Teaming up with Inside Tracker

Next up for SJ?? The 26th annual “Howl at the Moon 8 hour run” on August 13th!! I will be working with InsideTracker from Segterra to get my nutrition on point, to re-up my endurance training, and to put emphasis on getting fitful rest/sleep: areas that I have not been as diligent about since Potawatomi 100 mile trail run in April.

Inside Tracker uses your blood results as a tool to analyze your current health, and proposes changes in your diet and routine to improve your health!

I recently had a blood draw with another physician, so I chose the DIY Advanced option which cost me $109.00.  I will now receive a year of advice and consultation from Inside Tracker to reach and exceed my goals.

Based on my blood count, I have 14 markers in the “optimal” range, 7 in the “needs work” category, and 3 markers that are “at risk”.  My cholesterol and blood glucose are high, and my iron is low.   With dietary changes and supplements, I am going to get these markers in a better range so that my endurance and energy levels build!!

I am excited about getting things started and hope you will follow along this journey with us!! ‪#‎inmidstride‬‪#‎autismawareness‬ ‪#‎ultratrailrunning‬

A New Day to Start Again

get it right

So we as a family, some more on board than others, decided this weekend that we would SERIOUSLY try to start living healthier.  Yes, I did run a marathon yesterday, so maybe that was part of it.  The husband had to wrangle the kids for half of a day, which meant whatever it took to appease them goes!!  It boggles my mind first off, that I can run that distance and do so fairly regularly.  But what impresses me more is the lack of discipline I have in other areas of my life; mainly my dietary intake and therefore the intake of my family. me and the boys

Now it’s easy for me to eat whatever I want (within reason) – don’t be a hater, I am NO poster child for health!  I also have one child, Aaron, with a tree nut/peanut allergy who has been told by his pediatrician to limit his dairy consumption.  Next up I have my Isaac who is ASD (autism) and severely limits his diet to mainly white foods in color; rice, potato chips, popcorn, water, bites of chicken.  And then the husband who is a stress eater with an extremely stressful job.  What all this has resulted in is a lack of structure all around😦  SO we are going to take baby steps to improve on things!!

Isaac has started playing Special Olympics basketball this year, and he absolutely LOVES it.  He had/has no concept of the game, but in just a few short weeks has learned to dribble and has hit the rim with the basketball.  TWICE!!  Most importantly, he LOVES practice, his coaches, his team mates – everything except the loud buzzer.  This has created a family environment in which the 4 of us go to practice together twice a week, and to a game on the weekend.  That folks is an improvement for us!  Anytime we can put down the electronics is a victory for us❤

Sooooooooo.   Today I went grocery shopping.  I bought a whole bunch of good, fresh and healthy intentions.  LOTS of fresh fruits and veggies, some of the staples (chicken nuggets, frozen pizzas, chicken breasts), but also a few new to us items.  I about choked looking at the prices of some of the healthier options, for example, $6.99 for a loaf of sprouted grained bread!!!  I passed on that. But I will let you know how it goes!! silk


Slowing Down – Some

The last time I raced and blogged was in October when I ran my first ever 50 miler, the Farmdale Trail 50.  I decided the prior October while I was running the Chicago marathon that I needed a change, so it was then that I decided to move over to trails and move up to longer distances if my body allowed.  After two weeks to recover, I began training for my first 50k which was scheduled in April 2015.

The Howl at the Moon 8 hour race is what I chose.  It would be my first endurance attempt, and although there were a few runners from my running group (CITRA – Central Illinois Trail Runners Association) who also made the trek, I am mainly a solo runner, so it was all me.  I was able to log 32 miles, so I earned my stripes.  After a two week recovery period, I began training for my first ‘hundo’!

As my training  program, I chose to forego a Coach and simply use a free online program from Ultra Trail Ladies.  The process is three hard weeks followed by one scaled back which gradually built in miles.  In 2015, as an example, I logged 2500+ miles total, so I was putting in lots of time.

Beginning in 2016 the training continued.  So far this calendar year I have 335 miles, however, after Sunday’s long run, which was a scaled back 18 miles, I began to feel my left knee.  Now, I know I will feel my body after long runs, sometimes even after short runs.  I am 47 years young after all.  But I can tell that this is different.  I am still able to walk without much pain, but I also know that something is wrong, so I discontinued running immediately.  On Tuesday I will see my favorite Physical Therapist, the same gal who got me through my hip fracture a few years ago.

