Let me introduce Nicole - Today's Runner Spotlight

Today is Spotlight Thursday 
Each Thursday I spotlight a different runner from around the world.

This week I'd like to introduce Nicole.
I asked Nicole, to tell part of her story and introduce you all to her.  So sit back and enjoy and gain some inspiration!

When your done, stop by her blog.  We decided to both spotlight each other today. 

Nicole Blogs At:
Fitful Focus

Tell us what distances you like to run?

Half-marathons are probably my favorite race distances, but if I'm not in training mode, 4-5 mile runs are perfect energizers in the mornings.

How long have you been running?  Or when did you start running?

I started running the summer after I graduated college (2010).  I couldn't afford a gym membership and was looking for a good way to stay in shape.  A friend of mine encouraged me to come running with him.  He pushed me and helped me get from barely being able to run one mile, to running 5ks!

What has been your favorite race and distance you have ever run?  Tell us why?

I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon back in January and it was UNBELIEVABLE! The energy of the other runners, the enthusiasm from the crowd, and being able to hang out with all the characters was so cool! Plus, it was my first marathon, so it something I will never forget. Crossing that finish line was my biggest accomplishment to date.

If you could run any race in the entire wold, where would it be and why would you pick it?

I have a whole bucket list of races I want to do around the globe! Running is such a great way to explore a new city and get in a healthy vacation.  

Do you enjoy running in the spring, summer, fall or winter the best?

Probably the fall. I love running in about 50 degrees – not too cold, but not too hot either! Plus, fall in NYC is surreal; the changing leaves and the crisp air are amazing.  

Have you experienced any trials/injuries/health issues that you have had to overcome?  Tell us about them. 

Luckily, I haven’t experienced any injuries or healthy issues due to running (unless being couch-ridden after long runs counts haha). Hoping to keep the streak going!  

Tell me what goes through your mind when you cross a finish line? 

Amazement. It’s the best feeling in the world, knowing that months and months of hard work have paid off. I can never stop smiling!  

Do you have a specific distance and PR that you are proud of? Tell us about it. 

I’m proudest of running my first marathon. I also ran my first half in 2:02, which was pretty great for me. I’m looking to beat that in my second half coming up in April, though!  

Do you have a funny running story to share? Or funny experience while running? 

I was running through a Brooklyn neighborhood one morning when I saw a little boy (4 years old or so) wearing a super hero cape. He saw me coming, stood in the middle of the sidewalk, held out his hand (as if to stop traffic), and gave me and intense stare. I couldn’t tell if he was trying to use his magic powers to make me stop or go faster. I sped past him with a  smile, and said, “Thanks for the speed boost!” I hope that’s what he was hoping for!  

Are you racing for any charities or special organizations you'd like to talk about? 

Not in the races I have coming up, but I ran my first half for Team Hole In The Wall, an organization that creates amazing summer camps for children with serious illnesses. They are an incredible organization that create unforgettable experiences for children who would otherwise be stuck in a bed or in a hospital.  

Have you run races in any other countries before? 

Not yet, but it’s on my bucket list!  

What is your favorite kind of running, solo running or running with a friend or group? 

It really depends on what type of run I’m doing. If I’m doing an interval run to try to increase my speed, I like to go solo. If I’m looking for a slower pace run at a chattable pace, I love having company!  

Do you listen to music while you run?  Give us the top 2 running songs on your playlist. 

Sometimes I go with podcasts, but music is my go-to. There are so many songs that pump me up, but Cracks (Flux Pavilion Remix) and The White Panda’s Midnight Life Mashup are two of my favorites.  

What is your must have running gadget, or item? 

My running shoes!  

In your spare time What other hobbies or sports do you love do? 

Writing for my blog and cooking are my favorite hobbies! In terms of other sports, I also love yoga, spinning, and strength training.   

What type of things motivate you and push you towards success in life? 

Two things motivate me the most: the feeling I get after a good workout and my mom. The first is pretty self explanatory. As for my mom, after battling with her weight and health issues for 15 years, she dropped 70 pounds at the age of 53! She is so supportive of everything I do (in terms of running and life in general). hope I will be as strong at 53 as she is!   

Do you have any tips of suggestions for someone who is thinking of starting up running? 

Get a good pair of sneaks (not those ratty ones from high school) and take it slow! Don’t try to run a 5k right out of the gate. Run/walk your way up to a mile, and then slowly start to take away the walking before you up you distance.  

Any goals you are currently working on, that you'd like to share? 

I’m currently training for my second half marathon and a PR – under 2:02!  

On your blog you promote and maintain a healthy living style.  What is one of your best tips for someone who knows they need to change their diet, but doesn't know where to start? 

Find healthy alternatives! If you absolutely love potato chips, give flavored kale chips or roasted chickpeas a try. Love ice cream? Try making “ice cream” using frozen bananas, cocoa powder, and a little almond milk. Find things that taste similar and have the same texture, but are packed with nutrients instead of calories, bad fats, and preservatives. That way, you get to have your favorites without the negative impact! 

Do you have a great accomplishment you have achieved in life?  Do you mind sharing? 

My greatest accomplishment is crossing the finish line at my first marathon. A lot of blood, sweat, tears (and money!) went into that training, and I couldn’t be happier with the experience or prouder of myself for doing it.   

What are a few of your dreams or bucket list items? 

See question 4!  

Tell us something unique about you. 

I recently shared some fun facts about myself on my blog. Here’s one of my favsWhen I was young, I had a very systematic way for naming my stuffed animals. Its first name would be whatever color it came in. Its middle name would explain what type of animal it was, and its last name would repeat the type of animal, in case someone didn’t catch it the first time or couldn’t understand just by looking at the animal what type of animal it was. For instance, if I had a purple bear, its name was Purple The Bear Bear. Sometimes I got a little more creative, like a white dog named Snowy The Dog Dog. I also had a classic brown teddy bear named Teddy. How I became a creative writer for a living I do not know.

My favorite post-run snack? 

I tend to go with fruit and protein smoothies with an extra helping of peanut butter. 

You can find Nicole blogging at:

She is also on Facebook: 

And on Twitter:

Like I mentioned above, Nicole and I are spotlighting each other today.  Which I think is fun because even though I do spotlights on many different runners, I have actually never been spotlighted myself.
So if you want to check out the Runner Spotlight she did on me. 
Click on THIS LINK and you can read two spotlights today:)

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