Life Lately, Weird Edition

Hi friends!

Please ignore the fact that I’m behind on my blogging. To be completely honest, I have no excuse other than I’ve been struggling with some nasty headaches and their side effects. They leave me feeling drained and with little to no motivation. I’ll discuss them more in another post.

In the moments I’m not dealing with said migraines/side effects, I’ve been juggling race planning, helping with Bistro to-do items, running, catching up with friends, cooking and squeezing in moments of quality time with Farmer Ben…and you know, regular life and work stuff.

As a result, I just haven’t had the urge to sit down and blog. And I haven’t felt that I’ve had much to say.

Life is kind of weird right now…and I’m trying to wrap my head around it.

Here is some of what is happening:

For a long time, I’ve worked my regular job and then worked job number 2 at least three nights a week…typically more. I’ve had a routine that required a lot of planning and remembering, keeping my work clothes and shoes in the car and trying to keep a somewhat set schedule… but a few weeks ago my time at job number 2 ended.

I knew it would happen sooner or later…but…The circumstances were bizarre and although issues were resolved I can’t really explain how or why. I will say that my tenure was up at least a month before I was planning on it. In the end, I left on a good a note, so it worked out.

As a result, I have some unexpected free time…kind of.

I’m NOT used to just going home after work, to having a somewhat flexible schedule in the evening.  I am not a schedule oriented person, but I also don’t do well if I have a lot of free time. Needless to say, it feels weird to be finished work at 5 PM.

Granted, this will be short-lived once the bistro opens, but its been a period of adjustment. It feels a bit like… limbo.

I’m savouring this time, however, because I know in a few short weeks, the nights where Ben and I can sit down to dinner together will be few and far between.

I’ve enjoyed being able to come home and cook something delicious for the two of us. Or being able to rent a terrible movie and hang out with a glass of wine…and being able to go to bed before 10pm if the mood strikes.

I’ve also used the free hours I have to get some race details taken care of and to get out and connect with some sponsors. I’m constantly amazed at how generous people are. Have I mentioned this before?!

In addition, because spring is finally here, I’ve been able to squeeze in some runs after work.

This week, Farmer Ben used my car to run errands and such. This forced me to either run to his workplace (~4 miles) to catch a ride home or to stay cooped up in my office to catch up on little things for a couple of hours until he picked me up.

As it is finally above freezing, I’ve chosen to run more often than not. Whether it’s a long run or run/walk to catch up with a friend, I am enjoying the time outside…especially because I stare at a computer for most of the day.

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Yup, the lake is still frozen.

I’m happy that my running mojo is coming back.

Sometimes I forget why I run… I forget that I enjoy that time of tuning out the world and just being. And that time is exactly what I’ve needed the last few weeks.

Not gonna lie, I haven’t been running every day, but I am savoring the days I do get out the door.

So, that’s where I’ve been/where I am at this moment.

What have you been up to? How do you deal with times of transition? Favorite terrible movie?


Happy Birthday, Meghan!

Today, my middle sister turns 31.

Happy birthday to (one of) my favorite sister(s)!!!!!

I’m so blessed to have you as family…and a friend!

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Totally normally

Cheers to you, Meghan!


Doc Lopez Run for Hope; Elizabethtown, NY

Last Saturday, I woke up early. This will shock you, but I really hate getting up early—especially on weekends. However, I will do it for a race (long runs are still debatable).
 
I had registered for the Run for Hope a few weeks earlier and had hoped to do the half marathon. Unfortunately (and in addition to my sporadic training) I slipped at job number 2 and managed to bang up my knee… which caused me to skip my last  two long runs.

On Friday night, while having a fancy date night out with Farmer Ben, I was still debating which distance I was going to do.

My Thought Process:

“I know I CAN finish the half BUT it is a pretty challenging course (read: HILLS). So the big question is should I run the half and risk messing up my knee in doing so? Or play it safe and stick with the 5k? I’m not expecting a great time, regardless…but is it worth running it just to run it?!”  

 
On Saturday morning, the 2 glasses of wine I had at dinner were not settling well and I was not looking forward to (another) cold and windy run. I took some ENERGYbits and drank a giant glass of water…then I stumbled around gathering everything I would need to race—including a change of (dry) clothes. I ended up leaving a few minutes later than I wanted to, but I wasn’t too worried as I knew that this was a relatively small race.

On my way out of town, I stopped and got iced coffee and a bagel for breakfast and jumped on the highway to make the 40 minute trip south to Elizabethtown.

As long of a drive as it is, it’s one of my favorites view-wise.  I blasted the radio and tried to not drive off the road (driving conditions were horrible!). My stomach was flip-flopping as I drove and weather conditions were, for lack of a better word, crappy.

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Once I pulled into the school parking lot, I had made my decision. I found the race director, introduced myself and asked if it would be possible to switch to the 5k. Of course this was not a problem…even if I wasn’t entirely happy with my choice.

