Five Takeaways from 2015

If my son wasn’t due to be born in early 2016, I don’t know how it could possibly top 2015. This year has been so amazing for so many reasons. Here are my top 5 take aways from an amazing year with a few highlights at the end.

  1. The 2015 Boston Marathon: Don’t start a race where you don’t belong!

I ran the 2015 Boston Marathon in April in under 4 hours. Not only was the weather cold and wet on race day, but I also had to train in the record breaking cold and snowy Boston winter. I was pretty honest in my recap at how un-enjoyable the experience was. The entire time I repeated, pain is temporary, glory is forever. I also promised myself that I didn’t have to run another marathon again if I finished in under 4 hours. I finished with a time of 3:57. There were many factors that went into my misery and success. I blamed myself for starting with a corral whose pace didn’t match mine, the bad weather and being 3 weeks pregnant (which I now think is silly). I credit my amazing coach Jess for giving me a plan that allowed my body to be ready to hit my goal despite my own self doubt. I did not think I was going to be able to pull it off, but I did.

Finishing-Boston.jpg

In hindsight, I really think the problem was taking advantage of my “VIP” race entry from adidas and starting early to avoid the rain at the start. This led me to have zero running buddies, less fans along the route and often found myself running by myself with zero support on the roads. I see people starting all the time in corrals they don’t belong in. If you walk the first mile (cough cough Nike Women’s Half) don’t start with the 8 minute milers. Not only are you annoying to faster people behind you who now have to dodge you but you’re doing yourself a disservice. Start with people who run or walk your pace and you will enjoy the race more!

2. Boston Marathon Training: Running in snow/winter doesn’t have to suck.

Prior to last winter, I would always stop running between Christmas and late March just about. I hated running in cold weather. It just wasn’t enjoyable to me and therefore I would give it up. While I was able to start my runs later than most charity groups, I kind of loved my winter mornings out on the course training for the Boston Marathon after a snow storm. There was something special about being one of the crazy ones to embark on a 16 mile journey without knowing if the sidewalks would be shoveled. With the right gear and fuel, running in the cold was not nearly as bad as I thought. Despite saying never again (see above), I’ve already contemplated my next Boston. Boston Marathon

3. Fit In Paradise: Don’t be afraid to say yes, even if it scares you

This one is gonna be cheesy. My manager and I worked on the Marriott Fit In Paradise deal for a year. When it finally came time to sign the contract, I had just found out I was pregnant. How could I travel non stop during my first trimester shooting fitness videos in the Caribbean? I was so nervous I would have the worst morning sickness or that I would blow up immediately and look terrible on camera. I was also nervous about the baby. Could all that travel be safe for my little fetus? Water in Mexico, airport security radiation, limited hospital access in foreign countries, etc? Miraculously, my boy did not give me much morning sickness and I was able to shoot most of the fitness videos without people knowing I was pregnant.

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Similarly, I said yes to ClassPass when they asked me to run a half marathon at 29 weeks pregnant back in May. I didn’t know if I would be able to do it, but I said yes and I did it! I haven’t run since to be honest.

4. SFit Gym: Get out of your comfort zone.

While I’m very proud of my YouTube channel and my blog, I’ve been looking for different ways to expand my brand to help more people online. In 2015, I debuted the SFit Online Gym. Originally I wanted to just shoot a fitness DVD but it became something bigger. I was nervous to say yes because it sounded overwhelming to come to LA once a month to shoot 12+ fitness videos in 3 days. The videos are intense 20 minute workouts. I’m by myself and they take a lot to coach and do at the same time without sounding like a donkey who can’t breathe.

Shooting-SFit.jpg

The flights took a toll on me but I missed quite a few of the epic snow storms back in Boston. The final product really blew me a way though. I put so much of my own time and sweat into creating these effective, challenging and time efficient workouts that I couldn’t be more proud to call the club my own. We have a fun challenge starting January 4th complete with a workout calendar, recipes and more. I’m due January 6th so again, I’m nervous about keeping up with all of you but the plan has been created and I know I never could have done it if I had stayed in my comfort zone.

