• Shooting for 2016!

    This Blog will follow me as I try to become a two-time Olympic Trials Qualifier. The 2016 Trials "B" standard is sub 2:43 for women - let's get after it!

  • The 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials

    The best experience, EVER. Go Team Nichole!

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    I can't thank Jerry enough for believing in me, and for my generous sponsors Brooks, Generation UCAN, Nutrilite, Anytime Fitness, Feetures!, Seven Sundays Muesli, Massage Geek, and Stunt Puppy!

  • Dare to dream

    ...and dare to fail

  • Stay in Contact!

    If you've seen me speak, we've connected at a race, or you just read this blog, feel free to reach out and stay in contact with me. I value my running connections and the personal stories behind them more than you know! Plus, comments here have really helped with my personal journey - so keep 'em coming!

A "memorable" baby shower

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You'll never guess who was the first person to show up to Greta's baby shower this past weekend.

An estranged cousin? Nope.

A long lost rich uncle who we've never heard of coming to take care of all of Greta's expenses for the rest of her life? Nope. (Darn)

Wallace Shawn because she's really his kid? Nope.


The mail woman? Nope... despite the fact that she's the highlight of my day (I love mail/packages... nerd)

Keep guessing...

You guessed it right! THE COUNTY SHERIFF.

My brother takes pictures from inside and sends them to Nate saying, "Why is the sheriff taking your wife?"

Nate responds, "Is this serious? Or a joke?"

Only me, I swear. Something for the baby book, at least?

Let me explain...

It went something like this:

"Ma'am, did you stop at Super America earlier today?". Why yes, I had.

"Did you purposely drive off without paying?". WHAT? Um, noooo... (with emphasis)

I explained that I had scanned my credit card about 4-5 different times until it finally took and allowed me to start pumping. I then drove off when I was done. I don't ever ask for a receipt... does anyone now?

Turns out, the "nice" employee inside SA decided to allow me to pay inside since I was having difficulty with the card reader. Nice, right? Except, YOU SHOULD TELL YOUR CUSTOMER YOU'RE DOING THAT SO THAT THEY DON'T ASSUME THEY'VE PAID AND DRIVE OFF!!!

The officer was super nice about the whole thing. We called SA together, they said I needed to stop in to pay (vs. doing it over the phone). He took down my phone number and went on his jolly way to arrest the next fugitive of the law.

Meanwhile, Greta's baby shower guests arrived and/or watched from inside. HA.

Going to SA in the morning the next day was a little embarrasing, to say the least. I get to the counter, tell the clerk I want to pay for yesterday... they have no idea how to do this so 2 of them get to work calling people and talking about it. They often say, "Our drive-off is here to pay!" to whoever they're talking to, as if they want to make a point to embarrass me as much as possible.

Awesome. Make me look like a thief because your card reader didn't work. I hung my head and hoped no one would recognize me.

The next day I get a text from my Uncle who is heading out of town. It went something like this:

Uncle: No troubles for us today :)

picture attached to text message

Me: That you KNOW of!

... a little while...

Uncle: We got a receipt!

HAHAHAHAHA. Guess it was at least a memorable start to a baby shower for all of the relatives? :)



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Training Weeks 6 & 7

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Greta is already 7 weeks old. How did that happen?

Greta has started smiling for me! *Love*
The last two weeks have gone really well!

Week 6: 33 miles

Mon: 3.5 miles easy with the dog while Nate and Craig tortured themselves with a P90x session. It's so nice to run without a stroller! Mesa appreciated some alone time as well. Except when we ran by a store front that looked nice and warm and she stopped dead in her tracks (stopping me too!) and gave me eyes that said, "Oh, mom... this isn't fun... let's go someplace warm instead!".

Then I sat in on the "team's" ab-ripper-x session and was pleasantly surprised to be able to do a few of the exercises! Go, abs!

Tue: 6 miles, 54 minutes. I picked it up the last 3 miles to mid-8 min pace and was working SO hard for those paces.

Wed: 3 miles easy.

