14 races in 2014 a look back

So I was looking at my race list and in 2013 I did “13” races” (Coincidentally)

2013 Completed  (13)

  • Louisiana “HALF” Marathon – Baton Rouge  1/20/13— Finished in 2hr 12min –BIB#1466—My 6th Half!
  • Disneyworld Princess Half Marathon Feb/2013–February 22-24, 2013  (for fun) plus Royal Family 5k- BIB#1001—4:05
  • Corporate Cup 5k (with Turner) 3/23/13—— 27:29 5K PR! –8:52 pace– BIB#1992
  • Crescent City Classic 10k 3/30/13—New Orleans—35th Anniversary!- Finished in 57:58 10k PR!- 9:21–pace  BIB#3749
  • Gulf Coast Half Pensacola  4/7/13—  Finished in 2hr 10min –BIB#287—my 8th Half!
  • Run Forest Run 5K 4/28/13 15th annual-New Orleans—–Bib#553  Completed 28:38
  • 3rd Annual SuperHero 5k Zachary 5/11/13 (for fun with Alaina-She won 1st place in Costume Contest)
  • Rocketchix Duathlon 7-27-13   2mile run/12 mile bike/2mile run-Bib #505-1:26 (1st in my age group ,3rd overall –Fat Tire )
  • 4th Annual Muddy Water Paddle Battle Relay & 250m Sprint 8-3-13 (Came in 3rd in the Women’s Relay/ 4th in the Sprint.-My daughter Alaina did the ½ mile)
  • Zoo Zoom 5k       8-24-13   28:28  –9:11 pace– BIB#152
  • Saints 5k      8-31-13 –with  Steve & Alaina for fun
  • Zombie Bash    10-4-13 –with Alaina for fun—Alaina did it —(I was injured, not in Count)
  • Middendorf’s 10 miler  11-16-13 — 1hr:37    — BIB#62
  • Baton Rouge Beach Half     12-7-13—–2:10—BIB #434

In 2014  I did “14” races” (Again a TOTAL Coincidence in count)

2014 Completed  (14)_

  • 3rd Year -Louisiana Half Marathon    1-19-14- Finished in 2hr 07min –BIB#4578—My 10th Half!!
  • 5th Anniversary New Orleans RnR FULL MARATHON   2-2-14– Finished in 4hr48min –BIB#12145–1st Full!
  • Q50Half —Trail Half Boque Chitto–3-8-14– Finished in 2hr33min –BIB#155–1st Trail Half
  • Forge Unicorn 4 miler Clark Creek 4-12-14—Did for “Fun” with Alaina, Maggie and Dan-Finished in 1hr59min—
  • Crescent City Classic 10k 4/19/14—New Orleans—BIB#13051  —Finished in 1hr:4min
  • Happys 5000  3miler 5/3/14– Finished in 29:18 –BIB#165-
  • Q50 RACES CINCO DE MAYO 5/4/2014—Audubon Park-4miler trail w/ Alaina – I finished 44:38 Bib#193 21st overall woman–Alaina #194 finished 59:30
  • 70.3 Ironman Augusta,GA 9-28-14–1st Relay!–“The Runner” -Finished in 2:12 –BIB#3456-
  • Gulf Coast Half Mandeville 10-19-14 – Finished in 2hr 07min –BIB#220—
  • RNR LAS VEGAS HALF 11-16-14 – Finished in 2hr 52min –BIB#11242—SO MUCH FUN!
  • Goldenfliers 5miler 11-22-14 – Finished in 47min:47 –BIB#289—9:33pace
  • Reindeer Run 5k for fun with Alaina-45min
  • Baton Rouge Beach Half 12-6-14 – Finished in 2hr min:19 –BIB#803—My 15th Half
  • Girls on the Run 5k for fun with Gabbie 12-13-14 -41min (It was an honor to run w/ my niece)

2014 was NOT a year of PR’s for sure but I did my first Full Marathon, my first Trail Half and participated in my first Ironman event which was also my first Relay event. My bling rack represents lots of incredible memories and friends made. Not every race was for time some was to help my niece complete her Girls on the Run program or to take the family out for a fun race morning at Clark Creek or an evening out with my daughter to enjoy the Christmas lights and a 3miler thrown in so we can enjoy some treats at the bake sale booth afterwards. I look at each medal or race bib and feel blessed. For me that is what running is about, to ‘Enjoy the Journey’ and share it with others.

