South Jersey Belle

It's all about the attitude.


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Philly Women’s Tri

How do I even start explaining today’s race? It was great! I had 4 other Savage Tri Team members racing with me which is just an awesome feeling. Being on a tri team just helps pump you up especially when you see them out there on the course crushing their goals. I couldn’t ask for better teammates!

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This is the 2nd year Delmo Sports has hosted the Philly Women’s Tri. Its a great race for all levels, but very beginner friendly since the swim is in the Kelly Pool. It’s a sprint race so its quick! 300 meter swim, 9 mile bike ride and 5k run.

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I was able to shave off 3 minutes from last year. Coming in at 1:01, 3rd in my Age Group and 15th female overall out of 961! I felt great during the entire race and is totally reassuring that I can start pushing harder for my next race-Tri AC olympic distance.

After the race we had a little brunch at our apartment. It was great to relax with family and enjoy some tasty homemade treats!

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Eagleman 69.1 Race Recap

Ok ok ok… time for a race recap of the Eagleman 70.3 course and my personal experiences in Cambridge, MD.

My team mates and I decided to use airbnb and rent a house from Friday to Monday. This was a great decision. It had plenty of space, 2 full bathrooms, and having a full kitchen for hangry triathletes was ideal. We were only about 2 miles from the race site. Cambridge is a small town, but has a super Walmart for all your needs and last minute things you might have forgotten. I did notice even though it had that small town feel, it did not lack Starbucks or plenty of options to eat at. So if you don’t plan on cooking, no worries, there are plenty of food options!

Coming from the Philly area, it was only about about a 2.5 hour drive. This was ideal for me! Personally, I’m just not ready to travel long distances with my bike so the closer the race the better. This was my first time racing Eagleman. It’s notorious for its windy bike course and sun beaten run where there is no shade! Ofcourse I was watching the forecast closely and it looked like it was going to be a bit different this year!

I arrived on Friday around lunch time and went straight to check in. The expo was a bit smaller than I expected and there was no wait to pick up my bib. I cruised through the store and came out with a few goodies! Saturday I rode my bike over to transition to check it in and jogged back to shake off any of the pre-race nerves. There was a strong current in the water and the race team decided to change the direction of the swim course. We were now planning to swim to the left from the boat ramp. The temp of the water was on the fence if it would be wet suit legal, but we kept hoping it would be because there was some serious cloud coverage.

Sunday morning-RACE DAY!

Always stick with your normal routines! I got up had coffee, an english muffin with peanut butter and banana. Prepped all my race bottles. This year for my longer training and racing I started using infinite and eating Honey Stinger waffles, chews, and Skratch Lab bars, but this is what I have tested and has worked for me!

Got to transition with plenty of time to lay out my gear, use the bathroom one last time, and get ready to put the wet suit on as the water was deemed 75.2! When all of a sudden an announcement was made, the swim was canceled! People all around me were jumping up and down. The 70.3 had now become a 69.1 and I had no clue how things would proceed from here. So as I made my way back to my rack to put my gear back another announcement is made, the pros will start at 7:05 and all age groupers will start at 7:45 rolling out according to bib numbers. Ok, now we have a ton of time to kill as the original start was 6:45 and the hunger is about to start. I wrap a towel around my legs and put my jacket back on to try to stay warm. The wait was probably one of the biggest issues. I was up at 3:30 am and now not starting till 7:45!

Well, we finally roll out of the transition area. I’m on the bike and just taking it all in. Yes, I’m here, I’m racing, but the first 10-15 miles has a decent amount of turns and things are pretty tight with people so its causing everyone to slow up. I’m cruising along pretty good when I start to feel some rain. No! I’m thinking please don’t pour, just a little rain is ok. Oh, the rain came down so hard it was insane. If you raced AC 70.3 2018 this was definitely worse! And this course is 100 times flatter than AC. Between the rain and then the wind whipping through the course I was starting to feel a little beat up. I was riding around 20 mph and then the headwinds would cause me to drop to 15! (Later I think I read the headwinds were around 20mph!) On the bike I ate one waffle, emptied my torpedo which had my infinite bike drink and had a few honey stinger chews with water toward the end of the ride.