Thurs: Thanksgiving Day 5k: 24:08. Race recap here. I knew I had a long road ahead of me, but wasn't expecting that road to be both long AND super steep...

But, I do love a challenge :)

Fri: OFF! Drove to the cabin.

Sat: Long run of 9 miles. This seemed soo long! Mesa found two furry friends who accompanied us for 2 or 3 miles which kept me amused. They were having the time of their lives (I've escaped my home! I can run free! Yippee!), and Mesa just wanted to run back into the warmth of the cabin. I chuckled. Oh, Mesa :)

Sun: 4 miles easy with Nate, Rob, Craig, and Jim at the cabin. Fun to have company!

Week 7: 38 miles

Mon: off. Not planned but I literally was so tired I don't know if I could have put one leg in front of the other if I had tried... to bed early... although, then I was up 1.5 hours later to feed... yay sleep deprivation

Greta and I heading to "mom class" on Monday (actually called "Baby Talk"). At first I was hesitant... I don't know many moms and don't know what to talk about... but have really enjoyed the interaction & the ability to meet other new parents!
Tue: Craig offered to meet me for a workout. I won't turn down arms that are willing to push Greta! The workout was 7 miles total with 20 minutes in the middle where we did 1 min on/off. Pretty sure I had a smile on my face the whole time! I love running & love getting back into harder workouts!

Paces were 6:30-7:00 on the 1 min sections.

Craig noted that I don't have the knee drive or back-swing that I used to have. See picture below.

I tried to mimic my old form but couldn't - my hip flexors are too weak and my abs couldn't support the drive.

It's great to realize that, though, and start to work on it! I know that's a huge factor in me actually running fast, so this probably is a big piece of things. When I was pregnant I think I became used to shuffling vs. my normal powerfully bounding self.

Wed: 4 miles easy

Thursday: 7 miles moderate. With the family! I tried working on my push-off, knee drive, and backswing -- could only hold that for a few minutes at a time.

First run with the whole family! Messa did great! I was expecting complete disaster.
Thursday PM: P90x! Craig came over and we had a strength party. We are so cool.

That's right, you're jealous that we are so cool. Instead of going out to the bars or other normal social events in the evening, we're jamming out to Tony Horton.
Realization 1: I still cannot do a pull up.

Good thing Nate likes to help me.
I could use this photo to say, "look! I did a pull-up by myself!". But no, I'll be truthful. Nate's still helping me :)
I had a dream that night that I could do a pull-up. Weird. A dream is a wish your heart makes? (When you're fast asleep... sing it with me)

Realization 2: My balance is terrible! Wow - wouldn't have guessed this, but it makes sense since my hips are much wider now and my core is mush. I will make doing this video a weekly part of my training from now on! It's great!

Realization 3: We are nerds. Instead of going out to a bar to socialize after work, we hop around in our basement, do pull ups to exhaustion, and call it a good day when we're laying on the floor panting after the workout is done. Poor Greta -- she picked a crazy family to grow up with :)

P90x pushups. Greta's form is improving :)
I also picked up a post-natal Pilates video from the library to try out (yep, nerd). It was recommended to me by my OB as a way to strengthen my pelvis/hips/core. I've never done Pilates before...

Friday: 4 miles easy with Nate, Greta and the pup. Life is great!

Saturday: 10 miles easy! I met a friend who ran 6 with me which helped the miles go by a lot faster. I was dreading starting this run... 10 seems so long now! (sigh)

But, I did it! Longest run in a long, long time! I had to walk 4-5 times at the end, but MADE it! YES!

Sunday: 6 easy to cap off 38 miles!

For those of you reading, have you done P90x before? Any of you that are pilates fans? Haters?

That's all for now, folks. Perhaps I'll get around to a life update post in the next day or two!


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Race Recap - Beast 2 Feast 5k

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Wow, I have a long way to go.

Thanksgiving morning Nate and I bundled up for the Beast 2 Feast 5k race held around Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. It was the first time I've done this race - I was offered a comp entry if I provided feedback on the race, registration, and organization. Hard to turn that down!


