Thursday, May 29, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend, Plus a Day

So how was your long weekend? Yeah, I know it's Thursday, but this is the first chance I got to blog about mine.  There are a few workouts that I wanted to tell you about.

Sunday, I had plans to ride with Beth. She lives about 40 minutes away from me and not to far from the site of the Rhode Warrior Half Ironman Distance Triathlon.  I have to admit, I am still unsure of the mile swim but in the meantime, I thought it would be nice to bike and maybe run on part of the course.  

This was going to be our first ride together and my first time back on the bike since I fell. Oh sorry, you didn't know I fell?  I didn't unclip fast enough and fell right over on my right hip and also hurt my knee in the process.

I am fine.  My butt was bruised and sore and my knee was cut and swollen.  I have to admit, I was a little nervous about the knee, but I am fine.

Ok, back to the ride.  We were on our way about 10 minutes after I arrived.  We started out through the neighborhood and eventually got on the main roads.  Some parts we were able to ride together and talk, and others I just followed her.  At one point I was watching her legs and noticed she had a nice steady movement. I however was pedaling twice as much as her.  What was I doing wrong?

About mile twelve, Beth was next to me and asked why I was in the small wheel? Umm, the what? What?  Beth, said, push the left gear over to the right, so I did.  Yeah, instant relief.  Duh, such a rookie!

The last two miles were very enjoyable and I am looking forward to the next time.  Thanks Beth!

As you know, I am part of the Sub 30 group on FB.  This group was started by Ted Spiker of Runner's World. Some of us have hit our sub 30 5k and some of us are still working towards it. It is a great bunch of people full of motivation and support.  And on Monday, I was able to run with two of the members,

Jim I met for about ten seconds at the Providence Half Marathon.  Emily, I had only spoken to on-line.  Emily was the one who initiated the meet up and I was so thrilled that she did. We planned to meet at my beach for a 4 mile run and then coffee.

The weather was supposed to be nice but it was cool with drizzle.  Didn't stop us. We ran a nice easy pace and got to know each other.  It was a thrill to talk with them in person and I really hope we can do it again.  Jim will be running the Jamestown Half and I hope we can run some of that together.  

It was, of course Memorial Day.  I thought about all those service men and women who gave their lives for our freedom and I thanked God that Mr. RWM is home safely with us after 25 years of service. I did log my 4.27 miles on the Wear Blue to Remember site.  However, I did not wear blue but it is the miles that count, right?

I got on the bike again outside with Elaine and had a great ride with her on Tuesday .  We rode from my house to the beach and back which was twelve miles.  I have to say, the rides are nice but living in these beachy, vacation type places, we are going to have to head out earlier when there are less cars on the road.  Just for a little piece of mind.

On the swimming front, things are improving.  I am sure I will finish the quarter mile swim, but still have some doubts about the mile.  Still working towards it though as I am too clueless to quit just yet.  

I will be running the Skirt Sports Virtual Half Marathon on Monday.  Monday's we usually run long anyway, so a couple of the girls signed up too. Might as well get the swag if you are going to do distance. Did you sign up yet? Don't forget to use the coupon RUNNER25 for your discount.

Ok, that is all for now. I will write a post after Monday's 13.1.  

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

Sunday, May 25, 2014


Skirt Sports hosts a half marathon which is held in Lousiville, CO on June 1st.  I would love to run this half marathon, but it is not very likely that I will be in Colorado anytime soon.  Man, these are the times I miss being a flight attendant.  Free flights would equal, any race I want!  OK, moving on...

Since not everyone can make it to Colorado for this fantastic race, they are having a virtual race too.  That means you can run anywhere, anytime on June 1st or 2nd.  You need to post your results by June 8th, so since it's virtual, I bet you can run June 3.4.5, 6, and 7.  You get the point.

They are calling this race #RUNcelebration and I just think that is perfect.  I love running even when I hate it. I run for so many reasons and I am sure you do too.

I run because it makes me happy.  I run because it makes me strong. Physically and mentally.  I am healthier than I have ever been. Thank you running. I am in the best shape of my life at 42. Thank you running.  I run to set a good example for my children.  I run because it keeps me motivated. I run to inspire others.  You can do it to!  I have run to raise money for special causes.  I run so that I can talk and laugh with my friends for an easy ten miler.  I run because it helps me stay focused. I run to relieve stress of a bad day. I run to work it all out.  I run for those who can't. I run because it is sunny, warm, cold, snowing, overcast, etc. I run because I woke up and can.

I run for Wyatt!

Why do you run?

So what do you get if you run this virtual race? Well, for starters, how about 25% off with the code RUNNER25.

You will also get a goodie bag full of sponsor samples and deals.  Plus either a Finisher's Roll Down Skirt ($32 value) or a Finishers Go Getter Tank ($30 value).  You also get a Skirt Sports gift certificate.

Now, why should you do this?  Honestly, I can't write it any better than what they have posted on their site.  I wouldn't even try so just read it here:

Our Cause: Skirt Sports Kick Start Program

Kick Start is a women's beginner running program founded by Skirt Sports. We pair Beginners - women who want to start running but can't due to their barriers to fitness - with Personal Motivators - women who have found strength, confidence, freedom and more through running. The Beginners' barriers include health problems, family crises, weight issues, financial difficulties and more. Skirt Sports pairs these women with empathetic Personal Motivators who act as mentors while they guide and support the beginners through an 8-week training program that culminates in their first 5k - and transforms them along the way.
Skirt Sports provides the runners with a training program, running apparel, nutrition advice, free entries to their first 5k, and most importantly, support of other women who have been there before. Many of our graduates go on to become Personal Motivators - the power to give back is so strong! We are proud to have helped so many women change their lives and move down a more positive path - with the strength and courage they found through running.
The current Kick Start chapter is training for the Skirt Sports 5k on June 1. Currently, each chapter of Kick Start costs approximately $1,500. Our goal is to contribute to the next chapter through our Virtual Racers - it's your way of giving back!
How cool is that! It's no secret that I started blogging as a way to keep a journal for myself, but what keeps me going is the motivation I am able to give and receive from all of you.  I love the idea of a mentor program and helping other women get to the finish line.  I am betting you all remember the first time you laced up and the first time you crossed a finish line.  The first time I ran, I was with a friend and the first time I crossed a finish line I was with four friends.  Support is key.

So I say grab your running buddies, share the discount, register here, lace up and get out for a fun little 13.1 mile run.

Random prizes will also be given out to those of you who post pictures and updates on your FB, Twitter and Instagram using the hastags, #SkirtSports, #RUNcelebration, #SkirtSportsHalfMarathon.

So tell me, will you be running virtually with me next weekend?  Or are you lucky enough to be in Louisville, CO?  Either way, let me know how your race goes and I would love to see some pictures.

As always, Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Run, Bike, Bia

Almost two years ago, I came across a Kickstarter project for a sports watch.  The watch would not only track your swimming, biking and running, it had an SOS feature that would call for help with the push of a button.  I loved that and had to know more.  Plus, at that time, I still did not own any type of GPS watch.

I had never heard of Kickstarter before and wasn't sure how it all worked. You can get more info about it here.

The original wait time was less than a year, but that was not to be.  I am not gonna lie, the wait was tough, but the Bia ladies kept us well informed on what was going on.  As e-mails started going out with tracking numbers, I got more and more excited. Finally, my e-mail came and two days later, I had a Bia on my wrist.

The watch was smaller than I pictured it and the Go Stick was bigger.  By the way, the Go stick contains the GPS chip, the GSM chip, ANT+Connectivity, and the storage for the unit.  This is the piece you have to charge and it is good for seventeen hours.  You cannot use the watch without this piece.

