How to fuel for a marathon (how I fueled for my marathon)

January 31, 2014

I'm no pro when it comes to running and fueling but fueling for a marathon isn't too hard to figure out. I read a lot of tips on other blogs and Google for the best fuel to take, how often to take it, and other ideas for fueling. The hard thing is trying to focus on running the miles while watching your pace and fumbling around your fuel belt for the certain gu chomps you brought along. While I don't know the perfect race fueling, I know what worked for me which I hope helps anyone beginning to train for a race.

Before the race I sipped on water. It was a humid morning in which I wanted to hydrate before I began running since it was supposed to warm up so much later on. The course had water and gatorade stations almost every mile. They were both available to pick from. I switched on and off every mile. If I drank water at the first station then I grabbed a cup of gatorade at the next one. After a few hours of running when temperatures reached 87 degrees, I took water more often to not dehydrate. 

I have been running with Gu for years now. It has always worked for me. I use it in training runs and in races. It's really a preference for what works for you. I know there are numerous other kinds out there such as Hammer gels, Clif shot blocks, sports beans, etc. I have tried other brands but they were not as good or didn't work right. 

Here is the breakdown:

Miles 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24 - I took one Gu chomp every four miles. I took two packets of chomps with me but had some left over. Each packet contains 8 chomps which says that will fuel between 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours worth of running. If I felt I needed more (hunger or running low on energy) I would take another or take a Gu gel. 

Mile 17, 20, 23- One of my friends ended up running a marathon a couple weeks before I did. She suggested I buy salt tablets to help against leg cramping since she cramped up during her race. I found them at the expo. My dad told me to begin taking them at mile 17 even if I didn't feel that I needed them because it would help later on if something were to happen. I took one every three miles towards the end and never cramped. 

Different races call for different types of fueling. During a half marathon I would only take two to four chomps. During my most recent half I only took two. For my next race/ long training run I am thinking I will either run without anything or try a different brand since Gu chomps and I aren't getting along too well.. but I don't have another race for a couple more weeks. 

What works for you?

Finding my motivation & the best sweatpants

January 30, 2014

I went for my very first swim in almost six months! Since I am training for a sprint triathlon in April I have swimming back on my training plan. The best thing about going to the gym for swimming (or any workout, really) is the smoothies I get to buy afterwards. 

You know the running motivation that tells you to train really hard and beat your goals? I lost that for a little while. I looked for it everywhere. At my house. At the gym. Outside. I think it went on a run without me.

I found my motivation yesterday when I was talking with my coach (I just had to, it sounds so cool).

Coach Jenny and I discussed my training plan, upcoming races, and everything in between. I went from not knowing when my next marathon would be or what other races I would do during the spring and summer to having everything planned out for me. I already feel so much better about having a coach and I have barely started my workouts! I am running another marathon on Saturday, October 25th, 2014!

I also found the world's best sweatpants on sale:

So comfy. So worth $60.

I am now "that" runner..

January 27, 2014

You know "those" runners that are made fun of in youtube videos where all they talk about is their coach or their goals or their workout for the day, etc? I am now "that" runner. I got a personal coach! On Saturday morning after my run I was looking at training plans from Jenny Hadfields website. I follow her free training plans for the half marathons I run and I followed her beginner marathon plan for November's race.

Normally I follow a plan, run whatever pace I want, and complete races but I want to get more serious about running. I saw on her website that she offers personal coaching so I emailed her and then told her I wanted her to coach me.

With my goals of qualifying for Boston in 2015 or 2016 (depending on how many marathons I run per year), competing in a few sprint triathlons over the summer, running a 1:30 or less half marathon, I realized I need some guidance with my training. I have huge goals I want to accomplish and I think having a personal coach will help me get there. I'm so excited to start working with A COACH!

Week Recap: January 19 - January 25

January 25, 2014

After a hard run last Sunday, I have been enjoying this down time. I was going to take off just a couple days after the race, but when I realized how busy my race/training calendar will be I decided to take off a whole week. Triathlon training pretty much begins when I want it to. I figured out that February 1st will be the first day of triathlon training (the triathlon I am looking at is at the end of April). I have another half marathon in March so I will be training for 13.1 + a sprint tri these next few months.

