Saturday, September 25, 2010

We did it!!!

Today was the day! We ran our 5k at 8:30 this morning. I had major jitters all morning, but it was amazing to have my whole family there: mom, dad, and Ultra-Supportive Husband. My sister, Becca, volunteered. And, Brandy came to run with us! Awesome! The Sooras were out in force, so it felt great to have a massive cheering section! I wore my penguin silly band for luck. Also dad found 3 pennies and gave them to shruthi, brandy, and me. How could I lose??

We got started right on time. Group C started out all together, but, per usual, it didn't take us long to spread out. First mile went great. The weather was pretty good. A little hot, but certainly not anything we're not used to.
My favorite part of the race was coming around this down and back section - we could see our friends on the other side as we passed in opposite directions. We could yell encouragement through the trees! It was fantastic. Plus, my sister was manning the road at the curve and sending good vibes our way.
The volunteers were lined up along the course and were our biggest cheerleaders! I am proud to say that I thanked all of them as I ran by. A whole different kind of goal, but one I'm happy to have done.
So, at the finish line, Vanessa and I were running together, and, with huge smiles on our faces, we crossed the line at a full on sprint. Awesome! We had about a 13:22 mile pace, and finished in just over 41 minutes. I didn't finish under 40, but who cares??? We did an amazing job.
Thanks to everyone who has been so encouraging throughout this process. I have discovered that the more people you tell about a goal like this, the more people can hold you accountable and cheer you on. So thanks - you all know who you are.
This blog is not finished, so stay tuned. There are many, many races in this world, and I've got plenty of room for improvement.
Ok, adoring public, I'm off to shower and take a nap. (Forgot to mention that dad sprung for an AWESOME post-race breakfast at the Oakwood Cafe... foooood coma....)
Much love to my running ladies and my group C posse. We are totally awesome.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pre-race jitters

Well, tomorrow's the day. I've got my race number (305), my pink group t-shirt is ready to go, and I've piled the rest of my clothes on the chair for easy a.m. access.

I know I can run the race - we did it 2 weeks ago. I'm in even better shape now, and I know I can run 3 miles in about 36 minutes. My family is coming to cheer me on. Brandy's running the race, and Becca is volunteering.

I'm nervous, but I'm excited. I'm going to run 6-1 intervals, and do my best to "run" (read: "shuffle") up the hill at the end. I'm hoping to finish in under 40 minutes, but really, finishing is still an epic win. For some reason, it feels like you can really call yourself a "runner" if you run a race.

I'm thankful for this experience, so no matter what happens, it's all been worth it. I'm so proud of my new friends (and my old one!) for doing this program. We're ready. We're ready to run, but more importantly, to cheer each other on.

Jean had a saying on a little card at Monday's run - "I lift thee, and thee lift me, and we will ascend together."

Now, if only some would ascend my butt up that hill tomorrow...


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A few words about a Zombie Contingency Plan.

So. Zombies. Something everyone should be prepared for. The way I see it, in traditional zombie disasters there are 3 types of people:

1. The first to go zombie.

2. The folks who get eaten by the zombies.

3. The people who run away/fight the zombies.

See, I've always fancied myself to be in one of the early stages. My zombie contingency plan, if you will, involves going first. Either turing zombie or just getting eaten early in the game.

Why, Sarah? Why would you not stay to fight and run from the zombies?

Couple of reasons:

1. It's too jumpy for my tastes. Always looking around the corner. Barracading the door. Scrounging for food. Having to dispatch of loved ones who get bitten. Frankly, it's a lot of work.

2. "Running" away wouldn't really last long enough to have to get to the above hardships. Ok, now this sort of depends on the type of zombie, but I'm not taking my chances. I'm sort of assuming they're the more aggressive, 28 days later types, not Shawn of the Dead moaners. I would be a goner anyways, and poor Ultra-Supportive Husband would have to spend waaaay too much time getting me out of that situation. Let's face it, I can't run fast, and until recently, not even run a mile. And as we all know, cardio is the first rule of Zombieland. (or is it the double-tap? Either way, words to live by.)

You see the predicament. Zombies come, I'm the wounded, baby gazelle. The low-hanging fruit. The easy target.

So, this whole running "thang" is to help to change my contingency plan. I'm not there yet, but I figure, if I can run a solid few miles at a nice clip, I might be able to stave off the zombies and make it through another day.

I'll see you folks on top of Crabtree Valley Mall - picking out the celebrity lookalikes or maybe the actual Bill Murray. Or maybe at the pub, fending them off. Maybe Will Smith and I can sleep in the bathtub together and sacrifice the dog.

Either way, the plan's gonna change. I'm gonna go down swinging.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Shin splints. I'm annoyed just typing that.

So. Shin splints. Yeah. Apparently this happens to new runners. Especially idiot new runners who work out really hard one day and then decide, in a fit if enthusiasm, to run, balls to the wall, down a hill.


So now I'm hurting, badly. And more annoyed than anything. I missed my run today, and will miss tomorrow. I'm laying on the couch with ice and just praying that this clears up in a few days.

Everyone talks about these "shin splints," which is basically a general term for pain in the lower legs. Sometimes it's on the outside of the shins, sometimes on the inside. Mine is on the inside near my ankle.

So. My first taste of running pain. With less than 2 weeks before the race, it is most discouraging.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Race course officially previewed!

This morning was a great run. We headed downtown to check out our race route for the Women's Distance Festival. It was a nice route - pretty neighborhoods, shady trees, nice downhills.


With downhills, come uphills, which, by the way, is exactly what I was thinking the whole way down the hill.

Oh how I dreaded the hill I just knew was coming.

It came. It came on the final mile. And it wound up, and up, and up. I'd be totally lying if I said I ran all the way up. Walk break was DEFINITELY required, and could very well happen again at the race. I'm OK with that. I've already decided. OK with that.

At least, once you get to the top of the hill, you can hit a steady downhill all the way to the finish line. Since I was by myself by this time (our group got really spread out today) I gave myself quite the pep-talk running the last little stretch. I was just openly coaching myself outloud. You bet. I'm that guy.

But I finished in exactly 42 minutes. Ok, that's slow as hell, but I'm still pretty impressed with my effort. I just have to keep telling myself what an extreme accomplishment that is, even though it might not seem like it to a lot of people.

There is so much pressure in the running industry to be faster, to have a "sub 20" 5k time. Are you people for real?? I'll be thrilled to finish in twice that time, and I'll be damn proud of myself either way.

It's frustrating to be slow, but it's even more frustrating to not be doing anything at all. They might judge me at Tri-Sports at the mall because I don't look like an athlete (don't shop there. Stick with the fab Athletes Foot, Fleet Feet or Raleigh Running), but I am one.

(The last two paragraphs were pretty much the jist of my aforementioned "pep talk." Not bad eh?)


Friday, September 10, 2010


Here we all are - all dolled up in our Martha Stewart gear. That's me in the front cheesing it up.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Martha Stewart sent us free stuff!

So, last week, our fearless leader, Debbie, announced that Martha Stewart would be sending us some stuff. Well, that day arrived today! She sent tech shirts (cool ones! No obonxious Martha logos!) aprons, spoons, and towels. Very cool. Free stuff is always totally awesome. We took some pictures to send to Martha. I guess this means I'll have to watch her new show on the Hallmark channel to see our pictures.

After pictures, we ran. Today was not my best day. I was waaay behind the rest of my group. I'm not sure if it was because I was wicked thirsty or maybe my shins were still a bit sore from Tuesday's run, but I was struggling. I am so thankful for Lori, one of our volunteers who stuck with me. She talked the whole time, and it made the miles go by much faster. I can't wait until next year when I can be that kind of a motivator for someone else. I know, without question, that I would have had to walk during some of the intervals without her. Thanks!!!

The Thursday runners from NCRC were there - they were cheering us on the whole time! Maybe I can join their group next year. We'll see!

We hung out at the Ale House after the run. After a tough 3 miles, it was a welcome distraction. Thanks, too, to NCRC for sponsoring yummy appetizers.

Finally, and this has nothing to do with running, but I had to hand address abut 100 envelopes and stuff/stamp about 300 more (for work) when I got home... I was dreading it. Thank goodness for Ultra-Supportive Husband who stuffed and stamped every one while I finished the addresses. I am one seriously lucky lady.

Off to bed. I think my bedtime snack will be a bottle of ibuprofen...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Penguin? Try turtle.

I'm reading a fabulous book suggested by Ultra-Supportive Husband - The Courage to Start, by John Bingham. You can learn about him here:

Basically, the book is about his journey to become a runner - he started when he was 43, and it really changed his life. He also thinks he runs less like a gazelle, more like a penguin. This book is for those of us who man the back of the pack at a race and do this just for the fun of it. He's my kind of guy. I highly recommend this book, not just for it's inspirational aspects, but also for his handy tips on running. It's all very practical advice about when to take it easy, how to increase your speed and distance, and what to wear (which we all know is critical.)

Anywhoo, in addition to reading, I did also run this week. Saturday, we had a fab group run at Shelley Lake (group C represent at 3 miles at 5-1 intervals!). Sunday, I collected my most favorite cousin-in-law for a run in NC's first incorporated town. B was a good sport! She's a much more accomplished runner than myself, but we had a great time, fabulous conversation, and it was really good to get pushed on the pace a bit. Thanks, B!

Today, because I have been totally obsessing over my pace, (You'd think after reading an entire book about this very topic, that I wouldn't, but ya'll - I'm obsessed) I decided to see how fast I could run a mile. So I did. 12:30... not too bad! Granted, I can only keep that up for the first mile... but eventually...someday? In the meantime... Sarah!! Stop obsessing over your 5k time!

Can you tell I'm getting a little apprehensive about my first race??

Thursday and Saturday the group gets to dress up in Martha Stewart gear to help promote her new show. I know she might be a wall street cheating, soul-less meanie, but I love her. And all of her fakeness. And I will sport the MS gear proudly.

So, this week's mantra... "If you finish your first race with a more than 14 minute mile, that's ok!" (repeat reapeat reapeat) Also... stop reading blogs about fast people! You just started running! It's OK to be running even more like a turtle than a penguin.


PS running song of the week: The awesome set of Mash-ups I got from E in the mail today. Motivation WIN.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I've run 63.8 miles since I started this running thing! Woot!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Thoughts on goals

So, this week I've been thinking a lot about where I want this whole running thing to take me. What do I want to do next? What races, what times, what mileage?

Let's start with the progress... it's been beyond encouraging. I can comfortably, and with only very little soreness, run 3 miles at about a 13-14 minute mile. OK, I'm slow, but we're starting from scratch here. I keep reminding myself that I could barely go 1-1 intervals for 1.5 miles 6 weeks ago.

I'm heading into my first 3 months of 5k races - Women's Distance 9/25, Monster Dash 10/31, and Turkey Trot in Charleston 11/24. My goal here is to have marked improvement for each race.

So, I'll throw another race in Dec. or January, and then hopefully we'll be past the bad winter weather (and minimal daylight)so hopefully training will get simpler. I'm thinking that puts me toward a 10k in the spring.

Someday, I think I'd like to do a tri, (maybe next fall?) and maybe a 1/2 marathon someday. We'll see how I keep up the training. I guess by putting it out there, it might make it easier to stick to the goal!

But, in the mean time, I'm just going to keep up the 4 runs a week, and keep enjoying this process with my group. I'm beyond excited about my first race. Can't wait to wear that t-shirt all over town.