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Knowing When to Stop

by Meghann on August 1, 2010

Sometimes the key to being a good runner is knowing when to stop.

I woke up this morning with a goal of 14 miles in my mind.

I pressed snooze, I stalled on the computer, and I had a piece of toast with chocolate dream peanut butter and granola.


mmm….. ๐Ÿ™‚

Then I was off to a nearby trail for my 14 miler.

The first few miles were great, but it began to go down hill from there. The trail I had selected had little to no shade. Not good – especially on a hot and sunny day like today. My body was beginning to give out and I could feel myself struggle to go just one more step.

I finished off my camelbak, stopped to refill it, and then finished it off again. I just couldn’t get enough! I ended up refilling it 3 times on my run! It got to the point where water just wasn’t cutting it anymore. For future runs I think I need something with electrolytes in it to try and counteract the heavy amount of salty sweat I was losing.

Now, there’s a difference between the suffering I was experiencing on Thursday and today. On Thursday it was 100% mental, my body felt great, but my mind had had enough. Today my body felt awful and my mind had adventured to la-la land. The heat had gotten to me and crazy thoughts were beginning to fill my head.


By mile 12 I had reached my physical limits. With two miles to go I decided to call it quits. My body was done. My head was done. I was done. I walked the remaining half a mile to my car and sucked my camelback dry for the 3rd time this morning.

Sometimes listening to my body is more important than sticking to a training plan. Maybe if I hadn’t spent so much time stalling on the computer this morning then I would have had time to get the rest of my run in. I have 12 miles on the schedule for next weekend, so I’m going to swap. 12 miles this week and 14 next. I think I’m happy with that. )

Oh, and I was able to try the ipod in an armband trick this morning.


It worked perfectly. ๐Ÿ™‚

I tried to get a post run photo of how ridiculously sweaty I was, but no photo could do it jealous.


The one thing pushing me through my run on this morning was the ice cold smoothie I knew would be waiting for me at home.


Yesterday’s smoothie was the perfect post-run meal. Why wouldn’t I want to repeat it again?


Same smoothie, different bowl.


I even had the scuffin on the side too. ๐Ÿ˜‰


Now, that’s what I call a cool down. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m hoping my lunch date I have with a friend is still on, otherwise I’m just going to be inside all day cleaning and organizing. I’m oddly looking forward to it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Sunday everyone!

1 Dori August 1, 2010 at 11:54 am

I am impressed you were able to do 12 in those conditions!

2 Stacey @ Tipping the (Kitchen!) Scales August 1, 2010 at 11:55 am

Sounds like you did the right thing calling it a day after 12 miles. Sometimes there’s no point pushing if you have nothing left in you. An ice cold smoothie sounds like the perfect thing after a hot run!

3 britchickruns August 1, 2010 at 12:01 pm

I can’t believe you mannaged 12! That in itself deserves a medal!! I’d definetly recommend a sports drink – my last two double digit runs, I’ve had lucozade sport – it definetly helped!

4 Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) August 1, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I think it is so important to be flexible when it comes to marathon training. Good for you for listening to your body and stopping at 12 miles! For next week – I really think that Gatorade can make all the difference during the hot weather. Perhaps you can try diluting your camel bak with 1/2 water and 1/2 Gatorade.

5 Kim @ Healthy Closet August 1, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Seriously, it’s 86, “feels like 104” here in Gville. I have no idea how you made it in this weather, but kudos to you!

6 Savanna August 1, 2010 at 12:09 pm

I love your blog and have been following it for quite some time! I love reading about your races – I’m a beginning runner and I’m really liking it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I was hoping you could answer a running question for me. When training for a race and following a race plan, each week or so, the mileage creeps up – if you are unable to run the whole distance, do you still increase it the next week or do you repeat a week? Right now, I’m only working on a 5K! lol!! I’m a super slow runner but my goal is to be able to run the whole thing without stopping. Perhaps, after a few 5K’s under my belt, I might try for a half marathon…..I would love to display a medal!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ congrats on all of yours!!!!!

7 Meghann August 1, 2010 at 1:00 pm

It depends on how comfortable I feel with the previous distance before I increase, but usually I find that I am still able to increase the distance. ๐Ÿ™‚

8 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat August 1, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Good for you for calling it quits when your body just wasn’t doing it any more. Quality over quantity! ๐Ÿ™‚

9 Erin August 1, 2010 at 12:30 pm

You did the right thing for sure. Do not be hard on yourself about it, you still ran 12 miles! Just enjoy your lunch and you will do great next weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

10 Liz @ Tip Top Shape August 1, 2010 at 12:33 pm

It’s really important to know when to stop. Kudos to you for realizing it and not pushing toward an injury.

