Changes: Week 1 Goals

I mentioned in my last blog the changes I want to make include nutrition, quality miles, cross-training and blogging.  So today starts week one of those adjustments and I did a few things to start things off.

1) I entered my 50k training today with a 30 minute run.  I have decided I’m going to Stone Mountain as much as possible.  The hills there definitely push me and my 50k is the flat low country of SC, so hills should help.  Anywhere in Atlanta is hilly, but there is something about Stone Mountain that is so peaceful for running.

2) I moved my bike/trainer to the living room.  I rearranged my living room so that I can hop on the trainer and watch tv.  I tried out the trainer in my bedroom but it got boring.  I love watching tv to relax, so hopefully now I can hop on the bike and watch tv, too.

3) I’m going to throw out a weekly goal for my nutrition and changes to my diet.  This weeks goals are two-fold:

  • No snacking!  And if I am authentically hungry, I have to grab something healthy (fruit or veggie)
  • Portion control!  I have been consuming too much as far as portioning goes.  I need to make my portions much more healthy.

So there we have it.  Hopefully these few things are attainable and easy to keep up with this week.


Post-Marathon Assessment

Almost a week ago, I ran the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon.  I went into the marathon with a very broad goal of a 5:30-6:30 marathon time.  I didn’t want pressure for my first marathon and I just wanted to enjoy the memory.  I finished in 6:37, so I consider that pretty close.  I enjoyed the marathon a lot.  At mile 21 my watch died and I was in the midst of hitting “the wall” from getting tired and hot.  I pushed through, though, even though I slowed down.  I finished, exhausted and sunburned, but I was so thrilled I broke down on my Mom’s shoulder after passing through the finish line.

The day was hot, pretty humid, and much more sunny than anticipated, but nothing was sweeter than running in Lambeau Field and completing my first, full marathon.

Though I’m nothing but stoked by my accomplishment, I wouldn’t be who I am without some post-marathon assessment.  I have gone through my emotions and now I’m focusing on what’s next.  There are two main things that I want to focus on next:

The first is my nutrition.  I realize that I’m overweight and I need to lose 20-30 lbs.  But it’s not just losing weight, it’s converting fat mass into muscle mass.  I’ve written about it before and I’m still at the same spot; I don’t eat right.  But I keep trying to make immediate changes in my eating and that causes me to crash.  So, I’m going to make significant changes, but not all of them right away so that I can hopefully change my eating and nutrition.

I’m also going to potentially seek out a nutritionist to help me assess my current diet and how I can make changes.  I realize that having a running coach has significantly helped me make running a habit and I want eating to fall into place in the same way.  I know that price will be key because I can’t afford another monthly bill, but if I go see a nutritionist and a few months later go back to re-assess, then I think it would be worth it.  If you know of a nutritionist, specifically one that can help a runner, send them my way!

I still need to evaluate how to change my eating, but I’m going to start with portion control.  That’s my biggest problem.  From portion control, I want to focus on food group portion control, decreasing unhealthy fats, decreasing carbs, increasing protein and healthy fats.

The second is quality miles.  Coach Caleb does an excellent job at making plans for me but I don’t always hit the mileage on long distance runs or I end up running messy; I forget form or don’t push as hard as I know I could.  I make the excuse of work and school, running gets to be what I slack on.  That is no more!

The third assessment is cross training.  I bought a bike back in March but because of traveling, I have yet to use it!  I even have a trainer for my apartment so I could use the bike inside.  My plan is to keep running 4 days a week, cross train 2, rest one.  Cross training will be biking and maybe one day I’ll throw in some swimming since it’s finally summer weather!

The final assessment is blogging.  I post my mileage over at dailymile, but I also need to journal about my running as a whole, including nutrition.  I am always hesitant to blog because it makes me vulnerable, available for judgment.  But I decided to stop publishing my blog to my twitter and whoever happens to come across my blog gets to come along for the ride.  I don’t mind anyone reading as long as they don’t mind my rambling!

So there it is.  I say time and time again I’ll make these changes, but now post-marathon, I see how much these changes are needed.  So I’m committing to them and to reading and watching anything that will keep the motivation up.


It’s been a week since the Publix Georgia Half Marathon and I’ve spent the week not running.  I was supposed to run… Coach Caleb made me a training plan for this week… but I didn’t run.  I have a few excuses.

1.  School was crazy.  And it was.  I spent several of the evenings and most of this weekend reading and writing for school.  However, I know near the end of the week I could’ve made time to at least get a few miles in, but I didn’t.

2.  I was tired.  And I was.  For some reason I haven’t been able to catch up on sleep.  My body has been tired, too.  Going to work and sitting still at my desk have made my legs feel so tired and tight.  By the time I got home from work, I just felt too beat to run.  I could’ve pushed through, but I didn’t.

3.  I felt discouraged.  Getting GI issues and missing my goal of a sub 2:40 race discouraged me.  Realizing I probably screwed it up myself by not eating right and fueling properly has made me mad at myself.  Seeing my race photos and seeing I have a long way to go until I have a runner’s body was even more frustrating.  That’s a pretty honest statement to put out on the internet.  And it’s the truth.  That’s the bottom line.  Ultimately, that’s why I didn’t run.

It was just one of those weeks that the mental blocks won.  But I think they were a wake up call, too.  I’ve run for about 4 month’s using Caleb’s plan and I’ve run 20+ mile weeks for some time now.  What hasn’t changed is my eating.  I could sugar coat this, but my eating isn’t healthy and I’m not fueling my body with good stuff.

I know this post sounds like me beating myself up and it is a little bit, but it’s more about me getting in gear and waking up.  So, this week was a break to regroup and realize I’m missing a huge part of training, nutrition.  I’ve got to fuel my body properly and running 20+ mile weeks will benefit losing weight and having a better body.  Then I will start having better races.  But I can keep running as much as I want, but if I keep eating crap, I won’t get any better.  It’s time to get serious.

If you have any nutritional suggestions for running and losing weight, send them my way!


2012: Best year of my 20s.

I’m superstitious.  I worry about karma from time to time.  I worry talking up 2012 might make 2013 not as great, but I can’t help it.  2012 was a fantastic year for Sarah Bland.

Let me list a few great things that happened this year:

-I moved to Atlanta and got out of SC.  I love ATL.
-I got my own apartment.  First time living on my own completely (not counting college) and I love it.
-Bought my first car on my own.
-Got a job that pays pretty good with a pretty great boss.
-Was accepted into graduate school for an MBA/MPH program.
-Finished my first four classes of grad school with a 4.0 GPA.
-While I didn’t run a ton, I did become healthier and lose weight
-Found Stone Mountain.  I didn’t “find” that place, but 2012 was my first time experiencing it.  One of the most beautiful places to experience nature.
-My mom got a job (and now a promotion) at a hospital 1 mile away from my work.  She also only lives 10 minutes away.
-Got out of SC
-Got out of church (and wasn’t afraid to admit it)
-Found myself a little more

This will publish to my twitter feed and I expect no one to read it.  It’s just for me to look back on one day.  I am happier than I have been in so long.  I finally decided to stop waiting for good things to happen to me and let go of things that were holding me back and have ambition to find a happier life.  Bad things still happen, but the good outweighed the bad this year.  I hope to continue the trend in 2013.

I don’t have any resolutions, I usually forget them by February anyway.  I only hope to run a lot more, keep getting good grades, and continue to be happy.  Ultimately, I want to keep being ambitious; I want to keep pushing myself.

I have to go.  Ned is laying on an electric blanket and is overheating himself.  He is panting way too much and I’m cutting the blanket privileges.  Happy New Year!

2012 Race Schedule

I’m no awesome blogger like my friends Victoria or Dan, but from time to time, I like to pop on here to blog about running or health.

Since I last blogged in May, I’ve been running around Stone Mountain and even ran the Bad Marsh 50k in late June and completed 13.6 miles.  I did that with minimal training, even!  It was my first ultra trail race and it was a blast.  What made it even better was getting a chance to hang out with my Savannah friends and getting to meet even more running folks.

In the past few weeks I’ve been trying to figure out what’s next for the remainder of 2012.  Atlanta is full of races that I want to get involved with but I have some races back in Savannah I want to be a part of as well.  I’ve taken some time to think about it and I think here is the schedule that I’m going to stick with.

October 14: The North Face Endurance Challenge 5k — I have been running with Ian, new to running, and he mentioned he would be interested in this type of race.  I think it’ll be a good first race for him and I’m excited to run it with him.

November 17: Mad Marsh 50k — This is the morning version of Bad Marsh.  Same race, different time.  I’m hoping November won’t be too chilly at 6am.  I’m hoping to complete this race and this is what I’m going to be training for primarily.

December 1: Savannah River Bridge Run — My favorite race to be a part of.  I double pumped last year and that is my plan again this year.  I’m hoping to really PR the 5k and enjoy the run of the 10k.  Maybe this year they won’t run out of beer.

In between these three races, I’ve found some 5ks and a couple of half marathons I wouldn’t mind running.  It all depends on school responsibilities, so I’m keeping my schedule open.

If anyone happens to come across this blog, I hope to see you at these races!

New Shoes…

So my new trail shoes came in today….

These bad boys are the Inov-8 f-lite 230.  I’m hoping this is the only time you’ll see them this clean.

I’m about to head over to Stone Mountain (stomo!) to try them out.  I’m going to try them sockless first to see how they do because just walking around in my apartment they are super comfy.

And hello, summer.  It’s a toasty 87 degrees here in hotlanta today.

Tons of Changes!

First, it’s been forever.  Sorry about that.

As I write to you, I am blogging from my cozy apartment in Atlanta, GA.  Since January, it has been in the works to move to Atlanta.  The cost of living is better, more job opportunities, back to blessed (bless-ed) city life, etc.  That list really could go on.  As much as Savannah is a beautiful town, it’s a town.  Living in Bluffton and the Savannah area made me long to live in a city again.

I could not be happier.

I love… no, love Atlanta.  I have a great little one bedroom apartment with a balcony that looks out over North Peachtree Creek.  When it rains hard, the creek fills up and I can hear it rushing downstream over the rocks.

I live 20 minutes from Stone Mountain.  For my birthday, I purchased a parking pass so I can go to Stone Mountain anytime I want and save some moolah.  I’ve been about once a week for the past few weeks.  Stone Mountain has awesome trails to run and doing the walk-up trail is difficult but short so it’s a ton of fun to do.

I could go on and on, but the main point is I love it here.  Ever since I’ve moved here, things have just fallen into place.  I applied to and was accepted to Benedictine University for their online Masters program.  I’ll be doing their dual program for the MBA/Masters of Public Health. These two degrees are going to open up amazing career opportunities for me.

I’ve also been able to really enjoy running.  For my birthday, I ran a 5k to start the day off.  My plan was to run to just enjoy it and my birthday, no fuss.  I wasn’t sure I was used to hills enough to try to worry about time, anyway.  (PS- For the first few weeks these ATL hills kicked my butt.)  However, I was still able to come in at a few seconds over 36 minutes.  I was pretty excited to see that I kept a sub-12 minute pace, despite not running much at all this year and I was acclimating to hills.

Since the 5k, I’ve kicked it into gear with cross-training, as well.  My apartment complex has a decent fitness center and the stationary bike is my new best friend.  I’m pretty sure I bike more than I run most weeks, but I can tell that the biking and hiking at Stone Mountain are greatly benefiting my running.

I think that’s where this update will stop for now.  I don’t want to jinx how great things have been going, but I can’t complain right now.  Atlanta, keep treating this woman right!


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