Monday, September 26, 2011


We had an eventful weekend! So much fun and so packed full. I had the day off from work and headed to the airport to pick up ANDREW!! It all started at 11:00AM Friday morning.

Mister Handsome struttin' along the way hunting for my car. He was just as impatient as I was about waiting to see each other. awwee :)
Together at last!!!!! We haven't seen each other since the weekend of August 4th when we got engaged.

We had talked about a couple different places to have lunch, and ended up choosing our all time favorite Japanese Hibachi place. We had already started on the sushi when I took the picture.

I did not dominate this plate of food. Andrew was sure to make a happy plate with his.

I like to be generous, yes, but perfection is mostly the true part of this fortune. Why couldn't I get a fortune about winning money and living a completely happy uncomplicated life where everything is rainbows and sunshine?.... I guess I'll just have to strive to be generous and perfect. Strive.strive.strive.

Duh, we had to get Fro-yo. Normally I get the tart flavor, but this time wanted some flavah. Strawberry AND cookies 'n cream yogurt..with my mounds of goodies. Def a good choice.
 We had a long day of eating, shopping, hugging, and kissing... and dinner with his mom to finish the night.

I also had to dogsit on top of all of the busyness... so I laid all my running gear out for Saturday morning to help slow my morning roll.

The alarm went off at 5:20AM, and I got to the meet up place right at 6:05 to run. Everyone had started without me, so I booked it. We are talking power walk. As soon as I turned on my shuffle, "low battery". Crap. I said a little prayer that it would somehow last. It lasted all of 10mins. By that time I had caught up to Susan and some of the other group. Good thing because I was on schedule for an 11mi run. No music would have been torture by myself.

Susan and I stuck to 4min/1min intervals since she was having to cover 20mi that day. At mile 3, my garmin goofed up and went crazy. I ended up having to restart it and lost all of my time and everything for the beginning. Going on the 3.10mi Susan had on her watch at the end of our run, I covered my 11mi in about 2:10-15mins. Pretty good for me! It was def a struggle at the very last mile thanks to the ITband I never stretched during the week. Smart move Nicole. Oh and lets not forget a painful hip flexor on the opposite leg. Talk about an old lady limp. It was ridiculous.
 Fueled back up with Strawberry Banana HoneyMilk, pasta salad, and a banana.

So, I was in pain and tried every way to get that hip flexor to stretch after I had an ice bath and got decent looking. This was the only one that worked for me. Basically a split with the opposite knee bent.

I needed to strech my ITband and didn't have a ball around... so I subbed for a squooshy pillow that was really thick.

  • Place ball, or squooshy pillow, inbetween thighs right above the knees.
  • Bend at the knees and hips into a squatting position with an awkward look on your face.
Normally I would not have picked this stretch, but my PT suggested it since it is tight and painful right around my knee cap at the insertion. It def worked, and my quads were a little jelly after running 11mi then doing 25 squats. Ice and Ibprofen and I was good to go......

.....until I walked up and down hills in heels during our engagement picture session! We met the photographer at 3:30 and didn't stop with pictures until sunset at 7:00. We had SO much fun. I'm already ready to do it again. This was the picture our photographer posted on Facebook. I will get to see the rest on Wednesday!
Each time we got in the car to go to another location, Greg had me keep the camera to flip thru and see what all we had done. They already look ahhhmazing really small on the camera and unedited, so I cant wait to see the finished product! After we purchase, I'll be sure to post some of our favorites!

We had one more day together on Sunday and sadly we had to end it this morning when I dropped him off at the airport. This just means the next time I see him, we will have even less time apart and it will be so close to wedding day!!!!!

So Friday was the first day of fall. That gives me everyone the excuse to eat and buy anything PUMPKIN related. When Monica posted this pumpkin pancake recipe on her blog this weekend, my mouth started watering. 

After work, I immediately went to the store and bought four, yes FOUR, pumpkin spice scented candles. It smells like fall heaven in our house right now.
 I had to resist the urge to by pumpkin filling and pumpkin pie at the grocery store. My cart was already full and I knew I needed to wait til next time. My lip is still poked out thinking about a pumpkin pie and how I am not devouring it right now.

Instead, I picked up my very first running magazine today and will spend my night reading this instead of sulking over my pumpkinless full stomach.

Oh! and I signed up for the Over The River Run during lunch today so I'm set to go with that! Only two weeks away! and still so excited to do the 4mi race on Wednesday at the Pub Run!!

