Am I Out of Shape Because Running is Hard, or is Running Hard Because I’m Out of Shape?

Hi. <guilty smile like someone who said they’d call, never did, then bumped into you in line at the grocery store.>

Yeah, things are good here. Work’s good. Oregon’s good. Weather’s been weird though, huh?! How are you? Have you been watching Scandal??? How bout that snow on the East Coast!?

<other awkward small talk rapid fire>

Alright enough of that bullshit.

I was running the other day – yeah, that’s happening, sort of – and was feeling all janky and clunky and wind-sucking… all around pretty shitty, to be honest. I’m out of shape, an unmentionable amount of pounds heavier than I’d like to be, and delusionally believe my lungs are still acclimating to the small increase in elevation. (just under 4,000′ in Bend from 3-below sea level in Newport.)

The problem wasn’t really how bad I felt though. Feeling bad during exercise is part of it, right? Means you’re working hard!

The problem was, I was embarrassed. With how I looked – everything jiggling, gasping for air, a mix of desperation and anger on my face – and how I felt. I let myself fall stupidly out of shape, and all I wanted was a sign to wear around my neck saying “I used to a pretty o.k. runner! Swear!” so everyone wouldn’t think I was just out for a blobby jog to burn off my Thin Mints.

<Don’t think about Thin Mints… Don’t think about Thin Mints… Don’t think about Thin Mints…>


Sorry I uglied up your prettiness with that face, Shevlin. Rough times.

But then I realized, I wasn’t going to get any less blobby by not running. If my pasty, jiggly thighs weren’t out there plodding around for a few miles, how were they going to get any less jiggly? I needed to be out there. I wanted to be out there!

I don’t want to have to stop for a breather 10 minutes into a run. I don’t want to google “spanx for exercise” and mean it. And I definitely don’t want to skip group lunch runs at work anymore because I’m scared I can’t keep up.

So, I’ll keep stuffing my squish into my spandex and plodding around, knowing that each run gets me closer to my old self. As uncomfortable as it is, it doesn’t have to be embarrassing. If anyone actually cares whether I have a muffin top over my tights or I have to walk up a hill to catch my breath, they can go right on and fuck the hell off. I’m doing this so some day I won’t.

Embarrassing would be continuing to carve out this ass imprint in the couch while shoveling handfuls of chips in my mouth and washing them down with beer, and then whining about being out of shape.

So that’s how I’ve been. Good chatting, we should do it again sometime soon! Promise I’ll actually call this time.

Sarah OUaL

A Gift Guide for Everyone Shopping for Me

It’s crunch time and if you haven’t bought my Christmas present yet like I haven’t for any of the people on my list (procrastination station choo! choo!) you’re single digit days away from being in deep shit. To help you, I ditched the typical Blogger Gift Guide and made this wish list of things I’d be stoked to receive instead. DON’T SAY I NEVER DID ANYTHING NICE FOR YOU! It’s conveniently broken down by type and offers a variety of options for all levels of financial commitment or how much you love me, of which we could argue are or aren’t interchangeable but we don’t have time for such nonsense, so just go on ahead and pay the most attention to the right columns thanks. Pretty much everything is super reasonable.

You’re welcome, mom!

* Sarah OUaL’s Wish List for this Holiday or any Other Gift-Giving Occasion or Random Day When You’re Feeling Generous and Want to Buy Her Happiness With Material Things, Some of Which are Completely and Utterly Ridiculous, None of Which are Even Close to Necessary and Maybe You Should Just Get Her a Nice 6-Pack of Beer Instead *

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Picky Club (snacks+mail=smiles) $27-49/mo  |||  Why Do I Feel Like a Knock-kneed Buffalo When I Run Analysis from REP Lab $350  |||  All-Inclusive Running Vacation $2695 + air

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smiles are free :)  |||  Soleus Heart Rate Monitor $99  |||  Woodway Treadmill $11k (rain check substitute: a new car)

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GoPro Hero $130  |||  SUP Board $790  |||  Gibbs Quadski four wheeler/jetski hybrid for a measly $40k

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Brooks Vanguard $85  |||  these $580 velcros that look exactly like Fisher Price 1-2-3 skates  |||  Acton Rocket Skates – goodbye leg muscles! $700

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crew socks to keep my #inbend winter’y ankles warm $14-20  |||  Oiselle Yeti* $98  |||  D&G Wool Facemask Hat (balaclava, apparently) was $3245 now $1947!

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River Tube with cupholders $15  |||  insulated beer tote $25  |||  adorable teepee my dogs would never use (peepee-teepee joke here) $114  |||  GIANT BEAN BAG CHAIR $1150

* started this list before getting one. yeti is easily the most ridiculous and ridiculously awesome thing I own, and for that it’s staying on this composite list of ridiculousness. if you’ve got a spare hundo to toss around this is a cozy investment you won’t regret, maybe until you have to pee or accidentally go out in public in it.

** p.s.s. If you’re leaning towards Kicks please, please pick the 1-2-3’s

There you go. All the things I’d gift myself if money weren’t real and we didn’t have to buy a couch and mattress for the new place, and if Brian and I hadn’t just ordered our joint-gift KEGERATOR an hour ago. !!!

… What?? The couch and mattress can wait.

Who’s coming over for keg beer, river floating, and paddling this summer??

Spoiled OUaL

(pretty sure this post set an internet record for number of run-on sentences)

A Goodbye Giveaway (Believe Training Journal)

I said you wouldn’t hear from me here until after the move, but something came up and I think you’ll like it and it’s distracting me from packing hell for at least a few minutes so here I am. Tooodle-oo!


I’m not a frivolous spender, and it’s been at least ten years since someone called me an “airhead” or a “flighty space cadet seriously Sarah where’s your brain?” But on Monday when the mailman dropped off a second Believe Training Journal I called myself all those things.

Apparently I pre-ordered journals from both Believe I Am and Picky Bars. I remember the latter because the bars that came with it delivered just in time to become plane snacks for my trip to Ohio. And then I remembered the former when the package showed up on my doorstep.


 Believe Training Journal

they look different because one is shrink-wrapped. the other one had to be un-shrinkwrapped so Lauren Fleshman could autograph it. yup.

I used Lauren and Ro’s first Believe I Am journal after receiving it through a blog campaign, and loved it. Pen + paper is totally making a comeback! It’s retro-cool again like denim overalls and grungey flannels.

Anyway yeah, I liked it so much I bought the new one. Err, two of them. And even though it is gorgeous and full of great tips and helpful training tools, I don’t think I need both of them. If for no reason other than packing space is very limited and there might literally not be room in the Uhaul for two.

Want one? How bout the autographed one? I’d love to send it to a loving new home.

Believe Training Journal inside

  • Comment below with your favorite song to sing in the car. Our road trip spotify playlist needs some help and I’m too busy bubble-wrapping pint glasses to do it.

Sarah OUaL

ends Thursday 11/27 midnight. winner will be chosen randomly