Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Well, Hello There!

You may have noticed, I haven't blogged since January. I guess I owe you some posts.

I never considered myself a writer. I am guessing most of you reading this can tell I haven't fully grasped the English language. But here I am, writing again.

I enjoy my blog. I love looking back and reliving some of my memories. I absolutely love reading your comments. That is what makes me want to continue writing and sharing this journey with you. So many of you have said, "Thank you for inspiring me." But honestly, it is you that inspires me.

So, where have I been? No where really. I had one horrible race since my last post. It was a half marathon that ended up being 13.5 miles. And no, it wasn't just me. The race director went in and corrected everyones mileage so that it matched our times. I struggled with that race. It was not pretty and it really threw me off for the next several weeks.
Forcing a smile for Beth who snapped this pic.

My asthma has been kicking my ass. This time of year really gets me. I struggle with getting my breathing under control. I keep on trucking though and todays run was really good. It helped that it was actually chilly today. Crazy New England weather!

BRF#1 ran Boston! Of course I had to be there.  BRF#2,  Professor Badass and I went and cheered at mile ten in Natick.  Wow, so much fun! It was my first time and I loved every minute. I got to high five SBS who was also running, which was a big thrill for me.  But seeing BRF#1 smiling as she ran passed us made my whole year.  Congrats again, my friend.

The Philadelphia Broad Street Run is this Sunday! I love this race and can't wait to get there. Our team has raised over $35,000 and still going. Thank you to everyone who has donated.

Two weeks after that, I have the Narrow River 5K, my nemesis. Remember last year? Honestly, I am not feeling like I am in shape to reach my goal but I am going to give it my all and see what happens.  It's not an easy course and being allergy season, I am not sure why I picked this one to be my goal race each year.  I have been running hills and have some track workouts coming up. Hoping that is enough.

I am also contemplating a third marathon in the fall. Still thinking and will keep you updated. The decision to say yes is not coming as easy as the last two. Is that a sign to hold off? Not sure.

The I Run 4 program is still going strong and I still run for Wyatt. He continues to motivate me and his smile is infectious. I love this program and I am so proud to be his runner.

I am also still a Skirt Sports Ambassador. This is such a wonderful and fun group of women.  Well made products that make me feel good and stay in place. There is a big sale going on now if you need anything.
Mr. RWM, George and Gracie are all doing well. We had a lovely Easter and a nice Spring break. I worked on the fourth grade yearbook for George's class which was a lot of fun. It is hard to believe that he is moving on to the middle school in the fall. He has learned how to play the flute this year and joined the church choir. Two things I thought would be short lived but he is enjoying both.

Gracie joined the school choir and loves it. Hearing her sing brings a huge smile to my face. She is so kind and sweet and just a joy to be around. My baby will be eight in June!

It's so true when people say don't blink, they grow up so fast. It is a good thing to see them mature, make friends, learn and experience life, but man, I do wish I still had a little baby to hold.  They are still little, I know. I have friends with teenagers and kids in college. I do have to remind myself sometimes to slow down and just be together as a family. I think we are making good memories, or at least I hope so.

George in his happy place.

Books and stuffed animals. Gracie's happy place.

I hope you are all doing well. What are you training for and how is it going? I plan to get back to regular blogging, but just in case, follow me on my FB page. I do update that a little more frequently.

Thanks for still being here. I appreciate all of you!

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Goals, Sort Of

It's a new year.

I have been reading blogs with 2015 recaps and 2016 goals.  I have been on the fence about what I want to write about.  BTW, you all kicked butt last year!

A yearly recap sounds nice but I would write a few words and then just link you back to the original post. Not that I don't think you are interested. I know you are, that is why you are reading right now.  So maybe just a few links to the highlights....

I had one goal for 2015. Run a sub five hour marathon.  I registered for Philly, hired a coach, got a fantastic plan and I actually pulled it off.  I am very proud of that race and smile every time I think about it.
And that, pretty much, covers 2015.

Goals are good to have. Most of you reading this have a goal for 2016 already. I am struggling with that right now.  If you run with me, and know how much I ramble, then you have heard me talk about a bunch of different things that I want to do this year. They range from a 28 minute 5K to an ultra marathon.  All things I will do eventually, but what will it be this year?

I don't know.  And I am ok with that.

I am registered for a half marathon in March. That will keep me motivated and in shape during the long, cold winter months. Not sure if I will go for a PR there. That will depend on the quality of training I pull off this winter.

I am also signed up for the Philadelphia Broad Street Run, May 1.  I absolutely loved this race last year and am really looking forward to this one again. I am fundraising as part of Team Last. They are just a fabulous group of people and I can't wait to see them all again. This race I will run to have fun, but I am looking for a course PR for this one. I know I could have run better last year and now that I am familiar with the race, I think I can do that too.

