Read Sara's column in PennLive PA Media Group
Your unofficial ambassador to Harrisburg

What's new on

Giveaway: Boiling Springs Pool

**Congrats to Kim M, winner of the BS Pool 4-pack – Happy 4th!**

It's officially summertime, and hot sun means cool pools.

To get you in the mood, this week's giveaway comes from Boiling Springs Pool, offering a 4-Pack giveaway to one lucky reader.


Also, check out BS Pool's revamped website.

Enter below to win: one 4-punch card you may use however you like (Go 4 times by yourself, take a friend twice – take 3 friends once). The card is good this season only, through Labor Day 2011.

Leave a comment below to enter. For extra entries (you must leave a separate comment for each extra entry in order for each to count), you can:

Enter early and often. I'll select a winner this weekend!


Becoming a Statistic

On February 8, I unwillingly became a statistic. But I learned to laugh about it.

I officially joined the 70 percent of runners injured every year. After weeks of moping, I started laughing – because what else can you do?

In November 2010, after two half marathons, I wanted to run a full … I NEEDED to run a full. Soon, I registered for the National Marathon in Washington, D.C. on March 26.

Kelly's leg, out of commission I used Hal Higdon's training guide to mark up a calendar with scheduled runs. I decided not only was I running this marathon, I was going to dominate this marathon.

However, life has a funny way messing with our expectations. Six weeks before the marathon, something went very wrong on a short run. My whole right thigh betrayed me and tightened with each step. When I finished my run, I knew I was in trouble; the pain was strong, constant, and I couldn't walk without limping.

It's just a groin pull, I told myself. Nothing a frozen bag of corn down my pants wouldn't fix.

A week later, time was ticking – I was now merely five weeks away from running 26.2 miles – and I couldn't even run down the street.



Weekend Roundup 6/23

Hauser Estate Winery I neeeeed this weekend. Actually, I'm probably working a good chunk of this weekend, so never mind that.

Tonight: Do not call me. I am busy watching the fifth season premiere of Burn Notice.

However, on Saturday, my best girls and I are trekking down 15 South to Hauser Estate Winery for the first in their Summer Concert Series, featuring Pentagon. Andy and I went last year, and you can read about it here. This year, they've moved the stage closer to the tasting room (and out of the gravel), so I know this will only be better. Plus, we're making it a GNO and picnicking. Can't wait.

I'll be test-driving a new Chevy Cruze Eco this week, thanks to GM Northeast. You can win a chance to take a Pennsylvania roadtrip in a new Chevy Camaro, thanks to Chevy and Visit PA. Learn more here.

Also, you still have a chance to win a healing session from Reiki by Rickie. Enter here to win.

Oh, and have you met Kelly? She's all about running and boozing. Tomorrow she returns with another post on athletics and alchol.

Finally – tomorrow's "Out with Sara" column previews two events and a whole week of Moe's Bar & Grill. On newsstands everywhere. Or right here.

What are you doing this weekend?


The PA/Chevy Roadtrip Dreamin’ Contest

PARoadTrip Create and win your very own Pennsylvania roadtrip, thanks to Chevy and Visit PA.

It's a big state, filled with history, incredible sights and tons of tasty food. No doubt there are parts of Pa. you've always wanted to visit.

Perhaps you'd like to see the Elk in the PA Wilds or  the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. Or maybe, you'd like to visit Falling Water in Somerset County – or hike Ricketts Glen State Park and see its many waterfalls. Pittsburghers may want to see Hershey, Pa., in all its chocolate glory or even the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Erie natives may want to visit us and see the State Capitol Complex, Gettysburg National Military Park or Penn's Cave.

Create a 3-day/2-night PA Roadtrip, then get your family & friends to vote for it and we might make your dream roadtrip come true.

You can win a 3-day Chevy car loan of your choice, free hotel stays and up to $750 in cash.

Giveaway: Reiki by Rickie

Logo **What a tremendous turnout! Congrats to Stef, our Reiki by Rickie winner!**

Friends, there are times in our lives when we need help managing and processing the bigger things affecting our happiness and productivity. For some, this may be as simple as a weekly date with a friend, a bottle of white and quality conversation.

Others yet prefer to seek the counsel of a professional – from masseuse to therapist to yogi – to aid in mental decompression.

Reiki provides yet another form of physical and mental healing. Reiki is a very gentle and deeply relaxing hands-on healing session performed fully clothed on a massage table. It provides stress management and balance, as well as a sense of inner peace.

I wasn't sure what to expect when Rickie (from Reiki by Rickie) invited me for my first appointment a few weeks ago, but I went in with an open mind.

Read about Jersey Mike's experience with Reiki.

ProPic After you complete a brief form and chat with Rickie, you begin the session by lying fully-clothed (sans shoes) face-up on the massage table, covered with a blanket. After a few cleansing breaths (yogis will have no trouble here), Rickie begins her light-touch healing, starting with a scalp massage and ending, an hour later, at your tired feet.

The experience is peaceful and relaxing, and at treatment's end, I felt completely refreshed, as if I'd woken from a year-long nap. (I found it similar to savasana, or Corpse Pose in yoga, but better.) Rickie typically recommends, as Jersey Mike completed, a three-session series over three weeks for maximum balance, stress relief and relaxation.

Rickie has generously offered the following to one lucky reader:

"Head to Toe" Healing session. (Value = $85). This includes aromatherapy face and scalp massage, followed by full body "Reiki by Rickie," and ending with a warming, grounding foot massage!

Reiki, Rickie's specialty, is a gentle and deeply relaxing hands-on healing session from Japan. It is Peaceful and Balancing, and melts away the source of your stress. Rickie is a Reiki Master/Teacher and P.T. offering services, workshops and classes at Alta View Wellness Center, Harrisburg.

Leave a comment below to enter. For extra entries (you must leave a separate comment for each extra entry in order for each to count), you can:

Enter early and often. A winner will be selected at random this weekend.


Living the dream

When people first meet me, they are usually surprised when they find out I drink.

"But … don't you do triathlons? Don't you go running at like 8 on Saturday mornings?"

Yep, I do. It is completely possible to maintain quite the social life, while preserving a proper training schedule. This is what I like to call living the dream – or at least, my version of it.

615b Just like most of you, I went to college and while there, I went to frat parties in damp and sticky basements, drank out of red Solo cups and learned how to play a mean flip cup. I can make a stellar 1990s-themed power hour mix and don't even think of challenging me to beer pong. After I graduated from college and entered the "real world," I thought it was over. I thought I had to "grow up" and stop having as much fun.

I was wrong.


CATEGORIES: Harrisburg, Nightlife

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Meet Frank circa Father's Day 2010 Father’s Day advertisements have long bothered me. I feel bad for men who reap the efforts of this pathetic, uber-stereotyped marketing. Men are painted to have just a few interests, along the lines of golf, grilling, sports, tools, BBQ, beer and “man caves.”

Give me a break. This isn’t a Tim Allen show.

Most men I know – even those who aren’t fathers – have more depth than this. They have interest in music, good food, travel, reading, politics, art.

Sometimes around this time of year, I’ll find a story online that appears to be more relevant, a “cool dad’s gift guide” (or so it will be titled) – and it turns out to be all hipster-esque. My dad does not want an ironic t-shirt or Buddy Holly glasses. OK?

My father does not want for much, in fact. He’s not a “stuff” guy, and his interests are concentrated in World War II books and movies, Netflix, Puma sneakers, golf (okay, so you got me there, but he doesn’t give a shit about personalized golf balls or quirky tees) and dark rum.

Please let me confirm for you that I have given him any and all of these related gifts: Netflix subscription, passes to the Hershey Links (once he used it, once he didn’t – argh), sneakers, WWII books (which he already read – ugh) and dark rum (always a hit!).

I used to take him out – for beer dinners or tastings. But he really just wants face-to-face time and some good coffee. He likes Starbucks and Cornerstone.

