South Jersey Belle

It's all about the attitude.


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Race Season is Upon Us

Race season is kicking off for 2017!  For most athletes this could be comparable to a child on Christmas morning. We have worked hard in the off season training, trying to improve our strengths and set new PRs (personal records). When race day comes we are so excited and maybe even a little nervous to see how everything plays out.

I’m going to share with you the races I currently have planned out for 2017. I’m still looking for a few more to round things out. But I need a lot more training to prepare

2/19 Mike’s Seafood Polar Bear Plunge Run/Walk 5k for Autism-Sea Isle City-24:08

4/1 Philly Hot Chocolate 15k 

4/29 Ocean to Bay Bike Ride-Metric Century (62.5 miles) Bethany,DE

5/7 Philly Broad Street Run-10 miler

7/22 NJ State Triathlon-West Windsor, NJ

7/29 Spellbound Century Ride (100 miles)-Mount Holly, NJ

8/5 Atlantic City Triathlon 

9/23 MS City to Shore Ride-Century-Cherry Hill, NJ

10/1 Cow Run-10 miler-Salem, NJ

12/2 Rocky 50k-31 mile unsanctioned ultra-Philly

I would like to add a half marathon or a marathon to the list in the early fall. We will see how this all works out. There is still a ton of training to do to prepare.

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Haha just a little humor to lighten up the mood thinking of all the training I still have ahead of myself!

See ya at the finish!

xo

Leann


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The Treadmill Vs. The Streets

When it comes to running there will always be two choices-the treadmill or the great outdoors (streets/trails). Both have some pros and cons as it always seems to be a tough toss up on which is better.

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The Treadmill-aka the mill aka dreadmill

Con-

  • Monotonous-no temperature changes/stuck indoors
  • Heavy Breathers next to you at the gym
  • People talking on the phone loudly at the gym
  • Dudes wearing way to much cologne next to you
  • Dependent on watching number change or holding on

Pro-

  • Keep Tempo-variables/incline
  • Not outside in the elements
  • Safe
  • Watch your favorite TV show/movie
  • Do not having to carry your own water/energy supplements
  • Endorphins

Running Outside-aka these streets aka trails-

Con-

  • In the elements (rain/snow/wind)
  • Lose tempo when tired
  • Be alert of where you are running for safety reasons (alone deep in a trail/dark/ unseen to drivers/be aware not to be a victim)
  • Carry your own water/supplements

Pro-

  • Breathing fresh air/enjoying the elements
  • Enjoy the change of scenery-sunrises/sunsets/city/country
  • It’s Free!
  • Escape technology
  • Endorphins

Well there you have it my friends. Pretty simple! Depending on what time and where you are running please be safe and consider all possible scenarios. Sometimes running on the dreadmill can be miserable, but if it is 9pm at night it’s probably the better option than running in the dark. I’ve run 13 long miles on a treadmill before because the weather outside was unbearable and I had to get my training in.

Mind over matter!

xo

Leann


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Determination

Recently I have come across some of my friends and co-workers that tell me they would like to get to where I am with running. Well, I will tell you it doesn’t happen over night. I wasn’t born a runner and I never thought I would be running marathons for the fun of it. I think sharing my running history and explaining where and how I started will help and maybe give you all some inspiration.

405718_10100569194795943_395316907_nI  was always active growing up, playing soccer pretty much year round. When I went to college I would occasionally go to the gym and I tried going to yoga classes, but nothing really stuck. After college I moved to Florida (2009) to work for Disney World. It was at the happiest place on earth that I saw so many people gathering to run races. At the time I didn’t even know what the distance of a half marathon (13.1) or heck even a 5k (3.1) was. But I thought if these people were doing it I sure could too.

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The first race I ever signed up for was Race the Taste 3k (this race doesn’t even exist anymore). Who pays money to run a 3k is what I’m thinking now! 1.8 miles and I was hooked. Next a 5k. And then finally I was jumping in feet first to run a half marathon. I had no clue what I was doing, no proper running knowledge, no idea how to fuel myself or train for those 13.1 glorious miles! I was able to convince my Mom to train for this race too and she would join me to run in Florida (while she trained in NJ). All in all I would say our first race was not a complete disaster (we actually had a pretty decent time), but what we didn’t know was that this would spark something for us both to bond over.

