Thursday, October 19, 2017

It's Race Weekend!

Y'all! It's finally Runner's World Half & Festival Weekend!

I am driving to Bethelehem, PA this afternoon and the weekend officially kicks off at 5 pm tonight with dinner and tour of RW Headquarters, courtesy of the RW Half Run Crew program- somebody pinch me because this feels like a dream!

There are so many things I'm looking forward to about this race weekend- here are the top five, in no particular order:

Finishing under the steel stacks.


As you know, the last time I signed up for this race, my foot was broken and I wasn't able to run. Having cheered for this race weekend both in 2014 and 2015, I know how amazingly cool the finish line is and I cannot wait to see those steel stacks at the end of each race.

Running Koda's first race!

"Wait, what?!"

Yup- part of the race weekend is a dog walk on Saturday afternoon and I've signed up our little pug for his first one-mile race! Now, we'll have to wait and see if he cooperates enough to make this happen and if my schedule allows me enough time to get back to the hotel and get him before the 2 pm start time (we've got a lot of stuff happening as part of the RW Half Run Crew program). But we're going to try!

Hanging out with Bart Yasso.


Me and Bart, RW Half 2015

Bart is really just the most chill, down-to-earth, coolest runner dude I've probably ever met. I love talking to him at race expos and I'm pumped to be able to hang with him this weekend. And as he is officially retiring from Runner's World this year, I'm grateful for the opportunity to see him one more time at the RW Half & Festival Weekend.

Meeting the rest of the Run Crew.



For the last few months, Run Crew has known each other through social media- I'm looking forward to meeting everyone in person and getting to know them over the weekend! If you can't tell by now, I'm a pretty strong extrovert and sincerely love meeting new friends :-)

Running with this guy all weekend long.

RW Half 2014

I mean, look at how cute this dude is! :-) Seriously though, running with my husband is one of my most favorite parts of any race weekend. And with both of us doing the Grand Slam (trail race, 5k, 10k, half), we've got plenty of opportunity to race together.


There are lots of other reasons I'm excited for this weekend- make sure you're following me on instagram and twitter- I'm sure I'll be sharing a ton over the next three days!


See you in Bethlehem! 



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Accountability Tuesday: 10/17/17

Hello there!

It's been quite a few weeks since I've posted here; work has been pretty hectic over the last few months so lots of stuff in my life has been neglected, including this space.

But! All the "big" stuff at work is done, Matthew and I just returned from a relaxing three-night vacation in Cape May, and the Runner's World Half and Festival is this weekend! Online registration closes on Wednesday- use the code "SPARKLYRUNNER" at checkout to save 10% on any race. I can't wait for 26.2 miles of trail and road races!

Training
Saturday: 3.04 ocean-front miles, 36:45, 12:06 pace per mile
Sunday: 3.55 mile walk with Matthew and my Mother-in-Law, 5 mile round-trip bike ride to Beach Plum Farm

Two things learned from this year's fall Cape May trip: 1. Running along the beach will never get old. 2. Beach Plum Farm is a must if you ever find yourself in the area. It's a 62-acre, 300-year-old working farm complete with self-guided tours of the kitchen gardens, a beautiful barn and market, and no shortage of instagram-worthy scenery. Matthew and I had such a good time there- we can't wait to go back next summer!

Fall at the farm is gorgeous- I can't imagine how beautiful it is in full, summer bloom!

There were a TON of monarchs on the remaining flowers in the gardens and fields. 

We also found some sunflowers- and bees!
Beach running is always better in a pair of Altras.

Best Run
Obviously, this week's best run is this week's only run, lol. It actually rained on Saturday morning but it was still pretty magical running by the beach and in the sand. And by magical, I mean really, freaking hard- have you ever tried running in sand?! It's insanely difficult! I only ran on the sand for a bit before returning to the promenade- way easier and less crap gets in your socks. 😜

Bravo Moment
I ate and drank what I wanted this weekend (including wings, beer, and pizza!), tracked it all, and stayed within my daily and weekly Smart Points- on vacation. This is a huge bravo for me. It's always been a challenge for me to stay on track during a weekend or week away from home. Less control over what I'm eating, the mindset of indulging and relaxing during time "off," and lots of meals out usually leads to me eating and drinking more than I should or more than I planned. However, I packed snacks for this trip, tracked my food diligently, and chose meals that fit within my daily points budget. I won't say that I'm excited to weigh-in this week, but I'm not totally dreading it. That's a win in my book.

Carefully reading about the beer choices I made for a flight at Cape May Brewing Co.
Breakfast at George's Place, highly recommend for breakfast in Cape May.
Margherita Pizza at Louie's Pizza, highly recommend for any meal in Cape May.

Quote of the Week
Because we just got back from the beach, this seemed appropriate:



Have a great week, friends! 


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Race Recap & Review: 2017 Harrisburg Half Marathon

Two weeks ago, on an almost perfect Sunday morning, Matthew and I ran the 2017 Harrisburg Half Marathon.

We're always smiling at the end of a race.

Since first running this race three years ago, a new course route was adopted and I loved about 85% of it. What didn't change was the easy packet pick-up, the small, not-at-all crowded field, and the awesome food/swag at the end of the race. 

On race morning, Matthew and I arrived on City Island around 6:45 am. With an 8 am start time, we wanted to make sure we got a good parking spot and were able to get our bibs without feeling rushed. Packet pick-up was a breeze and we got a primo spot in the lot- mission one accomplished. 

After hanging out in the car keeping warm for a bit (it was a little breezy and cool), we walked to the start at 7:45 am. Because this is a small field (less than 800 runners), there weren't any corrals- we just lined up towards the back. There were pacers available for several finish times up until 2:30.

View from the back of the pack.

Before the race, I had connected with Matt (on instagram as @tallguyruns) as he was training for the Harrisburg Half as his first-ever half marathon. Because this is such a small race- and because Matt is like seven feet tall- I spotted him waiting for the start and we were able to wish each other luck before the race. 

Matthew and I decided to run this race separately so we could use the results as proof of time for our upcoming races in Walt Disney World. My race strategy was pretty simple- finish under 2:40. As pneumonia had kicked my ass all summer, my thoughts/plans for a sub-2:30 went out the window months ago. I hoped to keep my pace hovering between 11:30-12:00 minute miles and finish feeling strong and under 2:40. 

With the new course, we started out on the market street bridge and actually ran on the other side of the Susquehanna River for about a mile. Coming back across another bridge (no clue of the name) into downtown, we had a stunning view of the Harrisburg skyline for at least another mile. It was one of my favorite parts of the race. 


The course took us along Front Street and into the Greenbelt- a trail that runs through part of the city. I was thankful for the shade- as the morning went on it started to heat up quite a bit. Just before we entered the trail, I got to see my friend Scott handing out beer at mile 4. Of course I stopped and had some. πŸ˜„

Friends with beer are the best.

This was a nice change of pace from the city streets.

After the greenbelt, we headed back downtown along the river to my least favorite part of the course. Basically, this was an out and back that felt like it went on forever. I hate courses like this because they really mess with your head. You watch all the runners going in the opposite direction for miles knowing that you have to eventually reach the turn-around point and then come alllllll the way back. 

My lack of training also showed up around this point in the race- my legs and hips were just screaming at me to stop. That's what a summer of barely-running and battling lung issues will get you. 

But there was one cool aspect of this part of the race- I got to see Matthew flying down the road! He was in between the 2:10 and 2:20 pacer and I knew he was going to be close to reaching his goal of 2:15 (he finished in 2:17). 

Heading towards the long stretch of the out and back section of the course.

Hi, Matthew!

Eventually, I made it to the turn-around and finished those last few miles along the river. Scott showed up again around mile 12 with more beer. Obviously I drank some more. πŸ˜„

Is there really anything better than mile 12 beer?

With my sore legs and aching hips, I was ready to be done with this race. I had been watching my time and knew that I would be able to finish well under 2:40 as long as I didn't give up and kept pushing.

Another back of the pack benefit? No crowded race pictures! Photo: Penn Images

I rounded the last corner and headed onto the Walnut Street Bridge back to City Island and the to the finish- my official time was 2:35:53 with an overall pace of 11:54/mile. 


Last bridge!

Beer me.

Directly after getting my medal, I was able to stop at a computer/printing station and get a little print-out of my results from the timing company- that was pretty cool. After catching my breath and finding Matthew in the crowd, we headed back to the pavilion (where we'd picked up our packets) for a full-spread of Panera sandwiches, cookies, and other snacks. We also bumped into my blogger friend Lindsay who I've known for about four years but never officially met in real life which was pretty neat. 

Delish.

Check out that bling. And those shoes! 😍

After hanging around for a bit, Matthew and I left the race for a visit to Troegs Brewery for a celebratory beer and ridiculously large soft pretzel.

A post shared by Sarah (@sparklyrunner) on


All in all, this was a really well-organized, fun race. I love the small field, the ease of parking and packet pick-up, and the relatively flat course. While the out and back section isn't my favorite, it was still pretty cool to see the runners in front of you. And of course, when you've got friends on the course with beer, that makes it a good race all around. πŸ˜‰

This is a great, small, simple half marathon so if you ever find yourself in south central PA in September, you should definitely check this one out.


Do you have a favorite local race? What do you love about it?


Monday, September 18, 2017

Accountability Monday: 9/18/17

Good morning! How is it already mid-September already?!

It'll be winter before we know it! ❄❄❄ Speaking of winter... some exciting news- I got asked to be on the Cold Conqueror Team again for winter 2017/2018! I'll be partnering with Yaktrax and some other awesome brands to review the coolest winter running products right here on the blog. Luckily, we still have a few more weeks before it gets cold here in the mid-Atlantic and I'm really looking forward to my next fall race- in peak leaf-changing season!

In just four-ish weeks, I'll be toeing the line of four races in Bethlehem, PA as part of the Runner's World Half & Festival weekend. I'm signed up for the Grand Slam- trail run Friday, 5k and 10k on Saturday, half marathon on Sunday. Wanna come run with me? Use code "SPARKLYRUNNER" at checkout to save 10% on any race registration! 


Check out all this bling! ✨

Training
Tuesday: 3 miles of speed work, 33:16 overall, 11:04 pace
Sunday: 3.56 miles, 41:48 overall, 11:38 pace

Can you tell that I've still been insanely busy at work? I have almost zero time- or energy- during the week to run. However, having a training journal again has helped me feel a bit more accountable. I like that I can write something in it everyday, even on rest days. It helps me feel more in control of my training and my nutrition.

Best Run
The speed work session I did on Tuesday was pretty awesome. I made up my own workout- easy run warm-up, 30 seconds all out sprint, 2.5 minutes of easy run, 30 seconds all out sprint, repeat- for three miles. During the sprints, I was running as low as a 5:55/mile pace! My legs definitely felt it the next day, especially coming off last week's Harrisburg Half Marathon.

I also got to try out a new pair of Altra Paradigm 3.0's as part of the Runner's World Half Run Crew Program. Two years ago, the Paradigms were the first pair of Altras I'd ever tried so I was excited to get another pair of the newest model to try out. We sent all our information to Altra (injury history, shoe preference, size, etc.) last week and they sent us a pair of shoes on Monday. It was super fun not knowing what shoes I was getting- kind of felt like Christmas morning!

I took the Altra Paradigm's out for speed work and they reminded me why I fell in love with the Altra brand in the first place- so cushion-y and responsive- I felt like I was bouncing along during my run. I will definitely be rotating these in with my beloved Olympus during the next few weeks of training.



Bravo Moment
I LOST WEIGHT THIS WEEK!

After what has felt like forever without a weight loss, I finally saw the scale move down! This is definitely the most motivated I have felt in a while- I'm looking forward to seeing more of this in the coming weeks.

This felt as good as losing 10 pounds ☺


Quote of the Week


truth.


Have a wonderful Monday and a great week!



Monday, September 11, 2017

Accountability Monday: 9/11/2017

Hi, friends! I hope Monday is being kind to you!

Please excuse my absence for the last two weeks; our semester started on August 28th and since then I've worked over 60 hours of overtime. Yikes. Because work is so busy, it's hard to me to find the time to blog. But, things should start to calm down here soon so there will hopefully be more posts in the near future.

Training
Sunday- Harrisburg Half Marathon, 2:35:53 (unofficial time)

Whoops, I probably should be doing more running if I'm actually supposed to be training for fall races! This week was nuts with crazy overtime hours and other commitments and I just didn't make the time for any running or strength training. But, I did run my third-fastest half marathon and didn't feel too awful afterward. I've got five weeks until Runner's World Half & Festival and I intend on making them count. The older I get, the less my training goals revolve around time and the more they revolve around how I feel during/after the race.