After getting my registration/check-in straightened out, I wistfully watched the half-runners jump on the waiting school bus and drive away to their starting line…then I realized that I had about an hour and a half to kill before the 5k started. So, I got some water, found the bathroom, caught up on my tweets/Instagram/favorite blogs and finally went into the high school gym to ditch my hoodie and keep warm. I ended up running into someone I knew (her husband was doing the race) and chatted with her while I stretched.

I have to say, I was pretty impressed with how hi-tech this race was. We even had an ankle timing chip—my first time racing with this!
 

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I also noticed this little gem in the swag bag (yup, no shame).

 

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Race promo!

Anyway, we lined up in front of the school and waited for the race to start. It was a flurrying and windy. I had opted for a pair of tights, a long sleeve core layer, a t-shirt and my trusty blue hat.

The 5k was an out and back, complete with some little hills  and an uphill finish. The wind was rough running out, there was one spot that I felt like I just wasn’t moving. Coming back was really nice because the wind was at our backs.

It started snowing even harder right after I finished. Not gonna lie, I was happy that I opted out of the half at this point.

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Yes, that is snow.

After taking the obligatory post-race photo, I headed back into the gym to scope out the snacks. Locally made delicious looking bagels (I may have grabbed two of these to bring home with me), coffee, hot tea, a great looking salad and some homemade chili. I opted for the latter options.

 

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Will run for snacks

I ended up hanging around to wait for my time and the awards ceremony and I’m so glad that I did!

My official time was 28:28 and I placed 2nd in my age group (16-29!)—24th overall—not gonna lie, I was pleasantly surprised. I hadn’t really gone into this with a race mentality, so placing was an added bonus.

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Surprise

They butchered my name…but I’ve gotten used to this.

Overall, this was a great race; super chill, very well organized and a great group of people. I will definitely do this again (hopefully, running the half).

Let’s chat: Ever had to change your distance on race morning? Favorite post-race snackage? What are your plans this weekend?


Confessions: Keeping Secrets and Eating Well

Friends, I’ve been holding out on you.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve been unusually quiet lately.

See… the thing is, big things are happening in the “real world,” and I’ve been trying to keep it quiet… in order to avoid accidentally spilling the beans, I’ve been a little hermit–in real life and blog life.

 I like to believe that I can keep a secret…but if it’s something super exciting, I can’t handle it. I just can’t keep it quiet (this is also true with birthday/Christmas presents). That being said, the last month or so has been total agony.

Anyway, I think it’s finally safe to tell you, Friends!

Farmer Ben is going in as a partner to open a restaurant! I am over-the-moon excited for him!

The theme is locally-sourced comfort food (as much as possible)—i.e. right up his alley! We’ve (and by we, I mean Farmer Ben and his partner) been busy planning, searching for equipment/décor and sampling different items. Construction starts next week and the opening—if all goes according to plan—will be in May! Yikes!

So what does this mean for me?

I’ve been helping wherever I can, looking for decor, writing an employment ad and just being a general sounding board, idea person, anything and everything the hubby needs from me.

Not gonna lie, I have been taking full advantage of Farmer Ben’s menu creation-testing and enjoying some pretty delicious things.

Like butterscotch pudding. Did you know that it is literally butter and scotch (and a few other things)?

Please don’t judge me when I admit that I didn’t. I mean, I guess it would make sense, it’s just one of those thing you don’t think about (and have you ever looked at the ingredients on the store-bought stuff?!)  Regardless, it’s delicious and I may be hooked. 

This also means that I am going to be making a change with job number 2. As much as I like where I am… I am totally getting in and helping the hubby and his partner. I’m keeping my day job, of course, but I am all in with Farmer Ben and this new venture.

In other news, it’s still cold in Upstate NY. It’s currently 22 degrees… supposedly it’s going to be in the 40’s or 50’s tomorrow through next week. I really hope this is true.

I ran a race this weekend and was pleasantly surprised with my time/place. I’ll be doing a full recap soon.

I’ve been eating a lot of delicious things. See note above.

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Muffaletta

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Roasted root veggie salad

I got some amazing news from an even more amazing company. Again, I’ll be doing a full recap on this soon. Hang tight!

Happy almost Friday!

So, let’s chat: what have you been up to lately?! Are you still freezing? Favorite comfort food???


Scenes from a weekend: Breakfast, Beer & Cigar Box Guitars

Happy Tuesday!

Hope you all had a great weekend, I certainly did!

I snuck away to visit the family in Horseheads, NY and let me say, it was so fun (even though Farmer Ben was missing)!

Anyway, here is a brief peek inside my trip… I was a terrible blogger and didn’t take as many pictures as I should have.
I did manage to remember to take pictures at the Horseheads Brewing Co., great beers, great staff. If you are in the area, try the ” hot chocolate,” a mix of their jalapeño ale and chocolate porter!

That’s all for today! Enjoy!

Photos:
Dinner and dessert, my brother-in-law’s latest craft-cigar box guitars!, Horseheads brewing company randoms and more eats.

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Oh Hey! It’s March

Hi Friends! 

Can you believe February is over? 

I realize that things have been a little quiet on the blog as of late, but I can assure you that I’ve been running, eating delicious things, spilling stuff on myself and being a weirdo, per usual. 

I’ve spent the last two weeks doing some major race planning items. I had a planning meeting last Friday and pestered a bunch of local businesses whenever I had any free time…Seriously, I glanced at the list I have and it appears that we have already contacted over 130 businesses…. not too shabby for January and February! 

I also got the official word that Clif will be sending us some sample size bars for the race! That will be in addition to a ton of other goodies we’ll be getting…. I’m so excited about this, I can barely handle it! 

In other news, I am absolutely loving my new running shoes. I’m sad because they’ve gotten a little dirty with all of the mud/rain we’ve had….but it’s fine. They’ve even helped motivate me to go out and run on my lunch break a few days last week. 

Wednesday, I talked Farmer Ben into meeting me for a lunch run (on his day off), even though it was so cold that my face hurt and we could barely breathe!  We only ended up doing a little over two miles but it was well worth it.

As we started running, he looked over at me and said, “Noelle, you are my ONLY motivation for being out here right now.”
 

That comment had me smiling for the rest of the run and the rest of the day! 

I know he was trying to be funny… but, seriously? Swoon! I love that guy! 

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Our favorite kind of date....

It got me thinking about what my motivation is. I’ve discussed this before, so I won’t go into great detail, but I’d love to hear what motivates you…especially on your “I don’t want to do this!” days. 

So, let’s discuss, what is YOUR motivation for getting out and running…even when it’s so cold that it makes your face hurt? 


Frostbite 5k: Rouses Point, NY

I told you about the Run to Chocolate in Fairfax, VT…but you may have noticed that I said we did TWO races last weekend!

Frostbite 5k-Rouses Point, NY

After our trip across the lake, we were ready to take on a windy 5k on Sunday. We woke up bright and early last Sunday morning to attend prayer at our church and ate a delicious breakfast of roast beef hash and eggs (thank you, Farmer Ben!).

Then we relaxed for a few hours before heading north to Rouses Point, NY. Sunday was much colder than Saturday and it was WINDY, especially because this little town is right on the lake…and next to Canada.

We hooked up with our friend Preston and his two little ones for the race. Preston took his 1 year old in the stroller and his 8 year old ran the race—his first 5k!

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The boys

We got there to register about 40 minutes before start time and  I was lucky to be able to chat with my friend Gerry (who was a HUGE help at Strides for James last year). He even took some time and explained the course to me. We hung out inside the fire station and made small talk with other runners. I even got to chat with some reps from the Fleet Feet across the lake.

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Pre-race

Of course the women’s bathroom was non-functional, so the line for the men’s room was pretty long…and I had to pee 1234234534 times before the race started (does anyone else have that problem? I don’t know what it is but as soon as my body knows that I’m racing it starts to revolt!)

I was a little nervous because we were running around town so there were a lot of turns, luckily there were cones and volunteers at just about every turn,  so any confusion was almost non-existent. It was a little slippery, but it was nothing compared to the conditions we ran in the day before.

This was another low-key race, we lined up at the start and as we took off, I could hear people around me chatting and laughing—always a good sign! I wasn’t planning on going super-fast, as we had raced the day before, but I also wanted to keep a pretty consistent pace.

As I mentioned above, we  were running through the town, near the elementary school, a local company, and by the water tower. Luckily the sun was shining and I ended up peeling off my heavy sweatshirt and tying it around my waist about 1 mile in. It was pretty windy, but the sun kept it comfortable. Of course, I didn’t run with a watch, so I have no idea what my splits were, but I ended up finishing at 29:01, which, is just about the same pace as I had run the previous day.

I was super happy to see Ben waiting for me at the finish line (probably my favorite part of the race). He finished in 27:04…speedy! After I crossed the finish line, we jogged back to look for Preston and Jared (his 8-year-old). We saw Preston first, rounding the last corner but I decided to keep going to look for Jared…Farmer Ben walked behind me.

After jogging back through the course, I finally found him, looking pretty tired and walking along with two women. He saw me and brightened up a little bit, showed me that he had scraped his hand after taking a spill and then started to slowly jog again.

 I told him we were almost finished and that seemed to brighten his spirits, his face lit up as he saw his dad and Ben coming with the stroller and he sprinted to them…forgetting he still had a little ways to go.

 We cheered Jared on as he got closer to the finish and reminded him to run as fast as he could through the finish line!

 He was super happy to be finished and we were all pretty proud of him for finishing his first 5k (with no training). He ended up getting a blue ribbon for being the first and only boy in his age group. How exciting is that?

Farmer Ben and I both placed 5th  in our respective age groups and we all got a pretty nice fleece hat and $10 Fleet Feet gift certificates out of the deal. Overall it was definitely a win and I am looking forward to doing this race again next year.

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Post-race

I’ve never been much of a winter racer! But I am definitely seeing the appeal… I’m a big fan of low-key, local races!

So there you have it, race number two of my 14 in 2014!

Let’s chat, favorite winter race? Favorite Race Swag?


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