Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Few December Things

I think for most people, December can be very stressful.  Lots of things to do.  Shopping, baking, visits with Santa, town tree lightings and caroling.  Our calendars are full and so many of us rush through the day.

I am way ahead of the game this year. I think, for the first time ever. Cards have already been sent, most gifts have been purchased and the ones that get mailed are on their way.  I am calm and very relaxed.

Today, I had just a couple errands to do and I added in a manicure.  I sat and relaxed and talked to the people around me.  It was a very enjoyable 45 minutes. Everyone around me got very pretty reds polished on their nails.  I went with black. I just like really dark colors and that one called to me today.  The name of the color is 4am by OPI.

Before that, I went and had my eye brows and bikini waxed.  I have been going to Faces by Gia for about five years now and she recently moved to a new location.  I was very impressed with her new spot at Bonnet Shears.  In just three weeks, she went in there and remolded and updated the space to a place you can really feel at peace at.  I am so happy for you Gia and know that you will have much success there.  If you are local, I highly suggest you check out the new digs.

You would think that being almost ready for Christmas, I would have more time to run. Well, I do, but I am not.  I am running don't get me wrong, but December is my "take it easy month".  I am finished with all my races for the year. I am starting to think about races for 2015 and basically, I just run when I feel like it.  And that hasn't been a lot.

I am not worried. Things will pick back up in January as I will be running a half marathon in March.  I will be ready but for the next couple weeks, I am just going to run when I want to and enjoy not having the pressure that training can sometimes put on you.

We have family coming in for the holiday and I am so excited I can't calm down. I love giving out presents and think I got some good ones this year for our family and friends.  Speaking of presents, I got to give my first one out today.  It was for Gia.  Just a little something to say, Thank you for making me look good throughout the year.  You just can't see someone every few weeks and not get to know and love them over five-plus years.

But presents is not what it is all about.  Being together, sharing stories, food and drinks is what makes me happiest.  Gracie will be in the pageant at our church on Christmas Eve.  I look forward to that every year.  I love the story and the music that comes along with celebrating Jesus's birth.  She is very excited!

And then of course, there is New Year's Eve. My favorite night of the year. I can't wait to have our little get together and count down to 2015.  I may or may not do the Pier Plunge this year. I think I will wait and see if George brings it up and just do it if he wants to.

So tell me, are you ready for the holidays?  Do you send cards?  Any traditions you want to share?  Are you feeling stressed or just dealing with it day by day?  Do you have running themed decorations?
My newest ornament.
One last thing, I saw this today which made me laugh out loud. I don't really do resolutions but if you do, I hope you stick with it.  Set your goal and go after it.  If there is anything I can do to help you reach your goal, please let me know.

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

Oh and I almost forgot! I got a sneak peek at the spring line at Skirt Sports.  Trust me when I tell you, you can't wait to see it!  

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Thanksgiving and a Turkey Trot

The last several years, I have had Thanksgiving at my house.  This year, my mom wanted to host it at her place so we headed to New Jersey early Thanksgiving morning.

When we knew we would be traveling for the holiday, I started to look for different races in the area since I would be missing the one I usually do here in Newport, RI.

The race I had my eye on was in Philadelphia's Fairmont Park.  The original plan was to drive the night before Thanksgiving and that would get us in about midnight or later.  I was pretty sure I would feel terrible having to get up so early and run a five mile race.

My friend Diane said she was running a 5k Turkey Trot on Saturday and invited me to run that one with her.  I jumped on it.  I was so happy to have found a race but most of all, I was going to run with Diane again.

Thanksgiving was wonderful. The food was delicious but most importantly, we were all together.  I ate so much, I didn't even have room for pie. No lie. I skipped the pie.  The next day, I had two pieces for lunch. Sorry, I am not sorry!
My sister and I.

My beautiful mom.

Mom and sis cooking.

Mr. RWM carving the turkey.


Me, Uncle Jerry and Mr. RWM.

Mom, kids, sister and Arrow the dog.

Pop-pop and kids.

After my pie, we took the kids to see the Penguins of Madagascar and there I ate way too much popcorn.  The movie was very funny.

That evening, Mr. RWM and I went out with my sister and her boyfriend.  I had beer, beef fries and Hawaiian nachos. Do you see where I am going yet?

I knew my stomach would give me problems once I started running.

Getting to the race was easy.  I was so happy to see Diane.  This was a very small race put on by her daughters school.  Very kid friendly.  I was sorry mine were not with me.  We stayed in the church hall as long as possible to stay warm.  It was a bit cooler than I thought it would be.  I was happy to have my hat, gloves and jacket.

Diane and I with the NESQUIK Bunny.

Us and the school mascot.

Ready to run.

I knew nothing about this course. Turns out it was full of hills and turns.  However, we ran though a neighborhood with some very beautiful homes.  It wasn't the hardest course I have run, but it wasn't the easiest either.  I think it was the perfect challenge for me.

We went out a little fast and ended up with a 9:50 mile.  I had no real goal for this race but figured I would finish at about 32:00.

By the end of mile one, my stomach was laughing at me.  My legs felt really good though. Diane was running great and I knew I was holding her back.  Miles two 10:39.

I pulled myself together in mile three.  Not feeling my best, but better. Diane started to pull ahead of me.  I stayed just a few seconds behind her.  She looked great! 10:08 for mile three.

Last turn and you can see the finish.  It ends on an uphill.  Not a huge hill but enough that I just had to laugh out loud.  Hill or not,  I knew I wanted to finish strong.  Final stretch, 9:59.

Not a PR for me.  The official time was 31:22 and I am happy with that.  Diane did have a PR and I was thrilled for her.
Diane finishing strong!

I am in the pink hat.


Mr. RWM and I stayed and watched the awards and enjoyed a little extra time with Diane and her family.  I would do this race again if I am able.  Nice course, well run, Philly pretzels at the end.  What more can you ask for?  Thanks for inviting me Diane!

This 5K is officially my last race of the year.  I ran seventeen races this year.  Still planning on running less races next year, but some are just so easy to say yes too.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Did you run a Turkey Day race?

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole