Sweet Victory! ‪#‎JazzHalf2015‬

“Your not running tomorrow right?” this was the question friends and race directors from other races that were at the Expo asked me as I was stopping in to get my packet and to say Hello. I showed them my race bib in my hand and sheepishly said  “well, I don’t know if you call what I will be doing tomorrow ‘running’ but my plan is to jog, walk or dance my way to that finish line tomorrow morning”   <For a little back story:> Just a couple weeks prior I got the green light from my doctor that I could start training again, I was excited because this was a full month early. This would help me be in better shape for the St. Jude race in December. I began running three times a week. The weekend before Jazz Half I had gotten to a whopping 6 miles. (in which I was exhausted afterwards) I know what your thinking, to go from 6 miles to 13.1 in a week is not recommended. I know,  but I needed something to boost my endurance and potentially my turtle like pace. I emailed the race contact to remove my name from the deferral list and it was done. Whew! This is crazy, I would tell anyone NOT to do what I was doing but a race on Halloween morning in New Orleans, Oh Wow!! just think of the costumes and sights to see!!! My running buddy Francine had been training hard the past three months and was in good shape to “run” Jazz so I was going to need someone to join me on this fun adventure and it hit me “Amazing Amanda”. I messaged her and she quickly accepted without hesitation. We chatted back and forth about various race outfits and kept an eye on the weather since storms were on the weekend forecast.  <Now that your caught up lets get back > After the expo Francine and I decided to go to Bourbon Street for dinner since our hotel was only a few blocks away. Due to the storms coming New Orleans and other local areas moved up trick or treating to that night so there was extra excitement in the air. We grabbed a table near the window at Olde Nola Cookery to watch the revelers go by and catch some music in the streets. You could not ask for better entertainment the night before Jazz Half.

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Music blaring, smell of Biofreeze in the air, applying ChafX, bread with honey for breakfast,  It’s Race Morning!!!!

One last weather check on our phones and we decided to put umbrellas and ponchos in our gear check bag. It looked like it was going to be very muggy but the rain should hold out until we crossed the finish line. Not PR weather conditions but it should be fun regardless. As we walked to Lafayette Square I was a little nervous that I would not find Amanda to pal around with me during the race but she found me easily. (she had already ran 2 miles that morning and planned to run 4 after the race since she is Dopey training, she really is “Amazing Amanda”) We took a pre-race picture, saw some awesome costumes and checked out the race bling that would be waiting for us. Soon it was time to go line up.

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We lined up towards the back behind the competitive and 5k runners whom had a slightly different route. I told Francine to have a strong race. For me today would just be about finishing. I was thankful to even be able to participate. The first few miles went smoothly, seeing familiar sights and friends along the way. I was soaking up the experience with every mile along with the humidity. Yes, it was going to be challenging. I fortunately remembered to take my salt that morning and knew I would have to take in water/Gatorade along the way. I could see the runners around me looking a little drained and I hoped it wasn’t affecting Francine too bad for her run. Then I felt a tap and lookie-lou! Mama Z had found me!!! Jen looked AMAZING in her Day of the Dead getup! I took a quick photo of her, hugged and she was on her way.

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After mile 7 I could start to feel my energy slowly zapping away and told Amanda I was looking forward to getting back on St. Charles after the Audubon Park loop so we could see the spooktacular skeleton house. This home was perfection along the race route on Halloween morning.

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Spotting this race sign I had to stop since I definitely needed some ENERGY to get me til the end!

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Just a couple more miles left and I was definitely taking additional walk breaks but Amanda cheered me on and said I was doing great. I was especially thankful in that moment to have my own race course cheerleader by my side! With the finish line in sight I knew I was close to completing my goal for the day and Amanda never left my side. Crossing the finish line i let out the biggest breath and knew I would now be ready for St. Jude.

We spotted Francine and she had a challenging run as well. We went to scope out the post race food choices: Jambalaya, Red Beans and Rice, Hot Dogs and Chili, Sno-balls on a Stick.(Soft sno-ball outer shell covering a creamy ice cream center) We had to try one! There was plenty of choices of food and drinks but we were soaked to the bone in sweat and ready for a shower after a couple of samples. The rain started, we quickly said our goodbyes and left with the satisfaction of a great race morning. Later in the day I was looking at social media and saw something that  truly warmed my heart.

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Races are about supporting each other and enjoying the experience which Amanda perfectly captured.

Sweet Victory! ‪#‎JazzHalf2015‬

Back in the saddle again…. I’m Back!

Cue AC/DC yep I am BACK!! I got the green light from my doctor with a FULL release a month early to start Half Marathon training again. THIS -IS- HUGE! Fall is here and it has been tough to see my fellow runners doing the races and feeling like I am missing out. Since I have started back last week I have noticed my endurance is not where it was due to my three months off because of the neck surgery. BUT I can’t go from 0-60. I have to start back S-L-O-W. Make a plan.

Taking the training wheels off the bike felt pretty good the first night back even though my pace and breathing was labored. (I am not a stellar 8 minute miler anyway but I would like to stay in the 9-9:5 range) Nonetheless a friend reminded me that even though my pace was not on target it still was better than it was three weeks ago and for that I was grateful! Even if I never get to participate in another race again to just be able to workout again is a gift. My mind is clearer and it gives me more energy.

Soaking up a beautiful sunset on my first night back for an easy 3 miler.

Soaking up a beautiful sunset on my first night back for an easy 3 miler.

From today I have 45 days until the St. Jude Half . I am not looking to PR at this race but I have worked hard to fund raise for these kids (with only $275 left to go to meet my goal of $2500). I truly want to do more with my running this year so I will not let them down. Looking at the calendar this gives me 6 weeks to train. Holy Heck!!! Only 6 weeks?!!!

ok, B-R-E-A-T-H-E make a plan. Looking at the calendar I have a couple conflicts to get my long runs done so I need a boost mileage and endurance wise. I realize I am still registered for The New Orleans Jazz Half Marathon to be held this year on Halloween morning. Ummmmm this is only 11 days away but the weather has been great and who could miss out on a race that is actually on Halloween? (Think of all the race costumes and sights?) If I can jog it I can get the feeling for distance again perhaps? Even though I have only done a maximum of 4 miles since early July I foolishly think I have a shot. I just have to take my time and have some fun with it. Above all “Do Not Get Injured”. Gotta go easy or I will kink up my IT Band and really be in trouble. I still think this is exactly what I need to get me a kick start, plus this race benefits the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans so it fits right in line with what I want to do this year. Doing Jazz even for fun will also make St. Jude my 20th Half which is a pretty awesome number. 🙂

So follow along with me, shoot me some costume ideas and stay tuned!

On the road again to train for St Jude.  #RunForAReason

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It’s summer!!! Time for BBQ’s, beach and vacations yet all I can think about is I have to get back in shape for Fall running season. I signed up for New Orleans Jazz Half Marathon that will be on Halloween this year (costumes are a guarantee for this fun race) and that will make St. Jude’s my 20th Half this December. When you get discouraged you know its time to refocus and sign up for more events to keep your motivation flowing. This year I want to #RunForAReason and these two events will help me do what I want to do which is to highlight kids in need. My daughter is healthy and happy. She had her followup yesterday with her Scoliosis doctor and she doesn’t have to get back in her brace so we are blessed. It’s unfair that children have to fight to be healthy this day in age yet we all know someone that has struggles. Be grateful for what you have and pay it forward when you can.

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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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