{Friday Fab 5-Navy Pier, Lambeau Field, Eating Clean, Back to School…}

If I had to summarize the happenings of this week it would be meal preparation. I feel like I spent most of the week cutting food, cooking food, prepping food, etc. Eating clean is harder than I thought when you’re on the go and trying to do things like paint your house and organize your closets. Exciting adult stuff happening at my house this week.

Really not so exciting, but life can’t always be awesome everyday. After a super eventful five weeks, it is time to catch up on the mundane and you know, do adult stuff like pay the bills, make appointments, get organized and back on track. Sometimes I just wish I had a secretary. Oh, and a cleaning lady and a chef. That would make life a lot easier. I’d actually have time to read a book or relax with one of the three unread, not-even-opened issues of Runner’s World. July, August, and now September are all begging to be read. I suppose all the traveling was worth the unread issues. 🙂

{#1-Navy Pier Ferris Wheel}
Last Friday when in Chicago I finally rode the ferris wheel at Navy Pier. For some odd reason it is something I’ve always wanted to do. My husband was not so interested, but I gave him the pretty please eyes and the next thing you know he was in line to buy two tickets to ride. It is was a beautiful view of the Chicago skyline at night and fireworks being launched above Adler Planetarium.

{#2-Lambeau Field}
After a wedding last weekend we headed to Lambeau Field. It was like a sneak peek football weekend with the Big Ten Network 10k on Saturday and Lambeau on Sunday. I can’t wait for football to sport my new Packer headband, tattoos, and can coozy I picked up from the Packer Pro Shop. Go Pack Go!

{#3-Clean Eats}
After getting back to reality, it was time to get back on track with my eating. If you missed my two-week clean eating post earlier this week check it out. Remember I’m not a rule follower and will make adjustments to this plan whenever needed. Last night I grilled out with friends and ate a hamburger, and pasta, and tortilla chips with my pinto bean salsa. AND I ate the brownie dessert. This is life, not prison. Eat clean most of the time and enjoy the sweet goodness of processed foods once in a while. Seriously, I can’t believe how good some of the clean eats are, but at the same time my body wants processed food at least once a day. I’m trying and while I have not followed the plan perfectly at all, I’m eating better than I have in a LONG time. That is a success in my book. Perfection is overrated. If only I took my own advice more!

{#4-Back to School}
I can’t believe I’m even putting this on my blog because I’m so not ready, but there is something I love about buying a new desk calendar and planner. It’s a blank slate to fill in with the upcoming events of the school year. I love a fresh slate each year. And organization. I picked these both up at Target this week and love the design. Having pretty school supplies is a must. End talk of the school year. I must enjoy the last weeks of summer. I must enjoy the last weeks of summer.

{#5-Upcoming Race Plans}
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I know you were expecting some big thing here, but the truth is I don’t know. I don’t even have a clue. In the past the above quote was me to a T. Right now I’m feeling a little over running, a little burnt out. I want to run, but I don’t. I want to fall in love with running and not need to be training for a race. It has been so long since I’ve run that way. I’ve got some fun 5k’s coming up with friends that I’m definitely excited about.

As for my next distance race. I’m just not sure. Funds are low after racing so much the past three months (1-10k, 1-half marathon, 3-marathons and 1-50k), and I just don’t know what I want my next goal to be. PR half marathon? PR marathon? cross off another state? With school starting and cross country coaching officially beginning in a couple of weeks I don’t want to overload myself. We will just have to see. Please tell me I’m not the only runner who has felt this way before?!

Anyone have any big races coming up? A football team you love to cheer for? Tips for race burnout?

Happy Weekend!


{Wisconsin Marathon Training-Week 13}

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This week I rested most the week but ended this training week with a bam! Ryan had a solid week and ran his first 20 miler-such a huge feat in marathon training.

