South Jersey Belle

It's all about the attitude.


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When Injury Ensues

Well it’s not the end of the world, but when it happened it sure felt like it. After returning from work, I was sent to the doctor. I sprained my left ankle. It is completely swollen, bruised and very sore to touch or put pressure on. I left the doctors office with a boot and feeling discouraged. I was going through a range of emotions, being mad at myself, sad, angry, and extremely frustrated.

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I’m not an elite athlete, but being active allows me to feel like I’m living a fulfilling life. I’ve seen my own growth and progression of improvement. Each week, month, and year I can see my progress and give myself new goals. A large part of my identity is allowing myself the freedom to be active whether it is swimming, biking, or running. When I am exercising I can put aside all of my worries and anxieties and focus on a happier and healthier me.

Now that I am forced to have my foot up and stay off it as much as possible for recovery I am looking at other ways I keep my mind quiet and stay fit. I’ve considered some other exercises to while I can not bike or run. I think I will still be able to get in the pool if I use a pull buoy to keep my legs still and focus on my arms and breathing. Eventually I think I will be able to focus on more core and upper body exercises as long as I stay off my feet.

I am hoping for a speedy recovery as I look forward to my return to running and biking at full force. I’m visualizing the best possible recovery and being healthier than ever! This time off is going to give me extra time to do research and reading on training plans!

Here’s to the future!

xo

Leann

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Racing Weight

As I’ve become more and more invested in my running and racing I’ve felt the need to educate myself. Everything I’ve learn has been self taught for the most part so please don’t use what I say as the end all be all. I’ve read books, magazines that focus on fitness, and have talked with many other athletes and trainers-we are by no means professionals.  d6fbe7ddae9c75e077db51f6e908f39a

In the last few years I would say I have taken my training to the next level where I compare my race times to previous times, consider my age bracket and where I place, and really have become concerned about my food as fuel. After running the Philadelphia marathon at what I considered was a “comfortable” pace for myself without pushing myself at all I finished in 4:18. To say I was impressed with myself would be an understatement. I followed a strict training schedule and overall ate healthy and restricted myself to having minimum alcoholic beverages.  After that race I realized I wasn’t pushing myself to my full potential. I set new goals. Quicker times and hard races that I plan to work up to- it doesn’t happen over night.

I picked up a book, Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald. I’m only about a quarter through and I’ve already have learned so much while solidifing some ideas I had about how to fuel when training. 51fqplNG5lL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_One thing I am focused on right now in the reading is high and low quality foods. Fitzgerald developed the Diet Quality Score Calculator or DQS. This gives points to higher quality foods such as fruits and veggies, lean meats, and multi/whole grains. It deducts points for foods that are fatty, high in sugar, or highly processed. You do not need to reach a specific number because every person is different in how much or how little they may eat. If you end up with a negative number you just aren’t eating well.

Now I’m not saying I’m perfect at following this, but I like the idea of having this structure. I have days I eat plenty of junk-who doesn’t love some crispy French fries or ice cream now and then. Just trying to keep it to a minimum!

Fitzgerald includes 6 main steps in his book for endurance athletes to follow: improve diet quality, manage appetite, balance energy sources, monitor yourself, time nutrition, and train right. Since I haven’t gotten through the entire book yet I will have more information to share with you later on more of the steps.

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In the very first chapter I had interesting read about the different body structures of athletes body types depending on what type of sport he/she competes in. Runners tend to be light and skinny, but cyclists having more muscular legs, but a triathlete is a hybrid between the swimmer/cyclist/runner. Fitzgerald explained that the triathlete body type is really its own special body type of lean composition. He even mentioned shorter triathletes do quiet well (Yay-I’m only 5’4”)! Overall this type of athlete needs to have lean body composition.

Back to reading!

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