The whirlwind has died down. We're back from Long Island and the big 40th anniversary party that we hosted for my parents is over. Back to normal (so to speak).
Easy trip down to LI. No traffic. Yippee! Lovely Thanksgiving day, which included a great 6.1 mile run (in shorts!), lots of family time and even more food. Fun Friday-after-Thanksgiving with a big family gathering. Late night trip back upstate. No traffic. Yippee! Chaos getting ready for the surprise anniversary party. Success. Surprised parents, 55 happy people at our house. Yippee!
Sunday, we caught up. I cleaned. I ran. I was a little lazy.
Now, I'm back. I'll eventually get caught up on everything in my Google reader. I may even attempt to write an interesting post or two. Don't hold your breath too long . . .
In the meantime, I posted the bodyshaper winner over here and I'm getting ready to post a pretty cool running books review/giveaway later this week. So stay tuned! Oh, and, wow -- how is it December tomorrow? This fall flew by . . .
Have a great week, everyone!
Monday, November 30, 2009
The whirlwind has died down. We're back from Long Island and the big 40th anniversary party that we hosted for my parents is over. Back to normal (so to speak).
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I've been jamming a ton of stuff into the last two days including, but not limited to, toilet cleaning, dip making, laundry washing, clothes folding, floor mopping, errand running and lots and lots and lots of coffee drinking.
Now, I'm almost -- almost -- ready to head to Long Island for the Thanksgiving holiday. We leave later this afternoon so I really ought to get packing! And I probably need to fit a shower in at some point, too . . .
In the meantime, since I won't be able to post while I'm away, I wanted to thank each and every one of you who stops by and reads my posts and makes me feel like I'm not quite as nutso as my mother and others would have me believe. (Yes, my mom did express concern that my uterus would fall out when I ran "that marathon.") Your comments and emails and overall support make my day!
Yes, I'm grateful to the running blogging community this Thanksgiving season. I'm also grateful that I have a loving family, some terrific friends and an overall happy, healthy little life. Yay!
So, now I best finish getting ready. Happy Thanksgiving!!!
PS: Remember to enter my bodyshaper giveaway, if you're interested.
And . . . check out some Black Friday deals for runners here and here!
Monday, November 23, 2009
We have chaos on all fronts here in Happy Runner-ville. First, we're headed to Long Island on Wednesday to celebrate Thanksgiving with my husband's family. We'll head back home late Friday night, probably arriving early Saturday morning. We won't have much time to relax when we get home because we're then hosting a huge surprise 40th anniversary party for my parents that night. We're expecting about 50 people! Needless to say, I'm bugging out.
On top of that, my toddler has decided that now is a good time to throw some tantrums. As in: hour-long tantrums. Oh, and to skip his naps, too. He thinks that's the winning formula.
It all makes me want to just drop everything and head out for a run.
But that would be irresponsible and, in the case of leaving my child at home alone, illegal. Don't worry -- I would never, ever, ever, ever do such a thing. But there are times when I'm tempted to just walk out that door.
Instead, here I am. And, lucky me, I got some good news today. I have a new project! A few weeks ago, when I finished my last one, I wrote about how nervous I was that I wouldn't get any new work. Well, no worries. A past client contacted me to help them on their new brochure. Yay! I'm relieved.
Of course, that means a bunch of deadlines which can only be met if my little guy behaves. So, I'll be praying to the Good Naps and No Tantrums gods for a few weeks. Forgive me if I seem a little distracted . . .
Hope you all had a great weekend! Happy Monday --
PS: Oh, and hey! I have a new review and giveaway over at my other site. Bodyshaping . . .
Saturday, November 21, 2009
After the rotten post-run migraine on Sunday, I didn't run all week. I was feeling nervous and so I decided to go for some cross-training. I did more lunges, squats and push ups last week than I've done in ages. And my body has been feeling it!
Today, though, I got back in the running shoes and went out for a relaxing 5.5 mile run. It was GREAT! Don't get me wrong: I was still quite nervous after the run, thinking that I might get another migraine. But, I took the time for a proper cool-down then I ate my usual handful of raw almonds and dried cranberries, followed by a glass of water and a cup of coffee. I also took an Advil sinus because I needed to cover myself, just in case.
It all worked and I'm pleased. It felt terrific to be out there running again. Sure, cross-training is important and enjoyable but, really, it isn't running. Nothing compares to a run!
And with that, I'm off to enjoy my Saturday evening and hope that you enjoy yours, too. I'm also sending some good vibes to everyone racing tomorrow - I'm rooting for you!!!
Have a great rest of the weekend, everyone!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
What's the most unconventional race you've ever run? Have you run a race like North Carolina's "Take Pride in your Hide" naked race? Does your local running group have "prediction runs" where everyone guesses their finish time, and the winner is the person who has the closest guess? How about a Mud Run? If you could make up a wacky race, what would the twist be?When I sat down to think about my most unconventional race, I was disappointed. It seems that I only run conventional races. I had a tough time thinking of anything unconventional and then I remembered my team triathlon.
A few years ago, I participated in The Great Josh Billings Run Aground in Great Barrington, MA. It's a strange event. It's the second oldest bike, canoe/kayak, run triathlon in the world (according to their web site). That doesn't make it strange. I think the strange part was that I was used to running regular road races and then I signed up for this thing and didn't know what to expect.
I joined a team consisting of my mom's good friend, Barb, paddling the kayak and Barb's friend, Tom, riding the bike. I was to run the 10K. Since I had never participated in a team event, I didn't really know how to prepare and make sure I was ready for my leg. I also didn't know how long it was going to take the others to paddle/ride their legs. So, I stood around. When it was time to run, it took quite a while to warm up. But, I finished and I think we ended up doing OK.
It was tough to judge our overall performance because the event had three person teams (like us), two person teams and "Iron" teams. Also, there were teams who canoed and those who kayaked.
Other than the Josh, my races have mostly been road races. I've enjoyed the few trail races that I've done and certainly hope to do more of those in the future. And I wouldn't mind shaking it up with some unconventional races now and then. Not a naked race like Kate mentions in her question -- but maybe a mud run. I could probably handle a little mud!
Happy Thursday, everyone!
PS: Today is the last day to enter my greeting card giveaway over here. Enter before midnight EST!!!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Sunday's migraine scared me out of my run yesterday. I was still feeling a bit off and, frankly, I was a little too nervous to go for a run. So I worked out with my tv instead.
It was all upper body yesterday and I'm feeling it today.
I started out with my push ups and then moved on to Jackie Warner's upper body workout. I finished with some more push ups and a bunch o' crunches. These push ups are kinda killing me. And the added weight workout has made these wobbly arms of mine a little sore today.
I consider that the upside of worrying that I'll get another migraine: Stronger upper body. And I'll take it. After my last race, I realized that I need to strengthen my arms especially but I hadn't been doing anything about it. No longer. It's been almost three weeks since I renewed my commitment to the push ups and upper body strength. I feel some improvement. Not a ton, but some. And some is better than none.
What's more, this sun -- as in remarkably sunny November days -- is better than none. I know I go on and on about it but, wow, I just love it. Love this sunshine! Now, I'm just hoping that the weather is perfect this weekend for everyone running the Philadelphia Marathon. 55 and overcast? (But sunny in upstate NY?)
My fingers are crossed :-)
PS: My giveaway over here is still going on so check it out!
And . . . PPS: Sarah is have an awesome giveaway (yeah, yummy) here. Check her out, too!
Monday, November 16, 2009
Yesterday started out so well.
Owen woke up in the morning with Conal so I slept in (Full disclosure: I got to sleep in on Saturday, too. I'm lucky!). When I finally got up, I had a smoothie, some coffee and read the paper. It was another warm day so I was looking forward to running in shorts.
I went out for my run and thoroughly enjoyed it.
And then I came home. And it all went downhill.
Within a half hour, I started to feel the migraine coming on. I drank some coffee and took some drugs and felt like crying. I hate my migraines. They are debilitating and evil. Eee-vil.
After three hours of fitful lying around/sorta sleeping in a darkened bedroom, I began to feel better. I couldn't warm up for the rest of the day or night (even though it wasn't cold) and my body felt wrecked. All of my muscles felt as if I had run a really hard race and then followed it up with an hour-long strength workout. Bleh. They still feel that way today. I feel wiped out.
It's such a drag. I haven't had a run-induced migraine in a few months, which has been great. But, I fully admit that just about every time I get back from a run, I'm nervous that I'll get one. I take some steps to stave them off but, unfortunately, I still get them. Normally, I don't get them from easy runs (and yesterday was pretty easy -- 5.6 miles in just over 50 minutes) so yesterday was unexpected. Ugh. Just ugh.
Oh, well. Today is a beautiful, sunny day. Conal had a great time at gymnastics this morning and is now crashed out for his nap, which means I can catch up!
Happy Monday, everyone!
PS: I'm hosting a giveaway at my other site. Check it out here!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Last week, I reviewed the Thriv Natural Performance Women's Racerback Tank on my other site. You can read what I had to say about it here. After I reviewed the top, Jonathan from Thriv told me about a giveaway they are running and asked if I would share the information about it with all of you. Since I like the top, I figure others will to. So, why not check out their giveaway?
To be entered to win one of 500 Thriv shirts, you just need to join their Thriv1st group. By joining, you'll receive their monthly newsletter as well. You can sign up here.
Good luck if you enter! And, if you win one of the tops, I hope you like it!
Hope you're enjoying the weekend!
Friday, November 13, 2009
1. The weather this month has been incredible. Toss in the husband's unexpected day off last week and holiday this week, and I've been able to take advantage of the awesome weather with more daytime runs than usual. Running in the evening in warm-ish (shorts!) weather is great but running during the day (in shorts!) is just better.
2. The return to cross training is going well. I've been doing level 3 of the 30 Day Shredtwice a week and I'm still working on the push ups for Lisa's challenge.
3. I posted a review of Sun Crystals over at my other blog, including a link to get some free samples, if you are interested.
4. I'm between projects. This means I am antsy and trying my hardest not to let my mind go to that paranoid place where I imagine I'll never work again. Where I imagine that everyone hates my work and thinks I'm a hack. Where my reputation is mud. Yeah, I try not to go there. Instead, I'm looking for new projects and keeping my attitude as positive as possible (people need to hire freelancers in this economy; we're more cost-effective!).
5. Today is Friday the 13th. I'm not superstitious but two crummy things did happen. First, a friend canceled a lunch/play date that we had scheduled for today. Then, my Friday morning standing play date/babysitter (the babysitter comes over for 2 hours every Friday, with the little boy from next door to play with Conal) didn't work out. So, I had two fun things for Conal (and me, too) this morning but both went bust.
Turned out not to be so bad because I decided to take Conal to the NYS Museum, which is right by Owen's office. So, as an extra treat, we went to his office and then out for lunch. It was lots of fun!
Happy Friday, everyone. Have a great weekend!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
What is your favorite race? Do you live for the marathons or crave a 5k? Would you rather race in the morning, afternoon, or at night? Do you like big races with tons of people and encouraging crowds or do you prefer the smaller hometown races?I'm not the raciest (har, har) runner. I only run a handful of races each year -- about five or so. But, I have some preferences, for sure. I'm more of a short distance runner; I enjoy the 5K.
My ideal race would be a well-organized 5K with a few hundred people in it, that begins at 10am in the late spring or early fall. And that has a fast course, with not too many twists and turns but enough easy hills to make it interesting. Oh, and one that has some decent crowd support along the way. And oranges at the finish line.
But I'm not picky.
Some of my favorite races haven't fit that mold at all. One favorite will always be the first race I ran even though I almost passed out after running it. (I wrote all about it waaaaay back before I even had this blog here.) I hated the actual race because I did think I would die but I love that it gave me desire to run and race. Plus, it was my first race and I learned what not to do in it. That counts for something!
Other favorite races include my fastest 5K, my first 15K and, of course, my first (and so far only) marathon.
All this talk of racing makes me want to run one! Hmm . . .
Now, what about you? Do you have a favorite race? Check out J or Take it and Run Thursday or, heck, leave me a comment!
* * *
Another great shorts run mid-day yesterday! I'm feeling a little bit spoiled.
Have a great day, everyone!
PS: I posted a NYC Marathon slideshow here if like to look at race pics.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
So, it's Tuesday. Sometimes, a Tuesday is just a Tuesday. No need to get worked up about it, because it's just a Tuesday.
Tuesday. Not the first day of the week like Monday. Not the middle like Wednesday. Not almost Friday like Thursday. And certainly not TGIF-ish like Friday, or weekend-y like Saturday and Sunday. Just Tuesday.
Gray and dreary, yet warm enough for another shorts run.
Certainly, a silver lining.
And you know what else could constitute a silver lining, like if you were really desperate for one and you really stretched the definition? Well, I'll tell you. Team Strands is seeking athletes to sponsor. As in, runners. Runners that they can give money to. So those runners can run.
Before you start spending that money, check out what you need to do. They sent me a press release about it so I figured I would share the info. Here it is:
Corvallis, OR, November 9, 2009— Team Strands is accepting applications for athlete sponsorship for the 2010 calendar year. Interested athletes should submit a running resume with a one-page sponsorship proposal.The resume should include, but is not limited to:
- Running Background
- Personal Bests
- Race Highlights
- Tentative 2010 Race ScheduleThe proposal should highlight why you believe you would be a good brand advocate for Strands.com. It would be helpful to include information about your level of involvement in the running community, and your “reach” online with social networking sites and blogs. Preference will be given to athletes willing to relocate to Corvallis. Please indicate whether you would be willing to move in your sponsorship proposal.You must be willing to share your training and interact with the Strands.com online community, so familiarity with Strands.com is a must. If you would like to apply for sponsorship and haven’t set up a free Strands profile at http://www.strands.com, please do so before applying.When you have completed your running resume and one-page proposal, please send an email with both documents attached to email@example.com by December 15, 2009. We will begin notifying athletes starting January 1, 2010.ABOUT
- Strands.com is an online training log and social networking site where athletes share their training, connect with friends and teammates, and streamline their online activities. The site is operated by Strands Labs, Inc. For more information on Strands Labs, Inc, visithttp://corp.strands.com/.-END-
Just don't forget about me when you're all kinds of famous.
Monday, November 9, 2009
November in upstate New York is usually chilly, with an average high for the month of 48 degrees. Today, though, is sunny and the forecast calls for a high of 65. Yay! This will make two days in a row: Yesterday was sunny and warm with temps in the high 60s. Yes, I ran in shorts!
Running in shorts in November is just a real treat for this runner. Last week, I was bundled up in running pants and a jacket. To wear my favorite shorts and a t-shirt made me feel a little like a kid out there. I felt fast! Not that I was, of course, I just felt that way.
Speaking of fast . . .
As I was running up a moderately steep hill yesterday, I saw a guy up ahead of me on his bike. A cyclist, slick cycling outfit and all. I ran at a steady pace, gaining on him at every step. As I got closer to him (I was on the opposite side of the road, running facing traffic), he must have heard me (am I really that loud??) because he looked back at me and then he tried to speed up. I just kept running, quickly passing him and putting space between us.
Until we crested the hill when he flew by me on the downhill. But he was coasting.
The whole thing just made me chuckle a little because he definitely did not like getting passed on that hill. After all, he was on a bike. Now, I'm no cyclist so I have no idea if it is easier to run or ride uphill. But it would seem to me that using a two-wheeled machine would give you an advantage over just using your body.
Anyway, passing Mr. Coaster, along with being able to run in shorts and a t-shirt, made me feel pretty fleet of feet yesterday. What a way to end a great weekend (freshly highlighted hair, a dinner party, a birthday party, three great runs, re-arranged the family room, lots of fun . . . )!
I hope to feel fast again today. I'll be running in shorts, for sure!
Happy Monday, everyone!
Friday, November 6, 2009
- My arms hate me. So does my chest. And my back and my hamstrings. They all hate me for making them so sore. Sore in a good way, I think. They think differently, I guess. How long can I keep this push ups/cross training thing going?
- I was able to run outside during the day today! Yes, 4.7 miles of happiness. Happiness, I tell ya! So cool.
- I reviewed the Thriv racerback tank over at my other site. Check it out here.
- Upstate NYers!!! Two things: 1) I'm looking for favorite running routes in Albany/Rensselaer/Saratoga/Schenectady counties for an article I'm working on. Have a fave? Please email me! (felicehalf at yahoo dot com) Or leave a comment. 2) Thinking about racing this weekend? My pick of the week is here.
- Obviously, I don't have much today. So #5 is a bit weak. In fact, it is nothing. A bullet full of nothing. Sorry. Maybe next week I'll be more creative or, perhaps, if we're all lucky and the stars align properly, more interesting. One can only hope.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Once upon a time, I participated in the hundred push ups challenge. I worked hard to do tons of real, straight leg push ups. I made it through week 5 (of 6) by repeating weeks 3, 4 and 5 over and over. It was tough. I never got to week 6 and never was able to perform all 100 push ups consecutively.
