Run Corntown

Do you know what’s a great feeling? 

(don’t worry I’m not going to say “eating clean!” or “waking up at 4:30 to workout!” or “saying no to dessert!” sorry #unfitfulential)

Going home.  Going home feels great.  Especially when you haven’t been since Thanksgiving, the OH summer weather is peaked but bearable, everyone’s schedules align magically, and you let go of your TypeA insane itinerary addiction and JUST BE while you’re there.

I think this feeling is what people refer to as “recharged”.  Good god it’s amazing.

I left without the intention of going completely blog-silent, but it worked that way and I didn’t let it stress me.  Every time I felt guilty for not logging on I checked myself with a “this is REAL life, internetz’ing can wait” – sit with dad on the couch, drink wine & gossip with Laur, say yes to (another) after-work happy hour, spend some time with grandma.  These are the things that matter and the reason why you fly 2000 miles to be here.

So I feel great about my trip back to Corntown, and I’m pretty confident no one had any serious detachment issues from a little OUaL blackout.  If you did, I’m sorry, but please let me know so I can make sure to not meet your crazy ass IRL anytime soon.

(jk kinda)

Other than warming my heart with friend/fam QT, filling my lungs with manure-soaked fresh air, and marinating my liver with lots of great local beer, I did a bit of running that maybe you’ll be interested in…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Fish Fest 5k

Forever ago when I mentioned a summer trip to OH, KimiKay sent a note advocating for the Vermillion Fish Fest 5k.


I get why she digs it – it’s your stereotypical “locals race”.  Runners of all shapes/sizes stretching and chatting under the shade trees at the YMCA, officials yelling out splits at mile markers, and an awards reception sponsored by the local grocer and more door prizes and age group awards than there were runners (almost).

My recently-graduated (OMG) sister, mom, and I all ran.  Mom is suddenly the running world’s biggest advocate.  She’s got Corntown all excited about sweating, knows the local race circuit like the back of her hand, and has even been caught Nuun’ing her fellow runners.


(I should probably hand over my nuun ambassador title – Momma OUaL has Corntown’s hydration on lock.)

My mileage has been really low lately as I attempt my “smart recovery” from Ojai and transition into the “run freaking fast!” summer plan.  I knew that added to the OH heat, humidity and 9am start weren’t ideal for racing, but wanted to try and run hard anyway.  My last 5k was the Leprechaun Leap (:21.17), as the tail end of a 15 mile training run.

So I decided to give a PR a shot.  I’d go out hard, and if I blew up, oh well.  My stubborn cling to this approach obviously hasn’t worked out so well for long races, but I figured I could give it a go for 3.1 miles.

Disclaimer : I did not invent this guts-racing strategy :


Thanks for the inspiration, Steve.  We’ll pay homage next week at your rock and trail.

Even though the execution wasn’t quite there (uhh hi positive split city) I strangely loved going out hard and just trying to hang on.  I got busted trying to keep up with the short-short boys, clicked a way too fast mile1, got passed by a girl at the split, caught her around 2.5, and sprinted through to a 21:56 and 1st woman overall win.



Despite missing my PR goal I let myself be happy with the win.  Because how often am I going to get to say I WON a race???  Next to never.  And don’t get me wrong, I realize in a normal-sized, normal-competitive field that time wouldn’t even get me an age group placing, but when you’re home in tiny town Ohio and grasping for some confidence, a win is a win.

I have the trophy to prove it.


Making the day even cooler, Mom & Mel had AWESOME races as well – Mel took a 3rd place Age Group finish in her second ever race, and Mom came in under 30 minutes! 

Genetics FTW.


Running has never been a big part of our lives – Mel & I were both ball-sport athletes (volleyball, basketball, softball) where running was just part of training.  We both played softball in college, and now that she’s graduated and all the cleats in the family are hung up there was a little void to fill I guess.

Diamond to race course transition – complete.

It took them two years of calling me crazy to realize how cool running is, but they’re FINALLY here with me :)

Crazy train, party of three.


Even though running is still new to my immediate kin, there IS some deep-rooted running blood in our family tree.  My uncle was the cross country and track coach at our high school, which I never took any interest in it then (hello volleyball and softball season) but it’s fun to gab about the sport now.

Also fun – taking a day to hit the trails he’s been grooming at my grandparent’s property.

If there’s anything that can compete with oceanside running, it’s this :


Yes please.

So that’s the last week in a nutshell, sort of.  Now that I’m back on the west coast it’s back to real life for a few days before a little thing called TOTALLY TRIALS.

Thursday, please hurry.  I’ve got some Hayward hunger pains that need tending to.

          *  How did you guys start running?  Was it inherited?  Accidental?  Are you the lone odd bird or is running a family affair??

Sarah OUaL


36 thoughts on “Run Corntown

  1. I know exactly what you mean about going home – especially to the Midwest. It’s a total breath of fresh air. And I fell into running. I was really good in high school (just freshman year) setting records, going to state, etc. Then being 15 clearly knew EVERYTHING and quit then picked it up again as a hobby in college.

    I hope you have that trophy in the middle of your fireplace mantle BTW – a win is a win!


  2. Hey, a win’s a win!! It is so cool that you got your family running; I am the only runner in my family and they all think I am a little mental for running marathons for fun. Have fun in Eugene!


  3. When I met my husband he had just transferred from a college that he had a cross country scholarship at – I decided that I would start running to be able to do it with him (and get thinner since he was stick thin then!) Once I got up to two miles I said we would run together – by the time I got there – he didn’t want to run anymore (I should’ve seen that coming with the transfer away from some free schooling)! So now I run and he is an incredibly knowledgeable supporter!!


  4. I ran track in high school but I was always a sprinter if I had to run for more than 200 meters I thought I was going to die! In March of 2011 my father-in-law got me and my husband to start running by getting us signed up for an obstacle course 5k. After that we were hooked! So for me running is a family affair and my father-in-law, my husband, and myself are getting ready to start training for our 2nd half marathon and our first full marathon. Most of the people I know think I am crazy with all this running stuff but I LOVE it! It gives me something to work towards and it turns out I’m not terrible at it either! :)


  5. Winner????? Dang, awesome! All you can do is race who shows up and you beat ’em all. Winner!!!! Positive splitting a 5K is fine, especially if the course profile dictates it.

    Re starting running, it was because I was fat and my wife made me. All you chicks are mean.


  6. Despite the no PR that time is awesomeee!! Great win! I also grew up playing ball sports and played in college also so running was just part of that. My parents have always ran but I was literally dying to compete again when I was done playing in college so running and Cycling it was ! Cannot wait to hear and read ridiculous tweets of yours from Eugene!


  7. I’m another person who was a sprinter in school (as well as basketball, volleyball, and Irish dancing). When I left school I was still dancing, but I needed something else to keep me fit so I eventually started running. Then I eventually quit dancing and started running more!

    It sounds like you had a great trip home. I’ve never lived more than a half hour from my parents, so I see them (and my inlaws) once a week. I take it for granted a bit!


  8. Way to go on your win! I’m pretty sure I’ll never win any races but I’m okay with that. I know what you mean about going home. It’s so refreshing. My parents live a mile away and I still feel that way every time I go to their house.
    I loved to run as a kid and I was a sprinter in junior high but then dropped track to join the softball team. I ran very sporadically for the next 15 years until a year ago when I realized I really love distance running. It’s my therapy and sanity saver.


  9. A win is a win and that is amazing. Looks like a great time at home. I love that your family runs with you. I have been working on my sister to run a 5K with me. I am annoying so she will cave eventually:). Good luck being calm the next few days as you get ready for trials.


  10. I want to be a runner.(I really want the body) I ran track in high school, but very prone to injuries. I am trying to get V involved. I have signed him up for his first kid’s marathon. He has 5 miles in so far. Just 20 more miles until Sept 15, and then he runs the last 1.2, gets a tshirt, a medal, a party…I am hoping to plant the seed. He ran 1/2 mile yesterday without stopping. Not too shabby for a 5 yo.


  11. Way to go on your win! Nobody in my family is a runner. I always wanted to be.. Especially in high school when I was the fat cheerleader running one mile (stopping behind the band bleachers) to walk. I tried and tired to pick up running and never could learn to breath and would give up after 30-60 secs. Two years ago a friend joked about me doing a half with her. I laughed in her face. That was in dec for April race. When she asked again in April to do an Oct half, I finally gave in. I trained with couch2-5k an joined a running group (Marathon Makeover) and met with them every Saturday last summer. Ran my first (and only, yet) half marathon in 2:34. Slow, I know. But I DID finish, and it was the BEST feeling in the world! But after, I’ve really had to work out it. Pretty much quit all winter and now working my way back after an ITband injury. Now if I could just get past 2-4 miles I could get somewhere!!


  12. (don’t worry I’m not going to say “eating clean!” or “waking up at 4:30 to workout!” or “saying no to dessert!” sorry #unfitfulential) <— hilarious!

    trips back home are SO refreshing, glad you had a great weekend!

    congrats on the win! a win is a win, no matter what the time! really awesome your mom is getting so involved with running! it'd be a dream come true if my family could catch on to it!

    I started running because I was a GYM RAT. Then one day somebody asked me, "what are you going to do… be a professional exerciser??? so i started running a little less than two years ago—HOOKED! It wasn't inherited.. my aunt was a runner in high school and set a bunch of records but never did anything else with running. Aside from my husband, we're the only ones that run!


  13. Wow…well done on the win, that’s amazing. I would probably cry if I won a race! You must be so excited.

    I started running when I got dumped by this boy. He was TOTALLY wrong for me and I knew that but I was heartbroken. I was 10lbs over weight (which at 5″1 is a LOT) and knew suddenly I could either eat chocolate or run to deal with this. So I ran. I signed up for a 5k a few months or so away and started running. At the race, I was thinner, I had a new outfit and I ran my first race. I was hooked from that moment! And then I met this new guy and he and I ran the London marathon together….and we got married.

    And no, none of my immediate family run. They think I’m mad. Ooh, apart from my husband who runs occasionally.


  14. Nice trip home!! Those local races can be really fun. I was born in MA on Marathon Monday in 1986. And after 25 years I decided last year to finally give in to that little piece of soul that’s always wanted to be a runner. After my first few 5k’s I now have family members signing up for races with me!


  15. Congrats on the WIN!!!! How fun is THAT?!!! Your family looks like a lot of fun :)

    Totally the lone, odd bird. I hated running with a passion and avoided it at all costs. In my mid-twenties, I needed to ’embrace’ it as cross-training for rowing. Then in my mid-thirties when I stopped rowing, I spent more time running for a couple of years.


  16. I am the lone odd bird runner. My dad is a very dedicated walker {10+ miles per day, even in the cold Michigan winter} but no one runs, not even most of my friends. I started running last year to get back in shape and it quickly took over my life!


  17. Good job winning the race! I totally agree. It doesn’t matter if the population of the city is 50…a win is a WIN!
    I started running about 10 years ago. My older brother did it, so of course I had to do it. I have loved it every day. I think I should thank my brother for that. :)


  18. Congrats on your win and how cute is that trophy?! I love that your sister and mom love to run too…congrats to them as well! I just recently started running; I had a baby last year and wanted to do something for me and I love it!


  19. Ugh, I’m so sad about this, but I won’t get to meet you at Totally Trials! There was a mix-up at Oiselle HQ and they hired too many models, so I won’t be making the trip down :( Hope I get to meet you some other time!


  20. Also I have to tell you that running is a family affair only in my immediate family. My mom and dad are both marathoners, and I used to make fun of them so hard when I was a kid. I thought they were crazy for running four hours on a Saturday morning … I even called them “psychotically fit!” Now I’m psychotically fit too, with a marathon behind me and another on the horizon.


  21. congrats on the race! I might have to stalk some small town races outside of atlanta in the hopes of winning a trophy one day! :) I started running last October with my first 5k and finished my first half in April! I can definitely say I am hooked!


  22. Congrats!! I started running as training for competitive cheerleading and now I’m an addict. Running became a family affair this year for us. My dad ran his first race ever in April and took home 3rd place in his age category. Genetics, I love you!


  23. Congratulations on the win! So cool! And also cool that your mom and sister are into running too. What a great thing to share with family. I used to HATE running, but stumbled upon it a few years after college as a way to stay in shape. One thing led to another and a little gut feeling that said some day you’ll do a marathon and a few years later I did my first one. I’ve done 4 now and can’t wait for the next!


  24. You WON!!!! That’s awesome! I am deliberately looking for tiny races for a chance to do this. Sneaky. No one in my family was a runner as kids, but my bro and his wife have run marathons, and my sister emails me about being able to get to 5k on a treadmill, so I think we’re going to convert her…


  25. started running because it was a more efficient than tennis in medical school. my family is more of my tennis family. im the only person who runs.


    I also love the 5k for that fact – you can go out too fast and its ok. Well, its not ok, but whatevs you’ll make it to the finish soon enough.


  26. That looks lovely. I love going home (SD) in the summer. The midwest knows how to celebrate summer.
    Super cute running family. My whole family thinks I’m insane. They are super supportive though.


  27. Pingback: A “Meet” Syke Out & Mile Trials | Once Upon a (L)ime

  28. Pingback: Damnit I Said I Wasn’t Going to do This… | Once Upon a (L)ime


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s