When I sat down to think about May’s Living Kindly column, I knew I wanted to focus on someone that lights me up and inspires me with their tenacity and drive. Someone that can put their mind to anything and achieve it. And someone that lives their life with purpose, passion, and shows up wholeheartedly.

And truth be told, I’m lucky that I don’t have to reach too far to find that person. On any given day I can scroll through Instagram and my feed is filled with go-getters, self-starters, and all-around do-gooders. Whether it’s an entrepreneur running a successful company (hi, Camille!), a new Mom producing an event (hi Cristina!), a music curator changing the way we consume art (hi Janice!), or a creative Exec training for an endurance race (hi, Bianca!), there’s no shortage of women that push me to keep going mentally, physically and professionally. Speaking of that Creative Exec training for an endurance race… that’s my pal Bianca Pettincchi who I’m delighted I got to talk to for this month’s Living Kindly installment.

By day, Bianca is a Senior Art Director at CAA’s new marketing/advertising agency, Observatory. By early early morning and late night, she’s what I would call a force to be reckoned with. Bianca and I met three years ago while riding bikes with Rapha and became fast friends because of her kind heart and no ego attitude. I spent a lot of time at the back of the pack, often the last woman to make it up on a hill on any ride, and Bianca was always there riding by my side so I wasn’t alone, knowing when I needed words of encouragement and when I needed total silence. She’s strong and powerful on the bike, but I don’t think I truly understood her strength until I pulled up Instagram one day and saw she was training for EpicMan — a race that starts with a 2.5 mile kayak, 157 mile overnight bike ride, followed by a 26.2 mile run which crosses the Boston Marathon finish line. Y’all, I ran a few miles yesterday and felt like another 2 minutes was very out of reach. Not only was Bianca training for the race, but she was also juggling her extremely busy, high powered job at the agency, which requires frequent travel out of the country.

Bianca shared a few of her tips for balancing life and work while training for a tough physical challenge. I’ve never desired pursuing any kind of endurance race, but thanks to Bianca I am left inspired to see what my body is capable of next.

photo via lululemon

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1. Share Your Goal and Find Inspiration From Others

I raced EpicMan in honor of my friend Edie who gives me a reason to keep pushing myself on a daily basis. My sister Jenna was another big inspiration because she was training alongside me to finish the 13 miles of the marathon so I felt a need to keep accountable.

2. Keep Things New to Avoid Monotony

Switch up your training and have fun with it. Join a yoga studio to help stretch or hit the trail one day a week vs. always running on pavement. It’s fun to run or ride to food so that my destination is in mind the entire journey and I know I’m track to something yummy.

3. Schedule Distractions to Make Time Fly

I know this sounds cliche but find a running or riding buddy — they will help push you and keep you distracted during workouts. Long run days are best with tech like Lyft — I like to run to a friends house across LA then catch a ride home instead of having to run a local loop. Get lost, track your miles, but go somewhere you’re unfamiliar with and just keep turning and twisting through the streets. It’s fun and keeps your mind distracted, plus it’s a great way to explore your city.

photo via free people

4. Cross Train As Much as Possible

I believe training shouldn’t take from your life, it should add to it. I didn’t change anything radically when I started training. I went on less bike rides as a result of adding running to my routine and included hot yoga and Barry’s Bootcamp into my weekly schedule, which all helped my overall training plan and kept my body constantly moving in different ways.

5. Simple Always Works

It’s the smallest things that lead to the biggest changes. Drink more water! Training this hard required a lot more water than usual. I couldn’t train properly if I wasn’t hydrated. I dedicated to living cleaner. I drank less alcohol, didn’t go out to eat as often and sewed & listened to music instead of watching TV — all things that I enjoy doing regardless of training but its an added bonus to wake up feeling energized.

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