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Finally I get back into transition and change out my shoes to run. My legs are tight and sore and honestly I couldn’t process how this run would even feel. I grabbed my nathan bottle that I carry, already stocked with infinite run mix and another honey stinger waffle and chews and get moving. I go to tighten the hand strap as I start running and it breaks! Lol ok no big deal, I can hold the bottle, but that piece of material hanging off is annoying and tuck it in my hand so its not swinging all over the place. I start moving on this run, trying to find the pace I’m comfortable at without pushing too much just yet. I settle into a pace and decide to not look at my garmin. I decided to just let my body do what I have been training it to do-run. The race course is an out and back and most of it you run on the shoulder of the road. To be completely honest I’m not thrilled about this and there wasn’t much space. Because of on and off rain the white line is pretty slippery and not safe to run on. I chatted with a few runners pacing the same as we tried to bond in our time of misery and getting through this race. We pay to do this! haha!

The last few miles I could feel the smile come across my face. As hard as triathlon is mentally and physically I love the challenge. I love attempting to see what I can push my body to do and how it adapts and improves over time. Personally, I felt like I gave Eagleman my best effort for the day. It was a solid race and the conditions were less than ideal, but its learning how to take what race day gives you and go with it. Racing triathlon teaches me so many life lessons that I can apply to my everyday life. Each race is different from the last and all I can do is go out there with a positive attitude and give it my best shot. Eagleman you were not an easy course and the weather was nothing short of crazy. After a hot shower and reliving the day, I would do it all over again! Finish time 5:01! Bring on the rest of the tri season!

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April Race Recap

What an amazing month. After months of off season training-racing season is finally here! I admit I’ve got some big goals this year and so far things seem to be falling into place, but not without lots of hard work, dedication, and even a few tears. I have a horrible habit of having Very high expectations for myself and I expect nothing, but results!

This past month I had 3 races: the Hot Chocolate 15k, Rutgers Half Marathon, and Riverwinds Sprint Triathlon.

Let’s start with the 15k, I’ve done this race now 4 times. Not the most exciting course anymore, but nevertheless a good test of how 9.32 miles feels at race speed. Coach wanted a sub 8 min/mile and when I tell you I doubted him with all my might, I was dreading the race. I was planning on drowning my failure in the chocolate that you get at the end of the race. But I managed a 7:52 min/mile that lead me into a 1:13 finish and 4 min PR from the previous year! Ecstatic! The weather was great and it was a good day for me, but I worked that race and the chocolate.

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The Rutgers Half Marathon-the last half I ran was a trail race for fun last summer. I’ve never ran Rutgers as I rarely venture to central Jersey, but the timing of this race was perfect and my coach, his wife, my mom and another team mate were racing it. Great team dinner the night before. The forecast was calling for rain, but it held out for us! Holy hills!!!! I totally did not expect that. I ran this race with my coach and mentally I was fighting things after about 4 miles in. Rarely did we talk, but having his support definitely helped because I might have stopped to walk, but we had some motivation along the way (hahaha-inside joke). Happy to see the finish line and huge PR from last year. 1:46 finish and 4th place AG-that just puts in perspective how tough that race was.

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After Rutgers my right hamstring really started to give me trouble. Like serious pain! With two 70.3 in the near future that I am hoping to PR at, I sidelined myself. I stretched, rolled, iced, muscle rub, massaged, you name it I was trying it. With a week of low impact; swimming and cycling-no running, I was finally starting to feel better. But the stretching really has played an important factor in all of this. Don’t forget to stretch kids!

And finally, Sunday, the Riverwinds triathlon. This sprint tri brings an amazing draw of local talent from the tri-state area. Since its early in the season the swim is done in the pool and then bike and run outside.  The swim is serpent style, which means you swim up one lane, go under the lane line and down the next until you reach the finish. The bike course is still open to cars, which makes things a little tricky while there are cops at most intersections stopping traffic. After a week of not running, it took my legs a solid mile to settle into the run. I knew I was moving, but I couldn’t tell at what pace and I really didn’t want to look at my garmin. I knew when I reached about half way I knew I had to try to pick up my pace and I did comfortably. Negative spits! Yes! Solid finish, a 2nd place finish, and mostly importantly a 6 min PR from last year!

May will be my last push of 70.3 training as Eagleman is the 2nd weekend in June. I’ve never raced here, but I am certainly looking forward to a new course, change of scenery, and racing besides some of my Savage teammates. I’m getting pumped up about Eagleman, but trying to stay focused on the road ahead of me. Thanks to everyone who has been supportive along the way. My schedules have been less than ideal, and just trying to work and complete pieces of my dissertation along the way is tough. You all know who you are and I can’t thank you enough for your support and love.

xx
Leann


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Elf n’ Cocoa 5k/2018 Season Recap

As a last unplanned race to wrap up the season-I ran the inaugural Elf n’ Cocoa 5k. The temperature wasn’t bad for being December, but it was a rainy morning. I was going to give it all I had and really just try to enjoy this last official race of the season. I always get a little uncomfortable toeing the line near the front. I feel that puts expectations on myself to perform.

As I made the turn around I passed my mom and she said I was the 3rd female-overall. Well shortly after I passed the second female and was able to hold that 2nd place spot all the way to the finish. Check out these crazy hair, don’t care running photos!  (HAHA)

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A new PR for the 5k. So pumped to see my numbers getting better even after a long race season! So now lets get to the 2018 race recap!

I’m going to keep this pretty short and sweet. I am blessed to have had an awesome 2018 race season. I continue to improve in my swimming, biking, and running and to me that just shows 2 things-

1-It’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. Go after what you want!

2- How bad do you want it? If you want to improve or get faster it is totally possible. But you and only you have to want it. There’s many times during my runs I say to myself how bad do you want this? It drives me.

I love triathlon and running. I think I would be lost without it, but I also have to give all my love to my family, boyfriend, friends, and team mates who have encouraged me along the way. Thank you for your support it means the world to me. Even though its the off season now and I won’t be racing I’m still training and prepping for an even more fierce 2019 season. I hope you can find that thing that sets you on fire!

Have a great holiday!

xx

Leann

 

 

 


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Ironman Atlantic City 70.3

Well that’s it folks, my triathlon season is over for 2018. I’ve got a few fun runs lined up for the fall, but that’s about it. So here’s my recap on the Ironman Atlantic City 70.3 2018. Last year I went to spectate and it was like standing around in an oven and the sun was just beating down on the athletes. It was miserable. 2018 decided to switch things up for everyone and give us no sun and torrential downpours!

I followed an online training plan that I thought fit my abilities and pushed myself to stick to it. I had no coach and no swim lessons this year. It wasn’t in the cards for me this year, but maybe I will look into coaching for the 2019 season to tweak a few things, but I am happy with how much I was able to improve without any coaching. I will keep saying it-HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT? DO IT FOR YOURSELF AND ONLY YOU!

Here’s the breakdown-

The Swim-1.2 miles-

I’ve had to work on my swim the most. This was and is not my strong point. I’ve become more and more confident here, but not overly confidant lol. I know I could spend more time swimming. AC is a back bay swim and the waters are pretty calm. The water temperature was 72 making it wet suit legal. I’ve gotten to swim here for the olympic course too, so home advantage I was comfortable in this water knowing what to expect. This was a self seeded swim. I placed myself in the 36-45 min swim seed. The first 400-500 yards though it was pretty difficult to swim around people. After I was able to get some space I was really enjoying this swim, it was refreshing. It was sooner than expected that I was making the turn to head back to shore. Time-40:48

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Transtition (1)-5:54

Getting out of the water and getting to the bike I saw a few familiar faces which is always nice. I heard Will yell my name and I was pumped he was there to see me thru the swim because the traffic to get to transition was insane! I saw Larissa a friend from a local tri club in the area also came out of the water at the same time! When I got to my bike I shoved some food in my mouth to get my energy level back up and get a move on to my ride.

Bike-56 Miles-

The ride started out great. I felt comfortable at the speed I was holding at the bike. I kept reminding myself to drink and eat even when I wasn’t hungry or thirsty. It was overcast and it can be totally deceiving if you are sweating or not. Then the rain started. At first it wasn’t too bad, but it didn’t let up, it just got harder. Pretty much the entire bike route is on the Atlantic City Expressway. One lane is closed down for the cyclist and there are still cars passing us. The water was starting to lay on the road making turns a bit difficult. I saw several athletes that either collided with someone or didn’t have luck in taking the turn. I kept pushing through determined to finish out this bike as quickly as I could. Time -2:53:13 averaging 19.30 mph on the bike

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Transition (2)-6:01

When I got back into transition I had planned on changing my socks so I was dry. hahah Well since it was raining, everything was soaked. Nothing was dry. Wet socks to a little less of a wet sock and shoes that were already soaked. haha. Ok-here we go 13.1 miles in the rain.