I haven't even ran my first half marathon and I'm already looking for another one to sign up for. :))

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Training Races

Workout: 2.4mi/30min treadmill

Nothing I ate today was important to share with you, except this Subway fruit parfait. I had it as the side with my turkey sandwich... I inhaled this thing in a 8.6seconds while driving back to work. I LOVE yogurt. and fruit. and granola. Paired together, the three make a delicious team. 

I sinned today. I skipped church tonight to run. Ooops.
I got on the treadmill and had the motivation to try 5min run/ 1min walk. After doing a 5min warm up walk, the first two intervals were easy. Then I started getting a burning from my styloid process down to right above my belly button. That is the second time that has happened. I'm not sure if its because I was breathing really hard or what. I pushed another 5 mins, then I walked for 2min. Then tried another 5min, then decided to walk some. Finished with 3min of walking. Hey atleast I did cardio... my legs should appreciate that. Its better than sitting on the couch and eating... which is what I really wanted to do.

So today I got an email from Fleet Feet about upcoming races in our area. Every since I signed up for the half marathon, I decided I wanted to do at least one or two short races to see what it's all about.. and because Andrew demanded insisted over and over and over that I be smart about it and do it. He use to run way back in the day and thinks he knows everything. Sometimes he does. :) I decided this time he was right.

Next Wednesday at 6:00pm, I will be running in the MS heat. This is a 2 or 4mi fun run or walk. Apparantly Pub Runs have been going on all summer and this is the last one of  2011.
Why not do it? Its FREE. and it will be a great way to get a week day run in and have fun with it. Leah is gonna do it with me and this will be the first time THIS year we will run together! We have walked several times, but last time we ran, she got me to run 1/2 a mile without stopping and I felt such accomplishment since I could not run. oh how far I have come :)

On October 8th, the weekend before my half marathon, I will be running Over the River Run in my hometown. This race is a 5 miler and goes across the MS River Bridge and back. I did this race with my mom when I was in Jr. High I think. We walked it back then and it was fun getting to talk to so many people as we finished.
 Then on October 15th, I will run my first HALF MARATHON!!! I'm so excited to achieve this! After seeing how well I can handle 10mi, I know that 13.1mi is doable. Absolutely.
 I'm so pumped to complete this race alongside my Marathon Makeover team and cheer the rest of them on as they finish the FULL Marathon! We have worked so hard, giving up so many Saturdays to run before daylight instead of sleeping in. Susan has been at it since January. I can't imagine. I've been with them since July2 and so ready to sleep in. I plan to meet for our last group run the weekend after the race, and then I WILL be taking about a month off to sleep. Sorry Kim, if your reading this. But I WILL be back. Running with a group is just so much better.

The next race I plan to do is in January. Not sure of the date, and not sure of the location, or the name of it. But I plan to do it. Once I move to Charleston, I'll go crazy finding all new places to run. Its so pretty there and will be beyond awesome in March.

Now I'm going to be spending my night like this.
But before I go, let me throw something at ya! Janae over at HungryRunnerGirl is doing a giveaway for Running Divas clothing. Go check out her blog, if you already aren't addicted. Because you will be. and enter for the giveaway!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Successful RUNNING and Shopping Weekend

First off, lets just say I suck at doing daily blog posts these days. Once a week seems to be the special number... Cassie definitely jinxed me by saying I was doing so well a while back. Oh well, life goes on. I'm sure your all just so super disappointed to not here of my lameness every day. I def do miss all of the feed back and peptalks in the comments. Maybe thats why I've been slacking... I need to know people are still reading and are cheering me on!

Anyway, so lets back track to Friday night. I needed to fuel my body with carbs for my long run on Saturday morning. It was the usual. Pasta. Yummy pasta too.. I had never had this kind. It was farfalle pasta with spinach and grilled chicken with alfredo sauce. Yum. I ate almost both helpings. My mistake.

Saturday morning I woke up easily when the alarm went off at 5:25. We didn't have to meet in town until 6:00, and I was dogsitting and had a shorter drive. I had all my gear out ready for me, as like every Saturday morning. Shorts, top, sportsbra, heat gear socks, gels (x2), spibelt, garmin, heart monitor, body glide. I hit the road after drinking a Spark energy drink, and downed my Access bar for fuel.

We had a small crew show up, but we all had 10mi to complete for both full and half marathon training. We started at Mission Primary Care, walked to the neighborhood across the street, ran to the stadium, then to the police station, 2 laps of Washington St., then back to the doctors office.

