Confessions: Running out of a Rut

I have a confession….I’ve been in a major rut the last couple of weeks. Blame it on my insane schedule and my inability to ignore desperate pleas from Job 2 begging me to come in, but I have had a really hard time getting my runs in lately…or anything else.

I know this sounds an awful lot like an excuse, but up to late last week, I was working 13-16 hours days, 5 days a week… this is not conducive to a.) getting up early to run, b.) running after work, or c.) having energy to do anything.

Now that wedding weekend is over, I’m hoping that my schedule will open up. Marathon weekend is quickly approaching–less than a month away!–and I need to get those miles in. I’ve already warned Job 2 that I will not be available that much in September.

Anyway, I failed at getting in my long run this weekend, causing me to admit, that, yes, I am in a rut.

But I’m not looking back…because, well…it won’t change anything. Instead, I am looking forward and I’ve got a plan.

Get out there and run!

Get out there and run!

Noelle’s Plan for Running Out of a Rut:

1. Do something different.

Last night, instead of a run, the hubby and I opted for the 30 Day Shred. It felt great to get my sweat on after taking care of other details for the last week and it was a nice change of pace.

2. Pick a new route.

Not gonna lie, doing the same few routes can be boring. I’ve been looking for something different… so, I decided to sleep in this morning and brought my running gear to work…I’ll be hitting the pavement in a different area this evening!

3. Unplug.

I’ve noticed that paying attention to times, pace and mileage can get stressful. Sometimes, I just want to run! Today, I’m ditching my tunes, my watch, and mapmyrun and just heading out.

4.  Change your tunes. I have a routine of turning on a girl power/girly pop station on Pandora. Every once in a while, I’ll haul out my mp3 player from college (completely different!), or turn on some country music, just to try something new….or, as I mentioned above, I’ll just run without and get lost in my thoughts.

5. Appreciate Your Abilities.

Again, paying attention to time, pace, calories burned and mileage can be stressful! Do you ever stop to think about how amazing it is that we are able to run? That we can get out and just move?  I’ve been taking this for granted… so today, I’m taking a deep breath, and relishing the fact that I CAN run.

6. Remember Why You Run

What are your goals? Are you having fun? For me, running is a major release…there is nothing better than pounding out your frustrations and worries, while taking on a serious hill or a crazy trail. I run because it makes me feel good.

After some reflection, I realize that I  have been ignoring this…and, instead, I’ve been focusing on how little time I’ve had and how tired I am…that’s not helping anyone, is it?

7. Just Run.

The best way to get out of a rut, is to just get your butt out the door. Those first steps are the hardest…but the most rewarding.

Are you in a rut? What is your best advice for getting out of it? What do you do to change your routine?

Happy running!


Would You Rather… Running Style Survey!

I’ve never done one of these before, but I stumbled on Olive To Run’s Post and figured I’d give it a try…

 

Anyway, let’s get started!

 

1. Would you rather… Be dressed up like a Zombie for a race OR be chased by a Zombie during a race?

Hmm… I’d say be chased, it just seems like it would be absolutely hysterical! There is a run in October at a local farm where people chase you around on horseback and try to “capture” you…think flag football, with a monster twist… I think it’s on the race docket this year!

I could totally outrun zombies!

I could totally outrun zombies!

2. Would you rather… train with Chuck Norris or train with Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Chuck Norris, obviously.

3. Would you rather…Get stuck in an elevator after a race with other people and have to pee or get stuck in a port-a-potty at your race?

As weak as my stomach is around poo/vomit? I’d say get stuck in an elevator, I’d just make everyone turn around.

4. Would you rather… drink milk as you run your race or drink soda/pop?

Barf… gah… I don’t know… I’d say milk for the electrolytes and protein, I suppose.

I don't think I could put either in my camelbak

I don’t think I could put either in my camelbak

5. Would you rather… puke all the way down the front of yourself during a race or have someone ELSE puke on your foot?

Honestly, I’d say someone puke on my foot… At least I can rinse it off with some water…I don’t think I could take the smell of vomit all down my front!

 

6. Would you rather… be three feet taller than you currently are or three feet shorter than you currently are?

Three feet taller… I’m only 5′ 4″!

 

 

I can't imagine being much shorter...

I can’t imagine being much shorter…

 

7. Would you rather… sing call me maybe on repeat during a race OR do the Macarena the entire race?

Call Me, Maybe. No contest.

Confession: I listen to the Carly Rae Jepsen station on Pandora during a lot of my long runs. Don’t judge!

8. Would you rather… have someone’s snot rocket hit you in the face or someone’s blood from chaffing hit you in the face?

Snot Rocket… I’m not good with blood.

9. Would you rather… receive a beautiful, shiny medal at the end of your race OR have the race organizers donate $100 to a charity after you finish a race?

Charity! As much as I love runner swag, I’d rather have the money go to someone who needs it, especially after planning a charity run and knowing what goes into it.

10. Would you rather… “hit the wall” halfway through your race distance and struggle the rest of the way OR get close to the end feeling great the whole time but end up having to DNF?

