Dedication: Half Marathon Training Week 5

I will try to keep this update short and sweet.

I left off last week, having run 7 miles. On the schedule this week was lower mileage for recovery. Many training plans will build up your miles for 4 weeks, then a lower week to help with muscles recover.

I started off my week on Sunday by doing a circuit routine:

A1. KB Goblet Squat 5×5 reps
A2. KB Swing 5×10 reps
*Rest 45 to 60 seconds between sets then move to part B.

B1. KB Single Leg Romanian Deadlift 5×6 reps/side
B2. Walking Lunges (bodyweight or loaded with KB’s) 5×10 reps/side
*Rest 60 seconds between sets then move to part C.

C1. Push-ups 3×10 reps
C2. Assisted or Unassisted Chin-ups 3×3-5 reps
C3. Hanging Straight Leg Raises 3×10 reps
C5. Plank 3x :30
*Perform this circuit with minimal rest between exercises. Rest 45 seconds between sets then stretch out.

This was only supposed to take me 30 minutes, but ended up taking me closer to 45 minutes. It was a good circuit, so much so that I could hardly walk for the next 2 days! Walking lunges are brutal!

Monday I had my tempo run, which I did outside. I was hoping the campus track would be open, but it wasn’t so I had to figure out a fairly flat/fast route to be able to hit my goal tempo of 8:30/mile. I ended up just running back and forth across a flatter part of campus. I am still getting used to my new GPS watch (Garmin Forerunner 230), and I have my settings to show pace (vs average pace) so it was new for me to feel like I was going a certain speed by my watch was telling me something different, so as I was running I wasn’t sure how everything would shake out at the end, even though I was notified of my mile time after each mile. Turns out I was right on my goal average pace, so that made me feel good.

Tuesday I did a runners body weight routine. Wednesday was a little different from the previous 4 weeks as I am starting to incorporate some hill training, and rotate it with intervals. So I ran a little over 3 miles of a .75 mile loop that had a good up and down hill section. It was challenging, and I am not very fast and it’s something I know I need to do more so that it becomes easier.

Thursday turned out to be a rest day because I was up late from the night before due to a work commitment and having to pack to go out-of-town for a long weekend. Then straight after work I had a drive to get to my destination. So I just made up for it on Friday, when I made the time to get the runners workout in even though I was visiting with family. I felt so much better about my day having made the time to complete it. After consistently completing this routine for the last 2 weeks I have definitely noticed a difference in the ease of completing the exercises, so it is always nice to feel the improvement.

Today (Saturday) I went for a 4 mile run. It was a little slower than my 7 mile pace last week 9:20 vs 9:15. Unlike being at home, when I know various routes to get that distance, I had to take a little time to map out a route, then memorize it so I that I could run without having to constantly looking at the map on my phone.  The route I did was challenging because it was a few rolling hills that I normally try to avoid on my “long run” days. But it was good. A few hours after my run, I end got a few more miles on my feet as I went to a nearby zoo with my family. By the end of the day I had taken 17,000 steps! Which means my ankle ended up being a little sore, though it doesn’t hurt every time I run now, so I know its improving.

I will wrap up this week with a couple quotes:

I just felt like running- Forrest Gump (it was on tonight as I was writing this post)

Once you have commitment, you need the dedication and hard work to get you there- Haile Gebreselassie

What are you dedicated to? How are you making the time to achieve that?

Have a great week!


Motivation: Half Marathon Training Week 4

The best motivation to keep running, is the feeling you get after finishing a run. The satisfaction of knowing you were brave enough to start and strong enough to finish will leave you wanting more.

I hope you had a great week since my last post. My week started off a little frustrating when it came to this blog as I made some steps to transition this blog to a new domain name under WordPress. I have sure learned a lot from the process but should be good to go for the future. It was just a pain!

Anyway, Monday was good when it came to my running. It was a nice enough day out to run outside even though it was slightly windy. But I reminded myself that I may not have ‘perfect’ weather on a race day, so why not conquer that and feel comfortable in that weather now. Even though I recently purchased a new GPS watch (Garmin Forerunner 230), I didn’t have it in my hands yet, so I tracked my tempo run by running on a track and taking a lap time. I surprised myself with being able to keep the goal pace (8:30ish mile =2:07 or less per lap) as that was the first time I ran a tempo run outside vs a treadmill. I ran 2.5 miles. I felt SO PROUD of myself when I finished my run that I almost danced my way up the steps back into the locker room… yes I know I am a dork! But it gave me hope that I could do well on the half marathon! It also gave me motivation to keep going on the training plan I’ve made.

After the run I did wonder why I would even need a GPS watch since the stop watch worked fine but I know it’s much easier to track training when everything in one place, plus I won’t always be running on a track!  But I know the GPS watch will be worthwhile investment.

Tuesday I woke up before work and completed the runner specific body weight exercises. It only take about 20 minutes. Nothing really exciting there!

Wednesday morning I ran before work on the treadmill.It was Interval day and I started at 7.6 speed then increased by .1 speed each round, doing 7.9 twice, once at 8.0, and decided to get one more interval in and went 8.1 (7:24 speed) for the first time. I did end up using my watch to track my run for my first test run, it was cool to see what happens during runs- such as giving me my miles splits. I think I pushed my speed a little took much because my ankle has been a little sore since, so I have had to break out the ice.

Thursday I was a little distracted in the morning as it was my parent’s 32nd Anniversary so I used my time before work to find a good quote and posted a throwback picture on social media. It was nice to just have some time to relax since I have had something going on every night for the last 2 weeks (I coached swimming Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week). So I planned to workout after work, but that didn’t happen as I actually cooked a decent dinner vs leftovers, so it became my rest day.

Friday morning I did the same workout as Tuesday except I added a set of pull-ups, which I have been slacking on in recent weeks.

Saturday was my long run day- 7 miles. I was excited to really use my new watch. I completed the run on a path walking path because it flat, vs the rolling hills around my apartment. Thankfully even though my ankle was a little sore after the run on Wednesday, it doesn’t hurt to walk or run on it so the run went pretty good. The 7 miles seemed to go pretty fast because I kept getting distracted looking at my watch checking my speed. It was interested to compare my pace to how it felt to run… I felt like I was running a lot faster than my watch was telling me, so its going to be a learning curve. I finished the run with an average 9:14 pace, which I was satisfied with.

After my run, I was in a car for 2 hours traveling to celebrate my Grandmothers 80th birthday. Almost all of my Dads side of the family was there -aunts, uncles, and all of my cousins, we were just missing 2 of my brothers. As I was talking with some of my cousins whom I haven’t seen in a while, I realized how nice it is that we are all able to come together for one person to celebrate and enjoy each others company. Not to be a downer, but I realized I have yet to have an event -large birthday party, engagement, wedding, shower, etc where everyone comes just for me. I am looking forward to that overwhelming love and gratitude that comes with being the ‘guest of honor’. I am also at the point in my life as my grandparents get higher in age that it’s even more important for family to get together as often as possible to celebrate life greatest moments and milestones and create these fun memories. The party was a success.

In other news this week, I am still plugging away at 4 different books; The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry- which I am trying to finish by the end of this weekend, Running for Women- which I haven’t made much progress on in the last 2 weeks, 7 Steps of Closure – my fiction/chick lit book that entertains me during my lunch hour, and Why are all the Black kids sitting together in the cafeteria- a book that I am reading for a diversity discussion being held at my workplace. I also found some great articles I wanted to share; 7 Spiritual laws of Success and how to apply them and how to live a Year of Fear.

I hope you have a great week, I know I am looking forward to my 4 day weekend next week! What do you have to look forward to this week? What helps to keep you motivated?


Fitness Friday: Injury Update

Happy Friday, just wanted to write a quick entry for those who enjoy hearing from me on a weekly basis.

This week has been interesting since on Sunday I slipped on a makeshift step and sprained my ankle. It was very painful, but surprisingly I didn’t even shed a tear. I just took a few deep breaths and tried to ‘walk it off’.  Needless to say I have hobbled around all week, and have been completely slacking on working out. I find it a little ironic that last week I was talking about a small injury I had, but this one is MUCH more severe with longer term impacts, but I am glad it happened in the middle of December vs the middle of training for a race. My morning workouts that were going so good last week went out the window this week. I just didn’t have the energy to wake up early since the discomfort of my ankle woke me up throughout the night, but I stayed up late to finish baking some goodies for a work holiday party. I also coached 3 nights this week so I wasn’t home at night much. I know that is not a valid excuse because I could still work my upper body, and I did 3 nights this week. But I found it mentally challenging to think of enough upper body exercises that wouldn’t put pressure on my ankle. I was proud of myself for the days I did get something in despite the injury.

As a result of all of this, I won’t be finishing the last 2 weeks of the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution program anytime soon since it includes plyometric cardio movements and other lower body exercises that put all my body weight on one leg. I’d rather recover properly so I can complete the races I want to this year vs pushing myself and maybe ending up in a cast due to a stress fracture. After 3 1/2 months of the program I did not get anywhere near the results I was looking for and gained what I feel is an abnormal amount of weight in that time period. I spoke with a doctor about this when I had my physical last week, so I am hoping we will be able to find an answer because it’s very discouraging to keep see the scale get higher and higher. Especially because I make fairly good food choices, (other than my sweet tooth which I have gotten better at), I exercise regularly, don’t hardly ever have alcohol, and I always drink water vs soda or juice, I just am at a loss of what to do. I also do not feel that it’s strictly muscle gain since my clothes are fitting tighter, not looser. So all I can do is take it a day at a time and hope for some answers sooner than later.

I would appreciate any feedback on my ‘Fitness Friday’ series, do you want me to continue? Write about something else? If so what topics would you like? Or I would love to have you share your fitness story by filling out the Fitness Questionnaire


Have a great weekend & Merry Christmas!!

Fitness Friday: Body Revolution Week 11

The finish line is near in Body Revolution… Week 11 of out 12 complete!

This past week had a couple moves that I just wasn’t strong enough to do, specifically the 3 level push ups (Jillian Michaels specialty), and wheel push-ups. The 3 level push-up is where you start in a triangle push-up, then hop your arms out wider and wider going lower each time. It has a plyometric aspect to it and didn’t want to fall on my face, so I only did these on my knees!

A wheel push-ups looks like the below…


Then you use your arms to go up and down. I am hardly flexible enough to hold wheel, so to add a pushup to it gives me something to work toward

My upper body is just not as strong as I would like or where it was 10 to 11 weeks into the p90x program which I did in 2012. Granted the p90x program is an hour-long workout (twice as long as Body Revolution), but I am realizing Body Revolution is more cardio and toning based program vs strength building. There are many combo moves that encourage light weights and are for a minute or more long. So if I used heavy weights for that long my arms would fall off! But if I were to do the program again knowing what I do, I would complete lower reps with higher weights to see more definition. Live and Learn!

I did have a success this week, despite feeling weak on the other push-ups. When a scorpion push-up came up, I laughed and didn’t expect myself to be able to do it. But I gave it a try and I actually did pretty good, thanks to my core strength. I wasn’t able to completely arch my leg as much as I needed to, but I surprised myself by being able to do it at all because it seemed so intimidating. Which just goes to show that you have to give something a try, it may not be as hard as it seems“Do not limit yourself because of what you think you can’t do, AMAZE yourself when you DO things you thought you could never do.”-Reist Mummau Run Hard-Always Finish

Other than the DVDs, I also had a very successful 5 mile run on Sunday to honor and support Veterans.

This upcoming week I will be traveling and will fall 4 days short of official completing the program on schedule, but I will finish when I return. However, my traveling will not be an excuse to slack off, I will be packing my running shoes and will adjust to body weight exercises. How do you exercise when you are traveling?


Some recommended articles of the week.

#MilesChangeYou “I thought about how mile after mile changes my perspective on problems and allows me time each day to think about my relationships, to pray and to ease anxieties that are creeping up on me. I think about the highs and the lows and how running has taught me to bounce back from setbacks and to try even harder the next time.” Read More

This article intrigued me because her words are exactly how I feel. Running gives me a chance to clear my head, forgot the challenges in the world and has showed me that I am capable anything I put my mind too.  How have miles changed you?

With my upcoming travels and the holidays quickly approaching, I wanted to share this article which provides 4 tips on how to find time to take care of yourself when you are juggling holidays, traveling and various other obligations. What do you do to stay on track when you schedule is full?


I’d love to hear from you. Follow me on Twitter @SarahChasinLife or Contact me

Have a great week!

Fitness Friday: Running & Body Revolution Week 10

Week 10 done… only 2 more weeks to go with Body Revolution. The routine was the same as last week so only a few quick updates.

Last Saturday, there was no swimming again and in the morning my older brother shared that he finished his first 5K in 22:26. Crushing my personal best time from earlier this year, and he only really started regularly this year. My first thought was.. I’d love to be able to run that fast! Of course 5 years ago my goal of running a 5K in under 25 minutes seemed unattainable, and I’ve gotten close (25:23), so I guess there is hope to get to that pace. Shortly after that, I saw a post about a girl I used to babysit (who is now in college) finishing her first half-marathon. These two posts about running achievements motivated me to do 2 things… 1) Put on my sneakers and get out the door to go for a run. 2) Sign up for the Returning Warriors 5 Mile race I have put off. The day was absolutely perfect to go for a 4.1 mile run, and although it wasn’t my fastest, it was my longest run in a while and I wanted to be sure I could make it to 5 miles on the 8th, stay tuned for that race recap :). So thank you to D & R for being the kick I needed. You both inspired me to finally just sign up for an overdue race since I haven’t done one since the Boilermaker 15K in July.

Other than running this week (I also ran on yesterday), I completed the Body Revolution DVDs on the assigned days and I am interested to see what the last round of DVDs will be like. Throughout the program some moves have challenged me especially the balancing yoga moves, but only week 5 did I feel like my arms would fall off, and although I don’t want to feel that way everyday, it does make me feel like I am challenging my body.

After I finish up this program, I also have a work fitness program that I will be participating in beginning in January. I will have an opportunity to work with a certified personal trainer free and I will hope that will help me get my nutrition better on track along with prepare for my 3rd half marathon I plan to run in May 2016.


Quote of the week

“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different…” C.S. Lewis


Recommended Articles:

“Running gives me so much, and I take and take and give it nothing in return. It has helped me transform — not on the outside, but it’s on the inside I feel most different. I’ve learned my mind and heart are stronger than I ever thought possible. My body is capable of more than I ever imagined. I’ve transformed on the inside to feel more confident about me — no matter what I look like on the outside. My biggest transformation will always be on the inside — having the confidence to push myself farther, to chase after my goals and dreams — even if I feel scared. Running has given me the best gift: the knowledge that our heart doesn’t want easy — it wants life. And life is beautiful, messy, challenging, breathtaking, sometimes scary, full of laughter and lots of tears — but no, like life, running isn’t easy.” Read the rest here:The Running Thief

A nutrition expert’s top tricks to fight the scale creep when you’re recovering instead of running: The Balance between Running, Resting & Eating


I’d love to hear about your fitness journey. Contact me and fill out this Fitness Questionnaire

Fitness Friday: Body Revolution Week 8

Completing Week 8 of Body Revolution means I am 2/3rds of the way done with the program… only 4 weeks and 5 DVDs to go! As I have mentioned before, I have seen some progress, but not as much as I had hoped for. Maybe this last month will really kick it up a notch.

When I was thinking about what to write for this week I have to say I struggled a bit. After last weeks fitness achievements this week did not seem as exciting to share. I even considered skipping an update this week and just combining it with my week 9.  But then I thought, just like most things in life, consistency is key. A short workout is better than no workout, and a short post is better than nothing at all.

As far as workouts go, I went swimming on Saturday morning, in what is becoming routine for me. I feel it really helps to start off my weekend on a good foot and I am enjoying being back in the pool. Throughout the rest of the week I completed the DVDs. However, I am fighting a cold this week, so a few days I had to cut short my workout by 5-10 minutes because I either choose to sleep more in the morning, or tried to squeeze the workout in between getting home from work and going to coach swimming.

Yesterday, I had a nice run. Unlike Monday when i choose staying indoors due to 21 degree weather, the temperature was in the mid-60s. Perfect running weather that I couldn’t pass up. I ran after work which reminded me of a few months ago when I would get home, change into my running clothes and be out the door with little hesitation. I have allowed myself to get out of a routine with running and my endurance has suffered because of it. On that just shy of 3 mile run, I thought of the dedication I have put into running, the progress I have made and the goals I have accomplished by setting time aside to run over the last 4 1/2 years. I realized that even though Body Revolution has been good change in pace, and some exercises challenge me, but it doesn’t give me the same gratification running does. The list of reasons why I run seems to grow, but it revolves around the fact that it is something I can control in my life and provides me with goals to work toward. I still have yet to sign up for a 5 mile race that is in a few weeks, and as I try to put into words the reasons why, I realize all the excuses are bogus. So what if I don’t get a personal best time. No one would care or judge me if I had to walk part of the way. The cost of registration is going toward a good cause.  Stay tuned to find out if I actually get out of my way and just sign-up.

“After enough miles, over enough runs, and enough years. I realized: no matter what, no matter when, or where, or why, I can find my shoes and go for a run and things will get better.” Mark Remy, writer and runner


This week I also came across a couple different posts from Women’s Running that I wanted to share:

Why you should take the good runs with the bad

4 Motivators for when you just don’t want to run

Reasons to be excited about Running in the Fall

Top Choice to Read: How Running is more than just running


Have a great week, and if you are willing to share your fitness journey I’d love to hear from you. Contact me with answers to this Fitness Questionnaire.

Fit Friday Tip with Sara: 21 Day Fix

Fit Friday Tips with Sara: Portion Control

Guest post by Sara Korba:
 Hi again!  Thanks for taking the time to read my posts.  This time around, I am going to focus on portion control.  If you read my last post, you should be aware of the six basic nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, water, vitamins, fats, and minerals).  All of which are necessary in your diet and all play major roles in the proper functioning of your body.  So, now that you are aware of what you should be consuming, let’s take a look of how much you should be consuming.
This brings us to the topic of portion control.  Portion control is simple.  It’s being aware and knowing how much you are eating.  For instance, it’s knowing what a serving size of food is.  For example, a serving size of wheat thins might be 16 crackers (130 calories) or a serving size of pasta might be 1 cup (210 calories).  Being aware of how much you are consuming is portion control.
So how much should you be consuming every day?  Males and female personal caloric need change every day.  In general, men should consume an average of 2,500 calories a day, where as women should consume an average of 2,000 calories a day.  This is to maintain a steady weight.  If you are an active person and burn more calories throughout the day, then one can consume more calories in the day to make up for calories lost.  If you lead a more sedentary lifestyle (lazy), then one should consume fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight.  It’s an easy equation. Calories in (food) + calories out (burnt off) = maintaining weight (0), gaining weight (number over 0), or losing weight (number less than 0).
Portion control is not for everyone.  It goes without saying that some people just simply don’t care.  But, there are others out there who do care about their health and what they are eating.  If this is you, here are 8 tips for controlling your portions!
1. Don’t skip meals – Especially breakfast!  Breakfast wakes your body systems up in the morning.   Skipping meals can cause you to overeat at your next meal without even realizing it.
2. Bring snacks – Eating snacks throughout the day can curve hunger to prevent over eating during meals.
3. Go grocery shopping – Fill that cart up!  Cooking at home will increase your likelihood for eating healthier and eating in smaller portions.
4. Measure your food – Realize how much you are eating by using measuring devices when cooking.  Some food items add up in calories fast when you don’t measure your foods (food heavy in carbs), so don’t be afraid to bust out the measuring cups!
5. Read labels – Look at the nutritional facts.  Know how many servings you are consuming and how many calories are in each serving.
6. Use smaller plates –  Try using smaller plates when eating.  Smaller plates means that you will put smaller portions on your dish and will be least likely to over do it!
7. Drink water – Stay hydrated.  You should be consuming close to 8 glasses of water every day. Often people mistake hunger for thirst, so try drinking a glass of water, waiting 10 minutes and if you are still hungry then you can eat.
8. Educate yourself – What’s better than educating yourself about health and nutrition?  Researching portion control and see what you can learn!.
A recent article from Women’s Health Magazine suggested the following ratios. Calories are based on a 150-pound female, 5’4″, age 28
For Endurance: Total Daily Cals: about 2,500 (training 1-1.5 hrs per day)
       50-55% or more from Carbs (1375 calories)      15-20% Protein (500 Calories)
       20-35% Fat (625 Calories)
For Strength: Total Daily Cals: about 2,100 (Training 1 hr per day)
      45-50% Carbs (945-1050 Calories)
      25-30% Fat (420-630 Calories)
      20% Protein (420-630 Calories)
For Weight Loss: Total Daily Cls: About 1,400 (to drop 1-1.5 pounds per week)
      55% Carbs (770 Calories)
      20% Protein (280 Calories)
      25% Fat (350 Calories)
All in all, just be aware of what you are eating!  Aim to get balanced meals using foods from all the basic nutrients and keep an eye out for how much you are eating! Here’s a “handy” guide to help you along the way
HandGuide_ Portion Control
Guide to Portion Control

Fit Friday Tips with Sara: Nutrition

 Hey everyone! My name is Sara Korba (friend and running buddy of Sarah).  I am a health teacher and fitness coach for Beach Body.  Every now and then I am going to share my experience, knowledge, and inspiration about food and fitness to give you some insight, keep you moving, and to simply help you out!
Today I am going to focus on nutrition.  I choose this because this was always something I lacked.  Since being more aware of my personal nutritional intake, I have reached my running goals and feel better emotionally and physically.
So let me begin by asking you this..  Do you know the six basic nutrients that you should be consuming every day??  Go ahead and write them down.  How many did you come up with? 3, 4, 5? because that’s pretty normal.  I’ll help you out.  They are proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fats, and water.  These are extremely important to focus on consuming day to day, even if you don’t work out.  All six of the basic nutrients each have special duties and  are necessary for the body to function properly.  The following included a list of the basic nutrients and their main functions:
Proteins –  builds and repairs body tissues (helps build muscles!!)
Carbohydrates – number one energy source! (gives you fuel for physical activity)
Vitamins –  provides structure to blood vessels, bones, and ligaments
Minerals – bone structure, helps red blood cells to transport oxygen
Fats –  helps the absorption of vitamins, supports cell membrane health, and helps maintain the immune system
Water –  cleanses your body of waste and toxins, carries nutrients to your cells, lubricates your joints, and maintains body temperature (water makes up around 60-70% of your body so you must keep replenishing!!)
As you can see, they all are vital and necessary to consume.  Each have a purpose that you just can’t ignore.   Make sure when you are focusing on your 6 nutrients to choose healthy items.  Lean over fatty meats, whole grain bread over white bread, low fat, low sodium, unsaturated fat or saturated, and water over any type of sodas.  Little changes can go a long way!  Especially for you fitness people and runners!
No matter what your goals are, keep all of this in mind!
“Your body is a finely tuned vehicle. Give it good fuel and it will take you places”