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Run-13.1 miles

The first mile of the run was in Bader Field, close to the swim and transition. My legs were feeling tight and heavy. After the first mile you head out onto the street and up the the boardwalk. Still no sun in sight and the rain just kept coming down. I saw more tri friends on the run which was great. To see everyone out there pushing through in these crazy conditions is so motivating. I loved being able to look around and see people smiling because they are able to compete in this crazy sport called triathlon. Around the last mile I saw Kat my friend from work and Will taking cover from the cold and rain, but cheering me on to push thru. They both met me on the other side of the building where I had about a quarter mile to go. Will told me if I just pushed a little at the end I would come in under 6 hours which was my goal! I pushed it out to the end and finished in

5:44:02!

15th in my Age Group and 116th Female Overall.

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To recap the season and this last race-I extremely grateful for the things I have been able to achieve. I feel lucky to be able to race and compete at the level I am. I continue to learn things about myself and that I continue to push myself to be a better person and athlete. I thank my parents and Will for supporting me along this crazy journey-early mornings, long training hours, exhausted, tired, hungry, and grumpy are just some of the emotions and things I go through, but they have stood by my decisions to continue to push myself. My friends- that know I keep a strange schedule and have to pass on outings, but continue to stay in contact with and check in on me-thank you! The ladies of Savage Tri Team-you inspire me everyday to be a better leader and I have learned somethings from each and everyone of you.

Let the planning for the 2019 season begin! Be Savage, Not Average!

xx

Leann

 

 


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Tri AC-Olympic Distance

Race Recap! Another race to analyze and review! Last year I did the Tri AC sprint. Its a great race location and really fast! This year in preparation for my Ironman Atlantic City 70.3 I raced the Olympic distance. So let’s break it down

1 Mile swim in the bay

22 Mile bike ride on the Atlantic City Expressway

6.2 Mile run on the boardwalk

This was my first olympic distance race, last year I skipped this distance and went right for the 70.3! With IMAC 70.3 coming up toward the end of September this race worked perfectly as a benchmark in my training-to see how I felt and really target what I need to work on for the remaining time.

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We arrived Friday afternoon in Atlantic City to pick up race packets and get settled for the night. With an early morning wake up call its much nicer to spend the evening there then have to drive down the morning of which is about an hour away.

The Swim-1 mile-35 mins

I was most nervous about this leg. I’ve swam a mile before, but I felt like I just didn’t have enough open water training as I wanted to prior to this. (The pool will never compare)  I just kept talking to myself saying you got this, you have swam here before and loved it. Just take it piece by piece. Well the mile swim should be approximately 1760 yards, my garmin told me I swam 1847 (1:54/100) ! Haha, so I went a little off course. But still, I was extremely happy with my swim time and actually felt really great during it. I did get elbowed in the face, but it didn’t stop me. Also had my feet tickled a few times, but nothing you can really do about that either. All in all I was excited to get out of the water and on to the bike.

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The Bike-22 miles- 1:09

If you have read any of my other blogs, you know the bike is something I will always be working on to get stronger and faster. The course is flat and fast and you get to bike on the expressway and go thru a toll booth, pretty fun! You ride 2 1/2 loops and back to transition. There was one really tight hairpin turn about half way thru, but otherwise its a really solid bike race course. I kept an average speed of 19.3 which is great! Love to see those numbers improving!

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T2-1:50

The Run-10k (6.2 miles)-56 mins2900426

The run is usually my strongest leg, but not this day! I started out pretty strong, finding my pace, not to fast, have to get my legs acclimated after the bike. Delmosports signature thing is running a piece of the race on the beach, oh that sand is a killer, the short piece had my quads on fire. Putting that out of my head and getting re-focused I tried to gather myself and really focus my eye on the prize, last piece of the race. At this point in the day it was getting hot and humid, a storm ready to roll in. You really felt like you were walking into an oven. I had some honey stinger chews with me and I really wasn’t feeling like eating them, but after I did and they kicked in I felt better. The moral here, definitely use your nutrition sooner than later! I finished out the run strong and did pick up my pace, but not at my normal race speed.

