Friday Five

April runfessions

I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for some runfessions on this lovely Friday! I can’t believe that Monday is MAY (aka my b-day month!). I’m both excited for summer things and amazed that April has managed to speed by without notice!

And don’t forgetmy charity auction is LIVE. You can see the rules on bidding here and check out the goods again here!

  1.  In case you haven’t heard me shouting from the roof tops, I am on a mission to raise $2620 for Team For Kids. 100% of the proceeds from this auction will go directly to support Team For Kids and their effort to provide free or low cost health/running programs for school age children across the United States. I runfess that I’ve been feeling pretty discouraged about my progress with the charity auction…


2. I runfess that I’ve actually been enjoying running less and cycling more. And, with my recent decision to start more strength training, I’m excited to see some changes in my muscles. It’s fun to make progress in something…

3. I runfess that I’ve been pretty terrible at eating good meals lately. Yesterday I ate a big breakfast + filling lunch and was amazing at how un-hangry I felt all day. Who would have thought?! [insert eye roll here]

4. I runfess that I wish I could have a “do nothing” day where I sleep late, go for a long run, and eat delicious food all day long. I’ve found a great routine for going to the gym after work and then eat dinner and relaxing for the evening but I’m starting to feel a little burned out. It’s been over a year since my last real vacation (since moving kind of threw a kink in a relaxing Christmas break) and I am burning out…

5. I runfess that lately I’ve been enjoying more solo workouts. Typically the husband and I go to the gym together but I’ve really secretly liked that our schedules have been a little off so that I can have some zone out, dedicated “me time”…

What do you runfess?!

Thinking Out Loud, Uncategorized

Thinking Out Loud

It’s Thursday and you know what that means…it’s time for Thinking Out Loud!

– I feel like a broken record but you guys, don’t forget to check out my Charity Auction. 100% of the proceeds will go to support Team For Kids and their mission to create health and fitness programs for school age children across the United States! Plus…who doesn’t want awesome workout swag?


– Why am I pushing so hard to Team For Kids? Childhood obesity statistics are staggering. Did you know: According to the CDC, the percentage of children with obesity in the United States has more than tripled since the 1970s?! Today, about one in five school-aged children (ages 6–19) has obesity. I’m all about teaching children to be healthy NOW so they can carry those skills into adulthood

– I’ve done one whole strength training workout and I am HOOKED. I want to try this medicine ball ab workout next


– I bought organic eggs at the grocery store this past weekend and I feel like I definitely taste a difference…am I crazy?!

– Speaking of eggs: are you a sweet or savory breakfast person? I go back and forth but I’ve been on a major egg sandwich kick recently. Much delicious.

Happy rainy Thursday!

💗 Nicole


Weight training for uber-beginners

First of all, a big “whoop whoop” to commemorate the fact that I now officially have 2 bids in my charity auction! Don’t miss out, guys!

{Want a month of online training? We’ve got that. Want a new foam roller and some other accessories? Totally have that too!}

Second of all, it’s Wild Workout Wednesday and I’m linking up with  Fitful Focus, The Fit Foodie Mama, Fruition Fitness, and Pretty Little Grub.

Since I haven’t been doing anything extraordinary or amazing lately (thanks to some minor running setbacks), I’ve decided to focus on getting stronger and laying a solid overall (not just running) base.

Enter strength training.

It’s good for the bones. It’s good for balance. It’s good for switching up stale routines.

I’ve literally always been a cardio princess who occasionally did some planks and squats. So I’m starting from scratch. With pretty much no knowledge other than strength training is good and helpful and necessary for long term health/fitness. (Although I’m not going to pretend, I’d also kind of like to look amazeballs for a beach trip I’m taking in May).

Yesterday, I did a quick kettle bell workout followed by 30 minutes on the treadmill…those first few steps on the treadmill. Yikes. My muscles were screaming “WHATTTTT”. But, it was also nice to switch things up.

I did this Beginner Kettle Bell Workout that I found on Pinterest (modeled by a mom to be, but it kind of kicked my butt).

Dabbling with kettle bells is really only just the tip of the iceberg, though. It felt pretty haphazard and I wish I had more “structure” so I can make sure I’m most effectively using my time.

So. Research. Disclaimer: I kind of hate the “for women” label because I’m all about gender equality and think women can before just as awesomely as men but…I guess it’s also helpful to just have some basic info to get me started.

Beginning Weight Lifting Routine for Women

The Women’s Beginner Strength Training Guide

Strength Training 101

Strength Training Program for Runners

Strength Training for the Runner (from FIRST @ Furman)

I don’t envision myself become a muscle lady, but I am excited to have something new to add to my gym routine.

Do you strength train? How often? What’s your routine?

♥ Nicole



Giving Tuesday: fundraising update

Happy Tuesday, friends! Today I am linking up with MCM Mama, PattyMarcia and Kooky Runner.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted my fundraising progress for Team for Kids and, since my charity auction is now live, I figured it was a good time to reflect.

My most exciting update goes first: A+!! Officially received my first charity auction bid yesterday!

Overall fundraising progress: I’ll give myself a B-. I’ve definitely made progress since my last fundraising update at the beginning of March, I’ve raised $290. Not bad, but not as much progress as I was hoping for. For full transparency, here’s my progress as of last night:


Fundraising letter progress: F. F- if that was possible. I’ve literally written zero fundraising letters, mostly because I got discouraged about the lack of response from my last batch

Social media presence: C. Building, but another one of those “meh” categories that could use some work

Heart: A+. Sure, I haven’t made tons of progress but I am so excited that I got so much support from the running community (and now have so many awesome things to auction off thanks to them) and I’m feeling more passionate than ever about WHY I’m fundraising. In my book, that’s a win.

And of course, the song of the day: Fiona Apple, Fast As You Can. Not about running but it always makes me pick up my pace when I listen to it on the t-mill.

♥ Nicole


Running recap: back in the saddle

Happy Sunday! Today, I’m linking up with HoHo Runs, MissSippiPiddlin, Marathons & Motivation, and Eat, Pray, Run DC!

And…as usual…the obligatory don’t forget about my charity auction line! I’ve extended the bidding to end on May 7, so check out the goods!


Quick recap:
– More cycling
– A little running
– Yoga, yoga, yoga
– And cake…

Running/cycling, April 17-23

Monday, 4/17 – Rest day, all day.


Tuesday, 4/18 – 3 mile easy run, 10:00 pace. No pain, minimal leg tightness after! Foam rolling + yoga.

Wednesday, 4/19 – 40 minute spin, ~7.5 miles

Thursday, 4/20 – 3 mile crack of dawn run, 9:47 pace. No pain but definitely needed lots of stretching after. 1 hour yoga class in the evening.

Friday, 4/21 – 45 minute tempo spin, ~9 miles. TGIF. Also: about 2.5 miles of walking

Saturday, 4/22 – The only working out I did was to shovel cake into my mouth.

Sunday, 4/23 – 45 minute easy spin, ~8 miles. Tired legs, finished off the day with foam rolling and yoga.

Total mileage:

  • Running: 6 miles
  • Cycling: ~24.5 miles

Yoga classes: 1 studio class + 2 practices at home

Goals for the week: Now that I’ve had 2 pretty much pain free weeks, I would like to add in one more day of running and see how that goals. And, of course, yoga + foam rolling.

❤️ Nicole


Pampering: the runner’s edition

I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness on this lovely Friday!

And don’t forgetmy charity auction is LIVE. You can see the rules on bidding here and check out the goods again here!

 In case you haven’t heard me shouting from the roof tops, I am on a mission to raise $2620 for Team For Kids. 100% of the proceeds from this auction will go directly to support Team For Kids and their effort to provide free or low cost health/running programs for school age children across the United States.

I also want to say thank you to all of the super spectacular people and companies who were generous enough to make item donations and support my effort for Team For Kids! This auction includes almost $1000 worth of awesome swag!

So how does this work? First, read the rules post here.
– Second, find something you like and place your bid!
– Email me at with your bid amount and which lot you are bidding on. I will post the highest bid below the lot and update as I get more bids so keep checking back!
– Want to outbid someone? Remember, each bid must be at least $10 more than the previous bids. Smaller bids will be disqualified.
What happens when you win? The auction will end on May 1 at 8:00 pm. At that time, I will email the winners and you will have 24 hours to make your donation in the correct amount to my Team For Kids page!

Lot 1: Training package

Starting bid: $25

Current winning bid: n/a

Lot 2: Coffee Lovers

  • Click Active Whey (Mocha) + stainless steel whisk ball shaker  ($70 value!)
  • Starbucks gift card ($15)

Starting bid: $25

Current winning bid: n/a

Lot 3: Mother runner package

  • Takes from Another Mother Runner (signed) + Train Like A Mother sticker + Badass Mother Runner sweaty band (color may vary) ($30 value)
  • $15 Road ID gift card

Starting bid: $25

Current winning bid: n/a

Lot 4: Safety package 1 

Starting bid: $25

Current winning bid: n/a

Lot 5: Safety package 2 

  • WearSafe pod (gray)+ 1 year of service ($72 value!)
  • $15 Road ID gift card

Starting bid: $25

Current winning bid: n/a

Lot 6: Glam girl 

  • $20 Ulta gift card
  • Momentum Jewelry Wrap – “She believed she could so she did” ($25 value)
  • $15 Road ID gift card

Starting bid: $25

Current winning bid: n/a

Lot 7: Shopping!

Starting bid: $25

Current winning bid: n/a

Lot 8: In The Kitchen

  • Run Fast, Eat Slow cookbook ($25 value)
  • “Happily Ever After” tea towel ($15 value)
  • $25 Cheesecake Factory gift card

Starting bid: $25

Current winning bid: n/a

Lot 9: Hydrate

  • 2 10-count boxes of SOS Rehydrate ($40 value)
  • SOS Rehydrate bottle ($10 value)

Starting bid: $25

Current winning bid: n/a

Lot 10: Recover

  • Trigger Point prize package: GRID foam roller, MB1 Massage Ball, & NANO foot roller ($80 value)

Starting bid: $25

Current winning bid: n/a

Lot 11: Color Run!

  • 2 entries into the Fayetteville, NC Color Run ($90 value)

Starting bid: $25

Current winning bid: n/a

color run.jpg

Lot 12: Snack bonanza!

Starting bid: $25

Current winning bid: n/a

Lot 13: Stylin’ with 73 Threads

  • 1 tank top from 73 Threads (size and style are winner’s choice) – $20 value
  • 1 t-shirt from 73 Threads (size and style are winner’s choice) – $25 value
  • 1 sweatshirt from 73 Threads (size and style are winner’s choice) – $30

Starting bid: $25

Current winning bid: n/a


And now…onto pampering…


1. Comfy, cushion-y shoes. I typically run in Brooks PureFlows but lately I’ve been really loving wearing Launch. They’re more cushioned and supportive, which my feet just need some days.

2. A good pedicure. My feet are no stranger to blisters and black and misshapen toenails so I’m all about moisturizing/toenail polish. My favorite foot moisturizer is AmLactin Foot Repair and my favorite nail polish brand is Essie

3. Nuun cocktail. Yep, enjoy happy hour with Nuun


4. Restorative yoga. Vinyasa flow is great but I really love just laying on the mat and stretching some good deep stretches for an hour. My body will cry otherwise.

5. Compression socks. I’ve been rocking CEP compression socks since college, I love the bright colors and the cozy hug of my feet/calves.

Some other things I love:
– a big bowl of mac & cheese
– cat cuddles
– shopping in a non-crowded store
– lunch at Whole Foods
– a good massage
– and of course…wine


I know I’ve said this before, but my favorite way to pamper myself/relax after a long day is to get some cozy socks and PJs on, brew some delicious tea, and lounge on the couch while watching TV. THE. BEST.

How do you pamper yourself?

♥ Nicole


Thinking Out Loud!

It’s Thursday and you know what that means…it’s time for Thinking Out Loud!

– My charity auction went live on Monday! There are so many awesome things up for auction and 100% of the proceeds will go directly to Team for Kids so don’t miss out on getting cool things and helping charity! Check out the rules here and the goods here!


Chocolate banana bread is. my. jam. So delicious and I’m telling myself that it’s “healthy” because bananas + greek yogurt are involved. This recipe happens to come from Amanda, our lovely TOL host!

– I’m still completely dedicated to taking care of my poor calves. Luckily, Runner’s World will tell me how. I’m convinced, now more than ever, that pre-hab is 10000% necessary if you’re a busy athlete.


– I’ve been spending a lot more time on the bike lately, especially on the spin bike. There are spinning studios close to me but I’ve been thinking about trying Peloton lately. They offer both live and on-demand spinning classes that you can do from the comfort of your own home.

– Meal of the week: white rice + 2 fried eggs + duck sauce = lazy girl’s fried rice. Delicious. Carbs. Protein. I mean, what else could be better?


– Are you team flowy shorts or team spandex shorts for running? I always thought I was on team flowy shorts but I recently wore a pair of spandex shorts when all of my others were in the laundry and I kind of loved running in them…

What are you thinking out loud about today?

♥ Nicole


The Boston Marathon

I’m linking up with Fitful Focus, The Fit Foodie Mama, Fruition Fitness, and Pretty Little Grub for Wild Workout Wednesday! Today’s topic: all about qualifying for the Boston Marathon!

PS don’t forget to check out all the awesome swag available in my Charity Auction for Team For Kids!

The Boston Marathon was on Monday and it always leaves me super inspired. It’s no secret, but qualifying is one of my long-term running goals. I’ve got some major work ahead of me, but it doesn’t hurt to think about it…

6 Training Habits That Lead to Boston Qualifying Times, according to Strava

The importance of easy runs!
A 10-step plan to qualify for the Boston Marathon

BUT. The more important aspect of qualifying for Boston is WHY you want it in the first place…

This essay Suz posted on her blog explains it all: getting a BQ shouldn’t rule your life and it shouldn’t be based on external factors (like glory, bragging rights, etc). Sure, it’s important but WHY do you want those things in the first place?

Last week, I talked about what Boston means to me, and all of those things still ring true.

Boston is the best because…of the history of the race. The course has been graced by so many amazing runners

Boston is the best because…of Katherine Switzer. Paving the way for women runners everywhere.

Boston is the best because…of the city. Beautiful, scenic, and literally just the best.

Boston is the best because…of the spectators. Can you say dedicated?

Why I’m not lacing up for the Boston Marathon hits on some of those ideas as well. I 100% see her point. But as a native New Englander and a lover of Boston, I can’t imagine not aiming to run through my favorite city in the world.

♥ Nicole


Giving Tuesday: Click Active Protein & foolish running mistakes

Happy Tuesday, friends! Today I am linking up with MCM Mama, PattyMarcia and Kooky Runner


And don’t forgetmy charity auction is LIVE. You can see the rules on bidding here and check out the goods HERE!

{Disclaimer: Click Protein donated to my charity auction but all opinions are my own!}


In case you haven’t noticed, I am super obsessed with coffee. Most days, I drink Lorelai Gilmore levels of coffee. So, as a coffee obsessed runner, a drink that combines coffee + protein = super ideal

All about Click Active:
– 25 grams of protein per serving!
– 150 mg of caffeine per serving
– Type of protein: 70/30 blend of whey isolate/micellar casein
– 130 calories per serving
– Glutamine + BCAAs

CLICK Active™ delivers:

– 21 servings in each canister contains 25 grams of a 70/30 Whey Isolate (fast-digesting) and Micellar Casein (slow digesting) protein combination that delivers better results for developing lean muscle-tissue, decreasing body fat and eliminating the unwanted carbs and fat found in most whey concentrate and protein blends. .
– Whey rapidly increases protein synthesis and casein blocks protein breakdown, a combination of both is ideal. Research shows these proteins support greater increases in lean body mass and decreases in body fat as part of a resistance training program. Perfect for additional protein needs and regulating blood sugar to help you stay lean.
– 150 mg of caffeine from pure, premium espresso coffee to boost alertness, improve performance and decrease recovery time. Natural caffeine from real coffee, not synthetic caffeine or added coffee flavor. Excellent as a pre-workout without the harsh chemicals and synthetic ingredients.
– Glutamine and BCAA’s to maximize protein synthesis, muscle recovery and endurance during workouts and reduce body fat during recover.

