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Thursday, April 16, 2009

I can't believe I haven't blogged since last November. What a slacker I am! It's only been a couple weeks though since I've been able to get back on SP since moving and being without internet for what feels like forever.

I'm almost all moved into my new house. There are a few boxes in the basement that have yet to be unpacked, but all the important stuff is put away. The first month was really rough, living in a hotel and trying to get used to it here. Things did get better once we moved into our house, but I can't say it's been terrific. I've been in a huge funk lately and it will probably take a long time for this to feel like home. The town is up in the mountains and is small and isolated. We have to drive over two hours to stock up on groceries and other necessities. There is a grocery store here, but the prices are ridiculous and the selection is extremely limited. Being a vegetarian has made it challenging since a lot of the food I'm used to eating isn't available. I've leaned my lesson though and last time we went to the city I stocked up huge on veggie products.

It's only about 85% horrible here though. I've been including fitness classes in my routine which I haven't done in probably 8 years. I've been going to step class and kick boxing every week and I'm loving it. I've also learnt that Aquafit does not consist of elderly ladies in swim caps dancing around. It's actually hard work and a nice change of pace. I'm still running, trying to find a couple races to do this year. I'm so used to being able to drive 30 minutes to a race and now it's probably going to involve a plane ride. A huge bummer, but I guess I'll just have to really make the races I end up doing count. I've been kind of lost with running goals since I don't have any definite races in mind, but I'm hoping to do at least one half this summer and a fall marathon.

Now the challenge part.....I've committed to doing a triathlon in June with a couple of the wives from DH's work and I'm so nervous/excited. I've got the biking and running thing down no problem, but the swimming, not so much. Up until a month ago the only swimming I'd down in the past 10 years consisted of wearing a bikini and usually just lying on the beach. The first night I attempted to do laps I was surprised that the life guards didn't try to rescue me because I'm sure I looked like I was drowning. After four laps my heart rate was out of control and I was gasping for breathe. It's so funny how fitness abilities in one sport do not translate to other sports. After that horrible attempt I considered not doing the triathlon at all, but talked myself out of quitting. What fun would life be if we only ever did things we were good at? Okay, it might still be fun, but definitely not as satisfying. There was once a time when running left me feeling the same as swimming and I'm so glad I persevered and didn't give up. I've been swimming twice a week trying to improve my skills, but I really think that lessons are in order.My self assigned homework is to look into that. I would definitely feel a whole lot less nervous about the triathlon if I could improve my swimming skills.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JEN-TINK1 6/25/2010 9:58PM

    Yea, I am a bit of a slacker myself

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    yep I took lessons and it really helped.

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INBRAZILFORNOW 4/11/2010 11:30AM

    Really understand the moving parts of your blog. My husband was transferred to Brazil and what an adjustment it continues to be. Sounds like you're getting what you need, but what we want? Well...that's a different question! Congratulations on your triathlon! What a great goal!

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BFITNHAPPY 7/10/2009 7:39AM

    Oh..I am right there with you. I think I am finally going to try swimming both for recovery of my ankle and to improve my running..I would love to do a tri but am terrified of open water. Good for you for keeping at it..I bet you will be amazed!

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RUN2009 5/27/2009 4:12PM

    oooooh I know exactly what you mean. I have been swimming 1-2x's a week since February to get myself ready for a couple triathlons this summer. I am ok finishing last as long as I finish. My first is a sprint with a 750m swim and the second is an olympic with a 1500m swim. yikes! I did take one private swimming lesson ($$$) but I do think the advice was worth it.

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SYNCHRODAD 5/10/2009 7:16AM

    I hear yah! about swimming. I did a mini-tri a couple weeks ago. Fortunately it was in a pool and we could stop and catch a breath. Swimming aerobics are so different, it kills me. There is a ton of technique in swimming. My son in law who is a full Ironman triathlete says the techniques taught in "Total Immersion" school/video is used by a lot of triathletes. I have ordered the videos and books and so far haven't been able to apply the stuff so well. Nevertheless, it must work for a lot of people. I struggle because I am a "sinker." The first few lesson are more "floater" oriented and the series acknowledges that sinker need to just get through them. I am having a hard with the "get through."

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SEEHOLZ 4/28/2009 11:51AM

    I'm sure the swim lessons will give you the confidence needed!
You are adjusting and doing so well, all things considered.
Keep blogging!

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MARLIE13 4/22/2009 4:37PM

    Heehee Sarah....what and awesome blog! I'm giggling at the swimming part since I have the suit, cap, and goggles yet still have not gotten into the pool. You've made it further than me! How awesome you're going to do the triathalon too. So excited for you!

PS A note to myself to not complain about feeling isolated since I have groceries close by, just no shopping mall. lol! Glad to hear you are getting settled in. I hope you'll start feeling more and more at home. Sounds like you're making some friends and that is awesome!

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JDLANDER 4/17/2009 10:11AM

    You're doing great if you've got two out of the three:) I've only got one out of the three. I'm terrible on a bike and swimming. I'm working on being able to do one when my littlest is in school finally. My sister has done a few and she said that a coach is the way to go. Good luck with your endeavors.

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PHYRMAN1 4/17/2009 4:54AM

i feel your pain, ha ha. Really, I am planning a tri this September and am in big trouble with the swimming. You can do it, get a coach. Practice. Make up the time in the other 2 events.

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SEEBEES3 4/16/2009 8:47PM

    Glad you're starting to get settled. Great idea on the lessons. Just take it slowly. Check your tri notes and see if you'll need a wet suit. If so I highly recommend that after you get comfortable with things you do work with one to get used to it. Also schedule a couple of open water swims before the real thing. Again, slowly, and practice makes perfect. You'll do amazing!!!

