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*

IMG_3408

‪#‎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

ccc10k IMG_2643

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.

ccc3

ccc2

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

IMG_2789

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.

balance-work-and-family

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!

leave behind

 

 

 

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?!

IMG_7668

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:

sixdegrees

Race for the Cure

The Susan G. Komen 19th Annual Baton Rouge Race for the Cure and Inaugural 10K was held this past Saturday at the LSU campus and the energy of people was exciting to see. My daughter was planning to volunteer and participate in this event as part of #TeamDeb and I could not be prouder. I almost sat out on this event but my sister in law messaged me the day before to tell me she had a 5k available bib if I wanted it. I remembered being a part of this event a couple of years ago and the overall rewarding feeling to see so many people coming together for Breast Cancer so I jumped at the chance. The morning of Race for the Cure was cool and sunny which would be perfect to spend outside. Once we got to the event I could see there was thousands of people in attendance. The majority of the attendees were either survivors or running for someone directly affected by breast cancer.

Did you know?

  • One in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
  • Every minute, somewhere in the world, someone dies from breast cancer.
  • Breast cancer knows no boundaries- be it age, gender, socio-economic status or geographic location.
  • At the current rate, 13 million breast cancer deaths around the world will occur in the next 25 years.
  • In 1980, the 5-year relative survival rate for women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer (cancer confined to the breast) was about 74 percent. Today, that number is 99 percent.

cure 030715

This year they had the runners/walkers go off in waves with the timed runners going first which helped with the congestion on the course. As I ran the 5k I read various custom made t-shirts and signs along the route that intensified the cause for many as to why they were there to show their support. After I crossed the finish I saw various tents setup such as the “Ford Warrior Scarves” for donations  (I got mine) and one that you could take your picture with props and state your “Curemittment”.

I of course had to participate:

My Curemitment   "Stay Active, Aware & Encourage Others"

My Curemitment : “Stay Active, Aware & Encourage Others”

The stage was jamming with a high energy band that had the crowd dancing. There was a special area for the Survivors to get free food, drinks, tote bags and more. Between the Survivor parade and various tents dedicated to the Breast Cancer Survivors they got the extra treatment they very much deserved. One particular lady that I felt honored to meet was Pamela Bordelon. She had the most infection smile and warmth of someone that I have met in a very long time. She truly touched me. This event was extra special for her and her family who put together the team “Green Eggs and Pam” as she just had her last chemo treatment that week. Plus Pam did the 5k that day. HOW AMAZING!

Congrats Pam!

Congrats Pam!

I texted my daughter to see where she was and found out she was just about to go on the stage for the t-shirt contest so I made a beeline to not miss it. #ProudMomOnAMission I made it in time to see her and found out later they WON! She came home from the event later in the day singing so I knew she had a great time. She told me she was very happy to be a part of it.

Alaina on the far right and the card she got from her friends mom Deb for participating.

Alaina on the right and the card she got from her friends mom Deb for participating.

The goal for this event was $185,000.00 and as of the last update they raised $168,728.88!

Thank you to all the sponsors and participants for making this one amazing event annually and for supporting this cause that affects nearly everyone on some level. For more information please follow them on Facebook or visit the Website

Half Crazy in BAMA

If you read my last blog post you may have caught that I was heading to Alabama to finish out the series finally for Gulf Coast Half . Back in 2011 when I started running I ran the Mandeville Half and again in 2014. In 2013 I did Pensacola and FINALLY it was time for BAMA!

  • 2011 Mandeville,LA Half time 2:06:01 (Great Flat Course held in October)
  • 2014 Mandeville,LA Half time 2:07:41- Blog Race Recap
  • 2013 Pensacola,FL  Half time 2:10:08 – Blog Race Recap (held in April-Warm but great after party)
  • 2015 Gulf Shores,AL Half time 2:14:36 ( Flat course minus the bridge at the Start & Finish)

I took my own advice and packed ahead of time for this roadtrip to Alabama. I was looking forward to it considering this was actually my FIRST time to Gulf Shores. Fortunately my buddy Francine knew her way around and it was very easy to get around. On the way we stopped at Lambert’s for lunch. We split a grilled chicken salad which ended up being ginormous and filled up on rolls and pass arounds. Well worth the stop. A fun, family oriented restaurant perfect for those road tripping.
IMG_1182

After lunch we shopped at the nearby Tanger shopping outlet. We only went to a handful of stores but came out with bags at every one which says a lot because I am not much of a shopper. Today was a beautiful, sunny day with a high of 60 so we were definitely enjoying ourselves, even got some new sunglasses!

Time to head to packet pickup at LuLu’s which went very quickly to get our bib and shirt. We still had some time to spare so we went to their bar area and got a mudslide while scoping out the dinner menu before heading to the hotel for check in.

bib shirt

Around 6pm we headed back to Lulu’s for some pre-race dinner grub. Afterwards we went to The Hangout since I had never been there before. Great fun laid back atmosphere.  A highlight of mine here was the “Wish Wall”. We each put in our request for a great race the next day before heading back to the hotel for the night.

