A new milestone

This week I reached over 10k hits on my blog. I started it last January initially to write about race recaps but it has become a new form of therapy. I still find it hard to share about certain personal subjects but the positive feedback has been reassuring. Like a turtle I am starting to come out of my shell.

It's scary out there!

It’s scary out there!

Blogging so far has led me to meet new people such as Harmony from Modern Mommy Madness whom I met from Baton Rouge Moms. I love her to death. She is down to earth, touch of southern sass, with a bubbly personality yet so vulnerable. Tiany with Baton Rouge Moms came across my blog and invited me to come on board as a Contributor last October and it has been very rewarding. You can view my articles on various subjects from ‘Ladies Self Defense’ to ‘Running 101’ here http://batonrougemoms.com/author/nicole/

I have been fortunate to be mentioned on several blogs such as:
Claim Your Journey
Roadrunner Girl
Running Loving Living by Toni Church
Louisiana Health and Fitness Magazine
Next Tuesday I will be featured on: Lil Mys Ninja as “Featured Runner Tuesday”.

Most exciting of all is what’s coming up in August!!! I will be featured in Women’s Running Magazine this August as their “Blogger on the Run”. I am QUITE excited about this.

I can't WAIT to add this logo to my blog :)

I can’t WAIT to add this logo to my blog 🙂

Woo Hoo!!!!!!

Woo Hoo!!!!!!

This is something I have wanted for quite some time. My feature should be in print and online. I am DYING to see it. You submit information and pictures but you never know what they will use until it is out. I learned this when I was in SELF magazine in February 2012 as a “Self-Inspired” Success Story. It ended up being a very small article and I was honored but Women’s Running Magazine is HUGE! To be even “mentioned” is amazing but to be featured as a “Blogger on the Run” I am over the moon excited. For me it is a form of self redemption that YES I am worthy to be on the roads with you, my written experiences on my blog are note worthy. I may not be the fastest or able to participate in all of the races I would like too but I am out there doing what I can and enjoying it.

The biggest challenge is balancing a full time job, being a wife, mother,keeping up with my blogging and training to not only participate in races but also maintain my weight is difficult at times to say the least. Dorothy Beal from Mile Posts this week wrote a very touching post. Getting My Priorities Straight where she even admits she struggles with her race commitments and family time. This was HUGE for me to hear. I am sure this was hard for her to write about passing up a “lifetime opportunity” (which she has many of, she admits) to volunteer at her son’s field day at school. Dorothy shares that that even when your an adult you make mistakes but its ok. We are still learning and growing to be a better person, friend, mother. I agree with her 100%.
So yes, my opportunities are growing and I am EXTREMELY grateful but we have to keep our priorities in focus as we continue on this journey that is life.

Wife-Mother-Technology Buyer-Runner-Blogger

My question to you: How do you struggle? How do you balance your roles?

Be the best version of yourself

Aack summer is HERE!!! But I am not beach ready yet what happened? Why do we ask ourselves this at the beginning of every summer?
To be honest I still have 5 pounds I would like to lose from Full Marathon training. Those stubborn, hard to lose five pounds where your pants just fit a tad snugger than you would like and seems to slow my running pace by a full minute which is quite frustrating.

Why does it have to be so hard?

Some people look at you crazy and say “I WISH I just had 5 pounds to lose” but truth be told when I was 5 pounds lighter I still was not happy.

WHY as women are we so hard to satisfy?

WHY are we so critical of ourselves?

WHY am I clueless in a clothing store when I finally get the gumption to go shopping to only leave in disappointment?

WHY do we only post picture of ourselves when it shows our best features?

There has been a lot of talk about body image as of late. From Special K commercials to shut down fat talk to Taryn Brumfitt’s Body Image Movement making a documentary to “Embrace Your Self Acceptance”. Remember the Dove® Campaign for Real Beauty ads featuring six real women with real bodies and real curves? The bottom line is if everyone looked the same our world would be pretty boring. Your self acceptance is NOT based on other people it is yourself. The trick is not to be over critical of yourself. To indulge but not go overboard. To enjoy life and know that it is meant to be savored!
So yes, I had a slice of cake with my lunch today and it was DELICIOUS!
I know that I may need to work out a bit extra tonight but hey that just means I can get in some speed work right? I will lose those 5 pounds eventually and get back my running pace.

I guarantee that if something happened to you tomorrow and your no longer on this earth your last thoughts are not going to be “Man, I wish my thighs weren’t so big!”

So yes you can have it all in moderation. Be the best version of yourself and it will all fall in place. This is a lesson I work on daily. It’s my never ending struggle. I always say I am a work in progress even after I lost half my size. Sometimes I look in the mirror and all I see is the excess skin or jiggle. I am a mom to a young teenage daughter who I don’t want to see go through my weight struggles so I try my hardest to not talk negatively around her. I allow junk food in my home but also fruit and yogurt. I tell her she can have anything she wants “in moderation”. I know as a parent you can’t ban it or they would just go find it elsewhere. You have to educate them to know what the better choices are and why. That’s your job as a parent. It’s not easy, you will make mistakes but learn from them and know that yes, it will be ok. Tomorrow is another day, Don’t compare yourself to others. Focus on YOU and Make it Great!


Tips for getting your kids to the Finish Line

This past weekend was a unique race experience for me. After I was done volunteering I got to join my 8 year old niece and 6 year old nephew for the Girls on the Run 5k. As soon as we knew it the kids said “It’s starting, we have to go!” We lined up in the back since my sister in law said they would probably be walking most of it. Not a half a mile into it I started hearing the excuses from my niece:

“I have to pee”
“My side hurts”
“My feet hurt”
“Can I just sit?”
“How much further?”

Her younger brother was like Superman. You could have just put a cape on him and he would have been gone. He was enjoying himself and taking in the sights along the way. When we got close to the Finish line you couldn’t keep either child from make that quick sprint to claim their medal they earned for their 3.1 mile journey. My niece wouldn’t let the volunteer put the medal on her though she saved that honor for me her Aunt Nicole which made my day. I thought I would share some tips on how to make race day a bit easier on the kids so they can claim their own Finish Line experience.

• Research the pre & post-race day activities and food options that your kids would like ahead of time.
• Choose light breakfast options for your kids to not weight them down but provide enough energy to carry them through.
• Lay everything out the night before so you’re not scrambling to get out of the house.
• Try not to over dress your kids. Check the race temps and dress for 10 degrees warmer. You will warm up within the first mile of starting your activity.
• Check your kid’s shoes before race morning to make sure there is enough wiggle room and the soles look good. Check their shoe laces before the race starts.
• Take them to the restroom 15-20 minutes before the race start.
• Allow them to drink at the water stops but not chug! A few sips will suffice.
• Watch your kids breathing. Quick, shallow breathing will bring on side stiches. Slow your pace. The faster the pace, the shorter the sequence (fast pace = one or two strides per breath, slower = three or four strides per breath).
• Encourage them to keep moving when they want to slow down or stop. Tell your kids you are proud of them and focus on the shorter targets rather than the finish line. Let’s get to that stop sign or next water station.
• If your child has any medical or physical impairments write it on the back of their race bib along with their full name, allergies as well as your name and phone number in case you get separated.
• Don’t forget sunscreen and enjoy this experience with your kids. It may be something they pass on to their own kids one day. 🙂


gotr both

Sharing the bloglove

What’s a Liebster?
So my dear frunner friend Jen at http://www.jenzenator.com nominated me for a Liebster. I had heard the term before and did some searching and basically its a way to share some blog love and learn more about fellow blogger friends.
No harm no foul, I’m in!

    Here are the 10 questions she asked:

What is your blog about?
Basically its my point of view for race recaps, motivating others to get started with their health and fitness journey and what I have personally learned along the way.
When did you start your running/fitness journey and why? I started in 2011 to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon in New Orleans as a new challenge and way to help maintain my weight. I have been hooked since.
What’s been your favorite race so far? I would have to say Disney Princess Half Marathon 2013. Disney is just pure magic with every step.
What is the fitness gear you can’t live without right now? That’s easy, My ASICS GT -2000v2 running shoes. They recently carried me to my first Full Marathon in February.
What advice would you have for someone just starting out on their fitness journey? Take it one mile at a time and Enjoy the Journey.
What do you eat before a long run/race or hard workout? One slice of wheat bread with honey plus water has been my go to for Half Marathons and long training runs.
How do you find time to exercise in your busy life schedule? I get to work early so I can get off at a decent time to hit the gym or go for a run around 5:30pm so I can try to be done by 7pm in the evenings. Communication with hubby and my daughter is key.
Where do you find motivation to keep going? I love motivational pictures and mantras like this one:
I run..
What do you do to splurge or indulge? Updating my playlist or getting new running gear is a way for me to splurge and keep me motivated at the same time.
Name a random thing about you that most people don’t know. I hate eggs. Even the smell of them makes me want to vomit. (you asked for random)

    The next part of Liebster is to ask 10 questions of your own and nominate 10 bloggers to spread the blog love

