GLUKOS Breakfast Smoothie



Every morning I make a breakfast smoothie for my family.  My four year old daughter can not wait to drink her smoothie in the morning.  She wakes up excited to drink this healthy concoction on a daily basis.  Recently smoothies have been getting a bad wrap in the media due to the amount of sugar that can be packed inside of them.  However, you can make them extremely healthy and packed full of nutrients.  The smoothies are a great balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.

The smoothie ingredients are:

50 grams of Natural PB

50 grams GLUKOS Protein Powder

15 grams Flax Seed

50 grams Frozen Spinach

100 grams Frozen Banana

200 grams Frozen Blueberries

50 grams of Carrots

800 grams of Water

The amount per serving are as follows, 40% Fat, 37.5% Carbs, 22.5% Protein

Serving Size Calories Fat Carb Protein Dietary Fiber Sugar
450 Grams 257 11.68 23.92 14.12 5.814 11.64
450 Grams 257 11.68 23.92 14.12 5.814 11.64
365 Grams 208.65 9.47 19.4 11.45 4.716 9.44

 

 

Six Weeks Postpartum Update



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Connor has been in this world for almost six weeks now and it’s hard to imagine a life without him!  The first month was definitely an adjustment, especially for his big sister, but our family is now beginning to get into a routine.

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Rewind to April 24th and I was headed to the hospital that evening for an induction.  I was not induced with Caroline, so it was a little different feeling this time heading to the hospital and not knowing what to expect.  I didn’t know if he would be born that night or the following day.  It was advised for me to get an induction with Connor because PVC’s were heard in utero, which basically means that his heart rate was irregular.  I was assured that this occurrence clears up shortly after birth and we were very happy that Connor was indeed born healthy.  He weighed an entire pound bigger than Caroline at 8 lbs 3 oz. (and he was born on his due date, Caroline was one week late!).  The later part of labor was a bit more challenging verses having Caroline due to his sideways position in my birth canal and him having a “big” head (at least that is what the nurses were telling me at the end of labor).   I had to really work hard during the pushing phase of labor and it really did feel like an athletic event.  I was also exhausted by the time I got to the end of labor because I did not sleep more than five minutes that entire night before.  I was supposed to try and sleep while getting induced, but with two different IVs and monitors around my waist, constant beeping and the anticipation of labor…sleep was not happening for me!

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All the hard work was more than worth it when I got to meet Connor!  Our top two names were Henry and Connor, but ultimately decided on Connor just a few minutes after he was born.  Connor began eating well from the get go and has continued to feed great!  Just like his sister, he is on track to double his birth weight soon!  I love all the chubby rolls he is accumulating all over his little body.  It’s fun to track newborns progression.  Last week he learned to roll from front to back and he started starring intently into our eyes!

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I was very sore the first few days after labor, but three days after giving birth I was surprised how much better I was feeling.  I could sit and stand without pain, which was important coming home with a baby and a three year old!  The hardest part the first month after a baby is sleep deprivation.  This time around I also had to learn to balance the needs of a baby and a little girl.  Caroline has really adjusted well to having a baby brother and she is very sweet with him.

 

When I returned home from the hospital, I was going on adrenaline.  I feel like the adrenaline rush lasted for about a week and then fatigue hit me hard.  The first couple of weeks I tried to take nap every day, if possible.  Caroline still had preschool the first three weeks after Connor was born, so I was able to get in a little more rest.  Newborns are required to eat every two to three hours around the clock the first two weeks.  Fortunately, most nights Connor does a pretty good job about going back to bed after his feedings, so that helps tremendously.  After two weeks, Connor could go longer stretches at night (four hours, if he lets me!).  He does not have a set sleep schedule but he usually goes to bed around 10pm and sleeps until 1:30 or 2AM to nurse.  He goes back down around 2:45 and then wakes again around 5AM to nurse.  On a good night he is up twice and on a rough night he is up three times a night.

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Nate sleeps in another room so that he can get solid, uninterrupted sleep.  We decided that there was not a point in us both being exhausted.  At 5AM, I hand off Connor to Nate and that way I go back to bed for another two hours of sleep (unless Caroline wakes me before then!).  It is advised now that baby’s sleep in your room for the first year as this has shown to reduce SIDS.  It is nice to have Connor right next to me in a bassinet; although sometimes it is hard to sleep soundly because newborns are noisy when they sleep!  Connor is such a chill baby, he doesn’t cry much but when he starts to get hungry in the middle of the night he starts grunting and stirring in his sleep.  This noise usually wakes me before he is fussing loudly.  One thing I noticed is with my second child is that I am much more used to interrupted sleep.  My body does not seem to be as phased by this process.

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So, what does training look like with this schedule?  Most literature says to wait six weeks before beginning an exercise program, but my doctor is ok with my starting as soon as I feel ok.  I waited about three weeks to begin swimming and cycling.  I waited just under five weeks before I began running.  Currently swimming and cycling are progressing.  Most of my workouts are short due to nursing every couple of hours.  Next month, I will begin pumping so that I can extend a few workouts a little longer without taking nursing breaks.  Connor can drink a bottle that Nate will give him that I pumped prior to the workout.

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My first run back felt awful.  I felt extremely disconnected and I felt like my lower abdominals were extremely weak.  I have completed three 5k runs so far and each run has felt much better; however, I feel like I have a long way to go!  For now I am avoiding running two days in a row as I notice the pelvic floor is needs a little more recovery between my runs.  With my second pregnancy, I felt my abdominals stretched much more and I had a bigger baby due to the fact that it was my second pregnancy.

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A huge part of my exercise depends on how much sleep I got the night before.  Even though my sleep is chunked up in 1-4 hour segments throughout the night, I notice that as long as I get 7.5 hours of divided sleep I feel good enough to train around two-three hours the following day.  If I get around 6-7, I feel functional and pretty good to workout an hour or two.  If I get less than six hours I feel pretty exhausted and may just move my body easy for about 45 minutes or take a nap!

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When I began swim training, I was wearing the suits that I wore in the middle of my pregnancy.  They were very stretched out and I felt like I was swimming with a bucket down the front of my suit.  Whether I am swimming, cycling and especially running, I need much more support for my chest.  Nursing changes my top from a size A to a size C, so this is quite an adjustment for me.  I need a very tight suit while swimming for support and to reduce drag.  I also need a very supportive sports bra while running. In addition, I find that it is best to pump or nurse just before a run workout to help be more comfortable while running.

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A few days I have felt great getting back into working out; while other days have been really tough.  At times I feel overwhelmed thinking about all the hard work ahead to return back to race fitness.  When I begin to feel this way, I think about focusing on one day at a time and focus on making small improvements each day.
I am also trying to soak up all the amazing moments with our little boy (and Caroline). It is true that babies change every day and we try to capture the special moments through pictures and video so that we can look back in a few years when we are past the baby stage.  I do have a goal to race towards the end of the summer, so I will announce a race schedule soon.

Best regards,

Sarah

 

Start Right Partnership



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I am excited to announce a new partnership with Start Right.  This is a local Missouri company that believes in starting the day off with a healthy breakfast.  They have created breakfast waffles and pancake mix that has no added sugar, gluten free, and 15 grams of protein per serving.  The healthy waffles taste great and my three year old daughter loves the healthy breakfast food too!  This is a quick and easy breakfast for the entire family.

Start Right is sold at many of the local stores.  You can find the waffles at Lucky’s Market and at Dierbergs.