Speaking of the race review: I loved it! It's fairly large, with ~2k people registered (only 700 raced because the temp was 0 degrees outside that morning!). The packet pick-up was fast and convenient. They had plenty of porta-potties so you literally didn't have to wait! When does that happen at a larger race? 

The T-shirt is great. It's one of those poly-pro blend shirts with a great fit that is really comfortable to wear around the house. I'm so tired of getting the cheap-o technical shirts that are made poorly and have a weird cut... so this is a huge perk! Anyone else with me?

The race announcer was really fun. He was witty, giving the racers fun Thanksgiving Day trivia and talking about how lucky we were to have such warm weather (ha!). He lightened the mood and racers were laughing together and talking to one another in the start corral. That humor and racer comradery really made the race!

The course was flat and fast, well marked, and seemed to be true to distance. 

Back to the race report:
I originally registered when I was about 8 months pregnant. Nate cautioned me that I was not to try to get back to running too fast just to race. Smart, since the morning of the race I was just 6 week and 1 day after C-section (most aren't allowed to run at ALL for the first 6 weeks!)

Nate and I in front of the official race sign. Can't turn up to take a picture with blow up turkeys!
We met Jeff and Teresa there and did a short warm up. Then, we were off. I ran a sub 7 minute first mile, but then could tell my wheels were already coming off :(. The third mile was above 8 minute mile pace and I had that same awful clumsy leg feeling I had last year during New York. Oh, NOO. My lungs were not working hard at all - it was completely the fact that I couldn't control my legs to get them to go any faster.

Sigh. 

I finished in 24:08, 7th place for women. Teresa won it for women (YAY!), Jeff was 5th for men, and Nate took 9th. Not a bad TNC showing!

GOO TNC! Congrats to the other TNC athletes across the country that also raced on Thanksgiving!

I knew I shouldn't have had expectations, and I think for the most part I didn't - I just wanted to see where I was at and how much work I'll need to put in this next year to get back to it. Turns out, A LOT. A TON!!!

But, I did have a tiny bit of hope in the back of my mind. After jogging back to get warm-ups and starting the cool down, I was still struggling with my legs. I  teared up a little then, wallowing in my own self pity. I stopped to walk.

I'm usually known as a very positive person despite challenging weeks/months - but at this moment all I could think about was my legs, bad memories of struggling through a terrible, terrible fall in 2013, and the fact that I had just run a 5k averageing 7:40 something.

Am I really able to go from that to racing a marathon at 6:10 pace?

I'm embarrassed to say that one of my thoughts was, "Well, at least I was fast at one point in my life..."

(Debbie Downer!)

But then I thought of my beautiful daughter and how much I absolutely love her and this journey is both for me and her. I also remembered that today was the first day I was even supposed to run, I still can't even do a crunch because my abs are still separated vertically and still healing from a low vertical incision. I have done just 2 or 3 strength workouts, and even those have been super light (stregnth workouts are key for me since I rely on a very strong push-off and bound forward). I'm very weak - turns out if you don't do strength work for 9+ months, you become weak! I'm breastfeeding, which takes an enormous amount of energy, and haven't had a good night of sleep in 6 weeks (and I am greatly affected by sleep deprivation).

I turned my head around immediately... there's no time for self pity! I started to run again with a half smile on my face and hope in my heart.

I can only get stronger each and every day, and it will be fun to be able to improve quickly in the months to come. I know I can do it - I just had a minor negative reaction after the race :)

Game on.

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Cyber Monday Deal on the softest shirt I own!

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Remember when I had a giveaway for iamfunnyshirts.com and everyone picked out their favorite shirt logo?



Well, if you didn't win the blog giveaway, you can still get the one you picked out... through the end of the day today, 12/1, you can use code BLACKCYBER to get 30% off and free shipping above $25. Hard to beat!

I think I might get another "Baby Got Track" shirt in a smaller size since I stretched out my first during pregnancy - and it's one of my favorite shirts to wear around. It's so soft!

Let me know if you pick up one for yourself or family/friends!

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The Adventures of Nichole & Greta...

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I looked like a lunatic.

