Hi friends! Happy 2014!
How did you celebrate?
I spent New Year’s Eve working both jobs and spent yesterday (mostly) in bed, trying to kick this nasty head cold… today, I am back at work, drinking Kombucha and a fruit smoothie, in hopes that I’ll be back to normal in the next day or so…
Let’s get started!
#1. Would you rather run in a thunderstorm or a snowstorm? I’d say thunderstorm…there’s something so freeing about running in the rain and I feel like a bad-ass… not that I mind snow… but rain is better.
#2. Would you rather breathe through your nose or breathe through your mouth? I do both, depending on the day…. today, I’m a mouth breather…. yuck.
#3. Would you rather do 100 squats or 100 crunches? [Now take a break and go do them. ;)] I’m going to go with 100 crunches.
#4. Would you rather have a baked good for dessert or an extra serving of your favorite entree? Extra serving of my favorite entrée…. unless it’s really good chocolate cake (and I am picky about my chocolate cake).
#5. Would you rather run on a treadmill for an hour or run around the same street block for an hour? I’d pick running around the same street block…I HATE the treadmill.
#6. Would you rather have a headache during a run or a side stitch? Headache….I think.
#7. Would you rather have a rest day on a work day or a day off? I’d say probably a day off…but I normally end up doing my rest days on a work day…. weird.
#8. Would you rather be a race director or a race volunteer? I’ve done both… I love being a race director and am currently in the process of planning Strides for James 2014. It’s so rewarding and I love getting to meet/keep in touch with so many people in the community–both runners and volunteers!
#9. Would you rather spend your money on running gadgets [HRM, GPS watch, Headphones] or running shoes? Running shoes… I’m not a huge gadget person.
#10. Would you rather run in a relay or do the run portion of a distance triathlon? Run a relay…Ragnar Relay, anyone?!
What about you?! How would you answer these questions? What’s your best “would you rather…” question?
Two years ago today, Farmer Ben and I got married. It has been an adventure, each and every day…and I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather spend this life with. This man is such a blessing!
Anyway, I was going through some old photos of us and thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane.
Our rehearsal dinner:
Our wedding day:
In the last two years, we’ve run a few races together…
We’ve taken a few road trips….
We’ve gone to some fiestas, celebrations and weddings…
And worked together…
We’ve climbed mountains together….literally and figuratively.
But the fact of the matter is that we’ve done everything together. We’re a team. Each and Every day.
Happy Anniversary, Farmer Ben. I love you, always!
Do you have an anniversary coming up? What do you and your person do together?
Confession: I am super behind on my blogging.
I have so much to tell you!
So, for the sake of time, I am combining GBN Weeks 10 & 11 into one post.
Here we go.
Monday-9.6 miles. I came down with a cold early in the GBN week and decided not to push too hard because it was so close to the race, this resulted in 4 days off without running. On Monday night, Farmer Ben and I were determined to get a long run in. And we did. Per usual, the first mile or two was a bit tough but after? I felt like I could take over the world. The original route was 8 miles, but I decided that I could go further. And I did. I was sore the next day, but it was totally worth it.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were rest days. Unintentionally but definitely needed. I managed to kick the cold for the most part and was mentally prepared for the Ragnar Relay.
Total Mileage: 9.6 Miles
Overall-Even though I only ran one day, I still feel it was a success. I got my long run in and I stayed healthy, for the most part. That’s all I wanted to do. And I did it.
The Ragnar Relay!!! Hooray! I woke up at 4:15 am on Friday morning. Having gone to bed after midnight, it wasn’t a happy morning, but I was pumped. We crammed everything into Zeke (the Versa) and headed toward Saratoga.
Because we had a bit of a van snafu, we ended up having to bring my car along for the trip, this allowed for some extra room, but was a huge pain. I totally missed out on precious hours of sleep because I had to drive my car to the major exchange points and then to my mother’s house. Le sigh.
