Thursday, October 14, 2010

Louisiana Disability Law
Check out the website for my brother-in-law's new law firm. He's focusing on Social Security Disability and ERISA Long-Term Disability law.

Monday, March 1, 2010


I so did it!!! Yeah baby!

February 28, 2010 I completed the Rock n Roll Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans, LA. My official time was 4:47:39 with a pace of 10:59.

Wow, what a feeling to finish my first marathon. I need time to reflect, but at this moment it definitely ranks as one of the greatest/toughest things I've ever done in my life. Training was by far the roughest part. Running 5 days a week (or at least attempting to run 5 days a week) and rearranging all weekend plans around the long run is tough. Also, the soreness and recovery from long runs is very difficult along with the strain it puts on family and friends dealing with you when you are sore and can hardly walk.

But, on the flip side, finishing the marathon was one of the most amazing moments of my entire life. I won't put it at number one but it is definitely up there. I will say though finishing was my proudest moment EVER. It is hard for me to find the words to describe the experience. I'm a perfectionist and my run yesterday was far from perfect, but surprisingly I am finding it hard to be disappointed in myself. I didn't give up. I finished. It was hard and I persevered. This feeling of pride is very strange to me, but it is wonderful.

Sorry for the sappiness, but yesterday was a very emotional experience. I am so proud of myself, but I'm also so in awe of my husband and my family's support. I couldn't have done it without them and I honestly mean that. Today, I can't help but reflect on how lucky I am to have that kind of support in my life. It is an amazing thing to have and not everyone is fortunate enough to have people that love and support them unconditionally. It reminds me that I need to remember how lucky I am and always stay grateful.

THANK YOU Ryan, Lindy, Loyd, Mom, Dad, Sophie, & Preston!! Thanks for being there. Thanks for supporting me. Thanks for being proud of me. And, thanks for giving up 2 (yes 2) birthday parties for me.

Okay, I'm done with the emotional stuff. On to the race.

Here is my recap:

I arrived shortly after 6am. Ryan dropped me off under the overpass and I walked to the start. I felt very alone because I wasn't in a group and it was just me. Sometimes crowds intimidate me, so I spent my time standing in line for the port-a-potties TWICE. Then, amazingly, it was 7am and time to get in my corral. I felt a little claustrophobic at first, but then we started moving. I didn't cross the start line until 7:30 and then we were off. I was sooooo nervous. At that point, I didn't know how my body would react to running since I hadn't run in two weeks. I also didn't know what my knee would do since the last run I had to cut short due to the pain. At this point, I just didn't know if I would make it 1 mile, 2 miles, 10 miles, or the whole 26.2.

Around the 1.7 mile mark on my Garmin, my knee started to hurt. Ugh. Why oh why. This sucks big time....But, I made the decision that I was not going to quit and I would just have to block out the pain. I ran a few more miles and by mile 4 I began to not notice it as much. I don't know if psychologically I had blocked out the pain, or if it just wasn't there anymore. At this point, I was on a good pace ranging between 10:00 and 10:30. The beginning miles were physically relatively easy but psychologically it was hard knowing how many miles were left to go. It was also hard not knowing how my body would hold up and anticipating the pain that I knew was going to greet me in the later miles.

I tried to enjoy myself by taking in the crowds and the scenery. Then, we were done with Uptown and on to the Warehouse district. I got excited because I knew my family would be waiting. And around mile 10...there they were. Oh, what a sight for sore eyes. I gave my nephew and niece a high five and I felt good. I ran through the French Quarter at a super fast pace. The excitement got to me and I sped up to about 9:45. I also saw some friends on Decatur and yelled and waved to them. All was good....

Until it wasn't...around mile 12 things started to get tough. I don't know what happened, but I got tired and my knee pain came back with a vengeance. I could feel it pulling and I could tell I was starting to limp. By 13.1, I couldn't even begin to process the fact that I had another half left. I angrily looked at all the half-marathoners that were running next to us. I hated them at that moment. I know it was irrational, but I did. I held on to the fact that Ryan was rushing to meet me at mile 15. I thought things would be better once I saw him and he refilled my PowerAde. There he was and I almost broke down seeing him. He gave me encouragement and my PowerAde. I must have looked bad because I saw concern in his eyes. He then asked if I wanted "an Aleve." I thought; however, that he said "Do you want to leave?" My eyes lit up and I said "YES." He then reached into his pocket and tried to hand me something. I was so confused until I realized he had two blue pills in his hand. Ugh. He said "aleve" not "leave." I declined the pills because I had already crunked 3 earlier. He gave me a quick hug and I was off again. 11 miles left...that is a long way....