Some 2014 race highlights in pictures:

First Full Marathon! RNR New Orleans 2-2-14

First Full Marathon! RNR New Orleans 2-2-14. I could not have done it without Francine, Karen, Coach Stephen, my family plus all the support from friends following along.

 1st Trail Half 3-8-14. A great morning in Boque Chitto

1st Trail Half 3-8-14. A beautiful morning in Boque Chitto

Fun family morning at Forge Unicorn 4 miler Clark Creek 4-12-14

Fun family morning at Forge Unicorn 4 miler Clark Creek 4-12-14

Crescent City Classic 10k 4/19/14

Crescent City Classic 10k 4/19/14  Always on Easter Weekend!

Love these girls!! 70.3 IM AUGUSTA,GA   9-28-14 1st Relay

Love these girls!! Hugs Laura & Larissa  70.3 IM AUGUSTA,GA 9-28-14 1st Relay

Viva Las Vegas with my best running bud Francine!!!

Viva Las Vegas with my best running bud Francine!!!

Gulf Coast Half Mandeville 10-19-14

Gulf Coast Half Mandeville 10-19-14. This is the look of “Relief” at the Finish!

I love and support the Girls On The Run program

I love and support the Girls On The Run program. So proud of my niece Gabbie

Still growing

Still growing. Lots of memories and look forward to more.

Looking for a change in pace? Experience Trails!

With every step into the earth your form changes, compensating for the change in texture from asphalt to dirt, rocks, roots, mud whichever you encounter you take gladly. Your pace slows slightly from road racing to trails but you don’t mind as you take in the scenery along your route. You have left your music at home to have less distractions and keep your focus forward. There are no water stops you carry your own respecting the rules given. You make sure to wear shoes that have more grip at the bottom to take quick but careful steps. You pause when needed to take in the beauty that surrounds you whether it is the sun breaking from the trees or a perfect view of the landscape. You leave your run with a bit more respect for nature from when you started.

Trails give you back more than what you put into it. Experience them for yourself and find one near you today. For Louisiana runners we are fortunate to have some options.

Q50 RacesI guarantee you will not find a more friendly race director on the planet. Cesar Torres genuinely cares about the environment and has a found a way to share his love of nature through trail running. Cesar has even been featured in Runner’s World Magazine. He has several events coming up to wet your appetite for trails. Check out the Q50 Website or the latest updates on Facebook. There you will find distances from kids run to ultras.

FORGE RACINGCheck out their “Ales N Trails Run Group” and race schedule. Just one of three races coming up this fall is the “Cajun Coyote” 100M, 100K and 20M single track loop trail around the lake at Chicot State Park, Ville Platte, Louisiana. This event is definitely for those looking to get off the beaten asphalt. You can find the latest updates on meet ups of their weekly run group and upcoming races on Facebook. The Forge Racing website is in the process of being updated so please check back.

Not sure if you want to run but want to be a part of the experience? VOLUNTEER! Course support is invaluable and I guarantee after you spend the day at one of these events you will definitely want to join in on the action next time.

The trails await you

The Trails Await You

Still undecided? Check out the below recaps from a couple of my trail experiences:

1st Trail Half Claimed! Q50 style

Faint of Heart 4 Miler with Forge Racing

Click here to find more trails in Louisiana such as Tammany Trace, Chicot State Park and more.

Need help to find a trail outside of Louisiana? Go to this link and enter your state or zip code.

Happy Trails!

