South Jersey Belle

It's all about the attitude.


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Cycling in Spain & Becoming a Better Rider

I have so much to share with you about my experience in Spain. This is the first time in several years at the airline that I actually took my vacation and enjoyed it! There was a slight hiccup at the beginning of the trip that caused a delayed because of bad weather. That’s life and we got out of Philadelphia 2 days later. Onward!

After landing in Madrid, Spain the group I had traveled with then took a 4.5 hour ride to the coast to stay at La Finca a villa in Javea, Spain. I have to be honest on the way there I was thinking where are we headed!?! I learned the region we were headed to is known for cycling and many pros train there. Our fearless leader takes a group every year to Spain to meet up with friends she has made from England that plan this same cycling trip.

The moment I stepped off the bus I was amazed by the courtyard with fresh fruit trees growing-lemons, oranges, and grapefruit. Now it was time to get settled and unpack my bike. To be completely honest out of the three disciplines in triathlon-swimming, biking, and running I had come to realize biking was and is my weakness. I had a little apprehension about the trip because at this time of the season I could only ride inside on the trainer, which was better than nothing, but it just doesn’t transition the same as being out on the road.

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Nevertheless, I was excited to get on my bike and ride in a place I had never been before. There were guides that took us out on the rides. Rides were split up by milage every day. Let me remind you-pros train here. Why? Because it’s so hilly!!!!! I am not a strong climber. This trip taught me to embrace my weakness and learn to roll with things. The British riders were so extremely helpful and taught me so much! It wasn’t a race and I was able to focus and learn basic riding mechanics. The views were unbelievable to match the elevation climbs. The descents were some of the scariest I have ever been on. These small roads twist and turn through the hills so there is a technique on how to descend properly (without being roadkill) !

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The trip was wonderful. Something I’m so glad I got to experience. The people were awesome. Many laughs were had. Being surrounded with like minded people is just a really great experience. Flash forward to yesterday when I was bound and determined to go for a bike ride. The sun was shinning, but it was deceiving because the wind was in full force. It was my first time back on my bike since Spain and even though it wasn’t a long ride (16 miles) everything just made sense. My riding skills felt better then ever. Now I thankfully am not dreading all of the training for the triathlon season ahead.

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Feet in the pedals and head in the clouds!

xo

Leann

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What 2017 Taught Me

Most people write about what their resolutions are for the new year, how they plan to put their very best foot forward, and thats awesome and I totally understand putting pen to paper (or in this case typing it and sharing it with cyber space), but I wanted to do something a little different. I need to reflect for just a few minutes on what I learned in 2017.

2017 started off well for me, until I got an injury!!!! I torn one of the ligaments in my left foot. Well that completely humbled me!!!! I was bound and determined to do everything the doctors said to heal as quickly as possible. I was so thankful after I was officially cleared to go back to work and running. If you know me personally, I am always on the go, I never slow down.

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After getting that final ok from a specialist, this was my first season of triathlon. I fell in LOVE with the sport. I had been running for about 8 years and then started to bike to cross train. The swimming was the only key part missing. I found a swim coach and the rest is history. Honestly, the swimming and biking have really seemed to improve my running too! I have met some awesome people through the sport of triathlon too.

Let’s talk races-I competed in 17 in 2017!!!! I’m not really trying to make that a thing, race the number or the year. Maybe it will happen who knows. I’ve got a list of races for 2018, I will be posting them up in the races/rides link soon!

Between working on my doctorate, working full time for the airline, and training/racing I always have a full schedule. What I learned about myself, anything is possible if you are bound and determined to get it done. You really have to want it bad enough. Everything I have and have done is because of my own hard work. Nothing comes easy and there are no hand outs are cliche sayings, but they are true! Simple lessons I have learned in 2017:

  • Be Kind
  • Work Hard
  • Be Humble
  • Mindset is Everything
  • Love Yourself First
  • Never Give Up

2017 thank you for everything you taught me. 2018 will be another great one for my own personal growth and goals. Stay tuned to see what adventures I have in store!

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People will throw stones at you. Don’t throw them back. Collect them and build an empire.

xo

Leann


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It’s Officially The Off Season

Off Season, slow season, but defiantly not bored season. You are probably wondering how December of all months can be considered the off season for someone!?! Let me break it down for you.

As a flight attendant even though people are traveling they don’t travel until right before or right after their respected holiday that he/she may celebrate. So families are staying home until school lets out and they can travel near or far for that family vacation. Flight attendants with much more seniority then me will have off for the holiday. So I will be instructing you to place your bag in the over head bin, fasten your seat belt, and remain seated until the seat belt sign is turned off this holiday season. This doesn’t worry me one bit, as I enjoy taking holiday travelers to their destination, but please don’t have to many glasses of holiday cheer before you step on my aircraft.

