I plan out when I am going to fuel, and just think only one more mile til a snack! haha!

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