Once I had the box opened, I registered my unit which only took a couple minutes.  Then I needed to set up the SOS feature. Basically if you find yourself in trouble on your run, you hit the button for four seconds and it will send an alert to the people you have as your contact. It will give them a link to your exact location and will then send them a message every 60 seconds with your location even if you are moving.  Mr. RWM and I had to test it out.

I hit the button and within a couple seconds he got a text message saying I was in trouble and to send help. The link of my location was included and was dead on, my living room.  I just hit the button again to cancel it and got a cute message, "Phew, glad you are alright."

So now I had to run.  Gracie said she wanted to run with me, so I told her to go put on some running clothes and get her sneakers.  This is how she came downstairs:
My running Princess.
Me and my baby!

The very first activity on my Bia.

You have to shake the Go Stick to wake it up and then hit the button on your watch. You get a screen that says, Run, Bike, Swim and you pick one.  The next screen says, Just Run or Walk/Run.  Just run is what we went with.  

Gracie was so cute. We didn't get too far before she got rid of the crown and the seal.  We just ran around our neighborhood and talked and laughed.  At one point she said, "I need to walk now mommy. My legs are not used to running as much as the rest of me is."  

We ran a mile and I thought we were finished but she wanted to go a bit more.  She declared, "Princesses never give up!" So we ran another .40 miles.  From there she insisted we go for a bike ride.  Great, let me just switch my watch to bike.  Easy, peasy.

Gracie and I rode for 1.10 mies.  I still wanted to ride so once I got her home, I headed out for 7.20 miles.  I am still getting used to my road bike so I just stayed close to home but I sure did have a good time!

The watch felt comfortable on my wrist and the Go Stick just clipped onto my pants. I didn't even know it was there.

On Monday, I went for a much longer run with it. The girls and I ran 10.5 miles.  The run was tough but I had no trouble with the watch.  

On Tuesday, I biked 15 miles and then ran 3.  Again, the watch was great.  As far as the workout, that was great too.  I am really beginning to love the bike and feel like I can ride forever when I am on it.  Wish I felt that good when I was swimming.

Like I said above, the watch will also track your swim, but I have not used that feature yet.  I will keep you posted on that though and let you know how it works.

All in all, I am happy with the watch so far.  One of the things I really like is the message you get after each workout.  It also automatically uploads to Strava.  Feel free to follow me there.  Plus, any updates that come about are automatically updated to your watch without you doing anything. 

Tell me did you get a Bia? What are your thoughts so far?

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Feels Like Christmas

It's no secret how much I like Skirt Sports and when they have a sale, I get really excited. Just a couple weeks ago a sale popped up and things that I really "needed" were on sale. I could not resist.

Ok, I have been looking at trisuits and really do need something like that if I actually plan to participate in these triathlons that I am registered for.

I decided on the 8" tri shorts and the tri tank. I like the idea of two pieces rather than one.  I also was able to score a Free Ride Jersey. My first bike shirt.  In addition to that, I saw capris that looked really nice. I have been eyeing their capris for some time now and I really liked the color that they had, Sunset Punch.  

Thinking about tri stuff, I really "needed" the race belt skirt to go over my tri shorts. That brought me to $2 away from free shipping. Ummm, you got to have free shipping!  So I added the Go Get Em Socks. 

Then I waited.  And waited some more.  Was I being impatient or was it taking a little longer than usual for everything to arrive?  Finally, I gave in and called after my tracking number stopped showing me where my stuff was.  

I was so excited to get Noelle on the phone. She is my Skirt Sports contact but we have only emailed when it comes to contests and reviews. It was nice to put a voice to a person.  In no time she found my order and let me know it would be here in a day or two.  

I waited and sure enough they arrived two days later. It felt like Christmas morning.  I opened everything right away to look at it all.  I didn't know what to try on first.  
Cycling Jersey and Capri

Race Belt Skirt and Tri Tank and Shorts

Everything fit perfect and I knew I would wear the Redemption Capris on my next run. That run was Thursday and we headed out for 6 miles.  The capris were perfect!  They moved nicely with me and the pocket in the back held my inhaler and key.  The girls love the color too.

