Monday, October 20, 2014

Weekend Recap & Weekly Goals

Monday morning, we meet again! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! We had a relaxing, restful, and somewhat productive weekend. I started off my Saturday with Week 5's six mile run. My run buddy is back an action which has totally changed the game for me. Running with a friend is a million times more enjoyable. Kat and I met up at 6:30am, and after a quick warm up aka girl talk session, we were off and rolling! The weather warmed up fairly quickly but overall it was a pretty easy run. I ran negative splits from start to finish, this always makes me happy. This also tells me I need to push myself harder if I want to do well at the Cajun Cup in three weeks.

After the run it was off to family pictures with the pooches. This was an...adventure. Yeah, let's call it that. The baby dogs reacted as well as one would anticipate dogs to react to a photo shoot. At a farm, which is basically puppy paradise. Our photographer is a miracle worker though, I'm positive she got some great shots. Here I am taking selfies with the dogs on the way to have our picture taken. Nacho is true to form, loud proud and in your face, while Nola is a quiet sweet little lady. Nick is driving thinking, "how does she rope me into this shit?!"

After the picture session, we rewarded ourselves with lunch at Bon Temps Grill. I had white wine (substitutes a fruit right?!) and a seriously delicious seafood cobb salad. This restaurant is right near our new house and we will be sure to pay a return visit!

Saturday night we went to a birthday party in Nick's hometown. It turned into a fairly early night. Waking up at 5am makes me tired come night time.

Sunday we went to the grocery store, I wasedh TWO loads of laundry, seriously over achieving, and our Saints lost. By one point. Womp Womp Womp. The remainder of the afternoon held a bunch of long faces.

Two Seriously spoiled dogs live at our house
In good news, this was a great weekend for me food-wise. I've been struggling more than usual over the weekends due to lots of social functions and cake I can't say no to. This weekend is a win for me. Feeling better on Monday than on Friday. Heeeeyyyaaaa

And because it's Monday, an oldie but goodie: 

Weekly Work Out Goals


5.5 Mile Run

10 X 400 5K Pace

4 Mile Run

60 minutes Cross Training

7 Mile Run


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Friday, October 17, 2014

TGIF, Week in ReCap, What Changes?

TIGF! Friday, the best day of the week, is here! Thank you all so much for your support in regards to yesterday's post. GOMI felt like the proverbial elephant in the room for me, and I'm happy I addressed those feelings so that I can move forward with my blog. I intentionally left my post unprompted in hopes it wouldn't land on that page but alas, it did. I see you GOMI traffic. Geez Louise!! 

I'm cutting off the bad energy and refusing to read what's being said, I encourage you to do the same. Be supportive of one another, positive energy breeds a positive outcome. You'll never shine throwing shade my friend. Live it, love it, do it. Stepping down from the soap box.

On tap this weekend, I've got a 6 mile run courtesy of Hal Higdon's week five of intermediate 10k training. I'm thoroughly enjoying this training program, the change in temperature has helped not gonna lie, but overall, I enjoy each workout. However, the 60 minutes of cross training- ugh ugh ugh- no matter which avenue I choose I dread it. This morning it was the elliptical. for a freaking hour. Felt like eternity. 15 minutes forward, fifteen minutes backward, fifteen minutes forward, fifteen minutes backward, literally 5 miles on the elliptical later- it was done. Only three weeks until race day! 

We're taking our family Christmas Card pictures this weekend. Who is going to be in the picture? Nick, Myself, Nacho, and Nola! I'm bringing my dogs to a professional photo shoot. This should be interesting. Sorry Sam

We have a jam packed Fall with essentially every weekend booked through Christmas, so we're all looking forward to a low key relaxing weekend. They are so few and far between.

I've been referencing a new vision for awhile now. Changes are coming to Elle Noel. This blog is going transition into a space for both ,my husband and myself, with varied content, examples: features on our pooches, the crazy things I will do to save a dollar, Champagne shenanigans, the Type A personality struggle, resulting in my favorite thing to do: plan. Plan plan plan. Nick's posts will likely pertain to venting about my type A personality, the gym membership he's been neglecting for 8 months, fantasy football frustrations, and technical things he finds interesting. Anywho, he wants in on the action, and I already have an audience. Work smarter not harder.

I also feel, by no fault other than my own, that I've pigeon holed myself as a weight loss blogger, which I was/am, however, I've got many more dimensions and I'm ready to share.

Hope you have a fabulous weekend people!