1st Trail Half Claimed! Q50 style

Finally the day arrived Saturday, March 8th. No rain, blue, sunny skies expected with race temps of 65-70 degrees. This was going to be partly a redemption run for me and part a test of strength. See last June I had signed up to do the Q50 Ultra race at the 5 mile distance but the drive there was an absolute fail read here. Plus the past few weeks I have been dealing with an IT band issue and only been able to run one day a week, no more than 3-4 miles before discomfort hits. I had no intention of canning this race. Pure determination was going to have to get me through those 13 miles and up those hills! Luckily I am pretty determined. My daughter agreed to come and volunteer which I was thrilled. I realized afterwards she had never seen me do a long race plus my only trails were back in 2012 and only 5k in distance. Nothing like what I was going to face today. We picked up my friend Betsy who seemed up for the challenge and we drove the 90+ minutes to the race, parked and started prepping. We got there a little after 8am and the race start would be at 9:30am. The 50 mile Ultra race already started at 7am. They would have to do the same loop we were doing 4 times!! I could not fathom. Our race would also be joined by the Marathoners doing the loop twice, again I did not envy them but I was in awe of both groups. My daughter Alaina quickly went to work as a volunteer helping out in the bag area in the meeting room. Francine and Stephen found us before the race meeting (they would be doing the Half as well). Cesar Torres the Q50 race director was a bundle of energy and excitement. He was making sure all the runners knew what to do and was well prepared for the day ahead. You had to carry a whistle for an emergency, no headphones were allowed, follow the pink & orange ribbons on the course to guide you, carry your own water, absolutely no littering and there would be a couple aid stations on the course. He introduced the inspirational Monique Koll and Arturo Barrios who were today’s guests for the race and then shortly after Cesar led off the kids race. He really likes to get EVERYONE involved and enjoy nature at his Q50 races no matter your level. It’s all about having a good time.

Then it was time. I put my phone away and was ready for what was ahead. My farthest trail run ever and one I was completely unprepared for. Cesar again reminded me no worries, just enjoy. I started towards the back and let the more experienced runners lead the way. The course was well marked as promised and was actually drier than expected considering all of the rain we have had lately. I was told to walk most of the inclines but they seemed to be never ending. There was very few flat areas and some had sand, rocks and tree roots so you had to constantly watch your step. As I made my way mile by mile I was taking in the views and thankful for such a nice day as well as such a scenic route. Once again race adrenalin had kicked in and I was going at a decent pace. I wore my knee brace to keep it in place during this challenging run and took a pain pill at Mile 5. Fortunately Francine gave me some salt around Mile 9 since the temps were warming up a bit and I forgot to pack some. Mile 12 gave me quite a surprise and much needed to get my through to the end. Alaina was there cheering and directing runners. She said I was doing great and didn’t have much farther to go. That got me through the next couple of hills to get towards the finish which Cesar was there waiting. He said “Come on smiling princess, Looking Good!!” and gave me a high 5 as I crossed the Finish at 2:33. I received my finisher prize which was a custom frame (pic below). I retrieved my fresh clothes and shoes from my car to change into before heading to the meeting room for the provided snacks, jambalaya and drinks. Once again I accomplished something I didn’t think possible. I was quite relieved.
My friends did equally as well. Some of the Marathoners had come in by the time we were packing it up to leave around 2pm. I wanted to stay and wait for the Ultra’s to come in but that would be a few more hours. Later in the day I caught the updates and pictures on Facebook. For some it was their first Ultra. They picked a good one to do. Even my daughter said on the way home she would like to go back and do a Trail race there. She asked about their upcoming schedule. You can check it out here. We will definitely be back. I really enjoyed the camaraderie of the runners on the trail. Everyone was cordial and looked out for one another. It was different from what I had experienced with road races. It was a welcome change. The people involved with putting this race together are all remarkable and devoted to putting on a great event. I would highly recommend a Q50 race for anyone interested in trails and a good time.

For race results, photos from this Q50 Ultra race check out their website or on Facebook page under Q50 Races. You can also find pictures by Running Circles Photography on their Facebook page here.

Here are a few of pics from the day:

Such an inviting Start & Finish line

Such an inviting Start & Finish line

Had to get a quick pic with Cesar. "Looking Good, Baby!!"

Had to get a quick pic with Cesar before the race. “Looking Good, Baby!!

Two amazing people. Monique Koll and Arturo Barrios.

Two amazing people Monique Koll and Arturo Barrios.

Kids race complete!

Kids race complete!

op 3 prizes for the various races today.

Top 3 prizes for the various races today.

Thanks Mike Giacona for this pic!

Thanks Mike Giacona for this pic!

Just one of the many scenic paths caught by Melissa Beckley of Running Circles Photography. You really had to run it to see it all. There was so much beauty on this course. Cesar picked a great location to hold this Q50 Ultra race

Just one of the many scenic paths caught by Melissa Beckley of Running Circles Photography. You really had to run it to see it all. There was so much beauty on this course. Cesar picked a great location to hold this Q50 Ultra race

FINISHED!!!!!! Thanks for this AWESOME pic Melissa Beckley of Running Circles Photography. You made my day!

