Monday, October 17, 2011

Race Pics and Nut Butter....

These are some pictures from Saturday at the race.....
group pic before at the starting line

I told you I was sprinting to the finish!! Do other people do this or am I a weirdo? I am still amazed that my body could kick up the gear at the very end.

Running my girl to the finish line! She did so awesome!!
So I'm always hearing about the different nut butters that are out there.. I wanted to try something different to go with the 10 day cleanse I started yesterday. The almond butter is fabulous and perfect consistency. The organic peanut butter grosses me out to stir it. It looks like dog diarrhea. Seriously.

After grocery shopping, I took a 3 mile walk with my parents. Since running was not in the plans for me today, I got to enjoy the pace and the conversation. The weather was pretty nice too. It took us 55 minutes to do just over 3 miles with two long inclines. My garmin clocked our pace about 17.04. I'm too lazy to get up and look for the third time.

Night night.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


It was FINALLY HERE!!!!!!!!!

Friday rolled around pretty quick and I was suddenly hit in the face with the Eve of my first half marathon. I was S.I.C.K. all day. Actually I didn't sleep Thursday night. I woke up every hour with nerves. I was punished by my stomach all day Friday and could not calm down. It was so so close.

Was I ready? Had I trained enough? Would my knee hold up the whole race?

Yes I was ready. Yes I had trained enough. All I had to do was get my jitters out of the way. I got off work early to head to Madison were the race was going to be held the next morning. Leah was letting me crash at her place since it was only 10mins away from the starting line. She was suppose to participate, seeing as she was the one to talk me in to the dang thing... but her and her hubby lucked up and got 4 free tickets to the MSU game that they could NOT pass up. I could have been mad, but then again I would have jumped on it if someone put those in my face!

So we met at her house, and after catching up for a few we went to pick up our race packets. Lucky 149 :)
 I talk alot about my Marathon Makeover team alot and am super proud to be apart of it! This race was put on by Marathon Makeover and sponsored by Patty Peck Honda. The car was parked out front of the building with the race packets. If you watch Biggest Loser, thats Ada from 2 years ago on BL. She ran the marathon or half (not sure which one) last year.

Then we headed over to Applebee's and I carb loaded :) Chicken Parmesan Fettuccini Alfredo. YUM.

After I felt like barfing from over-eating, I laid out all my gear for race morning.
What I wore:
Nike Dri-fit top
Nike Dri-fit shorts
Nike Dri-fit sports bra (see a theme?)
Under Armour heatgear socks
Nike Fitsole2 shoes
Garmin 405 and HR monitor
Neutrogena sunblock
Body Glide
sunglasses from my race packet
iPod suffle

And then the day began at 5:20AM. I wanted to be up early enough to take care of all business before leaving the house. NO NERVES!! Normally I only eat an Access bar for fuel before my runs, but decided to start with a piece of toast with a smidge of peanut butter.

The team met up in a near by parking lot, but I knew Susan was already by the start line waiting for me so I went to meet her. We were so excited! Her first MARATHON and my first HALF!
The race started on time at 7AM after the National Anthem was played. We had decided that no matter what, we would walk to warm up like usual. What made this easier was there were TONS of MM teams that learned the same thing, so they walked also. And the fact that there were so many people, nobody could speed off running unless you were in the very front.

We agreed on a 7min walk warm up since we normally do 5mins, but Susan had to 26.2 so we compromised. The first 4 miles flew by so quick. We had a beautiful sunrise to see as we topped the first hill. Then we winded around through a few off the chain neighborhoods that looked pretty fab.

The first camera I saw was around mile 3.17 and I was feeling the awesomeness, so I cheesed it for two minutes hoping he got a smile. Goofy? Atleast I wasn't frowning.

That changed fast. Not 1/2 second later, we had a hill to climb and my knee started the same crap as usual. I was so pissed that it was hurting so early. Normally it doesn't kick in until mile 5-7..

All I could do is constantly pray that God would get me thru the pain and help me to focus on having fun and FINISHING.

Miles 4-8 was a long stretch of nothing but road and grass. And sunshine. It was truely the most perfect weather for my first big race. I was sweating continuously, but never had the feeling of Oh my gah its so hot! Perfect.

This stretch of the race we had cheerleaders at various lengths inbetween the water/gatorade stations. We also had the runners ahead of us already turning around, so we were able to cheer them on as they passed back by us!  And what do ya know?.... The first runner to pass us was the husband of a friend of mine! It felt great to scream his name and know he was doing so great!

At every station I grabbed a water in one hand and gatorade in the other and sipped back and forth til I got enough to satisy. I think I took a gel around mile 4 and 9 or 10. I only remember my clock was in :55 and 1:50something.