I will keep you posted on the rest of the stuff as I wear them.

Two days after that, I finally, after almost two years, received my Bia Sport Watch.  Christmas times two!

I couldn't get the box opened fast enough, but first, a picture.

It was smaller than I pictured it but liked how it felt on my wrist.  I registered it right away, which took only a couple minutes.  So very easy!  It has a swim, bike, run option and soon it will have Tri option. It is going to be nice not to have to count laps in the pool.  The feature that really caught my attention though, the real reason I wanted to have this particular watch, was the SOS button.  You can link up to five people and if you hit the emergency button for 4 seconds, it lets them know you are in trouble.  It will also tell them where you are even if you are still moving.  This is a smart watch and I can't wait to give it a spin.  I will blog once I use it for the first time.

Were you a Bia Backer?  How do you like it so far?

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

(FYI, I got nothing for this review. Just wanted to share all my new, fun stuff with all of you.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Narrow River 5k Recap 2014

I have pretty much been training for long races since last year. I have thrown in a 5k here and there, but speed has not been a priority.

When I was training for my marathon last year, I did seem to get faster the stronger I got.  I also ran with some speedy people and that surely helped too.  In October, I ran a 5k with Michael who paced me and got me to my very first sub 30 5k. It was even good enough for a first place age group award. My official time was 29:56 and I was happy with that but knew I would eventually try and beat it.

Three weeks ago, when I ran with Andy, we came pretty close but smiling little kids came out to run with us and we couldn't let them down.  So this past Saturday, I had my mind set on the Narrow River 5k.  This would be the third year I was running it. It is a race that is just 6 miles from my home and the course is on roads I run daily.

It is a pretty small race, which is another reason I like it. Last year I placed fourth in my AG with a time of 31:32. There were just 93 people who ran the 5k last year.  There is also a 10k but I have not raced that one yet.

This race is so close to home and has a 10 am start, it was nice not to have to go to bed super early and set the alarm. In fact, I didn't even pre-register.

Elaine was running this year, so I picked her up and we headed to the beach.  We were getting blown away by the wind while we were registering and it was a bit cold.  It was nice to get back in the truck to put our numbers on.  I used my inhaler, had a drink of water and then we headed to the bus that would take us to the start of the 5k.

The further we got from the beach the warmer it got.  We only had to wait about 15 minutes before we had to line up.

We were pretty close to the front but that is easy to do in a small race.  I wished Elaine a good race and before you knew it, we were off.

Elaine went out fast and I wasn't too far behind her. I realize not too many people were passing me.  The pace I was running was fast and even though my chest felt heavy,  I held it for a bit and didn't look at my watch. I realized about a quarter mile or so in, that I could still see Elaine.  Not only that, there were only about 20 people ahead of me. I looked at my watch and saw 8:04!  There was no way I wasn't holding that pace for much longer and I wasn't really prepared to be running that fast anyway. I slowed down and found a nice 9:24 pace. I was happy here for awhile.

The first water stop was at the top of the first hill. I slowed, grabbed water and kept running.  Soon after that, the 10k racers were heading towards me.  I struggled with hills here and my chest was still so heavy and my breathing was loud and unsteady. I pushed though but slowed to a 10:12 pace. I was still hoping for the sub 30.

It was getting warm and the air was soupy.  I was finally on  Route 1A and saw the five mile sign for the 10k runners. That meant only 1.10 for me.  I looked at my Garmin and it was not on the screen that showed how long I was running.  I tried to change it but it was stuck, again!  Come on Bia, I can't wait much longer!

I was wearing my headphones since I was running alone, but I heard my name being called. I looked across the road and Michelle was running with some friends. It was so nice to see a friendly face and that usually helps but I just did not feel good.  I got water at the next stop and decided to pull of the road and use my inhaler.

