I know it’s been awfully quiet around here lately!
So here is a look at what’s been going on (in no particular order):
Confession, I wrote most of this post last night…
Farmer Ben had all four wisdom teeth out today (yesterday) and I have to say, he is a trooper!
I just took a Bourbon pumpkin cheesecake out of the oven (last night) and I am 65% sure the crust is burnt….
Also, have you ever gone to bake something (that you need to bring somewhere the next day) and realized you were missing almost half of the ingredients? Yeah, that happened to me tonight. Cue my scrambling to find substitutes to avoid leaving the house. Thankfully, I went a bit overboard on buying random ingredients for Thanksgiving/December baking so it all worked out… I think.
You may have noticed from this photo that Farmer Ben participated in No Shave November at his workplace.
And apparently people like it because he won a gift card… Why can’t I win a gift card for not shaving my legs?! I’m only half-kidding. And I’m still waiting for Farmer Ben to shave…sigh.
On Black Friday, the hubs and I scored a pretty sweet deal on cold weather running gear at Dick’s. All Reebok stuff was 50% so we couldn’t resist….major sales are pretty much the only time I buy name brand anything, so we splurged on some tights, (not exactly) sweats, gloves and a half-zip w thumb holes (!).
The pants are (almost) the most comfortable pants I’ve ever worn and I am not even embarrassed to say that I have had them on almost every waking moment that I don’t have to wear work pants since I purchased them. My standby XL sweats may have a rival!
On Thanksgiving, Farmer Ben and I did the Turkey Trot…. and froze our butts off. We actually had our family dinner on Wednesday so we got up with slight food hangovers to run in ridiculously cold and windy weather (15 degrees. Real feel, 5. and WIND.).
Luckily, we pre-registered and picked up our race packets the night before so we just had to show up.
I had signed up for the 10k… but at the two-mile mark, while I was struggling to run in a semi-straight line, not slip on the ice and not blow all over the road, I decided to drop down to the 5k… I just didn’t have the gumption to continue in those conditions for another 4.2 miles. That’s the thing about the Turkey trot, you never know how the weather is going to be. Do I feel bad for dropping down to the 5k? Not really…it happens.
You know that crazy (and super vague) thing I mentioned I *may* be doing? Well… I took the first step. Not gonna lie, I have no idea what the outcome will be! Its invigorating and nerve-wracking at the same time.
In other news, I’ve been thinking about what my goals are for the new year, particularly my fitness goals:
To start, I want to focus even more on my nutrition (oh hey, ENERGYbits!) and my form. But I also want to get stronger. And Faster.
Another marathon is definitely on the docket for 2014… but I am looking to improve and not “just finish.”
I want to finish strong. I don’t know why, but admitting that out loud (or on blog) kind of freaks me out.
I think this realization hit me on a run a couple of weeks ago. For the last year, I’ve been running about 9:45-10 min mile pace, give or take 10 seconds. Completely respectable and nothing to sneeze at. I really haven’t been focused on time, just getting out and getting those miles in.
Then, a couple weeks ago, I did a four mile run at a faster-than-usual pace. When I got back to my car, instead of getting in or starting to stretch, I ditched my excess layers and reset my watch. I proceeded to run a timed mile at 8:23 pace.
About a week later, I had a jam-packed day, so I planned to run at lunch.
Unfortunately, my work place is not located in a runner-friendly area. There’s a lot of traffic and people drive fast. So, I drove to a spot in town where I do some of my night runs.
This meant I would have just under 30 minutes to run, after drive time/make-myself-presentable time (luckily it was a Friday). After parking, I started mapmyrun and took off on the bike path. I meant business (mostly because I didn’t have a lot of time).
When the app notified me that I had completed a mile and gave the split, I thought it was a mistake but kept moving (my second mile was about a minute slower and the third was somewhere in the middle).
In the end, I ran 3.1 miles (I had only planned on 2) in 28 minutes. My first mile was run in 8 minutes and 16 seconds.
That’s speedy for me. I haven’t run that fast in a long time…and it got me thinking… Could I run that pace consistently for a whole 5k? Or longer?!
I haven’t trained for speed in a long time… since high school. I’ve gone out and run fast, and randomly done a speed workout here and there, but I haven’t consistently tried to get faster.
So, this is going to be a new adventure…and a challenge.
And completely off topic, but there is currently 2.5 gallons of hot sauce in our fridge. Go big or go home, right?
If you’re still reading, thanks for sticking through my ramble!
Let’s chat, what have you been up to? Did you run a turkey trot? Beards-yes or no? What are your fitness goals for 2014? Any suggestions for speed work?
Just stopping in real quick to say Happy Thanksgiving! Have a safe and happy holiday and be blessed!
Sorry if I completely confused you with yesterday’s post, and thanks for your continued support! Did you know Noelle’s Notebook has been around for almost two years now? I can’t believe it!
Moving on, I figured I’d give you some random facts today.
1. This may not be a big deal, but I was pretty excited to find my last TWO posts featured on the Pace Per Mile website.
2. I am currently craving an exact replication of this meal. And bagels (Hint, hint, FB).
3. My “AHA” Moment post was published on the Fit Approach website. I was incredibly nervous about posting this-especially because I reveal my numbers (gasp!) and some other personal info… but I am really happy that I shared…I’ve gotten positive feedback and I hope it helps someone else. Check out my story here.
5. This morning, I had to dumpster dive. Someone at work thought something was accidentally thrown out and needed to check. No, it was not the regular dumpster (Thank God!)… it was the paper dumpster, and I was given the task because I was the younger, more limber of the people looking for said item. Not the way I thought I’d be starting my day, that’s for sure. There may be photographic evidence not in my possession. The worst part, I didn’t find what I was looking for.
7. I just signed up to for this and I can’t wait! Side note: The event is being held where Ben and I got married. Food and Wine is always a win! Between this and the Turkey Trot, my month is made.
And thanks to Ryan for creating an awesome app!
Let’s chat, any big plans this month? Ever had to dumpster dive?!
Friends, I need to get something off my chest.
I was going to make this one of my crazy, random posts… but I just want to have a little chat instead. So, let’s grab a cup of coffee or tea, or maybe even a bloody Mary (hold the celery!). Your regularly scheduled random posts will return tomorrow.
It’s going to be one of those chats where you’re going to come out more confused than not, so bear with me.
In all honesty, I’ve been struggling the last few months. Not with my weight, not with my marriage, not with my digestion, but with my purpose. I’ve had this feeling of discontent that’s getting harder and harder to ignore and instead of doing something about it, I’ve been stewing.
Stewing and calling it “trying to be patient.” This stewing has involved prayer, reading, research and circuitous discussions with my husband that always end with me saying the same thing, similar discussions with my best friend, and her telling me the same thing.
So, you’re probably wondering, why the need to be patient? Why not just … do something?!
I’m someone who needs a clear sign before I make a decision, it can be something as simple as running into an old friend or getting a phone call at the right time… Sometimes, I come off as impulsive, and yes, once I make a decision, I waste no time in taking action. But I’m not reckless…
I’ve done seemingly reckless things before but I was confident in those actions. While, I may have been completely unsure of the outcome, I always knew that I was doing the right thing. Does that make any sense?
Recently (as in yesterday), I was presented with one of those possibly “reckless” decisions. Today, something happened that may force me into action…finally. I won’t say more because that’s all it is right now–a possibility.
I will leave you with this, I may be doing something a little crazy in the coming weeks. I won’t get into details yet because, it could be nothing. Regardless, I’d surely appreciate your prayers.
In the meantime, I’ll be praying on it, looking to Him and remembering this:
It’s something very abstract at this moment. And no, for the 1241353413445412341th time, Farmer Ben and I are not expecting any spawn. Sorry, friends.
Happy Thursday and thanks for chatting!
Let’s discuss, what’s your purpose? How did you know? Are you impulsive, or do you need a full-fledged plan before you take action?