It's noon on Tuesday and two of my athletes are coming down for workouts. I'm planning to run along with Greta in the stroller, but we just received some snow/ice/slush stuff and the roads are still covered in it. 

Hmm, I think to myself. We don't have an actual jogging stroller yet because I was told I couldn't take Greta out in one until she was at least 6 months old. After asking other running moms and doing some research, though, I found that with an infant sling I could start running with her as early as 1 month old. So... all we have is our normal strolling stroller for now. Which I've looked silly running with before, but running in the snow and temps in the teens surely changes the way my neighbors describe me: from dedicated to absolutely, positively crazy.

I've been told by other moms that Greta should be fine in the cold in her stroller as long as she's dressed well, has a blanket or two with, and we have the car seat cover on... sooo... I decide to brave it. 

I think I spent ~90 minutes getting ready for this run! Feeding Greta, pumping, getting myself dressed, getting her dressed, putting her in her car seat, putting Mesa in her kennel, finding watch. Uff.

J & C arrive and we head out. I wish I would have taken a picture of our ridiculousness :). Instead, you can just picture me pushing this stroller:

I'm already missing the days where the paths/roads were clear.
Through this:

Yah, call me crazy. I deserve it.
So, needless to say, that sped up my stroller-searching process a bit. Good thing Craigslist is awesome.

Just waiting for Greta's infant sling to arrive so we can test it out!
We also were very lucky to have found a contact that had the ski attachment. Greta is excited for her first ski outing!
My training so far has gone really well. I haven't had any set backs, which surprises me... no incision pain, no nothing! The only thing is that I'm terribly, horribly out of shape, heavy, and not strong :(. I keep telling myself that it will be a slow, daily process back to it... but it's still hard.

Week 3:

15.6 miles.

The highlight was a 5 mile run with one of my athletes. It was the first time that I've run fast for a LONG time, and wow... was it fun :). Perhaps my excitement was also partially borrowed from my athlete: after I coached her on a few form things, she was running faster than she has EVER run before. *Huge grins all-around*

Meeting another athlete at the Carleton track for a mile time trial. She ran a 16 second PR (hard to do in a mile effort!)! I timed, Nate pushed Greta around the track.
The low-light was a 45 minute elliptical done earlier in the week that was just downright HARD. I just felt how out-of-shape I was. Hate workouts that are supposed to be easy and aren't :(

Week 4:

23.5 miles

This week's log had a lot of "sooo tired" entries. I try to be a "good wife" and wake up to feed Greta whenever she needs during the night (since Nate is the one that needs to be awake and fully functioning during the day!). After nights where I'm up every hour and a half, though, I just don't function well :(. I have always needed more sleep, so this sleep deprivation thing really hits me.

I've had multiple nights where I'm literally so tired that I feel drunk. Not kidding. I need to get better at sleeping when Greta takes her short cat-naps... I just feel like I should be accomplishing something during that time... coaching, house stuff, errands, etc.

But, when I'm trying to keep my eyes open while feeding her, I stare into her big eyes and immediately forget my insane tiredness :). True love!

Hard to be frustrated with a face like that! Thank you AO for the outfit!!
The only workout to note was a 7 mile long run. This felt so LONG and hard. The last 1.5 miles I took frequent walk breaks. My legs had a similar sort of clumsy feeling that I had last summer (oh, nooo... hopefully it's just a strength thing now). But, I powered through all 7 of it!

Wow, I have a lot of work to do!

In other life news:

Jeff and Christina came to visit baby Greta. Jeff put her through the paces. Baby calisthenics, anyone? This kid is doomed...  

We officially joined out church! We've been going for a number of years but hadn't filled out the "official" paperwork. Now it's "official" -- I guess :)

We put a lot of thought into Greta's Godparents... we decided on two awesome individuals who will have a tremendous influence on her life. A little unorthodox, yes, but we chose Craig (above, we were able to ask in person) and Leighton (my cousin, who we had to ask via phone since he is at GAC). I couldn't ask for two more awesome people to be involved in her life!

