About me

A few thoughts before I leave....

I just can't help but express a few thoughts.....
I am feeling really blessed by this blogging community I have found. A group of women, runners and mothers who I really "get" and feel they "get" me. I know I am a bit crazy and neurotic sometimes...and lately VAIN with my obsession to get abs before this trip to Maui but I really feel grateful and blessed but all that I read on your blogs.

I just read Amanda's blog post here and it is like reading my own thoughts. I find that A LOT with her writing....I unfortunately don't have the writing skills to articulate my thoughts the way she does...maybe I will just start copying and pasting those that relate to me? lol. I kidd. (speaking of how amazing she is, go vote for her HERE by simply clicking the thumbs up and help her stay in the top 10 of awesome mommy blogs! Pretty please?)

Anyway...her post about children only being little once really hits home with me. I have struggled for the past 2yrs trying to get my work situation to an even better place b/c I feel like my dear sweet baby girls are growing up so fast and I KNOW I can never go back.
each day that passes, I yearn to live over...somehow to stop the hands of time and just pause it for a moment.
I hate that My to do list is NEVER ending.
clean the house, do the laundry, EMAIL my brides back, EMAIL SOME MORE!, do up there contracts, put together their wedding day timelines for hair/makeup, email other wedding vendors, edit trial run photos, go to the bank, get groceries, make dinner (yeah right, that doesn't happen much lately), write a blog post;), read my friends blogs so they know I care, fit in my workouts, Run, run , run, spend time with my husband so he doesn't feel left behind, put some makeup on, wash my 4 day old hair, get megan to school on time, pick her up on time, etc etc etc
and my dilemma is that I want to cut the wedding/work part out of this equation but I CAN'T!

My husband has 8yrs of school behind him...which means a lot of loans for his tuition on his road to become a doctor of Chiropractic. and then we bought part ownership in our clinic in september which lead to more debt. we are sort of ANTI-Debt...so this is tough but necessary and we want to get out of it as soon as we can ...which means a few more weddings for me before I take a break:(
dont' get me wrong, I LOVE my business but I am burnt out and just want to be a full time crazy stay at home mom these days.
anyway...I think I sort of rambled there.

My point WAS....that I love all you people that I've met. I'm thankful there are other women out there that get my obsession and committment to running. I broke down to my husband tonight and cried. I told him how I WISHED I was younger and how I LOVE having a family ( of course I do!) but how some days I wish I had the freedom and time to just run my little heart out and chase this dream of becoming an elite marathoner...I WILL get that sub 3hr:):) but it might take a little longer than if I was young and single...and that's okay..some days though it's just hard.
I never had any dreams in my 20's....and now that I do, my time is so limited.

all in all, I know I am SO blessed to have the life I have.
I am so excited to wake my babies up at 5:45am tomorrow morning (yikes) and go see my mama in Maui! I have not seen her in a YEAR! and I can't wait to hug her!
there is nothing like a mothers hug...even at 32 yrs old...I can still remember the smell of her perfume when I was a little girl:) I hope my girls will remember mine.
I sure hope they wake up feeling better....Megan has a terrible cough, Erika has a sinus infection, ear infection, fever and weird ITCHY rash all over her body:(:( and my hubby has a fever too:( I'm PRAYING everyone is okay by tomorrow..... and that Erika's ears don't rupture on the plain like the doctor told me today they might do:(. poor baby.
Regardless, this time tomorrow I will already have been at the beach for about 8hrs! LOL

Good luck this weekend to Britt and Jenn on their races!!! can't wait to hear the awesome results!! love you ladies!! thanks for inspiring me!


Okay...lets do this in parts:
 First.....3 days til Maui!!!!
 My mom is getting married there next week so Steve, myself and my girls are flying there Saturday morning!! I am SO SO SO excited!!
2yrs ago Steve and I made our very first trip anywhere together.....we never took a honeymoon b/c we were dirt poor and students when we got married 8yrs ago. Our first trip there without the kids was glorious....

we will never forget it! See tis last picture....I know it's small but that is apod of dolphins and I SWAM out to them and got to swim with them in the WILD! a dream i've had since I was 11yrs old! it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life!

