Friday, October 30, 2015

NYCM TRIP - Day One!!!

You guys.
This is real!!
I am in NYC for all the marathon festivities and fun!!
A huge thanks again to Runner's World!! :)

Bart and I hanging out :)


We arrived on Friday and I got to attend the Runner's World VIP party! It was such a blast!!

I was so honored to meet Joan Benoit Samuelson - I mean, she is such a legend...

She is amazing!


And Dean Karnazes was there too!! 

This is so cool!



I got to hang out with Team Asics - good luck to them on Sunday!!
The flash didn't come on my camera, so I'm sorry it's a little (a lot!) dark...

Katie, Linzie, Toni and I - so fun!



Before the party, I made my way to the expo and got to meet Allie and Nellie!





It was so awesome to finally meet Allie in person. We saw each other and just started hugging!! She gave me the warmest hug (I love that!) and I felt like I've known her for a long time. It's so funny how you meet someone from blogging and you get to know them from their writing. I was so excited to meet her and wish we had more time to talk!! Allie - good luck on Sunday!!!!!!!!

It was my first time meeting Nellie also and it was so wonderful to meet her! It was so fun to chat a little bit and THANKS Nellie for helping me with my Uber app! :)
Nellie is running her FIRST marathon on Sunday! Good luck Nellie!!!!


I enjoyed my reading material on the plane...

Prepping mentally for Boston - it starts NOW :)


Do you like to unpack when you go away for a long weekend, or leave your clothes in the suitcase?
I have this thing, where I really have to unpack and hang everything up!




I'm running 10 miles tomorrow, and you'll have to tune in to see who I'll be running with!! :)
Flat Nat is ready for a huge 10 mile run! 



Well, you definitely won't miss me! #bright



Jerold knew just what to bring me to fuel up for the run tomorrow!!


#thankshoney!


Happy weekend friends and I'll be back with more NYCM fun!!


What are your Halloween plans?!!!


Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie



Thursday, October 29, 2015

Dark Morning Runs, Pumpkins and NYCM!!!!

It's been a crazy week.
I am continuing to run 6 days a week, which is awesome! I feel like I'm always saying how thankful and grateful I am to be running again. I'll say it again, cause it doesn't get old :)
With a full plate of running + all of my exercises (this includes exercises from my coach and my therapist), strength work, core, 100 ounces of water day, remembering to take my vitamins, eating plenty of protein PLUS moving and making sure my kiddos are adjusting.... I'm a little tired.
It's a good tired though - a happy tired. A peaceful tired. 
My kids are happy, my knee is happy, so I am good. I'm good...

I normally do not get up at zero dark 30 to run. I usually have a little visitor at least once during the night (it's always my five year old and she goes right back to bed - but I get up and tuck her back in), which sometimes I go right back to sleep and other times I don't right away.
So, the running gets done mid morning/early afternoon before the kids get home from school.

Not today! :)

The afterglow of an early run


I was one of the chaperones for Megan's Kindergarten field trip and I would need to be gone most of the day. The only time to fit in my run was 5 am.
The alarm goes off at 4:15 - it's dark and sort of chilly and it was a little tough, but I did it.
7 dark morning miles, but it was nicer than I expected. I drove to a trail that is well lit and there were a lot of runners pounding away their am runs before daybreak. We all nodded at each other as we passed by (there was no smiling) and we were all silently supporting each other.

I hurried back and it was a mad dash to the shower (no time to blow dry my hair!) and off to the farm with an adorable bunch of five and six year olds!

Thankfully, Jerold made lunch (I had to share this!)








Yes, I wore my compression socks!! #fashionstatement


It was such a fun day! I loved having the special time with Megan. With three kiddos, I really have to make sure I set aside special time with each of them every now and then...




All I can say is that I am so proud to be her Mom. xoxo


There were tons of pumpkins and the kids learned about how pumpkins are grown and all the different varieties...





I love fall, don't you?





We got to pick our own pumpkins...





Beautiful sunflowers and we even rode on a tractor!





I've been getting my kids ready for Halloween, and for the first time - Jerold and I won't be with them for Halloween.
Why?
I am beyond excited, but Runner's World Magazine is sending Jerold and I to the New York City Marathon!!!!!

Last year during the Runner's World Cover Contest, they also ran a sweepstakes. The winner would win a trip to NYC (+ a guest), 3 nights in a Manhattan hotel and VIP seating at the marathon finish line. They also would win a Tag Heuer watch and an invite to the VIP party on Friday night.
Well, 25,000 people registered and I WON!!!!

I can't even believe it, but it's been over a year since I found out I was the winner and now we are leaving tonight on a plane to NYC.

This will be the longest time we have ever been away from our kids AND we are missing Halloween.
But the kids have been great about it and they are going to be with family and friends. So much love will surround them this weekend and that makes me feel good.

I don't think it will really hit me until I get on the plane. We are going to have such a blast!!!! Be sure and follow me on Instagram - I'll be sharing pictures from our weekend there.

Today I ran a very easy 4 miles. It felt good to just put it on cruise control and just run super easy. I have a 10 miler in Central Park this weekend that I am very excited about!!!

Timing is everything - yesterday my old (although it's not that old) Garmin broke. The watch is fine, but the watchband fell off. 




Right after that the UPS guy showed up with a new Garmin 620 that I ordered!!!

Yay for an upgrade!!



And I received these awesome running socks from Stance!! I have heard so many great things and can't wait to try them out! :)






Alright, I am off to get on a plane. Have an awesome rest of your Thursday!!!


Do you run with a GPS watch? Which one do you have?

Last time you were in NYC? (It's been a few years for me!)


Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Nat

Monday, October 26, 2015

Weekend Update: It's All The Little Things!

Happy Monday Friends!
Last Monday in October!! 
I hope you had a wonderful weekend. 

It was a pretty relaxing weekend for us. I was super happy with my 9 mile long run on Saturday!! Running 9 miles is such a big deal for me and I felt so grateful to be out there running!
A full week of running and Sunday was a day off. I took a long nap and really enjoyed the down time.

Even on my rest days from running, I still work on my core, dynamic stretching and PT exercises. I still am at the point where I need to do these exercises every day for a while. I have a lot of strength yet to regain!

Here are a few of the warm up exercises I do on a daily basis:

1. Double leg jumps. I start in a squatting position and jump forward onto both feet. I do 15 jumps (x 3 sets)




2.  Lunges! Some days during the week I use 10 lb. weights.
I usually do 15 lunges (x 3 sets)




3.  Squats! The pic didn't come out just the way I wanted - I squat ALL the way down, and come all the way up (and squeeze my butt at the end). I still wanted to show you what I'm doing :)
15 squats (x 3 sets)





4.  Toe Touches! This is a great dynamic stretch. Start by slightly jogging in place and then raise your arm to your opposite leg and touch your toes. Keep jogging in place as you do this exercise.
15 times (3 sets). I am still working on getting my knee completely straight!! :)





This is a sample of what my warm up consists of on a daily basis before I start my run. By the time I start running, I am warmed up and lightly sweating. 
I'll be sure and show you the other exercises I include in my warm up soon. It would be such a long post to show everything! 
For me, it's all about the little things - these are the things that are going to help me stay injury free and be a stronger, faster runner.

It was another beautiful October weekend...





CONGRATS to everyone who raced this weekend!!!
It was so fun yesterday to see all the social media updates on all the races!!

Do you warm up before you run? (I used to hardly ever warm up! A very little bit of stretching and I would just bee bop out the door and start running!)

What are you having for dinner tonight? (I'm making chili!)

Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday!!
23rd of October, Halloween is next weekend and two major marathons are coming up - MCM this Sunday and NYCM next Sunday Nov. 1st!! So much excitement going on in the running world!

Here is what I am loving this week!


1. Alana Hadley is THE #1 US female marathoner running the New York City Marathon one week from this Sunday. She is simply amazing. She is also my coach's daughter and I am super psyched for their family! Woo hoo!!





2. I love THIS product from Kiehl's. I slather it in my hair when I go for a run. Sometimes I leave it in all day. When I wash my hair, it feels like silk. LOVE.







3. I am a HUGE Barefoot Contessa fan! I bought this cookbook and I am loving all the recipes!









4. I love mantra bands! They are simple pretty bracelets with meaningful sayings. I sent one to Sue to celebrate her running MCM on Sunday. I was so happy that she liked it and it looks great on her!





5. This quote is so true. #dothework





I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!! For those of you tapering, don't let yourself go crazy and GOOD LUCK this weekend to all the runners racing MCM!!!


Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Running Slower Even When You Want To Run Fast + Doc Let Me Go!

I have great news friends!
My doc let me go today!!



My doc rocks!!



I went to see my Doctor today for one last follow up. It's been 6 months since my knee surgery (I can't believe it!) and I've come to the end of the road.
Yay!!!!
He says I am completely healed and just need to continue to strengthen my quad muscle. I've been working on it, but will work harder. This means more gym time and hitting the weights pretty hard.
I can tell when I am running that the muscle is still a bit weak. 6 more months until Boston and I want to have a rock solid quad muscle to help me up those Newton Hills!! :)
Anyway, I am truly so thankful to my Doctor for all that he has done to help me get back to running. Not only is he a great Doctor, he's really nice too!

After I left the Doctor's office, I was off on a 7 mile run. Today I felt stronger than ever. It's been 2 months since I started running again and I felt like my stamina is finally coming back. 
Today was a day that I wanted to start running faster, but I held myself back. I have to have patience - coach wants me to take it at a nice and easy pace for now.

I love this so much.


After the run, I went to pick up Elle from preschool. They had a lot of fun today and she fell asleep in the car (totally unusual!). I couldn't resist taking a pic (those cheeks....!).

Yesterday was a beautiful 5 mile run. I had a blast exploring. Here are some pics from the run...

The clouds, perfect blue sky and palm trees = heaven




The color of this tree = stunning!


Check out THIS article on the 10 laws of injury prevention. I am hyper sensitive about doing all the right things for my body so I can reduce my risk of injury.

I hope you guys have an awesome Wednesday!!


How many miles did you run today?

Is it cold where you are? (we are still very warm here!)

What is the #1 thing that you do to prevent injury?


Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

When Life Gets In The Way

Hi Friends!
So, we have had an insane week and weekend to say the least. After 10 years in our house and 3 kids, we decided it was time for a new chapter.
Last week was our big move and all I can say is "Wow!" I know moving is such a big deal, but add in 3 little kids and it becomes a beast :)
If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see that I was determined not to let moving get in the way of my running on Wednesday. 
Thursday I had a cross training day and was on the bike for 45 minutes with weights, core and PT exercises. Friday was moving day and it started at 4 am and went well into the night. I thought about running so much, but it just wasn't possible to leave my family that day. Sometimes, life gets in the way and you roll with it. Saturday was the same and by Sunday I was exhausted and decided to keep it as a rest day. I really focused on my kids, arranging their rooms and helping them to feel settled.
Our new neighborhood backs up to a beautiful state park with amazing trails, gorgeous mountains and still so close to the beach. The running is going to be endless and that makes it worth all the craziness!




I went on a 5 mile run and later an after dinner walk around some of the neighborhood. I met so many nice people and everyone got excited when they found out I am a runner. They were eager to give me directions to various trails and I have been in heaven with all the possibilities!!






Running is super important to me, but sometimes life gets in the way, and that's okay! Luckily, I am just building my base and getting stronger. I am so happy we didn't move in the middle of a marathon training cycle!

I was a little nervous about today's run, and wondered if I would feel tight. How would my running feel after missing two runs, one of which was supposed to be an 8 miler (eeek!)!
Well, I decided to spent a lot of time working on my dynamic stretching exercises and getting in a good warm up. I was sweaty by the time I started my run and I let myself run super slow the first mile. I felt really good! It got better and better and by the time I hit mile 4 and 5, all the cobwebs were completely gone.
I'm looking forward to a great week of running - this week is ALL running and zero cross training on the schedule. Let the fun begin :)

I hope you all have had an awesome start to your week!'

Only 11 days until Halloween!! This Mother Runner has to get to work on costume details :)

Have you had a moment when life really, truly got in the way of your running?

Who's running MCM? 

Who's running NYCM?

Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Rock n Roll Vegas, Baby!

The last time I ran a race was last November at our annual Turkey Trot race!

Turkey Trot 2014


I am super excited that I am going to Vegas to run the Rock n Roll Half Marathon on November 15th!!




Okay, I am SO not in racing shape, but I am going to go and run it as a long run for fun!
I cleared it with my coach and he said it was okay to run... so I am going to go for it.
I haven't been to Vegas in years, so it'll be fun to hang out with a bunch of runners (and I get to finally meet Sue!!!), lay by the pool, eat great food and maybe even have a drink! :)

I have to say, I have never run a race at night, so it'll be really fun to run the Vegas strip... AT NIGHT!!

