I am an intern at Eastbay this summer training for my first marathon in October. I will be running the Chicago Marathon, and you can follow my training progress on my Blog.

I am scheduled to do a 15-mile run on Saturday, which will be the farthest I have ever had to run. I’m excited to see how the workout will go, although I am anticipating being really sore afterward. The heat is supposed to break this weekend with a high of only 81 degrees on Saturday, so I think if I start my run early in the morning I should be able to make it through just fine without getting overheated. I hope to finish the run in three hours or less and then take the afternoon to stretch and relax.

One aspect of training that I have been neglecting is stretching after workouts. I have developed a bad habit of just sitting down after I work out because I am so tired, but this doesn’t give my muscles a chance to cool down and stretch, which makes me more sore after the workout. I am going running near my friend’s cabin in the north woods on Saturday, so I will be able to jump in the lake and swim afterward to help my muscles recuperate.

In preparation for my long run, I am taking my friend Beth’s advice and hiding Gatorade bottles along the path of my run tonight. Beth works here at Eastbay as well, and she has run marathons in the past. She says that hiding bottles of energy drinks along the run gives you a chance to take a break during the course of your run, and it helps your body replenish electrolytes and energy to finish the workout.

I also plan on taking several Sports Street GU packs along with me on my run. I have never tried GU before, but Lauren, another friend who is a runner at Eastbay, says the performance food really helps her keep going during long runs. The instructions say to take one GU 15 minutes before every 45 minutes of running. I am only planning on taking three packs along during my run, which should be enough since I’m hoping it won’t take me more than three hours. I am excited to see how much energy the GU gives me to help my body keep running.

Hopefully I won’t be too sore after this weekend. Fifteen miles is over halfway to my goal of 26.2!