Sarah Finding Fit

An unconventional look at fitness... my journey in reaching goals, laughing and having a bunch of outstanding adventures.

Posts tagged turning 30

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Happy Thanksgiving!

This year, I’ll be spending Thanksgiving in Virginia, crammed into my small 1-bedroom apartment, for the first time, with my family, meaning that our tradition of the Webster Turkey Trot will end… but between the farm fresh turkey and dinner on served on a coffee table… a new one might begin.

Over the past year I’m thankful to have had to opportunity to share my adventures, personal wins and search for finding fit. It’s crazy to think of how far I’ve come… as I reflect, I find that I am most thankful for three things:

My family, who puts up with my antics, usually makes me laugh til I cry and loves me unconditionally. From attending races to signing me up to run in Rochester, they understand where I started this journey and in knowing the full story, they are my biggest champions. Not only do they smile at my successes, but they also pick me up when I feel like I’m at my lowest. I am grateful for each moment that I get to share with them, and after my mom’s transplant, truly appreciate them for who they are and what they mean to me.

My heath. Looking back, I’d never imaged I’d be here at 30… cracking open a sort of Pandora’s box. Re-thinking food and fitness, peeking inside myself and finding the power to achieve things that I never thought imaginable… If you’d asked my 20-something self where I’d be now, I’d never have thought I’d land in a hot yoga studio once a week, or have the ability to squat more than my own body weight. I’d never have imagined that between logging miles and soul searching under the stars, I’d define myself. I am thankful that over the past year, I’ve in some way, maybe inspired others by sharing in the voyage, but in a selfish way, I’m most thankful for the journey I’ve taken, because the path to getting here, has been the sweetest personal reward.

Lastly, I am honored and thankful to be surrounded by amazing people. People who run with me. People who laugh with (or at) me. People who also appreciated strong IPAs, SJFs from Lyon Hall, or introduce me to the wonder of Vodka sodas. People who tolerate or maybe even appreciate my sometimes off the wall beliefs. People who somehow drag me into crazy antics like Ragnar or Roller Derby or Mud Running. People who force me to step out of my comfort zone and encourage me to be the best me that I can be. People who I know would come to my rescue without question, at a moment’s notice, in the middle of the night, in the rain. Without each of you, life wouldn’t be full of so many great adventures!

This holiday weekend, I wish each and every person the best. May the healthiest and tastiest of foods dress your table… and whether you Crossfit your heart out to a long ass WOD on Thursday, or turkey trot across America, I hope that you are surrounded by the things that give you strength and happiness. Big or small, we each have so much to be thankful for this year.

Filed under paleo family thanksgiving Turning 30 turkeytrot crossfit transplant mudrun toughmudder roller derby ragnar relay food friends

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Sun Poisoning, Toast and a Much Needed Running Friend

I’d spent the night with a fever and chills, hovered next to the toilet. My mascara streamed black down my cheeks, my throat ached. I probably weighed about 10 pounds less than normal. As I stumbled into the bathroom for the hundredth time at 6:45 A.M., I decided to quickly stick my head under the cool shower and re-brush my teeth. I couldn’t not go: It was my last race in my 20s, my first 10K… the weather looked cool and inviting… For weeks, I’d been waiting to run through the woods… Why did I spend Saturday in the sun? Why did I go out the night before? I’d already talked up the race, this was a definite, I needed to run, I needed to earn my t-shirt… as much as I wanted to crawl back into a ball on my bed, I needed to suck it up and get out there… for myself, but also for my race partner, I knew she’d be okay without me, but I couldn’t let her down.

I called Rachel. “I’m coming, I might not run, but I’m coming.”

I pulled on my shorts… the sports bra stung as it clung to my crisp shoulders which were still covered in goosebumps and starting to blister. I tried to sip down some recovery drink, but decided against it, instead throwing the shaker into my gym bag for later.  In the car, I called my mom. “You’re going?” “Yes, I’ll probably just watch,” I flatly replied, irritated at my own stupidity for not applying additional sunscreen the day before. My stomach churned. How was I planning to turn out 6 miles on a trail?

When I got to Casa de Onthebusrunning. Rachel kindly popped a slice of bread into the toaster and after a small smear of butter, I managed to choke it down. A second piece of toast and a sip of powdered Gatorade… and I was feeling half-human. Now if I could only keep this down until we ran.

The start line was an explosion of runners. A colorful hodgepodge of fancy shoes and shorts and compression sleeves, runners ready to battle the elements in the not so off-road backwoods of Virginia. The VIP Jeep parking was packed with vehicles just like mine – yes, these were my people! I was already starting to feel at home.

Over the river and through the woods… The pace was slow at the start, but I didn’t mind, my goal was to keep steady. I just had to keep my legs moving and my mind off my aching body. As the pack split up, Rachel and I fell into our usual running banter: the great catch-up of random thoughts, life-updates, full-disclosure on my night spent sleeping on the cool pink tile of my bathroom. Pretty soon, we were off the golf course and into the woods. My watch beeped. Only a mile deep and man was I hungry. Orange Gel, my sustenance of choice.

