South Jersey Belle

It's all about the attitude.


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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

 


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Women’s Philadelphia Triathlon

Sunday was the first all women’s triathlon I had ever competed in. Let me just start this blog by saying-don’t under estimate the competition at one of these races! This race was the inaugural event by DelmoSports and if you aren’t familiar with the racing scene-DelmoSports has a hold on everything in the Jersey shore area and facilitates great races.

So let’s get to the nitty gritty and break it down! First year of this race and completely sold out! You have no idea what the competition is going to be like so you best bring your A game!

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The Swim-

Normally in a triathlon the swim is in open water-put it in the city and your options are a bit limited. This was a pool swim at Kelly Pool next to the Please Touch Museum. The thing that makes it a bit difficult was it was serpent style-so you swim up and down each lane swimming underneath the lane lines at the end to enter the new lane. It was also self seeded meaning you had to know your approximate time it takes you to swim 400 meters. The swim was a bit of a cluster. They were letting two in at a time and if you started on the right you were already at a disadvantage trying to beat the person next to you to swim under the lane line at the end. I placed myself toward the beginning of the 8:00 minute group which I think was a bit of a mistake on my part. I am an okay swimmer, not my most confident part of the sport, but I’ve been working hard to improve. I normally can finish a 400 m swim just under 8 mins so I should have placed myself up further to avoid the mess at the end of the lane lines. There were times where it was almost impossible to pass people and I ended up swimming in the middle between two athletes to get ahead. With that being said I finished my swim in 7:22

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Transition 1-

Sprinting out of the pool I heard a familiar voice encouraging me to get a move on it. Thanks Will! I got to my bike, plopped down on the ground and threw on my bike shoes on as quick as I could. Strapped my helmet on and starting running with my bike out of transition. Watch that big curb you had to step off of! Time 2:05-Could definitely use some improvement.

The Bike-

I just got a brand new triathlon bike from Liv-the Avow advanced pro. This baby makes a world of a difference when shifting! The course starts out on a nice down hill, but there are a few turns to be aware of. There was a slight climb on the way out of MLK drive and I actually had the road to myself to a bit which was really nice. The turn around point was pretty narrow so I was glad I didn’t have a crowd of bikes around me. You then bike to the other end of MLK and with a nice climb back up the hill to get into transition. I ended the bike in 29:05 which shows great room for improvement- someone light a fire under me please! I averaged around 19 mph on the bike which isn’t horrible, but I know I can put the pedal to the medal a little bit harder.

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Transition 2-

2 sports down, one to go, and I was in my element for sure at this point. The run is “my thing.” Bike racked, helmet off, running shoes on, grab the hat, sunglasses, and race belt and go! 1:16 much better! Let’s run!

The Run-

5k=3.1 miles. At first your legs are tight from the bike, but with a short race like this you don’t have much time to really think about it. With only 3 miles to run-you have got to get moving. After about a quarter mile I was starting to get into my rhythm. I settled into a good pace at the first mile of 8:35 and kept pushing. I knew I was getting close to the end and yelled out where is the finish? A spectator yelled back 400m, ok I can let it go now and sprint, but when I turned the corner it was much longer than 400m! I held back some until I really made the final turn and then sprinted to the finish. My run time was 24:12. It felt great with no aches or pains.

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Overall finish time of 1:04:01 and placing 3rd in my AG. I would love to shave off those 4 minutes to make it a flat 1 hour race, but it’s going to take some work. I’ve got another sprint triathlon coming up in two weeks-NJ State. This race brings a great crowd and tough competitors.

I was happy with my performance with the Women’s Philadelphia Triathlon and it just shows me hard work does pay off, I’ve got a way to go to reach my goals, but this is just a stepping stone in the right direction.

Another huge element of this race for me was having 3 of my Savage Tri Team members also racing. I felt like a proud mother hen to have them there representing our amazing team. This group of women are totally relentless, motivated, and badass!

Stay tuned for more race recaps!

xx

Leann

 

 

 


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Runners are the Best People

Saturday morning I ran my first 1/2 marathon trail race. I’ve ran many half marathons, but all road races. So 13.1 miles on road versus trail-what could be different right?

Well, alot! First, lets talk shoes-you definitely need different running shoes. Running through grass, rocks, gravel, and climbing/descending lots of hills.

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Second, these trails are pretty narrow. When you run road races, you can span pretty much the ENTIRE road. The beginning of the race was a cluster. Finally, it started to space out! I found a group of three other runners that were pacing the same as I. We ended up running almost the entire race together and they provided great energy and support during the run.

Finally, enjoy your surroundings. This race took place in Pennypack Park. I had never been there to run before, but after this I will be back for sure. It was absolutely beautiful and a great change of scenery for me.

This trail race was set up by Uber endurance sports– 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut Trail Race. The race bused us over to the park and back to their German club. After the race you were provided one ticket for a drink and one ticket for a food item-many partaking in the traditional beer and bratwurst! I went into this race with the mindset that my long run this week was 13 miles, so why not change the scenery and challenge myself a bit along the way. I did wear my garmin, but I did not track my pacing during the run, I did what felt comfortable and pushed it out at the end. I am happy to say I came in 4th in my age group at 1:57. This was a surprise to me and confident booster for sure.  There were many sections in the race I really wanted to walk up the hills, but I never walk in a race, why start now. The narrow trails with steps and stones really gave me a run for my money. I stuck to my fueling plan, water and honey stinger energy chews. This works for me and I will not take your nasty Gu sir, it makes me gag!

My support system was there along for the ride. My Mom was also racing and Will was able to show up to celebrate! Sunday, I was going to take as a rest day, but Will convinced me to go on an easy recovery run and I got to try out the Nike Run Club app. I actually talked about this app with the New Yorkers I ran with and they had nothing but great things to say about it. There’s tons of cool options for different lengths of runs. Once I try it a few more times I will share some more details on this!

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Have a great week!

xx

Leann