Monday, February 28, 2011

Mothers, Daughters, Birthdays

So, this post may have nothing to do with fitness. I may mention fitness, but it's really more about life, death, the circle of life, etc.
Me and my mom, in 1997

When I had my son, I was thrilled. I was completely in love with him. However, I had never expected to have a boy. I had no idea what I would do with a boy. While I was desperately smitten with this young man, I had it in my head that I wanted to try to have a girl one day.

While I was imagining having a little girl, I remembered all the good times I had with my mom, and imagined those with my (hypothetical) daughter. Singing as loud as we could to George Michael in the car. Mom trying so hard to be the "cool mom" and hanging out with my church youth group. The year she made her own mother's day cake ("geez, mom," I said, "I could have made your cake!""It's enough that you're here", she said.) Calling her almost every day- if I didn't tell my mom about something, it's almost like it didn't happen.

So, in April of last year, I got the news that I would finally get to be the mom of a little girl. I was so excited about it. And, although, I am absolutely in love with this little girl, who looks at me like I'm the best thing ever, suddenly, I remember all the issues I had with my mom.

"Gosh, mom, you're embarrassing me." "Sarah, you can't leave the house like that!" The eye-rolling. Ugh, a lot of unpleasantness. And, I know this sweet little baby is one day going to roll her eyes at me....

Anyway, 6 years ago yesterday was my 31st birthday. My mother had been in hospice for a few weeks. She seemed to be getting better enough that we were considering moving her to an assisted living facility. But, on Sunday, February 27, I called her cell phone. She didn't answer. I called the front desk and they said she was sleeping a lot, and this meant that the end may be coming. I was able to speak to her when one of them got the phone to her, and she apologized for "always ruining my birthday."

I was accompanying for a show, and we had a matinee that day. I had the phone off during the matinee, and when I turned it on afterwards, they had called. They said it would be that day.

I knew she was suffering, but I believe in some way she was conscious enough to hold on, so she didn't actually die on my birthday. She died on February 28. But it doesn't matter- I always remember that birthday.

And now, I'm a mom with kids, and my birthdays are completely different. My son, who is 3 and a half, sang Happy Birthday to me for the first time ever yesterday. That was awesome. And, I see a little bit of my mom in my daughter. I wish everyday I could still talk to her: to ask her advice, to tell her cute things my kids did, or to apologize and thank her for all she did that I never appreciated (but understand now that I am a mom).

I'm 37 now, and have more in common with my mom than I ever imagined. In some ways, I always said I would never be like my mother. But, in other ways, I am proud. Sometimes I say things to my kids, and I can hear my mom saying it to me, and I smile.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Taking away the quotation marks

I've decided to remove the quotation marks from now on and say LONG run. My runs are long for me, and that's what matters.

Who's got 2 thumbs but is using one to take the picture? THIS girl!

Today, I took the day off from work.  My birthday is Sunday, so I wanted to have day all to myself. I planned this weeks "long"- I mean LONG- run, around 8 miles.

There's about a 2.2 mile loop around my neighborhood I like to run.  I figured I could do it 3 times, and then do a shorter one for the last loop, and hit around 8 miles.

My last "long" LONG run was 5.9 miles, so I knew it was a jump, but I got myself excited about this run all week.

I woke up with a few aches and pains (I ran yesterday), but I was determined to keep going. My strategy for long runs is to run 4/walk 1.... so I run for 240 seconds at a time :-)

At around 49:00 I ate a Powerbar gel. I felt pretty hardcore running long enough to need a gel.

Most of the time on the run, I was able to talk myself into "I can do anything 240 seconds at a time!" It's so much easier psychologically to say, "I only have to run 4 minutes, then I get a break", instead of "I have to run for 90 minutes."

At about 80:00 my husband called me. I use my phone as a music player, so whenever someone calls, it interrupts my music. I'm torn- I'm glad to have my phone with me while I run (in case I get bitten by a dog or something), but I hate being interrupted.

Anyway, my time turned out to be 12:00 minute miles. This is disappointing, so I think I'm going to work on it. In fact, I may have decided something today (that I'm totally okay with):

I think I'm going to put off a full marathon this year.

I would really like to get better at the half before moving on. I've got the Country Music Half coming up at the end of April, then no other substantial races until the Nashville Women's Half in September. I think I can get better between the races, and then maybe start training for a full in January for the Country Music Full Marathon.

So, I think this is a good plan. I'm going to keep getting better and better.

Now, if I could just figure out the ice bath thing. That did NOT go well...


P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway on Facebook!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Biking with Barbells, Running, Eating, Life

First of all- I saw this in the gym yesterday. Now, it's been a few years since I taught group cycle, but from what I remember, there were no barbells. Is there something I don't know about? Am I behind the times? What do you think?
While at the gym, I had a pretty nice 3 mile run. I really struggled with the first mile... but, knowing that I always struggle with the first mile, I am finding I can get through it.

I was tempted to run longer, but I've made a crazy plan to run 8 MILES on Friday, and I want to save some energy for that. I read somewhere that you shouldn't increase your weekly mileage by more than 10%, so I'm trying to keep it low...

