Who is OUaL?

Before anything else, I suppose I should explain the name. OUaL is an acronym – you know, Once Upon a Lime, not MY name. I do answer to phonetic attempts (“owl”, “ooo-all”, etc) and get a kick out of heritage/etymology inquiries, though.

That said, “Once Upon a Lime” doesn’t really have anything to do with anything. In college I swore I was going to write a book about the year I lived with four girls ***rest of details omitted for privacy/dignity reasons***. As most classic stories begin “Once upon a time…”, ours all began with a bottle and sliced fruit chaser and so the world’s most creative play on words was created.


Unfortunately (or fortunately, for those involved), I never got around to writing it and have since booze-amnesia’d most of the stories from memory. Blame the cheap tequila.

Anyway it worked out fine because that left OUaL free to use for this blog, where it has little relevance and continues to make people think I’m from some strange land with unpronounceable surnames.


Back in January 2010 I wrote the first entry in my ‘wedding planning blog’ – a blogspot terror even more random and less proofread than what you see here today. It then morphed into a ‘keep in touch with the family blog’ when we moved to California, and then somewhere I became a little obsessed with running and that’s pretty much all I write about anymore.

Running hasn’t always been a part of my life – I grew up playing ball sports (volleyball, basketball, softball) and after hanging up my cleats after a sub-par college career on the diamond, I craved an outlet for my natural competitiveness and love for sweat.


the love of short black shorts and sleeveless shirts carries on. luckily the foam visor did not.

What began as a simple way to keep my waistline in check rapidly became what we’ll call a “very passionate hobby.” I ran my first race (a half marathon) in May 2009, my first marathon a year later, fought to break the 4 hour barrier in 2011, and found myself flirting with a Boston Qualifying time (3:35) in 2012. As I continue learning more and more about this OMG-I-HAD-NO-IDEA complex sport I fall deeper in love – with the daily challenges, big dreams, and obviously, the carbo-loading.


[ you can read more about my running story and race recaps HERE]

That said, my relationship with running is very love-hate. I struggle getting out the door just like everyone else, and can’t say that it’s always “fun.” But I continue lacing up, convinced that magical runner’s high is “just around the corner”, and write about all the ups and downs here.

  • define “ups” : new PRs (personal record), falling in love with the track, perfecting the liquid carb strategy, running friends that make the world go round
  • define “downs” : swearing off long runs forever, terrible race photos, the errors of ‘trial and error’ in liquid carb strategizing, considering ‘you didn’t shit yourself!’ a race success

And while the majority of what you’ll read here takes place in my Brooks, I do make sure to keep a healthy balance in my life (isn’t that what all the healthy living blogs are saying these days?) Running marathons and TV marathons, salad and cupcakes, wearing pink and sweating like a dude, chasing IPAs with Nuun


responsible beveraging

The point is, as the subtitle suggests, even though running is a huge part of my life, it’s the life between the miles that counts. Between the workouts, workdays, healthy meals, and pain-in-the-ass adult responsibilities are the parts of life we so easily forget to savor be thankful for. And I’m on a constant mission to find (and keep) that balance.

Especially the parts that include beer.

So enough about the blog – it’s an “about me” page, not an “about my blog” page, afterall.

I’m an Ohio transplant living in Southern California. The transition from severely brutal seasons, Carhart couture, and driving 35 minutes to the nearest mall to life in paradise was surprisingly pretty easy, but I still hold a big spot in my heart for that little ‘fly-over state’ out east.


identity crisis (sourcesource)

In July 2011 I married the only person in the universe with enough patience and kindness to tolerate my extreme mood swings, quirky OCD, and domestic handicaps. Brian, sometimes referred to as Saint Bri or B makes intermittent appearances, but holds a constant presence as the “are you sure you really want to put that on the internet?” (attempted) voice of reason.

He’s my rock, and also the majority breadwinner so I’m obligated to say nice things about him.

