You may have noticed that I didn’t post anything for GBN last week, so we are making up for it with two weeks of workouts today! I started my online orientation class and I’ve had a ridiculous amount of meetings the last couple of weeks, AND Farmer Ben’s schedule has changed, which makes the morning run a bit trickier now… so there were many missed runs. Even though I am a bit frustrated by this, I realize that I just have to prioritize my time better. And, today is a new day!
Farmer Ben joined me on a couple of runs over these two weeks and I was absolutely ecstatic. There is something about running with the hubs that just makes it so much better…even if he is way faster than me!
That being said, my runs were … just okay last week. I don’t know if I was overtired or just bored, but pretty much every run was a struggle. Also, apparently last week was the week of meetings. Holy moly! I literally had some kind of meeting every day!
This week… I was sore. Like, I had a hard time bending over and putting pants on kind of sore…So, there’s that.
Anyway, here we go!
Gross But Necessary: August 23-September 5.
Sunday: So… I’ve decided to just go ahead and call Sundays a rest day.
Monday: No run. Instead of my usual forcing myself to run in the morning, I came into work early with the intention of running to a friend’s house after work for our usual dinner and small group. As I was about to
literally run out the door, I got a phone call from someone who needed help. I was annoyed that I missed my run, but it was perfect timing and I was able to pray for this person AND practically help them…And honestly, that’s more important to me.
Tuesday: Short Night Run. I ended up going out in the evening with Farmer Ben for a little over 2 miles. This was after a taco dinner and a beer. Needless to say, this was extremely poor planning on my part and I didn’t feel too hot and it wasn’t pretty.
Wednesday: I woke up at 5:00 am and got ready for a work conference just north of Albany (I was thrilled. Heh). We got back to town around 4:30 and I was incredibly car sick from the trip. After lounging around on the couch, Farmer Ben forced me to go out (God bless that man!). We did 3 miles and a cool down.
Thursday: 4 Mile Morning (!) Run and a 1.5 Mile cool down. Knowing that I had a meeting on Thursday night, I set out to do five miles in the wee morning hours. And I tried. I got to 4 miles and decided to finish the loop as a cool down, so I alternated walking and running. This was a “meh” workout.
Friday: I slept in that morning, went to work, had another meeting and marathon cleaned my house that evening, prepared for my monthly book club, cooked and baked until about 1:30 in the morning. Does anyone else do this? I always pick really inconvenient times to decide to do the really OCD cleaning. Am I alone on this?
Saturday: I finished tidying up, did dog duty for friends who were out of town,w drove to a work luncheon, sped back to my house, frosted cupcakes for book club, hosted book club, second dog duty, had dinner with the hubby and took some chicken broth, soup and medicine to my mother who caught the black plague.
Sunday: See note above. Work, lunch with friends, work, delicious pizza with Farmer Ben celebrating the end of the week of meetings. Phew!
Monday: I can’t even lie, big fail; I didn’t drag my butt out of bed early enough…Then, instead of running in the evening, I started classes.
Tuesday: This workout from Erica House. I loved this workout…and I hated it. I love doing pushups and squats. I HATE lunges. Especially being as out of shape as I am…I’m still sore. Yesterday, I had trouble putting pants on! I know this means that I should probably do more lunges.
Two notes: We actually did a 1/2 mile warmup and 1/4 mile cool down… We also did about .32 miles instead of 400 meters. Also, did you know that running on a soccer field is more challenging when it needs to be mowed (we did this at a field near our house)? True story.
Wednesday: Um…I hurt all day. I had a lunch meeting and then ended up doing school work til late.
Thursday: Still in pain. I probably should have gone out and done something, but after work and homework, I really just wanted to spend some quality time with Farmer Ben…so that’s what I did.
Friday: Evening run. 3 miles, slow and easy.
Saturday: 5 miles with lots of hills.
Takeaways from the last two weeks?
I was very happy to get at least one good workout in this week after such a rough time the week before… I probably overdid it (or else I am just a major wuss) but I’m thinking that it was better for me to just start doing stuff like this, instead of waiting to “get back in shape.” If I wait for that, it’ll never happen. So, in spite of being sore, I am really glad that Farmer Ben and I did it and we will keep it in the rotation…it can only get easier, right?