Here is a weekly recap of what I have been up to:

Sunday: 13.1

Race day!! After the race, I relaxed the rest of the afternoon. I tried to nap but napping after races is sometimes hard when my adrenaline is still going. I wish I had smiled in my race photo but at that point I was so upset. Apparently a lot of other people got lost as well and were writing bad reviews on the race website. I was upset but I realized it's just a race. Later that evening my family and I went out to dinner. In my opinion, the best way to celebrate is burgers and custard.

Monday: Rest day

No class because of the holiday. I pretty much caught up on sleep and stayed in compression socks and sweatpants all day. The only time I got up was in the afternoon when my dad and I rode our bikes. Can you tell I love it?

Tuesday: Rest day

No class. It's been awhile since I have read a good book and stuck with it. I saw a couple books (The Fault In Our Stars and Divergent) off a few other blogs so I decided to check them out. Reading + studying for my nursing exams.

Wednesday: 15 minutes yoga

Class + Bible study + 15 minutes of yoga + orchestra rehearsal. My "oh my gosh I have jewels on my collar!" face. I bought my first JCrew pieces last week off their website including a new skirt, sweater, jeweled tank, and peplum and am pretty happy with my finds.

Thursday: Rest day

No class. Nursing exam. After my nursing exam I went into a bike store to look for bike shorts. The place was super sketchy and so was the man working there. I ended up leaving empty handed because I just wanted to get out of there. I'm going to try a few different other stores and maybe have my dad go with me to help find a good pair.

Friday: 30 mins cycling 

No class. 30 minutes on the bike and spent the rest of the day with my family.

Saturday: 3.5 mile run

I did a run this morning with my mom and sister, they ran.. I ran/walked. I am hoping to get back into a schedule next week depending on how I am feeling. Now I am off to get ready for orchestra and church. 

While I love training, I also love having a little break to rest up. Especially since I have been trainingtrainingtraining since July. 

This week was:
1.83 hours of training
16.6 miles of running 

[Re]Naming My Bike

January 24, 2014

Due to "hazardous conditions" it is a "snow" day which meant I didn't have to go to class. I chose the perfect weekend to run a race since I only went to school one day. Those are all in quotations because there is definitely not snow outside or else I would be out there.

This morning before breakfast, my sister and I were looking at Pinterest when we found a recipe for cinnamon roll pancakes. Usually recipes off Pinterest don't turn out the way they should but they were very good. Definitely not healthy, but good.

Besides a little yoga (literally like 15 minutes), I have been enjoying all my rest days this week. Today I decided to do a little spin out on my bike practicing changing gears, making the resistance harder and easier, standing in the saddle, etc.

I had to rename my bike. I thought of a name for my bike (Little Fierce) but upon realization that my sister already has that nickname (hers is Kathy Fierce) I needed to quickly change it. My older sister had named this bike little blue. I am sticking with little blue.

I love this thing.

20 ways to know you're a distance runner:

January 22, 2014

Sometimes it gets confusing wondering if you are a distance runner. I mean, yeah you have finished a half marathon or maybe even you have finished a full marathon but you don't know if it qualifies you under this category. Here are 20 ways to clear up the confusion on whether or not you are a long distance runner:

1. You take being called crazy as a huge compliment 
2. You have no idea how to heal your bruised/ missing toenail
3. When you see a race is $120 you don't think twice about registering
4. Saturday's are for long runs
5. It no longer bothers you to stop and use the bathroom in a park/forest while out on your long run
6. You are "rungry" all the time [thanks Ashleigh for the new word]
7. You are irritable if you haven't gotten in your run for the day
8. You proudly wear your race distance on a necklace and/or stamped on back of your car
9. 10 miles is now a short run
10. You have a stockpile of Gu chomps and gels 
11. Everyone on Instagram/blog/Facebook/social media needs to know about your daily workout
12. It doesn't phase you if a race starts at 6AM. on a weekend.
13. You wear your favorite race shirt just about every day
14. Yes, it is another sweatpants day
15. You own multiple pairs of running shoes
16. You know what your VO2 max is
17. You spend hours obsessing over the numbers on the McMillan pace calculator 
18. You're laundry is mostly workout clothing 
19. You aren't finished after you run a marathon- you've got to start competing in triathlons, run a million half marathons, qualify for Boston, etc.
20. On your birthday you consider running the distance of your age

And while the list can go on forever, on top of all of that you wouldn't change one thing about yourself because you absolutely love what you do.

Happy running, friends!

Welcome Home, Little Blue!

