Why running with your kids is important

  • They have the goal of the finish line to focus their attention on
  • Gives them more motivation to eat healthy and stay in shape
  • Provides an activity you can do together which in turn will add to their memory bank
  • Your kids may get their own friends involved
  • Teaches them to support and encourage each other
  • Your child will ooze self confidence after stepping over the finish line
  • One day they may do it with their own kids


Sweet Victory! ‪#‎JazzHalf2015‬

“Your not running tomorrow right?” this was the question friends and race directors from other races that were at the Expo asked me as I was stopping in to get my packet and to say Hello. I showed them my race bib in my hand and sheepishly said  “well, I don’t know if you call what I will be doing tomorrow ‘running’ but my plan is to jog, walk or dance my way to that finish line tomorrow morning”   <For a little back story:> Just a couple weeks prior I got the green light from my doctor that I could start training again, I was excited because this was a full month early. This would help me be in better shape for the St. Jude race in December. I began running three times a week. The weekend before Jazz Half I had gotten to a whopping 6 miles. (in which I was exhausted afterwards) I know what your thinking, to go from 6 miles to 13.1 in a week is not recommended. I know,  but I needed something to boost my endurance and potentially my turtle like pace. I emailed the race contact to remove my name from the deferral list and it was done. Whew! This is crazy, I would tell anyone NOT to do what I was doing but a race on Halloween morning in New Orleans, Oh Wow!! just think of the costumes and sights to see!!! My running buddy Francine had been training hard the past three months and was in good shape to “run” Jazz so I was going to need someone to join me on this fun adventure and it hit me “Amazing Amanda”. I messaged her and she quickly accepted without hesitation. We chatted back and forth about various race outfits and kept an eye on the weather since storms were on the weekend forecast.  <Now that your caught up lets get back > After the expo Francine and I decided to go to Bourbon Street for dinner since our hotel was only a few blocks away. Due to the storms coming New Orleans and other local areas moved up trick or treating to that night so there was extra excitement in the air. We grabbed a table near the window at Olde Nola Cookery to watch the revelers go by and catch some music in the streets. You could not ask for better entertainment the night before Jazz Half.


Music blaring, smell of Biofreeze in the air, applying ChafX, bread with honey for breakfast,  It’s Race Morning!!!!

One last weather check on our phones and we decided to put umbrellas and ponchos in our gear check bag. It looked like it was going to be very muggy but the rain should hold out until we crossed the finish line. Not PR weather conditions but it should be fun regardless. As we walked to Lafayette Square I was a little nervous that I would not find Amanda to pal around with me during the race but she found me easily. (she had already ran 2 miles that morning and planned to run 4 after the race since she is Dopey training, she really is “Amazing Amanda”) We took a pre-race picture, saw some awesome costumes and checked out the race bling that would be waiting for us. Soon it was time to go line up.

race startcostumesblingIMG_9281

We lined up towards the back behind the competitive and 5k runners whom had a slightly different route. I told Francine to have a strong race. For me today would just be about finishing. I was thankful to even be able to participate. The first few miles went smoothly, seeing familiar sights and friends along the way. I was soaking up the experience with every mile along with the humidity. Yes, it was going to be challenging. I fortunately remembered to take my salt that morning and knew I would have to take in water/Gatorade along the way. I could see the runners around me looking a little drained and I hoped it wasn’t affecting Francine too bad for her run. Then I felt a tap and lookie-lou! Mama Z had found me!!! Jen looked AMAZING in her Day of the Dead getup! I took a quick photo of her, hugged and she was on her way.


After mile 7 I could start to feel my energy slowly zapping away and told Amanda I was looking forward to getting back on St. Charles after the Audubon Park loop so we could see the spooktacular skeleton house. This home was perfection along the race route on Halloween morning.


Spotting this race sign I had to stop since I definitely needed some ENERGY to get me til the end!


Just a couple more miles left and I was definitely taking additional walk breaks but Amanda cheered me on and said I was doing great. I was especially thankful in that moment to have my own race course cheerleader by my side! With the finish line in sight I knew I was close to completing my goal for the day and Amanda never left my side. Crossing the finish line i let out the biggest breath and knew I would now be ready for St. Jude.

We spotted Francine and she had a challenging run as well. We went to scope out the post race food choices: Jambalaya, Red Beans and Rice, Hot Dogs and Chili, Sno-balls on a Stick.(Soft sno-ball outer shell covering a creamy ice cream center) We had to try one! There was plenty of choices of food and drinks but we were soaked to the bone in sweat and ready for a shower after a couple of samples. The rain started, we quickly said our goodbyes and left with the satisfaction of a great race morning. Later in the day I was looking at social media and saw something that  truly warmed my heart.


Races are about supporting each other and enjoying the experience which Amanda perfectly captured.

Sweet Victory! ‪#‎JazzHalf2015‬

Back in the saddle again…. I’m Back!

Cue AC/DC yep I am BACK!! I got the green light from my doctor with a FULL release a month early to start Half Marathon training again. THIS -IS- HUGE! Fall is here and it has been tough to see my fellow runners doing the races and feeling like I am missing out. Since I have started back last week I have noticed my endurance is not where it was due to my three months off because of the neck surgery. BUT I can’t go from 0-60. I have to start back S-L-O-W. Make a plan.

Taking the training wheels off the bike felt pretty good the first night back even though my pace and breathing was labored. (I am not a stellar 8 minute miler anyway but I would like to stay in the 9-9:5 range) Nonetheless a friend reminded me that even though my pace was not on target it still was better than it was three weeks ago and for that I was grateful! Even if I never get to participate in another race again to just be able to workout again is a gift. My mind is clearer and it gives me more energy.

Soaking up a beautiful sunset on my first night back for an easy 3 miler.

Soaking up a beautiful sunset on my first night back for an easy 3 miler.

From today I have 45 days until the St. Jude Half . I am not looking to PR at this race but I have worked hard to fund raise for these kids (with only $275 left to go to meet my goal of $2500). I truly want to do more with my running this year so I will not let them down. Looking at the calendar this gives me 6 weeks to train. Holy Heck!!! Only 6 weeks?!!!

ok, B-R-E-A-T-H-E make a plan. Looking at the calendar I have a couple conflicts to get my long runs done so I need a boost mileage and endurance wise. I realize I am still registered for The New Orleans Jazz Half Marathon to be held this year on Halloween morning. Ummmmm this is only 11 days away but the weather has been great and who could miss out on a race that is actually on Halloween? (Think of all the race costumes and sights?) If I can jog it I can get the feeling for distance again perhaps? Even though I have only done a maximum of 4 miles since early July I foolishly think I have a shot. I just have to take my time and have some fun with it. Above all “Do Not Get Injured”. Gotta go easy or I will kink up my IT Band and really be in trouble. I still think this is exactly what I need to get me a kick start, plus this race benefits the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans so it fits right in line with what I want to do this year. Doing Jazz even for fun will also make St. Jude my 20th Half which is a pretty awesome number. :)

So follow along with me, shoot me some costume ideas and stay tuned!

On the road again to train for St Jude.  #RunForAReason

Participating in our local St. Jude Walk/Run 5k to End Childhood Cancer in Baton Rouge #‎ShowYourGold‬

Walking up the hill to Highland Road Park on an early Saturday morning to a barrage of tents filled with supporters and volunteers was a welcome sight. To see so many people with personalized team shirts displaying their own personal cause to why they were there, smiling, hugging each other and ready to participate in the local St.Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer was overwhelming.

Booths filled with info on St. Jude, donuts, fruit and more to welcome everyone.

Booths filled with info on St. Jude, donuts, fruit and more to welcome everyone.

This cemented my eagerness to do something to give back this year. I have been very fortunate in my journey the past four years. I have participated in races at Disney and even a relay at an Ironman in Georgia. This year I had the urge to do something more. To “run with a purpose” and I picked St. Jude. It was a cause special to my father and I have friends with a direct connection that  has told me how St. Jude has helped their families. This morning gave me just a small insight of what I will be in for when I take my journey to Memphis this December and the excitement started to build. My daughter was with me that morning in which I told her I was thankful, her response “Kids with Cancer come first” and she couldn’t be more right.

Signs along the Start before the Walk/Run started.

Signs along the Start before the Walk/Run started.

My daughter and I at the St. Jude photo booth to capture the moment of what we were feeling

My daughter and I at the St. Jude photo booth to capture the moment of what we were feeling

Hundreds lined up ready to start their walk/jog .

Hundreds lined up ready to start their walk/jog .

Lots of signs along the way personalized from patients of St. Jude. I am sure the same that you would see at the races in  Memphis

Lots of signs along the course that were personalized by patients of St. Jude. I am sure the same that you would see at the races in Memphis.