This Father’s Day, I implore you to look beyond the easy-to-buy tie, grilling apron or personalized pint glasses. Think about what your dad enjoys – it may just be time with you. And it doesn’t have to be expensive.

Below I have just a few ideas on ways you can treat your dad this weekend (You know you hadn’t planned any further than this anyway. Consider it a slight head start.


Weekend Roundup 6/16

Happy weekend to you!  Tell me, what’s on your agenda this week? There’s so much going on.

I’m hoping to catch a showing of Woody Allen’s latest, Midnight in Paris, since I never did last weekend. I also have intern interviews scheduled, a retirement party, and I gotta grab some QT with Dad (I’m thinking maybe some Lebanese food or maybe just a good coffee – and a Barnes & Noble gift card for good measure).

Harrisburg Brewers Fest 6/18/2005 Today is Mechanicsburg’s annual Jubilee Day, tomorrow night is 3rd in the Burg, Saturday brings Troegs’ Harrisburg Brewers Fest (Debate: Session 1 or 2?) – and then Father’s Day on Sunday.

You have two more days to enter to win 2 tickets (plus soundcheck passes) to see G. Love at the Abbey Bar next week. Nate Myers opens – this is another can’t-miss show from Greenbelt Events. Enter here to win.

In tomorrow’s column, I share my visit to Ceoltas‘ new third floor sky bar, The Thatch.

Oh, and .. Have you met Kelly? Last week she confessed to her running obsession, and tomorrow, she’ll share the importance of a good time (and booze, of course).

Click through for the breakdown:


Giveaway: G Love at ABC

image from **Congrats to Eric, who loves the Love and is going to see him this week!**

Do me a favor and tweet @JerseyMike right now and thank him for yet another cool opportunity.

G Love returns to Harrisburg next week, and naturally, we have Jersey at Greenbelt Events to thank.

The Abbey Bar at Appalachian Brewing Company welcomes G Love next Wednesday, June 22. Doors at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m.

Enter below to win: 2 tickets to the concert, PLUS – two passes to soundcheck (5 p.m.).

Leave a comment below to enter. For extra entries (you must leave a separate comment for each extra entry in order for each to count), you can:

Enter early and often. A winner will be selected at random this weekend.

Can’t hold out on luck? Purchase tickets ($25) online here.

CATEGORIES: Giveaway, Harrisburg, Music

Born to Run

1111 I'm not athletic. If you throw a ball at me, I will duck. I've never made it to first base (well, in kickball). My ultimate Frisbee team lets me play only when we are winning by more than 15. I am always the last person standing in a round of dodgeball because I am very good at cowering in the corner.

I embrace this non-athleticism. My parents tried to make me an athlete, they really did. After disastrous bouts with basketball, cheerleading, soccer and softball, I finally stuck with competitive swimming through grade school, high school and college.

During my last dual meet of my senior season in college, I blew it. I lost to someone I shouldn’t have, a freshman. She was in the lane next to me, and I remember seeing her pull ahead of me during the last 100 yards of the 1,000 yard race. I should have won the race. I deserved to win the race. I threw my goggles and cried afterward. And then, after 14 years of two-hour practices and daylong swim meets, I hung up my cap and goggles. I was burned out, and I didn’t want to smell like chlorine anymore.

Run When I started a desk job I migrated to the elliptical, mainly so I didn't get fat. If it was nice out, I would walk along the river after work, trying to not get trampled by a runner or cyclist. I had always thought of runners as elite athletes, while maintaining that I most certainly could not run. In fact, at the first memorial 5K for a good friend of mine, I made a point to walk every step of those 3.1 miles.

Then, one day, I laced up my sneakers. I'd do the same thing countless times afterwards, but this time, it was somehow fresh and new — I had decided to go for a run. Not very quickly and not very far, but I was running. I stuck with it, mainly because I am way too stubborn to quit anything, and I continued to up my distance until I was able to comfortably run three miles. I loved running up and down Front St. I liked how I felt after I ran. My hamstrings would be sore and my calves would ache, but I felt so accomplished.



Join Sara's Mailing List