I tried to pump myself up. At mile 17, I would only have single digits left!! Yeah, that didn't work when I looked to my right and saw the crowds of people crossing mile 24 on their way to the finish line. WOW...what a loser I am. All these people are almost done and I still have freaking 9 miles left. NOT HELPFUL. This was the hardest 4 miles of my life. I started to doubt myself. I also really slowed down. I was ranging from 11 minute to 12 minute miles. 12 MINUTE MILES....I've never run that slow...EVER. Oh well...I knew as long as I kept moving I would eventually finish. It was fun to think to myself "In two hours, I'll be a marathoner"...."In 90 minutes, I'll be a marathoner"..."In 1 hour I'll be a marathoner." That was a great motivator.

Then...finally...I got to mile 21 and we started to head back towards the finish line. I started to feel good again. I knew that I could finish. At mile 22 I got an amazing surprise. Ryan had walked over 2 miles to see me (I guess he was worried with how I looked at mile 15 and wanted to find a way to see me again before the finish). I was so HAPPY to see him. I threw my water bottle at him (it felt like a 20 lb weight at that point) and yelled "I'M GOING TO BE A MARATHONER IN 45 MINUTES." I could see the pride on his face. At this point, we both knew I was going to finish. It was an amazing moment. No more doubts. No more worries about the flu. No more obsession with how bad my knee felt. I was going to finish!!

I'm not going to lie, the next 5 miles hurt, but I had the confidence back. I just kept moving and every mile marker got that much sweeter. As I turned towards the finish line and passed mile 26, this guy in front of me turned around, and with an amazed look on his face he proclaimed "We did it!" I wasn't running fast, but I had my head held high and ran towards the finish line. I saw my family waiting including Ryan (I still don't know how he made it back from mile 22 in time...magic I guess). To make him happy, I did the John Wall dance. That got a big whoo hoo from the crowd. And there was the finish line. I crossed and did not know what to do with myself. I wanted to raise my arms in the air in victory, but I couldn't. I started to tear up. It was just amazing. There are no words...

Recap of Weeks 6-1

So, I never updated my blog. The reasons will become apparent, but here is the recap.

Week 6: Tuesday 5 miles, Wednesday 2 miles, Friday 10 miles, Saturday 20 miles. My first 20-miler went great. I finished in 3:31 with at 10:35 pace. And then I partied because the Saints made it to the Super Bowl.

Week 5: So, it seems I partied too hard after my 20-miler, so I caught a cold. I managed to run 5 miles on Wednesday, then I was done. Coughing, sneezing, the works. I tried to return to my training on Sunday, but only made it a mile and then I had to stop.

Week 4: I ran 5 miles on Tuesday, then attempted 10 on Wednesday. I made it to mile 5 and then my knee swole up like a balloon. I had been injury free in my training until this moment. It hurt like all get up, so I iced it and prayed it was a one time thing. I rested for a couple days and then ran 5 miles on Saturday and then 21 miles on Sunday. I finished in 3:41 with a 10:32 pace. Then, the SAINTS WON THE SUPERBOWL!! You can tell I ran 21 miles because I was red as a lobster!

My knee felt fine, until....

Week 3: I ran 5 on Tuesday and 8 on Wednesday, then Friday I attempted just a few miles and had to stop because the knee pain was back. I tried again on Saturday and only made it 6 miles before the pain became too much to bear. I went to a physical therapist who diagnosed it as bursitis (an inflamed bursa). Basically, the only thing I could do is rest it and take Aleve. Mardi Gras arrived, so I decided to rest my knee by going to parades, a Mardi Gras ball, and having a blast with my family and friends who came in from out of town. No running for me.

Weeks 2-1: Mardi Gras left and the flu arrived. Yep, that is right, two weeks before my marathon I got one of the worst flus I've ever had. I guess I had too much fun?!?! I don't know but it sucked. I was on my butt for almost two weeks. Yes, from Tuesday of Week 2 through Friday of Week 1 (2 days before the marathon) I felt like poop! I kept waiting to feel better, but it wasn't happening. So, no running for me. I barely did any moving for that matter.

Wow, what an end to the training process....but don't worry...there is good news on the way....STAY TUNED!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hi again!

Okay, I'm horrible about posting, but I've been busy. If you haven't noticed, I'm training for a MARATHON. Hahaha.

Time for a recap.

Week 7

Week 7 was a blast. Okay, I probably wouldn't have said that in week 7, but looking back I'm happy. Tuesday I ran 4 miles. Wednesday was 8 in 1:16 (getting faster :). Friday I ran 5 and Saturday 4. Sunday was the big day. I ran my first 25k!!!

I hate waking up early, but I got up in the 5:45 am range. I ate peanut butter on wheat and drank a bottle of water. I took a shower and got ready. Made it out the door for about 6:40am. Got to the race early to pick up my stuff. It was my first time using a timing chip!! It was pretty cold and I hadn't prepared for that. Everyone was dressed as if we were in a blizzard but I had shorts and a short sleeve shirt.