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Season Update Winter 2016



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As I write this blog, I am on the plane headed to race the Puerto Rico Ironman70.3. I raced this event last year and looking forward to returning to the city and the venue. This was my first 70.3 last year, so I had quite a bit of nerves leading into the race since I was heading into some unknowns. I like repeating races I have completed in the past as it eases my race day nerves with being familiar with the race layout and what to expect on the course. This race is easy logistically because once I get to the hotel; swim start, transition and race finish are all within a quarter to half mile walk from my hotel room!
Traveling without Caroline also allows me more time to blog…something that is tough to keep up with since she has become a toddler. Her energy at 8 and 9pm amaze us, especially because at that time Nate and I are so wiped out. She is usually at full tilt from the moment she wakes up until she goes to bed (with the exception of a possible nap). It has been so much fun watching her grow from two years to two and a half years old. Her vocabulary grows on a daily basis and her vivd imagination makes us smile. She is getting very fast on her scooter and it’s hard to keep up with her on the downhills!

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It seems like a whirlwind since the 2015 season ended and 2016 season started. Although I did take two weeks off training in November, it seems like I was focusing on 2016 before I knew it since I raced in Panama in January. Outside of training we have also been very busy with relocating for our future.
We recently decided to buy a home in Eureka, MO (just outside of St. Louis) and be closer to family. We love training and living in Clermont, FL, but the reality is that Caroline will be starting Kindergarten in just over two years (hard to believe!!) and we wanted more of a permanent place for her verses packing up a couple of times year and moving locations! The past several years we escaped the Florida heat and headed up north for the summer racing season.

Buying a home did not even cross our minds until just before Christmas. When we headed back to FL in January we began the process of upgrading our home in Florida and getting it ready to sell. Much of January and February, I did about 75 % of my training solo, since Nate was focused on installing a bathroom, painting, etc. I rode the CompuTrainer 2x week and usually made up my swim workouts during the warm-up of the swim! Overall, I was happy with my training progression, despite all the business going on outside of training. For several weeks when Nate was busy completing a project, I was with Caroline solo from around 3:30pm (when I picked her up from preschool until she went she went to bed around 9:30). I mentioned to him that I would rather have him help me with Caroline in the evenings verses have him train with me during the day! After a hard training day, I am wiped at night!
For now the projects are finished and the house is listed on the market. Things have calmed down slightly, but still have some moving to do in a couple of months!

Here is the project that Nate and his Dad did.

I am really looking forward to this upcoming race season. I am focused on staying healthy (doing my best to avoid those two year old colds….although sometimes it is just unavoidable), and getting the most out of myself by training smarter and pushing hard at the right times. Good luck to everyone as the 2016 season is about to roll in….!

 

July Racing Update



A few days prior to Pan American Games, I felt a soreness in my left foot. It was something I had never felt before, but it did not alter my run form or cause too much pain not to compete. Afterwards I had my foot checked out by the USOC Medical team and after an MRI it was determined that I am suffering from a fourth metatarsal stress reaction. It is recommended that I do not continue running on it, or else I risk having a complete break of the bone. I am able to continue swimming and cycling, but I have to lay off the running for the time being.

I am gutted to have another bump in the road and not able to race this weekend, but I am determined to continue to get back on track. I have an amazing team of support staff who are helping me to not suffer any more “bumps” this season. The past year, I have encountered issues with my bone density (as I have never had a bone injury in my previous twenty years of running). Every month my bone density is continuing to improve (after pregnancy and 13 months of nursing where I suffered some mineral depletion). I look forward to get back to racing soon and will keep you posted.
Thank you everyone for the continued support this year. Happy training an

June 2015 Update



 

For the past five and a half months, I have been slowly building back to fitness after my injury last summer. My training was going well as I had been gearing up for my first Iron distance race. I had really focused hard on keeping from getting sick as last year I seemed to catching Caroline’s cold every other month! I had a blood work up to see if I was lacking in any important minerals. Turns out, back in January, I was low in magnesium and zinc. Zinc is a immune booster and magnesium helps you sleep better at night…both of which seemed to improve after supplementing. Along with continued Vitamin D supplementation, I avoided catching the monthly colds from Caroline. This left me to continue to train without interruption, train harder, and really build into my fitness. Transitioning into long course training, I am learning what my body can handle. There were so many positives with this winter/spring build up, but sometimes things just don’t go as planned. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I pushed the envelope just a bit too far and suffered a set back because of it.
After four weeks off, I started running again! Half of my running the first couple of weeks remained in the pool, but each week my injury was dramatically improving. I now feel I back to 100%, but have to be patient to get back to 100% fitness.
Going forward, I am taking all the positives I have learned from my training the past few months. I am structuring in more recovery between my long training sessions. This way I can get the most out of my sessions and not push beyond the breaking point! It is so hard to know where that point lies and when it will strike, but really listening to my body will be key moving forward. When you are spending so much time swimming, biking and running; it’s hard to keep up with the strength training component. This is something that will be written in stone in my program as I truly feel it is a cornerstone to keeping your body balanced! I have adapted, The Body Shop Tune Up, as part of my strength and body balancing program along with using my Compex on a daily basis!
I have my first race back this next weekend at the Eagleman 70.3 and I am excited to get to the start line, although I may not be at 100% fitness, it will be awesome to race 100% healthy! Time will tell, but for now I will have a huge smile on my face getting back to that “good kind of pain” while running! I also have decided to push back my first Ironman race. I was toying with the idea of doing IM Frankfurt in July.  However, after discussing this with Nate in great detail we decided on just getting in a mix of races this summer.  I feel the long travel to the race and recovery from such a long race will take away the heart of the summer racing season close to home. I will be racing a mix of Olympic distance, ITU, 70.3 and my first IM will be in Chattanooga in September.  I am excited to announce that I will be racing at the Pan American Games this July 11th in Toronto Canada.  It will be my third appearance at the Pan American games.

Although I won’t qualify for Kona this year, racing an Ironman this fall will allow me to try to score those valuable KPR points that will carry over to next season.
Injuries are so tough, especially when they happen right before a planned “A” race that you have spent months preparing for day in and day out. Staying positive every day was a struggle for me. I am thankful for a reminder from a friend. She suffered from an injury earlier this year and I reminded her to focus on what she could do, not what she couldn’t do and she reminded me the same….everyone needs little helpful reminders at times!
Thanks to all my friends, family, sponsors and team of therapists who have helped me achieve my goals into my 11th year racing as a professional. I have had a great start to the season in March with two wins and looks forward to getting back onto the starting line soon. I wish everyone the best as of luck with racing and training as we begin to enter into the heart of triathlon season racing. I am excited about my new path this year and ready to tackle new goals.

 

6/14/15 Eagleman 70.3
6/28/15 Buffalo Springs 70.3 or Tri Rock Philadelphia
7/11/15 Pan American Games.
7/19/15 Racine 70.3 or NYC LTF
8/9/15 Ecuador 70.3 **
8/16/15 Timberman 70.3
9/26/15 Chattanooga IM
10/11/15 ITU Perto Rico **
10/24/15 Miami 70.3
11/15/15 IM AZ **
11/28/15 IM Cozumel **

** Possibilities

Sidelined for St. Anthonys!



