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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Why running with your kids is important

  • They have the goal of the finish line to focus their attention on
  • Gives them more motivation to eat healthy and stay in shape
  • Provides an activity you can do together which in turn will add to their memory bank
  • Your kids may get their own friends involved
  • Teaches them to support and encourage each other
  • Your child will ooze self confidence after stepping over the finish line
  • One day they may do it with their own kids

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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

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

Runner Moments

This morning I posted a picture on social media. One that took over a day to choose pictures for. I don’t participate in “Throwback Thursday” very often but I felt the urge today. I wanted to post a collage of “Runner Moments” for #TBT. As I scrolled through my phone and my Facebook albums I noticed I had countless to choose from. I have been very lucky since starting my Runner Journey in 2011 and I don’t take one moment or experience for granted. Thank you for those that I have met along the way.

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I am very thankful for the memories and friendships made through running. It definetly gives back more than I ever expected. It’s not a chore, it’s a privilege. Keep it fun!

“Blues to the Bayou” My own Back 2 Back Half’s-Part one: The Blues

While some people are getting prepared to run Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans this weekend I can rest a bit. I decided to add some new bling to my collection with the ‘8th Annual Mississippi Blues Half and then the ‘4th Annual Louisiana Half Marathonthe very next weekend. I was a bit concerned since the MS Blues promised rolling hills and inclines that would be a bit more challenging than I am used too plus cold temperatures of a feels like degree of ’19’ on race morning. YIKES!! This southern girl likes it a bit warmer. I was worried the steep inclines may take me out for Louisiana Half since that course has more promise for a PR. My head knew that goal was going to be a bit ambitious for me anyway so first thing first was just to finish both uninjured and have a good time doing it.

That secondary goal was definitely accomplished 🙂

Part one: The Blues

My running buddy Francine and I enjoyed the expo in Jackson for the MS Blues. Terry “Harmonica” Bean was performing on the Expo stage at the time we were there and he oozed soul. To my delight he was featured in a couple songs on the Blues CD that was included with the runners packet.

Terry "Harmonica" Bean doing his thing on the stage at the MS Blues Half expo

Terry “Harmonica” Bean doing his thing on the stage at the MS Blues Half expo

There was several race booths setup such as Zydeco Marathon, St Jude and plenty of runner aid supplies. At the expo you could get just about any last minute items that you may have forgotten such as gloves for the drop in temperatures that was expected overnight for race morning. We found the race medal for the Half which gave us more incentive for being there. It was different than the year prior. Slightly smaller and less glitzy but would certainly be a nice addition to my collection. MS Blues also gave runners a vest with their entry which was something different that the usual race T shirt.

half bling

We had our pasta dinner at the historic ‘Mayflower Cafe’ walking distance from our our hotel. They even had a sign outside and food discounts to welcome the out of town runners. In fact everything was walking distance from our hotel which was very appreciated. One downside I hate to mention was the streets. They were very uneven and lots of potholes. I asked someone at the expo if that’s what we were going to be seeing throughout the race and unfortunately yes that was going to be the case. Since I had a taken a couple recent spills during training runs back home this did worry me a bit. ( No bandaids or neosporin was packed for this race lol!)

The next morning we made sure to have our throwaway layers and gloves as we started to head out for the race start on a very chilly morning. (Actually it was the coldest one we had done yet). My friend Francine had a fantastic attitude going into it. She said the cold and hills would make us stronger because of it. She was right! I decided to go at an easy pace and save some energy for my race the following weekend.  The race started after the most amazing blues guitarist performed the National Anthem (What an incredible race moment! He killed it!) Because of the cold I would not be taking pictures during the race so I left my phone behind in gear check. The sun started to come up for a beautiful but cold morning and we were off for a 13.1 mile jog. There were not as many bands on the course as expected unfortunately due to the weather. I think I only saw “3” when I expected more like 8-10. This was a bit disappointing but to my relief the spectators still braved the cold to cheer us on. One setup in particular I liked was “Sorry about the potholes, enjoy a donut hole”.  Anything that could make us laugh that morning was appreciated. There wasn’t that many sights to take in throughout the race course but we hit the inclines as a challenge that felt at times like a never ending treadmill stuck on “+” and let the miles tick away as we got closer to the Finish.

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Success!!!  We Trained together, Started together and Finished together at a time of 2:22.

The race had a tent setup for the finishers with heaters, pizza, red beans and rice plus plenty to drink such as hot chocolate/Gatorade. We grabbed a couple of items and went to look for the massage area inside the musuem that was being offered complimentary by Bluecross. There was a very short line and we were happy to get some knots worked out from the hills. This would give us a headstart on recovery since we had a race the very next weekend. Unfortunetly the cold set in again for us and we had to head back to the hotel to get cleaned up and go home.

Goodbye Jackson the Blues was a blast. Next up the Bayou. Stay tuned for Part 2

Numbers of Runners at MS Blues:

  • 808 for the Marathon
  • 37 for the Marathon Relay
  • 1783 for the Half
  • 84 for the Quarter

Elevation for MS Blues Half:

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For more information on the Missisissippi Blues Race weekend check out their website at:  http://www.msbluesmarathon.com/

 

 

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.