I am pretty sure I would go to jail for the use of curse words that I was thinking and maybe saying out loud if anyone heard me.  Actually, I am pretty sure at least one person heard me.

I walked to compose myself and then started running again. Soon I saw Elaine running towards me.  I know I asked her what the clock said but I am not sure what she said.  She told me to keep running and pick it up when I hit the white sign coming up. I did that but saw the clock and new I wasn't going to make it. I finished in 30:13 which was a pace of 9:45.   That got me 9th in my age group, 20th female and 46th overall out of 123 runners.  I missed a PR by 18 freaking seconds.

You know me. I am usually an, "Oh, it's ok" kind of girl, but not this time.  I was so angry with myself.  So mad that I went out too fast, mad that I had asthma, mad that I couldn't lose just 18 seconds, mad that I slowed down for the first water stop in a 5k, mad that my Garmin is not working correctly, etc.... You get the point.

I calmed down, got water and some food.  I asked Elaine how her race was and her answer totally cheered me up.  She placed first in her age group and was the second overall female.  She finished in 23 minutes!  We had to hang around for her award.  Congrats to you my friend.  You rocked that race!

So bottom line, is I need to get over it.  I have not been training for speedy 5k's.  And honestly, that is a pretty good time and pace for me.  It was also a course PR for me and that is pretty cool too.  I have to really focus on swimming and biking right now because apparently I can't use a kick board in the ocean or use a motor during the Rhode Warrior.

As always, thanks for reading.

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Half Marathon (part two) and a Butterfly

Ok, yes, I know, I am more than a week late on part two.  Very sorry.

I left off saying I had a horrible nights sleep. This is really unusual for me and I hate when it happens.  Once I was up and dressed I felt better. I ate a good breakfast, grabbed all my gear and headed out to meet Beth so we could drive up together.

Beth drove, of course.  No problem getting into Providence and parking was easy.  We headed towards the crowd, stopped at the PP and then thought we would try to find Sarah.  We headed to the starting line but did not see her. Beth suggested we walk down a bit and maybe we would catch her once the crowd spaced out a bit.

That worked!  We spotted Sarah and started yelling for her.  She saw us and waved. I got a pretty good pic of her and her friend. I was so happy to see her at the start of her marathon.

Go Sarah, Go!

The marathon went off a little late so Beth and I just got in the starting line and only had to wait about ten minutes. We sang the National Anthem and then they played Follow the Yellow Brick Road to send us off.
At the start.

We went out fast, of course.  I had no real goal in mind and Beth said she didn't either.  I have learned that you can't trust Beth.

Beth actually ran into a couple people she knew and hi's and hugs were had.  It is always so nice to see a friendly face during a race.

Conversation was good and I asked a few questions about her upcoming 50k.  Beth has trained well and was more than ready to conquer it.  She was running really well, and I had doubts early on that I would be able to keep up with her. Not only is she better trained than I am, this is a though time of year for me and my allergies/asthma.

At the first water stop, two really cool things happened.  As I approached the table, I was behind a girl in a tutu with butterflies attached to it. I loved it and let her know how cool I thought it was.  I caught up to Beth and then I was tapped on the shoulder asking if I was Nicole from the Sub 30 FB group.

For those of you who don't know, it is a cool little group put together by Ted Spiker of Runner's World.  It offers great support and motivation and I am happy to be a part of it.

Back to the tap on the shoulder. The tap was from Jim who I spoke with only a couple times in the group.  He is also a RI'er and I was just so shocked that he recognized me. We hugged and then he was off.  Very cool!

As we were starting to run again, the girl with the tutu approached us and asked if we were running a 10:30 pace.  We said we were and invited her to run with us.

Introductions were made and her name was Nancy.  She had just moved here from Hawaii. Her husband is in the military.  She ran the Hawaii marathon and it was really cool to hear about that. Then, of course, the "do you have any kids?" came up.  Beth has three dogs, I said I had George and Gracie and she said she had a little girl who was 4 and a baby who was stillborn.