But all was not lost because my arms (and core) had gotten a lot stronger just by doing the push ups three times a week. So, really, it was a win. And I took that win, patted myself on the back, and gave up on push ups for a good year or so.
Sure, I would do them when working out with Jillian Michaels and her Shred girls. That was about it, though. I rarely, if ever, did them just to do them.
Well, the time has come to get back to kicking my own butt. Bring on the push ups!
Lisa over at Chasin' Bunnies wrote about how she's doing the challenge and invited others to join her. I seem to not be able to pass up a challenge because I signed up. I'm in. Get ready, arms! Today, I did the initial test and was able to squeeze out 15 good form, straight leg push ups. I almost made it to 16 but that one was crud and my back was all archy, so it didn't count.
Yes, 15 is a far cry from 100 but I'm not so worried about getting to 100 this time around. Lisa is all low-pressure with this challenge so it's more about building strength than actually reaching a certain number. That should work well for me.
Now, speaking of Jillian Michaels (because we were, right?), I went back the Shred last night. I did Shred level 3 using 6lb weights and I feel a little sore today. I'm going to cut myself some slack because a) I've hardly done any cross training in the past few months and b) Jillian and her girls use 3lb weights. So I'm practically a rock star hoisting my mighty 6lbs. Ha!
Right. So, it's almost Friday! Woo hoo! Enjoy it, everyone!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Night runnin', night runnin'.
Gimme that night runnin', night runnin'
We know how to show it.
Since the time change, I've been night runnin'. Running in the pitch dark. I know, I know. It's only been since Sunday but here's the thing: Last year, I avoided dark runs and took refuge in the fluorescent safety of my basement treadmill. This year, I'm toughing it out. Running in the dark. And when it gets colder, I'll run in the cold, too. No wimping out this season!
And so far, so good. There is something almost soothing about running in the dark. There are fewer people out and about, for one thing. No lawn mowers. No dogs. Fewer cars in the neighborhood. When I'm running, there's little to distract me. I hear my breathing and the rhythm of my foot steps.
Sure, the fire hydrants still appear to be serial killers squatting on the side of the road, just waiting for me to get close enough so they can drag me into the woods. And, I'm considering getting a headlamp to avoid mistaking everyday objects for murders. But, overall, my night runs have been peaceful.
So, dark I can handle. Can I handle the cold? That will be the real test. Maybe we'll have a mild winter? In upstate New York? Not likely . . . but a girl can dream!
We'll see how it goes. For now, enjoy a little night runnin', everyone! Night runnin', night runnin' . . .
* For the real thing:
(When will someone bring the medallion-over-white-turtleneck look back?)
Monday, November 2, 2009
It felt like the Olympics all over again.
A late 30-something mom won the marathon yesterday. The New York City Marathon, that is. Like in the 2008 Olympics, when 38-year-old mother Constantina Tomescu-Dita won the gold, I felt a surge of pride when Derartu Tulu crossed the finish line first yesterday. Tulu is 37. She has two birth children and four that she has adopted. She ran the NYC marathon in 2:28:52. She's one fast mother!
It didn't stop with Tulu, though. Lyudmila Petrova, a 41-year-old who is also a mother, finished second. There were other moms banging out awesome times, too (Paula Radcliffe, top American Magdalena Lewy Boulet and Salina Kosgei, all of whom finished in the top 10).
Way to go, moms!
Granted, these aren't regular moms. They are superstar runners. But they are also moms. And from my vantage point as a mom who runs, I think they are superstar cool. They show that you don't have to hang it up (whatever it happens to be) just because you have kids. And Tulu and Petrova show that you can continue to rock it (again, whatever it happens to be) even as you creep up there in age.
Of course, the take-away is that I guess you can't use age (or kids) as an excuse, either!
Watching the marathon made me so happy that I run and reinforced that I want to do this as well as I can for as long as I can.
I had a little extra pep in my step during this evening's run. Thank you, NYC Marathon!
* * *
Wondering how all those celebrities who ran the marathon finished? I did the research for you. Check out my Examiner.com article for the finish times.