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!

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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?!

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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:

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Runner Moments

This morning I posted a picture on social media. One that took over a day to choose pictures for. I don’t participate in “Throwback Thursday” very often but I felt the urge today. I wanted to post a collage of “Runner Moments” for #TBT. As I scrolled through my phone and my Facebook albums I noticed I had countless to choose from. I have been very lucky since starting my Runner Journey in 2011 and I don’t take one moment or experience for granted. Thank you for those that I have met along the way.

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I am very thankful for the memories and friendships made through running. It definetly gives back more than I ever expected. It’s not a chore, it’s a privilege. Keep it fun!

Spring Southern Race Round Up for Discounts plus RNR $15 code

 Several race directors have contacted me with race discounts for the upcoming 2015 season so I thought I would share on this page and update this post as I get more so keep checking back!

Mardi Gras Mambo 10k & 15k   Mambo from Downtown Baton Rouge through the oak lined streets of the Garden District, past City Park Lake and back to downtown for the post-race fete. I have a special weblink to get 25% off the 10k or 15k race registration. (The discount will be applied during registration process.You get a race shirt, bling and food for only $19.88 for the 10k & $27.75 for the 15k) This #RunMardiGras deal expires 2/13/15 for the link click HERE

Gulf Coast Half Marathon Series in Gulf Shores, AL 3/1/15 — $13.10 discount with code: ‘NDECKERRUNNER’ Beautiful course and nearly world famous post race party at Lulu’s with one of the most unique finisher medals around.

Zydeco Marathon/Half “ZYDECODECKER15” for 10% off online registration.Race in Lafayette,LA 3/8/15 Distance runners will love the motivation, encouragement, and a little humor as they make their way through long courses in Lafayette, LA. At the completion of the race, there will also be a free outdoor concert, labeled the “Finish Line Festival”, held in the UL Intramural Fields next to Blackham Coliseum.  Local zydeco bands will perform and local restaurants will be on site for food.

2nd annual Allstate Sugar Bowl St. Patrick’s Day Classic 3/15/15 “ccc10kblogger” for $5 off –Expires 1/31/15.  Run down Metairie Road before the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and don’t miss your ONLY chance to qualify for the 2015 Crescent City Classic 10k at the 2-mile distance.

37th annual Crescent City Classic 10k 4/4/15 “ccc10kblogger” for $5 off- Expires 1/31/15. The Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic 10k road race is held in New Orleans on the Saturday before Easter Sunday each year.  The Classic is locally produced by a not-for-profit 5013c entity, the Crescent City Fitness Foundation, and is a great way to get in shape, while having fun!  Both runners and walkers of all abilities are invited to participate in the race.

Gulf Coast Half Marathon Series in Pensacola, FL 4/12/15-$13.10 discount with code: ‘NDECKERRUNNER’  This race feature Mile Markers at every mile and 11 well supported water stations. Sunrise at the beach for this race start is always a sight to see so don’t miss out! Post-Race Party fueled by Flounders where you can dip your feet in the Gulf Coast waters after your run.

 Jazz Half Marathon  promo code ‘DOITAGAIN’. This code is $10 off registration for the Half is good through 2/20/15. The 7th Annual Jazz Half Marathon and 5K will be held on October 31, 2015. The race begins and ends in historic Lafayette Square, and is followed by a post-party featuring live music by local artists and delicious New Orleans fare benefiting the Cancer Program at Children’s Hospital.

Dirty South Marathon/Half “RUNDECKER10” for 10% off online registration.Race in West Monroe,LA to be held on 11/15/15. This 2nd annual event ensures a quality experience for all participants so general entry caps are set for 500 marathoners and 1,000 half-marathoners. Don’t miss out!  Participants can signup to run as a St. Jude’s Hero by pledging to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude’s Hero’s will strive to hit fundraising milestones for free entries, pre-race meals, and accommodations.

5th Annual The Louisiana Marathon Weekend 2016: Promo code “IKNOWNICOLE” 10% discount for all distances ( Full, Half, Quarter, 5k ) except the kids race Jan 16- Jan 17,2016 join in the fun for a running festival with lagniappe! The course features a fast, flat, festive path from downtown along the river through the University Lakes, the Louisiana State University campus and in historic river town neighborhoods. This race featured in Runner’s World Magazine draws in runners from all 50 states plus over 9 countries.

Looking to sign up for a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series race? I have your $15 off Promo code “NDECKERRUNNER” Thanks rocknblog Good for any Full or Half distance race in 2015 throughout US except Mexico. Expires 12/31/15. Do you #RunForTheBling? RNR offers unique opportunities to earn extra bling by completing multiple Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series events.

