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? 


  1. Marathon training will definitely get you weather obsessed! Hope you’re holding up with the crazy cold that’s coming. I feel like as long as I can get long runs done outside, one or two on the treadmill during the week is okay.

  2. Sorry about that knee–it could be anything, from a little bit of a leftover pain from the day before to how you slept on it last night. How is it feeling today? Some warm up lunges and sumo squats might help as well–it could just be tightness in the ITB and musculature. Don’t worry yet!
    And I dream of temps like that. I’m in Chicago. YEAH. Training for a marathon at the end of Feb.

  3. I’m eager to follow your training journey! I’m sort of jealous of those warm temps you have had. We are in the negatives today (Chicago). I bought a balaclava last night from our local running store. Can’t wait to try it out!

  4. I need to make oatmeal in the crock pot- what a great idea for this new mom who is short on time! I’m looking into a 5k, no long runs just yet.

  5. my right foot arch has been feeling off since i started running in my new shoes– saucony something. it’s kinda weird =/ i’m not sure if my strike is off or these shoes just aren’t good for my foot… had no issues with my last pair of mizunos. anyway, today is another short run!

  6. I get bum knees as well. One thing I think has helped a ton is get a resistance band and put right above your knees and do some monster walks. Side to side walks with small squat. I don’t even know if I’m explaining this good. Our box has some bands made specifically for this movement. I’m sure you could use the typical bands you see at a Crossfit gym just wrap it twice.

    Good luck!!! You inspire me to run more!!! I can’t do it now being in the Midwest it’s just too too cold.

  7. Great job to the start of your Marathon training…unfortunately it is so cold. It is a great idea, as an at home working mom, to put Quinn in daycare a couple days a week. It is difficult to work at home and care for a little guy at the same time.

  8. My knee has been bumming lately too! I DO have a history of knee trouble though (it’s had 2 surgeries on it) but hasn’t bothered me in a really long time. For me I think it’s usually been if I’m stuck in the same position too long mixed with running more lately than I had for awhile so maybe not letting my body get used to that whole running thing again?! (Plus more hills than usual?)

  9. I am training for my first half in the spring…so I too am weather obsessed. I ran last night because tonight it is supposed 9° by the time I get off work. Burr!!!

  10. I laughed out loud at your “busy eating cookies” comment. That was me too 🙂 But unfortunately all good things (and cookies) come to an end, so its back to eating right and working out too!

  11. Sorry to hear about the knee.Iam training for a marathon too and I had similar pain though it went away after some initial runs. What also helped was wearing knee suport while running and some heat compress after the run
    Hope your knee gets better

  12. Cold run for you this morning!! Good job completing your first long run of your training :). I’m not currently training for a spring marathon but I completed one in the fall and had to take most of two weeks off in the middle of my training! Rest up and I bet you’ll be feeling better soon!

  13. Have you used Kinesio tape before? Helps with inflammation, you can you tube how to cut and apply it based on your specific area of concern. I had some tendon issue and some swelling a while back and that helped me a lot!

  14. I’m training for the Rock & Roll DC full in March, and I am also obsessed with the weather! To the point where my mom is probably getting annoyed. I do my best to plan my long runs on the warmest days, but I work a regular 8-5 and I’m a slower runner so I have to just fit it in when I can. Love that jacket, though! I got a great one from Target a few years ago…obsessed still. Good luck!! Run happy!

  15. I’m training for the Phoenix marathon at the end of February. It’s been really tough running in single digit weather. I have to do all my runs before I head to work in the mornings, it’s rough! I was going to suggest the pain may be shoe related. I’m having a similar issue and I know it’s because my shoes need replacing. Good luck!

  16. I am starting my training for a marathon in May, and am having all sorts of issues…:( Mainly achilles, knee and IT band pain. Nothing super bad, but all I can get in is 3-4 miles, ugh. Feeling discouraged.

    Hoping your pain subsides quickly!!

  17. Try some KT Tape for your knee while you try to figure it out…Knee pain can be anything — sometimes it’s all about the running shoe (needing a new pair/right fitting pair) and sometimes it’s not even the knee – it’s the hip or another part of the leg which needs strengthening. Hope it feels better soon.

  18. I had similar out-of-the-blue knee pain halfway through training for my first marathon. It turned out to be caused by a tight IT band. After a few weeks off of running and physical therapy it got better and I was able to get back to running. But if I didn’t stretch enough after a long run the pain would come back. Maybe try some of the stretches recommended for IT band problems and see if that helps? I’m sure you can find a demo online somewhere. Hope it gets better!

  19. I was having random knee pain out of nowhere as well! Foam rolling my IT band like it’s my job helped it so much – I don’t have any pain anymore, but I have to keep up with it, even if I do a short run. Good luck!

  20. I have the same socks. Love ProCompression. Good luck with your training and your knee. Does your jacket have reflective panels?

  21. Sending well wishes your way for that knee! I am training for my first spring marathon and it is a battle of mental and physical toughness. Some long runs are awesome and I feel like the Pink Power Ranger, some runs suck and my legs feel like cement logs…those are the ones I use to build mental toughness.

    Excited to read about your training journey!!

  22. Have you checked with your Dr about taking NSAIDS such as ibuprofen? Usually those are prohibited and a big no-no for people with UC. Just curious!