Greta is clearly questioning our decision...
Lastly... I submitted my Brooks sponsorship renewal. I took a chance and listed Greta Margaret as my Pr for the year, with the time of 5 lbs, 12 ounces :). I fully expect that I will be dropped from their elite team next year... but am SOOO hopeful that they'll keep me. Not sure if comments on this blog will get noticed by them or not, but if there is any chance they will, can I get a shout-out?


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A Day in the Life

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Before I recap last week's training, I thought I'd enlighten you with my first "mom" morning.

There's no way I could be anything but in love with this face!
8 am - Wake up and feed and change Greta. Back to sleep. I have a new *love* for sleep and naps!

9:30 - Wake up and pump, then feed Greta with what I've pumped. I'm trying to pump every hour for ~2 days to try to stimulate my milk production. Plus, feeding her from what I've pumped takes ~20 minutes vs. the 40-50 it was taking before (I think because she just wasn't getting as much or as quickly).

10:45 - Pump again, feed. She was not too happy during the wait! Commence angry and crying baby.

11:10 - Change diaper. When wiping her, she decided to project a huge amount of poo. As in: think a liquid stream from a little boy, but now replace that with poo from a little girl. Same force/distance. Perhaps the same volume. AHHHHH!!!

My reaction was to put my hands down to stop it... but that meant that not only did it get everywhere but that I was also covered.

While holding down the wipe to limit spraying poop, she then peed. Awesome.

I told Greta not to move (ha!) and then ran to the bathroom to clean myself up.

Once we had the third diaper on (1st diaper was dirty, 2nd clean one was now covered in poop, so we needed the 3rd clean one), she immediately filled it.

Oh, Greta!

11:25 - We are (finally) clean and bedroom fixtures are wiped down. Everything has been brought down to laundry room.

11:30 - Pump, bring things to the dishwasher to sanitize during my (planned) run. Mesa cried the entire time I pumped because one of her toys was under the couch and she just could not *bear* to have it there.

Find dog toy. Pat Mesa's head once or twice to pretend to pay attention to her.

Change into running gear.

12:00 - Do dishes

12:20 - The garbage disposal isn't working! The motor whirls but nothing is going down. The dishwasher is also running, so after calling Nate to ask his opinion, I look back to the sink to see it FILLING!

12:25 - Quick! Hit cancel button on dishwasher! Take whatever buckets I have and try to take water out of the sink so it doesn't over flow!

12:26 - WHY didn't the dishwasher stop?!? I yank it open.

12:27 - Trips with buckets to the bathroom. Flush.

12:35 - Come back from a bucket trip to find Mesa on her hind legs, DRINKING out of the 90% full sink. I'm sure it was delicious since it had food chunks in it from the failed garbage disposal attempt earlier.

I literally burst out in laughter, bucket in hand. Welcome to motherhood, right? :)

12:40 - Greta is hungry again! I should pump since it's been a hour. She's not excited to wait. Except... I'm in a sports bra so my "hand free" pump is no longer hands free (need the clips on the nursing bra to have it work).

I decide to run upstairs to grab a nursing bra. I pull up sports bra, pull on nursing bra over the top of my training shirt. Wow. If this isn't mom style, I don't know what is.

... I also haven't figured out the most efficient way to pump/clean supplies/feed Greta/etc. I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels, being busy but not actually accomplishing much!

2:00 - Finally out for my run! Ran with Craig to our voting location. It was my first time running with Greta in the stroller. It's tough! 3 miles, 8:30-9:00 pace while pushing with a couple of walk breaks to catch my breath. 3.06 miles total in 29 minutes.

~4:00 - Now finally starting on coaching plans/emails/updates!

Good thing Greta is adorable, and that I am content to laugh off these "adventures" :)

I love our little family!
---

Now for a weekly training recap:

Mon: Off. Took a nap instead of a walk. This mom/nursing thing is exhausting!

Tue: 60 min walk. First half with Craig. Went 3 miles. I am a very slow walker.

Wed: 40 min walk, then 5 mins on the elliptical. I walked/ran the last 20 minutes of the walk and took the elliptical minutes hard :).