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Overall time- 2:45, 7th place Age Group, 28 out of 185 gender place, and 141 out of 509 overall. I have to look back in retrospect and feel good about this race. I have shown improvements over the season, I am getting stronger and the fire inside is fueled to continue to work harder. I love everything about triathlon and that includes the people I meet and race with. There was so much encouragement out on the course and it was great to see familiar faces and meet new ones! I really need to dial in my nutrition a bit more for IMAC 70.3 I want to feel strong throughout the entire race. A little over a month left to go for training and its time to get focused!

xo

Leann


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2 Races, 1 Post!

So lets play catch up! For the past three weeks in a row I have had races every weekend! Crazy I know! The last post I gave you the low down on the Philadelphia Women’s Tri. Great race! Last minute I decided I would take part in a race similar to this race, but in Jersey, Queen of the Hill.

Queen of the Hill is also an all women’s sprint triathlon. Here’s the breakdown

Swim- 400 meters

Bike-10 miles

Run-5k (3.1)

Here’s my numbers and how I think I performed. This is a much smaller race, but it’s growing a name for itself and the Mullica Hill Women’s Tri Club is now getting a bigger crowd to this race.

Swim 8:23. This is great for me! I am not a swimmer and I had a mild panic attack in the swim portion. Don’t ask me why, I have swam in this lake plenty of times! I think I was really psyched up to race and just couldn’t catch my breath. My garmin showed this swim as only 390 meters tho! So that could justify the 8:23 time!

Bike 35:18. Averaging around 18.7 mph on the bike. The bike is something I am constantly woking on. Since I am always on the go it can be hard to actually get on my bike and train. No excuses-I do get on the spin bikes while traveling, but come on you know it’s not the same! Happy to see progress

Run 24:28. My run times have been getting so much faster! That makes me so happy! This course had some small hills. When you get off your bike and start to run you just feel so stiff and like you are moving in slow motion. It usually takes me a quarter of a mile to really feel warmed up and like my legs are actually working.

Overall I finished Queen of the Hill in 1:13:13, 2nd in my Age Group and 10th Overall.

Now lets move on to this weekend, NJ State Tri.

Swim-500 meters

Bike-11.5 miles

Run-5k (3.1)

This is defiantly one of the most competitive triathlons I have ever been to. I mean these people will eat you up and spit you out with how fast they are. I know I had to really focus on doing my best if I wanted to be any where near the top of my age group who really are fast af. (GOALS!)

Swim 10:34. Ok, but not good, but a huge improvement from my time last year at this race. Which I will take. So, remember I said these people will eat you, lets start with they will swim over you and take you out before they even run you over with the bike! I know my time is nothing to brag about, but I actually had no issues on the swim this year or this weekend! No panicking and I didn’t let others push me around in the swim! (Small victories!)

Bike 36:16. Small improvements here! Averaged around 19.03 mph on the bike! I can’t exactly remember, but I feel like this course changed a little bit from last year. Nevertheless it is pretty flat for the most part. One issue I’ve never had before-I was leaving transition, helmet on (of course) and I felt something pop inside of my helmet! Oh shit I thought, as long as this thing stays on I can still ride, otherwise I will be DQ’ed! I rode all 11.5 miles with this bobbling helmet because the piece that lets you adjust the tension and tightness popped out. After the race it was an easy fix, but I was not stopping during the race!

Run 24:10. This number makes me so happy. Averaged 7:47 minute miles! My best 5k time from a year ago is 24:08 to see 24:10 at the end of a race means there’s progress happening! Yes! Solid finish!

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Overall I finished NJ State Tri in 1:15:10, 11th Age Group, 48th Female, 267 out of 1381 participants. You can do the extra math if you like, but I am proud of those numbers, but want to continue to work and build to be stronger and faster.

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Next weekend I have an organized bike ride and then just solid training until Atlantic City Olympic Tri then Ironman Atlantic City 70.3. Send all the positive training vibes my way please!

xx

Leann