After that first half marathon was over I was starting to realize that running was something I really loved. It gave me time to clear my head and focus on myself. When I went on a run it was sort of like giving my mind a time out, I wouldn’t think about anything else I had going on, just running. My Mother and I continued to train separately and meet up for races. We would read all the running magazines we could get our hands on and try different running techniques, gear, and food. It has been trial and error from the beginning. Some people may think running must be a “cheap” sport to get involved in, you just need yourself, some sneakers, and shorts and t shirt. Think again my friends. I do not recommend anyone just running in any old sneakers you have lying around the house. A good running shoe can set you back anywhere from $100-150 easy. If you are putting the miles on them, they need replacing every 6-8 months. Then you have your running gear: running shorts, compression tights, sports bras (for the ladies), sweat wicking tops, hats, sunglasses, the list could go on. I must say there are more options now on different price point levels then when I started running. Shout out to Old Navy who has some really fun active wear and they always have some great sales!

We will save a post about my favorite gear for another day, but lets get back to how things started to transpire with my running. Eventually I feel like I formed a running habit, in the best way possible, I wanted to always get a run in. I could see the physical changes in my body, I felt stronger than ever and mentally and emotionally it was a great outlet. Every time I signed up for a race I had a new time to beat. I was challenging myself and no one else. It was only a matter of time, after years of running 5ks, 10ks, 10 milers, and so many half marathons I could no longer keep track of, I felt it was the time to run a marathon. Ofcourse I had lots of convincing to do to get my Mom to sign up with me. My thoughts, it was natural progression and mentally I was prepared to take on the challenge. After finally moving back to the Philadelphia area I decided I wanted to add in road biking to help to cross train for racing. My Uncle was a great help in getting my Mother and I started. He took me to a mom and pop bike shop in Jersey to check out their gear. Now we are two years in biking and training for our first triathlon. My Mom is joining me on Saturday for her first ever swim lesson with my coach! Exciting!!!!

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Eight years after we started running and we are set to compete in our first triathlon. Looking back there are things I would have done differently, but I really did not know better. I have learned through my mistakes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. One thing running has taught me: I am stronger and more capable than I ever thought possible, physically and mentally. Progress not perfection.

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Run your heart out!

xo

Leann


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Fuel Your Run

Hey Runners, cyclists, and active people! With the weather improving in the Northeast I’ve started taking my runs outside and each run will start getting longer and longer. Pre and post fuel are very important, but in this post I would like to talk about fueling yourself during long runs (rides, or any activity you are using a lot of energy). I’ve experimented with many different drinks, gels, goos, and everything in between. Yes, most have been disgusting. And I finally feel like I have reached a point where I know what my body needs and likes. I must preface this by saying everyone is different and everyone has different tastes. I’m going to share what works for me and hopefully this will help you skip some of the gross things I have tried in the past.

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I start considering a run, a long run around 10+ miles. Anything less than that I don’t take anything extra for fueling myself (besides water). Right before my 10+ miles I would take a Power Bar simple fruit energy food. My favorite flavor is apple, orange,lemon. This tastes like applesauce! I tried to like GU energy gels, but I literally would be gagging every time I took one. I don’t think I need to get more descriptive then that, the taste and the texture, it just didn’t work for me. I was very hesitant about trying any other kind of gu type of product, but these by power bar are simply delish!!!

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So I usually don’t eat or drink anything else until after 5 miles in on my run. Now we have some choices depending on how you are feeling. If you need a drink I would go with water or my new favorite hydrator-Nuun! Nuun comes in a variety of flavors. Think Gatorade or Powerade, but lightly flavored, low cal, and super clean (non gmo/gluten free/dairy free/ect). They come in tablets, making them easy to store and travel with (huge plus)!!!!!!!!

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If you want something to chew on grab a Honey Stinger waffle or energy chews! Again, this is another clean item! Organic! Yay! Just think, you are doing something great for your body, put something clean into it to keep it moving! If you are eating the waffle I tend to break it in half. Half for now, half for later, or all at once! Whatever works for you! And again there are numerous flavors to try. The chews, I usually eat two or three at a time, but I could eat the whole bag, they are so good! I used to really be into Cliff shot blocs until I tried these. Don’t get me wrong, the shot blocs are tasty, but I found they really like to stick on your teeth. Annoying!!

One thing I feel like I really need to mention, if you are eating the blocs or energy chews I wouldn’t mix it with the Nuun drink. Follow with water. I found the mix of the two tends to upset my stomach, not like I have to go to the bathroom upset, just not feeling good, I don’t want to run kind of good. But maybe you have a stomach of steel, but I warned you! I’ve tried candies like candy corn and jelly beans, but unfortunately I can feel the spike and crash of the sugar high too drastically and I would rather avoid the processed sugars.