I tried to push it longer than usual before taking a gel since I was just ready to finish, and the hydration stations were spaced so far apart because of the cooler weather, I wasn't sure when I'd have water to wash it down.

We had set our intervals at 4/1 and stuck to it except maybe 5-10 extra mins walking total. Susan and I did really good in my opinion!

At mile 8 my right calf began getting really tight. I stopped for a second to stretch it out, and it felt a little better. Then it was back to hurting again. Great. Left knee, and right calf. Fabulous. Can I just be done with this race already?! So there was alot more running and a not so scenic view....Then before I knew it, we rounded the corner and I saw the 12mile marker. I was almost there!

At that time, I looked at my watch and had 15 mins until 2:30 which was my high goal time. I had decided before the race to finish between 2:30-2:45. I wasn't sure I was going to make the 2:30.

Then I saw the hill.and then there was another.. I told Susan I was NOT running up that hill. So we picked up our walk pace. Halfway up the hill, an older lady running the full began getting hamstring cramps and was stopped and limping. She brushed the race officials off and kept walking. All I could think was "Oh no don't you stop this close to the finish." I asked her if she was doing the full or the half.. she responded with a very pissed "Oh the full is over". Then I responded with a "keep going your almost done. Just don't stop!" It probably pissed her off even more, but atleast I tried to put some words in her head.

We got to the top of the hill and had an intersection to cross so we began to run. I also began my motivation speech for Susan since we were about to split and she had a whole'nother half to complete by herself.

I spoke straight from the heart and gave the best YOU CAN DO IT speech I could come up with. We said our fair-wells and I love you's and split. This gave me a burst of energy knowing I was running to the finish! I sprinted off and heard some people cheering on that sprint. It felt so good. Then I realized I was feeling pain like last weekend from running too fast and my lungs freaking out. I slowed for a second, then decided to walk a couple of steps. When I passed some trees, I could see it ahead of me and sprinted for the second time.

I will probably look extremely ridiculous in my finish line pics because I had nothing on my mind but finishing, and finishing strong. My garmin clocked the last .27mile in 8:52!! Awesome job and a pat on my back :)
 My first medal! I'll be getting another one in the mail in a few weeks with my official time engraved! 2:34!!!
 I can not tell you how extremely happy I am that I only missed my goal by 4 minutes! I had finished! I had completed 13.1 miles!!!!! Actually it was more by my watch.. and everyone elses.
Coach Kim and myself
 Notice the saran wrap? I had ice strapped to my calf and had also had it on my knee. Whatever, I didn't care if I looked like a wimp. My legs hurt dangit.

As I made all my phonecalls to everyone, I caught Patrick House from Biggest Loser (two years ago) coming in for the finish! He had walked the half with a group the entire way. I didn't get up the guts to go meet him and take a picture. I'm sure he is sick of that by now......
 This is Katrina, she is Kim's daughter and on my MM team. She was my cheerleader speed walking me to the finish!
After ice and HoneyMilk and a slice of pizza, and water...... and lots of pictures and celebrating... 5hours of racetime had rolled around. I was getting so nervous for Susan. I kept wondering how far she was and when she would finish. Katrina and I decided to walk back to the finish line turn in which was about .40mile. We waited on her to round the corner to run her in. The waiting game sucked! It felt like I was waiting on my baby to walk!

She rounded the corner and excitment took me over! She said she almost busted into tears when we joined in to run her in.. She had finished the last 3 miles or so with another team member so they were in good spirits.
 She finished her first MARATHON in 5:33!!!! Go Susan!!!!! So so so so so proud of her!!!
 Right after this picture, she let me know this was her first and last marathon. We will see if she changes her mind! I am already ready to sign up for another half! ASAP!
Susan and her guy
 This is Mark Simpson, Mr. Marathon Makeover!! I had to go meet him and take a picture, duh. I told him how I had only been running since late April, and didn't start training with MM until July 2. My first race (5miles) last weekend on October 8, and this was my first half marathon on October 15, 2012!!!! He didn't even hesitate to show his excitement with a hug! He was proud with me. It def made me feel good :)

It finally came time to head home. I could have gone to Leah's to shower, but I'm gross and I was tired and just wanted to be home, so I drove back....... 45 minutes away.

Soaked in a bubble bath, then showered for a loooong time. Then had these beauties....... I was so weak and starving from not eating more food than what I had had. It was delicious.
  So there is my recap. Today I'm struggling with sore calves and ankles and knees. It was an absolute joke wearing heels to church this morning.