Best Run
Well, that would have to be yesterday's half... since I didn't run any other times last week. Ha! The half marathon was awesome- great weather, new scenic course, and a great spread of food after the race. Matthew did awesome and got a great qualifying time for Dopey in January. After the race, we went to one of our favorite breweries to get a little food (basically a giant soft pretzel) and some celebratory beers. Nothing makes a run better than a cold beer at the end. :-)


A post shared by Sarah (@sparklyrunner) on

Bravo Moment of the Week
As you know, I've been struggling with my weight and lack of training pretty much since last spring. One of the techniques we use in Weight Watchers is to look back at a time when you were being successful with weight loss and try to recreate that helpful environment.

I was in the best shape of my life in May 2015, when I ran the Pittsburgh Marathon. I had been training consistently, fueling appropriately, and was at my lowest weight while also feeling super strong. One of the things that I did differently was keeping a written journal of all my training. Back in 2015, my sweet friend Stephanie sent me the Believe Journal after my stress fracture as a way to track my comeback. And man, did it work like a charm!

However, once it was filled (it holds about a year), I never bought another one. So this week, I ordered a brand new journal and will make my first entry today. My hope is that by manually writing and tracking my training, I'll be motivated to stay on plan and reach the goals I have set for myself. And, fingers crossed, lose the weight that I've gained.

a fresh start.

Quote of the Week



Persist in the pursuit of your goals this week, friends! Have a great week!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Accountability Monday: 8/28/2017

Good morning and welcome to fall semester 2017! 😜

For those of you in college or with a kid in college or who work at a college, the end of August marks the beginning of a new academic year. For me, this means I worked a crazy amount of hours over the last week and weekend as we welcomed in a new class of first-year students. I am thankful the semester officially starts today and I will soon get into a routine with regular work hours.

Training
Friday: 10 miles, 2:07:03, 12:42 overall pace
Saturday: 3.36 miles, 39:31, 11:47 overall pace
Sunday: Runner's World Core Workout

Holy shit, friends. That RW Core Workout is NO JOKE!  I like to think I'm reasonably in shape (I mean, I ran 13 miles this weekend!) but this 20 minute routine had me feeling like I'd never worked out in my life. That means it's working, right?!

Best Run
Friday night's 10 miles were solid. Really, truly, solid. The weather was perfect and the trail was absolutely beautiful. I felt strong and healthy, unlike how I've felt most of this summer. Here's hoping this is a good omen for fall racing season.



Bravo Moment
Through all the activities at work this weekend, with lots of access to college campus food (cookies, brownies, and long hours on my feet, I stuck to my food plan and only ended up -5 with weekly Smart Points. Oh yeah, and I ran 10 freaking miles on a Friday night before a 14 hour Saturday at work! 😎

Quote of the Week
Man, this one speaks to me on so many levels. I feel like sometimes I wait too long to take advantage of opportunities and my "ship" leaves without me. So this week, let's just get to swimming. πŸ‘Š




Also, congratulations to Tammy S. for winning my Runner's World Half & Festival race entry giveaway! Don't forget, you can save 10% on any race registration by using the code "SPARKLYRUNNER" at check out. Hope to see you on the race course in October!


Have a great week, friends!


Monday, August 21, 2017

Accountability Monday: 8/21/17

Good morning, friends! I hope you had a great weekend full of all the things you love!

The end of August always is a very hectic time for me at work- all our students return on Wednesday so this week/weekend is full of planning welcome events and then executing them.

The end of August is also a very celebrative time as Matthew's birthday is tomorrow! And this year's he's celebrating a very special year... he'll be 40 years young in just a few hours :-)


Happy birthday, Matthew!

Training
Tuesday: 30 minutes, 2.42 miles
Friday: Squats, lunges, and dead lifts per this workout from Women's Running- 2 sets of 10 reps each
Saturday: 7 miles on the trail, 1:32:16, 13:10 pace with negative splits

So maybe doing squats and lunges the night before running the longest you've run in three months isn't the greatest idea? Yeah, I've been struggling to sit down/stand up for two days. LOL.

Best Run
Even though my quads were trashed, and sometimes I felt like death, Saturday's long run was still awesome. I've got nine miles on tap for this weekend- but this time I won't do any squats the night before. :-)

Bravo Moment
I ran the last mile of Saturday's long run in my sports bra because it was 80 damn degrees outside and we were running in full sun. I was a little self-conscious as I don't have the typical "runner's body" of someone who might be comfortable running in just a sports bra in public. But like I said, it was so damn hot that I got over my fear and just went for it. And it was much, much cooler without my tank!

Quote of the Week
This really resonated with me this week. Part of being more mindful is accepting where I am, rather than where I "used" to be- and if I'm currently in the midst of the "struggle" then maybe I need to accept it, learn from it, and help it motivate me to be where I want to be.




Don't forget! You can still enter my giveaway to get a FREE race entry to the Runner's World Half & Festival! The giveaway runs until 8/23 and you can tweet every day to get more entries! 




Friday, August 18, 2017

RW Half & Festival: Come Run With Me!

The Runner's World Half & Festival holds a very, very special place in my heart. The beautiful city of Bethlehem, the changing leaves and perfect running weather in October, the super cool expo speakers, the opportunity to meet and run with editors from Runner's World...  it all adds up to one awesome running weekend.

Photo credit: Runner's World

But I've actually never even run any of the races during the RW Half & Festival Weekend! So, how can I love a race so much when I've never crossed the starting line? Let's rewind to October 2014....

If you've been a long-time reader of this blog, then you know I suffered a second metatarsal stress fracture in September 2014 and was on a knee scooter/non-weight bearing for seven long, torturous weeks. I missed several races that fall and winter- one of which was the "Hat Trick" at RW Half & Festival. I was supposed to run the 5k and 10k on Saturday and then the half on Sunday. Instead, I found myself cheering on lots of friends, volunteering at the expo, and stalking Bart Yasso all weekend 😊

And I had an AWESOME time! Even though I couldn't run, I still got to chat with Runner's World editors/staff, hang out in between races with friends, and just enjoy the atmosphere of a weekend catered to runners of all levels.

We met Mandy for the first time this weekend!

Then in 2015, I returned to Bethlehem, not to run, but to cheer on several runners/friends that were in town to run the race. The steel stacks are only two hours from my home so I couldn't not make the trip to see Dani (Weight Off My Shoulders), Linzie (Sharp Endurance), Jenna (This Princess Runs For Sparkle) and Kristin (Bama Girl Runs) who had traveled from all over the country/state for the races!

❤❤❤

So, is it any surprise that I am SO EXCITED to head back to Bethlehem this fall and actually get to run the "Grand Slam" as part of the RW Half & Festival Run Crew?! I literally cannot wait!

I'll be running all the races during the weekend (minus the Kids Race and the Dog Run): a 3.8 mile trail race on Friday, 5k and 10k on Saturday, and the half marathon on Sunday.

Want to join me for one of the best race weekends on the east coast??

The awesomely generous folks at Runner's World have given me one FREE RACE ENTRY for any of the weekend's events to giveaway to one lucky blog reader! See details below for your chance to win!

Giveaway Rules: This giveaway will run until 8/23/17 at midnight. At that time, rafflecopter randomly selects a winner from all the entries. The more points you accumulate, the more entries you can get- make sure to tweet about the giveaway every day to get more chances to win!

I will contact the winner on 8/23/17 by email and will give a two day window to respond/claim the prize. If I have not heard from the winner by midnight on 8/25/17, I will draw another name/winner from the rafflecopter list.




a Rafflecopter giveaway


If you don't happen to win the free entry, you can still get a 10% discount on any of the weekend's races by using the code "SPARKLYRUNNER" at checkout. 



Good luck and see you in Bethlehem!


Monday, August 14, 2017

Accountability Monday: 8/14/17

Hola, friends! I am so excited to post this morning because I can finally share some awesome news that I received a few weeks ago- read on to find out how this benefits YOU!

Training
Wednesday: 3.1 miles, 12:41 pace
Saturday: 3.1 miles, 12:10 pace

This week, I finally was able to start running again with no issues from the pneumonia. It has been about seven weeks since I have been able to run consistently without any chest pain or coughing. Since there are only three weeks (!) until the Harrisburg Half Marathon, I'm going to have to really compress my training into the time I have left. I'm planning a seven miler this weekend, a nine miler the following weekend, and then a five miler the following weekend. Luckily, the Harrisburg Half is a walker-friendly race so I'll be able to run some of the race and walk when and as much as I need.

Best Run
Definitely the run on Saturday morning with Matthew. I felt really strong and even managed a sub-12 minute mile in there. Slowly I'll get back to pre-pneumonia shape. :-)


Bravo Moment
Ok, so here's the news I've been waiting to share- I've been selected to be part of the Runner's World Half Marathon Run Crew!!!



So, what's the big deal? In addition to a whole host of goodies, giveaways, and exclusive opportunities during the Runner's World Half & Festival Weekend, the awesome folks at Runner's World have extended the generosity and are giving you some cool stuff as well!

More details will be coming in a post this week, but in short, I've got a 10% discount code for you to register for the event (use "SPARKLYRUNNER" at checkout), a FREE race registration for one lucky follower, and an extra RW Half & Festival Swag Bag (worth $100+) to give away!

Seriously, how cool is that?! I can't wait to tell you more about the Run Crew program and why I'm so excited to be headed back to Bethlehem this October.

Quote of the Week
Because I'm super pumped to see him again at RW's Half & Festival, here's a good one by the "Mayor of Running" himself, Bart Yasso.




Make it a good week, friends!

Who will I see in Bethlehem this fall for the Runner's World Half & Festival?



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

[Mostly] Wordless Wednesday

Got my CT scan results back... and I'm back on another round of antibiotics.
Fingers crossed this will cure the pneumonia once and for all. 

Congratulations to Sarah P. winner of the Disney quote medal holder giveaway!

New shoes πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

Woo! I made it on the Top 100 Running Blog list again this week!

Drinks with dinner tonight because we have something super cool and running-related to celebrate- details coming soon!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Accountability Monday: 7/24/17

Well here we are, another Monday. Here's to coffee strong enough to get through the day! 😁

Since my last accountability post was just last Wednesday, this one will be short and sweet. 

In case you missed it, this blog turned four on Saturday! I'm giving away a pretty sweet prize and you've still got time to enter the giveaway (ends 7/29/17)- details are in this post. And, you can tweet every day to get more entries! Good luck!



Training
Wednesday: Harrisburg Mile Race, 10:04 unofficial
Thursday: PT Knee workout
Saturday: 2.57 miles walked, 40:44

Even though I PR'd the mile on Wednesday night (an automatic PR because I've never done a mile race before), I think I pushed a little too hard. My lungs hurt a bit afterward and it brought on another coughing fit. It feels significantly better today so I just need to stick to walking and light running for a few more weeks. With fall races just around the corner, it looks like I'll be walking a lot of the training miles. 

Best Run
The Harrisburg Mile was super fun- we ran along the Susquehanna River downtown and even though it was hot, it was still a pretty enjoyable mile.

A post shared by Sarah (@sparklyrunner) on

Bravo Moment
This weekend, my in-laws celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary! How awesome is that? Anyway, Matthew and I spent the weekend at their house and while my mother-in-law was changing out some pictures in picture frames, she came across this picture of Matthew and I from summer 2012 (left) and a picture of us from this past Mother's Day. Even though I have gained some weight, I can still really tell the difference in how I look in these two pictures. Seeing these was a great visual reminder of how far I've come and why I want to keep tracking and trying. Also, I'm ending the week with a few smart points left over- that's two weeks in a row!

Matthew has stayed as handsome as ever. ❤

Quote of the Week
... might have something to do with my giveaway. And my fall race dreams- maybe I'll be chasing a new half marathon PR?! Like the man says...



Have a great week, friends- make it awesome!


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Happy 4th Birthday, Sparkly Runner!

Four years ago today (!), I started this blog and shared my very first post. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine how this little blog would grow and change and develop- nor did I imagine all the wonderful people I would meet, both online or in real life. Thank you for reading these last few years. πŸ’–

In honor of Sparkly Runner's fourth birthday, here are two "fab four" lists, a trip down memory lane, and a sweet giveaway for one lucky reader!

TOP FOUR MOST VIEWED POSTS OF ALL TIME

4. New Run/Walk/Run Strategy from Jeff Galloway I'm kind of surprised this one made the top four- I guess folks like the Galloway method!

3. 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Review Ok, this post is the third-most read on my blog and I didn't even write it! 😎 One of the bloggers that I stalked followed leading up to the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon, Matt from Hokeyblog, and I partnered up to switch race recaps as he ran the half and I walked the 5k- my first one back after the stress fracture. You can read my recap on his blog here.

2. 2014 Race Recap & Review: Harrisburg Half Marathon This was an awesome race (even though I ran it on a broken foot) and I cannot wait to run it again in September.

1. Accountability Monday: 9/29/14 Again, somewhat surprised that this one is the most-viewed post on my blog but google analytics doesn't lie. This was right after the first race I missed because of my stress fracture. What I thought would be a soul-crushing weekend ended up being really amazing and supportive- my running ohana are the absolute best.


TOP FOUR "SARAH'S FAVORITES" POSTS

4. Character Photo Ops at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend This was the first time I participated in a virtual blog hop and I got to meet some really cool bloggers/runners as we were linking our posts together. And writing about runDisney character spots is one of my absolute favorite things to write about!

3. Race Recap & Review: Run Swim Run OBX My first not-just-running event was super scary but also super empowering. I loved doing it and loved writing about doing it too!

2. Promises I go back to this post often to remind myself that I am capable of discipline, hard work, and success.

1. Spectating the Inaugural Pop Art Half Marathon There are no other words to describe this experience other than pure magic. This post still brings tears to my eyes rereading it and remember what a special day it was.


GIVEAWAY TIME!

Ok friends, because you've stuck with me for four years, I've got a giveaway for one lucky reader!

Pretty cool, right? Follow the directions below to enter to win!

My absolute favorite medal holders come from York Sign Shop so I want to give one away to one of my readers (as in, I buy it and ship it to you). And what better holder than one with a quote from Walt himself?!

Some rules for this giveaway- it will run until 7/29/17 at midnight. At that time, rafflecopter randomly selects a winner from all the entries. The more points you accumulate, the more entries you can get- make sure to tweet about the giveaway every day to get more chances to win!

I will contact the winner on 7/29/17 by email and will give a two day window to respond/claim the prize. If I have not heard from the winner by midnight on 7/31/17, I will draw another name/winner from the rafflecopter list.

Good luck!

And thank you, thank you, thank you for sticking with me the last few years- y'all rock!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Accountability Wednesday (?): 7/19/2017

Hello and happy Wednesday! Some weekends just slip by me and I don't get a chance to get an Accountability Monday post together until Wednesday. 😊

Anyway, here's an update on my pneumonia. I had another CT scan about 10 days ago and I'm still waiting to hear the results. Fingers crossed the last round of antibiotics worked and the infection is on its way to being 100% gone. I have been able to walk (and run- slowly!) a little this week with no lung issues so I'm feeling pretty confident that the infection is healing.

Training
Tuesday: 1.8 mile walk with Matthew
Friday: 10 minute walk, 10 minutes of leg presses and calf raises, 10 minutes of walk/run- 1:1 intervals

This evening Matthew and I will be running the Harrisburg Mile in the "fun run" heat, not the competitive age-group waves as we'd originally planned. I will most likely run/walk the mile, depending on how I feel tonight. Tune into my instagram around 6 pm as I'm sure I'll be posting selfies from the race. πŸ˜‰

Best Run
Definitely running on the treadmill on Friday night. It felt awesome to be able to run again, even if it was only for a few minutes.

Bravo Moment
Last weekend, I attended my first WW Focus workshop. These workshops are designed to be totally different from a Weight Watchers meeting- and they are really, truly different. The session I attended was all about techniques designed to help you get more in touch with your body, heart, and mind. There was meditation, breathing exercises, and something called "tapping"- a practice designed to help reduce anxiety.

I have to say, I went into this workshop not knowing what to expect and then being blown away by how helpful it was. It was a little out of my comfort zone, but I'm proud I kept an open mind. I've even tried some of the techniques this week and have found them helpful.

AND! There's a second bravo this week- I HAVE POINTS LEFT OVER! Yup, that's right, I have NINE smart points left from my weekly budget. This never happens. Like ever. I think the last time I had points leftover was well over a year ago. It finally feels like I'm back on track and in control of my eating habits after the last few months of chaos and lack of discipline.

Still not sure how this happened.


Quote of the Week

Be like a lotus- grow in the mud!

Friends, make sure you come back here this weekend... you won't want to miss Saturday's post! πŸ˜ƒ

Have a great week!