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Monday Miles--Long Runs

Note: If you're part of the Awesome by August challenge you can find our first official weigh in post over at Steve's place. We're still working out all the kinks, so if you emailed me and you're not in that post, please let me know ASAP. Remember you have to have this weeks weigh in pic to me by Friday midnight. We let it slide a little getting started, but will have to stick to the midnight deadline from now on. Good luck everyone!
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I really enjoy my long runs. Speedwork can be fun, and shorter runs are OK, but I have really missed my long runs. Crazy as that sounds it's absolutely true. 

This weekend my long run was 6 miles. I haven't ran 6 miles in over a year. After getting in the groove it was an awesome run. Definitely the fastest 6 miles I've ever ran. 

I've been playing around with what to consume on longer runs. Last time I trained I did the jelly belly sport beans and water. But having gone off sugar I really don't want to use sugary stuff unless I really feel I need it. So, for Sunday's run I tried coconut water and felt great. I think I'll keep using it and see how things go. 

I'm trying new trails and having much more fun this time around with training. I found one that follows an old railroad track. Ran that Sunday. Wasn't crowded at all, was really wonderful, scenic, peaceful.

As I up my long runs each week, I've already run each of these distances and know I can...I think it's a completely different mindset from when each new distance was longer than I'd ever ran. Somehow knowing I have ran the distance before takes a huge load off my mind. I just find somewhere to run and run it.

However, this time around I'm finding the first 3 miles or so of my longer runs (long being a relative term, lol) are sort of rough; I struggle to get in the groove. They feel hard. Then, after that initial struggle, everything seems to click and the rest of the run is awesome. Yet when I'm out for a shorter run I don't really experience this.

Does anyone else experience anything like this? I'm guessing it's a mental thing? 
What do you eat/drink on your long runs?