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.

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Taking a breather to refocus

Sometimes you have to take a step back to refocus or just to catch your breath.
Our lives can get so hectic at times. Almost to the point where it gets away from us.
This past week I looked back at old pictures from the past couple of years and realized I have had lots of fun adventures. I have made lots of memories with my family and made lots of new friends along the way. I think its good to take some time to refocus on your life and in the process keeps you grounded. Bart Yasso posted this on Twitter a couple of days ago and it really spoke to me at just the right time.

Very wise man.

Very wise man.

Another post I wanted to share is from: http://positiveoutlooksblog.com/.
never-stop-working

Last hurdle before the home stretch #roadto26.2

As I look at my Countdown the days are getting closer.
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My chest tightens with anxiety; my concern grows over my eating regimen.
My legs immediately get sore with the thought of my last long run ahead next weekend.
“Breathe” I tell myself.
I look at my running schedule and I see that this is the 9th week of 12th. It will be the last hard week. “You got this,” I tell myself. Your not injured. Training is going well.
I realize I followed the training thus far without fail and I am actually quite proud of myself.
I just have to get through this last week and then I have three easier weeks ahead before the Marathon.
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If you look at my event list I even added something new to it recently.
My first ‘Trail’ Half Marathon. I have been wanting to do a Q50 race but hoped it would be a 5 or 10miler. Well this option came up and its 5 weeks after my Full. My endurance will still be good from training. It will actually be the shortest race distance of the options that day. (It coincides with a 50 & 25 mile Ultra.) Part of me was going to play it safe and sign up after I run my Full to make sure I make it through injury free but I went for it anyway. Have you heard of Race Blues? It is the let down after a big race goal is completed. It’s the “What now?” complex. I had it after Disney Princess. The fix is to find another goal to focus on afterwards. So my first Trail Half sounded like a good option. Trails are no joke. You have to run them at a slower pace, music is not allowed, you carry your own water plus your calves and ankles will not be happy with you the next day. You will work them a completely different way but it is challenging and thrilling. I have only done a couple 5k Trail races so this is a bit of a jump for me but I am excited and for me to be excited is a good thing. I will have to dust off my trail shoes and go to Comite to prepare.
Check it out here: http://q50races.com/q50-races-marathon-and-half-marathon-2013/

First thing first. I have to get through this next week. Mother Nature has been quite fussy lately as you may know. Warm one day, cold the next plus very rainy. I have a 5 and 10 miler training run this coming week that I may have to go to the gym and fight over a treadmill to get it done then my long run next weekend. I really need to get it in. I feel good that I did get one 20 in but my friend and Coach Stephen says it would be good for me to get another. So I must trust in the training to get me through to that Finish line which is the ultimate goal. I have come this far. People are dropping like flies with colds and flu also. I am taking my vitamins every day and hoping I have this shield of protection to save me this next month ahead. I must stay Healthy and Strong.

Wish me luck! What big races do you have coming up? How do you stay focused?
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Sidenote: My personal blog hit over 6k views this week. Thank you for following along on my journey and for all of the encouragement. These past couples of posts have been very therapeutic to my Marathon training. Something that I hope to be able to look back on if I decide to do it again. I have surprised myself already several times since I started this blog in January 2013 with the challenges I have taken on. Even this post from last April proves I am lot stronger than I gave myself credit for: https://ndeckerrunner.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/to-go-the-distance-or-not/

What have you done lately to prove your strength?

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.
quality-over-quantity

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?