I'm not gonna lie...I'm pretty excited to be in WAY better shape now at 32yrs old than I was 30yrs old when we went the first time!!!
I have abs now and my waist and hips are both 2inches smaller than they were in 2009!!! woot woot! I know I know, I'm vain...but really my husband is a photographer which means he is going to have the camera on the WHOLE time and lets face it, I plan to be in my new SPORTS bikini the WHOLE time! so I better look hot;);)! I have resorted to eating nothing but fruits and veggies for snacks this week in hopes to show up there in my BEST shape possible! already down almost half an inch on my waist and I feel so good! The sugar binge lasted 5 days after my marathon and I felt like crap! LOL

I am excited to be there for my mom and see her get married of course! going to be a WONDERFUL trip!
Love you mom!!

It's been 10 days since my marathon and I haven't run AT ALL. Not even across the parking lot:)
My coach has us take 2wks off after a big race like a marathon but even if I was allowed to run, I couldn't:(:( My leg still hurts. The muscle I tore is my Flexor Digitorum:
It is on the OUT side of my lower leg and it hurts like a mother!:( now the pain has gone down into my ankle. 
I think I am being smart by not pushing it and just letting it heal. I will try to run when I get back from Maui. By then I will have had 3 wks off!!:(
I AM disappointed that this means probably no PR in my half marathon on July 4th. 

My goal was 1:30:00 for the July 4th Half, BUT after 3wks off and then only  4WKS to train....we'll see:)
It is sad b/c THIS was THE RACE I have been waiting for since I hired my coach but there will be other races and I'm trying to remind myself of that!

WHY 3 weeks off???: I know a lot of people are wondering WHY so much time off after a marathon?
Joel said something the other day that seemed to make sense to me. 
The Kenyans take 2-4wks COMPLETELY off after they run a marathon. He said it's actually good to get a bit OUT of shape so that when you start training again, you can shock your body back INTO shape! if I ran all year round and only took a few days off after each big race, my body would not make the huge improvements and PR's. The body needs time to ABSORB the hard training!:) It makes sense to me and I've seen it work before. after my first 2 training cycles and the time off I always came back and within 2wks was running faster than I was at the peek of the training cycle before:)
That is how I went from 1:46 half marathon to 1:32 half marathon in 6mos:) (2 training cycles).

So, in looking for another Marathon to do, I have become very frustrated! Bc I do everything in my power to not run on Sundays I have VERY LIMITED choices. and all the Saturday marathons are either in weather too hot or at elevation and i'm not doing that again!
I think my best CHOICE is to try to get into Boston for 2012. If all works out, my 2nd marathon will be BOSTON 2012 and you better believe I will be going for a sub 3:10 by that time!

remember I told you about that elite female marathoner who was trying to run a sub 2:46 (she has already run a 2:46 but needs to get below that) at my recent marathon to qualify for Olympic trials? well...she had to drop out at Mile 14 due to heat exhaustion but I emailed her to let her know we had some great photos of her! I told her how I was so disappointed at the heat as well and asked her some questions about her plans etc. 
She wrote me back and I just wanted to share a few of the very UPLIFTING things she said about my future that gave me HOPE!.  ( I underlined the parts that made me jump with excitement!) She is such a nice person!


 First, CONGRATULATIONS ON A VERY SUCCESSFUL FIRST MARATHON.  I mean that with full sincerity.   Your time was absolutely amazing for this being your first marathon and considering the conditions, magnify that accomplishment by 100!!!

I understand your frustration and devastation with your time.  I lived in Seattle for 17 years, so I know what your temperature range has been this winter and early spring.  Since moving to Spokane in 2007, I have had a huge eye opener with running/training in unpredictable weather.  Since mid 2007, the winter's here, while absolutely beautiful, have been very cold.  I have been training, on average since Novemeber, in 15-34 degree temperatures.  Most of my training days included the following and an absolute must:  snow blower, yak traks on the bottom of your shoes,  de-icer, several shovels and volunteers.  I was granted permission from a local high school to train on their track so long as I maintained it etc.......  I ran the Phoenix Marathon in January.  It was so nice to not have to deal with warm clothes and heavy equipment, and just to go outside and run .  Acclamation is a whole different story.

Now that your first marathon is under your belt, I am glad to hear you will try again.  I assure you that after your first two marathons (so long as you are seeking outside, professional opinions/training) are a much better experience.  While I did my first two, marathons,  solo with no trainer or coach,  I can only imagine the possibilities had I sought or hired someone to help me.  

With a time of 3:35, for your very first marathon, under the conditions you ran in, there is no doubt in my mind you can break a sub 3 hour.........quickly.  Don't let your time discourage you.  

Again, CONGRATULATIONS!!!  I read your story and I cried.  I understand exactly how you felt.  Keep it up and never look back.  

I dont' want to share her name until I have permission but thank you so much for this beautiful email!!
I am REALLY excited!! I told my coach yesterday that I want a 3hr marathon in 18 mo's and he told me he thinks I can do it before then....which makes me excited but I also know I need to find some good marathons with good weather conditions on Saturdays and that is hard. he wants me to run Eugene next year.....but we'll see.

The girls and I have just been hanging out by the pool. I have been sleeping in EVERY day since I don't have to get up to run and it is GLORIOUS!!!!! 
I have been making an effort to get into our new apartment gym and lift the free weights and do my ab exercises...so far so good:)
I love being healthy! I love feeling GOOD! I love being a mom! I love being a wife and  I love having legs to run!!!!....FAST;):)

Today, I am taking the girls to get pedicure before Maui! I can't wait!!!
Life is just so good lately and I'm so thankful to God for that!!
 My little mooshy trying her new flipper in the pool!
 Me and my babies!!! 

One of my new sport bikini's! 
do you know how long I've looked for a NICE sports bra style bikini?!!
If you're looking for GREAT sporty swimsuits visit: 

why can't I post any comments on your blogs???

can someone help me?
every time I go to post a comment on one of your blogs it does 2 things:
1. it immediately switches the comment to annonymous even if I've logged in
2. it won't post...it just goes from one word verification to another..INFINITELY!

what do I do??

Know WHO you are texting before you send it!

OH man....this is a GOODER! If my husband finds out I shared this, he might ring my neck but it's too good NOT to share!

Last night I was out with my best friend in the whole world. She came down from Canada to visit me and it's been a few years.

I took her for dinner and after we finished dinner, she said she had to go to the bathroom.
I decided to send Steve a quick text message.
I told him we were planning to go to a movie and that I would be home late....then I might have made reference to our sexy night the night before. (I MIGHT have:/).
that was it. No details.

He write me back with this:

"me too. I might be sleeping when you get home. Sext me later"

to which I bust up laughing b/c we have NEVER sexted before but we had laughed at the term.
( you have to know my husband...he is really a funny guy).
then he writes "I am laughing right now"
and I respond with " I am laughing at you". it was all in good fun.

A few minutes later, My friend gets back and we leave.
I get into the car and I get a text from my sister Tina.

This is what it says:

"What happened last night?
Are you sure that was meant for me?lol
Too funny.
What? I'm getting messages from Steve that I think are meant for you.
Are you playing a trick on me?

At this point, I can feel myself starting to sweat and my mind is racing trying to figure how in the HECK she got this text message? when SUDDENLY I remember I had sent her AND Steve a message earlier in the day with a picture of Erika! and then when I texted steve at the dinner table I used the same thread instead of starting a new one.

Well...you can IMAGINE the conversation that followed when Tina called Steve and he answered her call not knowing what had happened yet.
lets just say I about pee'd my pants when I called and he chimed me in on 3 way and tried to get me to explain to my sister!

In the end, this was the text I got from Steve:

"Good Job Bill Gates.
Don't quit your day job.
You haven't yet mastered
Dorkdom texting level 2 yet"
(attached was a photo of him rolling his eyes at me)

LOL.....It's true I am still learning how to use this stupid I-Phone!

Oh my gosh..it was SO embarassing but one of the funniest things that has happened all year.
So much for my ATTEMPT at sexting. I won't do that again.

Your very best SELF

Okay..I forgot I wanted to share something in my last post and after reading Britt's post Here I felt now is the perfect time.
Read what she says and it will only add to this.

One of the things about me that most people dont' know is that I LOVE quotes. I have a whole book of quotes that I made while I served a full time mission for my church when I was 22 back east. I have always dreamed of being a motivational speaker. yes, I am one of those very rare people that has NO fear of public speaking. In fact, I love it!!! you get me on my soap box about running or Natural child birth and watch out!! I could go on for HOURS!! LOL

Well, in all of the thousands of quotes I have heard in my life, ONE has stayed with me longer and more powerfully than any other.

Here it is:

"There is no nobility in being Superior to some other man. True Nobility is in being superior to your previous self".

Please read that more than once and it should REALLY hit home.
this quote has followed me throughout my life and I think it really applies to running.
I have tried really hard NOT to get caught up in comparing myself to other runners or trying to beat ANYONE else but myself. and when I lose sight and find myself thinking I'm not as good or as fast as so and so or if someone else is faster than me that means they are BETTER than me (the lies the devil tells us;)), I reflect on this quote and it brings me back to reality.

