5 reasons I love SPIbelt

July 20, 2017

I ran with SPIbelt since my first marathon back in 2011 when I stumbled upon the kiosk at the race expo and my dad told me it would "be a good idea to carry something like this during your race." I bought it and never stopped using it. I told my sisters about it and each bought one as well for their races. You wouldn't believe my excitement when I applied for their ambassador program and I got in!! I couldn't wait to be a part of the team and share a product I love so much! 

Here are my top five reasons for loving SPIbelt...

1. I can move the pouch wherever I want it to go
Some race belts only face one direction. If you moved it around to the back it would just be awkward. But SPIbelt fits comfortably and can be moved anywhere around the waist.

2. There are different sized pouch options
There are simple pouches that fit your phone or bigger pouches that can fit phone, keys, gels, and have an inner pouch.

3. Easy to open, especially during races
I don't want to be fighting a zipper during a race and I never have to because these belts open easily.

4.  Doesn't leak! Doesn't bounce!
Ok, so that's like two reasons in one but ya get me.

5. There are tons of different styles to choose from

Go shop SPIbelt and don't forget to use "sara2017" for  a 15% discount on SPIbelt products!!

Race Recap: Tri for Old Glory

July 18, 2017

In May I had no idea if I was even going to race this Summer. I had summer classes to finish, working 12 hour shifts, babysitting on my days off, and mainly lifting weights and running. I hadn't swam since December and my bike was hanging in the garage. My older sister came into town and she raced a bunch in the past and she told me to just do it. Triathlons are fun and sprint tris are easier to train for. In June, I started adding in a few more workouts and planning better. July 12th was race day. 

500 meters in 11.21mins

This was my first open water swim with ZERO anxiety. I don't know how it happened but I literally swam like I was in a pool. I felt calm and comfortable. I took three strokes then sighted the next buoy. 

I'm the white cap ^^  No, I'm kidding this isn't even my wave. 

11 miles @ 15.2mph in 43.17mins

I started off the bike on the ground. The man clipping in right in front of me completely stopped to get on his bike and I wasn't expecting that. When I tried to back up I slipped because #bikeshoesnogrips and fell on my bum.

The race directors warned of a steep hill starting off the bike and that we should get off and walk up due to the high traffic of falling. He said in the past 80% of racers fell at the hill. After clipping in, I told my sister "ok, this counts as me falling one time" and hoped I made it up the hill.

And I did. The bike was an 11 mile loop around country roads. It was a beautiful course and I felt good on the bike considering I only rode about 4 times in training before the race.

7:43min/mile pace for 22.24mins

I got off the bike and began the run chasing down the next runner in front of me. By this time (9am), it was 90ish degrees on black pavement. I pushed through to keep up a good pace.

I finished in 1:19xx with a 1st place age group win and 6th female finisher!!

^^ TriMafia has my back ;)

Double the medals!

I'm glad I decided to race this Summer as it reminded me that racing is a part of who I am. It's fun and exciting and it keeps me motivated. I've got another triathlon in a month!

Brand Ambassador!!! (+ discounts for you!)

July 17, 2017

This year is my first year of being a brand ambassador and these companies are amazing!

I heard back in October that I was accepted into the TriMafia family. This group is the coolest. Over 300 athletes are included in the group from all over the world and we get to keep up with each other's swimbikerun and life events.

The clothes are from Velocity Sportswear and all the graphic tees are my favorite. I especially love my Triathlon t-shirt as seen below :)

Voler Apparel
I also was accepted to be a brand ambassador for Voler! This kit is too cute and so comfortable for riding.  I don't take a lot of pictures while riding (safety first) but this kit is functional and bright.

My profile on their site is located -- here --. And an update on my goals I mentioned on their site. We added these back at the beginning of the year but seasons change and goals change as well. I didn't get accepted into the New York Marathon (I literally had a 5% chance or something crazy small like that) and I won't be completing any olympic distance triathlons. But I competed in a sprint triathlon on July 12th, I've got another sprint tri in August, and my last sprint tri will be in October. Sprint triathlons are easier to manage with my hectic schedule but I know I will be back racing more next year when I have graduated nursing school!

Legend Compression
My number one item is compression socks. I wear them all the time during work, clinical hours, and after training. If you shop Legend Compression, you get 15% off your first order with this link!

Ahh, all the heart eyes for Spibelt. Check out my profile -- here--  I always carry a race belt during half marathons, marathons, triathlons. My favorite race belt is the Endurance series that has the race bib attachment so that it can double as a snack pack +  belt holder. I'm looking forward to using the Venture series during my marathon next Spring! Use code "sara2017" for a discount on your purchase!

Heart Zones
I was introduced to Heart Zones back in April. I received a heart monitor that connects to my phone app and allows me to track my heart rate during training. This way, I can monitor the intensity of each workout and see improvements each week.

You can see my profile on their website -- here-- and shop the monitors  -- here --

I am so grateful to each of these companies and love being able to share products that I personally train and race with!! 

Race Recap: Alamo 13.1

June 5, 2017

Oops, I haven't blogged since January!! Let's rewind a bit back to March when I ran the second spring half marathon. I originally planned to train and race this for a PR. I trained hard for months. Keeping up with long training hours and tough weeks of nursing school. There were even a few times when I trained after coming home from a 12 hour shift. But.... after getting the flu the week before and spending every day on the couch, I decided to keep it easy as this would be the most activity in that week. 

Alamo 13.1 will always be my favorite race series. The crowd, volunteers, race directors, course, amazing medals, and post race food can't be topped. I wish I would have saved a draft of a post after the race as now it has been so long for me to recap. I'll keep it short and I have some pictures below. 

I ran this race with my sister! During the race I kept a steady, easy pace. I really wanted to finish under 2 hours but didn't want to overwork myself. I was excited when I finished in 1:50:xx something. I can't wait to be back next year. 

And some exciting news. Next year is the first year it will be the Alamo 26.2 and I have already registered! This will be my fifth marathon unless I find one to run by the end of this year ;) 

Race Recap: Cocoa Women's Half Marathon

January 20, 2017

I haven't raced a half marathon since June 2015 and I haven't beat my best time since 2014. My goals of 2017 included PRing my half marathon time of 1:36:xx. Ultimately I want to break this 1 hour 30 minute barrier that I just can't seem to get past! When I signed up for the Cocoa Women's half I wanted to see where my time was at and then race faster the next half marathon in March.

LuluLemon Hotty Hot Short (new favorite, so comfy!)
Clif Bar Shot Blocks + Gel

Race morning I woke up at 6am and ate oatmeal, a banana, and sipped on gatorade and water. My sisters came to support me at my race (which was the best!!). We left to head downtown an hour before the race. We watched the costume contest, I stretched, we prayed and then lined up to start. The race directors had 6:30-7:00 minute/mile pace runners start at the front. I headed up there not knowing what I wanted my pace to be but also making sure I started at the front to not fight the crowds. We began the run and I positioned myself fourth female. From the beginning I chose not to look at my watch and only focus on how I felt.

When I ran this race three years ago, I lost track of the front pack and got entirely lost. This time I wanted to stay with the front runners so I knew where to go. This year was marked clearly, officers and volunteers at every major turn, and cones/arrows showed us the way. Definitely an easy route to follow! The run maneuvered through the downtown streets and I stayed with the front pack. There were numerous points in the run where it was two-way and I could see the other racers. At mile 3, where the 5k and 10k cut off, I looked at the bibs of the front pack. I had a brown bib which meant half marathon. Pink, red, pink.... the top ladies were running either the 5k or 10k which meant... I was the first half marathoner. At mile 4 the bike escort told me he would come back for me as he led the 10k winner to the finish. OMG.

As I got to another two-way point I was cruising through the miles, taking in all the applause and thumbs up from the other racers, and wondering how long I would keep up being in the lead.

I'll share my playlist in another post because it was too good. I love racing with music and purposefully set the playlist up to start slow and end with faster songs to keep my head in the pace game. I took in gu chomps every two miles. I had one gu chomp left at mile 7ish and panicked because that was my source of energy. I planned to stay fast and if I crashed then I would learn from the mistake. I held off on my last one to take near mile 9. I took gu gel at mile 10 and ate a bit every so often to the finish. One thing I would change is how many gu chomps I brought with me ;)

The bike escort met back up with me around mile 5 and I had him to lead me the whole way. Rather than focusing on my watch/pace, I focused on staying with him. At mile 7, where the relay point met and where people could watch, I was still in the lead and I was thinking that I wished my sisters were there so they could see this. That morning they had joked I would win and I, with all my pre-race nerves, said I had no idea how I would do.

With the bike escort leading, I turned my music up and ran through the miles. I felt great the whole way and made sure to thank every volunteer. They probably thought I was crazy as I would take the sports drink provided then find a trash can and throw it in rather than toss on the ground.

This whole race I could not stop smiling. I was leading the race and I couldn't see another racer behind me. I cruised through and threw up a number one sign to the photographer around mile 12 as I was confident I would win.

I took my headphones out as I rounded the last corner to take in the moment. The bike escort rattled his bell telling everyone the first place half marathoner was coming in to finish. My sisters were waving their arms and cheering. I couldn't contain my excitement I yelled to them "OMG I JUST WON I JUST WON!!"

I literally can't think of a time when I was happier. I was smiling this entire race!! I have won my age group in plenty of races but to win the whole race?! Never! I always see the first place finishers at races and think "wow, they are good and strong and fast" and this time it was ME.

1:35:41 finish time// 1st Overall out of 400+ participants// Splits:
1- 6:57
2- 7:29
3- 6:56
4- 7:09
5- 7:05
6- 7:13
7- 7:13
8- 7:31
9- 7:23
10- 7:24
11- 7:37
12- 7:31
13.1- 6:58

Afterwards we enjoyed the post race chocolate covered fruit, pancakes and chocolate syrup, and hot chocolate. Did I mention it was the Cocoa Half? Huge shoutout to all the volunteers, police, race directors, race photographers, and my bike escort to make this a fun, safe, and exciting race!!

Rulon Rules: Strength Training and the Triathlete Ebook

January 19, 2017

I am so excited this book is finally here!! As a marathoner and triathlete, I appreciate all the help and tips I can get. In order to accomplish the goals I set for myself I have to keep up with strength training. Jen Rulon put together an ebook for triathletes. It is called, “Rulon Rules: Strength Training & the Triathlete.” She educates the triathlete on the whys, when to lift in your triathlon season, what type of exercises you should be lifting  and where they can lift. It has a lot of great information. She talks about strength training, getting past the uncomfortableness of racing, and how to program training from the off season to race week. I can't wait to read more and learn new ways to be a better athlete!! http://bit.ly/RulonRulesAmazon or www.jenrulon.com/amazonebook

I was able to get a copy of the ebook but my review is 100% my own!

2017 Goals

January 11, 2017

Finally (!!!!) getting around to posting my goals for the year after... only 11 days. I wrote this list back in November when I was super stressed out with school and wanted a break/to think about what motivates me each day.

First, here are 2016's goals:

  • Run a half marathon (thinking of changing February's 26.2 to 13.1)-- Decided to DNS that race since it would have been too much with nursing school
  • Run the Boston Marathon in April-- DONE. recap here 
  • Find balance with work, school, and life --I'd count this as done but it was a hectic/stressful year
And now 2017's goals:
  • Run the NYC Marathon November 2017 (I entered the lottery just to try ;)
  • Race 4 sprint triathlons
  • Race at least 2 Olympic distance triathlons
  • Run below a 1:30 half marathon!! I've been trying to break 1:36 since 2014
  • If I don't get into NYC Marathon, race US Open Triathlon in under 3 hours
  • Graduate from nursing school (Lord willing in December of this year!!!)
  • Spend more time outdoors, being in the moment, and finding joy

I am so happy for a new year, new (and bigger) goals and to see where the year takes me!
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