Battle on the Blueway SUP Race Recap: 06/11/2016

Race Day: June 11, 2016 – 8:30 AM start time, 7 miles

Conditions:

  • Flat
  • No wind
  • Partly cloudy
  • 90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 90 percent humidity

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5:15 am wake-up, I’m on the road by 5:25 am and start my trek to Ft. Myers Beach, FL. Arrived at the beach around 7:10. The weather was perfect, this week we had so much rain (a tropical storm even!) so it was so nice to not have a thunderstorm.

Check-in was easy, the shirts they give you at this race are my favorite of any race. A nice long sleeve and since I paid $85.00 to enter and $15.00 to park this shirt better be made of silk. Very expensive race. But that’s probably because there is $10,000 given out to top finishers.

Major prize money races include Ron Jon Pro 7 Mile Men’s 14 & 12’6” and Women’s 12”6”. Please see break down of prize money below.

1st – $1400
2nd – $850
3rd – $500
4th – $250
5th – $100

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I placed 7th and was really happy with it. I had a great start and a great finish, but just have to work on the endurance in the middle. There were three laps of about 2.5 miles each. The first lap I felt great, then hit a wall on the 2nd lap and then the 3rd lap, I felt good again… Figures.

Anyways, they had Jason’s Deli for lunch, which if you know me, then you know its my ultimate favorite place to eat! So that was awesome. And we got to try out the new Hobie Eclipse. It’s like an elliptical on water!

It was great to see everyone. These SUP races make me feel so less isolated. During the week, I’m so tired and busy with work that I never see anyone. These races remind me that I have friends and cool people do exist!

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Can’t wait for the next one! But that’s probably not until August. I’ll be training in the meantime 🙂

Race websites:

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5K SUP & RUN: Race Recap May 21, 2016

Everything about this race was awesome! Finally, after my last two races were a waste of money, I was so excited to have a race be everything that I have hoped for. I don’t know whats been going on with races lately but they have been going downhill and up in price…

This race was just a 30 dollar entry fee and it went to a good cause: Operation Second Chance. It is so inspirational to be racing alongside veterans who were wounded, injured or ill fighting for our country. It was incredible!

The race did start at 8 a.m. SHARP! which was actually a good thing. It was already 85 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 percent humidity. Gotta love Florida. And the race did start on time, how awesome is that!

So right away we started with the 5K RUN. This was tricky, wasn’t sure how hard to push it. Let me tell you though, it’s much easier to catch people during the run. It’s so much more difficult on a paddleboard. I had one woman in front of me going into the 5K SUP.

So right after the run, you go to your board, rip you shoes and socks off and put on your pfd then you jump on your board. It is so weird to go from running to stopping your legs to paddle. Your arms also feel really awkward moving in a different motion.

In about 2 hours, all the racers were done and awards were right away! RIGHT AWAY! Everything was done by 10:15. It was so nice to not have to wait around for hours and hours like most races. Also, the food spread that they had was so good: bagels, cookies, brownies, bananas, fruit snacks, pulled pork and FREE BEER for EVERYONE!! Spectators included.

SO MUCH FOOD AND AWESOME AWARDS FOR EVERYONE!

I really enjoyed everything about this race, everyone received a medal and an Operation Second Chance coin. If you were a top finisher you got a trophy, 200 dollars cash, and three months free to YouFit gyms. Not just a cupcake like another race did yesterday.

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Here I am with my friend Brad at the end of the race. He won the 5K RUN & SUP for the Men and I won for the Women! Always fun sharing the stage with your friends.

I worked so hard to catch the woman that was in front of me. I caught her around mile two in the SUP Race and then just kept a steady pace to keep the lead. It was so difficult making up for lost time in the run. Next year, I will definitely push myself more in the run to get a good start in the paddle.

More info on the race:

Facebook                          Results                      Operation Second Chance

More info on me:

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7 Things Serious Standup Paddleboarder’s Never Want to Hear

While taking my board off my car or putting it in the water, these are just some of the many phrases I hear over and over again… I would be a millionaire if I got a dollar every time someone … Continue reading

Paddle At The Porch: SUP Race Recap

After one of my longest weeks at work, I decided to travel 7 hours to Destin, FL. So right after I got off on Friday, I hit the road. I have never traveled that far to a paddle board race before but I thought why not! My uncle lives 20 minutes from the race venue so no hotel and my mom was willing to make the trip with me so I had company and good bonding time with her!

