Legend Compression!

December 16, 2016

I can't wait for the 2017 race season! I made a list of all the goals I want to accomplish (and it is long!) and I also applied for different opportunities. I will share that post closer to the new year with a recap of this past years goals and how those went. 

One thing I am super excited about is my new ambassadorship with Legend Compression! I love compression socks. I wear them during my long clinical days at school, my twelve hour shifts at the hospital, during runs, and for recovery. They keep my legs feeling fresh as I am always on the move. 

Legend Compression has markdowns going on now before Christmas. Check out the website -- here -- and if you find a pair for yourself use the code "ambfriend2016" for a 15% discount!! 

Picture Post of Life Lately

November 4, 2016

I haven't had the chance to blog lately so I figured I would show you what I have been up to with a few pictures.. 

I could not have chosen a better race week as it fell on Fall Break for school. I was able to study before I left so that I could enjoy race weekend! 

I miss this view:

I didn't include this in the race recap (the recap was already super long) but after the race I ate a double meat double cheese burger from In N Out with a chocolate shake. SOOO GOOD. 

And lastly, I was accepted as an ambassador for I Am Velocity for the 2017 triathlon season. I'm excited I was accepted and I can't wait for next season!

I signed up for a few Spring races. More on that soon.

Besides that I have been trying to stay on top of the studying, reading, paperwork, and tests of third semester Nursing. I have four weeks left of school! 

Race Recap: US Open Triathlon

November 3, 2016

On October 16th I raced my first Olympic distance triathlon! After previously completing four sprint triathlons, I wanted to push for a new distance. This course was a 1500 meter open water swim in Lake Ray Hubbard, a 20 mile bike, and a 6 mile run. 

My mom and I drove up on Friday before the race to enjoy the weekend in Dallas. We stopped in North Park Mall on Friday night for a quick shopping trip and dinner at Maggianos. We stayed at a Holiday Inn that night. Saturday morning we headed over to the Hilton Resort on the lake to spend the day. At noon there was a Swim Clinic and there were course/transition talks throughout the afternoon. I had not been in open water to practice and let me tell you- open water racing is totally different than you think.

After grabbing my race packet, I stripped down into my swimsuit just like others around me as we prepared to swim.

While I am glad I went to the Swim Clinic, it seemed to have increased my anxiety for race day. Windy days = super choppy water. I only swam about 50 meters during the clinic as I wanted to get back to the dock and not be in the crazy waves.

Do you see the second orange buoy in this picture? That was for the sprint.. the olympic distance went out to an additional yellow buoy that was 500 meters from the dock. Freaky!!

I laid out my race set up to make sure I didn't forget anything. It was convenient to stay at the Hilton as this was the race site. I woke up at 5:30am race morning to take my bike to transition and then went back to the hotel to rest and eat breakfast (room service). The race started at 7:45am so I had plenty of time!

The swim was a hot mess. The course was triangular shaped and the olympic distance went straight out 500 meters to a yellow buoy, then we swam across 500 meters to two other yellow buoys, after this there were orange buoys to follow straight back to the swim exit.

I jumped into the water, pushed start on my Garmin, and began swimming freestyle keeping sight on the first buoy. The waves were overwhelming and I choked three times on water before going to backstroke. I backstroked another 20 meters and choked again then decided to wave down a kayaker. No way was I going to quit because of the swim but I had no idea how I would continue for another 1200 meters as I was out of breath fighting the waves. Other swimmers around me were either backstroking or breaststroking. The girl in the kayak was the sweetest. After tearfully telling her "I didn't know it would be this hard! I don't think I'll make it." She told me that even the kayakers struggled to get out on the lake. She also told me that after getting to the first buoy it would be easier going back as the waves would be going with me. All I had to do was get to the next kayak.

I repeated to myself my mantra, "you're stronger than you think." My other mantra was "pull yourself together, Sara!" I repeated these as I confidently spent 500 meters backstroking.

