First Marathon Training Long Run

Good morning, friends!

I did my first long run of my marathon training on Monday morning, so now I want to tell you guys all about it!

Pre-run eats: Steel cut oats (made in the crockpot <— super easy), eggs, and cantaloupe.

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Weather: Ever since I committed to running this marathon, I’ve been obsessed with the weather. I’m not a fan of winter or being cold, so I often check the weather multiple times a day to plan my long runs around when it will be the warmest. For instance, we’re getting some “dangerous” arctic air later this week (ooooh, sounds so scary), so my usual long run was moved to Monday instead of Thursday (or Saturday). I also try to run in the late morning/early afternoon since it’s typically the warmest part of the day, but Monday’s weather was a little wacky. It actually got colder, windier, and even started to snow as the day progressed, so, as soon as I dropped Quinn off at daycare, I headed right out to get my run in before it got any nastier outside.

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Gear: Mal bought me a new running jacket for Christmas and he was sooooo excited for me to wear it, so I just had to blog about it. (He seriously asked me like 5 times when I was going to wear it. Haha!) Once again, he did a lot of research on the best cold weather running gear and then got an enthusiastic recommendation from a local running store employee (who happens to be a blogger running Boston too), so I was even more pumped about trying this jacket.

Verdict: I LOVE IT! Obviously, I love the color and the way it looks, but it also has some really amazing features, including a built-in face mask, hand-warming thumbhole cuffs, big pockets with zippers (I just threw my iPhone and keys inside – no need for my Spibelt), and it’s lightly insulated and waterproof, so it’ll be perfect for wet, snowy days. Lovvveee it!

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The run itself went okay. I took off two weeks from running around the holidays (I was busy eating cookies), so my legs were tired and heavy, and I just felt sluggish overall. I also started to feel some pain on the top of my left knee, which is a totally new issue. I didn’t have a single ache or pain during my pre-training weeks (and I consistently beat myself up at CrossFit and KFIT), so this knee thing really came out of nowhere, and I’m hoping it goes away ASAP. Maybe my body just needs to get back into the swing of things? Maybe I shouldn’t have taken 2 weeks off? I also haven’t had a massage in awhile, and I just ordered a new pair of sneakers that have a bit more support in them, so maybe those things will help? Blah. Knee pain GO AWAY!

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I stopped a few times to stretch my quad and hip on the left side, but the pain continued for almost the entire second half of my run. Boo. Even still, I managed to run all 75 minutes, which was my goal for my first long run.

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Post-run eats: Protein smoothie made with Stonyfield Greek and Chia Blood Orange, SFH vanilla Recovery protein powder, almond milk, and a banana.

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I made my smoothie as soon as I got home from my run and drank it while icing my knee. I also took some Ibuprofen to help with any sort of inflammation. Hopefully, I can nip this thing in the bud before it gets any worse!

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Questions of the Day

Anyone else training for a spring marathon? How’s it going? Any advice for a bum knee? 

100 Comments

  1. Hi Tina! Great job on the run! I’m a PT, and my advice for your knee (without any sort of evaluation of course to know what really’s going on) is to use a foam roller or tiger tail before and after your runs, particularly on your IT band, but also hamstrings, gluts, etc. Good luck!

  2. I’m running the Vancouver marathon in May but I’ve been running all winter. I’m in Seattle so our weather is a bit easier on us here (except rain, rain and more rain). I have a running partner which makes the long runs go a lot faster and we’ve already done a couple of 18 milers so I’m hoping we are in good shape to cover the distance. I’ve done 12 or 13 marathons but the last one was NYC in 2011 so it’s been a while. You’re so lucky to have the flexibility you do! With my job and commute (and 3 kids!), I’m gone from 6:30 every morning (5 am if I workout) until 7 pm every night. My long runs HAVE to happen early on Saturday or Sunday and they get scheduled around the kids’ stuff, not the weather. I’ll be reading along as you train and run Boston- that was my dream race for so many years. I just couldn’t quite make the cutoff time and gave up when I got sick in 2012. I’m back to running now but I’m slow and no where near qualifying. So, I will be living vicariously through you! 🙂
    PS – I think you and I met and ran together in Chicago at BlogHer in 2008. A million years ago. If I’m right, it was you, Kath and Kristin and I who ran early in the morning and then you and I went in search of coffee. I only slept about 75 minutes the night before so I could have you mixed up with someone else!