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Next, as it’s December and I can hear the winds howling outside of my windows, its not race season. It’s rebuilding season. So, this off season I have started to get back in the gym and try to build my strength up. Let me tell you planks and the stepper machine are not my friend. But we will make it through until the weather starts to break again or I get to a warm destination where I can be outside! Whatever may come first.

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And don’t worry I’ve got my doctoral program to still keep my mind focused. Plenty of reading and writing to finish up this year and next.  And plenty of planning for the 2018 season!

Stay focused and have a great end of 2017!

xo

Leann


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GOAL Digger

Life has been nonstop. Since Miami, I’m pretty sure I slept in my own bed about a total of 2 nights! I’m not complaining at all. Today I have just been trying to decompression and review all that has been happening in my life. I truly just feel very lucky to have a strong support system that believes in me.

Training has started to calm down as its off season and I’m planning out what my goals are for 2018 and what races I want to compete in. Really looking forward to all that the 2018 race season will bring.

Two big things that just happened-the launch of Savage Multisport and passing year 3 of my doctoral residency!

It is a multisport, online based team that provides  unparalleled support to amateur athletes around the globe while supplying the team with rad gear. We have had great feedback since launching and look forward to growing this team into something great for 2018 season.

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Residency-

Future Dr. DeLorenzo in the making! I have been working on my doctorate for three years now and this was the final residency. As part of my online classes I am required to attend and pass my residency every year. Last year my concept was approved, this year my concept was redefined and I presented information on my proposal from chapters 1,2, and 3! My dissertation topic is: A Mini Ethnographic Case Study of Generation Y in Brand Loyalty. If you want to get really nerdy we can talk research methodology and how many references I have or I can save that for a rainy day!  Passing residency year three was a huge milestone. Now to keep pushing on and finish my dissertation in or around a year! Who wants to proof read?! haha

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Dream Big!

xo

Leann

 


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Happy Halloween/United Way 5k Bone Run

Happy Halloween Everyone! This weekend seemed to fly by. Saturday morning my Mom and  I ran a 5k trail run in Parvin State Park for United Way. This small race was already on my calendar as something fun to do.  Runners were encouraged to wear costumes in the Halloween spirit.

I had rode my bike to Parvin before, but never stepped foot on their running trails and didn’t know what to expect. The 3.1 mile loop around the lake was great. There were some tree stumps and roots in the trail, but they were clearly marked with neon orange spray paint. Besides doing the run the vineyards trail run, that wasn’t really a trail but running through the grassy vineyard I would count this as my first actual trail run.

 


The scenery was great and it was peaceful getting glimpses of the lake through the trees. At the end of the race there was a health expo with lots of little free giveaways and snacks. Happy to report my Mom and I both placed in our respective age groups and it was the only to get a medal from this race. Who doesn’t like some special Halloween themed bling!

 

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After the race it was time to get ready for a photoshoot for Savage Multisport! If you are on Instagram you need to head on over and follow @Savagemultisport the newest tri team! Big news coming on Savage Multisport soon, just keep on following them on insta and I will fill you in as soon as their website is up!


I’ve got one more run to finish out 2017. Already started marking some races on the calendar for 2018 that I would like to do! Rounded out the evening by spending the evening with my family and Nigel at Menz for a Halloween haunted themed dinner!

xo
Leann


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Ironman 70.3 Miami

Let me clearly explain I actually went to Miami with no intention on racing. I was headed to Miami Thursday afternoon to support my boyfriend-Nigel who was racing his fifth 70.3. For those of you unfamiliar with the ironman distance, here’s the breakdown. Swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles, and run 13.1 miles=70.3. Double the distance and you have the grueling full ironman 140.6 miles to be completed in one day.

Pre Race


After flying a four day trip I swapped out some clothes thinking I would get some great workouts in sunny South Florida and cheer on Nigel on race day. Here’s where the monkey wrench got thrown into the plans-three of his friends were also racing, one had registered twice by accident and was able to pass on the second unneeded bib to me. Was this the best idea, probably not, but what did I have to lose? Nothing really.

Time for an ocean swim


So now I had a race bib. Time to mentally prep for this monster of a race I was taking on. But wait, I didn’t even have my bike, helmet, or biking shoes! Luckily there was a bike shop Miami Beach Bicycle Center, that legit got me in and out in a matter of 15 minutes. Rented a Scott road bike, they gave me a helmet to borrow and got some new shoes to wear.


Skipping all the other little details I was able to get nutrition together, I had sneakers with me, and lucky enough Savage Multisport supplied me with a sick kit to race in. Now lets talk about the actual race details.

Swim-

My swim heat was set at 8:31am in the 30-34 female age bracket. The swim took place in Biscayne Bay. You might think to yourself, oh a bay swim, that would be pretty calm. The complete opposite! It was so choppy with current that did not work in our favor. I was getting slapped in the face by waves and pushed around, but I was determined not to give up. Once I made it about half way through the course I was mentally talking my way through it. Just make it to the next buoy. There’s no turning back now. Why would you give up and disappoint yourself, you are doing just fine. Miraculously, I made it to the end of the swim in 48:43. Whew! I was exhausted. Time to get to my bike and eat something! I needed to get my energy back up.

Bike-

New bike, new shoes, but it was smooth. I rolled out of transition and was feeling pretty good. I watched my speed for some of the time and thought I am moving pretty well. I felt comfortable until we hit the turn around point, then got smashed with a head wind! It wasn’t pretty. My speed went down from 22 to probably 10. This was a super flat course so there was no getting a break, just keep pedaling. What I noticed and others did make comments about was the amount of drafting that was occurring. People that had friends to race with were drafting off one another to help get a break from the wind. Totally against the rules! I finished out the bike in 3:37. It wasn’t pretty, but I got it done.

Run-

Finally, the last piece of the puzzle and my comfort zone, running! I had to do 3 laps in order to get my 13.1 miles in. My plan of action was to take the first three miles slow, around a 11 min/mile pace and just try to ease into things. I felt good and happy. Being happy at that point in the game was key to me. I was having fun! By the second lap I was getting anxious to finish. The water/aid stations were a bit unorganized being worked by younger kids. They were doing their best, but just couldn’t keep up with the flow of people. I never even got a coke. I saw Red Bulls once and if you really needed something it was almost best if you grabbed it for yourself. I have to add it was nice to see two familiar faces on the course. As the laps passed I was able to see Nigel and others several others a few times. Just to see a familiar face really helps to amp you up after you have been racing for over 4 hours. I averaged a 10:20 min/mile finishing in 2:07:52. 

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That 3rd and final lap I literally couldn’t contain my excitement. When I turn down the finishers shoot I gave it all I had left in the tank-sprinting to the finish!


Who was there to greet me and put my medal around my neck? Nigel! What a way to end my first half ironman. My finishing time was 6:39:34


My final thoughts on the ironman 70.3 Miami. It was tough. I broke it down piece by piece. Swim. Bike. Run. It’s not just about being physically able to do it, but also mentally tough enough to get through it. At the end of the day I can say I competed to the best of my ability and still felt strong at the end of the race. I used Miami 70.3 as a learning experience and since I wasn’t actually planning on racing there are obviously some things I would plan on doing a bit differently in the future. My family was supportive and encouraging from afar and that meant the world to me. Thanks Nigel for your words of wisdom pre race it helped to calm my nerves.



I have officially completed a ironman 70.3 and I can’t wait until next year to complete another. Victory is sweet!

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Ice Cream to celebrate!

Xo

Leann

 

 


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Cow Run 10 Miler and Weekend Workouts

What a weekend! First off I can’t believe it is already October! As I said goodbye to September-Friday I was able to take part in an open water swim (OWS) at Mountain Lake. The water was absolutely beautiful and so warm. We did wear our sleeveless wetsuits, but the water temp was probably close to 70 degrees. This was defiantly one of the nicest lake swims I have ever done!

 

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Saturday morning included a chilly 26 mile bike ride in Harriman State Park. Nothing like a few hills to wake you up and what happened to the warm weather?!

Sunday I took part in the Cow Run 10 miler. I did this run last year and it is really great so why not run it again. It’s a point to point race. School buses take you to the starting point, Cow Town Rodeo. In the very beginning of the race you actually run through the field where the cows are. Some cows actually cross the running path this just may be the key to put a little pep in your step. 

The morning was pretty chilly around 50 degrees, but the sun did come out and warm up to about 70. Joining me in this race was Nigel and my Mom. Nigel placed 2nd in his age group finishing in a speedy- 1:12:34 and my Mom placed first in her age group finishing at 1:33:25. I placed 5th in my age group at 1:23:21.

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My goal for this run was to keep my pace steady and try to speed up at the end. I am happy to report that I held my 8:30 pace and got my last mile down to 8:06. I felt pretty comfortable during the race. There were some rolling hills within the first three miles of the run with the maximum elevation being 74 feet to climb. Out of the 222 runners I was the 13th female.

Overall great day for a race to welcome in October! Now to enjoy the weather before it gets to cold! I’ve got lots more training to do in preparation for my first ultra!!!!

Got to get moooooo-ving!! (I know bad cow joke, but I couldn’t help myself!)

xo

Leann