South Jersey Belle

It's all about the attitude.


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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!

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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?!

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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


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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


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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

 

 


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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


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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!

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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!

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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.

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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


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Tri and Tri again…

You are probably familiar with the saying, ” if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” Well I’m learning the same goes within the triathlon world. It doesn’t matter how hard you train and how well you think you are prepared or the gear you have when it comes down to race day there are several things that can affect you. What are race conditions? Are you familiar with the area you are racing in? How do you feel? Did you get a good nights rest? And then ofcourse training and gear comes into play. You have to do the work to be prepared, just like studying for an exam, very few people have the ability to not study for an exam and go in and ace it. And even if you did study you may have missed some information or not understand a question. The same applies to a triathlon- if the course is not marked clearly you may swim a couple extra yards or miss a turn on your bike causing you to be set back.

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Today was my second mock tri. This time the swim was in open water. The first mock tri I did the swim was in an outdoor pool. Now I did have the opportunity to swim in the lake prior to the race. This allowed me to have a higher comfort level, understand where the buoys were and sight lines of where to swim (some areas being more shallow then others). Today we jumped in the lake five seconds apart from one another. (Talk about pressure to get moving). My swim went well. I felt pretty comfortable and even passed people! By the time I finished my swim though I was out of breath! Defiantly something I need to work on and as you see from my Garmin results, I forgot to turn off my watch during transition. (Opps). I ran up on land and had an easy transition from my wetsuit to my bike shoes and out on the road I went. img_7907

The bike was comfortable for me. I felt powerful on the fast and pretty flat course. It was all right turns making it easy to navigate with traffic for the most part. After reviewing my pace I was happy with my speed, but would like to build some more power and finish out as close or under 30 minutes if possible.

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The run is my strong point and what I feel should be. I slipped on my new cloud ON running shoes and headed back out on the road. If you have ever heard the term brick it is in reference to biking then running because your legs feel like bricks!!! It takes a little adjusting, but it’s best to keep moving. My pace was steady and at the turn around I heard someone shout, I’m going to pass you. That’s all I needed to motivate me to go faster. (lol) The run was just a smidgen under 3 miles, but it felt great.

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Overall, I was pretty happy with my overall times and how I felt. I know I can improve upon the breathing techniques in the swim, build more power on my bike, and speed up my run. It’s good to have your own goals. It’s going to take time and practice to push myself harder, but I like the challenge.

Love the pain!

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