IMG_1183

We always lay out our race gear the night before to reduce anxiety on race morning. We set our alarms for a 4:45am wake up since we wanted to get to LuLu’s to park by 6am. The race would start at 7am and we could always stay in the car before heading to the Start of the race since it was close. This would give us plenty of prep time! (Not our first rodeo lol!)

Finally it was race morning. 54 degrees, 8mph winds and FOOOOOGGGGGGYYY.

There was a drizzly, wet mist in the air and I was wishing I had not forgot my visor in the room. Grrrrrrrrrr. Both Francine and I thought the fog would burn off but we would soon find out that this unfortunately would not be the case.

Nonetheless Pre-Race picture time!!!

I  had to brighten up the picture a bit. Can you still tell the white fog in the background?

I had to brighten up the picture a bit. Can you still see the white fog in the background?

There was 378 runners for this 10k/Half race.  (328 for the Half & 50 for the 10k) The smallest of the three location series since most have to drive in for it per the race director Mike Wattigny. No matter the size there was ample water/Gatorade stations at nearly every mile and the course was very well marked. I had no hesitation moving past the 10k turnaround to the Half. I was ready to claim Half #18 today even though I was still cussing the Intracoastal bridge that I would have to go back over later at the Finish. The roads were very slick today and I could barely see out of my sunglasses the majority of the race. I just knew by how wet my hair was I was going to look like a drowned rat in my free race finisher picture. Getting close to the finish I had depleted all my GU and looked at my watch. I quickly did the math and knew it would not be a PR day but that’s ok I would still be Finishing Strong which is always Goal #1!

Crossing the finish with a sigh of relief I spotted Francine. She had finished a minute before me. I gave her the biggest hug and we headed to the car to freshen up before getting some post race food at LuLu’s and take our traditional “after” race pic with our bling. There was lots of food choices after the race including bagels, fruit, cookies, seafood rice, jambalaya plus complimentary beer, coke and water for the runners to wash it down with. We ate lightly since we knew we were wanting to grab a burger later after we got cleaned up at the hotel.

Alabama CLAIMED!!!!!!

Alabama CLAIMED!!!!!! We were SO ready to go get cleaned up and changed!

and they call this the “LITTLE CHEESEBURGER”?!!! Plenty for me!

Enjoyed every bite!

FullSizeRender burg

As as I said before the journey is part of the experience and once again this road trip did not disappoint :)

Until next time!

 

Tips For Your Roadtrip Race Weekend

Last weekend I had a blast at the Mardi Gras 10k and this weekend its off to to Gulf Shores Alabama for Half #17. Good times are in store for this 4th Annual Gulf Coast Half.

Race Details:

– Beautiful course
– Great support
– Awesome finishers medal
– Spectacular views
– Nearly world famous post race party at Lulu’s

Starting at Lulu’s runners will loop underneath then cross over the intracoastal bridge to begin their 13.1 miles. Exploring the many coastal neighborhoods that make Lower Alabama great runners will then enter Gulf State Park for a loop around Lake Shelby briefly popping out onto Perdido Beach Blvd for a beautiful view of the Gulf of Mexico. Finishing the loop around Lake Shelby runners will trace back part of the course to return to the north side of the Intracoastal Canal before turning for home and the nearly World Famous Post Race Party hosted at Lucy Buffet’s LuLu’s!

I have run the Pensacola, FL series once and Mandeville, LA twice so its FINALLY time for me to finish the three location series with ALABAMA!! I have not had a long run since my January races so I am a little bit nervous. I am hoping I don’t crash and burn by mile 9. This week the weather hasn’t been that good so my mileage has been low but I have been stretching, lifting weights and my nutrition is getting better as I am recovering from King Cake overload from Mardi Gras.

The drive to Alabama is only about 3 hours away but I am looking forward to the short overnight trip and hoping to at least walk on the beach for some relaxation time. In preparing to leave Saturday morning I thought I would share some tips for those with a racecation roadtrip weekend coming up.

  • Pack ahead of time. Don’t wait until the last minute. Make a list and check it twice. I even pack my list so when I am leaving I remember everything I brought. This also helps on race morning so I remember everything I need and nothing gets left behind at the hotel.
  • It is ok to over pack if your unsure about the weather. Bring a throwaway sweatshirt or mylar blanket if you think it will be a chilly morning. Remember the 10 degree rule you always warm up after Mile 1 so disposable layers are key.
  • Put in all of your addresses (expo,restaurants,hotel) ahead of time in your Garmin so you are not scrambling for time and can plan.
  • Charge your music, phone and watch ahead of time. Test everything before leaving.
  • Bring your own snacks, drinks, breakfast and race day energy supplies such as GU. Your stomach may not like surprises.
  • Clean up your house and pay bills before leaving. Last thing you want to do when you get home is chores. You will want to stretch and rest because more than likely you have to work the next day.
  • If you know of somewhere fun to stop on the way to your destination DO IT! Trust me you won’t feel like it on the way home after the race. I remember one of my favorite stops with friends on the way to the Pensacola race was “World Of Beers”. Memories with friends is part of the experience.
  • On your drive home from the race weekend stop every hour to stretch and wear comfortable clothes. Even compression socks on your legs will be helpful.

You want the least possible headaches for your race weekend away to give you the best possible race day results. Remember the journey is part of the experience :)

race week