 

Keep checking back for more….

Do you have a Race Discount to share? Comment or message me to be added

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“Blues to the Bayou” My own Back 2 Back Half’s-Part two: The Bayou

It was looking like a picture perfect weekend for the 4th Annual Louisiana Marathon weekend. I had a plan B going into the weekend to run the Quarter distance race instead of the Half but I knew in the back of my mind I wanted to keep my alumni status and keep going Half Crazy. (my own term)  Next year will be the 5th annual and since this race has been growing every year it promises to be great. The Expo this year was at the Baton Rouge River Center. Packet pickup was a bit crazy if you were doing pickups for multiple people for different races but other then that it went smooth and there was lots to go look at. I got a scoop for this years Jazz Half Marathon in New Orleans on October 31,2015 from the Race Director Chuck George that starting this year he will be changing up the bling to musical instruments. This year will be the Saxophone! I was very excited to hear this update. 2016 may be the Piano and possible the Clarinet in 2017 ( my daughter plays the Clarinet so when I told her that she was very interested).  Race expos are a great place to find out more about races in your area. Plus this weekends race in Louisiana was bringing in large crowd from all 50 states and 9 countries so you never know who you could possibly meet.

Saturday’s race was the 5K, Quarter and Kids Marathon. I would be on hand to be race support for my daughter Alaina running the 5K and my friend Francine doing the Inaugural Quarter distance (6.55 miles). The weather was perfect about 35 degrees and no wind.

Start line for Saturday's 5K & Quarter which started at the time

Start line for Saturday’s 5K & Quarter which started at the same time

Alaina hugging Francine after finishing their races. "Runner Support" I love it :)

Alaina hugging Francine after finishing their races. “Runner Support” I love it 🙂

So proud of her and relieved she is out of her Scoliosis brace. (That was a long break but she is back out there and already focused on doing a couple 10k's this year. I told her this morning I was proud of her before she even crossed the Start line. I know she hates the training but the Finish line makes it SO worth it. I loved to see that face of accomplishment today. Such a great morning. She will be out there to cheer me on tomorrow for the Half. BTW: This was Alaina's 22nd event since she started with me in 2011. Today was her 15th actual 5K. (Count includes: 1=10K, 1=Sprint Triathlon, 1=Paddleboard race, 2=Trail races, Couple fun runs) #ProudMom

So proud of her and relieved she is out of her Scoliosis brace. (That was a long break but she is back out there and already focused on doing a couple 10k’s this year) I told her I was proud of her before she even crossed the Start line. I know she hates the training but the Finish line makes it SO worth it. I loved to see that face of accomplishment today. BTW: This was Alaina’s 22nd event since she started with me in 2011. Today was her 15th actual 5K. (Count includes: 1=10K, 1=Sprint Triathlon, 1=Paddleboard race, 2=Trail races, Couple fun runs) 

We hung out at the Finish Festival for a bit where there was bands and food from various vendors before leaving. They understood I needed to get off my feet a bit for my race Sunday and promised to be my support the following day. On the way to the car we caught the start of the Kids Marathon. It was AMAZING to watch them go and what a CROWD!

Kids Marathon. So cute to watch. Some ran hand in hand :)

Kids Marathon. So cute to watch. Some ran hand in hand 🙂

Sunday arrived finally. What would the day bring? My PR time to beat was a 2:06 but I had not been running that fast lately and my legs were still tired from MS Blues the previous weekend. I did have some extra excitement for the day. My daughter and husband was coming for the FIRST TIME to see me Start and Finish a Half Marathon. This was a big deal for me and definitely a good one for them to come see. There would be plenty of excitement in the air and a great Finish Festival so they wouldn’t be bored waiting on me. Lining up in the start coral there was lots of familiar, friendly faces offering encouragement and last minute advice.

This year it was a wave start with Ainsley’s Angels starting out first.

Start line for the Half & Full

Start line for the Half & Full

Finally we were off. I saw my support krewe at the Start to wish me luck and off I went.  The first Half of the race went well. I did my best to not start off fast and was at the 10k mark at 1:01. I watched my tangents and took in the sights which there was plenty of. There was lots of cheer stations along the race course. Some offered free mimosas, pancakes, beer, whatever you would like.  At one spot I saw some little kids in their pj’s high fiving runners as they came by. So cute! Those kids could have been sleeping or watching cartoons but no they were outside giving their support on a 45 degree/5mph winds morning. Very Sweet! ( I got my high 5’s) 🙂

I noticed I was having to use my GU’s more frequently than usual and could feel my energy level zapping away. By mile 11 I was slowly crashing. Nooooooooooo! I must push through. I had people waitting for me at the Finish. At this point I knew I was not going to make my PR and just tried to come in as close to 2:09 as possible. The feeling of slight disappointment was already settling in. Finally the home stretch. My last push to the Finish but I had nothing left in the tank to give. I  just kept my focus to run to the end and spot my Support Krewe. They were giving smiles and cheers as I crossed the Finish at 2:12. Mike Wattigny was there and gave me a high 5 at the Finish who I coincidentally saw at the Start as well  (He is the Race Director for Gulf Coast Marathon Series and Operations Director for Louisiana Marathon) Rachel Booth congratulated me and I was elated to see her (She currently holds the course record for the women/Louisiana Half at 1:17) I gave her a huge hug and told her how thankful I was. Then I got hugs galore from my friends and family which made my day. My husband and daughter said they were proud of me and my daughter waited for me to go get my medal so she could put it on me as promised. My friend Francine had no doubt I would do the Half and gave me props for doing them two weekends in a row.

Although it was not a PR day for me (yet again) I still felt thrilled that I got to experience it. It was time for me to enjoy the after party and watch the people running the Full come in. That is always inspiring and motivating to watch. For me it is part of the experience as well.

A Great Day!

A Great Day! Pics from the Start & Finish

Amazing Finishers! So inspiring to watch #GeauxRunla

Amazing Finishers! So Inspiring  #GeauxRunla

Number of participants this year at The Louisiana Marathon Weekend:

  • Marathon: 1360 (638 Female/722 Male) Average time  4:32
  • Half Marathon: 2853 (1716 Female/ 1136 Male) Average time  2:21
  • Quarter: 397 (248 Female/149 Male) Average time  1:13
  • Kids Marathon: 641 (287 Female/353 Male) Average time  11:36
  • 5K: 1399 (864 Female/534 Male) Average time  37:49

 For more information and to join us next year check out The Louisiana Marathon website at: http://www.thelouisianamarathon.com  or on Facebook.

#GeauxRunLA

 If you missed Part One from MS Blues check it out HERE

 

Thoughts before, during and after a race… #RunnerHumor

Thoughts “before” a race…..

  • Aack! Is that a rain cloud?
  • Did I apply Body Glide in “all” the right places?
  • Is my KT Tape going to stay on?
  • I have done this a bazillion times so why am I nervous right before race start?
  • Is my music charged?
  • I have to run how far?
  • Don’t forget to start my Garmin

Thoughts “during”  a race…..

  • I am only at mile 2?
  • Really a stroller is going faster than me?
  • Aack! Is that a rain cloud?
  • Did I apply Body Glide in “all” the right places?
  • Crap! a 12 year old is going faster than me!
  • Is my KT Tape going to stay on?
  • Did I eat enough?
  • Did I eat too much?
  • Aack! Pothole!

 Thoughts a mile or two before the Finish line…..

  • Is my Garmin still working? It doesn’t seem to be moving or am I going in slow motion?!
  • This last mile is the longest yet!
  • WHERE is the Finish line?!
  • Finish line in sight, OK this is where I need to go at warp speed. ENGAGE! SMILE!

 Thoughts “after” crossing the Finish line….

  • Whew that wasn’t so bad
  • I could have gone faster
  • Where is my phone?
  • Where is the Chocolate Milk?
  • FOOOOOOD!!
  • Ouch!! I missed a spot with the Body Glide
  • Aack! I forgot to press stop on my Garmin!
  • When is the next race?

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Feel free to share yours and Geaux Run!!!!

14 races in 2014 a look back

So I was looking at my race list and in 2013 I did “13” races” (Coincidentally)

2013 Completed  (13)

  • Louisiana “HALF” Marathon – Baton Rouge  1/20/13— Finished in 2hr 12min –BIB#1466—My 6th Half!
  • Disneyworld Princess Half Marathon Feb/2013–February 22-24, 2013  (for fun) plus Royal Family 5k- BIB#1001—4:05
  • Corporate Cup 5k (with Turner) 3/23/13—— 27:29 5K PR! –8:52 pace– BIB#1992
  • Crescent City Classic 10k 3/30/13—New Orleans—35th Anniversary!- Finished in 57:58 10k PR!- 9:21–pace  BIB#3749
  • Gulf Coast Half Pensacola  4/7/13—  Finished in 2hr 10min –BIB#287—my 8th Half!
  • Run Forest Run 5K 4/28/13 15th annual-New Orleans—–Bib#553  Completed 28:38
  • 3rd Annual SuperHero 5k Zachary 5/11/13 (for fun with Alaina-She won 1st place in Costume Contest)
  • Rocketchix Duathlon 7-27-13   2mile run/12 mile bike/2mile run-Bib #505-1:26 (1st in my age group ,3rd overall –Fat Tire )
  • 4th Annual Muddy Water Paddle Battle Relay & 250m Sprint 8-3-13 (Came in 3rd in the Women’s Relay/ 4th in the Sprint.-My daughter Alaina did the ½ mile)
  • Zoo Zoom 5k       8-24-13   28:28  –9:11 pace– BIB#152
  • Saints 5k      8-31-13 –with  Steve & Alaina for fun
  • Zombie Bash    10-4-13 –with Alaina for fun—Alaina did it —(I was injured, not in Count)
  • Middendorf’s 10 miler  11-16-13 — 1hr:37    — BIB#62
  • Baton Rouge Beach Half     12-7-13—–2:10—BIB #434

