Thursday, December 29, 2011

Basic Fitness Plan for 2012

Basic Fitness Plan for 2012

Friday, September 2, 2011

1st Annual Alligator Stomp 5K

My lovely little town is great, quiet and laid back. But that means we have to drive in to the city if we want a little excitment. Most of the time. That's why I get jazzed up when a race or a festival is close to my house.

Luling's big deal of the year is the Alligator Festival at the Westbank Bridge Park in St Charles Parish. Like everything else in St. Charles Parish, the festival is fun without a big fuss. Of course, there's festival food, beer and music. But the food is Cajun food and mostly made with alligator. That may not be a selling point for you. Take my word for it, alligator meat is awesome. Like chicken but better.

This year the 31st Annual Alligator Festival is hosting a 5K for the first time. The route will either be atop the Mississippi River Levee or along River Road. This the route I run or ride every Wednesday and Saturday with Pacers Fitness

Start: Saturday, September 24, 2011 @ 9:00 AM

West Bank Bridge Park
Under Hale Boggs Bridge Luling, LA

Online or In Person
$20 pre-registration by September 17
$15 for youths under 17 by September 24
$25 after September 17
$20 day of race, no t-shirt

I can't wait! Hopefully, the heat will break by then.

Y'all come join us and pass a good time

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Race Day Checklist - Triathalon Edition

For those of you who know me IRL, you know I like a spreadsheet. I use them not only to track important information, like work stuffs and Christmas presents but also to help with anxiety. How does a spreadsheet keep anxiety at bay, you may ask. Well, if I have everything in order on race day, I won't be worried I've forgotten something. Race Day nerves are much less. This is where a spreadsheet comes in handy, in the form of a race day checklist.

I have one for half marathons that I've used multiple times and never fails me. Now, that I am dabbling in triathlons of course I need one tailored for triathlons.

And now that I am 4 days out form the Tarpon Tri, I need to start packing and planning.
With the help of my darling coaches and the internet this is what I have come up with:
Swim Cap

Timing Chip

Swim, Bike, Run shorts
Flip Flops

Tire Pump (leave in car)

Spare Tube,
CO2 (2), co2 tool

Tire tool,

Spare water bottle for bike

Bike Shoes

GU (3)
Make sure bike is in the correct gear


Inflate Tires before going to transition area morning of race

Running Shoes
# Belt with # attached

Water bottle
Running Hat

GU (3)

Additional Items:
32oz. Gatorade
Lens Cleaner

32oz. Water

Change of Clothes

Comfy Sandals


Food & Drink
Chairs from Kayaks

Spare Contacts
Prescription Glasses

Lip Balm
Eye Drops

Small ice chest
Safety pins

A few other tips I was given:
Things to do the day before:
Packet pickup,
Remember your chip
Eat on schedule
Survey course and transition area

The Morning of
Survey the transition area, swim in, bike out, bike in and run out.
Do a quick bike mount where the bike mount area is.

If there is anything you can think of that I have left off, please let me know.

By the way, if you were wondering why I posted my list, because I lost the one I had for IronGirl and had to make this one from scratch.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Run Clinic with Coach Jeff Delaune

Whether you’re an avid runner or are just beginning, you will RUN away with a MUCH better understanding of the sport of running. Similar clinics would cost $150, but Jeff’s run clinic is presented at NO COST by the Greater New Orleans DetermiNation Team and Volunteer Committee.
Come on out! It's going to be a FUN morning!

Jeff Delaune has participated in the Elite Coaching Mentorship Program at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. He has served USA Triathlon as an instructor at coaching certification clinics, has traveled the country as both an athlete and coach, and is in his second season as coach of the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation Team for the Greater New Orleans area and Southeast Louisiana.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

FIrst Day of School

Tuesday was not just the first day of schools for the girlies, but an important milestone for MM. No more baby school. Time for new and exciting things, Pre-K3. She's been excited for months to go to school with Li at her Big Girl School.  When the morning came she was nervous and would let us take a good picture of her.

Sweet, sweet Li couldn't sleep the night before. She is so much like me. Worried if her friends will be in her class or if she'll like her teacher. But when the morning came she was all smiles as she stood in line. Happy to be there.

After school was over they were happy to see their daddy and ready to start the new year off right.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Epic Brownie Fail

Why oh why can't I make brownies from scratch? I can whip up a batch of cookies like it's no bodies business. Pecan pies with homemade bourbon spiked whip cream are my specialty. But brownies allude me.

When I decide to make a new dish/dessert, I try to choose a recipe from a trusted source. My standard go to sources are a few trusted cookbooks or someone's grandmother's recipe. (Not sure why I think someone's grandmother's recipe is better than a newer one. Neither of my grandmothers could cook worth a dang.)

The brownie recipe I attempted came from the Silver Palate Cookbook. According to a story I heard on NPR, the Silver Palate is/was a neighborhood gourmet shop in New York city that was renowned for its creative but accessible food. The cookbook became popular in the 70's. I bought a copy used. Their banana bread recipe is perfect and I have yet to be disappointed by any recipe I tried from the book. Until last night.

Unlike my usual habit of winging it, I actually followed the recipe to a tee. I even measure out the ingredients, which I rarely do. But no good.

The brownies never set up. I baked them for the recommended time. Then 10mins more. Then 7 mines more. And left them overnight and my poor brownies just didn't harden.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why you test recipes before you decide to bake them for gifts or a work party the next day. All I can say is, whomp whomp.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Louisiana Gold Mile 2nd Annual

On of the best race swag bags in NOLA is at a short little race, the Louisiana Gold Mile. Last year's bag included a long sleeved Brook's technical running shirt, a goodie bag filled with items from race sponsors, as well as entrance to the post-race party which included music, cooking demonstrations and beer! All of the details of the after party and the swag bag have yet to be release but I'm sure it will be just as great.

DATE: Friday August 5, 2011

TIME: 5 pm race registration, 6:30 pm Fun Run start

LOCATION: Marconi Boulevard, New Orleans

EVENTS: Certified 1 mile road race and 1 mile Fun Run

FINISH: Near the Gernon Brown Gym at Marconi and Harrison Avenue

PARTICIPANTS: Runners and walkers of all ages and abilities are welcome!

CHARITY PARTNER: DetermiNation/American Cancer Society of New Orleans

In person at
Louisiana Running Co.
4153 Canal St.
Southern Runner
6112 Magazine St.

Online Registration

Come out after work and run a mile and enjoy the fun!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Catfish Festival 5K

What do normal people do on a Saturday morning in July in NOLA? The sleep in their beds, in nice air conditioned rooms. What did the girls, the Big Man and I do this morning? We got up early and headed out to the Catfish Festival 5K in Des Allemands.

Even at 7AM, the heat was brutal. But running thru the heart of Des Allemands, the catfish capital of the world, reminds me why I love South Louisiana. All of the shrimp boats parked on the bayou, people up early fishing and the Cajun cottages people still call home.

Saying this is a small race is an understatement. There were about 50 people running this morning. But a small race is a fun race. Not too many people getting in the way of the double jogger. And no line for the beer and food. I was a little disappointed the post-race food wasn't fried catfish but it was some of the best jamablaya I've ever had.

At least half of the runners are from my local run group, the Pacers. I really need to blog about running with the Pacers every week. It is one of my favorite things I do.

Post Race with the Family

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

HOTTER than HELL Marathon

Since I've started racing, I've thought they should have summer races in NOLA. There are multiple ultramarathons thru deserts across the world. Why not have one in 90deg heat with 90% humidity? I realize that this is not the ideal running weather. But most endurance racers like to push their limits. Running 26miles is a ridiculous thing to do anyway. May as well do it when it's unbearable outside.

In order to train for the fall races, I train thru the summer. May as well train in the spring too for a summer race.

Luckily someone has put a race together. This Sunday July 3rd. And it's informal, which I LOVE! And it's to benefit sick little boys. Who doesn't want to help sick kids?!

I wasn't able to find a website about the race, that's how informal it is so here's a blurb from the flyer. 

"Finally, you can take an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of ten thousand boys suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and have fun doing it.

The HOTTER than HELL MARATHON is an informal recreational marathon of 26.2 miles held on Sunday July 3rd, 2011 in Audubon Park, New Orleans, LA. The Start Time is flexible. Some will start at 12-1AM in order to finish by the 9AM awards presentations. Others start at 2-3AM. You should plan your start to finish at least before the guy with the Medals and T-Shirts finishes and the Jambalaya is all gone.

 For the Medal and a T-Shirt you must complete 13 precisely measured Laps around the Audubon Park Circle running path between St Charles and Magazine St. by Monday. This year’s start is at Shelter #11 for official/unofficial scoring and after run recovery. Shelter #11 is off St. Charles Ave. directly across from Loyola University. Parking is available on St. Charles Ave. If you show up, you’re registered and you’re on the honor system to keep track of your own Laps on the official erasable board. You are responsible for your own supplies, health and physical fitness. Welcome all runners, thanks for your support, join us for a good time, meet other runners! See you Sunday A.M. There is no charge for the HtH MARATHON Event. It is completely Sponsor and donations supported. All contributions will go directly to

The world’s strongest athletes helping the weakest of all boys is a profound example of caring and powerful symbolism of human potential. Few if any participants have a DMD child. Yet if medicine is developed to prolong and improve these lives, thousands of young boys will gain a chance at survival and a better life. You can donate directly to RaceMD by visiting the website, and click the “Take Action" tab then “Make a Donation." "

They have also included a donation card just can give them the day of the race. I will gladly email you the flyer if you would like it.

Now I really wish I ran marathons and not just halfs. If you know me, you know I like foolishness. This sort of crazy ridiculousness is the kind of thing that I would do. Get up super early on a Sunday and run for 6hours in the 90deg weather. Unfortunately for me, I have never run more than 13miles. But I really want to do this race. What to do? What to do?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Super Powers - We Got 'Em

Well, not really. But helping fight cancer and other runners does kick booty. The NOLA chapter would love to have you volunteer to be a Superhero. We have positions for everyone. You don't have to be a marathoner or even a runner. All you need is to have a bit of time to give. I promise you'll enjoy the experience. If  you are interested, join us Monday June 20, 2011 6:30PM at the American Cancer Society office on River Road. See the flyer below for details.

Last year, I looked forward to every DetermiNation meeting each month. And I'm so excited to start the 2011-2012 season.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

#SugarFreeChallenge Mid-point Update

Seven days down, no added sugar. More or less no sugar. I did have a few slip ups. Bleary-eyed one morning, I dumped Splenda in my coffee and drank half the cup before I realize. Then Friday I'm pretty sure the sauce on my eggplant wasn't challenge friendly. Ah well.

Overall, my ability to resist the sweet siren sugar is fine. But I never doubted that I could walk away for 10 days. Could I do it forever? Or a year? I don't know. The reason I'm unsure is at this point I still crave sugar. That's the point behind this challenge is to rid oneself of the desire/dependence on sugar. I'm not there yet. Maybe come Friday this sugar monkey will have loosened his grip on my back.

Come visit me in a few days and fond out if I made it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Discounted registration for @RnRNOLA 2012

Discounted registration for Rock'n'Roll New Orleans 2012 - in honor of National Running Day!

Happy National Running Day!

We're SO excited about National Running Day, it has made us go a little crazy! When you join the DetermiNation team for Rock'n'Roll New Orleans 2012, TODAY through FRIDAY, we're knocking $10 off of your registration fee!

$15 gets you registered, trained, and INSPIRED for the 2012 Rock'n'Roll New Orleans Marathon and Half, benefiting the American Cancer Society! With race day on March 4th of 2012, your extended FUNdraising efforts will be a walk in the park! (Running punn intended.)

Our 2012 site is live and ready for you to register! Go to:

We look forward to welcoming you to our 2012 team soon!


DetermiNation New Orleans, Staff and Volunteers




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Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Today, I start the 10 day sugar-free challenge with RuntotheFinish and 60 other crazies. Added sugar that is, not all sugar. Fruit is such a huge part of my diet I'd never be able to quit. (Really, I could be 100% sugar free but I'd hate it. Who wants to live there life denying themselves all the time.) Since I started watching my weight, I don't really eat a ton of sugar anyway. This challenge won't be nearly as hard as it would have been in college when I drank full calorie cokes and ate out often.

While it will be easier, this challenge will not be a cake walk. I do have daily habits that will be a struggle. My morning coffee with milk and splenda might be my favorite part of the day. The splenda will go for a bit since fake sugars are out in this challenge as well. After I exercise or before a long run, I eat half a peanut butter sandwich. And GU will have to go too. Obviously, there is added sugar in PB but there is also sugar added to bread. Nothing make me as self-conscious as thinking I have bad breath. There's a constant stream gum and breath mints in my mouth after meals. Second breakfast will no longer be cheese & crackers or hummus & pita. And I will forgo my after dinner piece of chocolate.

But I have a plan to make it thru:

morning pb sandwich hardboiled eggs2
GU not sure yet
breath mints mouthwash/green tea/water
snack time veggie chips
café au lait with splenda black coffee or with milk only
after dinner chocolate nothing

The whole goal of this experiment is to rid oneself of the desire for sugar. A side benefit for me, hopefully, it will be easier to stay on my diet since most of the foods I am avoiding are high in calories. I haven't figured out what to do about mid-run fuel. Normally, I grab a GU & go. More research needed.
I'll let you know how I do in the end.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Who lives in a Pineapple

There is something so zen about icing cookies. Even if you do it as poorly as I do. No one will ever hire me to decorate cookies for them. I've been shown how to do it properly. And of course, there's a plethora of information on the internets. But I find the proper way tedious. I just don't have the patience. Plus, I kinda like the abstracty look of these cookies. When I'm finished, these guys are supposed to be SpongeBob & Patrick for the girls birthday party

If ever someone makes you cut out cookies, you know they love you because these are a pain.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gonna Tri

Am I seriuosly doing this? Guess I am. I signed up for the Iron Girl New Orleans Triathalon for this Sunday.

Not sure what I was thinking when I signed up. Actually, I know what I was thinking. I’ve wanted to do a tri for a while. The Iron Girl is a sprint tri, 1/4mi swim, 12mi bike, 3.1mi run. The bike and the run distances (and longer) I do multiple times a week. And we’ll chalk the swim up to being an over confident, pompous ass. Yep.

With two small girls and limitied pool access, I don’t really have time to train for the swim. But it’s only a 1/4mi and I’m strong. Or at least that’s what I thought until my first training swim. That swim did not go well. I struggled to get thru one length of the pool. After a few coaching session, my stroak is by no means perfect but it’s unlikely I’ll drown. My plan it to get in the back of my my wave and go slow. This will be an ugly, ugly swim but I’ll finish.

This will be my first time racing on my bike, Blue Betty. Because of my early morning training sessions, I rarely even ride near other people. I’m a little nervous of being close to other people on bikes. Again, I am no skilled cyclist. Oh, and I mount and dismount like an old lady. The running mount is way beyond my skill level. One day maybe, but first I need to work up the courage to get clipless pedals. Master that and I move on to more advanced stuff.

The run is the only thing I am not worried about. Who would have though that running would be my strong suit?! But it is. I may not be fast but I can do it forever, thru pain, with the wrong shoes and any other thing that can go wrong. I know that I will finish the run on my hands if need be. This is my comfort.

Hopefully, with smooth tranisitions and decent a decent bike and run I will put up a not too embarrising time. All I want is to finish. To finsih and get a medal.

Note: Due to the opening of the Mississippi River Spillway and the high winds we’ve been getting. There is a possiblity that the swim will get cancelled. The swim was cancelled for last weeks 5150. I will disapointed and relieved if the swim is cancelled. But mostly disapointed.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sweet Enough...

As in I don't need any extra sugar. That's not true, at all. I could stand to be sweeter but I do not need any added sugar. Y'all know how it is, the more sugar you eat the more you crave. At least that way with all junk food for me.

I've kind of fallen off the wagon since my last race in April. My weekly mileage barely breaks double digits. And I don't start training for the fall half marathon season until July. In fact, I've skipped asmany early morning sweat sessions as I've done. This foolishness is not going to get me to my goal of 10 lbs lighter by the end of summer. So...I'll join in on some one else's foolishness and maybe it'll make me fall back into line.

RunToTheFinish is hosting a 10 day sugar free challange. She's been considering going without extra sugar for awhile and misery loves company. June 1 thru June 10 I will attempt to got sugar free with her.

This snippet from her blog explains the what to eat, what not to eat, and why.

