Looking for a change in pace? Experience Trails!

With every step into the earth your form changes, compensating for the change in texture from asphalt to dirt, rocks, roots, mud whichever you encounter you take gladly. Your pace slows slightly from road racing to trails but you don’t mind as you take in the scenery along your route. You have left your music at home to have less distractions and keep your focus forward. There are no water stops you carry your own respecting the rules given. You make sure to wear shoes that have more grip at the bottom to take quick but careful steps. You pause when needed to take in the beauty that surrounds you whether it is the sun breaking from the trees or a perfect view of the landscape. You leave your run with a bit more respect for nature from when you started.

Trails give you back more than what you put into it. Experience them for yourself and find one near you today. For Louisiana runners we are fortunate to have some options.

Q50 RacesI guarantee you will not find a more friendly race director on the planet. Cesar Torres genuinely cares about the environment and has a found a way to share his love of nature through trail running. Cesar has even been featured in Runner’s World Magazine. He has several events coming up to wet your appetite for trails. Check out the Q50 Website or the latest updates on Facebook. There you will find distances from kids run to ultras.

FORGE RACINGCheck out their “Ales N Trails Run Group” and race schedule. Just one of three races coming up this fall is the “Cajun Coyote” 100M, 100K and 20M single track loop trail around the lake at Chicot State Park, Ville Platte, Louisiana. This event is definitely for those looking to get off the beaten asphalt. You can find the latest updates on meet ups of their weekly run group and upcoming races on Facebook. The Forge Racing website is in the process of being updated so please check back.

Not sure if you want to run but want to be a part of the experience? VOLUNTEER! Course support is invaluable and I guarantee after you spend the day at one of these events you will definitely want to join in on the action next time.

The trails await you

The Trails Await You

Still undecided? Check out the below recaps from a couple of my trail experiences:

1st Trail Half Claimed! Q50 style

Faint of Heart 4 Miler with Forge Racing

Click here to find more trails in Louisiana such as Tammany Trace, Chicot State Park and more.

Need help to find a trail outside of Louisiana? Go to this link and enter your state or zip code.

Happy Trails!

Quality over Quantity in Regards to Races

I was looking back at my race calendar the other day. When I started this journey in 2011 I ran 11 races that year. In 2012 I completed 21. In 2013 I ran 13. So far this year I have only completed 7 races so far with 4 planned by the end of the year. 

When I first started I wanted to complete as many as possible. I was eager for the new experiences. Some I did for time and some I did with friends just to enjoy and take it all in.  I tend to do more local races then destination races just because I have yet to find that illustrious money tree that I am sure we are all looking for plus the time away from my family and work is difficult to balance in.

After a while I dipped my toe into other challenges such as obstacles, trails, duathlons, paddleboarding and even a sprint triathlon. I have taken something from each experience whether it was friendships or knowing that I am capable of doing more.

Even though my numbers have dropped from when I first started it does not mean I am less eager. I am just a bit more choosy. There are not many races that I like to repeat. I like variety and I constantly keep my ear out for what is coming up next.

My goal at this point is to simply continue pushing forward. To learn more about my body and what it is capable of. I want to get stronger and faster. I still want a sub 2hr Half so I am planning on running one Half a month starting in September through Spring. In the back of my mind I would like to train for a solo 70.3 Half Ironman. This may not sound like much to some but coming from someone that is a very weak swimmer and struggles for the time to train for one sport much less than three it is quite a task.  I also enjoy blogging and encouraging others. What I put out I get back tenfold in encouragement and support. For that I am quite thankful.

 Just have to remember the Journey is the Reward, it’s not always about the numbers.

 journey scenic route

 

 What is on your goal list for the remainder of 2014?

#JourneyClaimer

2nd Annual Louisiana Fall Race Roundup (Discounts,Training,Info & More!)

Varsity Sports was back at it again this past Monday sending out the call to various race directors to come armed with brochures, koozies, race shirts and of course discounts to some of the best local races this coming fall season.

VS Race Roundup

 

Many answered the call such as Gatortrax DuathlonPennington Doc’s Dash 5kDirty South Marathon , Crescent City Classic presenting the Fall Classic 5k & Celebration in the Oaks Run/Walk , Gulf Coast Half & 10 miler Mandeville , Jazz Half Marathon & 5k Woman’s Half Marathon, 10k & 5k Baton Rouge Beach Marathon & Half , The Louisiana Marathon , Club South Runners  and more.

crowd

Varsity Sports in Baton Rouge will be kicking off their FREE Half/Full Marathon training program next Monday, August 25th so if you have a goal or race in mind it is the perfect time to join in. Check out their Facebook page  or website for more information.

Some race discounts that were provided at this event were only good that day but here are some codes that are still active for a limited time: 

Dirty South Marathon/Half/5k/Relay Inaugural 10-12-14: “HRC15OFF” for $15 off  Half/Full individual registration only.

Gulf Coast Half & 10 miler Mandeville 5th Annual 10-19-14:  “VARSITYSPORTS” for $10 off  registration.

Jazz Half Marathon & 5k 6th Annual 11-1-14: “JHMGEN” for $10 off Half registration.

Crescent City Classic “Fall Classic 5k” 11-8-14: “BRRRU14” for $5 off  registration.

Crescent City Classic” Celebration in the Oaks 2 miler Run/Walk”  12-13-14: “BRRRU14” for $5 off  registration. (Holiday themed costumes encouraged!)

Woman’s Half Marathon, 10k & 5k  3rd Annual 11-16-14: “VSBR” for 15% off  registration.

Baton Rouge Beach Marathon & Half : 21st Anniversary 12-6-14:  $10 off to those who print & mail in their registration with payment postmarked by 8/23/14. Registration form can be found on the website. Reference “VSROUNDUP” on the form for your discount.

The Louisiana Marathon/Half/Quarter/5k/Kids 4th Annual Jan 16-18 2015: “IKNOWDECKER” for 15% off all race distances except for the kids race. (Tip: If you have run it every year I would not skip this year being next year will be the 5th year anniversary “Rendezvous5″. They are known to treat the Alumni extra special!)

 ***I do not know how long these codes are good for so don’t wait!***

Important Race Highlights To Mention:

Pennington Doc’s Dash 5k  on 9-27-14 this inaugural event promises to be a fun, family friendly event. Registration is a bargain at $20 until September 14 for the 5k and only $15 for the 1 miler.  Check out there website for more information.

Dirty South Marathon  has several race distances to chose from and even a relay option. This inaugural race is put on by runners so they know what you want out of a race and promise to make it worth your while to join them in West Monroe on 10-12-14. Better yet sign up as a St. Jude Hero and join the cause.

The 5th Annual Cane Field Classic will be held on 10-25-14. For those that like to run off the beaten path and something a bit different to add to your race bling collection you will LOVE this race. Custom etched machetes await the finishers that take on the “Cane Cutter Challenge” of running ALL events. Those participants will receive the “World’s Most Dangerous Race Medal”. This trail experience is held at the 100+ year old Margaret Plantation in Port Allen. This “sweet” event grows every year and is a race like no other. Are YOU up to the challenge?  Registration will open on 8/25/14. To get the scoop check out the event page here.

Baton Rouge Beach Marathon & Half  with this years guests being Kathrine Switzer & Roger Robinson this 21st anniversary race is sure to be a sellout so don’t be left behind! Join us on 12-6-14 and be sure to stay after the race for Louisiana style cuisine of gumbo, jambalaya and more. You will not leave hungry!

Race to keep on your radar for “Spring 2015″: Zydeco Marathon & Half. The Zydeco race premiered this past March in Lafayette and promises next year’s event on 3-8-15 to be even bigger! I heard lots of good things about this inaugural event from my fellow runner friends and I plan to join in next March. They are currently offering a 10% discount on race registration with promo code “LARaceRoundup”. This code is good for either race distance and will expire on 12/31/14.