Now lets back up further to earlier in the week. You all know my training has been slacking. Big. Well, my stupidity got me into a mini injury I guess. Because I wasn't training during the week, then doing 7 and 9mi on Saturdays, my legs started to feel the results. By Tuesday, by anterior tibialis (front muscles under knee) were KILLING me. So bad that I iced every night for 3 days in a row. I called Kim, my team leader, and told her the situation. Her and Leah both told me the same thing. "It's because of the gap in your training. You are wearing your muscles down too much on weekends." It was a slap in the face of reality. I'm not being very fair to my body and not training a healthy way. So I did three workouts during the week. Lots of walking.. and a little running.

I had legs to baby on Saturday obviously. Kim told me to walk the first mile or two just to loosen up. I walked the first mile. Power walk. It felt great, and by the end of it, I felt ready to run. Lets not forget about the energy drink I had had. I was raring to go! I'll specify. By the time I got to Washington Street, I was able to run all the way up. Its straight uphill. Normally I stop and walk. Now by the second lap I did have to walk. I did alot of walking during the 10mi. If I felt burning in my anterior tibs, I walked. Certainly did not want to screw myself again. And..... I finished!
I finished my 10mi in 2:05 with lots of walking!!

 I was STARVING by the time I got back to the house after chatting for 30mins. My breakfast was Smartones Ham and Egg Scramble (disgusting looking), and PB toast.

And chocolate milk. A huge glass. I enjoyed this part a little too much.
Then of course something always has to happen. My knee started killing me. Only one. only my left knee.
 I could bend it and feel a pop/grinding type thing and got really freaked out. It hurt. Bad. I limped for about 3 hours. and iced constantly when I was able. Come to find out, my ITband is tight and causing pain at the insertion on my condyle. So, stretching and ball squats are to be done. Stat.

After this ginormous run, I knew an ice bath was the best solution to prevent PAIN later.
This was the first COLD water bath I've had since training. Our water at home will not get cold cold. More like luke warm. Well this water was cold. and I added a pitcher of ice. Goodie. People who do this are INSANE. That's all I could think over and over and over, when I was able to hear myself think over the sound of chattering teeth.

My brain didn't clear up to tell me to take a pic of all the ice until most of it was melted. But you get the idea. 

I had a busy day ahead, so after all the fuss with freezing, cracked teeth from chattering, and an incredibly painful knee, I napped, then got ready to go shop with Jessica. I had to find a dress to wear to her wedding on October 1st, and also needed outfits for engagement pics this weekend. Since we were in the area, we grabbed fro-yo! I had some with my candy and fruit thank you. I love Janae for advising the marshmallows. They really do make it better and weigh absolutely NOTHING. Thanks Janae!
After shopping and finding a dress for her wedding, and being unsuccessful at finding engagement pic outfits, and eating goodies, I decided to head home. Before I could get out of the area, I came across this cool character. How was his face not suffocating?? He was dancing around having fun and getting paid. Pretty fun to watch at a redlight.
I was blessed with a beautiful sunset on the ride home.
 I came home to this pretty pretty princess, Lexie. She is so super sweet. I wuv her.... Her was happy to see Neecole.. that tail was just a waggin'.

Sunday, I had to miss church to work. Boo. Because ANDREW COMES HOME FRIDAY!!!!!!, I had to make up a work day with patients. I worked only half a day, and then moved on to more fun stuff, like shopping for my Bridesmaid's dresses with my MOH's Brittany and Leah! and.... we found it!! We went to Alfred Angelo to start the hunt. We walked in and the girls and I started fumbling thru all the dress racks and they each picked two and hit the dressing rooms. This was the overall final pick! It will be light pink instead of red tho! Beautiful dress, and they loved it! I'm so excited to see all of them wearing this dress in MARCH!

Great weekend full of accomplishments! Let's hope this coming Saturday is just as successful with my 11miler I have to conquer. I can do this. I can do this. I will do this.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9 MILES!!!!! Girly party. check.

So Friday night I had insomnia and could not get to sleep. When the alarm went off at 5:00AM, not hitting the snooze button was hard. I was definitely tempted, but would have killed myself if I skipped since today was my first NINE MILES! 
When I tell you it was a struggle, I mean it. Every Saturday I begin my run a little faster than the others in the group. They like to take longer warm up walks, and then they all complete mileage training for the full marathon. So, I had no one in front of me to keep me going and to follow. It was FREEEZING that early. I'm not sure of the temp, but I do know my fingers were numb in the beginning. When I got back to my car it said 52 degrees, so you do the math.

So yet again, my running partner had plans away for the weekend and couldn't meet up with all of us to run :( Lets just hope she is prepared enough to finish the full October 15. Fingers are crossed for ya Susan!