Yeah, you just don't see that coming.

Then she said, she was eight weeks pregnant.

I don't know about Beth, but my head was spinning a bit and I had a ton of questions, but how do you talk to a perfect stranger about something so personal?

Well, it starts with the tutu and the butterflies.  I had no idea, but apparently butterflies are the symbol they use in the hospital to let the staff know that they are walking into the room of a mom who delivered a stillborn baby.

Something else I did not know was that if your baby dies before it's delivered. You still have to go through labor and deliver your child.  Silly me for thinking that they would knock you out and do a C-section.  I had tears in my eyes as she was telling the story.  How could you not?

Her first baby was a c-section and I was confused as to how they let her do a VBAC.  If you know me,  then you know how heart broken I was that I had two c-sections. I so wanted to do a VBAC but after many months of talking with doctors and doing some research on my own, we decided the risks were too great. I still tear up thinking I am some sort of failure that I could not deliver my babies the "normal" way. The bottom line is I have two healthy and happy kids and that is all that really matters.

Apparently, when they don't have to worry about the baby, only about saving the mother, they induce labor and you experience all the pain and emotions that go along with that. I am having a hard time writing this just thinking about it.

The baby she delivered was a girl and her name was Penelope.

Nancy stayed with us from mile 3 to about mile 10. It was a pleasure to talk to her and I wish I got a picture with her.  But unfortunately, after mile 10 I was slowing down and she had a nice pace going and she just kept at it.  We looked for her at the finish but never found her.

Not only did she finish before me, she beat her husband. Seriously, is that not the best brag ever. "I am eight weeks pregnant and I just beat my husband running a half marathon!"  She is my hero!

Now Beth has been training for her first 50k for months and when I was hitting my wall, she was just getting started.  I really had a hard time at the end and then the last two miles were filled with some of the craziest wind ever! I wanted to just walk the rest of the way but Beth was not having it. I was so happy she was with me but at the last .10 I just said go Beth and she did.

Once she took off and I was watching her run, I had a change of heart and picked up my speed thinking, "No wait come back!" Such a silly runner girl.

I finished in 2:24:58 which is a 2:32 PR.  I was pretty happy and then Beth said she was hoping to get me to finish in 2:20.  That was quite a secret Beth, but now you got me set on that time for Newport in October. That is, if I survive all this swimming!
The happy finishers!

Once we got our water and some food, we decided to head to the finish and maybe see Sarah come in.    It was getting cold and we were both tired, we hung for a bit and got to see Monica cross but knowing what time Sarah wanted to finish in would have us waiting another thirty minutes and I was not going to make it so we headed home.  Sorry Sarah!!! ( you can read her race report at See Sarah Run)

So there you have it, the first race of the Rhode Island Triple Crown in complete. The next one is the Jamestown Half in July.  Honestly, I am not looking forward to a July half marathon. Plus, Beth will not be there.  I do know a couple people who will be running it, so I am hoping to have a little company.  But before that, my fist tri is coming up June 22.  Oh my goodness, I am so excited and equally nervous.  It is a sprint and I feel pretty good about it.

Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cox Providence Half Marathon Part One

The Cox Providence Rhode Races host what is known as the Triple Crown.  They consist of three marathons/half marathons.  Providence marathon/half, Jamestown Half and Newport Marathon/half.

You can run all three on just one but if you do all three you get a special shirt and extra medal.  I ran Newport last year and loved it and knew that I would want to do all three this year.  I signed up early and so did Beth.

These three races were my "Big" goal for the year until I won the free entry into the Rhode Warrior 70.3.  That became my number one goal and I am working really hard to get to that starting line but running is where my heart truly lies and I really wanted to just enjoy the three races I set out to do this year.

Beth was kind enough to pick me up on Friday so that we could head to the Expo together.  It was very quiet as I am guessing most people work at 2 on a Friday afternoon.  No line to get our numbers or shirts.  It was a very small expo but Women Run had a booth there and I got a cute little dress for Gracie.
My adorable Gracie in her new dress!

