Off The Beaten Path: February 24, 2017

I’m trying something new with some of my blog posts. Late last year, I brought back my old “Running and Reading” posts because I realized that I was reading a lot of great articles that I wanted to share with others. I admit, it got burdensome to keep the posts fresh and light and relevant. Most of what read, given what I do for a living and where I reside, is all political. Not necessarily one-sided, but issues-oriented. I want to steer clear of that. There’s enough of it out there, and I need a break from it, too.

Also, when I relocated to DC back in 2014, I used to write posts called “Off the Beaten Path” to update friends and family back home in Nebraska about what I was doing in DC besides “running all the time” and working my “I’m not sure what she actually does in DC” job. I attempted to revive that recently, but then I sat down to write it and realized that I really don’t have a whole lot going on right now. Or at least not enough to keep the post going and keep it interesting. I get the sense that readers gravitate toward bloggers who “keep it real” but there’s a fine line of keeping it real and oversharing that I enjoy a graceful dance with, so I could write about how I am struggling to accept where I am in life… or I can keep it on the sunny side up.

So, I’m going to try consolidating things and see how that works. Even if no one ever reads it, I swear sometimes I keep up this blog because I just really enjoy the simple art of writing. Let me know what you think! Continue reading “Off The Beaten Path: February 24, 2017”

Building a Race Schedule That Won’t Burn You Out

A couple of years back, in 2015, my race schedule was jam-packed. I ran 14 races total for the year: 4 half-marathons, 5 5Ks, 2 10-milers, a 20K, and 2 marathons. There was a couple of reasons why I got so involved in running all those races. The year earlier, in 2014, I only ran 5 races total because at the time, I didn’t live in a place where there were races in cute little towns or around tourist sites almost every weekend, and certainly only a couple of them I considered to be “bucket list races.” Once I moved back to DC, starting in 2015, I was almost always at a race because I was working a job that allowed me the means to register for more than a few here or there, plus I’d been making some strides in my running (ha ha) and I wanted to put myself to the test. Continue reading “Building a Race Schedule That Won’t Burn You Out”

Week Four: 2017 Cherry Blossom 10-Miler Training

Fundraising Update: I’m at 10% of my $500 goal to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network with $50 raised! And there’s still plenty of time to donate. This past weekend, I wasn’t quite sure how many miles I should run on Sunday, so I posed the question to my social media followers and asked for donations in the amount of miles I should run. I got two $25 donations and, while I didn’t run 25 miles this weekend, I was on my feet for 51.7 miles between Friday and Monday. It’s definitely a fun way to contribute. 🙂

This was a fun way to get donations: ask your donors to be your coach and donate the number of miles you should run in a weekend!
This was a fun way to get donations: ask your donors to be your coach and donate the number of miles you should run in a weekend!

Not that I know, but I have heard that the wedding you set out to have is almost never the wedding you actually have. The same can be said about race training plans. Sometimes you take a rest day to take care of some business, and then that rest day has morphed into another rest day and then it becomes three days off then four and then you’re facing five days since you last ran and you’re wondering how that happened. I’m here to tell you, it happens to probably a lot more runners than you know. Just because I “run all the time” doesn’t mean I actually run all the time. I’d say it doesn’t happen as often when I am marathon-training, but I have had a few weeks here and there that were just like….wtf, Sara? It can neither be explained or predicted. Continue reading “Week Four: 2017 Cherry Blossom 10-Miler Training”

10 Things to Consider When Becoming a Brand Ambassador

As social media continues to change the way we communicate with each other, perceive the world, and get our information, a lot of companies are catching on to a new form of marketing: the social media brand ambassador. In the running world, almost everyone I follow on social media (Instagram in particular!) represents a brand of athletic apparel, equipment, wearable technology, sporting event, or nutrition that offers products and services for athletes and runners. Continue reading “10 Things to Consider When Becoming a Brand Ambassador”

Week Three: 2017 Cherry Blossom 10-Miler Training

Fundraising Update: As part of my Cherry Blossom (CUCB) 10-Miler training and participation on the 2017 CUCB social media ambassador team, I am raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network. My goal is $500. Please consider making a donation to help make miracles happen for kids! Thank you for your support of the CMN.

Last week, I didn’t post an update. Well, I did– if you subscribe (thanks!!) you probably got it– but due to some formatting errors on Word Press, I couldn’t publish anything, at least without re-writing the whole thing. Like, physically transcribing it, not copy-paste. I’m a little OCD about how my posts look, so having one appear in a different format bothers me a lot. Luckily, this week is back to normal and the mystery of the blog post that never was will hopefully be a fluke.

The biggest takeaways:

  • I rocked my first speed work session, completing 6x 400-meter sprints on a treadmill between 8:27 and 7:53 paces.
  • I had an incredibly busy week at work, so I had some problems with planning easy runs early in the morning ahead of days when I could not get it in otherwise.
  • I got my new Lumo Run tech device, which gave me real-time, mid-run analytics on my cadence during my 7-mile Sunday long run. I made that my focus for (some) of my runs in the following days.

Continue reading “Week Three: 2017 Cherry Blossom 10-Miler Training”

Week One: 2017 Cherry Blossom 10-Miler Training

Photo Credit: Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Race
Photo Credit: Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Race

Fundraising Updates: As part of my Cherry Blossom 10-Miler training, I will be raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network. My goal is $350, but I would love to surpass that. Every week, I will post updates as part of my training with a link to my donation page. Our social media team will also be endeavoring to raise funds, too, so I urge you to consider donating to help them reach their goals this week! Thanks in advance for your kindness and generosity in helping to make miracles happen for children.

Back in October, I announced that I had been selected to represent the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Miler for the 2017 race as a social media ambassador. I am totally thrilled to do so, because I love this race. Continue reading “Week One: 2017 Cherry Blossom 10-Miler Training”

The Case for Spending a Little More on Running Clothes

Brooks Joyride hat, Oiselle KC Knickers, and my old Asics cheerleading shoes from high school, which I kept because of their sentimental value to me.

Growing up, I found myself caught between two worlds on financial principles. On one hand, living as the eldest child in a household with 5 other kids, my mother taught me how to be a bargain shopper. I was always taught to never pay full price for something if I can eventually get it on sale or buy the knock-off brand that was just as good whenever possible. People who bought designer brands, I learned, only did so for the benefit of status that came with wearing the label. Being able to pull off an outfit that cost no more than $30 meant my life priorities were in line, and I was not materialistic. I was always very proud of that value.

On the other hand, when I visited my father and stepmom over the summer months, I was introduced to a new concept of spending money. Continue reading “The Case for Spending a Little More on Running Clothes”