EFF YES Friday–Narcissism & the Track

Two weeks in a row – one more and we can call EFF YES an official streak! The only current streak I have going longer than it is my oatmeal for breakfast routine, and nothing’s topping that. We’re at 2+ years, exceptions for pre-long run PBbanana toast or Picky Bar, and I don’t expect it to die anytime soon. It’s too delicious, cheap, and I can put off any life decision-makings (deciding what to feed yourself is a big one, obvs) until I’ve been properly caffeinated.

Anyway, carrying on to the three things I’m loving right now. This week’s flavors are pretty self-absorbed but so is writing about yourself online and expecting people to read it, so… joke’s on you, sorta.

1) Feeling Like a Pseudo Celebrity

lifestyle accountability show

Bite your tongue and let me feel super cool and special that Adam and Devon at LifestyleAccountability.com wanted to interview me about my “healthy living” story. In the 30 minute podcast we discuss stumbling into running after a ho-hum college softball career, dealing with burnout, who motivates me to keep grinding, and I sound really dumb talking about reading sub-elite blogs and making friends online.

Listen Here: Lifestyle Accountability Show, episode 23

  • Do I sound like you thought I would? Less nasaly, more “umm”s? Indecipherable at times? (sorry)

ps Adam & Devon have fun Canadian accents. If nothing else, tune in for that. They’re posting new podcasts every day!

2) Being Inducted as an Official Member of “The Nest”

official oiselle

Maybe you saw these on instagram (@sarahoual)? That’s me and Christy, the woman behind putting Oiselle on hangers in stores near you, at the Santa Barbara Marathon Expo. First gig as a hired bird! I love this brand so hard, have enjoyed watching them grow, and feel so grateful to continue to grow along with them. If you have recommendations for shops in SoCal/AZ that need to have Oiselle like, yesterday, let me know! (my story from curious spectator, to groupie, to volee race team member is here. time to add another chapter, I guess)

3) Letting the Data (and DOMS) Back In

track death march

I spent all summer running sans Garmin, enjoying miles without times and just finding a rhythm. The 10k two weeks ago gave me my first “check in” on where my fitness was (higher than I expected but nowhere near it needs to be), and last week’s 10x60s on/off was a good wake up to the legs without the fear of measurements.

Great way to build a base, but now that we’re eight weeks from Carlsbad it’s time to start grinding. This means re-incorporating some of the data. Watch/numberless is great for everyday sanity, but being too anti-data in training can leave you feeling “lost” on race day. Like, “what is goal pace? what’s it feel like? can I even run that fast?” Meghan mentioned this in a comment and I felt that way a bit at Ventura, so we’re finding a balance this cycle. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t a significant amount of dread leading up to my oval + data reunion yesterday:


[still in bed] in s’s head: ‘please say no please say no’


s: ‘motherfucker’

* * *

[S walking up to the track] margot: “This probably won’t go well! I feel like crap!”

s: ‘please say you just want to jog a few easy laps…’

m: “I tempo’d like, 10 miles at 7:1x two days ago, I’m probably not going to run very well.”

s: ‘oh good maybe I’ll almost be able to keep up’

s: “…you tempo’d WHAT? holy shit!”

* * *

[after 2nd 800m repeat] s: ‘no way in hell I’m running six of these’

s: “wow this sure is harder than I remember!”

[after 3rd 800] s: ‘I think I’m gonna puke’

m: “I’m kind of surprised my legs feel this good!”

s: “I think I’m gonna puke”

[after 4th 800] s: ‘four is probably enough. let’s cool down early…’

m: “Just two more! Here we go!”

s: “gdrbhgbsldkgh ok”

[after 5th 800] s: “no really I’m going to puke” (doesn’t puke)

[during last 800] s: ‘(100m in) 7 to go! (200m in) 6!… 5!… ohgod… 4!… 3!… c’monc’mon… 2!… don’tpukedon’tpukedon’tpuke… 1!!!’

* * *

And then I let Margot talk the entire first lap of cool down until the nausea subsided. And then I marinated in the post-track endorphin high all damn day. And today I can hardly walk normal. Speedwork success!

I managed 6×800 all around 3:20, and had to fight for each one. It was a smack in the face feeling held back by my lungs rather than my legs, which is how I remember the track – fighting to pick up knees rather than gasping for air. But the times are right on par with where I started Eugene and CIM training, which gives me hope that I’m not starting from too far back. (an example of using data for healthy measurements, rather than deconstructive comparisons) I’m anxious to start seeing improvements!

* * *

Lastly – so much virtual cowbelling to my pal Emily Sweats at JFK 50 miler this weekend! Run smart and hard and don’t fall down too many times. Tried sending 100 chocolate donut holes ahead of you but UPS wouldn’t accept “the finish line” as a ship-to address. Rain check.

Sarah OUaL


9 thoughts on “EFF YES Friday–Narcissism & the Track

  1. 800’s are so bad/good. I love to dread the f’ers but really do love doing them. Ohhhhhh….hurt so good.
    Congrats on the Oiselle gig. Wish there was a store nearby in MI.


  2. Great work at the track! I did 6×800 on Tuesday too. Was thrilled to average 3:26 (up from 3:30 over 10 a few weeks ago), and my quads were on fire the next day. Are you looking for new opportunities or will you be the liaison for stores that already carry Oiselle too?


  3. congrats on the new gig! everything is falling into place so nicely, career wise! really happy for you. super scared of the day I will finally make it back to a track-may still be several months away, which would put me at a YEAR since any speedwork. YIKES. nice work!



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