Paddle at the Porch

The race took place at a restaurant called “The Back Porch.” The race had plenty of parking and an easy drop off area for your boards. The beach had nice white sand and the water was so clean and clear. The weather was overcast so the temperature was not nearly as hot as usual, which was awesome! However, there was a lot of wind, waves and a very strong current. Oh, and jellyfish with super long tentacles everywhere!!!!

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The race began at 9 am and consisted of 4 laps with a beach start and a running finish for a total of 6 miles. The start was pretty crazy with people falling left and right, I even fell at the beginning after getting hit by a wave. I ended up falling three more times due to exhaustion and my legs getting fatigued. You lose focus for a second and the next one, you are in the water.

Race pic

This race had the roughest conditions I have ever dealt with. I even wore my leash, just incase! The most exhilarating part of the race for me, was riding a wave into the beach on the last lap. I do not surf, like at all… so to catch a wave and not fall was the greatest feeling! I didn’t even care if I placed or not, after that just happened.

Everyone

I ended up getting 2nd, I had no idea! So that was great to hear! I never really knew how many women were in front of me the whole race. The great thing about making it to the podium was receiving a $1,000 check! CHA-CHINGGG! That’s the most money I’ve ever won in an event.

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Overall, the race was organized very well! The one thing I didn’t really like was how the food was setup and what it was but other than that, I had no complaints!

CONGRATS to my HovieSUP teammate, Kieran Grant for getting first in the Men’s 14′ Elite and taking home $1500 and to my buddy, Connor Bonham for taking 2nd for the Mens 14′ Elite.

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Race Links:

Website               Results                   Photos                    Video                 Facebook

My Info:

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Nutrition: Quest Bars

I love sports bars, nutrition bars, whatever you want to call them. However, I have been looking for a bar that has less sugar, more protein, more flavor, that’s filling but not too filling, and overall nutritious.

I recently discovered Quest Bars and I don’t know why it took me so long! I have tried a lot of nutrition bars and Quest Bars, by far, beat the competition.

Why I became a Quest Bar junkie:

1. I CAN GET MY CHOCOLATE FIX: Quest Bar has so many flavors. Flavors like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough or Chocolate Brownie that are almost like eating a candy bar. However, they have about 20 grams of protein and loads of fiber. And are under 200 calories! With only 1 gram of sugar. It is truly amazing. If you heat up Chocolate Brownie in the microwave for 15 seconds, it will taste like an actual brownie!

QUEST BARS GALORE!!

QUEST BARS GALORE!!

2. THEY ARE SIMPLE: Simple meaning, I can put one in my purse or backpack and be ready to go. I don’t have to worry about them melting in the heat and making a mess, like most bars that have chocolate.

APPLE PIE!

APPLE PIE! While at work!

3. THEY ARE SATISFYING: Quest Bars are great for anyone who doesn’t want to mindlessly snack. If I eat one for breakfast with a banana, my stomach doesn’t even think about food. My mind isn’t distracted by hunger so I can get more work done. They don’t make you feel overly full either. I feel satisfied and healthy after eating a Quest Bar.

4. THEY ENERGIZE ME FOR RACING: I would eat a Quest Bar before a Paddleboard Race and I wouldn’t get hungry while racing or feel like I over ate. It was the perfect balance. Just drink some water with it and eat it an hour and a half before race time and you’ll be ready to go! I only tested it before running, playing tennis, and paddleboarding but I think it will energize you for any sport. It is also great for after racing. After a race, I feel kind of sick because my body has just worked so hard but I know I need to get something in me, so I eat a Quest Bar to help the recovery process.

