Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Afternoon speed.

I've often bemoaned the fact that, during the week, I can't run during the day. Who's going to watch the toddler? I certainly can't leave him home alone and I never got around to trying a jogging stroller (never mind that I don't own one) so that's out, too.

So I've been a bemoaner. But I've tried to counter my bemoaning with my gratitude for Owen's consistent encouragement of my running. He's happy to stay with Conal when I run in the evening or on the weekends and I am very, very grateful for that.

Today, though, I'm grateful for finally getting my life together. In other words, I created a situation that allowed me to run. In the middle of the day. Woo hoo!

Usually, I am way too busy to run when Conal naps. And how would I hear him if I was down in the basement and he was up in his bedroom on the second floor? I wouldn't. I simply would not hear him. Which means I would never know if he suddenly woke up, jumped out of his crib, climbed up his bookcase, grabbed hold of his curtain and started to swing wildly around his room. Am I right?

Of course I am. But, the thing is, we have a monitor. It lets me hear what is going on, as if I were in the room with him. Amazing technology, this monitor.

And, you know what? If I get everything I need to get done in the morning (and I have no pressing deadlines), nap time becomes free time. Free time, as you know, can easily be converted to running time. Just. Like. That.

And so it was. I put Conal down for a nap, turned on the monitor and headed to the basement for a little speed work. Just 4 easy miles, with 4 quarter miles run fast: 2 at 6:45 pace, 2 at 7:30 pace. The speed bursts made the run fly by!

Ah, it felt great. Now I can go to my book club tonight without feeling like I am missing my opportunity to run. I could get used to this daytime running thing . . .

Oh, and hey -- I'm coming up on my 200th post and I'm planning a little giveaway to celebrate. 200th post. Eek! I feel so old . . .

Have a great afternoon, everyone!

~ Felice

Monday, March 30, 2009

Bit the bullet.

After years of complaining (really, years), I finally made an appointment to see a podiatrist about my bunionized toe. But, get this -- the earliest appointment I could get is June 10th. That's over two months from today. Where's the instant gratification in that? Nowhere, that's where.

And you know where else there is no instant gratification? Shoe shopping. I took all of your great advice about shoes and went hunting for a new pair. Ha! That was a big failure. I believe that I tried on almost every brand that people suggested and the shoes either didn't work with my toe or they were out of stock in my size. So, online I went!

That was a bummer, too. A lot of out of stock shoes, which means I may have to resort to wearing my Birkenstock clogs out of the house. In public. These guys. I mean, they're fine. It's just . . . well, they're ugly. And they're my inside shoes. They are, more or less, my ugly slippers. It's just weird.

I'm sure I'll get over it.

Speaking of getting over it, I'm so over that mean, mean lady in the minivan. Thank you all for supporting my rant! It helped.

I would like to make one thing clear, however: I have nothing against minivan mamas. Nothing. I drive a station wagon, after all (Yes, I know. You pictured me in a sporty coupe, right? Sorry to disappoint.).

Happy Monday, everyone!

~ Felice

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The ranty runner.

My run today was wonderful. I enjoyed running in shorts and a sleeveless top after months of layering against the cold, and I had to smile at the rooster that gave me a hearty "Cock-a-doodle-doo!" as I ran by. My legs and lungs felt good, which was a relief after my lousy run earlier in the week.

And yet, this is me:

I am ranty. The Ranty Runner. Full of comic book curses for a mean, mean lady in a silver minivan.

Let me explain. My run today included about 1.5 miles on a moderately busy road (I would say 10 cars passed me over those 1.5 miles). I'm pretty careful on that road, because I know there are more cars on it than there are on other parts of my run. So, I was running on the strip of grass on the other side of the shoulder from the road. In other words, I was not technically on the road.

So, there I was running along, about 6.5 miles into my terrific run when a mean lady in minivan, driving toward me, lays on her horn and gives me the WTF? hands.

The horn scared and shocked me: I think I jumped a little. Looking at her, I could see her mouthing, "Get off the road!" at me, as both her hands were off the steering wheel, waving in the air to show how utterly appalled she was.