Sarah, who I introduced you to in the last blog, was running the full.  We had planned to meet each other in person and originally thought we would meet for dinner Saturday in Providence with our families.

After thinking about it, I suggested that they just come to my house and I would make dinner. Providence was sure to be crazy with the race and it was the same weekend as Ringling Brothers Circus.  Plus, our kids could play and run around and not worry about being on their best behavior in a restaurant.  All around more fun for all.

I was putting my plan together and then decided that it would be great if Beth and her husband could join us.  I was pretty sure that everyone would get along and it would be a nice night.

Sarah and her family are vegetarian and pasta the night before a big race was an obvious choice, but I usually make my gravy with meatballs.  I was a little worried about this, so I made the gravy without the meat and then headed to one of my favorite italian restaurants and had them make the meatballs for me.

(Side note for those of you who did not grow up in my neck of the woods. Gravy is sauce.)

I separated the gravy in two pots and added the meatballs to one.  Success!

Beth and Dave arrived first and we sat on the deck with a few drinks and apps. It was a beautiful night.  Sarah and family were running a little behind but when they arrived, I was so happy to see her and give her a big hug! It was a pleasure to meet her husband and kids too.

Once everyone was here, I finished making dinner while everyone talked and had a few drinks.  It seemed like everyone was getting along well, including the kids. This just made me so happy.
My handsome George!

Gracie and Rose, Sarah's beautiful daughter. I am sorry I don't have a pic of her son.
We got the kids set up with food at the "kids table" and then we sat down to enjoy a very nice meal.  The conversation was continuous and entertaining.  Yes, there was a lot of running talk, but there were other topics talked about too.  We had such a great time and I was so happy that Mr. RWM and I were able to host everyone.  I would absolutely do it again.

Some of you know that my favorite color is purple.  I dressed causal in jeans and my purple, I Run This Body shirt.  When Beth and Sarah arrived, they were both wearing purple shirts! I could only smile at this, I thought it was so cool.
Beth, me and Sarah

I wish we took more pictures, especially when we were outside on the deck, but I do love the ones that we did get.

It was not a late night as we all had very early alarms going off in the morning.  Mr. RWM and I  walked everyone out to their cars and said our goodbyes. I knew I would see Beth in the morning since we were driving together. I wasn't sure if I would see Sarah or not, so I wished her a good marathon.

We got the kids to bed and finished cleaning up. Mr. RWM told me he had a great night, loved the dinner and enjoyed the company. This was so nice to hear, especially because he only met Beth and Dave once and never met Sarah and her gang.  I went to bed very happy but even still, I did not sleep well.  My alarm was going of at 5:30 and I started to get nervous.

Part two tomorrow...

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Newport 10 Miler

This was the second year that I ran the Newport 10 Miler.  It was also just the second year of the race.  I loved it so much last year and knew that I would run it again.

It's a fantastic course, with scenic views on Ocean Road and Bellevue Avenue where some of the Newport Mansions are.

Photo curtiosy of Elaine.

I did sign up last minute as I was just making sure that Mr. RWM was going to be here to stay with George and Gracie.  Elaine was also signed up and we planned to drive together.

Packet pick up was very easy.  Loved the shirt this year!

I went to bed a little later than I wanted to and had a rough nights sleep.  When the alarm went off, it would of been very easy for me to turn it off and stay in bed.  But after a moment, I got out and got dressed.

It was a little chilly and damp when Elaine pulled into my driveway.  I was happy that I went with long sleeves and capris.  I wore my hat because rain was supposed to be on and off through out the morning.

Now, going back a couple days, Jessica of Keeping Mommy Sane sent out a tweet asking who would be at the race.  After a few messages back and forth, we had exchanged numbers and planned to meet each other, finally, in person.

Once inside Fort Adams, we picked up Elaine's number and then headed to the inside restrooms.  It was warm and no line just yet.