Quest Bars fuel me for paddle boarding

Quest Bars fuel me for paddle boarding

5. THEY ARE HEALTHY: With only 1 gram of sugar, 20 grams of protein, less than 200 calories, about 19 grams of Fiber and roughly 5 ingredients, Quest Bars are truly incredible. Nowadays, it is difficult to find simple nutrition facts but not with Quest Bars.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts

6. THEY TASTE BETTER THAN ANY OTHER BAR I HAVE TRIED: I am serious. I liked every flavor. I have my favorites but with such a variety, if you are picky about chocolate, fruit, peanut butter, coconut, etc. you’ll sure find a flavor that you love! I don’t like anything coconut but I tried Coconut Cashew, AND I LIKED IT! I even told myself I wasn’t going to and I did. Same with the Peanut Butter and Jelly flavor. I do not like jelly. Never have! However, I liked this flavor! It wasn’t my favorite but it’s tough to compete against Cookies & Cream.

The one thing I don’t like:

1. THE PRICE: I am a college student and I don’t make a lot of money. I feel bad spending so much money on few little bars. So I only buy Quest Bars when I have important races coming up or a long run. Sometimes, I will just occasionally treat myself. 🙂

After writing this, I realize that if price is the only thing I don’t like, that is silly. I should buy what I want, these aren’t a huge expenditure.

Best Package EVER!

Best Package EVER!

Overall, Quest Bars are amazing! I’m going to work harder now because if I could get sponsored, then all my problems will be solved! I would eat them every day, but I don’t want to spoil myself. When I see people eating them, I get jealous. THAT IS HOW GOOD THEY ARE!

You will become #addicted.

For more on Quest Bars:

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3rd Annual Lake Mary Jane Paddle Race – 11/2/2014

 

First of all, this race was a chilly one! It was cold and windy, which made for conditions that us Floridians aren’t really used to. But overall, it was a great time.

All of us bundled up at the Racers meeting!

All of us bundled up at the Racers meeting!

This race was four 1.5 mile loops. The loops were not circles but they incorporated almost 180 degree turns going against the wind, with it and getting hit from the side. I was actually happy it was windy because it seems like whenever I go to train, it’s always windy and choppy.

Paddling hard

Paddling hard

Also, this race was super exciting because I was on my new HovieSup Comet Raceboard! I felt so fast over the water and let me tell you, feeling fast is a great feeling to have!

2nd Place

2nd Place

I ended up getting second place for the Women’s 12.6 Elite Division! I felt pretty good during the race, I mean I was tired of course but I tried so hard. I couldn’t believe it when I finally reached the finish! The HovieSup team also did so amazing!

Mark Athanacio took 1st place 12’6″ elite
Bruce Day took 2nd place elite 14 men’s 50+
Connor Rush took 1st place Jr elite
Will Marston took 2nd place Jr elite
Brian Hovanian took 1st overall 3 mile on a 14
Francesca Terzuoli Morrow took 1st overall women’s 12’6″ 3 mile

The HovieSup Crew!

The HovieSup Crew!

After the race, there was a co-ed sprint relay. I partnered up with my teammate Will and we got 2nd place. I had never done a race where you had to tug someone behind you. It was so much fun and a good way to end the race day!

Tug board race!

Tug board race!

Awards for the Co-ed tug race!

Awards for the Co-ed tug race!

I just love being around the SUP atmosphere, surrounded by awesome people who enjoy the same sport as I do. The season is coming to an end so time to get ready for next year 🙂

So many boards!

So many boards!

For more information check out the links below.

Lake Mary Jane Paddle Race:    Website                          Results                           Facebook

Sweat A Lot? This Will Help!

I don’t know if I have written about this before but paddle boarding isn’t the only sport that I love. Tennis has been my main sport since I can remember. I played high school tennis and college tennis for 4 years. Now, I teach tennis so I am around it all the time. That’s why I am so happy I had the opportunity to test out Saaka. They make headbands and wristbands, that I will admit are perfect for me. I tested them while running, paddle boarding and on the tennis court.

The technology that Saaka uses in their products is plain and simple: bamboo. Saaka is an earth-friendly company and bamboo is used in the middle layer of their headbands and wristbands. It is highly absorbant and doesn’t require the use of pesticides to grow. Bamboo also kills germs, however, these products can be washed, so don’t worry.

Getting ready to head out for a workout with my Saaka headband

Getting ready to head out for a workout with my Saaka headband

Another thing is I sweat, and I mean it. I SWEAT A LOT! Ask anyone that knows me. When I am on court, I have water coming out of my shoes. While paddling, I can’t see because sweat gets in my eyes and I can’t grip my paddle. Actually in my last race, I fell because my hand slipped all the way down my paddle shaft causing me to tumble over.

Paddling

Sprint training

Saaka headbands are a good mix because they are a headband to keep my hair back and they also absorb sweat like a sweat band. They don’t slip becuase you adjust the tightness with velcro. The headband stays in place while controlling my hair, my sweat and they look great.

The wristband kept my grip free of dripping sweat. I actually could grip my tennis racket. It was amazing! And I didn’t even notice how soaked the wristband got. After an hour of playing in the heat, it still did it’s job. Personally though, my favorite thing about Saaka is how many color options they have and how these bands actually fit me! It is so hard to find a head band that doesn’t slip and Saaka is a two-for-one because it also absorbs my sweat and keeps it dripping off my face and in my eyes.

Saaka helped me keep my grip and focus

Saaka helped me keep my grip and focus

Here's a close-up of the wristband and headband

Here’s a close-up of the wristband and headband

In the above picture you can definitely see that I sweat. A lot. It’s nice to be able to play and not worry about my grip slipping or my headband slipping off. It’s a win-win for sure. Take a look at Saaka and give it a try! Let me know what you think. If you have any questions refer to the links below or just ask me! Now remember, don’t let overactive sweat glands get the best of you, Saaka is here to help.

More on Saaka:

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The Sunshine State Games First Annual Paddle Boarding Championships Recap

So it’s been awhile since my nerves kept me awake at night. My mind was racing because in the morning that’s exactly what I’d be doing – racing. My last paddle board race was in October and I had not really trained for it so I didn’t feel much pressure. However, the past few weeks, I’ve been addicted to training. My days are planned around when I can get on my board.

Thankfully, I’m surrounded by paddle boarders who live the same lifestyle. We just want to get out on the water. That’s the main goal of everyday. We train in all conditions too… Wind and chop (small waves coming from all directions) is the usual. It’s not always sunny and flat water like everyone pictures.

This is a great place to train because the conditions are always different.

This is a great place to train because the conditions are always different.

Anyways, after 4 weeks of paddle boarding hard and improving, it was time to test my endurance and see where exactly I stand out on the water. It’s race day folks! The day I’m so excited for that I can’t sleep and so nervous for that it’s hard to eat and breathe, I could hardly even talk that night before. My mind was just thinking about all the “what if” scenarios.

I wake up to get to racer check-in at 8 am. The race starts at 9:30 am so I had a lot of time to relax and do everything I needed to do. I was stressed because I was trying to figure out an easy way to drink water while paddling. I have a camelbak that goes around my waist not my back, so I have to bring the water to me, it’s not just sitting right by my mouth. After endless ways of tying twist ties to my bathing suit, I eventually couldn’t think of an easy solution of trying to get the nozzle closer to my mouth. Oh well… the race must go on!

Here is the race course. I had to do the loop twice for a total of 6 miles.

Here is the race course. I had to do the loop twice for a total of 6 miles.

So the race was about to begin, all paddlers were out on the water, ready to battle it out. There was about 50 of us total but all tackling different races. Some people were doing the 3 mile race while others were doing the elite 6 mile race… that’s what I signed up for. A grueling 6 miles on flat water in the summer heat.

Racing

Before I even had time to find location on my gps watch the race was off! It all happened so fast, which now that I think about it was a good thing… less time for me to get nervous. And once you start, there is no turning back.

The beginning is very tough. You want to get a good lead in the beginning because that means confidence and to catch up to people in front of you on a paddle board is a very difficult task. You have to work twice as hard or pray that they fall or stop paddling.

Racing

Mile by Mile:

Mile 1 felt pretty good. I was just trying to stay with the pack, there was not much time to think about anything else. Then mile 2, the pack started to spread. I was being drafted by another paddler and my body was getting really hot. I had to keep reminding myself to breathe and drink water! Mile 3 was tough because it was just straight… and there was nothing to look at because the race was in a lake. It was a longggg stretch. Felt like miles! Then mile 4, I start the loop over. And, my body was feeling it. The lone girl in front of me was still the same distance in front of me and the girl in back of me was slowly gaining ground. I had to step it up. So I started counting my strokes to take my mind off things. AND IT WORKED! I got a spurt of energy and was back at it. Miles 5 and 6 were quick and as soon as I could see the end, I picked up my pace, knowing I was about to be done!

