If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you

I started running because it challenged me. It was REALLY hard. I actually publicly said multiple times that I hated running. It was physically difficult, but also very mentally difficult for me. I did pretty much every other form of cardio there is, but running just “wasn’t for me”.

All that has since changed. I told a little bit of the back story in this video post HERE. Basically, I decided to find out if I could really run a whole 5K or not. Well, I found out that I could run a 5K and some. It wasn’t easy for me, but I decided that I should train for a half marathon to check that off my bucket list and then be done with running…

After running the half marathon, I am far from done with running. I actually still really enjoy it and have KEPT RUNNING!! (Who am I?!?)

Last weekend, I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K in Seattle.Photo Mar 01It was BEAUTIFUL weather, a fun race (although VERY hilly) and, as promised, full of chocolate. I was blazing new territory with this race because 

  1. It was my first race EVER during tax season (I never really ran before this year) 
  2. It was my first 15K! Photo Mar 01-22

When I signed up for the race, I didn’t really realize it was 9 miles. For a 9 mile race you should really significantly train for the race. I did not have as much run training as I would have liked before the race, but it turned out just fine. I had a BLAST!

I woke up at 545AM Sunday morning and made what has become my traditional race breakfast. GF pumpkin pancakes, almond butter, egg whites, and coffee. Then I took off to Seattle. The race started at 7:55AM (6:45 for the 5K). Photo Mar 01-21The race started in the Seattle Center, which is right next to the Space Needle. I hadn’t been down there in a LONG time. It was such  a beautiful day!!

Photo Mar 01-19I was placed in Corral B based on my mile time. When I signed up for the race, I entered my mile time as 9 minutes/mile, and to me that seems like a middle of the road pace right? I guess for this race it was on the faster side! There were Corrals A-O, and I was in B. I felt intimidated to be up with the fast runners, but that is where I was supposed to be. I’ve never been so close to the start line in a corral before!Photo Mar 01-20 It was nice to not feel like I was running over people at the beginning of the race πŸ˜€

IMG_0612can you find me? It’s like where’s waldo πŸ˜›

The course was hilly with ups and downs to start out and then a pretty steep hill at about mile 1.5. Then it was flat until mile 4. I swear miles 4, 5 and 6 were a long, steady, MEAN hill. It was a gradual incline but it never let up! UGH! 

Then there was some much needed downhill running. It was such a relief to settle in on about 2 flat/downhill miles. I turned the “turbo” on to finish a little early. About mile 8 I got his huge surge of energy and ran a super fast mile. Then I rounded the corner, about a .45 miles from the finish line, and there was ANOTHER hill. I chugged up that one, and then AGAIN right before the finish line there was another hill. I thought I was going to die!!! I just kept telling myself “you are NOT tired!”, “this is easy for you!”, “you can do this”!!! 

IMG_0614I FINALLY crossed the finish line, and I was SO happy! The end of the race was difficult, I was coughing a bunch and the hills were BRUTAL, but I finished!  see if you can find me in this video of my race finish

Photo Mar 01-18I got my finisher medal, was reunited with my cheerleaders, and then  went to get the coveted finisher mug. People go crazy for these things. It’s like chocolate CENTRAL!IMG_0613

I didn’t care for the hot chocolate πŸ™ but I really enjoyed the chocolate fondue – so yummy! It was dark chocolate, THE BEST! As you can see, it was pretty messy and I had chocolate everywhere.  Photo Mar 01-17

Photo Mar 01-15Because we were already downtown and the weather was so beautiful, we decided to make a day of it! A true Sunday Funday πŸ˜€ I usually work on Sunday’s so it was a nice to get a long run in and a fun outing. 

Photo Mar 01-14We went over to the Pike Place Market, got some coffee and enjoyed just walking around and exploring. Photo Mar 01-12I feel this was a very appropriate post-race shirt, don’t you? “I earn my chocolate one step at a time”

Found this lovely heart of petals…. 
Photo Mar 01-11We also passed by the famous French bakery, Le Panier. I went in knowing full well that I probably would not be able to eat anything, I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. They have BEAUTIFUL pastries. 

Photo Mar 01-10

They also had macaroons!!! I LOVE macaroons, so I decided to try one. O.M.G!! Blew my mind. I got a “passion” flavored on and it was amazingly good. I only needed one! Such a yummy treat.

Photo Mar 01-9


Of course I also had to get some “market flowers” to take home. That is my most favorite thing about Pike Place Market. I will literally look for excuses to go there in the summer to buy some flowers. They are some of the most beautiful bouquets you will ever see and they are really inexpensive. Photo Mar 01-6 Photo Mar 01-8Then we went to have post-race lunch at a place I had been wanting to try for sometime: Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe 

I had the gluten free french toast with a side of chia pudding and a side salad. I know, weird combo but that’s what I felt like eating. It was delicious!! I know we will be coming back to eat here next time we are in Seattle. Next time I want to try the Raw Enchiladas πŸ™‚

Photo Mar 01-4Photo Mar 01-2Photo Mar 01-5

It was such a fun day exploring the city and enjoying the crisp air and sunshine.

Running has challenged me in many different ways, but for all the challenges it has been just as rewarding. I don’t know what other long races I am going to run this year. I want to run another half marathon in the late summer, but I haven’t found one yet. I know it will happen πŸ™‚ Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 1.00.35 AMI also want to start a running group here locally for people who like me, hate running but want to give it a try. I felt like I COULDN’T run, but then I proved to myself that I could. That is such an empowering thing to be able to prove yourself wrong. I want to help other people feel that and achieve things they never thought they could do. I hope to start this once tax season is over… πŸ™‚

Have you ever participated in a running group? Did you like it?

Thank you for being here with me on this journey! I am thankful for you and appreciate you all so much!!

Stay Sweet! 






2 thoughts on “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”

  1. Sarah, you are such an inspiration! I too have hated running (still sorta do but I know I can love it…just gotta get there again). I had a huge mental block with 3 miles because I hurt myself running that distance once such that I didn’t run for about 2 years or so. I did my first offical 5K last May and was pretty happy that I finished at just under 30 minutes. My fiance and I just signed up for a half marathon this coming October and I am terrified! Excited….but terrified and nervous and completely unsure of myself but at least I have plenty of time to train. So long story short, thank you for the motivation and inspiration!

    1. Hi Ashley!!!
      Thank you so much for your kind words!!! I am so glad you can relate! It’s so crazy to me how much I like running now. You will TOTALLY get there! How freaking exciting you are running a half marathon in October. I decided to run a half marathon in may of last year, and I ran it in Oct too! You can totally do it, you have plenty of time to work up to the long distance. I cannot wait to hear how the training goes! Keep in touch and let me know how things are okay?!? XOXO -sarah

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