The race started at 8am and boy was it cold and windy. The first three miles sucked. The wind was in my face, my hands were cold, and pretty much everyone was passing me. I had a good pace though and was trying not to worry about what "place" I was in. Turns out most people were running the 10k and they turned around at the 5k point. At this point, it was a lot less crowded and I got into stride. The sun also came out and I was glad I had gone with the less is more approach. From miles 3-6 I ran next to an older man that was a lot of fun to talk to. I have learned from my last couple of races that I run at the "silver fox" pace. I like this because older men are fun to talk too and also tend to keep a steady pace. At 6 miles, my friend stopped to take a gu and I kept going. My husband was at mile 6 to cheer me on as well. I started to feel good and I picked up the pace a bit. I ran alone for a while and as we got closer to the turn around point, I started passing people. It was clear that people had gone out too fast, had worn too much clothes, or weren't prepared for the distance. I decided to pick up the pace again and just make it through.

The second half was easier because the head wind became a tail wind at the turn around. I started to slow around mile 12, but then I saw them. My family had come out around mile 13 to cheer me on. Besides Ryan at mile 6, they were literally the only fans at the entire race. I had not seen a single other person cheer us on except for some of the people handing out the water and Ryan. It was my mom, dad, sister, nephew, and niece. I gave them high fives and was ready to finish the last 2.5 miles.

I finished in 2:28:19. I was 22 out of 63 female finishers. My pace was 9:32.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Long time, no post

Well marathon training is really heating up which is one of the reasons I'm having a hard time finding the time and energy to update this blog. But have no fear, I have not quit. I'm still on track and ready to rock this thing.

I'll update my weeks in order. I will go bad news first and then good news. I contemplated updating in reverse order to try and bury week 12 and pretend it never happened, but alas, I need to be held accountable.

Week 12 = 4 miles. Yep, that is it folks. 4 measly miles. A million and one factors converged to make this my worst week of training ever. I won't go into all the details/excuses as there are too many to list and kind of depressing. Needless to say, it was a bad week and there is no justifying it.

Week 11 = Things didn't get much better in week 11. It was kind of a hangover week where I was emotionally exhausted and also caught a cold.. I managed 6 miles on Tuesday which was kind of mistake. I was in Omaha, NE and the dry air combined with my cold combined with the pressure from my flight caused me serious pain. I couldn't sleep the rest of the week because my nose and face felt on fire. Again, I chickened out on my other mid-week runs.

But, I got back on track shortly after getting home from the NE. I ran 4 miles on Friday and 15 on Saturday. And OH BOY, 15 was NOT pleasant.

My failures in the beginning of the week and the prior week really had me ill prepared to handle my first 15 miler. 14 miles was an absolute breeze compared to 15. The problem wasn't actually the run, it was the aftermath. I did the 15 in 2:39 which is a decent pace, but as soon as I stopped, my legs completely revolted against the rest of my body. I hobbled to my car and seriously did not know how I was going to drive home. I had no control over anything waist down. I couldn't walk to cool down or stretch. It's not that I didn't want to but I could not move my legs. I got home, kind of in a daze, and took a shower. I was feeling a little better so I decided to head out to Target to get a dress I had wanted to wear on Sunday at the Teddy Bear Tea. I got in the dressing room to try the dress on and my body shut down. I couldn't do anything. It took me 40 minutes to get the dress. I could barely walk to the check out line. I got home and got on the couch. I couldn't move. Ryan kept saying unhelpful things like "it's okay," "you did good," "you can do this." Okay, I know those don't sound like bad things to say, but in the moment it was not what I wanted to hear. To me it sounded like "toughen up," "it's not that bad," "stop complaining." So, I did the only thing left I knew to do, I started bawling. It just hurt so bad and I couldn't move. It may have been the worst pain I had ever felt and to know I intentionally inflicted it upon myself made it that much worse. I couldn't imagine willingly volunteering to run 16, 18, 20, and 26.2 miles in the future. I was ready to say, "It's just not worth it!" But, it is not in me to give up so I knew I just had to grin and bear it.

The next few days were not fun. I could barely walk and stairs were out of the question. I had a fun time at the Teddy Bear Tea the next day, but being in heels was pretty painful. I drank champagne and tried to not move too much.

Luckily, things got better.

