Things That Are Harder Than Running a Marathon

(A working list)

- Driving on any California Highway during rush hour without swearing. Or really at any time of day

- Saying “no” to Girl Scouts during cookie season

- Watching a race in your neighborhood and not getting to participate

- Not singing along to Journey

- Wearing white without spilling on yourself

- Leaving Target for less than $50

- Learning Japanese, probably

- Captcha codes

Of course, it’s been a minute (er, almost two years?!) since I’ve completed a 26.2 mile race, so maybe my memory’s a little off. Any recent marathoners care to chime in?

In conclusion, here’s an irrelevant but adorable photo of Frankie and Chico because it’s Friday and it’s my blog.

dogs in bed

And a classic Addam’s Family clip because it actually is relevant and young Christina Ricci is the best


Happy weekend, racing, and long running, pals.

Sarah OUaL

Date Night–Beers and Jerrod Niemann in OC

I’m not a reality tv watcher (please, just don’t even get me started), but I tried my best to live-broadcast mine and Brian’s date last night two nights ago all over the internet. It was a spontaneous plan thrown together and it was so glorious I thought the whole world needed the play-by-play. Do you accept this rose beer?

It all started last weekend when I saw on twitter that Jerrod Niemann was having a cd release party a few towns over, and was bummed because I was scheduled to work that day (Wednesday). But on Monday a coworker asked to switch shifts and I’m all, “sure, I can help you out, no big, oh you don’t have to owe me one really it’s cool, you’re welcome… (YES I CAN GO TO THE CONCERT!)” and got way super excited about it. Brian plays softball on Wednesdays, but I figured if I couldn’t find anyone to go with me I’d just fly solo. I’m an independent woman, damnit! And I just really love country music and how cool “album release party” sounded, so, I was going. Plus I had some killer new boots just begging for a hillbilly debut.

Conveniently, Noble Ale Works was releasing one of their limited-edition IPAs that same day, AND it was forecasted to rain, so Bri bailed on softball and we filled our pre-concert itinerary with delicious local beer and food truck sushi. What? Not normal?

date night beer

After procuring a few pints and bottles at Noble, we headed out towards the newish Bottlelogic Brewing which womp womp, isn’t open on Wednesdays. Like the rational and flexible person I’m trying to be, [warning, run-on sentence ahead] we emergency contingency planned without any Type A meltdowns and after a quick hop on the highway made it to The Bruery for a flight and the seedy as fuck liquor store next door that has easily the best craft bottle selection I’ve ever seen. [end run-on.] If you’re ever in Placentia and needs some motor oil, stale pork rinds, and some hard to find beers, hit up Mr. K’s Liquor.

After all that, we finally headed down to Santa Ana for what I envisioned was going to be a low-key, mic-and-stool, short set “bar concert.” We walked up to the HUGE Yost Theater about 30 minutes after doors opened, and kid you not there were 300 people in a line wrapped around the building. Young kids, middle-aged couples, department store boots, boots with actual shit on them, rhinestone flannel, flannel with marlboros in the chest pocket… It was like someone put the cast from Laguna Beach and the FFA chapter from my high school in a blender and spat them all out together on the sidewalk of downtown Santa Ana. Worlds collide!

I was feeling very out of sorts, like what is this weird Twilight Zone we’ve found ourselves in? but then it started sprinkling and the entire queue erupted in cries and complaints and running for cover under overhangs and I realized I was most definitely still in Southern California.

date night yost theater jerrod niemann

too shy to use the flash for my double-fisting selfie

date night boots

and the $15 TJ Maxx clearance steal money shot

Once we got inside we proceeded directly to the bar to double-fist PBRs and headed upstairs to the balcony for a prime viewing spot away from the commotion. We posted up in a good spot and watched the jam-packed dance floor move in complete sync to complex line dances I never knew existed but suddenly desperately wanted to learn. Anybody want to take lessons with me? Could be fun (-ny)…

So like, 30 minutes before the concert a clipboard/headset lady came up and told us we had to leave our perfect perch because they were having a “VIP session” in that area. She told us to go all the way downstairs, but the people one level below us weren’t getting kicked out so we shimmied down a few steps and just stood there until we could swoop back up to our primo spot.

No shit two minutes later Brian yells over my shoulder, “what’s up, Jerrod!” and there goes Jerrod Niemann walking the steps right behind me. He did his little VIP meet-and-greet thing for a while, then headed back our way to go down to the stage. I put my hand on the glass partition between the two levels (fun no-cares drunk Sarah was in attendance) and he reciprocated with a high-five and a pat on the shoulder as he walked by. Bri tried to get a pic but the flash slowed the shutter down so much all he got was a blurry shot of the back of his security guard’s head. Underexposure beats no photo, folks. Turn those flashes off.

Don’t worry, I got my #proof elsewhere.

date night jerrod tweet

Twitter, why are you so good to me?

The rest of the night was awesome – he played for about 90 minutes, a mix of new album stuff, old hits, covers (Cash, Sublime, Marley, whaaa), and dueling fiddled their guitars for Devil Went Down to Georgia. Expectations – exceeded.

date night jerrod niemann

$30 for two tickets and a cd, $4 to park, and many $3 beers… yup, Date Night was a success, indeed. Thanks for the party, Jerrod.

Sarah OUaL

Life Updates

Oh, hey.

The other day mom asked why I haven’t been tweeting lately (where she gets most of her inside info from since I’m bad about calling home) and I said it was because I was busy and just wasn’t feeling very “twittery.” Mark my word that will be a real word in the next two years, by the way. Sometimes you just don’t feel like talking, and sometimes you’re doing all your talking somewhere else and just don’t have words leftover. That will make more sense at the end of this post, but anyway, here’s what’s been up.

dogs who's here

“Who’s here? Is daddy home??”


Every time (damnit I still write that as one word every single damn time) someone asks how running and the injury is going I get all “weelllllll… see it’s like…ugh it’s kind of complicated” as if I’m about to describe [something long-winded and complex and embarrassing that I couldn't come up with at the time, left blank, and am here editing this post a day later still without an idea of what it might be]

I’m casually running about 20 miles a week; still no real workouts, training plans, or races on the horizon. Going to the gym and hopping on the treadmill for 30 minutes before hitting the weights or a group class is a fun reminder of how “normal people” work out. It’s also a fun reminder of how lunatic crazy we runners are sometimes.

spin bike

loving spin lately, even if Roda is a kind of terrifying beast machine that scares me into more “ADD A QUARTER TURN!”s than I can handle

The urge to get back into hard training and put a goal race on the is there, but is always overshadowed by my inane fear of this stupid injury rearing it’s stupid head again. I can feel it’s getting better, but the discomfort is never 100% gone. Is it discomfort I can run through? For sure. But I set out on this rehab mission so that it would heal completely, not just become tolerable. Some days it’s bad, usually when I’ve been lacking on my PT exercises duh, and some days I feel so good it makes me think I’m ready to start pushing now. But without a race on the horizon to rush me out of the gate I don’t really see the point in risking it. And I’ve been avoiding registering for anything for that reason. Kind of a chicken/egg situation.

oiselle lesko shimmel

selfie in new Lesko Shimmel during a post-run “I want to race!/I don’t want to race!” identity crisis

On Rehab Day 60 of 100 I did a treadmill hill workout to test it out – probably a little later than I could have, but I’ve been babying it being cautious. It went well and was encouraging, but I’m not ready to call it good to go until another hard workout passes the test. Maybe then I’ll start browsing the race reg sites. Anyway I made a pretty graph of it for you.

treadmill workout - hills

Hill workout for the ol’ treadmill – pick your own speed and increase accordingly

I’m hoping between Spring race season and going out to the Cleveland Marathon to cheer friends I’ll get bit by the race bug – and that I’ll be 100% mended by then.


The past few months have been busy showing, selling, and managing Fall 14 orders for my Oiselle territory. My freshman season has been a great learning experience and fun way to explore the other pockets of the sales world (I said I wasn’t meant for sales and would never go back after leaving my last job – turns out I just wasn’t meant for that kind of selling.) I love representing a brand I believe in and showing off terrific product to like-minded people, and being fully immersed in the corporate side of the running world. I’d call it a dream job if it wasn’t so part-time.

But, (don’t worry, I’m not going to say I’m leaving) ((also, sorry if you thought I was and you were going to swoop in and steal my job)) our face-to-face sales seasons are only a few weeks twice a year, the majority of the account management is done through email and phone. Once this season started wrapping up I realized my few freelance writing and marketing gigs weren’t going to keep me very occupied, and boredom was knocking louder each day. I also realized I’d been spending WAY too much time at the computer. If I had to guess, I’d say 80% of my human interactions were occurring digitally, and it was starting to show. I stumbled over words, struggled to cohesively string sentences together without an awkward “oh, what’s the word??!”, and my armpits seemed to be getting even sweatier than usual in public. My IRL social skills were deteriorating, fast.

One day a few weeks ago I was riding my bike back from the coffee shop I’d been at with my laptop full of digital ‘net friends, and I pulled up to the gastropub down the street for a beer. Because sometimes that’s just what you need to make the words flow, you know? Out of nowhere, without really realizing what I was doing, I blabbed, “Are you guys hiring?” The manager came out, handed me an application, the next day I had an interview and the day after that I had a job.

I worked restaurants in college and abhored everything about it except the money. It was a means to an end, and I made sure everyone there knew I was only there to pay tuition. When I graduated I felt this huge sense of “I’ll never be a waitress again!” empowerment, and settled in for my destined life of BSBA Marketing/Advertising/PR cubicle-hopping.

It’s funny how life works sometimes.

While leaving to work dinner shift when Brian gets home isn’t ideal and long weekend shifts will surely put a damper on any long running I may do in the future (how do you on-your-feet-all-day professionals do it?), I absolutely LOVE working there. The people – coworkers and guests – are cool and fun, we have (biasedly) the best craft beer selection in town that I get to learn and brag about, and I can actually feel my communication skills putting themselves back together each day. Somebody called me “witty” the other day! Do you know how long it’s been since someone has said that not about something I wrote? [answer: forever]

Do I feel weird working with all those me-five-years-ago college kids? A little. I like to smile and nod, refraining from patting them on their cute little heads when they talk about their business admin degrees and internships and “I can’t wait to leave here once I graduate” stories. No use tarnishing their dreams with my Bachelors Degree Behind the Bar role.

But the truth is, being there because I choose to makes all the difference. Rather than required internships, winter break “tuition+booze fund” jobs, and eventually punch-the-clock cubicle work I’d drudged through in the past, I’m there because I wanted human interaction and awesome beer, and that’s what I’m doing. And it feels good, even if my diploma is atrophying in the corner. Also it’s helping replenish the savings depletion I did during last summer’s soul searching funemployment mission.


nailed the “fun” part. If only there was a way to turn wanderlust adventuring into $$…

I think that’s all pretty universally applicable to most things in in career, love, and just life in general – surround yourself with things, work, and people who make you happy, and your world will suck a whole lot less. Who cares if it’s what you “should” do or want? And even if we can’t have exactly what we desire (does it ever really work that way?), learning to make the most of what we do have in the interim is all we can do. That’s something that this self-admitted “mope-er” needs to work on, and I’m thinking maybe that’s what all this off the beaten pathness is about after all. Piecing part time jobs and pouring pints might not be where I saw my future as an undergrad five years ago, but it’s working out and I’m happier at the end of the day because of it.

Suck on that, stressed out and miserable, Life Plan Sarah of 2008.

… fuck. Sub all those “five years ago” to six. Hashtag getting old.

Sarah OUaL