UPDATE: The winners of the giveaway are Liz, Vanessa, Jessica and Chelsea. Congratulations! please contact me to claim your prize!!!
Hope you’re having a great week so far!
I’m super excited because I discovered a new fitness app.
If you’re anything like me, once the weather turns colder and the days get shorter, getting outside to workout is really difficult. Why? Because motivation disappears. I’d rather be reading a book, curled up under the blankets and wearing my giant XL sweats than venturing outside in a pair of running tights and a moisture-wicking base layer… and let’s be honest, I don’t have the cash for a gym membership right now.
For example, on Saturday, I planned on running. I really did… but it was my first REAL day off in I don’t even know how long and, well… I didn’t feel like doing a damn thing. I managed to venture out to drive the hubby to work, but then I went directly home, popped in a movie and got sucked into being a bum. I know I’m not the only one this happens to.
Anyway, it got to be 4:13 pm and I realized that my plan to get out and run was not going to happen as daylight was quickly fading (and can we talk about how windy it was?!). So, instead of putting on my reflective gear and head lamp, I searched for an alternative.
I found Sworkit.
I downloaded the free version and opted for the 20 minute “anything goes” workout. Before I knew it, I was doing burpees, shoulder clap push-ups (excuse me?!), side planks, tricep dips and a variety of other exercises I probably wouldn’t have thought of doing on my own in that short of time. And I was so glad that I did them.
The great thing about this app is that it does the thinking for you. Each exercise is 30 seconds. If you need it, there is a short how-to video (I needed this for a couple of the exercises). 30 seconds of rest is also incorporated every few minutes. And if it a two-sided exercise (like a side plank), it will tell you when to switch sides. So, basically, you start the workout and let Sworkit do the thinking–and the counting–for you.
It’s also easy to mix it up. You choose the workout length (anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes) what type of circuit you’d like to do (strength, cardio, yoga) and what areas you’d like to work (arms, legs, core, anything goes, boot camp, full body stretch, etc.). You can also customize workouts.
Here is an explanation directly from the Sworkit Website:What is it? Sworkit builds randomized circuit training workouts that you can do anywhere. You just choose which part of your body you want to work on and how long you have to work out, and Sworkit takes care of the rest. By providing an actual workout and taking you through the motions, you don’t have to do any other planning or have any extra equipment. Why Sworkit? We all have the desire to take care of ourselves and we know that we need fitness to stay healthy. But it’s easy to come up with excuses: “I don’t have the time”. “I don’t like gyms”. “I don’t want to buy new equipment”. “I get bored too easily”. “I travel for work”. “I don’t know where to start”. Sworkit is here to make sure that none of these excuses apply and we can all get a simple workout in whenever we want. What’s with the randomization? Workouts can be boring or they can be fun. The reason Sworkit employs randomization is to give the user a new experience every time they workout. This allows for more motivated sessions and provides excitement, and sometimes even pain. Pain is good. Why circuit training? Circuit training has been proven to provide highly efficient workouts at a fast pace. Sworkit allows you to choose the total amount of time you want to work out and provides you with the proper exercise timing, rest, and transitions.
Another plus? It syncs with myfitnesspal. I love love love this!
The Pro version has a few more options to choose from, saves your customized workouts and saves your stats (weight, daily/weekly goals, etc.).
I downloaded the app on Saturday and have done a variety of workouts ranging from a few five minute workouts, to a 20 minute workout. I tried to mix it up to get a complete picture of what the app has to offer. And I was not disappointed. Each sworkit left me feeling accomplished. If I wasn’t sure how to do something, the how-to videos were short and sweet.
On Sunday I did three of the five-minute workouts. Last night, I did two of the ten-minute workouts. The possibilities are endless!
The most exciting part about finding this app? I can share it with you!
After my first sworkit, I tweeted about my experience and was very surprised to receive an email from the creator, Ryan. He informed me that there is even more customization coming out in December-I can’t wait to see what’s next!
He also thanked me for tweeting, AND gave me some codes to share for a free upgrade to the pro version!
How nice is that?!
