WOW I Have A Lot to Learn About Fueling My Long Runs

This morning I was supposed to complete Half Marathon Training Week 7 and tell you all about how I am now more than halfway to my goal.

That’s not going to happen because I only ran 5.5 miles this morning (along the beach):

5.5 mile run along the beach

Some things I learned during today’s run:

  • Successfully running 6 miles one time does not mean I can run 7 miles
  • Running 6 miles in 65 degree weather is not the same as running any miles in 80 degree weather
  • Running 6 miles in the shade is not the same as running any miles under the south Florida sun
  • A 12oz bottle of water is not enough when I’m sweating it out under the hot sun for 5+ miles
  • Getting hungry around the 4.5 mile area is not a fluke – it has now happened on every one of my runs longer than 4 miles
  • I need to find a good on-the-run snack to help me get past 4.5 miles (I don’t like GU)
  • Sometimes digging deep means digging just deep enough to get your dehydrated butt home

Sometimes I forget that I’m really still at the beginning of my running journey.

I’ve been at it for a while now but I still have a lot to learn about fueling my body for long distances and how to adjust my pace for different temperatures.

About half a mile away from home I really wondered if I was going to make it today. I was so dehydrated that I could barely get my ring off my finger because it was so swollen. I tend to use The Ring Test as a hydration gauge even though it’s a thing I made up.

Once I got home I downed a glass of water and thought a lot about how I will hydrate for my next attempt at 7 miles.

I’m still thinking about it …. if you have any tips or advice PLEASE leave a comment below. I would really, really appreciate it!

I would especially love to hear what you bring on your run as fuel other than gels like GU.


  1. nickic61
    May 11, 2013 / 2:23 pm

    Try raisins or dates as a fuel.

    • May 11, 2013 / 10:42 pm

      Thank you! 🙂

  2. Ali Kearney
    May 11, 2013 / 3:28 pm

    It’s crazy how heat can affect a run! Dried fruits can cause bowel issues while running; candies like gummy bears and jolly ranchers are good on a run, or caffeinated chews made for runners. Do you eat pre-run? Any run over 4 miles (for me) necessitates half a protein bar beforehand.

    • May 11, 2013 / 10:41 pm

      Pre-run I usually have half a bagel with a little cream cheese or pb. I’m thinking about upping that to a full bagel to help with the hunger/energy issues.

      Jolly ranchers sound like a great idea though – and I have been thinking about gummy bears! Thanks for the suggestions! 🙂

  3. May 14, 2013 / 6:04 pm

    Kristina, Read this: I cover running in the heat and tough runs in general. I eat/drink a little something every 45-60 mins when I’m running long. For fueling, read this: If you don’t like gels, try Clif Shot Blocks or Jelly Belly Sport Beans. I’ve used them both. They’re tasty and work the same way as gels. Hope that helps! You’re learn what works for you. It’ll just take some trial and error.

    • May 14, 2013 / 9:09 pm

      Thank you so much, Karla! Your post on running in the heat just so perfectly sums up my experience on Saturday morning.

      I was running a brand new route that day too and I think part of that messed with me mentally. I have driven the route many times, but while running it I had a tough time determining how much time was left to until I reached certain land marks – some of which took a lot more time than I had anticipated.

      None of that should *really* matter since my GPS watch constantly told me what distance I had covered, but mentally I think it did make a difference.

      Thanks for the food recommendations too! Appreciate it 🙂

      • May 19, 2013 / 3:32 pm

        Of course! Every runner goes through all this stuff. I know I did (and still do)!