Hiking or Cross Training? I vote both.

Summer is suppose to be that wonderful time of going outdoors, playing in the water, soaking up the sun, traveling and vacay vacay vacay. I have to be out there honest and say that this summer in Albany has been less than lovely, complete with Thunderstorms, 94% humidity and a lack of sunny skies. However, when those good days come you literally spring at the opportunity and start to feel itchy being inside on such a beautiful day. My case in point: This past Saturday.

I was planning on spending the day with my boyfriend Ryan since he was leaving for a work trip to Colorado the following day – rough work life I know. We had a few ideas of how we wanted to spend that Saturday and basically ditched them all the morning of, when we realized how nice the weather was outside.

Let’s be clear, that doesn’t exactly happen in the state of California.

It is without doubt something I had to get used to, where the weather actually has a say in your plans. But then it just makes those days that much more valuable, and humbles you a little bit by reminding you that as much as you want to and try to, you can’t control errythang in this world ;) So I digress.

About this hike. I was excited to hike b/c experiencing nature in this way is one of my favorite things ever. It’s also a FANTASTIC way to incorporate a little cross training into that marathon (or half marathon, or 5k for that matter) regimen of yours!! But we’ll get to that in a bit. For our hike we took a short little drive up to Lake George and hiked up Prospect Mountain.

The app we used, is a convenient free app called ‘AllTrails Hiking’ to locate trails in your area. It gives you a nice little summary with the distance, difficulty level and people share helpful tips about the hike. This hike was about 3 miles and considered an easy leveled hike. I think the app gods were a tad bit mistaken and in fact this is probably a slightly more on the difficult side. You all probably think I’m wimpy at this point, but I’ll just throw out there that it is 1.5 long miles up with an elevation gain of about 2000 ft. I know. So there’s thatttttt. If you don’t believe me read the reviews! Anyways, enough yammering, here are a few pics from the top b/c it was obviously worth it and I’m pretty sure Ryan got tired of me complaining with ‘Are we there yet??’ 18 times. What can I say, I’m a child.

THE SUN WAS SO BRIGHT I COULD NOT OPEN MY EYES

THE SUN WAS SO BRIGHT I COULD NOT OPEN MY EYES

Also this is what happens when you go hiking with someone that gets bored easily. yes pullups on like every hanging branch. Trust me I did not partake, as fun as pullups sound.

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I don’t know about you (I’m feelin 22), but there’s just something about getting away from the noise of a city, having limited cell service and climbing to the top of a mountain, knowing that the view on top is almost always 100% worth it. You just need that sometimes, a little bit of life, beauty and perspective.

I enjoy the feeling of being sorta lost, on a trail where the path isn’t clearly marked out and just going. There’s a certain bit of adventure and risk in that I think all of us seek. I’m a big fan of this one from one of those camping outdoor bloggy sites:

So back to cross training. Yes I am telling you to go hiking every now and then to help train for that big race. And quite honestly I would never argue at that chance. I utilize Hal Higon’s training plans, they just work for me and I know that it differs from person to person. But in ALL training plans there need to be a day off and cross training days to change things up a bit.  One of my favorite things about those is that you throw a little bit of different exercise into the mix, not only to give your body a rest, but to keep it guessing, keep it working and keep yourself interested. Let’s be real, that’s the most important ;)  There are also so many trails to be had out there, and so much of God’s beautiful creation to see, so go HIKE HIKE HIKE! 

 

Oh real quick if anyone is wondering what other fun things Upstate NY has to offer this time of year, i recently went BERRY PICKING for da first time eva! Well I think it’s my first time. I picked out these gems and cannot wait to eat them all :D

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 And last last thing (I promise) since I’ve apparently become one with nature and hike and pick my own fruit, I also joined a farm share type of CSA program where I get veggies from local farmers every week. I’m pretty stoked, it’s almost a little bit shameful I appreciate fresh vegetables that much. You can see a picture of my first week’s gatherings on my insta which is all the way at the bottom of the blog.  If anyone is interested in that type of program the CSA link is below.

http://www.localharvest.org/csa/M12798

Now that I’m basically an environmental loving hippie, I’m gonna go drink some kombucha, eat some kale and hug a tree. Have a wonderful week!

Long & beautiful runs and the 4th of July

Hi Hello and happy July to you all!