11 Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman August 1, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Good for you for listening to your body. Have you ever tried coconut water for your workouts? Have a great Sunday:)

12 Meghann August 1, 2010 at 1:01 pm

I’ve tried coconut water, but I just don’t like the taste. ๐Ÿ™

13 It All Changes August 1, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I’m glad the armband worked. I learned that the hard way after ruining my first one sweating buckets.

14 BBx2 - Mandy & jR August 1, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Good for you for listening to your body! That’s so important. And regardless… 12 miles is AMAZING. I’m always impressed with your mileage – and running in the FL heat!

I think I am going to get the ingredients for the scuffins this week! YUM!

Hope you enjoy the rest of your day!

15 Ash Bear August 1, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Great job on knowing when to stop! We were talking about you today during our run. I can’t believe that you do 6 miles the day before a long run. You’re a rockstar!

16 Lauren August 1, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Good for you Meghann! I know sometimes its so difficult to determine wether it is our mind or our bodies that is telling us to quit, but I think part of becoming a good runner is being able to tell between the two and honoring the cues when it is our body! Still, a great run! ๐Ÿ™‚

17 Evan Thomas August 1, 2010 at 1:07 pm

You’re SUCH a great athlete; 12 miles is always something to be proud of.

18 Sarah August 1, 2010 at 1:11 pm

I’m totally looking forward to cleaning and organizing too! Must be in the air…

19 La Historiadora de Moda August 1, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I’m glad the armband worked for your shuffle! Good job on getting 12 miles in when you’re body and mind were both out of wack!

20 carly August 1, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Congrats on the 12 miles! I hear ya, this heat could suck the energy out of a jumping bean.

21 Lizzy August 1, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Hi Meghann! I love your blog, i’ve been reading for a long time, and i haven’t commented in a while, but i just wanted to congratulate you on your run today. I too just got back from a 12 mile run, and let me tell you it wasnt easy. I like that you didnt push yourself to do those 2 extra miles when you new you just couldnt. The idea of swapping the 12 and 14 is such a great idea! I did want to tell you that you are such an inspiration, you are a running champ!!!!!! One question. Where did you get you camelbak? I’m looking to get one for my Full Mary this october, but i want to try and get it at a good price! Thanks again!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

22 Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) August 1, 2010 at 2:03 pm

I struggle with 4 miles in that type of heat and humidity. I think you’re a rockstar.

23 fitnessandsunshine August 1, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Thank you so much for this post! Sometimes the body just isn’t feeling it for me either and I need to pay better attention to it instead of pushing myself too much. ๐Ÿ™‚

24 Stephanie@ avocado nation August 1, 2010 at 2:47 pm

I think you did the right thing. There is no point in hurting yourself and in the grand scheme of things, 2 miles is not make or break.

25 Tina August 1, 2010 at 3:02 pm

That sounds rough! I know I couldn’t handle running in that kind of heat for a mile, let alone 14!!! Smart move to call it off a bit short.

26 michele August 1, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Good job knowing when to listen to your body.

27 Kath August 1, 2010 at 3:58 pm

You DEFINITELY need some kind of sports drink in Florida in the summertime. When you just drink water, you are actually just flushing it right through your body = dehydration! (It’s no wonder you couldn’t catch your thirst.) If you add a little sodium, it helps you retain that water so you can use it throughout the run. Sodium is great for running!!

28 Trish August 1, 2010 at 5:37 pm

How do you run in the heat?!?!? UGH! I live in Tampa and I had to give up on running outside about 2 weeks ago. It’s gotten way too humid. So now I just sleep in late and hit the gym. I really don’t like the treadmill but I couldn’t bear the heat anymore. I can’t wait for the next month to go by so I can get back outside again.

29 christina cadden August 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm

I have those days sometimes. However I am only up to 4 miles so far but one day I hope to be at 12 and more! Good for you listening to your body!

30 Lisa @ bakebikeblog August 1, 2010 at 6:01 pm

That sounds like one tough run indeed!!

31 Red August 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm

I’m not an expert in running but anything above 5 or 6 miles I carry water and anything above 10 or 11 miles I carry some type of electrolytes. Just my two cents!

32 Dione August 1, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Good for you to listen to your body! I’ve injured myself in the past trying to “push through” a difficult run and the recovery period was not fun at all.
PS-You really do sweat! ๐Ÿ™‚

33 onehauterunner August 3, 2010 at 4:09 pm

I am also training for a marathon…are you using any kind of goo, gummies, fruit bars, jelly beans, anything during your long runs? If not, I really recommend you start using fuel…it really gives your muscles the boost they need to keep pushing through those miles! I use Gu for runs that are over an hour.

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