The Haunted Half

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To celebrate the Halloween season, I ran a spooky 13 miles with the Breakaway Running marathon training group.

Here’s some great history about the course!

Rainbow Lake in Overton Park where it’s said the ghost of the Lady in Blue is sometimes seen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=536q_2kXfeo

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Bettis Family Cemetery http://historic-memphis.com/memphis-histo…/…/cemeteries.html

Annesdale-Snowden area. Annesdale Mansion served as a hospital during the Civil War. Many neighborhood homes are said to have non-living Civil War soldier inhabitants. Every few years the neighborhood hosts a “ghost tour” of homes. https://www.annesdalemansion.com/what-we-do

Skeletal remains were found recently in the Annesdale Mansion. https://www.wmcactionnews5.com/…/possible-human-remains-fo…/

The historic Elmwood Cemetery. The history of Memphis is chronicled there with many significant people buried there including generals, yellow fever victims, slaves, politicians, soldiers from pretty much every war we’ve fought. http://www.elmwoodcemetery.org/

 

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The race was great. Perfect foggy, dark, and spooky weather. During the course we ran through the thick forested Overton Park. It was so dark I could not even see a few feet in front of me. Definitely spooky!

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Elmwood cemetery was my absolute favorite part of this course. There is just so much history and beauty in that place.

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Thank you Breakaway Running and Barry Roberson for creating a great course!

 

-Sarah

 

St. Jude Marathon 2018

 

On December 1, 2018, I ran in my second marathon race. It was a doozy! Tough, Hell,  and disappointed are just a few words to describe it. Let me explain.

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I started training for the marathon in July just as I did last year. My main goal this year was to beat my 2017 marathon time which was 4:59. Quickly into my marathon training I knew I was going to beat my pervious time. In 2017, my average pace was between 11-13 minutes per mile. This year my average pace is about 9-11 minutes. I was significantly faster. With my new pace, I was predicting to finish this year’s marathon around 4:30. I continued to keep this pace and even get faster throughout my marathon training. I was confident that I would PR (set a personal record) this year.

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Race day arrived. I felt good. Even though I trained and prepared the best I could, December 1st turned out to be an unexpected and unpredictable day. First, the race was delayed 1 hour due to stormy weather. We were now starting the marathon at 9am. Also at 9am the temperature was already 64 degrees and expected to continue to get warmer. Plus due to the morning storms and warm weather, humidity was also added to the mix. I was thankful though to have Kayla and my sister at the start of the race. Even though Kayla was running the half this year, I am glad we were able to start the race off together.

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I started the race with a good pace. I was averaging around a 9:30 pace. It was exactly where I wanted to be. I kept this pace all the way up to the half, 13 miles. Then at mile 14, it started to go down hill. Around mile 14 my legs started hurting really bad. I had never felt this pain before. It was really bad. I remember thinking to myself that my legs can’t hurt this bad already, I still have around a half to go. Shortly after this realization, is when I had my first panic attack attempt. I felt myself getting really overwhelmed. I started breathing really heavy and then it became difficult to breath. I had to start walking, calm down, and slow my breathing. Because of the pain, my pace was drastically getting slower. The 4:00 pacer had already passed me awhile back but I was still ahead of the 4:30 pacer. I knew I was slowing down but I was still on track to achieve my goal time. Around mile 15 the 4:30 pacer passed me. I kept up wit the pacer for about a mile then had to slow down due to the excruciating pain in my legs. This is when my second panic attack attempt hit. I got so overwhelmed because I knew I was not going to be able to make my 4:30 goal time. I was eventually able to calm down and keep running.

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Miles 18 – 24 were a blur of pain and exhaustion. I remember being in a lot of pain and anticipating every single water stop because I was so thirsty and hot. I wanted to keep pushing myself. I knew the 5:00 pacer had not passed me yet. So if I just kept pushing, I would beat last years time even if that meant by 1 minute. Then I saw a lot of runners getting hurt. I saw runners passed out on the ground and taken away in ambulances. This told me that I had to ease up. I was worried that if I kept pushing myself so hard when I was already in a lot of pain, that I would eventually hurt myself. From then on I did a lot more walking. I had to stop several times as well to stretch. The pain was really intense. Kayla started texting me around mile 21. She gave me some much needed motivation. She let me know I was doing great and I was a badass. Around mile 22 or 23 is when the 4:50 pacer passed me. I was disappointed but I at this point I just wanted to be done.

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Mile 24 came and I knew I was almost done. I knew if I could just keep slowly going that I would finish soon, plus I still had not seen the 5:00 pacer. It was a bit windy during the race but right around mile 24 is when the wind decided to get intense. I remember being so exhausted and giving it everything I could just to run up the hills near the end. I remember a strong head wind blowing against me right as I was trying to run up a hill. I said “f*ck it,” gave up and walked up the hill instead. It was insane. Near the end of the race wind gusts were up to 25 mph. Plus the temperature was around 75 degrees.

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Mile 25, “one more mile” was my mantra. I knew I was almost there. I had only one more mile left, I could do this! I round the corner and see the finish line. I see and hear Kayla cheering me on. I make the last turn then cross the finish line. That was it, I did it! I was beyond exhausted and in so much pain. My sister met me right as I crossed the finish line. As soon as I saw her I collapsed in her arms and started crying. I remember telling her, “that was really hard.” lol Of course the photographer comes around right in the middle of me bawling my eyes out. I am really glad though that he was able to capture that special moment between my sister and I.

I was still unsure of the exact time I finished. I didn’t think I beat my time but I never saw the 5:00 pacer pass me. I changed into new clothes, grab some pizza, then went to the booth to print my official finish time.  I got the print out and saw that I finished at 5:03. I met up with Kayla, and as soon as I saw her I started bawling crying in her arms too. I was a mess. I was so disappointed that I didn’t beat my time and that I was only off by 4 minutes!

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I knew how hard I worked and trained for the marathon. There should have been no reason why I didn’t beat my time. I feel the main reason was because it was so hot. Now usually if I don’t reach my goal, I just try again. Its not that easy when the goal is PRing a marathon. I couldn’t just run a marathon the next day. So I will have to wait.

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I will definitely be running the St. Jude Marathon again in 2019 where I hope to beat my original time of 4:59. Until then I will continue to keep running, making new goals, and achieving those goals. Looking back, I may be still disappointed but I know I did the best I could. I still ran 26.2 miles! Not a lot of people can say that. Plus I survived through miles of excruciating pain but yet no injuries. I may be hard on myself but I still know that I am a badass unicorn and I will continue to fight and achieve my goals!

-Sarah

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Inconsistent as F*ck

We’re baaaaackk! Actually we never went anywhere we were just inconsistent as f*ck! To be honest, I haven’t ran in 3 weeks!! Today I set my alarm to wake up early and run but I slept straight through my alarm!! Yea that’s how its been!

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So what happened? LIFE happened. Jobs, traveling, and lack of motivation are all to blame. The badass unicorns have continued to run since our first marathon in December 2017 but it hasn’t been consistent. We still remained active by keeping our goal of running at least 1 race every month and just recently joined a kick boxing gym! We love kickboxing!

36908142_10103627155533420_4934227720075739136_nThe look Kayla gives when people try to f*ck with her vibe! #fuckbadvibes Wraps from www.girlgangwraps.com.

Even though our running has been inconsistent and training has been nonexistent, we have still accomplished many goals. I ran one of my fastest half marathons and the badass unicorns ran 2 official races reppin’ #sportsbrasquad which is pretty big for us.

34344317_1933078320317740_4097067714240053248_oFirst race reppin’ the #SportsBraSquad for the Great American River Run! #Run901

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I have also registered to run the St. Jude marathon again this year with the goal of at least 4:30 which is 31 minutes faster than last year. Again this year I need your support in helping to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research hospital. http://heros.stjude.org/Sarah_Burns is the link to donate. The countdown has begun! 27 weeks till my second marathon! I will start my training with running 5 miles 4 times a week, kickboxing, and hopefully some speed training. Most marathon training plans are usually 20-22 weeks long so I am using theses few weeks to get back consistent with my running.

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I am excited to continue on this running journey by setting new goals and pushing myself harder than before. The badass unicorns love you all so much and appreciate all your love and support. We hope that you all will continue to follow and support us!! Please feel free to message us at anytime to share your story or to ask us any questions.

Email: badassunicornssk@gmail.com

Instagram: @run_onemoremile

Facebook: @runonemoremile

Blog: http://www.runonemoremile.com

 

Let’s do this!

-Sarah Burns

Kayla’s Running Analysis

As some of you may remember, I had some hip/groin issues during the end of my marathon training. I went to physical therapy at Campbell Clinic here in Memphis. I had two great PTs Nicole and Phillip!

Toward the end of my therapy, they told me about this really great service their clinic offered, a running analysis. Of course, my first thought was Amy Schumer in Trainwreck when she visits Bill Hader at his clinic.

It was not like this, but I will say that every time a doctor tells me to walk normal, I strut for like a split second and have to remind myself I’m not Beyonce!

Instead! It was a wireless system that the analysis guru stuck on my shins that would communicate with a pager like device I carried in my pocket while I ran around the block for about 30 minutes.

 

The analyst, Drew, also watched me run for a bit to notate any physical markers the system might not track. When I got done running for 30 mins, Drew took the pager and connected it to the computer to get the details about my awesome running skills!

IMG_3189Then I was given a ton of information, that made me go huh?! But Drew was great in explaining. My cadence, which is steps per minute, is slow but this doesn’t mean I am slow. It just means that I do not open my stride wide to get more steps in per minute. I take about 100-120 steps per minute and I have an average speed of 6mph.

I favor my right side, which makes sense since I am always injured on my left side. In the photos below you can see that the time I spend with my left foot on the ground is more than the right. Some suggestions he had for this first eval was that I can download a metronome app for running that would help me increase my cadence and stride. This will also help the time I spend from foot to ground to back up. Like, I said, a lot of information!!

 

I had to come back for the final eval which included Drew watching my form on squats, push ups, wall sits, shoulder rotation, neck rotation, trunk rotation and more. All of this information is put into the system and then you are given an at home training plan through the Fusionetics app. Which is really cool.

They give you specific exercises to strengthen your weaknesses. They focus on the area you originally came into physical therapy for. So for me, the hip and groin area. Then they give you exercises to stretch, strengthen and stable your weak areas. They also make you foam roll! And each exercise comes with a video you can watch.

 

 

So all of this is sent directly to the app on your phone. It syncs with your calendar so you know what days you are supposed to be doing it. And the goal is to make a routine you commit to BEFORE running or working out. Which if you know me, you know I am bad about!

So I had to go buy some things, foam roller, resistant bands, exercise ball (which I still need!). I am trying to change my routine to carve out ten minutes before a run to do the stretches and exercises. Since I run at work I was told that you can split up the exercises. Do the static stretches and strength stuff before the run and then the ones that require props, do that evening at home. You can make it work for your schedule.

Now while it seems like a lot and you do have to change your routine I said something to the analysis like “How can I fit this all in?!” He said, “It’s only ten minutes once you get the hang of it. And think about all the time you spent in physical therapy, you don’t really want to come back here do you?!” Touché, Drew, touché.

So huge thanks to the crew at Campbell Clinic for keeping me in tip top shape. Now if I could stop hurting myself when I am not running! *cough* kickboxing *cough*

With healing,

Kayla

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

What I learned at the marathon preview

Last week, I was able to attend the St. Jude Marathon Course Preview hosted by Breakaway Running and Can’t Stop Endurance. Coach Kevin Leathers did a very informative presentation about how to prepare, what to expect and how to recover.

I thought I would share some of what stuck out to me in case it could be helpful to someone else participating. Sarah was not able to attend so I took extensive notes to share with my fellow over-planning Virgo!

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First off, the marathon will be host to approximately 25,000 runners!! This includes participants in the 5k, 10k, half and full marathon. That is a lot of people at a starting line. Which is why it takes about 40 minutes for all runners to be released from their respective corral and cross the start line.

Sarah and I will be starting in the 11 minute per mile corral. We want to be able to start together because Sarah will be able to run faster, longer, and we won’t be finishing together. But we are starting off as a team, which I am pretty jazzed about! During the course preview, someone asked how do you stay warm in the corrals? You might need more layers while you are waiting to take off. So here’s a tip! Wear some throwaway clothes. Just some cheap layers you can take off when the race starts. The race volunteers will gather these and they actually donate them to the local community.

So the race starts and ends at Autozone Park. If you are wanting to watch any of your friends take off or finish, this is where to do it! FYI: Roads will starts closing by 7am!! Spectators can watch the runners take off on Second Street and you can catch them again on Front Street which is around mile four. The marathoners will pass the stadium area, on Danny Thomas Blvd. near Monroe, again near miles 23.5 and 25.5. This is great place for you to cheer your runner on before they finish! Friends and families can also sit in the stands and watch their runner cross the finish line. Friends and families will not be allowed on the field though. So cheer loud!!

Coach Leathers broke the race down into thirds. And this can be used for any distance. The first third is about Discipline. You are going to be excited and your adrenaline will be pumping. You have to keep in mind to keep your pace that you trained for so that you don’t take off too fast and burn out. The middle of the race you should have a Relaxed Focus. This is where you continue to take it easy. Make sure your hydration and fueling is working for you. Pay attention to your form during this time. And for the last part!! This is where you Dig Deep! You will be hurting. It will be hard but this is why you trained for six months. Welcome the Struggle!

So there are the important logistic points. Now for some fun stuff!

Mile 5.5 is where the runners will run through the St. Jude campus. The kids come out with their signs and cheer the runners on. I am really excited for this part. This is what it is all about. And you can still donate to the cause!

Kayla’s Fundraising Page     Sarah’s Fundraising Page

If you are running the half, around mile 11 is when you will leave all us crazy marathoners behind. If you are running the marathon, don’t panic! Most of the people you are running with will go left while you go right. Important note: if you don’t reach the split point by 11:20 a.m. you will be made to finish as a half marathoner. This means you must at least keep a 14 minute pace for 11 miles. It’s okay! If I can do it, you can do it!

One of my favorite parts of this course preview was that Coach Leathers covered what to do after and gave some good recovery points! Number one Don’t sit down or lay down once you cross the finish line! (SARAH) ! It’s not good for your muscles and you may not be able to physically get up! Change your clothes before you meet up with your group. You’ll be more comfortable for all the selfie taking you’re gonna do!

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He also suggested setting a new goal! Pay for a race and you won’t have a reason to slack off. You won’t have to restart your training. Rumor is we might register to do the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville half marathon in April!

You can find all this information from the source, Can’t Stop Endurance. Coach Leathers will also be doing the presentation again at the expo Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. And you MUST go to the expo to get your packet and bib. There is NO race day packet pick up!

If you aren’t running in the race, you can still be a part of race day! Check out volunteer opportunities here.

I hope this can be helpful for some people participating. If you can catch the presentation, I highly suggest it! It was very informative, as you can tell!

13 days!!

The more you know,

Kayla

Twenty. Venti. Zwanzig.

Yesterday marked 20 days till our marathon! Ahhh! Speaking of 20, this past weekend Kayla and I ran our longest mileage run ever! We both ran 20 miles! Did you know Zwanzig is German for twenty?!

The 20 mile mark in our marathon training was a major milestone. This was our final test before the race. This is where we see if we could actually make it, if our bodies can actually run 20 miles or more.

I thought of the 20 mile long run as the closet comparison to the actual race day. I was nervous. Not only was I nervous to run 20 miles but I decided to run my long run differently this time. Breakaway Running is an amazing supporter of the St. Jude Marathon. They have a training plan you can follow as well as weekly group runs. So I decided last minute that I was going to run with the Breakaway running group. I had no idea what to expect. I knew they would have water stations set up along the route and I looked at the course but I didn’t really study it because I thought that there would be enough people that I could just follow. Also the course was set up for 11 miles. People training for the half marathon would run the course once and people training for the full marathon would run the course twice. So I would actually have to run 22 miles! 22 miles!! Ahhh! Crazy right!?! The run was also at 6 am and the temperature was going to be 34 degrees. Two more running conditions that I was not use to.

So on the day of the long run I arrived at the Breakaway store only about 10 minutes before the run. I stretched a little but not that much. I was so overwhelmed with all the people and trying to figure out what was going on that I didn’t pay attention much to what the speaker was saying about the course. There had to be over 100 people there. It felt like race day. It was super cold and my fingers were freezing but I knew I would warm up once I started running.

22 mile route

 Once we started, I was in the middle of the group. I was trying to pace myself based on how they were running. Everything was going great. As I came up on the 11 mile mark, everyone that was around me stopped and turned into Breakaway. I was totally confused. I knew that I had to run the course twice so I kept going forward.  There were literally only a few people in front of me that kept going but they were pretty far ahead. I was scared that I was going to lose them and get lost on the course.  The course was actual streets going through downtown Memphis, so we were running on busy roads and under overpasses. I was nervous to be running alone. I kept running ahead and after a while I noticed that there several people in front and behind me which made me feel better. At around the 12 mile mark, my tummy was really upset and I had to stop at a gas station and use the restroom. When I got out, I continued to run and noticed that there were only a few people behind me now. At mile 13, my legs were starting to hurt. By mile 16 my feet and legs were becoming so painful. I was almost in tears because I was in so much pain. I had to keep running though. I didn’t quite know where I was and I didn’t want to lose the few people that were in front of me. There were a few times that I was the very last person with no one behind me. That was scary. I didn’t think I was going to make it. I was running so slow that I was almost walking. Everything hurt. Then I hit 20 miles! I knew I couldn’t stop now. Only 2 more miles left to go. I kept pushing, kept going till I finally made it! 22 miles!! I had tears in my eyes because I was so proud, also because I was in so much pain. I did it. Only 4 more miles after that and that would be a marathon. At that moment, I finally knew that I would be able to run a full marathon. I was scared and nervous before, but now there was no doubt in my mind that I would be able to complete 26 miles!  I was ready!

22 miles

-Unstoppable, Sarah

Now for the country girl’s tale of running in the middle of nowhere! Much like Sarah, I was pretty nervous to tackle 20 miles. The Friday before the run, I had visited a doctor so that I could get a physical therapy order. They ended up doing a bunch of X-rays on my hip because it has been hurting for a month or so now. The doctor thinks I have abductor tendonitis, which pretty much means overuse of the muscles there. Of course! Then the doctor asks me, “How important is it for you to do this marathon?”

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Like 100 percent important doctor!! Anyways, he totally understood and gave me some anti-inflammatory and ordered for me to start physical therapy. So with this knowledge, I knew that going into this marathon, my only goal was to finish without completely injuring myself.

Which is the same goal for the remainder of my training. Thankfully, my hip doesn’t completely stop me from running. I made sure to keep my 20 mile run at a steady pace averaging at 12:52 a mile. Which is really slow and I really wish I could run faster but I have to accept that I physically cannot. So that will most likely be my pace for the marathon.

My run was pretty uneventful. I did see some puppies and piggies! I didn’t experience too much pain throughout the run. Toward the end I think my mind wanted to give up but not my body. I just kept telling myself just keep running till the next mile. If you keep running, you’ll be done soon. And sure enough, I was done soon! Jk this shit took 4 plus hours!

 

Being able to finish a 20 mile run though is something I never thought I would do. Once you are done, you know that you can finish a marathon. We have been training since July and now here we are less than a month away from the start line!

During this time, I have learned that I am capable of achieving hard goals. I have a lot going on in my life but somehow I still managed to stick to my training and not give up when the miles seemed too much. I don’t even know what I am going to do with myself after the race. Like I get my Saturdays back!!

As the race approaches, we are going to be doing some fun countdown stuff over on our Facebook page. So make sure you go like us and follow us to Memphis where we will run for the children of St. Jude! (And for the food and beer!)

 

With determination,

Kayla

How Unicorns Run Far

We have made it to November, meaning one month until we toe that start line and put all of our training to the test! Now that we are up to 17, 18, 20!!! mile runs, we thought we would share our long run routines. We thought it would be interesting to share the differences between our routines. If you didn’t know, not all runners are the same. We’d also love to hear about your long run routines! So leave us a comment when you’re done reading.

Okay, so this first part is how Kayla preps for a long run. I thought about referring to myself in third person but I think that would be weird.

I usually wake up an hour before sunrise to give myself time to get ready. So the first thing for me is COFFEE! I take about 15 minutes to drink my coffee and scroll through the social world. Then I make myself something to eat while I finish up my coffee.

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This is my absolute favorite pre-long run breakfast. When I don’t have this, I like to have a toasted peanut butter and jelly. It’s important for me to get enough on my stomach to give me some energy but not too much where I am feeling full.

Next, I make sure to Glide Up! Is it too much information to talk about the chaffing of running? Probably, but it’s reality. This training cycle I found out I can chaff under my arms where it rubs against my shirt. So weird! Just thought my thunder thighs were the issue!

 

Another reason, I have to wake up before the sun is so that I can take my water bottles out to my running route and drop them off. I live in a pretty rural part of Tennessee and do not live around any running trails. (I am pretty jealous of Sarah’s convenient Green Line! Even though I get some great nature shots!) Anyways, I take two water bottles out, one to the halfway mark and one to the two mile mark.

I also carry my handheld water bottle with the strap with me. When I get to my other water bottles, I refill with some nice ice cold water. They make for pretty good rest stops!

Last but not least, I take my first nutritional gel. I used to use Gu Energy Gel but recently I have switched to Huma Plus Energy Gels. They are more natural, lighter on my stomach and seem to give me more of an extra boost. I take my gels at the top of every hour. I have also learned that I need some type of electrolyte drink during the really long runs. So I try to have Gatorade mixed in my waters at the pit stops. This nutritional routine is what has worked best for me. But like I said, everyone is different!

And then finally! I am ready to run! I would love to hear about other’s long run routines. Leave us a comment!

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Kayla and I are perfect examples of how runners can be completely different.

Here’s my long run preparation check list:

The day before a long run:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day
  • Stretch
  • No alcohol at all
  • Eat a carb loaded dinner- now that I am eating gluten free this meal usually contains rice, or potatoes.
  • Charge my wireless headphones!!! – I Always forget to charge my headphones the night before so I usually wake up in the middle of the night and remember to charge them or plug them in as soon as I wake up.
  • Get a good night’s sleep

The morning of a long run:

  • I wake up about an hour before I want to start my run
  • stretch
  • make sure headphones are charging lol because I probably forgot to plug them in the night before
  • Eat a granola bar- the best for me is the Kind brand.kind bar
  • Go to the bathroom – a definite must!!
  • Apply Glide to chaffing prone areas
  • I can not drink much of anything before my run – helps me avoid having to go pee during the run
  • Eat an Energy Gel on the way to my run- I am currently still trying to find the best Energy gel for me. I have tried Gu, Huma, and now Hammer. All pretty good. Huma and Hammer contain more natural ingredients and are lighter on my stomach.
  • I make sure I bring enough Energy gels with me on my run- I consume an Energy gel about every 5 miles.
  • I bring my handheld water bottle with the strap with me on my runs. I refill my water bottle with the water fountain at the beginning of Shelby Farms Green Line and at the Tap Routes along the green line.
  • tap route2  tap route

After the long run:

  • stretch
  • refuel immediately- meaning lots of water, Gatorade, and FOOD!
  • post results on Social Media because I am proud that I am I runner!greenline

-Sarah

How do you prepare for your long runs? Leave us a comment!

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!

-Sarah