Stay Running During Crunch Time

Is your running on the back burner this holiday season because it’s “Crunch Time?” Beginning at Thanksgiving, it can often seem like our obligations fill up our calendar before we know what happened!

During “Crunch Times” we need to take even better care of ourselves so we can bring our best to all situations that come up.

A few weeks ago I noticed that I “cancelled” a number of my runs because other things came up that were important, brought joy to my life, or just took over my calendar. I was left feeling kind of crappy because I was not keeping true to my priorities and needed to evaluate why I was feeling this way.

Lessons we all can glean from this pattern:

  • Only you have control of your calendar
  • You determine what your priorities are
  • Your thoughts interfere with follow through
  • The impact of missing runs is not always positive

In order to stay on track throughout the year, even during “Crunch Times,” we’ve to take a look at these four lessons.


Lesson 1: Only you have control over your calendar

Time is a precious commodity and everyone has the same number of minutes each day. It is my hope that you choose things you think are meaningful, bring you joy, and improve your health. These three criteria are critical for staying in integrity when it comes to your running.

When we block our calendar and say yes to things that do not meet those three criteria; meaningful, joyful and improve health; we set ourselves up for wasting time. I found myself wasting time on miscellaneous projects that did not meet my personal goals and ended up frustrated.

Here are a few tips for staying on track with your running:

  • Plan your runs as non-negotiable appointments. You might be able to tweak the workout to gain a few minutes here and there, but stick to your plan of running.
  • Truly assess the value of each item you schedule on your calendar and note if it interferes or compliments your goals. If it interferes, make a choice that is in the best interest of your health.
  • Set timers for your running dates! I set timers to wake up, to go to bed, for all sorts of tasks including my runs. It’s totally helpful during “Crunch Time,” when we feel too busy all of the time.
  • “No” is a complete sentence. You can say no and politely decline invitations to things that interfere with your health goals.


Lesson 2: You determine what your priorities are

If you’re reading this, I know that running is a priority for you and you might be struggling with it. Your priorities should be in alignment with your core values (ex. being fit and healthy is a core or value for some). When you are not in alignment with your core values you will feel edgy, frustrated or snippy. This is how I feel when running is not a priority as reflected on my calendar and with my actions.

Here are a few tips for keeping running on your list of priorities:

  • It is not selfish to claim “Me Time” to stay healthy and fit. When you take care of yourself first, you have more to give to others.
  • Track the days that you intend to run and follow through AND the days you intend to and do not follow through. Data is key. Once you see the pattern, you can then change it.
  • Create mantras around your core values and refer to them when you’re making a decision to commit to an event that would interfere with your run. Ex. “Running is a mind-body experience that grows me as a person.”
  • Run for the Health of It. Run for your physical and mental health. Stay connected to the benefits of running that relate to your core values.


Lesson 3: Your thoughts interfere with follow through

Most folks think it’s our feeling that dictate our actions, but our thoughts impact our feelings, which then dictate our actions. One of my coaches, Brooke Castillo, is brilliant in regards to cleaning up the human thought process and mind management. Check out her podcast, she totally rocks!!!!

     Let me show you:

Circumstance: I’m asked to attend a holiday party

Thought: Missing one day of running won’t hurt anything

Feeling: Like I’m getting away with something/cheating

Action: I don’t run, engage in an action that doesn’t improve my health

Result: I believe that missing a run doesn’t have an impact on my life, which can be repeatable



Circumstance: I’m asked to attend a holiday party

Thought: I can do both, run and let my colleagues know I care about them

Feeling: Relieved that I can take care of me and show my peeps I care about them

Action: Stick to my running plan and get to the gathering a little late OR bring them each a token of my sentiments to work the following day.

Result: I have kept my goal for improved health and shown my peeps that I care about them deeply.

You’ll note that both begin with the same circumstance and they have totally different outcomes. The thought is what led to the difference. Being mindful of what thought drives the feeling and action is especially important during Crunch Time. Are you negotiating away your time away within your thoughts? Play around with this and let me know how it goes!


Lesson 4: The impact of missing runs is not always positive

With the circumstance above, being invited to a party at work, we can explore the implications of saying yes.

Saying yes to one party doesn’t necessarily get us off track too much, but what happens when you inevitably get the second and third invitations? Then your thought is, “I said yes to Sue, so I have to say yes to Bob…” And we get into this thought process that keeps us off track.

My goal is not for you to never have fun or see your friends, but to learn when you are experiencing more stress than necessary.

