Fueling for a marathon, pumpkin bars recipe and some tangents.

By the time Andrew got home from work yesterday I was finally way over my dream;) Monday morning I woke up quite angry because of a dream I had about Andrew… it only took me a few hours of reminding myself it was all just a bad dream before I finally got over it.  I HATE DREAMS that feel so bizarrely real.  They trick me big time.  Thank goodness Andrew is so patient with me.

Do you ever have bad dreams about running?  As soon as a race is coming up I always have the dream at least once or twice about sleeping through my alarm clock race morning or getting lost on the way to the starting line or forgetting my shoes or something along those lines.  One of these days it is bound to happen in real life.

PS Andrew won’t be able to run the marathon this year but he will be able to drop me off at the busses (at like 4 a.m… talk about a support system) and see me along the way with the kids and at the finish line.  Knowing they will all be there at the end will help me push past the wall right?  That’s the plan.

Bree brought over the most amazing Pumpkin Bars.  She saw our request the other week for recipes and she delivered with an incredible one.  I need more Bree in my life.

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Pumpkin Bars 

4 eggs

1 cup oil

1 2/3 cup sugar

2 cups pumpkin

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Mix ingredients together and pour into a greased cookie sheet size pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Cool.  Frost with cream cheese frosting (1/2 cup butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 oz cream cheese—> mix together and frost bars).  Sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired.

They were the most delicious appetizer and dessert last night:)

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For dinner, Andrew put some mesquite seasoning on chicken and barbecued it along with barbecuing some pineapple (with brown sugar on it).  Added it to a corn tortilla with pico and avocado= perfection!  I had two more after this they were so good.

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After dinner we drove up north to go to Andrew’s indoor soccer league.

Brooke was busy making lemonade for most of the game.

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They won and then we were on our way home!

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And because it is Tuesday, I have a few tangents for you:

*I think it might be time to start dying my hair instead of plucking my grey hairs (I know, you aren’t supposed to do that).  You can’t see them well in the picture but they are all over lately (probably because of my crazy dreams;).  Anyone want to come color my hair please???

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*I found my marathon shorts.  Clearly the race day outfit is almost the most important part:)  I’ve tested them out and they are chafe free (although who knows what happens on race day) and I love the print:

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*Just a casual 3 pm apple chips snacking while relaxing on the floor.  Living the dream.

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*I went to Nordstrom the other day to have them teach me how to do makeup.  Yep, still don’t know how but Brooke and I had fun together.

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*In the stage were the American Girl doll joins us for most outings and if we forget her there are big problems.

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*While I was out trail running the other day I realized that I had lost Andrew’s debit card.  I freaked out and turned around and somehow found it at the top of one of the hills I stopped at.  I was really lucky….

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*Megan D found these and I think I need them now.

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*I’ve had a few people ask me about fueling for the marathon!!! Tricky stuff that fueling thing can be while we attempt to run hours in a row in heat or the cold or the perfect weather.  It is hard to figure out this stuff and during my last marathon I wasn’t able to get keep any fuel in me (not sure if I had the flu or if my body just hated me that day) and I crashed and burned the last 10k of the race.  My first marathon I didn’t even know that fueling while running was a thing and I was very confused as to why people around me where chomping down on things… I learned the hard way why at about mile 23.

What my game plan is for race day:

1.5 bagels with jam about 1.5- 2 hours before the race starts

1 Honey Stinger waffle about 30 minutes before the gun goes off and maybe even a gel too if I am feeling like I need more calories.  I just started drinking Vega electrolyte hydrator before my long runs and I’ll be doing that on marathon day too.

1 gel starting at about mile 6 or 7.  I really try hard to get in some calories in that first hour so I don’t get behind on my energy because that is pretty hard to catch up with.  Stay ahead of those glycogen stores…

I take another gel usually starting at about mile 13 or 14 and my last gel at around 20-21.  I take these things slowly.

As far as water and gatorade go, I switch off between the two at every aid station.  My best feeling marathon ever was St. George 2 years ago and I stopped at each aid station to drink the entire cup of water or gatorade.  I was going to run with my hand-held water bottle but decided not to after a 20 miler (my arms were dead).

After the race I fuel with apple fritters and chocolate milk and a huge salad with all sorts of salty things on top.

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At what miles do you take in fuel during your marathon or half marathon?  What are some lessons that you have learned along the way?  Did you fuel for your first long distance race?

Do you color your hair?  How often?

Ever have dreams about running?  Do you have nightmares very often?  Do you remember your dreams?

