ocean sunset

Kayla and I recently took a trip down to the beach to celebrate our birthdays. It was amazing. I can still feel the ocean breeze and hear the waves crashing on the shore. I absolutely love the ocean. 

ocean sakay laying

ocean sakay

ocean sakay lay smile

Of course we had to run on the beach! ocean run

As I stand in the ocean, water all around me, waves crashing into me, I am at peace. The constant breeze, sound of waves crashing onto the shore, smell of salt water in the air and the sun on my skin. You look out on the horizon and see nothing but sea and sky. There is just something about the ocean that refuels my soul. As I reflect back on our ocean trip, I am reminded of all that the ocean has taught me. 

ocean 2

As Kayla and I venture out into the sea, we are constantly hit with waves. Just as in life, waves, trouble, stress, chaos, hurt, pain can constantly keep hitting you. It can and will knock you down, especially if you are not looking forward, paying attention, and keeping focus on what is ahead. And if you get knocked down, the waves don’t stop, they keep coming. So you have to get up and prepare yourself for the next wave. If you keep walking further out into the sea, walking and pushing through the crashing waves, you will get to a place of calm. The waves are still there but are more calm and manageable. You look back and look at the chaotic waves crashing on the shore and see all that you pushed through and got through. Yet you realize can’t stay out at sea forever, you have to return to the shore. Your time of peace will not last forever. So you’ll have to venture back through the waves, but this time you are prepared, you know what to expect, and you are stronger. You push through the waves again and make it to the shore. The ocean, life, is less intimidating now that you’ve made it through the waves and back again. Now that you are stronger and wiser, you know you can make it through the waves again if you had to. 

ocean poem

Refueled and Renewed,

Sarah Burns

I Was… I Am… I Will…

I was…

lost, used, beaten, insecure, weak, gullible, sad, abused, far from God, naïve, empty, taken advantage of, unhealthy, mistreated, broken.

I am…

strong, fierce, confident, determined, beautiful, brave, motivated, baptized, closer to God, learning, growing, forgiving, independent, fit, happy, healthy, free, hopeful, a fighter, a runner, a blogger, an entrepreneur, a badass unicorn.

I will…

motivate, inspire, guide others, walk in my purpose, succeed, lead, disciple, achieve, thrive, prosper, encourage others, overcome, live life to the fullest, become all I am intended to be.

I was. I am. I will. was a very challenging and eye opening experience. To write down who I was, was sad and hurtful but then I saw all that I am and will be. I am who I am today because of what I’ve been through and I am so proud of the strong woman I have become. I challenge you to write your own I was. I am. I will. Keep it for yourself or share it with us and others. So many people can relate, learn, and be inspired by your story. This challenge was inspire by youniquefoundation.org



Running in Life Pushing to Progress


Kayla sent me this text.

 kayla text

And this got me thinking. Same time last year we were training for our half marathon and we were running 11 minutes or less per mile. Right now we are running 12 minutes or more. What happened? Yes it’s been hot and we know the heat slows down our pace but we both were not satisfied with our time. 

Kayla’s text motivated me to push myself. (That’s what good running partners do) This week I was determined to improve my pace. As I pushed myself to this goal, it reminded me of how the process of running is the same as our journeys in life.

Running in Life Pushing to Progress

You have to push yourself to progress. You can’t run at the same pace and expect to get any better. Kayla and I got complacent with our pace. Yes we motivated ourselves to run every day but we weren’t really challenging or pushing ourselves.

Even when you have challenges and obstacles stacked against you, you have to continue to push yourself. Prepare yourself for the obstacles. One day it was really hot and I wanted to achieve a new goal of under 11 minutes per mile. I went to bed earlier the night before and drank plenty of water before and during my run. I made sure I was prepared.

It is okay if you stumble, fall, or fail. On my under 11 minute goal, I had one mile over 11 minutes but I also have 4 miles under 11 minutes. This didn’t deter me. My overall average was 10: 30 mpm. I was very proud of myself.

Keep going. Achieve one small goal then another, go one more mile, then another. Keep going and pushing yourself till your main goal is achieved. 

Sometimes in life and running you just have to take your shirt off  (#sportsbrasquad). Have confidence, be free, and don’t care what other people think. It’s your goal, push yourself to be better. In the end you will be more proud of yourself because you pushed yourself without relying on anybody else. One of your biggest motivators will be yourself and your past accomplishments. My greatest motivations are the goals I’ve already achieved. I know can do better because of all the things that I have already accomplished. I did it before, I can do it again. 

Throughout the week I continued to push myself. I was determined. I had to push myself with each step. When I could feel myself starting to run slower I would push myself to keep running at a faster pace. You have to listen to your body, your gut. When making decisions use both logic and intuition. I use logic to not push myself into an injury and I use my gut to push myself to accomplish my goal. 

You can take breaks. But know that even when you are taking a break you can’t completely quit working or pushing. I still walk in between my miles. But I know I can’t walk very slow nor very long or it would ruin my pace. 

On my 11 mpm (minutes per mile) goal, it got really tough on mile 4 and 5, and I really wanted to give up and just run at a slower pace, but I didn’t. You will face your biggest struggles and obstacles when you are close to accomplishing your goal. Keep pushing through till you cross that finish line. 

If you have a major goal or dream, then everything you do must contribute to that. I cannot eat unhealthy and drink a lot of alcohol the night before a big run because I know it will negatively impact my run. Same as your dreams or goals will suffer, I know my run will suffer because of the unhealthy decisions I made.  

Look at my progression over the past few weeks. I am so proud of my progress and all that I’ve accomplished just because I pushed and I was determined.

6 mile 12.558 mile 11.085 mile 10.356 mile 10.44

12 mile 10.12

August 25th: Today’s mantra was Step with Purpose. Push with every step. I just kept repeating that in my head. I kept pushing. I made sure every single step was purposeful. This was my best run yet! Not only did I run 12 miles, but every single mile was under 10:33 mpm. (Blows my mind just typing that) My overall average for all 12 miles was 10:12 mpm. Wow! This just proves to me that I can do anything I set my mind to.

It is hard. It is a struggle. But because of my struggle I grow stronger. Running has changed my life not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard. If it were easy, I would be the same person I was years ago. But because it is hard, I have grown into someone I am proud to be. I am strong. I am confident. I am a badass unicorn!


Only 5 miles

only 5 miles

Today was my first time running in over a week! What happened? Life! Life happened. I went out of town for a convention and did not find nor make the time to run. Horrible I know. Especially when in the middle of marathon training.

So today I woke up and told myself that I was going to run just 5 miles so I could get my muscles back into the routine of running. After I said that I smiled. Just 5 miles? Yea its only 5 miles! Only 5 miles? I couldn’t help but to smile and reflect on how far I’ve come.

5 miles is more than a 5K race (3.26 miles). I remember when it was so difficult, nearly impossible, for me to run 3 miles. Now the minimum I run is 5 miles. People tell me all the time that they can’t believe I run that far daily and that they could never do that. I know how they feel because I was there once. I thought a 5K race was impossible but I trained and then I did it. Then I thought that there is no way I could run a half marathon(13.2 miles) but I trained and I did it, twice! Now I’m training for a full marathon and I think to myself, what have I got myself into. There is no way I can run 26.2 miles but I know I will. Because I will focus on the goal, train hard, and keep pushing till I accomplish that goal.

My 5 miles today was tough. My muscles we sore, tight, and it hurt. I was hot and hungry and did more walking then I wanted but I pushed through and got it done! I know 5 miles or even 1 mile might seem like a lot but you can do it. Will it be easy? Hell no. You don’t learn from easy. You don’t grow from easy. You grow from struggling and pushing through.  You grow when you think you cant go any further and yet you take one more step, then another. Will it happen over night? Hell no. It is a process. I’ve been running for 4 years now.  I’ve trained for every race weeks and months in advance. It takes time and dedication. You have to just keep training. Keep fighting. Keep pushing. Keep going and don’t give up. That feeling at the end, when you accomplish your goal is all worth it. That is the feeling that keeps me going and keeps me pushing to accomplish my next goal. The feeling of knowing you are a strong badass unicorn that can do anything you put your mind to is all worth it!


Summer Running

kayla hot runIt’s summer time in the South which means it is ridiculously hot and humid! Kayla and I are continuing our marathon training but this heat is not making it easy. When it comes to running in the summer heat, we both had to learn how to run in hot, humid conditions and how to stay safe. Here are a few quick tips to running in the summer heat!

  1. Run before the sun or after the sun! Waking up early is probably the thing I hate most about running. But I rather wake up early than run in the blazing sun and heat. If you can wake up and run before the sun fully rises (like Kayla 4:30 am! *Crazy I know) then that is most ideal. I don’t get off work till late at night so I can’t wake up that early. But I still try to wake up around 6 am. And yes I do take naps during the day! Naps aren’t cheating! Avoid running mid day. This is the time of day that temperatures are the hottest and the sun is beating down on you. If you can’t wake up early then run after the sun has set!
  2. Choose a route with shade! I absolutely avoid routes in the summer time that have no shade. Shade makes a huge difference. It gives you some relief from the sun. I was so thankful for the shade on the green line during my 10 mile run this past weekend. Also asphalt and concrete retain heat, so running in the grass can help as well. shade greenline*Green line on my 10 mile run
  3. Join the Sports Bra Squad! Wear light weight clothing. I try to stick with mesh type, breathable shirts. I prefer not to wear thick cotton shirts because I feel it’s hotter. Try to wear as little as possible or whatever you’re most comfortable with. Join the Sports Bra Squad. OMG! It’s so amazing and most of all cooler!
  4. Hydrate before, during, and after! I feel hydrating and refueling is the most important during the heat! The heat just takes so much out of you, literally! It is recommended that you hydrate every 20 minutes during exercise. I drink water constantly during my summer runs. If you are going to run outside in the heat, please have water on you or very close by. I know it may be annoying to carry water during your run but it’s definitely a must! Try to drink water or sports drinks an hour before and after your run as well. Sports drinks are sometimes better than water because they contain electrolytes. Be careful with all the sugar in sports drinks though. Kayla and I like to water down our Gatorade. We also like using Nuun tablets* in our water. They have electrolytes without all the sugar. Can you drink too much water? Yes, you can actually. It’s called hyponatremia which is when you drink so much water that it dilutes your blood sodium levels. Crazy right! So make sure you don’t drink more than 32 oz of water per hour. Make sure you are also refueling with electrolytes and food within 30 minutes after your run! The heat will take a lot out of you but hydrating and refueling makes it better. water bottle*Water bottle I use. Fits around my hand so I don’t have to worry about holding onto it. It also has a pocket on the front to fit my phone and Gu. Nuun*Nuun tablets Kayla and I use.
  5. Slow your pace! “Every 5°F rise in temperature above 60°F can slow your pace by as much as 20 to 30 seconds per mile”-Runner’s World. Crazy right. Lately Kayla and I have been running in 75°F – 80°F weather which means our ppm (pace per mile) has decreased by as much as 2 minutes! Just reading this makes me feel so much better. Just recently I was getting frustrated with my 12+ minute miles. Now I know that it’s to be expected. I love what Kayla told me recently “Don’t worry about pace because the heat affects it so much. So were gonna be like so fast in December!” And she is right. Don’t try to try push yourself too hard. Just put the miles in and don’t worry about the pace.
The summer heat can be tough on your running but if you stick it out you will become a stronger runner and a badass unicorn!!

Me, Myself, and My Sports Bra

Today marked a milestone. Today was my first official day running in a sports bra all by myself. I have ran twice with Kayla in our sports bras but today was different. Today I didn’t have the amazing Kayla for motivation and support. I had to do it all on my own.

So this is how it went. When I first woke up this morning it was thundering. I didn’t want to start running and get caught in a down pour so I waited. When the rain stopped, I started to head out but it started pouring down again. So I just decided to go to the gym. I ran 1 mile on the treadmill (sooooooo boring) and worked out my arms. Then I noticed that it was sunny outside so I decided to put in my 6 miles for the day (marathon training).

sports bra1

It was 12pm after a storm, on July 4th, in Memphis, Tennessee. Which means it was f*cking HOT and HUMID!!!!!! Humidity is the worst!! So I decided to run in my sports bra. When I got out the car I felt like people were looking at me and judging me. I took off running. Not having a shirt on felt better already. It was so hot and I was so thankful to not have on another layer of clothing that would be sticking to me and drenched in sweat.

I was still feeling insecure though. I went around the first turn and there were these two ladies walking towards me. As we passed each other, I did my little smirk smile to be polite and this lady smiled so big at me! It was like she was proud of me and cheering me on for running in my sports bra. I know it seems silly but it worked for me. I then started feeling more confident. I soon realized, no one really cared that I was running in my sports bra.

I decided to run in my sports bra today because it was hot as hell period. Then it turned into more than that. I didn’t run in my sports bra to be sexy. I ran in my sports bra to be strong. Strong, brave, confident. I ran in my sports bra to show women that we need to stop being so hard on ourselves. I ran 6 miles today. Not many people can say that, but I can because I have worked hard. I know I’m not skinny but I know I can run and I’m strong. And I am proud of that.

sports bra3

A proud member of the Sports Bra Squad -Sarah-

Thank you to the lady that smiled so big at me, not once but twice when I passed you again! You made my day. Just another example at how smiling at someone can make such a huge impact!! Smile! Pass it on!





Not Skinny

Just because I’m not skinny doesn’t mean I’m not fit.

Just because I run doesn’t mean I’m skinny.

Just because I’m not skinny doesn’t mean I can’t run.

Just because you’re skinnier doesn’t mean you’re faster.

Just because I’m not skinny doesn’t mean I don’t eat healthy.

Just because I’m not skinny doesn’t mean I’m ashamed of my body.

I run to be strong, not skinny.

Just because I’m not skinny doesn’t mean I’m not strong.

Just because you’re skinny doesn’t mean you’re not strong.

Skinny or not skinny we can all be strong.

-poemish by Sarah Burns

little fierce

What is Strong?

By definition strong means: having the power to move heavy weights or perform other physically demanding tasks. exterting great force. able to perform a specified action well and powerfully. powerfullly affecting the mind, senses, or emotions. (of a person’s character) showing determination, self-control, and good judgement.

Running is all of these and more. Running is probably the most physically demanding tasks I’ve ever done. It definitely affects the mind, senses, and emotions.  It also requires a lot determination and self-control. I’m sure plenty of people would argue that running is a choice of good judgement but you get my point. So by definition if you are a runner, you are strong. No matter if you are skinny or not.

tough strong resilent runner

So let’s support each other. Let’s not judge based on body type, which also means not judging yourself. We can all be strong. We can all be badass unicorns!

-Strong Sarah

stanky creek training