Funny, I was actually jus thinking about this the other day… I’d say hit the wall… as painful as it would be, the feeling of accomplishment after would be worth it.

Thanks to Cori for this fun survey!

 

What about you?! What are you best “would you rather…” questions?

 


GBN: 18 miles!

I have a confession.

This may make me sound like a big kind of a jerk.

It feels absolutely incredible kind of good when people ask me what I did this weekend and I can say, “oh, nothing too much… worked, hung out with the hubs, ran 18 miles, you know… nothing too exciting.”

And then… I get the incredulous stare. “You did what?!”

Am I the only one who slightly enjoys that moment in the conversation?

But to be fair, running (or in my case, mostly running) 18 miles, that IS a big deal. And 26.2…that’s going to be HUGE.

So I’m sorry… you are going to hear and read about…but fear not, we’re almost there! My apologies if I start to sound like a broken record…

Anyway, after 17 miles, I learned a few things.

  • I need to be careful about my meals the few days before my run.
  • I need to buy waterproof sunblock because I sweat like a beast.
  • I need to change-up my running gear to prevent hideous tan lines and weird chafe marks (TMI?).

So, in preparation for 18 miles…

  • A lot of my meals looked like this:
Roasted beets, cukes, lettuce, beet greens, tomatoes, carrots and homemade horseradish avocado dressing.

Roasted beets, cukes, lettuce, dill, beet greens, tomatoes, carrots and homemade horseradish avocado dressing.

  • I tried to wear shorts as much as possible to get rid of these beautiful lines. It didn’t work.
Check out those gams...

Check out those gams…

  • I also ordered a full pack of ENERGYbits!
  • I made sure to eat something relatively bland mild on Friday night…

Unfortunately, I had to work both jobs on Friday and once again, didn’t get home until well past my bedtime. I let myself sleep in, but I wasn’t happy. I had wanted to get my run out-of-the-way early and it just wasn’t in the cards.

This is probably the most frustrating thing about training. It never goes as planned.

It’s maddening.

Once I could finally peel my eyelids open, I had a bagel with peanut butter and banana for breakfast.

I headed out a little after 11 am. Luckily, it was a cool breezy day.

This run went better than my last long run (I had a 17-miler under my belt, after all).

I started out slower and kept my pace (mostly) constant. I had my mapmyrun app going but it was being  wonky–at the end of my run it said I had gone a total of 22 miles. Fail.

I picked a 9 mile loop to do twice. This helped me break things up.

For fuel:

  • An apple
  • A Mint Chocolate Clif Bar
  • 1 pack of SHOT Bloks
  • Water

I’m definitely a fan of the real food over shots and gels. My stomach thanked me. I had to talk myself into eating the Clif bar while running, but I am glad I did. I still noticed that after the run, I felt very dizzy and light-headed…I think this has to do with the amount that I sweat…all of those precious electrolytes!

In spite of the lack of sleep and after-dizziness, I felt strong during this run. It was good for me mentally to break it up into sections. But man, those last two miles were rough, and again, I let myself walk–probably a bit more than I should have…but I was definitely in a better place in those last two miles than I was during my last long run.

Finishing 18 miles was great, but my heart sank when I realized I was still a mile and a half from my house and needed to walk home. That was one of the most painful and longest walks of my life. Mentally, it was good for me…but I almost cried, especially when I finally got back to my house and had to make it upstairs.

Note to self: plan your route so you finish at home.

I also ran out of water. This made the walk home even more frustrating. As soon as I got into the apartment, I chugged some chocolate milk and a giant glass of water. So delicious!

One thing that I  noticed, holy moly I was so sore!

After last weekend’s run, I was impressed that I felt so good… not this time. I was weak, run down and am still sore three days later! I attribute my recovery from 17 miles to ENERGY bits. 18 miles was a different story.

I’m glad that my bits came in so I can start taking them before my next long run! We’ll see if my theory is correct after 20 miles.

My soreness was aggravated by the fact that I had to work at the restaurant–again! I have already requested my 20 miles run off. I just…don’t want to do anything after those runs.

Overall, I’m feeling better about training. I still beat myself up about missing a training run, but I know that sometimes stuff happens.

That 18-miler was a huge morale boost. I’m still working on finding the perfect combination of fuel, but I’ll get there.

Incredibly sore, but still smiling!

Incredibly sore, but still smiling!

My goal for this week? Get my runs during the week in. It’s going to be tough, especially as I have zero free nights this week, but I want to–and need to–get them in.

This month is going to be tough. My runs are long and my time is almost non-existent…but as crazy as it sounds, running (along with my wonderful husband) is one of the few things keeping me sane right now. So, I’m making time for it in any way I can.

This weekend’s long run is 13 miles. Not gonna lie, I am looking forward to it. But, I’m also looking forward to 20.

What is the hardest thing about your training program? Have you ever (almost) cried during a long/strenuous workout? What do you use for electrolyte replenishment?! Do you have any embarrassing running tan lines?

Happy Running!


Real Talk: Food for Thought

As you know, I recently hit the 17 mile mark (ahem, 18 mile mark!) in my training program. That means I’m officially past the half-way mark. Holy moly! It’s going to be marathon weekend before I know it!