Ever lost or found something cool while out on a run?

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I’ve been dealing with grey hair since I was 16. It’s genetic unfortunately. I have to dye my full head about every 2 months and do root touch ups in between because my hair is so dark.

In terms of marathon fueling – I eat a bagel with honey 2 hours before, a full container of apple juice while heading to the marathon, and then I take a gel about 5 minutes before the start with water.


Fueling for a run can be so tricky. Everyone always says “nothing new” before a race but sometimes you’re forced into that situation – You might be traveling, you might be in a new city where you have to adjust, you might run super late in the morning and not have time for your usual breakfast, etc.

Things that work for me – Basics.
-Grilled chicken with roasted sweet potatoes or some white pasta the night before – No matter what city/what restaurant you end up at … You can always find some version of this
-Peanut butter Clif bar the morning of … Bring your own and add a little peanut butter on top for some healthy, filling fats!
-Clif Shot Blocks throughout the course … Take my first one at mile 11-12 depending on how I feel
-Water bottle filled with Powerade Zero … And then water along the course!


So glad you found that debit card! I once lost my car key when I was out on a run and had to call Triple A to come help me. I even ran my route one more time looking for the key and never found it. :/

I cannot wait to try those pumpkin bars! Thanks for always sharing your recipes!! :)


Use Glide if you chafe! I use it all summer so that I can wear dresses (heat + humidity = ugly red patches for days) but I also use it near my arm pits when I run. That’s a weird place that I always chafe. Glide holds up really well to sweat, too.


I have a handful of grays but I don’t color my hair to cover them necessarily. I just like a richer tone. My hair is brown but the ends are dry and get orangy looking so I’ll do a dark chocolate brown or a burgundy (try usually for the semi-permanent) just to remove the mousy or brassy tones. But since my hair is curly I’ll probably color more frequently as the grays take over. :)

I went hiking once and lost my keys. I litererally re-traced all my steps without finding them. Then I bent down to tie my shoe and saw my keys under the car parked next to mine in the parking lot! I must have dropped them as I arrived when there was no car next to me and then eventually another car parked over them. Thank god I found them. I was over an hour away from home with my dog.


I like making a stack of Kodiak cakes the night before and then heating them up in the morning. they sit well with me and provide just the right amount of carbs and protein. Ill usually chew on some energy blocks after about an hour in and then listen to my body from there. my last race was a nightmare though and I started taking them without water…got a huge cramp in my side and wasn’t loving that haha


That is brilliant… I am going to try out the Kodiak Cakes the night before thing. I love their nutrition too in the Power Cakes. THANKS Steph! PS huge bummer about your last race, that sounds miserable!


I colour my hair once every six weeks to cover greys. Ugh, it’s such a mission to do it by myself, but I always feel (and look!) 10 times better once it’s done :) .


I found 20 bucks one time when I was out running. I asked numerous people along the trail if they lost it and nobody claimed it. Kinda cool!


A couple weekends ago a friend found $100 in the parking lot! We think someone using the laundromat a couple doors down must have lost it.


I want to find money:) $20 and $100… holy cow!


A ha ha ha I have the SAME crazy dream thing – my fiancé told me last time he is no longer going to apologize for things that Dream Him has done ;-) I often have really vivid, vivid dreams and if they go in the direction of nightmares they scare the bejeezus out of me. I once had one that was so detailed and gruesome that I called my Dad freaking out that I must have killed someone or been a surgeon in a previous life because I knew ALL THE DETAILS in my dream of a bad injury, and he laughed and said it’s FINE your brain layers bits and pieces from all sorts and cleverly constructs dream realities, so, peeling skin off a fruit becomes peeling your own skin back… So don’t worry, you’re not alone!

We found a girl’s phone when we were out the other evening and later on she called it, we picked up and then her Dad collected it. He was so relieved he brought us sparkling wine and chocolates so it was win win!

Hugs from Germany xx


Lucy! I’ll be moving back to Germany in less than 4 weeks! What city are you at?


Near Hamburg in the frozen North ;-) Where do you move to?


Nathan makes a great lightweight belt with 2 8oz water bottles, have you thought about that? If you’re arms get tired the waist may be a good option….


Well aren’t you brilliant. Just ordered one on amazon to try out. That sounds like a fabulous solution. THANK YOU FLOWER… you always find the best stuff!


You’re welcome and let me know how you like it!


Those pumpkin bars look AMAZING! I’ll have to try them out :) Usually in half marathons I take fuel at the halfway point, and if it’s a hot day a salt tab or two as well. For full marathons it’s usually once an hour.