[read about the wedding and all that hooplah HERE]


Let’s bullet the rest because probably you didn’t even read any of that and just scrolled to this part anyway…

  • I’ve run 7 marathons – debuting at 4:25 (may ’10) and currently holding a 3:37 PR (apr ’12) – I’ve enjoyed “learning how to really run” this last year and will talk incessantly about it if you ask. And yes, I would like to run Boston someday.
  • I ‘quit’ meat in 2006. Current status : Lacto-Ovo Pescatarian
  • My top 2 Life Goals are to visit every MLB park and complete the beer mile. Lofty, I know.
  • Both mine and Brian’s extended families live in NE Ohio. Yes, we’ll move back someday. (just waiting on global warming to do something about that “winter” thing)
  • I’m a really slow reader and an awful singer.
  • My favorite movies are Dumb and Dumber, Bull Durham, and anything with Bruce Willis
  • I hate flossing my teeth and believe fresh contacts are one of the best feelings in the world.
  • I totaled my first car the week before prom because I thought I saw my date drive by with another girl in the passenger seat (it wasn’t him)
  • Our two ‘apartment dogs’ Frankie and Chico are pretty popular on my instagram account


not impressed

So I think that gives you a pretty solid idea of what you’re getting into here. Lots of running – including “omg I hate running”, “I EFFING LOVE RUNNING!”, and everything in between ; beer ; making fun of Californians for complaining about the cold ; more beer ; and trying to hang on to a winner husband despite my domestic handicaps and penchant for not showering for days.

Happy to have ya! Let’s be friends.

photo (1)


onceuponalime@gmail.com   |   Facebook   |   Twitter

25 thoughts on “Who is OUaL?

  1. Why did the bullet point about you totaling your car make me spit my drink out? because I’ve come so close to that same senario myself, but still I shouldn’t laugh, hope everyone was OK. I love getting to know you and I my husband gives me the “you’re going to publish that?” as well, but I have to say that when I have not listened to him and published anyway (which happens quite often) they have been some of my most popular posts. Do it! Can you tell we would have been crazy roommates in college? and that I too suffer from OCD, ADHD, ADD, WTF, LOL, STD, JK and a multitude of other letter ailments.


  2. Found your blog this year and I’m hooked! Love your posts, sense of humor and, most importantly, dog pics. I think we would be best friends in “real life” but being that I live in Miami that would be kinda difficult. So, I’ll settle for cyber best friends, even if it’s one sided.


  3. holy shit, loving the whole new site and updates!! u already kno i think u’re hilarious but i’m also such a fan because u OWN the balance thing. trust me: booze, crap food, sarcasm, snark, and running should all co-exist. just so long as enough of our runner/ocd/determination is in there too. and isn’t it so crazy to think back to the ‘old’ us…keep on kicking@$$, plenty of PR’s are to come! :)


  4. i’ve been reading your blog for a little over a year now and you are freakin’ hilarious. also love the fact that you are an original midwesterner too!
    (currently enjoying the “heat wave” of 30 degrees in wisco!)


  5. I’ve been reading for awhile and didn’t realize you were from Ohio! As Browns season ticket holders I have to appreciate another Cleveland, ‘factory of sadness’ fan. Thank you for admitting sometimes running sucks…as a fairly new runner it helps me get out the door and not get down on myself that I struggle sometimes.


  6. From: Darin Armstrong #TeamLIVESTRONG

    Hello Sarah,
    Just a quick email to ask if you would be interested in a ‘mutual’ following on twitter. I am currently following you now and am awaiting for your follow-back. (#FYI I do RT’s ‘anytime’ for all #Triathletes #Cyclists #UltraRunners #Marathoners #FitnessProfessionals who follow me on Twitter and have something important they want mentioned for support…)

    All the very best to you, Brian & your families for the rest of 2013 & beyond Sarah. Look forward to hearing from you…



  7. Hi Sarah! I’ve seen you on our Oiselle twitter feed, but this is my first stop at your blog. I’m loving your approach to things so far. :) Pleased to meet you. I’m Pennsylvanian, so I feel you on winter. Yeah. And I was a super-competitive softball pitcher. Good to know I’m not the only one who used to find running odd and now loves it. Well, we have so much in common I’ll be happy to see what else you’re up to. Ciao for now.


  8. Fellow Twitter follower (and Eugene runner this year!) and also from NE Ohio originally myself… so you have all my respect for being from O-hi!-O. It never gets old. Awesome blog.



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