I’m finding that I need to be more careful about what I eat. Not only the day of my long runs, but the few days before and after.

I’ve also found that I’ve hit a point where I need to have something extra during the run. 17 miles (or for me, over 3 hours) is a long way to go with just water. This really hit me during my last two long runs.

I asked some of my friends (on twitter, myfitnesspal and in real life) what they use for long runs.  Thanks to all who responded!

From my running guru friend, Kristy:

Water. I never brought anything with me…When I ran the marathon I had orange slices, part of a banana and a gu. They all agreed with me.

From some MFP running friends:

I’ve used GU gels in the past. They work well for me if I’m going for more than an hour.

I usually take sport beans on long runs.  Anything over 10 miles gets a clif bar halfway.

I have not really used anything. I did try some energy gummy things but they left my throat phlegmy which was pretty gross. The thought of eating actual food during a run isn’t very appealing to me.

Energy Bits every 5 miles and after 10 dates or a slice or two of fresh mango!

I’ve used GU gels in the past. They work well for me if I’m going for more than an hour.

Gu gels or powerbar energy blast chews.

I use Gu gels also. It’s worked the best for me the last couple of years. I’ve tried clif blocks and they work ok (for me).

And from Twitter:

 Jess @Mywalkonmoon:  @IslandBoost is nice b/c I don’t have to take it w/ h2o & not heavy on the belly @HoneyStinger chews for caffeine

Skora Running @skoraRunning: Drink to thirst. Cals from @honeymaxx and regular MCT oil mixed in, couple hundred cals per bottle.

As I mentioned in my last post, the Clif Shots and Bloks I had leftover from a race have worked… but my finicky stomach isn’t happy after the runs, especially immediately after. They work well in a pinch, and heck, they were free! So I can’t complain…but I don’t want to use them all the time. I don’t think my digestive system could take it.

Needless to say, I’ve been searching for something easier on my stomach and a bit cleaner. If you’re a regular reader, you know that I shy away from long/weird ingredient lists and I am not big on artificial/man-made colors, dyes, and ingredients.

Enter ENERGYbits.

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I had heard about this product before from two of my favorite blogs and was actually thinking of trying them. (Shout out to Zee Lemons and Healthy in Detroit!)

Not gonna lie, the only thing that stopped me was the price-tag. $115 for a bag of 1,000…. which, broken down by serving (20-30 bits), isn’t really that much…but to buy a product without trying it…and then getting stuck with something I didn’t like…well, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Then, I recently participated in my first #runchat on Twitter and was tweeted by ENERGYbits when I posted something about long runs.

Long story short, I was sent a sample and was able to try them on my 17 mile run.

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Before I give you the dirty details, I have to say, I love that this a US company. I also loved that it was founded and is owned by a woman. Not only that, but the staff is so passionate about what they are doing. They truly love and believe in the product they are promoting. To me, that’s a very good sign. Further, ENERGYbits are 100% organic, non-gmo and have 1 ingredient. O-N-E. That’s it!

Here are the nutrition facts (check out all of the vitamins, minerals and amino acids!) taken directly from their website:

bag_new_with_facebook_energy

And here is a comparison chart to other popular products:
Nutritional Comparison Chart

Anyway, I received my sample about four days after my twitter connection. The packet I received was full of information… I was still a bit skeptical because, well…it all sounded too good to be true. I’d read about the benefits of spirulina but… I still wasn’t convinced.

You’re probably wondering, how does algae taste?

Well, as Farmer Ben put it, “it kind of tastes like fish food.” The nice thing about the bits is that, because they come in pill form, you can swallow them as such, with a big glass of water. You can also chew them, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  I swallowed about 10-15 at a time with a few good gulps of water.

In all honesty, taking these during my run was a bit hard. The initial smell was hard to get past…but they didn’t upset my stomach, which is a major plus. Taking these on long runs is going to take some getting used to, but the effects on my digestion are non-existent compared to what other products do.

So, here is what happened:

  • I took 30 bits about 40 minutes before my 17 mile run.
  • I took more about 9 miles into the run (I also had some Clif Shots on this run).

I feel the need to mention that I had worked both jobs the day before. This means that I worked from 8 am until after 11:30 pm. It also means that I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep, which I mentioned in my 17 mile post.

I also feel the need to mention that after my post-run shower, I received a phone call from my boss begging me to go in to job number 2. And it wasn’t an easy night. I, once again, didn’t get home until late. You can imagine how thrilled I was to be called into work after running 17 miles.

  • I took the last of my bits about 30 minutes after arriving at work and didn’t stop moving all night.

I won’t tell you that I felt an immediate surge in energy, because I didn’t. BUT, I made it through a 17 mile run on very little sleep. I also made it through a (super insane) Saturday night dinner shift after running the furthest distance of my life. I did both of these things without crashing.  Yes, I was tired…but I made it through an extremely long and strenuous day better than I should have.  I still had pep in my step–after 17 miles and a night spent entirely on my feet.

