In February 2010 I ran my first-ever 5k. The Pirate Run on Amelia Island. Prior to this, you would have had to pay me to run a mile. It was grueling work, but I completed the race without stopping. And I highly recommend the run to anyone in Northeast Florida, or any pirate fans. :) After that, I kept a slow, 5k pace, before putting away my running shoes and picking up a second job for the next year to save up for studying abroad.

I returned from Germany... having grown not only in my ability to communicate across cultures (and chase trains)... but also in my waist size. I knew I wouldn't be there forever, but that was no excuse to over-indulge in the amount of delicious bread and other carbs that are such staples in the German diet.

After completing the harrowing last semester of college... I never did readjust to my previous American diet, and was I was just eating anything and everything I had the time for (I couldn't even run a full 5k)... I began to reprogram my life. Career-oriented, preparing for grad school, new diet, new workout, etc, etc. TOTALLY UNREALISTIC. Try one or two of these at a time, make one a habit (it takes 30 consecutive days to make something a habit) before taking on another lifestyle change/challenge.

So I started with getting back in the gym. With help from some very motivational friends I did complete the national Gate River Run 15k in March 2012. I had never run such a distance before, my goal was 2 hours, and I just missed it (I hadnt taken into account needing to dehydrate/hydrate during the run). Either way, I completed all 9.1 miles without slowing my pace.

Now, I am training for my first half marathon in Fall 2013. I swim, run, and cross-train in the gym for a well-rounded workout. I have begun the challenge of implementing healthier eating habits... which is surprisingly harder to keep up with than waking up at 6am to swim. I eat on the go so often, and I live alone so I sadly find it easier to maintain a typical American diet: eating out.

After 30-days of a 90% no carb, no dairy, no sweets diet challenge, I am on the right track... but I won't deny that my sweet tooth gets the better of me...

Needless to say, I am still figuring out how to work a healthy diet into my lifestyle without breaking the bank, throwing out food, or getting twitchy from lack of sugar.


30-Day Eat Right Challenge: October 2012
No Carbs. Except potatoes - sweet potatoes are better than regular potatoes. And NO French Fries do not count as potatoes.

No Dairy. No cheese, No yogurt, No milk. Definitely no icecream or fro-yo.

NO Coffee.

Minimal Fiber. No oatmeal or granola. No peanut butter. No crackers or chips. Try to avoid beans. Nuts are OK. Try mixing your favorite nuts (un salted or sugared) with craisins or raisins for a tasty snack. My favorite: cashews, almonds & craisins.

Fruit: BERRIES. No melons, no bananas. Smoothies are great for this diet - mix it up with some kale in the smoothie. Use juice instead of milk to blend it. Use a protein powder to get in extra energy - one with minimal sugar.

GREENS & Meat. Kale, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, steak, chicken. Try lettuce wraps for lunch instead of sandwiches. Grill chicken and throw it in a salad so that its not so bland (FYI - only Balsamic vinaigrette for dressing.)

HUMMUS is your FRIEND! Best snack when you're hungry - and not against the rules. And you can eat it with carrots, chicken, bell peppers, almost anything.

You WILL be HUNGRY - you will eat more often in a day, just keep in mind portion control. Don't over do it.

100s Challenge: September 2013

Finished Races:

Pirates on the Run 5k: Amelia Island FL, February 6th 2010
*Proceeds benefit Amelia Island Youth Runners Scholarships
ID#   FINISHER          TIME     PACE
454   Leah                     38:36    12:27

Swoop the Loop 5k: Jacksonville FL, Febraury 13th 2010
ID#    FINISHER            TIME
679     Leah                     36:20

Mckenzie's Run 5k: Jacksonville FL, November 19th 2011
*Ran as a team with UNF Presidential Envoys *Proceeds benefit the Mckenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation
                            Chip Time  Gun Time
1595     Leah             43:57    46:14    14:11

Gate River Run 15k: Jacksonville FL, March 10th 2012
*USA 15k National Championship
                                      5K         10k        CHIP       GUN
ID#    FINISHER        TIME     TIME     TIME        TIME      PACE
8284    Leah                 38:51     1:21:01     2:01:47    2:14:58   13:04

Gator Bulldog 5k: Jacksonville FL, October 26th 2012, 6pm
1219      Leah          31:15   10:05

Veterans 5k & Obstacles: Titusville FL, November 10th 2012
*Proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Project
87       Leah          31:54.2    10:17     96/33

Enmark Savannah River Bridge Run Double Pump (5k/10k): Savannah GA, December 1st 2012
*Proceeds benefit the Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion at St. Joseph's/Candler
ID#      FINISHER     TOTALTIME      5K       10K
7318       Leah                 1:49:49         33:43   1:16:07

Festival of Lights 5k: Jacksonville, FL, December 8th 2012
*Proceeds benefit the Children's Miracle Network, Wolfson Children's Hospital, UF & Shands Jax
ID#      FINISHER     TIME      TIME      PACE
3901     Leah               32:13      31:15       10:01

The Color Run 5k: Jacksonville FL, February 9, 2013, 11am

The Glow Run 5k: Jacksonville FL, March 2, 2013, 7pm

Aquathlon: University of North Florida, April 14, 2013, 9am
*350m swim and 5k run; Ultimate Racing, Inc. did not time transition, thus it is included in my time below.
57        Leah                  9:03:03                9:48:09               45:05

Turtle Trot 5k: Fernandina Beach FL, August 29, 2013 8:30am
Proceeds benefit Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch, Friends of Ft. Clinch sea turtle patrols, and Amelia Island Runners Youth Running Program
* I also ran 1.5 miles prior to the start of the race for a total of 4.5miles.
ID#      FINISHER      TIME      PACE
326          Leah             38:30      12:25

Labor Day 3.5mile: Jacksonville FL, September 2, 2013 7:30am
ID#      FINISHER     TIME      TIME      PACE
848         Leah            41:38       41:11       11:46

Wounded Warrior Project 8k: Jacksonville, FL September 7, 2013 8:00am
*Proceeds benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.
*I also ran 2.5 miles prior to the start of the race for a total of 7.5miles.
ID#      FINISHER      TIME     TIME      PACE
1528        Leah          1:02:04      59:08      11:49

Financial Fitness 5k: Jacksonville, FL September 14, 2013 8:00am
*Proceeds benefit the United Way Real$ense campaign and Family Foundations.
*I also ran 5.5 miles prior to the start of the race for a total of 8.5 miles.
ID #     FINISHER      TIME      PACE
293          Leah            36:26       11:43

Miracel Miles 15k (actually 9.5 miles): Orlando, FL September 21, 2013 7:20am
*Proceeds benefit the Winnie Palmser Hospital for Women & Children NICU.
*I also ran 2 miles prior to the start of the race for a otal of 11.5 miles.
ID #     FINISHER      TIME       TIME      PACE
400          Leah           1:55:59     1:54:07    12:14.5

Marine Corps 1/2 Marathon: Jacksonville, FL October 5, 2013 7:00am
*Proceeds benefit numerous charitable organizations such as the Semper Fi Fund, United Service Organizations (USO), America's VetDogs, and Homes for our Troops.
ID#       FINISHER      10k Split        TIME       TIME      PACE
1455         Leah             1:12:11        2:44:21     2:45:52     12:40

Jaxtoberfest 5k: Jacksonville, FL October 11, 2013 6:00pm
ID#       FINISHER       TIME        PACE
712            Leah            33:44         10:53

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