After the walk/run there was jambalaya, soft drinks, water, snoballs, face painting and lots of other activities for young and old before wrapping up this eventful morning. Later we found out the Baton Rouge event raised over $420k which is remarkable!! 

I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the local ‪#‎StJudeWalkRun‬ . It just reaffirmed everything what I’m trying to do for December’s goal and as a bonus I just got the email invite to participate in the hospital tour in Memphis while I am there. I feel so fortunate to be able to do something for these kids. Please consider a tax deductible donation if you haven’t done so yet. Thank you! 💛  CLICK HERE TO DONATE

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.





Down but not Out

When a pain in the neck becomes more,much more. A couple weeks so ago I found myself in the emergency room and the next day discussing Spinal Fusion. Sounds scary? it was. However my doctor helped me to stay positive by reassuring me that my active lifestyle would help in my recovery and get me back on the roads in 6-8 weeks if I listened and take proper precaution. So surgery was set for my Cervical Herniated Disks that was so severe that I could not even hold my coffee cup in my left hand. I was losing strength fast with numbness and tingling that went down to my finger tips. There was no explanation for my condition just a “it happens”. For me this was quite frustrating and the medical bills will be with me for months but I was lucky since this procedure has a 95% success rate and I had found a doctor that I would be in good hands with (literally)!

It is now nearly two weeks after surgery and I have done very well. My surgeon followup is coming up on Monday and this past week I have already started to get antsy. The fall weather isn’t helping with cooler temperature that beckons me outside. I know I will lose a lot of endurance since I will not be able to run per doctor orders for at least another 6 weeks. This is difficult since my last run was over a month ago due to the pain I was having. I decided I should at least work on strengthening with stretches since I do have weak hips and started to go on 3-4 mile walks. My walks are a bit too hot with my neck brace and I cant go bare and risk UV damage to my scar so right now I am covering it with a scarf until I can get my hands on a Buff guard which offers both 95% UV protection and Coolmax technology. I have had wonderful friends and family get me through this which is helping my motivation stay high even though I have had to defer some of my planned fall races. This is a bit disappointing since it is my favorite time of year and the best time to train for Half’s but I have to look at the bigger picture which is my health. I have to heal properly. The good news is that I am still a go for St. Jude in December. Run, walk or crawl, this race is not just race for me it is so much more. It is a way for me to give back and in my own way a “Thank You” to my body for taking me on this journey the past few years. I am forever grateful.

So yes I am Down but not Out :)

IMG_7600 (1)


Running through the heatwave

Summertime in the South is NO JOKE!

We have the weather app open in a moments notice for flash storms and heat waves that can occur at anytime. You have to be able to adapt whether its frozen water bottles,Gatorade and hand towels stocked in the freezer or being flexible on what time you get your miles in.

A few tips:

  • Apply sunblock before you are head out, BUT make sure its sweat-proof. You DO NOT want the sting of sunblock in your eyes a couple miles down the road.
  • For achy joints DO NOT put icy hot on before a run outside. Trust me it is not pretty. It will hurt like a #@%!# ! (Yes I have done this recently)
  • Drink lots of water several hours before and after you run to stay hydrated.
  • If you gotta take it inside to the treadmill then do it!
  • Change it up and go biking or take a class if the weather gets too dicey.
  • Don’t forget to stretch adequately before and after your workouts.
  • Treat yourself to a frozen Popsicle or frozen Gatorade after your sweltering run.
  • If you see a sprinkler GO FOR IT!!!!

Girl jumps through water sprinkler.

Thoughts on the hill during a hot, muggy, summer morning……

This is how I feel at the bottom of the hill.


Tackle it, hit it hard! Knees up, chest out, shoulders back, eyes to the horizon. Lift like a balloon raising you up, Push, push, push up that hill! You got this!.. (what am I forgetting)…oh yeah “BREATHE” !

Ugh, breathing so hard that I think I am having a small coronary, gotta slow it down……

The sweat is dripping off of me everywhere..Thank you 80 degree heat & humidity at 7am….

Did I take salt? Do I need more?  (oh I had chips and salsa last night so that counts!)…..

Water, where is water?  (Oh yeah I don’t carry any! Ugh!)…….

This WILL make me stronger for fall season……or kill me……

Aaaack I am only halfway up……..ouch my glutes……

This is how I feel right now………


O, a cardinal flew by!……….. 

Made it, can barely breathe but I made it………

We have to go down now?!  Gotta go slow cause I am a klutz remember?!…….

Another hill? Possible momentary euphoria but let’s do it!