5. First Time Mommy: Everyone is a critic. Ignore the haters.

Why didn’t I listen to Taylor Swift??? When I announced that I was pregnant, I received more well wishes than I ever could have imagined. My reveal video had 30K+ views in the first 2 days. Prior to my announcement, I was getting some “fat” comments on my videos and continued to do so even after I shared my good news. Then when I shared my half marathon plans in October, people started saying that I was going to have a miscarriage and “What kind of selfishness is this?” etc… I posted a picture this weekend on my Instagram of me in a proper plank and got a bunch of concerns for Diastasis Recti. The best advice I’ve been given is that when you are a first time mom, everyone is going to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do. Listen and then do whatever works for you. Yes, I want to breast feed. I hope I can but I know for some people it was really freaking hard and they just couldn’t. I don’t know if I want to have a natural birth. Labor sounds really painful and the epidural sounds quite nice. Why people feel the need to leave comments like, “I would NEVER have an epidural!” with a shaming message for considering one is like saying, “I’m voting for Donald Trump.” Just because it’s a choice you have doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the right one or something I agree with. I still don’t know if I’m going to get one. I’m going to wait and see how quickly labor progresses for me and how high my pain tolerance actually is.

These are my top 5 take-aways from 2015. I was going to write a post about my highlights but I think they are pretty obvious… marathon, travel, new house, baby and ring :) Life is really good.

Five Takeaways from 2015

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15 Comments

  • Paula
    Reply

    Hahahaha, Sarah, this is beautifully constructed: “comments like, “I would NEVER have an epidural!” with a shaming message for considering one is like saying, “I’m voting for Donald Trump.” Just because it’s a choice you have doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the right one or something I agree with.”

    Just as one diet or exercise plan doesn’t work for every single person, a blanket approach to pregnancy isn’t practical. I have really enjoyed seeing my favorite fitness bloggers go through pregnancy and childbirth, because it reminds me that I will be able to find my own comfort zone if/when I have a kid. Thanks for being honest and open about the process! For every critic, I bet there are at least 10 of us who are happy to learn about the realities of being a mom.

  • superfitbabe
    Reply

    Wonderful post, Sarah! I can tell that it has definitely been a very eventful year for you! Your experiences are so motivational to me :) Congratulations on your new gym program, your baby and your marathon progress! May 2016 be a year full of opportunities and accomplishments for you!

  • Jackie
    Reply

    Hi! Congratulations on your fantastic 2015! And you have so much to look forward to in 2016! As a new mom myself (I have a 6 week old) here is my advice: When it comes to you and your baby, you know what’s best. Period. If you want an epidural, get it! If you don’t want one, don’t! I tried breastfeeding for a month and for a number of reasons I had to stop. I tortured myself before I made my decision and I wish I hadn’t! If it works for you, that’s awesome! If it doesn’t, that’s totally okay too. It doesn’t matter how your baby gets here as long as the two of you are healthy and safe, and it doesn’t matter how you feed him as long as he’s eating. As long as you’re taking care of yourself so that you can take care of your baby, you’re doing a GREAT JOB. Period! Happy New Year!

  • hakirby
    Reply

    As a mum myself, the only advice I’ll ever give is “advice is easy, because they don’t have to live with it.”

    Some advice will be shit, some will be good, but not fit you, some will be brilliant. Do what you feel’s right, because you’ll be the one who has to live with it.

    I will say about epidurals……

  • Nicole Baker
    Reply

    You totally rock! I’ve loved reading and watching everything you have honestly and generously shared. Esp cool since we have had so much in common w our pregnancies- Can’t believe you ran the marathon pregnant! It’s truly amazing and awesome. (PS 4 years ago I had basically same time 3:55, hard as hell, and funny another thing in common.. But Preggo and in the cold?! That’s really triumphant) Thanks for sharing so much- great workouts, ideas, and relatable experiences! You’re going to be a terrific Mom!

  • Stacy Merrill
    Reply

    I have never ran a marathon but I have had 3 babies. I am more wiped out in the first 12 weeks than the entire pregnancy, I think that is totally a legit reason referring to #1!! I have also had 3 natural births only because my mega labor pains only lasted about an hour; otherwise I would totally get an epidural! Most important thing is the baby arrives safely :) You’ll do great no matter what!! Totally love your site and workouts!! I joined your SFit gym on Black Friday. Yay! Best of luck with everything :)

  • zoe
    Reply

    You are correct Sarah, when you become pregnant and again when you give birth, the world and his wife think they own you or your baby and give you your opinion. Ŷou dud well ?

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