Sunday, January 27, 2019

January Is Almost Over...

We are 27 days into the new year and, apart from the fact that at times I feel like I'm having an existential and midlife crisis rolled up into one mega emotional roller coaster, 2019 has been going ok so far. 

For the past several months training for London has been dominated by fundraising for London, which I'm happy to report went well and I met my fundraising goal last week!!!

Now I can focus on traveling to London. I'm going to confirm my hotel and airfare by the middle of next month so I'm not too worried about that part yet. If you've ever run the London Marathon (or know the area well) please feel free to comment with your thoughts on the best area(s) to stay. If you can add restaurant recommendations as well that would be great ;)

London Marathon training has been... different. My plan has me running based on duration not distance (so my long run is usually listed as "x minutes" instead of "x miles"). At first I was skeptical because distance training has been my comfort zone. But I've embraced it I'm embracing it and trying to trust the process. Unfortunately I had to skip a few days because I had the flu and today I was supposed to do the Miami half marathon (but skipped that because my knee has been bothering me). Despite those deviations from the plan training is going well ok...
(This is what the first seven weeks looked like)

I've also scaled back on the CycleBar rides (which I'm kind of sad about) to focus on London training...

It's still my go-to cross training option but I need to start swimming and conditioning so I'm only going to CycleBar 3 times a week now (not the typical 6-7 times I was doing before). Once marathon training is done I'll be back at it. 

2019 is going to be a major year in many respects. Not just because of London (though that's part of it), but because it will be a year of change. It will bring the start of a brand new chapter for my daughter as she heads off to college and embarks on adulthood. It will bring me to a new city and a new job. It will bring more travel... especially to different countries/cities (one will be London (obviously) and one will be a solo/mental health trip - destination TBD).

2019 will also bring different adventures/experiences as I aim to "try something new" every month (one of my goals for this year). I still haven't figured out what my January "new thing" will be yet (even though January is almost over) but hopefully I'll get to try something new within the next 4 days :)

What are your goals for 2019?

What's your favorite memory from 2018?

Saturday, October 20, 2018

My Cycle Bar Charity Ride!!!

Today was my CycleBar charity ride for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), and it was incredible!!! We got to Cycle Bar Pines a little early, checked in and got ready to greet everyone...

Once people started arriving they got hooked up with CycleBar bottles and spinning shoes, and we all hung out until class started...

Inside the studio everyone got their bikes adjusted to the right height and started warming up for the upcoming spinning session...

There were lots of family, friends, and friends of friends who came out to support...

Some even drove over an hour to come and cycle for the cause...

We filled about half the studio...

The music and energy were phenomenal! Cyclestar Jerry (our instructor) always creates an epic playlist and this time was no exception! He was even gracious enough to include song requests that my friends made in advance :)

We did an awesome 45 min full body workout (we did arms too) riding for an wonderful cause. I'm so grateful for everyone who came out...
(and to all those who donated and supported in other ways)

The event would not have been possible without the support from my CycleBar Pines family and friends, including Jerry and Amanda...

Cassie and Alison helped me rally the troops at work and brought other family members and friends to come out and ride...

The love and support was just magnificent! I'm truly grateful for everyone who came...

Afterwards a few of us indulged in a post-workout treat...
(and then we headed out for the rest of our Saturday)

Not only was the event itself a great show of support, but the donations made to the NSPCC (in person and online) have brought me so much closer to my fundraising goal for this incredible charity!


Monday, September 3, 2018

Labor Day Recap...

The weather has really sucked this weekend. When it wasn't hot and humid, it was raining. So basically no great running weather. I've been doing a lot of shorter mileage runs recently and convincing myself that I can "make up" for the reduced mileage by doing extra CycleBar classes (I have a Ragnar Relay in 10 days so we will see if that actually proves to be true).

The extra CycleBar classes included a double workout yesterday...

And another double workout today (including an endurance ride)...

And on Saturday I started off September with a short, slow, and steady 4 miler...

My training really hasn't ramped up for the Fall season yet. For most of the Summer I've tried to stay (and mostly get back into) the groove of regular workouts. CycleBar has been a life saver because I'm not a fan of running outside when it gets as humid as it does in South Florida. And this month I restart swimming so that will also help me improve my overall fitness level. Right now I'm just maintaining...

One of these days I'm going to do an indoor swim + outdoor run + CycleBar ride for my own version of a mini triathlon 😉.

In addition to training, I also have my London Marathon fundraiser planning to do. I started fundraising about a week ago and I've been able to hit my first milestone!

Only 75% to go!!!

I have an exciting fundraising activity scheduled for October also...
(I can't wait to share all the details with you! Stay tuned!)

If you haven't already, please take a moment to check out my fundraising page -- make a donation -- share the link: LeAnne's London Marathon fundraiser for NSPCC.

And don't forget to come back to the blog and check for updates on the CycleBar Charity Ride fundraiser (scheduled for next month)!

How has your Labor Day weekend been? Are you having good weather? I hope so!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

London Marathon Here I Come!

Next on my World Marathon Majors bucket list is the 2019 London Marathon! It will be my 4th WMM and 5th marathon (so far). It will also be my first time fundraising for a big event...

