{Remembering Jesse Parker Race Report-5 Mile}

Saturday I ran the Remembering Jesse Parker 5 Mile Race.  Because of the races proximity to one of my favorite holidays, the Fourth of July, I just had to take the opportunity to dress in Merica related attire (Tank-For Two Fitness, Shorts-Oiselle, Socks-Procompression, Headband-Bic Bands).  If you follow me on Instagram @sneaksandstilettos or on Facebook, then you know I did not wake up feeling like I wanted to run this race…at all.

Running this race though was such a powerful reminder to myself that sometimes we don’t even know what is best for ourselves.  I wanted to run the race, but didn’t feel like it that morning.  Had I given in to those negative thoughts, I know I’d be regretting it now. Instead I got myself ready, out the door and to the start line despite not wanting to.

Once that gun fired I was surprised by how good it felt to be out there amongst others running.  The race atmosphere is so inspiring and uplifting.  Seeing other runners go for it also makes me love running races.  Everything just clicked Saturday morning, and I felt strong and great the entire race.  I was able to maintain a slightly faster pace than what I likely would have running on my own.  Just another benefit of racing!

While running pregnant I never focus on my pace too much.  Lately though I have been liking using my Garmin more than my Runkeeper app so I can keep a close eye on my pace. This helps me make sure I’m not going too hard when that uplifting song comes pumping through the headphones.  Going too fast just makes the rest of the run harder these days, and I try to maintain a conversation pace a majority of the time when running.

Saturday the miles felt easy and my pace reflected that.  Despite one bathroom stop just before mile 3 being included in my time, I managed a 9:57 pace overall according to my Garmin.  Some days I run this pace, some days a bit faster and other days slower for sure. Each day is different when pregnant running.  At 24 weeks pregnant I will definitely take it!  Going by feel is the best advice I’d give to women looking to run while pregnant.  Use the watch as a reference not an expectation and you’ll be much less disappointed or frustrated as your pregnancy progresses.

I kept having to tell myself to not get caught up in the race and slow down.  I had the whole race to go!! Racing (or running) pregnant is all about listening to your body, running appropriate paces and accepting that your performance will not be what it would be if you were not pregnant. Race times will slower, your place higher and your pace not what you are used to. So why race when pregnant? Racing is a great way to keep elements of the sport you love and can be incredibly motivating to keep running as the weeks creep towards 40!

My mile splits are included below as this is a race report, but is only for my reference.

Mile 1-9:21

Mile 2-10:02

Mile 3-10:58 (Bathroom break)

Mile 4-9:55

Mile 5-9:28

Overall I’m feeling really good while running and am so excited that running 5 miles still feels great and fairly easy on most days.  Again each day is different, but I was already getting very uncomfortable on most of my runs at this point in my first pregnancy.  Here’s to hoping this feeling good continues.  I’m attributing a lot of how I’m feeling to the consistency of my running with completing the Runner’s World Run Streak from Memorial Day to the Fourth of July.  Stay tuned for a post on my #rwrunstreak this week!

Here’s to more pregnant miles!

Remembering Jesse Parker 5 Mile Race
Age Group-7/11


{Wisconsin Marathon Training-Week 12}

,Screenshot 2014-03-23 22.26.30

This week I only ran once.  If I had to pick a week to be injured, I guess this would have been it.  With lots of responsibilities, life events, and unexpected things popping up, running took a back seat this week.  After sitting out most the week, I am so anxious to go for a run.  My foot is feeling better, but where I go from here is on a day-by-day basis.  I’d love to resume the training plan Monday, but we will see.  The most important thing is giving my foot time off to heal so I can show up to the starting line healthy.  Even more unexpected than missing my running time this week was how much I missed the fresh air and being outside.  Having ran outside all winter this week has been the most I’ve been indoors and it was challenging.

Looking at Ryan’s training this week, I’d say my foot held not only me back, but Ryan too.  Granted we had some unexpected family things happen this week.

Tuesday-5 miles (both of us)

Wednesday-Ryan lifted

Thursday-5 miles (Ryan)

Tip of the Week:  Just because we didn’t do so well sticking to the training plan this week doesn’t mean you have to have the same experience.  If you are injured or something feels painful, then by all means skip your run until you feel better or see a doctor.  If you are healthy, then here are some tips to stay committed to your training plan.

1) Plan Your Workouts-Yes, your training plan tells you what to run and when.  What I mean is look at your obligations and work load for the week.  Are there days you need to move around?  Will you need to move a p.m. run to the a.m?  What might be going on this week that could negatively impact your training runs being completed.  Be proactive and adjust your training plan to accommodate your week in advance to ensure all training runs have a time and a place.  Sunday nights work great for this!

2)  Run with Friends-Schedule a run or two for the week with a friend.  Having someone to meet up with will increase the chance you don’t bail on your miles.

3) Log Your Miles-I log every run in RunKeeper.  I get excited to enter my miles and see my progress towards my goal.  Other apps or social media to try include Daily Mile, Strava, or even Instagram.

4) Spread the Word-Tell family and friends about your race or long runs.  Knowing they might ask you about them and how they went will help you stay committed to your training.

5) Reward Your Hard Work-I almost always think of a personal incentive for after a long run or difficult speed session.  Rewards could be food, but might also be a massage, new pair of running socks, a pedicure, or whatever interests you.

6) Move that Butt-Once you get home from work or out of bed in the morning, get your run on right away.  Don’t make excuses or procrastinate because you only increase the chance you won’t make it out the door or have time for all your miles.

7) Cross It Off Your List-I love lists and crossing things off them.  I have a paper copy of my training plan on the refrigerator so I can cross a workout off after I complete it.  Something is so satisfying about the action of checking off a list.

8) Race for Your Race-Schedule a few tune up races to get some speed training in or a half marathon race as part of your long runs for marathon training.  I love racing; the change in scenery is refreshing to your training, you get the opportunity to have a dress rehearsal for your big day, and it can rejuvenate and remind you of your training goals.

Total Miles-5 (Sarah) and 10 Ryan

Happy Training!

{Friday Fab 5-Running Route Art, BTN 10k, Truths, Words to Think About, …}

{#1-Running Route Art}
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Monday I wrote about the awesome running app I use each week, Runkeeper. Statistician, Nathan Yau, from FlowingData gathered data about running routes in major cities using public information from the Runkeeper App. From the data, maps were created of various running routes. The darker or thicker areas of maps represent more popular routes, while lighter or thinner routes are less traveled. Check it out for your next vacation or to hang on your wall.

{#2-Words to Think About}
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Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of excuses from people. I can’t do this because… It won’t work out because… I was going to, but then… What if we forgot all those reasons, and we just did it? Accomplished it. Achieved the goal!

{#3-More Picky Bars}
This week’s new flavor I tried was Lauren’s Mega Nuts. If you like peanut butter, then you’ll love this flavor.

Screenshot 2014-02-20 21.18.00

{#5-Big Ten Network 10k}
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Nothing says love like running together. Since the husband and I are both big Badger fans, and I love Chicago, this race was a perfect one to add to the race calendar. I first heard about this race through Run with Jess‘s blog. Her goal to run a half marathon in every state is inspiring and she is midwest Badger fan! The registration fees were part of our v-day gifts for each other. Over the past few years we are much more interested in buying experiences to do together for holidays and birthdays rather than a material gift. I CAN’T wait to run this 10k. It looks like so much fun! Go Bucky!

Anyone have any fun races you’d recommend to others?

Happy Friday?

{Wanting to Quit/When a run bites you in the butt}

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So today I ran a long run as part of my training plan. It really wasn’t even all that long for a full marathon plan, but today those 12 miles felt like 20. I planned to do my run on the Sparta-Elroy bike trail once I got up that morning and realized how warm it was already. Staying up and watching a movie with Ryan until midnight was not the best choice for getting my long run done the next day.