Really, lady? Do you really think that it is smart to drive with your hands off the steering wheel while your kids are in the car? Do you think you're setting a good example for your kids who are in the car with you by honking and yelling at a runner? Really?

GAH! I so wanted to yell something back at her. Comic book curses, or something. Don't worry -- I didn't. I just continued along as if nothing had happened.

The thing is, I wasn't even on the road. I'm not oblivious to the fact that cars travel the roads so I make sure to hop off the road or shoulder whenever a car is coming toward me. When this mean, mean lady honked at me, I wasn't even close to being on the road. I was fully on the grass, so there was no need for her to yell, honk or give me the WTF? hands. That was overkill.

Grrrr . . .

Anyway, the run was great, no thanks to the mean, mean lady in the minivan (did I mention that she was mean?). 7.65 miles in 1:08:21, 8:57/mile.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

~ Felice

Friday, March 27, 2009

New stuff and Photo Friday.

First, the new stuff. I've been added to the Alltop list. Sure, I'm waaaaaay down at the bottom of the list but, hey, I'm a newbie. Give a girl a break! Also this week, I started using Twitter. I don't know. I guess I can't get enough of the time wasting? You'll find my updates on my sidebar and, if you are interested, my profile is here.

Now, on to my contribution to Nikemom's Photo Friday!

Do you think we have March Madness around here?

Happy Friday, everyone. Have a great weekend!

~ Felice

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Running faster.

This post is my contribution to this week's Take it and Run Thursday over at Runners' Lounge. The theme for this week is getting faster: tips, tricks and techniques.

Here's the big news . . . Get ready . . .

To run faster, you have to run faster.

I know! Crazy, right? Exactly. I mean, who would ever think such a thing? For ages, I sure didn't. I just ran and expected to get better. Meaning, to me, faster. For a while, that plan worked. I guess I probably increased the speed of my regular old runs little by little so maybe technically I was getting faster by running faster.

But not really.

At some point, I decided that I would like to improve. I would like to run faster in races than I was. Not fast fast. Just faster. So I decided I needed to train myself to run faster. To do that, I turned to hills. I started with short hill repeats. Then I found a longer hill and I did repeats there. My speed increased and I've loved hills ever since.

(OK, that's not the whole truth: I always kinda had a thing for hills. They're everywhere in my area of upstate NY so I had no choice. Plus, passing guys in their running prime on the tough hills would make a hill lover out of anyone!)

I believe in hills for increasing speed. I find running fast up them easier on my legs than flat speed work and they are very satisfying. You get to the top of a hill and, hi there! How cool do you feel? Very!

As I've, ahem, matured in my running I've added other speed work into my routine, like 800s and tempo runs, but I always come back to hills. I have two main hill workouts that I enjoy. My favorite is the hill/fartlek combo. I run up the hills in a particularly hilly route very hard and then run easier on the flat and downhill portions. That's an easy, sane workout. Hill repeats are my other one and they always make me feel a bit self-conscious because I know that anyone watching me is thinking that I am just one big weirdo. They're right, of course, but I don't always love feeling their vibes.

But, I do the repeats anyway. I have a quarter mile hill that isn't too steep and I run up it about 6-8 times after a warmup run. I jog (or walk, when I'm feeling lazy) back down.

Now, as I strive to run under 23 minutes for the 5k, I'm hoping my hill work carries me there!

~ Felice

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It was bound to happen: The lousy run edition.

I deserved this one, this lousy run.

I've been all, "Hey, running is fantastic! Look at me speeding through speedwork and gliding through easy runs!" ever since I called off my marathon training. And I wasn't lying: my runs had been great.

Yesterday evening was, perhaps, payback for gloating. It was a lousy, lousy run.

I was all geared up to take on the hills. The wind was strong yesterday but I decided it would just make the workout more challenging. Go me!

Not so fast, Chicky . . .

