South Jersey Belle

It's all about the attitude.


Leave a comment

Run the Vineyards 15k

My first trail race is officially in the books. When I signed up for this race I read it as a on and off road race. So in my mind I imagine it to be split-half the race on the road and the other half trail. Never assume! You know how the saying goes… just under a 5k portion of the race was on the road. The rest of the race took you directly through the vineyard- zigging and zagging through rows of grapes. If that wasn’t bad enough the dirt and sand farm roads were not even or compact. To say the least this race was a bit of a challenge. The grass between the vines was thick and uneven. And please don’t take my description as complaining I’m always up for a challenge and pushing myself to the next level.

img_1656img_1730
This trail race did challenge me as I usually train on the road or a treadmill depending on my location. I’ve never trained to run a trail, but maybe this is just what I needed to encourage myself to train a little bit harder. The weather overall was pleasant. A bit chilly to start, but it warmed up nicely. I ran out of my favorite pre race fuel- power bar simple fruit energy gels and resorted to trying a different gel from power bar. It got the job done, but the taste just could not compare. I just wanted to get it down as quickly as possible.

img_1660
The 5k race started about 5 minutes prior to the 15k. The race was clearly marked and roped off to determine which turn was for the 5k versus the 15k. I found a comfortable pace at 8:30 min/mile and tried to constantly stay there. I refueled during the race with some honey stinger energy chews around mile 5 and I was carrying my own water in my Nathan handheld running bottle. By mile 7 I was ready to be done running up and down the rows of grapes. Though the scenery was beautiful and a change from my normal city run I had to put my mind else where. I gave myself a short pep talk to finish strong and that’s exactly what I did.

img_1680
I finished 7th in my age group (30-39) out of 71 women. 17th out of 184 women and 32nd overall out of 229 runners. Not too shabby, but this is definitely fueling myself to train harder. Running this trail race put me a little outside of my normal running comfort zone, but I embraced every second.
Next up is the Global Energy Race 10k in Philadelphia. Catch me if you can!
Xo

Leann

Advertisements


1 Comment

Always Running 

This week has kept me moving. From working to Philadelphia to Denver, Denver to Los Angles back to Philadelphia. Then starting another trip that took me South, to Orlando. With a 19 hour layover I then came back to Philadelphia and out to Kansas City and back.

Within each of these two trips I found time to quick a run in, not as long as I had hoped but something I feel is always better than nothing. With early report times and some long work days you have to make some sacrifices to a) keep your sanity  b) you must get rest c) be active outside of work to stay healthy.

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My goal when I get to a layover I usually try to change right away and get a workout in. After a 4 hour flight to Denver I was ready to stretch my legs and get some fresh air. A fellow crew member even joined me on a jog to Cheesman Park. It’s located centrally in downtown Denver. Such a beautiful green space. I was hoping to get a swim in at a local public pool, but unfortunately it was only open for the weekends. So a nice jog from the hotel and back and a stop for sushi for lunch.

img_1091

After flying back to base, I repacked my bag for another two day trip to hot and humid Orlando. I had a sushi date with one of my girlfriends right when I landed because of her work schedule. I changed and met up with her and visited with some old co-workers ( I used to live in Otown). After digesting I told myself you have got to get in atleast a 5k, thats always the goal and minimum. I tried to pick a shady route that lead to Disney Springs, but the humidity was defiantly not on my side and I ended up finishing the run on the treadmill (aka dreadmill).

After a full week of flying, yes I did the unthinkable and hopped back on a plane after my last flight. But I still made time to get a run in on Saturday. I returned home today, Sunday, and I was determined to get a run in.img_1146 To me if you are determined enough and have the will, there’s always a way. I must say the times I had available to me were definitely not always ideal, but I had to make it work. Flying can cause a lot of fatigue and stress on the body, but I personally always feel better when I get out and exercise. It’s easy to not eat well and over eat lots of junk and snacks while working on the plane. I mean who wouldn’t want a hot fudge sundae with all the toppings. But I know I will regret it later. So I put down the spoon and stepped away from the ice cream cart in my first class. Instead I was determined to eat healthy and be conscious about what I put in my body to fuel it. 

It’s not about having time, it’s about making it!

xo

Leann


1 Comment

Tri AC-Race Report

Where do I start? Tri AC (Atlantic City) for those of you not from the area, was my second fully timed and USAT (USA Triathlon) sanctioned race. This means referees checking your gear and even being able to receive time penalties for not following the rules. Anyway back to the race report. Friday I arrived in Atlantic City around noon at Bader Field, and old abandoned airport field where the tri would start and transitions would take place. I checked in, received my race bib, number 57 and racked my bike.

Being able to come in the night before makes a world of a difference I feel. You get an idea where and how to go thru transitions. The swim portion of the race was taking place right there in the bay. I got the feel of what the flow would be for the race.

I had a really great night sleep before the race and felt well rested when I woke up Saturday morning. I stayed in AC to avoid an hour drive in. I had my typical race breakfast; coffee and a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter and banana. I packed my bags up and headed out of the hotel ready to go!

img_0164

The swim portion of the race I completed in 10:59. A big improvement from the NJ State Tri. This swim was in the bay and was a mass start. You jumped in the water off a dock. I actually really enjoyed this start as I felt the crowd allowed for people who were faster to naturally go first and the slower people seemed to wait to go near the end. The water temp was 88 degrees, so again not wet suit legal. My swim over all just felt better. I was more focused and felt that my technique just flowed.

The bike portion of the race was fast and flat. I finished this portion of the race in 34:59. Again, another improvement from the last race. What was really cool was the bike route took you on the AC Expressway where cars normally rule the road, being able to bike down the road and ride thru the toll booth was fun. The roads were a little wet splashing up on my legs, but that made it even more exciting. My biking still needs work, but I was able to crank out an average of about 20 miles per hour for 11 miles.

And the final portion of the tri, the run, my favorite and strongest part of the race. The 5k run started back at Bader Field and took you up on the to boardwalk and onto the beach for a short portion to finish at the Boardwalk hall. My run was pretty strong. I felt good, but I didn’t want to even look down and see my pace. Mentally I was in a good place and I felt really strong. I managed to pace out an 8 min/mile.

My race finish time was 1:14:01. A solid 8 minutes shaved off from two weeks ago. So I have to proudly say when I checked the timing table I was just so excited to see the big improvement. It was my Mom who pointed out my biggest accomplishment- I placed 3rd in my age group! Second triathlon and getting on the podium, really, what just happened?!

img_0291

My tri season might be over, but I’ve got a lot of things to work on to build up for next year. Now it’s time to amp up my running. This year starting to enter triathlons has brought a lot of excitement. Being able to combine running and biking has been awesome. Adding in the swimming was a little overwhelming at first, but as I take a step back I can see my top two events are running and swimming. Looking forward to more training and an even better season of running this fall!

xo

Leann


Leave a comment

Running a Mental Game 

I’ve probably written a blog post similar to this before, but I have to talk about it again because I feel the mental game is so important in running. I’ve been back to work for less than a month and I already am feeling so extremely tired even though I would consider myself in pretty decent shape.

Let’s talk work schedules. There’s the 9 to 5. I’m sure you have your mid week slump, or what I heard is a popular term-Sunday scaries (when you realize you have to go back to work Monday). Shift workers that can range from over night, late nights, early mornings. When you have a day off, how do you break that routine? Then the on call (me)! There’s no norm! I’m jet setting all over the place. Now I’m not complaining please don’t take it that way because I love my job and I’m lucky to have it. But in the past 3 weeks I have been in California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Italy. Talk about some crazy time zone changes. img_9518

As a runner, how do we pull thru these slumps or times of weariness? Get inside your head! Tell yourself I’ve ran X amount miles before there’s no reason I can’t do it now. Sometimes it is a struggle, we are human, life happens, stressful events occur, but you must push through. When the mind tells you that you are fatigued it is important to focus on something positive and become head strong in that moment.

Over time I have learned that making excuses for not working out is just not acceptable. For example, I just worked a trip that was considered an all nighter and with only 3 hours asleep I came home and took a nap and once I got up I put my running clothes on. This way I was more inclined to get my run done and over with as soon as I was ready to get out the door. It was not one of my fastest runs today, but I got it done.

Mile by mile, focus on the positive, you are out there running. Give yourself positive affirmations. Getting out there is half the battle, clear your mind of can’t and just run!

Running is a mental sport more than anything else. You’re only as good as your training and your training is only as good as your thinking!

xo

Leann


1 Comment

NJ State Tri-Race Report 

Yesterday was my first official triathlon-NJ State Triathlon. All of the time I spent training came down to yesterday morning. I am super excited to report that I was happy with my official finish time of 1:22 and 18th in my division. I want to share with you my overall thoughts on the race and break down each part of the race: swim, bike, and run! LEANNNJSTATETRI

Set up for transitions

I arrived at Mercer County Park around 6am to set up my transition area for the tri. Everyone had to out of the transition area by 7:15am. Being this was my first race I made sure to ask plenty of questions to USAT referees. There are many different reasons you can be disqualified or receive a time penalization.

Swim -12:30

The dreaded swim! Ugh! My weakest link in the triathlon. I’ve put a lot of time and energy to the swim training. Open water swim is very different than swimming in a pool.  As I lined up in the water with my age group reality set it. When the announcer said, get out of here, the group started to swim! I started off my swim feeling pretty comfortable until there were a few kicks here and there. It became hard to get in my groove because everyone was thrashing around me. I had to talk to myself and ensure myself that I had this under control. The water temperature was 88.9! Bath water!

img_2941

Transition-3:10 swim to bike

Bike 38:28

So this ride was 11 miles and I averaged almost 18 mph. For the majority of the ride it was flat with a few little hills. There were mostly right turns and at every turn there were police officers with flags making sure everyone was making the turn. The only thing I wish there were markings of the milage. I would have liked to know at least the half way point. It wasn’t until I was re-entering the park I knew I was close to the transition. I felt I had a solid ride, but would like to improve my time here some.

img_2954

Transition-2:43 bike to run

Run 26:02

The run, my strength! At this point it was brutally hot. I told myself, it didn’t matter how slow I ran, but I was going to finish strong and not walk. I still had plenty of energy and felt good. The downfall of this run was it was on a paved trail inside of Mercer County Park and it was narrow. This was an out and back course and the runners shared the one path. At times it became a little tough to be able to pass, but at the same time I liked the camaraderie. The other triathletes seemed to encourage others to continue on, not give up, and the finish was close up. When I rounded the corner and saw the 3 mile sign, I knew it was time to release all the energy I had left and give it my all until I crossed the finish.

img_2953

Overall, this was a great race. I was able to meet some of my Mojo Racing teammates. Which was awesome! My experience at my first triathlon was great. I’m already hooked and looking forward to my next race in two weeks at the AC TRI!

Keep calm and tri on!

xo

Leann

 

 


1 Comment

Chicago-Chi Town-Windy City

Another day another flight to a different destination. This morning I left bright and early from PHL (Philly) headed to ORD (Chicago). I’ve been here before, but every time I visit it seems to be a different season with different things to experience in the city. The hotel we stay at isn’t far from the shoreline of Lake Michigan. The last time I stayed in Chicago the cubs won the World Series!


With my triathlon this weekend I decided today would be a great day to get a run in and do some carbo loading! Chicago has tons of great running and biking paths through all of the city’s parks. I ran down the shore line to the end of Navy Pier to start, then to the Field Museum, through Grant Park, to Buckingham Fountain, and ended at the Bean in Millennium Park.


From there I was starving, hot, and sweaty. I realized I needed to eat and hydrate!! Be careful out there people, the heat is no joke! Being in Chi Town, I seized the opportunity to have freshly made pierogi. For those who do not know what a pierogi is, the best way to explain it as the polish version of a ravioli or dumpling. They have different fillings varying from meat to sauerkraut to potato and cheese. They are boiled, served with fried onion and sour cream. And if you can get them freshly made not out of the freezer aisle I suggest you eat as many as you can!



I found a place called Pierogi Heaven. I opted for 3 sauerkraut and mushroom and 3 potato and cheese with a cup of broscht soup (a beet based soup).  And for dessert I took some fruit filled Pierogi with me!!!! Amazing!!!!!! I fully suggest you give this place a try if you are in the Windy City.


Chicago is a beautiful city with so much to offer every individual no matter what you are looking for. The shoreline of Lake Michigan is stunning. This is just a peak of what I was able to squeeze in today, but there’s so much more to see and do. Don’t forget the deep dish pizza or watching a game a Wrigley Field!


Until next time safe travels!

Xo

Leann


1 Comment

Trust Me! I’m a Flight Attendant. 

I’m officially back to work!!!! Hooray! I’m in the middle of my first trip back and it’s going great. The first day, yesterday I worked Philadelphia to Charlotte to Sacramento, California. I’ve never had a layover in Sacramento so I was really looking forward to seeing what the capital of California has to offer. I was also super lucky to snag a spot on this trip with a friend of mine, Korey!

img_8460

Great crew!

After being out of work for nearly 3 months I have been eager to get back to flying. Traveling and being a flight attendant is a huge passion of mine. Take away your passion and you just seem to feel completely lost! I was a bit nervous on the first flight to see what changes have been made while I was gone, but eased back into things quickly. Our plane came in late and we were delayed out of Charlotte because one of the airplane tires had to be changed! They wear out just like car tires!

 

Having never been to Sacramento I reached out to my running teammates at Rabbit to find out what people from the West Coast would suggest as far as a location to run.  They did not disappoint. I got many suggestions to check out the American River Trail- mainly used for biking and running! This trail runs for 32 miles and is just beautiful! So glad I got to check some of it out on foot. After my 6.5 mile run it was time to catch back up with Korey and explore Old Sacramento and the capital building!

img_8637

Old Sacramento as you can imagine is the historic district. It is here where you can visit the California State Railroad Museum. Many people settled here during the Gold Rushe era because it was a main traffic route for supplies.

img_8655

Our next stop was to the Wells Fargo museum where we tried our hand at being railroad messengers. Wells Fargo’s history dates back with the transportation and communication technology sending telegraphs!

 

The old Sacramento one room schoolhouse was our next location, showing education in the early days. Last, but not least we made our way to the Captial building.

 

California is defiantly one of my favorite states to visit. Every city in Calirfornia has its own specific culture and things to visit. I enjoyed my time in Sacramento and now it’s time to rest up and take a nap. I work the red eye from SMF to DFW tonight. Have about 12 hours before I work another flight back to Philadelphia!

Come fly the friendly skies with me!

Xo

Leann