The ONLY person I need to beat is my previous self and I love that!!

and to be honest, I am the funnest person to beat!!!:D

I think along with Integrity (see Britt's post above), comes the ability to find assurance and confidence in ourselves and the gift's God has given us. We all have different abilities and different capabilities but as long as we are doing everything we can with what we've been given, that should be enough...and we know we are OUR BEST.

Marathon PICS! and some thoughts on "perspective"

Before I post all the pictures from my marathon, I want to say a few things. I normally just rush through my posts b/c I have 2 kids that are always needing something, an overflowing inbox for wedding inquiries and a husband who will roll his eyes and start lecturing me about time management if he knew how long I spent writing on here:)

BUT.....I feel like this post is an important one and one that a lot of us runners need to hear.

Since the marathon on Saturday, I have, naturally, had time to think and 'process' what happened.
It was like fighting an inner battle to be proud of my achievment and also critisize myself and be miserable over missing my time goal.

I am not sure WHY so many of us runners focus on numbers, but we do. At least I do! I am always looking at my paces, comparing my runs, my races, and figuring out just how fast I think I can run that next race. For me, I label my goals as "Successful" or "Unsuccessful" by whether or not I hit the TIME GOAL I set.....somehow completely disregarding all the external factors that played a part in that race. Like somehow,I am super women and should be able to run the same speed in Freezing temperatures or blazing hot temps. On a flat course or a hilly one. ....it just doesn't make sense.
and so it was with my marathon.
I had been training and running so that I should easily be able to hit a 3:20 or better.
A 3:20 is a 7:38 pace...and I was CONFIDENT (and still am) that if I can run 20 miles at 7:29 pace that SURELY with race day adrenaline etc, I can run faster than a 7:38pace for 26 miles.

And so...when everything started to fall apart at mile 14-17 on Saturday, I was confused, discouraged and left feeling a tad bit devastated. Nothing was playing out as I had invisioned it for SO many months!

Now here is the part I am getting to.

In a conversation with my husband Sunday night, somehow the part about times etc came up and he looked at me and said (as he has on many other occasions).
"Nicole, time doesn't matter! it is just a number, it is completel irrelevant!". I rolled my eyes thinking to myself: He doesn't get it!
but as the conversation continued he said some pretty important things that I think actually may have sunk into my thick running skull!

I am so bad at trying to re-itterate wonderful things that people say..it always sounds so much less "impactful" when I say it ,but I will try to put "in essence" what he said here:

Yes, you could probably have run that 3:20 or better.....IN 50-60 degree weather, AT sea level as you've trained, WHEN you hadn't just been sick with the flu, AND had been sleeping in your own bed ...ETC ETC ETC. The list goes on.

Nicole, you were FAST! (this is when I started to cry).

Why did I feel like I wasn't fast?

b/c my pace was 8:14 and that is usually my easy pace? yes. Pretty much.

But I was the 7th female to cross that finish line even after stopping over 10 times b/c I thought my legs were going to fall out from under me and I was going to pass out from heat exhuastion.

He went on to say ...IF ANYTHING, when looking at how you did in a race, look at how you placed among everyone else that trained just like you did!and ran in the EXACT SAME CONDITIONS that you did!. The number is IRRELEVANT.
(I think Britt gave a great example of this out look when she shared her race report in super WINDY conditions on Sunday).

In a 5K, not everyone trains right? some people just show up to walk it, some people just wing it, but in a MARATHON, EVERYONE trains. No one just shows up to run a marathon.
When I think that I placed in the top 3% of the women that ran that race, it suddenly makes me realize that I ran a really good race and did really well for my first marathon. Especially when I have only been training for 7 mos. and have NO prior running history. Do you see where I'm getting to? we are ALL different! We can't compare ourselves with ANYONE b/c they are not us and we are not them. There is such a vast combination of factors that make up who we are and our own individual abilities. So for the first time since Saturday, I can say I AM PROUD OF MYSELF:) few! I said it. and yes, I mean it. For THAT race, I did very well.

I am not saying I will no longer have time goals, of course I will, or that I dont' care about how fast I can run, but I have learned that there is a place for these goals to fit into the big picture but they are NOT the big picture themselves.

Last year, I set a goal that I wanted to place in the top 10% of all my races and I think that maybe that is a better way to measure my goals since every race and race condition itself is different.

I also talked with my coach and he gave me some useful information to help me make sense of everything on saturday.
He told me that Heat in long distance running effects everyone differently, and usually effect women more than men. interesting. also, if you have recently been sick, it can effect you more ( I had the flu 1 week before my race). I wonder if internally I hadn't quite healed all the way.
He shared more with me that helped me make sense of why I was feeling the way I was so early on in the race.
I also spoke to the race director b/c I wondered what happened to the female racer who was going out for a 2:46 in this marathon to qualify for Olympic trials and he told me she dropped out at mile 14 due to heat exhaustion! funny that is right about when i started to really notice it...maybe a bit earlier..about mile 12.

Anyway.....all that being said, i have learned from this race. I have learned that I need to broaden my perspective on this journey of mine. It can't just be about running a 3:15 or a 1:28 (on July 4), it needs to be about training hard and embracing every effort I put into each race.
I WILL have bad races and good races. Not every single race is going to give me the best weather, the flattest roads etc. and I feel like now, instead of ONLY seeing numbers and basing my success or failure on that, I can focus more on just being MY BEST, healthiest self.

I will admit I am going through running withdrawls right now....especially since I tore a muscle and can't run for a few weeks....or really SHOULDN'T. I'm worried that i'm gonna get to that crazy point where I just HAVE TO run and then do more damage....and it doesn't help that we leave for Maui in 12 days and I really dont' want to put on 10lbs before then. grrr.

So!.....onto the pictures that sum up this beautiful, amazing, not what I had planned, experience!:) MY. FIRST. MARATHON:)
** Thank you to my talented husband for all the photos! there are MORE than I could ever need to remember this day well! :)

(click on photos to see them larger~ sorry they look so small)

The night before at Dinner with My dad and Susan. I was SO
blessed to have them there. My dad was so excited to come support me and
it made me feel SO special! thank you dad for flying all the way there
to see my run my first marathon! I love you!
The hubs and I:)
Race day morning! BEAUTIFUL!
all my clothes laid out and ready to go! thanks for the tip Valerie

ready to go!
I love this shot! the sun was just coming up! about 5:45am. I LOVE early mornings!
they feel so spiritual to me:)
I will never forget the feeling I had as I got ready to go run this 26 miles!
doing my drills:)
Love my Brooks Launches!
The beautiful Harmony from Keep on Keeping On
(click on the link to read her race report)
this women is a doll! I just fell in love with her!
This is my EXCITED face!
see ya!
and I'm off!!!
Here I am at mile 4:) feeling good but HOT ! I could not WAIT
to pass my hat off to Susan!
so happy to see some familiar faces!

Here I am coming in at Mile 8
(the girl behind me in the pink tank was the one who came in 3rd last year at 3:22 and this year ran 3:46:(:( )
I'm telling dad and Susan how HOT I am!! I was really startin' to feel it
and as you can see...NO SHADE!
Great shot! my husband set this up with off camera flash! I don't
even remember seeing him:)
MILE 12!!
Here I come at mile 17.5...I pretty much want to die by this point
everything feels WRONG but I am trying to hang in there.
more water ON the head!

almost walking.....needed to get some water down
I dont' remember what I was saying here but something about
how TIRED I was.
Mile 22. enough said. I had just ran what felt like 5 miles up hill.
hating my life lol.

right after they took this picture is when I felt the sharp shooting pain go up my
leg. I stopped and then kept going but I stopped at least 5 more times between
here and the finish to try and nurse it.

Iloved your sign Susan! thank you! xoxo
I love you Dad!
here I come at Mile 25 w/ Steve by my side.

when I read the signs, I just starting BAWLING!
that's what my ugly crying face looks like after running 25 miles
in the heat! lol
Thank Goodness, it's OVER!:)
7th female to cross the finish line!:):)
A feeling of relief and devastation. but I did it.
checking out the results
talking to my mom:) made me cry AGAIN!
Let me explain this picture! lol...I told steve to take a picture of my
legs b/c this might be the best shape they are ever in! lol
My whole life I have been thin but never "in shape" so I am enjoying that
I finally have a TINY bit of muscle!!

The support team!
here comes Harmony!!!
You did it girl! sub 4!!!
Love her!
we did it!!!
My love:)
SUCKS! I had to stay in bed all day/night like this from about 3pm on:(:(
while Steve, Dad and Susan enjoyed the city.
Today I can walk almost normally for the first time:)
Love this picture!
thanks family!
I love you

and thanks to Lacey for watching my girls for 3.5 days!, she is the bestest friend a girl could ask for!