What Not To Eat
  • Syrups (cane syrup, rice syrup, corn sryup, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, honey, sorgam)
  • Refined and processed sugars (cake, cookies, candy)
  • Look through your cabinets, unexpected things like tomato sauce, ketchup and peanut butter can contain sugars we are trying to avoid or just excess sugar. Avoid: Fructose, Maltose, Sorbitol, Evaporated Cane Juice, Xylotol and other sugars end in “ol” or “ose”
  • Sugar substitutes (Aspartame, Sucralose, Nutra-sweet, Stevia)
  • Fruit juice
  • Advanced: If you already have a very low sugar diet or want to see what a complete sugar detox feels like you will also remove “sugar forming foods”. This includes: all starchy root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, bananas, quinoa millet and buckwheat.

What To Eat
  • MORE importantly let’s focus on what to eat…WHOLE FOODS
  • Fruits of any kind (recommended to eat whole fruits and not dried at this point)
  • Vegetables: Especially cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower
  • Protein: Eggs, meat, beans, dairy, avocados, nuts
  • Spices: Cinnamon, vanilla, allspice, ginger, nutmeg

  • Most of us realize that sugar isn’t great for our bodies, but until recently the research hadn’t been strong enough to give us more reason than weight loss. I have a complete post on all the ways sugar is harmful.. but in case you don’t click back.. here are a few:
  • Addictive: “Sugar can be addictive, wielding power over the brains of lab animals much like a craving for drugs, according to Princeton University scientists.”
  • Too much sugar blocks leptin in your brain and your body can’t tell when it’s full…this is part of why we are now in an obesity epidemic
  • Toxins: Our liver holds on to toxins and fat when we eat too much sugar…so we need to clean it out by cleaning up our food choices.
  • May be a leading cause of cancer - creating insulin which feeds cancer cells and scientist are working to prove the theory that it causes them to grow faster 
My family doesn't eat much pre-packaged food. Any sauce we eat I make. This challenge will not be too far out of my normal life. But there are treats I will miss.

Giving up "sweets" will be tough since I love candy. But the hardest will be bread. I eat at least one peanut butter sandwich everyday. Oh yes, and coffee. I looooove coffee. But I like it with milk & Splenda. But that's why she's calling a challenge. It won't be a "cake walk."

What do you think about this foolishness?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Not Again

My legs take quite a beating with the miles I put in each week. The last thing my calfs/ankles/knees need is another injury. The picture is the latest in a string of ridiculous accidents. Yest, I slipped on the stairs. I know better than to wear socks while carrying things.

I had a dent in my leg for a good 2hrs after

Early Feb (2wks before my last race) I stepped in a hole a rolled my ankle. I hobbled for a few days and I still feel it after a long run.

Y'll might remeber the incident when I fell off the treadmill and sanded off part of my skin with the belt. I still have a scar.

And of course, there's the daily running into desks and bumping my funny bone. Also, I bruise easily. Half the time I don't know how the bruise from. So bruising easily and extreme's a ridiculous combo.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Krewe de St. Edwards


Friday, February 11, 2011

It's Been Awhile

Sorry bloggie friends. I kind of abandoned you with out notice a few months ago. Last fall, I got really busy with the kids, work, fundraising for DetermiNation and training for fall half marathons. Something had to suffer. Unfortunately, that thing was my blog.

On top of being busy, the job I had since I graduated from college was coming to an end. A decision had to made of wether or not I wanted to continue to be an engineer. Engineering has never been my passion. But it pays well and it comes easily for me. No other career sounded appealing. But my income is not an insignificant part of my family's finance structure.

I am not great at expressing my feelings (except anger) when I'm dealing with difficult times. Blogging while super busy and while trying to figure out my life just seemed daunting.

I found a new job utilizing my engr skills but it's not straight engineering. I've only been at the new job for 5 weeks. So it remains to be seen how I feel about it. Now that the holidays are over an my personal life has settled down, I feel like I can blog again. Maybe not every other day. But at least once a week.

Wish me luck. I'm running the Rock n' Roll Mardi Gras half marathon with the American Cancer Society's DetermiNation this Sunday. Plus since I'm on DetermiNation's planning commitee I get to work the Expo. I can't wait!

Have a good weekend! Happy running!