From baby steps to running strides … and everything inbetween.

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Baby Steps (literally & figuratively)

Well it’s a new year! So new year means new goals, new perspectives and a fresh outlook for the future. Right? Right!

From a personal standpoint, I have to say that 2016 was, without a doubt, the BEST for me. I became a mother and got to experience all the joys and emotions that used to just seem like cliches for how people described motherhood. Now, I actually get to FEEL these emotions (not just hear about them) and let me tell you, they are totally amazing. Yes, love IS blind and yes, I do believe that Abigail is the cutest, greatest, most talented little human ever.

All that being said, from an athletic/running standpoint, 2016 definitely fell short for me, but not because I didn’t “make the team”. Continue reading

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A Few Terms You Won’t Find in the Dictionary: Defining the glamour of an athletic mother

The other day, I was rushing around trying to get Abigail and myself ready for church after my morning workout. I was running short on time and trying to decide where I could cut corners in the “getting ready” process. And it’s a good thing my “job” is to wear athletic clothes, because this cutting of corners in my own appearance has become a pretty typical part of my everyday life – and these hectic runarounds remind me of a term that originated back in my college days.

The Term: “Nice-Nasty”

This oxymoron was the go-to expression of my college days, used to describe a collegiate athlete’s appearance while walking around campus. If I recall correctly, the term was coined by none other than my uber-clever teammate, Phoebe Wright, and was then adopted – both in terminology and practice – by almost the entire Tennessee Track & Field team. The “Nice” side of the term refers to one’s actual appearance. The “Nasty” side of things is more a relation to one’s momentary hygienic state … or lack thereof. The basic concept? Someone is considered Nice-Nasty when they exercise or workout, and then, without showering, throw on “normal” clothes to simply go about their day. It’s a classic case of “fake it till you make it” mentality. On the outside, they look put together, but the truth is that they only really went half the distance to get there … and are hoping you’ll never know.

This term worked perfectly to describe the lifestyle of myself and many of my fellow athletes. After getting up at pre-dawn hours to get in workouts and two-a-days, all while still trying to manage classes and get the whole college experience, time was ALWAYS against you, so sometimes you had to cut corners. The mindset was often this: “Shower? Who has time for a shower when you have to be across campus in 10 minutes and are just going to sweat to get over there in time – remember, this is Knoxville, TN and all the sticky, humid weather that comes with a southern valley town – and then sweat again in your afternoon track workout”?!

Without missing a beat, the “Nice-Nasty” mindset pretty much followed me straight into my professional running days. I would often find myself coming home from a workout in the morning with the attitude that I was not going to waste time showering or washing my hair just to go and get all sweaty again in a few hours – even if I had errands to run in between. I was an athlete and these were my work clothes (and smells and smudges and …). Don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means a dirty person, nor do I avoid EVER showering and putting on nice clothes.  I mean, I’d like to think Darren would have married me even if I lived in a permanent state of Nice-Nasty, but let’s be honest, occasions like our engagement dinner would have been a little less “glamorous” if I hadn’t showered. 🙂

Well, flash forward a few years into my professional running career and now I get to add motherhood to the mix. You can see where this is headed …

Let me just say, motherhood brings along a whole new set of obstacles when it comes to your physical appearance. From being pooped on (yes, it doesn’t just happen in the movies!) to leaking boobs and caring for someone else above yourself, motherhood definitely takes a toll on the time and energy that you have to put into looking “presentable” yourself.

So, now the real question: What does motherhood AND being a professional athlete do to your appearance??? Well, it really involves balancing out how much time and how much motivation I have for things such as showering, fixing my hair, or picking out a nice outfit. Most often I don’t have time or motivation for ALL of these things, so I end up picking and choosing the combination that best suits my mood. So to humor myself, I decided to come up with a few more terms that describe the different combinations that make up my fashionable existence….

Here are a few terms I have added to describe my life as a mother AND athlete:

Nasty-Nice: This is basically the reversal of Nice-Nasty. It describes the state I am in when I have time to take a quick shower (don’t even get me started on shaving … let’s just say it’s “optional”) but end up throwing on the same clothing that I just took off. I mean, putting on a new outfit would mean having time to pick one out, as well as needing to wash the old one … and who has time for that?! My child generates enough laundry to sustain me and our water bill!




Nasty-Squared: Yes, I have to go there. This term pretty much speaks for itself. It’s the state of going both without a shower and without a change of clothes. Nasty-squared can even go as far as “nasty-cubed”. When the daily grim just keeps piling on over the course of a few days. Often, when in this state, I don’t even realize it. I’m just focused on survival …

Nice-Squared: For me, this term refers to when I have time to shower and actually put on clean clothes. However, the “clean clothing” that I default to takes the form of some type of sweat pant or yoga pant and a t-shirt. It is basically workout clothing in it’s own right. Thankfully New Balance makes some pretty cute yoga/casual outfits! The only issue that sometimes presents itself is when I designate one outfit for the week as my “clean/comfy outfit”. Hence, I end up putting on the same outfit each day and I slowly start to creep back to the Nasty-Nice status as the week goes on … you can think of it like the circle of life.



SweatyHair-Couldn’tCare: This term describes most of my attempts at looking presentable to venture outside the house. It involves a shower and putting on nice, clean clothes – Nice-Nice. A win, right?! Not so fast. It still fails to leave time to wash my hair. Washing and fixing my hair is just too time consuming to do on the regular, so for now, it continues to be reserved for super-special occasions.  If I ever show up to one of your functions with fully-done hair … consider it a compliment.

Unicorn: In the words of “M” and “M”, “it does exist!” It’s a rare, but glorious sight. It usually does not happen, unless for a special occasion, and it not only involves a shower and nice clothes, but full makeup and styled hair. Yes, makeup. M-A-K-E-U-P (if you are a new mom, the word probably rings a bell but it might take you a minute to process…). The unicorn doesn’t happen too often for me, but when it does, I make sure to document it (see also: Instagram).


A rare “Unicorn” sighting

I am sure there are many more terms and variations of terms that could be part of this list. And even if you aren’t an athlete or a mom, I’m sure you can relate on some level. For me, it’s the reality of my life right now. However, I wouldn’t trade anything in my life to have more “unicorns”. I love that I get to do a job that feeds my competitive spirit and also be a mom to someone who reminds me what really matters in life. My life is a unicorn, and no matter what my appearance may be on the outside, my heart is always full.


Trials of Trials

“Getting there is half the battle”, isn’t that how the saying goes? Well for me, getting to the 1500m starting line at the Olympic trials felt a little more like a full-fledged war than a “half the battle” kind of deal. From a post baby body consisting of stress fractures, osteopenia and a tumor diagnosis, to navigating the waters being a new mom, I’ve RMR Ep 1definitely been on quite the journey the last few months. – A public journey too, I might add, since the whole story has been documented through an ESPN 30 for 30 web series titled ‘Run Mama Run’.

Now that the Olympics have come and gone, the final episode of ‘Run Mama Run’ has been approved for release. With the release of this final episode, it’s finally the appropriate time to get out some final thoughts and feelings about my journey. Continue reading

Welcome to Virginia

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So-long Solana (Part 2)

We kick off 2016 with Part 2 of So-Long Solana – an explanation of our hiatus, blessings, chaos and changes over the past month and a half. If you have not yet read yesterday’s post, please go do that now.  It will help you better understand the moments that have led to this point …

As we begin 2016, three major changes are happening in our lives:

  1. I am leaving ElliptiGO
  2. We are moving to Northern Virginia at the beginning of winter
  3. We are moving in with Sarah’s parents.

Continue reading

Solana Beach Sunset


So-long Solana (Part 1)

Aside from the unfortunately necessary post about our dear friend Mike Byrnes just days after Christmas, The BTeamRunning blog has been eerily quiet lately. Some of you may be thinking, “well, things must not be going well with the training”, or maybe you thought, “I guess they haven’t had anything exciting happen lately”. Well, it’s just the opposite actually. Everything – and I mean everything – is going great. And everything is changing. We continue to be truly blessed with the people and opportunities God has placed in our life. As a result, we have barely had a moment to sit, let alone write about all we are doing.

Long story, short … we’re moving! Continue reading

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Coach Mike Byrnes

I originally had a different post planned for today. However, my dear friend and coach, Mike Byrnes, passed away this past weekend. Therefore, today, my post is dedicated to one of the most important people to ever grace my life.

I know that Coach meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people. His accomplishments and contributions to the world are far too many to ever recount so I am not going to try and cover all of those today. If you want to read them, simply google “Mike Byrnes, Track & Field”, and the resume you’ll find will be long and distinguished. No, instead, I want to give you a small glance into my time with Coach. Several months back, I was approached to write down some of my memories of Mike and now seemed like an appropriate time to share them more publicly. Here is just a glance at Coach Mike and I’s story. A story that is forever etched into my heart… Continue reading

first ultrasound


Hello World!

Post by: Sarah Brown – Wife/Mother/Athlete

Hello world, my name is Sarah Brown and I’m pregnant. Wait…what? Pregnant? Did I just say that? The answer is yes, yes I did. If you know me, I am sure your mind is filling with endless questions. One of which is undoubtedly, ‘Why would one of America’s top 1500m runners decide to have a baby leading into arguably the biggest year in a track athlete’s career, an Olympic year?’ Well, the answer is actually quite simple. Continue reading