Until then, I have no regrets.  With the sheer number of miles I run, my body is bound to break down some.  I take good care of myself, so I am not upset about that.  Of course I could make some changes for the better, who couldn’t?  I’m just resolved to see what is up on Tuesday and go from there!  I will use this time to strengthen my core and arms and spend time with my kids❤

How have you occupied your time when not fully able to log the miles?


Farmdale 50 mile Trail Run

Saturday, October 10th began at 3:30 a.m. when my iPhone alarm woke me telling me it was “Race Day”.  This was it!!  The day I had been waiting for all year when I made this trail run my “A” goal of 2015″.  I got out of bed, and quickly ate a peanut butter and banana sandwich along with drinking some Tailwind nutrition.  I got dressed, chewed a piece of Plow On gum, and I was out the door to sign in and meet up with some of the other runners. IMG_5237

The race format was a 10 mile loop at the Farmdale Reservoir in Washington, IL.  I had many opportunities to visit the grounds, yet with my anxiety disorder, I decided against it, lest my mental game be filled with doubt.  Looking back, that was one of the best choices I made.

We started promptly at 5 a.m., headlamps blazing.  Still as dark as the starry night could be, I donned a knit cap and gloves as it was a brisk 47 degrees at the start.  I headed towards the back of the group and met up with a CITRA (Central Illinois Trail Runners Association) runner I had yet to meet.  I introduced myself, “Hi Elaine!!  My name is SarahJeanne Olson” and my typical blubbering continued.  I had seen Ann’s name and posts from the groups facebook page.  She informed me this was her second attempt at 100 miles, and that with this being in her backyard and her grandkids being here, she felt good about her chances.  Being new to trail running, I simply was in awe of her experience, and gleaned every bit of knowledge from her in those first 5 miles we ran together.  I use the term “ran” loosely, as that first lap was all about seeing in sort of a ‘tunnel vision’ with the headlamp constantly shifting on top of my knit cap.  At the aide station, the group went on ahead as I changed batteries in hopes that I slow down the rate of falling I was doing.  I ran solo the rest of that first loop, only falling 4 times and having 5 near misses or “toe picks”,IMG_5259 as I lovingly term them.  I vividly saw the race clock at 2:18:xx and went around to fill up my hydration vest with Tailwind and change socks and shoes.IMG_5239

On the second loop, I met up with more CITRA folks, Richard and JaeMon, who had me laughing and giggling as we toughed the Cougar hill together.  My corn field training was a literal walk in the part compared to this vertical rock climb.  At the aid station, I kept going, satisfied with my fueling and just wanting to keep going.

I grabbed a half of a banana, more Tailwind and continued on my way.  The water crossing each loop was chilly, but in a sense felt refreshing on my feet.  In total there were 4 creek crossings, but this one you had to walk through the stream.  No way around it.  I sort of caught up to someone who was walking as fast as I was running, so we struck up a conversation.  He too was going for the hundred miles, so he was pacing hisself accordingly; which was fine with me, because I was feeling my way around, looking for the next pink flags or reflector to acknowledge I was still on the right path.  My Garmin ran out of battery, my headphones quit and the top of my left foot started hurting.

Another banana half, refill of Tailwind and PLOW ON energy gum, a change of clothes and shoes and lap 4 was underway. IMG_5246 34 miles was the longest I had gone before and that was just 2 months prior, so I KNEW I would meet a distance PR soon.  I was becoming worried about my foot, so I walked all of the incines and ran all the flats.  At the aid station at 35.5 I announced my distance PR.  But moreso, I had to pee.  Why was there no porta potty in the middle of nowhere?, They had tp, wipes, napkins, et al, who needs a porta potty??? The full moon came out that loop as I ‘communed’ with nature:)

One lap to go.  If I had to walk the entire way, I would, but I was going to make it.  I checked and it was 3:41 p.m.  The boys had hidden my headlamp somewhere, so I had to go without.  And walk I did.  Itook a banana and started walking.  Nothing was going to stop me.  Last time sliding down that slope.  Last time I will bear crawl up the side of this mountain (okay, it really is a hill, but by the 5th loop it was a seemingly tall and steep mountain).  Last time I have to hike my leg over this fallen tree that was too tall to step up onto, and too wide to straddle comfortably, and no sapplings around to hang onto.  God had outdone Hisself with the beauty of it all.  Now the home stretch.

The boys would meet me at the parking lot and run “walk” (I corrected them) me in.  They weren’t having it.  Isaac bolted ahead, Aaron who calls hisself my second Coach kept repeating “Finish Strong, Mom!!  You got this!!!”  I was happy to be that close but was just as happy to walk it in, plus “Isn’t it past your bedtime young man?”, I joked.  “Mom, it’s 7:11!!  Lucky numbers!  Well, even though I know you don’t believe in luck.  I knew you would do it all along Mom” IMG_5247

Happy New Years Striders!!!


Although Facebook will continue its games to limit exposure, “In Mid Stride” is not selling anything, nor am I paid to endorse any product(s) or affiliation; it’s just me, SarahJeanne. After announcing that I felt that I fulfilled the goals I had when I created my Facebook page “In Mid Stride”, I had a nice outpouring of concern. Change is evident. Situations change, goals change, people change and grow!! So…I am steering the page in the direction I am heading and I am proposing a change. It is multifaceted, so I hope to reach more people dealing with same/similar issues and striving to reach their own personal “out there” goals.

In terms of running, I love it and can’t quit it!! Injury and off seasons are a part of the journey! So what better time to rebuild from base level up than the New Year!?! I hope you will join me and Coach Witt @Find Your Twitch, as he puts me through the paces. 2015 is going to be INCREDIBLE #bringiton2015 but it’s going to take some work! In 2015 my running goals are not going to be how many races I enter, or how much bling I can earn!  Instead the emphasis will be getting fit, lean and strong #leanmachinein2015 !

A group from the local off road/trail runners offered to mentor me as I make the transition to ultra trail running! These guys are intense, however, they know my mindset and think this rebuilding year and the difficulty of ultra trails go hand in hand! So my BIG race will be an offroad 30 miler in October here close to home! So my family can be with me!! I miss them HORRIBLY when I am away from home for races, so I’m happy happy happy about that option. #IRUN4Isaac

I’m very excited about getting my eating plan back on target!! With all the rolos, coffee drinks, Big Gulp soda pops and beer, etal I have consumed, I have really let things go and put on 8 pounds! I’m not worried about the weight, but it just shows me how far off of my routines that I have gotten

Another change I am super excited about will be the slant on #AutismAwareness. Before school let out this break I got my certification to be a Para Professional – which is just a fancy term for Special Education aide. I hope to start working with Special Needs kids emphasizing in ASD (Autism). I left the work force in 2003 when I had my first child, Aaron, so the entire return to the workforce in a completely different area than my education centered in will be a journey in itself!! With the birth of my second, Isaac, who was diagnosed with Autism at 18 months, my focus changed entirely to envelope all things autism! I plan to include more day to day going ons with regards to Isaac – what works, what doesn’t, what we are trying, have tried etc.

If #InMidStride is a fit for you, I hope that you will ‘like’ what I am posting and comment so we can keep the conversation going!! I have grown to love many of you and consider you friends! I want the path God has put me on to affect positively anyone who is receptive, but above all I am keeping it real!! I realize that not one page can be everything to everyone, so if In Mid Stride is no longer a fit for you, I hope that you can find an outlet that is. I have met many amaZING friends via this page outreach, so I know in fact that you are out there! HAPPY NEW YEAR STRIDERS!!

Has it been three weeks ALREADY?!?!?!

Today I visited my ortho doctor to see about the discomfort that I still feel three weeks after I ran THE Chicago Marathon on October 12th. My right hip bone and calf hurt almost each time I step, but especially if I try to push off the front of my right foot. His diagnosis was grade 2 tears in the gluteus med and calf muscles, and recommends that I take an additional 3 weeks off of running completely.

If you are like most runners you are thinking, “aren’t you about half nuts by now?” or “I would go crazy!!” However, because of the discomfort I am feeling in addition to other activities that I am catching up on, I am surprisingly okay with it! So far, anyway.

“So how is the house cleaning and decluttering going”, you ask? Well, “well!!” I would say!! I have been told that the inside of your house is a window to the state of your mind, and “cluttered” or “a mess” is definitely an accurate description for mine! Since my last post, I have continued the theme of simplifying the clutter and have donated over 300 items to local charities or churches! I have thrown out almost 200 items as well, so as to keep the trash collectors with a purpose on Tuesday mornings as well😉 Hey! I give them Christmas cookies when that time comes each year😉

I have completely emptied the guest bedroom and guest bathroom of everything in them, painted the walls, and both are again functioning normally again; albeit with MUCH less ‘crapola’ in them! Looks nice actually!!

As a family we have started what I am calling “No Spend November” in which we are to appreciate what we DO have, and not beg Mommy or buy anything additional. This is requiring me to cook. A LOT!! I do not like to cook, nor am I very good at, BUTT, I am using up the plethora of pantry items and emptying the deep freezer in the process, and getting creative doing so! Sunday evening we, as a family, thawed and ground up deer meat scraps to make hamburger for tacos, spaghetti, etc.

So although I will have had 6 weeks off when I go back to recheck things after Thanksgiving break, I am anxious to hear the words “all clear”. Spring marathon training will be right around the corner, if I can help it!!!

Marathon Cleaning – Day 5

I am really feeling my knee today as I hobble around cleaning, so I decided to sit down, grab a cup of coffee (with sugar, a Rolo and milk!!) and tell you how I’ve been doing these first 5 days of Marathon Cleaning – 30 items 30 days.

Day 1, Monday, was spent just trying to catch up! After I dropped the boys off to school, I came home and started on the laundry, loaded the dishwasher, emptied all the trash cans in the house, swept/mopped/vacuumed, et al. I made a meal plan for the week and went grocery shopping. I may or may not have forgotten how to cook “from scratch”, as the laziness I have been in has resulted in lots of frozen or boxed quick meals😦 I felt quite accomplished at the end of the day!!

Day 2. I took a tour of my “office”. I use that term loosely, as I haven’t actually worked in there in years. It has become a catch all for nearly everything, and boy does it show!! I went through “stuff” for seemingly hours, but it was quite a bit of simply putting things away, rather than throwing them away. This room also serves as the catch-all for my running stuffs, so I went through the mass of bags, socks, headbands, shoes et al. The Mr. has asked me not to buy any more shoes, since I am currently off of the rotation all together. I agreed. At least while I recover these few weeks. (At least I hope it’s only a few weeks!!!)

Day 3. I tackled the master bathroom. GAH!! I called on all of the magical cleaning formulas I could find to eat through some of the scum in the tub that has built up. Does Epsom salt build up?? I cleaned under the sink and got rid of lots of half used items ie., soaps that only had a few drops left. Why do I hang onto these things en masse!?!? I worked in the boys closet. (These kids have more clothes than I) and FINALLY cleaned the mudroom; putting away the winter coats from last year. Yes! I know winter will be back in a few short weeks, but hey! I did it!!

Day 4. Spent some time outside with the boys after school putting away the outside (broken) sand toys, trucks, shovels, pool toys that the dog buried, etc. Earlier in the day I cleared ALL of the kitchen counters, crushed ALL of the cans, and spot cleaned puppy pee pee on the carpets.

Day 5. Today. I went downstairs to get the Halloween decorations. No kidding! One week to go and I am finally get around to it. I know. I tried to warn you things are out of hand. Anyway, I got them out. And there they sit. In the dining area. On the table away from the teething puppy. I went through the magazines, and I once again realize, that I am not a magazine reader, and subscribing to my nieces fund raisers each year is not helping me out at all… I worked on a dresser drawer in the boys room. Baby steps, and clipped and counted Box Tops 4 education.

Whew! 150 items out in 5 days! It feels good to be catching up on some of the things I should have been doing all along, but put off to train instead. The Mr. is loving these days as he comes home and can see some progress being made. But he knows it is short lived, and as soon as I am cleared to run, the house will be forgotten about once again😉
decluttering check list