I don't know what it was but my legs never felt into it. I got up the first hill feeling OK but my legs felt like they had cinder blocks tied to them when I struggled up the second. I even felt off on the flat and downhill portions of my run. I tried to push myself, but that only made my legs feel heavier. So, I cut the run shorter than I had planned and headed home, still feeling heavy and slow.

I haven't had a run like this in a while so I guess I was due. But . . . blech.

Today is a day off because my MIL and SIL are visiting. We're off to my niece's lacrosse game this afternoon so I'll probably try to trick myself into thinking that I am somehow being active by watching the girls speed up and down the field. And, who knows? I may even have to park a few dozen steps from the field. So there's that.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

~ Felice

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Have you seen the muffin man?

Oh, it's me! It's me! I'm right here! Sure, I might prefer muffin gal, but I'll answer to muffin man, no problem. Hi!

Yup, I'm still addicted to the healthy muffins. In a recent post, I asked if you would be interested in seeing some more recipes and a few of you said you would. So, I'm going to sprinkle them about in this and some upcoming posts.

My goal is to make muffins that taste good. I do not want to make healthy muffins that make me gag. Or, that my son (who is the main consumer of my muffins) refuses to eat. I also want the muffins to be reasonably healthy. Since Conal does love to eat muffins, I want to feel comfortable letting him do so. By altering fat- and sugar-laden recipes, I can prepare healthy-ish muffins that we'll all enjoy!

Today, I have a blueberry muffin recipe for you. I'm still tweaking the pumpkin recipe so I'll post that as soon as I get it right.

Blueberry Muffins

1/3 stick butter, softened or melted
1 banana
1 egg
1/2c. sugar
1/3c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2c. fat-free plain yogurt
1/2c. fat-free milk (or 1c. of yogurt and skip the milk)
2-3/4c. flour (mix of whole wheat and white)
1/4c. wheat germ
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2c. frozen blueberries.

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

Beat the butter, banana, egg and sugar. Stir in the applesauce, yogurt and milk. Add all the dry ingredients together and mix until just combined. Stir in the blueberries.

Pour batter into prepared muffin tin and bake for about 25 minutes, until the muffins are lightly browned on top.

Enjoy the muffins warm from the oven and freeze what you can't eat within two days or so.

* * *

I have hills on the schedule today and I have a feeling they are going to be tough because it is super windy here in Windyville. Let's hope I don't wimp out!

~ Felice

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Weekend runs.

I sped on Friday: 4 x 800 at 6:45 pace. Wow!

I started with a 2-ish mile warm up and then ran my measured route. My first repeat was the slowest and the others were all 2-4 seconds faster. I was happy that I was able to hit just about the same pace each time. Although, it's surprising because my route includes hills so two of the repeats were run with about a quarter mile incline. I would have thought that the repeats with the quarter mile decline would be faster, but they weren't. Maybe I'm a fraidy cat on the downhill? It's likely, for sure.

Now, I do have to be completely honest and say that by the end of each repeat, I felt like I was going to puke. Especially the last one. I was really pushing it and didn't have much left afterward. I would like to be able to keep this pace for future repeats, but increase the number. Maybe not right away but, you know, at some point this year. Once I start to be able to finish them in a non-pukey state.

I felt fine later Friday evening and my legs felt great on Saturday. No noticeable muscle soreness at all. Speedwork success!

I relaxed today: 5.47 miles at 8:49 pace.

Mostly sunny, very windy. I thought it was supposed to be warmer today. What gives, Weather? Not much to report on this run: comfortable distance, comfortable pace, I'm glad I was able to get outside.

* * *

Did you see the Siena/Ohio State game on Friday? Holy Nailbiter! That was an amazing game, with Siena eventually beating Ohio State in double overtime. This gal stayed up well past 12:30am to watch the end, sitting on the edge of her seat the whole time. Tonight, Siena takes on the #1 seed, Louisville. I'm rooting for an upset. Go Saints!

EDIT: Bummer! Siena lost.

(My brackets, by the way, are busted. Every year, the same old story . . . )

Enjoy the last of the weekend, everyone!

