This weekend went by entirely too fast… that seems to be the story of my life for the month of August… So, here’s a random update, Noelle’s Notebook style….
We found this little guy in the pumpkins on Sunday. He even held a pose for me!
Speaking of the garden, you’ll be happy to know that I’m still on my giant salad kick.
I bought a bathing suit this weekend for the first time in about 2 years…it was on super sale. I also bought a cute summery dress. Yay for end of season savings!
I got a grand total of 12 hours of sleep between Saturday and Monday morning (between a bachelorette party, long run, church, work and watching old movies). This makes for a very grumpy Noelle…my apologies.
In spite of a serious lack of sleep, I managed to come into work very early yesterday … I broke my streak of not buying coffee and treated myself to Starbucks during lunch. Unfortunately they messed up my order. S-Bux FAIL.
I tried to get up early and run THIS morning…but I failed miserably and hit the snooze button a few more times than necessary. This means that I will have to go for a run tonight when I get out of work…oops.
Also, PSA Time: PLEASE Pay attention to the road when you are driving. I was almost in a major accident yesterday because of someone not paying attention.
Allow me to explain;
My company is located on a pretty busy road, the highway entrances/exits, 3 gas stations, the state police station and an airport are less than a mile down the road in either direction, along with several businesses.
I was coming back from lunch and put my signal on to turn left into the parking lot. There was on-coming traffic. As I am waiting to turn, I see a car speeding up behind me…my car is obviously not moving and the other car was NOT slowing down. Unfortunately, there were still cars coming and I was starting to get very nervous because I had nowhere to go.
Long story short, the other car got very close (to the point that I could see the driver’s face in my rearview mirror!) before the driver slammed on the brakes. To–BARELY–avoid hitting me, she had to veer to the right (cars were still coming the other direction). She hit the brakes so hard that she not only went completely off the road into the grass, but she also spun completely around. I was able to turn at the last possible second and pulled into the parking lot (I HAD to get off the road).
I stopped to make sure the other driver was okay and what did I see? She pulled back onto the road and sped away–without even looking to see if there were any cars coming…SERIOUSLY?!
Anyway, I don’t know what she was doing, but again, PLEASE pay attention to the road. IF not for your own safety, then for others on the road.
On a brighter note, some really great things are happening lately!
1. I signed up for August’s Foodie Penpals after taking a long hiatus and I am pretty pumped. I got two awesome match-ups.
2. I had a really honest and encouraging email discussion with a company that makes a running fuel. I learned a lot of interesting information about the manufacturing process and was able to give them some feedback.
2a. I ordered a sample pack of this product to try…it should be here soon…can’t wait to try it on this weekend’s long run! I’ll be sure to let you know how I like it.
3. I won a giveaway! I NEVER win anything so you can imagine that I was not only shocked, but pretty darn excited! Brittany was hosting a Simone France giveaway and I entered on a whim…so glad I did!
4. The hubs and I went on a late night Price Chopper run… we picked up the essentials: Annie’s Mac & Cheese (there was a 10 for $10 sale!), Chipotle Tabasco sauce and cottage cheese (Tabasco, cottage cheese and black pepper is one of my favorite snacks in the world).
5. This weekend is my 20-miler! Yes, I’m a little nervous…but I feel ready.
6. Speaking of running, my foot and tendon pain have almost disappeared. I still notice it if I have a super busy night at the restaurant, but otherwise, my feet are feeling pretty good.
7. Next week the hubs and I celebrate 2 years of marriage. Time flies!
8. Our dear friends are tying the knot on the 24th. I am so excited to share in their special day…AND to show you what they chose for a wedding dessert.
9. One of my sisters will be in town next week. HOLLA!
10. We have tomatoes… Another week and they will be coming out of our eyeballs. I CANNOT WAIT! This is not one of our tomatoes, but ours are/will be similar
11. Fun fact: I am currently the same weight that I was my junior year of high school…weird.
What are you up to this week? Ever won a giveaway? Favorite wedding dessert? Worst driving pet peeve? How about your favorite snack?
As you know, I recently hit the 17 mile mark (ahem, 18 mile mark!) in my training program. That means I’m officially past the half-way mark. Holy moly! It’s going to be marathon weekend before I know it!
I’m finding that I need to be more careful about what I eat. Not only the day of my long runs, but the few days before and after.
I’ve also found that I’ve hit a point where I need to have something extra during the run. 17 miles (or for me, over 3 hours) is a long way to go with just water. This really hit me during my last two long runs.
I asked some of my friends (on twitter, myfitnesspal and in real life) what they use for long runs. Thanks to all who responded!
From my running guru friend, Kristy:
Water. I never brought anything with me…When I ran the marathon I had orange slices, part of a banana and a gu. They all agreed with me.
From some MFP running friends:
I’ve used GU gels in the past. They work well for me if I’m going for more than an hour.
I usually take sport beans on long runs. Anything over 10 miles gets a clif bar halfway.
I have not really used anything. I did try some energy gummy things but they left my throat phlegmy which was pretty gross. The thought of eating actual food during a run isn’t very appealing to me.
Energy Bits every 5 miles and after 10 dates or a slice or two of fresh mango!
I’ve used GU gels in the past. They work well for me if I’m going for more than an hour.
Gu gels or powerbar energy blast chews.
I use Gu gels also. It’s worked the best for me the last couple of years. I’ve tried clif blocks and they work ok (for me).
And from Twitter:
Skora Running @skoraRunning: Drink to thirst. Cals from @honeymaxx and regular MCT oil mixed in, couple hundred cals per bottle.
As I mentioned in my last post, the Clif Shots and Bloks I had leftover from a race have worked… but my finicky stomach isn’t happy after the runs, especially immediately after. They work well in a pinch, and heck, they were free! So I can’t complain…but I don’t want to use them all the time. I don’t think my digestive system could take it.
Needless to say, I’ve been searching for something easier on my stomach and a bit cleaner. If you’re a regular reader, you know that I shy away from long/weird ingredient lists and I am not big on artificial/man-made colors, dyes, and ingredients.
Not gonna lie, the only thing that stopped me was the price-tag. $115 for a bag of 1,000…. which, broken down by serving (20-30 bits), isn’t really that much…but to buy a product without trying it…and then getting stuck with something I didn’t like…well, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
Then, I recently participated in my first #runchat on Twitter and was tweeted by ENERGYbits when I posted something about long runs.
Long story short, I was sent a sample and was able to try them on my 17 mile run.
Before I give you the dirty details, I have to say, I love that this a US company. I also loved that it was founded and is owned by a woman. Not only that, but the staff is so passionate about what they are doing. They truly love and believe in the product they are promoting. To me, that’s a very good sign. Further, ENERGYbits are 100% organic, non-gmo and have 1 ingredient. O-N-E. That’s it!
Here are the nutrition facts (check out all of the vitamins, minerals and amino acids!) taken directly from their website:
Anyway, I received my sample about four days after my twitter connection. The packet I received was full of information… I was still a bit skeptical because, well…it all sounded too good to be true. I’d read about the benefits of spirulina but… I still wasn’t convinced.
You’re probably wondering, how does algae taste?
Well, as Farmer Ben put it, “it kind of tastes like fish food.” The nice thing about the bits is that, because they come in pill form, you can swallow them as such, with a big glass of water. You can also chew them, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I swallowed about 10-15 at a time with a few good gulps of water.
In all honesty, taking these during my run was a bit hard. The initial smell was hard to get past…but they didn’t upset my stomach, which is a major plus. Taking these on long runs is going to take some getting used to, but the effects on my digestion are non-existent compared to what other products do.
So, here is what happened:
- I took 30 bits about 40 minutes before my 17 mile run.
- I took more about 9 miles into the run (I also had some Clif Shots on this run).
I feel the need to mention that I had worked both jobs the day before. This means that I worked from 8 am until after 11:30 pm. It also means that I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep, which I mentioned in my 17 mile post.
I also feel the need to mention that after my post-run shower, I received a phone call from my boss begging me to go in to job number 2. And it wasn’t an easy night. I, once again, didn’t get home until late. You can imagine how thrilled I was to be called into work after running 17 miles.
- I took the last of my bits about 30 minutes after arriving at work and didn’t stop moving all night.
I won’t tell you that I felt an immediate surge in energy, because I didn’t. BUT, I made it through a 17 mile run on very little sleep. I also made it through a (super insane) Saturday night dinner shift after running the furthest distance of my life. I did both of these things without crashing. Yes, I was tired…but I made it through an extremely long and strenuous day better than I should have. I still had pep in my step–after 17 miles and a night spent entirely on my feet.
I will also tell you that, although I was sore, I wasn’t as sore as I expected. I’ve felt worse after shorter runs.
I recovered faster from that 17 mile run than I have from some 6-8 mile runs.
All of these things speak to me.
I recently ordered a full bag of ENERGYbits with my own money and am applying to be an ambassador for the company, because, well… I’m finally convinced.
Side Note: I ordered these on Friday afternoon, standard shipping. They arrived today (Monday). LOVE THIS!
Will this be my only pre and during workout fuel? For short runs, yes. For long runs, not yet…but maybe someday. BUT you can bet that I will be incorporating this into my regular regimen. I am not big on powders, vitamins and supplements…I’d rather get my nutrients directly from the source.
This is a food, and your body digests it as such.
If you have any questions about ENERGYbits, feel free to comment or shoot me an email and I will answer as best I can…If I can’t answer it, I will find out for you.
If you’d like more information about ENERGYbits, visit their website: http://www.energybits.com/
UPDATE: If you’d like to order ENERGYbits, you can use discount code “NoellesNotebook” for 25% off your total order.
Have you ever tried algae? What did you think?! What is your favorite way to fuel?
*DISCLAIMER: ENERGYbits provided me with a sample of their product for review purposes only. All opinions are my own.*
UPDATE: If you order ENERGYbits using my discount code, I do receive a little bit of money, however all opinions are still my own.
I am not a doctor, I am simply writing about my personal experience, as with any food or supplement, don’t forget to consult with a medical professional.
I love local food…especially when it’s coming straight out of the garden or from a farm down the road.
Even though the growing season has been slowed down with all the rain, we’ve been very blessed with loads of arugula, radishes, swiss chard, beets and beet greens, chives, scallions, cilantro and lettuce. We’ve also been picking up beans, carrots and other veggies, along with local meats, eggs and cheeses at the market or our co-op.
My favorites (potatoes, tomatoes and peppers) are coming along and I can’t wait… we’re also going to have a squash and bean surplus…perfect for the freezer!
Anyway, here is a peek at how we’ve been using up all of our greens lately (please forgive my less than stellar photography skills):
I was on a butternut crust pizza kick a few weeks ago:
But we always love our giant salads…
And we’ve had a few other tasty hot meals:
And here are some of my meals I’ve been packing for breakfast/lunch:
What about you? What’s your go-to summer meal? What’s been on your plate lately?
So, somewhere between marathon training and being crazy busy at work, I forgot to mention that Farmer Ben and I took a quick trip to Boston …a week and a half ago.
Back Story: The hubby went to a men’s conference with our church in October, and came home with some amazing news. He won tickets to see the Red Sox at Fenway!!!!
Now, I don’t talk much about sports on this little blog…but if you must know, I love all teams Boston. But I especially love the Red Sox. So you can imagine how excited I was to hear this news…free game tickets?! HECK YES!
We finally went to the game on June 30. Luckily, my dad’s side of the family are Boston Natives and we were able to crash with my Uncle Paul and family. Even better, he drove us in to the game and came to pick us up. Pretty awesome, right?
In case you’re interested, the Sox played Toronto and it was an awesome game, especially because they won at the very end. I love live baseball!
So, here are some photos from the game….
After the game we had to take a few more pictures….
Then we wondered down Boylston Street to find some grub…
We ended up eating at a place called Sweet Cheeks BBQ. I’d say it was a win… but we both had so much food!
After dinner we wondered back up Boyslton Street to Copley Square and the Public Library, where my uncle picked us up. It was hot, but it felt so good to walk after sitting at the game and then devouring a huge meal.
The next day we took the T into the city to explore Quincy Market and the Freedom Trail.
We also wondered down by the Waterfront.
Then it was onto the Freedom Trail.
I am a huge history nerd and I love Boston because so much has happened there… I love that they created the trail so you can see where so many critical events took place during the Revolution. I didn’t take too many pictures because I was caught up in reading and taking everything in…but here are a few….
After we finished exploring in the city, we headed back to my uncle’s house so we could pack up and head home. Overall it was a great weekend away.
Have you taken or are you planning any road trips this summer? What’s your favorite city to visit?
Last week, the hubby and I barely saw each other (Other than Monday when we were in Boston). I ended up working both jobs and doing a lot of running around most days, so I was home to sleep…and that’s pretty much it.
Needless to say, we were looking forward to our day (much-needed!) day of rest on Sunday. We hadn’t been to Burlington in forever so we decided to take a day trip across the lake. We both needed a good day off. So, off to Burlington we went…..
- Two Running Shoe stores and my awesome new Mizunos!
- Browsing and people-watching on Church Street
- Artisan Olive Oil and Vinegar sampling at the Saratoga Olive Oil Co.
- Moroccan Mint Iced Teas at Uncommon Grounds
- Getting lost
- Healthy Living Market
- Wally’s Bagels Delicious Bagels made on-site in VT. THE BEST!
- Super cheap gas (seriously, I paid $.17 less than I usually do at the cheapest place in town! Grr!!!)
- A chipotle-infused maple syrup (YUM!) randomly exploding in my back seat (Luckily, it was in a bag so the mess was minimal)
- Sharing a glass of Spanish Red and watching a cheesy sci-fi flick to unwind–at home! Gasp!
Phew! What a great day!
What did you do this weekend? Have you ever had a messy explosion/spill in your car?
Last week, my new CamelBak came in the mail. As promised, I tested it out on my long run this weekend.
In case you forgot, here is what it looks like:
Sunday, I headed out after church with our friend Preston (PS. Thank you so much for running with me!). I picked the hottest time of day to run and my body protested the whole way, so I was relieved to have water with me.
In short, I’m really happy with my purchase.
Please forgive me if I call something by the wrong name, I’m new to the hydration pack lingo.
The pack stayed put for the most part. It was super nice to have pockets to store some shot blocks, my phone and chocolate adzuki bars (recipe coming!). I love that the reservoir had a wide lid (especially if you want to add ice cubes!) and was easy to fill and clean.
I read online that the water swished a lot, but I didn’t notice this at all. (I found and tried this tip: fill the bag and close it, turn it upside down and suck out the excess air through the hose/mouthpiece. There will be no swishing).
I also put the reservoir in the fridge overnight to keep it cold. The water stayed cold for most of my run…amazing considering I ran from 12:30-2:30 on a very hot day.
I did notice some bouncing, but I think part of this may be my needing to figure out the perfect adjustments for my body. I do wish that there was another buckle around the waist to secure the bag just a bit more, but I ended up tying the free ends of the shoulder straps and this helped some (it also kept them from flapping around, which would have bothered me more). If you choose not to tie the ends of the shoulder straps, they have Velcro on them so they can be out-of-the-way. Another plus!
I had some trouble adjusting the shoulder straps, but that may just be me. Again, I’ll figure it out as I wear it a few more times.
Overall, I am extremely happy with my purchase.
You guys! I cannot tell you how excited I am!
Allow me to explain:
If you know me, you know that I don’t like spending money on myself…but I’ve been wanting a CamelBak for my long runs (so I don’t have to plan a route based on where I can stop for water when I need it…or make Farmer Ben come out and meet me en route)…so I finally broke down and started looking.
I knew I wanted something kind of middle of the road (that way, if I don’t like it for running, I can at least have it for hikes or bike rides)…from there, I let the reviews lead me.
Long story short, I had a gift card for LL Bean and they happened to have this little beauty:
What makes this so special? It’s my first CamelBak… I also got it for $23 instead of the $68 + tax! Thank you LL Bean gift card!!!
On top of that, it only took two days for (regular) shipping…FREE shipping. Can you say win? Mad props to L.L. Bean ( no compensation from LLB, I am just ridiculously impressed). Seriously.
As you can imagine, I had to drive home on my lunch hour to rip open the package and check things out. I love the color and I am happy that I decided to go with a 70 oz. pack. I’m also pretty excited about the pockets… I’d love to not have to use my running belt and/or stuff things in my sports bra (TMI?)!
I tried it on, and it seems to be a good fit, but I won’t know for sure until I hit the pavement.
I’ll keep you posted as to how I like it, but I am feeling good about it thus far! I’m really looking forward to my long run this weekend to test it out!
Do you use a hydration pack? What are some of the pros and cons? Where do you store your must-have items on the run?!
I know… I have so much to catch up on in the blogging aspect of things. This weekend was Strides for James and it was so much fun! I’ll be doing a post that details a little bit of everything… but I honestly haven’t had a moment to sit and collect my thoughts. So, to keep you until then, it was awesome. Our first year was a success.
So, I’ve been taking a lot of random pictures on my phone lately. Mostly of food and some other things…but mostly food.
So here’s a look at what I’ve been eating and doing lately.
I have a serious weakness for scallops…and margaritas.
I’m seeing a food theme here…
This is what happens when you are planning a fun run and go to the grocery store at 6:00 am…you leave with two cases of free bananas and one discounted case.
After the race…we had a lot of leftover bananas…so I’ve baking a ton of banana bread (gluten-free–recipes coming!) and making things like this (sorry the picture isn’t great)…
Speaking of baking banana bread, I was checking to see if one of the loaves was done…and stupidly burnt the tip of my finger, through a towel. Only me…
I’m also happy to report, after taking home about a half case of bananas, we are down to seven. Farmer Ben and I are a great team in the kitchen!
A mid-week run past a neighbor’s house… somehow we came home with two dozen eggs!
Another sunny day was spent out working in the garden (a week later, it went down to 28 at night… gah!)
And this last piece… just made me chuckle.
What have you been up to lately?
Eaten anything exciting?!
I gave blood today.
I love working in an office that hosts regularly scheduled blood drives. But that’s a different post….
After giving blood, I was instructed to grab a cookie and juice… so I did.
Because I am a compulsive label reader (thanks Farmer Ben), I flipped the bottle over to check it out.
Here is what I saw:
What the heck are these “natural flavors not found in regular orange juice?!”
I am going to lose sleep over this tonight.
Have you come across any weird ingredients lately? What were they?
PS. The hubby and I did our first night run of the spring a few nights ago. It was short, but amazing. Don’t mind my super sexy appearance.
Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to go and celebrate the marriage of one of my closest friends. It was so wonderful to see Kim, the bride, so happy and in love.
I’m a sucker for happy endings.
It was also pretty amazing to see some of my other college friends. We don’t get to see each other that much, but when we do, we know how to have fun.
We like to dance, shout across packed rooms at each other and just let loose. No big deal…well…kind of a big deal.
Anyway, for whatever reason, when I get with this group of women, I have a tendency to ruin photos…sometimes on purpose.
This event was all about photo-bombing. I’m pretty impressed with myself…and a few of my friends even joined in (trend-setter alert!).
Here is Noelle’s Notebook’s fool-proof plan for amazing photo-bombs.
Step 1: Sneak into the background unnoticed. This can include casually dancing up behind the group being photographed, tucking and rolling, or just popping in unexpectedly.
Step 2: Pick your approach: You can be the creep, the funny face, the vixen or surprised ghost. Pick what works for you.
Step 3: Run away or turn around immediately after the photo is taken. Or start laughing hysterically… whichever.
Step 4: Act natural. Or don’t.
Step 5: Have fun.
Bonus points if it looks like you are supposed to be there. OR if it takes a moment to realize someone else is in the photo.