Thur: I had my incision check this afternoon, 2 weeks after C-section. The doctor was impressed with how fast I've healed. She gave me clearance to start running and lifting, as long as I use pain as my guide. She said there was no way to know how much is "too much" until I've done too much.

Chris' workout for the day was 60 minutes of walk/running. I started out running, and took breaks when I felt my HR climbing too high. I kept asking myself if there was any pain, but there wasn't. At ALL. Is this normal, I kept thinking?

I kept going and going... and after 4 miles I told myself this just wasn't normal and I needed to stop (even though I still had absolutely no pain!). I walked the last 20 minutes to finished out the hour.

Fri: Happy Halloween! There is now a little "pouch" above the incision line, along with a little discoloration. HMM. I think I'll take today off.

On the risk of overdoing the cow theme, we decided to showcase our complete family "herd"... might have had something to do with the fact that NONE of Target's costumes were small enough for Greta... plus her cow suit is sized 6-9 months so it won't fit next year...

Can you "spot" Greta? Can you also feel Mesa's jealousy?
Sat: We went to the State meet and then to MIACS. Total running ~1.5 miles (no pain!) and 60+ minutes of walking.

We ran into Dr. Asp at the State meet!
As well as my high school XC/track coach! Marshall girls finished 4th!!
Appropriately dressed in our Gustie gear for MIACs! Greta's hat needed to be pinned up since it's still way too big. Leighton had his final conference race, which was really fun to watch -- although I am so sad that his 4 XC years went by so quickly! 
Sun: 30 minute walk + 15 minute elliptical

= 13.5 miles (walking miles counted) + 20 minutes elliptical.

I'm so excited to be starting back to regular training again! I can only hope I continue to get stronger each and every day!



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My first week and a half as a mom!

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The last week and a half have come and gone with the blink of an eye. I can't believe it!

Especially since I spend most of my day 1) feeding Greta, 2) sleeping when she sleeps (key!), 3) pumping, 4) spending time with the numerous visitors, 5) burping Greta and changing diapers 6) and just staring at her beautiful face :) Where does the time go?

Oh... and I've started walking for my "workouts"!


Just cuz she's cute :)
First, Baby news! Greta is a pretty easy baby. We are so lucky! Most nights she will sleep 3-4 hours in a stretch and then start "talking" to let us know she wants to be fed. She doesn't cry very often, which I know will change all too soon :). There have been a couple of nights where feeding has been as frequent as every 1-1.5 hours, which has been tougher, but I consider us VERY lucky to have such an easy baby!


Our first walk!
She went to her first doctor's appointment the Tuesday after she was born (at 6 days old) and weighed in at 5 pounds, 13 ounces -- 1 ounce above her birth weight. They usually don't expect babies to be at their birth weight until 2 weeks old, so she's well ahead of schedule! Go, Greta!!


Before our first doc appointment!
Breastfeeding has been going great. I expected the worst based on the blogs and website information I read. Greta latches well, feeds great, and it's only hurt a few times - until the nurses at the hospital watched me feed several times and gave great advice. Since then, smooth sailing!

I've already started pumping. There are conflicting opinions on this: 1) wait until 4 weeks to pump so your body will produce to your baby's needs and not any more than needed or 2) pump earlier than that in case anything happens to your milk supply.

I've opted for #2. I don't expect anything to happen, but there's a definite chance that I won't be able to produce as well if I'm training harder so would rather have a back-up supply just in case. If I don't need it, great, I'm hopeful I could find a new mom that could use the supply!


Before our first longer walk!
I've had a ton of help the last week. Both Grandma's came to help at home while I recovered from surgery and adjusted to motherhood. The highlights were:


Making sweet potato baby food with Nate's mom. I hope to make as much of Greta's baby food as possible, and it was nice to see how easy it could be!
Now I'm holding Greta close in a K'Tan wrap while Nate creates order in Greta's closet. Although we sort of had it organized it before she was born, we quickly realized sizes between brands are NOT nearly the same -- plus the new "girly" stuff we've been gifted had just been added to drawers haphazardly.


YAY to organization!