So, after checking with Ryan, I decided to share the free upgrade to Sworkit Pro with a few of you lucky readers. I have 4 Pro upgrades to give away!
Here’s How to Enter
- Check out the Sworkit Exercise List and leave me a comment, telling me which exercise listed is your favorite OR if there is one you’d like to be added.
- In the same comment answer the following question: What is your biggest excuse for not exercising?
All comments must be received by Thursday, November 8 at 11:30 pm. Winners will be picked at random.
I will announce all 4 winners on Friday, November 9, 2013.
Sworkit is available for iphone and Android. Download via the App Store or Google Play.
- As with any new workout, please consult a physician before starting a fitness regimen and be smart.
- Disclaimer: I received a free upgrade to Sworkit Pro, HOWEVER I was not compensated to write this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Can we talk about how foolish I was when I believed that life would slow down after the marathon? Yeah, call me crazy. Regardless, life’s been pretty good lately. Also, confession: I started writing this post last week…and am just now publishing…fail.
Prepare yourselves, this is going to be RANDOM!
As you know, I am officially 26 as of a couple of weeks ago. It doesn’t feel much different than 25, other than I didn’t have a birthday meltdown. I’ll call it a win! How did I celebrate? A margarita and nachos with girlfriends, of course! On my actual birthday, I woke up to a delicious breakfast of filet mignon, homemade hash browns and a fried egg. Perfection.
My excuse for being absent? I’ve been insanely busy at work and in spite of some major technology/communication issues, extremely productive. I’ve managed to finish some special projects that have been hanging over my head and am able to focus on other things, at least for now. As a result of this busy-ness, I haven’t even wanted to look at a computer outside of work/on my lunch break. My bad.
Also, does anyone else get completely weird with daylight savings? I just can’t get a handle on it. Hence my writing this post more days after Daylight Savings than I care to admit….
In other news, I’m super excited because my friend Tina is not only doing the Turkey Trot this year (AND, Vanessa, too–I think!), but she asked me to run the loop with her a couple of weeks ago. She may have thought it was a mistake when I made her run up the hills, but she was glad when it was all said and done. I’m still waiting for her invite to run the loop again…
Other than that, I did a race three weekends ago. My friend Kristy and I even went in costume…kind of. She did an awesome job of painting our faces. Read about it here.
Big news! Farmer Ben and I finally bought a new bed. Not only did we upgrade from a full to a queen, but we also went with memory foam, and let me tell you, I have not slept so well in a LONG time. We also got a ridiculously good deal.
In fact, between daylight savings and our new bed, getting up in the morning is damn near impossible!
Moving on, Farmer Ben made bagels. While cooking dinner. I know I’ve said this before, but how amazing is he?!
Breakfast was epic last week…
And dinner? Even better. What he made while making bagels:
In other food news, I’ve been craving greens lately. Greens and anything kind of related to tacos/nachos.
On the running front, I’ve been bad about getting out and running (shocker, I know), but I have a run planned after work (Hi Kristy!) and as soon as I finish this post, I’ll be updating my schedule to include workouts this week. I am still deciding if I want to a December half marathon for giggles… and I have it narrowed down to two races! One of them will be free if I can find a volunteer…any takers? It’s in Gloucester, MA…. The other is in New Hampshire…apparently I like torturing myself by running in freezing weather….
This weekend was marvelous. I slept in on Saturday, drove the hubby to work, came home, vegged out with a movie, took a nap, caught up on some reading and discovered an awesome new workout app. I’ll fill you in a little more on my next post, but I am still sore today.
Big shoutout to my friend Chelsea on her most recent 5k. She ran a kick-ass race and improved her time by about 9 minutes. 9 minutes!!!! Amazing!
Tell me, what’s your favorite breakfast? What foods are you craving lately? Any winter races on the docket? Give me a random update!
Hi Friends! Sorry things have been a bit quiet around here lately…life has been hectic and I haven’t been on top of my blogging game.
But I have some exciting news to share!
A couple of weeks ago there was a little race in my town… it’s actually something they do all over the country, but this was the first year I participated.
It was called the Great Pumpkin Prediction Race… I absolutely love the concept. Basically, when you sign up, you have to guess what time you THINK you’re going to run the course in. Whoever gets the closest to their estimated time wins the race. And of course, it supports a local charity.
How cool is that?
I love it because, even if you aren’t the speedy kid, you can still win prizes.
Anyway, the race was held at the local civic center. The start and finish were indoors and then you ran either a short (about a 5k) or a long (about a 10k) course on some nearby trails.
This was one of the most organized local races I have been to. I was impressed. And the swag was awesome, but we’ll get to that later.
My friend Kristy and I signed up a few days before and decided to dress up.
I headed over to Kristy’s house a couple of hours before race time (we had pre-registered so we weren’t super worried about arriving early) and she got to work on doing my face.
She did an amazing job…
But we weren’t paying attention to the time, so we ended up running late (no seriously, we were pinning on our numbers/signing our waivers when the gun went off!). Oops!
Anyway, we got ourselves situated and took off, sprinting after the group that had already started. Thank goodness I remembered to take my ENERGYbits!
It was cold and windy, especially being so close to the lake. I had neglected to ditch my sweatpants before we started running, but honestly, I was glad to have them on. It was drizzling out, but the rain held off until we finished, thank goodness! The course was relatively flat but interesting, we ran by the beach and even saw people on the lake! Crazies!
Kristy and I took it relatively easy, mostly because we both haven’t been running regularly, but it felt good to just run for fun and it was good to catch up and talk about random things (such as homemade laundry soap, facial toner, and all-natural makeup).
One of my co-workers happened to be taking photos that day, so he hooked me up with our finish photos. The last one is hilarious to me. (Photos courtesy of Jeremy Miller)
Do you like how we kind of match?
After we finished, we checked out our runner bags (a cloth Target shopping bag, black and red. I’ve been using it to carry my lunch/snacks ever since!). Inside was a pretty sweet t-shirt, a $10 gift certificate to Fleet Feet, a bottle of water, 6 raffle tickets to be used on our choice of raffle and a meal ticket. Yes, we got a meal, Subway, cookies and apples (it is the North Country after all). I’ve had worse.
Kristy and I meandered over to check out the raffles and our official finish time. We happened to notice that Kristy’s estimated time was wrong, so we let the race director know.
It’s a good thing we did because Kristy ended up winning the race! And guess who got second. This girl! Can I just say, I was ridiculously excited because I never win anything.
The prizes were awesome. Kristy won a pair of Merrell Trail Shoes (heck yes!) and I won a $25 gift card to Fleet Feet. In addition, we both got a pair of Vermont Darn Tough wool hiking socks and a $15 Road ID gift certificate. Awesome. Again, ridiculously excited because I never win anything!
After we received our prizes, we stuck around to see if we’d have any luck on the raffles.
Good decision. I won a coffee gift basket from a local café. It had a 1/2 pound of locally roasted coffee beans, five $1 off coupons on any beverage, coffee mugs (Farmer Ben was super excited about adding these to our already full glass/mug cabinet) and a hazelnut syrup (which Farmer Ben and I have already disposed of because the first ingredient was corn syrup). Score!
So, I’d say we did pretty well considering we didn’t even make it to the start line on time. I’m definitely adding this to my (ever-growing) list of races for next year!
The best part about this little race? It gave me the bug. I’m anxious to fit in a few more races by the end of the year. This time of year is usually when I want to crawl into my XL sweatpants and hide under the covers until late spring…but I’m feeling motivated. I want to get out there and run!
Kristy and I are already planning on doing the 10k loop of the Turkey Trot this year and I am scoping out some end of the year half-marathons…. I’ll keep you posted!
Thanks to Kristy for doing the race with me! And thanks Jeremy, for the photos!
Best prize you’ve ever won at a race? Ever shown up late to a race? What did you do? Any end of the year races on your calendar? Which ones? Are you a winter runner or would you rather hibernate like me?!