Looking at my calendar, I really need to just go ahead and block out time for working out, otherwise, it won’t happen. Especially with schoolwork and all these meetings!
I’m also thinking that I need to sign up for a race… I unfortunately won’t be able to do the Ragnar Relay like I’d hoped, which means I haven’t done any races this year and have none coming up! That’s kind of depressing. Any race suggestions? They have to be Saturday races.
Happy Weekend, Friends!
Tell me, how are your workouts this week? Any Saturday race suggestions?
Oh hey! It’s officially 2014… I won’t get used to writing/typing 2014 until June…but it’s fine…
Anyway, I figured I should give you all one last look at how my 2013 goals were accomplished. I’ll keep it short and sweet, I promise!
Noelle’s (Re-Re-Updated) List of Things to do before December 31, 2013:
1. Create a logo for the blog and go self-hosted.
Fail. That’s all.
2. Excel in my job.
I think for the most part, I do my job pretty darn well, but I’m still learning a lot… so I’ll call this one about 85%…..
3. Make 2013 a “Yes!” year/7. Be more present.
Yes. I killed this one.
5. Take more time to read.
Again, killed it.
4. Run a half marathon/6. Run 26.2 miles.
Half Marathon-I still haven’t raced it…but I’ve run it.
Marathon-Done. So we’ll call this even.
8. Pay off at least one big bill–Get better about saving money.
Didn’t happen… 2013 was the year of random things that come up and shot our budget to Hades AND realizing that we really need an emergency fund.
2014 will be the year of actually having an emergency fund (We’re 75% of the way to our EF goal!) and being able to handle those budget killers.
On the plus side, I upped my 401k contribution and Farmer Ben started his retirement fund at work in 2013…so it wasn’t all bad!
9. Do 100 Burpees in a row.
Nope…. I can probably do about 30 without stopping…maybe 40 if I am feeling like a boss.
10. Do more food-ing.
Told you that it would be short and sweet… I’d say I did well… granted, I failed miserably at two of my goals…but I definitely learned something from most of these challenges. And of the few that I didn’t accomplish, we are better prepared for them this year.
2013 was a good year, but 2014 will be better… I’ve got big plans for this year and can’t wait to fill you in along the way!
Now it’s your turn! How did you do with your goals for 2013? Anything you’re still struggling with? OR, do you have any advice for 2014?! Let me know!
Happy Holidays Friends! Hope you’re enjoying the last week of 2013!!!
So, let’s get started!
What was your…
Best race experience? I didn’t do a lot of racing this year…but the races I did do were all pretty awesome. Regardless, I’ll have to go with completing my first marathon. It’s something that until this year, I never really had the urge to do and up until crossing the finish-line, I wasn’t sure I could do. This was the most difficult race I’ve ever done but it was so worth it.
The marathon tested my entire being but I’ve never felt more uplifted in the running community. I’ve never connected with other runners, volunteers and spectators as much I did with this race and the memory of that day is something I will cherish forever.
I’m already looking forward to marathon number 2.
Best run? Again, I’ll have to go with the Adirondack Marathon. I’ve never felt so accomplished in my entire life and I don’t think I’ve raced a more beautiful course.
Outside of racing, I’d have to say my best runs were the last month of marathon training… I felt on top of the world.
Best new piece of gear?
Hmm…I don’t feel like I really use a lot of “gear” and/or “gadgets.” I’m pretty low maintenance on my runs… If I had to pick something, I’d go with my CamelBak or ENERGYbits…. both of these were instrumental in marathon training and really helped me stay on track nutrition/hydration-wise.
I loved ENERGYbits so much that I became an ambassador so I could share them with everyone I know (*and a 25% off discount–use code “NoellesNotebook”).
Best piece of running advice you received?
Run your own race. It’s really easy to get caught up in the comparison trap…especially when you are a blog reader/writer. It’s tempting to compare yourself to other runners and wish you could be more like them… but at the end of the day, your biggest competition is yourself.