During this race, I had hoped to spend time reflecting on my journey to 30, sucking in and soaking up every last second of my 20s… but instead, our conversation just carried us along and on this day, I was glad for that. I didn’t have to think, just run. In-between trying not to trip on roots and dodging oncoming runners, I was also thankful that the course wasn’t as grueling as my trail series runs, we didn’t stumble upon a “cardiac arrest hill” or find ourselves knee deep in muddy creek water – this was fast and flat. Before I knew it, we had rounded the loop and were headed back to the start. As we hit the last straight away, we went for it.


We crossed the finish line holding hands and I vaguely remember Rachel laughing, “You’re awesome.” This was awesome, WE were awesome! The perfect way to fight to the finish. I’d powered through a race on fumes thanks to toast, gel and an amazing friend. My shoulders stung, my tummy grumbled, but I was glad to be the proud owner of a Fuchsia North Face Endurance Challenge t-shirt… one that I could rightfully say I’d earned.  

When I called my mom on the way home, she said “So, how’d you do?” “I survived.” “I knew you’d run,” she chuckled. “You did?” She responded with a smirk, “Yes, Sarah… you’d never have sat on the sidelines and watched.”

She was right. It’s hard to describe sometimes, but running is a game I play with my mind. A way that I prove my inner strength to myself time and time again.  It shows me my will to power through… it’s my way of pushing myself to the edge, then learning to trust and fly. In a way it sets me free. Sick or not, this run had been a challenge that I was determined to finish. To me, it was more than a run through the woods, it was proof of how far I’d come this year. It didn’t matter where I finished, just that I finished. I’d have regretted it if I’d let myself get swallowed up by my blankets and hadn’t at least gone out and tried.

Oddly, on Sunday I learned that mind can overcome matter… and if I can run 6 miles through the woods after spending the night tossing my cookies, I might just be able to conquer the world. After a cold shower and a thick layer of aloe, my nap seemed well-worth the work. It has truly been a year of finding fit. Welcome 30! I feel stronger, and more determined than ever! Bring. It. On.

Filed under running trails trailrunning races Turning 30

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Three is the Magic Number

Three is a magic number,
Yes it is, it’s a magic number.
Somewhere in the ancient, mystic trinity
You get three as a magic number.

The past and the present and the future.
Faith and Hope and Charity,
The heart and the brain and the body
Give you three as a magic number.

3 miles down, 179+ more to go. This week, I embark on my journey towards the half marathon. I’m afraid. I’m excited. In some ways I feel like I’m staring down the barrel of a gun. I had never in my life planned to run this far. In fact, I’d never planned to run at all – somehow running, just ran into me. I mean, lets be honest, my squat 5’2” frame isn’t one of a gazelle – it’s more fitting of a rugby player. 

 And while part of me is excited at the upcoming solo-challenge, the other half is kicking and screaming, “What was I thinking?” My fitness ADHD usually is in full effect – I’m diligent about daily workouts, buy I usually finagle some crazy mix-up of Insanity and P90X and hockey and running and outdoor fun, so three solid months of running is going to be a test of not only my legs and my endurance, but also my focus.

 A friend asked me last night if I was going to slow down with my fitness adventures once I’m done with the half marathon on March 26th (yes, March is the third month and 2 x 3 = 6) And I wasn’t really sure how to answer.  I stumbled in my response, “Um, I’m not sure – I’ll probably find something else to try I guess.” I’m finding that this fitness thing is part of me. It keeps me going and growing… moving forward. It gives me an inner drive and sense of accomplishment. So yes, I’d hope that after the half I’ll keep running right on through 30. Six months (3 times 2) until I turn 30 and I feel stronger, more confident than ever before. I finally feel this indescribable, calm understanding of self.

But, back to running…I must say, the first three miles on Monday were hard. Tired legs, lots of sweat, an awkward gate due to the cast… in about 30 minutes, I finally hit mile three. I sighed in relief for a minute and dropped to a walk, wanting to push through it, but knowing that I have to keep to the schedule. This was just the beginning of many, many miles. But after the quick feeling of ease, I shuttered, “Shit, how AM I going to do 6 on Saturday?! How will I ever run 13.1?!”

While staring at my training schedule (Thank you, Brad!), I began to notice all the threes. Sets of interval training set out in threes, three days a week of long runs, three days a week of cross training. Three is the magic number… so I just have to magically make it all the way to 13.1. 

One foot in front of the other. One day, then the next. Just like life. Yes, running is like life. Fitness is life. This year I turn 30. And wait… Isn’t life supposed to start at 30?


When it’s three you can see
It’s a magic number.

Filed under running 13.1 p90x insanity turning 30