If I missed any race discounts please add under comments. See you at the races!!!

Local Love

Local Race Love

Training Progress Through the Summer

Well it wasn’t a stellar week but it wasn’t all bad either.

Monday: Slow 3 miles on the treadmill after Sunday’s hot,muggy 10 miler.

Tuesday: Bootcamp which included stations this week so worked out perfect. (Walking lunges, box step-ups, squats with weights, etc)

Wednesday: REST

Thursday: Jungle Gym Workout at Prep & sluggish 3 miler which was suppose to have been 4-5 miles

Upper body strength is important for your long runs and to build your core

TRX exercises develop upper body strength which is important for your long runs and to build your core

Friday: REST

Saturday: Bootcamp with Drexel

Challenging yet very Rewarding

Challenging yet very Rewarding

Sunday: 11 mile run. Felt strong til mile 10 then started puttering out. Very hot!

Lessons learned this week:

  • Need to drink more water, especially during the work week.
  • Continue taking vitamins even though they get tiresome.
  • Restock on bananas! Potassium is very important with the heat. I especially learned this lesson on Thursday evening when I got hamstring & calf cramps very bad. This is very unusual for me.
  • Don’t forget to bring Salt for your long runs. This will help prevent cramping as well.
  • Cross-training does make you stronger!!! Recovery came easier. Focus on FORM!
  • You will make mistakes. Learn from them and move on. Don’t get discouraged.

Here is a great & well timed article I found on Runner’s World on training through the heat. Check it out here.

Looking for some Strength Training tips? Check out the Women’s Running Website here for examples on Dead Lifts, Knee Crunches and more from the book “Quick Strength for Runners” by Jeff Horowitz. I MUST get this book!

How is your summer training going? What tips do you have to keep going?

My Motivation? IMAugusta70.3Relay 47 days out!!

# KeepPushing Forward

Meet your latest Blogger On The Run- August- Women’s Running Magazine!!!

It’s out , It’s out!  Have you seen it yet?

August 2014

August 2014

Flip to page 18 and you will see yours truly!!!

August page 18

I can’t tell you how excited I am! Little old me. I still at times have lots to learn about running and blogging. I still lean on others for support so this is truly an honor :)

I get to add this logo to my blog with a link to my “full”  feature which will be posted on the Women’s Running  website in September. So be on the lookout for it. There may be a special treat in it for you!

Blogger On The Run

I am especially excited and grateful since those before me are AMAZING such as:

Women’s Running Magazine started this monthly ‘Blogger On The Run’ feature in their magazine in April 2012 so it is definitely something I had hoped for in the past year or so but never imagined possible. I love these women and happy to be among them.    #BeyondThankful

It’s a GO! Fall Half Marathon Training!

It’s August folks you know what that means!

Get your calendar in order and start planning dates for Fall training and races.

I have decided not to run a Full Marathon this season. My schedule is just way too hectic since my daughter is starting High School. She has a full load with all honors classes and band. It is just not practical for me right now.  I would rather focus on a possible PR for this fall but that means I MUST add speed/hill work.

A good friend has worked up a training schedule for me so I can stay accountable for my weekly mileage since I will be busy with after school pickups for band practice. Fortunately for me she has a track at her school that I probably will become very familiar with.

Weekly schedule from end of July through the end of November than we will review.

Weekly schedule from end of July through the end of November than we will review.

You may see that I am only targeting to run 3x a week. I “may” get a 4th one in here and there but this will be my base which is acceptable for Half Marathon Training as well as my hectic schedule. I will continue to take boot camp and/or strengthening classes once a week as well since my hip flexors need extra attention to stay healthy through the season.

My scheduled Half Marathons from September-December:

  • SEPTEMBER: 70.3 IM AUGUSTA,GA   9-28-14—Half Marathon Run—1ST Relay
  • OCTOBER:   Gulf Coast Mandeville Half Marathon  10-19-14
  • NOVEMBER: RNR LAS VEGAS Half Marathon  11-16-14
  • DECEMBER: BR BEACH Half Marathon  12-6-14     (Kathrine Switzer Guest Speaker & Runner!)

I already know I will not PR at every race. Some I will run just for fun and some I know weather will probably not cooperate. My best chances are probably the October & December races. I do have Half Marathons in mind for Jan-March but this is what I want to focus on right now.

What do you do when you start your Fall Race Planning? Do you pick your races first then make a plan for training or the opposite?

Do you plan some races for fun and some for possible PR’s?

Any tips for speed/hill work?

See ya at the track or on the roads!

track

Halfway to Geaux party! The Baton Rouge Edition

What do you get when you mix close to 500 runners and the running legends Bart Yasso and Frank Shorter at a promotional event for The Louisiana Marathon and Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans? A good time had by all would be the correct answer.

Bart always takes the best Selfies!!!

Bart always takes the best Selfies!!!

A fantastic meet & greet, lots of socializing, great vendors and food (Varsity Sports, Fleet Feet, Saucony, Muddy Water Paddle Company, Jimmy John’s and Lucy’s just to name a few) was on tap for the evening. Mother nature was actually very nice for our visiting guests even though there was a threat of rain in the area. The clouds kept the hot southern sun to a minimum with only the humidity to dampen you on the 3 mile group run scheduled for 6:15pm hosted by Happy’s Running Club.

For a mid July evening run it doesn't get much better than this!

For a mid July evening run it doesn’t get much better than this!

Before the run I got to take some pre-sweaty pics and chat with Bart Yasso. He remembered me from the Crescent City Classic expo last year. We have been chatting on Twitter ever since. Bart is the Chief Running Officer for Runner’s World. He has to be one of the most gracious, personable people on the planet. Due to his vast experiences he offers advice to all from the newbie to the experienced plus he has a great sense of humor. He follows a Vegan/Vegetarian diet which he says helps for faster recovery and reduces inflammation. He mentions the benefits of eating smaller meals throughout the day so you can run easier at any time of the day and that fried tofu is his “bacon”. (Hmmmmm I must try that!)

Frank Shorter was very gracious as well. You may remember him by winning the gold medal in the marathon at the 1972 Summer Olympics. He mentioned how at one time the accomplishment of completing a marathon was once a test of the fittest and now it is attainable by anyone that does the training. He is no stranger to Louisiana. Frank mentions that one of his 10,000 meter records was made here and enjoyed being back.

 

Getting a pic with Frank Shorter and Bart Yasso before the group run

Getting a pic with Frank Shorter and Bart Yasso before the group run

A big promotion tonight was the 20% discount for signing up for the Louisiana Marathon race weekend. If you missed it and you still want to sign up you can use code IKNOWDECKER to still get 15% off. There are a variety of race distances to choose from: Full, Half, Quarter, 5k and even a kids race.

You can check out what’s new for the January 2015 Louisiana Marathon race weekend HERE.

Another option for additional bling is “The Louisiana Double Down”. You get THREE MEDALS when you run both Louisiana Marathon/Half and the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon/ Half. I know several runner friends who will be doubling up on their race weekends in January to do this. Find out more HERE.

Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans recently announced some improvements for their race in 2015 such as unlimited beer in the Beer Garden, more course entertainment and support to carry you through every mile. To register and get more information check out their website HERE.

The next and last stop for the Halfway to Geaux party will be in New Orleans tonight where I am sure my friend Fred will be covering the event. I don’t know how they will top Baton Rouge but I am sure they will try! They will be at Happy’s Irish Pub on Poydras as 5:30pm. If I was you I wouldn’t miss it!

I have ran both of these races several times so hit me up if you have any questions. I am happy to help!

More pictures and even a video recap from both Halfway to Geaux parties will be up soon on The Louisiana Marathon Facebook page  so don’t forget to check back!!