A Quarter Century??? Almost.

That sounds so…. official.

Today is my last day as a 24-year-old.

Tomorrow I turn a quarter century old.

Can you say “major freak-out?”

I know that age is just a number, but I have this vision in my head of what 25 is supposed to look like… and it’s a lot more put together than my 24 and 364 days old self.

I feel like I am supposed to know what I want to be when I grow up…and should be doing that already! I also feel that I should know how to tame my cowlick, not spill things all over myself and know exactly what direction my life is heading in. But I don’t.  And frankly, all of those things freak me out, just a little. Okay, maybe a lot, depending on the day.

Everything happens for a reason…I know that. If I had followed a strict plan, I certainly would not be anywhere close to where I am today. I may be making more money, or living in a city somewhere, I may have a more expensive wardrobe to spill things all over…but I’d be miserable.  And stressed out. And did I mention miserable?

I have to admit, that although I’m uncertain where I’m headed at this point in time, I am ridiculously happy. I have a wonderful husband and great family and friends. I laugh every day and I’m healthy.

So, today I am going to take a deep (calming) breath and just relish the unknown. I’ll take comfort in the fact that, although I won’t ever be that well-put-together-25-year-old-who-knows-exactly-what’s-going-on-and-where-things-are-headed, that I’m still pretty okay. I’m a lot more interesting than that perfectly put together image. And the last (almost) 25 years have been very good to me. I’ll continue to count my blessings.

Here’s to 24 and 364 days old. And cowlicks.

Do you have a big birthday coming up? Do certain years freak you out more than others?

GBN: Week 5

I failed this week.

Actually, let’s call it a hiccup on my “Gross But Necessary” journey.

I’m sad to report that I only got out for one run this week… it was  this morning.

I did do some walking… which makes me feel a little better… but I also did a lot of eating…

Anyway, here is week 5:

Friday-Sunday: Fail. Between being slammed at work, lack of sleep and rushing to get everything ready for our trip, exercise took a back seat. I didn’t plan my days well and definitely felt the lack of movement. Ick.

Monday-Tuesday: The hubs and I did a lot of walking around Seneca Falls and Watkins Glen and took the stairs back and forth to our fourth floor hotel room (yes, this does make me feel better!)…unfortunately my phone was dead so no photo proof was taken. Semi-Fail.

Wednesday-2 mile night walk. Farmer Ben and I were both a little tired after our first day back from vacay, but realized we needed to get some exercise, so we headed out for a brisk walk. It felt get to move and we vowed to get our butts out of bed in the morning.


I’m glowing.

Thursday-4.42 miles. I am really proud of myself for two reasons. First, I managed to drag my butt out of bed… and Ben’s. Second, I finished faster than I expected. My average pace was 9:15… and it felt good!

Because we had gotten a later start, I didn’t think that we were going to do this particular route… I was wrong.

I was determined to be back home by a certain time to avoid rushing to get ready for work. I made it! This was one of those confidence boosting runs. And I needed it.


This is my “too many layers in my new ‘do” hairdo.

Overall, this week was a wash but I redeemed myself with today’s run. I can’t describe how great I felt when I hit my driveway.

Time management is my focus for next week. Whether it be making sure to lay out my running gear or setting my alarm clock a few minutes earlier, my goal is to be able to take my time and not have to hurry through a workout.

What are your biggest training obstacles?

GBN: Week 4

 Time is flying!

I cannot tell you how much better I feel after  just four weeks of consistent running–Not sporadically going twice in one week and then taking two weeks off– running a few times a week, four weeks a in row. It seems so simple, but execution can be tricky with a busy schedule.

My legs are changing before my eyes and I’m seeing muscles I haven’t seen in a few years. I’m so aware of my body and in awe of what it is able to do. Instead of chastising myself for how I look, I’m thinking about how amazing it is that I am able to run, that my body naturally knows what to do even if my brain is saying “no!”  and that when I am ready to give up, it still carries me home, pushing through the pain. I love this.

Anyway, onto week 4!

1. Friday-Rest day.

2. Saturday-4.69 miles. Farmer Ben and I headed out in the early afternoon. Plagued with knee and hip aches, it didn’t go as planned for either one of us but we managed to finish strong….and sweaty.


Courtesy of Farmer Ben… thanks?


Thanks again, Hubs… I think…

3. Sunday-4.42 miles. I was going to take Sunday off but after a pretty frustrating afternoon, decided to take a mental health run. I averaged 9:30 pace and felt really good doing so…I really picked it up at the end for a strong finish.


Just before dark…

4. Monday-3 mile walk. I met up with my friend Ashley for an after-work walk. It was a nice break for my legs and it was great to have some girl time.

Red and White….

 5. Tuesday-Fail Rest Day. No matter how much I try to plan ahead, I can never seem to get out for a run on this day of the week. I don’t know if this is a good thing or bad thing…

6. Wednesday-2 miles. I had planned on a four mile run but I was kidnapped at the halfway mark by my sister and her hubby (who came up for a super short trip) and taken to dinner. At least I got in those two miles!


GBN at dinner…

I haven’t done my Thursday run yet but I am pretty happy with the rest of my week. My mileage was low but of high quality. I feel like I am getting faster but still need to get in some speed work.

Total Mileage: 14.11

Goals for next week: I want to run on Tuesday. And do some intervals. And try to get up earlier for a longer run.

How were your workouts this week? And were they in the morning or afternoon?

Happy Running!

GBN: Week 3

Week 3 did not get off to a good start. I mentioned rolling my ankle on Wednesday’s run. It was still not back to normal by Saturday morning so Friday and Saturday (partly due to my ankle, and partly due to poor planning) were rest days.

The rest of this week looked a bit better.

1. Sunday-4 miles. Armed with a new sports bra, naptime and sheer determination, I was ready to take on the world.  After a morning at church, an afternoon of eating way too much and lots of napping, I was ready needed to run. Farmer Ben and I walked for a few minutes (about 3/4 mile) for a warmup and then started-slow and steady. With less than a mile to go, I was hot. Really hot. Wanting to stop hot. Thankfully, the sky decided to open up and let loose the most wonderful shower a girl could ask for…it was exactly what I needed to finish strong.  Upon reaching the driveway, I looked like a drowned rat but I felt great. I felt even better after I realized that I had averaged 9:36 minute miles. 

Running In The Rain

2. Monday morning-2.54 miles. Due to overindulgence and napping, I didn’t sleep well on Sunday night, but that couldn’t stop me from getting out and hitting the pavement! I managed to get in a little over 2.5 miles at a solid 9:15 min/mile pace. I would have gone longer, but I remembered that I had to be to work early…oops!


This is my “So Not Awake” face.

 3. Tuesday-Rest day. Life and work were crazy so I chose sleep.

4. Wednesday Evening-4.0 miles.  I went down to my mother’s for the evening and decided to tackle her road. My mother lives in the boonies and is surrounded by hills…Turning out of her driveway, I was faced with a big  uphill, and then mostly downhill for the second mile. Running back was mostly uphill with a big downhill finish. It was a hard run and pretty dark out so I stuck around a 10:15 pace. It was nice. All I had was a flashlight and my trusty watch… no headphones, no music, no apps. Just the woods, the sky and me.

And then I played with Griffin. He’s such a mush.


I love this dog.

5. Thursday-4.8 Easy-medium pace. Eek! This workout was done after work. It was rough, but so worth it. Average pace: 10 min/mile


Total Mileage: 15.34 miles

Summary:  I think it was a pretty good week in spite of the hiccup with my ankle and not getting more mileage in… but I AM getting better at waking up in the morning! And I am feeling stronger every day.

Goals for next week: I still need to get those miles up!

How was your fitness this week? Let me know!

Until next time…Happy Running!

GBN: Week 2

Here we are again. Has it really been a week already?

