Two. More. Weeks.

I’m now (less than) two weeks out from my FIRST trail race.  It’s also my longest race ever.  To celebrate, I took a week off from my trail training to participate in my FAVORITE race of the year, the Panther Run.  Three distances to choose from, naturally, I went with the 15K.

It was an EPIC race.  Cool temps meant PR weather!  I fell into a comfortable pace early, running alongside a woman from my running group.  We didn’t speak at all.  I think we were each racing the other the entire time.  Trail running has encouraged me to power down the hills, even on the road now.  So once we started hitting hills, I pulled away, but was never too far ahead. Eventually we ended up right back together and raced it out for the last mile.  At the end, we exchanged a high five.  I hit a PR by 14 minutes.  Maybe it’s not as big of a deal, considering my only previous 15K was over a year and a half ago, but I’m still celebrating besting my time.

As for trail racing…I now have three trail races on my schedule between now and Thanksgiving.  One 15K, one 25K and a half marathon.  I’m super excited.  Although the elevation chart for the 25K is just a little bit intimidating.  I’ll leave you with this:

1932347_10101397839994584_2346786897210892971_n

Advertisements

Lessons from the trail

3 weeks.  That’s how far out I am from Dogwood.  I’ve been struggling mentally, wondering how on earth I was going to complete it.  My fuel has been messing with my stomach, my will power is tanking.  But I’ve still gotten out there every weekend so at least there’s that.

Saturday morning when my alarm went off at 4:45am, I wasn’t feeling it.  I had my coffee and my breakfast but just felt “meh”.  I kissed fiance goodbye and he told me he was proud of me.  My drive down to Busiek that’s what I thought about.  That he’s proud of me.

Not proud of my speeds or distance.  Proud of ME.  The work I’m putting in.  ME.  I made a resolve to leave it out there and run MY run.  Not anyone else’s.  MINE.

I felt awesome.  Strong and focused.  I CRUSHED it.  It didn’t and still doesn’t matter that my pace was much faster than my previous 14 mile run (this weekend was 15 miles).  I proved to myself that I have much more in me that I think I do.  Before when I thought I couldn’t go any further, I stopped.  I rested.  And it didn’t do me any favors.  This week I kept moving.  I dug deep and trudged on.

It paid off.

I’ve got so much more in me than I thought I did before that run.  And now I know.  I just have to keep moving.

Ten Toes, Nine Toenails

Guys!  I became a REAL runner today!  I lost my first toenail.  It’s been hanging on by a thread now for a couple of days and I just didn’t have the mental fortitude to rip it off.  But it started snagging on my socks and I tell you what, wearing Vibrams with a half ripped off nail just isn’t fun.  So I made it happen.

20140923_114957

What do you do with your first ripped off toenail?  I have thought about giving it a name and keeping it in a box.  Bronzing it and putting it on a necklace.  I’m actually really excited about this.  I’m sure people think I’m insane and incredibly weird but I trained hard and earned this!

It feels weird.  It’s bleeding a little where I had to give it a little extra “umph” to encourage it coming off.  Guess I should take care of that…

Were you this excited when you lost your first nail?  Am I really that weird?

New Facebook Page!

Do you Facebook?  If so, please take a minute to join me on my new page.  I’ll be talking fitness and running as well as linking blog posts from there!  Check it out here and give me a like.  

To new beginnings

There is so much exciting stuff happening around here lately!

First of all, happy start to Packers season!! What a great day 🙂 To celebrate, here’s a picture of me from my first ever Packers game in 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium. They lost. Their only loss of the season. I wasn’t good luck.

IMG_0062.JPG

Secondly, I completed my FIRST double digit mile trail run last weekend! I also signed up for another trail race last week. You’re probably saying “wow, Sara, calm down, you haven’t even completed your first trail race yet.” No. But I’ve got the bug. Like love, you know when you know! My second trail race will be a half marathon at Two Rivers Bike Park in Highlandville, MO on November 22. If you’re a local, I highly recommend checking out this race which is in its second year. Gorgeous course, great swag and support.

In real life news, I am embarking on a new career path! Next week will mark the end of my time with the childcare program I’ve been with for the last 2.5 years. I’m so excited to begin a new journey as a personal trainer and will also be running a kids fitness class! I’m very passionate about children’s fitness and it’s been a long time dream of mine to be involved in something like this.

Be on the lookout for more fitness related posts on the blog, as well as an upcoming Facebook page that I’ll invite you all to join me on

Customers Making It Happen! Sara Finishes Strong at Her Second Sprint Triathlon

GH Sports

Sara Finishes Strong at Her Second Sprint Triathlon
 

Sara Mechelle Vieira, one of our dedicated, loyal customers, was in San Luis Obispo recently and popped by GH Sports to prepare for her upcoming triathlon, the Republican Tiger Tri, held in her resident state of Missouri. Here’s her update:
I completed the Republic Tiger Tri in Republic, MO yesterday wearing my GH Sports Women’s Tri Shorts. They were AMAZING!! They stayed in place and dried quickly after the pool swim. Another excellent product from you guys, you never disappoint!…Though I no longer live in the area, I visit the shop when I’m in town and recommend [GH] to people out here in Missouri.”


~Sara Mechelle Vieira, The Outspoken Runner
 
 
Congratulations Sara for your accomplishment – you made it happen!! 
 
Do you have a fitness story, healthy recipe, or exercise to share? Let us know!

View original post

Falling behind

Life. It happens. Life doesn’t care if you have a triathlon in two weeks or are just starting a 13 week training plan for your first 25K trail race. It carries on however it pleases and you have to figure out how to roll with it.

It also doesn’t care if you are supposed to be starting a new job in two days either. But this is a running and fitness blog so we’ll stick with the other stuff 🙂

When life calls, you answer. You don’t ignore what’s going on because you have something else going. When someone needs you, you go. This isn’t me complaining that I had to pick up at a moments notice and go home to be there for my family. I would do it again in an instant. It’s about how you pick up when you get back.

You can sit there and be miserable that you missed that time. That triathlon PR would’ve been great. That 12 mile trail run that turned into a 9.5 mile trail run could’ve been way better if I didn’t miss the first three weeks of the training group. But I didn’t PR and I didn’t train those weeks. It is what it is. You pick up and continue. Make the best of where you are and know that you’re going to get there. It’s just going to be a little longer than you first thought.

It’s totally ok.

In fact, it’s better than ok. It means that you are confident enough in yourself to know that you can step away for a moment, tend to what you need to, come back and be fine.

Never get so caught up in your own life that you aren’t able to answer the call when someone needs you. Running teaches us to be confident and strong. Be confident enough to step away and lend that strength to those around you when they need it the most.

A Weekend of Firsts!

What a fantastic weekend in the Ozarks!  I experienced so many new things that I haven’t ever tried.

 

A friend of mine and I decided to try out stand up paddle boarding.  We had no idea what to expect when we headed down to Branson on Saturday morning.  The people at White River Kayaking were so helpful and gave us many tips on where to paddle to in order to get our bearings, what creeks would be nice to go up and how to not get run over by a boat.  We spent two hours on Lake Taneycomo, paddling around near the Branson Landing and checking it out.  If you know the lake, you know it is COLD.  The owner of WRK warned us we did not want to end up in the water.  Unfortunately for my friend, she did!  FORTUNATELY for her, she was wearing the GoPro and all of it was captured here.  There’s definitely a little bit of language in the video but it’s pretty funny.

Paddle Board

 

Sunday morning was all about new things!  My first group run, my first training run for Dogwood, my first time at Busiek, my first time on a real trail and my first time in my Mizuno Wave Kazans.  It also had rained the night before so the trails were muddy.  And of course it rained as soon as we got there.  By the end, my clothes were SOAKED but I had a blast!  I definitely enjoyed the dynamic of running in a group and the tips I got from seasoned trail vets were so valuable.  I feel like I’m getting more comfortable off the road and was able to dominate the less technical portions.

 

Walking up the steep inclines is definitely for the best, walking down them is definitely something I will need to continue doing for now as well.

Busiek climb

Bug spray is an absolute must.  The parts of my body that I missed with borrowed bug spray are paying for it.  My quads ache today.  That feeling of accomplishment though…that’s something.  I can’t wait to get out there again.  My new shoes were PHENOMENAL.  Mizuno does it again!

 

Wave Kazan

 

Look at all that mud!  I only almost lost my shoe +/- 3 times.

 

Did you try something new this weekend?  How did it go?

Summertime HEAT!

Is anyone else out there struggling with the heat and humidity?  My goodness.  I feel like normally by this time in the summer, I’m completely adapted and doing just fine.  This year?  I’m struggling.  Really struggling.  It’s not so much lack of motivation to run but a lack of motivation to be a hot, sweaty mess.  The humidity is stifling.  Coupled with my job that has me outside quite a bit and it’s really unappealing.  So I’ve been hitting the treadmill with my own personal fan.  Literally.  A little fan clipped to the treadmill.

 

Which then got me thinking, why can’t I attach a fan to my neck?  How weird would I look?  Would people be jealous?  Could I start a new trend?  Maybe a new running club?

 

Reality is, my 25K trail race in October is starting to loom big in my head.  I need to get my booty outside and running  the trails.  Which means I need to make a decision on trail shoes.  And find a trail running buddy.  Sigh.  Time to get it together!

RANTS AND RAVES: Joplin Memorial Run

You’re probably thinking “wait, didn’t you just run a half marathon last weekend?!” Indeed, I did. But I got this wild idea a bit ago that I wanted to be a Half Fantatic. So I signed up for JMR, a mere six days after my last half. More like five days. But whatever.

If you’ve heard of Joplin (of course you have) you may know that three years ago this month they were hit with a devastating EF-5 tornado that killed 161 people. I wasn’t living in Missouri at the time but had met Boyfriend and remember how scary it was for him and me, 2000 miles a way with zero experience with severe weather. I’ve visited Joplin a few times since moving here and the effects can still be seen and it is very eerie. After the tornado, the race was renamed the memorial run and it is very special to the town.

We arrived Friday afternoon since the race had a 6:30am Saturday start time. Here are some of my rants and raves!

RAVE: Packet pickup it was organized, easy to find and had plenty of space. We got there late so some vendors had already packed up, but it ran until 9pm, giving out of town runners plenty of time to get there.

20140512-094440.jpg

RANT: No race day pickup?? first the event advertised no race day pickup. Then it was for a fee. Then someone was told all packets would be moved to the start line for race day pickup. Confusing!! I still would’ve come to town the night before to stay there, but some people may have made an unnecessary trip or paid a needless fee.

RAVE: Accomadations!! JMR did a great job partnering with hotels and recommending LOCAL restaurants to eat at. Three of the partner hotels were a location for bus pickup/drop off, as the race start had limited parking. Partner hotels also offered a special early breakfast! Not a full spread but enough for me! Fruit, toast, coffee, cereal. Full breakfast was available after the race and it was wOMNOMNOMNOMnderful.

RANT: Prerace announcements the day was expected to be warm and humid. Event organizers made an announcement before the start about flags at aid stations and what they meant in regard to weather. BUT YOU COULD NOT HEAR. To me, that’s pretty important. Print up a sheet, put it in the packet. Make sure I know what a red flag means!

Other raves: great course support, aid stations, post race food, scenic course and a sweet medal.

20140512-095133.jpg

I have to say, the crowd support for this race was unbelievable. So many people coming out to cheer, sit in their front yards and watch. It was very powerful to see how much the event means to the community. If you’re a Midwest runner, this is a must-run event.

20140512-095330.jpg

Previous Older Entries

Urban Orienteering Race

It's dark and you're running around downtown in spandex. Explain that to your grandparents.

GH Sports

an empowered fitness community

Life Begins When You Let It

A (sometimes) sattirical look at life, running, & the human experience. (i.e. defying age & "gray"vity).

fat2plant

The power of adding plants to your life!

My Journey to Enlightenment

My attempt to lose weight and become an elite long-distance runner.

Chocolate Covered Race Medals

Where I race to the chocolate bar

Barbells and Bacon

All about staying fit as an intern and a student

RunnerRich

Adventures in running...faster

Questionably Texan

The Adventures of a Canadian Ultramarathoning Bike-Commuting Vegan Living in Texas

Pavement Runner

Run Strong. Finish Stronger.

Hockey Mayor

NHL and LA Kings hockey news, inside information and interviews

Mike Scioscia's tragic illness

Los Angeles Dodgers blog with humor, sarcasm, and intelligence.

Frozen Royalty

Coverage of National Hockey League's (NHL) Los Angeles Kings (LA Kings) & American Hockey League's (AHL) Ontario Reign by credentialed journalist Gann Matsuda