About to finish!

About to finish!

Ahhhh! It feels so good to be done. Everyone’s so excited at the finish and so supportive. It’s an absolutely amazing feeling. I ended up with a time of 1:16:53. However, that time is not completely accurate. The clock started when the 14′ race boards went out and then roughly 2 minutes after, the 12’6″ race boards followed. The start was staggered so there would be less clutter on the course.

DSC01133What amazes me the most is how terrible I feel during the race and then right when I finish, I feel fine. I feel like I could keep going! That just goes to show you that your body is always capable of more than you think and when you think you can’t keep going, your mind may just be playing tricks on you.

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It was quite the race! I got to meet a lot of great paddlers and hangout with all my friends! My next race is in less than 2 weeks so hopefully I keep training and improving. I’m excited to see if I keep getting better!

 

For more on the race, check out the links!

Results                      Facebook                       Website

 

Shoe Review: Ahnu Lagunitas for Women – A Sport Sandal

If you are anything like me then you love the water, the sunshine, the rain, the trails, and overall just being outdoors. It’s not too often you come across everything at once but sometimes you do. I found the Ahnu Lagunitas to fit my lifestyle perfectly. I can wear them to the beach on sand or in rocks/shells, in the water, on trails, and in my backyard.

I went out and tested the Lagunitas in my every day life so of course I wore them on my way to paddleboard. If you’ve never tried paddle boarding, I suggest you go do it! It was great having the Lagunitas because I could walk over the tough ground to the water without having to worry about them getting wet (since they are water shoes!) or me stepping on something painful.

Paddleboards

They don’t slip and they don’t hold water! There is absolutely no material that absorbs the water to make your feet feeling like heavy weights while walking.They also have a durable toe cap that protects your foot from anything that could potentially puncture your feet. And once again, if you are like me, stubbing your toes could possibly ruin your day so this feature is a big plus! I also like the adjustable buckle because I know I cant tighten the shoe so I don’s slip out and it will keep my heel from moving around.

Ahnu

The only thing that happened was little pebbles and dirt particles would get into my shoes, which makes sense since they are open but it wasn’t anything too bad. In just a few moments, the water would push anything that got into the shoe out. It’s kinda just what happens when you are going on adventures!

Ahnu Lagunitas

You can see in the above picture that not all water is going to be super clear and debris free. I had to deal with rocks, seaweed, shells, sticks, and dirt. However, as soon as I came out of the water the shoes still looked brand new!

Overall, I like the style, comfort and versatility of the Ahnu Lagunitas. I like a shoe that I can use for just about everything. It’s a money saver and this shoe only costs $90.00. It also comes in different colors, so it can match whatever you’d like! I know I like color options. Feel free to ask me any questions about these shoes and to find out more about Ahnu, check out the links below. Also, they run big so order a half size to a full size smaller than what you normally wear.

Facebook                  Website                    Twitter                  Instagram

Disclosure: Ahnu Footwear provided me with the Lagunitas in advance. I have been testing them in a variety of settings. All you have read are my own opinions. If you have any questions about the shoes, please contact me. Thank you!

 

Paddle Boarding: HovieSUP Sponsorship

Hey everyone! Recently, I had something very exciting happen to me… I signed with a paddle boarding company called HovieSUP! They make boards for all levels that are fast, lightweight and they look really good on the water. From racing to leisure to surfing, they make this sport even more awesome.

The web writer at my university found out about at this and asked to do an article on me and paddle boarding. I never thought that it would end up on the University of Tampa home page until Tuesday of next week! And then it will be in the archives forever! It’s cool to help get paddle boarding more hype especially at my school! The article pretty much sums up my paddle boarding adventures. The link is below!

Here’s the article: Senior Comm major knows what’SUP

I also got to try out a board the other day. It’s been beautiful weather in Florida, it’s so difficult not to be out on the water. Paddle boarding is such good exercise and so relaxing at the same time. My experiences paddle boarding compare to nothing else.

PaddleboardingSeriously, if you have any questions about the sport, let me know! Like if you don’t know what board to get or if you have a race coming up, I’m here to help.

More about HovieSUP:               Facebook                  Web