My run was completely backwards than usual, because the first 3 miles were easy. I started struggling at mile 4. Nervousness was definitely there since I knew I had 5 more miles to go before I reached my 9. I went thru 2 gu's on my run which I normally don't do. But it kept me going and gave my body what it needed.

Getting back to the vehicles was the best because I knew what was waiting on me there. The pasta salad usual! I will be getting this recipe. Its so so so good. Atleast it is after a long run!

Ice bath complete, then breakfast..... SmartOnes French Toast and turkey sausage, and mom made a fruit smoothie.

Since Monday was a holiday and I wanted a day off, I had to make up a work day. It was productive and fast since I left after 5 hours. As I was getting on the elevator, a patients family member gave me a rose from an arrangement they had gotten. Such a small gesture meant so much.

Now I see the consequences of running. My knees were KILLING me all during work, so I tried to sit down as much as possible. Andrew will cringe when he reads this because I have scrubs on. I had no drive whatsoever to change clothes before I applied the ice. I could have cared less about my clothes.

I had to get ready quick to head out for the night, so of course I grabbed the icepack and we had a great ride. The ibprofen probably helped too. My pain was gone 45 mins later when I arrived at my destination.

I rushed over to Jessica's new house to see the inside for the first time! That painting on the wall is one she did! She has them all throughout the house and it looks amazing. I should have taken pics of how everything was decorated, but that would be creepy to people she doesn't know.
Sweet Ellie was such a good poser!
Da-da-da-da!! She gets married October 1st so of course I had to throw my best friend a lingerie shower/bachelorette party!!

How freakin cute are these cupcakes!? Gigi's Cupcakes are beyond awesome. Each cupcake had a different silhouette. White cake, hotpink icing (5inches tall), and little pearls. Super girly and perfect! Thanks to Mrs. Melissa, Jess's mom, for getting the cupcakes!
 And then when the party started with the lingerie, we had gawdy, nasty onlookers. Two actually got up from the table and moved to the other side just to see her gifts. Creepy.
 So what better way to get them back than make it obvious we know your watching by marching over to take a pic. You see the one on the right. He was frightened his wife and kid would leave him for being so gross.

My beautiful Jess! I could not be more happy for this one. She smiles so much brighter these days and it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. I love you JW!!

The Friday Layout

Workout? None. It was a "rest day" on my training schedule, and I'm always scared if I go to the gym or do any cardio on Friday's, I will over do it and wimp out on my long run the next morning. So, this is what my Friday consisted of........
Whole wheat blueberry waffles for breakfast

A morning that FLEW by because we are so busy, then a joy ride at lunch to pick up my thank you cards, which I did not get bc the owner had split early for the day. Oh well, it was beautiful weather!

I did say joy ride, right? Because that's what I did until I had to go back to work for a pizza party for a pharmacy tech leaving us to be an RN.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH yes my favorite food of all time. I completely sinned eating this because I had more than my fair share. (insert pic of my plate with too many pieces. oops)

We go crazy and have a party for ANYTHING at work. Hello, this is a fairwell lunch because someone quit. You remember my two co-workers that quit a month ago right. Yeah one came back!

Anyway I made a point to tell them they better go all out with a big shabang when I head out in March. Complete with balloons and all the pizza I can stuff in my body. Not really, I asked for something a bit healthier since I will have to fit in a wedding dress at that time. And then it will be all about NICOLE!

As pretty and yummy as this looks, I def resisted after eating my weight in pizza.
 I opted for the healthier choice. This was taken after I had eaten half of it.

After an extremely busy afternoon, I got a call that my pottery piece was in!! Love love love! Def going back for another in the same color but looks like a small bowl.. better yet, I may just register there because I can't help myself with wanting it all.

Came home to a package I've been expecting!!

My second box of Melaleuca products!! I can't get enough of this stuff. I actually ordered a value pack with 54 items in it Friday night. I def love how everything is "green" and completely safe. If your interested in hearing about what Melaleuca is about just email me and I will be more than happy to get you information!
Crackers, snack bars, bar soap, detergient, lotion, mascara, hairspray, deodorant, hand soap, meds...
 My parents were oh so kind and let me join in on their weekly Friday night date night.

Since I had a long run Saturday, I needed carbs. Pasta, pasta, pasta. Crawfish creole pasta to be exact.

It was delicious! Then it was bedtime since 5:00AM was the start to Saturday. Too bad I didn't get to sleep until almost midnight. Oh what a long but good day it was......