100 Miles Later

I’ve been in the trenches of marathon training for a month now. I’ve ran 103.78 miles. I’m sore. I’m tired. I’m hungry. All. The. Damn. Time.

I don’t know if I mentally blocked what training for a half marathon was like but this seems different. I am not even up to the super long distances. Next week I will be hitting 12 miles. Of course, 13 is the longest Sarah and I have ran so we are getting close to new territory. The level of hunger at 25 miles a week is literally ravishing. I can’t imagine what it will be like in another month. I want to eat all the foods!

Other than the never ending need to consume something delicious, the training is going pretty well. I have only skipped one run and one cross training session. I think it was from the sheer fact that training is exhausting. I don’t remember being this tired last time I trained. It may have to do with the fact I get up at 4:30 in the morning. But it comes with some beautiful sunrises, so it works out.

If you are ever thinking about running a marathon, just know, you will be tired and hungry. Very hungry. And sore. I have come to realize how important stretching is. If I do not stretch after a run, I will pay for it by the end of the week. I get horrible lower back pain. So I have been making sure to take the 15 minutes after a run to stretch it all out.

So far, this training has been a good way for me to focus on a goal. It’s been a good way to let my mind wander. I have been able to center my thoughts and focus on a path moving forward. A positive path that will allow me to move on. Training is hard and so is life. But I’ll get through it. And after I cross the finish line, I’ll eat and eat. And eat and eat and eat.

 

Don’t forget, all this training is for a great cause! The children of St. Jude! Donate today!

 

With love,

Kayla

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!

-Sarah

The Marathon Training Officially Begins

Today is the day that our marathon training officially officially starts. I say officially twice because we kind of started last month in order to give ourselves room to miss a run or get in longer runs if we needed to. But today, July 17, is the day that our plan lines up with the date of the full marathon, December 2.

We wanted to share our plan with everyone. I, Kayla, simply Googled a first time full marathon training plan and found this one on Women’s Running. The plan explains what some of the terms mean like XT=Cross Train, H=Hilly Run aka DEATH!, EZ=EASY Effort and so on. Hopefully by sharing this plan with everyone we will hold ourselves more accountable. I know that when I have a structured plan I do much better than just running freely. Something about being able to cross the run off my calendar gives me a sense of accomplishment. Or I just like highlighting things!

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So there it is! So many miles! During this training, we are going to share with your our successes, our struggles, our funny stories, what we do to prepare, what we eat, how we fuel and more. As some of you may know, we are registered for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon which raises money for the Children’s Research Hospital here in Memphis. We are really proud to be raising money for this great cause. If you didn’t know, patients and families that visit St. Jude never receive a bill for the care they receive. This means that the hospital functions on donations. How amazing is that. At the end of this post, you can find both of our fundraising pages. We hope that you will donate to each of us. Any amount is helpful!

So, we may be crazy. And we may regret having to run more than 13 miles! But I know it is going to be worth it. I also know that it is going to be hard. A lot of people ask us what our goal is for the marathon. My goal is to finish it. I am not a fast runner. This is going to be an all day thing. Someone will need to carry me to food and beer! But I know that I want to say that I have run a full marathon. This may be my only one. I am glad I chose a local one that is for such a great cause. So don’t forget to donate!

Love,

Kayla

stjude marathon

So today may be the official first day of the training plan but I, Sarah Burns, am already on week 4. Now to be honest with you I have not followed the training plan exactly and I will not follow it exactly. And that it totally ok. Find a training plan you like then tweak it to fit you and your schedule. So on this training plan, I’m trying to focus on the miles. I’m not too focused the type of run (Ex: hills, easy, etc.). For my shorter runs throughout the week I run on trails at Shelby Farms Park (my favorite place) which contains several hills. Then on my long runs I usually run on The Green line (also at Shelby Farms) which is flat. I also TRY to include going to the gym at least twice a week.

My goal for this marathon is the same as Kayla’s which is to finish. We want to try to stay within an 11 minute to 12 minute pace but if that doesn’t happen we aren’t stressing about it. We want to say we ran a marathon and survived!

stjude how much does it take

I am just so excited to be able to participate in this awesome race. I absolutely love St. Jude and all that they do. I have a close friend with a daughter that regularly goes to St. Jude. So this hospital is very close to my heart. Not only do they not have to pay a cent, the staff at St. Jude is amazing. Always so nice, helpful, and truly cares for the patients. I am so glad that I am able to help support this amazing hospital. stjude marathon kid cheer

I was told that some of the patients come to cheer on the runners during the race! Wow that will be a site to see. I’m not sure if I should include bawling my eyes out during a run into my training plan in order to be more prepared! lol Please help us raise money for this amazing cause by using the links below! Every little bit helps and is appreciated! Thank you so much! Continue to follow our blog for updates on our marathon training mishaps and successes, life, and everything in between.

Love,

Sarah

Donate for Sarah

Donate for Kayla

When Life Gets in the Way

So this week has been a bit off and has got me down. As you know, Kayla and I had the 10 Nautical Miler race on Sunday. On Tuesday I ran 3 miles and that’s it. That’s all I’ve done all week long! I also haven’t worked out in the gym in several weeks.  See life kinda got in the way. I’ve actually tried to go running on both Thursday and Friday but I got caught up with other errands. This happens a lot to everyone. Our world is so crazy, hectic, and most of all busy!

so many things to do

I’ve also been trying to get back to my super healthy eating. I do not eat very badly now but I want to get back to how I use to eat. I’m focusing on a no gluten, no diary, healthy eating lifestyle. And man is it tough.  So maybe it’s a combination of the bumps along the way to a healthy eating lifestyle and mishaps in marathon training that got me a little down on myself.

I am my hardest critic. I am the one that pushes myself the most. I’m a little down on myself right now because I know I don’t and won’t take excuses for myself to not run or eat healthy. I know what it takes to get to where I want to be. I know because I have been running and eating healthy for 3 years. Now don’t get me wrong, I am no expert. I have just learned from my experiences and what I’ve been through. Now even though I know this, I also know that life happens. Things come up. Things get in the way and most of the time they are things totally out of our control.  So I know I can take a deep breath and let up on myself.

cant fail

I know where I want to be and I know what it takes to get there. It takes hard work, persistence, faith, and dedication. It’s ok that I’m feeling a little down today because that means I’m still pushing, still fighting. That means I still want better for myself. I also know that I am human and I am not perfect. This journey I am on will not be easy. In fact, I rather it not be easy. You don’t learn from easy. You learn from mistakes, mishaps, and misfortune.  You learn from the grind, the push, and the setbacks. You learn when you get back up and have to keep pushing forward. Do not let a bad week, month, or even year stop you from what you know you can become. You know what you need to do. Keep going. And if you feel like you are going in circles, or have tried everything and can’t succeed, then ask for help, try new things, do things differently. Whatever you do, don’t give up! I promise you it is worth it!

-Sarah-

distance runner

Why I Run?

I think it is very important to know why you started something. The reason you start something and continue to do it is usually very powerful. And when you are struggling or have lack of motivation, your Why will keep you going. So as Kayla and I are training for a full freaking marathon, I think it’s time we were reminded of our Why.

Why does Sarah run?

I run because it’s FREE.  When I first started running I didn’t have much money at all and I needed to get into shape.  Running is probably one of the cheapest and best full body exercise. Later I learned that it does cost a little bit. You have to pay for shoes, clothes, gear, supplements, etc. But not all of that is really needed. Shoes are a definite must though. Please spend some money and get you some good running shoes.

I run because of the feeling after I run. The runner’s high. Yes sometimes I’m exhausted but I feel amazing. I pushed myself, I accomplished my goal, I’m fit and strong. I also run because I feel like crap when I don’t run. Seriously. After you have been running for a while, it’s like your body craves it. Not only your body, but your mind too. I just feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally because of running.

I run because I love food! For the most part I eat healthy but because of running, I don’t feel as bad when I eat some not so healthy foods. I also love running because it keeps me strong and in shape. I have a hard time controlling, maintaining, and losing weight. I know I would be miserable and not happy with my body if I didn’t run. Running helps balance everything out or so I tell myself.

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I run to run away. Run away from life, stress, hurt, chaos and I run into my own world. A world full of nature, beauty, and music. When you run you see things from another perspective. You get to notice all the natural beauty around you. I also love music. So to be able to be outside and listen to my music for an hour or longer is just heaven to me. It is definitely a stress reliever. I get to spend time with myself and my thoughts.

running cheaper than therapy

I run because others can’t. One of the main responses I get when I tell people I am a runner is, “That’s awesome! I wish I could run.” I run because I still have the ability to run. Some can’t run because of major impairments: missing limbs, paralyzed, or wheelchair bound. While others can’t run because of what could be seen as minor impairments to others but major impairments to themselves: weight, age, painful joints, feet, ankles, shins, hips, health reasons, etc. Whatever the reason, some people can not physically run. I run for them. I run because God has blessed me with the ability to run so I am going to keep running till I can no longer!

set goals crush them

I run because I love to challenge myself. I love to push myself to the limit and then surpass it. I never knew how strong I was till I started running. Now I know that I can do anything that I put my mind to. I can crush every obstacle in my way and accomplish any goal. My main goal in life is to inspire, motivate others, and to change lives. I run because I see how running can do all of that and more. I see how my running inspires others. I know running can change lives because it has changed mine. I have truly learned who I am because of running. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. Because of running I know that I am a badass unicorn and I am unstoppable. Watch out world!

–Sarah B.

So why does Kayla run?

Some of these may end up being the same as Sarah’s or similar, but maybe that will just make someone want to start running!

I run to be in control. I get told a lot that I am a controlling person. In all honesty, though, I feel like I don’t control that much in my life. I can control running. Only I can make the choice to actually put my shoes on and get on the road. I can control how far I am going to go. I can control my breathing. I can control which direction I go in. I get to choose everything when it comes to running. And it’s pure bliss.

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I run to be closer to Mother Nature. The photo above was taken by my aunt while I was running in Cocoa Beach. All I want to do is be outside. Running gives me a chance to reconnect with the world, even if it is a solo endeavor. I am able to get in touch with nature. I see a lot of neat things while running. Sunrises, raccoons, deer, puppies, armadillos, even snakes. I travel frequently for work and running has given me the ability to fearlessly explore these new places. There is a great sense of peace and serenity in running. It really is the best form of therapy.

I run for food. And beer. As any inner fat kid turned runner knows, after spending two hours on a long run the best thing about the end is the chance to eat. When I am struggling, I like to think of what I get to eat. And I don’t feel so guilty when I want another beer! It is all about balance though. It is easy for new runners to overeat and find themselves gaining weight. I don’t think losing weight needs to be the focus, you’ll most likely shed some pounds and can brag to your friends about how strong you are. As long as you find balance in your food choices. It’s about being healthy, not skinny.

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I run to inspire people. Now, I did not start running to inspire people. I started for weight loss. I did a 5k and was hooked! Along the way, I began sharing my journey through social media and with my family. All of sudden, I had people telling me that I was the reason they started running. They were asking me for advice and wanting to hear when I ran so they would to. When you have people looking up to you in that way, it actually inspires you to be better. I was able to encourage one of my best friends to run her first 5k (Emmy and me pictured below for the Wicked Wine Run 5k). I’m seeing a pattern, there was booze at the end! The community that comes with running has been such a welcoming experience. I always thought runners were stuck up…NOPE! Most runners want everyone to be great, at any pace.

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I run to challenge myself. So my last reason is the same as Sarah’s. I think everyone can benefit from doing something that isn’t easy. Running hasn’t become easier in the last two years. I have found ways to keep it challenging *cough*marathon*cough* I love how I feel when I get done with a really hard run, hell, any run for that matter. There has never been a run I’ve regretted. There have been runs that didn’t go my way but I still come out proud of myself. I haven’t given up on myself. Being able to fail and still conquer the challenge is satisfying. I never thought I would be a runner, but here I am. Being all badass working my way to a new goal.

With love,

K