So just a quick recap:

  • I only use the energy supplements with 10+ miles (start after 5 miles in)
  • Water or Nuun
  • Don’t drink Nuun and eat energy chews (follow with water)
  • Hydrate and have fun!

Time to eat and run!

xo

Leann

 


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Weekend Training

Priorities! Priorities! Priorities! I think I train my hardest during the week. It’s usually because I’m on call for work and what better way to use my time then to be proactive and get in an awesome workout while the gym is quiet. Weekend training seems to be the struggle for me! After a full week of workouts, my muscles are sore, achey, and I feel tired and weak. This weekend was by far no exception. After my three day trip last week I ended up just being on call Friday. I hopped on my bike trainer and rode for a solid hour. Friday afternoon I headed out of town with the boyfriend (shameless plug here) to head down to Sea Isle City for Polar Bear Plunge weekend.

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During the week I eat (pretty) healthy. I prep foods in advance and always have wholesome snacks on hand. This makes it easier to make better choices. When you go out of town though you tend to get out of your normal routine…ugh…this is where things tend to get messy. Polar Bear Plunge weekend is one big party while it brings awareness and support to childen with autism. So after many “light” beers and one too many slices of pizza I was set to run a 5k on Sunday. The morning of the race I had somewhat normal food and a banana, the first healthy thing I ate since Friday am! Well, it seemed as if my weekly training and weekend rest seemed to pay off as I finished the 5k in 24:08. Not to shabby! img_2620

Although I never suggest drinking the day before the race I did try to drink in moderation and left plenty of time for recovery. The next few races and I rides I have coming up are of a much longer distance so I don’t think I will be trying that again! Back to my training plan. It really comes down to how bad you want it and are you willing to put in the effort?

I think this quote from Jim Rohn fits this perfectly,”Everyone must chose one of two pains: the pain of disciple or the pain of regret.”

Get out there and train!

xo

Leann


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I love you from 38,000 ft.

For some people the sky is the limit, but those who work in aviation, the sky is home. I could go on and on with lots of cheesy one liners about how great my job is as a flight attendant. My heart must have been made to travel because I truly love it no matter how crazy it makes me sometimes.

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This Valentine’s Day morning I took off for a three day trip, not the best of trips, not the worst, but I was eager to get back to the job that I love. I miss all my family and friends while I am away, but having a job that lets me see the world is so refreshing, freeing, and empowering. Waking up at 2am for a 4am check in was not fun, but I had a great day in sunny Florida. fullsizerender-3-copy-2

I was so motivated after I landed I was able to get in a 5k run to the beach and a great swim session back at the pool. Enjoyed some of the warmth while Philadelphia is still embracing the arctic cold temperatures. Ofcourse I dressed in festive pink and purple colors! Find something you love so you never work a day in your life.

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All women are created equal, but the finest become flight attendants. Come fly with me!

xo

Leann


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Conceptual Framework

I’ve been writing a lot about food and fitness, but not so much about what makes each person so different and individual. So if you don’t mind me getting a bit nerdy or geeking about some things I have been reading for class, follow along.

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If you don’t know me personally, I’m working on my doctorate in business administration with a focus on marketing. I’m starting to dissect the parts of the dissertation currently and putting things together chapter by chapter. Today while it is completely miserable in Philadelphia, rain, snow, and bone chilling winds, I was reading about elements of conceptual framework. These different elements link together in the research process. My favorite of all I have read about thus far is personal interest and goals. Personal interests and goals are also known as intellectual goals (Ravitch & Riggan, 2017). These goals are what drives you to do work, your motivation (Ravitch & Riggan, 2017). Intellectual goals reflect your curiosity, passions, beliefs about the world, and the values about what questions need answering (Ravitch & Riggan, 2017). What I fully agreed with Ravitch & Riggan (2017) was the understanding that life experiences tend to shape personal interests and goals.

I have been so lucky to be able to achieve and work toward so many of my personal interests and goals. Working as a flight attendant has given me great flexibility to go back to school, train for races, and continue to travel the world. I have seen more of the United States and the world than I  had ever  imagined I would get the opportunity to. Traveling has led me to meet so many people from all walks of life that have inspired me to be a better person.

The purpose of the conceptual framework can be purely visual for a researcher, the meaning of a theory, or being able to make the link of the research process to see the bigger picture (Ravitch & Riggan, 2017). Day by day, I’m completely thankful being able to see the bigger picture and the part I play in this world. I love being motivated to complete a new goal or task at hand and I wish you all the same in your own personal journeys.

xo

Leann

Ravitch, S. M., & Riggan, M. (2017). Reason & rigor (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.