I am wanting to do another half in April and also October or November of 2012 in SC. I found this list of races and need some opinions. Have any of you run these or heard good stuff about them? I'm ready to work past that 2:34 and feel the power again!!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Goal Pace Accomplished!

This week at work they posted a flyer announcement about a Biggest Loser challenge that our hospital is going to sponser to get a everybody to a healthier place. They have a ton of people on board and really excited for the competition. Why? Probably because the prize is CASH MONEEEH. 
They will start with their first weigh-in on Monday and will push through 9-weeks to get to their goal weight. The rules are kind of cool. If you miss a weigh in, you pay $1. And the same for if you gain a pound. Each contestant will weigh in 3 times a week (not sure why so many times) and the results will be confidential. 
 Since I was told yesterday that I'm not allowed to participate, I personally am making my contribution to participating to get on butt's about healthy eatin habits. I'm hoping this will help ME eat a little better. It's been AWFUL lately how much food I consume. I have done fantastic the last three days.

One problem? Patients family members bringing the staff food.
This was "lunch", and I also heard doughnuts were for breakfast. And the fact that we have "parties" for any occasion. Remember we throw down when someone QUITS. No more people. No more.

I did have a chicken tender, a popcorn chicken, and a chicken wing. Sue me. Then an hour later for REAL lunch, I had Fiesta Chicken Chili that I made last night. YUM.

I made sure I guzzled two sports drinks today. I don't do this enough, but this week is time for seriousness.

After work, I chugged a Spark drink for some energy and went for my first run of the week.
That's right. I didn't run yesterday because I decided to cook for the first time in a couple months. I'm priviledged to live at home. I know.

Let me back up and share my next goal to work towards after I complete the half marathon Saturday. I want to press for miles at a time instead of work intervals so much. Changing up training will definitely boost my motivation if I have something to shoot for.

So this week we were not suppose to do any "new training". Fail. My garmin took forever to find a satellite and I just started running after about 5-8mins of walking. I ran for a couple of minutes before it decided to work. I pushed myself to run a hill and once I topped it, I was able to push and keep going at a good pace. Since my watch wasn't set on intervals, I kept my eye on pace and miles. I finished my first mile in 9:16!! Whoohoo!!! Then it went down hill.

The Splits
Mile 1- 9:16
Mile 2- 11:44
Mile 3- 13:14

Ahhh success. I'm happy with today because it a taper week so I didn't need to push myself too hard to new goals. Next week is a different story.
Sweaty obviously.
 And because I love my baby Squirrel, I though I'd share this hilariousness. Spoiled.

 And this? Too funny. We found it on a door at work.
They have been stripping patients room floors after discharges. If only I had a better story for you.........

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Baby Happiness and a Training Sched.

The beginning of this post is all about my bertiful best friend Courtney! for her first baby shower!

It was such a cute and fun little shower for our sweet baby Katie Lauren W. that will be here in December. Don't ya just LOVE little girl stuff? The sweetest thing ever! I'm beyond happy for Court and her husband and Drew!!

Lots and lots of goodies!! No hiding that she is expecting a girl! I wish I had pics of the camouflage MSU outfits and the mini cowbell she got. Beyond precious. Drew will be proud to see something besides PINK.

She is just precious barefoot and pregnant :) I'm ready to get lucky enough to feel Katie kick. NOW.

How cute is this cupcake display?! Homemade icing too. Mmmm. 

Everything in the spread was homemade. I actually scored the pumkin dip recipe the hostess made! Its in the very center in the heart shaped bowl. I'm not nice enough to share the recipe until I've made it a couple of times myself and have people think it was mine originally. Duh. -Serve with Gingersnaps. oh my gawd good.

My favorite gift of the day that Court recieved. Such a frilly, dolly, girly little pink and white lamp! LOVED.

My other bf Amanda and I decided everytime we look decent, we have to take a picture together. We were lacking a large amount compared to ones with other friends. Love my AB :)
 Best part about staying friends with your high school BF's? You never get rid of them!! Your bound to run into each other all the time with occasions like this! Emily is our friend on the end that is getting married in Decemeber and will give us another celebration to get together and party!!

This is my first big race coming up at the end of this week, so I have been waiting on my training schedule all day. I was told it would be a little different than usual for tapering, but really, it wasn't all that different. My excuse for not working out today? I didn't want to do anything to hurt myself. patiently waited on the schedule. and I got it..

Monday: 30 mins
Tuesday: 25-30 mins
Wednesday: Rest day. No Cross Training
Thursday: 40 mins
Friday: Try to do as little as possible on your feet. (With my job? Yeah right.)