So here are my 10 questions:
1. Why did you start blogging?
2. How do YOU stay motivated?
3. What are your fitness related goals in the next 12 months and how will you get there?
4. What are your favorite songs on your playlist right now?
5. Have you taken a racecation? Which one has been your favorite?
6. Favorite mantra to keep you going?
7. How do you balance work-fitness-fun?
8. Have you ever had to deal with an unsupportive friend, spouse or family member and how did you deal with it?
9. Biggest racing mistake you have made on race day:
10. Name a random thing about you that most people don’t know.

and my 10 nominated bloggers are:
1. Jenereesa & Victoria http://scootadoot.com/
2. Gail & Kimberly http://runalltheraces.com/
3. Anne http://outrunningthefork.com/
4. Kimberly http://makermothermarathonrunner.com/
5. Megan http://www.runningtowardtheprize.com/
6. Meranda http://www.fairytalesandfitness.com/
7. Harmony http://www.modernmommymadness.com//
8. Jindy http://flowerscroon.com/
9. Angela http://www.runnerindenial.com/
10. Ernise http://givingthoughtgivingsight.com/

Have you ever been nominated for a blog award? Which one and what was your most original question asked?

Light at the end of the tunnel

A little over two years ago ago my daughter was diagnosed with Idiopathic Scoliosis during a routine annual physical. At the time X-rays revealed her S curve was at 14% overall. Twelve months later (last May) it went to 23%. Unfortunately this meant it was time for her to wear a back brace.
To put an active 13 year old that just ran a 10k into this contraption for 23 hours a day was very difficult but she understood it would be necessary to prevent surgery. The brace is needed to keep her spine straight until she stops growing which would be monitored every six months with X-rays.

Front/Back view

Front/Back view

The past year has been extremely challenging. I was worried she would lose some of her sparkling personality due to the brace but she started off with the best attitude saying “Haters are my Motivators”. She went to school with the brace under her clothes and yes, unfortunately it stuck out past her hips and buttocks being very visible. She can take it off for PE since it is only every other day and a short period of time (PE in our schools are such a joke, She tells me half the time they just stand around so she doesn’t even bother taking it off. Instead she goes to the gym with me occasionally to get her excercise in or joins me for a race.) Fortunately she has supportive friends and family so the transition was made easier. Clothes shopping has been the biggest obstacle. She can barely button her jeans, the brace wears holes in all of clothes, she prefers tops that covers the brace which is extremely hard to find. (She lives in Varsity Sports t-shirts) Vacations had to be reconsidered. Beaches and water parks were no longer practical so we went on a cruise last summer. We gave her one day out of the brace when we were in Cozumel (don’t tell her doctor).
Cozumel 4th of July Weekend cruise 2013 at Mr. Sancho's

Cozumel 4th of July Weekend cruise 2013 at Mr. Sancho’s

I have encouraged Alaina to stay physical as much as possible but her motivation has been lacking over this past year. She still has done a few races. (We take off the brace right before the race starts and leave it in a safe place)

Pics from just a few of Alaina's races the past year

Pics from just a few of Alaina’s races the past year

This Monday we had our one year update. I had a huge amount of anxiety leading up to this appointment. Would the doctor say the brace is keeping her curve in check? (She had gotten quite tall in the past year.) How much longer would she have to wear it? Would she still need surgery?
The doctor pulled up the previous X-rays and the current. Success! From the last appointment in October she increased 2% overall (of course I would have preferred a decrease, She is now at 29% overall apprx) but the doctor said that was good news. Looking at her growth plates she is about to sprout up again so he tells us the brace is no longer fitting well for her low lumbar (which has the largest curve) so he tells us she has to get a new brace made ASAP. This is disappointing for Alaina since she starts high school in the fall and this means the new brace will fit low on her again (she will have a hard time hiding the brace under her clothes) but we understand it must anchor on her hips correctly. (I hadn’t noticed how much taller she had gotten until then.)
The good news is it appears she will only be in the new brace for 9-12 months and her journey should be over. No surgery! (I breathe a sigh of relief) I tell Alaina to just “embrace the suck” and that her Sophomore, Junior and Senior year will be great! She will be able to wear whatever clothes, dresses she likes and that she will be a beautiful Swan. She looks at me and asks “What, are you calling me a Duck?” lol! I laugh! (Mouth, insert foot) I respond, “Well, your a beautiful Duck!” laughing….

She still has her Spark 🙂

• 5/1/2013: Starting point with the brace: 11 thoracic/ 14 lumbar
• 10/28/2013: 6 months in the brace: 13.5 thoracic / 14 lumbar
• 5/5/2014: 1 year in the brace: 14 thoracic / 15 lumbar
• 5/2015: Hoping this journey will be behind her. Stay tuned.