Monday, February 25, 2013

It's Official

I am now in training.

For what you ask, well a 10 mile race of course!

The 10 mile race, so far, is my favorite distance.  Now, to be fair, I have not run an official 10k or full marathon, yet.  Non the less, 10 miles is still my fav and I am betting it will always be.

I am sure it is a mental thing.  I mean is 10 really that much different than 13.1?  In my head it is.  For some reason, I like the idea of going out for 5 miles and then it is just 5 more till I am home.  Going out for 6 1/2 and back messes with my head.  I can do it and I will do it again, but 10 to me is perfect. Crazy, right?  Maybe.

Which race?  Well, hopefully, the inaugural Newport 10 Miler.  I say "hopefully" for a couple reasons.

First, I just want to train, and see how I feel.  Remember the real goal here is 26.2 and if it takes me a little longer to get to 10 then so be it.

Second, the kids.  I have no idea what Mr. RWM's schedule will look like for April and if he is not here, sitting may be an issue.  I have babysitters, but I usually can't get anyone in the early mornings.

Because of this, I have not registered.  I rather pay the extra registration fee than lose the whole thing.  I am not worried, it always works out.

Now for the training.  I originally thought I could do this on my own.  Just get out there and run, you will eventually get to ten, right?  Wrong!

I am apparently a person who needs a plan, tell me what to do today and I will do it.  Simple as that.  I also wanted to make a change from what I did last year.

Last year, I ran 4-5 days a week with very little cross training.  I needed to cross train.  I needed more strength training.  That is what my hip needed.

This time around, I want to run 3-4 days a week and add the cross training for a total of six days.  I found this plan:

It's Hal Higdons and it looks good to me.  I went with intermediate because at the novice level your first long run is 6 miles.  I am just not there yet.  I will modify this plan just a little.  Like for instance, I am starting at week two and I think week 4 needs a 3 mile run.  Based on my families schedule, my longs run days will be either, Friday, Saturday or Sunday with an occasion Monday, but I will make it work. I am a mom, it's what we do.

So I ask you, what do you think?  Please, please feel free to offer any advice you may have.  My goal is to stay injury free while adding distance.  This is ultimately the beginning of 26.2 training.  Does it make sense to you?  Would you change anything?  Do you have a favorite race distance?

Alright then, 3 miles is on the books for tomorrow.  Let's go!

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Been A While, Remember Me?

Wow, where have I been!  It has been about two weeks since my last post.

Well, lets see, we survived the blizzard and this past week we took a trip to visit my parents.  We had a great time and I was able to take the kids to the Franklin Institute which is a place I loved as a kid. It was awesome to see them run through the giant heart and have a good time.

The Titanic exhibit was also there, which is the main reason that we went.  In 1984, before they actually found the Titanic, my dad took me to an exhibit that had some items that were pulled out of the water and they had a women there who was a survivor.  My memory is not great, but I think her name was Eva Hart.  I have been fascinated ever since. My dad and I just loved the exhibit and I highly recommend it.

I did get to run on the treadmill at the hotel.  I counted it towards Livin the Sweat Life's Grandma Lil's Birthday Virtual 5k.  It was not my best run but I was happy to get it in and get the exercise done.  For those of you who have been following and know my family, know that you gain 5lbs just by walking into my mom and dads front door.  Oh, you think I am kidding? I am not.

One of the things that got me really excited was the fact the the Franklin Institute is right near the start/finish line of the Philadelphia Marathon.  We drove right past the Museum of Art and I got chills.  This is my race and despite the struggle to get to 5 miles right now, I know I will be at that start line.

On a not so good note, they changed the date of the race.  This is not a big deal for me, but Barb is supposed to run this race with me.  It will be her 5th marathon and she wanted to be there for my first.  What an awesome friend and I am lucky to have her in my life.  Anyway, she and her husband bid their vacation around the initial date.  Not sure if it will work out, but I hope it does. I will keep you posted.

Now, remember a few weeks ago, I participated in Andy's Chilly Cheek's Virtual 5k?  Well, that race not only had one of the coolest medals that I now own, but he gave away some incredible prizes.  I am so happy to say, that I won one of the Allied Medal Displays!  Woohoo!!!

I was emailed from them right away asking which one I wanted. They were nice and so pleasant to work with.  The medal displays are cool and I narrowed it down to two.  I decided to go with, Give a Girl the Right Pair of Shoes and She Can Conquer the World.   My next one will be Always Earned, Never Given.  It is now hung up and it looks just as awesome as I thought it would.  I wish I had as many medals as I have race shirts though, LOL.
Super cool, right?  Andy's is the big medal right in the middle.

If you are looking for a way to display your medals, you should check out their site. There are some really cool ones to chose from and you can also have one custom made.  They were friendly and my display shipped quickly.  It was a pleasure to work with them.  You can also like their FB page here.  Say hi from me when you head over.

Ok, well it is the end of school vacation week and I hate to see it end.  I will be running tomorrow as part of the Anywhere 5k Team Challenge.

My team consists of  Andy, Darlena, and Barb.  We combined our blog names for our team name and came up with My Happy Running Ass, super funny right?  Are you doing the Anywhere 5k team challenge?  I think you can still sign up and run tonight or tomorrow.

Hope you are all enjoying the weekend.  There is more snow coming tomorrow, yuck!

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

Monday, February 11, 2013

Nemo In Pictures

A's first snowman!
M and A's snowman family
This is how we kept the fish warm.
A little cruise around town to check things out.
Stop sign in front of house.
Sledding with friends.
She just loves digging with her purple shovel.
Wooo Hooo!
Still shoveling.

Snow day craft.
Snow day craft.
Just playing.

Taking a break from sledding to eat snow.
Dinner by head lamp.
All in all, the RWM household faired well.  We have a fire place which really kept us warm, even the upstairs.   We were able to cook on the stove top and we had hot water for showers.  Our power went out Friday at 6:30pm and came back on Sunday at 4:30pm.  I hope you all survived and things are getting back to normal for you.     

 Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chilly Cheeks Virtual Recap

We are only on day 3 in February, and it is already awesome.

Have you seen Snap Circuits?  Well it is a pretty cool electronic/science toy that my son loves.   Yesterday, he woke up before me, grabbed that toy, and rigged it so it played Happy Birthday for me.  That is how he woke me up.  I thought is was pretty awesome!

At basketball practice, I sat and talked with Elaine who hadn't run since Christmas Eve.  I was telling her that I had to get in a 5k, as I am signed up for the Chilly Cheeks Virtual hosted by my friend Andy. Our boys had a birthday party that afternoon and before I knew it, we had decided to bundle up our girls and do the 5k together.

After a little prep, like putting snow pants on the girls, making sure they had enough blankets and each had a pillow pet, we were off.  We walked as a little warm up about a half mile.

I was excited to have company.  The last time I was able to run with friends was Newport.

It was cold but we warmed up quickly.  I was a little worried about the girls being too cold but so far, so good.  In the first mile, we had to pick up a dropped blanket twice.  It was also the first time Elaine and I had to push a stroller in a really long time.  Our kids are much bigger now, and I know that slowed us down.

Right after we hit mile one, our friend Mary was running towards us.  She was just finishing up but decided to run with us for a little bit.  It was so cool having her join us!  Three friends, two daughters and two pillow pets.  It was perfect.

Elaine, picked the route and I was excited about it because it was a new one for me.  She warned me that there will be a big hill towards the end but I was good with that, kind of.

Right before we hit two miles, we were at the top of a hill with the most beautiful view in front of us.  We had to stop and take a pic and then it was down hill , flat for a bit, and then we turned to look up at the hill she warned me about.   It was quite a hill and I had to push a stroller up.

I was slow and I was breathing hard, but up I went and so did Elaine and Mary.  We made it, of course.

It is always so nice to run with friends.  Our conversation was good and the time flew by.  The girls had fun laughing with each other.  My little one kept losing her blanket and I may have run over her pillow pet once or twice.  Little Elaine thought it was funny to put her feet on the front tire of the stroller which made it harder to push.  Mama did not think it was so funny.  She also ran over a pillow pet once or twice.  We laughed, we ran, we had fun.  Isn't that what its all about?

We hit 3.1 exactly where Mary was parked, we said our good byes and headed home.  We were just over a mile from home.  It was at this point that my daughter started complaining about the cold.  In fact, she was really upset by the time we pulled into our driveway.  She ran in the house and told me she wasn't going outside again, ever.  We did go to church today, so I think she is all better.  Both girls were such troopers and I thank both of them for being so good and letting us mommies get a little run in.

My finish time for the Chilly Cheeks was 38:54.  I did a little research and this is my slowest 5k time ever.  What do you expect when you are pushing 40 pounds in a jogging stroller and having to pick up dropped blankets and toys, not to mention a killer hill.  It's all good, fun was the bottom line here and we certainly had that.

Now, on to my birthday!  I met 9 of my closest friends for dinner and drinks.  We had a lovely time, talking, laughing, eating and drinking.  I am truly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.  I got some cool gifts, but one in particular was very special. It is a an Alex and Ani bracelet, my first.  The saying couldn't be more perfect, It's not a sprint.  It's a marathon.  Thank you Katie and MB!