Monday-8 miles (Ryan)

Wednesday-lifted (Ryan)

Thursday-5 miles (Ryan)

Saturday-5 miles (Ryan)

Sunday-15 miles (Sarah) and 20 miles (Ryan)
We ran the first 15 miles of this run together and each mile felt difficult. Despite sunshine, temps in the 60’s, and busting out one of my favorite running skirts (similar-Target) it was a challenge. We never felt like a mile was easy or flying by. We were both dehydrated. It was my first run in 11 days and if I’m being honest-it sucked! The thing about running is that even when it sucks is still feels good after or later on. You still feel proud and glad you ran even if the actual miles weren’t awesome.

It was Ryan’s first 20 miler and he took a GU every five miles and drank Nuun at the same time. I stocked up on both GU and Nuun this weekend. Both are cheaper on Amazon and you get free shipping when your order is more than $35.00. I have no ideas why both are cheaper on Amazon than on their own websites, but I’m always looking for a deal so I will always look on Amazon first from now on.
To be close to GU and water we broke our run into five mile loops. This made the run mentally smaller and more manageable. Despite trying mental strategies to make the run seem shorter, it was a difficult run for both of us, but neither of us quit. We did stretch when we felt we needed to and didn’t put any time pressure or expectations other than to finish it. I went out saying 15 was my max as I wanted to see how the foot held up and didn’t want to injure myself in another way. Ryan planned to follow the training plan and run 20.

When Ryan got back from his extra five miles I asked him how he felt. He said it sucked. He was glad to have taken my ipod with for the last miles because they were rough. In his words: the whole thing sucked! All my muscles wanted to let go.

This is the hard part with running. A few weeks ago we ran a 17 mile run and felt great. We both felt we could have kept going and perhaps ran a marathon that day. Today we struggled. Some runs are great and others are not. The important thing is to keep going. Every mile makes you stronger.

Tip of the Week: Be proactive in injury prevention. Since I’m recovering from a foot injury I thought it perfect to mention some tips to prevent injury. Even though my injury was not caused by running directly, running made it worse. Some of the most common injuries for runners are runner’s knee, plantar fasciitis, IT Band, pulled muscles, blisters, and shin splints. If you take care of yourself, then you can decrease your chance of these common runner injuries. Here are some tips to follow in being proactive against injury.

1) Warm up with dynamic stretches and movements. Ten minutes of these before your next run increases your strength and flexibility and warms muscles up so they are ready to run.

2) Run with good form. I am a total hypocrite for saying this, but I do believe some of my hip pain is because I’ve never done anything to improve my form other than focusing on holding it together on long runs.

3) Choose a training plan for your current level of fitness. It’s easy to want to run a certain time or mileage, but be honest with yourself, your current level of fitness, past experiences, and past injuries. Choosing the right training plan can keep you running healthy and strong all the way to race day.
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4) Set a realistic race goal and train accordingly. Running every run really fast will not help you on race day. Neither will training on all flat terrain for a hilly course. Know your race course and fitness level, and choose an appropriate goal. If it is your first time running a specific distance I recommend running to finish not to compete. You will automatically have a PR!

5) Stay hydrated and eat healthy. Both will help speed recovery and fuel runs. The better the things you put in your body, the better your body will operate.

6) Save static stretching and yoga for after your warm up or runs. Some studies say static stretching (holding a stretch in place) before a run can actually increase your chance of injury and decrease performance. Save it for after your run when it is most beneficial.

7) Pay attention to trouble spots and past injuries. Since spraining my ankle last year I am doing extra exercises to strengthen my ankles before my upcoming trail races.

8) Know when pain is pain and not soreness. If something really hurts and feels more than sore, then you should consider cross training and/or sitting out a few runs. If the pain goes away then resume your training plan. If it doesn’t, you know you have more than muscles soreness.

Injury prevention is so much easier than injury recovery…trust me! I’m so looking forward to resuming my training plan this week.

Total Miles: 38 miles (Ryan) and 15 miles (Sarah)

Happy Training!
Sneaks & Stilettos

{Friday Fab 5-Chicken Tikka Masala, Roadtrippers App…

{#1-Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala}

Ever since going to Taste of Madison in August and trying Chicken Tikka Masala for the first time, I’ve wanted it again and again. While pinteresting the other day I found this recipe, and we ate it on Monday for dinner. It was yummy, however I will add extra garam masala to add some extra spice. The cilantro and lemon added the perfect balance to round out this dish. Yum!

{#2-Roadtrippers App and Website}
Screen shot 2013-12-30 at 10.57.45 AM
This app and website are amazing. After taking our first roadtrip last summer, we are hooked. There is something about driving through towns, local food and beer, nature and landscapes so different from our own that we love. We have, of course by we I mean I, been busy planning here and there for a couple of months already.

I discovered this website while planning away this past weekend. It lets you plan your route, which can be adjusted, and then add in things to see, do, etc. along the way. It has tons of options from hikes, to national parks, to out of the way attractions, to breweries, to sweet tooth stops. I’ve got our routes and stops planned with a general itinerary made. On top of that it keeps track of the hours, miles, and gas cost to take your road trip (you punch in you mpg, it calculates $ for you). Check this website out, then add the app to your phone. Your trips will show up on your phone and give you turn by turn directions. Above is a glimpse at our trip-Go West 2014! Check out the quick video below about Roadtrippers, too. Anyone already made a trip out West and have suggestions? Can’t miss stops? I’d love to hear about them!

{#3-Fun Makeup}

I don’t normally share makeup stuff on the blog, nor do I usually buy discount makeup products as I usually find you get what you pay for, however these colors were too fun and cheap to not buy (clearance @Target for $7.10). I was also pleasantly surprised at the quality. The colors are smooth, long lasting, and highly pigmented. If you’ve been looking for some fun colors to add to your makeup routine, but don’t want to spend all your money, then these are it! Just don’t have too many of number 4 below or you could end up looking frightening!

{#4-Shiner Holiday Cheer}


My dad and stepmom know how Ryan and I love us some Shiner beer, so they rarely travel to Wisco without restocking us up. We love that they do this! The family reunion packs are always filled with a variety you can’t find here. This year they also brought the seasonal Shiner Holiday Cheer. It is delicious and unlike any beer I’ve tasted before. Holiday Cheer is a Bavarian-style dark wheat brewed with Texas peaches and roasted pecans. It is really smooth, too!

{#5-Happy New Year to you all}

Thanks to all of you for reading! I hope the new year brings happiness and cheer to you and yours!  Our new year brought us some major gambling cheer as I walked away the big winner in the group with…$40 bucks.  Our lives will never be the same!

Stay tuned for Sunday’s post to find out how week 1 of marathon training went for the hubster and I!

Happy Weekend!

{Motivation Monday-Winter Running/What to Wear}

if its too cold not a runner
With the weather officially cool in the midwest it is important to dress the part else you may not actually get out the door or last very long once you are out there. Getting out the door is the hardest part. I always tell myself-Go at least a mile. If you want to come back after that, then do so. I’ve never came back yet.

I know from numerous outdoor runs throughout the winter that dressing appropriately helps ensure you have a successful and comfortable run. I love running outside throughout the winter although I was not always big on this. Years ago I didn’t dress appropriately and therefore never went more than a few miles outdoors in the winter. Miles on the treadmill and around an indoor 2OO meter track only hold a person’s interest for so long. After training for my first marathon mostly on a treadmill for the first two months I knew I couldn’t keep doing that forever. It was then that I began to reevaluate winter running outdoors. If I ever wanted to run more than five miles outside, then I’d have to change my attire.
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Modern technology in running attire has made it possible to wear minimal layers and still stay warm. The first mile is always a warming up time and one should expect to be chilled to cold. Once the body warms up though you will be thankful for the lighter layers not holding you down and causing you to get cold from sweat. So how do I dress for winter weather…well, it is extremely individual. As I’ve gotten more experienced as a runner, I’ve found I need fewer layers to stay warm. I find no matter how often I run outdoors in races versus long slower runs, etc I still struggle with exactly what to wear on a run, but I follow these general guidelines for dress:

55 or above=shorts (either Nike Tempo or Lululemon Speed Short) or running skirt (love C9 from Target) and a t-shirt or tank top

45-55=capris (love Nike and love,love Lululemon), t-shirt, and a lightweight long sleeve shirt (love Run Swiftly-Lululemon) that may or may not stay on. Arm warmers are great!

40-45=capris, t-shirt, and a medium weight long sleeve shirt

35-40=pants or running tights (Road Runner Sports has awesome tights), t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, and a headband

25-35=running tights, t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, and light jacket OR
t-shirt and heavy/warm jacket or shirt, hat and gloves

15-25=thermal/thicker running tights (love my Nike thermal tights), t-shirt, thermal/thicker long sleeve shirt, jacket (love Lulu again), hat, and gloves

-15-15=thin running tights with running pants over top, t-shirt, thermal long sleeve, jacket, hat, and gloves/mittens

If it is much below zero, I generally run inside or don’t run. A great website I’ve used to decide how to dress is from Runner’s World-What to Wear.
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Last year I trained for the Rock n’ Roll Arizona Marathon throughout the Wisconsin winter doing all my runs outside except for my speed work sessions. It is impossible to run fast on slippery and snowy roads and sidewalks, so I brought that workout to the gym on a treadmill. All of my other runs were done outside. My first 20 miler came two days after we got 20 inches of snow and had school cancelled for two days in a row. I still went out dressed appropriately, ran at a slower pace, and put one foot in front of the other. The wipeout that had me sliding on my belly only deterred me for a couple of blocks. Had I worn my Yaktraxs that wouldn’t have happened.
2013-03-30 10.15.13
This year I will be wearing my Yaktraxs fo show. My ankle is still recovering. I only wear heels a few times a week. When I wear them I can feel my ankle hurting although it is not a hurt hurting. It still swells after days on my feet, heel wearing, or after long runs. I am just so grateful it doesn’t really bother me while running.

During the winter months don’t be afraid or frustrated that your pace is slower. Running on snow and ice is similar to running on a beach; your muscles work much harder to maintain your balance. Running a slower pace on a harder terrain can still mean faster on an easier terrain. Take my PR in Arizona as proof. Those of you who live in Cali or elsewhere without snow, ice, and sleet-well just be glad. I will hate you all in February.
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Better yet, let winter be your maintenance miles. Stay in shape and enjoy the holiday treats without the guilt. Run to holiday tunes (a future post coming on that) and the holiday lights. Run for fun. Find a turkey trot or jingle bell run to motivate you.

When dressed appropriately you can run all winter long and enjoy it.

Happy Monday!

{Friday Fab 5}

This week flew by for me! Anyone else? I suppose that is a good thing. Here’s what was going on this week.

{#1-Twins Game}
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Ry and I went to a Twins game with the coaches he coaches with and their families, and the athletes and their parents this past weekend. It was freezing cold, but like Mandy, we too have a goal to see as many major league ballparks as possible. Ry had been to Target Field a few times before, but I had never. It was a fun park, but I still cannot believe they have no roof like in Milwaukee! Check out Mandy’s 14 day challenge while your looking at her blog, too. I’m always looking for quick, easy workouts to do after or before a run. This sounds like a great way to do that. You all have five minutes so stop with the excuses already.

{#2-I love Target-especially their running clothes}

Love Target!

Love Target!

So, while picking up a few necessities at Target this past weekend I made the mistake I’ve made a number of times before, I went to the workout clothes section. Lets be honest, I don’t view this as a mistake and I know it will happen again…over and over. Anyways, if you are looking for cute, affordable, and comfortable-while-you-workout gear, check out Target. I love them all.

{#3-Starbucks Carmel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino}



RUN, don’t walk to your nearest Starbucks and order this NOW! I’m more of a warm coffee drinker, but I was in the mood for an iced coffee and saw this advertised as new and went with it. Don’t ask about the calories, just workout and eat well the rest the day. You will be in heaven for as long as it takes you to drink it! Amazing!


Big Cottonwood Marathon-Utah

Big Cottonwood Marathon-Utah

Utah will be checked off the 50 state list in September! I registered last night for the Big Cottonwood Marathon and am so excited. This course looks beautiful!

{#5-Walk with Mom}
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After enjoying my Starbucks, mom and I went for our first warm(er) weather walk of the year to the spillway on Mother’s Day. The water was high, but it was nice to get back out. It was great to spend time with the woman who has taught me so much. Love her!

Happy Weekend!