After the hardest part of getting out, it was definitely easier to make it back. The waves were pulling me forward and I was able to freestyle back. I unashamedly stopped at a total of four kayaks to catch my breath/calm down. During one of my stops I looked at my Garmin time that read 00:00. Dang it! I must have not pressed the start button hard enough. As I made it to the last buoy, my goggles fogged up and the sun was coming up. I yelled to the nearest swimmer "I can't see! Can I follow you back to shore??" He yelled "Yes, follow me!" and we swam together back to the swim exit.

I grabbed my bike from transition and clipped in. The bike course was two 10 mile laps. Right when I started I realized I (literally) survived the hardest part- I'm going to do this!

Around mile 7 my bike started shaking and I thought ohh shoot I'm about to lose a wheel. I pulled over to tighten the front wheel and then tried to catch back up to where I was.

There wasn't anything notable for the bike. I just kept up what felt like a comfortable pace and pushed through the miles. 

The run was four loops that included a huge hill I would have to run up four times. I tried to keep up a good pace but I also didn't have my watch to tell me what pace I was at. 
I talked to runners around me, grabbed water and gatorade at every stop, and pushed through each hill. I didn't care how slow I got up that hill I didn't want to walk. Ever.

On my last loop, I met back up with the guy who I had followed in from the swim. We talked a bit then he said he was going to take a short walking break. He had helped me finish the swim and I wanted to help him finish the run. There was no time for walk breaks and we were almost finished with a tough race. We ran in together. I convinced him to raise his hands for the big finish.

We did it!!

Before the race my goals were to finish under 3 hours and finish top 10. I finished in 3:01:51. I couldn't find the splits online for each sport. I didn't make it under three hours but I was third place in my age group. I'll take it!

This was the perfect race to end the triathlon season with! Although it was mentally tough, I finished and now I will be more confident to race more Olympic distance tri's next Spring/Summer. I look forward to racing this again next year. And I already have four more Olympic tri's planned ;)

My Next Challenge

September 7, 2016

After the Boston Marathon I wasn't even thinking about my next race. During the early summer months, running felt so hard. I was frustrated that I was not at my usual fitness level of being able to run however long I wanted.

Fast forward a few weeks and I was losing motivation. It was frustrating to not even make it three miles without having to walk. However, I stuck with it. I turned my iPod on and let the music be my only focus. Walking occasionally and running when I caught my breath. I realized I needed a goal to focus on to help me have the motivation to run. My legs didn't feel "running strong" if that makes sense so I didn't want to do any running races. After stumbling upon a triathlon team- I immediately joined. I've done a few in the past and thought "why not do some sprint tris before school starts?" In which I signed up for the triathlon teams challenge- two sprint tris in two weeks. You can read my race recaps from Tri #1 and Tri #2.

But.... with me I can't do two races and be satisfied- I have to keep racing. I became obsessed with the idea of competing in the US Open Triathlon in October of this year. The course is Olympic distance featuring an open water swim. The length of each is: 1500 meter swim, 21 mile bike, and 6.2 mile run.

This race isn't just about finishing. I am 100% competitive (can you tell?). I have a goal time in mind buuuut that is for me only and you to find out during the race recap.

A look at how I am preparing for each:
In July I began swimming twice a week long distance with the team. In the past I thought 1000 meter swims were long and on my first day at practice we swam 2600 meters and I thought it was crazy far! I was slow my first swim practice but quickly got in swimming shape as we swim 2600-3000 meters twice a week.

I got outside!! Sure, there are still some trainer rides but I try to get outside once or twice a week to get stronger on the roads. I also updated my bike- front and rear lights, rewrapped handle bars, I switched from cages to clip ins, and bought clip in shoes. I rode 16 miles with a new group last week and then rode 21 miles with my dad on a morning ride. 

My dad and I on our 21 mile bike ^^

Running and I are friends again :) I run three or four times a week depending on when I can add it in. I run anywhere from 3-8 miles. I am training more to have a fast 6 miles on race day rather than run longer. 

What my training week typically/ideally looks like:
Monday- Easy run
Tuesday- AM bike or run/PM swim
Wednesday- Run + strength train
Thursday- PM swim
Friday- Off 
Saturday- Long bike
Sunday- Run or strength train or off

Training is my outlet from the craziness of nursing school. The reading and studying never ends! Being able to keep up with training helps me stay motivated to work hard for races and also work hard in school. Of course, the week doesn't always look like this and I listen to my body first. If I am overly sore or too tired I won't push it in a workout as this won't help me. Thursday and Fridays are long clinical days. By the time Friday comes around I am exhausted. I usually let Fridays be my no homework, no training days and just relax, watch a movie, then go to bed early to get my long training day in on Saturdays. 