Trust your training. It takes hard work to improve. There’s no way around it…if you train well, you’re going to run well. I had a lot of mini-meltdowns over the summer as a result of a crazy schedule and marathon training…but I survived.
Most inspirational runner?
This is a tough one. In real life, I’d have to say my friend Kristy. She’s a mom, a student, a small business owner and still finds time to run. It puts me to shame! In real life/blogging life-my friend Jona. She’s so determined–when she establishes a goal, she doesn’t stop until she’s accomplished it–She’s a 46er and recently PR’d her 10k time by a lot. Pretty awesome!
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?
I’d say 2013 was a challenge, a year of learning, pushing through and a test of my abilities–both mental and physical.
Let’s chat: What was your running highlight? Biggest challenge? What inspires you?!
*Disclaimer: As an ENERGYbits ambassador, I do receive a little bit of money if you order using my discount code, however all opinions are my own.
Good Evening Friends!
We made it through the work week… is anyone else ridiculously happy that it’s Saturday? For whatever reason, a lot of my co-workers were in TERRIBLE moods all week… it’s quite a buzz kill, you know? And, as much as I love them (most of the time)… I was ready for a break.
Moving on, I have a confession to make; I’ve totally been holding out on you.
See… I did something at the beginning of this month and I’ve kept mum about it. Well, mostly mum… I’ve only told Farmer Ben and a few others in my “inner circle.”
I wanted to tell you all, I really did! But I didn’t feel that the timing was right…and I just wasn’t quite ready to write it out loud. I wasn’t ready to see MY words in front of my face…so I kept it quiet.
Anyway, I decided today was as good as any day to spill the beans… especially because today’s elf4health challenge is to announce our fitness goals for the coming year.
So….here you go:
Yes. I am officially registered for the Wineglass Marathon. And I am SO EXCITED!
While that’s not my only goal for next year, it’s certainly the biggest one at the moment. I’m on my way to marathon number two.
Phew! I feel better now that I have that off my chest!
What about you? Any races scheduled for next year? What are your fitness goals?
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?!
So, here you are! Enjoy!
Noelle’s (Re-Updated) List of Things to do before December 31, 2013:
1. Create a logo for the blog and go self-hosted.
Not gonna lie, STILL haven’t done this… however, I have gotten some ambassadorships that are pretty awesome and feel like I’m moving in the right direction. (you guys get 25% with my code for Energy Bits!)
I also finally broke down and got Twitter and Instagram… not that I know how to use them very well, but it’s all about networking, right? (usernames for both are NoellesNotebook if you’d like to give a follow!)
I’d love to know what you, readers, would like to see content wise…I realize that this space has morphed into a different animal from what I originally intended it to be… but I’m okay with that… however, I want to keep it interesting for all of you…so I’d love your feedback!
2. Excel in my job.
Confession: I struggle with this one.
I feel like my “promotion” has transformed into something else… my time is filled up with special projects that seem to take over what I’m actually supposed to be doing. And honestly, I have days (or months) where I just wonder how I am supposed to get everything done… Does anyone else have this problem?
My boss tells me I’m doing well, but some days, I really have trouble believing that….but I just keep on going and I’m hoping that counts for something.
To be completely honest, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on this particular aspect of my life, what’s to come of it, and what not.
3. Make 2013 a “Yes!” year/7. Be more present.
I’m killing this one.
- Strides for James was amazing–we had over 200 participants and raised over $5,000 after expenses. We were able to reach our scholarship goal in less than a year and someone in our community is already benefitting from our group’s hard work.
- Farmer Ben won tickets to a Red Sox game. We went and loved it.
- The Hubby and I were in the bridal party/catered our friends’ wedding. Not gonna lie, it was exhausting but worth it.
- We got to do some hiking this summer! I cannot tell you how happy this made me!
- Just starting a new online class today.
- Farmer Ben and I just returned from a kick-ass road-trip and are craving more adventures. We drove to St. Simons Island, Georgia, then headed up to Charleston, South Carolina. I am ready to move there!
