Goodbye Fat Pants!

You know the ones I am talking about. The bigger pair that sits in the back of the closet in case you’re feeling a little bloated or just want some extra wiggle room. The pants you keep around in case you go out of town and let vacation get the best of you. Those pants.

Well, yesterday morning as I was getting dressed for work I looked through my closet. I’ve been feeling unhappy with my clothes for various reasons lately, but I think its just because I need to go shopping. (Really, you can only wear the same outfit so many times before it gets old.) I picked through my stuff, glancing over my typical fat pants and went for the pants that once upon a time ago fit. The pants I haven’t been able to wear for six months because of wedding stress followed by newlywed bliss coupled with a lack of regular exercise made me gain a few pounds.

I picked them up and looked at them.

It was going to be close. Like I could put them on, but I couldn’t button them. Then I considered laying on the bed to put them on because that works with just about anything (especially when you ignore the accompanying muffin top). If I sucked in would it make them fit better? Would I have to suck in all day?

No, I would not have to suck in all day. Because when I put them on the button clasped without force and I was able to exhale freely.

Success!

This feeling, this blissful feeling, is something I don’t want to lose. My next goal is to fit into the next size down from where I am now. To be completely honest, I’ve never been the next size down from where I am now. And that is slightly intimidating.

Though, for once in my life I feel like I am actually in the right frame of mind to reach that goal. My eating habits are getting a makeover. Training is coming along despite injury. And I finally understand that to change my body it is going to take time and dedication.

Quick Fitness Recap: The last week (and so far this week!) has been spectacular on the exercise front. To keep my mileage up for training I’ve started taking really long walks. My hope is that when I am able to run again it won’t be a huge shock to my system again. Also, if I am able to get faster in my walking then hopefully my running speed will improve as well. For example, on Saturday (my usual long run day) I went for an 8.25 mile walk. It took a little over two hours to complete but no complaints and no blisters. I took the day off on Sunday. Monday I did a quick 3.5 mile workout on the elliptical followed by my favorite pump class. Tuesday I went to yoga. And yoga is becoming a thing for me because it feels great.

Tell me about your workouts last week and this week. Are you shaking things up a bit? 

Cross Training Like A Boss!

I’ve been a busy busy girl this past week. Thank goodness because I definitely needed a boost in endorphins from not being able to exercise for the past few weeks.

By Monday, I began to get nauseous. Two weeks of no exercise made me an unhappy camper and my body was not pleased. I’m not sure if the nausea was brought on due to stress or lack of movement. All I know is that after I exercised on Tuesday, the nausea disappeared. Hallelujah!

Tuesday evening I took it slow. Like slower than slow. Forty-five minutes on the elliptical at a thirteen minute pace per mile. It felt good to be moving, but I was being cautious. I could not imagine finally being able to move again only to overdo it and be out of commission even longer.

Wednesday night, I hit the elliptical again. This time for thirty minutes, but higher intensity and resistance. My knee didn’t bother me at all, not even a teensy bit. After the elliptical, I went over to a muscle mix class to get some strength training in.

It was good to be back!

I didn’t work out on Thursday due to a social event. Though, I broke my personal rule of “no exercise Fridays” due to the missed workout. Friday evening I spent an hour on the elliptical going as hard and has fast as I could for an hour. My pace matched my running speed. A lovely workout to kickstart the weekends festivities.

On Saturday, Chris and I went into DC. We walked somewhere between four to six miles all over the city. More on that later.

Sunday morning I went to two gym classes: Body Step and Body Pump. I used to go to Step all the time before I started running. The up and down motions of the step had me concerned about my knee but luckily, no problems! Doing Pump after Step is not always the smartest decision. My lower body was so fatigued from Step, but I pushed through the workout. The only issue I had occurred during the lunge track. My left knee was done and it hurt. I spent the song stretching out my leg.

Monday I went to Spin class. It has been a hot second since I went to spin. I always forget how much I like spin until I’m sitting the class increasing my resistance.

Tonight I did a Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred DVD and it kicked my butt.

This week has been consistent and I love it. It is so amazing to be back in the gym.