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BRUIN2 4/16/2009 8:20PM

    Great idea to get into some swimming lessons! You'll be a little fishy in no time!

It's great to hear that you're finding things to keep you busy and active with! What about setting up a "race series" with the triathlon ladies? You could each plan one race every how-ever-often and try out new routes/locations... And you could even make your own Race Series T-shirts!!

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CASSIOEPIA 4/16/2009 8:08PM

    I recently found out that aquacise was not just for old women with swim caps on too! Funny how we get an idea in our head...

Glad you are finding your way into some new things. The tri is a goal of mine too, but I don't have a definite time in place. The one I had entered in July recently had to cancel. So now I'm looking for another one. My races all involve minimum three hours of driving. I'm considering flying to some farther afield in the near future.

So good to hear from you again. Take care.

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ZIRCADIA 4/16/2009 8:08PM

    OH MAN, I so relate to your part about swimming laps... I started trying to swim last year with a tri in mind, but I gave up once I faced the fact that because I DON'T HAVE A BIKE my heart wasn't really in the swimming training because I knew a tri wasn't realistically in my near future. I hope to get a bike soon one of these days and then really get back into learning to swim. You will ROCK that triathlon, I know it. :)

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SWEATONCEADAY 4/16/2009 7:49PM

    glad you have found some fitness friends there. swimming is so challenging for me too and i have been doing it every other week for a while now. it will come back to you. you should see if the pool has stroke clinics. they are usually pretty cheap and one of the instructors could help you out.

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Falling in love all over again

Saturday, November 22, 2008

This week I unintentionally fell in love with running all over again and let me tell you it feels great! After the marathon I was left wondering, what's next? I didn't really get the post marathon blues that others talk about. I was all too happy to take a break from the long runs, shed the few pounds I'd gained during training (my ticker now up to date), get back to my weights, cross train and just run for fun. Still, I was kind of lost when it came to setting a new goal. It felt nice just to be running however many miles I pleased without a set plan, but without a purpose, running was losing some of its shine for me.

There have been many times where I have wished that I could erase all my running history and go back to the beginning. I know that sounds kind of weird, but sometimes I wish I could experience the newness of running again, you know, that excitement you feel, that sense of accomplishment when you're able to run that first mile and then two and then three. It's kind of like when you've been married for awhile and your single friends talk about first dates, or when your girlfriend is over and her bf calls her like five times while you're watching "Lost" because their relationship is all giggly and new. Okay, forget the last example, that's just annoying! It's not that you don't love what you already have, but occasionally you miss that feeling of newness. It's like that with running. I'm proud of all that I have accomplished and I still love it, but it's hard to get that same excitement about running anymore. Sure, training for and running races is exciting, but usually only at the beginning when you set the goal and then at the end when you run the race. All the miles in between tend to be quite uneventful and dare I say a tad boring at times. Sometimes, just a means to an end.

So, winter has officially arrived and everywhere I look there is snow. In years past this would be when I move my running inside to the treadmill and spend the next five months staring at the wall while I run, listening to the same songs over and over. Boring! Also, not particularly fun if you're training for an event and have to do your long runs on there. My treadmill record stands at 14 miles and I honestly hope I never beat it.

This week I was going a little stir crazy and felt the need to get outside. I decided that maybe I should try a run and see how bad it really was. DD was being particularly difficult and I thought some fresh air would do us both some good. I don't really have the proper attire for winter running, but I made do with what I had and suited up. You may see me on a worst dressed list in the near future, but at least I was warm. It was snowing pretty heavily, but I wasn't going to let that stop me. I bundled DD up, put her the jogging stroller and off I went. The first half mile was pretty chilly and I could barely see through all the snow which had now turned into a small snow storm, but I kept on trucking. After the first mile I had warmed up and was surprised to find that I felt great. I felt better than great. It felt so empowering to be out there in a snow storm, pushing a jogging stroller. I ran 3 of my slowest miles ever, but I didn't even care and I was so proud of myself was getting out there. I'm officially in love!

I was super excited to go running outside again today. My MIL took DD for the day so I was stroller free this afternoon. I stopped by the mall today and picked up a hat, a neck warmer thingie and some tights for a base layer since the temperature has dropped drastically in the past couple of days. Today it was -12, but it felt like -19 with the wind chill. Brrrrrr! When I stepped outside, dressed and ready for my run I started to think that perhaps I was crazy, but once I got going it wasn't so bad. My pace is considerably slower because of the snow and I had to blaze my own trail today on the old rail trail since the snowmobiles haven't packed it down yet. Slow or not, those 5 miles today felt the best! Winter running is my new challenge. Over the next several months I will be faced with even colder temperatures, snow storms, ice and deep snow and I can't wait to conquer it all. The excitement has returned. Everything is new again because I get to experience a world of firsts. My first time pushing a jogging stroller in the snow, my first 5 miles in the snow and this weekend will be my first race in the snow. I was so excited that last night I decided to enter a 10 mile race on Sunday. Kind of impulsive, but totally doable and I can't wait!

Have a great weekend everyone!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JWSGIRL 1/13/2009 1:01PM

    This is so encouraging for me as I try to get back into winter running. In the past, it has been my favorite, actually :-) Keep it up!

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JDLANDER 1/7/2009 12:07AM

    Your post brought back memories. I haven't run in the snow in years! One time we had snow to our knees and we ran only 2 miles panting the whole way. We were laughing so hard by the end we could barely make it in. Maybe I'll have to try a go at it again. Thanks for your post.

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LESS_IS_MO 1/5/2009 9:34PM

    Hi. Love the blog. Made me think a lot because I am still in the "newness" phase. Can't IMAGINE running 20 miles of 9.37 pace (like in your last blog - WOW). But I'm already worried about falling out of love with it once the 8 minute mile is achieved and the 2.30 half -marathon or whatever goal.

Yesterday, I talked to a LOOOONNNNNG-time runner about how to dress for winter running and he gave me some great tips about not giving up. A couple things stuck with me - he said he takes winter running less seriously, and he says he only sets overall time goals for winter, never distance goals (cuz he says the effort is the same as if you'd run your normal distance for the given time). Anyway lots made sense, and now YOUR blog has further inspired me to just go do it. I mean i LOVE skiing, snowshoeing and skating outdoors in the winter. WHY WHY WHY do I dread running? I should just take it easy and enjoy.

Ciao! And thanks for the inspiration - I'm gonna do it!. Mo from Ottawa

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KISSES1959 1/3/2009 12:42AM

    I, too was officially in love with your blog!


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KISSES1959 1/3/2009 12:40AM

    Honestly, I haven't tried running. I only have experienced brisk walking... and imagine at 49, it was only last month that I have tried walking seriously for an hour and I felt overjoyed! emoticon

Your journaling inspire me a lot. Thanks.

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YOGATICHA 12/17/2008 1:21PM

    Thanks. Love your post. Love the thread your hosting. I am thinking of running and you gave me some inspiration. emoticon

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ZAKAM1 12/17/2008 5:28AM

    Your post was great... I am a want to be runner at 47 y.o. I am trying to talk myself into starting the C25K and glad that I stumbled upon your blog. You are very inspiring... I am really wanting to fall in "like" or even "tolerate" running at this point. I am hoping that I find the joy in it as you have..

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SEEHOLZ 12/5/2008 3:53PM

    I love your picture--- I can totally relate to running in the snow-- it somehow isn't about how fast you go anymore.... I am very happy for you!

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MBSHAZZER 11/30/2008 8:21AM

    Living in FL, I can't really relate to running in snow, and running in blazing heat just doesn't compare... BUT, I can totally related to falling in love with running again! I also had a big event a few weeks ago and didn't get the blues afterwards - in fact, I'm in taper now for another HM and it's driving me crazy!!

Anyway, I hope your newfound love carries you through many happy miles this winter!


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LILTROUBLE 11/29/2008 5:07PM

    I am tingling all over from your entry. I have long since wanted to run for that specific reason. To run outside and feel free against all the elements. This was beautifully written.

I love it.
I can't wait to fall in love again ;).

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MARLIE13 11/27/2008 5:08PM

    I think you should submit this to a running magazine for publication. It was a beautiful read and I'm very inspired by you!

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BRIGHTBOW 11/23/2008 7:25PM

    That IS inspiring. And thinking of firsts... that's creative! That's made me start thinking of some firsts I could apply to my life now. I personally really dislike the snow, but I want to like it... so that counts for something. I'm working on my 5k time for December, and I really need to make it outside for runs. Tomorrow is a good day to start!

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CHEEKS1177 11/23/2008 11:27AM are inspiring me to run out in the snow...I am in week 5 of my C25K training and I have to run a straight 20 minutes with no walks in between!!! I am SCARED! I know you are giggling to yourself thinking that 20 minutes is a breeze, and someday I hope that I think that 20 minutes is a short run, but right now, 20 minutes is my LONG run! lol My 5k is scheduled for February and I should really get used to running in the snow! You have inspired me to get out there today!

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SEEBEES3 11/23/2008 12:06AM

    I'm so glad you've got your mojo back! Truly though, I can't re-create the feeling I get when I run out of doors regardless of the weather. I'd really rather be out there even in a driving storm. I personally love running in the snow. Probably because I'm just visiting and can go back home to the south and not deal with it for the rest of the winter. But the quiet is trancendant.

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SWEATONCEADAY 11/22/2008 11:15PM

    i am glad you are getting outside to kill some of that dreadmill boredom. i know it gets colder where you are than here.... hence the snow lol.... however i use some black long johns i got from mec that are half the price of their tights (about $35). i get so many compliments on them too. i don't share my secret though... just with you and a couple of other canadian sparkers.

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HOPERY 11/22/2008 4:09PM

    Wow! I am a cold wimp. Don't even wan to go out to get the mail, but now-right now, you have inspired me to go jog. Can I borrow your hat?

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SYNCHRODAD 11/22/2008 2:28PM

    I sent your whole blog to my Ironman son-in-law and he said "This gal should consider snowshoe running, no kidding." There you have the advice of one living in Florida where they close the pools if the air temp gets down to 45 degrees. He grew up in Newport Beach surfing. Kidding aside, he is a tremendous athlete, super intelligent and know a ton and is a PhD in Psychology and works in multiple sports. His advice is pretty smart almost all the time.

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BRUIN2 11/22/2008 10:42AM


Sarah, this made me all teary!

I'm so happy for you - rediscovering a passion is so....amazing....empowering....wond

I'm thinking that the creative people are the only ones who can survive winter running on the prairies - I mean, we've got to figure out how to dress, we've got to figure out how to completely change/slow down our gait, we've got to GET OUT in this weather!!

Have a great time at the race tomorrow!!!

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LOGDIVA 11/22/2008 8:00AM

    Crazy woman! I totally loved reading this blog, Sarah! How fun....
12 below? WOW.....can't lowest temp was about 15 above. Good for you enjoying it, no matter the pace. That's what running is all about.
We are getting our first spits of snow today but it won't amount to much.
Take care!

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ELIZABETHANNEW 11/22/2008 7:29AM

    Your blogs always make me happy...and I am so glad to hear about your "new love". I count on you in a really crazy way to keep ME enthusiastic and here you go again. You are bold and brave and a strong athlete...with heart!

And have an adventure filled race this weekend.

