Pain in the neck- Take Two

yep, we are here again. If you recall almost two years ago I had Anterior Cervical Disk Fusion for a ruptured disk in the neck in C5-6 and C6-7. I had made great progress until recently. In March it was discovered the disk above and below the fusion are now herniated. My doctor has told me no running/jumping etc. I need to stay on low impact activities/workouts. I won’t bore you with the medical details but the main concern is C4-5 and C7-T1. My physical therapist and surgeon told me I need to avoid a multilevel fusion at all costs. My real wake-up call was this week when my PT introduced me to someone that has had a multilevel fusion and he told me she is miserable. People have asked me how I am feeling. I am ok. I had cut way back from the running events anyway due to life in general. Last year I had only participated in six events and this year I have only done four. Run Disney recently opened up Princess Half registration for next February and it was a little disappointing because I was hoping to register but you know what it is OK. I will miss the “energy” of the race events but to not have the “option” of going for a run to maintain my weight and fitness level is the most frustrating thing.

I have been fortunate to do 82 events since January 2011. If I never get to run a race again I am grateful. (1-Full Marathon, 21- Half Marathons, 5-10 milers, 1-15k, 10-10k’s, 1-8k, 33-5k’s, 1-mudrace, 4- Trail races, 1-Sprint Triathlon, 1-Sprint Duathlon, 1-70.3 Relay and 2-Paddleboard races. Experiences, Memories & Friendships made= Priceless!

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New Orleans Saints 5k, NYC Mini Oakley 10k, RnR Vegas Half, Jazz Half, Battleship 12k, Girls on the Run 5k, St Jude Memphis Half,  RnR NOLA Full Marathon, Ironman 70.3 Relay in Augusta, GA  just a few of many   🙂

This past weekend I went and spectated at the annual Happy’s 5k race and had a ball. I have a lot of fun, supportive friends.

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Now I just want to retain my fitness and avoid a multilevel fusion. Proper recovery, workouts, listening to my surgeon & physical therapist as well as good ergonomics at work will be key for me. (I have a “stand up” desk on order) I still have more places on my vacation list I want to see and experience. I am not going to let this slow me down too much. Heck, last month I went waterfall repelling in Costa Rica!

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Pura Vida!

Stay focused and stay healthy my friends.

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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A race morning at the Finish – Amedisys Mardi Gras Mambo 10k/15k

This past Saturday morning was like no other. The 7th Annual Amedisys Mardi Gras Mambo 10k/15k was going to be going on Downtown and this race morning I decided I wanted to go down and volunteer. My husband and daughter also came which was an added bonus.
We got there right before the kids 1 mile Mambo Fun Run started. I always love to watch the kids races. Their energy never fails to inspire me. Right after they finished crossing the start line I saw the race director Eric Engemann unwrapping the kids medals and asked him if he needed a hand and he said sure. So we went to work getting the finisher medals ready. We had to work fast. The first kid “Michael Lee -Age 13” crossed the 1 mile mark at 6min:22 seconds! Before we knew it it was time for the 10k & 15k to start which both groups would be starting together. I saw many familiar faces of running friends in the crowd. They asked why I wasn’t running and I told them I would be ‘Medal Girl’ today. I would be there to cheer for them as they crossed the Finish line. They all said they were looking forward to it. Once again we went to work getting the 10k/15k medals ready. (Fortunately we had a bit more time for this race.) The 15k medal was larger than the 10k and the bibs were different colors so it would be easy to see who needed what medal although some registered for the 15k turned off and did the 10k during the race so we would still have to ask as they finished. The weather was perfect this morning with blue skies and approx 42 degrees. Part of me wished I was out there running but I was in the next best spot especially with my family by my side.
The 1st 10k Finisher “Conor Doan” came in at 33:24 (5:23pace) WOW!
The 1st 15k Finisher ” Kevin Castille” came in at 48:34 (5:13pace) Double WOW!
To give medals to many friends and new runners was a very rewarding experience. If I wasn’t running there was no other place I would have rather have been. After a couple hours we got relieved to get a bite to eat at the after party which was just a short walk to the Belle of Baton Rouge Atrium. Most of the food was gone by that time but Jay Ducote of Bite and Booze was still serving up brisket. There were a great variety of vendors to choose from if you had gotten there just a tad earliar. As I congratulated friends and said our goodbyes my daughter told me that next year count her in for the 10k. I have to say that yes, I will be joining her as well.
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For more information on this race visit: http://www.runmambo.com/
When was the last time you volunteered at a local race?

To new opportunities…

Have you seen the new Baton Rouge Mom’s logo on my blog?
Well as of 10/14/2013, I was announced as a contributor for their website.
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For more on this announcement visit: http://batonrougemoms.com/brmb-contributors/
Baton Rouge Moms is the go to resource portal for moms in Baton Rouge and beyond. I am thrilled to have been asked to contribute. It gives me so much personal satisfaction every time I can encourage someone else to step out of their comfort zone and try something new to add fitness to their lives.
You can follow along at http://batonrougemoms.com/ or on their Facebook page.
I have a very special post I am currently working on for their upcoming “Wellness Wednesday” spot that will tie in to National Breast Cancer Awareness Month as well as the Woman’s Half Marathon, 10K Road Race & 5K Fun Run to be held on December 8, 2013 in Baton Rouge,LA . http://www.womanshalfmarathon.com/
So be sure to check it out!
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