Good thing both Nathan and I are a little OCD when it comes to organization! It'll make dressing her a lot easier.

Plus, what's more fun than dressing a newborn girl in fun clothes?!? :)

Second: Workout update!

I've been very careful to follow doctor's orders. I've started with short walks in the hospital, then increased my time/distance every day once I felt like it was safe to do so. It has felt great. It helps that the fall weather in MN has been awesome!

Mon 10/20 (Greta is 5 days old): 10 minutes up and down our street

Tues 10/21: off

Wed 10/22: 31 minutes to the park (2 loops) and back, 1.5 miles. Mesa loved this walk since Nate brought her favorite fetch toy and just threw it continuously while at the park. 


YAY, family time!

Thur 10/23: 45 minutes, 2 miles. With the MIL.

Fri 10/24: 53 minutes, 2.5 miles with the whole "family" again. I look forward to our walks!

Sat 10/25: 67 minutes, 3 miles. Nate and I drove to downtown to show Greta to Tom at Fit to Be Tri'd and then walk from there. It was a nice change of scenery - we walked a little in the arb (off-roading it!), through the Carleton campus, and through downtown Northfield. 

I *may* have jogged a couple of steps the last .25 miles. :) It felt great, even though it wasn't much faster than my walking pace. Note to self: I need to purchase a couple of larger bras to train in. 

From the first day we were out, I've been super motivated to get out everyday. I welcome that change, as the week before I delivered I told Nate and Craig that I didn't know what my mental state would be after baby. Running 6 minute miles, back to back for 26.2, seemed impossible (still does), and honestly, I just wasn't motivated to push as hard as I had before.

Now that Greta is here, I've found a renewed focus and dedication. I want to show her that mom can do it. I want to bring her to the start line at the '16 Trials. For '12, I wanted to prove to myself and those around me that I was a better runner than what I had shown in college. Now, I want to prove that to Greta :).


I love this picture. I'm burping her after feeding, and she is totally content :). Plus, I'm starting to look like myself after losing the crazy water-weight that the hospital pumped me full of!
I'll go in on Wednesday next week to get my incision checked and hopefully be cleared to do a little ellipticaling and potentially walk/running. I am so hopeful!! 


More snuggles. I am in love!!
Until next time, Run HAPPY!
~Nichole










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Meet Greta Margaret!

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I am so in love

People told me that your definition of love changes when you have a child, but until I held her perfect little self in my arms for the first time, watching her every facial expression and pouring over every detail about her, I didn't really know what they meant.

I do now. 

I teared up when I held her. I still do every so often. She is so perfect. She is, far and away, the best thing that I have ever done or accomplished. 

A few fun pictures:

The morning of the C-section. You can tell it's early and we're both tired
At the hospital. One last check of baby to see if she is still breech. Yup! So off to the OR I go!
And... it's a GIRL!!
Getting weighed. 5 pounds, 12 ounces! For some reason when I see this picture, I see Wallace Shawn.
Nate says maybe Wallace Shawn just looks like a giant man-baby. Inconceivable!
Getting measured. 18.5 inches long, head circumference 13.5 inches.
Happy and healthy! For not even weighing 6 pounds, she still has a very healthy looking double chin and plump belly. Go, Greta!
We've been so lucky to have so many visitors at the hospital. Here are Aunt Jessica (left) and Aunt Kristin (right), Nate's sisters
With Grandma Colleen!
With Great Grandma Ann. Love her expression!

My aunt and uncle. I like this picture because Greta's sort of smiling in it :)

And of course, a visit from a COW!!!! This was awesome. The cow suits come out for "A" races, and she was definitely my "A" race for the year!
Changing my first diaper
The first of very, very many
video

She has been such an easy and happy baby! She rarely cries (unless you're changing a diaper or bathing her - that's COLD!), and instead coo's contently most of the day. This is in stark contrast to the baby boy next door, who is constantly crying or screaming. I know there are plenty of those days coming, but in the mean time I'm loving the fact she has been such a great baby!

Daddy's girl!
I am so happy to be able to raise her with Nate, and cannot wait for the adventures to come!


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