Before we start-Special shout-out to Zee Lemons for hitting me up on MFP! I hope you find it as helpful/borderline addicting as I do!

When I left you in my first GBN post, I was a little nervous about showing off all of my super attractive post-workout shots…but now, I think I am embracing it.

Now, here we go!

1. This was a Friday morning run (3.4)  with the hubby. We started out slow but finished strong. I was worried about being tired throughout the day but I made it through feeling great!

Friday Morning, 7 am.

2. Saturday: A run-walk. Liz was visiting from Virginia, so we decided to venture out on a 4.4 mile route. Although we didn’t run the whole way, it was great girl time and felt good to get out in the sunshine! We followed with a delicious (local) breakfast made by Farmer Ben.  

Liz is all about GBN Photos!

3. Sunday Solo Run. This was a quick 3.34 mile route. I ventured out at 1:45 pm and quickly realized that I hadn’t had enough water and it was a lot hotter than I anticipated. Needless to say, this was rough. I also managed to get a little bit of a sunburn. No big.

Self Portrait

4. Monday-Hill/Fartlek-4.64 miles. This was so much fun! I love running with Farmer Ben. I admit, the hills were a challenge, but I definitely enjoyed checking out a new road and shaking up my routine. I think I have a new go-to route!

Stronger Everyday!

5. Rest Day.

6. Wednesday Morning Hill-3.2 miles. Per usual, I had a hard time getting out of bed and-in my bleary-eyed state-decided to tackle the same hill I ran the other day. Still a challenge. When I got back to my apartment, my legs were burning but I felt good.

I love back road mornings!

7. Thursday Confession: I rolled my ankle on yesterday’s run and it was pretty sore today, so  Ben and I opted for a walk (2 miles). So…another rest day.

Summer Mornings make me happy.

Total Mileage: 20.98 miles

Summary:  I think it was a pretty good week… I still need to get up earlier to get some mileage in–the time factor is huge! I discovered a new route, did some hill-work and was able to soak up some Vitamin D. Hopefully taking today off will help my ankle. 

Goals for next week: Up my mileage and do some speedwork, conquer that hill and my alarm clock!

Did you have any workout milestones this week?  Or mishaps? Let me know!

See you next week! Happy Running!

Gross But Necessary: A New Leaf, Turned Over.

 I’ve got a problem. I am terrible at getting out of bed in the morning. Seriously, it’s super difficult. I manage to make it to work on time… most of the time. But anything earlier than that requires a small miracle. And it’s hit or miss as to whether or not my hair is brushed.

My snooze button and I have a long-standing affair… Farmer Ben grins and bears it, but hearing that ever-present beep (not so) secretly hurts his brain. And his soul. I worry that one day I will wake up to a broken alarm clock…or even worse! A shove out of bed. He’s a man on the edge.

So, why–besides the obvious issues– is this a problem?

  • I’ve got a few races coming up. Big exciting races that require training. More training than I have been doing.
  • I’m at a stand still. I’ve managed to take off 20 lbs (16 since joining MFP!)…but as of late, my scale hasn’t moved. I know that I am healthier, but I can stand to lose a few more…and to tone up!
  • I’m tired all the time. No matter how much sleep I get, it’s not enough…I can’t explain it, but there is something about that runner’s high that gets me through the day. Even if I am running on too little sleep, that run gives me the push I need…I’m feeling the lack of energy–and motivation.

It’s time to get moving.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but my work schedule doesn’t allow much time…period, and working out is especially a challenge. I go directly from job 1 to job 2… so I really only have time to run late at night or–you guessed it!–the dreaded morning.

Late at night would be fine, if I didn’t have to be to work at 8 am and if I got out any earlier than 9 or 10 pm. My sleep schedule is wacky enough and I fear that night workouts will interfere even more.

So what’s a runner girl to do with all of these excuses obstacles in her way?

Publicly commit to training.

I know. That doesn’t seem very exciting… or motivational. Anyone can write “Going for a run!” on their Facebook wall. And a lot of times that public commitment doesn’t last.

But this time, there’s a catch.

There will be photographic evidence. Of me.

Embarrassing. Sweaty. Gross. Red-faced. Photos for your viewing pleasure… if you so choose.

I’ve been contemplating doing this for some time now and honestly, I’ve been scared… But there’s no time like the present, so here’s the plan:

I am going to take a photo after every run/workout I do. I’ll post them once a week (every Thursday!) until my races in a special series called “GBN,” meaning Gross But Necessary!

The meaning behind this phrase? My wise friend Pato coined the term in honor of taking necessary photos, regardless of appearance. Thanks for the inspiration. Major props… I’m stealing  borrowing it.

So, in honor of turning over a new leaf, here is my first installment of GBN:

1. After a long interval run. This is me celebrating the fact that I am still standing!

Notice the car coming… No big deal.

2. It was really hot. Please don’t judge this entire photo. And me. I have a feeling I am going to regret this…

This is what running in 90 degree weather looks like.

3. This may be a little worse than number 2… Again, just happy that I made it through the run in the heat.

If I smile, does it cover up the fact that I am past the point of glistening?

So, now that that’s over with, here are a few more ways you can help me get my butt out the door!

1. Join me on MFP! (My Fitness Pal) you can either click the icon on my homepage or go to myfitnesspal.com and look me up. My username is nre820. The more people I know are watching, the more accountable I am held.

2. Send me an early morning email to get my butt out of bed (they come to my phone)! Or just something motivational… if I love it, I’ll post it!  My email is noellesnotebook at gmail dot com!

3. Tell me, what gets you moving? I want to know! A favorite song? A race? Friends? Fill me in, please!

Happy Running, I’ll see you out there!


It’s Monday.

I woke up this morning after what seemed like a moment of sleep and was dizzy from all that transpired this weekend. I hit the snooze button, but was still tired the next time around. Yet, here I am. Another Monday at work has ended and the day has escaped a little too quickly for my liking.

Sunday was a very weird day for me. I got a bit emotional and felt the need to do some serious self-reflection.

 It started yesterday morning at church. The sermon was on motherhood, but it also discussed how anyone can be a better example, a light in the dark, if you will. It was titled, “Leaving a Legacy.”

My pastors talked about examples from their own lives and discussed words that came to mind when someone thought of their mother, but one phrase really struck a chord with me.

“A sincere faith causes a ripple effect.”

Regardless of your religion, or lack thereof, this is heavy. Everything you do has an effect on someone, even if you don’t realize it.

This got me thinking. What kind of impact am I making? What kind of people do I affect on a daily basis without even realizing it? What sort of ripples am I sending?

I know that I cannot personally change the world. But I can work hard every day to be a better person. And to help people, whether it be a smile to a stranger, a word of encouragement or helping someone with a project…the possibilities are endless.  And if I’m not the only one doing this?

Imagine the impact.

I just… I want to show people that there is still good in the world. Even if I don’t realize it at the time.

So…I’ll write it one more time. As a reminder.

A sincere faith causes a ripple effect.

Since When Is It Friday?!

Yeah, it’s been a long day. I may or may not be counting down to 9 pm.

But … keeping with the theme of motivation… here is another little tidbit for your viewing pleasure:


Taken from motivationintohabit.tumblr.com/


And another…. I heard on the radio this afternoon that physical activity is proven to reduce the effects of depression by 50%…that’s as much as some prescription anti-depressants. Physical activity can be anything-gardening, dancing, cleaning, running, swimming, walking…it just has to be vigorous. Not that most of us didn’t already know this…I feel a whole heck of a lot better after working up a sweat…but good information.  Food for thought.

Taken from Aasics


Also… I am on day two of the burpee challenge. Let’s do this!!!

What are some of your motivations? What are some of your hangups? Do you have any fitness goals for March?

Happy running!