A look back to look forward

2015 taught me you cant plan for everything. It was a tough year and at moments had me lost for words which is why my blog hasn’t been as filled with as much content. Sometimes writing can make you feel naked, to hit “publish” on a blog post or to add a picture can make you feel so vulnerable it makes me question what and what not to share. It can be tough for a woman at times. Working full time, raising a teenage daughter, marriage and juggling personal goals as well as running can leave you wanting a time out and not to feel guilty about it. That’s exactly what I have done. I have hit pause. Don’t get me wrong 2015 had some highlights. I didn’t do as many races but the ones I did participate in gave me some special memories that make me reflect with a smile.

2015 Completed <12>  (with links to my blog recaps):

Reflecting on these races again remind me why I do it, its not for the finish time but for the experience. Each one of these remind me of special times with my daughter that we shared or a good laugh with a friend.

The app #2015bestnine selected my most liked pics from Instagram and I have to say it hit it pretty close.

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What’s on tap for 2016? I am not sure yet. Tomorrow I go to the doctor for a follow up from my spinal surgery, fingers crossed I am making good progress. I am scheduled to run Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans next month and I am currently planning my first trip to New York in June to run in Central Park at the Mini Oakley 10k which has been on my list for awhile. Whatever I do if I am adding special memories along the way I am happy.

Thanks for following along let’s see what 2016 offers…..

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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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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.

Starting off 2015 by being selected for the #RocknBlog team

A tisket, a tasket , a brand new widget to add to my blog!!

Wha what?! Nicole Decker is a member of the 2015 #RocknBlog team.

What is #RocknBlog ? well the Rock ‘n’ Blog team is a community of health & fitness enthusiasts, social mavens, and certified selfie-takers for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. They make running fun, earn tons of bling, and will convince you to do the same! runrocknroll.competitor.com/rocknblog

How AWESOME is that?!

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To be able to add this to my blog is…wait for it…..LEGENDARY!!!

100 bloggers were selected over thousands of qualified applicants from all over the United States and even Canada! To be among them..well.. I am flattered 🙂

Surprisingly I knew many of the selected from previous races and events so that made it even better.

Meet the team HERE

To go directly to my profile go HERE

Last year I was fortunate enough to do the Rock ‘n’ Roll  New Orleans and Vegas races. Which tour stops will it be this year? Stay tuned and check out the choices HERE

One of the many perks? (BTW: I will be getting discount codes for races & scoops to share with YOU)  Is getting cool emails with yourself featured unexpectedly! Can you spot me below two times?

Thanks for the ‘Rockin’ welcome Rock ‘n’ Roll!

#rocknblog

 

Rock ‘n’ Roll Vegas Half Recap

Yep this picture kinda says it all. ELECTRIFYING

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If you read my earliar post. Competitor was promising a great event for this race in Vegas. One that had been on my bucket list for awhile. Excitement was building as we started our check-in at Luxor. After a quick change in rooms to get one with a bathtub (RunnerProbs) my best running bud Francine and I set out for the Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center by taxi to claim our Runner Perks wristband so we could get our weekend started off right. Packet pickup was a breeze but with no map to tell you what vendors was where the expo was a bit chaotic. People were everywhere. As I looked over peoples heads to see the booths ahead a lightbulb went off “MEB”!!!. Meb was to be speaking at 1pm. I quickly looked at my watch and it was 1:15pm. I told Francine we must find the stage where he was speaking. Success! We found him and he was talking about his Boston Marathon experience. (Mebrahtom Keflezighi won the 118th Boston Marathon in 2014, becoming the first American man to do so since Greg Meyer in 1983.) He spoke with emotion and was very humble about his experience even though he has probably retold it countless times before. After his session he signed copies of his book and took pictures. YES, I got mine and he even signed my #RNRLV bib “Run to Win”. Best Running Keepsake Ever!! What a great start to the weekend!

Meb would be a Pacer for the 1:45 Half Marathon Coral at RNRLV

Meb would be a Pacer for the 1:45 Half Marathon Coral at RNRLV

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Francine and I finished up with the expo and headed back to the Vegas Strip for some sightseeing. First stop was Hershey’s Chocolate World in New York New York. Oh wow! It had just opened in June.

Any flavor you could imagine. What's your favorite? I like the Dark Chocolate Mint!