Soon we got a message from Jessica and we ran out to meet her. It was quick but always so nice to meet a fellow blogger in person. I realized too late, we didn't snap a picture.  Silly bloggers!  Elaine and I headed to the bag check and I finally took off my light jacket.  It didn't feel as cold as I thought it would.

One last potty stop, and then we headed to the start.

I didn't really have a goal for this race. Last year this course was a huge PR for me and I finished in 1:45.  I was pretty sure I could finish in 1:50 give or take a minute.  I was also running alone. Something I rarely do anymore. I took my iPod just in case.

The cannon went off, which is a super cool start.  I wished Elaine a good race and knew I wouldn't see her once the crowd spaced out.

I found a good pace right off the bat, but it took me a while to get right in my head.  I was questioning why I was running and why so long?  I can't say why that happened, maybe I was just tired. But it only lasted for the first mile.  This course is beautiful and you just can't help but be happy and thankful that you are able to run and is such an amazing place.

I grabbed some water at the first stop and was just watching and listening to all the people around me.  There were a few interesting conversations going on and that kept me entertained for quite some time.  In mile three, I was passed by a guy I knew from my run club that I really never run with.  At the second water stop, I saw him standing alone, I am guessing waiting for a friend to come out of the PP.  I stopped and said hello and we talked for a good two minutes.  I wasn't worried about my time or else I would of kept going.  It is always nice to catch up with a friend.

Pretty much after that, I kept a steady pace and was feeling pretty good.  And then I got to mile seven.

I remembered mile seven from last year. It is a hilly tough mile but I was ready for it this year.  Or at least just knew it was coming.  I pushed through and heard a group of girls coming up behind me. They were struggling but laughing and just cheering each other on.  I piggy backed on that and we got to the top of the hill together.  Seven is the toughest mile and the beginning of eight is no better, but I never stopped running. I also looked at my watch at this point and realized I could finish pretty close to last years time.

I could see the turn coming up into Fort Adams.  There was still more than a mile to go.  I thought about turning on my iPod here and starting up my power songs, but then I saw Elaine.  She snapped a few pics and then ran with me into Fort Adams.  I still had to swing around to the finish, and I was so happy crossing the line.  My official time 1:48:34. (Yes, I would stop and talk still if I could do it all over again.)

Elaine and I headed to the food tent, grabbed a few snacks and then got our bags.  As soon as I stopped, I was freezing and I couldn't wait to put my jacket on.

We headed to the beer garden but stopped to get a pic with the Fort Adams Army guy.   How fun!

The beer tasted so good and so cold.  It was a last minute thought, but I did throw my gloves in my bag before I left the house.  It made holding the beer so much easier.

Jessica caught up to us in the beer garden and we got that pic we forgot to take earlier. She had a great race and I hope I see her again.

BTW, Elaine killed it in 1:24!  Way to go my friend!

Again, Gray Matter put on a fantastic race and I will do it again next year. As you know, I love the ten mile distance and there are not too many of them.  This is a great one and if you can, you should check it out.

On the triathlon front, well, swimming sucks.  I am doing it but still struggling a bit. I am not giving up and have been in the pool every day.  I have two more lessons and I think it will all come together. I just hope sooner, rather than later.

I will be getting outside on the bike more now that the weather has finally taken a turn for the better.  Looking forward to that.  I will be also doing some of my training bike rides with Beth. She has some serious bike rides coming up because she is doing the Pan Mass Challenge.  For those of you who don't know, it is a two day bike ride for a total of, I think, 187 miles.  How cool is that!

Beth and I are also going to be running the Cox Providence half marathon this weekend.  It has been a long time since we ran together and I can't wait. I will also be meeting another runner/blogger friend who will be running the full.  I can't wait to meet you Sarah!  She is pretty new to blogging but not writing. You can check out her awesome blog here.

I will post about my sixth half marathon next week. I am sure it will be an excellent weekend.

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole