2015 Miles in the Rearview

I’m sure no one remembers, but last year around this time I set an intention to track every single mile I ran for 2015. It is so nice to look back on a goal and see that you carried it though the entire year. It also makes you realize just how fast the year passes you by.

cold gear

I used my planner to track miles daily. Using a garmin makes this easy but by writing them down I also captured all those times I had to hit the treadmill when traveling for work or the weather took me indoors. I had that little marathon in there too so when you take a look at my monthly totals you can easily see when I was training for the marathon!

I ran a total of 1,152 miles!! Here is what it looked like by month.

  • January: 81
  • February: 75
  • March:98
  • April: 78
  • May 95
  • June 126
  • July 131
  • August 154
  • September 111
  • October 80
  • November 64
  • December 61
  • Total: 1,152

I haven’t decided yet whether another marathon is in my future for this year, but time will tell. I watched a documentary on ultra-marathon runners this weekend! Bad idea! Now I have that in my head. Right now I have really been enjoying my Build & Burn gym classes at Abnormal Fitness. It’s a lot like orange theory in that you wear a heart rate monitor that is displayed on the screen in class so you are motivated to work hard!! I love my group and I have been going 3 days a week and running 3 days a week.

Monday is a gym day and I am off work today for MLK Day.  I still hit up my 6AM class because I love my classmates!  We  woke up to snow on the ground today, so I am enjoying a morning at home in my robe with some Spark. The movie Runaway Bride just happened to be on so I had watch that of course!

RobeThe more I eat healthy food on this 24 Day Challenge the more I crave good food, so I am snacking on the fruit I prepped for the week while watching chick flicks. I should note….Steve was not off work today!

fruitHave a wonderful Monday!!

Cheers, -SS

Are you working today?

Did you complete any goals you set out to do at the beginning of the year? This may have been a first for me!

I’m always up for a good challenge!

For some reason, I get great pleasure out of testing my limits to see what I am capable of.  Whether it be running a marathon..hey why not?!? Giving up Gluten….sure thing! But 24 days of No wine or coffee…..now thats just crazy talk people.

proud But I have found myself 7 days into that challenge too! So what is this all about? After watching my friend Becky over at Olives n’ Wine get on the Advocare bus over the last couple years, I finally decided to give this thing a try….and now I’m wondering why the heck I waited so long!

24 day challengeI already eat a healthy diet and I take my own combination of supplements and vitamins, so I didn’t think I “needed” the Advocare lifestyle. Wow was I wrong! I can’t even remember the last time I felt this amazing. My tummy is the happiest it has been in years, and my energy is through the roof!  Now I want to shout it from the rooftop and make my family get on board too. Little do my parents know, they are going to get their own 24 Day Challenge bundle in the near future! We will consider this Thanksgiving picture below our “before” pic!

FamilyThe 24-Day Challenge is a comprehensive supplementation and nutrition program designed to give your body the jumpstart it needs to help you reach your goals. I don’t have any major weight loss goals, but I would be super happy 5-10 lbs lighter, leaner, and meaner! By the way I am down 4 pounds on day 7 and I am eating all the food I want within the clean eating guidelines, I have more energy and I don’t feel deprived at all!

The first 10 days are the cleanse phase, which really gets your body ready to accept all the amazing nutrients. The remaining 14 days are the Max phase. Your body is basically a clean slate to accept all the goodness of the nutrients in this phase!

A few basics of what makes this challenging:

  • NO Coffee
  • NO Alcohol
  • No Dairy
  • No Added Sugars
  • Eat REAL FOOD….no processed foods (if it has more than 6 ingredients count it out)

So let’s talk about Spark. Spark is the energy drink that can replace your morning coffee. What is it? I asked myself the same question.  It’s sugar free with more than 20 vitamins, minerals and nutrients to provide a healthy, balanced and effective source of energy. It contains an effective amount of caffeine to give you a quick boost , B vitamins to enhance your body’s natural ability to produce and sustain its own energy, and neuroactive amino acids that help increase your mental focus and alertness.

And let me tell you SPARK is my NEW BEST FRIEND! My friends at the gym want to know why I have so much energy now, and when I jump up and dance to a good jingle in the commercials on TV…Steve says “spark huh?”

So what does a day of the Advocare lifestyle look like? The recipes and resources the Advocare family provides are unlimited but here is what I prepared for week 1. I prepared Breakfast and Lunch for the week on Sunday like I normally do, and then dinner varied throughout the week.

advocare week 1

1, Spark 2. Oatmeal Quinoa Banana Muffins (replace honey with stevia for the challenge) 3. Fruit/Unsalted Nuts. 4. Chicken/ Brown Rice/ Sautéed Mushrooms and Spinach. 5. Unsalted Rice Cake with Avocado. 5. Gluten Free Brown Rice Quinoa Pasta/Ground Turkey/Baked Zucchini and Squash. (Not pictured – Fiber Drink with Breakfast and Supplements throughout the day, night, and bedtime)

I have been motivated to cook some yummy dinners and although Steve is not doing the challenge with me he is loving all the good food!

Chicken & Shrimp Stir Fry:

chicken shrimp stir fryOven Chicken Fajitas:

chicken fajitasBaked Pork Chop with leftover Stir Fry:

PorkI felt amazing for 8 miles yesterday and found that I felt better than ever AFTER a long run….and I wasn’t craving empty calories like I normally do!

runLike I said, I am on day 7 so I have 17 days to go. I’ll be checking back in to share my results. I took my before measurements and pictures, so we will see if I am brave enough to share those when this is all over.

In the meantime, I have decided to get on board and spread the joy of Advocare with people I love, so check out my site if you want to order a bundle of your own! You won’t regret it! I’m just learning from the great people like Becky, but I am happy to help answer any questions you have. I will be giving away some samples of spark soon so stay tuned for that!

Cheers, -SS

Have you tried Advocare?

What are your goals for the new year?

Hello! How are You?

Is anyone still out there? It’s been a while, but I am back and I can’t wait to catch up. Anyone else obsessed with Adele’s new album and still have it on repeat?

So, I started a new job in October and things have been really busy as I dedicated all my brain power to getting up to speed quickly. Now that I work for a premium chocolate company you can imagine how busy the holiday season was for me work wise. I won’t dwell on this part because we don’t like sadness here on SweetnSweaty, but I have also been mourning the loss of 2 very dear people in my life.  Writing hasn’t been top of mind for me, but I am feeling more and more like myself each day and I am excited to reconnect if I still have any readers left out there!

With all that said, I have A LOT to tell you about. I mean a lot! Let’s just pretend like I never left and I will give you the Cliff note version!

Mom and I decided to do a girls trip to New York for Christmas this year instead of presents. We had so much fun. My mom had never been and despite how often I travel to New York I had never been during Christmas time to see the tree!

treeWe also saw the broadway show Matilda while we were there. So many good options to choose from, but Matilda was my favorite childhood book so I just had to see it, and it was so good!

MatildaWe did lots of shopping, eating, and walking! The weather was amazing there in December so we totally lucked out! New York knows how to do Gluten Free better than any other. I really questioned weather or not they brought me the right pizza because this gluten free pizza was too good to be true!

GF pizza new yorkChristmas Day was super low key around here.

cozySteve wasn’t feeling great, so I took selfies and patiently waited for him to wake up!

christmasIt was worth the wait because I got these when Santa finally woke up! EEEK!

earringsI can’t get over how warm it was this year for Christmas! It didn’t even feel like Christmas. I was able to enjoy being outside without a coat while visiting my parents in my hometown!

my hometownMy brother wasn’t able to come home this year for Christmas so we sent him lots of pictures from the day including my yoga pose….and this is what he sends back! hahah! My brother is truly the funniest person I know!

dl tree poseAnd just like that it was January, and time to get back to a normal routine. I managed not to get a single picture from New Year’s, but we went to an event at the local art museum and it was lots of fun!

Despite all the holiday hustle and bustle and experiencing great sadness over the last few months I continued to RUN to maintain my sanity! Ignore,the bad word, but this is exactly how it feels!

oatmealI started doing Restorative Yoga once a week and it has been a game changer! More on that to come.


I think that’s enough catching up for one day! Part 2 tomorrow! In the meantime, I am heading out for 8  Saturday Miles! My next Half Marathon is coming up on April 2.

Cheers, SS

Is anyone still out there?

Trick or Treat + 9 Miles for Halloween

I always love those kids that come to the door asking for a trick instead of a treat. I have to let them down every time and tell them I have no tricks!

Halloween started out dreary and rainy yesterday but with a half marathon on the books for next weekend I had no choice but to get my 9 miles in despite the rain. I don’t mind running in the rain as long as it isn’t pouring. I feel like a kid running in the rain, like I am not suppose to be there! Although my Mom seemed to let us play in the rain if we wanted to. I can remember mud sliding in our yard when I was 5. I mostly just did whatever my brother did but I was always the one to get hurt trying to keep up! It never stopped me though. Especially when my brother thought it would be a great idea to just beat the training wheels off my bike with a hammer since Dad didn’t think I was ready. My brother thought I was ready and turns out I was. I learned to ride that day! My Dad never got mad he just laughed at us when he walked out and I was riding on my own like a champ at 5 years old! Now the time my brother took the chains off that same bike and said it would be fun to ride to the bottom of the hill with no brakes was another story that ended with Dad having to peel my body from the pavement at the bottom of the hill!  ahhh memory lane…what were we talking about? Oh yeah, running in the rain!

The fall foliage is ridiculously beautiful right now! I stopped to take this picture even though it had started to rain a bit harder at this point and I still had 2.5 miles to go!

saturday runAfter my run and Steve had been to gym we headed to have our Saturday Fish Tacos since it had been a couple weeks since we had them. Then we drove up North 15 minutes to Missouri to stock up on wine! We made a trip to Sam’s Club to get groceries and steaks for dinner then headed home. I must have been tired because I crashed hard for a nap. But I was up and raring to go when I heard Steve start to break the candy out!

candy 2I may or may not be hopped up on Butterfingers and wine above! I get really excited for trick or treaters in our neighborhood. They come through by the dozens, and I run out of candy every year, but not this year. NO Sir! I was ready!

lots of candyWe set up shop out front and just wait for the madness! It’s fun because you get to meet a lot of the adults in the neighborhood too, and since we just moved back in and live on a different street than we did before we still have a lot of neighbors to meet! Steve attracted a lot of kids and parents with his Giants football flag out front!

halloween 1I knew my wine cup from the broadway show Wicked would come in handy again one day!
wine and candyWe live up a steep hill and I told Steve I thought it would cut down on our trick or treaters this year. He didn’t believe me until later he said “I don’t normally say this, but you were right, the hill did deter some of the kids” We still passed out almost every single bit of the candy so I guess that is good because I would hate to turn away the princesses and ninja turtles. By the way, my best conversation of the night was with a 5ish year old ninja turtle!

I may or may not like to be the lady who gives the biggest handfuls of candy! It was so funny how all the kids were like “you give the best handfuls” “thank you for the big handful” and they all commented on our doorbell! Steve is pretty excited about our doorbell that he picked out. All you do is wave your hand in front of it. It’s hilarious how adults don’t get it but the kids rang it over and over and then were like “we are sorry for ringing your doorbell so many times but it is awesome, I couldn’t help myself”  I was starting to think they were all just impatient little beggers until they started commenting on it.

By 9:30 all the treaters had died down so we turned off the light and watched the rest of the World Series before heading to bed.

It’s another cold dreary day today in Arkansas. Which is why I have been drinking all the tea and eating all the soup!

teaLast week I was in quite the baking mood and I made these Cookie Dough Date Balls! So good, Steve even wanted them all week!

cookie dough ballsIt is too cold this weekend to have another one of these smoothie bowls but I successfully recreated my smoothie bowl at home after paying over $11 for one last week!

smoothie bowl

Happy Sunday and Daylight Savings! Enjoy your extra hour!

Cheers, -SS

Do you enjoy passing out candy or dressing up yourself for Halloween?

Thoughts on running in the rain? Love it or hate it? Steve thinks I am crazy because I like it!

Do You Love Yourself?

Well you should! You are amazing! Do me and most importantly yourself a favor and read this book! The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz.

master of loveA friend/Yoga teacher recommended this book to me. It is a quick read and really life changing. I think any woman or man for that matter could benefit from reading this. These are just a few highlights I saved in the book on my kindle. This book really helps to change your mindset and outlook on life. It will help you start to look at your happiness through a different lens.

“The real mission you have in life is to make yourself happy, and in order to be happy, you have to look at what you believe, the way you judge yourself, and the way you victimize yourself”

“The only way to master love is to practice love. You don’t need to justify your love, you don’t need to explain your love, you just need to practice your love. Practice creates the master.”

burgundy head to toeThis is just a quick PSA announcements for your Tuesday! Hope you are having a great day! Remember to love yourself today, be happy for your health and the things your body does for you every day! Look yourself in the mirror and thank you for being YOU!

Cheers, -SS

Weekending & Other Shenanigans

I got home around 6:30pm Friday night from my trip to Arizona. Steve was a dear and had pizza night preparation in progress when I walked in the door. He also had our movie picked out so I didn’t have to lift a finger, except to pour a glass of wine!

Despite the fact that I gained 2 hours coming home from Arizona I still went to bed so tired at 9:30pm (which was 7:30pm really since I woke up in Arizona) I caught up on some sleep and got up at my normal time on Saturday to eat some breakfast and get a run in! I did 7 miles which felt great after coming off a week of not running because of my toe and then only 3-5 miles during my travel week!

IMG_8276I am glad that God intended for us to enjoy Heaven on earth because Fall running is truly my heaven on earth!

IMG_8272Steve got tickets to the Razorback (my alma mater) vs. Auburn football game through work and since it is his birthday weekend I promised to do whatever his heart desired, which included me being ready on time. Okay so I wasn’t exactly on time but Steve still took me to get something to eat so I wasn’t cranky the whole game. 11am game times are the worst! I went to Native Nectar to get a smoothie bowl to go. It was amazing! This is a new place in Bentonville offering juices and organic homemade fresh food offerings like this. Although it was delicious I can’t say that I will be a loyal customer because after tax this bad boy was over $11 (not including tip) so in addition to tip and some date brownie bites, I spent nearly 20 dollars. I will try to recreate this at home instead!

smoothie bowlIf you have been a Sweet & Sweaty reader for some time you know Steve is a transplant from New Jersey but he loves it here in Northwest Arkansas. He isn’t what I would call a “Razorback Fan” persay but he does enjoy going to the games. I am a die hard Razorback fan, rightfully so, since it is where I got my Bachelors degree in Business. BUT I am not a football fan. There…I said it outloud….I don’t like football. I only really care to watch the Razorbacks play football and could care less about any other team. I am from a small town and we didn’t have football so I just didn’t grow up with it. I love sports, especially basketball baseball and tennis…..just not football! Sorry boys! Anyway, I promised not to complain and want to leave the game early since it was Steve’s Birthday weekend. It turned out to be a fantastic game with 4…YES 4 overtimes, in which we pulled out the W. So it was quite exciting and if all games were like that I think I would like football more!

IMG_8289It was the perfect day for a football game. Just brisk enough to wear a coat and no sun beaming down on you! Steve still will not wear red and he refused to call the Hogs.

IMG_8290After the game we stopped for groceries, and went straight home. Steve wanted to grill out at home instead of going out to eat for his Birthday. I opened a good bottle of wine while he made the most delicious steaks with a side of mushrooms & onions and grilled cauliflower. It was a nice evening at home after traveling and eating out all week. The sky couldn’t have been more beautiful, even though pictures never do it justice!

IMG_8294So yesterday was Steve’s actual Birthday and I woke up 6:45am waiting for him to wake up. I was starting worry about him, he didn’t wake up until 9:45am. I had an entire pot of coffee, spent 40 minutes of my life I will never get back on the phone with AT&T, researched plane tickets for a December trip to New York, wrote 2 blog post, and caught up on reading other blogs.

Yesterday I spent lots of time baking, meal prepping, doing laundry, and crock potting!

Cheers, SS

What did you do on Sunday? 

What is your favorite college football team?

Back in Action & My Big News

I am happy to report that I am back in all the running action since I last talked to you. It took a solid 6 days after my minor toe surgery before I could get on a running shoe on and head out for 4 miles. Granted it was a little painful and slow but I did not care, because the endorphins were greater.

The first day I ran was also my 1 week check up back with the podiatrist. She said it was more inflamed than she would like and said I was doing more “than most” would do with this type of thing. BUT she knows I ran a marathon so she also said I guess you “aren’t most.” I told her a week was all I could do. She called me in some antibiotics just to take on my trip to Phoenix in case of emergency or something went South and it got infected. Luckily none of that happened and it is getting better every day! Okay so enough about the toe! Let’s get back to normal life, because I have lots to tell you!

Last weekend, Steve took me on an unplanned trip to watch the Royals play Toronto in the series. We had so much fun!

IMG_8234Before the game we stopped for lunch at this super cute little restaurant and I had an amazing Quinoa bowl!

IMG_8228The Royals were down 3 until we had a stellar 6th inning and scored 5 points which ended up ultimately winning the game!

IMG_8237We had not so stellar sushi after the game followed by another snack as we bar hopped around. We turned in early and I found this cute little coffee shop for breakfast the next morning. I managed to make it the entire baseball game sitting on the end of the row mind you without getting my toe stepped on then out of nowhere this grown woman came barging through the door of the coffee shop basically running me over and stepping on my toe. I am sure she thought I was dramatic but she had no idea how bad it hurt! Anyway, I am over it….maybe!

the filling stationI had to get home to pack for my trip to Phoenix but not before enjoying some BBQ at Arthur Bryants. We cannot go to KC without having BBQ. It just would not be right! This is also the one occasion I allow myself to have diet coke. I mean why not I am eating fries too! #livealittle

bbq abI was off work on Monday so my Mom came up to spend the day with me before I flew out on Tuesday! We had lunch at our favorite spot, Table Mesa! My BBQ chicken salad did not disappoint, and I guess I didn’t get enough BBQ Sunday.

table mesaSo like I have mentioned a few times now I have some big news to share. No I am not pregnant and no I am not getting married, BUT I did get a new job! If you recall I had to make a last minute change to my Portland plans and fly to California the day after the marathon. That was to interview with Ghirardelli Chocolate Company based in San Leandro, California (right outside of San Francisco!) Spoiler alert, I got the job. Don’t worry I am not moving to California…yet anyway! I will be based in our office here in Arkansas! I was sad to leave all the great friends I have made at L’Oreal but this was a position I really wanted to progress my career. My new boss actually use to work with my at L’Oreal and recruited me to Ghirardelli! I couldn’t be more excited and the culture and people are just fantastic. I love the new office and as long as I can manage not to eat ALL the chocolate I think this is going to be a great adventure! They sent this to my house after I accepted the job!

IMG_8221My travels to Arizona this week were for the National Sales Meeting. It was a great time to come on board and meet everyone I will be working with at the corporate office and other field teams. The team building event was at a ranch in Scottsdale, AZ and they surprised us with these hats! Another perk of this job is I will be working with my very best friend of 12+ years and traveling together is going to be fun! We work really well together!

hats with natWhen we arrived at the ranch we were greeted by this guy passing out beers!

donkeyWhen the sun went down the views were amazing.

sunset in PhoenixI felt perfectly safe running outside while In Scottsdale. I always say the best way to explore any city is to run it!


IMG_8263After a busy few days I was ready to get home and see Steve. Today is his birthday so I was ready to get the birthday weekend started. 2nd best way to see a city is from the sky….am i right?

IMG_8269Thats enough overloading of information for one post! I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you about the birthday weekend and other random bits of information you could live your whole life without knowing!

Cheers, SS


Have you been to Phoenix or Scottsdale Arizona?

What is the best way to see a city? biking is a good option that Steve and I love to do too!

When you can’t Run….YOU?

I am going crazy over here as I haven’t been able to run since Tuesday. Today is Saturday people….that is 4 days. This is going to be more info than you care to know but we keep it real here on Sweet & Sweaty. I have had an ingrown toe nail bothering me for the better part of a year. I have been avoiding getting it cut out for just this reason. I saw a podiatrist back in July and she recommended I just ride out summer sandals and finish my marathon then come back. SO that is what I did. I was expecting to be down a couple days but now 4 days later and it still hurts to wear a shoe and girl is going bonkers! I have been working out barefoot in my loft to some  Popsugar videos on you tube in the meantime just to get my endorphins flowing.

toeIt’s nice when your boyfriend works for Johnson & Johnson so I have access to ALL the first aid gear I could ever want. I have an irrational fear that this will get infected and they will have to remove my toe! #dramatic

cleaningThe benefits of not being able to run are few but one of them is waking up when it is light outside. I really enjoyed waking up to fall this morning.

waking up to fallAnother benefit is not being hungry all the time. BUT I still had my run fuel this morning for good measure.

breakfastSteve text me yesterday at work and ask if I wanted to go to Kansas City to see the Royals baseball game today! of course I said “Hellz Yeah” We had some celebrating to do tonight (more announcements on that later) and this sounds way more fun than a fancy dinner tonight! Plus I told him I needed something to keep my mind off the fact that I can’t run today!

Keep up with me on the gram for all things weekend. I am traveling for work next week to Phoenix, AZ so I may or may not be able to stop back in to say hi. BUT everyone please PRAY I am running by then or things are going to get UGLY I tell you!

Cheers, SS

Happy Weekend!

What do you do when you can’t run?

Anyone else with ingrown toenail  experiences? This was my first one ever! eek!

I came, I Saw, I conquered….The Portland Marathon Part 2

Where did we leave off? Oh yes, at the start line! So Maggie lined up with the 4 Hour group and I stayed with her there knowing that I would fall back to the 4:10 or 4:20 group. It was nice and brisk in the morning so we both wore throw away long sleeves. We hugged and wished each other good luck, and just like that we were off!

the view 2So what made this race less successful than I hoped? First of all, I had a lot of work stress the week before the race. I couldn’t sleep and I had dropped 3 pounds in the matter of one week. I arrived in Portland feeling weak and stressed. I was determined to focus on having fun and running this race then I would let my mind go back to other issues at hand as soon as it was over. I had to change my travel plans at the last minute and fly to California from Portland the day after my race, but more on that in another post. I have some exciting changes coming soon!

the viewSecondly, this course was MUCH hillier than I expected. Lots of uphill and lots of downhill which is actually worse when you have little control over your muscles at mile 22. With all the changes in elevation I started to get a blister at mile 4. Yeah something little at mile 4 can turn into something huge by mile 26 and it did. I stopped at mile 5 to rub it down with Nivea chapstick, which helped some but this continued to bother me every step of the rest of the race. Despite the less than flat course the views were amazing. All photo credit in this post goes to Maggie. I didn’t take any pictures during the race.

maggieI was feeling great other than my pesky blister, and I was killing it in the first half. I was running with the 4:10 pace group and I was just certain that I would hit that time. Something happened at mile 14 and I hit a major wall like I have never done before. My energy dropped almost instantly and I spent the rest of the race trying to refuel. I had started my gummies at mile 4. I was alternating the power drinks with water. I was doing everything right, but I got to a point where I could not stand the thought of eating another gummy. Maggie was smart and took a snickers to eat at mile 15 and she said it was a lifesaver. There was a giant hill at mile 16 leading up to this bridge that the extra fuel would have come in handy for. One of the major things I have to work on in training and racing is fueling.

the bridgeMy blister became a very painful problem at mile 20 so the last 6 miles were ran in complete pain in my left foot. These last 6 miles were ultimately what cost me my 4:20 marathon. I slowed down significantly during this time and even walked a brief time at miles 23, less than a quarter mile. Despite this race not being what I hoped it would be, I ran freaking 26.2 miles and I did it faster than last time on a much harder course, so I have nothing to be ashamed of even if it didn’t feel as good as last year!

After I crossed the finish line I drank 2 cartons of chocolate milk, and hit the candy table for a handful of baby butterfingers. I also ate a bag of chips. Random assortment I know. Maggie and I made our way back to the hotel where she ordered a burger and fries from room service. I got a order of fries to hold me over while I ordered another gluten free pizza. It was that good the night before I had to have another.  Because of the race it took them an hour and half to get it to me. Thank goodness for the fries in the meantime.

It took me a lot longer to get back to normal than Maggie and she headed out to explore without me. Once I felt like a human again and the food I ate had kicked in, I got ready and met up with her to explore a new neighborhood.

cute neighborhoodDonuts are completely acceptable after 26.2. Too bad they didn’t have gluten free!

donutsWe walked around and did a little shopping before meeting up with a friend of hers for a few beers. I left the young kids to play without me, while I headed back to the hotel via Uber to get packed up and ready for an early flight.

Cheers, SS

Tell me about the last hard race you had?

I Came, I Saw, I Conquered….The Portland Marathon Part 1

I can’t believe the Portland Marathon is already behind me. You put so much of yourself into training and it is all over in the blink of an eye….okay a 4.5 hour blink but you get the idea. The good news is, I beat my time from my last and 1st Marathon by exactly 7 minutes. I finished in 4:33:44 while my time last year was 4:40:44.

post raceThe bad news is, A. I didn’t hit my goal of 4:20 that I had been training for and B. This race hurt!

I am so thankful I had a good race for my first marathon because if this had been my first I don’t think I would ever do another. I text Steve after I finished and told him if I tried to sign up for a marathon next year to slap me! Of course, by the time I got home I was already thinking about next year and how I can get better. I can’t end on a bad race. This picture was taken as soon as I crossed the finish and collected my medal. By my slightly hunched over position I think you can see the pain!

post race painSo can we back up and talk about the events before the race and Portland for a minute? I had never been to Portland, but just as I suspected I fell in love. Mainly with all food choices that catered to Gluten Free and Vegan varieties. If you remember I can’t eat Gluten or Eggs, but this place was my haven. Maggie got to Portland a few hours before me but when I arrived at 5pm we got checked in to our hotel at the Marriott Waterfront and headed out to dinner. We checked out the Portland Grille first,  a rooftop restaurant with amazing views. We ordered wine and some sashimi apps but weren’t feeling the heavy dinner menu so we ended up at Clyde Common for some tapas type eats! Yes 2 glasses of wine on Friday before a Marathon on Sunday wasn’t the best decision I ever made, but you have to live a little too!

first night wineSteve has never been to Portland either and he had text me to request that I send pictures….but not of my food! So naturally this was the first picture I sent him. 100% gluten free menu and cold pressed juice. Maggie had met up with her cousin for lunch so I went solo to this little gem that was inside a yoga studio. Prasad Cafe is amazing if you are ever in the area.

lunchWe did a lot of shopping on Saturday before we hit up the race expo to grab our bibs. I can’t explain the euphoria I was in when I was standing on a 4 corner block with Whole Foods, Madewell, and Lululemon on 3 of the 4 corners. After walking around quite a bit we headed back to the hotel to rest our legs.

compressionNeither one of us could really nap so we headed out for a 2 mile shake out run. I felt great on the run but Maggie wasn’t feeling great. Guess who ran a sub 4 hour marathon? MAGGIE I am so proud of her 3:59:11 finish for her very first marathon. Granted she does a half ironman and Triathlons like it’s her job but she has respect for the distance of 26.2 and she killed it folks!

After our run we headed down to the river to take some pictures. Maggie hopped up here with ease but this 31 year old almost pulled something trying to get up here. Not sure what I was thinking the day before a marathon. Just get me down!

outtakeThe parks and scenery around Portland were amazing and I couldn’t get over how the camera just did not do it justice.

portland park

sceneryDinner time was a breeze the night before the race. I found a gluten free pizza place that even delivered. I asked if their crust had egg whites in it…nope it’s vegan! Perfect! This is the best gluten free pizza I have had to date, and I actually looked at the receipt a couple times just to make sure it said gluten free.

pizzaWe were in bed by 9pm. Maggie was smart and brought us some bedtime tea to help us sleep and it did the job!

bedtime teaRace morning came bright and early. We got our breakfast and coffee down and headed to the start. The temps were in high 40’s to low 50’s for the start of the race. Perfectly brisk!

pre raceMaggie and I were both in Coral D, which was nice because we were able to stay together until the start. I knew she would be taking off without me, but it was comforting knowing she was up there not far ahead.

Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow since this turned out longer than I planned. But first…

Who is Maggie? I try not to exploit my friends here on the ol’ blog, but let me tell you how awesome this lady is. I am trying to get her to start her own blog, so feel free to tell her so as well in the comments. She is a coworker turned friend. She moved from New York to Arkansas for work and I am so glad she did. She inspires me daily with her free spirit and passion for all things running, cycling, and swimming. She is 27 and is living life to the fullest and inspiring others along the way! She was the best travel buddy I could have asked for especially since we were sharing a room. I am 31 and I don’t share my space well at this age. She told me right away that she didn’t have any “things” when it came to the hotel room so if I had “things” to just let her know. I got to pick my side of the room.

Her Side: again I am jealous of her free spirt!

her side

My Side: The struggle is real!

my sideShe was our navigator of the city for the weekend, and I took full advantage. I should note she had never been to Portland either but girl is resourceful and made friends we didn’t even know we had!

maggie 1Maggie played volleyball in college and is well versed in motivating the team! Her motto “look like crap, feel like crap, play like crap” We laugh because we both work for a makeup company so a little mascara and lipstick for a marathon seems fitting. She goes by MaggieSytlz on Instagram so look her up and tell her the world needs to hear her voice!

pumped up

Cheers, SS

Time for Sunday Funday and I think a bike ride might be in order for today along with a trip to Target!

Stay tuned for more on the actual 26.2 miles tomorrow!

Have you had a bad race before even though you may have PR’d?

Have you been to Portland? What was your favorite part?