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Friday Five: On the go

IT’S FRIDAY!!!! CAN YOU TELL THAT I AM OVERWHELMINGLY EXCITED?! (Because I am). I’m linking up with I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for some Friday fun.

{And of course, the obligatory: My charity auction ends on Sunday!!! Please please please check out the awesome swag that is up for bid. The first 4 people to bid today will automatically get a set of Brilliant Reflective strips! You can check out the charity auction here}

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5 things I’ve learned about being a runner on the go (aka full-time job and a strong, strong desire to be as lazy as possible whenever I can…)

1. Dry shampoo is my best friend. I really detest washing my hair every day and don’t like how the blow dryer fries my hair. But. I am the sweatiest sweater to ever sweat. So without dry shampoo, my hair turns into a greasy disaster. Lately I’ve been in love with Clean Freak dry shampoo. Pretty much all dry shampoo makes my hair look better but still feel kind of gross…but Clean Freak has a slightly less grimy feel.

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2. Night wine is the best wine. I recently tried boxed wine (classy, I know…but it lasts for so long!) and it’s pretty much the best thing ever. I like being able to have a glass after a long day. Sometimes it’s just so needed.

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3. Sometimes I just need to drop the ball. I pretty much set up my coffee maker every night because a morning without coffee just isn’t going to happen…but some nights I just skip making lunch for the next day and head to the cafeteria for some good old zero effort food.

4. Plan out my workout before I leave work. I will always mentally tell myself what workout I’m going to do before I step out the door to head home. If I am prepared to go home, change, and hit the gym before I actually get home, it’s much more likely to happen

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5. Treat myself like a hungry toddler. AKA always have snacks in my bag. Nothing will derail a day of plans like hunger than goes unfed. Larabars are my go to lately, but I love Kind bars and Annie’s cheddar bunnies too.

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TGIF!!! What are your weekend plans? I’m at a conference today and tomorrow and I’m not going to lie…I’m kind up pumped for a “break” from the daily grind.

♥ Nicole

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On Thursdays, we think out loud

Happy pre-Friday, friends!!! It’s Thursday and you know what that means…Thinking Out Loud!

-My charity auction ends on Sunday!!! Please please please check out the awesome swag that is up for bid. The first 4 people to bid today will automatically get a set of Brilliant Reflective strips! You can check out the charity auction here

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-Weighted glute bridges are kicking my butt (har har har). Hips are my weak point so I’m trying to strengthen hamstrings/glutes and I definitely spent all of Wednesday hobbling up and down stairs. 2nd day soreness is so totally worse than day after soreness…

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-I made overnight oats with chia seeds + Greek yogurt + blueberries & strawberries. I think I’m in love. I hate boring breakfasts but my motivation is literally -1000 when my alarm goes off (it’s a struggle to just stumble my way over to the coffee maker). So I think overnight oats are my new go to warm weather breakfast.

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-I am totally obsessed with The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu. So freaking GOOD! But also a little terrifying and jarring

-And I can’t resist…

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Happy Star Wars day!

♥ Nicole

 

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How to be awesome at everything (jk)

{First, a little plea. My charity auction ends on Sunday!!! Please please please check out the awesome swag that is up for bid. The first 5 people to bid today will automatically get a set of Brilliant Reflective strips! You can check out the charity auction here}

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

For me, May is all about finding balance. A healthy balance. Since I’m definitely no expert on balance (yet), I’ve tried to compile an awesome resource for just “chilling out”. I may be in love with running and working out but let’s face it…it’s not my job and sometimes it’s nice to not take things so seriously.

Before I went away this past week I was OVER IT. Over work, over responsibilities, over the grind of work-gym-dinner-fundraise-rush. It took stepping back for a second and forgetting about everything “real” for a moment to realize that I can’t do everything all the time no matter what or I’ll go cray cray.

That’s not to say I’m about to give up on going to the gym or stop running altogether (let’s be honest, I’ll still probably go 4-5 days a week until marathon training starts), but if I re-realized anything on my girls’ weekend it’s that sometimes it’s nice to take a leisurely hike instead of worrying about when I’m going to run. Much balanced.

Why A Running Break Is Necessary

Balancing Life & Training 

Finding balance between running and everything else

How to create a balanced life

Without getting all mushy/deep, here is how I plan to enjoy this busy month:

  1. Keep going to yoga. It’s great “me” time.
  2. When I’m out of town/doing something, be ALL THERE. Don’t freak out over missing a run or lower mileage weeks. They’ll happen.
  3. I have very few free Saturdays this month, but I’d love to test out the waters with a running group. Social runs = the best runs and I’ve been missing the camaraderie of running with friends since moving away from home. (PS camaraderie is a hard a$$ word to spell. Totally had to consult the interwebs)
  4. Plan plan plan. The more I have written down, the more I can decide what I’m doing when.
  5. Veg out more in the evening. Once dinner is done, I’d like to be as screen free as possible.

How do you find balance?

♥ Nicole

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?

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– 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

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– 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

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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

 

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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:

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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

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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!

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

Running/cycling, April 17-23

Monday, 4/17 – Rest day, all day.

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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

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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 nicoleruns2620.at.gmail.com 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

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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

HAPPY BIDDING!!!

And now…onto pampering…

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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.

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– 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?

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– 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

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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

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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