I am only slightly (okay, majorly) upset that I haven’t been able to get outside as much. I feel like if I go outside I will be too tempted to run. And that would be no good. Unfortunately (for me), the weather has been ridiculously beautiful this week. It’s not fair. I spent all summer training in the humidity and the heat to be cheated out of the beautiful Fall weather. But I’m trying not to focus on that. Cross training will make me a stronger runner… just in time for Winter.

How did your workouts go this week?

Did you try anything new? How’d it go?

Did you eat anything particularly yummy over the week? Share the recipe!

Race Recap: The Color Run

(ignore the massive amount of clean clothes I have sitting on my kitchen counter. no judgment here, unless you’re my husband.)

Despite the knee and blister issues I’ve got going on right now, I decided to participate in The Color Run.

The easiest way to sum this race up:


(If you love Arrested Development then I automatically love you.)

Kristen and I signed up for this race back in April. After hearing about its popularity and how fun it is, we were pretty psyched to participate. A race that makes you look like a rainbow? Count us in.

Except… it wasn’t that great.

The Color Run website said the location was Washington, D.C. However, the race was at the National Harbor in Maryland. And it really isn’t that close to DC. This shouldn’t be a big deal or really even something to fret about, but I was a little irked. I think the backdrop of DC with the monuments could’ve made for better photo opportunities and an easier to access race. The National Harbor has approximately one route in and one route out by car. Parking is limited to a few small garages and a dirt lot. Also, National Harbor is like a more sophisticated town corner — a few boutiques, interesting restaurants, and thats about it.

Chris drove Kristen and I to the race. We sat on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge for an hour waiting to merge into the one lane of traffic to access the garages. Once we arrived in National Harbor the cops directed us through the entire area before allowing us to park into a garage we had passed twenty minutes prior. This shouldn’t have been a big deal, but it was.

The Color Run is NOT a timed race. This information originally didn’t bother me. But, once I crossed the start line I was bothered at how slowly people were moving. There was also very little space to move within the route due to the amount of participants. I don’t have any issues with people walking because we all know I’ve been there but with such a narrow course there was difficulty weaving around slower people.

I felt old during the race. The average age of the participants in my wave had to have been eighteen. And most had clearly never run before, ever.

So many babies and so not enough room for everyone.

The start line was fun though. The organizers had fun music playing and I danced a little to get warm. They engaged with the crowd and tossed out freebies like more color packets and bandanas.

The course wasn’t interesting. We ran past a few shops and then ended up running around the perimeter of the National Harbor. Some small hills, large gravel paths, and not too much scenery.

Running along the water for the .15 miles at the end was definitely the most interesting part.

I did run eagerly through each of the color stations. I didn’t want to see an ounce of white on any part of my shirt. Someone said color stations were at each kilometer, but I don’t know how accurate that was. I ran through red, orange, yellow and blue.

We kind of went a little crazy with the purple we received in our race packets.

Would I do this race again? No, once was enough. I don’t think I’d participate in any race at the National Harbor.

Would I recommend this race to a friend? Sure! Depending on what your goals are. I think this is a GREAT first 5K race. No elite runners, no time clock, knowing you have as much time as you need to finish? Who doesn’t like that confidence boost!

Following the race, Chris and I went to grab brunch. I feel like this is becoming some sort of a tradition with my racing career.

A woman waiting behind me at the restaurant was not pleased that I showed up to the restaurant resembling an art project. I listened to her speak to her husband/friend about how inappropriate I looked. Funny, considering I must’ve had a handful of people congratulating me on doing the run and how jealous they were they weren’t able to do so either.

One woman stopped me while I was walking in the restaurant this morning asking me how far I went. I responded “Oh, just three miles.” And she was like “JUST three miles!? That is something you should be proud of, I wish I could do that!” It made me smile.

Knee update:

I ran as much as I was able to. When it hurt, I walked. When it stopped, I ran. Unfortunately I don’t have any time or distance to reference, but I’d guesstimate I went through half of the race running. It hurt so bad after such a short amount of time. I think I’m pushing my luck with this injury. Luckily, I start strictly cross-training tomorrow and working on getting better at stretching. Ugh.

Penny wishes she could’ve participated in the color run too!

Have you ever done the Color Run or a race like it? How did you feel about it? If you haven’t, what’s the most interesting race you’ve participated in? 

Does your cat/dog/baby like to sit on your shoulder? Penny seems to never want to leave. 

