Every race I have trained for has taught me something new about myself. How I approach training, how I think about the race, how I react after – there’s a lot of self-knowledge to be gained in running long distances. Some of it’s profound, some of it’s not at all. The most important thing I learned when training for my first half was that distance running is as much mental as physical – your attitude and mindset have a huge impact on your runs. It was an amazing thing to learn.

The next two races taught me that running isn’t enough – I needed to strengthen my body as well.

I completed 17 miles this weekend and will hit 20 miles by the end of the month, so it’s a good time to reflect on what I’m learning this training cycle.

  1. Capris are the best pants to wear for sure. No thigh chafing!
  2. However, in this heat, the tightness of the compression capris I wear are causing chafing in other, more embarrassing places. So I have a special tube of BodyGlide just for that part.
  3. Back closing bras are just not good for a run longer than a half-marathon. More chafing. So I picked up the Brooks Infiniti Bra for C/D cups and am just loving it. No chafing, even though I was soaked by the time I finished Sunday’s run.
  4. Even though I find it in credibly frustrating to run in this heat, I’m getting better at it. I’m starting to find the Zen in SFTD – slowing the fuck down. Walking isn’t a sign of defeat; it’s just how I am making sure I get the miles in until the weather cools off a bit.
  5. I used to think that having a mantra was kind of silly, but I’m finding it really helpful during this training cycle. The mantra that works? “Just put in the work.” During my first half-marathon training cycle, whenever I got nervous about the race, I would just remind myself that I had put in the work and would succeed because of that. It definitely got me through those nervous nights!
  6. Changing things up definitely makes life harder. I’ve been training consistently with a handheld water bottle or a Nathan hydration pack. Going out without water is a recipe for trouble, mostly because I have become accustomed to having it at the ready.
  7. Drinking more than one beer or glass of wine before a run, even a 4-miler, is becoming a problem. I’m considering cutting out alcohol entirely for…a while. Maybe until the race. I’m still pondering that.
  8. I overthink things sometimes (this is not new). I just need to get my ass up and going and think later.
  9. I still hate mornings and probably always will. But if I go to bed early enough, it’s not really so terrible.
  10. I can do this. I’m learning that every week. Even when I think I can’t, even when I don’t really want to, I’m learning that I can do whatever I set my mind to it.
  11. Bonus thing: salt is your friend, especially when it’s hot. If I don’t take enough salt in through Nuun tabs, Gatorade, and Gu, I end up mainlining potato chips and fries. So, more salt.



  1. Pattie says:

    Sounds like your head is in the right place! I just finished a 17-miler last weekend, too. What marathon are you training for?
    Pattie recently posted..The longest solo run to date

    1. meg says:

      I am trying to keep my head on straight. It’s tough and training has been frustrating, but there is no point in letting it get to me.

      I’m going to be running Marine Corps in October.