In other fun news...

I have been diligent about taking my daily vitamins. My coach has me taking: Vitamin D, Iron and Calcium.





Loved our Taco Tuesday dinner last night!! Super easy - went to Whole Foods, picked up the tacos, steamed a bunch of asparagus and voila!






I have 6 miles on tap for this afternoon and yay for slightly cooler weather!!!! 


Have an awesome Wednesday!


Have you ever run a race at night?

When was the last time you were in Vegas?

Who is going to Rock n Rock Vegas?! Let me know so I can look for you!!


Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Importance Of Gratitude

We go about our life everyday, rushing around - running to the next appointment or drop off.
Work, life, family...the days and months go by in a blur and before we know it, it's the end of another year.
How much do we really think about what we are grateful for?


My birthday almost 3 years ago. Pregnant with baby #3. 



I started a gratitude journal a couple of years ago (My friends from church came up with this idea!).
It was simple - write down something you are grateful for every day. It could be a beautiful sunrise, an extra 10 minutes of sleep, a manicure, extra time with your husband, etc.
Soon you will have a whole journal filled with beautiful thoughts. Wonderful things that you are grateful for.


I'm so grateful!



We all have our hiccups in life - crap happens. Life isn't always beautiful and rosy, but despite that - there is still so much to be grateful for.

I encourage myself and you, my friends - grab a journal (it doesn't have to be fancy!) and write down one thing that you are grateful for today. Soon, you will have a beautiful collection to look upon and cherish.

I have two things to share today:

1. I am so grateful for my loving family

2. It is so amazing to be a runner and I truly love it. I am so grateful for a good knee!!






Tell, me  - what are you grateful for today?


Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie





Monday, October 12, 2015

Weekend Update! Why is it almost 100 degrees in October + Weekend of Champions!

Happy Monday friends!
It's hot
It's hot
It's HOT!!

It was 97 degrees in Santa Monica on Saturday in October, people. Crazy.
I had a 7 mile run on tap and no I didn't get up at 4:30 am to run!! :)
I really should have, as by mid morning it was scorching, but I had to get 'er done.
This was probably the only run I can remember that I really wanted to have a hand held bottle and I ended up stopping at a water fountain for a long drink. I had to make my way down to the water - very fun, but it was still hot...






After my 7 mile (yay!!) run, I was feeling very depleted of energy. Protein - get in my belly!




Toast with almond butter and an egg. It doesn't look pretty, but it was AWESOME.



Saturday afternoon I went for a 90 minute massage and realized this needs to happen more often. #hurtsogood

Sunday I woke up super early to catch the live feed of the Chicago Marathon!!!
Congrats to all the runners!!
I was on the edge of my seat watching Deena Kastor come in with her record breaking Masters time - 2:27:47!!!





I want give a huge congrats to Tina for WINNING the Army 10 miler yesterday! 
Way to go Tina!!






So many exciting races this weekend - so many inspiring women doing really awesome things. 

I rested from running on Sunday, but made sure to do my PT exercises, dynamic stretching and core work. My body felt so good today on a 5 mile run - I am slowly starting to feel like myself again! (did I mention how hot it is?)



I forgot to mention Friday I went for an easy 5 mile run! :)

Okay - off to pack more boxes. I hope you guys have an awesome Monday!!!


Who watched the Chicago Marathon?

Who RAN the Chicago Marathon?!

Tell me something fun about your weekend!


Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie

Friday, October 9, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday friends!!
Here is what I am loving this week!


1.  It is so hot here right now. My whole family is ready for Fall and I have decided to jump to winter!
So, I'm dreaming of going cross country skiing which is one of our favorite winter activities. 
Counting down the days...

Scene from our Aspen trip, winter 2014. 



2. THIS candle is so delicious and has Fall written all over it!








3. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Love these appetizer plates!!





4. I'm so excited for the Chicago Marathon this weekend! Watching Deena and Blake race and go for the masters record will be very exciting!!





5. This serum is AMAZING. I love the way it feels on my skin. Can't live without 
it :)







I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!! Please send rain and a little bit of cold to the West Coast. Thank you!!

Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie