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

 

A Badass Unicorn’s Running Playlist

 

One thing I love about running is that I can be alone with my music. Even though I love my running playlist, I’d also love to update it with some more songs! So I need your help. Below is my current playlist.

Unicorn DJ

  1. Swalla (feat. Nicki Minaji & Ty Dolla Sign) – Jason Derulo
  2. Love Runs Out – OneRepublic
  3. No Scrubs – TLC
  4. Roses – Outkast
  5. HandClap – Fitz & The Tantrums
  6. Honey, I’m Good. – Andy Grammer
  7. Closer (feat. Halsey) – The Chainsmokers
  8. Lose Yourself – Eminem
  9. Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah) – Andy Grammer
  10.  Hey Ya! – Outkast
  11. Come With Me Now – Kongos
  12. Heartless – Kanye West
  13. WTF (Where They From)(Feat. Pharrell Williams) – Missy Elliott
  14. Jesus Walks – Kanye West
  15. Pep Rally – Missy Elliott
  16. Lose Control – Missy Elliott
  17. Work it (Remix) – Missy Elliott
  18. Gossip Folks – Missy Elliott
  19. Move This – Technotronic
  20. The Power (7″ Version) – Snap!
  21. Whatever it Takes – Imagine Dragons
  22. Trippy – Antiserum & Mayhem
  23. Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  24. Fix My Eyes – for King & Country
  25. Hey Baby (Drop It To The Floor) – Pitbull
  26. Bon, Bon – Pitbull
  27. Don’t Stop The Party – Pitbull
  28. Freaks (feat. Savage) – Timmy Trumpet
  29. Throw A Fit – Tinashe
  30. Hotel Room Service – Pitbull
  31. Go Girl – Pitbull
  32. Culo – Pitbull
  33. Toma – Pitbull
  34. Bojangles Remix – Pitbull
  35. HUMBLE. – Kendrick Lamar
  36. Drip (feat. Migos) – Cardi B
  37. Here Come The Hotstepper (Heartical Mix) – Ini Kamoze
  38. Risen – Israel Houghton & New Breed
  39. Ass Drop – Wiz Khalifa
  40. Stronger – Kanye West
  41. DNA – Kendrick Lamar
  42. Work Bitch – Britney Spears
  43. Work – Iggy Azalea
  44. Booty Wurk ( One Cheek At A Time) – T-Pain
  45. Armageddon – Ying Yang Twins
  46. She Twerkin – Ca$h Out
  47. Run Boy Run – Woodkid
  48. This Is America – Childish Gambino
  49. 16 Shots – Stefflon Don
  50. The New Workout Plan – Kanye West
  51. Live It Up (Official Song 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia)(Feat. Will Smith & Era Istrefi)
  52. Get Busy – Sean Paul
  53. Watch Dem Roll – Sean Paul
  54. This Is How We Do It – Montell Jordan
  55. Level Up – Ciara
  56. Blue Ribbon (Feat. Tim Shuby) – Jessie Reyez
  57. Shake Senora Remix – Pitbull
  58. Bueller (Vocal Mix) – Etc! Etc!, Brillz & Diplo
  59. No Limit (feat. A$AP Rocky & Cardi B) – G-Eazy
  60. DJ Turn It Up – Yellow Claw
  61. Anaconda – Nicki Minaj
  62. Shaky Shaky – Daddy Yankee
  63. Hooked On A Feeling – Blue Swede
  64. The Saints – Andy Mineo
  65. Move Shake Drop Remix – DJ Laz
  66. Krazy – Pitbull
  67. Money – Cardi B
  68. Outta Your Mind – Lil Jon
  69. High Hopes – Panic! At The Disco
  70. 1 More Shot – Ne-Yo
  71. Fitness – Lizzo
  72. Backin’ It Up (feat. Cardi B) – Pardison Fontaine
  73. Sauce All On Me – Coca Vango
  74. Black Skinhead – Kanye West
  75. I Do (feat. SZA) – Cardi B
  76. She Bad – Cardi B & YG
  77. I Wanna Rock – Luke
  78. Niggas in Paris – Kanye West & Jay-Z
  79. Put On – Young Jeezy
  80. APESHIT – THE CARTERS
  81. No Letting Go – Wayne Wonder
  82. Turn Me On – Kevin Lyttle

So as you can see I enjoy a little bit of everything. I hope you can add some new songs to your workout playlist as well as suggest some new songs to add to my playlist! Comment below with your song suggestions!

-Thanks

Sarah

Guest Post: I Still Remember it Like it was Yesterday!

by Lanie Prince

I still remember it like it was yesterday. My friend, Patty, came up to me on a Thursday night in January. She asked me if I would like to train for the St. Jude Half Marathon in Nashville with her and my two other friends, Brittney and Connie. I eagerly said, “Yes!” She told me that I would only have 3 months to train and wanted to know if that would be enough time. Honestly, I never doubted myself when it came to that. I knew I could do it. I signed up for the race the second weekend in January with Connie. It was an amazing feeling.

A few weeks had gone by and my friend Brittney asked me if I had been training. I really hadn’t, but I said yes, so she wouldn’t be disappointed in me. I kept seeing the other girls running and I knew I had to start soon. On January 21, 2018, I made a decision. That decision changed my life. I walked/ran my first 3 miles. I ran down Veteran’s Parkway. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. So, I kept running 3 miles almost every weekday. After I started running 3 miles, my running group wanted to start our long runs. We started going to Shelby Forest every weekend and kept increasing our miles until we got up to 11 miles.

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I remember my first long run. I ran 5 miles. I had never ran that many miles in my life and my hip started hurting. I remember asking a lot of people what I should do. Some kept saying to keep going to make it stronger and some said to stay off of it, or swim, or do the elliptical for 2 weeks. I did my own thing. I didn’t run for a whole week and just did the elliptical along with sitting in the hot tub and steam room. That helped tremendously. I didn’t hurt much after that.

Along the way, I completed a couple 5k’s. I am not a very fast runner though. I can do a 10 minute mile on a great day but usually I run a mile within 13 to 14 minutes. My time never got much faster than that. I was just able to run without my body aching as bad.

Time was going by fast. April was almost here. People kept asking me, “Was I Ready?” My answer was always, “I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.” In a blink of an eye the weekend of my half marathon was here. We all met at Connie’s house and rode in her car. When we arrived in Nashville it was so crowded! We finally arrived at the place to pick up our packets. It was crazy busy. I had one of the best feelings. I felt that I had actually accomplished something. I felt so confident and on top of the world. That was a Friday. That night we walked all downtown and ate at a Mexican restaurant. I needed all the carbs I could get. After that, we made it to our hotel room around 9 o’clock. I was a little anxious, so it was hard for me to fall asleep. My friend Brittney and I ended up walking to the convenient store around 10 o’clock that night because we couldn’t sleep. Finally, around 11:30 I dozed off. I had to be up by 5:45 a.m. to be at my terminal by 7 a.m.. 5:45 came faster than I expected.

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My alarm went off and I casually woke up and started getting ready. I remember letting my running partners know that I was so nervous. I was scared that I wouldn’t complete the race or that I would get bored along the way and have little motivation to keep going. It turned out to be the exact opposite. It was the most amazing experience! There were people everywhere cheering us on. It felt amazing. I didn’t want to stop! As far as I knew, I was on top of the world. I felt as if I could go forever. I mainly walked fast because I didn’t want to run out of energy. As I walked the scenery kept changing. It was so pretty. I remember hitting mile 9 and was anticipating seeing the finish line. It seemed like the miles got longer as I got closer to finishing. As the race came to an end, I came around the corner and went over a bridge and saw the finish line. I told myself that I needed to start running and smiling because I knew they were going to take my picture. When I passed that finish line, I smiled and thought to myself, “I DID IT!” I was so proud of myself! I knew I made my parents proud and I proved the people wrong who thought I couldn’t do it. It was one of the best feelings I have ever had in my whole entire life. That night my running partners and I went out downtown and celebrated. We ate, shopped, and went to a concert. We really enjoyed ourselves. The next day we got up and left. I was a little sad because I didn’t want it to be over. My running partners and I discussed it and decided to run another one in Hot Springs, Arkansas in November.

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Still to this day I run. Running has changed my life and changed me as a person. I can tell that I am happier now. I love life more. I actually like looking in the mirror. Mostly, I am confident! That is something I have never been. I feel free.  Running has made me into a “go-getter!” For example, this summer I worked almost 40 hours a week, kept up with my running, and achieved a 4.0 in my summer classes. I honestly believe that if I would have never started running I wouldn’t have had the energy, confidence or determination to do all of that. No matter what kind of situation I am in, I make sure that I make time to run. I am a different person spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. I have lost almost 50 pounds and plan on keep going. As long as the Lord keeps me healthy, I will never stop running.

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If you ever get to a point in your life where you feel like you’re not good enough or wish you could change something about yourself, I challenge you to start running. Find someone that would be interested in doing it with you or do it by yourself. It is one of the most stress relieving things you can do. I have no doubt in my mind that you will love it. Start today!

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Nevertheless, I would like to give a big thanks to Brittney, Connie, and Patty for motivating me the whole time and sticking by my side. Also, all of this would not have been possible without the Millington YMCA. I am so thankful for all the opportunities it has offered me. With all of that being said, if you guys ever have any questions, please contact me through Facebook messenger at Lanie Prince or through my email at Lanieprince16@aol.com. If you need help getting motivated or have any question pertaining to running, weight loss, etc. Please contact me. I will be glad to help out any way I can!

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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

Running is Always There for Us

A couple of weeks ago I was listening to Kelly Roberts’ podcast  where she had Coach John Honerkamp as a guest. I have been tuning in to the ones he has been a part of because those episodes are specific to marathon training. Really good stuff, I highly recommend it if you are in a training process for a race.

On Episode 74 they specifically talk about when life gets in the way. He said something along the lines of “When you’re having that bad day or bad week, it’s okay to be selfish and take time for yourself. Running is always there for you.”

And damn! That just washed over me. Running is always there for you. It can be great therapy. It can be a way to refocus on a number of things in your life. When I have that quiet morning while the sun rises, it allows me to be grateful for the good in my life.

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I think it is time I just get it out there. Some people close to me know what I am going through right now, but most people don’t. I am currently in the process of getting a divorce. From my high school sweetheart. Although it is somewhat mutual and we both know this is for the best, it’s still really hard and sad to end an 11 year relationship.

So talk about life getting in the way… Sometimes I feel guilty taking the time to train while I know I need to finish painting my house, make sure the roofers show up, the lawn gets mowed and the weeds get pulled so we can get it on the market. But I need to run. I have to run. I think we have to figure out ways to balance training and life. Running isn’t easy and life definitely isn’t easy.

For example, this morning, I woke up to my pool completely drained therefore flooding my back yard. I just stood there, in the dark, like “Well, what the fuck now?!” Still have to go to work. Still have to get a run in. So I thought back to what Coach Honerkamp said and told myself, “Just run. Run through this.”

So that’s what I did. I pushed through a five mile run with too many thoughts spinning in my head. By the last mile, I broke down in tears. But I kept running. I cried on that last mile. It wasn’t pretty. But it helped cleanse my soul. A wise woman told me this morning that crying can heal us as long as we don’t linger there too long and let it render us helpless.

It also helped when Beyonce’s “Freedom” started playing during this break down. I mean, “I’m telling these tears, Go and fall away, fall away May the last one burn into flames.” “I break chains all by myself Won’t let my freedom rot in hell I’ma keep running cause a winner don’t quit on themselves.” YASSS Queen. Listen below. Seriously, listen to this song!

During this time, I think one of the things I am most grateful for (besides my amazing family) is running. There have been mornings where I am so angry at the whole situation I knock out a 6 mile tempo run and know that this divorce isn’t going to kill me. There are mornings when I am so sad, that I slowly meander through a 5 mile run and even though it’s slow, I kept moving. It helps me know that this divorce isn’t going to drown me. There’s mornings where I have to run 10 plus miles and then immediately work on a house in order to sell and I know that this divorce will only make me stronger.

So I encourage the reader to find something to throw yourself into if you are going through a hard time. It can be running, painting, gardening, poetry, woodworking, or hell even sword fighting! Just find something that challenges you but also brings you peace. Find something that brings you joy even if it makes your heart want to explode! We are stronger than we think and our brains give up long before our bodies have to.

So I will leave you with a poem from a poet my heart connected with immediately, Rupi Kaur. Because this is not a pity me post. This is a soul cleansing one to show that I will get through this. I will get through this with running. I will get through this with my friends, my family and even the random readers of this blog by my side. Because I am strong.

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With determination and courage,

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

Strong

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

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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.

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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