Star Wars Half Marathon Playlist

More recently, I’ve been listening to The Nerdist or just random shuffle during my runs, but as I approached Race Day, I couldn’t help but feel I needed certain songs to keep me going. If you know me, MOST of these songs should be no surprise and the amount of New Found Glory, albeit a lot, is probably less than what most would imagine. I’ll admit – I made this playlist in a hurry and I miss the days when my running list was really, really good. Thanks to a loss of …. everything …. my stored music is a little less affluent these days. But still – thanks to these runs for pacing me and pumping me up through 13.1 miles of Southern California.

  • Paramore – Ain’t It Fun
  • Kelly Clarkson – Catch my Breath
  • Paramore – Fast in My Car
  • New Found Glory – Selfless
  • Sheppard – Geronimo
  • A Day to Remember – The Downfall of Us All
  • A Day to Remember – I’m Made of Wax Larry, What Are You Made Of?
  • Fall Out Boy – Centuries
  • Paramore – Grow Up
  • A Day to Remember – NJ Legion Iced Tea
  • New Found Glory – Summer Fling, Don’t Mean a Thing
  • New Found Glory – Something I Call Personality
  • New Found Glory – Belated
  • New Found Glory – Boy Crazy
  • New Found Glory – Ballad for the Lost Romantics
  • New Found Glory – At Least I’m Known for Something
  • New Found Glory – Over the Head, Below the Knees
  • All Time Low – The Beach
  • All Time Low – Let it Roll
  • Allister – Overrated
  • Andy Grammar – Honey, I’m Good
  • The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Parade
  • Blink 182 – Roller Coaster
  • Blink 182 – Easy Target
  • Britney Spears – (You Drive Me) Crazy
  • Every Avenue – Where Were You?
  • Finch – Stay With Me
  • Good Charlotte – Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
  • Good Charlotte – The Anthem
  • H2O – Role Model
  • Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American
  • Kelly Clarkson – People Like Us
  • A Loss for Words – JMR
  • Nsync – Dirty Pop
  • Nsync – It’s Gonna Be Me
  • Nsync – Bye, Bye, Bye
  • Panic! at the Disco – The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicides is Press Coverage
  • Panic! at the Disco – London Beckons
  • Panic! at the Disco – Time to Dance
  • Panic! at the Disco – Camisado
  • Panic! at the Disco – Sell You Beautiful
  • Walk the Moon – Shut Up and Dance

Race Day Do’s and Don’ts

Race Day Do’s and Don’ts

I’m not an elitist or snobby runner by any means but I do get anxiety over race day faux pas. Few things can be more frustrating than when someone breaks common courtesy or protocol during a race – it just kills your vibe, man. Granted, if you’re signing on to a race of five to ten thousand people, you just have to know these things are going to happen, but while running at the Star Wars Half Marathon last weekend, I couldn’t help but feel I must do my due diligence and teach at least one person how to save the world. Or just get someone to lessen my anxiety. I’m pretty sure I got through an entire mile just by listing out my pet peeves of life. Don’t judge me… running is emotional. And also… don’t be a Racehole.

5 Courtesies to Keep in Mind When Running a Race:

  • Walking is okay! But please stay to the right so those still running don’t have to weave in and out of walkers. Keep this in mind at water stations as well – not everyone will stop.
  • Hang on to your trash! Whether it’s your GU Energy Shots or aid station water cups, don’t be a Littering Larry. Hold on tight till you pass a trash can or stash it in your fanny pack until you cross the finish line.
  • No sudden stops! Just like walking – having to stop is quite alright. Put your hand up to let the people behind you know you are getting ready to halt.  Running is not a contact sport and we are not trained to tackle. It could get ugly!
  • Avoid aid station greed! Chances are the aid stations have tons of people ready and willing to hand out water or electrolytes. Look behind you before heading to one side and don’t grab the first cup you see. Move forward to someone looking for a friend (this will also get you through faster and back on your way.) Be sure to thank the volunteers that want you to get to the finish line hydrated and full-spirited. And don’t be a Littering Larry!!!
  • Watch your surroundings! Perhaps most importantly – be aware of the other runners on the course. If you nudge someone, turn and apologize. If you feel someone wanting to pass, let them. If someone trips, pick them up. If someone needs encouragement, cheer them on. Remember – we all want to get that medal at the end so whether we know each other or not, we’re in it together.

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend

Well folks, I’m halfway there! I’m still, kind of, recovering from my third half marathon over the weekend. I say kind of, because I’ve yet to take a day off from working out. Please don’t be like me. It’s sick. (Don’t worry, I’m being very wary of injury. Lots of stretching, soaking, stretching more and advil.)

First and foremost, I have to thank Natasha and her family for being such wonderful company over the weekend and allowing me to crash their party. It’s always wonderful to have a few friends by your side to ease the nerves and celebrate the after.

Second, nothing proves how much running gear you have than when you have to pack for an out-of-town race. Proof: here’s everything I packed aside from a Lion King tank top.

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Included in my packing list: GU Energy Gels, Body Glide, wicking socks, rolling stick, Nuun electrolyte tabs, running fanny, Beats Wireless In-Ear Headphones, portable phone charger, Run Disney race waiver, Fitbit, Ibuprofen, sparkly headband, Old Navy compression pants, Nike sports bra, tank and sweater, and of course, the Darth Vader skirt and matching hat… which I ended up not wearing.

One of the running perks that comes with big races is the expo and packet pick-up. Tons of goodies, samples and things to buy. My favorite acquired item? A sparkly headband that says “May the SPARKLE be with you.” If you know ANYTHING about me, you know that there probably is no better headband for me to own.

The bummer news about the race is that I was in corral E. I was most definitely one of the last two hundred people to start the race which meant I started about 30 minutes later than planned. But once across the starting line, I felt bliss – I was finally marking something off my bucket list!

Miles one through five were throughout Disneyland and California Adventures. Most of the time it was exhilarating, but then there were times where I was on the verge of an anxiety attack. Trying to fit 10,000 runners through one entry gate and a back alley into Disneyland is probably the worst idea in the entire world. As I looked down and saw that I was pacing 14 minutes per mile, I could feel all the anxiety running through my body. Knowing that I didn’t want to waste my energy on the petty stuff, I tried to take deep breaths and – oh hey! There’s Chewbacca! Space Mountain! Storm Troopers! Big Thunder! I can’t wait to ride all of these! You see… those first few miles, though aggravating at times, were quickly shoveled aside by the atmosphere. Here I was, Sunday morning at the butt crack of dawn doing one of the things I love most at one of the places I love most. The Castle, Main Street, the Ferris Wheel, Cars Land, oh my!

The rest of the course took us on a tour of Anaheim – did anyone see that giant hotel with all of the giant indoor water slides?? I’m in. When does it open?

I do wish there was more Disney during the race – in the sense that once you’re done with the parks, you kind of forget you’re doing a Disney race. It’s mostly residential, parks and businesses the rest of the way. Too bad Target wasn’t open. I could’ve used a Cliff Bar. But the people of Southern California did a great job of dressing up in Star Wars costumes and planting themselves at random stops along the way. At one point, about mile eight or nine, I was staring at ten Darth Vaders plus a mini Vader. Someone even dressed their car as R2d2. Side note… I don’t think the guy with the Delorean got the memo.

Usually between miles eight and ten are when I start to feel the need to hop in a disgusting port-a-potty but I can humbly say that I, Sara Robbins, successfully made it through a long distance race without the dreaded Runner’s Shits. Seriously. I was soooo looking forward to every part of this race except the though of walking around Disneyland afterwards and having to leave the two hour Space Mountain (errr… Hyperspace Mountain) to barely make it to a toilet. I feel confident that between my pre-run electrolyte stock-up and taking advantage of Powerade at every aid station, I waved a big middle finger to ye’ old trots.

At mile 12, I got my runner’s high. I was ready. Let’s get this last mile done baby – you’re on your way to churro gold. And before I knew it, I was done. Two hours and thirty eight minutes later – I tried not to be too disappointed with my time as I reminded myself of the park cluster and instead gave a big ol’ fist bump to those who finished with me and accepted my medal with style and grace… and a post-race waddle. Half marathon number three was officially in the books.

 

 

 

Thanks for being a friend.

Thanks for being a friend.

Hey you. Yeah, you. I just wanted to say, “Thanks.” As I’m recovering from the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend, I’m most humbled by the amount of support that carried me through the finish line. Whether you called, texted, read this blog or just simply “liked” a photo – please know that I’m incredibly overwhelmed by the number of people who are on this path with me, even if in the simplest ways.

Running is my happy place. Running makes me feel free. Strong. Sexy, even when doused in more sweat than any one person should be. Empowered. Free. But perhaps most importantly, running makes me feel inspired. To participate in a race and see thousands of people competing with themselves for the same goal: inspired. To watch people do things they never thought possible: inspired. To see so many others cheering on complete strangers: inspired. To be supported by people near and far: inspired. And overwhelmed. But mostly inspired. So thank you. Thank you for inspiring me.

More on the Dark Side to come…

Race Week Mantras

Race Week Mantras

This weekend, I’ll be running in my third half marathon. Should be like clockwork by now, right? Nope. You sir, are so wrong. It’s only Tuesday, and my mind has already been to the Grand Canyon and back (You know, like that time Sheldon Cooper channels The Flash). In case you’re wondering, here’s what goes through a runner’s mind just days before a big race.

  • Get OUT of your head.
  • Don’t forget to pack your Glide. Nobody wants to walk around Disneyland for two days with chafed thighs.
  • Drink lots of water… who cares how many times you get up from your desk. Co-workers are NOT, I repeat, NOT judging you, nor keeping track.
  • When can I have a burrito?
  • Put DOWN the wine glass.
  • Be sure to print out your race waiver for packet pick-up.
  • Don’t miss your plane.
  • What time is my flight again?
  • Charge your fitbit.
  • It’s only 13 miles… which at your pace is about two hours. It’s only two hours. Then… churros.
  • Don’t you dare wear high heels this week.
  • Charge ALL THE THINGS.
  • You’ve done it before.
  • Just think… in two weeks, you’ll have to run FOURTEEN miles.
  • In four weeks, SIXTEEN!
  • Do I have enough GU? Maybe I should buy one more.
  • What if my new socks are the wrong socks? Should I bring two back-ups?
  • Do I need a brand new sparkly headband, too? No, Darth Vader would not approve of sparkly things.
  • Maybe I should add this song to my playlist JUST IN CASE it gets stuck in my head. Who wants to run 13 miles with the same song stuck in their head?
  • Ooooh… my foam roller is calling my name. So is an Epsom bath. And spaghetti.
  • May the Force Be With You. Then… churros.