This week, Marathon Makeover instructions are to go to bed 15-30 mins earlier than usual. Done.

Coach Kim also made us a list to go by. Much needed for sure.

Start your running bag packing:
Bra/Nip guards
Garmin Watch/Charger
Body Glide
Long sleeve T-shirt to wear before race
Breakfast for Race morning

All I'm missing is my Chocolate Outrage and Orange flava Gu's and gotta find a long sleeve I don't mind throwing to the curb.

Come on people give me some advice to calm me down! I feel the nerves coming. But still incredibly excited!!
Got the race results in from yesterday! I'll definitely stick to their mile pace for me!

5 Mile Run Results:
Place   Age Group Place   Name     Age     Time   Pace
249      6                          Nicole     24F    55:13   11:03 dadadadaaaaaa!!!!! I'll take it!

The end.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My FIRST Real Race

My Saturday mornings usually consist of getting up between 5:00-5:30AM to meet my Marathon Makeover team for our long run to prepare for our Marathon/Half Marathon next weekend. We all decided to sign up for a 5 mile hometown race that took place today as a short run to start the close of our training for this 26.2/13.1!
Today I got to sleep until 6:45AM, which is a normal work day alarm. It was GREAT!! Even better? My parents were participating and were up getting ready as well and I wasn't having to be quiet in the dark by myself.

I got on the road and headed in town to meet up with everyone and get myself mentally prepared. This was my very first actual race. that counted. with numbers pinned on my shirt. I was pretty pumped to get there!

The weather was perfect. I didn't look to see what it was, but Susan said it was expected to be about 66 degrees. I'll take it!

After walking up an insane hill, I found Susan. Let me just say, I love my running partner!! I could never have been this successful with training if it wasn't for this chick.

There were tons of people that showed up. Like about 700 registered from what I heard. One good thing about it being in our hometown is we knew so many people. People I didn't know were runners and people that came to walk it also.

The race started at 8:00AM and led us over the Old Mississippi River Bridge that is now open only to the train tracks. It took us past the bridge into the delta for 2 1/2 miles and then had us turn around and head back.
Courtesy of my dad.

We stuck strong to our training routine and walked for 5mins to warm up. It was the second hardest thing to do during the race. We also had no music because the ad clearly said no headphones, strollers, etc. Susan and I were pretty bummed that we saw people with music. Luckily I had had plenty of practice without it in the beginning of my training this summer. She didn't suffer as bad as she expected with it being her first time music-less.

The first half was easy. Seriously. We both had the adrenaline and flew. When I finally realized how fast we were going, I insisted that we slow down. Her response, Yeah, that's probably a good idea considering the second half is an incline. Umm excuse me?! Crap.

And she wasn't lying. But the plus side was having people on the sides of the road/bridge cheering us on. I loved getting to pass back by all those behind us as we were headed back in the second half. Cheering on my mom and dad was exciting since it was my dads first five miles ever! Heck, First race ever! My mom and I did walked this race way back when during my Jr High years.

So back to ME! Susan and I decided that no matter if we were on a run or walk interval, we were going to run the last half mile through to the finish line. Yeah that didn't happen. Remember again, I said it was a steady incline. Which brings me to the FIRST hardest thing. The last .10-.20mi felt like I was climbing this at full speed.
I'm sure my face was pretty tragic looking as I got to the top of the mountain. Lungs are not made to be tortured like that. However, I was DETERMINED to run through that finish line. So at the bottom of the supa ridiculous incline, I pushed. and I pushed hard. Like the ugliest in through your nose, out through your mouth breathing evaaaa. I was half way to the top and I hear the guy with the mega phone cheering and instructing runners/walkers to the correct finish lane. Yes, walkers had caught up with me. Power walkers. In compression shorts. With only compression shorts and tshirt and tub socks. This is not a joke.

So back to the guy with the mega phone. As I was struggling and so ready to walk, I kept praying that God would get me through the last few feet. That's all I needed was just a few feet and a little push. Then the announcer comes out with a RUNNERS, DON'T STOP! FINISH STRONG! RUN TO THE FINISH!! That was the extra little push that our amazing God gave me. AAAND my speedy gonzolas MM team, that had finished, screaming my name! Somehow my brain processed the name calling and I think I heard it about 8 times! I could be wrong. But whatever. I felt special people were cheering for ME!

I'm backwards and don't feel like reorganizing pictures so here is my time, etc. I was obviously all nerves and got a late start on my garmin when we started. Flustered and fumbling and getting pissed, I finally got it working. I finished in 55mins, an even 5mi. Remember I started the watch late.
After my lungs finally came back to life, I was able to celebrate my accomplistment! It took about 15 mins, but then I was excited and proud.

