Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What I'm most thankful for this Thanksgiving

The busiest travel day of the year, and the same is true for my family today. I hope you're all able to be with loved ones celebrating the things you are most thankful for! I watched all month long as status updates and tweets proclaim the little things in which we are all so very thankful. Television shows, online articles, the black Friday deals/ steals/ abandon the left overs and head out shopping omni-present commercials, and even Thanksgiving jibes and jest at this special American holiday. 

Naturally, I'm thinking about the things I am most thankful for. This time of year, I'm always most thankful for people. My favorite people.The people that I love and the people who love me. The people who choose to enrich each others lives in the mundane day to day and the extra special moments when we celebrate one another. 

I'm incredibly thankful for friends. I'm thankful for friends in which to run (Hey Sole Sistas), friends in which to have coffee on Saturday mornings, or wine (lots of wine) not necessarily on Saturday mornings but hey no judgement, friends to shop, friends to travel with, friends to lunch with, friends to dance with, friends to LAUGH with, friends who accept me for all that I am without any reservations. I'm thankful that I live in a place where running into my best friend at Target or while I'm out running the road isn't an oddity but a welcome familiarity. I'm thankful to be included in life's big moments, announcing pregnancy and engagements, graduations, promotions, and those days with small moments when you just need someone to vent to without fear of judgement. I'm thankful for these friends and our group therapy sessions, wining, dinner, dancing, dessert, shopping, and having someone to call on when your car won't start or you just can NOT believe what he did!! Women's rule of thumb: If it has tires or testicles it's going to give you trouble. 

I'm thankful for my family who has always loved and supported me no matter what I've thrown at them. I'm thankful for the values that have been instilled in me from a very young age, love one another deeply and work hard, as both will grow and bring life long happiness.  I'm thankful for Aunt Casey's love of banana chips, as this directly benefits me let's be honest. I'm thankful for late nights, loud laughs, and filling the recycling bin up to an embarrassing level at our get togethers. I'm thankful for my Mom, who to this day, tries to put my needs and wants above her own, as I fight to be able to return the favor. I'm thankful that she never hesitates to entertain my outrageous dreams. I'm thankful that she'll pick me up at 6:00am on a Saturday morning when I can't help myself. I'm thankful that she has always demanded more from me, as she's always been confident that I am more than capable of anything I could possibly dream up. I'm thankful that she cares if I wear the black round two pump or the strappy black pump with my new cocktail dress. I'm thankful for this one relationship in which I will forever be in debt. I owe everything I am to my family, and endeavor to make them proud every single day.

I'm thankful for my husband. I'm thankful that I have someone who genuinely gives a hoot if I had a good or bad day. I'm thankful for his strong work ethic and can do attitude. I'm thankful that I chose someone who has a legitimate chance at winning impossible bar room trivia games. I'm thankful that he invests so much of his time in my own interests. I'm thankful that he supports my interests outside of our relationship, always encouraging me to grow and learn.I'm thankful for the twinkle in his eye and mischievous grin that says something wildly funny and inappropriate is about to come flying out of his mouth.  I'm thankful that he encourages me not to take myself too seriously.  I'm thankful that he loves and supports all of the people in our life, without any expectations in return. I'm thankful that he is slow to anger and quick to forgive, as both are qualities I'm learning to emulate. I'm thankful that he's inquisitive and observant, as my blonde moments grow more frequent. I'm thankful that he tolerates my shopping habits, and entertains my attempts at decorating. I'm thankful that he knows and loves the real me, the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly. 

Wishing each and every one of you a safe, fun filled, joyous holiday!

Who are you most Thankful for?

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

8 Weeks Out & Weekly Goals

WOWZA! Every now again, I seem to write a post that resonates with a large amount of  people and the feedback always astounds me! Thank you so much for all of your support. It's always rewarding to have someone say that they can relate to my story, or that even in the smallest way, that I have inspired them. 

I think about this wonderful community, I literally stumbled upon, often, far too often: when I'm out running to road, when I want to cheat myself in some small fashion, and most frequently when deciding which aspects of my life I want to share. Blogging for me has always been about personal accountability and recording my personal goals and milestones, albeit in a semi-public fashion. I'm not a blogger that particularly cares about the number of readers, daily hits, followers, etc. although I will admit it's fun to see those numbers come up, as to me it says I'm doing something right to have so many people relate. For all of these reasons, thank you thank you for all of your continued support! I'm blown away!

If you don't think cat pictures are funny, we can't be friends (true story)
8 weeks out from the marathon, and I'm thinking I may have lost all my marbles signing up for this one. For the record, we , meaning my husband and myself, never ever actually discuss the marathon in it's entirety. Saturday post long run, we were traveling and talking about snap attack just how far 17 miles really is. However, we never ever discuss how far 26.2 actually is. Mr. Noel does frequently remind me that the first person to ever run the marathon died right afterwards so, and I quote "You're doing really well!"  If not dying after is the measure for success, then hell yes I am doing really well! I have a strong feeling those last six miles will rock my world. I frequently think to myself respect the distance and it will respect you. (if you're lucky)

Frequent reminders on The Louisiana Marathon Facebook page
My entire life revolves around running. Sleep to run, eat to run, socialize to run, work to run. All of my work outs presently revolve around increasing long run endurance. I'm still focusing on upper body strength several days a week, however lower body weight lifting isn't fitting into my schedule until after the race January 19th.

I have worked RIPPED back into my weekly schedule. The class was cut out at my gym several months ago, however I have been able to follow it to another gym on Monday evenings. I love it so much, I'm willing to pay for it singularly. Oh no, I'm one of those people. 

The combination HIIT and strength training encourages me to give more of myself, working  harder each Monday than I ever would on my own. RIPPED has singularly and massively factored into my overall fitness. I've detailed RIPPED before you can read about it here. The class is nationwide however not nearly on the same popularity level as some of the others offered out there. I LOVE this class. 

Weekly Work Out Goals:


5 Miles & Strength

8 Miles

5 Miles & Body Weight Strength Work Out 

Cross Training & Strength

18 Mile Run

Rest/ Recover

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Monday, November 25, 2013

17 Life Changing Miles

The long run,  it's been a love hate. I love challenging myself. I love proving to myself that I CAN do what I once thought I could never. I love the challenge in the long run. I love chasing the I can't believe I just did that feeling out on the road. The feeling is why I love long distance training. I love all of that good stuff, when I feel prepared. When I know I've done my homework through out the week. I love it when I have company and a run buddy. I love the long run when I'm so excited for my morning run, I have a hard time sleeping the night before. I love the long run when my heart is in the long run.

I hate the long run when I'm unprepared. I hate the long run when I know I'll be alone on the road. I hate the long run when my heart isn't in the distance. Saturday morning, my heart was not in my long run. I had the don't wants. The weather was cold, windy, and rainy. I wanted to stay in bed. I didn't run enough during the week , due to my trip, so I knew I wouldn't perform my best. I also knew it was a mileage building week, so girl you gotta get you ass up outta bed! I also know the best way to begin something you're dreading is to suit up and get going. So that's what I did.

I ate carb heavy through out the day Friday, I purchased a Mophie to solve my cell phone issues, I picked up my new pair of kicks, and by all accounts I was ready for this distance. I had a lot on my mind personally, heading into the run, and I was flat out looking for any excuse to avoid this run. I just didn't want to do it. Why am I telling you this? Because as much as I love running, some days, I really don't even like to run, and this was one of those days. Regardless, 6:30am I was out of bed, chomping on a quest bar, downing some Spark! and thinking, F my fit life.

I wasn't anticipating any help hydration wise, as my husband had returned extremely late the previous evening/morning from a job in Texas. I knew I would well and truly be alone for 17 miles. SEVENTEEN miles. 7:30am-  Welp sista better get going!

Water bottle in hand, and I'm out of the door, at half a mile I already have to stop and tie my shoe Is this a sign? Asks my inner negative Nancy? NO, keep running. Le Sigh, this is how this day is gonna go. 

Mile One- meh I feel ok. I could go back to bed. 

Mile Two- last chance to turn around, you're getting far from home.

Mile Three- I'm so glad I got up and got going! 

Mile Four- I can go all day! Legs feel great, rolling into mile five, new route, got lots of water, I am happy!

Mile Five- I love running!!!!!!

Mile Six- All troubles forgotten, two shot blocks in, water refill, and feet are flying

Mile Seven- Heading north....It's a wee bit windy out here

Mile Eight- My hands are so cold, oh shit I'm not even half way done.

Mile Nine- Stop thinking like that or you're going to be miserable for an hour and a half.


Mile Ten- Really? I've run two half marathons. This shouldn't be difficult for me. But it is. I should have run more this week. I'm pissed that I didn't run more this week. Maybe I could try this again tomorrow. Tomorrow? You're going to quit 11 miles into a 17 mile run? Dumbass.

 I'm cold. I'm lonely. Why am I doing this? This shit sucks. I want to quit. I'm going to quit. I hate running. But you just bought these new shoes and battery charger, plus you already signed up for the race don't be wasteful. Ok one more mile.

Mile Eleven- Shoot me. I'm dropping out of the marathon.I can't do this. How am I so tired eleven miles in? Water break. Six more miles??? I can't. I just can't do it. Well dumbo you're pretty far from home, so actually you can't quit. 

Mile Twelve- I'm in tears. I'm tired. I'm still trying to talk myself into quitting. Five more miles, and it might as well be 20. How am I ever going to do this? How will I ever run a MARATHON? 

One mile at a time, and sometimes one step at a time. Just keep moving. 

Now I'm mad that I'm crying. I start imagining Tom Hanks saying "There's no crying in baseball" 

Now I'm laughing out loud. Maybe I'm having some type of psychotic break. 

Well there's something new to think about

Mile Thirteen- Only four miles to go. Keep moving. Keep moving. Keep Moving. I'm not moving terribly slow, but I'm not light on my feet either.

Mile Fourteen- I can start heading back home. I'm going to make it. I'm going to hit 17.....I think.... maybe. Jeez this is one long ass mile!!! I'm back on the main road and I see a man standing there. I know exactly who that is. Praise baby J I NEED a pep talk. 14. 75 miles in. Last water break and Mr. Noel to the rescue.

When I make it to him, word vomit begins erupting from my mouth: 

I can't do this, I'm never going to make it, running is stupid, why am I doing this to myself? I'm dropping out of the marathon. I quit. Everything hurts. I can't go another step. I'm just going to stick to half marathons. I mean really? This  insane right? Who runs 17 miles? Stupid people that's who. 

Then he says....You want more water? 

Is he confused? I want to go home!!! I said I quit!

You can't get in the truck.I didn't unload it from the job last night

Whoa. I'm pissed. I think I hate him.

You can do this. My girl doesn't quit. Come on now you didn't run 14.75 mile to quit with 2 and a quarter to go. We got stuff to do today girl, get going!

UGH. Mella drama. I start moving again. 

I think I can, I think I can.

He's right. I hate that he's right. 

I love that he's right. I'm angry and I'm happy. 

I really do love him.

I'm back to thinking about that psychotic break....

Mile Fifteen- I start planing my last two miles. Just two more miles? I'm really going to do this! This is incredible! My pace isn't great but I decide I want to keep this under the three hour mark. New goal in my head, I'm going to do this. One mile at a time. 

Mile Sixteen. I can't believe I ran 16 miles. I'm still not entirely certain I'll make it to seventeen. Keep moving, keep moving. I think I've past the wall. Is that what happened? Have I been riding the wall? 

I'm feeling incredible. I am the biggest baddest chick that has ever lived. Hear me Roar. This girl is on FIYA! I'm so excited to run the marathon! The Marathon!!! I start thinking about all of the long runs. The weekday runs. All I've already accomplished. I am so proud of myself. The I want to quit feelings, I combated since I first put my foot outside the door that morning, are a forgotten after thought. I am a machine. I love running. I can't wait to run 18 miles next week! 18 Miles! How exciting!

I realize I've made it to 16.75 miles and for the first time, I really believe I will make 17 miles. I'm incredibly happy. Ridiculously happy. Big crocodile tears are running down my cold wind burned cheeks, they don't coincide with my incredulous stupid insane grin smacked across my face. choooo choooo says the hot mess express I can't believe I'm going to make it. I'm sprinting. 

I have energy to sprint! 

Mile Seventeen- I did it. I'm drunkenly happy off of my run. My entire life has changed. Changed. Just like that. In that moment, nothing else mattered to me, outside of this singular accomplishment. I'm free from the negative feelings that plagued me all morning. I feel happy, confident, and excited about the future. Running has well and truly changed my life. I'm in shock. I really did it, and I know without a doubt, I will do it again.

I DID IT!!!!
Bastille's Pompeii pulled me from the trenches of this run:

We were caught up and lost in all of our vices
In your pose as the dust settled around us

And the walls kept tumbling down
In the city that we love
Grey clouds roll over the hills
Bringing darkness from above

But if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
Nothing changed at all?
And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You've been here before?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

If you close your eyes

Eh-eh-o eh-o [8x]

*I'm behind on emails. Like a week. Hang with me, I promise I WILL get back with each of you!*

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Marathon Training Week 10 & Weekly Weigh In

Saturday morning marks the final run of week 10 marathon training, with a 17 mile run. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't intimidated by that distance, I am extremely intimidated by that distance. This week over all has not been the best in terms of training. I've logged three work outs and 12 miles heading into the long run, as I missed one weekday long run due to my trip. My legs have been stiff and sore, which I'm blaming on walking 6 miles in boots on Monday. This does not count as a work out. Week 11 should be much more balanced and normal in terms of training as I will be at home in my element. The biggest hurdle in the foreseeable week is the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. My Mom is making black bottom pumpkin pie- help me!

You may have noticed I have not been using my Garmin to track my runs. I have issues keeping the Garmin charged, and as much as it pains me to admit it, I pace myself 10 times better with my free Nike+ running ap. To make the Nike + ap even more addictive, I've recently discovered that it's gone social! I had to upgrade my account, I've been using Nike + for a few years now, and I added a few friends where we can issue challenges to one another which is great fun! Feel free to add me there if you'd like, my name is Elle_Noel.

My favorite feature in the social sharing aspect, is the cheers I get from friends while out running! I have the AP set to sync with my personal Facebook. When I begin a run, a post is made on Facebook, and with each like I get a "cheer" in my ear simultaneously! It's such a fun boost while out on the road. I'm really loving the ap. However, I've run into another dilemma  with cell phone battery charge, if it ain't one thing, it's another, and it's been incredibly frustrating to have my phone die during the long run. I'm picking up a battery back up today, and crossing my fingers that Santa will pass me a new phone for Christmas! I've been soooo good this year! 

In run related news (surprise surprise), my new pair of K Swiss Kwicky Blade Lights are finally in!  I'm in desperate need of new run kicks. A few weeks ago, I bought a pair of Mizuno Wave to Inspire, which is one of the most popular running shoes in the US. I did two runs in them and decided they just were not for me. It's hard to make a switch when you're used to one type of shoe in particular. I really love my K Swiss Kwicky Blades and I am in the minority there. My run store doesn't even carry the shoe anymore as it's not very popular, but they will special order it for me! Just another example of what's good for the gander ain't always good for the goose. Finger out what works for you!

3rd Pair of K Swiss

Hydration issues and the long run, the big pain in my side. Previously, I've had to plan my route around water fountains, or pre-plan my run route, and set out water bottles along the way. This is troublesome for me, as I like to wing my routes. I finally broke down and picked up a hand held water bottle at my local run store. I've been enjoying venturing far away from water fountains and the freedom that's allowed me in switching up my run routes. Honestly, I can't believe I put off purchasing some type of hydration for such a long time. 

Last but not least, post vacation weigh in- queue the ominous don don don. 

I am up three pounds from last Friday. I'm OK with that. Total honesty? A beach vacation would have been double that, maybe plus some, as all we do for a week straight is lounge, eat, and drink. Back on track and holding myself accountable. Thanks blog, appreciate ya! 

Do you have a long run this weekend? How far?
Do you typically gain weight while on vacation?

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