January 21, 2014

Everyone, everyone! Stop what you're doing! Guess what I just got... 


When someone gets their first road bike it is a very exciting day. When a runner gets their first road bike it is also very exciting with a mix of emotions. Runners belong on the road, not on a bike. But the day has finally arrived where I am able to get on! I have been looking at road bikes for a few months now but had been debating whether or not to purchase one. I wasn't sure how serious I would be about doing triathlons and I didn't want to fork over $1000 on a bike that would be raced a few times a year.

Like I said in another post, this is actually my older sister's bike. She had this road bike for a few years completing numerous triathlons and a half ironman with it. She is looking forward to completing a full ironman later this year and was offered a sweet deal to upgrade into a triathlon bike.

The store replaced different parts to this bike and it is still in great condition. My dad and Anna talked about selling it to me and I didn't take a second to think about it. Here's the money, yes I want it. The only problem.. I haven't been on a bike in years. Sure I rode a bike all my childhood and sure I have been to cycle class numerous times where the gears are located in one knob on the front of the bike but a road bike..

When we got the bike, the seat was high so I couldn't get on it. I just left it in my room (what? It's too pretty to be outside). Yesterday I asked my dad to fit me on the bike and then wanted to ride around the neighborhood. He wanted me to get on the trainer first to fit me. Am I supposed to be bending all the way forward? And he wanted to show me how to change the gears depending on if I am riding up or down a hill. What gears? When he showed me all the handles switching all the gears up and down while I had to keep pedaling I was a little overwhelmed. I thought I would just get the bike, sign up for an outdoor cycle club, and ride along.

Uhh... what am I doing?

Oh well, I am one step closer to following my next dream- becoming a triathlete.

Welcome home, little blue!

Race Recap: Cocoa Women's Half Marathon

January 19, 2014

Packet pickup was Saturday afternoon. My dad and I headed downtown to pick up my bib. It was a small expo with free hand massages and running clothes. I have no idea why anyone would want a hand massage? Maybe calf massages but we don't use our hands. Anyways, we stopped there, had extra time before church so we also picked up my bike (!!!) but that's a post for another day. I got my race clothes out and took my usual pre race Instagram picture.

Oh and I can't forget about my manicure that matched my race day outfit. Last Thursday my mom and I had a free afternoon so we went to the salon together. I went with black to be fierce for race day, she went with maroon.

Lululemon tank (old)
Speed shorts
Nike arm warmers
Mizuno Wave Rider 17s
Gel, headband, and watch. 

The race started at 8am. My dad went with me. We left the house early and headed downtown to the race start. There were between 400-500 runners. I tried to get as close to the start line as possible so I wouldn't have to waste energy running around people. Warm up, national anthem, prayer, then the start horn went off.

Once the race started, everyone found their paces. I had an idea that if I felt good I was going to try and keep it up but once I began to feel bad I would just settle into a comfortable pace. I was in the top ten girls and I found a group of three women running together. They looked strong and were running fast so I decided to stick with them. We held pretty fast paces but my legs were feeling good so I moved out of the group, picked up my pace, and ran on my own for a few miles.

The directions were pretty confusing from the beginning since I was running on my own. I was always asking the cops leading the way which way I was supposed to go. At mile three I ate a little bit of gel. Kept my legs moving through the miles then ate more gel at mile five. Right after I ate the gel I felt a turn. My stomach and shoulders started cramping up and my legs just wouldn't find a rhythm. I got really frustrated because I didn't want my stomach to be the thing that messed up my race. I threw out the gel and took nothing the rest of the race. For some reason ever since my marathon my body won't take in any gels/gu?!

After ditching the fuel I felt better. Mile after mile I maintained my low seven minute pace. I watched my pace and calculated my finish time that put me at my goal time. I was so excited! I zoned out and kept pushing through. At the ten mile mark there was one fast lady in front of me who I was following. All of a sudden she turned around and goes "Where do we go??" I was like shoot shoot shoot!

I was so disappointed. My vision of an awesome finish, PR, maybe an award, all went away as I wondered where the heck we were. We tracked our way back along the path almost three miles to the turn around point. My watch said I was on mile 12. I asked someone which mile they were on and she said ten. Crap. I could either keep running, have a slower finish time, and run a total of 16 miles OR I could run a half marathon then call my dad to see what I should do. I panicked, I cried, then made a choice. I would run until my watch showed that I ran 13.1 miles and that would be my race. After I reached that milage, I borrowed someone's phone and asked my dad if he could come pick me up.