This is my Marathon Makeover coach, The Awesome Kim! A fantastic motivator that screamed the loudest over all the other members cheering for me I'm sure. Where oh where would I be without her help? I obviously depend on a lot of people with this running thing.

I was finally recooperated enough to see my parents to the finish! I'm not sure of my moms time, but my dad was the last of them and finished just under 1:20! His first five miles and in great timing!! I'm so proud of them. I know I've said that ten times already. At least in my head.

After cooling down, and stuffing my face with free Subway sandwiches and a free Spark drink from the Advocare tent, I had to use the restroom. It was the nicest porta potty I have ever seen. Why not take a picture since that's obviously what I do now that I blog. Weirdo.
 The parents and I sat around for a little bit and listened to the live music playing and talked with friends we ran into. These guys are on such an awesome track to weightloss already. Since my engagement, they have really jump started it and now have both lost at least one dress size. My mom is down TWO! Whoohoo for 35lbs down!! They have been walking together after work to prepare for this race. And they did it! We did it!! Oh Happy DAAYYYY.
 I can't imagine the feeling of accomplishment next weekend will bring. I am beyond excited to participate in my first Half Marathon! Please, please give me ANY advice that you can share to help me prepare better in the next week!

I'm currently spending the day like this.

And now I'm off to my future in-laws house to hang out with the entire family..... minus the most special one. I sure am missing my sweet Fiance. He is off celebrating a friends birthday with dinner, and a boat ride in Charleston. Jealous. The plus side?..... Monday marks 5 months until THE day!!!!!!!!!! It's so close, yet so far away.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wedding and Registered!

Saturday I was scheduled for 12mi for my half marathon training. With it being this close to the race, and with the fits my knee has given me, I decided to listen to my body. If my knee started hurting then I would only do 10-11mi. The Full trainees were on schedule for only 10mi. Of course I couldn't make myself do the additional 2mi, so I stuck with Susan throughout the entire run. 
 We finished 10mi in just over 2hours. Our pace was a little slow, but we walked the last 1/2 mi just to talk and cool down. To make up for the walking we decided to end with, we did sprints a few times. Stretching a sprint out to 1min was torture! We only did that once.

After an awesome run, my mom and I with my brothers girlfriend headed to Jackson to shop for my moms Mother of the Bride dress! My aunt also met up with his to have some fun. We found her dress at Alfred Angelo in pretty quick timing. Same luck as with bridesmaid dresses. It was the first dress she picked out and she looked awesome! Will look even more aweome when its the eggplant color she ordered. It was a great girls day of shopping.

After shopping, I had to head 2 hours away to my best friends wedding! It was a looooooong drive that looked like this.

What better way to entertain yourself than jam out to Adele and take pictures of yourself. Sure.

I was so excited to see the exit I needed to take, I just didn't know I still had a little bit of a drive ahead.
How cute are the signs?! They had these placed in all the turns since the location was in the middle of nowhere.
 And then I turned the corner and spotted this. How beautiful. I wish I had a better picture for you to see.
 My beautiful Jess so happy and glowing!
 Her awesome bouquet that was perfect for her. The entire WEDDING screamed Jessica!
 Barefoot beauty waiting on 5:00PM
 Her Daddy walking her down for the last time :)
 Mr. and Mrs. Walters!
 Be nice Ragan.
 Me with the happy couple. I love you guys!! Ragan I know you will take good care of my girl. I'm gonna hold ya to it!
 First Dance.
 She is one of a kind. God definitely made her special for me..... and Ragan too.
 And their off!.... on his ridin' toy. Have fun honeymooning!!!

And after an extremely long day and drive back and forth, I was wanting nothing more than my bed. And so was Deuce. This is my brother's boxer that came home with him and took over my bed. Normally I saw NOOOOO. but he chased deer at the camp all day and was just as tired as his Neecole was. Hims a big baby. Human sized baby.

And today?...... I went to church, napped, and watched movies all day and did absolutely nothing called exercise. But I did registered for my first race in South Carolina when I get moved!
 This race looks INSANE! Its a 10K that will be held for the 3rd year in Charleston. This year they will close registration at 74,000 people. Oh my gosh are all races this big? I would think maybe marathons, but a 10k?
 Andrew is going to run this with me! We gotta get my guy in running shape, so any training plans that you can suggest?

This is the bridge we will run across. This was a bridge in the distance of our proposal spot! and also in the back ground of some pictures we took at the Charleston Aquarium back in May.
Yay for motivation!! Guess I'll keep my half marathon training up with Susan as she prepares for hers the week before my wedding in March.