I’ve never colored my hair, but I’m starting to get greys too! It drives me nuts!


I do half a head of highlights every several months. I have been going to same salon and stylist for years! and yes to the running dreams. my most recent dream was showing up at a half marathon without fuel and without my headphones!


I had the best dreams when I was pregnant. They were super-involved action/adventure kind of dreams. It was awesome. I would also randomly have dreams that I would get REALLY mad at someone close to me. I woke up thinking “do I have some unresolved issues?” “Nope – must be hormones.”


I color my hair… unfortunately about every 6 weeks (but at least I do it myself so it isn’t making me broke!). I like to keep a little bit of red in my hair, and it fades super fast especially when i am hitting the pool more often.


I color my hair every 8-10 weeks, I’m not a real blond! I’ve tried doing dark hair but my grays show too much and I’d be dying my hair more often that what I do now being blond!

As for nightmares, my Dad told me when I was very little that if I sleep with my arms/hands down (not near my head or above) I will not have nightmares. And to this day, if I have a nightmare, I wake up with my arms/hands above my head! Weird, right!? I have dreams every night and do remember them when I initially wake up – I have very vidid dreams and in color!

I have to share my new favorite pumpkin recipe – I’m obsessed and made it twice in one week (I shared some with coworkers and family so I needed a second batch). These muffins are paleo so I don’t feel as guilty eating one and they taste AH-MAZING! (don’t leave out the chocolate chips!)


Christine, thanks for sharing your recipe. It looks so yummy!! I am definitely going to make them. ???


You’re welcome, I hope you like them as much as I do! I’ve been eating one every morning (and maybe one at night!)


Christine, I made your recipe with gluten free flour (I have a severe intolerance to gluten) and baked in a mini muffin pan. Baked about 20 minutes and turned out awesome! Plus the frosting of course! Thanks for the recipe!


I did my first half marathon without fueling. I had no idea I was supposed to which is why I was done at mile 10. I finished the race but there was a lot of walking.

I’ve been craving pumpkin bread even tho it’s not quite fall weather. Those bars look good!

I’m 37 and so far no grays. But I’m naturally blonde and my hair gets lighter in the summer so sometimes I have strands of hair that are really light. So I feel like it’s gonna be awhile before I’d notice a few grays anyway.

Once lost an earbud. I was completely done before I realized i had lost it. I went all the way back to my turn around point and couldn’t find it. Once I was back to the start / end, I found it. I redid my entire run to find it less than a quarter mile from my start / end point.

I also lost an entire set of headphones that I never found. They were my favorite pair. I thought I tossed them in the bottom of the jogging stroller but apparently I missed.


I learned the importance of fueling during a marathon the hard way – my first marathon, I only took 2 GUs the whole time because my stomach felt funky, but I bonked HARD at mile 20! Now I try to take one every 5-6 miles along with a few sips of water. Sometimes I don’t finish them, but it guarantees that I won’t hit the wall!


I color my hair and roots get done every 4 weeks (could be every 3 but I’d rather use root concealer at that point).

Most bagels are too heavy for me before a run. I do 3 slices of toast, preferably Ezekiel, with almond or sunflower butter. I’ll eat some berries if I need more fuel. Or I have oatmeal with nuts and fruit. Both stick, my stomach does fine with them and I don’t feel overloaded. I’d also do honeystinger waffle 3 before a full. For a half I’d probably stick with 2 slices of toast and no waffle.

My issue with beverage is I train with Tailwind and it sits so nicely in my stomach. (Gatorade and Nuun give me stomach aches) But I hate holding anything on race day. eh, since I injured my foot I guess I have more time to figure it out. (please, don’t let it be as bad as I think it is).


I also alternate Gatorade and water at aid stations and it works great. I ran the Cottonwood Marathon last weekend and waited until mile 18 to eat a gel–mistake! Normally I would have started taking gels at mile 12. I will definitely be tuned into that next time…


CONGRATS ON Cottonwood! I’m so sorry that fueling didn’t work out right though but I hope the rest of the race was great (that course is stunning)!


Definitely going to read through all these comments! Fueling is my obsession these days. After the Fargo half marathon in May – which was stupid hot – I overdosed on gels and haven’t been able to even think about having another one since.

Anyone tried Tailwind? I can’t seem to find it available easily in Canada but I hear it’s good and has enough substance that you can forgo gels.

I did beans for a long run on the weekend but I’m thinking they are too sugary for race day. I’ll get sick of those eventually, I can just tell.


