Trust in the training #roadto26.2

This week was a good week. Monday I ran 4 miles and Wednesday I ran 9. This weekend called for my farthest run yet 18 miles. I was a bit nervous even though I had run 16 miles last weekend with the Varsity group. I had struggled to finish that last mile with very little gas left in the tank. (I finished 16.3 miles in 2hr:52 min 10:34 average pace)
The weather this morning was perfect which was a great sign. 42degrees, 3mph winds, light fog. I remembered everything for my prep: compression pants, calf sleeves, Arnica tablets, Biofreeze. I ate my slice of wheat bread with honey. I was ready! My friend Ken agreed to be my running partner for the morning and even got a head start by setting up a water stop plus he mapped out our route which fortunately included a view of the Mississippi bridge on Nicholson and a stop at Mike the Tiger’s cage by Tiger Stadium (Yes, I got to see him. Sorry no pic. I don’t run with my phone). We started right around 6:10am. He coached me to start slow since I have a tendency to burn out halfway into my races by going out too fast. The miles went by pretty quickly. I took a Gu at mile 4,8,12 and 16 apprx. At mile 17 Ken left me so he could do his 22 mile goal since he knew I had 18 in the bag at that point. In fact I felt pretty good so I decided to push it to 20. I just really wanted to see that “20” on my Garmin and be a part of the “20 miler club”. In fact looking at my splits below I actually finished those last three miles the fastest overall and the last mile was the best. What a surprise!
Ken met up with me for stretching and shared in my excitement plus he met his goal as well. Time for breakfast to celebrate we were RUNGRY! Pancakes and coffee were needed badly to replenish those 2000+ apprx calories burned. Fortunately Louie’s Cafe did not disappoint. (Again sorry no food porn pic, I was starved for some banana pancakes which are my favorite. They didn’t stand a chance)

Getting to that 20 mile mark was a huge boost in my self-confidence for my first Full in 35 days. I definitely feel more prepared now. Next weekend’s long run takes a step down to 14 miles. The weekend after I have my 22 with my pal Jennifer at Tammany Trace in Mandeville. After today’s run I feel like it’s doable and I should be good. The next couple of days will definitely call for icing, stretching and yes back to running with a shakeout run to start it off but for right now I am basking in my runner’s glow thinking anything is possible.

Total Time: 3:29:53 Distance: 20.00 Avg Pace: 10:30
Mile Splits:
1: 11:09 Avg Pace
2: 11:02 Avg Pace
3: 10:45 Avg Pace
4: 10:34 Avg Pace
5: 10:39 Avg Pace
6: 10:22 Avg Pace
7: 10:27 Avg Pace
8: 10:42 Avg Pace
9: 10:31 Avg Pace
10: 10:26 Avg Pace
11: 10:28 Avg Pace
12: 10:40 Avg Pace
13: 10:26 Avg Pace
14: 10:29 Avg Pace
15: 10:21 Avg Pace
16: 10:34 Avg Pace
17: 10:16 Avg Pace
18: 10:01 Avg Pace
19: 10:05 Avg Pace
20: 9:55 Avg Pace

Feeling Accomplished!

Feeling Accomplished! Disclaimer: watched was paused for water breaks

A look back leading up to my 10th Half Marathon

#1: ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Half’ New Orleans,LA 2/13/11 Finished in 2hr:18min BIB#21303
They say you never forget your first and this is true with races as well. I was on such a runners high at this race. I remember halfway through the race I was so pumped I felt like I could run the Full!
a1rnrnola 12

A feeling of accomplishment with my 1st Half completed!

A feeling of accomplishment with my 1st Half completed!

#2: ‘Gulf Coast Half’ Mandeville,LA 10/9/11 Finished in 2hr:06min BIB#269
Gorgeous course at Fontainebleau State Park and weather that made me finish with a smile.
Joe Relaxo & I!

Joe Relaxo & I!

#3: ‘Louisiana Half’ Baton Rouge,LA 1/15/12 Finished in 2hr:6min BIB#1550
This was the Inaugural race and one that I knew I would definitely be repeating. Great course featuring LSU lakes, Campus, Downtown area and historic neighborhoods with lots of spectators to cheer you on along the way.
I ran this one on behalf of 'Kids Fit Foundation'. A national non-profit organization created to serve communities with the charitable mission to fund and provide fitness programs for at risk youth and their families.

I ran this one on behalf of ‘Kids Fit Foundation’. A national non-profit organization created to serve communities with the charitable mission to fund and provide fitness programs for at risk youth and their families.

#4: ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Half’ New Orleans, LA 3/4/2012 Finished in 2hr:7min BIB#7573
Back for more at this New Orleans race. This race course that passes St. Louis Cathedral and Café DuMonde is just too hard to resist.
Nothing better than the excitement at the Start line. Except of course the relief at the Finish!

Nothing better than the excitement at the Start line. Except of course the relief at the Finish!

#5: ‘Women’s Half’ Baton Rouge,LA 12/9/12 Finished in 2hr:10min BIB#129
This Inaugural race that’s more geared towards women was a welcome addition to our local community races and lots of great race swag to boot!
I love the special people I meet from running.

I love the special people I meet from running.

First Half I ran after losing my Dad unexpectedly from Lung Cancer on 9-14-12.

First Half I ran after losing my Dad unexpectedly from lung cancer on 9-14-12.

#6: ‘Louisiana Half’ Baton Rouge,LA 1/20/13 Finished in 2hr:12min BIB#1466
Love the race start at our State Capital downtown. It brings me back every time.
#7: ‘Disneyworld Princess Half’ Orlando, FL 2/24/13 Finished in 4hr:05min BIB#1001
My PR was in picture taking this day!! I wanted to soak up every second. It was truly magical from Start to Finish. Disney does it great!!
My home away from home!!

My home away from home!!

Fun times and loved meeting a lot of the Team runDisney runners in person.

Fun times and loved meeting a lot of the Team runDisney runners in person.

#8: ‘Gulf Coast Half’ Pensacola,FL 4/7/13 Finished in 2hr:10min BIB#287
This road trip with friends made this weekend racecation so much fun. I would love to do a trip like this annually maybe Vegas next year?
Fun Times!

Fun Times!

#9: ‘Baton Rouge Beach Half’ Baton Rouge,LA 12/7/13 Finished in 2hr:10min BIB #434
This was the coldest, most challenging race I have done yet but considering this course provided my training for many early mornings a Finisher Medal was well deserved!
I think this pic captures the shivering well but still we are all smiles :)

I think this pic captures the shivering well but still we are all smiles 🙂

And my 10th will by the ‘3rd Annual Louisiana Half’ Baton Rouge,LA on 1/19/14
Check out the race promo video to see why this is yet another event repeat for me.
I purposely held out so Louisiana Half could be a milestone race for me.
I am expecting to run this one with dead legs considering I am in Full Marathon training and my farthest run will be the weekend before this race. My 1st Full Marathon is 2 weeks after at Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans,LA on 2/2/14. I have many friends that will be at both of these races so they will be extra special.

Sometimes it’s fun to look back to reflect and see how far you have come. It can help motivate you towards the future. As I look back at these races I appreciate the memories and friends I have made along the way. Thank you for letting me share this with you.

Crunch time… long runs ahead #roadto26.2

This weekend I have my farthest run yet 16 miles. I am not worried. I have done 15 a couple of times. I am however still having a minor issue with my left foot swelling and knots in my IT band. I am stretching daily and scheduled a couple massages around my long runs coming up the next few weeks. I am following my training plan by getting in my weekly runs. There are some local races coming up that I desperately wanted to do but I realized I must get the consecutive miles in. I must stay focused training for the Marathon. It won’t do me as good to break up my runs even on the same day. Especially since I am only getting one long run in before the Full.

Christmas is next week. What did I ask from Santa?

I started getting a bit nervous recently because this week begins the toughest part of my training. I have 16,18 and 22 mile runs coming up these next few weeks before my 1st Marathon on 2-2-14. I have gotten some fantastic advice and support from my running family on Facebook and Twitter:
twitter sb

I feel very fortunate to have this support. I even lined up a running buddy for my 18 and 20 miler which instantly made me breathe a bit easier knowing I wont be solo for these. I will have someone there to keep pushing me to get the miles in.

Lastly I found some awesome motivation I thought I would share:
how far

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season with your family.
Much love and happiness to you all.

Being Grateful

This time of year it’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of the holidays. Holiday food indulgences, parties, family, gift exchanges, money concerns. The end of the year is coming. What did I accomplish? What do I want to accomplish next year? I need to work on my resolution/goal list for 2014, I need to get back in the gym, I need to do more weights, I shouldn’t have had that Christmas cookie or two, I need to sign up for more races.
STOP- BREATHE-RELAX – It’s going to be ok. Stay FOCUSED- Take time for you.

Did I run as many races as I expected to this year? No, I only ran 14 as compared to 32 last year but that’s ok. I have had a new motto as of late.

I ran ‘4’ Half Marathons this year. (Louisiana Half, Disney Princess Half, Gulf Coast Pensacola Half and Baton Rouge Beach Half) Each I have wonderful memories of and met some great people along the way. I also completed my first Duathlon and Paddleboard race both I placed in Top 3.

I had my 5k and 10k PR’s this year. (27:29 at Corporate Cup 5k and 57:58 at Crescent City Classic 10k) My daughter did her 1st 10k at Crescent City Classic, completed 6- 5k’s, and 1-Paddleboard race. One she PR’ d in and another she took 1st place in the costume contest which was also her 1st. My husband ran his 1st 5k at the ‘Back to Football Saints Run’ and enjoyed It!

It has been a good year and next year will be even better.
I appreciate my friends and family that choose to be in my life and support me.
I am grateful beyond words.
How was 2013 for you?

Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon Recap

A week out the weather forecast was all over the place for this race. It went from 80% to 40% rain chance. What would the weather bring for race morning bring on Saturday? This event is put on by the Running Chicken Track Club and would be its 20th year. The race expo was held at the Marriott on Friday. Since I got there early not all of the booths were setup but I did get a sneak peek of the race medals as promised by the race director Craig Watson.

The Finisher Medal for the Full was the same but had a blue ribbon instead of red and the word 'Half' omitted out of course

The finisher medal for the Full was the same but had a blue ribbon instead of red and the word ‘Half’ omitted out course. The medal was smaller than expected even by Craig but I like the funky chicken.

The Swag Bag from packet pickup was full of goodies and also included a nice bag for bag check in the morning. The race shirt is shown on the left. A white, dry fit race shirt which again featured the club chicken which was different this year from year’s past but I liked it.
brb swag
Another check on the weather Friday evening and it looked like the rain would be only at a 10% chance for the 7am start however it would be chilly. The ‘feels like’ temp would be 29 degrees due to the 16 mph winds. This would be my coldest race yet and especially hard since it was 80 degrees two days ago! We have a common saying down here in the South. “If you don’t like the weather wait 15 minutes!!” I don’t mind cold weather but it helps to be able to adapt to it. I felt blessed though because I heard the St. Jude’s and Dallas Marathons both were cancelled for the next day due to the accompanying ice/sleet and even lower temperatures. The race director for our local races Baton Rouge Beach and the Woman’s Half Marathon decided to grant free entries to those that were not going to be able to run these races. For some it was to be their first Half or Full Marathon. My heart went out to those that put months and expense into these race plans. I personally had several friends that went to St Jude’s but every single one of them said “it was for the kids” and handled the disappointment with the utmost grace. My race evening prep was done but I was still a bit unsure what I would be wearing until I got to the race. Hat or no hat? second layer needed? disposable sweatshirt? sunglasses? Basically everything went into the car. Since this was a local race that was easy and parking for the race was available by shuttle or you could park a block away which is what I elected so my car could be close by. The next morning I met up with several friends from previous races and the race started at 7am sharp as promised. It was a chilly and windy but by mile 2 I was already peeling off layers. There was plenty of water/powerade stops throughout the course for the apprx 590 runners. Yes, this is a small race but since I have ran this route for training several times I decided at least once I should earn a medal for it! Surprisingly there were people that came in from Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Minnesota and more for this race. The first Half of the race I felt pretty strong and once again I realized I started out too fast and struggled. I was warned by my dear friend and coach Stephen to make the second Half more challenging mentally than the first that it would help in Full training. For this race I was hoping to finish slightly under 2:06 even though my past several Halfs have been 2:10-2:12. Around Mile 9 I looked at my time and realized I was way off so I just decided to push harder and finish as strong as I could despite the winds picking up. The course would be wrapping up soon as we came back towards LSU Lakes. I told myself there was no surprises coming up just try to push faster and get to that Finish line which I did at 2:10. I have no regrets with the race I ran. I completed it the best I could.(I always expect more from myself which I am sure everyone does.) I enjoyed it and quickly spotted Ken, Stephen, Jennifer and even Francine who came out to support despite the cold.
Such a great group to be a part of. Thanks Ken, Stephen, Jennifer and Erica!!!