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RHYNIC 11/22/2008 7:18AM

    What a great blog. It's pretty cold here also and snow has fallen overnight so everything is covered. I will be running on my treadmill. But I have to add that winter running can be totally fantastic. gail

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SYNCHRODAD 11/22/2008 1:35AM

    Love it is. Most anything outside is better than inside. What a great love story. Thanks!

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26.2 Miles Done!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Where to even begin? I guess at the beginning. Yesterday was the big day when I ran my first marathon, the Niagara Falls International Marathon. I got up at 6:00 having had only about 5 hours of nervous on and off sleep. I got dressed and set out in the dark to walk the 1.5 miles to the shuttle bus. I grabbed a muffin at Tim Hortons because there was no time to wait for the toasted bagel I'd been hoping for and then I ran the rest of the way to the bus. I got on with 2 minutes to spare!

The bus ride takes about 45 minute bus ride to the start line. The race started in Buffalo so we had to stop at the border and a border guard came on the bus and checked everyone's id. Once we were cleared it was off to the start line, which was at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. The gallery was open for runners to hang out inside and keep warm which was nice since it was pretty chilly out. It was about an hour and a half wait which I thought would be torturous, but it wasn't that bad. It gave me lots of time to wait in the line up for the port a potty Everyone was so friendly and I met a lot of different people. It seemed like 4:15 was a popular finishing goal since most of the people I talked to were aiming for that too.

I was looking around for the 4:15 pace bunny, but there was none. There was only a 3:20 and a 4:00 bunny. I briefly considered sticking with the 4:00 group, but the wind was crazy and I didn't want to go out too fast. There were two men who I was talking with at the start line and they had the same goal time as me and I decided I would try and run near them.

It only took me about a minute to cross the start line once the gun went off. I held back and ran at a comfortable pace since I knew I had to save my energy. The first four miles were through Buffalo and I felt good, but as we approached the Peace Bridge to run into Canada the wind was in full force. It was brutal on the bridge, at times it actually felt like I might be blown right off the bridge and I lost my hat twice. Once we were into Ontario we were running directly into the wind. The wind was absolutely crazy and there were actual wind warnings in the Niagara Falls area. I felt like I was running sideways a lot of the time. Finally at around mile 8 the course turned and the wind was behind us. That felt amazing and I picked up my pace a bit.

Things were going well and I was on pace for a 4:10 finishing time. Around mile 10 I knew I'd have to stop at a port a potty. I drank a lot before the race, which I don't normally do for this very reason. I've never stopped at a port a potty before. It was something I've always dreaded. I kept waiting to stop because I kept hoping I would get lucky and there wouldn't be a line up at the next mile, but I couldn't wait any longer and stopped at mile 13. This stop cost me about 4 minutes, but what's 4 minutes compared to peeing your pants...nothing.

The course changed direction again around mile 14 and we were back running into the wind, which was now worse. The sky was getting dark and I was sure it was going to rain since there was a 90% chance, but it never did. Hooray for small miracles! I was slowing down, but still keeping a pretty good pace, running 9:37 minute miles. Still on target to finish under 4:15.

Around mile 16 I started walking through every water station. I needed it mentally and physically. Plus it's much easier to drink your water when it's not sloshing all over the place. More of it actually gets in your mouth this way. I ran by the two men I had been trying to use as my unknowing pacers. They had stopped off to the side and were stretching. I had lost sight of them around mile 4 so it was nice to see them again.

By mile 18 everything hurt. My back was having spasms, my legs were so sore and it felt like my toes were going to fall off. I just wanted to get to mile 20 so bad because then it would be less than an hour until the finish line.

At mile 21 the two men had caught back up to me and ran by. One asked how I was doing and I told him I thought I might be dying. He seemed totally emphatic and said he knew what I was talking about. It was strange to know that I was experiencing a lot of the same emotions and thoughts as complete strangers.

At mile 22 it hurt to walk just as much as it hurt to run. I contemplated jumping in the river and swimming to the finish line since I knew I'd get there faster thanks to the current and the Falls. I decided against it and kept on running. My pace had slowed considerably over the last few miles and I was now running around a 10:30 mile. My dreams of a 4:15 finish are dashed, but I don't even really care. At this point I just want to finish.

Somewhere around mile 23 I realize that I'd better take my race bib off my t-shirt and put it on the outside of my jacket so that I'll be able to get the picture of me crossing the finish line. I had put the bib on my t-shirt thinking I would send my jacket back on the baggage check bus, but it was too cold so I kept it on for the entire race. I attempt to make the switch while running, but this isn't a good idea since I now have open safety pins in my mouth. I stop and walk long enough to get my bib on.

At mile 24 there is just over 2 miles left and we're finally back in the city where there are people cheering and I can see the Fallsview Casino where the finish line is off in the distance. I know from running the half marathon last year that the end is near.

I run through the mile 25 water station and pick up the pace. I'm in incredible pain, but the faster I go, the faster this is all over with. The last 800 feet I go as fast as I can. I remember last year at the half giving it my all and sprinting to the finish, but I have nothing left at this point. I feel like I'm going fast but I'm sure I'm not. The announcer pronounces my name right for once, but I laugh at how he pronounces where I'm from, but I don't care, it's so good to be across that finish line. I did it! I conquered the 26.2 mile monster!! My finishing time was 4:28:22. Not what I was going for, but not horrible.

There were so many different emotions afterwards. I was proud that I'd finished, disappointed with my finishing time, sad that there was no one there to celebrate with me and very annoyed that I had a 1.5 mile walk back to my car. Ouch! If you had asked me yesterday if I would ever run another marathon I would have given you a very definite "NO WAY!!!" I was in an incredible amount of pain. I was exhausted and could barely walk. Today I feel a lot differently. I'm still very sore and it still hurts to walk, but I'm already thinking about the next marathon I would like to run and how I can improve on my time. I know I can do better and I will!

Thanks to everyone who left supportive comments and encouraging words! I really could not have done this without you. So many people on here have inspired me. My Spark friends are a constant source of motivation to me and if it wasn't for this site I don't think the idea of running a marathon would ever have occurred to me. Lastly, thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read this. I tried to keep it short, but it's hard to condense such a monumental experience into 1,500 words. Thanks for letting me share!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAVENLYNNE 1/6/2011 2:08PM

    You are amazing and an inspiration! I was feeling weak today and you helped! Congratulations on your finish! You should be very proud of yourself!

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FREECLOUD 12/27/2010 9:09PM

    I just "met" you in the Roadrunners forum and thought I'd check out your blogs. I love reading about marathon experiences - your blog is inspiring, funny and very moving. What an amazing day you had - the wind certainly would have worked on my psyche and you overcame so much that day. Thanks for sharing :)

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CRAZEPUPPIES 9/4/2009 11:35AM

    Wow, congratulations on the marathon!!! I really appreciate you writing about your experience. Kind of scares me a little, but nice to know what to expect. I'm doing my first marathon in November, I'm going at it alone. I'm scared that I won't finish, but also scared that I will finish and have to do it all over again next year lol!
It sounds like you had a great experience and thanks for sharing!

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KVROMBAUT 3/5/2009 1:55PM

    I know I am a bit late reading this but just found your page today because you were a motivator. (Congrats on that!) I am currently training for my 1st marathon and find your story both inspiring and motivating. I appreciate the time you took to share your experience. Quick question…what was your longest run? Did you do more then one 20 miler? I am just curious on what you did to prepare yourself for this great accomplishment!

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MBSHAZZER 11/30/2008 8:25AM

    Congratulations! Great job! I was kind of laughing at your portapotty dilemma - at my half last month I didn't have time to go beforehand, and while I made it through without having to stop, I did contemplate ducking behind a bush or even peeing while running! Hey, if it's good enough for Olympians..... LOL! Glad you finished successfullly!

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BRIGHTBOW 11/23/2008 7:19PM

    Sarah, I remember reading about you running your 10 milers and wishing I could do that. Congratulations on your run, it sounds like you did very well. Our little darlings are going to be 3 soon. Nuts, isn't it?

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CHEEKS1177 11/19/2008 12:35PM

    WOW! Thank you for sharing!

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ROBINS78 11/12/2008 9:25PM

    WAY TO GO!!!! That's amazing!

I was at the same event but did the half marathon walk. When you described the wind, dark sky, and the road, and miles, I was picturing it all over.

I have always thought highly of marathoners and doing the half marathon walk my thoughts are of total amazement and inspiration on the amount of work, dedication and perserverance that goes into it!

Way to go!!

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NETTYBREAD 11/12/2008 7:38AM

    What an amazing experience! Thanks for sharing.

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ORLA2002 11/9/2008 9:42AM

    Sarah, I am so proud of you - what an achievement!!! You are such an inspiration!

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LUNASGAL 11/4/2008 1:35PM

    Wow what a great accomplishment you made- How awesome is your story- You are a inspiration! ;) emoticon

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ELLIE381 11/2/2008 6:23PM

    I so enjoyed reading your blog and keeping up with where you are running and your whole experience. You have accomplished so much. Congratulations!
I know it is nothing I will ever be able to do, but I can feel the whole experience through your words. I have only done a 5k.
Thanks again. Continued success!!!!

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LEANNROCKS 11/1/2008 12:41PM

    Sarah, you are a phenomenon! Thanks for inspiring me to be my very best! Congratulations on finishing - you are totally awesome! hugs....lynne

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WAVEDANCER7 10/31/2008 9:02AM

    I felt cold and achey just READING that entry! I know what you mean about having no one there to support you at the finish line. I just finished my frist 10K (i'm a bit behind you in lengths) but i finished and i was like, "oh now what??" Nothing. But after a few hours and days, I'm so proud and ready to reach for even higher and better things. A marathon is such an amazing accomplishment. YOU RAN A MARATHON SARAH!!! *high five*

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HOPERY 10/31/2008 8:45AM

    Wow! I think your time is awesome! I would so be thrilled by that! You are an inspiration!

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MIIMA-ME-MY 10/30/2008 11:53AM

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! You are my Heroe, Lady Marathoner! emoticon What a great race report! You make me feel like running that Marathon right now! LOL

So, is it true what they say that you never feel the same once you have become a Marathoner? Do you feel any different? Not mentionning the post-race soreness of course... LOL

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HEARTBEAT10 10/29/2008 7:52PM

    I'm so proud of you! Way to go! But, don't you dare be disappointed with your time, you be proud that you did this because not a great deal of people can say they ran a marathon.


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LISANCAROLINA 10/29/2008 8:14AM

    Congratulations!! Ata' girl!!!!

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SMURFETTE0725 10/28/2008 9:02PM

    You did so great!! Congratulations .... and like I've said to a few other 26.2-ers, please repeat after me ....
"There were days I did not know if I could run a marathon, I now have a lifestime of knowing I did."
Welcome to the *other* side!!

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SEEBEES3 10/28/2008 8:37PM

    What an inspiring race report. And we all want to improve ,but a 4:28: 22 is a very respectable finish! Congratulations! This is one you will never forget.

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SYNCHRODAD 10/28/2008 8:21PM

    You've brought tears of joy and wow! and smiles to me. Your story is a grabber start to finish. Hope, pain, funny, and optimism warmed my heart. Thanks for letting me(us) who ain't even close to this experience share your path to victory and the title "FINISHER!"

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SWEATONCEADAY 10/28/2008 7:10PM

    congrats on your first marathon sarah!
very proud of you. just yesterday i decided to do one in may. now i am thinking maybe not - lol. rest up and i hope your recovery goes well. i am glad you didn't jump in the river.

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RUN2009 10/28/2008 6:00PM

    You have much to be proud of! Congratulations!

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LOGDIVA 10/28/2008 5:38PM

That's you, Sarah! You are an absolute star. Well done. I so enjoyed reading about your experience, thanks so much for sharing. It's so tough to set out on such a journey without your loves there in person to share, I know, but you know they were thinking of you and you ran fantastic anyway. YAY!
You've given me more food for thought for the future.

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MARLIE13 10/28/2008 3:08PM

    WOOOOOHOOOOOO Sarah!! You Did it you did it you DID IT!!!! I'm so very happy for you. You inspire me so much that after I read your blog on Saturday, I actually started googling some training plans for a marathon to see what I'd be looking at. Your time is wonderful in comparison to what all you had to deal with...the wind, your hat, the potty break, your bib...etc etc but I totally understand you wanting to improve. And you will! You're awesome!

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CASSIOEPIA 10/28/2008 12:02PM

    Congratulations on your finish (and under 4:30 is fantastic in my books).

So sorry that noone was there for you at the finish line, and also that you had to walk so far back for your ride. Hopefully next year, that will be one of the things that changes.

Onwards to the next one now! WOOHOO....

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TWODIFFSOCKS 10/28/2008 10:39AM

    congrats & way to go! i am always always awed on people who run marathons. i cannot even fathom the training & always amazed on how people do it.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ELFITZPA 10/28/2008 10:28AM

    Congratulations!! Regardless of whether you meet your time goal or have anyone else to celebrate with, you ran a marathon!! That's huge and you should give yourself a HUGE pat on the back (and remind everyone else to, also)! I'm glad to hear that you're already thinking of the next one - it always seems to happen that way! Congrats again on an excellent race!!

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BRUIN2 10/28/2008 9:59AM


emoticon emoticon

You rocked it!!!

Sounds like even though you thought you were dying, you definitely had a memorable race!! I can't believe you tried to change the location of your bib WHILE running! And losing your hat TWICE!?! What an experience!!!

Way to finish strong!! Rest up this week - take the down time to investigate your next one! hehe.


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SEEHOLZ 10/28/2008 9:34AM

    Oh, I certainly could relate to both the emotions and the physical pain--- glad to hear you're feeling better! You know, it's atotal learning experience. And, as you reflect back and look forward to your next goal, certain "light bulb" moments will come up out of nowhere.
You finished running 26.2 miles--- that' s a huge accomplishment! Hold on to that, put your head up high and walk proud, very proud!
Sorry to hear that there was no one to celebrate. Your next one, you got to have someone waiting for you or some other running firend. It makes the success so much sweeter!
Big hug!


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RHYNIC 10/28/2008 8:26AM

    Congratulations. well done. I can so relate to all that you have written. I went through all of that just a couple weeks ago, except for me it's not the wind that slowed me was the hills. I was asked if I would do it again at the finish line, and I said NO!!! it's just to painful, it takes way to much time in training...this is/was a one and only event...and then the next day came, and just like you, I know I will do another. I hope to train smarter (add hills) and do better. Your blog was did wonderful. Next year, we will compare notes again. gail

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MOLLYMO42 10/28/2008 8:23AM

    Congratulations! I loved your account of the race. You made me laugh emoticon

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VANESSAANN83 10/28/2008 12:52AM

    WOW, I am sooo amazed!! Well done :)

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WESTPHAL95 10/28/2008 12:19AM

    You are awesome--thank you for "taking us with you" so we can imagine what it might be like! What an amazing accomplishment!

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ELIZABETHANNEW 10/27/2008 11:40PM


I can only imagine the sense of accomplishment; you are amazing. You are strong; be proud.

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This is it!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

In less than 11 hours I will be running my first marathon! It's all very surreal and I'm no where near as nervous as I thought I would be. I'm trying to get myself to go to sleep, but I'm not really tired even though I know tomorrow will be an early day. I am annoyed that even though the race doesn't start until 10 I have to get up early to catch a shuttle bus to the start line in Buffalo. Depending on what bus I get on I could have to wait at the start for up to 2 hours!! I am seriously contemplating bringing a book with me because if I stand around that long thinking about nothing but the race I'll be a huge bundle of nerves. The anticipation will probably kill me!

I am trying to keep my expectations low in order to avoid disappointment. The weather is not cooperating at all and it is supposed to rain all day tomorrow with strong winds. It is inevitable that I will be soaking wet while running, which I can deal with, but the wind is another story. The course runs along the Niagara River and wind coming off the water is always worse.

I ordered a couple different pace bands from What a neat idea! They're temporary tattoos. No more printing out pace bands and trying to fashion bracelets out of them. I was originally going to go with a 4:00 goal time, but I'm leaning more toward 4:15 now. Really though for my first marathon finishing upright and smiling should be the main focus. This will be an accomplishment no matter what, even if it takes me 6 hours to complete. I really hope that no matter what my time that I am proud. Sometimes I hate how hard I am on myself.

As excited as I am, I am also very sad. It has been great to read so many marathon race reports on here over the past month, but I am always jealous when I read about their family and friends cheering them on. I will be doing this solo tomorrow. There will be no one meeting me along the course to offer support and no one waiting at the finish line. My parents wished me good luck today when I left, but I don't think they get how big and important this is to me. They were concerned about whether or not I'd be able to drive 3 hours home after the race, but that was the extent of any race dialogue. I really wanted DH to be here, but he is thousands of miles away. I was really bummed last night when he didn't mention anything about the race when we were talking on the phone, but he called before I left today to wish me luck and tell me he'd be thinking of me. That cheered me up a lot. Maybe I can pretend he is waiting at the finish line like last year when I ran the half. Above all I am just going to have to rely on myself throughout the run, after all I am doing this for me. Time to end the pity party and call it a night. I really have to force myself to go to sleep. My alarm will be going off in six hours and I know I will be one sleepy girl!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARLIE13 10/27/2008 3:21PM

    Oh my goodness, I can't wait to hear all about it! You're incredible, Sarah!! Amazing!

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HEARTBEAT10 10/26/2008 11:50PM

    I know you're race is over now and I can't wait to here how it went for you. When I logged onto SparkPeople this morning I saw your comment on my page and immediately thought of you. I was sending you good vibes from North Carolina.

You should be so proud of yourself, I'm proud of you. emoticon

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JERI1952 10/26/2008 1:10PM

    I am so envious of you that you at least have the guts to run in any type of race. I look at events in my area, but I am afraid to do it. I know I don't think I can do it. But YOU! Go girl and remember that whatever you do, you did it!!!!! Take a few steps for all the wanna be's out here (me).

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RUN2009 10/26/2008 12:10PM

    I can't wait to hear your race report!

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RHYNIC 10/26/2008 9:17AM

    Well Sarah in less than an hour you will be running - I am pretty sure I am one hour ahead of you. There sure was a lot of emotions wrapped up into that blog, and I could very much relate. It's a shame the weather couldn't cooperate, I really hate running into the wind. You have trained hard, you will make it to the finish, that I am sure of. I will be waiting to hear all about it in your next blog. gail

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LIZZY63 10/26/2008 8:05AM

    Good luck!!

Remember you do have your SP family cheering you on!

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ELIZABETHANNEW 10/26/2008 7:14AM

    You have a lot more support than you know. Keep your loved ones in your heart, I'm guessing that they just don't understand the compassion....remember, it's okay...

You have come a long way and I'm so proud of you. I can't wait to hear all about the run; your "strong little legs" are gonna take you places baby! GO SARAH!


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SWEATONCEADAY 10/26/2008 12:10AM

    i am hoping you are asleep right now but i will be cheering you on tomorrow. i can't wait to hear all about it. break a leg!

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BRUIN2 10/26/2008 12:02AM

    It's here!! YAY!!!

Here's a trick for you - imagine that EVERY person cheering on the course is cheering for you...oh wait, you won't have to imagine that, because that's the truth!! Every spectator is there for you - clapping, cheering, hooting and hollering for you!!

Enjoy the race. Relish in the excitement! Maybe take a garbage bag to throw over your running gear for before the race starts...

Above all else, HAVE FUN!!!!


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18 Miles of Therapy

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I spent most of my teenage years in therapy and I bet my parents could have saved a lot of money if they'd just sent me running instead. There's nothing like a long run to clear your thoughts and spend some quality time with yourself. I am one hurting unit right now though! Today was my long run and I ran the farthest I've run yet, 18 miles! I've been doing my long runs on Tuesdays, but the weather wasn't cooperating yesterday so I had to put it off until today. My MIL takes my daughter once a week now which is such a help. It's so nice to get some time to myself and get stuff done. With DH gone it's been tough being the only parent. It's great to channel all my frustrations into running. I always feel so much better afterwards and the end result is so much prettier than the alternative, which is me sitting on the couch stuffing my face with crackers.

It's not all rosy though. Each week is an internal battle. I psych myself up the night before my run and get all excited to run really far the next day. Then the morning comes and I think how nice it would be to use that time just to read a book or go shopping. Then I put my running clothes on and I have to go. I have never once put on my running clothes and not gone. It would be like the act of getting dressed was a huge waste of time if I didn't go and then I would just feel super guilty. Whatever works! It's like there is a little devil on my shoulder and he says things like "Why don't you just quit? No one will care." Maybe no one else will care, but I will. There is something in me that feels like I need to do this. I'm not sure why, but I want to prove to myself that I can conquer those 26.2 miles. So today like most days, I silenced the devil on my shoulder and headed down the road. I live out in the country now where I grew up so gone are the days of pavement and sidewalks. It's pure gravel roads and trails. I run down the old rail road tracks. The actual tracks were ripped out years ago so it's just a gravel trail that goes for miles and miles. The scenery is gorgeous and I run by creeks, rivers, and through a huge valley. If I wasn't already carrying five million things on me and loaded up like a pack horse I'd bring my camera and take pictures. The terrain is sometimes rough to run on, but it's nice not to have to worry about cars and just get lost in my thoughts. Today the only sign of life I encountered on my route were two deer, a doe and her fawn. They were running down the tracks toward me and I stopped running and stood really still and they got probably 15 feet away from me before the mother noticed me. She started stomping her hooves at me and snorting, I guess to try and get me to move. Finally she decided I was scary and turned and ran away with her baby following her. Pretty cool!

Overall it was a great run. Even though I've had my Garmin for over six months now I only figured out last week that I could have it keep track of pace for each mile. All I need is something else to analyze :) It's kind of neat being able to look at the data. The last 3 miles were rough and I seriously wanted to call a cab. If I'd had a cell phone with me I just might have :) Okay maybe not. I'm too stubborn to quit like that. I did have to keep repeating to myself over and over "Only 3 more miles. Only 3 more miles" and then "Only 2 more miles. Only 2 more miles". You get the point! My newest and favourite mantra that I've been using is "If Katie Holmes can do this so can you!" Nothing against her, but when I am conjuring up images of runners she is not someone who comes to mind. I read somewhere that she had never really ran before and only trained for 2 months for the NYC marathon. I'm feeling more confident and at this point I know I can finish the race. I just hope that this last month of training enables me to finish upright and smiling. Right now I'm exhausted, my hips flexors are aching, my legs are stiff and my back is killing me where my water bottle kept hitting me as I ran, but I couldn't be happier right and that's all that counts in my books!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEARTBEAT10 10/24/2008 11:26PM

    I know the feeling about getting ready to run. I can think of million other things to do but just as you said, if I put on my running clothes, then it's a done deal. I always feel so much better when I return home.