It’s already been an entire week of this month, can you believe it?? I sure can’t. As much as everything flies by so fast, it just builds a desire in me to cherish each moment more. And that’s not just the fun times seeing old college friends (hint: my 4th of July), vacation, best day ever that I want to cherish. No I want to cherish the Monday at work that I struggle through with 3 cups of coffee, the single hour I hang with Sar during the week (b/c we have exactly opposite schedules), and the conversation with the clerk at Target because those are just as important as any other day/moment/hour you could ever want to cherish. It’s the little things right? Idk how long I’ll be on this Earth, or when the rapture will occur for that matter,  but gotta make it count right? Right. :)

Well enough of my babbling  thoughts for the night, how about longs runs? I went on my first one in a while, just a mere 8 miles. No actually 8 long miles. It was rough, let me tell ya. It was also probably one of the most discouraging runs I’ve had in a while too. The idea of 26.2 miles sounds great, and then I try to run 8 and rethink the whole marathon plan. But if you’re in the same boat, don’t let up! Baby steps! Just remember it doesn’t happen overnight and you’re getting better, faster, and stronger [Cue Kanye song] 

 

So I use this website ” runmap.me ” and I just quickly map out my run real quick before so I know where I’m going and about how long. It’s a really great free, easy to use website for cheapskates like me that don’t have a gps watch. Speaking of which tho, I really think I want one.  I’m trying not to be impulsive and buy whatever I want, so I’m gonna try and save and in the mean time give me some suggestions on which gps running watch to get and the pros and cons for each. B/c I am that type-A person that loves lists ;) Here’s my map of the 8 miler around good ole Albany, Ny!

PS: It felt awesome at 9PM, because that’s when the temperature/humidity finally fell

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Real quick though, I hope everyone had a fantastic 4th of July! I absolutely love the patriotism that stems from this northeastern region of the good ole USA. I swear I don’t think it’s nearly as patriotic in So cal, sorry guys. I was gone all weekend at the finger lakes which was just so stunning, so much beauty in one area AND so much wine, what more could you want?? I just wanted to post a pic of a quick run I did with a couple studly friends that was right next to the lake. Yessss I did run on vacay, aren’t you proud?! It wasn’t a long run, but I made my friends come so that I wouldn’t be antisocial

and you can’t really argue when the view is this gorgeous. Can I get an AMEN?

 

 

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PPS: scroll down to the bottom to see what me and Sar are up to, insta, FB, all that jazz

Adios muchachos

 

Back to Biz

Well, my MIA in the past few weeks can only be explained by one thing: life. No matter how much you can plan for things, I’ve learned that you CAN’T plan for everything. One of those things is your laptop crashing. The same laptop you purchased just a short 8 months ago. Did I also mention that you’re in the middle of completing two online summer classes? Sigh. Yep, that’s where I’ve been. But, as they say, life goes on, so on I go.

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So incredibly happy to have Alicia back home from Hawaii. Not only do I get to admire her freshly bronzed Hawaiian skin, but I get to talk running and race planning with her. First thing first, we’ve decided to opt out of the Chicago Marathon. Since the lottery ended back in April (whoops!) we now need a charity to sponsor us in order to run. After contacting a charity and realizing we’d have to both raise $1,500 in order to be sponsored we thought maybe Chicago isn’t the one for us this year. This leaves us with the initial marathon that caught our eye when we first began talking about the almighty full. The Wine Glass Marathon. It’s also no coincidence that we are both lushes, so you can see why this specific marathon stuck out to us. It’s the week before the Chicago Marathon, which gives us ample time to prepare for hours of running followed by hours of drinking wine.

After deciding on the Wine Glass marathon we naturally began talking about the Napa Valley Marathon in California in March 2015. Seeing as how I’ve never been to the West Coast and Alicia is a Cali-native it’s an obvious choice for our second conquest. So, we now have both Marathon 1 and Marathon 2 in our scopes, time to start chipping away at training to get our bodies and minds prepared.

This brings me to my last matter of business, my run today. Since I took a mini hiatus I decided to stay low mileage to see where I was at. I’ve continued reading Orton’s Cool Impossible and form has been on my mind constantly. That was no different today when I went out for a 3 mile, hilly route. Today I concentrated on bringing my knees up and pushing off the pavement. Although my pace was above my average (8:51/mile) my body felt strong. And that is what’s going to get me through 4 hours of running, a strong body.

I promised last post to give my training tools such as GPS watch, shoes, and program, but since my laptop broke my program is down. I want to wait until I get everything back up and running before I share everything, but I promise I will share!

Until next time,

Sare-Bear

Firsts Firsts Firsts!

WAHHH first one first one!! This is a big day, first blog post w/ Sar, and first blog ever! Jk, I hope you are all have much bigger first things going on in your life than a blog, b/c I clearly don’t take things too seriously. But really, I’m a big advocate of firsts, no matter what stage of life one is in. As a result, this post is gonna be all about firsts, so here goes nothin.

 

This is long overdue b/c I’ve been vacationing in the beautiful, tropical islands of Hawaii for the past week and a half with the fam. I decided minimal internet/social media was appropriate to fully appreciate the people and places I was exploring for the very first time. So I guess you could say i have a pretty decent reason for the lack of posting. Here’s a few pics below as proof/to keep things exciting :)

And YES, that last one is a real life beautiful sea turtle casually floating along the reef. I basically died and went to heaven when I saw it snorkeling ( I was snorkeling not the turtle). Oh and that first one looks like a backdrop doesn’t it?? I promise there will be better, and an abundance of more pictures on my facebook in due time!

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Weeeelll anyways, since this bloggy was technically started with a marathon in mind, let me preface by saying I’m not really a runner, technically speaking. It’s not in my genes, I’m not really ‘built’ for it, I’m just a girl born and raised on all kinds of sports who loves that active lifestyle and workin’ out in all kinds of ways.

Completing a half marathon for the first time in the fall of 2013 was a pretty big deal for me, and then completing another with Sar was just so great. Ya know when you work hard for a couple months at one thing and then it finally comes to fruition!? Yesss, that feeling!I’m not gonna lie, it was a pretty draining process training for it. I had probably underestimated the level of commitment it required, and not only physically, but emotionally and mentally it really pushed me. I got tired of it, but by the grace of God I made it through and completed both races better than anticipated.

I love running, I really do. Long distances, short distances, it’s such a freeing feeling. It feels great, lets you explore your city/town/neighborhood, helps unwind and destress, and psychologically it’s lets my thoughts run free.

Running a marathon for the first time sounds absolutely ridiculous the more I think about it. 26 freakn miles. Shesh. But ya know what, that’s what also makes it that much more appealing. I love the discipline, the determination and the tenacity it requires to do it. You can’t run a marathon cold turkey like u can a half (though I’m impressed if you do!). Why not now when I’m just a girl with a career and no other obligations? There’s no better time, and when you have a roomie willing to do it with ya, why the heck not?? I’m nervous, terrified and already behind considering I have three months to train but I’ll get there, and I’ll finish strong.

In terms of running shoes, gear, tips ect, I literally am the most primitive trainer on the planet, haha. I have some pretty good north face running sneaks, a $10 watch from Wal-Mart to time myself, and sometimes run with my clunky iPhone b/c idk where my little iPod shuffle is. So let’s just get it out there that I have little to offer in this area of expertise :)

I love this blog for encouragement, perspective, inspiration, conversation and anything else to be gained. I don’t care if one person reads this and is encouraged or 100, either way it’s a great thing. I’ll post what little things I know or gain along the way in terms of running b/c sharing is caring right? ;) Honestly, I’m sure my contribution to this blog will be anything from my run, to my weekend, a book review or whatever is on mah mind. I think it’ll be a great way to for friends and fam on the opposite coast hear/see and say things, and of course track our marathon progress! Woo!

 

When in doubt or discouraged, Philippians 4:13 rings true:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me

Yes, yes I can run this marathon.

 

Ciao for now!

A Learning Process

Today was the first day I went out and braved a longer-than-5k distance by myself in a very long time, and I’m glad I did. Although I missed my designated turn and it was much hotter than I’m use to running in, I felt amazing. In order to mentally and physically prepare for the long months of training ahead I’ve begun reading “Cool Impossible” by Eric Orton. I’m only about 50 pages in, but I’ve already began applying his training methods. His secret? Form is everything. And that’s exactly what I concentrated on today.

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I knew when I woke up this morning that I was going to tackle a longer run in order to see what kind of shape I was in. Naturally, I was anxious all day thinking about lacing up. Having not had much to eat and feeling a bit shaky right before I hit the pavement, I knew I wasn’t going to be setting any record paces today. I was okay with that. The only thought I had in my mind was “Take Eric’s advice, watch your form.” And so I did. I concentrated on my arm swings, my knees lifting in the air, the way my feet hit the ground with every stride. What seemed so nerve racking earlier in the day began to seem so natural as I went farther and farther. Again, following Eric’s advice, I didn’t want to overdo anything and cause a silly injury. So I decided 4 miles was plenty for my first go around. As I suspected, I didn’t set any record paces, averaging  8:38/mile, but I’m not looking to break records in my training. I’ll save that for race day.

In the next few posts I’ll make sure to share the equipment I use (GPS watch, sneakers, and the like) with a review of each, for all those who are in the market for any of the items. I’m not claiming to be an expert on any of these, but I guess you could call it some tips from one runner to another.

 

You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.”

  -Steve Prefontaine

 

Until next time,

Sare-Bear

Sarah’s Intro

Welp, here goes nothing…

I’m a freshly turned 26-year-old in pursuit of the ultimate 26 mile race. Coincidence? Not even close. I’ve been a runner since I was a freshmen in high school. I made my sister a promise, if I didn’t make lacrosse cuts that year I would join her on the track team. I quit lacrosse before try outs even came. The next day my sister told me that I had to uphold my promise and join track. And so I did.

Following in her footsteps I decided to train with the sprinters. After all, I thought to myself, there’s no way I could race a single mile, let alone a few miles. But I wasn’t a very good sprinter, in fact, I wasn’t a very good runner. Near the back of the pack in almost every race I decided maybe running wasn’t for me. That was until one practice my coach gave the option to train with any group we wanted to for that particular day. Being a petite 5’3 100 lbs, there was no way I was going to throw the shot put, so I joined the distance group. That day was an “easy” 3 mile run. Easy 3 miles? I had never run over a mile in my life up until this point so the mere thought of easy and 3 miles being in the same sentence was silly to me. And I was right. It was one of the toughest workouts I had ever endured. Once again, I was at the back of the pack struggling with the thought of giving up and quitting the team. But I did it. I ran the entire 3 miles, and afterwards I thought “that wasn’t so bad”. I didn’t realize it then, but that day would change my world. I never went back to sprinting after that day, and the next fall I joined the cross country team. I wasn’t a great runner, at best I was mediocre. But I pushed myself every race and fell in love with the sport.

After high school I was on the Buffalo State College track team for a few short months until I left school altogether. I spent my early adult life confused and incomplete. I would stop running for months at a time, sometimes years. Then came the weight. I wasn’t over weight by any means, but I also wasn’t comfortable looking at myself in the mirror. I wasn’t use to the shape my body took, and I certainly wasn’t use to the weakness my body possessed. In March of 2012 I went on a hiking trip that was my ultimate wake up call. At the top of a mountain, mildly out of breath, but more confident than I had been in months, I realized that I could do anything, and it wasn’t too late. The next week I set the goal of the Buffalo Half Marathon a few months away. With a little over 2 months to train I told myself I could do it. And I did. I finished my first half marathon on May 28th, 2012 in 1:57. I ran my second half marathon last October in Syracuse, again finishing at 1:57. But this time I had the help of a co-runner, Alicia.

Alicia came into my life in June of last year. Always doing some athletic activity and inspiring me, I brought up running a half together. After all, in the year between the two races I had once again lost my way in life and running. But Alicia’s new inspiring presence was my second wake up call. She immediately agreed to run with me. We never trained together for the race, and it seems silly now after going on hour-long runs and getting lost in conversation. So, we decided this year was the year to conquer the full. We researched and sought after the perfect venue for this incredible feat we would soon accomplish. And we found it: The Chicago Marathon, October 12th, 2014. Unfortunately, we missed the lottery deadline for the race so we are currently seeking a charity that we can represent in the race. Once we find one we will share the information for possible donations.

The purpose of this blog is to track our progress as we begin our training programs. We are both aware of the dedication that it is going to take to do this. We believe that sharing the experience with our friends and loved ones is not only going to help us through the tough training days, but it will also encourage other runners to never stop chasing their dreams. We hope that you follow us on this journey.

“Nothing’s better than the wind to your back, the sun in front of you, and your friends beside you.”
–Aaron Douglas Trimble

Thanks for reading,

Sare-Bear