Catching Up

October 29, 2013

I feel like I need to catch you all up on what has been going on in my life so that is what I am going to do in this post. The end of last week was pretty rough. I won't go into specifics but let's just say I made it through. My older sister, Anna, had her half ironman race on Sunday morning. I had two big tests to study for which unfortunately meant I could not attend. She told us we could track her online through a website that was covering the race live. All morning I switched between studying for my tests and reloading the website page on where she was at in her race. She finished her half ironman in a little over 6 hours and did great! She is already looking forward to completing a full ironman in the next year. After her race my dad drove her to our house and she is staying in town for a little while. I am so excited she is here! I also have talked her into guest posting a race recap on my blog :)

I love shopping. My next hobby after running is shopping. I saw this dress at Anthropolgie and knew I needed it. From the long sleeves to the buttons on the back I think this is a must have for Fall and Winter! I plan to transition it with maroon colored tights and brown boots. I wore this dress to church two weekends ago. It is very comfortable and I got so many compliments.

Jewely: bracelets borrowed from my mom

Monday I had a 45 minute easy run. I had class all day. I ran with my mom later in the afternoon and I kept around a 9:30 minute per mile pace. Last night was also girls night! My mom, Kathleen, Anna, and I watched The Voice while eating Whole Foods. It was delicious! Here is what we picked up:

  • chicken penne pesto pasta
  • pita chips and hummus
  • plate of fruit 
  • chocolate eruption cake

Today I had a morning class then came back home to eat a second breakfast before working out. Anna and I went to the gym pool for a swim workout. I did

1200m swim
5 x 100m
2 x 50m
5 x 100m
2 x 50m

That's all for now. Have a great Tuesday!

The Stages Of Tapering

October 28, 2013

As a runner who has only stuck with 5ks, 10ks, and half marathons, I came into this marathon training without knowing much about the infamous twenty six point two. I googled every thing I wasn't sure of whether it was suggestions on what to eat throughout the day or why my legs were sore after running only ten miles.

Last week I was crossing off training days when I realized all of my longest runs are over. Five months ago, as I had the idea to start training for my first marathon, the 14, 16, 18, and 20 mile long runs made me nervous. I had not run anything over thirteen point one miles and wasn't sure if I could run for that long but I decided to take on the challenge anyways. I am excited to have completed every long run! I was reading an article the other day when the runner was giving training advice and one of his points was not to jump from the 16 miler to the 20 miler. Which is exactly what I did. Whoops!

Apparently the next stage of training that could possibly be considered as hard as the longest runs is, drum roll please..... tapering.

I give you the five stages of tapering. So far I have reached the first stage and it has only been one week of taper. I got a little off on my training schedule due to overtraining and taking a short break so I have three weeks instead of two weeks of taper. But of course I googled it and it is okay for me to taper for three weeks. 

1. Denial - I no longer have to wake up at 5am! I get to sleep in and can complete my easy runs in the afternoon. I have so much more time on my hands. I also get to focus on school a little more since I have so much more time. This taper thing is great.

2. Anger - I'm not an angry person. I haven't gotten to this one yet and I am kind of hoping it won't happen.. 

3. Bargaining - This is hoping that any aches, pains or illnesses are not going to harm all the training that I have built up for the past 140 days. Literally 140 days. 

4. Depression - Also one I am hoping to not reach. These next few weeks of training are much easier compared to the "run thirty miles in one week" types of weeks. 

5. Acceptance - Finally the marathon is here!

So why am I telling you this? I heard tapering gets to runners and makes them crazy. If you see me crying or not able to handle myself in different situations please return me to my home. Thank you.


Rock 'N' Roll Marathon: Week Seventeen

October 26, 2013

Week seventeen of training is finished! I had my last double digit run this morning of ten miles. The next two weekends are eight miles then six miles then race week. It definitely feels weird to go from hard training for four months and finally be on the downhill part. Here is a quick recap of this past weeks training:

Monday: rest day

Tuesday: cross training// yoga for 30 mins

Wednesday: 50 min easy run// 5.08 miles// 9.30 pace

Thursday: cross training// weight circuit for 30 mins

Friday: yoga for 15 mins

Saturday: 10 mile run// 9.45 pace

This week was a total of fifteen miles which is much different from last week which was some where over 30 miles. I had a twenty mile race last weekend so I kept it easier this week to recover even if that meant skipping a few running days.

Have a great weekend and good luck to everyone racing this weekend!

Recovery Essentials (As Brought To You By Me)

October 23, 2013

Whether you have just run a mile or a marathon there are some injury preventative, recovery essentials that are a must in the runners world. Most people want to recover quickly but don't want to take the time to do so. I know this because I am one of those "most people" type of people. After a race I just want to stay in bed for the rest of the day. Sleep is important, but if you don't want to experience soreness the next day then you have got to start using your recovery essentials. What are recovery essentials? I am about to get to that. 

I finished my long run on Sunday morning and felt on top of the world. I even woke up for class on Monday and still felt good. Actually I woke up mad that alarm clocks were invented and wished I could sleep until Thursday. But anyways, my body felt good... until the shuttle came to take me to campus and I had to climb up three steps. Three steps. I felt tightness in my legs and had to approach stairs with caution. I made my way up and down stairs on campus The first thing I remembered "I forgot to stretch!" 

The steps for recovery are simple. First, you need a cute basket to place in the corner of your room, in the living room, or maybe even in the kitchen. Put your recovery essentials in a basket to have everything in one place and in a place you visit often to really get some use out of the essentials. You can use whatever type of basket or case you want but if it isn't cute you may not be as attracted to it.

Second, get to work. Listen to Katy Perry's new album, watch Netflix, do whatever you want to keep your mind off of the pain and start recovering. Most of these essentials hurt as heck but trust me, they feel so good.

one: yoga mat
This is for stretching and/or practicing yoga on. Carpet may hurt - placing a yoga mat on the ground doesn't hurt. I recommend downloading the free Yoga Studio app for Iphones and Ipads. There are plenty of different yoga videos for a quick 15 to 30 minute session without leaving your house.

two: a foam roller
This one is highly important to own. There are all different types of foam rollers out there. Go buy one, any one.

three: compression socks
Compression socks " increase oxygen delivery, decrease lactic acid, prevent cramps, and minimize muscle fatigue." Which basically means they help reduce soreness. 

four: a tennis ball
Use a tennis ball, a lacrosse ball, a golf ball, etc. All I have is a beat up tennis ball but it works. Use this similar to a foam roller. 

five: epsom salt or ice bath
I don't know what it is about an epsom salt bath but it also works. Place one to two cups of epsom salt in warm to hot water and relax for twenty minutes. Ice is good too. It is much more of a shock and not as relaxing.

other: any other torture recovery tool out there
Kettle bell weights for ab workouts, massages, etc... visit your local running store for more ;)

Happy recovering!

Rock 'N' Roll Marathon: Week Sixteen

October 22, 2013

Usually I recap my training weeks on Saturday's after my long run for the week but since my long run was Sunday (and then I was too tired to post yesterday) I am recapping today! My Garmin was acting funny last Monday so I ran without a watch the rest of the week. My runs are by time not pace which is the only reason I would ever run without my Garmin. I am thinking maybe the problem was the weather and it could not locate satellites in the rain? Not sure, but it did work fine during my race so I think it came back to life. On Saturday my sister Kathleen ran with me and we used her Garmin to pace ourselves. Here is a quick recap of last weeks training:

Sunday: Rest day

Monday: 40 minute easy run// 9.30 pace

Tuesday: Cross training// strength training workout for 35 minutes

Wednesday: Tempo A run// warmup, 3 sets of speed work, done without my watch

Thursday: Accidental rest day- midterms

Friday: Cross training// yoga for 30 minutes

Saturday: 40 minute easy run// 4.20 miles// 9.01 pace

Sunday: 20 mile race// 8.27 pace

Week 16 is finished. For the next three weeks I will be tapering to get ready for my first marathon on November 17th!

Rock 'N' Roll Marathon: The 20 Miler

October 20, 2013

I have heard that two nights before a big race is the most important night of sleep. I am glad that is true because two nights ago I had plenty of sleep but last night I was tossing and turning all night. I was too excited and nervous to sleep. This morning I ran the Alamo City Marathon Challenge 20 miler. That is me in the pink in the above photo.

I woke up this morning at 5:45am. I had packet pickup between 6 and 7am and the race started at 7:30am. I had a small breakfast- peanut butter toast and a banana. This morning was 45 degrees. I was very cold but it was the perfect weather without any wind. I got my packet, chip, and race number then did warmups and stretched before the start. The course was out and back 10 miles. My goal time for this race was 3 hours and 20 minutes. I had planned on 9:30-9:45 minute miles for the first half and then picking up the pace to low 9 minute miles the second half. That didn't exactly work the way I planned..

In the first few miles of the race everyone was running at a much faster pace than I had planned. I was behind two boys who were talking about going 9 minute miles so I decided to stay behind them and pace with how I felt. I decided not to worry about pace and just run. I looked at the course map the night before and saw that there were water and gatorade stations every few miles but decided to take my fuel belt filled with gatorade, Gu chomps, and Gu. I took a Gu chomp every 4 miles. I took regular Gu every now and then, I wasn't paying attention. I drank gatorade every few miles and drank water whenever I came upon a water station. On mile 2 these cute marines were asking what runners wanted I said water and one says "I got you! You're beautiful." That definitely made my morning ;)

Miles 1 through 10 -- 8:53 pace

My dad came along to cheer me on. He watched me start then planned to drive to mile 10 and catch me halfway then drive back to watch me end. Right when I got to mile 10 he was just jogging up. I was so excited to see him. He had a coffee and phone in hand and made a joke about running 20 miles so well that he could drink coffee while doing it. That made me laugh. We discussed pacing and how I felt for a few seconds. He yelled "Go Sara! See you at the finish line!" I made it to the turn around.

At mile 12 this group of runners were high-fiving other runners. I decided to high-five a few more also. For some reason high-fives made me excited and I began to run faster. I'm going to high-five more often! At mile 15 I turned my music on loud and zoned everything out and focused on counting down the miles. A few more miles later I saw the finish line and ran in. I had just finished 20 miles! That is the longest run of my training and the farthest distance I have run in my life.

Miles 10 through 20 -- 8:27 pace

My goal was over 3 hours and I ended up running at a much faster pace than my 9:45 and 10 minute training run mile paces. 

Official chip time -- 2 hours 48 minutes
Garmin time -- 2 hours 49 minutes 
Age group -- 1st place

I love running. And every time I push myself to go further I fall more in love with this sport. My first marathon is coming up in three weeks and I can not wait. Rock 'N' Roll Marathon, here I come!

Thank you Dad for coming to cheer me on this morning! I know it is hard getting up early and watching someone else run but having you there meant so much to me. Thank you to my family who support and encourage me all the time. Thank you friends and you guys who read this blog for your Instagram and blog comments, texts and calls, etc. Oh and thank you Kathleen for making my lunch when I didn't feel like getting out of bed!


October 18, 2013

In just two days I will be running 20 miles! I am so excited but also very nervous. I will be using Sunday mornings race as a training run and also as a race to test my endurance and speed from these past few months of training. This will be my longest run and my last long run before the marathon!

These past few days have been exhausting. I have felt great on my runs but mentally wiped out. My older sister is the best at encouragement and support since she is also training for an endurance race and knows how tough training can be. I texted her the other day and this is what she told me.... I will shorten it ;)

"This is where it turns more mental than physical. This is where you have to push through and visualize your goal... When training gets hard you have to rearrange your thinking. Right now think about the fun 20 mile race you are going to do. It is a prep race but it is fun because you will see how your training has helped you.." Thanks Anna, I needed that!

Wednesday morning I woke up ready for my tempo run. I was going to try out my dads Garmin which is newer than mine and lately my Garmin hasn't been working properly. I thought I knew how to work the Garmin but when I pressed the start button nothing happened. It was 5am which is not the ideal time to wake up my dad and figure it out. I really wanted to track my speed but had to settle on running without it.  I knew it was going to be cold but didn't expect the rain. I got through two of my speed sets when I felt something weird. [if you hate blood don't read this] I reached up to my face and looked at blood every where. Shoot! A nose bleed. I made a loop back to my house and cleaned up. Then headed back out in the cold, pouring rain and finished up one more set. I didn't finish all sets since I only had an hour to run before class and lost time because of the "incident" but I finished three of the four. 5am, pouring rain, freezing temperatures, and a nose bleed... that isn't exactly the ideal run.

I will recap all my workouts later this weekend. I am offering my two cents on the Pear yoga app. Today I wanted an easier workout. I have an app on my Ipad that has a bunch of yoga videos that are all between 15-30 minutes. I have had it downloaded for a few months but have never had a chance to use it. I chose a thirty minute relaxation video and really liked it. It is a free app which is the best type of app.

That is all for now. I may not be posting on the blog for a couple of days while I focus on my mantras. Follow along Instagram for updates on my pre race outfit post and after my tune up race! @saralynnhoffman

The Sunshine Award

October 17, 2013

Last week Nicole tagged me for my third blog award so today I am answering the questions. And I would nominate the bloggers that add sunshine to my day but they have already been nominated. If you want to participate follow the rules and comment below!

The rules:
{1} Include the sunshine logo in your blog 
{2} Answer the following ten questions
{3} Nominate bloggers that add a touch of sunshine to your day!

What's the craziest thing you've ever done? If you know me, you know I dislike roller coasters. Two years ago over the summer I really wanted to get over my fear of roller coasters. I was feeling brave so my mom, older sister Anna, younger sister Kathleen, and I all went to Fiesta Texas where we got on the Superman which was the biggest roller coaster at the theme park. I would say that's the craziest thing for me. But hey, I rode it! And never rode it again.. 

Hot weather or cold weather? Hot weather.

Wine or beer? Water.

What do you do when you first wake up in the morning? I go run!

What is your favorite part about the city you live in? Everything. I love that I live in a big city. 

What's one thing that can immediately brighten your day?  My family.

What book can you read over and over again? Harry Potter, of course.

Have you met anyone famous? Yes, Aaron Watson! He was at the rodeo a couple of years ago signing autographs and giving out free CDs. I remember he told us to stay away from boys. Well, alrighty then. Too bad my sister and I didn't know who he was at the time...

And a picture to prove it:

What is your worst habit? Same as what it was in July's A to Z post...  buying too much stuff when I go shopping. And yes, I still like my habit. 

What is the best Halloween costume you've ever worn? Hmm... one time I was a cat.

Recipe Time: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

October 16, 2013

It's fall which basically means pumpkins are everywhere. My family and I make pumpkin bread each October and we love it. Yesterday I had some free time on my hands in which I decided I was going to try baking this recipe by myself. I had every necessary ingredient and couldn't wait to get started. However, the title of this should be changed to: How to mess up the easiest recipe ever. Or maybe: Never let Sara bake again.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
Source: Google
this is what it's supposed to look like ^ you don't want to see mine..

What you need:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup cooked pumpkin (hint: this indeed says one cup not one can)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

Mix those ingredients together in a bowl. Then add:

2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 cup water

How to bake:
Bake in a loaf pan at 350 degrees for one hour. Then enjoy.

I could blame it on having too much fun on FaceTime with my sister or maybe even I was too hungry so I rushed the mixing but no matter what the excuse is, I messed it all up. After baking the bread for over an hour I knew something was wrong. I grabbed out the recipe book, reread the directions, and then quickly doubted all my baking skills. I put in one can of pumpkin which equals 7 cups of pumpkin. I know everyone was trying to tell me it was good just to not make me feel bad but it was terrible. Soggy, and terrible. Practice makes perfect, right?

If you follow the directions it is delicious! I promise. Don't do what I did. 

Welcome Madelynne From Pretty and Whole!

October 15, 2013

I am excited to welcome Madelynne to my blog today! This is my first guest post and I couldn't think of a better person than her. She posts over at Pretty and Whole. We first got to know each other through Instagram and then connected through our blogs. She is so sweet and encouraging. I asked Madelynne to share a few things on my blog today about running, recovery, and nutrition. 

Guest post from Pretty and Whole
I was pretty sedentary growing up, but for as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a runner. When I was 19, I couldn’t run 1 mile without taking several breaks. To say I’ve now run 3 marathons and have no intention of stopping honestly bewilders me. The moment I crossed the finish line of my first marathon in 2010, the sport grabbed a hold of my heart and never let go. There’s something awe-inspiring about the marathon that constantly pushes you to redefine your impossible. Since 2010, I’ve brought my marathon time down from 5:17 to 4:51 to 4:06.

2010 was the year I learned running 26.2 miles wasn’t impossible.
2011 was the year a chronic ITB injury fueled my intense passion for sport. As devastating as it was, the injury was the best thing that ever happened to my running. I wanted to learn to run strong.
2012 was the year of learning how to properly train, massive PRs, and discovering I could start dreaming bigger than I ever had before.

With my sister after the 2012 Chicago Marathon

I dubbed 2013 as the year of DREAMING BIG. I registered for my 2nd Chicago Marathon and set my sights on greatly surpassing the 4-hour barrier. My coach believed I could do it. But, instead, 2013 turned into a big reality check. I fell deep into the rabbit hole of under-recovery and overtraining. My dreams had to be postponed. I withdrew from the 2013 Chicago Marathon 7 weeks from the race. My body was struggling to keep up with the intensity of training despite my coach’s continuous attempts to water down my training plan. I was tired all the time, my muscles were always sore, my brain was in a constant fog, I was having trouble sleeping, I lost endurance, my paces slowed, and I was an emotional train wreck. After several doctor’s appointments, I found out I was struggling with low ferritin levels and Overtraining Syndrome.

Low ferritin is common in runners because we squash red blood cells in our feet every time we hit the ground running so the solution was easy--I was instructed to start taking 325 mg of ferrous sulfate (65 mg elemental iron) daily for several weeks to restore my iron levels. Overtraining, on the other hand, is a more difficult beast to conquer. Overtraining is a physical, behavioral, and emotional condition that occurs when the intensity of an individual’s exercise exceeds their ability to recover. It’s difficult for nonprofessional athletes to be truly overtrained. The root cause of overtraining for recreational runners like myself is insufficient recovery and rest. I worked hard with my doctor and coach to outline the areas in my life that needed improvement to simultaneously support marathon training and improve recovery.
  • Nutrition- We discovered I was eating enough, but wasn’t eating enough carbohydrates to fuel and recover from my workouts. I am gluten intolerant and tend to stay away from processed foods. Sometimes I would run 8-9 miles before work, fill my stomach up with a large smoothie of mixed greens, water, and some protein and feel like my brain had turned into mush by the time I was at work. I wasn’t refueling with any carbs! Now I make sure my post-workout meals are composed of at least 0.4 g per kg body weight of carbohydrates and 0.1 g of protein. I also make sure all of my other meals contain a combination of all the essential macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats) and are as nutrient dense as possible.
  • Sleep- I spent my whole life getting 5-6 hours of sleep per night. While this was manageable for the sedentary version of myself, it was likely not enough to help me recover from 45-50 miles per week of training. I now make sure to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
  • Stress and relaxation- I’m a big ball of stress by nature. I’m learning relaxation techniques, doing more yoga, taking epsom salt baths, etc.
In addition to making the above changes, for the last 7 weeks, I’ve drastically reduced my running volume (50-60%). As difficult as the physical symptoms of overtraining were, the behavioral/emotional symptoms brought me to a sad, dark place I’m happy to say I’ve now climbed out of.

Am I disappointed I couldn’t run the Chicago Marathon this year? Absolutely. But just like my 2011 injury sparked a personal running revolution in me, I’m positive this overtraining experience will only make me a stronger runner. And that’s part of the beauty of running—no matter who you are, no matter how fast or slow you run, training for a marathon will bring its ups and downs and will single-handedly push you to become a better version of yourself physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I’m looking forward to brighter running days : )

Celebrating a great 8-mile training run

Get to know her here and read my favorite post here. Also don't miss her recent post for the five things on Friday. Thanks for your words of wisdom, Madelynne!

I love free stuff.

October 14, 2013

I ran out of fuel last week and was about to purchase more when my sister texted me and asked if I wanted a bunch of her Gu that she has tested out but didn't like during her half ironman training. I immediately replied "yes!!" I just received it today and couldn't be more excited. If you aren't a runner compare the excitement to how you would feel getting something special on your birthday or Christmas. Here is what she sent me:

Yep, that's 9 packets of Gu. Basically all my running needs for the next few weeks are filled.

Also what I got free was this Lancome gift. Well, I don't know if it counts as free if you have to make a $35 purchase in order to receive it... but I will stick to the fact it was a gift.

What came inside was eye shadow and different mascaras. Other makeup stuff came in the bag too but my mom took it.

Speaking of my mom, after running 8 miles together Saturday morning we decided to get our nails done. Matching too, nonetheless. My younger sister was away at a cross country meet and my dad was out of town so it was a mom and daughter day!

I'm just going to tell you all that Bolthouse has the best breakfast smoothie. I run early every morning and by the time I get back I am so hungry. I drink this right when I get back to fill me until I can make my breakfast afterwards. It is so delicious!

And lastly, here are some selfies of my sister and I.

Coming up soon: A guest post from Madelynne! Check back tomorrow for that!

 I hope you had a great weekend and have a great Monday!

Rock 'N' Roll Marathon: Week Fifteen

October 12, 2013

Week fifteen is finished. This was a recovery week after last weeks 16 miles and before next weeks 20  miles. Yep, 20 miles next weekend! Overall I felt really good this week. I have been focusing on eating more, running easy/slower, doing more stretching and foam rolling, and taking freezing cold ice baths. I have been feeling a whole lot better. This is my first time training for a marathon so everything is new to me and I learn new things each day. Here is a recap of this weeks training:

Sunday: Rest day

Monday: 45 minute recovery run// 9.50 pace// 4.58 miles

Tuesday: Cross training// strength workout for 35 minutes

Wednesday: Tempo A run// posted about here

Thursday: Cross training// indoor cycling for 40 minutes

Friday: 30 minute easy run// 9.45 pace// 3.10 miles

Saturday: 8 mile run// 9.30 pace

This morning my mom asked how far I was going and I told her the distance and that it was shorter this week so she decided to run with me. It was fun having a running buddy this morning.