This upcoming Sunday is the St. Anthony’s Triathlon. I am gutted to say that I will not be at the starting line. 11 days ago, I was completing the culmination of a hard training block and in the middle of a long run I felt a pain on the right side of my lower back/glutes. As the pain seemed to intensify, I stopped and walked the final three miles before a friend was able to pick me up. Needless to say, it was an emotional, long, hot three mile walk. Since I started back up to running after my sacral insufficiency fracture last fall, my body had been feeling better than ever. In the recent months, I really stretched the body and was preparing for my first Iron distance event. When I felt the pain, my mind immediately thought back to my injury last year. Are my bones healed? Did I need more time to strengthen them? Lots of questions.
I fortunately was able to get an MRI in just two days, thanks to the help from Dr. Gideon Lewis. The MRI showed mild sacral edema and I was cleared to run in 10 days. The prognosis did not seem bad and I would be back at it in no time. I was cleared to swim and bike, but I was having significant pain walking. My gut was telling me that something was just not right. Five days after the injury, I was having some pain swimming, but the pain was different than last summer. This lead me to believe something else had to be going on. I was being treated for mild stress reaction in the bones, but according to the MRI I should not have any pain walking and would ready to return to running soon. The paper was telling me one thing, but my body was telling me something else.
This week I investigated my own body and searched for more answers. Several therapists looked over my MRI and decided this injury was not related to a bone issue, but soft tissue. Yesterday, I started treating the injury as strained muscle in my glut and I woke up this morning with the best it has ever felt! I feel like now that I know what the real issue of the injury entails, I can now properly treat it and move forward with training and then back to racing.
Going through an injury is emotionally exhaustive. Almost every bike ride I have been on the past week has included tears being shed. I was going 90 miles a minute with training and getting ready for final race preps and then I was suddenly halted in my tracks. I am not sure yet if my body will be ready for Ironman in mid May, but I will race when I know that I am ready to go. I can’t thank the team of great supporters around me who have helped me through this process and are there to get me back to it again. Thank you to my amazing sponsors who are ever so supportive. Thanks Nate for being there with me on those breakthrough training rides, but also being there on the rides I am shedding tears.
I wish everyone a great start to the season! I have had a great start, but a year always has a better ending with a few bumps along the way. I am constantly learning, constantly changing and evolving to be a better person and athlete.

Looking back and Looking ahead.



After several months, I am thrilled to be back at the start line. I will be racing in the finale of the Lifetime Series and Toyota Triple Crown. I missed several of the races this year due to my injury over the summer, but really looking forward to the thrill, excitement and joy of racing.

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My sacral fracture was one of the toughest injuries I have dealt with in my career. I was not able to run for ten weeks. When I am not running,I really miss it. . The first couple of runs back from injury, I was smiling ear to ear. I especially missed those outdoor runs when the weather was a perfect 70 degrees.

I will be pushing my body all that it can give me on race day. That is what racing is all about! My goals for this race are very different from races earlier this season. I have been back to running for just over a month now and I have had to slowly ease back into distance and fitness. I am currently still building back into fitness and really listening to my body so that I avoid setbacks and continue on as Nate says, “Slowly climbing the mountain.” The past few months have been mentally tough. I have to thank Nate and my family for helping me to stay focused and positive.

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The past few months, I participated in several events that really inspired and motivated me. Earlier in September, I had to opportunity to work with Mike and Jenn McGuire. . Lifetime and Toyota are teaming up together to help Mike and Jenn complete the Oceanside Tri. Hunter Kemper and I gave Mike and Jenn training and nutrition tips. The most inspiring part of the trip was helping Jenn overcome her fear of open water. After a scary experience at the Royal Gorge in Colorado where she almost casino online drowned, she had not been swimming in open water since she was a child. I felt inspired by her bravery that day. She overcome her fear of open water and swam several hundred meters!

 

 

Later in September, I participated in Pedal the Cause. Riding with thousands who are all working towards finding a world without cancer. I saw many survivors and those who have been touched by the disease in some way.IMG_0875

Finally, a few weeks ago Nate and I had the opportunity to race, Boarder Wars Half Distance Triathlon. This was an inaugural race in Alton, IL. There was a race within a race with “West” vs. “East”. Those who lived west of the Mississippi were racing those east of the Mississippi. We were racing for team, Swim Bike Run St. Louis. Nate completed the half distance with a fourth place overall and I was able to do the swim/bike while my brother ran the 13.1 miles. We finished first in the relay division. This was my first half distance to race the swim/bike portion. I loved it! Although next time around, I would use more than two Power Gels. I was completely bonking the last ten miles of the bike. This was a fun, last minute opportunity to race against each other (I won!). Nate braved it out in the cold. Even though he is a Minnesota native, he prefers to race in the heat!

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Best wishes to all those wrapping up their 2014 season! Whether you have had the season of your dreams or a season left to be desired thus far, remember that every race is a new opportunity to challenge yourself and make the most out of what your body can give you on that day. Embrace the challenge!

 

 

Thank you to my sponsors who have been so supportive during this time of the injury and ongoing healing process. Toyota, Fuji, PowerBar, Sketchers, Zipp, Toyota, TYR, ISM, MissionAthleteCare, Speedfill, Polar, Rudy Project,.

Race Season Is Here!!



It has been 17 months since I have competed in a triathlon race. Since January 2nd, and was able to get in a consistent hard training block that I feel is preparing me for the race season, which is key for me this time of year.  Later in the year, travel starts to add up with all the racing, so the winter is the perfect time to stay put and accumulate the miles from training rather than accumulate the miles from traveling!

Nate, Caroline and I have all gotten into a rhythm of training, eating, sleeping and balancing play time and training time.  Caroline is now seven months and starting to scoot around the living room.   Her personality is really starting to show and she loves to smile and play with her toys.  She loves bath time and I took that as a sign she would love swimming.  I have taken her a few times to the heated National Training Center pool and she absolutely loves the water!  She splashes, watches the other kids and doesn’t seem to be bothered when she goes under water for a few seconds.  Future fish on our hands?!

My first four races of the year will be close to home, all in the state of Florida.  Not getting on an airplane the first couple on months into race season is a huge bonus!  Especially this year with little Caroline traveling with me to the races, it will be much easier for all of us!  I will be competing in my first race this Saturday.  It’s just ten minutes from home in Clermont, Florida.  No matter what the outcome, I will be happy to give it my all and experience the thrill of pushing hard out on the race course.

I am equally excited to partner with some great companies this year.

Fuji Bicycles:  I am proud to be partnering with Fuji for the 2014 season.  I love the comfort and speed of the bikes and working with a great team.  I am excited to ride the new Norcom Straight, which launched last season.  http://www.fujibikes.com/

 ISM Adamo Saddles:  I first road an ISM saddle back in 2006.  Nate found a prototype in the USA Triathlon office and thought that I would really enjoy the saddle due to the design.  I have loved the saddle since I began riding it.  The pain I experienced in my early years of riding is no longer a problem and I have never looked back.  The company is comprised of great people who are passionate about the sport and it’s athletes. My favorite saddle is the Time Trial.  http://www.ismseat.com/

MissionAthleteCare:  I have joined as a partner in this company since 2007.  What is unique about Mission is that all the athletes have a say in the product.  We get the opportunity to test the product before they are out on the market and have a voice in changing the product to make it better for athletes.  Check out all the gear at www.missionathletecare.com  My favorite product is the Facestick.  One application and my face is protected for a six hour training day!

Polar:  This is my first year working with Polar and I am very excited to work with a high quality product to elevate my racing and training.  I am able to track my heart rate and pacing during training and can use this information as a valuable tool to help with my fitness progression. http://www.polar.com/us-en

PowerBar:  I am excited to partner with PowerBar for my training and racing fueling needs.  PowerBar understands the demands placed on endurance athletes and what it takes to get to the finish line.  My favorite product is the Kona Punch gel!  http://www.powerbar.com/

 Rudy Project:  I have been racing and training with Rudy Project since I started the sport and completed my first triathlon in 2003.  I know my head and eyes are well protected!  The casual glasses are comfortable and stylish and a must for me year round while living in Florida! https://www.rudyprojectusa.com/  I love to race in the Abilities!

 Skechers:   I am very excited to be joining the Skechers Performance Line for the 2014 season.  I will be racing in the Go-Meb Speed2’s this season.  I absolutely love the feel of these responsive, fast shoes.  I can race in these shoes in a 5k or a half marathon!  I love the variety of all the shoes Skechers has to offer.  http://www.skechers.com/

 Toyota:  I have been part of the Team Toyota since 2008.  Toyota is a revolutionary car company and always creating what the customer wants and needs.  I am excited to be driving the Rav4 this year to races and to my training sessions.  Team Toyota will be exhibiting during the race expos at the Lifetime Fitness/Toyota Triple Crown race series.  It’s truly a great experience for me as fans get to check out the vehicles and enter for a chance to win prizes.  In addition, I get to connect with race community.  http://www.toyota.com/

 TYR:  I am joining with TYR for the 2014 season!  I look forward to returning to racing in the fast carbon line of triathlon suits.  I will be racing in TYR wetsuits as well!  Check out all the gear at http://www.tyr.com/

 Quarq: I am excited to be using Quarq power meters this year for training and racing.  The feed back and data I get from these power meters help elevate my racing to new levels that I could not reach with out them.  http://www.quarq.com

Zipp:  I will proudly be training and racing on Zipp wheels in 2014.    Zipp wheels are the fastest wheels on the market and Zipp puts more into R&D than any other wheel manufacture on the market.  They have years of proven wins at the biggest races!   http://www.zipp.com/

 

Happy Holidays 2013!



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The Holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year. Racing season has come to a close, training winds down and this equates to more time with family and friends and accomplishing Christmas shopping!  I also use this time of the year to reflect, look back at all the highs and lows and what I have learned to carry over into the next year.  I re-evaluate my goals, focus on any season injuries or issues that need to be addressed, and recharge myself mentally.  I find the most difficult time of the year is January-March; when training is really ramped up and racing season has not yet begun.

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This year I did not have any races to reflect upon, but it has been plenty busy!  I had lots of changes this past year; going through pregnancy, giving birth and now entering parenthood.  The past few months I have focused on juggling training with caring for my newborn.  The needs of my baby girl will always be first on my list of priorities, but I am also navigating how I can best prepare myself to get to the start line of my first race healthy, happy and ready to rock!

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Getting back into the swing of training has been much easier with the help of my husband/coach, Nate.  He helps me out as much as he can with Caroline and helps me to get the most out of me every day as an athlete.  When we push our bodies hard in training, it’s tough to stay mentally positive.  Nate always reminds me to smile and just do the best that I can.  It really helps to have those reminders, especially when you are several weeks into a hard training block.

The hardest part about balancing being a professional athlete and parenthood; is having to leave Caroline for my training.  I know that she is in great hands with those caring for her, but as a mother I do have a bit of guilt leaving her.  I do feel blessed that my job is intermittent throughout the day and I can schedule my training around her naps.  I love returning from a morning swim workout and getting to spend some quality time with her before my next workout.  She also gives me the strength to dig deep when I am hurting in the middle of a session.  When I am pushing my body on the Computrainer or hitting a pace on the treadmill, I picture her smiling face and this gives me that extra ounce of motivation.  I feel time away from her should be utilized to the max.

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My recovery from workouts is not quite the same as before.  I no longer can go to sleep when I am tired or auto tune my brain out to a movie or television show thoughout the day.  However, the joy I have from watching Caroline learn and play is well worth missing a Sunday morning sleep in.  I have learned to rest when my baby is resting (when I don’t have a planned training session to fit in) and those naps with her lying on my stomach are so relaxing.  Some mornings I wake up not having the best night of sleep, but I stay positive and know that I will get to rest again soon!  All the years of being a professional athlete I have learned to tune into my body.  I know when to keep pushing and when I need to back down.  As a new mother, this is a very important key to my training.

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It’s so important to not put too much pressure on myself to expect my pool times to return to pre-pregnancy in X amount of time or my 10k run pace to be where it was pre-pregnancy six months after giving birth.  I have to take my progression day to day and be happy with the improvements I make.  My passion is staying active and fit and pushing my body to it’s limits.  I look forward to challenging myself next season and getting back onto the racing scene..  Racing is really where you test your body and push to the limit; not in training!

Next year, I will have an extra cheerleader out on the racecourse!  I look forward to experiencing another race season, but look even more forward to watching little Caroline take her first steps and say her first words!

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Enjoy this holiday season and I wish everyone a very blessed 2014!  See you at the races!

Sarah

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