#LifeUnfiltered the good, the bad and the ugly

There has been some posts on Social Media as of late sharing the story of Madison Holleran. A 19 year old runner who ended her life at a tender young age of 19. It really is heartbreaking to hear of someone that felt like her life was falling apart on the inside while showing only the good parts on the outside but the truth is that we all do it. We CHOOSE to share what pictures on Instagram and Facebook. We choose to share what tidbits of our life in limited characters on Twitter. You know what? That is ok. I honestly feel that you don’t HAVE to share absolutely everything and you shouldn’t. Do I really want all 494 of my Facebook friends to know where I work out and what I ate for breakfast  or if someone cut me off in traffic? I truly think Social Media has gotten to be too much. People use it as a daily rant about there day. They let it all out there. Yes, you can choose to follow or unfollow. To read or not read. Sometimes it just gets to be a bit too much. So are you being fake by not sharing everything? NO. I admit it, I have gone through quite a lot in the past year in my personal life that I don’t share on Social Media or through blogging (every post that I do share I personally question before hitting “publish” , it feels like I am ripping off a bandaid) BUT I do have close friends and family to confide in. That is the key. To have someone in your life that you can be real with. To share the ugly, the emotions, the disappointments, the real YOU. If you are struggling and most of us are in some way please know that is OK. Everyone has a story behind closed doors. Confide in someone that you trust and just know that you are not alone.

Other bloggers (real people) sharing there thoughts on the subject that I thought I would share:  Brian Kelley/Pavement Runner  &    Linzie Sharp/SharpEndurance 

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Running to Finding Cures and Saving Children. Officially signed up as a St. Jude Hero

Today on May 1st Heroes VIP race registration opened for the St. Jude Memphis Half/Full Marathon which will be held on 12/5/15. I have chosen this as my destination race this year. Not Disney not Nike not NYC, I have chosen St. Jude. Why? because St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital means Hope, Faith and a test of Strength for many people. The doctors, nurses and supporters of St Jude have added additional memories for some to share with their loved ones and for others it is the possibility to ease the pain since the toughest cases come to Memphis for a chance to be saved. Some have won their battle against childhood cancer and some have lost. I have set up my Heroes fundraising page and it is called “Never Forgotten”. I am running and fundraising for those that lost their loved ones too young in life and for those that are still fighting in the hopes of a cure. Please consider donating on my page, afterwards send me the name of someone that you have lost or someone dear to you and I will write those names on my St. Jude singlet as remembrance when I run the Half in Memphis on Saturday, December 5, 2015.

 Why I am passionate about St. Jude:

  • Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since it opened in 1962.
  • St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent in the next decade. They won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.
  • Because the majority of St. Jude funding comes from individual contributors, St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most – saving kids regardless of their financial situation.
  • St. Jude was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, who believed that “No child should die in the dawn of life.”
  • St. Jude is where doctors often send their toughest cases because St. Jude has the world’s best survival rates for some of the most aggressive childhood cancers.
  • St. Jude has treated children from all 50 states and around the world.
  • On average, St. Jude has more than 67,000 patient visits each year.
  • It costs $1.8 million a day to operate St. Jude. 70% of the funds come from public donations from people like yourself.
  • Thanks to donors like you, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

For every child treated at St.Jude, thousands more have been saved worldwide through St. Jude discoveries. Let’s not forget those that we have lost and help those that are still fighting. 

Please consider making a tax deductible donation to support this wonderful cause. My personal Heroes fundraising page can be found HERE.

Thank you deeply for your support!

‪#‎NeverForgotten    ‪#‎TeamDevin‪    #‎CancerSucks ‪   ‪#‎ForYouDad   #RunForAReason

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Watch this VIDEO on St. Jude to see why I want to “Run for a Reason”

For those wanting to sign up for General Registration it will be available on June1st.

Please share with me your blog recaps if you have ran this race previously. Thanks!

Please visit my St. Jude Heroes Fundraising page:   http://heroes.stjude.org/NicoleDecker

Getting you mojo and joy of running back

I have been dragging ### lately, literally. I admit it to blog world. Recently I have put on a few pounds due too many nights of eating out and partaking in adult beverages, my daughter has a heavy load right now in high school plus the teenage years (she is 15) is off to a rough start which is very stressful. What’s more is I STILL have not joined a gym since mine closed on 12/31/14. I have still been getting my 3-4 workouts in a week by running (more like jogging) in the neighborhood and workouts at home while watching my favorite TV shows. Honestly my pace is suffering when I do get out the door. Lately I am feeling like I am going in slow motion. It takes me a good mile to even warm up and by the time I am starting to do speed-work between light poles I am whooped.

We all go through downward spirals occasionally. Times where life stressors feel like they are eating you alive. That’s when you don’t give up but you make smaller goals. Sometimes if all you can manage is a 30 minute jog then do it. Today is day 3 for me of no alcohol, no morning coffee with cream/sugar (instead adding plain coffee to a protein shake for breakfast so I can wake up), and watching what goes in my mouth. Basically THINK FIRST. Try to make better choices. I thought about doing a cleanse or detox but honestly that is just a temporary fix for 6-8 pounds which most of the time you gain it back right away while being a total “B”  to those around you since your starving as heck. So nope not for me. I googled some ideas off of 21 day fix from Beachbody and made a list of healthy foods to eat (fish, green veggies, nuts, berries) to put my plan into motion. Friday I will sign up for St. Jude Half in Memphis as a Hero so I think that will be extra motivating. I also realized that I have done 18 Half’s so far so I want to squeeze in one more before this race so St. Jude can be #20. (I like the sound of that :) ). runDisney recently announced their Marathon weekend of races coming up and honestly my heart isn’t in it right now. I want to get back myself back in shape (inside & out) and focus on the bigger picture right now. Just going to take it day by day.

On a positive note one month from today I will be flying with my daughter to Washington DC. While I am there I hope to catch a workout/run with November Project-DC. They have weekly workouts from places such as the Lincoln Memorial Steps and Capitol Hill. I think it will be a very humbling experience to partake in if given the opportunity.

I read an article by the T-Rex Runner  last night in May’s Womens’s Running Magazine that really spoke to me.

“4 Ways to Rethink your Running”

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So my personal answers from the above article:

1.Do you still have the same goals from when you started running ? YES, To help maintain a healthy weight and for new experiences

2. Goals to meet current motivations:  Well I have addressed it , St Jude, November Project, There are cool things all around us we just have to look for it.

3. Favorite thing about running? For one is how sometimes you can zone out and think clearly. This is definitely needed with daily life. It’s like a “turn off switch”.

4. Do I need time off? Well I have already taken some time away due to schedules and rainy weather so Yes I am ready to get back to it but with a different outlook :)

#KeepPushingForward

#LiveWithPurpose

Quest for Memphis

On May 1st Heroes VIP race registration opens for the St. Jude Memphis Half/Full Marathon which will be held on 12/5/15. I have chosen this as my destination race this year. Not Disney not Nike not NYC, I have chosen St. JudeWhy? because St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital means Hope, Faith and a test of Strength for many people. The doctors, nurses and supporters of St Jude have added additional memories for some to share with their loved ones and for others it is the possibility to ease the pain since the toughest cases come to Memphis for a chance to be saved. Some have won their battle against childhood cancer and some have lost. I will be setting up my Heroes fundraising page on May 1st and it will be called “Never Forgotten”. I am running and fundraising for those that lost their loved ones too young in life and for those that are still fighting in the hopes of a cure. Please consider donating on my page, afterwards send me the name of someone that you have lost or someone dear to you and I will write those names on my St. Jude singlet as remembrance when I run the Half in Memphis on Saturday, December 5, 2015.

 Why I am passionate about St. Jude:

  • Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since it opened in 1962.
  • St.Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent in the next decade. They won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.
  • Because the majority of St. Jude funding comes from individual contributors, St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most – saving kids regardless of their financial situation.
  • St.Jude was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, who believed that “No child should die in the dawn of life.”
  • St. Jude is where doctors often send their toughest cases because St. Jude has the world’s best survival rates for some of the most aggressive childhood cancers.
  • St. Jude has treated children from all 50 states and around the world.
  • On average, St. Jude has more than 67,000 patient visits each year.
  • It costs $1.8 million a day to operate St. Jude. 70% of the funds come from public donations from people like yourself.
  • Thanks to donors like you, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

For every child treated at St.Jude, thousands more have been saved worldwide through St. Jude discoveries. Let’s not forget those that we have lost and help those that are still fighting. Thank you for your support! *I will post the web-link for the fundraising link on May 1st*

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‪#‎NeverForgotten   ‪#‎TeamDevin‪   #‎CancerSucks ‪   #‎CrushingCancer   ‪#‎ForYouDad

Highlights from the Crescent City Classic 10k Weekend in New Orleans

Let’s start with the  CCC10k Expo which included: yoga, cycling, a fitness-wear fashion show, meet and greet with local running clubs, healthy cooking demos, Friday morning “shake-out” run with Dane Rauschenberg, ZULU Second Line parade, & a CCC pre-race pasta dinner!

Here is my short video clip from the ZULU Second Line. Can’t you just feel the energy? I love New Orleans!    http://youtu.be/b2dlJztEhJY

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If your not familiar with the Crescent City Classic 10k here is a brief history from the website on this race: “The Classic is New Orleans’ (and the region’s) premier 10k road race, and one of the oldest 10k races in the nation. For 37 years, it has combined world class competition, amateur participation and great fun for all participants. Starting in 1979 with 902 participants, the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic has grown to become the preeminent fitness event in Louisiana. This Easter Weekend Tradition is now, along with Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, one of New Orleans signature events. Each year, over 20,000 people gather in Downtown New Orleans for an event that attracts everyone from international Elite Athletes to those who walk the entire route carrying cocktails or wearing bunny suits. Young, old, fit and not so, the Crescent City Classic was the first 10k to be televised nationally, and is, to this day, perhaps the most fun you can have over 6.2 miles.  The Classic has been praised in every major running publication as “one of America’s fastest 10k’s”, “the originator of the party race”, “an Easter Weekend tradition that should never be missed”  a great race, on a beautiful course in America’s most unique city”.

Each year this race delivers. Quick tip if you want to “run” this race register for an earlier coral. If you want to enjoy the sights along the way and are there for a good time then line up according to your expected finish time and get ready to take it all in. This years race was no different, although the weather could have been a bit better (drizzly rain and breezy) it didn’t dampen the spirits of nearly 20k people that came to run, walk or dance at the Start on Poydras St. in Downtown, New Orleans right on through to the Finish at City Park.

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After you cross the Finish line great food, drinks and live music await you at the Race Fest.

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Still not convinced to add this race to your radar? Check out this awesome drone footage from this year’s race filled with a marriage proposal and aerial sights from the Start to the Finish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGzQ7MBDsM4

See you next year for the “38th Annual”  (Save the Date: March 26, 2016)

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

 

What holds us back?

  • Time?
  • Fear?
  • Lack of Motivation?

From time to time we all have goals that pop up and wonder in the back of our minds and ask the question:  “Can I do that?” Whether it is to register for a lottery marathon in the fear we would actually get picked, to participate in a triathlon even if you don’t own a bike or swim very well. I have done these things and STILL fear creeps in when something strikes my interest.  I ask myself  “Can I afford this?” “Do I have the time to commit?” We always question ourselves and that is ok just make sure it is for the right reasons. It is one thing to ask if we can balance our lives with family and work or if we can actually afford the travel costs to commit but to not do something just for self-doubt is something else.

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Making a plan is the first step. How much time will it take? Write out a schedule and put it where you can see it visibly. Have a second calendar to keep one for home and at work. Write out a budget on costs and see where you can cut back in other areas if needed. Save money each week if necessary by eating out less or foregoing the fancy coffee. You have to think about the bigger goal and lastly VISUALIZE! Visualize the Finish Line and the sense of accomplishment. It will take sacrifice but isn’t it worth it?

You may stumble, you may fall but the key is to get back up and keep going!

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The day I met Kathrine Switzer

Who is Kathrine Switzer?

In 1967, Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to officially enter the Boston Marathon. An all-male event for 70 years. She signed her name for the race entry as KV Switzer and at the time long distance running was questionable for women because of course we were so fragile that our uterus would fall out! Women faced many prejudices back then which Kathrine was ready to debunk. That day in 1967 the men in the race and even the photographer was very supportive but not the Race Director. He personally proceeded to run after Kathrine and physically grabbed her to remove her off the course. At the time Kathrine was not trying to be a crusader but realized in that very moment it was a much bigger statement to simply finish this race. That 4hr20min changed her life and many others. In 1972 five years after she crossed that finish line, women were officially allowed to compete in the Boston Marathon. In 1974 Switzer WON the NYC Marathon. She has had many career highlights including being named one of the Visionaries of the Century (2000), Hero of Running (2012), and Runner of the Decade (1966-76) by Runners World Magazine. Kathrine continues to deliver her visionary message and inspire many with her charm and class. When I heard she was coming here to Baton Rouge, Louisiana that first weekend of December 2014 for the Baton Rouge Beach Half/Full Expo and Marathon weekend, I made it my goal to meet her and she more than exceeded my expectations. I was personally introduced to her by the Race Director Craig Watson ( like “I” am a somebody lol) Kathrine seemed genuinely excited to meet me. I don’t get flustered that easy but I could barely speak as I stumbled my words to tell her how much of an honor it was to meet her and wanted to sincerely thank her for everything she has done for women in running. She is an icon to many. She actually introduced me to her friends who are also very lovely and gracious as well. I can see that Kathrine keeps excellent company. After chatting I asked Kathrine for a picture and if she would sign my bib (a new tradition that I decided to start on the spot even though this was my 15th Half lol)

Can you tell I am just a tad excited?!

Can you tell I am just a tad excited?!

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The next morning I looked for Kathrine before the start of the Baton Rouge Beach Half/Full. I mentioned to her that I was part of the Varsity Sports running group and if she would take a pre-race picture with us as well as stay for our Runner’s Prayer. A tradition that is done before the start of the race with the group. It was an honor to have her company with us that morning, especially since it was going to be a challenging race with the very high humidity and fog that laid before us in the miles ahead.

Our group race pic

Our group race pic

Kathrine was a great sport and stayed for our "goofy" pic as well :)

Kathrine was a great sport and stayed for our “goofy” pic as well :)

Runner's Prayer to give us extra blessings for a good race day.

Runner’s Prayer to give us extra blessings for a good race day.

Even though I did not have a stellar performance at that race, getting a hug from Kathrine Switzer after crossing the Finish made my day. So gracious, supportive and inspiring. We were blessed to have her at the BR Beach weekend events. Thank you Kathrine! #261 #BeFearless

Another reason as to "Why I Run" the people you meet :)

Another reason as to “Why I Run” the people you meet :)

For more on Kathrine Switzer:

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