~ Felice

Friday, March 20, 2009

Mama needs a new pair of shoes.

I'm perfectly happy with my Brooks running shoes. And the ugly Birkenstocks clogs that I wear around the house suit me just fine. My problem is with public shoes, the shoes I wear with jeans when I'm out and about.

Even though I'm at an age and stage where shoe comfort counts, I can't get myself to wear my sneaks or Birks in public. Just can't do it. Instead, I've been wearing the same old pair of shoe/booties (shooties? Shebooties? Not sure.) for years while searching for a more comfortable replacement pair. Really, years. I think I bought the shoes in 2001 or 2002 and have been wearing them almost every non-sandal weather day since.

And now, these formerly comfy, increasingly worn out shoes are done. They need to go and I need a new pair of shoes.

Please help!

I need advice on a good pair of comfortable shoes for a runner gal with an annoying bunion on her right foot. I tried this pair of Dansko shoes and they did not work. I think that something about the up-curved toe pushes my inflexible toe into an uncomfortable position. My feet hurt when I wear these shoes so I usually don't.

Do you have any suggestions for me? I'm willing to try just about anything, but I would prefer that the shoes aren't completely orthopedic looking. Please help! I'm desperate!

* * *

March Madness may be my undoing. I stayed up way too late last night, watching teams I didn't really care about, simply because it was a close game. Tonight is going to be just as bad because our local team, Siena, plays at 9:40. Go Saints!

Before I settle in to enjoy the games, though, I have speed work on the schedule for this evening. For some odd reason, I'm really looking forward to it. Yeah, I think I'm weird, too.

Happy Friday, everyone!

~ Felice

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I didn't think I would run today. Everything and everyone was conspiring against me.

My toddler (a normally wonderful sleeper) woke up several times during the night last night, which meant I did, too. (I'm so not into this whole teething thing.) I started the day exhausted. After a successful playdate and quick stop at the grocery store, I made lunch and -- huh? -- felt a tfh-like twinge in my hamstring. Clearly, I was going to have to hang up my Brooks for good. This gimpy hammie has been nothing but a downer (on and off) for years.

Post-lunch, in a depressed-about-the-hammie state, I checked my email and there was one from Owen saying he had to work late. And then it started to rain. No lie. I wanted to cue the music, slump down on the couch and cry some romantic-comedy style tears.

Only I don't exactly live a romantic-comedy style life so I decided to just buck up and take a little power nap (that's what people mean by buck up, right?).

Let me tell you, a 15 minute nap can pretty much change everything for the better. I took one this afternoon while Conal was snoozing and it did wonders. I woke up feeling a little less fatigued. The hammie pain was gone. (I told you it was tfh-like.) I prepared dinner and decided I would run as soon as Owen got home, rain be damned! It turned out that he was a mere 10 minutes later than usual and when I headed out the rain was only a drizzle.

Sure, it poured for the last half mile but, by that point, I could see my house so what was I going to do? Stop? Walk home? Nope. I just ran faster. Maybe I should hope for end-of-run rain all the time! OK, maybe not.

And now, I'm off to do the important work of filling out my brackets.

~ Felice

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Going hillingly well.

I ran hills yesterday evening. It was a combination fartlek/hill workout, really. I took my regular hilly route and ran an easy pace over the flat and downhill parts. Then I bounded up the hills. There are some pretty long hills on this route and I made the effort to run up all of them hard and strong.

After a week of very little running, culminating in a flat run over sidewalks on Long Island, my legs were ready to shake it up with some hills. I felt good over the first five but the last two kicked my butt. I'm sure I looked like a little old lady out there, shuffling up the hill.

Now, here's a little wish for the day . . .

Monday, March 16, 2009

Training time.

First off, thanks for all of the "no traffic" vibes. They worked! On Friday, we made it down to LI with little interference from other cars, trucks, SUVs and the like. And the trip home was even speedier. Yay!