I've been trying to get into London for years (much like most of the marathon running community who want to complete all of the majors - Chicago, Boston, New York, London, Berlin, & Tokyo). The growing demand for lottery placement combined with my affinity for a slow running pace (which rules out any chance of me getting in based on time) has resulted in zero success in getting a spot in the marathon. So for 2019, in addition to entering the lottery (again), I applied to run with some of the charities.

And I got in...
I'm not just excited that I got selected for a charity spot (that in and of itself is pretty awesome), but it's the type of charity I will be running for that is most exciting for me.

I've been a Pediatric Trauma Nurse for over 13 years and worked in various ways to care and advocate for pediatric trauma patients. One special "sub-population" that's close to my heart are those children affected by child abuse. I have spent the most recent years of my profession developing guidelines on child abuse, collaborating with other professionals across the country to improve the way in which we evaluate and advocate for these children, and presenting at national conferences on increasing our awareness of child abuse.

For the 2019 London Marathon, I will be running for the only charity that actively works to prevent child abuse in the UK...
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has a long standing history of advocating for children who have been abused, and recently providing education and resources to minimize the risk of abuse. The stars aligned perfectly to allow me to combine my passion at work with my passion for running.


And so the fundraising campaign begins! Even though the London Marathon is seven months away, all my planning starts now. I'll be putting together my training plans and working on travel logistics towards the end of the year, so for right now I'm going to focus solely on fundraising. That's where I need your help!

I need some fundraising ideas! My fundraising page through JustGiving is live: LeAnne's 2019 London Marathon fundraiser for NSPCC, so please check it out, donate (any amount helps), and share the link if you can (I would really appreciate it!).

But I also need suggestions for other ways I can raise money (please leave a comment below if you have any).

Have you ever run the London Marathon?

If you've been to London... what's your favorite place to eat? And favorite thing to do there?

What are some of the best fundraising ideas you've seen (or tried yourself)?

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Happiness Project...

Too often I've found myself faced with disappointments. Whether that be with performance, or pace, or how my legs feel during/after a run etc. I know that's not unique to me as a runner (we've all been there at one point or another) but I've definitely dealt with them often and, it seems, with increased frequency recently.

To be fair, it is entirely possible that my unwavering commitment to elevated expectations is directly proportionally to the frequency with which I am disappointed. And some would say that an "expect nothing" philosophy would unburden me of the daunting weight of unmet goals. But if I approached my running (or my life) with that view... what would be the point? Yes, I want to be happy with my running, but I am most happy when I meet the running goals I set for myself.

That being said... I decided to cancel the Chicago Marathon this year.

The decision was not easy (although I have to admit it became a lot easier when I remembered how much I suffered with blisters during Summer training last year). But once I made it... and cancelled my hotel reservation... I was sure it was the best decision for me.

The reality is my body needs a break and I refuse to have another disappointing marathon experience. I've trained hard for all of the marathons I've done and my current statistics do not contain the type of motivation and encouragement I need to start training for another one (at least not right now):
# of full marathons completed: 4
# of marathon training cycles with injuries: 3
# of marathon finishes over six hours: 3
# of marathons where I got injured on the course: 3
# of times those injuries included my left knee: 3
# of times I cried after the marathon was over: 2
# of times I cried during the marathon: 4
# of marathons I still want to complete (Plan A goal): 22
# of marathons to reach my Plan B goal: 9
# of marathons to reach my Plan C goal: 3

The 2018 Chicago Marathon would have been my 5th marathon and a good option for a marathon PR (since everything about the event is amazing)... but I need a break.

So instead of focusing on a Fall full marathon I've decided to focus on a Fall half marathon and aim for a PR at that distance. This goal is now the mission of my Happiness (running) Project for 2018. On my way to achieving a half PR, I've also decided to throw in a 10K PR, a 15K PR, some goals for strength training and swimming, and an optimistic (while still being healthy) goal range for weight and body fat %.

I've got 7 months to get all that done... let the challenge begin!

Training restarts next week (as in the week starting on Monday May 21st) and I've tentatively created a diverse plan for myself as a starting point to what the rest of the year is going to look like. There are a lot more cross training activities included in the plan (each one with a different goal) and I'm limiting my running days to 3 days per week. I'm still going to do my group runs with my running BFFs Mimi and Suzanne as they train for Chicago, but I'll do less mileage for the long runs (since I'm focusing on a half marathon PR).

2019 will come with its own set of goals (and yes, I'm already planning for what next year will look like), a lot of which will depend on if I get into the London (or Tokyo) marathon. I'm really hoping for London since it will give me more time to train and would be less likely to disrupt my revised goals/plans for 2018. Because I always have a Plan B... I contemplated trying to get a marathon PR at Big Sur if I didn't get into London (but I revised those thoughts when I read the course description... I'm not a fan of hills right now). Then I thought about the New Jersey marathon (which is the same weekend so training would be the same), or even the Prague marathon (on the first weekend in May).

I still haven't decided.

One thing I do know is that the next time I start training for a full the goal will be to PR (not just finish), and as a result the choice of event will be significantly impacted by course difficulty, weather, and the potential for an overall amazing race experience. Training for "lucky marathon #5" will also be designed to my specific needs... which I'm about 90% 75% sure I'm fully knowledgeable of.

Anyway, for right now my focus is on getting stronger, faster, and healthier... and earning my half marathon PR. All that's left to do is pick a goal race (in December).

What does the rest of 2018 look like for you?

Have you ever had to start from scratch with your training?

What was your favorite half marathon?