South Jersey Belle

It's all about the attitude.


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Motivation, Transformation, and Determination 

So normally I don’t get very “preachy” on here about goals related to fitness or life.  But recently I’ve had some time to think about how important motivation, transformation, and determination really are. Read along some more if I’ve caught your interest. Otherwise have an awesome day.

The summer is just about wrapping up and soon it will be fall. I proudly completed several mock triathlons and two USAT sanctioned races. I’m started to amp up my running miles again to prepare for some longer runs this fall and winter. I’m happy with my performance and I’ve been learning so much along the way either through self education (lots of new books) or by talking with other athletes. Educating yourself about personal health, nutrition, and training has been the key to my self improvement. The transformations I have been able to reflect on come from internal and external. And the only reason they are occurring is because I want it bad enough to push myself to get out of bed at 5 am. Trust me it’s not always easy. Working on a layover in a new and exciting city can be tough.

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My final residency is coming up for my doctorate program and with a full time job, part time job, and training it doesn’t come easy, but it’s all about time management. My mom recently just got me a bracelet that so appropriately says “nothing great, ever came easy!” How true! There have been many instantces that I can think of when my studies started and I would be so wrapped up in my assignment I would be in tears because I wasn’t completely confident in my work. I’ve been able to work past these issues only because I’ve gotten rid of the fear of failure.

Lastly my full time job-flying. Since being back on the job things have been awesome! I was sort of uneasy transitioning back into things after my injury. The first day back I felt like I had not been on a plane in years instead of months. My second trip back and I was flying to Rome. Talk about being thrown into things. But I love my job and the crew members I get to work with.

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Overall I feel pretty lucky to be in the position I’m in. I love my job, my studies, and I love working out and racing.  Motivation, transformation, and determination have been part of each avenue in my life. Don’t let anyone stop you from doing what you love. More than likely it won’t come easy, but it will be worth it! Rant over go smash some goals.

It’s your choice!

Xo Leann

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Triathletes Aren’t Born, They’re Made 

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riding thru my hometown

Building off my last blog post about training being part of my lifestyle. I just want to give you a little insight to what things look like day to day. Today started with a 6am bike ride for an hour. I got up around 5am to get some coffee in my system, because if you truly know me I am not a morning person. Please give me coffee before you ask me to do anything. I had to limit my ride to an hour before I had to be back home to get showered and head out to physical therapy ( I’m in week 2 of the final 3 weeks)! After a day of running errands, doing some homework (yes still working on my doctorate), and taking a quick 30 minute nap I was prepping for an open water swim. If I’m not up getting in a morning ride, its either an early swim or early run (how else can I fit it all in). In fact, tomorrow morning at 6am I’m taking a master’s swim class. Now masters does not refer to education level, its a swim class for anyone over the age of 18. The class will be an hour long with other swimmers and a coach.

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So much to do so little time

Getting back to my open water swim that I did tonight-this swim was in a lake. Open water swimming does not bother me as I used to scuba dive when I lived in Florida. My mom who is also training for the triathlon is not such a fan of the water, but she did great tonight. The lake was marked out with buoys for a quarter mile distance. The temperature was actually pretty nice probably high 60s. We quickly covered about a half a mile in distance.

After a full day, I’m prepping for another day of training tomorrow. Start with the swim, back to PT, and in the evening I will either get back on the bike or go for a short run. This sport takes dedication. There are times I doubt myself and times I ask why I am doing this, but when I reflect I realize how much I truly love this sport. I feel great after my workouts and sometimes you have to love the pain. You are your own competition. I am committed to pushing myself to be the best I can possibly be.

This not a hobby, this is a lifestyle.

xo

Leann


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My First Tri

After making the decision to compete in a triathlon, today was my first opportunity to actually attempt a swim, bike, and run consecutively. There are five different lengths of triathlons; super sprint, sprint, olympic, half ironman, and ironman. The two triathlons I have signed up to compete in this summer are both of the sprint distance. A sprint tri consists of a quarter mile swim. One then transitions from the water to the bike to ride 10-12 miles then back to transition to run a 5k (3.1 miles). Each event separately is not overly difficult for me, but try to complete them one after the other creates a bit of a challenge. The swim portion is my weakest link, but I have been feeling more and more confident recently after a few months of swim lessons.

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Prepped to go before the race

Today the swim portion took place in an outdoor pool, to complete a quarter mile you must swim 16 laps. The water was cold, but after a lap down and back my body quickly adjusted to the temperature and I started to focus on my breathing to keep on pace. I hopped out of the pool and jogged over to my bike where I slipped on my biking shoes. I just purchased a tri specific bike shoe from Garneau, but I didn’t get time to adjust the cleats yet! I then took my bike out for a very hilly 10 mile ride. Looking for the positives in the hills, once you work your way up, you get to coast down! The run portion of this was only 2 miles and by this point in the morning even though still early, was very hot! This 2 mile run was an out and back with one big hill to conquer.