  3. I am starting marathon training in Feb (my first one! Yikes). I followed you and Mal through your first marathon training with TNT and have since been really involved with Team in Training. Can’t wait to get out with my new jogging stroller and baby! I am waiting for it to get a little lighter in the evenings before I get too into it…everything has changed now that I have a baby. Congrats on all of your accomplishments so far! I hope the knee pain goes away!

  4. Great job on your long run! I also just started training for Boston, and have to agree, I’ve never been as obsessed with the weather as I am now. I check it multiple times per day to see when the best time to run will be.

    When I was training for my last half, I started to get a weird pain in my knee. I invested in a good foam roller, and rolled out my IT band, and got a pair of insoles to put in my sneakers. After a week or two my knee pain was gone!

  5. Yuck-sorry about the knee! My best advice is to lay off of impact activities for a day or two (which I’m sure you already figured out). I’ve found as I’ve gotten older (all 31 years) that I can’t do as much high impact stuff without my knees letting me know about it. So I limit squat jumps and the like to once a week and be sure not to do anything insane the day before and after doing it.
    I seriously cannot believe the weather. Polar Vortex part II? They’re cancelling some schools around me! Stay warm!

  6. I agree with the comments that IT band stretching helps, also quad mashing (so painful!) with a barbell or something hard on the upper part of the quad. I also used to use KT tape on the knee that gave me pain before a long run and it definitely helped. Good luck!!!

  7. I hope the knee pain goes away 🙁 I hurt my knee a couple of years back and had to take 6 weeks off from running. I had some loose cartilage in my knee that was rubbing against my knee cap. It was bad! I hope your knee issue is far less painful and only temporary!! Good luck 🙂

  8. I just moved back to Florida after living in Boston for 2 years, and I am just laughing because I, too, was totally obsessed with weather during the winters. I was pregnant the same time you were last year and forced myself out in the cold daily to exercise or walk to the gym. It was 55 this morning and I was freezing–go figure.

  9. Cute jacket! That sounds like a totally great jacket for long runs & such outside. Nice job on the long run! I’ve not run that many miles in like 2 years now, haha.

    I also agree with many–try foam rolling the IT band and quads/hamstrings. I’d also say to work on strengthening the side glutes too, as any kind of weakness there can cause knee issues in runners. Just a thought! Good luck 🙂

  10. Very cute jacket! So far this winter the coldest climate temp I’ve ran in was 35 degrees F. The problem with me is that two minutes into any run I do I start sweating profusely and trying to take off layers. Sorry to hear about your knee, hope it gets better!

  11. Ice? I think you would know better than I! Love the running jacket! It would not stand up in our current icy situation (18 degrees at the highest this week- and that’s pretty balmy from where we came from last week) but I love a new running coat!

    xoxo, Laura

  12. After taking a running break, I often feel sluggish, but that changes once I get back in the habit of running. I’m looking forward to running a marathon at the end of February. Hope that knee pain goes away!

  13. Hi hi- Knee pain was super tough for me with my last half marathon training! Get a really good roller. You might want to get on that is a nice color or there is something nice about it- because rolling is NOT a good time. However- it totally helped with my IT band and knee pain. As much as i disliked doing it- it really made (and continues) to make all the difference in the world. Enjoy! 🙂

  14. I’m thinking about running the Brooklyn Half Marathon this year (I’ve run the Houston Full and the Austin Half before), but I’m scared/hesitant about training in the northeast. It’s so cold here!! I have a decent jacket, but what about my face and my legs??

