Sara Hartley, L.V.N.
Get up and do it!
Sara Hartley is a triathlete who swims, bikes and runs. In 2015, she became part of the 1 percent of people worldwide to complete an Ironman race. But she remembers a time when she was wasn’t as fit. She began making changes to her eating and exercise habits, getting up at 4:30 a.m. to walk, run or bike. Over time, she lost 30 pounds and built up her muscle mass. Temporarily hobbled by a stress fracture, Sara is itching to get back to her workouts. Normally, every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:30-6:00 a.m. she’s at boot camp where she runs 4 miles and does core strengthening and toning exercises. When asked how she does it, Sara says, “It’s as simple as wanting it bad enough to get up and do it.”
You did your first Ironman in 2015 – have you always been athletic?
I started in January 2012. My sister called one morning and said, “Let’s start running.” A few months later, my sister said, “Let’s do a triathalon” and I was hooked.
How much a part of this was a desire to get into better shape and be healthier?
All of it. That’s the whole reason we first started running – to take off a few pounds and be healthier. I lost 25-30 pounds and kept it off and I’ve built up my muscle mass. My body fat percentage is low.
Do you follow a certain diet or eat certain foods?
I watch my overall intake and avoid sweets. I have one day a week that’s a treat day. Or, if I run 10 miles, I can have a brownie when I get home. Moderation is key.
What does a typical exercise routine look like for you?
I go every Tuesday and Thursday morning to boot camp from 4:30-6 a.m. We run for 4 miles and then do core strengthening and toning exercises. It’s called 360 training and it’s led by a professional trainer.
I also have a 24 Hour Fitness gym membership and work out there.
What do you think the biggest stumbling block is for people?
Time and energy … or feeling guilty about taking time away from family. We all get so busy and bogged down. It’s hard sometimes. But I think people need to put a priority on fitness and commit to a couple of days each week to exercise.
What keeps you going?
I’ve surrounded myself with people who are active. We’re normal everyday people who work and have families.
Do you have any advice for others who want to become more fit or maybe one day do a triathlon?
I truly feel that if I can do it anyone can.
I am nothing special. I am not athletic. I was picked last in high school for the team. You just have to get up and do it. I download motivational posts off Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube. I also read motivational books. A recent one I read was “Worry Less, Run More.” Find what inspires you and run with it.
What’s next for you, after your fracture has healed and the boot is off?
I’m hoping by the time anyone reads this, I’ll have finished my second ironman on May 14, 2016.