This race was completely organized for and by the Mullica Hill Women’s Tri Club. It was great practice before an actual race, there was no pressure, only bragging rights in the end. The race was over much faster than I expected and I enjoyed every moment. I was very happy with my overall performance and the times reflected in my Garmin watch.

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Some of the women that completed the triathlon this morning.

When preparing for your race the night before its key to write down each segment of the race and what is needed. For example

Swim

  • Goggles/Swim Cap

Bike

  • Helmet/sunglasses/bike shoes

Run

  • Sneakers/sunglasses/socks

Other key items include:

  • Sunscreen/lip balm/body glide/water/energy gels or chews/hat or visor

 

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My first try at a triathlon was a complete success. I’m excited to get in some open water swims soon and start prepping to train for longer distance triathlons such as the half ironman- 70.3 miles to complete between swimming, biking, and running.

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Train hard or go home.

xo

Leann


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Will it be easy? Nope.

Will it be worth it? Absolutely. I hate the saying good things come to those who wait. What the hell are you waiting for? If you want something bad enough you have to go out there and suffer for it. No one especially in this day and age are going to hand you anything (few exceptions, but we are not going there).

As you all know by now if you have been reading my blog I injured myself at work and I’ve been totally bummed out about it. I don’t have any kind of cool story to go along with the boot I’m dragging with me, I didn’t save puppies from a burning plane or run an ultra. But this time in recovery, rest, and healing has given me the time to reflect about what my passions are, what drives me, and my plans for after my ankle has healed.

We all tend to go thru times of trial. While in the middle of something we think to ourselves what the hell am I doing here or why am I doing this to myself? My mother always taught me to stick through it, no matter what it may be because there is always a lesson to be learned. Read Jared’s story of how he didn’t want to go to college, struggled through it, and is now working on his master’s degree at an ivy league school. He also shares his many passions on his website.

Today was my first day of physical therapy and my therapist answered and gave me the straight up facts I needed to know to get myself focused on this road to recovery. It was clarified that I tore ligaments or fibers that connect the bone. This explains why there was so much bruising (blood under the skin, gross). He gave me the ok to bike, but I can’t go to crazy! And he fully support swimming because of the lack of pressure. Running is something we will be working back up to.

Zig Ziglar once said, ” Motivation gets you going and habit gets you there.” This quote is what leads me to my point of this post. Years of running developed into a habit. It was something fun, to keep me in shape and is now a passion. I’ve never really pushed myself until the last two years. I saw with my dedication to running my times were getting better. With more drive to see improvement I started cycling for cross training where eventually I pushed my limits as far as an 80 mile ride. I’ve already got two centuries (100 miles) lined up for this year. My motivation to stay healthy and in shape as turned into a lifestyle with some serious dedication and life changing goals. With my first triathlon coming up in July I already know that I want to train for an Ironman 70.3 and eventually qualify for the Boston Marathon.

None of these goals I have presented myself with appeared over night. Training for my first marathon was intense. After my second marathon I was so thrilled with my time and my comfortable pacing, I knew I could push myself harder. Each time I set new goals  I also have to hurdle new challenges.

The one saying I do like, if it was easy everyone would do it.

xo

Leann


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The Follow Up

So it has been five days since I sprained a ligament in my left ankle, its still swollen, and the doctor today has given me orders for physical therapy. This morning was the first time I met with this doctor and he almost had me jumping off the table. He pushed and poked at every tender spot and wanted to see the range or lack there of range of motion in my left ankle. After deeming I would still be out of work for at least 2-3 weeks, the torture of physical therapy will start next week.

To keep my sanity and wit about me I am trying to make the most of this time away from work and my passion of running. I understand many can not resonate how important running is. Many of you reading this may think, its just a form of working out, but really is so much more to me. It’s something I truly love and I’m missing greatly.

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What I can do is swim! I got in the pool today with my pull buoy and with no strain on my foot or ankle I got in a great upper body workout. Swimming is not my strength, hence why I got a swim coach for my training! Maybe over the course of the next few weeks I will come to love swimming who knows! LOL I’m doubtful, but I am happy that I can get in some form of exercise and clear my head for some time during the day.

I’ve had family and friends reach out to me and be so encouraging. I can’t thank you enough for that. It really means to the world to me! Even if you don’t run or race, your kind words have really inspired me. You all have insisted my come back will be a great one and this is really helping me put my head in the right place. I’ve gotten so many text messages telling me I’m strong and that this set back is going to allow me to make a even stronger come back. I can’t thank you enough for straightening me out and the wise words of encouragement.

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You are stronger than you believe!

xo

Leann


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Find Your Happy Pace

I had so much going on during the weekend and it just seemed to overflow in to the week! I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already! I want to share some of the fun and not so fun stuff that has been going on that has kept my pace steady!


Saturday I went home to NJ to get a 8 mile run in with my Mom. My family lives on the Delaware River so besides it already being cold the wind did not help! So we really got some great resistence training. ( I know awesome shot of our new Momentum bracelets!!)

Saturday night Jared and I went to see a new play that was premiering in Philadelphia and it was even written by a Philly playwright! The play was called Sh*theads! I know a little crued and the language was like that in most of the play. The premise of the show was about a local bike shop trying to compete to stay in business with larger corporations which we see in our every day lives. It was entertaining  (we both try to support local as much as we can) and the really cool part of it was it was at the Azuka Theatre where you pay as you wish, just give a donation. What a great way to be able to take in more shows! I would highly recommend the show and I would check out another show through the Azuka Theatre again! 

On top of running around, seeing family and friends- I am in a class working on chapter 1 and 2 of my dissertation. This week a rough draft of chapter 2-the literature review was due. When chapter 2 is finished it will be between 30-50 pages. The whole process is very exciting, nerve wrecking, and stressful. It’s one day at a time, one foot in front of the other and trying not to fall down along the way.

Monday morning rolls around and I was putting the final touches on my draft of chapter 2 and I was #2 on the list of flight attendants to be called out. Well RING RING RING- crew scheduling calls with a three day trip allowing me to escape the snow that is about to hit Philly and the rest of the Northeast. Where am I headed- long San Francisco layover and a long Atlanta layover. Ok! Win for me!!


San Francisco is one of my favorite places to run! I love the energy from all the other bikers and runners. The runners and bikers seem so dedicated as you can always find people out there exercising no matter what the weather. I love that kind of dedication. I got up early Tuesday morning to run to Hopper’s Hands. If you run out to Fort Point which is pretty much directly under the Golden Gate Bridge you will find a plaque of Hopper’s Hands. This is a turn around point for many runners. Hopper is an iron worker that repairs the beautiful bridge, also helping to talk people down from committing suicide. Hopper knew about this turn around point for runners and saw them touching this fence so for some inspiration took it on himself to put up a copy of his hands to give a high five! Thanks Hopper! You are awesome! Thank you for your encouragement and showing others life is not a dead end, there’s always a point you can turn around!


Never give up!

Xo

Leann


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Organize Your Schedule to Reach your Goals

To complete all my daily tasks I have to stay on a schedule. While being a flight attendant allows for a less than normal schedule I still find time to work a part time job, work on my doctorate, and fit time in to train. If you are determined enough you can make anything happen.

I want to share a story about a friend and how he has made changes to his own schedule to reach his personal goals. Korey and I met through the airline several years ago and I have seen his personal growth and it is so inspiring. Korey also works a part time job, serving when he has free time from flying. You may or may not be aware, but as flight attendants there is no normal schedule. 12313671_10103690480758853_2963282751741711904_nOne day we can be working a red eye flight from Los Angles back to the East coast and the next day you could be flying 4 flights between Boston and New York. Passengers tend to feel tired from long flights, imagine working those flights and trying not to feel fatigued. After becoming friends with Korey he quickly picked up an interest in going to the gym on a daily basis. We started going to kickboxing classes together in Philly and our friendship budded as we shared so many interests. I’ve seen Korey become so intrigued in his health and fitness routine; joining new gyms, meal prepping, and  inspiring others to join him at the gym. Recently, Korey reached out to me recently to talk about online school options. I’m happy to say I got a phone call when he was accepted to Arizona State University for his bachelors of art in Spanish. Korey- I’m so excited for you and I’m looking forward to seeing your journey in academics and fitness.

Korey is just one of my many friends that I can use as an example of how important it is to optimize your schedule. If you want it bad enough you will figure out a way to make it happen. During my  master’s program at Full Sail University I learned about Gary Vaynerchuck, he comes from an immigrant family, they eventually bought and ran a wine store in New Jersey and Gary took things to the next level. He incorporated a Youtube wine show and just basically started a hustle. He used what he knew how to do and just kept connecting with people and pushing himself to his limits. Today- Gary is known as serial entrepreneur and internet personality. If you look at some of his videos from years previous versus now its amazing how far hard work can get you. One of my favorite quotes from Gary are,” Love your family, work super hard, live your passion.” I urge you to watch some of his videos like- how to live a life of passion. 

Looking back on my own life I feel I live a more rewarding life now then ever. No one told me or pushed me to work on my master’s or doctorate. I’m proud of how far I have come academically.You will have those that doubt you or do not understand when you can not hang out because you have to be disciplined to do your homework on a Friday night instead of going out. Trust me it will pay off in the long run. Or maybe you have to say no to drinking because you decided to run a half marathon, marathon, or triathlon. It’s your life and you get to make the decision of how you live it.

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Are your going to get out there and push yourself to be the best or just settle for being mediocre?

xo

Leann