Is this list final? Probably not. Like I said, it’s only Tuesday. But there’s so much to think about for something that I know I can do, something I’ve done before and something I’m excited about. RELAX!

 

 

Why Shakira and I are Soul Sisters

After a few months of painful strides, it took a trip to my primary care doctor and a physical therapist to discover that like Shakira, my Hips Don’t Lie. Hilarity aside, they then proceeded to tell me the worst thing you could ever tell a person like me: “You have to take a break from running.”

Oh baby when you talk like that, you make a runner go mad.

Greetings, this blog comes to you from my bathtub where I’m currently indulging in a hot bath with Dr. Teal’s Pre and Post Workout Epsom Salt. Sorry, no basic white girl pictures of my legs will be included in this post.

The pain was a mixture of Bursitis (inflammation in my hips) and having run my body out of sync. While pounding your feet on the pavement is very rough on the body, my injuries could have been avoided had I been paying better attention to my recovery. IE, I wasn’t stretching enough and quite possibly, wasn’t hydrating right, nourishing properly or rewarding my body with the right things. After a few months of physical therapy, trips to the chiropractor and solely upper body workouts, I was ready to get back on the streets and rack up my mileage, but not without a few extra precautionary recovery practices. My favorite? A twenty minute Epsom Salt bath three to four times a week.

As noted above, Dr. Teal’s is my favorite brand as it’s easy to find and often comes with some extras, like great smells or added ingredients for more relaxation. The Pre and Post Workout mix is my favorite, followed by Lavender and Mint. Epsom Salt is high in magnesium which wards off heart disease, stroke, stress-related illness and more (editor’s note: unless ‘love’ is a specialty, I am not a doctor). For athletes, epsom salt baths are great for reducing inflammation, increasing joint mobility, easing muscle pain,  and mood elevating. Better mood = better workout. Plus, it will remove toxins from your muscles which could cause a delay in recovery.

Personally, I think Epsom baths are overlooked all too often, so when someone tells me they are struggling from sore muscles, I give them this simple remedy.

Extra pro-tip: Evoke Fitness once shared with us that drinking a 4oz glass of red wine was equivalent to a one hour workout. So, pour yourself a glass, workout and wind down all at the same time! If it weren’t for the fact that it’s Race Week, I would definitely be sipping a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon right now.

So next time you’re doing the waddle from a brutal training session, dive in! Well… not head first and you can go suit-less, but… you get the point.

Sock it to me

Before every big race, I have pre-big-day traditions that, like carb-loading and hydrating, I wouldn’t feel ready to run without. In anticipation of running the Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland in ten days, I thought I’d share one tradition that has turned out to be one of the most important, albeit, life changing.

Buying new socks.

12088345_10100805221621448_2303560925920131562_nI instantly feel fifty years older after typing that, but it’s true. One of my favorite race day preparations is heading to the Reno Running Company and scoping out the two synthetic foot coverings that will take me anywhere from ten to soon twenty-six-point-two miles. What color should I get? Should I stray from my favorite brand? Would it be weird if I sniffed them gleefully in the middle of the store because I never thought I could know such happiness?

Sorry, that got weird.

Truthfully, socks are often overlooked by runners (including myself for a long time) and like a great pair of running shoes, they can, and do, make all the difference. From protecting your ankles to warding off blisters and cuts to helping with blood flow — here are four tips for picking the perfect running socks:

  1. Avoid cotton at all costs. Since our feet happen to be one of the parts of our body where we sweat the most, you need a fabric that will control moisture. Otherwise, you risk a soggy foot and bigger chance at a few nasty blisters. Instead, look for socks with synthetic fiber that will wick the moisture off of your feet.
  2. Get the right fit. Since I’m a long lost cousin of Big Foot (size 11s represent…), I tend to buy mens socks because they provide full coverage and better ankle support. And because no part of your body is safe from chafing, a good fitting pair of running socks will protect you from the aforementioned worst feeling in the world. If you’re purchasing at a running store, they’ll most likely have some samples you can try on, or at the least, a good exchange policy.
  3. For faster recovery, try compression socks. Lots of runners wear them on long runs to support blood flow, while others will wear them post-run to reduce lactic acid build-up.
  4. Get funky! Pick your favorite color, pick a bold pattern, pick something that’s you because when your feet hit the pavement, nothing is more important than feeling confident that you’ll have a rockstar performance.

And there you have it! My favorite brand is Feetures, but I’ve also purchased from Brooks and Nike. What’s your favorite brand?