The Narrow River 5K is the week after Broad Street. This is the race that brought me to tears last year.  It is not an easy course and if I PR at Broad Street, I am guessing my legs will still be tired but I am still aiming for a Sub 30 there.  I will just do my best and try not to cry...

After that I have nothing planned.  And again, I am ok with that. Things like Marine Corps, Vermont, and the RI Six Hour have been talked about during the runs with the girls.  BRF#1 is running Boston this year and we are all really excited for her. What will I actually do is still on the table and I will let you know as soon as I figure it out.

Till then, I would love to hear about your 2016 goals? Maybe you will inspire me to try something new.

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

Here are a few highlights from 2015. Thanks for joining me for another year!

Speaks for itself.
These ladies! All of them inspire me.

Yes, I am quoted in Tales From Another Mother Runner!

I think I can say, I got it!


My I Run 4 buddy Wyatt. He is with me every step I take.

Me and BRF#3 before the Narrow River sufferfest.

Because, fun!

Professor Badass

Where we run. #soblessed

The Blessing

My best boy!

Because, fun outfit!

So much rain!

A little bike ride. 
Our wall.

The Iron Cowboy!

Be kind!

Love this one!

Run Philly Gang

Didn't scare us!


Our tradition. Mimosa's after races.

Happy finishers!

The very incredible Emily

My savior.
Before the Newport Bridge Run

Dinner the night before Philly


Eight marathons between the five of us.

Yeah, that.

Two thumbs up!

Best way to start the morning!

Final total, 1054.7

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Buttonwoods 5K Recap

When I signed up for the Buttonwoods 5K, it seemed like good idea at the time.

The race was scheduled for 10 am on New Years Day. We have a party the night before, which is always a good time and this year did not disappoint.  In fact, I wasn't in bed till after two. I had three glasses of champagne at midnight. My alarm was set for 7:30.
Happy New Year from me and Mr. RWM!

I woke up in a fog.  I got dressed and headed down for coffee.  Food, ugh, I just did not want to eat.

I decided to take breakfast with me and headed out to meet BRF#1 who was, thankfully, doing the driving.

Getting to Warwick City Park was easy. We parked, grabbed our numbers and shirts and went back to the warm car for awhile.
I love this shirt. It is a short sleeved T-shirt and so very comfy cozy.
BRF#1 wanted to do two warm-up miles. I wanted to go back to bed.

I sucked it up and ran one mile with her. At that point, I felt like I could eat and once I did, the shakes went away.

There were 101 runners. I do love a nice, small race.  I had no idea what the course was like and was pleasantly surprised to learn it was all on a bike path.  It was a loop and well marked, with rolling hills.

I had no real goal for this race. Basically, I felt horrible and thought finish upright would be a big accomplishment.  That became my A and only goal.

We lined up, got a few instructions and the horn went off.

My first thought was take it easy and just get comfortable.  I also thought, that should always be how I start a race.

I was surprised when it didn't take long to feel comfortable and when I looked at my watch, I was running a 9:45 pace.  I finished the mile in 9:39.

The second mile was the toughest part of the course. This was where most of the rolling hills were. We just kept going up and down.  I surprised myself again when I passed two people on two different hills. I may have smiled when I did that.  Mile two, 10:01.

Mile three is where I started to confuse myself with math. Could I sub 30 this race? What does this mile need to be?  I was sure it had to be under 10:00, duh, so that is what I aimed for.  I ran that third mile in 9:27.
Smiling and two thumbs up! Who would have guessed!

With just point one mile to go, I took off and passed a man who I basically followed the whole race. I saw BRF#1 cheering me on and then Mike who said something along the lines of you will sub 30.  I saw the clock read 29:56 and crossed the line.  My official time was 29:57 and I could not be happier.  It's not a PR but it is one of my best 5k's of all time.

BRF#1 ran a cool down mile and I decided to just walk and check out the snacks.  I placed 6/9 in my AG and BRF#1 placed third with a time of 25:21.  Our friend Mike place 4/12 with a time of 21:41. I say it was a good day for everyone!
Me and of course, BRF#1

And my buddy Mike!

Overall, I loved the course. It was run well and I would do it again. I will have to give it some careful consideration as our yearly New Years Eve party gets bigger, however, this may have to be a new tradition.

How I went from waking up feeling like crap to having a pretty decent race, is a mystery to me.  Too much champagne and not enough sleep should have done me in.  Hmmm... Maybe I need more champagne in my life?

Hope your new year is off to a great start!

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole