Cross Training for Variety

I admit it, I haven’t crossed many finish lines as of lately. Heck I am not even signed up for an upcoming race. Usually I am scheduled a year in advance on my race calendar. ( Yes, runners generally have a separate calendar)

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What I have been doing is hitting my local gym 4-5 times a week and LOVING it! To be back in a group environment again doing Spin, Tabata or even good ole treadmill ( better known as the dread mill) to work on incline training and it has been MARVELOUS! For me it is a boredom buster to throw in something different. I can disconnect my brain and just follow the instructor. Plus it helps to improve my overall fitness such as core work to ward off those pesky injuries like my I.T. band or weak hips.

 

Am I getting the itch to sign up for a fall Half Marathon? YEP! Have I picked one yet? Nope! but its coming….In the mean time I will be at the gym because sweat is sweat no matter if its on the roads or off. Just enjoy !

Cue song 🙂

 

 

Run like Phoebe

Words have escaped me as of late. Life gets hectic, chaotic and downright stressful so yes I have been a bit neglectful on my blog please forgive me. I do think about the rambles of words and subjects to throw on my blog but I don’t write just to have content. It has to mean something to me. I do admit I have scaled back my races this Spring/Summer due to my teenage daughter Sophomore year coming to an end and Junior year will be even more demanding. An involved parent has to put things on the backburner occasionally and not feel guilty doing so. Thankfully I have not completely neglected my fitness in the process. I have been spending more time in Bootcamp style classes at the gym instead of the road which has given me time to work on my core and meet new people. Reading blogs like Modern Mommy Madness  and Scary Mommy  has put some hearty laughter in my day which is much needed to not take things so seriously. I do have an event I am looking forward too in a couple weeks. My husband, daughter and I are scratching an item off of my bucket list. We will be traveling to New York for our first time. We will be doing the tourist thing and I finally get to run in Central Park!! Even better I get to participate in the New York Mini 10k! To sweeten the pot I get to finally meet Angela  my Yankee friend in person who I have chatted with on Social Media for years! I have been promising to visit the big apple and she has agreed to run with me and show me the sights during the race, so expect a picture recap on that one for sure! My daughter will be doing the #Mini10k as well (walk/jogging). We will be wearing matching Nike tanks (twinsies as she puts it) So it looks like NYC will be my runcation for the year which I am thankful to make more memories.

I cant wait to run like Phoebe! 🙂

 

 

Run it like it’s your last

Run it like it’s your last

This is what I kept telling myself as the miles ticked by during the rocky, pot hole filled race route for my 21st Half at Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans . Five years ago in 2011 I completed my first Half at this race so I was thankful to be lining up at the Start once again. Yes,the roads are sub par but the sights make up for it since this is a city that I love. The day before I always walk my legs off at the race expo and I can never skip going by the magnificent St Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter to soak up the culture and sounds of the local artists. This visit was no different just an extra 20k visitors to add to the mix. Afterwards we had dinner at Hard Rock where I enjoyed a couple of Hurricanes and an ice bath back at the hotel would be my penance for my sore legs to get me ready for race morning. We lucked out and scored a room with a balcony at Embassy Suites (which is great when you are wanting to check the weather). We woke up to a beautiful sunrise along the New Orleans river walk.

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Francine and I always lay out our gear the night before so race morning can go smoothly. We gave Alaina a few extra minutes to sleep in but since her 10k started 30 minutes before ours it was soon time to get her to her race start. This would be her 1st RNR event but she showed no fear. We made a plan to meet up after our Half and I decided to run with my phone so I could text her mile 11 to look for us at the Finish. Next we met up with some of our Varsity friends to say a quick prayer, calm each others nerves and wish each other luck.

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Races are always more than PR’s for me, its about friendship and enjoying the journey. Today for me was about being grateful. I felt the strongest I have had since before my surgery and my finish time of 2:13 showed it. Not a PR but I am back to the form I was last January so I’ll take it. Two years I pounded these streets in New Orleans for my one and only Full marathon, once you do that you get a feeling you can do anything. To be among this crowd I felt fortunate so I pushed extra hard knowing that my daughter would be at the finish and I was among friends that are on the same journey. So yes I jumped over those potholes with satisfaction.

<Quick count of runners:  Marathon= 3625 , Half Marathon = 11,353, 10k =2613>

Keep following your journey, you never know where it may take you.

 

 

 

 

Highlights from the Crescent City Classic 10k Weekend in New Orleans

Let’s start with the  CCC10k Expo which included: yoga, cycling, a fitness-wear fashion show, meet and greet with local running clubs, healthy cooking demos, Friday morning “shake-out” run with Dane Rauschenberg, ZULU Second Line parade, & a CCC pre-race pasta dinner!

Here is my short video clip from the ZULU Second Line. Can’t you just feel the energy? I love New Orleans!    http://youtu.be/b2dlJztEhJY

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If your not familiar with the Crescent City Classic 10k here is a brief history from the website on this race: “The Classic is New Orleans’ (and the region’s) premier 10k road race, and one of the oldest 10k races in the nation. For 37 years, it has combined world class competition, amateur participation and great fun for all participants. Starting in 1979 with 902 participants, the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic has grown to become the preeminent fitness event in Louisiana. This Easter Weekend Tradition is now, along with Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, one of New Orleans signature events. Each year, over 20,000 people gather in Downtown New Orleans for an event that attracts everyone from international Elite Athletes to those who walk the entire route carrying cocktails or wearing bunny suits. Young, old, fit and not so, the Crescent City Classic was the first 10k to be televised nationally, and is, to this day, perhaps the most fun you can have over 6.2 miles.  The Classic has been praised in every major running publication as “one of America’s fastest 10k’s”, “the originator of the party race”, “an Easter Weekend tradition that should never be missed”  a great race, on a beautiful course in America’s most unique city”.

Each year this race delivers. Quick tip if you want to “run” this race register for an earlier coral. If you want to enjoy the sights along the way and are there for a good time then line up according to your expected finish time and get ready to take it all in. This years race was no different, although the weather could have been a bit better (drizzly rain and breezy) it didn’t dampen the spirits of nearly 20k people that came to run, walk or dance at the Start on Poydras St. in Downtown, New Orleans right on through to the Finish at City Park.

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After you cross the Finish line great food, drinks and live music await you at the Race Fest.

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Still not convinced to add this race to your radar? Check out this awesome drone footage from this year’s race filled with a marriage proposal and aerial sights from the Start to the Finish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGzQ7MBDsM4

See you next year for the “38th Annual”  (Save the Date: March 26, 2016)

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

 

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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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

Half Crazy in BAMA

If you read my last blog post you may have caught that I was heading to Alabama to finish out the series finally for Gulf Coast Half . Back in 2011 when I started running I ran the Mandeville Half and again in 2014. In 2013 I did Pensacola and FINALLY it was time for BAMA!

  • 2011 Mandeville,LA Half time 2:06:01 (Great Flat Course held in October)
  • 2014 Mandeville,LA Half time 2:07:41- Blog Race Recap
  • 2013 Pensacola,FL  Half time 2:10:08 – Blog Race Recap (held in April-Warm but great after party)
  • 2015 Gulf Shores,AL Half time 2:14:36 ( Flat course minus the bridge at the Start & Finish)

I took my own advice and packed ahead of time for this roadtrip to Alabama. I was looking forward to it considering this was actually my FIRST time to Gulf Shores. Fortunately my buddy Francine knew her way around and it was very easy to get around. On the way we stopped at Lambert’s for lunch. We split a grilled chicken salad which ended up being ginormous and filled up on rolls and pass arounds. Well worth the stop. A fun, family oriented restaurant perfect for those road tripping.
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After lunch we shopped at the nearby Tanger shopping outlet. We only went to a handful of stores but came out with bags at every one which says a lot because I am not much of a shopper. Today was a beautiful, sunny day with a high of 60 so we were definitely enjoying ourselves, even got some new sunglasses!

Time to head to packet pickup at LuLu’s which went very quickly to get our bib and shirt. We still had some time to spare so we went to their bar area and got a mudslide while scoping out the dinner menu before heading to the hotel for check in.

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Around 6pm we headed back to Lulu’s for some pre-race dinner grub. Afterwards we went to The Hangout since I had never been there before. Great fun laid back atmosphere.  A highlight of mine here was the “Wish Wall”. We each put in our request for a great race the next day before heading back to the hotel for the night.

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We always lay out our race gear the night before to reduce anxiety on race morning. We set our alarms for a 4:45am wake up since we wanted to get to LuLu’s to park by 6am. The race would start at 7am and we could always stay in the car before heading to the Start of the race since it was close. This would give us plenty of prep time! (Not our first rodeo lol!)

Finally it was race morning. 54 degrees, 8mph winds and FOOOOOGGGGGGYYY.

There was a drizzly, wet mist in the air and I was wishing I had not forgot my visor in the room. Grrrrrrrrrr. Both Francine and I thought the fog would burn off but we would soon find out that this unfortunately would not be the case.

Nonetheless Pre-Race picture time!!!

I  had to brighten up the picture a bit. Can you still tell the white fog in the background?

I had to brighten up the picture a bit. Can you still see the white fog in the background?

There was 378 runners for this 10k/Half race.  (328 for the Half & 50 for the 10k) The smallest of the three location series since most have to drive in for it per the race director Mike Wattigny. No matter the size there was ample water/Gatorade stations at nearly every mile and the course was very well marked. I had no hesitation moving past the 10k turnaround to the Half. I was ready to claim Half #18 today even though I was still cussing the Intracoastal bridge that I would have to go back over later at the Finish. The roads were very slick today and I could barely see out of my sunglasses the majority of the race. I just knew by how wet my hair was I was going to look like a drowned rat in my free race finisher picture. Getting close to the finish I had depleted all my GU and looked at my watch. I quickly did the math and knew it would not be a PR day but that’s ok I would still be Finishing Strong which is always Goal #1!

Crossing the finish with a sigh of relief I spotted Francine. She had finished a minute before me. I gave her the biggest hug and we headed to the car to freshen up before getting some post race food at LuLu’s and take our traditional “after” race pic with our bling. There was lots of food choices after the race including bagels, fruit, cookies, seafood rice, jambalaya plus complimentary beer, coke and water for the runners to wash it down with. We ate lightly since we knew we were wanting to grab a burger later after we got cleaned up at the hotel.

Alabama CLAIMED!!!!!!

Alabama CLAIMED!!!!!! We were SO ready to go get cleaned up and changed!

and they call this the “LITTLE CHEESEBURGER”?!!! Plenty for me!

Enjoyed every bite!

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As as I said before the journey is part of the experience and once again this road trip did not disappoint 🙂

Until next time!