The No Exercise Blues + Cross Training Plan

Hello, my name is Sarah and I haven’t exercised in almost two weeks (minus the half marathon). These past two weeks I’ve allowed myself to indulge in delicious Mexican food, alcohol, hamburgers, and cupcakes. I haven’t felt my heart rate rise above 150 beats per minute in close to three weeks. Instead, I’ve casually strolled to the candy jar taking a mini-size Hershey bar and scarfing it down like I’ll never have another piece of chocolate again in my life. But who are we kidding, three hours later, I return to enjoy another. When I finally start to feel myself crash around 3pm, I’ll have a diet soda to try to keep me awake. I look at my running shoes and wince a little knowing that I can’t stop won’t stop until my feet are healed and the damage I’ll be working off may hurt more than the blisters.

Needless to say, I’ve kind of been eating my feelings.

I am MISERABLE without exercise. I miss the sweat in my eyes that speed work brings. I miss waving to the other runners and smiling at dogs. I miss adjusting my running belt. I miss miss miss running. And I miss sweating. And I miss Chris telling me that I am a “stinky baby” when he comes to pick me up from wherever I am. I miss working out with friends and laughing at ourselves in classes.

Ugh.

The good news is that this little pity party can end on Monday.

Monday I start cross training for the next two (or more) weeks. Only cross training. As part of my way to train smarter with ITBS, I need to incorporate more of this into my life instead of just going outside and running every chance I could for marathon training. Cross training has been my weakest part of training thus far because as soon I started to realize I was getting better at running I wanted to be THE BEST (for me!) at running. So now, I have to take a step back and focus on all of the exercises I liked to do before I decided to sign up for a marathon.

The plan?

Monday: Elliptical and Mat Pilates
Tuesday: Spin and Body Pump
Wednesday: Elliptical
Thursday: Body Pump and Yoga
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Long walk
Sunday: Rest

Each of those is also included a before and after series of ITB stretches. Then, depending on how my knee feels, I will incorporate running again. I don’t expect to be back up to 12 miles, but I don’t expect to be back at barely being able to run one mile.

Baby steps. I need my knee to recover properly or this is only going to become a larger issue. Though I am anxious to get back to running I am trying to remain realistic about the stress of this injury. Even when I do start running again, I have to take more walking breaks. It’s imperative if I want to continue pushing for distance.

Tell me about your workouts this week. Did you workout with a friend or go solo? What is your favorite method of cross training? Let’s discuss!

Race Recap: Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon

The doctor gave me an okay to run/walk the Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. Granted, I was under strict instruction to stop if my knee started hurting aching even a teeny bit. IT Band Syndrome is not something to be messed around with. My knee hurt all week, but nowhere near as bad as last Saturday.

Friday following my appointment, I immediately packed my bags and waited for Chris to get home so we could head down to Virginia Beach.


The weather on Saturday and Sunday was painfully humid. You walked outside and immediately started sweating. I spent Saturday hanging out with one of my best friends, Lee Anne. We went and explored the race expo and then headed over to the beach to catch some sun.

Sunday morning I woke up at 3:15am. A little earlier than I wanted to be awake, but I was up and shockingly could not fall back asleep. Chris woke up a short time later and began to get ready to leave for the race.

On our way over to the start line, we stopped to grab some breakfast. I enjoyed a delicious bowl of frosted flakes and a donut. The fact I didn’t experience a sugar crash mid race baffles me but I needed something, anything to get me going.

I don’t remember the last time I had a donut. I enjoyed every bite of it.

We arrived at the start-line village a few minutes before 6am.

I immediately went to the portapotty line and once in the potty, I regretted my decision. After almost tossing my cookies donut, I chugged water and began to wait. There was water, fruit, and bagel stations all around but with the smell of the portapotty still fresh in my mind I was unable to really enjoy all that was surrounding me.

The crowd seemed really pumped up given how early it was. There were swarms of people everywhere. Chris told me following the race that there was over sixteen thousand registered participants.

Around 6:45am I said my goodbyes to Chris and went to my assigned corral.

The start line was slightly anti-climatic. The few races I’ve participated in haven’t had corrals, so waiting a few minutes in between each release was kind of boring. The adrenaline started to drain a little. Though, I will give credit to the announcer, he was doing his best to pump each crowd up as if they were a group of elite runners.