FINISHED!!!!!! Thanks for this AWESOME pic Melissa Beckley of Running Circles Photography. You made my day!

I did it!  I am a Trail Runner!!

I did it! I am a Trail Runner!!

The Half and Full received a  custom 5x7 frame with a map of Boque Chitto and Congratulations note at the bottom. The Ultras received hand carved wooden canes

The Half and Full received a custom 5×7 frame with a map of Boque Chitto and Congratulations note at the bottom. The Ultras received hand carved wooden canes

Now to recover 🙂
Do you prefer road or trail races and Why? I now have the Trail bug and can’t wait to do another.

IT Band strikes again

I last battled this in 2012 and since my Full marathon plus a muddy,challenging 4 miler run to prepare for this Saturday Trail Half Marathon its back with a vengeance.
I have been doing some research with the vast amount of posts on the internet and I went to a new sports doctor last week. Since my Trail half is within the two week window I was not a candidate for a steroid shot. He said I would need two weeks with NO running to get the shot and to start physical therapy. I have had PT before and the copays add up tremendously. I hate to say it but this one will have to be a DIY (do it yourself) recovery unless it gets worse. Even if you do PT and massage I have learned if you do not fix your weakness you will always be at risk for a reoccurence of this particular injury. It is not something you have to live with but you have to be smart about it.
Even though I probably should not be doing this weekends Trail Half (I cant even go 4 miles without being in pain) I have personal reasons as to why I can not bail out so I am going to use KT Tape on my IT Band, wear my knee brace and go Saturday at a slow pace. Even if I have to walk it my goal will just be to finish and not take myself out for the entire spring season. My daughter and step kids have even shown a recent interest in doing a small trail run so I need to be able to stay on the roads.

I recently found a great video demonstrating various hip/glute strengthening exercises. This helps greatly because I have found when you read articles on stretching and strengthening certain points get missed such as to ENGAGE your glutes,do not let your hip pivot, keep your heels together when doing the clamshell excersize etc.
Check it out here: The ITB Rehab Routine – Video Demonstration

I also found a helpful video on YouTube: Hip Openers: Yoga For Runners

Several things have me at a disadvantage such as having a desk job that all you do is sit for hours on end. This is not going to do anything to strengthen your core. Try to take daily mid day walks or utilize the stairs during a break in the day. Warm up those muscles! Watch your posture. Another good point is doing squats, lunges and dead lifts for days wont do anything unless you are engaging the correct muscle groups. Form is everything! Just when you think you are doing everything you can do (foam rolling, icing, cross training) yet again I have learned I have lots to learn. It is quite frustrating but once again I have another finish line to cross this weekend run, walk or crawl!

Q50 Start & Finish Line at Bogue Chitto State Park

Q50 Start & Finish Line at Bogue Chitto State Park this Saturday. Ready for an adventure in the woods.

Wish me luck and feel free to add any advice you may have.

Dealing with race disappointment

Well it was supposed to have been my 1st Q50 ultra trailrace and my farthest.
I woke up early Sunday morning to news from my husband that Bogue Chitto may be a wash out due to some nastiness on the weather radar. NOT what I wanted to hear but my friends and I left for our hour and a half drive in hopes it would miss the park.

Along the way I get this photo by text and soon after a bad rain band nails us hard.
Bogue Chitto .jpg
As a group we called it to head back. Shortly after when it’s too late to turn around and make it to the race in time I see on Facebook that the park didn’t get hit hard. Actually the rain had stopped right before the race start and the trail was a little muddy but not nearly as bad expected.
Had we only pushed on. We had missed out. Disappointment sinks in…
Has this ever happened to you?

Discouraged but positive there will be more race days ahead..

I got this!!!

Even though I have a big trip coming up next weekend (which makes me a bit nervous about getting hurt) I signed up for a 5 mile trail Run this Sunday, June 2nd @ Bogue Chitto Park. Wish me luck!!! It will be my first Q50 race and my farthest “trail” run.

Do your fears ever hold you back?

5mile trail Run June2 2013 Bogue Chitto