Have a great weekend!

P.S. Good luck to all those running in the Chicago marathon tomorrow! Go out and rock it!

Five Things On A Friday

October 11, 2013

I missed a day of blogging yesterday, darn! I was hoping to make up from last week when I only blogged twice during the week... I figured no one cared about my 40 minute stationary bike ride. Am I right? Yeah I'm right. Moving on. It's that time again- it's time to link up with A. Liz Adventures for five things on Friday. Here are five things that have made me happy// inspired me this week.

// One //
YOU guys. When I started this blog I didn't realize how many people would actually read it and/or comment such nice things! I have learned new things from a few of you such as running tips and new recipes and I love the encouragement you guys write! It means so much. Thank you!

// Two //
I love this quote. I have found my passion in running and I can't wait for my marathon in a little over one month!

// Three //
If you have been keeping up, for a little over two weeks of training I started feeling horrible (fatigue, sickness, slow runs, overtraining, etc.) and began doubting myself. After changing a few things, I am thankful that I feel healthy again and can continue training pain free!! (for now at least;))

// Four //
The new things that came this week. Including new clothes, new fuel, and a free makeup bag! And I can't forget about my sassy shoes! I was looking at similar ones from Target but they were sold out so I just had to buy these ones from Nordstrom. When I was buying them I was talking with the salesperson (who had my name, exact spelling and all) and telling her my outfit idea. My idea was a black top from Anthropolgie and skinny jeans so I needed a pop of shoe. She told me "oh yes, you need sassy shoes." She got me!

// Five //
The fact that my run tomorrow is only 8 miles. 8 miles is short compared to my other long runs. I am looking forward to enjoying the morning, taking my run slow, and only running 8 miles!

Happy Friday!

Training Updates For The Week

October 9, 2013

I haven't posted my weekly training in a few days so here it is: the beginning of week fifteen. Which also means... FIVE MORE WEEKS LEFT.

Monday was an easy 45 minute run. There is a four mile loop near my house. I ran mainly on grass during this run to give my legs a break from pounding on the pavement. I kept it slow to actually use it as a recovery run. 

I read a very wise blogger/ running coach who wrote:
  • If you train slow EVERY DAY without any HIT training…you will go slow.
  • If you train fast EVERY DAY without any recovery workouts…you will go slow, along with getting injured and possibly overtrained.
  • If you train slow when you are suppose too…you will get faster.
  • If your fast training has a purpose…you will get faster.

Tuesday was cross training. I did a workout at home that was an ab and leg workout. I made it up as I went along. Last week I ordered (a bit too much) stuff from Anthropologie. If they would just stop being so darn cute I wouldn't feel the need to buy something every time I go in there. Last night a few of the items came in and I was so excited! The items are this blue top, this chambray buttondown, and this striped dress. Plus all of them are orchestra dress code approved. Win win.

Today was my busy day. I had a tempo run early this morning. The workout was the same as last week. 5 minute walk. 10 minute jog. 4 sets of: 5 minute fast, 2 minute slow. 10 minute jog. 5 minute walk. I was surprised by how much of a difference I felt this week compared to last. Which I will get to in a minute. I had class all day then went to my doctor's appointment afterwards. After talking for awhile we figured out that my nutrition was the problem, not my thyroid. We figured out that I need to eat more and that's that.

Usually in the morning's I grab a quick bowl of cereal to get out the door but now I wake up earlier so I can actually eat a good breakfast. I had Stephani comment last week and she gave me a great recipe. Oatmeal + greek yogurt + honey + berries. I was skeptical at first but after trying it found out that it is delicious! Thanks Stephani! And guys, seriously go try it. 

How To Successfully Run 16 Miles:

October 8, 2013

This past weekend I ran 16 miles. Of course you probably already know that because I posted it every where. Today I'm going to let you in on a few things that helped me this past weekend during my longest run yet. Here are 11 tips for successfully running 16 miles:

1. Your 16 mile run starts the moment the alarm goes off. If you are thinking negatively from the beginning, your run will reflect it. Think of positive things. Remind yourself that you are ready and that you are strong enough to run that far. Find a mantra and repeat it to yourself during your run. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • "You've freaking got this"- RunEMZ
  • "To be a great champion, you must believe you are the best"
  • "Never give up"
  • "To do anything less than your best is to sacrifice a gift"

2. Fuel right when you wake up. During sleep the body goes into anabolic process, drink a protein shake and eat some fruit- maybe a banana or apple slices right when you wake to stop this process. Some people eat a small breakfast, it is whatever works for you. I set out protein powder and an apple the night before so I could remember to eat a little before I left.. and because my family didn't want me to wake them up as I got up before the sun.