Anyway, my first leg of the relay started around 1 pm. It had rained all morning and I was not looking forward to getting–and staying– soaking wet. I tried to nap before I started running, but of course that didn’t work. I was too excited to sleep!
It felt like an eternity before I started running and I was starting to get nervous. When I saw runner 6 (Hi Jessi!) barreling toward me, I knew that there was no turning back. It was time to go. I put one headphone in my ear and found a good station on Pandora, then I started on my 9.3 mile trek.
It was still raining, but barely and it would be clear by the time I finished running. I was feeling pretty good but knew that I hadn’t hydrated enough. No worries, there would be a water station somewhere along the course, right?
Wrong. I got to what I assume was the 6.5 mile mark, based on my leg map (they only marked the last mile of each route) and realized that I was on my own. Had I known this, I would have had the van meet me at the halfway mark with some water, but it was too late. I kept going and had, up until that point, kept up a good pace, but lack of sleep and proper hydration was definitely catching up with me. My phone died around 7 miles, taking my tunage with it.
Shortly before I saw the glorious blue mile marker (which by the way, was NOT at the mile mark, but further out), I started to crash. My body did NOT want to keep going and I slowed down a lot. But seeing that blue sign awakened something in me, and I took it one step at a time.
The funny thing about running is that even though your heart and your body are going crazy and pushing as hard as you can (at least during a race), and sometimes you’re not sure if you’ll be able to finish, your head is usually calm. Focused. I find that I have some of my most intimate conversations with God when I am running. Not intentionally, it just happens that way. Something about pushing yourself to the limit makes you clear your mind of all other distractions.
I used the last two miles of the race to talk to God. And to ask Him for help. And he sent it.
I didn’t catch his name, but this ridiculously tall, overly excited Ragnarian whizzed by me…at the exact moment that I let out a pained grunt. He whipped his head around and cheered me on. Although he was much faster than me, he yelled all the way up the last little hill until he was out of sight. After that, Sara, another runner ran by and continued to cheer me on, I ended up staying close to her for the remainder of the leg and went over to thank her for helping me finish.
Then I thanked Him.
After my first run, I cheered (loudly and obnoxiously) for the rest of our team. It had started raining again but we didn’t care. Our team was looking good and by the time we got to exchange 12 we were running on Clif bars and adrenaline.
At around 8:30 the first runner started his second leg of the race. We were in Lake George. Our van went to find food and I drove my car a little over an hour to my mother’s house, stopping at a Stewart’s to grab a sandwich, chips and chocolate milk (best recovery drink ever!). When I got to my mom’s, I threw my wet clothes in the dryer and then drove by where she would be volunteering for the rest of the night. After that, we drove to Ticonderoga (just under an hour), the next major exchange point and the beginning of my second leg. I got there a little after 11 and managed to nap for an hour or so. According to Van 1’s schedule, I’d be running around 2 am.
I was exhausted but wasn’t too worried about this leg as it was only 2.4 miles. I walked around and stretched to wake up and warm up (although it was warmer out in the middle of the night than it had been all day!). Once I started my leg, I was feeling great. My shoe came untied so I had to stop and tie it, other than that, things went off without a hitch. The last mile was uphill, but after some of the hill training I’d done, this was no big deal.
I ended up running my middle leg at about 9:10 pace. Much faster than I expected, so it was a pleasant surprise. I got back to the van and someone noticed I was bleeding. Apparently, our team slap bracelet had cut me. No big deal.
Again, after running, I was too excited to sleep, at least for the next few hours, so I cheered on my team.
Our van stopped at the halfway mark for Farmer Ben and we noticed that he was taking a little longer than usual to get there. I started to worry because I knew his foot was bothering him and because it was 3 am, dark and rainy.
He finally came into view and I could tell he was hurting but he simply grabbed a bottle of water from me and kept going.
We went up a little further (about two miles from the finish) and I decided that I would jump out and finish his leg for him. That didn’t go as planned because he wouldn’t give me the slap bracelet, so I ended up running with him. He was determined to finish, what can I say?
After Ben finished, I finally got a short nap in, but woke up a few times to cheer on one of our other runners. I stayed awake until we got to the next major exchange (where Van 1 would be starting) and then slept for a couple of hours. When we got Ausable Forks (where I would start running again), a few of us went in and got breakfast from the high school cafeteria. I had low expectations, but I was still disappointed. It was pancakes, eggs and sausage…I think. As gross as it was, I knew that I needed to eat something so I choked about half of it down. Then I ate an apple and filled up on water. I changed into dry clothes (it was still raining, but starting to clear up) and peed about 23543452456 times.
I was very happy to see two of my closest friends and the mother of another team member show up at the exchange point to cheer me on. Being exhausted, I was really worried about running my last leg. It was 5.1 miles, a rolling route that stayed along the Ausable River and seeing familiar faces really helped.
My heart was struck with genuine fear when Jessi came sprinting toward me, slap bracelet raised high. But I took the bracelet like a champ and started running. You could tell the end of the race was near because the excitement was everywhere, cars and vans drove by, honked, beeped and blasted music. This all kept me going.
About a mile in, I heard a familiar voice and turned to see a friend from church in his car. He slowed down and chatted with me for a few minutes and then wished me luck and went on his way. I later found out that another friend had seen me running. The perks of doing a crazy relay close to home!
I even passed a water station on this leg, but I was so disgusted that I didn’t stop.
I asked another team that had pulled off how far I had to go. They said the magic words: You’re halfway there. This was a great feeling. I felt a little spring in my step and even picked it up a little. Once I got to the 1-mile-to-go sign, I was feeling great. I handed off to our next runner and found out that I had run at 9:40 pace, which doesn’t seem that fast but it was a lot faster than I thought. I’ll take it.
I felt amazing after that last run. I had done it . 18.8 miles (this includes the extra two miles). I survived. Now my only job was to cheer for my team like crazy!
We ended up having to sub in a runner for the last mile and a half of the race, but we finished. We crossed the finish line at about 5 pm. And then headed over to get our free beer, medals and shirts.
This was an amazing experience. I cannot wait for next year. The actual running wasn’t as difficult as I thought, but the lack of sleep and food were a huge challenge. I definitely pushed myself and am jones-ing to do so again!
After the race, we met up with my mom (who lives about 20 minutes from Lake Placid) and I drove my friends Jessi and Niki back to Saratoga to pick up their car. Then we headed down to Albany to drop off the van. At that point, it was after 9 pm and I was so tired I could barely move, so we rented a hotel room to crash for the night.
Since the race, I have been pretty low-key. I’ve been going to bed a lot earlier and haven’t gotten any running in. But I will.
The Army Ten-Miler is 17 days away and I still have some work to do. That means tonight I get back to running. I’m fighting the sniffles after being in the rain all weekend but I am feeling a lot better and my body is finally recovered. So, the GBN journey continues!
What are some of your exercise challenges you’ve faced over the last two weeks? Any races coming up?
A litlte warning-this is going to get sappy.
Let me start off by saying two things.
1. I cannot believe the Ragnar Relay is 8 days away! I am so excited and nervous..excited because it’s going to be awesome, and nervous because of my long leg…I haven’t gotten as much distance in as I’d like…eek!
2. Nine weeks is not a long time. But after just nine weeks, I feel amazing. Not only are my clothes fitting better, but I feel like I can take on the world. I’ve always considered myself a strong female, and working on the physical aspect of strength has given me a total confidence boost, inside and out.
Throughout these nine weeks, I’ve had a few readers tell me that they’ve been motivated to start (or continue) their own fitness journeys, partly because of this series. They’ve also shared some of their triumphs and challenges with me. Not gonna lie, I was really surprised by this and extremely flattered.
It surprises me that people read this little blog…and it surprises me more that people would draw inspiration from me…I’m just a regular person, doing something I enjoy…not something I am particularly good at, mind you, but something I love that happens to keep me going…and taking stupid pictures along the way.
Anyone can run. Seriously.
I don’t really know what to say other than this; you push me even further. So thank you. I hope that you realize how amazing you truly are and how fun this journey can be…
Not gonna lie, there are days when I have felt like giving up (my 8 mile run last week, for example), but knowing that there are
readers friends out there who are cheering me on has convinced me to keep going and to lace up my sneakers another day.
Keeping with this theme, I have so many people who inspire me and who I looked to when getting back on track…or if I need an extra push. I don’t think I have ever really told them… So thank you to Kristy, James, Chelsea, Jona, Farmer Ben, and Liz Dukes.
Now, onto Week 9!
After a rough 8 mile run that left me feeling really discouraged and in a lot of pain, I took a couple of days off to regroup and rest. I hated not getting in a run for two days, but I needed the rest.
Saturday-4.7 miles. The hubs and I decided to do one of our usual routes backwards. For some reason, this direction is alway hard for me and I don’t know why. I started out feeling slow and clunky, but per usual, at mile two, I really found my stride and got in the zone. Most of the run is a slow incline, with a nice downhill in the last mile and a half.
We finished strong and the only pain I had was from a bad wardrobe decision/lack of options due to laundry (Long story short/TMI-a lot of my running bottoms are now too big and cause unnecessary friction. Ouch! #RealTalkonNoelle’sNotebook).
Sunday and Monday-No run. The aforementioned wardrobe injury was a bit worse than I thought… I’ll say no more…#MoreNNRealTalk.
On Sunday, the hubs and I attended and worked at a fundraiser, on top of church and work so there wasn’t much time for running.
Monday was spent at work and then searching for appropriate and properly fitted running shorts. Thank God. I picked up some sweet tights for the Ragnar at Target!
Tuesday-4.42 miles. Again, this was an old standby route. Farmer Ben and I were up bright and early on Tuesday morning to ensure that we got a run in. Armed with my new compression capris, I started out like a champ. I withered a little bit about two miles in but managed to finish strong. The endorphins from this run kept me going all day and into the evening. I love that!
Photo Fail: Accidental Deletion…a picture of the gorgeous sunrise, instead!
Wednesday-6.3 miles. We had to do an evening run because we slept too late, but it was well worth it. The hubs and I met in our usual spot but veered off or our usual path and decided to run all over town. We visited a favorite route from last summer and darted through the main drag. This was a win. I felt ready for anything after this run…
Thursday-TBA. Okay. I admit it, I still haven’t mastered this whole getting up early thing. Truth be told, I was late to work this morning. But I packed a bag and am pounding the pavement after work tonight. I’m a woman on a mission.
Total Mileage-15.42 (so far!)
Overall: I think this was a good week. Not super high on the mileage but I got some good runs in. With the race a short eight days away, I’m looking for balance and I think this was a good week in that respect.
Goals for next week: One more long run before the race. That’s all I want. After that, I’ll be happy.
So, you already know that I have an unhealthy obsession with pickles…
And that any kind of yogurt except for plain makes me want to vom…
That I hate styrofoam…
And that I go through really weird food phases…
But now, I must confess another weird thing…
I really dislike going out to do dinner with certain people.
I know that sounds wrong. I absolutely love food. I love perusing menus, figuring out how I am going to treat myself. I love gossiping over a glass of wine. And if I have room, splitting a dessert….
So maybe I should rephrase that…
I hate hate hate having to figure out where we’ll eat (with said certain friends). Seriously, there are so many restaurants in this town and they always pick one of the few that I try to avoid at all costs! I try not to make it a huge issue but it can be so hard!
I’ve talked about how I try to eat healthy…and I succeed about 75% of the time. I also try to eat local most of the time-or at least responsibly in the sense that I need to know where my food comes from, how to pronounce all of the ingredients…and I need to understand how my food is processed, prepared and served to me.
This is especially important to me as of late, because, with all of this running, I am eating a whole heck of a lot more! Food is fuel. Plain and simple.
That’s why when friends suggest places that I normally try to avoid, I cringe. I am not a picky eater by any means and I would never go to someone’s home and refuse to eat…but when it comes to restaurants… I get anxiety attacks thinking about it…
“What the heck am I going to eat there?!”
“I can’t eat that much sodium in one sitting!”
“The healthiest thing on this menu is beer!”
“If I eat anything at this place, I am going to be up all night!”
“Everything on their menu comes out of a bag!”
“I don’t want microwaved chicken or canned sauce!”
Now, I realize that I probably seem a bit neurotic and I may be over-dramatizing the situation… But being a person who tries to eat well (at least most of the time), you become very sensitive to certain ingredients that aren’t in your regular diet. AND, having worked/knowing people in the restaurant business, you begin to pick up on what’s going on behind the kitchen doors… some things really freak you out, like ingredient lists and food preparation.
So today, a group of friends decided that we should get together for dinner.
The first suggestion was Applebee’s. Per usual, I started to panic. I felt my blood pressure rise thinking about what on earth I would order besides cheap beer.
Again, I’m not a picky eater. I don’t want to be that person that makes a big deal about something as simple as dinner-but that kind of quasi-fast, pre-made food makes me sick. So, when that suggestion came up, I took a few minutes to have a silent mini-freakout at my desk before I responded with a simple, “Can I request anywhere but there? My race is the next day.”
It’s true, the Ragnar Relay IS the next day. If it wasn’t, I probably would have grinned and bore it… and ordered a lackluster salad that I still would have regretted eating a few hours later.
But this time is different. I need to fuel my body properly because after that dinner, I’ll be going home, getting up by 4:30 am and heading out to do a ridiculous relay.
I prepared myself for a groan from my friends, but the only response I got was “Okay, you pick.”
So now I have the task of figuring out where we will eat because I spoke up. Again, normal people would be perfectly okay with this but for me, it’s still a hard decision.
But that’s a post for a different day….
Tell me, am I the only one who freaks out about going out to dinner? Am I the only one who won’t go to certain restaurants?
Let me know!
First of all-Shout-out to Jenny J for joining MFP! Hooray!
This week was a big step up from last.
1. Friday Night-3 miles. I was disgusted with myself after over-sleeping on Friday morning, so I packed a bag with my running gear and made up my mind that I would run after work at the restaurant. I was tired but I headed to my usual spot for night runs. I kicked out three miles in just under 27 minutes. This surprised me because I felt slow.
2. Sunday-5.1 miles. The hubs and I headed out on this beautiful afternoon and did a loop near our house. I had done the same run in reverse and thought it would be cake. Little did I know that this direction was a bit more difficult-it is slightly uphill for pretty much the first two miles. No big deal.
My body was protesting for the first half of the run but then I found my stride and I took off. I definitely could have run another few miles but we were short on time so five miles it was. We did it in 49 minutes and change. Not too shabby!
After the run, I did some planks. It was hard and my body was pretty mad at me the next day. But I think this will become a habit.3. Monday-8.2 miles with HILLS! Over the weekend, the hubby and I drove down to where the last legs of our relay will be run. Ben’s happens to be a HUGE hill, so we decided we needed a practice run. After work, we headed south and parked the car at the exchange point. We ran 4.1 miles to where Ben will hand off the slap bracelet.
Let me tell you, it was STEEP. When we got to the top of the first hill, I started thinking, “okay, we’re getting close!” Then Ben informed me that we had only gone 1.5 miles. In spite of this, we kept a good pace and even picked it up a little toward the end.
Once we reached the exchange point, we paused for a moment to relish the fact that we had completed the run, then turned around and headed back. For the return trip, we walked some of the way in order to enjoy the amazing Adirondack scenery. We even saw a few deer!
When we got back to the car, we were exhausted, sore and absolutely starving. But it was totally worth it.
Tuesday-Rest Day. I didn’t want it to be, but my entire body ached. I did manage to do a few sets of planks, though!
Wednesday-8.0 miles. This was hard. My mind was not in it–and when it was, I was over thinking! I found my groove after mile 2 and was feeling pretty good, but with three miles left, my body started protesting. My calves and lower legs were so tight, I could barely move. I stopped and walked for a little bit, hoping that would help. It didn’t. I managed to finish the run, but it was rough.
Upon reaching my driveway, I did a bit more walking to try to loosen up. It didn’t work.
Total Mileage: 24.3 Miles
Overall: I’d say this week was excellent. I managed to get in some solid mileage and did some pretty challenging runs.
I’m still trying to figure out my lower leg pain and I am wondering if it’s something to do with my shoes. Any thoughts and advice are definitely appreciated.
It felt good to get some distance in and I definitely feel myself getting faster.
Goals for Next Week: Complete an 8 mile (or longer) run-no stops. I won’t be satisfied til I do this. Figure out–and hopefully cure–this leg pain.
How were your workouts this week? Did you have any challenges that you pushed through?
Ah Monday, the beginning of the week. A time to get back to routine.
I hate it. Okay, maybe I don’t hate it. But it was definitely hard to get myself in the groove this morning…
I had an amazing weekend. Here’s a little recap:
Friday: Worked at job 1. Scored a super sweet groupon deal with Canvas on Demand. Then headed to the restaurant. We had a local band playing, so it was a fun…and slightly crazy night. I was bowled over by something that was said to me-more on that later-and had a really good night. I ended up doing a little bit of everything, including getting to enjoy the music!
After work, I headed out for a quick 3 mile run. I had wanted to get in a few more miles, but it felt good to let loose after a semi-stressful week. And I was surprised by my time.
Saturday: Ben let me sleep in. This was glorious. When I dragged my butt out of bed at 9:45, we headed to one of our favorite breakfast places. It’s about a twenty minute drive from our house, but they have the best homemade roast beef hash I have ever had. Worth it. After filling up on coffee and hash, we decided to check out our last legs for the ragnar relay, as they were only about 10 miles away.
My last leg is going to be gorgeous, it runs along the Ausable River and is a relatively flat, winding route. Ben’s is going to be a bit more difficult. He not only starts at the bottom of a small hill, but most of the run is heading up a steep hill, with no relief at the end. We have some work to do.
After our little drive, we headed home to relax for a bit before work. Then we had tacos for lunch. Win.
There was a crazy storm in the early evening and the result was a beautiful, full double rainbow over the lake. Gorgeous!I have a few decisions to make in the next few weeks and I took this rainbow as a sign that He’s got my back.
I ended up getting out of work early, so I did some errand-running and then waited for the hubs to get out of work. We enjoyed a glass of red wine and went to bed after watching some little gems on YouTube.
Sunday: What a great day! Ben and I got up and went to church. We also enjoyed a bagel with lox and cream cheese for breakfast. I really enjoyed the sermon, it was one of those times when I felt like He was speaking directly to me…it definitely has me prepared for the week ahead.
After church, we took a short nap and then headed out for a five mile run. The first couple miles were hard, but I soon found my stride and went on auto-pilot. It really helped to clear my head.
I felt so good after our run, that I did some planks. My body is protesting a bit today, but I know it’ll thank me later!
After the run, I dropped Ben off at work and then I headed to job 1 to do some catch-up work. It’s amazing how much I can get done in a few hours when left by myself.
I stopped into the restaurant and enjoyed an absolutely delicious dinner of steak and veggies over pasta with a glass of one of my favorite red wines. It was the perfect end to my weekend, and was a nice opportunity to just relax. I waited for Ben to finish work and then we headed home. After catching up on my food journal (this was a bit painful), I drifted off to sleep.
Today, Ben and I are heading down to tackle that Ragnar route. I’m a bit nervous about the hill, but I am looking forward to a night off and the chance to run with Farmer Ben. It’ll be a great way to start the week and get some hill-work in! I can’t wait!