But, we did have one teeny-weeny Friday the 13th mishap. When we arrived at my MIL's house at 10:30pm, it was freezing. That is, if you consider 59 degrees freezing, which I do. Not for outside weather, of course -- heck, if it was 59 degrees, I'd be running in shorts and a sleeveless top! But for in the house? Yes. A house temp of 59 degrees is freezing. Look it up. I'm sure there is a wikipedia entry about how inside a house 59 = 32.

The furnace, apparently, was broken and we would need to wait until Saturday morning for it to be fixed. Bummer. It was really cold. Freezing, as I mentioned. Things get fixed quickly on Long Island, though, because by the time I woke up on Saturday, the furnace guy had come and gone and the house was warming up.

The rest of the trip was really good. I went for an easy-peasy 4 miler on Saturday and then Owen and I went to a surprise 40th birthday bash that evening. We had a little too much fun so I was in no shape for a Sunday run, which was unfortunate because the weather was perfect. Today is another perfect day: sunny and 55 degrees, so I will be outside for my evening run. Probably in shorts.

I'm excited for today's run and for the start of this week. I'm planning to run the Delmar Dash 5 mile race on April 5th so I've worked out a little schedule for the next three weeks, starting today. I'd like to run a smarter race than I did in my recent 4 miler, which means I need to actually train a bit, rather than just run. Now that I've shaken my guilt about quitting the marathon training, I'm ready to train for these spring races. I might not be ready to commit to them in advance, but I'm ready to train!

Happy Monday!

~ Felice

Friday, March 13, 2009

Questions from my dreamworld.

In my blogging dreamworld, you all sit around thinking, "What's that Happy Runner up to today? I wonder if she's out doing highly educational and stimulating activities with her toddler or if they are still sitting around the house in their robes, sipping smoothies? And does she ever really run anymore, or has she let her new-found cross training zeal take over completely?"

And (in my dreamworld) you have other questions, too! Lest you feel that you need to actually ask them, I'm here today to answer them before they are even asked! What a bonus for your Friday, right?

Here they are. The Questions:

  1. Does the house still smell like burnt sap? Why, yes, it does. However, the smell is starting to go away, especially since it was covered a bit with the smell of potato and carrot pancakes from last night. One smell replaces another around here . . .
  2. Are you still baking healthy muffins? Yes! I'm still experimenting with muffin recipes and I've been baking healthy batches once or twice a week. I have what I think is a really good blueberry recipe, a solid flax muffin and a pumpkin one that still needs tweaking. If there is any interest in my healthified muffin recipes, I can post them -- let me know!
  3. What about running? Since your race on Saturday, we've heard nothing. Heh, heh, heh. Running. Yes. Well. I went for an easy recovery 4 miles after Saturday's 4 mile race and it felt good. So good did it feel to run outside two days in a row that I simply could not go back to the treadmill. And this week would have been a treadmill week. So, I worked out with Jillian's No More Trouble Zones and felt like a wimp when, halfway through the session, I had to drop down to the 3lb weights from the usual 6s. Grr...
  4. When are you going to decide on your upcoming races? Oh, it's still early. I am targeting a 5 mile race on April 5th, then a 5k at the end of April and another at the end of May. But everything is still in the "I'm thinking about it" stage.
  5. What are you up to this weekend? Glad you asked! Owen, Conal and I are heading to my MIL's on Long Island this evening. Feel free to send those no traffic vibes our way!
That's all the time we have for questions today, folks. It's Friday, after all, and I think the toddler and I need to get out of our robes . . .

Have a great weekend!

~ Felice

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And people wonder why I stick to writing and running...

So, tonight I had a conference call with the editorial team for the upcoming Runners' Lounge book. I don't normally, um, do that sort of thing. That telephone thing. And after tonight, I know that it is probably best that I avoid the phone at all costs. Email, that's more my speed. Email, blog comments, the solitary pursuit of running . . . all fine. Phone? Not so much.

It started innocently enough. I was on the phone with the other bloggers/editors, talking submissions and whatnot. Then there was a beep. It was pretty loud but, I don't know, I was busy on the phone and so I didn't think it had anything to do with me. Clearly it was something related to my husband's exercise stuff in the basement.

Another beep. Then many loud and fast beeps and before I knew it, my hubby was running upstairs and then the whole house alarm was going off and there was smoke everywhere and in the midst of all of this, I got off the phone.

He had been boiling sap to make maple syrup and oops! he forgot about it when he went to work out. So, the sap burned in the pan, causing sticky-sweet smoke to fill the house and the alarm to blare for much, much longer than it needed to. The alarm company called to say they were sending the fire department over to our house since, in my husband's haste to turn off the fire alarm, he turned on the full alarm, which sent some sort of panic message to the alarm company, raising their response level to heights much higher than those needed to deal with burnt sap. I told the kind alarm company lady that it was just sap, so no fire trucks were needed. And then moved on to help my husband ventilate the house, all the while hoping, with fingers crossed, that my son would not wake up.

He didn't. Phew! That kid can sleep through anything.

Pretty embarrassing, huh?

Yeah. I believe I will stick to writing and running -- alone -- from now on.

Freebie alert.

Just a quick post to alert you that SoBe World is giving away 1 million bottles of their 0 calorie Lifewater today. You can find out where they are giving away the bottles by visiting their web site here.

I've never tried the Lifewater, but I'm interested in it. I'm always struggling with my hydration so I may have to check it out!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

~ Felice

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New spring running goals.

After I quit, er, postponed my marathon training, I mentioned that I was formulating some new goals. Having learned my lesson with my last set of goals, I didn't want to put my new ones out there without properly analyzing, re-analyzing, and analyzing them a little more. In other words, hesitating to commit. That's what quitting a marathon training plan will do to you: it turns you into the type of gal who runs away from commitment. And who says things like, "type of gal."

Here's another example. As excited as I was to run the race on Saturday, I didn't sign up for it until Tuesday. I had wanted to run that race for months. I put it on my blog sidebar, for crying out loud and Pete's sake and the love of all that is good!

But I didn't fully commit until the last moment. Huh. What does that say about me?

You're right: It says I'm the type of gal who runs from commitment. I know! I know!

Anyway, I'm working on the commitment thing and I'm starting by announcing my new short-term running goals. They are:

  1. Run a sub-23 minute 5k. Totally do-able. My last 5k was 23:27.
  2. Do some trail running. Vague, sure. That's OK for now because I can refine this goal as time goes on. Maybe I'll run the Indian Ladder Trail Run in July. I've done it a few times in the past and really enjoyed it.
  3. Continue cross training. I've been cross training out of necessity but now that I have more daylight in the evening, I don't need the cross training as much. Only, now I know how good it is for me so I hope to keep up with it at least twice a week.
  4. Decide whether or not to run a fall marathon. Can't commit yet. Need more time to think.
That's it. I'm looking for April, May and June races to put on my schedule. I'm getting close to committing to a few . . . I'll let you know when I do!

Oh, I almost forgot! Runners' Lounge is giving away SOCKS! Head over here to check it out. Who couldn't use some new socks? I sure could.

Have a great week, everyone!

~ Felice

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Runnin' of the Green 4-miler Race Report.

You would think that I would know how to pace myself at this stage of my running life. Clearly, I do not. But I'll get to that later.

So. My big race back after a winter of not racing at all was yesterday at 10 am. I'd been looking forward to this 4-miler for a few weeks and my anticipation increased with every weather forecast. Sunny! Highs in the mid-5os! Sunny!

I wasn't sure what to wear but settled on capris and a long-sleeved top. Oops! That was a little too much clothing for a race but, well, let's just put that in the "lesson learned" column.

I got up in the morning and had my usual pre-race toast with peanut butter, water and coffee. Then I proceeded to become more and more nervous as the morning wore on. By the time we arrived in (not so) Green Island, I was all kinds of antsy. With only 20 minutes before the start of the race, I left Owen and Conal and hurried to the registration to pick up my race t-shirt and bib. Unfortunately, they only had XL t-shirts left so I was out of luck.

