My Placebo Effect: Coffee, Caffeine and 17 miles!

The mystery of the long run has been really bogging me down. I couldn’t concentrate and was actually pretty mean to my roommates. (Sorry Maggie and Erin)

After talking to my coach before my 17 mile run on Saturday, I was about to give up on actually running the full race. This is something that I do NOT want to do. Luckily, Susan told me to take a deep breath, and we started brainstorming.

The brainstorming was a compilation of my daily diet and then what I was currently eating DURING my long runs.


1- I don’t like the gels, they remind me of yogurt

2- The chews taste like gummy lifesavers

3- Eating chocolate sounded so odd to me.

4- I don’t drink coffee before my long runs

What she summarized:

1- Eat more because I was depleted by mile 13.

2- Eating chocolate is awesome, just try it.

3- Drink the coffee. Your body loves caffeine, don’t deprive it!

So Saturday came around and I was ready. Ready to get it over with 🙂 and ready to try out my new plan. Breakfast was an Ensure and a banana with a delicious cup of Starbucks Coffee in my Keurig. At mile 7 (and a cool 71 degrees outside), I ate a half of a power bar and drank some water with a caffeine supplement. As I reached mile 14, I still felt really good! I called Maggie who handed me my pretzels and I was off for another 3 miles.

I finished 17 miles with two stops for food (and water).

I finally did it.

Here’s what I learned:

1- There are only .25% of people in the US who actually complete a marathon. (For some perspective)

2- Planning is key. Your body cannot go more than the amount of calories you have in you. With marathon training, you MUST remember this. You are going to HAVE to eat. Additionally, changing some of your normal dietary habits may need to happen as well. Face it, you are in training and you MUST train.

3- Don’t be afraid to go away from the “books.” Coffee isn’t for everyone, just saying. It may have been the placebo effect, but I’ll take it any day.

4- Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for help. Susan, my coach, helped me find an answer and Maggie ran out to meet me with pretzels and water. Erin rode her bike with me through the woods. People want to help, you just have to ask!

5- It’s not going to be a walk in the park. This was the hardest lesson I’ve learned so far. It’s not easy and not everyone is a marathon athlete. I was so focused on running and running without remember that I’m doing this not as an athlete but for a cause I am deeply connected to.

I’m off to Las Vegas for the week! Big things going on and a schedule with the MGM Grand’s gym BUT I’m pretty excited about the “taper” week before the big “2-0” in two weeks.

Next blog from Vegas!


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