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 :)
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!!!!
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!
It’s summer!!! Time for BBQ’s, beach and vacations yet all I can think about is I have to get back in shape for Fall running season. I signed up for New Orleans Jazz Half Marathon that will be on Halloween this year (costumes are a guarantee for this fun race) and that will make St. Jude’s my 20th Half this December. When you get discouraged you know its time to refocus and sign up for more events to keep your motivation flowing. This year I want to #RunForAReason and these two events will help me do what I want to do which is to highlight kids in need. My daughter is healthy and happy. She had her followup yesterday with her Scoliosis doctor and she doesn’t have to get back in her brace so we are blessed. It’s unfair that children have to fight to be healthy this day in age yet we all know someone that has struggles. Be grateful for what you have and pay it forward when you can.
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
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
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
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”
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 :)