Friday Fartlek: Nicole Nolen

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Name: Nicole Nolen
Age: 34
Twitter: @revvedrunner

1.   What was your running “light bulb” moment? How did you get started and when?

My running ‘light bulb’ moment was more like a series of events that led to me getting my first pair of running shoes (as an adult).  My daughter joined her elementary school’s run club in February 2011 as a second grader; this momma soon learned that she (momma) would need to lace up her own pair of running shoes, too.  Once I decided to start running with her, I tracked down a Couch to 5K plan and began working on that.  However, in October 2012, something clicked.  I realized that I was no longer running because my daughter was running or any other reasons that I started out running for.  I realized that I was running for me and that I actually liked it.

2.   What distance are you looking to tackle or have tackled recently?

I am currently training for the Cowtown Half Marathon on 2/24; I consider this my first real half marathon and have actually followed a training plan for it. I have recently tackled two 10Ks and am looking at a 10 mile run this coming weekend.  I have done 10 miles only once before (Austin 10/20 last April) and it was done with several pauses, breaks, and other standstill moments.  I hope to do this one without them.

3.   What has been your biggest challenge in your journey? What (or who) has been your biggest motivator?

The biggest challenge in my journey has been me.  It’s more mental than I ever thought it could or would be; even when I have been physically prepared and capable of tackling a scheduled run, my mental unpreparedness has caused it to be a struggle.  My biggest motivators are my two daughters (ages 6 and 10) and my husband, followed closely by my gal pals who are journeying with me (not only in running but life in general).

4.   What do you seek to accomplish through running?

I just want to move.  I want to be an example of health and prosperity for my daughters.  I want to change the way we ‘hang out’; I want family 5Ks to be the new norm for Saturday mornings instead of donuts and lounging. Don’t get me wrong, donuts taste good and lounging is sometimes needed but I don’t want bad diet and inactivity to be our norm.

5.   Time to motivate! What’s your advice to fellow beginning runners?

Do it for you.  It will make it so much more fun.

6.   What’s your advice for seasoned runners? (Just because you may be new to the sport doesn’t meant you don’t have anything to offer!)

Encourage other runners – newbies or not.  I struggled with getting into a running routine for over a year; it was just me trying to encourage and motivate me to change behaviors (i.e., no physical activity) and get out the door!  Once other runners began encouraging me, checking in on me and even slowing way down to run with me, it became so much easier for me to get out the door.  I actually looked forward to them asking what I had managed that week!

After getting into a decent groove and being in a good place for quite some time, I managed to get into another funky slump.  Without realizing that I was even doing it, I pulled myself out of the funkiness by encouraging others.  Encouraging them gave me a fresh source of encouragement and motivation to get back to it myself.

7.   Tell readers one thing about you that we don’t already know (doesn’t have to be running related):

I talk.  A lot. And, usually, fast.  I’ve been given trinkets for my desk at work that includes a Little Miss Chatterbox figurine and a miniature Chatty Cathy doll.

8.   Time for the spotlight! Let’s hear about your proudest running (or exercise related) moment.

I ran a 10K while my 10 year old daughter and husband ran a 5K and my 6 year old daughter completed a 2K all at the same event.  And, our family friends were there doing it with us!  This has become the norm for our weekends and I am super proud to be a part of changing how we see fitness and activity now.

9.   Extra Credit (optional): What running related topic do you wish you knew more about?

I am trying to learn more about diet and how clean eats and proper hydration better prep you for runs not just the day of a scheduled run but 2-3 days before a scheduled run.  I am new to long runs and I haven’t quite figured out how to pace those (I think I actually start too slow for fear of running out of ‘gas’ later) and how I should fuel during the longer runs.  Right now, long runs for me are 7 and 8 miles; I am looking at a 10 mile run this weekend (1/26).

One thought on “Friday Fartlek: Nicole Nolen

  1. 2-3 days before a long run I will make sure to up my water intake. Enough were I have to use the rest room more often then usual. Night before I try to eat a chicken dish with a side of pasta or a pasta with chicken dish or a turkey burger. Basically protein and carb. With that said I have also had good runs after eating pizza the night before. The one thing I stay way from is salads and veggies the night before the run (GI reasons).

    The morning of the run I will drink Gatorade, coffee and eat 2-3 fig newtons. I run real early so not a full breakfast. During the run I have a HammerGel every 40 minutes or so. I drink 3-4 oz of Nuun (you can use Gatorade) every 2-3 miles depending on the humidity/temperature.

    Good luck and have fun as you increase your mileage!

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