After the bullhorn sounded for corral eleven, I was off. It was about 7:15am at this point. I started the first few steps slowly telling myself that I wasn’t going to run, that running would be a bad decision. However, with the crowd of people around me all taking off and trying to find their groove, I kind of felt like a jerk strolling along.

So, I started running.

I began to tell myself that when my knee starts to hurt I would stop. I decided to move slowly. No pushing myself to the limit because I hadn’t exercised in a week and who knew how my knee would react to my normal pace.

I managed to run about two miles before I felt the familiar pain in my knee and decided to walk. I was only two miles in. I wanted to finish the race or at least get far enough to feel proud about my outcome given the circumstances.

I walked eleven miles. I did try to run here and there, but only a few steps at a time. Whenever I saw the mile markers I ran the short distance to them and walked until I saw the next one.

It was a long race, but it didn’t feel long.

Around mile six, I knew I had blisters forming on the bottoms of my feet and on the sides. I stopped for a few moments to put band-aids on, my horrible attempt to dull the pain. The pain became worse with each passing mile. During mile eleven, I felt the blister on the side of my right foot pop. By mile twelve, I was taking baby steps. Each step was accompanied by a whimper. I just kept repeating to myself that it would all be over soon and it probably wasn’t as bad as I was imagining.

Shortly before mile thirteen, Chris greeted me on the course. He knew I was in tough shape given the mass amount of texts that I sent him during the race. However, after he saw the expression on my face he knew it was bad news bears. At this point I was hobbling along the Virginia Beach boardwalk with the finish line in sight. I immediately started crying when I saw him because of the pain. I leaned on him, gripping him arm first and then just squeezing his hand. I needed his support to cross the finish line. The pain in my feet was so severe that I didn’t even notice that my knee was flaring up.

We crossed the finish line together at 3:53:03.

The emcee/announcer came up to us while I was hobbling along and made a comment about how Chris didn’t want to run it with me but that he still got to cross the finish line.

I finished the half marathon. I am officially a half-marathon runner (err… walker!)


After crossing the finish line, all I wanted was my medal and my chocolate milk. Unfortunately I only received one of those things. They ran out of chocolate milk before I finished.

C’est la vie. I came to Virginia Beach to get my medal and that is exactly what I left with.

My feet on the other hand will need some major recovery time. The blisters I mentioned are about the size of an infants hand. I have two on each feet, one on the balls of my foot near my big toe and one on the inner sides near the heel. I can’t walk without holding onto something and without walking on the outside of my feet. Ouch.


I’ll save you the gory photos of what they actually look like, just know that I need those big band-aids for a very good reason. I couldn’t even take ONE step after removing my shoes yesterday because they were so tender and my feet were so swollen. It was disgusting.

My body definitely took a beating. Would I do it again knowing the results of participating? Definitely.

Other things to note about the race:

  • It was eighty-eight percent humidity on Sunday morning at 7am. We stepped outside and immediately started sweating. Because of this humidity, people were passing out left and right. I’ve never seen so many medics in my life.
  • The course was flat minus a bridge that was maybe .15 of a mile. The bridge was a baby hill in comparison to what I am used to, but no one stopped to walk it (except me). The course is also an up and back kinda course. It makes it hard for your supporters to see you at random spots but its really not so bad.
  • The bands along the course are not the greatest. There was an 80’s vibe going on with each of the songs being performed but it was more like bad karaoke instead of rock concert.
  • Water stations/gatorade/Gu/medicial stations were evenly spaced throughout the course. I never felt like their presence was lacking. One station did run out of cups for water while I was there but I was carrying a water bottle so I wasn’t affected.
  • Portapotty’s were ALL over this course. It was nice considering the lines in the beginning were slightly outrageous. I saw at least one at each water stop as well as a few others along the way.

This was a fun race. I enjoyed the course and the atmosphere. It was definitely a much different feel than the Leesburg 20K.

I only wish they had more chocolate milk. And that I had worn different shoes.

My stats:

5K: 48:31
10K: 1:40:13
10 Mi: 2:49:10
Pace: 17:47
Chip time: 3:53:03
Clock time: 4:09:46