Mr. RWM is on his way home now and we will continue my birthday when he gets here.  I really missed him yesterday, but all will be back to normal soon.

My mom had a nice day also.  We both said it would of been better if we were together, but we will be soon. I love you mom and Happy Birthday!                    

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Take the Bait?

While catching up on some blogs yesterday, I came across this fun post by Living the Sweat Life, this is a blog that I love.  She called it Take the Bait and she listed 10 things that she answered by saying yes she would take the bait or heck no!  Fun, right?  Here we go.

1. Run a Marathon:  Well, I haven't run one yet, but I plan to run Philly in November.  I have recently started to freak out and have doubts and I haven't even started training yet.  I would love to hear your thoughts on that.

2. Swim with Sharks:  Yeah, no way in hell!

3. Go Skydiving:  Yes!  I jumped my one and only time September 2003.  It was a fabulous experience.  It was fun and beautiful and I will never forget it.  I have a great video of it and, believe it or not, I am smiling from the moment we take off until the time we land.  I jumped at 10,000 feet and pulled the chute at 5000 feet.  I wish I had a picture to share with you, but sadly, I do not.

4. Run in Vibrams:  No.  I worked to hard to find the shoe that works for me and they just don't seem like my thing.

5. Run in just a sports bra:  It took me a minute to stop laughing so that I can type.  Yeah, no, that is not gonna happen.

6. Try out for a reality TV show:  I basically think reality TV is ruining America for the most part, but I do love The Amazing Race.  I think Mr. RWM and I would make a great team but I doubt we would actually try out.  Hmmm....I need to think about that a little more.

7. Hold a large snake:  I have no real desire to do this, so I am going to say no.

8. Cut my hair short:  Come on, really?  No.  I love my hair too much.  This may have to happen some day, but it won't be for a very long time.

9. Eat escargot:  No, way!

10. Ride an elephant:  I have actually done this.  It was at a zoo somewhere with my son.  I think maybe Philadelphia, but can't remember for sure.  I remember it being fun but smelly.  We rode a camel also that day.

11. Get a tattoo/body piercing: I have one tattoo and I want more.  Mr. RWM is not on board with that.  I have 7 earrings but no longer have a body piercing.

12. Have more kids:  Now you are just being crazy!  One boy, one girl, done!

13. Run for President:  Why, thank you! Only if you insist.  No, just kidding, don't think I would want that kind of stress in my life.

There you go!  I picked 13 for 2013.  Now your turn.  You can answer in the comments or link me to your blog post.  Feel free to add or change the questions.

Thanks Rachelle, this was fun.

Hope you guys have fun too!

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

Friday, February 1, 2013


It is February.  I love February.  It is the month I was born and if you know me or have been following my blog for the past year, you know how much I enjoy my birthday.

I was born February 2, 1972.  I love saying it, 2272.  Go ahead, say it out loud.  It's fun right.

Not only is it my birthday, but it is also my moms.  I was born on her 24th birthday and I think that is really cool.  This year, I will be 41.

My mom and I have been together for almost every birthday.  This year, sadly, we will not be together, but it is only a couple weeks before I see her.  It will still be February.

Now, I am not big on receiving presents, I much rather give.  It bothers me to know that people have spent money on me.  All I really want is to be together with my family and friends and, of course, eat cake.  I love birthday cake and/or cupcakes!

What I really love about my birthday is celebrating my accomplishments of the past year, learning from my mistakes, and looking forward to what the new year is going to bring.

This past year was big.  I ran my first and second half marathons.  I trained hard, lost 19 pounds and got a new outlook on life.

This year, I plan to run my first full marathon, which will require me to still train hard and I suspect I may drop a couple more pounds.  Not sure if my outlook on life can get any better, but you never know.

I don't really fear getting older like I think most people do.  If you think about it the alternative is not good.  I say embrace your birthday and enjoy being alive, besides, no one said you have to act your age.  Very few people get my age right when they meet me.  Not exactly sure why, could be the way I look or my attitude, maybe a little of both.

Kids keep you young too.  Mr. RWM and I started a little late.  In fact, I had my son at 33.  I was nine when my mom was 33.  I am lucky to be able to run around and play with them, it makes me feel like a kid again and it helps me remember to have fun and live in that moment.  Not that I need that much reminding.
Amen to that!

I am a true believer that calories do not count on your birthday and that every moment of the day should be spent with the people you love most.  No presents necessary, just conversation, laughs, hugs and kisses.  Oh and cake, did I mention the cake?

Do you love your birthday or do you ignore it?  How do you usually celebrate?  Do you love cake?  Do you fear getting older?  Do you lie about your age?

Run Strong, Think Big ~ Nicole