So where are my other goals of running a half marathon and a full marathon this year? I'm still trying to make those happen of course. But for now I am getting serious with training and looking forward to competing in a triathlon distance that I have never done before.

Race Recap: Manly Man/Strong Woman Sprint Triathlon

September 5, 2016

Fast forward the next weekend, August 27th, my racing had not taken a break. I had another sprint triathlon to compete in. I have competed in three triathlons and one duathlon and this race was my favorite of all! Although the swim was a bit hectic, the course was beautiful.

After a nine hour lecture day (hello nursing school), the last thing I felt like doing was drive 45 minutes to pick up my race packet the evening before the race. But, after debating for a few minutes I realized that I didn't feel like waking up at four in the morning to pick it up before transition closed. Soo I turned up some pop music, ate some snacks, and made the drive. I was glad I decided that as I picked up my packet full of a t-shirt, backpack, and race tattoos. This made me more excited to race!! If you know me you know one of my favorite race items is race tattoos. There is nothing that pumps me up more than that. The race tats made me look like a pro! 

Race morning I had an early wake up but the perfect pre-race meal- pancakes, fruit, and coffee. 

The emails before the race warned of a steep hill on the bike that we could only go less than 20mph down or else we would be disqualified. Biking isn't my strongest of the sports and actually makes me a little nervous. I don't ride on roads, I only do trainer rides, the only time I am on roads is during a race. I was anxious before the race- what if I flip over my handlebars down the hill? what if I exceed 20mph and get disqualified? I tried to push back the fear and only think about how exciting racing is. 

I got to transition and set up my bike but this time- no socks!! Last race they were a hassle to get my wet feet into and took more time to put on. 

Transition area ^^

Swim: 300 meters// 7:40 minutes 

The course was around a local resort which had two pools. The swim course had us start in one pool and swim in a triangle shape then we got out and walked down to the lower area/different pool to swim back and forth in lanes the rest of the way. The theme is Manly Man tri and the men started the race first. The women had to wait a little while to begin. Once we were ready they had us stall as the last men got out of the upper pool. Once I got into the water I had a fast swim at the triangle shape course. However, I was a little upset at the swim course. First, a girl in front of me told me her swim time was faster than mine and I allowed her to start first. Soon after I realized I was much faster and had to drag behind her for awhile. ** tips to others during a swim: if I tap your heel, it means move over a bit so I can pass you ** I passed her but when I moved to the lower pool there were men still finishing their swim so the lanes were very crowded. I was hoping for another fast, effortless swim but I was held up a bit more than I planned. 

After that fiasco, I headed to transition where I remembered helmet first then put on everything else. I grabbed my shoes without socks and walked out of transition to start the bike. 

Bike: 10 miles// 39:29 minutes// 15.2mph

We went out five miles then came back five miles for a total of ten. The course was super hilly and my legs were burning within the first few miles! This lady in a super cute Coeur Sports tri suit passed me going super fast. She looked awesome- legit bike, matching tri suit, etc. She was strong, fast, and looked confident as she tackled the hills. In that moment, I decided I wasn't going to let cycling be my "weak sport." The course was tough but it opened my eyes to how much work I need to put into cycling before my big race in October.

Oh and the steep hill? I shouldn't have been anxious about. I braked my way downhill to control my speed. I don't wear a watch so I just braked the whole way. The hill winded sharp downhill and at the bottom is a speed bump. When I made my way back to the hill that I would now be going up, I put my easiest gear on and saw how far I could make it up. Halfway up my heart was pounding, I was breathing hard, and I jumped off to walk up and settle back down before the run. 

Can you tell how steep it is with everyone walking bikes up??

Run: 2 miles// 16:20 minutes// 8:10 pace

My legs burned after the hilly bike and now I was beginning a hilly run. Again, I focused on passing the next person in front of me to keep up my pace. 

The course was tough but it was very well put together and featured amazing views. I did this one with my triathlon group as well and each person placed top three in their age groups! I came out with 5th overall female and 1st in my age group. I was very happy with first!

I received a mug for overall winner and a mug from my triathlon group for competing in two races in two weekends! I loved the feeling of racing again after three months of no races. A finish line is one of the most exciting things.

Race Recap: Dam '09 Sprint Triathlon

September 2, 2016

    About 1/2 of the triathlon group- it's a big/fun crowd!!

On August 20th I raced my third sprint triathlon. It has been two years since my last two triathlons and before this race I was trying to remember everything I needed for each sport- goggles, swim cap, bib belt holder, race bib, shoes, socks (which I realized are more of a hassle but more on that later), water bottle, and race timer.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I joined a triathlon team back in July and I have been training with them as we prepared for these two triathlons. I got a text from the coach the afternoon before the race saying my group tri suit had come in so I quickly stopped by her house to pick it up. I didn't try on before ordering. When I ordered I went off of a ruler measurement. I was a bit nervous about the fit since my measurements were in between sizes. I had chosen the smaller fit. Hence why I was nervous- I was afraid it would be too tight or too short on my longer torso. When I put it on I was happy it was a perfect fit!

The night before the race I had everything laid out and then it hit me- I had no idea where my race belt was. It ended up being at my sister's apartment which meant she received a lovely wake up the next morning to hand it off to me (thanks sister!).

Swim: 400 meters// 8:03 minutes

The swim was in a fifty meter pool with eight lanes. We went down a lane then crossed over to the next lane to swim back another fifty meter lane. This was very well planned as it didn't overcrowd! The swim felt effortless and ended sooner than I wanted it too.

Transition #1-- I ran walked a little ways back to transition where I first put on my helmet, then socks and shoes.

Bike: 32.47 minutes// 9 miles// 16.5 mph

The bike was a three mile loop repeated three times. The bike was quick so not much to note here. One thing of importance- I realized how weak my biking is!

Transition #2-- I didn't have clip-ins during this race so my same socks and shoes I keep on during the bike are also on during the run. By the time I went out for the run, my socks were soaked and were sloshing around.  

Run: 2 miles// 19:19 minutes// 7:43 pace

The run was out one mile then back. My legs felt heavy as I started my run. I focused on getting to the next person in front of me and so forth.

Always smiling during my favorite part :)

It was a very quick race and I wanted it to last longer. I forgot how fun triathlons are! I ended up getting second in my age group.

On to the next!!

I'm hooked on triathlons !!!

August 28, 2016

Two weekends- two triathlons... DONE

I competed in two sprint triathlons these past weekends and couldn't ask for better races. I will have race recaps soon but for now I have got way too much to study. Nursing school is back in full action- one test, three quizzes, and 11 chapters are due this week. However, I am not letting that slow me down. All of my "free time" consists of training and I am making it work!!

Also, I think I am going to sign up for two more tri's :p 

Week Recap: July 1st - 27th

July 27, 2016

My main training goal this month was to get a schedule down and follow it. I started a short summer school class, finished volunteer hours for nursing school, worked a few times, and enjoyed some days of fun (lake days, waterpark visits, etc). My dad, older sister, and I flew to visit my grandparents for a quick weekend visit at the beginning of the month and it was very nice to be able to see them.

One night, my sister and I went to swim laps at our university and I discovered a triathlon training group that meets on tuesdays and thursdays. What I thought would be a swim class ended up being a triathlon team! Of course, I joined. I did the whole shebang- bought the team tri suit (it ships in August), meet twice a week for swimming, and signed up for two triathlons. One is August 20th and the next is August 27th. I'm excited to have races to look forward to and be able to focus on training before school starts back. I'm also excited to be on the team and have training partners! Another race that deserves its own post is in October. Soo.. I have three triathlons planned for the Fall!!

Week of July 4th-
M: 4 mi run

Homemade popsicles ^^ recipe post coming! 

T: 4 mi run
W: 30 min swim
Th: 4 mi run + 1 hr swim
F: Rest 

Sa: Rest 
Su: 30 min cycle
miles of running: 12
cross training days: 3 

Week of July 11th-
M: 4 mi run

T: 1 hr swim
W: 30 min cycle + 20 min run

Th: 1 hr swim
F: Rest
Sa: Rest
Su: 7.3 mi run
miles of running: 14.3 
cross training days: 3

Week of July 18th-
M: 50 min cycle + 30 mins weights 
T: 1 hr swim

I ordered new swimming gear which I will share soon on my new tab. To the right of the blog I have a "Gear and More" tab that I will edit soon. If anyone has ideas for other tabs that would be conveniently located on the main page comment below :) I found a lot of racers who love Roka and bought a few items- goggles, swim cap, and a swimsuit. However, I found out black swimsuits show everything. I sadly shipped it back and ended up ordering a Speedo swimsuit that is a cute pattern. Patterns never fail. One thing I love about my new Roka goggles: I can see all the way across the pool! My other goggles fog up so much I literally only see right in front of me. I have clear goggles yay! 

W: 4 mi run
Th: 1 hr swim
F: Rest
Sa: 8 mi run
Su: Rest
miles of running: 12 
cross training days: 3

Now that I have training days planned, it's time to increase weekly running mileage. None of my races coming up are long distance but it would still be nice to have a base in case I decide to run a longer distance race by the end of the year. This week my goal is at least 25 miles.. we'll see how it goes. 

Recipe: Homemade Popsicles

July 4, 2016

My sister and I made these homemade popsicles for Fourth of July fun. It was a tasty treat and something we just threw together without an official recipe:

Raspberry lemonade

We filled up each popsicle holder halfway with raspberry lemonade. Then we cut up watermelon chunks to add in with blueberries.

It was super simple and a tasty treat by the pool. 
Happy Fourth!

New Goals, Same Races

June 22, 2016

Lately I have been missing racing more than ever. I have been racing less since the beginning of nursing school. I have been searching some races for the rest of the year and I found three that I am really wanting to do. Now, once a busy semester starts in August I may change my mind but for now it is nice to have some goals in mind :)

1. Beat my last half marathon time of 1:36:xx. 

My last half marathon was last Spring. My last PR for the half marathon was in 2014. That was 2 years 2 long! I want to race the Chosen Half in November which is the same race as the marathon I ran to try and qualify for Boston for the first time. It is a beautiful course with a lot of hills.

2. Complete a triathlon.

I haven't raced a triathlon in a long time. I had so much fun during my first two triathlons but then mainly set my sights on marathons. The two tri's I have been deciding between is a Duathlon in July (close enough to a tri) OR a short tri in October. I have been searching the least expensive pools that I can swim at and found one that my sister and I are going to swim at next week. Swimming is a nice break from all the pounding on my legs plus I find it relaxing. I'm looking forward to swimming again!

3. Run the Rock n Roll Marathon in December because I'm officially obsessed with this distance.

I wasn't considering another marathon this year but when I received an email that advertised a new flat course + a finisher jacket I became highly tempted.

All this depends on my Fall schedule which will be a heavy load but I am excited to have some goals in mind... even if I complete none of them I will just have something to add to next years goals. 

Things I've Been Wanting Lately

June 20, 2016

I think visors are so cute. I love just that simple Adidas one in black or even pink.
Also, socks are either too thin or too thick but Bombas socks are the perfect in the middle. 

I usually have Clif Shot Blocks for long training runs but my last training cycle my sister sent me some Pro Bar's to try out and they were the best thing ever. I had no stomach issues after eating them and they left me with tons of energy! I had some of the best long runs when I took these along. They sell them at REI. 

I lost my iPod charger and I am 99% positive it is in the Colorado airport. After going though security  with my overstuffed Boston backpack the guard stopped me and made me empty the entire front pocket because the machine read something weird in it. The entire front pocket had all my charger sets and a watch. I had to dump it all out. They ended up telling me the watch looked like a pocket knife but they were mistaken and I was good to go. Except I wasn't good to go because somewhere in that whole mess my iPod charger went missing and I haven't had the time to go buy a new one. Well.... haven't had the time/I just want to run and sleep on my days off of the twelve hour crazy shifts. I miss running with music and really need to buy a new charger. Asap.