Any flavor you could imagine. What’s your favorite? I like the Dark Chocolate Mint!

After awhile we headed back to change for our night out at TAO. A perfect evening to cut loose. Since we weren’t doing the 5k Saturday night we already had our day/evening planned out for the following day which would include M&M World, seeing the white tigers at Siegfried’s & Roy Secret Garden, a stop for sweets at Carlo’s Bake Shop, Dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s Steak and a bit of adventure. (Ziplining off of RIO at night- It was a bit windy and chilly but what a thrill. A must do on your next trip to Vegas).

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Such a Thrill!!!!

Such a thrill and if you look to the left while your in flight you can see the Palms casino!!!!!

Vegas constantly changes and even though this was my third trip here there is always something new to see and do. Tips: Wear comfortable shoes, Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, Plan out your day (know what is where and when at the various casino attractions), Stretch and rest when needed: you can do this by people watching which there are plenty of in Vegas and eat well since you are burning tons of calories walking.

Finally race day arrived on Sunday. We would be running the Half and decided to take it easy the first part of the day. While Francine stepped out to pick up souvenirs I started getting out my race gear so I wouldn’t be scrambling that afternoon. Scratching my head I realized I was missing a couple things which would be a problem since a cold front had come in that day (55 degrees & 12 mph winds-Yikes! Far cry from 70 degrees and 4mph winds Friday & Saturday) We had planned out some cute “Vegas-Themed” costumes for this race and I would be absolutely freezing if I didn’t find the rest of my race attire which included my arm-warmers,knee socks, compression shorts and of course special touches such as my red sparkly headband. I started panicking. I found my costume but where were these items? Did I pack them? I had changed suitcases at the last minute did I leave those items behind? What else was I missing? My bodyglide was also MIA and then I remembered we had changed rooms on the first day!!!!! Uh-O. Did housekeeping by chance have these items? Was I going to have to run this race practically naked? There would be no way I could replace these items in just a few hours. I called the front desk and got transferred to Lost & Found. I waited while someone went to look for my items. She vaguely remembered seeing something red & sparkly in a bag. Would she find it? Would she save my race-day?! VICTORY as I let out a deep breathe!!!  All of my items were located even though I didn’t even have the room number from our first check in. I got lucky!!  I went downstairs to the casino floor to claim my items and tried my luck at a slot machine with the $5 I had on me. Would I be lucky again ? uh- not so much but I had my race items so I was thrilled! Race Day Saved!!!!

We headed out to catch the Pre-Show before the race which would be Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. It was strange seeing the Strip empty and roads closed but excited to know that it was for us! We made our way across the street to take some pictures and enjoy a spectacular show. They played ALL of their hits such as “Thrift Shop”, “Can’t Hold Us” and more.

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We were absolutely freezing in our outfits but got lots of compliments. I was actually surprised there were not more people dressed up for this race. We stood out a bit more than I expected but that was ok. We jogged to Coral 11 to warm up and catch the start of the race. The next 13.1 miles would definitely stick out in our memories and we could not wait. Every coral had their own fireworks at the start and soon we were off! Our plan was to PR in FUN for this race. We were armed with our camera phones and smiles. The sights and sounds of the Las Vegas Strip at Night did not disappoint.

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Crowd and course support was heavy on the Strip but as you got off the main drag there was less as to be expected. I personally could not see doing this course as a Full since you have less light to see the roads in certain areas plus it is just not as entertaining. ( However I do have friends that have done the Full and had a blast!)  It was fun spotting the various wedding chapels as you got close to downtown. I tried to look for my own but I believe it was just a block over from where we were running. ( Yes, I got married in Vegas in 2007 at ‘A Special Memory Wedding Chapel’) We got so caught up on the course that we didn’t even take our GU til about mile 7. At that point it was needed since we expelled so much energy shivering in our costumes and had several miles to go. It was an unexpected thrill to run Downtown ( I never look at race maps ahead of time). We stopped for more pictures and listened to the drummers before we headed back to the Strip to enjoy more bands in the distance. No headphones are needed for this race you have plenty to occupy your senses.

Finally the Finish line was in sight and we were ready to claim our bling! One last push and we had conquered the #StripatNight . We even received our finisher medal and were interviewed on camera by RNR staff at the finish line. I will have to look for that clip later. ( maybe not though since we were in a brief state of delirium lol!)

