{Friday Fab 5-Cross Country, Katy Perry, Chip Free Nachos, Shalane Flanagan…}

You all probably thought I disappeared on you.  And, I guess I sort of did.  With back to school and coaching high school cross country, these 60-65 hour weeks are leaving me with little time to blog or do much else.  Add to it that my iPhone 4s is officially full on the memory front and will no longer take photos…as in ANY, and you don’ t have a good recipe for blogging.  I’ve still been catching up on the blogs I read (drastically behind, but getting there) and today’s day off from school is giving me some time to finally update this here blog.

While I don’t plan to do a Friday Fab 5 every week as I’m just too busy, I do plan to pop in here or there with updates and of course will be posting race reports or anything I feel I want to write about.

So what have I been up to lately…

{#1-Cross Country}
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At the end of August I was contacted by an organizer for David Kuhn to see if I or someone I knew would be able to help David out in reaching his goal or running 11,000 miles around the United States to raise awareness about Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic condition his granddaughter has.  Why would David need people’s help?  David is a blind.  David was in an accident caused by a drunk driver that left him without his vision.  David runs on city trails and tracks and relies on people in the communities he visits to guide him.  I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for our cross country team to learn some valuable lessons about perseverance, determination and overcoming challenges.  The team also learned about Cystic Fibrosis.

One morning before practice I picked David up at his hotel, took him to get breakfast and brought him to join our cross country team. Members of the team took turns guiding David on our 5.5. mile run.  We all ran one mile on the track and then 4.5 miles around our city trail.  The kids had to hold a rope that David held and let him know when dips, bumps or curbs were coming and when upcoming stops were near.  It was a great day for our entire team with many lessons being taken from the experience.  You can learn more about David and his journey on his blog or in this Runner’s World article.

{#2-Kacey Musgraves and Katy Perry Concert}
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Lets just say they were amazing.  I’ve always liked them both, but after hearing them live I’m a much bigger fan!

{#3-Color Run Fun}
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A full post is coming about the second Color Run I did a few weeks ago.

{#4-Shalane Flanagan and Sauvie Island}
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I saw this advertisement in the August edition of Runner’s World and it instantly brought back memories of running the Foot Traffic Flat Marathon in Oregon this summer as one of my race all 50 states. I can’t believe Shalane (notice we are on a first name basis ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) often trains on the same route as the marathon. So cool to think I ran in her training grounds. Little things like this remind me of how awesome running a marathon in all 50 states is. The places it takes me and the adventures I get to have!

{#5-Healthier Chip Free Nachos}
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I made these for dinner for the husband and I a few nights ago. Football food made healthier. As I try to keep eating clean as much as possible, I’m on the lookout for new recipes all the time and ways to make foods I love healthier. This dish was perfect for that. My photos do not look near as good as the original recipe creator’s, but I made mine in a glass dish with the intention of eating mine with a fork so it was less messy. The bottom photo shows the bottom of the pan (zucchini alternating with red and yellow peppers.) Some recipe modification I made: I added green onions, onions and jalapenos, made a pound of turkey instead of 3/4 and used an entire zucchini instead of half. This was awesome and would be the perfect healthy take on tailgating food this football season.

Happy Friday!

Sarah

{State #15-Oregon} Foot Traffic Flat Marathon

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It feels like this race was a million years ago…perhaps because it sort of was. Writing race reports weeks after the race is hard. During the race I have so many thoughts and ideas going through my head. If I don’t get them down on paper or makes notes, then my mind is wiped clean after a few days. It seems like a different part of my brain gets used when running those long runs/races that doesn’t get used at other times. Good thing I have a few photos to conjure up some memories.

I had signed up for the Foot Traffic Flat Marathon back in December when this whole Go West road trip was still just a dream. No details were set or travel plans made. I just knew I’d be running a marathon, state #15, in Oregon on the 4th of July. I love holiday races as they give you an excuse to dress up and it makes choosing a race outfit easier it gives you a reason to buy new running gear.

Tank-Athleta Turbocharge Tank, Shorts-Oiselle Distance Short, Socks-Procompression, Headband-Bic Bands

Tank-Athleta Turbocharge Tank, Shorts-Oiselle Distance Short, Socks-Procompression, Headband-Bic Bands

Shuttle transportation was strongly recommended, so the husband and I were up at 4:15 to get on the road by 4:45 to catch a shuttle that would take us to the island.

Lets just say when I woke up I wasn’t feeling this race. The day before had been spent driving 855 miles from the Grand Tetons to Portland. We had been in the car for thirteen plus hours. The legs weren’t exactly used to moving despite a quick hike at Multnomah Falls en route to Portland.

As most of my race reports read I also didn’t get to bed early at all. We ate dinner at 9:45 that night and it was nearly midnight when lights were out. But, sometimes we just suck it up, buttercup. So I did with the help of some Starbucks Frappuccino’s I’d bought for the trip and the morning sun rising over the Sauvie Island Bridge.
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Participants and spectators could buy tickets to ride the shuttle, and tickets had to be purchased in advance for their planning purposes. Shuttles were efficient and took the parking chaos out of race day prep. The husband liked not having to drive around, drop me off and find parking.
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The race took place on Sauvie Island which is fifteen minutes away from Portland. The race started at a pumpkin patch with a cute little farmers market type place with a barn and buildings selling goodies.
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A 6:30 start time got us out and away from the worst of the sun, but it was still a warm one!
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The course took you around the island with an out and back section first, followed by an loop that was part of the half marathon course. While there were half marathon walkers to run around in those last miles there were not so many that it was inconvenient or annoying. It also could have been the fact that I could be found walking at time those last miles. I was had begun dying a slow death from the sun and heat. I really didn’t notice anyone much those last miles. All I could think about were water, shade, and water.
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The course itself was flat (as the name indicates) and was full of farms growing beautiful flowers and berries. It was unique to see rather than the corn fields, soybeans and alfalfa were used to in the midwest. One of my favorite parts of the race (other than the finish) was the field of lavender growing along the road. There was a bench in the middle of the field and it looked like a place you could just spend time reflecting on life or reading a book. Much of the course was along water as well with it being an island and all.
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My goal for the race was to make it mentally easy and to run controlled. My legs were recovering from the 50k I’d ran less than a month earlier. I had another marathon to run in nine days. I had hiked almost 50 miles that week with lots more coming the next week. If I ran like an idiot, then I would pay big time. I kept the pace comfortable and challenged myself to run sans music until mile 13. Then I pushed it to mile 14 and then 15. Around mile 16/17 though I felt like I really needed that music.
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The first half plus was in the sun entirely. There was a nice breeze and since the sun wasn’t high in the sky it wasn’t too bad. Around miles 14 there was some shade which made running seem so much easier.

I spent a lot of my time thinking about how lucky and prideful I feel to live in the USA. I get to race all 50. I get to travel when I want, where I want. I can share what I want about it. That pride for my country carries through all the time.
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Then it was back to sun for more miles. Around mile 21 I got this surge and really picked up the pace and felt great. My legs were not tired or even sore.

Probably not the best idea because around mile 23 we hit the sun for the last three miles and it was like I had used up my batteries. Ugh! Those last three miles they were unpleasant sucked!

I’ve never been a great heat runner, but I definitely felt stronger because of pushing through. I was actually surprised I was able to finish in the time I did with the heat and only doing recovery miles since the 50k. Knowing there was strawberry shortcake at the finish helped me push through the heat. And my husband running next to me for a mile, too. What a nice guy!
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The strawberry shortcake tasted just how I’d imagined it would, the shirts were great and the medals awesome! Plus I love when races put your name on bibs. Hearing your name cheered is so encouraging!
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Foot Traffic Flat Marathon
Time: 3:54:41
Pace: 8:57
Overall: 127/347
Gender: 46/165
Age Group: 5/27