Roll With the Wind-Ainsley’s Angels

  • To do for others that can’t.
  • To give each other a lending hand.
  • To give someone something to smile about.
  • To develop a special connection with others.

This is all the backbone of Ainsley’s Angels.

We have all seem them at the beginning of a race. Generally it is one Angel Athlete Rider with a disability to a team of three Angel Runners ready to push and cheer their rider to the Finish line.  I saw them recently at our local Mardi Gras Mambo race and thought how inspiring. I never thought possible that I could be fortunate enough to help participate as an Angel Runner. That is just for the elite runner right? Nope! If you can run and have the positive energy to support your rider than Yes, you can be an Angel Runner.

I heard of a local race event coming up that they would have a presence the Amazing Half/5k in Baton Rouge. I signed up on the Ainsley’s Angels site under my state as a runner and reached out to the chapter head. He was very responsive and encouraging to join the team. For this event I would be joining the team of #TeamNika with 4 other Angel Runners (all women) IMG_1193

We were ALL actually newbies but Nika wasn’t worried. She was a pro. She had done the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half! This would be a piece of cake for her. We got a quick tutorial on her bike (The front tire does not swivel so you have to be careful on turns and stay towards the right of the course for runners to pass).

Soon we were at the Start line ready to kick off the race.

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This would be an easy out and back 5k. The cloudy morning fortunately kept the rain at bay. I got to start the race with my buddy Francine. We took turns pushing Nika who made it super easy. I had looked up some advice on how to run and push at the same time (you concentrate on not twisting your hips too much, use the power of your legs and keep your chest forward. If you buddy up with one person pushing on each side alternate your arms that you are using to swing).

Jennifer, Emily, Sarah, Francine and I kept about an easy 10min pace and got Nika to the Finish line in 32:31. I would run with these ladies anytime!

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I highly recommend you checking out Ainsley’s Angels and signing up to be someones Angel. A special “Thank you” to Nika for letting us join you today!

For more info check out : http://www.ainsleysangels.org/

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Ready or Not!

I am feeling the urge to get back to it. Recently I have been looking at race calendars to see which ones coming up would be a good fit.

There are so many personal categories to fill when picking a race:

  • Do I have a family conflict with the race date? Does hubby have work?
  • Does my daughter need my car that day? Does she have work or a test?
  • Can I sign up race day? Is there parking? What will the weather be?

and then the self doubt creeps in……

2questionsI know, you are probably thinking that I am thinking too much about it and I should just pull the trigger. Your right. We tend to defeat ourselves with our mental state.  So what I probably wont PR since I have done a race in five months.So what I haven’t been running 3 times a week regularly. Why do we put so much doubt in ourselves? It is true what they say it is mostly mental. Why do we talk ourselves out of it with self doubt before we even get out of the door?

Let’s shut up the mental game by keeping it light and fun!

  • Buy yourself those new shoes or pants you have been eyeing
  • Freshen up your track list or podcast and zone out
  • Download a new app such as “Zombies, Run!”
  • Pick a change in scenery or sign up for a new race

Remember why did we start this to begin with?

  • To look better naked?
  • More all around self confidence?
  • Drop a pant size?
  • Be more social?

So commit yourself by signing up for something ahead of time, get back out there. It just may not be as scary as you think. After all I am sure your faster than a  Zombie!

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The race distance that’s right for YOU

Once upon a time there lived in a certain town a little city girl with dark locks of hair, the kind at heart creature who every one loved. Her father was excessively fond of her; and her husband and daughter doted on her more. This good girl had little red shoes made just for her. They suited the girl so extremely well that everybody called her Little Red Running Shoes.

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One day her father, having made some pies while visiting, said to her, “Go, my dear, run a 5k and see how you do.

Little Red Running Shoes set out immediately and registered that day. She even invited a friend, who lived in another nearby town.

As she was going through the distance of her 5k run she felt wonderful and met along her path a balding but jolly running coach who loved donuts. She met with the jolly coach afterwards, who almost discarded her but she brought him a box of warm, glazed donuts which he gobbled up in an instant.

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He asked her what distance would she run next, She responded “I think I will try a 10k” . The girl realizing this would be double the distance at 6.2 miles but was not afraid. A couple weeks later as she walked up to the Start line and checked the laces of her red running shoes, she saw her coach on the sides lines and he said “Run your race and enjoy it“. Afterwards she gave him a full report and was excited to say that she actually beat her expected finish time. She showed him her shiny race reward with pride and rewarded her coach with more donuts for his advice.

