20130408-105311.jpg It’s entirely possible my legs won’t function tomorrow, but right now I’m feeling pretty good because I just got back from an 8 mile run. (!!!!!!! WOO!)  This is the longest I’ve gone to date and I’ve really been slacking with the Broad Street Run training.  So much, in fact, that I’ve really been starting to doubt my ability to do it at all.  With only a few weeks away ’til the big race, things haven’t been going as planned.

How come? It’s been a combo of things.  First, I ran with some friends two weeks ago – 10k (6.2 mi) – and pretty much died.  It was cold, I started out too fast for me, but in the end I had to walk a good chunk of it home and it left me wondering if I could really go the distance. Even walking in the end hurt and I remember thinking, OMG, if I can’t even walk, how am I going to cross a finish line at 10 miles?

It’s just been bitterly cold in Philly and I have a pretty severe case of Raynaud’s Disease.  Besides the whole, my hands are totally white and I can’t feel a thing, I also just don’t do well in the cold.  I really think it affects my lungs and breathing or something when it’s under 40.

So because of that, I’ve either been having cold, lame runs outside or going inside to the indoor track where 12 loops is a mile.  That’s a heck of a lot of loops, people.

I planned ahead for today.  I waited for Monday because the forecast sounded perfect – low of 50, high of 75.  I ate carbs last night & drank plenty of fluids throughout the day yesterday.

Things that are key to a successful long run:

Diet.  I really think what you eat can make or break you.

Sleep.  I made sure to get a decent night’s sleep.

Pace Yourself!  I’m weirdly obsessed with telling myself I can do it when I’m running.  It’s like my running Mantra.  “Yes, you can.”  Goes through my head a weird OCD amount of times while I’m running – especially when I’m having a tough portion of my run.  Today I had a different chant.  “Slow down, Whitney.”  I had to FORCE myself to slow my pace down a ton the first two miles. I really believe slowing down in the beginning is one of the biggest keys for me to going the full race.  I think going slowly helps me warm up – helps me stretch – and gives me the confidence to keep going. Plus it’s an easy start and feels nice!

It’s All About You.  And Only You.  I have to tell myself not to care about my time in regards to anyone BUT myself.  Not my neighbor, not the dude in front of me on the trail, not what Jane Doe in California said she ran her 8 miles in on Twitter today.  Because there are so many factors that going into running that are so individual to only yourself and I have to remember that.  Go easy on myself.  Compare my runs only to myself.  I’m slow – so what.  Did I do as well as I did last time, or improve my time at all from last time?  That’s the more important comparison.

Have fun.  Today, while I ran, I took the time to remember why I’m running.  I like running!  Or I did before I started training? Why am I hating it now?  I’m hating it because I feel obligated; I’m hating it because I had a few bad runs and I’m panicked about this race.  But really, I took the time today to check out the streams, enjoy the scenery, smile and say hello to fellow runners.  I was all, F this crazy naysaying Whitney.  If I have to stop, I stop today. And you know what?  I didn’t stop.  I took the pressure off myself and tried to have fun.

Let’s hope I remember that the next time but I’m feeling pretty good about it all for now.  Plus, I ran 8 miles.  Booyah!


  1. You ROCK! I ran 6 on Saturday and was THINKING wow…I need to get a longer run in real soon. YOU DID IT! WOO HOO

  2. Wow- giant kudos to you Whitney. You accomplished your goal in your run today for all the right reasons: a win-win in my book. Your ‘grasshopper’ advice to self certainly paid off today : “run , simply for the joy of running , and that is your success”.

  3. Don’t understand stretch mark’s comment…did I miss something? I loved Whitney’s write up. The simple joy of doing something is so very important in any endeavor.

  4. Booyah!

    One tip for the longer runs – If you struggle with slowing down (I think the pace needs to be at least a minute slower than normal pace), walk for a little during each mile. I tried this with an 8 mile run in January, and recovered so much better. The previous week’s 7 mile run had a longer recovery time because I didn’t take walking breaks.

    It’s okay to take a walking break. It really is. We don’t have the years of pacing ourselves that elite runners have. We have to think about it more.

    You’re going to rock the Broad Street. I hear it’s a fast course – flat and downhill.

    • Thanks for the tip Barb! You know I REALLY have a hard time with walking – both mentally and physically. Mentally it’s this whole, “well I walked so it doesn’t count” thing which I KNOW is silly but still feel. Physically I’m not good at starting back up when I walk. Like if I walk, I think my body thinks, “oh good, she’s done,” and then starting up again is a big beyotch. I do know that it would probably be so much better if I did though & should learn to get better at it.

      A minute slower is crazy but you know I know it’s right. I just got a GPS watch (need to do a review) that tells me what my pace is constantly so that is helping tons b/c I can check in on myself much more now.

  5. I jsut walked in the house after a 1 mile brisk walk. It felt good but my arches hurt. I haven’t walked or run since September so I have to “learn” all over again. You’ll be fine for Broad Street. Keep up the training!

  6. I wish I could be a runner 🙁 I was in a car accident 10 years ago and was told never to run again. Biking is nice, but I do miss a good run!

    • Carrie – aww that’s a shame. But biking is great too – I love my Cycle class. I sometimes think I get a better workout at that actually!

  7. Way to go Whitney! You are such an inspiration. I can’t wait to join you for another race. I’ll work up to that distance before long 🙂

  8. Sounds like you are making progress towards Broad Street. We’ve got great weather for runs this week!

  9. Nice job Whitney! The power of being able to talk yourself through a run is amazing! You are going to be SO ready for Broad Street…especially now that this weather just draws you outside to run. I went this morning and now I want to go again tonight:)

    • Thanks Lauryn! I know – me too! I went for 3 today and was just loving life. This weather makes all the difference, it’s really incredible.

  10. OMG! I love your redesign! And good for you to sticking it out with your running through the winter. I can’t wait to hear about Broad Street.

  11. You are AWESOME, and I am completely in awe. As someone with bad knees, I’ve always been so envious of runners. They just make it look so effortless to up and jog a mile. You’re inspirational. 🙂

  12. Good for you, Whitney! I’m a wanna-be runner who tries but I just stink at it. Oh and I have Raynaud’s too.

  13. I think runners are amazing. Good for you. Love your goals. i hope the Broad street run goes well for you. Congratulations on getting accepted into it : ).

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