Things to ask yourself during a “Crunch Time”:

  • Am I feeling edgy or frustrated?
  • Am I feeling confident in my decisions?
  • Am I in alignment with my core values?
  • Am I people pleasing?
  • Is my health improving each day?

When we put our running aside it doesn’t just mean that we missed a run. It means we didn’t stick to a plan, we didn’t address a core value, we put soneone elses priority ahead of our own, and we didn’t strive for the best health possible. We not only missed our physical exercise, but our therapy appointment (if you’re like me, running is therapy), and an opportunity to get out in the fresh air or blow off some steam. Asking yourself these questions can help you get back on track, which will bring you right back to #1: Only you have control over your calendar! Need help naviagating this thought process as it relates to running? Email me directly at Sarah@RiseAndShine.Run

I hope you have a lovely last week of 2017. Enjoy the longer days and keep on running!!!

Shine On,


Training When Sick… What Do I Do???

I was thrown off of my program last week when I was overcome with a chest cold. I shot a video for you that outlines the top three things you can do to get through your sickness while not giving up on your running. Take a listen:

I just wanted to touch base with you today about being sick. I am on day 3 of a serious chest cold and wanted to share with you what to do when you’re feeling sick or what I do, and maybe that will be helpful for you.

First: I love to be really comfy and cozy! I bundle up and really cover my body and make myself physically comfortable.

Second: The second thing I do is clear my schedule to the best of my ability. I know that I love to keep appointments and keep my schedule pretty regimented, but I also know that my self-care is the priority when I’m sick because the more I focus on healing, the faster I heal. I know from the past that if I stick to appointments I just push and force through things and I don’t heal as quickly, and my sickness hangs around a lot longer.

Third: The third thing I do is listen to my body. I allow it to tell me if it’s okay to get outside or not. If I’m scheduled to do a run, it may turn into a walk or it may be a bundle up and read a book kind of day. I really have to listen to my body to let me know what I can do that day. Again, research on my own body has shown me that when I push through a sickness and I run, I deplete my body even more. I know that there’s the theory that says something like, ‘If you miss a week, I’ll never catch back up.’ In reality, if your body is working so hard just to get back into your healthy condition, running is only going to extend it a little bit longer. Don’t push through things. Allow your body to tell you what’s right appropriate at a given time. Again, when you’re sick, be really kind to yourself. This is when you have to be the most gentle with YOU, really gentle, and amp up the self-care.

During my programs with clients, I always emphasize that there are running days, and there are self-care days. It’s not a rest day where you do nothing. It really is about how you repair your body in between your runs. The same is true when you’re sick, so here I’m on day 3 of my sickness. I went for a jog/walk/hike on day 1 of my sickness. That was a little much, so I took the last 2 days off, and I’m totally okay with that. Then integrating back in is just as soon as my self-care catches up, and I feel 100%, then I’ll get back out there. I trust my body to inform that decision.

I hope you found these tips helpful today and I seriously hope you do not experience this cold I had! Have a great day and a great run!

What Makes Running FUN!

Sometimes running seems like a chore. Just an item on your to-do list. When this happens you might be asking yourself, “What will make running FUN again?” I have worked with many clients who want to stick to their running routine and are looking for ways to increase the joy in their experience.  I recorded this video blog for you…  Take a listen:

Join Running Redefined: A Virtual Running Club

I’m so glad you joined me today. What we’re going to talk about is what makes running fun. It’s easy to get stuck in a little rut with running and often times you might even feel like quitting. I want to just share some things that I do to keep my running fun for me and give you a little bit of clarity on what might work for you, as well.

The first thing we’re going to talk about is connecting with our body, that’s the number one way to make running fun. You want to be able to body sense what’s happening within you and really being able to appreciate what’s going on in your body. How awesome would it feel to be able to celebrate your accomplishments? Now, this goes for those of you who are running 6-minute miles, it also goes for you who are running16-minute miles. There is no different between the distance your covering no matter how fast or not fast you’re going. I don’t want to say “slow,” because you’re still moving. You’re still not sitting on that couch. I want you to be giving credit where credit is due. Lots of times what I’ve seen with clients in the past is that they’re not celebrating their successes. A success might be just going for a walk one day and other days it might be like nailing that 800 repeat workout that you were designed to do. Different days call for different things. What I want you to recognize is that, what makes it fun is when you’re actually connecting with your body and appreciating what it does for you.

Another thing is using your senses. If you are lacking any kind of creativity on a run and you just want to set your stopwatch, set your stopwatch for 3 or 4-minute intervals and use a different sense for each interval. Danny Dreyer taught me this, he’s the founder of Chi Running. We did this run with him and we went through all 5 of our sense and just focused on one sense at a time. It was amazing how much I absorbed from that run and also how fast that run went. It was probably one of my favorite runs in my whole life, so I want to share that with you as a tip to making your run fun again. It’s all about using your body and sensing your body.

The second way to make your run fun is to take it to new places. I encourage you to really expand your horizons. We can often get in ruts and say, you know, here in Vermont when it turns to snow, it’s easy to just go to the treadmill and do all my runs there, but I find that really boring. I actually got an injury last year from watching too much Netflix and increasing my mileage way too fast. I needed to step away from that and do something different. What that meant for me is to get away from the mundane and get it back outside. I was actually running less distance but having so much more fun. I may not have even been going as fast because I was dealing with things like snow and ice and traffic and different things.

I encourage you to just try new places. If you’re used to running in the woods, you might want to take it to a bike path. If you’re used to running on a bike path, take it to the woods. If you’re used to running country roads, try running in a city. When you bring your running to different areas it really allows you to see the world from a different perspective, so make it experiential. That’s my second tip for making it fun.

A third thing is to become part of a community. Running is an individual sport, that’s why I loved it in high school because I was really competing against myself even though I was part of a team. What I miss about running as an adult is that team aspect, so I encourage you to find a community. They come in all different forms, where it used to be you’d have to meet up with a running group, that’s often really challenging when you have a busy schedule. You can find an online community. I have one, I’ll put a link to it at the bottom underneath here so if you’re interested in a running community online, you can sign up there or just link over. That would be awesome, I’d love to have you. You want someone or people to share your successes with. Just like we were talking about in the first tip around really understanding and celebrating your body, you want to share that with other people. You also want to have a community supporting you when you’re feeling challenged. Being a part of a community is super, super helpful. You can go local, you can go with friends, so local running groups, just go with your friends, or find an online community.

Join Running Redefined: A Virtual Running Club

Throw in one more last tip for you, this can be super fun also, is motivating yourself by training for a race. It’s kind of the experiential part but I like to keep it separate because it’s very specific. It’s goal oriented so it’s not just about lifestyle, it’s specifically training for a race. What’s awesome about today’s society is that you don’t even have travel to attend a race. I encourage you to travel because that makes it experiential, but they also come in the virtual form. If you’re looking for virtual races, those are possible too. A bonus is they are really easy to fit into your schedule.

Those are some options for making your run fun. These are just a few options, there are other options but I just wanted to give you a taste of how you can improve your experience and feel a little bit more fulfilled at the end of your run. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to me. It was so great seeing you today and I’ll talk to you soon. Take care everybody!

If you have any questions about your running routine, don’t hesitate to reach out! Send me an email:


Why It’s So Hard to Start Running!

As a Running Coach, I get this question all of the time! And I’ve BEEN there a few times  when I had to reclaim my running practice, so I’ve been through it first hand. Coming back from a running hiatus or getting started for the first time can be a challenge. This video blog sheds some light on why it isn’t just, “slipping on a pair of sneakers.”

Hey there and greetings from Vermont!  I’m glad that you joined me today for our little discussion about why it’s so hard to start running again. This is for beginner runners AND those of you who are coming back into the sport from an injury. There’s a myth in the running community that

I’m glad that you joined me today for our little discussion about why it’s so hard to start running again. This is for beginner runners AND those of you who are coming back into the sport from an injury.

There’s a myth in the running community that says, “All you need is a pair of sneakers and you can get started, it’s easy peasy.” I’m going to shed some light on why you may be finding it a challenge. I’ve had to reclaim my running habits a few times due to injuries and know how frustrating it can be and sometimes you end up feeling almost like a failure. It is actually a sport based on failure because you have to get to exhaustion to make it to the next level or to improve on your time and/or distance.

When getting back into running, it’s often really challenging. I see a cycle over and over again where people start by being super motivated and energized, and then all of a sudden, training falls off the radar again. That doesn’t always feel good. If you’re seriously looking to get back into your running and make it feel super fun again, I just want to shed some light on what’s happening.In the running world, it’s really super easy to find training programs, training information, how to eat, how to dress. These are what I call the external or Outer Game things. It’s all based on logistics and very factual information. That stuff is super easy, so most times, people think,  ‘I have my shoes, I have my outfit, I have all my stuff, my gear, I have my training plan, I put it on my calendar…’ and then something happens and they get off track. What people aren’t telling you and sharing, and I’ve made it my mission to share this with folks, is the Inner Game of running.

This is where you can get some clarity, and I hope you find this helpful. If you are feeling frustrated, feeling like a failure getting back into your running program or starting your program and it hasn’t gone so smoothly, here’s what’s happening. There’s what I call the inner game. When you get frustrated, it’s because something gets in the way. Nobody tells you how to say no to people that you love. Nobody tells you how to put the time into your schedule and really stick to it. Nobody tells you how to deal with the emotional guilt of skipping a day or the emotional fear of an injury starting to crop up and you’re not sure if you should run through it or if you should listen to your body. This is what I call that inner game, this dialogue of when things start to get a little bit iffy, how do you deal with that?

When you get frustrated, it’s because of an Inner Game Conflict. Nobody tells you how to say no to people that you love. Nobody tells you how to put the time into your schedule and really stick to it. Nobody tells you how to deal with the emotional guilt of skipping a day or the emotional fear of an injury starting to crop up and you’re not sure if you should run through it or if you should listen to your body. This is what I call that Inner Game.

I hope you found this helpful and it can shed some light on why you’re feeling frustrated and why it’s so difficult to get started. If you have all the components in place for your Outer Game, your logistics, and things, now it’s time to start thinking about your Inner Game, and I want you to think about why you’re doing it, why you’re committing to it. What is that motivating drive? I want you to hang onto that when things get difficult, and if you need support getting through this phase, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.Thanks for joining me on today’s video blog, and I look forward to seeing you again soon. Take care!

If you resonate with this, please reach out and let me know. I’d love to hear from you! Email me: Sarah@RiseAndShine.Run

8 Ways to Make Your Run Therapeutic

Therapeutic RunningYou hear a LOT about running injuries and how much damage running can do to your body. What if the exact opposite were true and running could be therapeutic and heal you from the inside out?

I’ve been a long time runner and know BOTH sides of running, the hurting and the healing. I’d like to share with you how to make your runs more therapeutic so you can run with ease and grace until late in life.

  1. Change your goal: Rather than focusing on completing a specific number of miles or doing it in a certain time, shift your goal to getting out for a run and enjoying it, well into your 80’s. Make your ultimate goal about longevity and use individual races/workouts as benchmarks.
  1. Learn proper running form: Lots of people tell you how far and fast to run, but do they tell you what your body is doing? Do you know how to decrease the impact on your body while running? Do you know how to be more energy efficient? If you have not taken a Chi Running Clinic, I highly suggest it. It changed my WORLD!!!!!
  1. Ditch Your Technology: Take at least one run per week to go tech-free. Open your senses and experience the peacefulness of nature or the incredible energy of a robust community. Wherever you are, immerse yourself in the experience and enjoy being free of your phone or watch.
  1. Be Present In Your Body: When you are present in your body, you will actually hear the messages it tells you. Too often we focus elsewhere and miss out on important sensory messages from our body. When you are present, you can use the information to course correct, make a change and even avoid an injury!
  1. Focus on Breath: Deep breathing has so many positive benefits and can be very calming. To run well, we need oxygen. The more deep we breathe, the more oxygen we get because the majority of the oxygen exchange happens in the lowest 1/3 of our lungs.
  1. Integrate a 5 Sense Run: While at Kripalu in 2015 learning from Danny Dreyer, he took us on a 5-sense run and I recommend it to everyone. Set your watch to beep every 6 minutes. Each time it beeps focus on a different sense: Sight, Sound, Taste, Feel, and Smell. Your 30 minutes will pass quickly and you’ll experience something new!
  1. Allow Yourself the Space to Improve: Be kind to yourself and let yourself move at a pace that feels good. When you force yourself to move at a pace beyond your capabilities you not only risk an injury, but also may create a negative feeling toward your relationship with running. Keep your run therapeutic by allowing yourself to improve at your natural pace.
  1. Celebrate Your Body After Each and Every Run: The biggest key to making your run therapeutic is to show yourself gratitude for your accomplishment. Being able to go out and run is a blessing and a gift. Celebrate what your body does for you and watch your self-love and satisfaction soar!

Running doesn’t have to be about, “pounding the pavement,” or, “no pain, no gain.” Running has many therapeutic qualities and can move you in ways that make you feel great. Try to integrate some of these into your weekly workouts. It’s Your Life. Rise Up And Run With It.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! I’d love to hear from you…


Top 3 Tips to Make Your Run FUN!

Side stitch - woman runner side cramps

Do you ever see people running who totally have their “runners mojo?” They look light, airy, carefree, and most of all… Like they ENJOY IT!  And then do you ever see people who look like they’re in pain and would rather be doing ANYTHING else? As a Healthstyle Coach and Chi Running Instructor, I meet lots of people who run only to burn calories, check it off of their to-do list, use their cool technology to micro-analyze their performance, or as a punishment for food choices they made earlier in the day. None of these leave room for fun and sets up a dysfunctional relationship with the sport. I think it’s really important for your run to become fun again so that you’re motivated to do it over and over, again and again. Wouldn’t it be great to love your run and routinely experience a runner’s high not just during an event or race?

Here are my Top 3 tips to Making Your Run FUN Again:

#1: Make Your Run Therapeutic.

Create a run that leaves your mind, body, and spirit feeling rejuvenated after its completion. Often runners push through their workout completely focused on other tasks and just cram it into their day. Exercise has become something to burn calories and check off of a to-do list. I find the more I focus on running as a practice, something that heals my body and allows me to deepen my connection to self and place, the more rewarding my experience. It is amazing how when I’m fully present during my run how much I accomplished before and after. It’s like my mind is free to focus on what is necessary. The therapeutic qualities of running of course go beyond the runner’s high and clearing your mind. There are countless physical health benefits from running. However, it’s so important to focus on what will motivate you to get back out there daily. By focusing on running as your practice, you clear your mind and enjoying the time you take for yourself. You create the space to want more. You are giving yourself such a precious gift!!!!

#2:  Make Your Run Experiential.

I’m talking about fully experiencing the place you choose to run. I see lots of folks addicted to their headsets, smartphones and stopwatches. There is absolutely a time and place for these gadgets but I wonder if their joy would increase if they were to unplug once in awhile. When unplugged you not only open the channels and hearing your body’s messages (which totally helps you avoid injury), you can also fully feel what the location has to offer. I’m probably one of the few who still has to measure my runs after the fact. I love to be free of technology when I run. Maybe once a week I bring my phone to measure my distance, use a metronome, or listen to tunes or a lecture. The rest of the days I find myself listening and watching out for wildlife, feeling the wind on my body, watching people, or just being inquisitive about what’s going on around me and within me. Being intentional about my experience allows me to choose what type of run I want to have. If I need quiet I choose the woods for a trail run. If I need socialization I’ll hit the bike path or catch up with a local running group.

Planning races around sweet destinations is also a passion of mine. Running has literally immersed me in the global community. It’s allowed me to greet other cultures in a way that is personal, memorable and healthy. To lace up and explore a city is a completely different experience and one that I cherish. These memories motivate me to continue to take my runs in different ways all of the time, which keeps it experiential and fun. I invite you to do the same.

#3:  Make Your Run Custom.

There is so much material out there providing mileage and time schedules to follow while preparing for a race. And there is nothing worse than choosing a plan that is not tailored to your current performance level. What no one likes to remind you is that YOU are the expert of your body. It’s so important to understand where you’re starting. I see people, over and over, trying to push beyond their current capabilities. This leads to injury and self-judgment, and begins a dysfunctional relationship with running. Many of my clients compare themselves to the runner they used to be (I have been guilty of this too) and it sets them up for disappointment and self-loathing. Nothing squashes the fun out of a run more than when your mind is saying, “Jeeze, you are so slow,” or, “I can’t believe you can’t do “X” amount of miles anymore.” When you customize and meet yourself where you are, you can literally celebrate every run as an accomplishment. It allows you to value your body’s capability in the moment, which deepens your love and appreciation for what it does for you. And this kind of Loops it right back to it being therapeutic!

Soooooo….  When you bring in therapeutic qualities to your run it becomes more of a practice. You deepen your relationship with your body, which is positive and the motivating. When your runs are experiential and you enlist all five senses, you finish feeling more fulfilled, energized and stress free, which will make you want to run more. And by respecting your body and customizing your plan, you allow yourself to naturally improve overtime, gently and lovingly, without having to push and force which leads to injury. And running is now something to celebrate!

To learn more about this topic, follow my blog.  I’ll be breaking each of these tips down further and teach you how to transform your runs.


If you’d like information on creating this type of running experience contact Sarah at Rise And Shine to learn about her Lace.Race.Relax. Raceation programs.