Start of my run

Start of my run

I filled my water bottles in my fuel belt, packed two GU’s (chocolate and mandarin orange), and put my iPhone in my fuel belt. I had a new playlist to listen to and my Runkeeper ready when I arrived in Kendall to start my 12 mile run. I would be running six miles to Elroy and then turning back. The sun was shining bright, but there was a breeze. I hit play, start run, and was off. One mile in I was already soo hot. By mile two I was so sweaty it looked like someone had just hosed me off with water. The sunscreen on my face was melting off completely. I don’t know why sunscreen does this, but it does without fail each summer. I was noticing there wasn’t much shade.
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I decided not to turn around in hope that shade would be up ahead. At mile three I was still hoping for shade. My music was just there. It was unbearable with it off, but not motivating with it on. I had already taken three walking breaks AND kept my runkeeper on. I never do that, always pausing and running all my miles. By mile 4 I wanted to quit so badly. I was hating this run. I never stopped thinking about how I was running and how the sun was melting me-literally. I cursed the sun.
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I took a GU and felt my mood turn around a bit. I pushed forward. I repeated put one foot in front of the other. Then I thought about posting how hard this run had been for me. By coming up with my thoughts in a post format while running it distracted me from the discomfort I was in. It held me accountable to my training plan. At the end of the run, the only person who really cares if I finished it is me. No one else cares if I walk, cheat, or skip the last six miles (oh, I wanted to). I got to thinking that this run and I were an epic fail.
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Then I realized the person I have to deal with in the end is inside me. I hate the feeling of cheating myself, of giving up on something I want when the going gets tough, of not fighting through my own battles-so I didn’t.

Around mile 5 clouds rolled in and blocked the sun. I instantly felt stronger, fell back on pace, and knew I could do this. I began to think about what keeps runners going. Why do we push ourselves? Why do people push through the rough parts of life? I tend to think it’s because of the journey to the end. The feeling of accomplishing a hard task. Of getting past a difficult obstacle. Running has taught me that most things that are hard work are worth it in the end. If something is too easy, then it won’t be that rewarding.
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Today I also let myself off the hook. Not as in quit, but allowed myself some wiggle room to finish what I came to do however I needed to. Yes, I walked some which I normally don’t do. I ran really slow for my personal pace. I realized the important thing wasn’t how long it took me to finish, or how many walk breaks I took, or how hard it felt. The important thing was not only that I started, but that I fought past the urge to quit. I embraced the struggle when 91% of me wanted to quit and 9% of me thought I should keep going. I kept putting one foot in front of the other even when I felt like a comment from someone or the wind blowing the wrong way might cause laser beams to shoot out my eyes and melt the nearest person or object like the Wicked Witch of the West (Who as it turns out wasn’t so wicked after all. It’s just no one took the time to learn about her journey of struggles). I kept running when I wished a house would have dropped out of the sky on me. Like I would have been so lucky.
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As it turns out I was, well not exactly! Almost as if my will to keep going moved mountains…err, clouds… there was shade! For miles 6 through 10 the sun was blocked by the most glorious clouds ever. I felt like I might actually not collapse. Then even stranger at mile 8 one of my former students, pedaled up next to me on the bike path and said “hi”. He then realized who I was and said he was going to bike next to me until we got to Kendall. Now this student wasn’t just any student; he was a student with a rough home life and who had some special needs. I couldn’t believe how much taller he was. He had come so far. We talked about his bike, how he had moved many times in the past years, his family, and why neither of us has rode a horse before. At each bridge (there were like 8) he stopped because he said “the bike hurts my butt” and then would tell me “don’t worry, I’ll catch up to you.” I wasn’t worried.

Talking with him was just the distraction I needed to keep going. When the sun came back out at mile 10 I know I would have walked if he hadn’t been pedaling next to me. His life has been full of way harder struggles than a 12 mile run partly in the sun. How could I stop running? When we got to Kendall he said it was nice riding with you, let me know where he would be riding tomorrow and what time, and we said our goodbye.
2013-06-23 10.07.49
When I was done with my run I could have been mad about my pace, how I felt, the walk breaks I took, but instead I chose to be happy and proud that I kept going! I overcame the urge to quit. The point is, life and runs are full of struggles. The hard parts can get you down if you let them. If you keep pushing on and let people around you help, you can accomplish, overcome, and finish anything. These difficult runs are NOT epic failures, rather they are just what your mind and body need to help you the next time life (or a bike seat) comes along to bite you in the butt.
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When I got home and didn’t look so well Ryan just said oh. I started telling him about my run. Then I said I ran to Elroy, and Ryan got this you-know-what eating grin on his face and just laughed. So, of course I stopped talking and asked him what he thought was so funny. He then stated, “You said you were running to Wilton. If you had said you were running to Elroy I would have told you there was NO shade the entire way.” I had accidentally said Wilton to him that morning, the entire reason for this uncomfortable run. Ryan thought it was so funny. Glad he got to laugh about it because I wasn’t laughing at all that morning.

In the end, I did get the last laugh as I got a reminder about some important life lessons out there on the bike path today.

{Training Plans}

I’ve went back and forth as to whether I want to share this plan with the world. Do I want to put it out there and then fail? Well, no, who would?! But, then I thought about how posting and sharing it might make me more accountable. It might help me get that run in even when I’m tired, feeling lazy, would rather be watching the Real Housewives of Orange County (we might be the last few people without DVR), it is late after working, or it is a million degrees outside.

Training over the summer brings its own unique challenges. Extra free time does not mean extra accomplished. Nice outside doesn’t mean nice running temperatures (I hate hot weather running). No teaching doesn’t mean no working. Not getting up early means staying up extra late i.e. hotter runs in the a.m.

By now you’ve tired of my excuses, which is exactly what I’m tired of. I need to stop, hold myself accountable, and just do it already! I have struggled with summer training plans in the past. This year I don’t want to. I’m not going to…as much.

The plan this summer is to run more races in order to deviate from the same long run routes. I will hit the trails of state parks to seek shelter from the relentless sun and add hill training to my marathon training. I will explore new routes and places and maybe even get lost a few times. Adventure awaits. By thinking of long runs as a chance to explore a new place it completely changes my mindset. I will embrace late night running whenever I find it challenging to get an a.m. run in. Last summer I did run a few times beginning at midnight or 1 a.m. as training for the Great River Ragnar Relay. I can do it again. So here it is-my Big Cottonwood Marathon Training Plan (with a goal to qualify for Boston)!


For those of you who run more miles in preparation for a marathon-way to go. I don’t know how you do it! I like some free time and Summer Shandy too much. For those of you who can’t imagine running this many miles, you should know I did not/do not always train like this.

Preparing for my first marathon I followed the plan below from Grandma’s Marathon. I only could manage running five days a week, so I dropped the shortest run from each week and only ran one 20 mile long run. I felt very prepared for my race and met my goal of finishing in under four hours.

Training for my second marathon I ran a little more. I did a similar plan, but two 20 milers. My third and fourth training cycles I ran more. My fifth and sixth I hardly trained and didn’t follow a plan. Life sort of dictates the devotion I give.

My summer training plan is similar to the one I did last fall. This is taken from the book Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger. Every run has a purpose. There are no runs to run. I will miss that by the end.

For other plans I have used, I have links below if you are interested. There is no feeling like crossing the finish line for the first time…or the second or the 32nd. Any race you are inspired to run is a great one no matter the distance.

Hal Higdon-Half and Full Marathon Plans I’ve done intermediate 1 and 2 and a couple of his half marathon plans.

Jeff Gaudette-Runkeeper.com. This website offers training plans that appear on your phone and iPad when you have the Runkeeper app, too. You have to create an account, but it will track your running and let you set goals that it progress monitors (teacher talk) when you enter new runs. It is way cool; check it out!

Couch-to-5k or 10k plans are also available online. You can download apps to track your progress for both distances, too.

Do you have a workout plan you follow? What have you loved? Hated? What has worked for you?

Happy Training!