I like the Katie Holmes comment. I'm going to borrow that from you. Maybe when I do the LA marathon in February I'll slip her picture in my pocket and when feel like I'm hitting the wall, I'll just slip the picture out and push harder.

Good luck on your marathon.

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MIIMA-ME-MY 10/10/2008 12:20AM

    Running is also my best Therapy! emoticon

My Chiropractor/Kinesiologist recommended me to stop because he thinks that I am addicted and to him, that is a bad thing.

I said "No way, Jose"! I worked hard to get my putt out there at 5:00am and run no matter the weather (well, I haven't tried snow yet... LOL)

I have found a Physical Therapist to help me with my "running boo-boos" without restricting me. eh eh

I KNOW you are going to do well with your Marathon! You know what they say, "if you can run a mile, you can run a Marathon" and with your long distance run, I have no doubt that you are going to enjoy the experience.

I was attending a Jeff Galloway Clinic at my local running store the other day and you are doing just what he recommends, not to tell yourself "from here it is just a 10K or a 5K" but to take one mile at the time. Good for you! :-)

He also talked about the benefits of the Running/Walking Marathon strategie during the first miles of the race in order to finish stronger and running those last miles non-stop.

I bought his book and I am learning a lot from it.

Enjoy your tapering week, and the well deserved rest before your "big Day".
I cannot wait to hear all about it!

GO GET'HEM!!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/10/2008 12:23:34 AM

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SYNCHRODAD 10/2/2008 5:12PM

    I see I am a week late on this blog. 18 miles, I CAN'T relate. But I am going to someday. I walk more and longer and faster. My ankles aren't complaining any more. Someday, I will run a mile, then maybe two, then maybe.... My son in law is an Ironman triathlete. I heard a premier woman triathlete speaking at a triathlon about the marathon. When she hits the wall, she says to herself, "I can make it to the next telephone pole, the next hydrant, the next big tree." I am adding you to my blog post. I am so looking forward to your marathon blog, particular the part about your victory as a finisher.

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    I loved this blog. I can relate. I did 26.5 Sunday and even with a couple of other people there were a few times I was down to "go to the tree" go to the next stop light. You get it. I wish you the best of luck on your marathon. You are a week after me. Just remember that "yes you do run like a girl, try to keep up"

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SEEHOLZ 9/18/2008 3:23PM

    Oh, I felt the same way yesterday- expect I was running only 13. It was just one of those runs that I didn't fuel-- at all. I pictured Chicago and the last 3 miles. I was so miserable and this guy just kept telling me that we could do it in under 4. Well, I didn't ( missed by 41 sec), but I finished that feeling gives me confidence on every training run where all I can think about is -- when am I going to be done-LOL! It seems to be quite a common issue!
Great job on a great run! You are doing it!

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BRIGHTBOW 9/16/2008 1:52PM

    Sarah... what a great blog. I remember reading some of your posts on the March team and thinking, man, I wish I could run 10 miles. You inspire me. So many points in your post I identify with... like the first sentence and the 'stuffing face with crackers' remark. Great job on the 18 miles.
Oh and I wanted to add, I read a book called 4 months to a 4 hour marathon and the author said OPRAH ran a marathon. Now THAT threw me for a loop. If Oprah can do it, so can we. :)

Comment edited on: 9/16/2008 1:51:00 PM

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ELIZABETHANNEW 9/13/2008 12:54AM

    One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
Sclemeel, schlemazel, hasenfeffer incorporated.
We're gonna do it!

Give us any chance, we'll take it.
Give us any rule, we'll break it.
We're gonna make our dreams come true.
Doin' it our way.

Nothin's gonna turn us back now,
Straight ahead and on the track now.
We're gonna make our dreams come true,
Doin' it our way.

There is nothing we won't try,
Never heard the word impossible.
This time there's no stopping us.
We're gonna do it.

On your mark, get set, and go now,
Got a dream and we just know now,
We're gonna make our dream come true.
And we'll do it our way, yes our way.
Make all our dreams come true,
And do it our way, yes our way,
Make all our dreams come true
For me and you.

Making our Dreams Come True by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox - Laverne and Shirley Lyrics

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BRUIN2 9/11/2008 10:36PM

    Your new mantra ROCKS. And it's SO TRUE!!

What a peaceful place to run - glad you've got such a beautiful place to head to!!!

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MARLIE13 9/11/2008 6:19PM

    Woohoo!! You are a running machine! I didn't realize that about Katie Holms but totally...if she can do it? can kick her butt!!

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ELFITZPA 9/11/2008 10:50AM

    Nice job with the run! I've been dreaming of running before my long runs lately, and I wake up all stressed out when I realize that I still have the miles in front of me and that the run may not go as smoothly as it did in my dream. Very weird, but I know what you mean about that devil on your shoulder. Keep battling him back and that 26.2 will be yours!!

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JOYINRUNNING08 9/11/2008 10:28AM

    Congrats. Those last few miles can be a killer. What I usually think is....20 more minutes, 10 more minutes. It seems easier when I know I have gone HOURS and it's only minutes left. Anything to get there, you know?

Good for you!

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SWEATONCEADAY 9/10/2008 11:56PM

    congrats on 18 miles! still a dream for me.

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