Women's Running Magazine even featured this pic for the #RunBrag of the weekend :)

Women’s Running Magazine even featured this pic for the #RunBrag of the weekend 🙂

We walked through the finisher chute getting water and chocolate milk exhilarated and proud of ourselves yet still freezing. Hot Chocolate was the next pursuit which we would find at Paris.

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The finisher party was being held after the race at MGM Grand’s nightclub Hakkasan but honestly after that long of a weekend we were done! We had accomplished our PR in fun.

I highly recommend this race for an awesome Racecation getaway because if your not having fun its not worth doing. Thank you #RNRLV we enjoyed running the #StripatNight

For more check out this awesome video clip by Pure Dope Magazine of highlighted recaps from #RNRLV race weekend!

 

 

 

 

Next stop Las Vegas #StripatNight race weekend

This weekend my best running buddy Francine and I will be doing one of our Bucket races together. A racecation guaranteed to be a PR in FUN!!! What is it?

This Sunday we will be going Half Crazy VEGAS STYLE!!!

This Sunday we will be going Half Crazy VEGAS STYLE!!!

 I gotta admit Rock ‘n’ Roll Vegas has been putting together a great race this year.

The updates on Twitter and Facebook have been coming in regularly to keep the runners and spectators informed for the race weekend ahead.

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One particular event I am excited about is Sunday’s Pre-Race performer.

Originally it was going to be Snoop Dogg but he backed out at the last minute and look who the replacement was:

I love , love, love their song "Can't Hold Us" this will get us SO pumped up pre-race!

I love , love, love their song “Can’t Hold Us” this will get us SO pumped up pre-race!

The race course will have PLENTY of race entertainment along the way for this 13.1 mile race so the tunes will be staying at home, there will be no pace per mile goals and YES I will be taking pictures along the way and soaking up every second of this experience which is guaranteed to stay with me forever!

Oh and of course there will be BLING!!!!

Just the one race for us this weekend. The 13.1

Just the one race for us this weekend. The 13.1

We arrive Friday afternoon and plan to go by the Expo to get our Runner Perks wristband so we can get the weekend started off at TAO that evening. We have reservations Saturday night at Gordon Ramsay’s and afterwards we will catch the Voodoo Zipline at RIO.

Looking forward to one amazing racecation at #RNRLV

 

 

It’s a GO! Fall Half Marathon Training!

It’s August folks you know what that means!

Get your calendar in order and start planning dates for Fall training and races.

I have decided not to run a Full Marathon this season. My schedule is just way too hectic since my daughter is starting High School. She has a full load with all honors classes and band. It is just not practical for me right now.  I would rather focus on a possible PR for this fall but that means I MUST add speed/hill work.

A good friend has worked up a training schedule for me so I can stay accountable for my weekly mileage since I will be busy with after school pickups for band practice. Fortunately for me she has a track at her school that I probably will become very familiar with.

Weekly schedule from end of July through the end of November than we will review.

Weekly schedule from end of July through the end of November than we will review.

You may see that I am only targeting to run 3x a week. I “may” get a 4th one in here and there but this will be my base which is acceptable for Half Marathon Training as well as my hectic schedule. I will continue to take boot camp and/or strengthening classes once a week as well since my hip flexors need extra attention to stay healthy through the season.

My scheduled Half Marathons from September-December:

  • SEPTEMBER: 70.3 IM AUGUSTA,GA   9-28-14—Half Marathon Run—1ST Relay
  • OCTOBER:   Gulf Coast Mandeville Half Marathon  10-19-14
  • NOVEMBER: RNR LAS VEGAS Half Marathon  11-16-14
  • DECEMBER: BR BEACH Half Marathon  12-6-14     (Kathrine Switzer Guest Speaker & Runner!)

I already know I will not PR at every race. Some I will run just for fun and some I know weather will probably not cooperate. My best chances are probably the October & December races. I do have Half Marathons in mind for Jan-March but this is what I want to focus on right now.

What do you do when you start your Fall Race Planning? Do you pick your races first then make a plan for training or the opposite?

Do you plan some races for fun and some for possible PR’s?

Any tips for speed/hill work?

See ya at the track or on the roads!

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