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After a couple months of continued training Little Red Running Shoes decided she would attempt to conquer the 13.1 Half Marathon distance.Her coach advised her to wait til fall for cooler weather and she would be better prepared. She listened and by October she was ready to once again cross the Start line. This one would be a bit more harder than she expected, she worried at a couple points with the extra challenging distance if she would be able to finish but she came through the Finish line at 2:24. This time her running coach had a warm donut waiting for her which she accepted happily.

Little Red Running Shoes continued her training through Spring and even got up to a whooping “20” miles. She went back to her coach and pleaded with him to let her try the Full Marathon distance of 26.2 miles. He cautiously warned her off of the mighty distance but Little Red Running Shoes was very persistent. She begged “Please Coach, I can do it“. Against his cautious advice she signed up for one that was in a nearby town so she would not have to travel far. When she went to the race expo to pick up her supplies she was greatly amazed to see how large the Full Marathon finisher medal would be. She thought to herself how proud her father and running coach would be of her when she accomplished such greatness.

Race morning came with morning jitters. She barely got any sleep. So many thoughts ran through her mind…..

Did I drink enough?

“Did I eat enough to carry me through 26.2 miles?”

“Did I eat too much?”

” Did I break in my new shiny red running shoes long enough?”

Her running coach met her at the start line as promised and told her the same words as before “Run your race and enjoy it” , she exhaled slowly as the start gun went off.

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The miles ticked by easy at first but as the mileage increased it would become more difficult.

“Mile 10, what big hills you have!”

“Mile 14, should I have stopped for more nourishment?”

“Mile 16, ooooooo that strange watery drink does not suit my tummy well!”

“Mile 19, The heat, oooo the heat, Where did the shade go?”

“Mile 22, Why oh why am I doing this again?”

As she approached Mile 26 Little Red Running Shoes legs ached, her feet were blistered, her mouth parched but she slowly made her way to the grand finish to claim her prize at 26.2 .

“Look Coach at what I did! “Little Red Running Shoes exclaimed. Her Coach replied “Did you enjoy it as much as the Half, 10k and 5k?” . Little Red Running Shoes had to think long and hard, “No, its not as much fun as I thought it would be. Why do I feel so guilty?”

Her jolly coach responded “You are to enjoy the run, some will be more challenging than others but once you lose the joy you will realize which distances suit best .”

And, hearing these words,  Little Red Running Shoes knew the Half,10k and 5k would happily be her distances of choice. Because YES she can have her donuts and run too !

 

 

 

 

A look back to look forward

2015 taught me you cant plan for everything. It was a tough year and at moments had me lost for words which is why my blog hasn’t been as filled with as much content. Sometimes writing can make you feel naked, to hit “publish” on a blog post or to add a picture can make you feel so vulnerable it makes me question what and what not to share. It can be tough for a woman at times. Working full time, raising a teenage daughter, marriage and juggling personal goals as well as running can leave you wanting a time out and not to feel guilty about it. That’s exactly what I have done. I have hit pause. Don’t get me wrong 2015 had some highlights. I didn’t do as many races but the ones I did participate in gave me some special memories that make me reflect with a smile.

2015 Completed <12>  (with links to my blog recaps):

Reflecting on these races again remind me why I do it, its not for the finish time but for the experience. Each one of these remind me of special times with my daughter that we shared or a good laugh with a friend.

The app #2015bestnine selected my most liked pics from Instagram and I have to say it hit it pretty close.

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What’s on tap for 2016? I am not sure yet. Tomorrow I go to the doctor for a follow up from my spinal surgery, fingers crossed I am making good progress. I am scheduled to run Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans next month and I am currently planning my first trip to New York in June to run in Central Park at the Mini Oakley 10k which has been on my list for awhile. Whatever I do if I am adding special memories along the way I am happy.

Thanks for following along let’s see what 2016 offers…..

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Why running with your kids is important

  • They have the goal of the finish line to focus their attention on
  • Gives them more motivation to eat healthy and stay in shape
  • Provides an activity you can do together which in turn will add to their memory bank
  • Your kids may get their own friends involved
  • Teaches them to support and encourage each other
  • Your child will ooze self confidence after stepping over the finish line
  • One day they may do it with their own kids

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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.

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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

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!