Bottom line: Click Active is a great pre-workout booster or post-workout delicious recovery drink. My favorite: chocolate milk + banana + Click Active blended all together for a super chocolate-y and nutrition recovery smoothie. The only downside I can think of is that I can’t drink this after evening workouts otherwise I’d literally never sleep. 

Foolish running mistakes: 
– NOT having enough protein post run…I always thought that since I’m not a body builder I don’t need to pump up on the protein. But yeah, protein isn’t just meant for gigantic bulging muscles.
– NOT stretching enough. Enter super angry hips and calves
– NOT foam rolling. Last week was the first time I ever foam rolled and it’s changed my life forever
– NOT resting when I’m tired. Sometimes a rest day is better than forced junk miles.
– NOT enjoying the process. Running can be so fun and social, I’m definitely guilty of taking myself too seriously at times.

What foolish running mistakes have you made?

Song of the day! Nancy Mulligan by Ed Sheeran

♥ Nicole


Running recap: the week of cross training

IT’S MARATHON MONDAY!!! I’m linking up with HoHo Runs, MissSippiPiddlin, Marathons & Motivation, and Eat, Pray, Run DC!


And don’t forget…my charity auction is LIVE. You can see the rules on bidding here and check out the goods HERE

And now onto my week in review…

Quick recap:

  • Yoga by Candace and Yoga with Adriene are the freaking best
  • Foam rolling is my jam…
  • …and so is wearing compression socks
  • Focusing on recovery and quality workouts has been such a nice break from the pressure to run, run, run
  • I actually do like spending time on the bike, contrary to what I thought I’d feel.
  •  My faves for the week: watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch on Hulu and Halo Top ice cream

Running/cycling, April 10-16

Monday, 4/10 – rest, all day SON! Lots of stairs + standing at work. 15 minute yoga for athletes


Tuesday, 4/11 – 1 hour easy-ish ride (approximately 11 miles) on the spin bike + 15 minute yoga for hips + foam rolling

Wednesday, 4/12 – I contemplated going for a quick ride after work but decided to rest instead. 15 minute yoga for athletes + foam rolling (I also SPRINTED up a HILL to catch the bus in the morning…does that count?).


Thursday, 4/13 – Let me be real: I planned on doing a 30 minute spin before work but I definitely just slept in instead…1 hour restorative yoga class + foam rolling

Friday, 4/14 – super duper easy 2.8 mile run on the treadmill with my new shoes, 10:40 pace + 15 minute yoga for athletes. My calves definitely felt tight after the run but I didn’t have any pain, so I’m moving in a positive direction.

Saturday, 4/15 – 45 minute spin (approximately 8.5 miles) + lots and lots of walking. Again, tight calves after a whole afternoon of walking but no pain so…progress!

Sunday, 4/16 – 3.7 super easy outdoor run with my new shoes, 10:20 pace. Continuing on with the theme of tight calves but no pain, even going up hill! I also tried pretty hard to avoid tilt-y sidewalks.

Total mileage:

  • Running: 6.5 miles
  • Cycling: ~19.5

Yoga classes: 1 studio class + 5 practices at home

Notes: I really enjoyed my life of leisure this week. It was nice to do what I felt like when I felt like it. So refreshing, mentally and physically.

Goals for the week: New shoes are (obviously) here, so I plan to do another easy test run on the treadmill and see how I feel. I do not plan to run any consecutive days this week, even if I feel great on the treadmill. So, more cycling + easy runs. Plus: continue to foam roll, wear compression socks, and do yoga.

♥ Nicole