I have also been doing better with eating, but there are still a few challenges. Is it just me, or is it really difficult to eat healthy AND eat frugally? Plus, all my son wants for dinner is "cheese. And a tortilla. And 2 pieces of cheese." (He wants to be sure he gets that cheese).

And, I'm being bombarded with stories of people who are hard core runners but who are ABOVE their ideal weight. This is discouraging. I passed the point of "working out JUST for weight loss" a long time ago, but I still fantasize about having one of those "runner's bodies". The more I read and learn, the more I have to accept that it's more about diet than exercise. Luckily, I enjoy exercise, and I do it for other reasons...

I woke up this morning at 4:00 am because it was the only chance I would have to workout. I really didn't want to. I didn't even give myself a peppermint mocha for it. But I did it, and I'm glad. However, I'm even more determined to get to sleep before 9:30 tonight...

Have a great day!


P.S. Don't forget to enter the giveaway on my Facebook page!

Starting a Workout Program Part III: Working Out at Home

Part III of a series...

When I first started working out, I tried a gym. It didn't work for me at the time. So, I tried working out at home. I loved how convenient it was- I could do it when I wanted, I didn't have to drive anywhere, I didn't even have to brush my teeth.
One of the great things about working out at home is doing it 37 weeks pregnant..(in a very messy living room, apparently).

I've moved on to take (and teach) group fitness classes, running outside or with a group, but I still will always have a special place in my heart for my videos.

If you decide that working out at home is for you, here are some tips:

1. Find a support group

One of the first pieces of advice I hear when it comes to working out is to get support. You tend to be more successful if someone else is involved. Even if you're working out alone, there are ways to find support. You can join an online support group, such as Team Beachbody or a Facebook group. I like to participate in Facebook challenges, where we check in everyday and talk about what our activity was that day. However, you decide to do it, just involve someone else, and you can support each other.

2. Schedule a time

Before I had kids, I would start a Saturday thinking, "I'm going to work out sometime today". I might piddle around, and then eventually decide to start the workout. Even on weekdays, I would try to do my workout in the morning, and if I missed it, I could pick it up after work (even if I was tired). But, with 2 kids and a full time job, there is often only one choice for a time. I schedule my workouts on Google calender as if they were a meeting. I also put them on my daily to-do list, and love the feeling of crossing them off when I'm finished.

3. Find something you like

I mentioned that I used to go to the gym and do the stairclimber for hours. I was bored to tears. I thought exercise had to be boring. This applies to home workouts as well. No, every single workout you ever do is not going to be the best thing ever, but if you like something, you're going to want to do it more often. You may not like every second of it, but chances are, you'll find workouts that click with you.

I hardly ever buy a workout without checking the reviews on Videofitness. These are honest reviews by consumers and they really tell you *everything*. This is a great resource, and a great place to check out to get ideas, or to follow up on any of those infomercials you saw at 4:00 am...

4. Keep it varied

I love Turbofire. I bet if I did the same Turbofire workout every day for a few weeks, I would see great results. But, there are two problems with that. First, my results would slow because my body got used to the workout. This is often called The Plateau Effect. Second, I risk a repetitive use injury from using the same muscles every day. So, it's good to vary things. You can do different types of cardio (Hiit, Kickboxing, Step, Dance), strength (circuit, heavy, functional), yoga, core, pilates... there are a ton of different activities to choose from.

5. Keep it simple

I'm going to contradict myself here just a little. I just listed a bunch of options for your workouts, but I want to encourage you to keep it simple. You can get overwhelmed by choices.

Rather than doing the same video every day (which could get old fast), at least alternate between two. Many fitness programs (yes, including those from Beachbody) offer entire programs with a schedule to tell you when to do each workout. I love this because it takes the guesswork out. You just do it when you're supposed to.

If you're not up to a full program, like I said, just alternate a few. Many DVDs out there come in sets. Just look for variety.

I'll repost the links from the last post just to remind you what resources there are.

Please feel free to post questions or comments. I love talking about this, and would love to help you get started!

Be well!


Sites to check out:
My Beachbody Store - Beachbody is the company that creates workouts like P90X, Chalean Extreme, TurboFire, Hip Hop Abs, Slim in 6, Body Gospel... There's also online support and a community to help you stay accountable.

Collage video - Collage sells ONLY exercise videos. They also provide a short clip of every workout, so you can see what you're getting.

Videofitness - The video review site. You can search for reviews by instructor or workout type. Also, the forum is a great place to get information.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Three Tangent Tuesday and a GIVEAWAY!

It's Three Tangent Tuesday! Let's list 3 random things about ourselves!

I'm hosting a giveaway on my Facebook page, Sarah Fitness. So, hop on over and check it out!
I don't want to get too "giveaway-crazy", but I am considering another one over here sometime soon. So, keep an eye out...

Anyway, now for the random:

1. My birthday is Sunday. I'm the kind of person that thinks everyone on the planet needs to know about my birthday, so I'm just going to tell you now.

That ice cream is on FIRE!

2. We love Star Wars at our house (even the prequels... well, except for Episode 1). We love the movies so much that, even though we own all of them, we get really excited when they're on TV. We do the same with Harry Potter. We're crazy people like that.

3. Did I mention my birthday is on Sunday?

Have a great day!


P.S. Don't forget the giveaway!

Starting a Workout Program Part II: How to Make It Work

Last time, I talked about my own experience starting a workout program. Today, I want to talk about some of the reasons it has worked this long, and how a beginner can do the same...

1. What is your "why"?
You've probably made a decision to change because of a low point. Maybe you had a "rock bottom" moment. One of the keys to success is to always remember that low. If you remember that bad feeling, you  can come back to it when you're tempted to quit the program and fall back into old patterns.

2. Don't do too much too soon
I had a lot of stops and starts as I tried to become a fitness fanatic. One of them was running. I had no concept of the right way to start running. I just ran as hard and as far as I could (which was usually half a mile- remember I was a smoker), then stopped saying, "Well, that was too hard. I'm done."

3. Find something you LIKE to do
Before I made the jump to a consistent fitness routine, I joined a gym. I went a few times, but I hated it. I didn't know what I was doing. My favorite part was the sauna. I never tried any classes, and just went and climbed the stair machine every day. Even now, I think I would get bored and quit if that was all I did! You have to find something you like, and look forward to!

I have particular video workouts that I really look forward to doing. Those are what keeps me going.

When I started, there weren't that many fitness videos available. There weren't even any on DVD! Now, there are a TON. You can dance, do martial arts, strength training, a combination- there are SO MANY options. I'll list some links at the end of the post.

Does the thought of working out at home with the TV by yourself make you cringe? Then find a group. Group fitness classes offer an amazing energy, plus built-in accountability. You make friends at these classes, and they notice when you're not there! Choose from Zumba, Turbokick, Bodypump, Hip Hop... there are many out there.

If you want to start a running program, check your local running store. Many of them offer group programs to help you go from beginner to 5K, or further. I've made lots of friends doing these programs.

4. Recommit Daily: Every day, remember your "why" (from number 1). There will be days that you don't feel like doing anything. On these days, do your best to do "something". If you're having days like this often, take a look at your program- you may need to choose something else. The best exercise is the one you'll do!

5. Stay accountable/motivated! The best ways to succeed at a workout program is to stay accountable and motivated. Find a support group. If you haven't already, I encourage you to come to my Facebook page, where you can meet other people who are interested in fitness.

Be sure to take your measurements before you start your program, so you can see progress even when the scale doesn't move. This will help keep you motivated.

Just take it one day at a time. Just tell yourself: "Today, I'll make the healthy choice". You can do it! I'm here to help!


Sites to check out:
My Beachbody Store - Beachbody is the company that creates workouts like P90X, Chalean Extreme, TurboFire, Hip Hop Abs, Slim in 6, Body Gospel... I am a Beachbody Rep and would love to help you find the right workout program from this great company if you like!

Collage video - Collage sells ONLY exercise videos. They also provide a short clip of every workout, so you can see what you're getting.

Videofitness - The video review site. You can search for reviews by instructor or workout type. Also, the forum is a great place to get information.

Couch to 5K - Here is the original Couch to 5K program if you would like to work up to running 30 minutes at a time.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Starting a Workout Program Part I: My Story

Tell me if any of these applies (or has applied) to you:
- You want to start a fitness program, but you're not sure how.
- You're tired of being overweight, out-of-shape
- You've tried and failed so many times, you're afraid to try again.

Is this you? I know I was there...

At about age 23, I was an overweight college student. I drank about 5 regular cokes a day, smoked almost a pack of cigarettes a day, and just thought I was destined to be out of shape forever. I didn't really have a clear concept of personal responsibility, in fact, I felt the opposite: I felt like things just "happened" to me, and I had no control.

I had tried to quit smoking. I had tried to diet. I had tried "running" (as in, "run as fast as you can until you feel like you're going to pass out, then declare it too hard and quit.") I just figured I was powerless.

Here's me when I was an overweight smoker/musician 

The turning point for me was when I started thinking, "I don't want to look back on my 20s as an unhealthy fat girl. I'm wasting my life."

I saw a display of Firm VHS Videos at Target, and picked one up: "Not-So-Tough-Aerobics". It used light weights and a "step". I didn't have a step, so I used (this is hilarious) a phone book. I taped it together so it wouldn't slip. I had one set of 5 pound weights.

Wow, it was hard, but I loved it. I got addicted. I did the same workout every day for a week, then went back to pick up another one. I didn't know what I was doing, but I loved it. I started to see results. I started to (almost) care what I was eating (I did, however, drink soda while working out. I shudder just thinking about it).

Over time, I collected weights, barbells, steps, gadgets, workout clothes, and videos. I discovered Videofitness in 1996, which was, at the time, a small site for consumers to review workout videos. I learned about Cathe Friedrich and countless others...

By 2000, I was determined to become an instructor. I was in graduate school, but spent all my spare time and money going to fitness certifications and training. Eventually, in 2003, after teaching for a few years, an opportunity arose for me to work full time as a group fitness coordinator at a gym. I did it for about a year, taking a break from school.

Over the years, lots of things have changed. I got a few degrees, learned a lot, had a lot of different jobs, moved, got married, had 2 kids... but since that first Firm video, I've pretty much kept going.

In the next post, I'll talk about how and why it has worked....

Running Success Saturday!

This weekend, my scheduled "long run" was supposed to be 6 miles.
I wanted to go through the stages it took me to get to (and through) my run. I'm noticing a pattern:

Saturday morning:
My daughter usually wakes up when, or a few minutes after, I wake up. This makes it less-than-ideal for me to get up and do my run before the rest of the house is up, because she will most likely wake up my husband (and I want him to have at least one day to sleep in). Normally, I go running after he wakes up and has his coffee. This week, however, he had a ton of work to do, and I had a ton of housework, so he and I decided I would do it later in the afternoon. 

Oh no! I knew right then I would most likely come up with a million reasons why I shouldn't run.

We had planned to take the whole family to a friend's to have a family portrait taken. I knew this had the potential to be a bit tiring, but I just told myself I would keep planning my run no matter how it went. 

On the way home, both my husband and I were a little traumatized from the experience (but we did get a pretty good picture). I started whining: "My knees kind of hurt. My hip flexors feel funny. Maybe I should run tomorrow." My husband, bless him, told me to just do it. He said I would feel better afterwards (I'm so glad I married him).

We get home. I have a piece of Ezekiel toast and 2 hardboiled egg whites. I change into my running shoes. I see a million other things I need to be doing, but try not to get distracted.

I tell myself I'll just do 30 minutes.

Saturday Afternoon:

Oh no, it might get dark. I better not run very long.


So, finally I get out the door. I say, "I'll be back in about an hour, or less, depending on whether or not it goes well." My husband says, "Have a good run."

I encounter a growling dog. I have a little bit of a fear of all dogs since the Great Dog Bite of 2011. This dog would NOT let me go, so I turn around and GROWL back at it. Finally, it loses interest.

I decided to do a run 4/walk 1 plan, where I run for 4 minutes then walk for 1 minute. I figure I can do that forever :-) 

I am not really sure how long it will take me to run 6 miles. I did the same plan last week for 60 minutes and ended up 5.18, so I figure I'll do somewhere around 70 minutes.

Well, I encountered several other dogs (I've got to get some pepper spray. That was a very expensive dog bite...) and made it to 60 minutes. I decided to do another 5 minute interval. Then, just so I could map easier, I decided to run all the way to the end of the street.

So, I go home, excited to see how far I've run, and it turns out to be 5.89 in 1:04:47). Yeah, I'm going to go ahead and count it as 6.

I enjoyed the run, I had a fun time, I felt TONS better about everything afterwards, and I still love running. I'm calling it a success.

Now I just need to decide if my "long" run next week should be 6 miles, or should I up it to 7? Sunday is my 37th birthday, so it would be nice to mark it with a significant milestone...

Question for the group:
- How long does my mileage need to be before I start taking an ice bath? I started to feel like I could benefit from it, but taking a bath on top of my hour away is a little iffy....

Everyone, have a great week! 


Find me on Facebook!

Friday, February 18, 2011

I am not as hardcore as you.

Lost: Mental toughness
If found, please return to Uberlibrarian.

Wednesday night I was hit quite suddenly with a stomach thing. It was comparable to that point in labor with my first child, when I hadn't slept for 2 days, and felt like I was going to throw up and die at the same time (just before the epidural). Geez. I don't know what hit me, but it lasted about 24 hours.

Well, I had a run scheduled on Thursday. I was not going to miss a run, I mean, I only get 3 a week. So, I made it up today.

That was a sucky run. I guess every run can't be amazing.

I went to the track, thinking I would do 4 miles. By the time I got there, I had changed it to 3. By the time I hit 1 mile, I prayed to just make it to 2.

I felt like I was wearing ankle weights.

I managed my 2 miles in 20:30 (with one walk break). I think if I had the mental focus, I would have been able to do it, but I was just not with it. I couldn't get past the little aches. I haven't updated my playlist in weeks. People at the track are rude. I miss my kids. I still feel nauseous.

I've read running blogs where the author says, "I threw up after 2 miles, and could barely stand up, but went ahead and ran 10 more miles in 50 minutes.." Well, I'm not that hardcore.

I saw an infomercial today where a lady said she had a baby 5 months ago, then showed her fabulous toned abs. Well, I had a baby 5 months ago, and I'm about 15 pounds over where I want to be. And NO ONE is looking at my abs anytime soon.

If I had the focus... the MENTAL TOUGHNESS... I could probably be there right now. If I had the DISCIPLINE to eat only the right things... to ignore when my husband brings home pie and ice cream for family treat... I might be there. But I'm not.

I'm just not that hardcore.

But you know what? My kids are loved. I'm pretty sure they know they're loved. Hopefully, that matters more. I can still set and reach goals if I'm a size 10. But I need to accept that having the body I want and eating the way I eat just don't go together...

I'm working on it...


P.S. I registered for the Nashville Women's Half Marathon today. Surely by September I'll be running 13.1 daily, right? :-)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blog Hop Friday!

Friday, February 18.

I am co-hosting my first Blog Hop!
Rules are easy:

1. Follow my blog and BOTH my co- hosts through GFC

The 2nd Co-Host is NEW every week so make sure if you link up each week that you follow the NEW host!


My Journey With Candida

Co-Host-2: Uberlibrariana

2. Grab the button and put it in a post or on your sidebar and let us know where it is. This will help the hop grow and gain us all new followers. It's a Win, Win for everyone!


Please play nice and follow our simple rules!

Last rule:

Follow and have fun meeting new and amazing bloggers.

HOP is open from Friday to Sunday!


I have issues with food. I'll go ahead and just say it.

Here's what I want to/should eat:

Here's what I often eat instead:

(Not really, I don't actually eat the Double Down. It may actually kill me instantly).

I could work out all day, every day, and love it. But, eating the right amount of the right stuff has *always* been an issue for me.

I want to be one of those people who only eats things that are good for you. I used to be vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan... I know when I eat junk I'll feel like junk.

I was going to be one of those moms that only fed my kids homemade baby food from the cuisinart, vegetables, greens, healthy stuff.

Well, for a while, my son was such a picky eater, we rejoiced if he would eat a french fry. Sometimes all he will eat of his dinner is a piece of cheese.

I think I eat better than most people, personally. I don't do fast food, except for the occasional Starbucks food item. And Starbucks. I try to avoid frozen food for my lunch and use something I've made. I try to eat healthy.

I can eat healthy all day and ruin it in about 5 minutes of peanut butter or finding some old Halloween candy.

Last night, I threw together a reasonably healthy dinner:

I stand by what I said last night, and believe this is a healthy dinner. However, shortly after eating dinner (and a bag of skittles from my son's Valentine's party- don't panic, there were like 5), I started feeling violently ill. Like, stomach stuff. Like, labor contraction stomach stuff.

All I could think of during the hours and hours I was moaning and writhing in pain (and attempting to parent) was "I need to eat better!" (Weird, I know). I still don't know for sure what happened to me. I don't think it was food poisoning. I was feeling generally bad all day yesterday, and really really stressed out due to shooting incident #2 near my work, so my theory is that my stomach finally had enough.

But it's left me with a renewed (for who knows how long) wish to eat better. So, I'm considering some sort of March challenge. Or a 3 day cleanse. Not sure yet. But I need to do something. Oh, and I need to cut down on the coffee. Seriously.

Do you have weird relationships with food?

What are some of your healthy favorites?

How do you get your kids to eat things besides cheese?

To *our* health-

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesday Workout Blog Hop!

Here's the link to the Wednesday Workout Blog Hop!

My Fitness World

Also, here's my favorite exercise (at the moment):


Planks are easy to fit in several times a day, and you don't have to change clothes or shower afterwards!

Come to the top of a push up position. You can do plank on your hands or put your elbows on the ground.

If you're a beginner, start with knees on the floor. Work up to holding plank with the knees up 10 seconds at a time.

Make sure your plank makes a straight line- don't let your butt droop or stick up.

Enjoy and have fun!


5 Reasons I Run: 31 Days to Building a Better Blog, Day 2

This post is part of 31 Days to Building a Better Blog. Our assignment today is to make a "List" post. I love lists, so I'm all for it. Here are the top 5 reasons I like to run:

1. Weight loss
I want to look like this girl:

Well, thankfully, that's not the *only* reason I run, because I could get very frustrated. Maybe I should settle for this girl:
Honestly, it's so much more than just fitness....

2. Setting/ Reaching Goals
I was a big group exercise/home video exerciser for years. I still do most of my workouts at home to videos. I have quite the selection of weights, and my own pull-up bar as well! I always enjoy those workouts, but I need a bigger goal. With running, I'm always working on a bigger goal: run further, run faster, run more efficiently... and I don't believe in junk miles (not yet, anyway).

3. Leaving the House
Seriously. When I try to workout at home, I almost always get interrupted. People (including the grownups) don't realize that Mommy is off-limits during a workout. However, when I go running, they can't find me. That was my biggest motivator after my second child was born. It's a little more challenging sometimes since I do need someone to watch the kids while I run... but once I get out there, I have a little bit of freedom...

4. Races/Community
There's a certain kind of person who is a runner. It's a lifestyle. When runners see each other on the street, we nod to each other. Runners are friendly (unless you're walking slowly in their way). I've made friends that I see at the local races. Oh, did I mention races? LOVE them. I would race every weekend if I could. Big races (like the Country Music), small races (like See Spot Run)... I love them all. The energy, the excitement, and who doesn't like people cheering for you when you run? 

5. Runner's High
"Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't."
- Elle Woods, Legally Blonde (2001)

I wrote a bit about this the other day. Apparently, this is a real thing, and not completely in my head.  I am starting to crave the runner's high like an addict. But, I suppose, there are worse things to be addicted to..

So there's a basic rundown (ha! "rundown"!) of why I run. It is hard. I have some pretty awful runs. It's hard to get out there. There is pain. But, when I wonder if it's worth it, I think about this list. 

Yes, it so totally is.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

You're Only One Run Away From A Good Run... or a Bad Run...

I was forced to try a different route today due to some construction on campus. I really wanted to run outside because it is absolutely GORGEOUS, but I wasn't sure how it would go in a new area.

I did my best to map it out beforehand on dailymile.com, but the thing about that is- they don't show you where there are no sidewalks...

So, I did a lot of awkward running in peoples' yards.

At about 2 miles, I was frustrated. I had had to stop a couple of times due to traffic, and just wasn't into it. I started walking, stopped my watch, and figured I would walk back to my office. But then I noticed it was still early and I couldn't possibly stop yet!

I walked to the gym and went to the track.

I turned on my music and ran as fast as I comfortably could for 2 miles. I finished in 19:22, which was great for me.

Looking back on what I did on dailymile.com, my outside run was pretty good, too: 2.22 miles in 22:31. I was going faster than I thought!

So, it was almost a sucky run. I almost went back to my office and cried. But I ended up feeling awesome.

I am thinking I may be addicted. I was grumpy all day until my run. I should really start running earlier if I want to have any friends left....

Before run:


Have a great day!


Sometimes You Just Don't Feel Sunshiney...

I try to have a good attitude most of the time. I do pretty well, I think. I have a good life. I'm very lucky. But today is just one of those days.

Parenting is hard, especially in the morning when the 3 year old wakes up grumpy.

When waking up at 5:30 is "oversleeping" for mom.... that's just sad.

Yesterday, there was a shooting on campus. Two guys were arguing and one pulled out a gun and shot the other one in the hand. Luckily, he wasn't seriously hurt, but there were a few tense hours when the gunman was still out there somewhere and we all went on lockdown. This might have to do with my mood today. That was a little bit stressful.

Here's the view from my building yesterday:

So, I'm going to accept that I'm not super happy at the moment, have a Starbucks Via Mocha, and look forward to my run this afternoon.

What do you do when you're just not in a great mood?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Elevator Pitch: 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, Day 1

I'm participating in a group, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, and today's assignment is to compose an "Elevator Pitch".

What on earth is an "elevator pitch"?

Well, from what I understand, the elevator pitch should accomplish the following:
- Explain who I am
- Explain the focus of my blog
- Make you want to read more, and come back to read even more
- Do it all very concisely so as not to lose your interest!

You may not know this about me, but I love to talk about myself. So, I'm afraid my elevator pitch might end up about 4 pages long. This is my challenge. So, I'm asking myself "What is the focus of my blog?" "What am I trying to accomplish?"

I recently added the tagline: "Where fitness meets life." This seems to sum it up as simply as possible. I love talking about fitness, but often, life gets in the way.

So, back to my questions:
"What is the focus of my blog?"-
- I write about fitness, goals, parenting, and the challenges that come with trying to balance all of them.
"What am I trying to accomplish?"
- Accountability for myself
- Possibly help/inspire someone else
- Talk about myself a lot
- World domination (well, not really... )
- Networking/making friends/community

OK, so with all that in mind, how about this:

Uberlibrariana is the result of combining a librarian/fitness professional/mother. Watch as Sarah tries to excel in every way, sometimes falling short, but always trying to do so with a smile.

Today's Workout, or "What a Monday Morning Looks Like"..

Since I can't run 4 days a week (at the moment), I decided I would benefit from replacing one of those runs with Turbofire.

The alarm went off at 3:45. Yawn. My daughter wasn't interested in letting me get up just yet (we co-sleep), and I could hear the cat messing around in the kitchen. I got nervous. Then, I heard a CRASH. Oh no. Even more nervous.

The cat came into the bedroom smelling of old coffee, and my worst fear was that she had knocked over (and broken) the French Press. The horror!

Finally, I released myself from my daughter's grip and went to the kitchen. Oh, thank goodness, the French Press was intact (although it was in the sink).

I knew my daughter would be awake within moments, so I made her a bottle, made coffee (thankfully), and got my DVD workout ready. I wanted to do as close to an hour of cardio as I could, so I picked Turbofire 55 EZ.

I was able to start the workout at about 4:45. My daughter lasted about 41 minutes.

I wanted to get a really good workout, but I didn't want to do high impact (I save my impact for running days), so I tried the workout with some weights. Beachbody makes some weighted gloves specifically designed for Turbo workouts, but I don't have any of them... so I used some "wrist weights" that (I think) weigh about 1 pound each. Dang! That made me work harder, for sure, so I think I'll be picking up some of the weights that are actually designed for this...

It feels good to get the workout done early in the morning, but it looks like today is going to be absolutely beautiful, and I really wish I could run today. Hopefully, it will still be beautiful tomorrow.

What are some morning routines that you have? Would you completely lose it without the ability to make coffee in the morning, or am I just ultra high-maintenance?

Finally... Happy Valentine's Day!


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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Taco Soup.. so yummy, so yummy...

I posted that we were having Taco Soup, and a lot of people asked for the recipe, so I figured I should just blog it right here...

(Please remember this is not a food blog. I have no gorgeous pictures of my Taco Soup to show you, and it's not going to win any Food Network awards..)

It's a variation on the Duggars' recipe from their book. I don't have the means to cook for 30 people though, so I modify (and try to make it a little healthy)..

1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
1 or 2 packets taco seasoning (I use low sodium)
1 can hominy
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
3 cans diced tomatoes with chiles
2 cups water

(Optional: Grated cheese, blur corn tortilla chips, fat free sour cream)

Brown the ground beef/turkey (I usually use turkey). Mix 1 pack of taco seasoning in with meat for the last few minutes.

In a large pot combine the cans of everything (I rinse and drain all the beans, just pour the tomatoes in as is). Add water and (optional, if you like spicy) 1 more packet of taco seasoning.

Add meat. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes.

Serve with chips on the bottom of bowl and top with cheese and sour cream (optional- it's good, and healthier, without that...)

Yummy. Even with a smaller recipe, we always have lots of leftovers.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


"I had an epiphany."
-Angel Angel, Season 2

This is me at the end of today's run. Not sure why I look so confused.

I went out today for my "long" run. The goal was 5 miles. I psyched myself out beforehand:
"I will not worry about speed."
"I will go slow."
"I will take walk breaks."

So I did. I did a run 4 minute/walk 1 minute split. It was amazingly manageable (although, after about 25 minutes, the walk breaks seemed to get much shorter.)

I planned to do 60 minutes. This breaks down to 12 of these 5 minute segments. (See how I continued to psych myself out?)

Anyway, the epiphany part, or "why I run."

I was about to get to my last interval. The song "This is your life" came on. I did something a little strange: I prayed.

I looked up, and the sky was such a beautiful blue (it really was amazing compared to the weather we had all week.) I just said, "God, thanks for getting me this far. I know you don't hear from me much, but I'm really, really thankful for my kids and my wonderful husband. I really like my life. It's not perfect, but that's okay."

And I ran as hard as I can for a little over 5 minutes.

"This is your life. Are you who you want to be?"

As I heard those words, I thought, "Yes, I think I am." I mean, I've made mistakes and I've done SO MANY things I'm ashamed of. But, today, I'm exactly who I want to be. I find myself asking every day as I make little choices: "Is this who I want to be?"

So, it's runs like these that keep me coming back.

Have an awesome day.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Fun and Facebook Follows...

I used to look forward to the weekends. Then, for a while, before I had kids, the weekends became work time (I was a church musician), so they didn't mean as much.  Then I had kids, and the days just blended together. But, I'm getting to where I look forward to them again. Here are some of the positives of an upcoming weekend:

1. Kids don't have to do baths and rush to get in bed as early Friday night. I don't have to wake up at 3:45, so there's even a chance I may outlast both kids and have some "me" time.
2. Saturday is "long" run day.
3. I make a huge to-do list for the house, and do as much of it as I can over the weekend. I look forward to this.
4. The possibility of a nap both Saturday and Sunday (if I can convince the kids).
5. Church (I love our church).

So, just writing this is getting me all excited.

I also love "Facebook Follow Friday". I've made all kinds of new friends doing this. So, I hope you'll stop by my page, Sarah Fitness, and "like" me. I try to keep it interesting over there...

I wanted to take a moment and talk about my morning, as well. This is one of those, "Best laid plans..." moments...

I set my alarm for 3:45, then laughed at it when it went off, and snoozed until 4:30. This means no peppermint mocha for me (the rule is if I get up at 3:45 I get a peppermint mocha).

By the time I was awake and ready to get out of bed, my 5 month old daughter was also ready. So, off we went.

Upon our arrival to the kitchen, we noticed the cat had knocked over our homemade salad dressing. It was all over the floor, and a strange oil/vinegar smell was everywhere.

So, I cleaned that up, and fed the baby a bottle, and by the time I could work out, it was 5:30. All I had time to do was 30 minutes, so I did Turbofire Fire 30. (Something is always better than nothing!)

I guess my point is this: I may not always be able to do what I planned, but I do always try to do SOMETHING.

I hope you have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Run Fast for Your Mother"- Songs To Run To, 2/10/11

I was in a terrible mood today. It was a snow day. Work opened 2 hours late. The kids' daycare opened 2 hours late. Somehow we managed to get our internet and tv cut off. The mouse who's been living in our kitchen was caught in a mousetrap this morning, and I think died a slow and painful death, making me feel terrible...

I actually contemplated not running. I just was in such a bad mood. But, I went to the gym.

I told myself I needed to run on the treadmill and do some hills. I hate the treadmill (have I said this?). I secretly hoped they were all taken, so I would *have* to go to the track... no such luck.

So, I ran on the treadmill as long as I possibly could stand it:

Well, I didn't want to end my workout this way, so I went back to the track to run a mile. It was crowded but there were no rude 20 year olds organized teams practicing.
It was amazing how much easier running on the track was after the treadmill. I think I'm going to work like this more often, so I can be good at both (then do my "long" runs outside).

I took a picture of myself after my run. I was feeling so good, and I wanted to remember it. I guess I also wanted to see the veins popping out of my forehead:

Today's playlist:
"Dog Days Are Over" - dude, I am so obsessed with this song.
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow"- Oh man, I am not going to be able to spell the guy's name. You know. The Hawaiian guy.
"Fired"- Ben Folds
"Keep Holding On"- Avril Lavigne
"Better Days"- The Goo Goo Dolls

Running Blogs Intimidate (and Fascinate) Me...

So, as I prepare for the Country Music Half, and I "officially" start the 12 week training program, I've discovered running blogs. I am kind of addicted. I love reading people's blogs about running. However, they kind of make me feel like a big wuss.
Blood on my Nikes after being bitten by a dog..

Some of these people run 10 miles a day... almost every day (not exaggerating!) My current goal is 10 miles a WEEK!

Some of them read like this: "I did my long run on Saturday of 20 miles, then did an easy 6 miles on Sunday to recover." Um.... I am SO not that hardcore. I think of "recovery" as "lay in bed all day and MAYBE get out to work with the foam roller..."

Logistically, I am finding that I can really only run 3 days a week: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Technically, I COULD run Friday, but then I would be going into my "Long" run as the 3rd day in a row. I have a really hard time running 2 days in a row, much less 3.

What was working well for me for a while was Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday... but Mondays quit working and there's literally not a time for me to do it, unless I choose to run outside in the dark at 4 am. Some of the authors of the blogs I read might consider that, but not me.

I guess my point is that I'm trying to keep it in perspective. When I was about 4 weeks post-pregnancy, I was thrilled if I could run for 5 minutes straight. I get really excited about a 30 minute run. I get excited about a 10 minute mile. I can barely stay on a treadmill for 5 minutes before I get so bored I have to get off and do something else.

Right now, my "LONG" run is in quotation marks. When someone else goes on an easy recovery run for 6 miles, my 5 miles hardly seems that impressive. But, it is to me. I had a baby 5 months ago, dang it! I'm almost 37 years old! I am getting better!

So, I'm going to keep reading everyone's running blogs, because they inspire me. I'm not going to go around on their blogs bragging about how I ran 2.5 miles or anything... but if I'm persistent, I bet I'll see my posts start to look a little more like theirs... (And when I post that my recovery run was 6 miles, you can remind me of today...)

So, this is NOT a running blog.... but maybe one day, it will be.

Oh, and a question for the group: How long do you think my "long" run needs to be before I can remove the quotation marks? ;-)


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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday Workout Blog Hop!

How fun! A blog hop for workouts! I couldn't resist!


Leave a comment letting us know you follow us and we will follow back.
Grab our button and post it up on your blog, linking back to our blogs.
Leave your linky down below.
Tell us your favorite exercise and why?
Follow as many blogs as you like
And Have Fun!!!

My current favorite exercise: Static lunges. I do them while I'm waiting for the microwave to heat my hot water at work, I do them while standing in line, I do them all the time...

Here's how to do them:
1. Come into a lunge position. Make sure the front leg is out far enough that the knee never tracks forward of the toes.
2. Move down and up (not forward and back) to a slow 2-2 count.
3. Repeat 8 - 10 times each leg.

Post below if you've done the exercise, and if you're a new follower! 

Have a great day!


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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Songs to Run To 2/08/2011

"People. What a bunch of bastards."
- Roy, The IT Crowd

Well, I don't really feel this way... but I sure got angry at some people on the track today.

I went to the indoor track to run today. I had my playlist all set- I picked my current 4 favorites and put them on repeat/shuffle. I knew I would hear them each at least once.

Florence + The Machine: "Dog Days Are Over"
Michael Jackson: "Black or White"
Switchfoot: "This is your life"
Pink: "Raise Your Glass"

I was doing great. A nice pace. My knee wasn't hurting! I was on track for a 9:30 mile, and was planning 3 miles.

Then, this group of girls in matching t-shirts came in. There were about 5-6 people in street clothes with them. There were at least 25 of these girls. From the moment they walked in, they were completely oblivious to the people on the track.

The track has 3 lanes. The sign says for walkers to use the inner two lanes, and for runners to use the outer lanes. There is always someone who has trouble with this, and when it's crowded, it's worse.

Well, these girls were doing some sort of organized practice, or something. I'd never seen them there before (if I'd known there was a scheduled practice, I would have made other plans). They would sprint, and swarm around us like bees. I was running on the inside lane, and they would run right up behind me, then at the last second, pass me (like I was in their way), then cut me off. After they sprinted, they would just stand there, blocking the track. I actually had to yell "excuse me" a few times so they would move.

After almost getting knocked over, I finally decided to give up, and went to the treadmill. I hate the treadmill. I hate it so much. But, I have been meaning to do some hills, and the only way to do that (indoors, at least) is to use the treadmill. So, that's what I did.

Since I was terrified I would forget my times, I took pictures (I don't have a fancy Garmin or anything, so this is how I roll):
This is my time after 10 laps, which is about 1.53 miles (6.5 miles is one lap on this track).

When I got to the treadmill, I walked for about a minute before running, just to get used to it. I haven't been on the treadmill in a while. Also, I hate it. I did some one minute climbs (I think I'm getting my spinning vocabulary confused with my running...) and then ran faster for 1 minute.  Here's how that went:

So, you know, as angry as I got at those "athletes" (grrrr), they did me a favor. They forced me to do something I needed to do, and I'm glad I did it. I think it was good for me, and I can hopefully get better with the hills AND the treadmill.

(Oh, and I weigh 151 today. This is a good thing.)

Questions for the group:
- Do you have any favorite workout songs? I need to add a few new ones. I'll play these four to death and get to the point where I never want to hear them again (I did this last year with the Glee soundtrack).

- Should I have stood up to the track team girls, or did I do the right thing? I don't want to be one of those annoying people, but I just have trouble with rudeness... What would you have done?

- What's for dinner? (Random... I'm running out of ideas..)

Have a great rest of Tuesday!


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