Week 10 = Merry Christmas and cheers to an AWESOME training week. I ran a total of 32 miles and more importantly survived and felt great after 16 miles on Saturday. The week went as follows: 4 miles on Tuesday, 6 on Wednesday, 3 on Thursday, 16 on Saturday, and 3 on Sunday. Saturday's 16 miler went way better than expected. I finished in 2:48 which is right on my 10:30 pace and more importantly I didn't feel like cutting off my legs when I was finished. After my horrible 15 mile experience, I read up and asked around and learned that a key element was missing from my training the ICE BATH. So scary but so necessary. So, Ryan and my mom were prepared when I got home from the run. (We were staying at the 'rents house to celebrate the family Christmas). I got in the tub of cold water and Ryan started adding the ice. I won't lie folks, it SUCKED. My feet felt like they were going to freeze off. It was very painful, but Ryan was a good hubby and held my hands and talked me through it. I stayed in for a mere 10 minutes but boy what a difference it made. I felt great after the run and even managed to run a slow 3 miles on Sunday. GREAT WEEK!

Week 9 = Happy New Year and another AWESOME week! That is right. I managed to string two good training weeks together in a row. The key I believe is that there was no work travel because of the holidays so I got to do things on my own terms. No cruddy hotel treadmills! The week went as follows: 4 miles on Tuesday, 7 on Wednesday, 4 on Thursday and 18 on Saturday. The 18 miler went as well as can be expected. What can I say, it was tough. 18 miles is a long way to run and my legs were not thrilled with me upon the finish, but I did it and survived and at this point, that is all I can ask for. At mile 15 I ran into a baby deer frolicking around in the brush. She looked like she was having some fun. It scared me and I scared it. At first I became concerned that a momma deer would jump out of the woods and attack me, but then I thought about it and realized death by momma deer sounded like more fun than running the last three miles. But, alas, there was no momma deer to attack me which meant I was forced to finish and finish I did in the miraculous time of 3:08. Right on pace!!! The next few hours were not pretty, but I managed 5 minutes in an ice bath and woke up Sunday feeling better.


So, ladies and gentleman, there are only 8 short weeks left until this marathon. Can you believe we are in the single digits!?!?!?! I have a training race on January 17th. It is a 25k (which converts to 15.5 miles for you non-runners). I like to call it a 25k and not a 15 miler, because thinking of running 15 miles brings up very unpleasant emotions. Anyways, the end is near and I can't wait to get this over with....I mean run this marathon and do a great job!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Week 13 was a glowing success. I followed the schedule exactly!!! Breakdown is as follows:

Tuesday: 4 miles
Wednesday: 6 miles
Thursday: 4 miles
Saturday: 4 miles
Sunday: 14 miles

Total: 32 MILES!!

I won't lie, 14 miles was probably one of the toughest long runs I've had in a while (my first long run of 6 miles was probably the toughest because of the heat and my foot hurting), so this probably ranks as 2nd hardest. Last week's 12-miler seemed pretty easy (relatively speaking). On the 14-miler my legs were really hurting for the last 3 miles . I'm guessing it is because of my high mileage the rest of the week. But, it was a success so I'm happy and feel like I am getting back on schedule. I don't have a time however because my garmin's battery ran out in the first mile. I think I ran it in about 2.5 hours which is decent. I ran two 7 mile laps which mentally is not my favorite thing to do, but I did it and that is all that matters...right??

This week I'm going to slightly pull back to give myself time to recover which is probably a great idea considering the pathetic fitness center they have at the Sheraton I'm staying at. Today I attempted to run 4miles on the treadmill at said fitness center, but the treadmill obviously hadn't been recalibrated in at least 10 years. To get to a comfortable jog, I had to put the mph at 9.0. I normally run between 5.5 and 6.0. I decided I couldn't base my run on distance because it was clearly off so I decided to run for 45 minutes to get as close to 4 miles as possible. The treadmill said I ran 7 miles in 45 minutes which for me is pretty much impossible. Oh well, at least I got a little exercise in.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Confession Time

I finished week 16 with 23 miles. I had to cut my long run short on Sunday to 8 miles because of Grandma's shrimp stew. Totally worth it!!

Week 15 didn't go so well. I only managed to run two days that week. I was in Tucson for work and unfortunately the hotel did not have a fitness center. I have no excuses for Thursday and Friday of that week though because I was home and didn't get off my lazy butt. I ran 3 on Saturday and 10 on Sunday for a pitiful total of 13 miles.

Week 14 went a little better. I ran 4 miles on Tuesday, 5.5 on Wednesday, and 4 on Thursday. I wasn't able to run on the weekend because of various life events, but made up for it on Monday with a long run of 12 miles for a total of 25.5 miles.

This week I have 28 miles planned and hope to stick with my training schedule for here on out. Only 3 months to go and it is do or die time. When I have more time to blog, I may update everyone on my run-ins with nature including 2 deer sightings which almost gave me heart attacks. I'm kind of a scaredy-cat if you didn't already know that. Also, I want to post pics before my long run next week so everyone can see just how ridiculous I look with my ten million add ons hanging off of me.