“Double Digits” – Here I Come!

Love my Cocok's Toes! Hand painted by Japanese ladies.

Total Cocok's fashion pedicures in Oki!

Last week was pretty much a wash for my running since I was recovering from Bronchitis. I managed a 7-mile run last Sunday but it was a miserable one due to my lung capacity being stiffened from all the mucus I was coughing up. I did some yoga, strength training here at the house and mainly tried to recuperate. RECUPERATE = Pedicures with the girls! (see photo above of my super sassy toes!)

These digits are looking pretty sassy already!!

I got back into the group training on Friday and was pleasantly surprised at my performance ability. Jeanne had us do a 30-minute session of 400m sprints w/ 5 dips, 10 sit-ups, and 15 squats = 1 set for as many sets as we could muster for the time allotted. For the first 21 minutes I ran a ¾ pace to make sure I wasn’t going to make myself start hacking or coughing and then the last 9 minutes Jeanne told me to go all out and really push it. I followed her directions and immediately could feel the difference. With the next 400m sprints I could feel my lungs being tapped to their VO2max. I didn’t have any coughing or wheezing at all. WAHOO! I finished that workout completely drenched in sweat and pride!

10 miles - here I come!

Saturday I teamed up with WOOT runner and group fitness participant Amy for a 9 mile run. This would be my very longest run to date! We broke up the run in two parts. First, we met up at Kadena Gym at 5:30am and did the 10K route on the base. Then, we got registered for the monthly 5K races at 6:45am. Amy was slotted to mentor a new runner so I did this portion alone.

Proving that I am still a rookie runner: My watch died on mile 4 and my I-pod died on mile 5. Amy sent me our run stats later in the day!

Stats on the 6-mile run:

Mile 1: 10:16

Mile 2: 9:56

Mile 3: 9:55

Mile 4: 10:00

Mile 5: 10:00

Mile 6: 9:56

Independence Day 5K run time: 31:24

I am super stoked about our ability to stay so consistent on this distance. The 10K course was rolling and the 5K course includes a very challenging hill.

New things I tried:

  • I put my recovery Nuun tablets into my camelbak so I could try out replenishing electrolytes while I ran (it is so humid here we sweat buckets).
  • Ate my first Hammer Gel for replenishment after the 1-hour mark and right before the 5K.


  • Pro: I didn’t get a headache like normal on my LSR b/c of the Nuun tabs.
  • Con: the water got disgustingly warm and fizzy from sloshing about on my camelbak
  • Pro: the hammer gel was a lifesaver and I am so glad I took extra plain water to drink with it and make sure it settled in my stomach before the 5K run started.
  • Con: I need to find something a little more substantial to eat during these long training runs (over an hour), midway through the 5K my stomach started to growl and I was becoming distracted by my hunger pangs.

I made sure and got a good breakfast in my stomach as soon as I got home (I had two hard boiled egg whites, apples sauce and a banana before I left). The rest of the day I focused on protein intake and never let myself go hungry. Towards the end of the running my quads were feeling sore and my knees too. I iced all the areas that seemed a little sore intermittently the whole day and I never felt any more pain afterwards.

Nutritional Tidbits:

I have perfected my recovery smoothie and want to share!

In my blender I put:

4oz of Apple Juice (100% pure juice – look on the label for the kinds that say their ingredients are APPLES and practically nothing else!).

This is at the Commissary in a plastic jug on the bottom shelf in the juice isle.

1 cup of frozen fruit.

1 packet of Stevia b/c it is pure dextrose.

2 tbsp of protein powder or (most recently) Yoplait Protein Yogurt (one or the other not both)

2 heaping Tbsp of Plain Organic Greek yogurt (this is if you are not using the protein yogurt).

1 Banana (optional) – for starches and simple sugars

a pinch of salt – for electrolyte

Why do I choose these particular ingredients?

Based off of the information from the Paleo for Athlete’s book they suggest some goals for the first 30 minutes post exercise:

  • Replace expended carbohydrate stores: glucose (aka dextrose) = quick recovery, fructose = steady and slow release. Best taken as liquid for quick digestion. This why I use 1 packet of Stevia
  • Rehydrate: You can loose half a gallon of sweat per hour. This needs to be continuous – so drink fluids for the rest of the day not just this window. 16oz of fluids for every pound lost during exercise. Apple Juice is a good choice b/c it bolsters carbohydrate stores and is rich in most electrolytes.
  • Provide Amino Acids for re-synthesis of protein that may have been damaged during exercise. Best source of protein is egg or whey. Heat increases the need for both carbohydrates and protein.
  • Begin replacing electrolytes – add a pinch of salt.
  • Reduce acidity of body fluids w/ fruits and vegetables – frozen fruit.


The Whey Protein has 17g of protein - but it is an expensive option

If you are nervous/unsure of protein powders try the protein yogurt instead!


In the end the optimum recovery tools are sleep and diet!


Fueling w/ Paleo Nutrition

It’s been a little over a week since I met-up w/ Jeanne. We took last week off for me to get back to the basics of why I love to run and for her do to some visiting/entertaining w/ family who are on island visiting!

The break was a well-needed one for me! I really liked not having to kill myself last week and just getting out and running…no agenda…just RUN! It really brought me back to why I am doing all of this! I’ve slowly been coming to the realization that the idea of “living life” and the actual act of “living LIFE” are two VERY different things.

For Instance…I remember when I got pregnant and I was all upset about the weight I was about to gain and the changes my body was about to go through…yet I was shopping for maternity clothes (and even wearing them) way before I needed to. My idea was that I would be miserable w/ this new body but my actions were saying something more like, “Where’s the baby bump already!?”

Another for instance…I remember having endless conversations w/ my mother about how I would BE after the baby – I would say, “I’m just going to be one of those vagabond moms who just throws their baby on their backs and keeps on truckin’ like nothin’s changed!” In reality…I was reading sleep books, passing up brunches, shopping and exploring fun and becoming a hermit for the first 12months of my child’s life so that she could be a “good sleeper.” Don’t get me wrong – I am very blessed; she sleeps 12hrs a night and still takes a 2-3 hr nap in the middle of the day at 18 months old. BUT it’s just that I thought I would be one parent and then in the action of living that part of my life I am a very different parent.

And I see these sorts of things all over my life. I used to say, “You don’t need a big car just because you have one baby! And then when Nola was 2 months old we sold the Toyota Raum and bought the Honda Spike…and now that she is 18 months old I am coming to the realization that kids only come with as many accessories as you are willing to tote around with you. Now…I am back down to the smallest car possible, the smallest stroller I could find, and a purse/diaper bag that never leaves my car.

So what does this have to do with my blog or running…well, the other day Shane, Nola and I drove to the local Air Force Base and ran in the monthly 5K (more on that specifically later) and afterwards I ran all the way home just so I could log my miles for the day. During that run I realized that all of these years I’ve spent reading about all these mother runners and female athlete’s who seem so driven and they go to such lengths to accomplish such amazing physical feats all the while living their lives. They fit in love, parenting, school, jobs, kids sports, etc, etc. and still maintaining DRIVE for themselves and their own goals. For so long now I have felt in the shadow of all the women I read about…thinking how amazing they are for doing all these things in conjunction w/ one another – so many balls to have in the air and smoothly juggle…

…and as I was completing my 7.6 mile run along highway 58 in Okinawa Japan I was thinking in my head how nice it is to not have my husband deployed anymore, about what to cook for dinner, about the two research papers I am in the middle of writing and about how well Nola has been adjusting to daycare – I slowly came to the realization that FINALLY the IDEA of who I wanted to be when I grew up and what I wanted my life to be like and the act of LIVING my life are finally in sync and I couldn’t be happier! I no longer need to be envious of the strong and ambitious women I read about because I am one of them – I am driven, I am wife, mother, college student and I am a runner!!!!!

Just got my book and L.O.V.E. it! Reviews coming soon!

Nutrition Updates:

I started on the Paleo journey April 12th, 2011. Weighing in at 132.6. Since then I have completed Robb Wolf’s 30-day Challenge in his “Paleo Solution” book and am feeling amazing. I am now much more confident in my ability to fuel my body – I am no longer going to be keeping the nutrition log on the blog for Jeanne to review. I will instead just be posting updated recipes that we try here at the house.

I never thought I would write about my relationship w/ food anywhere for people to read but I have to say – switching to Paleo and the experience/knowledge you gain from it are definitely worthy of passing on to other people. I am now a much more lean 130lbs and am not trying to loose weight. I eat portions the same size as my husband – mainly because my activity level is higher than his. Once he gets back into running and weight training he will be eating way more than me again. I have such a better appreciation for learning about and knowing my grocery store now too. Especially with living over seas, lots of people who want “specialty items” just order them off the Internet but I have had great luck with finding things I never knew the commissary had. I just wasn’t looking before.

FUELING YOUR RUN! Check my Tested Recipes page for details!

Let’s start with Breakfast!

Poached Eggs, 1/2 orange, strawberries, blueberries and bacon! - Learned how to poach eggs from Sarah Fragoso's blog - http://www.everydaypaleo.com

Brunch: Salmon Patties, small salad w/ orange and berries

 I added feta and balsamic vinegar to the salad. Keep in mind – though I am mainly eating Paleo – I am not cutting out dairy…yet!

Now some lunch!

Chicken Fajita Salad - Paleo Solution recipe

Cheese Burger w/ Salad and salsa on top - from Robb Wolf's book - Paleo Solution

And how about Dinner!

Steak, Steak Kabobs and Roasted Asparagus - Kabob recipe from Everyday Paleo

Leftover Kabobs and veggies on top of a salad the next day!

Tilapia, Roasted Green Beans and steamed Cauliflower

Training Updates:

Last week I ran a total of 21.43 miles, completed and PR’d in a 5K (time of 27:33) and maintained a steady 10min pace in my LSR for the week! YAY!

THE 5K: Shane pushed Nola in the stroller while I ran next to them. Wow – so nice to have running buddies for races and one of them be my little girly and I’m not the one pushing her! I was amazed when I rounded the last turn for the finish and realized I was about to PR and wasn’t even trying. I was actually chit chatting at Shane while Shane’s face turned red as he was gasping for air and driving hard for the finish. I remember the days when I was practically throwing up after a 5K race and Shane was all chatty and ready to run more. WOW – have I come a long way!


Today: Met w/ Jeanne at the gym. RAINING but we trained outside anyhow.

Jeanne’s: recap: Today – started with sore groin.  Completed 5 rounds of 100m sprints (fooled around with arm position, which shortened your stride, smoother and more comfortable for you to go with natural stride), then groin bothered you too much.  Completed 100 burpees.

Miles ran Y-T-D = 193.49

I have been icing my groin…never thought I’d blog that one either! Lol! Already feeling a little better but tomorrow will really tell me what I did to it.

I have a 10K coming up this weekend that Shane and Nola are going to be running with me! It will be on the hilly course of Futenma MCB.

The Break Up

Well I did it… I went into my pantry, my refrigerator, and my freezer and got rid of it… I got rid of it all. I broke up with all the grains, pasta, and overall carbohydrates in my house. It was tough…I had cleaned out my pantry a few days before but I wasn’t completely ready to get rid of all of my whole grain paraphernalia.

Well, I am sure you are wondering how it all came about and how it all played out…

It went something like this…

ME: Hey, Carbsy

Carb: What’s UP bestie!

ME: we need to talk.

Carb: Oh, that’s never good – when someone says that…

ME: Look, we’ve had a good run…but it just isn’t working out anymore.

Carb: But Sarah, I can change…have you seen the new selection of Naan bread, pita’s and Quinoa at the Commissary?

ME: It’s too late. I’ve given this a lot of thought and well; it’s ME – not YOU.

Carb: Oh boy – heard that one before. Well, I was the best thing that ever happened to you – you’ll see.

ME: Yea, well…I guess some things just aren’t meant to be – physiologically.

Carbs: you’ll be back. You people always come crawling back. You’ll get an emotionally charged craving and go running for a KitKat or a French loaf freshly baked at the Commissary or think just a few croutons won’t hurt.

ME: You clearly don’t know me Carbsy – I thought you did – but you’ve been the problem all along and now that I see you in this light (bloating my intestines and inflaming my bowels) I can never look at you the same way again. Besides, I’m a Generation X’r… I was raised on Grunge Music and smoking to be cool. If I can quit those things and never look back…well, you’re already toast (pun intended)!

Ignore the Oats & Peanut Butter - I am making some no bake cookies for the Single Marines

I took some creative liberties here but you get the picture! It’s not easy to reverse you’re entire life’s worth of thinking about food and nutrition. I am not going FULL Paleo just because I cannot give up Dairy. My little girly still needs lots of calcium and I do to! I am just going to be cutting WAY back on our cheese and flavored yogurt intake. Baby steps!

Over the passed week I have been doing my best to stick closely to the Paleo theme of eating and finally when most of the food was depleted from the house I knew it was time to “go big or go home!” So I printed out the Week 1 Shopping List from Robb Wolf’s website for the 30 day challenge of eating Paleo and hit the Commissary. Mind you – I couldn’t find everything there but I found most – maybe 3-4 items I couldn’t get my hands on.

Got my spices all organized and out of the cupboard - found some yummy Macadamia Oil too

This has been tough – I think I had been a little moody from the lack of carbs, my body does not like this adjustment but my guts sure do! I haven’t been bloated at all. BUT…I think about chocolate a lot! LOL!

So far I have cooked and enjoyed everything that has been recommended on the 30 day challenge or from another Paleo Cookbook I bought.

Here are some examples of the foods I have cooked:


-Grilled Salmon, Roasted Green Beans, side salad

-Rotisserie Chicken, Steamed Broccoli, side salad


– Chicken Salad w/ Acocado’s, Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinegar (and Feta)

-1 lb. Chili Lime Shrimp, Side Salad

-5-6oz. deli turkey (rolled), ½ lb steamed broccoli, handful of nuts


-3 poached eggs, bacon, and fruit

I used a microwave poacher

-Scrambled eggs w/ a little milk and shredded cheese, bacon or avocado


-Jerky and unsalted Nuts

-Greek Yogurt w/ berries and drizzled w. honey

Training Updates:

Thursday: Met up with Jeanne at the gym for purely strength training. We went out back and she totally broke me off! We did a full body workout.

Jeanne’s Recap of today’s WOD and explanation of what a Tabata is: Today you did a Tabata working with kettlebells – core workout, upper body and legs – overall strength conditioning. Inner thighs may feel sore/tight – be sure to give them extra time to stretch and warm-up. 

A tabata is 20 seconds on (of work) 10 seconds off (rest) – you repeat for x amount of time 4 min, 8 min, etc. – 10 sec is enough time to let your body rest, but not enough time for your muscles to recover – also adds a cardio element to a strength exercise.

BIG NEWS THIS WEEK! I completed my 2nd 10K and a 5K – both with Nola in the new Baby Jogger.

FRIDAY: The 10K was held on the local Air Force Base and was a fundraiser for the American Red Cross’s effort to raise money for the Mainland Japan Relief Fund. The course was extremely hilly and some of the hills were very long. I ran alone (except for having the stroller) but there were several ladies there that I knew. I asked them to please not run w/ me as I wasn’t sure what sort of pace I would be able to maintain.

Jeanne had told me to just think of this as a training run and to take it easy…. Well, that is hard for me to do – my competitive juices get flowing and off I go! Also, there were lots of strollers – so there was a fair amount of equal competition! There were two people w/ strollers a head of me until about 3.5 miles into the race. They were running fast and when I finally reached them it was because the chick had to walk. I caught up with them just as they were running again and I made small talk about how hard they had been to catch! They were both pushing two kids. Within the next 3/10ths the chick bonked. I think the guy was pushing her to run faster than she was comfortable with and she couldn’t maintain that pace. I heard her start to cry and I looked back and told her to just breath through it, look at her front tire and just push! I kept running and didn’t see them again until after the finish.

I finished the race in 1:00.06 my friend Kelly, who had finished ahead of me, came back looking for me. She grabbed the stroller and was like, “See you at the finish – GO!” But she runs so fast that even though I was running solo now (3/10ths of a miles left) she was still right with me! Lol! So I finished with Kelly cheering me on and Nola getting to see me cross the finish line!

Here are my numbers
Mile 1 = 9:54
Mile 2 = 9:13
Mile 3 = 9:46
Mile 4 = 10:56
Mile 5 = 10:23
Mile 6 = 9:52

SATURDAY: Earth Day 5K – Woke up feeling really sore and stiff from all the previous hard work of the week. If I wouldn’t have told a new friend (Tricia!) I would be there I probably would have crawled back in bed that morning! Damn accountability!

Im in the white cap w. sunglasses on top - getting registered to run!

I decided TODAY will be a for real easy run. I left the Garmin at home and wasn’t worrying about pace or time. The morning was perfect for running! Cool and overcast! I prefer overcast mainly for Nola – I had to think she’s just sitting there baking in the sun while I run. I got there in JUST enough time to sign up and do a little bit of stretching but not my normal routine of stretching. When the race started I could feel how stiff I was. Tricia immediately pulled ahead and left me in her dust! I put my iPod on and just shuffled til my legs felt better and then I used that LONG down hill (the 5K is always the same route) as my recovery/warm up. Right after we finish the downhill we run through a residential area or about half a mile. When we hit the main road again it is a 90 turn up a VERY steep and very long hill (Marek Park). I wish I could get the elevation charts on the running route because this hill is unbelievable.

I just skipped my iPod to a super motivating song, leaned forward to be more on my toes and looked down at the front tire – dug in and PUSHED! The last time I ran this 5K was the weekend before I started working with Jeanne. I remember thinking that my effort to get Nola – my little shuffle/jog – was actually just as fast as a walkers pace – so I walked part of it and I was right…I was only jogging about as fast as I could have walked it! In other words – I was barely moving up that hill the last time.

THIS TIME – I was moving! I made that hill my bitch! After I got to the top I was in such a good groove I just kept up the good pace. At this point in the race there is only MAYBE a mile left. I just plugged away and started passing people. I finished in 29:40 and set a PR for my 5K w/ the stroller time!

After the race I felt great, I was trotting around cheering for other people and especially the little red-faced kids coming in for their finish! I drove home with the goofiest ear-to-ear grin! I was just so proud of myself. I just couldn’t believe that I had just ran a race, that kicked my butt just 4 months ago, and ended it feeling like I could go longer! I am really seeing what Jeanne has been talking about – building a strong base!

New Recipe:

I was totally amazed at this!

Tonight I made Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti – OMG! How crazy is it that a squash can be so amazingly similar to spaghetti! I have never really cooked w/ squash before so this is all new to me. Just another bonus of trying something new with the way I am fuel myself.

I couldnt hardly stop eating this!

Spaghetti Recipe:

1lb ground beef or turkey
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 (12oz) package of kelp noodles or one spaghetti squash 
1-2 C. Marinara sauce
1-2 cloves crushed garlic

Brown the meat in the Olive Oil using a large skillet. Once the meat is browned, add the noodles (or cooked spaghetti squash, see below) and the marinara sauce. Stir and bring to a simmer. Add the crushed garlic just before serving to maximize the health benefits.

If using the spaghetti squash: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Carefully split the squash lengthwise, then dig out the seeds. Place both halves face down on a baking pan, add 1/4 C. water. Bake for 30 minutes. Dig out the squash with a fork and add to your skillet with the meat.

Miles ran this week = 14.3

Miles ran YTD = 138.55

Speed’s Back & Creamy Cauliflower Mac

March’s RW issue wasn’t overflowing with recipes or inspirations for me but I did get some good take-aways…

Latest tested RW recipe:

From RW March 2011 Issue

Creamy Cauliflower Mac From Mark Bittman

Taken directly from the RW website…Instead of using high-fat butter and cream, Bittman makes his healthier mac and cheese with pureed cauliflower, chicken stock, and a moderate amount of cheese.

2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 cauliflower, cored and cut into large pieces
8 ounces whole-wheat elbow macaroni
1/2 cup grated cheese (such as sharp cheddar, Gruyere, or Emmental, or a combination)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup whole-grain bread crumbs

How to:

Heat oven to 400° F. Boil a pot of salted water. 

In a saucepan, warm stock and bay leaves on medium-low heat for five minutes; turn off heat.

Cook cauliflower in boiling water for 25 minutes. Put cauliflower in a food processor.

Cook pasta in boiling water for five minutes. Drain and rinse to cool; put pasta in a greased, nine-inch square baking dish.

Process cauliflower with stock (discard bay leaves), cheese, oil, mustard, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, working in batches.

Pour sauce over pasta, toss, and spread evenly in dish. Top with Parmesan and bread crumbs. Bake 20 minutes. Serves four.

CARBS: 57 G 
FAT: 15 G

My MESS: SOOOO….I didn’t particularly like this recipe but I didn’t hate it either – I think that if I had all of the ingredients that this called for mine would have come out better. I used vegetable stock. I couldn’t find whole-wheat elbow mac so I had to use another type and style of whole-wheat pasta. I didn’t use fresh Parmesan and THAT was a mistake. I used spicy brown mustard instead of Dijon. I also couldn’t find whole-grain breadcrumbs either. Oh yeah – and I added a can of albacore tuna to this!!! So basically I made this recipe into my own recipe and it came out just so-so. The baby won’t eat it but I will b/c I know it’s healthy and well… I have a huge casserole full of it! But I will say (for sure) that this could have been delicious had I gotten all the ingredients correct. All that being said – I would recommend it if your needing a one dish meal.

Training Updates:

I’m back into SPEED baby! Man, speed work is so tough – mentally and physically. I really had to stay mentally focused to push through these rounds of speed intervals on Tuesday.

Here is my recap Jeanne sent to me!

Tuesday: warm-up 500m row, 30 situps, 200m row

Workout: -sprint 400m (1:19), 800m (1:26/1:46), 800m (1:34/1:52), 400m (1:32) – ok – what does this tell me…  you went out hard on your 1st 400 (just like I said) – you ran each set individually, as hard as you could.  Your times slowed, as we expected, because it was an all out effort each time – 800s were a new distance and I mixed up the 400/800 to tire you out.  Concentrated on turning corners (over exaggerated movement for today).

Your 1st 400m is consistent with your other 400m times – that is good!!!!  Your body remembered your 400m pace!  800ms were a new sprint distance, so it was tougher for you to gauge the pace – that will get better as we work at that distance.

It’s so funny how your own mind can sometimes be out of your control! I do like speed work – I sometimes dread it b/c I know its hard – but it is honestly some of the most rewarding work we do (mentally). If you really look at those times and add them up – plus the 2min rest in between – I sprinted for a little over 8 min and rested for 6 min = total workout time of roughly 15 minutes (rounding up). Crazy HUH! The rest of the time was spent warming up and cooling down – and of course you all know I can’t NOT talk – so the filler time is all of my gabbing and gibberish to Jeanne! Anyhow – my point is – it doesn’t take a long time to get in a good and effective workout or calorie burn.

Other nonsensical things:

I’ve decided I definitely need to find new places to run. I have a list of potentials but just haven’t tried them out. Running the same route gets old – I like that I can gauge myself by landmarks and such but I need a change of pace. PLUS now that my LSR days are getting beyond the 5 mile mark (HELL YES!) I will need to find longer routes anyhow. I hate to run out and backs and I also hate to run loops!

On the list: Kadena trail, Futenma Habu trail, and parks out in town.

Upcoming Races: Earth Day 5K! This is something I celebrate every year with a RUN! I love Earth Day – and getting to have a shirt that says so! Last years ED 5K on Kadena AFB was great – they handed out reusable grocery bags and cool hemp t-shirts. My neighbor Liz ran with me – she kept saying she didn’t like to run (we used to walk every morning together) but I talked her into running the 5K with me and she was elbow to elbow w/ me throughout the whole run, we talked through half of it and she did GREAT! But she still doesn’t run – she’s a natural though!

The Goodies we got for running!

Liz and I at the 2010 Earth Day 5K

My first EVER 10K!

Front of the Race Shirt! Pretty cool!


Back of the T-shirt!

My first ever 10K race was completed this morning with two wonderful and amazing women by my side…well, I was chasing their tails for the entire run…but I planned it that way…um, they were my pacers!

Kelly - ME - Alicia (before the race)

It was C.H.I.L.L.Y this morning! I know I said that I had bought a new outfit for the run but…well, apparently we were having an Okinawan Indian Summer (or something like that) when I thought that skimpy new Nike sunning tank would be a good idea! The new running Nike Dri-Fit capri’s did the job but I had to wear one of my other favorite running shirts for the race!

I am such a planner (or worrier – depending on how you look at it). I got a cooler all ready the night before with chocolate milks, pre-sliced oranges, mini packets of ritz crackers, a 16oz bottle of water w/ a nuun tablet dissolved in it, and fruit bars. I made my recovery smoothie and stuck it in the freezer. Got a bag packed with my sunglasses, snot rag (don’t ask), a small towel, burt’s bees (can’t run with chapped lips), and my Garmin (hung it on the front door – strategic placement from past mistakes!). Placed my shoes and socks by the front door, laid my running outfit out on the foot of the bed, stretched and went to bed at about 11pm-ish…who knows what time I actually fell asleep! I had been trying to really hydrate all that day so I woke up about 3x throughout the night to pee – clear!

SO maybe I hit snooze!

Got up at 5:45am, got dressed, brushed my teeth – did some makeup – I won’t lie! Had my usual, English Muffin w/ PB, ½ a banana, and hot tea. Even though I know that I need something more substantial – until my nervous stomach lets me – I have to stick with what I know won’t make me feel YUK before a run.

Me, my neighbor Alicia and neighbor Kelly all meet up in the parking lot – chit chat our nervous energy all the way to Camp Courtney! Thank goodness Kelly knew exactly where we were going – OMGosh, I would have gotten so lost. We get there – all of us B-line for the restroom…. did I mention my nervous stomach before?! YUP! Came out about 2 pounds lighter – hehe! – And raring to go! We all got our super awesome race shirts and numbers and started our warm ups. I love getting to races early enough to not feel rushed and to properly warm up. I even had time to do some skipping around the parking lot (not for fun – it was part of my warm up!).

So they tell us after “Colors” play they will start the race – so we are all just standing around chattering away, freezing, nervous feet moving about and then “CRACK” the race gun fires… I scream, “OH SHIT!” and we start running!! I was in the middle of using my snot rag – darn runny nose in the cold weather.

And we’re off! There is such a great combination of ages, sexes, strollers, etc. The course was fun – the 5K was one zig-zag loop-ish run and the 10K was that x2. Parts of it were hilly and some areas were really windy (the coast side). After the first down hill Kelly and Alicia got ahead of me w/ their natural pace coming through. I didn’t let it control my pace and I just stayed about 15 seconds behind them or closer or further!

I kept thinking, “OK – Jeanne said this is just like a training run, not to keep up w. the faster runners – maintain 9:55/min miles to finish at the hour mark.” She had asked me earlier in the week what my strategy or goal was for the race. I told her I hadn’t thought about it but I guess I would like to just be consistent w/ a 10min mile (I knew I could do that pace for sure) and finish in an hour. So there was the plan!

Sometimes it would feel like we were running a good pace, I was pushing myself but not in a burnout sort of way – I would look down to see the pace and it would be a sub-9min/mile… OMG! I was so torn – I would think, “I should slow down –this is too fast.” But then I would think, “But this feels good, I can do it – and then I would think if it doesn’t feel good I’ll slow it down.” There were times when Kelly and Alicia would be well ahead of me – they would round a corner and I wouldn’t see them for a while. I just kept the same pace though.

Finishing mile 3 and heading into mile 4 was the hardest b/c I realized I was only half way and I was battling with those nagging thoughts that I was running faster than usual. But I still felt good! By the start of mile 6 I felt FANTASTIC! Kelly had picked up her pace to finish ahead of us so she could get to the car and have her camera ready for when Alicia and I came through the finish line! Alicia slowed down for me to catch her and for us to run together the rest of the last mile. I started telling her how excited I was that I was feeling strong and there was only 1 mile left.

Something that Jeanne had told after our last training session kept playing over in my mind. She said that even though I hadn’t run 6 miles previously, not to worry. I was strong and when the distance experience runs out it’ll be my strength that’ll see me to the finish. It was such an amazing feeling to round the corner, look at my Garmin see I had 7 tenths of a mile left and actually want to pick up the pace. I saved it though – I had a long slow hill to the finish. Alicia really talked to me and motivated me to the end.

There I am chasing Alicia up the last hill!

She took lead up the hill and I chased after her to the top – she encouraged me to close the gap and once we hit the top of the hill and could see the finish I punched it down a gear and sprinted to the finish!!!!!! People were cheering and saying, “That’s IT – That’s how you FINISH!!!”

I love sprinting into a Finish, I passed Alicia at the end.

I know I could have pushed myself harder b/c I didn’t feel like I was gonna puke at the end – and that was a good feeling – the NOT feeling sick and knowing that 6 miles did not break me.

Here is the breakdown of my race per my Garmin Forerunner 405:

Total miles ran = 6.10
Mile 1 = 9:13.39
Mile 2 = 8:49.44
Mile 3 = 9:25.16
Mile 4 = 9:24.27
Mile 5 = 9:00.38
Mile 6 = 9:12.83
Total time = 55:21.16

A VERY happy ME at the finish!

YAY! Smiles all around at the finish!

My feet were beat!

Kelly emailed me the results from the race – they were having technical difficulties at the finish so there wasn’t an Awards Ceremony.
Female 20 to 29
Name Age Overall Time
1 Jennifer Kirby 25 34 48:11.1
2 Lauren Denato 26 35 48:12.0
3 Marivel Morales 28 42 49:58.8
4 Sarah Pevehouse 28 54 55:33.1
Alicia finished right behind me in 5th place but I know if she hadn’t been holding back to pace w/ me she would have placed first in our division NO DOUBT! She is fast and such a graceful naturally fast runner.
Kelly placed second in her age category! Wahoo! BUT she could have placed first as well – she too is a much faster runner than the pace she maintained with me today.
Way to go ladies – I couldn’t haven’t finished as strong as I did without you both by my side cheering me on!
Miles ran this week = 13.55
Miles Y-to-Date = 98.05 (almost breaking 100miles this week!)

I was so stoked after I got home – I hurried up and downloaded the info from my Garmin so I could email it to Jeanne! This was her email reply (which made me do a happy dance in the kitchen when I read it!) “YOU ROCK, SARAH!!!!!  I am so proud of you, and I am very happy for you!  You crushed it!!!!!  Great job!!!  Peace, Jeanne”

Functional Fitness 5K “Fun Run”

Today was FF 5K “Fun Run” on Camp Kinser. This was my first race since recovering from my running injury! I was a little nervous when I got to the check in and saw the sheet of paper with the Stations and their details. There were 5 stations total along the 3.1 mile run.

The "briefing" before the race!

There I am towards the center in the blue top and black bottoms, there

Station #1 consisted of 20 Jumping Jacks, 10 Burpees, and 20 high Knees. Station #2 consisted of 15 Pushups w/ dumbbell rows, and 30 Russian Twists, Station #3 consisted of 15 Medicine ball thrusts, and 25 Mountain Climbers. Station #4 was 20 Kettle bell swings, and 30 Ab Bicycles. The 5th Killer Station consisted of 15 Pull-ups and a 25-meter distance of walking lunges.

I really dislike these! We were instructed to do them quickly!

These we did with hand weights

Example of Burpee - We had to also do a pushup while in the plank position

I tried to keep up with the same 2-3 people throughout the race but if someone was slowing down during the running part I just passed them. I maintained a good 9min/mile pace until I could see the next station and then I sprinted. When I got to the water cooler I grabbed a paper cup of water, did the stations routines and then took off again. There was a killer hill and then a set of steps that were really steep between stations 4 and 5 – that really depleted me. Then to try and run after doing walking lunges for 25-meters was really hard. My legs felt so tight (mainly my hamstrings) and I had to really focus on loosening up my stride. When I could see the finish I sprinted again and finished strong. I was proud to pass a few more people right at the end too!

Can you see me back there in the blue? If you click on the photo it will get bigger!

Strong finish!

I love coming in across the finish line fast…even though I felt a little like puking at the end…I walked it off.

The night before the race I prepared a recovery smoothie and it was delicious! I made up the recipe! I used ½ banana, some frozen organic blueberries, a few frozen mango chunks, 1 Yoplait yogurt, a big scoop of wheat germ and some apple juice. I mixed it in the blender and put it in the freezer at 9pm. When I got up at 6am I got it out and set it by the front door. They also had Oranges at the finish for us and Nola and I split one! YUM!