    Your built in face mask sounds amazing haha

  15. Tina-

    My name is Kassandra- I actually sold Mal the running jacket a few weeks back. I am so happy to hear that you love it! I actually was somewhat starstruck when Mal came in the store that I fumbled over my words like a goon- ha.

    I can’t wait to follow your training for Boston!! Also- way to keep at it during your long run this week! Nice work! Knee pain can be well- painful- so take care of yourself (rest, ice, elevate, stretch- you know what to do!!) and you’ll be on your way!! Keep us posted on the knee.

    Never Stop Running 😉
    -Kass/The Lone Runner

  16. Knee pain during a run for me is an indicator that I need new shoes. Especially if the knee doesn’t hurt you doing other activities like CrossFit. Not sure how long you’ve been running in your current shoes or if you use them for other activities but I’ve come to realize that as much as I hate spending the money it’s worth it to run pain free. Also, if it persists with new shoes I’d think about going to a reputable running store and having them help you with whether you’re using the right kind of shoe (stability vs. more/less cushioning, etc). Now that you’re doing longer runs issues may crop up if you’re in the wrong type of shoe for your running style/gait. Good luck!

  17. Could be it band as others have stated. Stretch, anti inflammatory, ice. If pain continues would see local sports med doc, physical therapy. Always happens during the large marathons as people increase running load

  18. A friend and I are running the Zooma half at the end of May in Annapolis, MD. Official training hasn’t started yet but I have been I’ve been making sure to get out there and run and do more weight training. Though I’m not running in any weather colder than 34 degrees. Busted treadmills will suit just fine.

  19. I am running Boston too! And, I am local to the area so I can totally sympathize with this SUPER cold weather running. It’s driven me to run inside on the treadmill, which I hate, but I have found doing a hill workout makes it easier to get through since it’s changing things up a bit. I have an IT band issue so I try and do exercises and tiger tail rolling after my longer runs. I am doing the hal higdon training plan and so far it’s going pretty well. Good luck with your training too! 🙂

  20. Good luck with training 🙂 That jacket is SUPER cute!! 🙂 I’m planning on training for a half marathon starting soon, but I am also “afraid” of running in the elements (although I have done it before…) I just don’t prefer it!

  21. I can relate to the sudden pain on the knee and how frustrating it is if it was a sudden issue.

    After my first half marathon of the season I took a week off and then during an easy shake out run I had the worst pain in the outside of my left knee, totally out of the blue. I haven’t run since then(this was Halloween).

    Fast forward 6 weeks of physical therapy and I’m still not good to run but I did learn some good tips. You may try strengthening and learning to engage your glute muscles(doing clams, balancing on one leg with your knee slightly bent, doing side and diagonal steps with a resistance band around your ankles). I know you work out a lot and I’m not trying to sound judgey but my PT says that sometimes we don’t use those muscles a whole lot in our day to day lives so they become really week, causing your hamstrings to overcompensate and then boom(!) knee pain.

  22. I’m training for my first ever marathon. It’s kind of terrifying but mostly really exciting. I’m amazed that I’ve already been able to run 17 miles… Like 4 years ago, I could barely run a mile without stopping.

  23. Hi Tina!

    I have had a lot of issues with top-of-the-knee pain myself, and my physical therapist had me do a ton of foam rolling on the main quad muscle and the IT band, which helped a lot because those muscles support the knee. Just thought I would share in case rolling on those muscles could help you, too!

  24. Hi, I am so excited for you to run Boston. I have never run Boston but have run NYC a few times. This winter has definitely been the colder than the past few years. I am (or rather) should be starting to train for the NYC half and am in need of a running winter jacket. I love the nike one you got. Once I read this on your blog I read the reviews on the nike site, which are great, but people say it keeps them so warm that some are having difficulty figuring out what to wear under it in terms of layering and it seems like all you need is a t-shirt. Is that what you realized? I am worried running long distances in it I may get too warm too quickly, but what I have been doing with multiple layers is definitely not working. Thanks for your input and best of luck with your training…so fun!

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