Well, my marathon training has finally hit the rocky stage, for I have been out with an IT Band injury for the last two weeks.

It all started with my great run a couple weeks ago (the one where I flew down the track at a speedy 11:30 pace for 5 miles). The next day I felt fine again, so I went even harder with a quick 3 mile run.

That was a baaaaad idea. By running around the track so frequently (and oftentimes, the same direction), I’m pretty sure the sharp turns hurt my left IT band. Every run since those two runs have been the same: start off well for the first two miles, and then my left knee hurts like the dickens.

Thus far, I’ve been forced to cut my weekly mileage back from 20-25 miles a week to a mere 6-10 miles a week. My hopes for Fargo are starting to dwindle, but I’m determined not to give up yet. I’m going to try to ease back into running by keeping my cardio up on biking workouts and shorter running spurts. I’m just waiting for the day I can run 5 miles again without having to limp off the treadmill…

Running is my escape nowadays. With the most difficult semester of my schooling, work, and sorting out the loose ends for my job, I have found that running is the only thing keeping me sane.

What It’s Like to Enter a Marathon (as told by GIFs)

I would say this is pretty accurate :D


The Week Ahead

On Saturday, I experienced a less-than-stellar run that has set me back a few days in my training. I was initially supposed to go an easy 7 mile run, but after not eating enough beforehand, I felt sluggish and unmotivated. In the end, I finished 4.5 miles.

As a result, I’m kicking it into high gear this week to make up for a sloppy weekend. Tomorrow, I am going to try that 7 mile run again, then a 3 mile run on Wednesday, and a 6 mile run on Thursday. I’m hoping that will prepare me for a 12 mile run on Saturday — the longest I have ever gone outside my Grandma’s Half Marathon.

In  other news, I’m still plugging away at school, internships, and whatnot. Another opportunity may have opened up for me, and I’m thrilled for the possibility of what may come about. (Don’t want to get my hopes up too high, but if God’s will for me is this avenue, then I will gleefully and joyfully take it come fall!)

First Great Run, First Great Opportunity

Last night I ran — fast. With my Garmin calibrated (and me counting the laps just in case!) I was able to run for 5 miles at an 11:20 pace. That’s right about where I was at for the Bolder Boulder 10k last May. And that’s a lot faster than what I’ve been going in the last two months.

After a run like that, I feel like I can do anything.

In other news, I was offered an internship in Washington DC this summer. I have finally finished mourning my first internship loss (pathetic, I know!), and now that my head is clearer, I’m starting to truly believe this new internship is what I’m meant to do. God has placed this in my lap like none other, as if to say here’s the opportunity for you, Sarah. Take it. truly believe in the mission of this particular firm, and I think I’m supposed to go. It’s just taking that leap of faith, but I think I’m ready for it!

Weeks 4 and 5 Reflection: Garmins and Shin Splints

In the last two weeks, there have been a number of ups and downs in my training. First of all, my new Garmin Forerunner 220 came in the mail! For my half marathon I used a Forerunner 10, which worked great for my beginner training (for more info on the 10, go to my blog post HERE). However, with a 4 hour battery life, I knew I’d need an upgrade if I planned on running a 5-something hour marathon. I decided on this 220 because of the color great features such as indoor accelerometer, cadence, and 10 hour battery life.

Figuring 99% of my training is indoors, the accelerometer is definitely the most important part. The only problem is how I haven’t had the chance to go outside to calibrate it with the GPS. Grand Forks hasn’t gotten above 10 degrees in over 2 months, let along a temperature that I can actually run in! (Fingers are crossed for this weekend, where it might get as warm at 30 degrees though!) As a result, I’ve been trying my Garmin watch on my long runs (free of calibration) and I’m pretty sure it’s off by a tenth of a mile or so.

I had a rough sprint work out last Tuesday that gave me shin splints, so when I went out for my mid-week 5 miler on Wednesday, I only made it 1.5 miles. On Thursday, I did 5 miles on the elliptical, making sure my heart rate was over 155 BPM. (Side note: my blister is GONE! Got some socks at Foot Locker and they definitely have made a huge difference.)

On Saturday, I ran 10 miles (I think?) on the track, and I finally started feeling GREAT. My Garmin spit out 10 miles in 2:04 minutes, which is definitely a liberal reading — I probably went at a 13 minute pace, so it was probably only 9.5 miles or so, but still. I felt good, my muscles weren’t sore, and I’m stoked for a 3 mile run today.

Blisters, Socks, and Running

Marathon training is going (mostly) well. I have stuck to the plan, running 7 miles last weekend and back down to 5 miles this weekend (with an array of 3 and 4 mile runs during the week). However, I have encountered a new obstacle in the last couple of days: a blister. In all my half marathon training and tennis playing throughout the years, I have never had this problem.

Now, since developing this obnoxious problem on Wednesday, my last couple of runs have suffered. My form has drastically changed as a limp on the outer edge of my shoe (the blister’s on the side of the ball of my foot), and I’m scrambling to heal it before my 8 mile run next weekend.

I’m guessing my socks are the problem: I’ve always work regular cotton socks without any problems. After researching through countless types of socks that claim to prevent blisters, I have settled on Feetures Elite. At $11 bucks a pair, I have officially come to realize running is a rather expensive hobby! Hope they work wonders :D

Trusting God’s Greater Plan

After a month and a half of mulling over the interview for my dream internship and dreaming about what could come out of this opportunity, I received a rejection email this morning. To further confirm this — as if it could be a mistake! — my application status went from “interviewed” to “not selected.”

I didn’t get it. Am I surprised? No. Am I disappointed? You betcha. In the past, I haven’t dealt with failure well, but this time around I’m trying to take it in stride. It simply wasn’t meant to be, and God has something else in mind. Surprisingly, in the hours since learning my fate, I’ve become more motivated to go out and continue to train for the marathon. My thoughts: if I can’t work for my dream company, I sure as heck will become a marathon runner (which is 100% in my control)!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and hope. -Jeremiah 29:11


First Long Run: Complete

I hate running, but I sure do love the runner’s high. I love being able to finish a long run and feel the endorphins flow, instantly putting me in a better mood. I love the bragging rights —  I just ran 6 miles, no big deal — and researching ways to tweak my next workout. I love being able to deserve food. And more than anything, I love knowing that just over a year ago, I had never ran more than a mile.

In all honesty, the things that come with running definitely make the actual run worthwhile. I might be (or rather, I know I am) the slowest runner at the gym, but at least I’m out there bettering my health and well-being.

Today’s run was the first long run on Hal Higdon’s program. I ran 6 miles on the indoor track, averaging a 13:40 pace. In contrast to my first 6 mile run last February, it was about a minute and a half slower. However, the first time around, I’d had two months of working up my speed with 1-2 mile runs. I’m really hoping it’s just my out-of-shapeness, and that in a month or so more of my runs will fall around the 12:30 pace again.

I’m going to take tomorrow off before doing 3 mile runs on Wednesday, Thursday, and Fridays. I will then try for 7 miles next Sunday, which will officially put me back on schedule. Haven’t signed up for Fargo yet, but at this I’m incredibly excited to get back in the groove of things (and fit in my size 8 jeans again)!


First Day of Marathon Training

Happy (late) New Year’s! Among other new years resolutions, I am trying to train for the Fargo Marathon on May 10. And, in following Hal Higdon’s Novice Marathon Plan 1, today was my official first day of training.

Reflection on my first run back:

I really hope the first couple weeks are indeed the hardest. I stepped on the treadmill this morning and set the pace at 4.5 MPH, but quickly had to cycle between run for 30 seconds and walk for 90. (My end result was a long 39:30!) My left achilles tendon was nagging me towards the end, but I probably pushed myself too much. In addition, but good ol’ Saucony Grid Cohesion 5 shoes are showing some obvious wear, so I really can’t wait until I get new ones at a running store in Minneapolis on Friday!

Here’s my plan for the next 4 months. Before officially signing up for Fargo, I’m going to see if I can get through these first two weeks. If (or rather, WHEN) I survive, then I’ll put the money down and officially be registered :)

Cheers to a great marathon training season!

Fargo Marathon

Hal Higdon’s Novice Marathon 1 Training Schedule tailored to my schedule

A Thought on Letting Go

This morning, I had the most important interview of my entire life. Now, this interview wasn’t just any interview. It was for my dream internship, at an organization that I’ve wanted to work at since I was in junior high. I honestly didn’t even expect to get an interview in the first place, but when I did, I put in all my time and energy into preparing myself for the perfect answers. I talked to people inside and outside the organization, throwing ideas off my family and friends, and mentally preparing myself for being the best candidate that I could possibly be.

The interview itself was exactly 17 minutes long, 4 questions, and in front of (well, over the phone) a panel of 4 interviewers. I had one shot to make my mark on this particulate organization, and I gave it all I had. I answered the questions, tried to highlight my strengths, and although the interview didn’t have any major hiccups, I couldn’t help but still feel discouraged after the fact.

As I continue to mull over the interview, I realize I’ve fallen into a trap of useless worrying. No amount of replaying my responses, or imagining what the interviewers thought of me, or rationalizing why I will/won’t get the job will change anything.

Worrying is useless. It’s time to let go, and let God do the rest. This interview was no different than the rest: if it’s meant to be, it will happen. If God has something else in store, that will happen, instead.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-8)

In all situations, trust God. He knows the desires of your hearts — even more than you do. If I get this internship, then I will praise Him. If I don’t get this internship, I will praise him and seek another opportunity. After all — if the God of the universe is looking out for me, then what do I have to worry about?

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