  23. I’m thinking about doing a half marathon this Spring, but I’m not sure how to get the training runs in! Our high today is -5, and the current windchill is -31. MN is ridiculous.

    I hope the knee pain goes away! Could it be related to a tight IT band? Ugh. Knee pain is no fun. Good luck with your training!!

  24. Sorry to hear about the knee pain! Definitely hope that goes away quickly for you. That running jacket looks awesome. I need a good running jacket. Love that it has the face mask built in. That’s so perfect.

  25. I am training for the NJ marathon in April. I was also having some left knee discomfort on my long run last Saturday. Luckily enough, the next time I went out, on Monday, all was good. Of course I only did 4 on Monday so I guess this saturday will be the true test. I read an article in January runners world and it had some warm up exercises pre-run exercises that they called “winter-prep” that I plan on doing moving forward. The article says that your ligaments and joints are more vulnerable when steeping out into the cold b/c they are less elastic. It says you are more prone to injury then. Here is the link to the video with ther exercises.

    Hope this helps.

  26. the jacket looks awesome, and im very intrigued by the built-in face mask b/c my face always gets cold but i don’t want a separate thing in addition to a hat. i clicked on the link but don’t see the face mask part. do you mind explaining?

  27. Try a chiropractor for your knee. I know it sounds goofy. My chiropractor was able to help relieve my minor shin splints after 3 years of taking it easy and nothing else working… But during my last half in Aug I was having lower back pain and knee pain, so I’d go every 2 weeks or weekly to get adjusted. It really made a huge difference in my performance!

    Also recommend doing crossfit or yoga to cross-train!

  28. Oh bummer, knee pain is the worst when it comes to training for a race! I haven’t dealt with much, but both Scott and a close friend of mine have while training with me. She purchased a knee strap at the EXPO the day before the raced and said it helped a little!

  29. I ran my last marathon in the same shoes! Not only am I obsessed with just looking at them everyday, I also love the way they feel. Good luck and enjoy the new shoe obsession!

  30. I’m starting my training for the NJ Marathon tomorrow. I’ve been giving myself some time to rest my knee. I started having knee pain out of the blue in early October. It never sidelined me just slowed me down and freaked me out. Usually a day or two of icing and refraining from running and i was ok again. I just took 16 days off from pretty much all physical activity except walking and then knee still has aching here and there. I am pretty sure it’s not a full blown injury but rather muscle imbalance issues causing the knee cap to be off a bit. I had tendonitis in my ankle for months prior to the knee thing and I think it’s sort of compensatory. So I started doing lots of knee strengthening exercises and I’m hoping this will help. Strenthening my hips, hamstrings and quads like a wild woman =) Good luck with your knee. Maybe see if you can focus a little on some muscle strengthening around the knee. And be careful with cross fit. Lunges and squats can aggravate it if it’s off track a bit.

  31. My training for a March marathon is going well, but I am not getting enough rest, so I need to scale back a bit. I just hate not working out when I have time, so it is hard to slow down.

    I get random pains once in a while and they usually go away, but I would see how it feels later this week.

    I am supposed to run tomorrow in 10 degree weather! Week!

  32. I made Berry Apple baked oatmeal last weekend when it was really cold here and it was divine! As far as the knee, acupuncture, strength training and KT tape. I swear that is wonder tape. It helps control pain. But if it contained is definitely have it checked out.

  33. I’m so sorry to hear about your knee! Women + knees + long distances are often no bueno 🙁 happened to me when I ran my marathon last month too. Post run, I would hop on the stationary bike to ride out a little. Then get in the pool and do some easy “bicycle legs” with a noodle around my waist. Then ice. I found the pool to be very helpful. I also drank lots of coconut water and did shots of tumeric to help with the inflammation. Just listen to your body and you will be fine. I skipped both my 18 and 20 mile run prior to my marathon because my knee wasn’t feeling right. I was still fine and finished the race strong! You are super experienced, smart, strong and you’ll totally rock it 🙂

  34. My first run after my brief hiatus (for my spring half) sounded alot like yours. Legs were heavy during my run and a new, weird ache appeared afterwards-side of my hip/upper glute. Really weird for me as my problem areas tend to be more of my shins than glutes/hips. Rolled mine out a few times, popped some ibuprofen and it feels better today. Putting in another run tonight and hoping for a better outcome.

  35. What an awesome idea to serve steel-cut oats in a little ramekin! I’m going to suggest that for my clients who want help with portion control. Thanks for the inspiration : )

  36. do some single leg exercises. usually it’s a hip/glute weakness that manifests in the lower part of your leg. can you do some single leg squats, deadlifts and bridges 3x week? those should help keep you injury free!

  37. good for you for your run. My new strategy is not to look at the weather before I go swimming. I can’t run anymore because I have nerve damage in my feet so I swam laps. Even though I live in California, I swim outside and it’s still kind of hard to go in the winter, especially in the morning. So I have stopped looking at the weather and just plan on going either way. Seems to help.

  38. I didn’t see if anyone added this, but your knee problem could be IT band related. I know when I add more mileage, my IT bands start acting crazy. Then my knees start bothering me, and squatting becomes a problem. Usually that’s the side of my knee, not the top though. Also, could be psoas related!

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