Hi Trina! I’m obsessed with Tailwind. It’s too bad you can’t find it easily. I have ordered it from Amazon or Runner’s Warehouse. I only take it when I run like 10+ miles, and I’ll still take gels if I feel like I need to, but the best part is that it tastes good and also it doesn’t make me crampy. I usually get a side stitch if I drink just water while running. The only problem is I hate carrying a bottle, especially in a race.


Have you tried Huma Gel? I used Salted Caramel Gu forever and I’ve recently switched to Huma. It doesn’t hit my stomach hard like Gu does and I’m loving it. There are lots of flavors – some with caffeine and some without. There are also some that have electrolytes which really helps me during sweaty summer running here in the South.


You just inspired me to purchase some. I CAN’T WAIT FOR THEM TO GET HERE!!!


Yay! The Apples and Cinnamon are amazing and I love the Lemon too – super tart. Enjoy!


I second Christina’s comment! (Mostly because I am the one who turned her on to them!) They are a bit easier to get down I think, too. Love them. Can’t wait to hear how you like them! I’m obsessed with the apple one…tastes like applesauce!!!


I love huma gels too! My favorite flavors are berries and pomegranate and cafe mocha! But the strawberry lemonade one was a little too tart for me on my last 20 miler!


I have found that long distance fueling for me only gets tricky when I ride a fine line between fed and under fed up to the event. If I am in a healthy place with that, the day of I just had to go with exactly what I did during long runs, and there was never a fuel issue.
Also, just like you say the night before the night before is the sleep that counts. I also feel that way about a good size dinner. I do not like feeling too heavy on race day, that carbo load is not for me the night before.


I refused to drink Gatorade because of its high sugar content. But one day I learned the hard way that I needed it. I only drink it if I’m running longer than six miles.

And I cant totally feel you with the grey hairs. I cut mines in order to deny the fact that I might need to start coloring my hair… I just don’t want to:(


I finally caved a year ago and started dying my hair – she actually just does a root touch up each time. I was someone who went to the hair salon MAYBE once a year…mostly because picking up the phone to make an appointment was just one step too many! lol What I do now is that I book my next 6 week touch up ON THE DAY that I am at the salon – otherwise I would never go….but I would complain about the grey! lol


I haven’t colored my hair in probably 10 years now. Once I’m done school in June and I have a bit more money I’m considering getting highlights again.


Definitely reconsider the handheld water bottle, especially if it’s a hot day. While your arm might have been hurting on your 20-miler because you’re still learning how to run with the bottle, if it’s a really hot day you WILL miss having water to sip on throughout. Your arm will get stronger the more you run with the bottle, and depending on how big it is, don’t fill it up all the way. 8oz is enough in the bottle to get you through.


I’ll have to try to make those pumpkin bars since I love anything with pumpkin! They also look really easy to make!


I highlight my hair a couple times a year by myself. it is so much cheaper and I just learned how to do it by watching Youtube videos. I am still not great about the fueling thing.. definitely need to practice more before a race.


My pumpkin bar recipe is the same, however, the frosting recipe is different – mine is like 1 inch thick #CauseFrosting

You are lucky that you found is debit card.

Why didn’t you want to get these new lulu shorts?? https://shop.lululemon.com/p/women-shorts/Run-Speed-Short-32138/_/prod3040012?rcnt=6&N=7vfZ1z141cp&cnt=88&color=LW7AAMS_026945

If you peed your pants while running, no one would even know! That print is weird.

I dyed my hair for the first time the end of May. I need a hair cut again real bad but haven’t been able to find a time with my hair dresser that our schedules align. I am thinking I want to dye my hair dark next time. We shall see if I am brave enough.

Once, my senior year in high school, I had stayed up late reading the latest Harry Potter book (am I super cool or what?) I had a dream that this spell was cast on me that shouldn’t have been and I got in trouble for it even though it wasn’t my fault and I was so mad. I got up, showered, and was half way through getting ready for school before I realized ummmm I am not a wizard so that was a dream and I should probably get over it. I think it is pretty obvious that I am not a morning person and my brain does not function properly for at least the first hour I am awake.


Where does Andrew at indoor soccer? My husband had played in several leagues at soccer city in South Jordan – it would be so funny to run into you there sometime! We’ve got daughters the same age and our husbands play soccer… We should be friends :)


AHHH YES that is where he plays! That would be a blast… Andrew only plays on Monday night. When does your husband play?


He plays Mondays too! He is sitting out this “season” because of some back issues but hopefully by the time the next one starts he’ll be back. That would be awesome to meet you in person after reading your blog for a couple years! :)


Okay, NO NO WAY!! Will you email me or something before the next Monday night game that you go to! I’d love to hang out. BUMMER about his back issues, I hope he gets better asap!


Ok I will! We live in Herriman so if you’re ever this way and want to do a playdate let me know! (Is that creepy? We moved here a few years ago and I’m still on the lookout for friends with kids our kids’ ages) :)


I take the race fueling thing seriously. My first marathon was a disaster because I didn’t fuel along the way. I have to start eating by mile 3…usually a couple of energy blocks. Then it’s a gu or blocks every three or so miles, along with whatever water or Powerade are at aid stations. For the Big C marathon I just had my PR in, the fueling went perfectly! Whew! :)

PS. I once over hydrated during a race and spent miles 23 – 26 in a near blackout…not enough salt in me because of all the fluid. Scariest experience.


Oh that is SCARY!!! Over hydrating and our electrolytes being so out of balance causes crazy things in our body! Thanks for sharing what you do! and so happy fueling went so perfectly on Saturday!


I take fuel in by time versus distance, so I’ll take a gel every 45-50 minutes. My stomach cannot tolerate any solid food on race morning, so I just have a gel and go. I’m also really careful the night before. I usually have my big pre-race meal for lunch. And my stomach cannot tolerate any sugar alcohols – xylitol, sorbitol, etc. It’s a process figuring out what works for each individual.

I have never colored my hair. I’m slowly going from blond to grey, but my husband calls it “exquisitely silver!”

I almost never remember my dreams, but my husband almost always does!


I did fuel even for my first half! I was super nerdy about starting to run distance and wanted to make sure I did everything right! I believe I took half a gel at mile 6 and the other half at 9. I actually really love gels in the middle of a run, so I’m always excited to have them! hahaha

I used to color my hair in middle school / high school but I would never do it again. I really killed it and had stretchy bleached gross hair for a while

I have nightmares a lot if I watch something scary or am especially anxious over something. I have two dreamcatchers at the moment ;)

One time my phone died while trying out a new 18 mile route.. I GOT INCREDIBLY LOST. I eventually found a bus stop and was able to take the bus home!! But I didn’t bring any money with me (also when I learned to bring money) so a very kind woman paid my bus ticket. But don’t worry, I did get in the 18 miles ;) hahaha


I must need to get some nutrients in my body because ALL the food in this post had me salivating!!!!


oh my goodness I thought those shorts were glitter at first! I totally would have approved ;)


HAHAH I need to find that… that would look amazing!


Vega is my go to. I also use the hydrator during my runs instead of gatorade/nuun. Have you tried the (Vega) Energizer, for before the race or the (Vega) Accelerator after? So so good J!


Anyone ever try pure honey for fuel? I put it in snack zip locks. Double bagged. Bite the tip off the inner one and eat it that way. Outer bad keeps the sticky off you. Great fuel and not artificial junk.

Also dates (remove pit ahead of time) work great. Dates are actual food and not junk too!

I changed to these types of fuel because I got tired of working so hard on fitness and then worrying about treating my body poorly with chemicals and articlficial junk of processed GUs etc.

Honey and dates are both high in potassium and low in fiber…. A good combo for the long run!


*outer baG


Marathon fuel is hands down my biggest hurdle in marathon training. I still remember my first full marathon and how badly I bonked around mile 18 due to lack of calories.

Your strategy sounds great so far so keep us posted on how it goes!

Good luck!!


I want those pumpkin bars!!


At what miles do you take in fuel during your marathon or half marathon? I’ve only done half marathons and I usually take a gel at mile 4 and 8. I’m really bad at stopping at the water/gatorade stations though….I’m always afraid I’ll have to stop and pee later! lol

PS: Love the lulu shorts!


I’m new to the fueling thing — and I’ve found that I have to kind of sneak fuel into my tummy. Salty things are a no go — and more process fueling options lead to tummy issues.

Lately, gummy bears have been the trick. I start fueling within the first hour (usually after about 30-45 mins) and try to stagger the fuel so that I’m finishing my last gummy bears with a mile or two left.

This has lead to steady energy levels for me lately, but more importantly — no tummy pain!


I bought a huge box of huma lemon gel and I am so mad NOW. I can’t stomach it at all. I have no way of returning it and I am now out 25$.
My plan is to try normal food for my marathon training which start saturday!

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