I will also tell you that, although I was sore, I wasn’t as sore as I expected. I’ve felt worse after shorter runs.

I recovered faster from that 17 mile run than I have from some 6-8 mile runs.

All of these things speak to me.

image

Love this!

I recently ordered a full bag of ENERGYbits with my own money and am applying to be an ambassador for the company, because, well… I’m finally convinced.

Side Note: I ordered these on Friday afternoon, standard shipping. They arrived today (Monday). LOVE THIS!

Will this be my only pre and during workout fuel? For short runs, yes. For long runs, not yet…but maybe someday. BUT you can bet that I will be incorporating this into my regular regimen. I am not big on powders, vitamins and supplements…I’d rather get my nutrients directly from the source.

This is a food, and your body digests it as such.

If you have any questions about ENERGYbits, feel free to comment or shoot me an email and I will answer as best I can…If I can’t answer it, I will find out for you.

If you’d like more information about ENERGYbits, visit their website: http://www.energybits.com/

UPDATE: If you’d like to order ENERGYbits, you can use discount code “NoellesNotebook” for 25% off your total order.

Have you ever tried algae? What did you think?! What is your favorite way to fuel?

*DISCLAIMER:  ENERGYbits provided me with a sample of their product for review purposes only. All opinions are my own.*

UPDATE: If you order ENERGYbits using my discount code, I do receive a little bit of money, however all opinions are still my own.

I am not a doctor, I am simply writing about my personal experience, as with any food or supplement, don’t forget to consult with a medical professional.


GBN: 17 Miles-Boom. Done.

Seventeen Miles?

I was worried about this run. After missing my long run the week before and dealing with foot issues for the last couple of weeks (aka resting), I was worried my body was going to fail me. I felt unprepared and completely unsure of myself. Not good.

But I did it. And I survived. I can officially say that 17 miles is the furthest I have ever run.

It didn’t go exactly as planned…does it ever?

Side note: This is going get a little detailed. My apologies in advance.

I started out Saturday morning thinking that I would have a quick breakfast and head out the door to get the run out of the way early. Sounds easy enough, right?

Unfortunately my body had other plans. I had worked late the night before and my employee meal of shrimp and pasta was not settling well (the chef had already made my meal before I could say anything and I didn’t want to be rude).

I woke up around 7:30–still relatively early for me on a Saturday–and laid in bed for another few minutes. Then I enjoyed a cup of coffee and a bagel with peanut butter. All things that don’t typically bother me.

But my body, more specifically my stomach, was not feeling too hot.

I paced around the apartment hoping things would settle but it wasn’t happening…so Farmer Ben talked me into going to the Farmers’ Market, telling me I could run home to start the 17 miles. I agreed and gathered my CamelBak and other run essentials to throw in the backseat of my car.

When we got to the market, I took some of these (which I will be doing a whole post on!) in preparation for my run home and beyond:

wpid-IMG_20130727_101546.jpg

After picking up a few things and a quick side trip to the co-op, I knew running home was not going to happen. Let’s just say, my stomach was running (Ha! Get it?) the show. So, back home we drove.

Finally, something happened (I’ll let you use your imagination) and I decided to get going before my body had a chance to realize what it was doing.  I grabbed my CamelBak, a few items for fuel, my phone, headphones and watch and headed out the door.

It was 11 am. And it was hot.

I decided to try running on some different roads near my house. I’ve been wanting to check them out for a couple of months but, I guess you could say I am a creature of habit.

The first four miles were a breeze. Even though I had some hills, I found my stride and was in the zone. Not only was I energized, but I felt good. Really good. I was actually surprised at how quickly the miles passed. Note to self: Start slower.

I took a walk break at the five-mile mark for a Clif SHOT gel.

NOTE: I got a bunch of these free from a race and have been trying to use them up. I like the gel/bloks ingredient list a lot more than other gels or GU’s, but I don’t think this is my fuel solution….my stomach hasn’t been happy.  

The new route did not disappoint. I lost myself in the scenery, I passed a few farms (including a goat/sheep farm!), an airstrip, rolling hills and open fields. I got an awesome burst of energy after my fuel break and kept up a pretty good pace until my next break, the 9 mile mark. I caught myself speeding up a lot and had to force myself to slow down a few times. Note to self: start slower and pay attention to your pace.

I took a walk break for some more of those green beauties pictured above and passed a woman driving a carriage with a miniature horse. Pretty cool right?

At 9 miles, I had run out of new roads and was trying to figure out the next stops on my route. I decided to stick to a combination of two of my usual routes because they have some hills…and well, I need to run more hills.

Miles 10 and 11 weren’t too bad, but I was definitely getting tired. I let myself walk for two minutes during mile 11 because I happened to be running up a giant hill. LAME.

A little after mile 12, I started to feel really light-headed and took another Clif SHOT.

The last 5 miles were some of the toughest I have ever done. I was sunburnt, light-headed, starving, and my feet hurt. I had wicked Charlie horses in my quads. Not gonna lie, I let myself walk. A lot. I chewed some (also free) SHOT Bloks, hoping that would help me re-focus and ease the muscle cramps. And it did help…some.  I ran out of water with 2 miles to go. Thankfully I was close to home.