After a quick warm-up and stretch, I made my way to the starting line. Here I am with Conal before the race:

The race started right on time and I settled in to what I thought was a good pace. My goal for the race was to finish somewhere between 30 and 32 minutes. This was my first race since October so I wanted to run it just to get back into the swing of things. But I also wanted to get a sense of how I'm running to help with setting some new goals for this spring and summer.

I thought I would run the first mile in about 7:45 and then see if I could speed up to about 7:30 for the rest of the race. Well, that didn't happen. I ran the first mile in 7:05. Big mistake. I went out way too fast and that hurt me for the rest of the race.

Here I am in the second mile, looking particularly dorky, but still happy:

I went through the second mile in 14:54 and was starting to drag. I really fell off in the second half of the race as my breathing became labored and I started to feel really hot. I was cursing myself for being over-dressed and for starting out too fast. Then I told myself that all that negative self-talk wasn't going to do me any good and I had to just suck it up and run as well as I could for the rest of the race. At some point, there was a water stop and I grabbed a cup and walked while I drank. Then I trudged on, finishing with a very slight kick in 31:05.

Here are my stats:

Mile 1: 7:05
Mile 2: 7:49
Mile 3: 8:01
Mile 4: 8:10
Overall pace: 7:46/mi
Age group: 7/30 (F 35-39)

Look at the difference between miles 1 and 4! Ack! Well, now I know that I really have to work on my pacing. And to think that I just posted about how starting out too fast is a big mistake . . .

Overall, I had a great time. It felt wonderful to run a race again, especially on such a nice day. I'm already planning the next one!

I hope everyone had a nice weekend!

~ Felice

Friday, March 6, 2009

Runnin' of the Green.

Tomorrow is the Runnin' of the Green 4-mile race I've been all excited about for the past few weeks. It's my first race since (I'm embarrassed to say) October! Sheesh. What a slacker.

Anyway, the race is tomorrow and I believe that the weather-makers are as excited for the race as I am because weather.com tells me it will be 41 degrees at start time. That is some nice racing weather. Lucky me.

* * *

Loved by nurses.

I just found out that I was included in the list of Top 100 Healthy Mom Blogs by RN-Central. I don't even think they know of my work in the field! (This book? My writing and stellar organizational skills are in there.)

Happy Friday and have a great weekend, everyone!

~ Felice

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It's a mistake. It's a MIStake!

Have you ever noticed that you can find cheesy, 80s lyrics and/or video to support almost any blog topic? Really! No kidding.

Check out those shorts! Whoa!

Anyway . . . today's Take it and Run Thursday topic at Runners' Lounge is "common mistakes and cardinal sins of running." You're probably thinking, "Her biggest mistake has to be her overuse of the word awesome and ending too many sentences with an exclamation point! Or, perhaps, that silly italicizing thing she has going on." Oh, readers. Readers, readers, readers. No. Those might be mistakes -- might be -- but they are not the type of mistakes I want to write about today.

Today, I'm writing about my running mistakes. Yes, I make mistakes. Often, in fact! So just for fun and giggles or however you want to think about it, here is my . . .