- On our road-trip, we ate Barbecue for 3 days. I’m not even a little ashamed.
- Ben finally got to meet my good friend Natasha who lives in DC and we visited (and by visited, I mean had a couple of drinks and crashed on her floor before getting up ridiculously early and hitting the road again) Liz–FINALLY! I even got to show him my old apartment.
- Also on our trip, we spent the night on a sail boat-a first for me!
- I also ran my first marathon.
- Spent more time with family
I think those are all of the big ones, but honestly, I feel so blessed this year with all of the adventures we’ve had and I am wondering what’s next!
As far as spending less time on my phone, I’ve absolutely cut down on this. I deactivated my Facebook account and haven’t looked back. I may re-activate it when I get back into the heart of planning Strides for James 2014… but for now, I am content to be in the dark about what that girl who was in my gen ed class, freshman year is doing. I’m learning to appreciate those around me and treasuring the time with people I don’t see every day.
Any suggestions to continue my “Yes” Year?!
5. Take more time to read.
Yes. Doing this.
I won’t bore with the entire list, but these are my favorites I’ve read this year (Not gonna lie, it looks almost exactly like the list in my last update):
- My Bible
- all three Hunger Games Books (twice)
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
- The Girl Who Played with Fire
- Garlic and Sapphires
- The Girl Who Kicked a Hornet’s Nest
- The Great Gatsby
- Pride and Prejudice
- Born to Run
- Eat & Run
- The Dirty Life
- The Beautiful & Damned
Any other reading suggestions?
4. Run a half marathon/6. Run 26.2 miles.
Half Marathon-I’ve run the distance but haven’t raced it. Can we call this one even? I may look for a race in the next month or two… just to check it off the list, but I won’t be heartbroken if I don’t get that race in.
Marathon-Done. One of the most difficult and worthwhile things I have ever accomplished… and I’m already planning to do another!
8. Pay off at least one big bill–Get better about saving money.
I’m getting closer.
9. Do 100 Burpees in a row.
I still haven’t been working on my burpees.
10. Do more food-ing.
I definitely went on a vegan recipe kick after reading Eat & Run. I’ve also been experimenting more with using different ingredients, especially when I was training for the marathon, I had to get creative with pre/during race foods because of some digestion issues.
We’ve also made an effort to eat at home more this year…and when we traveling, we try to eat at a local restaurant.
So, there you have it. I’d say for the most part, I’m doing pretty well…I definitely see areas where I can improve, but I am happy for now.
Now it’s your turn! How are you doing with your goals? Anything you’re struggling with? OR, do you have any advice to help me out?! Let me know!
Well, I did it.
It was one of the most difficult, amazing, ridiculous, painful and spiritual things I have ever done, but I did it. I finished a marathon.
On Saturday morning (after a quick stop for breakfast), my mom and I headed the hour south to go to the race expo. After picking up my packet and sweet (and by sweet, I mean BRIGHT orange) half-zip windbreaker, we meandered around the gym, visiting with volunteers and looking at what the vendors had to offer. Note: They had my mizunos for significantly less than I paid for them, but I restrained myself from buying a new pair–Farmer Ben was so proud.
This was probably the smallest race expo I’ve ever been to, but it was really nice because we weren’t fighting a crowd and didn’t feel rushed to get in and out.
After the expo, my mom and I decided to scope out the course. We took the leisurely 26.2 mile drive around Schroon Lake. My mom’s reaction? “This is beautiful,” followed by, “You’re going to run this?!”
I knew the hills were going to be tough, but now, at least, I had a point of reference and would have an idea of what was ahead. We started out on the main drag, turned onto a side road that just kept going up and then came out right next to the lake, then, we went back to Route 9….
Here are some pictures from the drive:
Beautiful, isn’t it?
Saturday night, Farmer Ben and I stayed in and watched Ratatouille, complete with a big bowl of pasta and marinara sauce. After laying out all of my clothes and fuel for the day, I showered and went to bed… but I’m sure you already know that I barely slept.
I woke up on Sunday morning, a big ball of nerves, complete with a nervous stomach. I toasted two English muffins and put a smear of peanut butter on each and grabbed a banana to eat on the drive down (it’s about an hour and a half from our house). Unfortunately, I was so nervous that I could barely swallow… I only managed to choke down the first English muffin and most of the banana.
After parking, I immediately found the bathroom. Then we had some time to kill, so we meandered around; Ben got a coffee, we went back to the car so I could drop off what I didn’t need and grabbed my fuel belt, put on my number and did a last check…then I found the bathroom again…
I don’t know if it was the realization that I was actually about to run a marathon, or if it was just nerves (or maybe a combination of both), but I was a complete basket case on Sunday morning…at one point, I was holding back tears and was starting to have some serious doubts about running…. luckily Farmer Ben was there to hold my hand and talk me down.
He told me that once I started running, I would get into the zone and be fine…and he was right…
I managed to get a pretty good spot on the starting line and started off at a relatively quick pace…when we passed the first time clock, I realized I was going way too fast (even though it felt comfortable) and slowed down.
I was still going a little faster than I should have, but I was feeling good.
At mile 4, the hills started. Now, the elevation chart shows a straight up-hill until mile 6, then a straight down-hill…and then some little hills in between miles 7 and 11 (the next giant hill). This was not the case.
Instead, you went up, then flat, then up, then flat, then up, then down, then flat, then up and up and so on and so forth… I looked at my splits on mapmyrun this morning and they are all over the place…. I managed to run all of the hills until mile 11…I decided to sacrifice running up this hill in order to save my strength for the rest of the run, looking back, I definitely made the right decision.
I was feeling really good for the first half, once you hit mile 12, you come out right next to the lake…it was a beautiful day and the sun shining, but after running so many hills and being super sweaty, the breeze from the lake was not pleasant… the last half of the race was very cold.
I got to the halfway (13.1miles)mark at 2 hours and 27 minutes… I kept a steady pace until about mile 16. I was getting tired. I slowed down a bit and took a few short walk breaks.
Throughout the entire race, I was repeating three things.
1. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
2. Run your own race.
3. (Wo)man can plan their course, but the LORD directs their steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
At mile 18, we turned onto the Word of Life Campus and were welcomed by a wall of cheering people on either side (Note: I could hear their cheers all the back at mile 16, I could NOT figure out where it was coming from).
This gave my spirits the boost I needed to keep going… people were yelling for me, cheering me on, playing music, calling my number and my name…
Not gonna lie, I almost cried because I was so happy…so grateful for these beautiful people who were helping me go on.
Actually, I almost cried a few times throughout the run because of the volunteers and the spectators… everyone who came out and watched the race, supported the runners… it was an emotional day. Hearing people call my name, who took the time to look up my bib number and find out my name, I was completely overwhelmed.
I made it to mile 20, still riding on the cheers of that amazing group… but then I started to hit the wall… I hurt. Everywhere. My feet were the worst, every time I took a step, I felt like a thousand knives were being pushed into my feet, my bones felt like they were shattering… but I kept going.
My hands swelled up to twice their normal size and I could barely bend them, my wedding ring was starting to dig. I was covered in salt from my sweat and my under-arms were raw…not to mention, the pain in my feet and legs was getting worse.
Luckily, there was a girl running near me and we ended up duking out the last 6.2 miles together…slowly but surely. We ended up doing a lot of power walking for that last 10k…at that point, running was so painful that power walking was a faster mode of transportation… we did the power-walk/run together and I told her I was glad we ended up together because we kept each other going.
There were two more hills (though, I must admit, they were not even close to the hills between miles 4 and 12) before we finally neared the finish… we came around a big corner and realized we were less than a mile away.
I looked at my new friend (Liz) and said, “come on, let’s go!” We started kicking it to the finish…I managed to look up just in time to see Farmer Ben standing there with a big smile on his face, iPhone ready to take pictures and yelling my name.
I turned onto the side street and pushed it to the finish, my entire being hurting and fighting to make those last steps…. I made it!
My time was 5:24:37…not the best time, but it’s a PR for me (the perks of it being my first marathon)…and this was a crazy difficult course! I’m just happy I finished….and now I have a time to beat.
I got my medal and my thermal blanket (thank God!) and turned around, waiting for Liz. I hi-fived her and thanked her sticking with me… and then Ben and I took a couple more pictures….
After finishing, we went down to the finishers’ area and I managed to get a bagel, a bottle of water and some grapes…unfortunately, my body and brain were on power-save mode at that point…I tried to walk around for a few minutes, but ended up just sitting down in a chair, staring off into space. Ben had to hand me grapes and small bites of bagel in order to get me to eat anything.
Again, I had to hold back tears…the realization that I had just finished a marathon was heavy. My body and soul felt absolutely empty.
All finishers were entitled to a massage, but I worried if I got one, I wouldn’t be able to get up, so, when my lips starting turning blue from the wind, Ben made the decision and helped me hobble back to the car.
In the warmth of the Versa, my brain starting working again, slowly but surely.
In my post-race fog, I knew that I needed to change out of my sweaty, and consequently, soaking wet clothes. I told Ben “I need your help.”
I pushed my seat all the way back and Ben fumbled around in the back seat for my big comfy sweat pants and long-sleeved shirt… I painstakingly started pulling off clothes, not caring if someone happened to walk by.
I started with my sneakers, then my socks. I don’t think my feet have ever hurt so much in my entire life. Then I pulled off my leggings and my underwear. I slowly pulled on my sweat pants, with Ben’s help, really glad I had gone for the XL pair.
The next part was a lot more difficult. my shirt was soaking wet and my skin under my arms was raw (Note: I used Body Glide, but apparently I didn’t use enough under my arms). I managed to pull the sleeves from my tank top down and held my shirt over my chest (I am a lady, after all!) while Ben helped me pull my sports bra off, one side at a time. After I pulled on my long-sleeved shirt, I ditched the tank top.
We debated going to one of the restaurants in Schroon Lake, but everyone else had the same idea, so we headed home. I could not get comfortable and spent the entire trip putting my seat up and down, moving it back, propping my feet on the dash, and stretching them out on the floor… then I passed out for the last 30 minutes of the trip.
Upon reaching our apartment, I realized that I was going to have to climb the stairs in order to get inside. My heart sank. Luckily, Ben took everything in from the car so I could use both arms to pull myself up.
After sitting with my feet propped up for an hour or so, we got an invitation to go to a friend’s house and visit with them and their family. Ben whipped up a quick dish to bring with us and I took a hot shower. I cannot even begin to describe how good it felt.
I conquered going down stairs, slowly but surely. And we got to our friend’s house for a great night of relaxing, good food (a lot of it!) and good times. It was the perfect way to end a monumental day. I finally had the energy to snap a picture of my sweet medal….
I’m so blessed I have the ability to run, that I was able to finish a marathon. I still get teary-eyed remembering different parts of the course, how I was feeling, the spectators and the volunteers… It was amazing and something I will cherish forever. It tested my faith, my mind and my body, but I survived…and came out stronger (and somewhat chafed).
Today, I’m sore…I hobbled around the office at work all day and am looking forward to a week of rest… but, I wouldn’t mind doing another marathon sometime in the (sort of near) future. I’ve already scoped out a few races… as a 14-time marathoner that I befriended yesterday told me, “you definitely picked a difficult course, your next race can only be easier.”
Before I end this post….
A major thank you to Farmer Ben. You are the world’s greatest husband. The end.
And to my friends, Jona and Kristy. You are both such strong, amazing women and hearing/reading your running journeys continues to inspire me and helps me to keep pushing in mine.
Also, thank you to my other friends and family who have had to deal with my ridiculous schedule, constantly listening to me talk about my training and just being supportive.
Did you race this weekend? What is your best race moment/memory? What’s the worst thing about post-race recovery?
September is flying by!
I realize it’s been a while since I’ve done a “Confessions” post… so here we go.
You may have noticed some new widgets on my sidebar:
I am super excited to announce that I am a Sweat Pink Ambassador, pink shoelaces and all!
For more info, click the image on the sidebar or check out the Fit Approach website.
Here is the Sweat Pink Mission, from the Fit Approach website:
We believe that kicking ass is best done in pretty shoes. We’ve learned that real women sweat, and sweat hard. We know that assertiveness, strength, and ambition are the ultimate feminine qualities. We concede that sometimes it takes hours to get ready, but we’re also no strangers to just rolling out of bed and going. We’re convinced that we run faster in pink shoelaces. We believe in pushing ourselves, and we believe in giving ourselves a break, too. We’re all about the rush of endorphins and the thrill of the challenge. We’re all for looking great and feeling even better. We’re committed to finding our best fit, and making it stick. We sweat pink.
Pretty awesome, right? I am pumped to be a part of this community!
I’ve mentioned ENERGYbits and how they have become part of my fuel for marathon training and life in general. They are an amazing company and doing great things….and I am so happy to be a part of it. The best part is that I can share a sweet discount with all of you (Use the code “NoellesNotebook” at checkout for 25% off!)! Also, if you’re interested in trying a sample, contact me and I can hook you up!
In other news, marathon training is coming to a close…less than 2 weeks until race day. I have to admit, I am sort of enjoying the taper, but my body is a bit confused.
I bonked a bit on my 20 mile run and had a minor freak-out about being ready…
After I calmed down from my freak-out, I analyzed what went wrong… I think a big part of my bonk was my food choices from the couple of days before my run, not drinking enough and the weather. It was hot. Really hot. And humid….and raining.
So what am I using for fuel?
I have decided on ENERGYbits (of course!), Island Boost–another great company–and various fruit. This will depend on what I can fit in my running belt…
I was going back and forth as to whether or not I should wear my camelbak on race day, but I decided against it. There will be water stops on the course and honestly, the camelbak is a lot of extra weight and extra sweat. It’s great for training runs, but I don’t want to worry about it on race day.
Thoughts on Marathon training:
Next time around (yes, I’m already thinking about next time! Let’s just get through the first one, shall we?!), I am only going to be working one job…and won’t be involved in as many real life commitments. Life happens. I got way too stressed out with training this time around because honestly, I skipped a lot of runs. Between trying to prevent/having an injury and just being over-extended, some days it felt impossible to fit in a run. I realize that there are people out there who do way more than I do (and I give them MAJOR props), but this time around, I had to make some sacrifices, and some weeks, it was my training runs.
I have a good friend (Hi Kristy!) who gave me some peace of mind a while back. She said that as long as you get your long runs in, it’s okay to skip some of your runs during the week.
Now, I am NOT in any way saying that you shouldn’t train for a marathon, because that would be moronic. But, sometimes life happens and things come up. And that’s okay, as long as you get back on track.
She also reminded me that as this will be my first marathon, I am going to PR. No matter my time, it’s going to be a personal record. Doesn’t that take a lot of the pressure off?
Again, I’m not saying that I won’t go out there and try and run my hardest, but…if I have to walk for a bit, I am still doing 26.2 miles in one shot. That’s still pretty hard-core.
With that being said, I’ve been having some really great runs lately. During and after each run, I have felt unstoppable…isn’t that the best feeling?!
Also, I purchased a foam roller ($15 at TJ Maxx for the win!) about a month ago… such a good investment! Luckily, Farmer Ben loves to torture… I mean take care of me and has been super helpful with working out the kinks in my legs. My recovery time has decreased significantly as a result…so thanks Farmer Ben!
On a totally unrelated topic, marathon training does a number on my digestive system. I’ll leave it at that.
Oh! I almost forgot, I need your help! I am deciding on whether to run with or without some tunage.
If I do run with music, I need to create a killin’ it playlist. What would be on your kicking butt soundtrack?!
Today, 12 years have passed from that fateful day. I still remember exactly what I was doing when I heard the news. I think about how much our nation–and our world–has grown and changed, and I pay a moment of silence and remembrance to the past and those who were lost.
Anyway, those are my musings for today.
What about you?! What do you use for fuel during your long runs/race day? Any advice for a first time marathoner? What is on your killin’ it playlist?!