I play this game with myself when I get tired. I think the technical term is “posting.” Basically, you pick a point on the road, and mentally pull yourself toward it. I did this a lot during those last five miles. I would make myself run to a certain point, then let myself walk to a certain point…then repeat.

I turned up my music and tried to block out everything else. I even caught myself jamming out a few times.

Soon, I was there. I had done 17 miles. Granted it wasn’t a running-only 17 miles, and it wasn’t very fast, especially those last five miles. But I had done it.

Post 17 Miles.

Post 17 Miles.

And you know, after doing it, I know I can do 18, 20 and eventually, 26.2.  It won’t be easy but I’ll do it.

What did I learn after this long run?

  • Watch what I eat . Not just the day of my run, but the day or two before as well. I’ve been eating a lot of veggies this week in preparation for my 18-miler on Saturday. My stomach has been all out of sorts this week, partially because of some poor post-run eating choices and partially because of the long run after-effects… so I’m sticking with my go-to giant salad for lunch as much as I can..

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  • Play around with my in-run fuel. I think it’s safe to say that I need something to supplement my water because I was definitely feeling depleted after all those miles. The light-headedness was tough and I think I need to add some electrolytes to help that. I’m going to try real, whole foods this weekend (some fruit, bars, etc.) and see how I feel.
  • Pay closer attention to my pace. I started out fast. A little too fast. I was happy to be out running after taking time off and I just let myself go. But, I would rather start out slow and steady and hold that pace than to start fast and bonk like I did. I would have had an easier last five miles if I had paced myself better. Lesson learned.

As I mentioned before, I am going to do a separate, more detailed, post on my fuel (the green goodies pictured above). I can’t wait to share more. Stay tuned!

How is your training going? What’s on your training schedule for this weekend? Any advice for long-run snacks?

Happy Running!


GBN-Marathon Training Update

Wow…how long has it been since I’ve done a Gross But Necessary Post?! I guess it’s time to get back in the habit! As this is a marathon training update, it’ll be a little different than previous GBN posts, but you still get the gross pics. Lucky you!

When I last updated you on training, I was working on saying no, scheduling, upgrading my gear, listening to my body and ditching my scale. I’m now about half-way through my training…all I can say is, HOLY CRAP!

So how am I doing?

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Sweaty Mess?

1. Saying no. I’ve gotten a lot better at this, but I’m still overbooking. I’ve got to stick to my guns and be more firm, but it’s coming along.

2. Scheduling. This goes hand in hand with number 1. My work schedule has been pretty nuts, so I’ve had a hard time scheduling my runs…but I’ve been doing some night running and even dragged my butt out of bed for a quick 6 am run! It’s a miracle!

I’ve already made sure that I have the days of my 20 mile runs off…. I just don’t think I’ll be up for a night of work after running that far.

Glowing!

Glowing!

3. Upgrading my gear. This is taking me longer than planned. Right now I’ve got the new kicks and the CamelBak…I need to save up more tip money for the rest of the gear I want.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s

Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s

4. Listening to my body. As I mentioned before, I’m still having some foot issues, forcing me to skip some of my training runs (a week and a half!)… this has been so frustrating! But I’ve been really good about stretching, taking a day off or rearranging my runs if I need it (grr…), and wearing proper shoes, even if it means that I have to wear sneakers to job 1, which I’ve been doing a lot lately. I’ve also been mindful of the heat…I’ve been doing some late night runs simply because it’s been hot and humid.

After a (still very humid) night run.

After a (still very humid) night run.

I’ve also been working on hydration and fuel and got a super exciting sample that I’ll be trying out on my long run this weekend…I can’t wait to share the results with you! I’m starting to figure out what foods my body works best with, and (a little bit to my surprise) all of those giant salads I’ve been eating seem to really help. Eat your veggies!

A simple green salad topped with yellow carrots, scallions and a mustard vinaigrette.

A simple green salad topped with yellow carrots, scallions and a mustard vinaigrette.

I’ve been taking the CamelBak out on my medium and long runs…I don’t know how I ever ran without it.

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5. Ditching my scale. July is flying by and I’ve stuck with not using my scale. I’ve been eating when I’m hungry and eating quality whole foods, save for the ice cream the hubby and I treated ourselves to twice. I’ve been feeling pretty good.

Confession: I did weigh myself once in a moment of weakness. And you know, I was exactly the same weight.

Overall: Not gonna lie, I had a mini-inner-freakout last week about having to take some time off to rest my feet, but I took another look at my training schedule, talked to my boss at the restaurant about time off for my long runs coming up and just took a deep breath. And you know, I’m feeling pretty good. Right now, my goal is to finish injury-free. I know I’m not going to break any records, but it will be a personal record for me. And that’s the most important part.

I was feeling a bit nervous about my 17 mile run this weekend, but I’m just going to take it one mile at a time.

How is your summer training going?! Anything you’re struggling with?

Happy Running!

Noelle


“A List for the New Year,” an Update.

Oh hey! It’s March 4, 2013. Where has the time gone?! I figured I owe you all an update on how my 2013 To-Do list is going.

So, here you are! Enjoy!

Noelle’s (Updated) List of Things to do before December 31, 2013:

1. Create a logo for the blog and go self-hosted.

I haven’t given this much thought….I can’t even pretend.  Shame.

2. Excel in my new position.

I’m still learning a lot of new information. Every day.

Just when I finally think I have something down, something happens and I realize I am just scratching the surface…. Whether I am excelling or not, I don’t feel that I am, yet…. but I am definitely enjoying the learning process.

I’ll check back in another month or so.

3. Make 2013 a “Yes!” year/7. Be more present.

I think I’m doing pretty well with this one.

  • The hubby and I did a Valentine’s Day Wine Tour. Wine and Chocolate. Perfection.
  • I attended a farm and food event and got to chat with some local farmers and producers.
  • I signed up for some fitness challenges
  • I volunteered to make favors for a bridal shower (super excited about this…even though I’m not very crafty)
  • Expanded my cooking/recipe arsenal.
  • I am working on the perfect dessert for the wedding of two friends. It’s not cake!
  • I’m also signed up to take two online nutrition courses. I cannot wait!

With everything else,  planning Strides for James (a charity run) has gotten me out to meet a ton of new people as a direct result. Getting sponsors and taking the lead on this has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone.

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Terrible picture, but here is an initial race flyer design. I love it!

Yes!

As far as spending less time on my phone, it depends on the day. Race planning has taken up a lot of my time the last couple of months and because I get emails, texts and check our Facebook page on my phone, some days I spend a lot more time doing these things than I should… it’s a work in progress.

Any suggestions to continue my “Yes” Year?!

5. Take more time to read.

I’m killing this one! So far I’ve read a lot of books and have expanded my blog reading (some blogs have been added to the current web obsessions page)…

Books include my Bible,  all three Hunger Games Books, A book of stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald (which, surprisingly, I hadn’t read before), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, Garlic and Sapphires and I just started The Girl Who Kicked a Hornet’s Nest… that’s been in the last month.

I’ll be re-reading the Great Gatsby and Pride and Prejudice… just because, I need to.

Any other reading suggestions?

4. Run a half marathon/6. Run 26.2 miles.

As you know, I started marathon training. However, winter running is not going as well as I had hoped….between being sick, silly injuries (falling down a flight of stairs and shin splints) and my body not wanting to cooperate, I’ve had a tough time.

Initially, I planned on doing a May race but given some setbacks, I am starting to have second thoughts. I realize that a few bumps in the road are part of the training process, but I worry that I won’t be ready.

So, I am tossing around the idea of doing a fall marathon and checking off the half marathon in the spring. I haven’t made any decisions yet. And I won’t for another couple of weeks.

I’ll keep you posted. And don’t worry, the GBN posts will be starting up again soon!

8. Pay off at least one big bill–Get better about saving money.

Not gonna lie, I’ve had some setbacks with this one, some out of my control… but it appears that I am back on track.

I’m working on practicing an incredible amount of self-restraint to get me even closer…. we’ll see how I do.

9. Do 100 Burpees in a row.

Not gonna lie, I haven’t been working on my burpees. Fail.

10. Do more food-ing.

As I mentioned above, I’ve expanded my food-blog reading in the last few months, I also signed up to take some nutrition classes online…done some wine-tasting and gone to a farm/food expo.

I’m working on expanding my cooking knowledge… I feel like I do pretty well, but being married to a chef, a lot of times I just let him take care of our meals. Not anymore. I’ve tried a few new recipes, nothing crazy difficult, but still tasty and have been dabbling with vegan and gluten-free cooking/baking.

I also have been doing some food research. With friends, for other people and through other people. Food research is a great conversation starter!

Farmer Ben has been diligently planning his garden and I am pretty pumped. I hope to improve my growing skills and help him out a lot more than I have in previous years.

Oh! And we are looking into a CSA. Meat, Dairy and Eggs. So excited about this!

So, there you have it. I’d say for the most part, I’m doing pretty well…

Don’t forget to sign up for Strides for James!!!! (Sorry…shameless plug… I know!)

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! 


GBN 18: Marathon Training Week 1

Oh hey!  I’ve been in marathon training for about a week and a half now… I should probably do a Gross But Necessary Update, huh?

I’ve also decided that Thursday is no longer the best day to post GBN updates, so I will let you know when to expect them, once I figure that out… 

As you know, my schedule has drastically changed so I am working on establishing  routine for…everything. Le sigh.

Minor ADD Moment: Check out my guest post on my friend Chelsea’s Blog!

http://yashascrazylife.com/2013/01/28/guest-post-noelle-on-running/ 

Week 1 was hard…with below zero temperatures,  it was impossible (okay, maybe possible but very ill-advised) to run outside for most of the week, so I had to use the dreadmill. My hips were not happy with me, but I got most of the workouts done.

As you may or may not know, I’m focusing on better managing my money, so a gym membership is an unnecessary luxury at this time (at least that is what I’m telling myself!). I had a minor panic attack last week when I saw the weather because I also do not own a treadmill. Luckily, I have friends who happen to live right around the corner who were kind enough to let me use their exercise room for Day 1. I also have a secret friend at a local gym that helped me out. So, a huge thank you!

So, let’s get started, shall we?

Marathon Training, Week 1:

Monday-rest day. I like this training program!

Tuesday-3 mile run on the treadmill. Have I mentioned how much I hate running on the treadmill?! This was rough. I managed an average pace of 8:40… but it was really hard. I only went that fast because I wanted the run to be over as quickly as possible. I’m clumsy as it is, but being stuck on this machine makes it worse. I dropped my phone about 23454134 times (I needed some tunes)and somehow managed to unplug the machine after 1.2 miles. Thank God I had a backup timer to tell me how long I had been going. This is going to take some getting used to.

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I have a feeling that I didn’t enjoy this workout very much…

Wednesday-3.1 mile run on the treadmill. I was supposed to run 5 miles but my commute to the gym was interrupted by a broken rail road crossing, which left me without enough time. I kept an average of ten minute pace and did a variety workout to make it more interesting. My hips were NOT happy when I got off.

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Not gonna lie, I was disappointed in myself.

Thursday & Friday-Rest Days. Thursday was supposed to be a 3 mile run but my body was not having it. I decided to listen to it and give my hips a break.

Saturday-Walking (Proof photo fail). The hubby and I had a lot to do on Saturday so we got in an hour or so of walking with all of our errands. Not the best form of cross-training, but it’ll do.

Sunday-8 miles. I admit it, I was all set to put my long run off until Monday…Thankfully my friend Kim texted me and invited me to go with her. Our friend Cat joined us. I am so glad I went! We averaged 10:30 pace and it was a balmy 16 degrees!

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Happy to have been able to run outside!!!

I felt so accomplished, especially because it’s the longest run I’ve done in over a month.

Overall, I wasn’t impressed with Week 1, mostly because I didn’t put as much into it as I should have. But, it’s the beginning of an 18 week journey and I can only go up from here!

I’m currently in the midst of Week 2, and am happy to report that it’s going MUCH better than last week. I’m struggling with scheduling my time. I know it’s a necessity, but I’ve got to just do it…and not put things off.

 On another note, one of my MFP buddies (Hi HFPGH!) talked me into taking “Before Photos,” or… in my case, “In Process Photos.” Talk about extra motivation! Woof!

I haven’t done much shredding or spinning in the last week or so because of little life things that keep popping up, but I think it’s on the agenda. Again, that scheduling thing is killing me! But I’m ready to do this!!!

Here’s to an amazing next 17 weeks!

Happy Running!

 

 

 


GBN 17: The Return…sort of.

  Please ignore the number of days it has been since my last post. My only excuse is that I just started my new job (yay for promotions!) and between moving to a new office, training my replacement, learning a ridiculous amount of new information, fighting my January illness and being busy besides, I just haven’t had the mental energy…or time to sit down and write.

Anyway, let’s put that behind us and get back to it!  

As I mentioned in this post, I’ve got some big fitness goals this year. That means, I’m recommitting myself to running and getting stronger. I’m trying to incorporate more cross training into the workout schedule, so we’ll see how I do!

This GBN post is going to be for two and a half weeks, mostly because I’ve been battling a head/congestion/cold thing and just haven’t been up to working out. I’m hoping that after some much needed rest days, that I’ll be back at it tomorrow!

 The hubs and I made an impulse purchase of Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. It was $9, what did we have to lose? So far, it was a solid investment. But I think we need a bigger living room.

Week 1:

Friday 1- 3.3 mile run in 31 min. The hubby and I headed to our usual night-time running spot for a quick jog. It was a  surprisingly warm night and we took full advantage of it!

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Saturday 1-30 Day Shred. Level 1. I convinced Farmer Ben to try some Jillian Michaels with me and it actually turned out to be a pretty good workout. Thanks, Jillian! Unfortunately, my phone was dead, so no proof photo.

Sunday 1-30 day shred level 1. Another day of shredding. Another quick sweat session.

30 day shred!

30 day shred!

Monday & Tuesday-Rest Days.

Wednesday-1 hour spin class! This was my date night with Farmer Ben. The couple that sweats together stays together! This was a hard class, but boy did I feel good after! I’m hoping this becomes a weekly ritual.

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Week 2:

Thursday-3.5 miles. You’ve seen a similar photo to this one but I figured I’d repost. I felt so good after this run and kept an average of 8:40 pace. I didn’t think  I was going that fast, so it was a pleasant surprise. image

After my run, the hubs and I shredded and then ate an amazing dinner. I am such a lucky lady!

30 day shred... again.

30 day shred… again.

And then… a bunch of rest days.

I took a turn for the worse and finally succumbed to the cold I’ve been battling for weeks. Friday night I planned on a run but after feeling really dizzy all day, decided to go home and hop into bed. Saturday the hubs and I had tickets to a sno-cross tournament so we decided to check it out… and then I felt horrible and spent the next two and a half days in bed. I went to work the rest of the week, but basically went back to bed as soon as I got home.

I finally started feeling better on Friday night. I forced myself to take another day off, just in case.

Half a Week:

Well, as you can know, Thursday and Friday were rest days.

Saturday-30 Day Shred-Level 1. Farmer Ben and I were itching to try level 2, but we have to do some serious rearranging of our living room before we try it… that, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel after not doing anything for 9 days…so we did Level 1, but with the most intensity yet. On top of that, Farmer Ben and I went down to my mother’s house and ended up doing some unexpected walking in. Always a plus! It felt so good to sweat!

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Sunday: Another rest day. It appeared that Farmer Ben was coming down with whatever I had. So we took a day off and enjoyed some TLC.

Monday-Hey, that’s today! I have a date with Jillian tonight. Woo hoo!

Overall, the last two weeks have been a bit of a fail. My body, for lack of a better word, seriously bonked. But that’s okay. Marathon training officially starts this week. Today is considered a rest day, so I’ll be taking it easy with Jillian. 

Tomorrow, I run.

I have a feeling I’m going to spending a lot of quality time with the dreadmill. This will be heartbreaking…but a necessary evil. I have my calendar all filled in for the next 18 weeks and am so excited to get some mileage in. Wish me luck!

Happy Running!

 

 

 


Oh Hey, It’s 2013-Or “A List for the New Year”

A new year… A clean slate, if you will.

In the spirit of starting anew, I figured it was time to come up with a few things to do for 2013.

I don’t necessarily like the term “New Year’s Resolutions,” so I’m calling it “Noelle’s List of Things to do before December 31, 2013.”  That has a much better ring to it… yeah.

Anyway, this is the first moment I’ve really had to sit and think, as my NYE was spent working 18 hours and helping others have a good time.

I could have done it yesterday, but let’s be real. After getting home just before 3 am and being busy all day, I wanted to do nothing more than hang out in my giant sweats and be a bum….and I did just that.

Some of the things on this list are not very impressive…but others are kind of a big deal…at least for me. They are in no particular order…some are meant to be repeated and others are one-time items.

So, it’s the second of January. Better late than never!

Noelle’s List of Things to do before December 31, 2013:

1. Create a logo for the blog and go self-hosted.

As I’ve gotten more passionate about blogging, I’ve decided that I want this to go somewhere. Maybe not as a full-time thing, but as a creative outlet and something more.  

It’s so touching to hear/see people tell me that this blog is helping them and inspiring them to do more and it just makes me want to make it better. Period.

That means it’s time to get serious. I’ll probably be asking some of you wonderful people for feedback and maybe even some design ideas! I’ve got a lot to learn!

2. Excel in my new position.

I’ve been holding out on you, mostly because I wanted to wait until it was official… but I’m getting a promotion. I officially start next week and I know it sounds corny, but I want to do the best job possible. I’m super excited and a little nervous to start a new chapter and to learn a ton of new information and skills. But I’m all over it.

3. Make 2013 a “Yes!” year.

I always lament that I don’t make enough time to do more fun things. Not this year. I’m going to say “yes” and make time for new adventures. Whether it be taking a vacation, doing something silly or learning a new skill/hobby, count me in.

Just hanging out with Larry, Curly and Moe. No big deal.

Just hanging out with Larry, Curly and Moe. No big deal.

4. Run a half marathon.

No big deal. If I can do 10 miles, I can do 13.1 miles.

5. Take more time to read.

I haven’t been reading as much as I used to and I miss it.

6. Run 26.2 miles.

Maybe a big deal… but I’m turning 26 this year, and what better way to celebrate than running a marathon before it happens?!

I figure that if I put all of these fitness goals into writing, I’ll be more likely to succeed.  This means that the GBN posts will be making a comeback. I’m sorry and you’re welcome.

Also, the half marathon fits into the marathon training schedule… coincidence? I think not.

7. Be more present.

This kind of goes along with the third item on the list. I want to be around and available to my loved ones. I want to share in the joy, love and wonder of every day. I don’t want to work my life away. I want to live it!

I’ve realized in the last 24 hours while my phone has been completely dead–and I still totally enjoyed myself… I spend far too much time online or messing with my phone,  instead of in the real world. I’m going to work on that.

Love spending time with FB!

Love spending time with FB!

8. Pay off at least one big bill–Get better about saving money.

I have student loans, a car payment, a credit card payment and the regular monthly bills… I’m not terrible with money but I never seem to be able to save it–at least not for very long. While I have enough to cover my expenses (most of the time), I don’t usually have (much) extra. I want to change that this year.

9. Do 100 Burpees in a row.

I think that would be bad-ass. Right now I can do about 20-25 on a good day.

10. Do more food-ing.

Whether it be researching, growing, baking, cooking or enjoying. I want to know more about my food.

 Let’s do this.

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Here’s to a new start!

I’m sure this list will grow and change as the year grows on so I’ll be creating a separate tab to keep track. And so you can hold me accountable!

Now it’s your turn! Do you have any goals or items to check off your list this year? Tell me about them! Any advice for me? I want to hear from you!