Happy Runner Top 10 Running Mistakes

  1. Tight hamstrings. Ugh. I just can't ever seem to loosen up the hamstrings. They are tight. It's a problem.
  2. Not crosstraining. Runners need to cross train. As much as I love to run, I've learned that only running can lead to problems. I'm pleased to report that over the winter I added a lot of cross training to my schedule. I'm hoping it becomes a habit.
  3. Wearing high heels the night before a long run or, really, any run. Let's just say the feet hurt the next day. A lot. Not good for a run.
  4. Wearing high heels, period.
  5. Avoiding morning runs. Oh, I wish I could get up in the morning and go for a run. I just can't. I'm not that person. My running would improve with morning runs. I know this.
  6. Being inconsistent. I've been known to go through periods when I rarely run and periods when I run a lot. In recent years, I've become more consistent with my running and this dedication has paid off. But I've still been known to slip into the old, bad habits now and then.
  7. Not hydrating properly. You would think that by this point in my running life I would be able to keep myself well hydrated. Oh, ha ha! I have to remember to drink enough water every day. Heading out for a run slightly dehydrated is a mistake I've made more often than I care to admit.
  8. Starting out too fast. Whether in a race or returning from an injury or heading out for a long run, starting out too fast is a big mistake. I've paid for that mistake by burning out, getting re-injured, and having to cut a long run short. Nothing that I enjoy.
  9. Giving up and giving in. OK, everyone knows that I am a cold weather wimp. I wish I wasn't! But, I am. I make the mistake of giving up my outdoor runs in the winter every year. I occasionally tough it out and I'm always proud of myself when I do. Overall, though, I wimp out. I'm trying to fix this . . .
  10. Forgetting how much I love to run. There are days when the last thing I feel like doing is changing into my running gear and going for a run. Maybe I'm too tired. Maybe Conal has been cranky and I haven't even been able to get the breakfast dishes into the sink, let alone think about what to make for dinner, move the laundry from the washer to the dryer, or even make the bed. Those are the days when I need to remember how much I love to run and how good I will feel after a run. I sometimes make the mistake of being lazy. And laziness, unfortunately, doesn't make a crappy day any better.
There you have it. My running mistakes. Got any to add? Feel free to share!

~ Felice

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Run Faster Winner!

Selected at random (using the very handy tool at random.org), the winner of Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon: How to Be Your Own Best Coach is I Run for Fun! Congratulations! Send me your address (email: felicehalf [at] yahoo [dot] com) and I will send the book right out to you.

Thanks for the great response to the giveaway. If you didn't win, I highly recommend checking out the book. It's probably available at most libraries (you could ask your library to order it if not) and it is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other book retailers.

Congratulations, I Run for Fun! Happy Wednesday, everyone!

~ Felice

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ten things to be happy about.

  1. A beautiful toddler who has suddenly decided that closed-mouth kisses are where it's at.
  2. A husband who listens to my rants about whatever it is I need to rant about. And boy-howdy can I rant.
  3. New jeans from White House / Black Market. That fit. And are comfortable. Yet stylish.
  4. Sunshine!
  5. Exercise TV. Especially Jillian with her, "I want. You to feel. Like you. Are going. To die." And, "Your shoulders. Should be. Screaming." I do, Jillian. And they are.
  6. A check in the mailbox.
  7. A babysitter for Saturday night.
  8. A juicy orange and a cup of coffee during nap time.
  9. The memory of two strong, invigorating outdoor runs this past weekend.
  10. A mega-storm that wasn't so mega.
Was feeling glum. Don't know why. Coming up with 10 things to be happy about is always a good way shift perspective and shake off the glumdrums. Or doldrums, if you prefer. I'm going with glumdrums. But I don't have them anymore so it doesn't really matter!

Hey -- don't forget that today is the last day to enter the drawing for the RUN FASTER giveaway. The response has been great and I really think that whoever wins the book will enjoy it and, I hope, get a lot out of it! I'll post the winner tomorrow.

Enjoy the rest of the day, everyone!

~ Felice

Sunday, March 1, 2009

But it was sunny . . .

Yes, yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day. But it was also cold and windy. So, on one hand, it was a perfect day for a run. On the other, it was a perfect day for lying around in sweats, eating cheese fries and watching yet another Judith Light made-for-tv movie. Luckily, the run won out.

But it was cold! Man! I didn't expect it to be so cold. I guess it was about 30 degrees but the wind chill made it feel like it was about -20 or something like that. I got in a 4.25 mile run at 8:50 pace and felt great. It cannot wait until all of my runs are outdoor runs again.

While I was running, the hubs took Conal ice skating for the first time. I've been saying, "No hockey!" practically since the day the kid was born but, hmm, he does look cute in those skates:

So, we'll see what happens with that. Considering that Conal is not yet two, we have plenty of time to figure it out.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, everyone!

~ Felice

**Don't forget to enter the RUN FASTER giveaway! The winner will be announced on Wednesday so you can enter until the end of the day on Tuesday.

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