Sara Bettencourt

Friday, April 03, 2015


Q. Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do for a living?
According to my blog "I'm just an average twenty-something girl that has an affinity for running, cupcakes, taking home beer glasses from bars, reading comics, and hogging the blankets in bed." Here’s a bit more about me: my name is Sara Bettencourt and I'm 25 years old. I live in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada where I work as a freelance American Sign Language Interpreter. When I'm not at work, running in a race, or working out I like to keep things low key; read, or lounge around at home and either watch some t.v. or a movie, or spend time with family and friends. I enjoy travelling so I do less while I'm at home so I can go away on a semi-regular basis, which is usually for a run. 

Q. How do you balance your exercise regime and your professional life?
Balancing my professional life and my exercise regime is something that can be challenging at times, maybe even stressful. As someone who works freelance I am fortunate enough to make my own hours, however those hours change on a daily basis depending on what type of work I accept and where I am for the day; I'm not one of those people that can go for a run or go to the gym every morning at the same time as a part of my daily routine, because one day I might start at 8am down the street from my house and the next day I start at 8am, but I'm leaving my house at 6:30am to get there on time due to the commute. I just make sure I have enough time at some point during my day, which just means some days I'm exercising at the crack of dawn, when other days I'm exercising during my lunch time, or I'm exercising while most people are in bed sleeping at night. 

Knowing that some of my weekdays get busy with work I usually don't schedule things with friends and try to save that for the weekend; weekends are easier to manage for me since I usually don’t work and it's just a matter of getting into the gym when I get out of bed. When I have a free day during the week or on a Saturday or Sunday I'll try and get in a longer workout or workout twice that day, that way if I do have to miss a day later in the week I don't feel as guilty.

Q. When and why did you start running?
The first time I actually went out for a run was in May of 2013 and it was because I wanted to make sure I didn't die when did the Color Me Rad 5k run on June 22 with a few of my colleagues that had invited me out. 

The reason why I started running was sparked from this outing with my colleagues; what started as a fun weekend away has easily become a huge part of my life and who I am. I realized that running provides me with so much clarity. As someone who was diagnosed with depression and on medication for quite some time, running is what allowed me to be free of that. I'm no longer the girl that has depression and has to take meds to try and be happy, I'm now the girl who feels free and without burden and the girl that runs for clarity, happiness, and health.

Q. What motivates you to go out there, when you do not feel like it?
There are so many motivators for me, which I think is important for everyone to have. For starters I look at how far I've come mentally, physically, and emotionally and the person that I’ve become since I started running; I never thought any of this was possible and if you had asked me before I started running if I would ever run a 5k, let alone a few half marathons, I would've laughed in your face. That feeling of accomplishment and everything I’ve overcome and the determination I have to do better is what pushes me. 

In addition to that, the amazing people I've been able to interact with on social media (Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and through my blog are inspiring on a daily basis. Being able to see what they’re up to everyday pushes me to make the time to get out there. Lastly, since setting up my blog ( while developing a love for running, and discussing my journey, I’ve had people tell me that I’m inspiring them and I want to get out there so that they get out there.

Q. What is the longest distance you have ran?
The longest distance I’ve ran to date is 25k at Run for the Toad, which was a trail run in October of 2013. Hoping to complete my first full marathon this year and change that.

Q. What gives you the confidence to run in the streets?
What gives me confidence to run in the streets is I know I belong there. Regardless of how fast you are, a mile is a mile and a kilometre is a kilometre. If you run, you’re a runner; the streets are yours.

Q. What do you think about the lack of exercise among the youth?
With the lack of exercise among youth it’s disheartening if anything. I was overweight for as long as I can remember when growing up and I know it doesn’t feel good to be in that type of position, especially when you feel helpless and hopeless. In fact I can’t remember the last time I weighed as much as I currently do.. I’m pretty sure I weighed more in grade 5 than I do right now. I think there needs to be more encouragement with the youth, but also education with adults. They are the biggest enablers and role models for youth today, so it starts with them.

Q. What was your best running experience?
My best running experience to date has to be The Canada Army Run 5k. I didn’t get a PR and beat my best time, but I got to run with my older sister in her first 5k. Running is my newest love in life and it was so great so share it with her. 

Q. What was your worst running experience?
My worst running experience was definitely back in 2013 when I ran in the Toronto Longboat Island Run 5k. I was probably less than a kilometre from the finish when someone ran into me while running past me and I took a pretty bad fall. The person that ran into me kept going without an apology, but thankfully a few others stopped to help me out. I limped to the finish, which was great, but it just wasn’t the most pleasant experience. 

Q. How do you push through the pain?
It’s a mental game. When my legs want to give up I just tell myself that I can do it.. That there’s only so much of a distance to go. At this point I know it’s a mental thing so it’s easier to overcome, but during my first half marathon it definitely took some convincing.

Q. What advice can you give somebody who wants to start running?
Don’t worry about getting the fancy new watch that everyone has, or getting a brand new pair of running shoes… Just get out there. In the beginning you may hate it, but once you become in tune with your body emotionally, mentally, and physically, you’ll be hooked.. I hope. :)

Q. Which Social media sites are you on and how can one follow you?
I’m currently on Twitter (@chasing_clarity), Instagram (@chasing.clarity), and you can add me on Nike Plus (username: sarabettencourt). 

You can also check out my blog and contact me there.

My best running shoes is …

Brooks Ghost 6

I love running because …

It gives me clarity.

Injury is …

something I’ve been fortunate enough to avoid and I’m hoping it stays that way. *knocks on wood*

My body is …

something I’m starting to learn to love

My running playlist has …

anything and everything - from The Spice Girls, to Soca music, to some good ol’ Hip-Hop. Whatever will distract me, keep me going.. It’s on there.

I hate running when …

it’s really cold outside or when my iPod dies… it’s even worse when both happen.

Pain is …

a mental thing more often than not, but it’s important to listen to your body.

The road …

is yours for the taking. Just look both ways before you cross the street. :)

Sweat is …

something that makes me feel pretty.

In future, I would like to run …

a half marathon in every province in Canada and in every state in the US.

Indie means …

doing whatever you want to do and separating yourself from the pack.

I do not like runners who …

who judge other runners. Granted this is a small group of people, but I’ve seen some people judge other runners for doing their runs on a treadmill instead of going outside… I think regardless of where you run, how fast you run, and how long you run, you’re a runner.

PS: If you come across these tights please send them to South Africa.


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