3. Map it out. Rather than run for however long and hopefully get in 16 miles, plan out your run the night before to get an idea of your route. You can also let people know where you are going and how long it will take you. I plan out the time I will be gone depending on my pace to let my family know that if I don't return in a certain amount of time, they need to come pick me up. I will get to this later but take your cell phone!

4. Don't forget your totally awesome fuel belt. For this 16 miler I filled the bottles with gatorade and left a water bottle on my driveway. There is also a pouch on the right side where I keep my cell phone and gu chomps. I think everyone needs to take a cell phone with them while running. Whether something is wrong or you need to let someone know you are behind schedule, a cell phone can be used in a quick emergency.

And who knows when I need to call my family and let them know I am still good and on mile 7 of 16. Just kidding, I don't do that. I focus on my mantra. 

5. This one is a personal opinion: Run with music. I love having Bruno Mars sing to me that I'm his treasure and Lady Gaga reminding me that I live for the applause. And I can't forget Beyonce telling me that I am schoolin' life. When you run for two and a half hours (or more) music helps get your mind off of things.

6. Enjoy it. Think of all the things you are thankful for -your body and legs are taking you crazy far, you have people supporting you from the beginning, you get to watch the sun come up, you are following your dreams, you get to eat whatever you want when you get back, etc.

7. Take it slow and easy. You are running for a very long time. Run slowly and maintain your pace or have negative splits. My splits:

Miles 1-10 //  9:45 pace
Miles 11- 14 // 9.15 pace
Mile 15-16 // 9.11 pace

8. After you are finished running 16 miles have a photoshoot. Why else would you run 16 miles if you weren't going to tell everyone? I think Instagram, Facebook, a blog, and any other social media is the perfect place to shine. Yes, friends, family, your neighbors, and strangers need to know how far you ran too. 

9. Also take plenty of pictures of your Garmin. When you get ready for your next run the Garmin will clear out your previous run. If you have a picture of your Garmin from every angle you will be sure to remember your awesome run.

10. Bring out the pain relievers. Most likely your body and legs will be either confused at what you just did or mad at you or both. Taking pain relievers right when you get home helps you still feel the wonderful feeling of running 16 miles but without the pain. Don't take pain relievers the morning of your run! This is a big one. Pain relievers can thin out your blood. It also makes you not feel pain which can be very bad if you hurt yourself or have an injury and run through it.

11. Lastly, recover like a boss. Ice baths, 64 bread bites from Dominos, lying in bed until you feel like moving again, stretching, and foam rolling are all great ideas for recovery. 

Running your 16 miler soon? I hope this post helps. And remember, in the words of RunEMZ: you've freaking got this.

P.S. Thanks RunEMZ for coming up with the perfect quote.

Weekend Favorites: Falling for Fall

October 7, 2013

I made sure to take my phone with me everywhere this weekend so I could have lots of pictures for my weekend favorites. This weekend was one of my favorites! Probably because of my long run but also because I spent it with my favorite people- my family.


Friday was mostly spent on campus. I had class all day then went to the mall afterwards. When I came home I had a thirty minute run to do. My sister and I were in charge of getting the groceries so later on we made a trip of it. You know fall is here when pumpkins are everywhere. I didn't get pictures but Kathleen made the both of us pasta with salads for dinner. Afterwards was ice cream time. So yummy! We took an ice bath, relaxed, and I got my clothes out and mapped my route for my long run on Saturday.


I woke up early Saturday morning so I could have a protein drink and eat apple slices before the planned 16 miler. I made a route the night before so I could do a 10 mile loop throughout the neighborhoods that I live by. I had set out a water bottle in my driveway so that after 10 miles I could loop back to my house, stop for a quick water break, and drop off my fuel belt before my next loop. I saw a piece of paper underneath the water bottle that read "Go Sara! I love you. Love Dad." I loved it! Then I made a 6 mile loop. After three weeks of doubting my abilities to complete longer runs, Saturday's long run left me feeling so much more confident about my training. I think I annoyed my family talking about how awesome it was. Sorry guys ;) I napped for a little while then got ready for orchestra rehearsal and church. After church was pizza and movie night. While ordering the pizza my sister and I may have accidentally added 64 bread bites rather than 32... but don't worry, I didn't waste anything.

I also received the sweetest comment from Madelynne that read:

"I just have to say you make me feel so NORMAL. I've done plenty of crying this season over feeling weak and my horrible training season. I love reading about your journey and the proactive steps you've been taking to feel stronger. You're such an inspiration! Glad you had a strong 16 miler today and I'll pray you have plenty more :)"

Thank you for your sweet words Madelynne! You made my day! Training is hard and having people who support you through the ups and the downs definitely helps. 


Sunday is my rest day. I had to go back to my campus to check on my microbiology lab specimens. My sister came with me so we could stop at Starbucks and try out the Pumpkin Spice Lattes that everyone talks about. It was pretty good and we understood why everyone loves it. The rest of my Sunday was spent studying for upcoming tests and quizzes that I have this week.

I hope you had a great weekend as well! If you haven't tried the Pumpkin Spice Latte yet you probably need to jump on it.

Rock 'N' Roll Marathon: Week Fourteen

October 5, 2013

Happy Saturday! I did it! I ran 16 miles this morning and felt so good! The beginning of this week was rough. On Wednesday I sat in my car crying while my parents kept encouraging me. Running is what helps me through everything. Since my running has not been normal lately I felt that I didn't have anything to turn to when I had a good or bad day. Maybe it's a runners thing or just me? Here is a recap of this week's training.

Sunday: Rest day

Monday: 40 minute easy run// 9.45 pace// 4.10 miles

Tuesday: Cross training// ab circuit for 30 minutes

Wednesday: Tempo run// 4 miles total

Thursday: Rest day

Friday: 30 minute run// 9.25 pace// 3.19 miles

Saturday: 16 mile long run// 9.11 pace

I can't tell you how happy I was this whole run! I prayed for a strong run this morning and kept thanking God the whole way. I was smiling from mile one to mile sixteen. Run Sara Run is back, and ready to take on these next few weeks!

Have a great weekend! See you back here on Monday.

It's hard.

October 4, 2013

So..  I have missed a few days of posts. I had a huge test this morning that I have been studying for all week and I also took a break from posting because I haven't been feeling strong during my running. If I had posted it would just be me being frustrated rather than my usual positive self. 

I have overtraining symptoms (tired, sore legs, etc) but I have been working on getting over it. There is an article I found that was "eat yourself out of overtraining." It has meal ideas for two breakfasts, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner. 
-- Tuesday was cross training. I did an ab workout with my sister, Kathleen. We did thirty minutes of planks, sit ups, and different moves to work every part of our abs. 

--Wednesday I had a tempo run. This was the first tempo run and it is the same run the next six weeks. I didn't take it super fast. 

  •  5 minute walk 
  • 10 minute jog
  • then four sets of 5 minutes run fast, 2 minutes run slow. 
  • 10 minute jog followed by a 5 minute walk. 
The rest of my day consisted of class, studying, and then orchestra rehearsal. 

--Thursday I had a morning class then worked nine hours so I skipped a workout since I didn't get home until late. 

I was reading another blog that talked about how we should not put pressure on ourselves for different races because there is always another race- I may have already talked to my older sister about running another marathon in March. I sometimes forget that I run because I love it. I signed up and have been training for this marathon since July because I want to, not because I have to. 

I have a thirty minute easy run scheduled for this afternoon. Then, I have a 16 miler planned for tomorrow that I am making up from two weeks ago. 

Sara's Must Haves For Fall

October 1, 2013

October is finally here and I couldn't be more excited. What better way to start off a new month than a style post? I am in need want of some new clothes. My favorite store to shop at is Anthropologie. A bunch of the clothing posted below can be found there. I am loving those leopard loafers! I was reading a fashion blog this morning and their outfit of the day included those loafers which looked way too cute on. They are from Target and on sale- I know where I am headed after work ;). I can't wait until I have a free afternoon this week so I can go to the mall.

1. Belmont Dress // Anthropologie 

2. Leopard Loafers// Target

3. Wide Flair Jeans// Anthropologie

4. Color Block Dress// Anthropologie

5. Chambray Dress// Anthropologie 

6. Black Peplum Top// J Crew

7. Chambray Top// Anthropologie

I'm sure a few more articles of clothing will find their way into my closet this season. Lately I have been on the hunt for dresses to wear for church and orchestra. We have a dress code for orchestra and have to wear sleeves. The dresses I found above are perfect for being in season and in dress code!

Also this month, my sister and I have decided that we are going to try the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks that everyone seems to be loving. We have never tried it before and decided that since everyone (literally, everyone) we know talks about it we have to be in the know.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
site design by designer blogs