Day 1 Marathon Training 2019

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Day 1 of Marathon Training!

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This is actually a lake! The fog was so thick you couldn’t see anything.

Today was super foggy. The fog this morning represents to me the goal that I can’t quite see yet. As I struggled this morning to complete 5 miles, it’s hard for me to imagine running 26.2 miles in less than 4 months and trying to make it my fastest marathon time yet. But as the fog lifts, I know that I will be able to push through and achieve my goal. It will be HARD but in the end I know achieving my goal and supporting St. Jude will all be worth it.

To Donate: http://heroes.stjude.org/Sarah_Burns

-Sarah

 

Did you know a marathon is hard?!

But super fun, too?!

The above image is me after running for 5 hours 52 minutes!! Of course it was hard, but I trained hard for it too and this will always be something I will be proud of.

To start off, I have to give a huge shout out to my support system! These ladies came out and stayed in the worse hotel in Memphis (Motel 6 don’t go!). They were ran out by bed bugs at 3 in the morning and were standing at AutoZone Park ready to cheer us on bright and early at 6am!

Being surrounded by 26,000 runners to kick off the race was so crazy. It was just so amazing to be in that group of people who were running for so many different reasons.

I was really grateful to start the race off with Sarah since we would not finish together. Let’s talk about badass though! She finished this shit in 4:59!!! Like what? I’m just back here taking my sweet time!

One of my favorite things about the race was the city of Memphis! There were so many fans out there cheering complete strangers on. It was so fun. One street’s neighborhood showed up! They had donut holes, shots, beer, Bloody Mary’s, mimosas, chips, music! I was like Damn! Could you guys move to the end please?!

I also loved being able to run through the St. Jude campus and see some of the patients that I raised money for. Props to those people who helped me reach that goal!

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I didn’t have a goal for finishing by a certain time. I kept my pace around what I trained at, 11:30. Everything was good too. My hip didn’t hurt, my nutrition was working, I was having fun. And then came Mile 20. Which was the furthest distance I had done during my training.

For me to get to Mile 21, it took me 15 minutes! Like what happened? I have no idea. I guess my body just needed to get used to that distance. And it did. After that I picked my pace back up to my normal. Once I got to Mile 23, I was like “You are about to finish a marathon!”

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Photo By MarathonFoto

I told a guy next to me, “Mile 23 to 26 is where winners are made!” He was like “Or failures.” Ummmm, Boy, Bye!!

Once I got to that point, I knew I just had to keep moving. I was dodging so many walkers and one couple was like “You go girl! Keep it up.” I was like “I am just ready to be done with this!!”

At that point though, your body is numb. You’re hungry! And if you walk, you just think, RUN! So this will be over faster. Thanks to the tracking app, my friends and family were sending encouraging texts toward the end of the race which really helped me through.

As I crossed the finish line, I had tears in my eyes and thought, “I cannot believe I just did that. Wait, yes I can. Of course I did that!” It was so amazing. To be able to accomplish something that I had put so much work into was unbelievably gratifying.

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Ignore that time! Me crossing the finish line! Photo by MarathonFoto

After the race, I told people that there was no way in hell I would run another marathon. But now….I don’t know. I might do some more. I will definitely be running half marathons, especially the St. Jude. I highly recommend this race to anyone! The expo was top notch. The after race goodies were great! So many options! Oranges, water, bananas, foil human burrito maker, pizza, donuts, BEER!

And thanks to Sarah for waiting a whole hour after she was done for me to finish! It was great to see her smiling face when I came across. Then we had to walk up stairs to get to the food and beer! Like hello?! Whoever designed that has never done a marathon!

Life has been slowly returning to normal. It only took us the whole month to recap our races. The New Year is right around the corner and we hope you stick with us to see what we have in store for 2018! The Badass Unicorns are here to stay and run around!

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Photo By MarathonFoto

Peace out!

Kayla

Sacrifice.

Six days till we get in our little corral and nervously wait to cross the start line of our first marathon!!

It’s been six months of training which means six months of sacrifices! We thought we would share some of the things we gave up so we could make this goal a reality.

Kayla’s Sacrifices.

1. Alcohol

2. Sleep

3. Comfort

I didn’t give up alcohol for the entire six months. I would sacrifice drinking on Friday nights because I would have a long run, bright and early! I did give up alcohol in the last month though. I made a couple exceptions, like Thanksgiving! I thought it would be nice to cleanse out those toxins in the last month so I would feel extra healthy for the race. I made sure to keep drinks on hand besides water. I learned that there is a habit in drinking, just having that glass of wine in hand after work. If I dressed up a virgin drink after work, it was almost like I was satisfying that craving with just a fancy drink. I will definitely be thinking of the nice, cold brew I’ll treat myself to while running.

Training for a marathon while working a full time job is no joke! There were mornings I had to get up at 4 a.m. Sometimes I would be trying to beat the heat for a long run, others I would be trying to fit in a run before my work day started at 7 a.m. Usually with these early wake up calls would mean that I would be in bed by 8 p.m. asleep by 9. Now it’s almost like I can’t sleep past 7 a.m. and I really feel like it is a direct result of this crazy running lifestyle I developed.

Sacrificing comfort for me means that, at times, I was physically uncomfortable. Either having to wake up at 4:30 in the morning and make myself put my shoes on and get out the door. Or the aches and pains that your body goes through while training. Talk about getting up from sitting at work and every muscle in your body feels like it is protesting your movement! And of course, making yourself push yourself out of comfort zone while running. While I wasn’t able to get faster through training (damn hip!) I was able to push myself way beyond my limits. I remember when I could barely run three miles and in six days I will be running 26.2. So it may hurt and you may feel defeated at times, but push yourself, it’s worth it!

Sarah’s Sacrifices.

1. Excuses

2. Comfort

3. Giving up

I use to be good at making excuses. Then I became a runner! There are no excuses in running. December 2nd (date of the marathon) will come no matter how much training I have done. To make sure I was fully prepared for the marathon, I had to train, I had to run. No matter what life threw at me, I had to run. And if I absolutely had to skip a run, then I had to make it up later that week. Running has taught me that what I once thought were obstacles that were keeping me from doing things, were just my own excuses holding me back. Running teaches me how strong I really am and that there is nothing that can stop me from doing what I want to do, and nothing keeping me from becoming the strong, badass unicorn I am meant to be!

Running is uncomfortable. It is uncomfortable physically, emotionally, and mentally. I don’t like being uncomfortable(who does?). But I now believe that you will never know how much you are capable of, and how strong you are until you are forced to be uncomfortable. “Great things never came from comfort zones” Discomfort causes you to change, to grow, and to adapt. Yes, its uncomfortable, but did I die? NO! I got through it and I can do it again!

I had to give up on giving up. You can see the finish line, but you can’t feel your legs. You can’t just stop. You have to keep going. I remember when running a mile was hard, and now in 6 more days I’ll be running 26.2 miles. Will it be hard? Hell yes! But I know I will be able to do it because I haven’t given up yet, and I’m not going to start now! There would be no way I’d be where I am today if I had given up. There is no way I’d be the woman I am today if I had given up. Giving up is not an option. There is nothing like the feeling of when all you want to do is to stop and give up. You are tired, hungry, irritated, can’t breath, and everything hurts, but yet you still push through and keep going. You may think that you could never run a marathon (yea, I thought that too). But if you work hard, train, embrace being uncomfortable, stop making excuses, and never give up, then you could run a marathon too and anything else you set your mind to!!

Love,

Kayla and Sarah

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.

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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!

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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

Bloom in your own Time

image1 “Nothing in Nature blooms all year. Be patient with yourself.” 

I cannot find who to attribute this quote to but it was my mantra on my morning run today. I’ve been watching these magnolias slowly open up to the world while I am running. It’s been quite lovely.

I have been running for two solid years and sometimes I get down on myself because I am not faster. When I start to think negatively like this, I flip the script and tell myself, “Girl, you can run 13 miles! You can run 5 miles without stopping. You can beat up a kickboxing bag like no body’s business.” And then my feet move faster.

It’s all about perspective. I am not going to be a runner that gets caught up in pace all the time. Sometimes, yes. I want to do well in races. I can be competitive. But I don’t ever want running to turn into something that I have to stress about. It’s my relief. It’s my happy place.

If you find yourself struggling with motivation, just be patient with yourself. Motivation is fickle. You need determination. Not just in running or exercise, but in anything you do. Sometimes you need a day off. Sometimes you need to get away from everything and regroup. That is okay. I encourage it!

Just because we aren’t a flower on a tree doesn’t mean we aren’t a part of nature. We need time to let ourselves grow. We need time to find what works for us. Once you find what you love and enjoy, you will bloom. Just be patient.

With love,

Kayla