In 2014  I did “14” races” (Again a TOTAL Coincidence in count)

2014 Completed  (14)_

  • 3rd Year -Louisiana Half Marathon    1-19-14- Finished in 2hr 07min –BIB#4578—My 10th Half!!
  • 5th Anniversary New Orleans RnR FULL MARATHON   2-2-14– Finished in 4hr48min –BIB#12145–1st Full!
  • Q50Half —Trail Half Boque Chitto–3-8-14– Finished in 2hr33min –BIB#155–1st Trail Half
  • Forge Unicorn 4 miler Clark Creek 4-12-14—Did for “Fun” with Alaina, Maggie and Dan-Finished in 1hr59min—
  • Crescent City Classic 10k 4/19/14—New Orleans—BIB#13051  —Finished in 1hr:4min
  • Happys 5000  3miler 5/3/14– Finished in 29:18 –BIB#165-
  • Q50 RACES CINCO DE MAYO 5/4/2014—Audubon Park-4miler trail w/ Alaina – I finished 44:38 Bib#193 21st overall woman–Alaina #194 finished 59:30
  • 70.3 Ironman Augusta,GA 9-28-14–1st Relay!–“The Runner” -Finished in 2:12 –BIB#3456-
  • Gulf Coast Half Mandeville 10-19-14 – Finished in 2hr 07min –BIB#220—
  • RNR LAS VEGAS HALF 11-16-14 – Finished in 2hr 52min –BIB#11242—SO MUCH FUN!
  • Goldenfliers 5miler 11-22-14 – Finished in 47min:47 –BIB#289—9:33pace
  • Reindeer Run 5k for fun with Alaina-45min
  • Baton Rouge Beach Half 12-6-14 – Finished in 2hr min:19 –BIB#803—My 15th Half
  • Girls on the Run 5k for fun with Gabbie 12-13-14 -41min (It was an honor to run w/ my niece)

2014 was NOT a year of PR’s for sure but I did my first Full Marathon, my first Trail Half and participated in my first Ironman event which was also my first Relay event. My bling rack represents lots of incredible memories and friends made. Not every race was for time some was to help my niece complete her Girls on the Run program or to take the family out for a fun race morning at Clark Creek or an evening out with my daughter to enjoy the Christmas lights and a 3miler thrown in so we can enjoy some treats at the bake sale booth afterwards. I look at each medal or race bib and feel blessed. For me that is what running is about, to ‘Enjoy the Journey’ and share it with others.

Some 2014 race highlights in pictures:

First Full Marathon! RNR New Orleans 2-2-14

First Full Marathon! RNR New Orleans 2-2-14. I could not have done it without Francine, Karen, Coach Stephen, my family plus all the support from friends following along.

 1st Trail Half 3-8-14. A great morning in Boque Chitto

1st Trail Half 3-8-14. A beautiful morning in Boque Chitto

Fun family morning at Forge Unicorn 4 miler Clark Creek 4-12-14

Fun family morning at Forge Unicorn 4 miler Clark Creek 4-12-14

Crescent City Classic 10k 4/19/14

Crescent City Classic 10k 4/19/14  Always on Easter Weekend!

Love these girls!! 70.3 IM AUGUSTA,GA   9-28-14 1st Relay

Love these girls!! Hugs Laura & Larissa  70.3 IM AUGUSTA,GA 9-28-14 1st Relay

Viva Las Vegas with my best running bud Francine!!!

Viva Las Vegas with my best running bud Francine!!!

Gulf Coast Half Mandeville 10-19-14

Gulf Coast Half Mandeville 10-19-14. This is the look of “Relief” at the Finish!

I love and support the Girls On The Run program

I love and support the Girls On The Run program. So proud of my niece Gabbie

Still growing

Still growing. Lots of memories and look forward to more.