Such a great group to be a part of. Thanks Ken, Stephen, Jennifer and Erica!!!

Our friend Fred is not in the picture because he had pushed through and was going for the Full. This would be his 31st Full. This race is special to him being that it was his 1st Full back in 2008. Five years later he is still going strong. Amazing!!! We all wanted to hang out longer and wait for Fred but it was extremely cold and as all runners know wet skin due to sweat is not the most comfortable thing when its cold. Standing there shivering we said our goodbyes. I once again did not partake in the post race food which there was an abundance to choose from such as donuts,catfish,gumbo,jambalaya and of course alligator sauce piquant! I never have much of an appetite after a race and since it was so cold I desperately wanted hot coffee which there was none so that was the end of the race festivities for me.

Even though I didn’t meet my race time goal I would not say this was a bad race. It was however a challenging race. Every race is unique whether its the weather conditions, roads, people etc. You learn to enjoy the experience and learn something new at each one which makes each special. Today I learned to ‘dig deep’.

This race was important to me as it was part of my path to my 10th Half which will be on 1-19-14. The Louisiana Half. I am glad I included Baton Rouge Beach as #9. The roads this race covered has been a bulk of my training during the past two years since I started running so it seemed only right.

I did get a small scoop from Craig for next year’s race. Since it will be the “21st” year the theme ‘may’ be: “21, now were Legal!” He’s toying around with a lawyer chicken maybe tie and glasses? You will have to check it out next December to see what they decide on.

Race results for Baton Rouge Beach Half/Full can be found at:

Question: What did you learn recently from a race?

Medal Reveal for my 1st Full Marathon! #RNRNOLA

I am so EXCITED!
Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans FINALLY revealed there medals for 2014!

Half and Full Medals

Half and Full Medals

SWEET! This was just the motivation I needed to get my butt in gear and get serious about training. I have a long road ahead of me before that 2-2-14 date but I want to be able to wear that medal proudly and say “YES, I am a Marathoner”. I want to be part of the chaos. I love to be part of the apprx 17k people that cross that Start line and say YES, I am up for the challenge. DNF is NOT in my vocabulary.
Pic from 2012

Pic from 2012

Last night I looked back at my first Half marathon bling proudly from 2011 which was Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans and remembered that feeling of accomplishment. I WILL feel that again.
On the left my 1st Half Marathon bling from 2011. I ran the race again in 2012. The only reason I missed 2013 was due to Disney Princess Half was on the same day.

On the left my 1st Half Marathon bling from 2011. I ran the race again in 2012. The only reason I missed 2013 was due to Disney Princess Half was on the same day.

I cant wait to add to my collection in 2014!
I know I have said it before but I will say it again, “Thank you for all of the support in this journey” I have a ways to go but I have faith I will cross that Finish Line”.
Good luck to you in your journey whatever it may be. Just remember ‘YOU GOT THIS!!’
As a friend reminded me : “Self Defeat is the Enemy.”

Next up: Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon this Saturday. I am ready!
Question: What made you pull the trigger for your first Full?

to feel ALIVE!

It’s been way too long since I had a really good run. I mean a run that makes you feel alive. A run that makes you remember why you started and why you should keep going. When I came home tonight I knew I wanted to go out for a run. It wasn’t on the schedule I just knew I needed it. I was able to leave my thoughts behind and become one with the music and the road. Right before I left I added a few new tunes. Something to get the tempo going. It awoke something inside of me that I have been missing. Running is not to be a chore it’s not supposed to hurt. It is supposed to make you feel good and to feel alive. Tonight I remembered that feeling and I hope it stays with me.

How long has it been since you felt alive?

Thank you Emeli

Thank you Emeli