My dad drove me back to the start/finish line so I could get my finisher medal and all the promised chocolate sweets (hot chocolate, chocolate covered fruit, chocolate chip pancakes).

Mile 1- 7:18
Mile 2 - 7:19
Mile 3 - 7:30
Mile 4 - 7:02
Mile 5 - 7:15
Mile 6 - 7:25
Mile 7 - 7:21
Mile 8 - 7:19
Mile 9 - 7:14
Mile 10 - 7:19
Mile 11 - 7:52
Mile 12 - 9:19
Mile 13 - 7:50
Mile .10 - 7:07

Average pace: 7:32 // Watch time: 1:38:45

I finished the half marathon in 1:38! That is faster than the fastest goal time I posted (1:39). I didn't run the whole race course but I ran the whole race distance. As disappointing as the finish was, all that matters to me is my time. It helped break a mental barrier of running below a 1:40 half. And it was another race to add on to my 26 before 26 goal. 

Cocoa Womens half marathon: Week Six

January 18, 2014

It is the end of RACE WEEK. I did it, I trained for a half marathon in only six weeks. Normally I train for a couple of months for a half but because of the time of my last race, recovery weeks, and the fact I really wanted to run a half marathon in January I only had a few weeks to build my milage back up.

Given at expo: bag with race shirt

I started my long run from 6 miles, then each weekend I added on more and more to get to 10 miles in the end. I don't know if it was smart to train so quickly considering I just ran a marathon but I guess I will find that out on Sunday. Here is a recap of race week:

Sunday: Rest day

Monday: Cross training- full body workout for 30mins

Tuesday: 3 mile easy run

Wednesday: 2 mile easy run

Thursday: Rest day

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: 2 mile easy run

Sunday: RACE DAY- 13.1

I can't wait for tomorrows race! I have some goals in mind but I am going to run based on how I feel and not push it too much.

Race Day Outfit- Cocoa Women's Half

January 17, 2014

I am super excited for my first race of the year! The Cocoa Women's half marathon is coming up this Sunday morning and I have all my race day gear set out and ready. I also got a manicure yesterday to match my race day outfit. Normally I have a theme- this one is red and black. The weather is supposed to be cold so I included my arm warmers. Outfit details:

Lululemon tank
Speed shorts
Nike arm warmers
Mizuno shoes & socks 
Gu, watch, headband

Here I go!

Confessions of a lulu-holic

January 16, 2014

Hi my name is Sara and I am obsessed with LuluLemon. It all started many years ago when I bought my first pair of running shorts and no other company seemed to be able to compete with the cuteness of LuluLemon. The end.

Last week I used up all of my gift card I received as part of a Christmas present. I found most of the items I wanted in the store but there was one tank top I wanted that was only online. I ordered off their website and it was finally delivered today! I'm one happy runner today.

Between studying for/ taking two nursing exams, finishing applications, starting school again, getting organized, focusing on my upcoming race, I have been just a little bit all over the place this week. I also figured out today why my post yesterday was a little um.. honest? ;) Don't worry, everything is all good over here! Thank you for your comments!

The shoes I bought on Monday were not comfortable at all. I have never tried the enigma's before and didn't think much of it but after a two mile run I threw them off and ran home barefoot because they were not good. I called the store and traded them in for the Wave Rider 17s. They are more comfortable and fit better on me. I'm still debating whether or not to run the race in them.

Today was an off day. I nannied this morning, may be getting a manicure this afternoon, and tonight I am going to a Bible study get together. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Running Another Marathon & Sunday's Race Goals

January 15, 2014

It is easy to be on a marathon high right after you run a marathon and want to sign up for a hundred more in the next month. Maybe that is just me? I began to train for the half marathon I have this weekend and wanted to keep adding on miles from there.

As I have been training for the past six weeks I have noticed I work hard and train but I am also tired. My stomach hasn't been loving gu/gels lately. My legs are still a little sore the next week from the long run I finished five days ago.

Training for a marathon is a huge commitment and I am just not ready to add that on right now. That said, I am still planning on running another marathon this year but the one I am looking at is not until December and I don't start training for a few months.

These next few months I am focusing on: swim, bike, running to train for my first triathlon in May, I am racing another half marathon in March, and possibly completing a double half in June or July (running a half marathon on Saturday and Sunday).

For Sunday's race goals I have three goal times in mind:

  • My "I'm on top of the world and the adrenaline is really going" time is 1:39. 
  • My more realistic goal time is 1:41.
  • My "I just want to finish" goal time is 1:48.

Back to School

January 13, 2014

Happy Monday! This morning was the first day of classes for the spring semester. The best thing is that I don't have any 8am classes. For five semesters I had courses that were only offered at that time but I am finished with the important classes. I was able to sleep, hang around the house, enjoy my morning coffee then get ready and leave for my 10am class. I have classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday no Tuesday or Thursday!

Top and Jeans: Anthropologie
Boots: Nordstrom
Necklace: JCrew

Full day of classes then I headed to the shoe store. On Saturday I completed my 10 miler but my feet hurt. I don't think my shoes are that run down (I have ran in them for about two months) but I can't stand uncomfortable shoes so I bought some new ones anyway. I am trying a new kind for the next few months- they are the Mizuno Wave Enigmas.

I have written about these energy bites before but they are so good not to share again! They are the quickest and easiest snack to make plus they are delicious. Seriously, go make these right now.

Energy Bites
1 cup dry oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla 

My workout for the day was strength training/ stretching. I did the full body workout that I posted about last week followed by some yoga studio stretching. For this week my training plan says I have cross training today, three days of easy runs, two rest days, then race day. I may switch out some days since I am used to an easy run the day before a race but I will figure that out as it comes closer. 

Now it is time for some Juan Pablo!

Cocoa Women's half marathon: Week Five

January 11, 2014

Another training week down! I posted about other things I have been up to here. Next week is race week and I can't wait! Next week is also going to be great because 1. I ordered a bunch of clothing and it is supposed to ship next week and 2. the bike store said my bike should be finished. Here is a recap of workouts from this past week:

Sunday, 1/5: Rest day

Monday, 1/6: Run Easy 2 mile run without my Garmin

Tuesday, 1/7: Cross training 30 minute full body workout + 30 minutes on stationary bike

Wednesday, 1/8: Tempo Run 4 miles at a 7.50 pace per mile

Thursday, 1/9: Cross training Cycle class for 60 mins

Friday, 1/10: Run 4 mile run at 8.40 pace per mile

Saturday, 1/11: Long Run 10 mile run at 8.09 pace

Total milage= 20 miles.

How To: Train for your first marathon

January 10, 2014

Two months ago I ran my first marathon and had a blast! I knew nothing about running over 13.1 miles. I thought I just started adding on miles week after week and everything would be okay. Yeah... no. I ran, I overtrained, I was exhausted, I kept running, but I successfully ran 26.2 miles. One thing that's different- training for a half I usually go up to ten miles before race day and training for the full I ran twenty miles. That's a huge difference! 

I thought to provide any one else out there with tips on how to train for your very first marathon:

1. Train day by day

After searching different training plan websites, I found a training plan that fit my schedule and me as a runner with starting off simple and building up to the peak week of training (aka the 20 miler).

When I was looking at each weekend, I began to freak out about however many weeks later I would be running 14, 16, 18, 20 miles. I have never ran that far in my life! How am I supposed to run that now? One thing that helped me was printing out my training plan and crossing each day off as it came.

2. Forget pace

Seriously, forget when your Garmin tells you how fast/slow you are running and just look at distance. It's easy for runners to start comparing themselves to other runners when really everyone is different and everyone is training for different goals and races. Just focus on your running and completing those miles.

3. Training will be hard

This should be number one. I'm going to tell you what my dad told me.. you have to really want to run a marathon to be successful in training. And it's true. You have to really really want to run twenty six point two freaking miles to keep your head up when the days become exhausting.

4. Eat, eat, and then eat some more

One thing I found out in training is that I need a lot more food than I thought. I thought I was eating a lot while training but I ended up overtraining because I wasn't eating enough. I usually eat three meals with one snack. During training I had four meals and two to three snacks per day and was still hungry.

5. Pack everything a few days before race morning

Race day outfit, change of clothes, gels, salt tablets, running shoes, headband, charged watch and Ipod, fuel belt, extra drinks, etc..

Get everything organized a couple days in advance so you know what you have or what you still need. Usually the expo has a bunch of necessities in case you forget about something.

6. Calm down

It is race day, you are nervous, you just puked, you have no idea what you are doing at the start line... scratch that because that was probably just me. BE CONFIDENT. You have trained for weeks you are ready!

7. Smile for the camera

Smile for those race day pictures! It keeps you focused on having fun!

8. Run for the finish line not the finish time

I know a lot of runner's, including me, like to have a goal pace for each race. When you are running your first marathon if you think about a goal time you probably won't enjoy the race. I had a goal time in mind but scratched it out when I realized that running to the finish is so much more important than any time I get. No matter what your time is, you will be a marathoner! And there will be many more marathons to run where you can focus on finish time.

Oh, and you may want to test out your race day outfit before race day. You know, so your top doesn't get wet/sweaty, become a cropped top, and all your race day photos include your belly button. I'm not talking about me here...

Now go find a training plan and run.
Happy marathon training!!

Catching up, workouts of the week, and my fit chick interview!

January 9, 2014

Hi again! Sorry for being a bad blogger this week. This is my last week of break before classes start back up again on Monday. This week has been mostly relaxing, with my mornings of having coffee with my sister, watching The Bachelor with my friends, training, finding more races to sign up for, doing some online shopping, signing up for nursing exams, and finishing up my nursing application.

Workout recap from the week... I went for an easy two mile run on Monday. I asked my sister for help with a few fitness photos for a guest post. It was so cold outside but I didn't want to be all covered up so I quickly took a few pictures then ran inside. Can you tell it was 35 degrees and I was freezing?

I switched up my cross training on Tuesday and rather than my regular P90X video I found a workout from Pinterest. Two rounds of three circuits followed by thirty minutes on the stationary bike. I definitely felt the burn! 

Wednesday I did a quick four mile run. Tonight my mom and I are planning on going to the cycle class at the gym. And I will post my weekly workout tomorrow! I am so excited for be featured on Ashleigh's blog, check out my fit chick interview by following the link!

That's all for now!

This is my very exciting news:

January 7, 2014


Or, I'm getting my sister's old road bike since she upgraded to a triathlon bike and decided she would sell her road bike to me.... but I don't exactly have it yet. 

Last week I promised I would share some very exciting news but unfortunately the store isn't finished with putting some parts on it. When my sister upgraded her bike she took all of the parts to it that she bought (tires, handle bars, etc) and I got the frame. Now the store is working on finding the parts to add back to it. They said they would be finished last weekend, Friday or Saturday. Now it's Tuesday and I have no idea when it will be done. 

I am waiting so patiently. 

Cocoa Women's half marathon: Week Four

January 4, 2014

Have I really been training for a month? I feel like these weeks are flying by. I have two more weeks until my next half! This week was a good training week. I was able to get back in my schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday running days.

Sunday 12/29: Rest day

My favorite day! I went to nanny for a few hours in the evening. The family I nanny for gave me the best Christmas presents, one included the cutest monogram tote. They also got my mom the same bag in different colors. Since my mom and I have the same initials we have matching totes!

They also included a delicious Santa cookie, Lululemon gift card, and Juicy Couture headbands.

Monday 12/30: Run

5 mile run at 9.10 pace per mile.

Tuesday 12/31: Cross training

A short 15 minutes of yoga.

Wednesday 1/1: Run + Cross training

4 mile run with my whole family (mom, dad, two sisters, and brother in law) at 9.01 pace per mile. Afterwards I did a little bit of arms since I haven't done arm weights in a few days. My sister and brother in law left, I miss them already!

Thursday 1/2: Cross training

My sister and I went to a cycling class at the gym. We did quite a few (I lost count) sets of three sprints followed by a few minutes of recovery.

Friday 1/3: Run

Easy two mile run done in 9.06 pace per mile. The rest of the day consisted of lunch with friends, getting stuff done around the house, and movie night with my family. I found an outfit to go with my new booties!

Top: Old Navy
Jeans: Anthropologie
Shoes: Nordstrom
Necklace: J Crew

Saturday 1/4: Long run

My long run for this weekend was 9 miles at 8.21 pace per mile.

Enjoy your weekend!

Guest Post: Meet Ashleigh from Daily Cup of Asheejojo

January 2, 2014

Hi Everyone!  My name is Ashleigh and I blog over at Daily Cup of Asheejojo – (almost) daily doses of a frequent runner and sometimes yogi.  I am so happy to write a guest post for Sara today! 

As far back as I can remember I hated running.  From the President’s Fitness Test in 5th grade when we were forced to run a mile, to acting up in cheerleading and being punished with running one mile.  The torture, the agony!

As a kid, I was active, dabbling in a variety of sports (soccer, basketball, baseball) not being all too good at one.  Finally in high school I settled on swimming.

Swimming was great.  It meant I never had to run.  However, by my senior year of high school, I was over swimming.  So over it I didn’t join the team, even after they added my long-pleaded diving team.  So to stay in shape, I started to run.  I started out slowly on the treadmill, running a quarter mile, then walking a quarter mile.  After a while I started to build the amount of running I was able to do, but always followed it up by a portion of walking.  As I continued, the walking started to decrease to about 0.1 miles for every mile.  One thing was for sure, boy, did I love the treadmill.  I couldn’t imagine running outside.  How boring!  Running on the treadmill meant multi-tasking and watching my favorite talk shows like Ellen and Rachael Ray.

I don’t remember when the transition actually happened, but by my freshman year of college, I started to run outside.  It was revolutionary.  It was freeing and amazing, and I couldn’t believe I had waited so long to get outside.  Everyday I would run the campus loop (which amounted to about 4 miles).  This became part of my daily ritual and I loved it.

By the beginning of sophomore year, I became preoccupied with “college things.”  You know, the ones that aren’t so good for you.  Aren’t so good for keeping routine, waking up early, making healthy choices, running.  However, after one quarter of “living it up,” I felt out of shape and disgusting.  So in an attempt to commit myself to running and regaining my fitness, I signed up for my first half marathon.  Well, I didn’t exactly sign up for it at the time I decided to start training (BIG MISTAKE!).  Two other girls had agreed that they would run the half marathon with me.  It was all great in theory, we would sign up together.  So I waited, hesitant that they would back out.  This was just dumb because I was the only one who fully dedicated myself to a training plan and increasing my mileage.  By the time I reached my longest run (10 miles!!!) I decided I would sign up, regardless if my friends were going to run it or not.  To my dismay, the race was already sold out.  I was so heartbroken, especially after I had already run ten miles.  Luckily, I had a friend with a friend who had sprained her ankle, so I was able to buy her bib (not transfer).  So for my first race, at 19, I ran not as myself, some other 25-year-old. 

Looking back at my first race, I honestly don’t know how I did it.  I was so unprepared.  I didn’t have a watch. I didn’t know what to wear. I didn’t know what I was doing.  Maybe my naivete was a blessing.  I ran a 1:46 in a race I would later complete 2 more times.  To this day, I have not been able to break that first course goal.

After my first half marathon (2010) I didn’t think too much about running another one.  I did one, and it was done.  The next year, 2011, I eventually ran 3 to achieve a local “triple crown” award.  And in 2012 I fell out of running and into the year I like to refer to as “the year of selling bibs” (I tried to sell my January race bib but failed so had to run it, but successfully sold my August race bib).
In 2013 I have more than doubled my number of completed half marathons.  I can honestly say that writing my own blog has provided more accountability and motivation, and reading other blogs, like Run Sara Run, has provided so much inspiration. 

I never could have imagined how much my running and surrounding mentality has changed over the years.  It’s no longer just trying to get in shape, but trying to excel and better myself, and my running.

2014 Goals

January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! Last year I made a list of six fitness goals I wanted to complete. I completed four of the six goals which is pretty good considering I took off six months of racing to focus on training for my first marathon. Here is my list of last years goals:

  • Run at least 4 half marathons [well, three were completed] 
  • Compete in at least one duathlon [didn't do]
  • Run a double half marathon [yeaaaaahh.. no]
  • Complete an 18 mile run [finished!]
  • Complete a 20 mile run [finished!]
  • Finish 26.2 [finished!]

My goals for this year are similar, with an addition of a few:
  • Run another 26.2
  • Run a double half marathon
  • Complete a triathlon 
  • Run at least five half marathons 
  • Run another race besides a half marathon or full marathon
I'm ready for this new year of new races and new PRs. 

Up next, I am working on finding the perfect running outfit for my half marathon in EIGHTEEN DAYS. I'm so excited for this race: an all women's chocolate themed half marathon. I don't know what gets better than that. And I have some really exciting news to share this weekend! Stay tuned! 
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