Something is causing me to have some lower leg pain when I run and I don't know if it's my shoes, or posture, or what??? But it is highly annoying and I miss the days when running felt easy. I have heard  positive reviews on these Hokas. Although I love Mizunos, I want to try out a new brand to see if that helps the pain. 

That cycling jersey, oh my! I already own cycling shorts but no jerseys. I think it would be nice to ride with a jersey. 

The Rest of Boston Training...

June 17, 2016

As promised, here is a more in depth look at how I attempted to train for the Boston Marathon. I had my training plan printed and I was ready to follow each workout. However, the spring semester ended up being the toughest semester personally. I don't think I was even prepared to run a full marathon but it wasn't even a question to not push myself to do so!

literally the only picture I took of training ^^^

A monthly recap according to my Garmin (does not include runs I ran without tracking mileage)

January miles: 63.69

I began school motivated more than ever. I would wake up at 5am before class and get my run done. Then I would go to school and study literally all day long. After a few weeks of this I became too exhausted to keep it up. During the weekends I had 11 miles, 10, 7, 12, then 14

February miles: 30.32

My longest run in February was 10 miles. TEN. While most people have a solid base, I was fitting in runs when I could and would only go as long as my legs felt okay.

March miles: 71.79

I shoved every one of my long runs for the month of March. I don't recommend this lol. I had another 11 miles, 16, and then 20.

April miles: 32.62

During April I didn't run anything over 8. During the weeks I would run shorter runs. I ran three days a week + a weekend long run.

So, while I was able to finish the marathon my body is still feeling the effects. This seriously was the worst training cycle but even with saying that I can look back and say I did it. 

Run Ink Design

June 14, 2016

Just last week I stumbled upon RunInk on Instagram where I found these beautiful race maps. I quickly searched the website to see what designs she makes. After Boston, I couldn't decide if I wanted to make a shadow box.. or create a shutter fly book.. but it has been a few weeks and I still have nothing. When I saw her designs I realized it was the perfect thing to always remember Boston.

I also saw she made mugs and I couldn't say no to the mug! I ordered the 8x10 marathon map and personalized the name and time. I love the small race quote she adds to the bottom :) I already framed it and put it on my bedside table. It is so sweet and something I will cherish forever!!

Hiking and Running and then Some in Colorado

June 13, 2016

At the beginning of May (which was also the end of finals week- perfect timing), I flew to Colorado to visit my sister and brother-in-law. They moved last year but I never had a chance to visit. It was my first time traveling alone and the thoughts of how scary it would be quickly went away as I navigated my way through security check points and airports without any troubles. I was so excited to be able to visit! I have never been to Colorado but heard a lot of good things about it. I must say- it was the most beautiful place.

While I wanted to just sleep through the week I had to experience the beauty of the place as well.

Of course I had to go running where my sister warned the altitude would make me feel out of shape. I was already out of running shape but it was definitely tough! The scenery distracted from the heavy breathing and slow pacing for what felt like eighteen miles when really it was only six. 


One morning my sister and I decided to hike Mt. Muscoco Trail. The only hiking I am used to is the kind where you walk around a flat mall and climb the occasional escalator. Basically, I don't hike. I love the idea of hiking and always want to go but there aren't many places near me that qualify as a real hike.

We packed energy bites, sandwiches, water, sports drinks and an extra layer in case of temperature changes.

Another hike I did with my brother-in-law was at the Manitou Incline Trail. That incline was intense! I took a million breaks (or maybe around ten) and had to catch my breath so many times. It was a challenge but the view from the top was worth it. At the top, you choose to go straight back down or run a three mile trail along the side of the mountain. Can you guess which one I chose? the run :) It was the coolest run!

And then some:

After an hour of hiking my sister mentioned we could feed giraffes at the zoo. To which my reaction was something along the lines of "FEED giraffes. Like actually feed??? We finished up our hike and headed to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and I was running into the zoo like a five year old. The only giraffes I have seen at my own zoo are far away and you only look at them. I couldn't wait to get up close.

^^ happiest moment in my life 

Colorado was amazing and I had so much fun with my sister and brother-in-law! I'm so grateful for the opportunity to go!
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