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Thursday, October 16, 2014


Already half way through October, would you look at that. Time keeps on tickin tickin tickin, into the future....

I have been going back and forth over this blog lately. For a few months actually, ever since I became consistently inconsistent with posting. What happened? Why the big change? I thought you enjoyed the blog? You haven't been writing, is something up? All questions from readers and people in my real day to day life.

I have always blogged because it was something I enjoy doing on a personal level. I love the conversation it creates and the introductions made with people I otherwise never would have been afforded the opportunity to connect with. I love being able to go back and read about first time experiences or where I was at a certain point in my story vs how I feel today, and I know there will be upcoming life experiences I don't want to miss out on documenting.

Total transparency, I feel like I can't blog unless I'm being completely honest. I can't write if I feel like I'm hiding something. I do feel like I've been hiding something.

I'll just tell ya what happened. Several months ago, I was exposed to the dark side of blogging, and I didn't like it. I didn't like it one bit. It sucked the joy out of writing here for me. It made me want to retreat, becoming much more selective about what I choose to share of myself on social media.

I was being discussed, albeit briefly on the website GOMI in connection with the blog Mama Laughlin. I had a huge spike in traffic, in regards to this post, which actually became my third most popular post ever written- it's insane how many people are reading there. Setting the record straight, I wasn't discussing her, I wasn't taking some passive aggressive virtual swing at her, I do not know her personally, I've had extremely minimal social media interaction with her, all of which has been totally public, blog comments, IG likes whatever, and I am not a regular reader of her blog. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm very direct. I don't make a habit of sugar coating things for myself or anyone else for that matter. If I had been specifically targeting someone, I would have come right out and said it.

Mostly the GOMI crowd was nice to me, but only because I literally halted my blog after this incident. I'm sure at some point the tide would have turned. It's fact of life that not everyone is going to like you. I'm ok with that. 

What I'm not ok with is the group style "snark" fest and literal bashing of another human being. Normal human beings. Just like me and you. People with feelings, emotions, families, and friends. We all put on our pants the same way, one leg at a time.

 I'll admit to being sucked into these forums. I'm shocked at how closely some people are followed, and critiqued. Some of what is written is seriously creepy  and disturbing shit. Some of it is educated well thought out rhetoric, that left me thinking, I can see their point of view. 

What I can't rationalize about the entire site is, What does anyone actually get out of this? What's the purpose? If you're so PO'd/ aggravated/irritated why not take it up with the source? Or just unfollow that person because hello- it's the internet. The internet! How can someone you don't even KNOW irritate you to such an extreme that you retreat to a site to pick apart that person with other strangers who you don't even know? On the internet. 

 Is our interpersonal communication really at such an all time low that we obsess over bloggers on the internet. I can't wrap my brain around that. What in the actual fuck is that?? 

I couldn't help feeling totally disgusted by what I found there. All this toxic unnecessary discussion about so many people. It tarnished my perception of blogging. I had to take a serious step back and access what positive contributions the blog was making on my life. Does the good outweigh the bad? I was living in this little bubble assuming everyone reading and following one anothers stories and posts, was giving each other good juju and positive support.BURST goes the bubble! My immediate reaction was, Why would I ever want to expose myself to this type of energy? Why would I subject myself to this? 

I almost completely deleted my blog last week. Like delete. Poof! Since the delete button is catastrophically permanent, I promised myself I would sit on it, and if within a week, I had no urge to write, I'd delete. If I had the urge to write, I'd totally recommit and follow  through with my new vision for this space. Including this literal rant about people I don't know on the internet. The irony is not lost on me. Obviously the latter won out. You're stuck with me.

I will be back tomorrow. And Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday, and Thursday, and Friday and the week after that and that. Cause life is too short to let some bullies with keyboards and access to the internet stand in my way.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cajun Cup Training 2014: 10k Training

Heller! Can't believe I'm going to get in three posts in September. Shoot for the Stars!

I'm onto week two of training for the Cajun Cup 10K. This race is special to me, it's where I first drank the running kool-aid and was the first race I ever trained for in 2012.  I ran the race again in 2013, however, I used it as a marathon training race and actually ran 9 miles to the start line. I know, that shit cray. I don't want to spend 6 months training for a long races this season. I injured myself that way last year. Too many miles, the wheels said no more! So I decided to bring down the miles and up the speed. I've been following Hal Higdon's Intermediate 10k plan.

I choose this plan for two reasons:

1. Speed Work (a-hem fat loss) and who doesn't want to constantly improve their speed? I know I will always want to be faster. And faster. I also know this takes time. Lots of time. Like years for some people. Enjoy the run. My constant reminder.

2. Mileage increases to an 8 mile long run week 7, with race day week 8. Meaning, after the Cajun Cup, I have four weeks to get myself back to half marathon distance for the Beach Half December 6. then upwards to my white whale, the Marathon finish. 

Last year, I had it all figured out. I had run calendars posted in three different places. I knew how I planned to transition between each race, I knew how many miles I had to run each week, even if it hurt I did it (dumbos), I had a plan. An intricate one. I had calendars dictating my run schedule and nothing was going to stop me. Except that knee injury. 

This year, I'm winging it. Listening to my body has brought me the best results to date, so that's what I'm rolling with, calendars be damned! I do have a teensy outline in my head but nothing on paper. Swearsies.

This 10K training schedule intimidated me for the same reason it excited me: speed training. Real talk, I've been doubting myself lately. Can I still run an aggressive schedule? Can I really push myself out to a 5k pace with no competition? That's where the magic lies for me on race day, competition. both with myself and the people running in real time around me. FYI: I always do my speed work on the treadmill.

Week One Speed training 35 Minute Tempo Run:
I wasn't too stressed about this tempo run, it's a routine I frequently use on indoor runs.. I'd been logging enough miles and pushing myself, so I knew I wouldn't have issues. Honestly, it wasn't very difficult. I had to force myself to bring down the speed and recover after the run "peak" , sometimes the run just feels so good (so good, so good), which is a really great thing. It means I can push much harder during the "peak" next week. When the tempo run extends to 40 minutes.

9:21 Pace

Week Two Speed Training: 8 X 400 at a 5k Pace:
A 5k is the fastest pace in your arsenal. It's the pace you run when you're not afraid of emptying the tank too early, because it's not that far to go. I can usually only push myself into the 8 minute mile range on race day. When I'm thinking, "No way Jose you ain't getting past me!"

400 meters = one lap around a standard track or 1/4 of a mile (.25). For whatever reason, the 400 meter runs intimidate me. I broke this run down into laps, increasing speed each "lap"

Lap One 6.7
Lap Two 6.8
Lap Three 6.9
Lap Four 7.0
Lap Five 7.1
Lap Six 7.2
Lap Seven 7.0 (Feeling like meh, I might die)
Lap Eight 7.3 (just kidding I can run harder)

I'm not gonna lie. It was tough. I was sick earlier in the week and this was my first work out post illness. (Fever/Achy/yearly seasonal crud). To round out the cardio to an even number (I'm OCD like that), I did a 13 minute incline walk, and then ran for two minutes. Cause I felt like it. :)

8:37 Pace

Today is four miles and some strength. As much as I love trying new things at the gym, weight lifting programs, kick boxing, circuit training, cycling etc. I just love to run. I can't get away from it, and I hope I never have to. I feel incredibly motivated heading into the fall run season, cooler weather is setting in, and the run fever hits. It's a feeling I keep chasing. I can't stop seeing that marathon finish. 

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Friday, September 19, 2014

The Gratitude Challenge

Good morning and TGIF! I'm keeping my word and blogging two days in a row. If you're friends with me on my personal Facebook, I apologize for this repeat. When I posted this one random Saturday morning, I knew I couldn't get the whole blogging thing out from under my skin. I'm sure you've seen the graitutude challenge floating across your news feeds, here's mine, condensed. With Pics. Enjoy. 

Last week, my cousin Jamie nominated me for the gratitude challenge, 3 things your grateful for, for five days. I procrastinated, so I'm gonna do one better and drop them all in one post  15 things I'm most grateful for, here we go...

1. My hard working husband Nick, for his love, support, Mr. Fix-It winning attitude, and the ability to make a joke out of any situation. I love laughing with you, especially in awkward situations when it's probably more appropriate to be quiet. You are a gem. You challenge me to better person, continuously keeping me on my toes. You are my very best friend, truly a gift, and I'm a lucky to get to call you mine. I could go on for days, but you'd have a fit if I got all mushy mushy on The Facebook (or the blog- whatever).

We asked him to pick up some Champagne. He's an over achiever 
(and going to kill me for posting this pic)

2. My Mom, for all the countless times you put my needs above your own, for your selflessness, for always leading by example, for teaching me how very important it is to be able to support yourself, for my education, for that mum you bought me to put outside of my front door last fall (unfortunately, I didn't inherit your green thumb), for your generosity, your kindness, and your unconditional love. Oh and for the potty training, I can't tell you how many times that's come in handy. (I stole that last bit from a greeting card. Sue me).

3. My family, on all days. All of the little and big life lessons I've learned from each member. For all of the precious memories only we can share. No one else on Earth can sympathize with my tall people problems like you, for the all those hugs and greetings in the foyer. For the unconditional love and support. To Maw Maw for holding onto my strawberry milk Donald Duck cup all of these years, For all the holidays, birthdays, and just because days that you've made me feel loved. I truly hope I give it back to you.

4. My ride or die girl friends. You know who you are. Those special girls who help me in all tasks. From stripping wall paper out of my new bathroom, pep talking me through a long run, for all of the weekend editions of the hot mess express, for never minimizing the all important question, "What shoes do I wear with this dress?!", for cheers on race day, for your punny text messages on a basic Wednesday, for helping me clean the fridge of champagne (because Mimosas), for humoring those inevitable Lindsey Lohan moments life throws our way, I am always here for you boo.

5. My education. The ability to learn, and to put those skills into practice. I know that I've been afforded opportunities that don't come everyone's way because of it. This one is all you Mom 

6. Nacho, my big Buddha baby. You are so spoiled and I know it's all our fault. When you bark at me at 6am on the one day I get to sleep late, I rethink my sanity in having you as an inside pet. Then I see your sweet face, and how happy you are to see me, and you color my entire day. I love how happy you are just to be near us. You make me appreciate all life's little things that much more. 

Give it to me straight: How many more times will you have to leave for this "work" thing?

7. Nola, our sweet girl, you are incredibly kind and patient, honestly you don't have a choice with Nacho as your brother. I love how quiet you are in the mornings. I love that you love to cuddle with me. I love the way your butt wiggles when you run up to greet me. I love that little noise you make when you yawn. You light up my life. (It's really sick how much I love these baby dogs)

 Beware of dog: she comes for cuddles

8. For Tuesday, you are not the forgotten child. I love you too. Your quiet nature is a trait I attempt to emulate, but frequently fail. You've been side eyeing me ever since I brought home number 6 and you really thought we lost it with number 7. Sometimes I imagine what expletives you are shouting at me when you stare at me from across the pillow. Yeah gah, I see you. 

Don't mind me. Just creepin on your run gear

9. The ability to run. Running transformed my life in the most incredible way, and I don't just mean the way it's affected my body physically. I crave the continuous challenge the road presents to me. I treasure the relationships I've gained when I first set out to train for a race. I cherish the many talks I've had with Jesus out on the long run. For the extra challenging run goals, whether speed or distance, where at the end I'm physically spent but emotionally rejuvenated. I am forever grateful to have discovered this passion.

At the finish line of my first half marathon: Rock N Roll New Orleans 2012

10. I'm grateful for insurance. For health insurance, car insurance, home owners insurance. All. at. the. same. time. I really feel like I'm winning adulthood in having all of these things.

11. Football season, I'm so grateful you have arrived. I love the camaraderie on game day, I love the fashion opportunities you present. I love the shouting people who gather in my living room on Sundays. You also make it socially acceptable to day drink... again with the Mimosas....

I just love this pic. There was a football game on too

12. Travel, I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had because of it, I love going somewhere I've never been and seeing how other people live life. I value all of the lessons, experiences, and memories carved out of each trip. 

Sweating bullets at the Sears Tower: November 2013
13. A place to call home. I am so grateful for my home. I love being here, especially with the person and furries I share it with. No matter what happens during the day, I feel at peace when I arrive on our drive. I'm grateful for the little things like covered parking and the big things like two bathrooms (Hallelujah).

14. Fabulouso. It's pretty trivial, but I seriously love the way you smell.

15. Last but certainly not least, I'm grateful for my cousin Jamie. I'm grateful to you for nominating me for this challenge, it made me realize how very many things I have to be grateful for. I'm grateful to you for your caring spirit and the way you work so hard to make sure everyone around you is happy. I look up to you and admire the way you carry yourself. If I've got even a teensy bit of your character in my genetics, I'm forever grateful. I'm grateful for the friendship we have, and the way we've grown closer over the years. Also, I'm grateful to you for driving everyone home from Flora Bama on your Birthday. I owe you

Flora Bama Selfie

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