Sunday, September 30, 2012

believing can be hard

Today was a hard day. A hard race. I started too fast for my fitness, held on for 7ish miles, and then I blew up. In a big way that hasn't happened in quite some time. But a way that seems to threaten every race from the sidelines.

Coming to the starting line I felt scrapped together. My foundation unstable, my goals flying out of control from high to low to high again. As the race went on, I was there in 9 parts at least. My thoughts fighting other thoughts, my knee fighting both my calf and hamstring, my heart was fluttering and falling. I felt like some string puppet, holding it together then falling apart again. I walked, I got a foot cramp from my heel to my toe. I didn't cry, which I count as a plus. I was so mad at myself.

At one point during the race we ran past a slide-letter sign over paint store. It said "Above All, Love Each Other". A quote I'm familiar with from the Bible. And all I could think as I watched the group of women working in front of me, is, I love them more than me. I spent the first 5 miles (7 miles?) thinking how strong they looked, how fluid, fast. I spent no time telling myself any of these things.

At mile 10, I had lost touch with that group. I still felt the possibility of catching them. But just as I had hope my entire left foot cramped. I tried to keep running. Then I walked. I saw them climb the hill, minutes ahead of me, as I walked. WALKED. It was humiliating. I didn't feel like loving them or myself, or the view, or the sun.

After my foot allowed me to run again, my side ache crept in and got stronger and stronger until it burned deep in my in every fiber of my muscles. I had taken in no water or gel. I felt like I was drying up. I stopped and walked and drank water. No one could tell the difference between me and the marathoners we'd merged in with. I felt so low, but I knew my friends had driven from Seattle and they were waiting for me to cross the line. And I wasn't sure if I could. But I took it a step at a time. And I crossed. 1:22:50(?)
photo cred: my amazing cheer squad leader, sally b.
 It was hard day. I am having a hard time with it. But as I wrote my race review in my Believe I Am journal after reflecting and some quiet tears on the drive home I started to see the race as fuel. I wrote what I had learned and what I would have changed. And even managed to come up with 'how I was brilliant'.

As I put this race behind me and look to immediate future of building my foundation I am fueled by this latest flail. I want to get strong. To focus my work. To focus my mind. I know it's equal parts body and mind. I have the heart and courage. I just need those other two key elements.

personal information
I am excited to dive into training and into my Believe I Am workbook. To join a community of women all daring to dream, and put in that extra mental and emotional work to become a full runner. Made of more than mile repeats but of focus, belief, patience...all the ingredients joyful, beautiful running. Follow the process #sistersinsport.

getting started

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

goodbye summer

 {alternate title: what i did on summer vacation}

Friday morning it arrived. Sure we might have a few flashback days. But fall is here. I can feel it, see it, taste it. Usually I'm sad, inconsolable. But this year, I lived this summer to the fullest. I'm satisfied with everything summer brought and I'm ready for the next season's possibilities.

Before I move on...let's look back in what I like to call blogger-style-living-room-slideshow-captivity. You might need a drink or at least an intermission:

1. Running, Racing, Rushing.
So much running, racing ... and rushing to bridal festivities
bridal shower double with a race....
racing to bridal activities....
2. Totally Trials
In June I went to the Olympic Trials! I watched almost every single event, live. Amazing. A week of complete track bliss. Every night we'd head back to our house to blog about the day and talk shop. 

I was also burning wedding cds every night, booking hair and nail appointments in Vermont, and finishing up wedding details from afar. 

My sister came out to watch the events too. As my kick ass maid of honor she even squeezed in a bachelorette part (combined with Lesko's birthday party) on one of the track and field rest days.

It was such a busy, invigorating, inspiring, beautiful, (wet) week. I wish I could live it all over again. I have Oiselle, Leskos, and Sally to thank for this amazing time in Track Town.
olympic trials!!
in the beautiful eugene summer rain.
met amy hastings AND joan benoit...

track town fever!
got hang out with my sissy
3. Runner's World Belly
At the Trials we also pulled together a photo for the upcoming issue of Runner's World. My sister shot me in the new NYC Marathon Tote and it was sent to the presses straight from Hippy House's giant dining/media table.

4. Runway Debut
Fashion show, MCHammer, Totally Trials bash! I worked my first runway with all the beautiful, buff women of Oiselle! I still have stage light high...what a crazy experience!
got to work the runway and meet mchammer (#totallytrials)
5. Wedding Week!
The next morning after the Totally Trials party, Owen dropped me off at the PDX airport and I flew to Vermont. I arrived at midnight and the whirlwind that was wedding week took off!

A complete blur of frantically starting and wrapping up everything I'd ignored while focusing on the Olympic Trials Oiselle party. Including laying out the ceremony, making programs, finalizing seating cart, writing every place card, writing vows, tying about a million yards of raffia ribbon on cds, programs, place cards, local squirrels... wait... that can't be right? I was crazy. It was like owning a craft business I never wanted. But by Wednesday when my friends and husband-to-be arrived I was done with the insanity and ready for three days of fun with everyone!

wedding week!
this picture sums up being a bride: me after 4 straight days of wedding crafts. "where's my raffia? or wine?"
Yes I skipped a number, because I hate numbers and we got married on July 7th, so this is the 7th thing that I did this summer :)

The day was perfect and not because of the weather or the table settings or the food. Although those things were PERFECT. It was perfect because the day was full of love. I could feel it emanating. I could feel the strength and support of everyone there. Blessing the day and blessing our lives, the choice we were making to be each other's partner for the our days on earth.

I married the man I love and then celebrated with my family! Both the family that I was born to and all the family I've found in this world.
my favorite headband ever

love, love, love

i danced the lace right off the bottom of my dress #success
8. Honeymoon Adventure VT - MA - ARUBA

We started in Vermont
second dinner as married folk: american flatbread pizza

 Drove down to Rockport Mass, my third spiritual home on earth ;)
 Then jetted off to Aruba!
the dinner guests were a little different here

living the resort life
 One day I could NOT take the resort life anymore so I rented us the cheapest car at Avis and we got the H outta there. Got lost all over the island. I loved it!



steeples under sun
coastal ruins

this fish is WAY fresher than that resort junk

local beach
9. Gorge in George
Immediately upon return to Seattle, I was restless, so we joined our friends for the Journey + Pat Benetar  concert at the Gorge. If you live in WA, you have to go to the Gorge at least once or it's not summer. That's a rule.

10. Hood to Coast! Recap here.

11. I got to spend so much quality time with my Oiselle family!
hanging with sally's clan, leskos, and fleshman flyer

dinner out with the birds including kate grace!
12. Bumbershoot!
That means umbrella and music. And people over 17 going to a M83 show.

13. Escaping to Maryhill State Park/Winery. I made a little summer sandwich out of my favorite WA escape.
bocce ball at mary hill winery (escaped to mary hill twice, once the week before summer, once at the end)
i won in may, lost in august (but who's keeping track, right?)
chowing on fresh crab brought over by a neighbor camper
my rave run
29. Ya know, cause I turned 29 somewhere between Aruba and Seattle. 

30. WRAP IT UP you nutso blogger....

friday 9/21 sent summer off with a blessing from father john misty himself

Friday, September 21, 2012


The last few weeks have brought lots of changes. Actually "brought" is the wrong word. Changes don't arrive, time doesn't deliver them. Changes are made. And they start someone with decisions. So I guess I should say, I've made a few decisions/actions over the last few weeks. 
  1. Stop talking about 'getting a coach' and actually make the connection. Even if I feel like I'm not worthy of one. 
  2. Stop talking about all the extra work I should be doing, and start doing it. 
  3. Invest in weird injury prevention thingys to facilitate this 'extra work'. (Recent Amazon purchases make it look like I'm starting a small Physical Therapy practice.)
  4. Join the gym, ya know, to get the pump Arnold style. (sort of)
  5. Start Pilates again.
All of these actions could have started with "Stop talking about..." Which doesn't mean I actually talk to people about all these things, but in my head for months I've been like, "I really should , but I'll do it because ."

I'm still having a little stutter-start because I have a half marathon on the calendar (September 30) that I have a scary goal for. And so I'm kinda, sorta tapering.

When I get that half marathon tucked away, I will start my new program. Which actually means cutting my running days back. I am only supposed to run four times a week, 2 days of cross training, and lots of supplemental work like lifting, stretching etc. Which was a little frustrating to hear, but I know it's right. It's like tennis I think... you can only go so far with a crappy swing. Eventually you'll have to optimize your form and work with a coach if you want to get to the next level. Often that means feeling like you're taking a step back before you take a big step forward.

I have to get strong and balanced before I add more work.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

dare to look silly

On Tuesday I arrived at Oiselle HQ to the exciting news that Jamie Lee Curtis had been spotted on the Today show in the Oiselle Big Run tee! Of course, I dropped everything to watch the interview. And found it very inspiring. It was all about at kids book she wrote about 'Firsts'. She explained she was inspired by the realization that parents are always encouraging kids to try new thing, take risks, be brave ... and yet in their (our) own lives they aren't challenging themselves to do what they ask of their kids. Read more on the Oiselle running blog

I don't have kids, but the message of trying new things speaks to me. I have come to the realization (in my ripe old age of 30) that remaining curious, exploring, taking risks and even looking silly is the key to happiness and remaining young in heart and spirit. I constantly have to remind myself to push outside my comfort zone. It's always worth it when I do. 

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain -

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Too Elite to Quit! Beeothes!

I just woke up from the week long nap I had to take after the epicness that was Hood to Coast with Team Nuun.
where's the pixie sticks nuun?
It was effing awesome. Like a sleepover on wheels where you get to shake the sillys out every few hours. I picture my entire van falling asleep as soon as my annoying hyped up face left the car. "Finally that weird muppet is gone, we can get some shut eye." Nerves and excitement make me act like a 12-year-old on a pixie stick high. I loved my van-mates and hopefully the feeling is mutual. 30 hours of Sarah is ... a lot of Sarah.

I was on Team Night, van 2. We rolled out of Seattle around 11am and arrived at the circus (aka Sandy, Oregon) which was already in full swing. Hood to Coast legends "Dead Jocks in a Box" were there rooftop coffin and all. Along with about a million buzzing runners ready to get on the road.  

My van was revved and ready, getting tatted up in the Safeway parking lot and mingling with the other Nuunies.  

jump if you're hydrated
Meet Team Night Van Two
Sweats (Emily: mileage eating, beer slugging mama)
Katie (purple haired rebel, ready to make you laugh and ready to make roadkills)
Harmony Love (the name says it all, except it's missing the word GUTS and JOY. I've never seen miles run with more joy or guts than this gal)
Megan (badass copilot, badass runner)
Kelsey (sweet as peach iced tea but ready to get 'mean' on the road).

hlove, sweats, starfish, may-may-fay-fay, katierunsthis (running:kelsey) early am, field
kelsey gets some misty early am miles!!
Emily was up first. We got her geared up in the required reflective gear under the hot sun (safety first!) and sent her on her way. I was so excited to finally be moving! It just spiraled from there. I took off for my leg as the sun sunk low and dipped out of sight. True to form I was passed by a tornado of a man in his 50s. I must have a target on my back for that group. Running through the late summer evening into the night I was filled with running-happiness. It was like being a kid, running for a team, running for fun, running to see who you could pass.
stretch it out (fist shake at hurley boys in the background)
split leg photo bombers everywhere!!
i'm not good at hand-offs

sparkle blur (6:13 average pace around 6.7 miles?)
 By the time we made it to PDX for the van exchange it was midnight moving into the next day. We ate some pub grub and then got in the van. Some sleep and then before we knew it, we are at it again!

creatures of the night, bearded split leg shorts creatures
 The next morning I set off on my 2nd leg. It was the most fun! It was a dusty, downhill derby. All roadkills. I was smiling so hard Megan had to tell me I had dirt in my teeth.
wooo hoooooooo! (6:13 pace 5 miles)

During my run the van was hassled by some crabby elites. The Nature Boys elite team said they were driving too slow. RUDE! I just had to respond the abuse. So we all thought of some real gems to write on the van as a rebuttal to the Nature Boys. Sadly for me, Beeotches proved too hard to spell. Over and over. As I tried to correct it. Spelling is real, real hard. So I suppose those Nature Boyz had the last laugh, but we had the hardest laugh.

hooked on funics
After a sleepless night, going crazy with a few cheering sessions and the infamous Beeothces spelling bee we were totally punch drunk. Below Megan demonstrates happy running versus elite running before her leg.
yay! - funner (run + fun)

where the f*** are my carrot sticks? -elite
And then she showed us what she does best: both! Runs fast, has fun.
both may-may and HLove are too elite to quit.
My 3rd leg was hot and I was toast. I drank about 1/2 a bottle of Maalox, a bottle of Nuun and a RedBull and just hoped I would make it. 
here I am looking like a spooked llama in a skirt. (6:45 8 mile-ish)
The last leg was like roadkill heaven as my weird endurance paid off. I made it to the pass off and sent Harmony on her way. Kelsey was our archor, she was ready and excited. We watched her handoff and raced to Seaside to watch her finish. But as we waited for her on the beach we knew it was taking much too long and we began to get nervous. It turns out she was fine, but had gotten lost. I heard it happened to a few teams. I felt for her. That last leg was so tough and to be lost and running extra. I can't imagine. I was so happy to see her smile as she got to the beach. We all got in our corral and finished the race with her! Exhaustion set in and there were tears and smiles. So many hours out there and here we were.

I am so thankful that I had this experience. Like I said, I was spoiled by Nuun. They took care of every detail so we could focus on running and enjoying each others company. It was a honor to represent them on the course. There were so many other brands that hooked us up from GNC to Picky Bars to Sparkle Skirts, Swiftwick and Tough Chik. I was floored by the support.

thanks nuun!!!
post race swim and photo fun

post race celebration