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)

calendar

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 🙂

 

 

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.

best 9

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…..

journey

 

 

 

 

 

#LifeUnfiltered the good, the bad and the ugly

There has been some posts on Social Media as of late sharing the story of Madison Holleran. A 19 year old runner who ended her life at a tender young age of 19. It really is heartbreaking to hear of someone that felt like her life was falling apart on the inside while showing only the good parts on the outside but the truth is that we all do it. We CHOOSE to share what pictures on Instagram and Facebook. We choose to share what tidbits of our life in limited characters on Twitter. You know what? That is ok. I honestly feel that you don’t HAVE to share absolutely everything and you shouldn’t. Do I really want all 494 of my Facebook friends to know where I work out and what I ate for breakfast  or if someone cut me off in traffic? I truly think Social Media has gotten to be too much. People use it as a daily rant about there day. They let it all out there. Yes, you can choose to follow or unfollow. To read or not read. Sometimes it just gets to be a bit too much. So are you being fake by not sharing everything? NO. I admit it, I have gone through quite a lot in the past year in my personal life that I don’t share on Social Media or through blogging (every post that I do share I personally question before hitting “publish” , it feels like I am ripping off a bandaid) BUT I do have close friends and family to confide in. That is the key. To have someone in your life that you can be real with. To share the ugly, the emotions, the disappointments, the real YOU. If you are struggling and most of us are in some way please know that is OK. Everyone has a story behind closed doors. Confide in someone that you trust and just know that you are not alone.

Other bloggers (real people) sharing there thoughts on the subject that I thought I would share:  Brian Kelley/Pavement Runner  &    Linzie Sharp/SharpEndurance 

ok

Getting you mojo and joy of running back

I have been dragging ### lately, literally. I admit it to blog world. Recently I have put on a few pounds due too many nights of eating out and partaking in adult beverages, my daughter has a heavy load right now in high school plus the teenage years (she is 15) is off to a rough start which is very stressful. What’s more is I STILL have not joined a gym since mine closed on 12/31/14. I have still been getting my 3-4 workouts in a week by running (more like jogging) in the neighborhood and workouts at home while watching my favorite TV shows. Honestly my pace is suffering when I do get out the door. Lately I am feeling like I am going in slow motion. It takes me a good mile to even warm up and by the time I am starting to do speed-work between light poles I am whooped.

We all go through downward spirals occasionally. Times where life stressors feel like they are eating you alive. That’s when you don’t give up but you make smaller goals. Sometimes if all you can manage is a 30 minute jog then do it. Today is day 3 for me of no alcohol, no morning coffee with cream/sugar (instead adding plain coffee to a protein shake for breakfast so I can wake up), and watching what goes in my mouth. Basically THINK FIRST. Try to make better choices. I thought about doing a cleanse or detox but honestly that is just a temporary fix for 6-8 pounds which most of the time you gain it back right away while being a total “B”  to those around you since your starving as heck. So nope not for me. I googled some ideas off of 21 day fix from Beachbody and made a list of healthy foods to eat (fish, green veggies, nuts, berries) to put my plan into motion. Friday I will sign up for St. Jude Half in Memphis as a Hero so I think that will be extra motivating. I also realized that I have done 18 Half’s so far so I want to squeeze in one more before this race so St. Jude can be #20. (I like the sound of that 🙂 ). runDisney recently announced their Marathon weekend of races coming up and honestly my heart isn’t in it right now. I want to get back myself back in shape (inside & out) and focus on the bigger picture right now. Just going to take it day by day.

On a positive note one month from today I will be flying with my daughter to Washington DC. While I am there I hope to catch a workout/run with November Project-DC. They have weekly workouts from places such as the Lincoln Memorial Steps and Capitol Hill. I think it will be a very humbling experience to partake in if given the opportunity.

I read an article by the T-Rex Runner  last night in May’s Womens’s Running Magazine that really spoke to me.

“4 Ways to Rethink your Running”

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So my personal answers from the above article:

1.Do you still have the same goals from when you started running ? YES, To help maintain a healthy weight and for new experiences

2. Goals to meet current motivations:  Well I have addressed it , St Jude, November Project, There are cool things all around us we just have to look for it.

3. Favorite thing about running? For one is how sometimes you can zone out and think clearly. This is definitely needed with daily life. It’s like a “turn off switch”.

4. Do I need time off? Well I have already taken some time away due to schedules and rainy weather so Yes I am ready to get back to it but with a different outlook 🙂

#KeepPushingForward

#LiveWithPurpose

What holds us back?

  • Time?
  • Fear?
  • Lack of Motivation?

From time to time we all have goals that pop up and wonder in the back of our minds and ask the question:  “Can I do that?” Whether it is to register for a lottery marathon in the fear we would actually get picked, to participate in a triathlon even if you don’t own a bike or swim very well. I have done these things and STILL fear creeps in when something strikes my interest.  I ask myself  “Can I afford this?” “Do I have the time to commit?” We always question ourselves and that is ok just make sure it is for the right reasons. It is one thing to ask if we can balance our lives with family and work or if we can actually afford the travel costs to commit but to not do something just for self-doubt is something else.

balance-work-and-family

Making a plan is the first step. How much time will it take? Write out a schedule and put it where you can see it visibly. Have a second calendar to keep one for home and at work. Write out a budget on costs and see where you can cut back in other areas if needed. Save money each week if necessary by eating out less or foregoing the fancy coffee. You have to think about the bigger goal and lastly VISUALIZE! Visualize the Finish Line and the sense of accomplishment. It will take sacrifice but isn’t it worth it?

You may stumble, you may fall but the key is to get back up and keep going!

leave behind

 

 

 

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:

sixdegrees

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.

cure 030715

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