Friday, December 31, 2010

The running year that was.

It's the end of the year. Time for reflection and resolutions and parties and all that. Count me in!

So, yeah. Last year I had some goals. Did I reach them? Well, let's have a look at each of my goals and how I did:

  • To run strong and well throughout the year. DONE! True, I was pregnant for most of the year but I still ran strong. I ran a few races while pregnant, ran until week 38 of the pregnancy and then started again two weeks after giving birth. Now, with my little guy just about 12 weeks old, I feel great!

  • To set at least one new PR. Ha to the ha, ha, ha! Yeah, pregnancy running doesn't really lend itself to PRs. Enh, no big deal.

  • To run outdoors more often than indoors. DONE! Although I've been running on the treadmill more lately, for the rest of the year I ran outdoors. 

  • To meet some other running bloggersDONE! I met, ran, raced and became friends with Amanda, Suzy and Darlene. Love them! 

  • To run 1010 miles for 2010. Yet another ha, ha, ha. I made just over 600 and consider that a win.

  • To break the death-grip that is my Starburst jellybean addiction. The death-grip is too strong for me to even discuss this one.

  • Not too bad. Some of my goals simply had to go out the window once I learned that I was pregnant. There was just no going after a PR or 1000 miles in my preggo 2010. And, believe me, I am 100% OK with that. Overall, it was a great running year for me.

    I ran 611.8 miles in 2010. I ran six races: a 10K, a marathon relay (5.7 mile leg), a 3.5 miler, two preggo 5Ks (FRW and one while vacationing) and one 5K 8 weeks after giving birth. I helped some non-runners become runners.

    And now, I'm looking forward to 2011! I have plenty of goals for the year and I've been planning out my races so I'll post about those soon. I also have an exciting challenge that I'm putting together that I hope you all will be into. More on that really soon!

    In the meantime, I hope you all have a terrific New Year's Eve and I wish you the best in 2011. Thank you all for visiting my site and for the comments, encouragement and support you provide. I appreciate it :-)

    Cheers and happy running!

    ~ Felice

    Wednesday, December 29, 2010

    Eating (and eating) and running.

    So, wow. I sometimes have to wonder how it is possible to consume So. Much. Food. over the course of so few days. I mean, gingerbread cookies, Christmas chip cookies, chocolate crinkles, trifle, monkey bread, that white chocolate-cereal-pretzel mix stuff. Not to mention Christmas brunch, Christmas hors d'oeuvres and Christmas dinner.

    Yeah, I ate a lot. And then I ate some more.

    Fortunately, I ran a good bit, too. I extended my long run to 6.5 miles, ran a hilly, chilly 4.5 miler at 8:45 pace, and logged a few easy runs. And with that, the scale stayed right where it was the week before. Thanks, running!

    Now, I'm prepping for New Year's Eve, which will undoubtedly include more eating and, I hope, more running!

    I have to say, though, I've enjoyed it all. I love the goodies of the season -- who doesn't? But, now it is time for normal eating again. Oh, well . . . I'll miss you, cookies. And you, too, white chocolate-cereal-pretzel mix stuff!

    *     *     *

    So, non-food related question for you all: If you've used McMillan to estimate your race times, have you found it to be fairly accurate? I input some times to see where I should be for the half-marathon and I'm just wondering what other's experiences have been. THANKS!

    Happy Wednesday!

    ~ Felice

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    (Almost) Wordless Wednesday (the "ho, ho, ho!" version).

    It was Santa time at pre-school yesterday and, boy-howdy, were the kids into it!

    Santa asked Conal to check if the beard was real. It was.

    Time with Santa --


    Two brothers!

    Ho, ho, ho and happy Wednesday to you!

    ~ Felice

    Monday, December 20, 2010

    Banner week!

    I don't mean to gloat but, friends? I had a great week!

    For starters, I had my highest weekly mileage since getting back to running: I logged 24 miles. That's the most that I've run in a week since last November -- waaaay back before I got pregnant. So, let's just say that I am happy about the 24!

    I'm even happier about how my runs felt. My feet, which had been bothering me a few weeks ago, have held up well with the increased mileage (yeah, they hurt on and off but nothing like how they had been). I ran a few times on my treadmill and actually had a good time doing so (sure, Conal and Niall's company didn't hurt!). Best of all, I went out for a run on Saturday and just let my legs fall into a comfortable pace, looking at my Garmin only to press start and stop. My pace for the run ended up at 9min/mile, which just happens to be the pace I was planning to target for my April half marathon. I ran 6.26 miles at that pace and honestly felt like I could have kept going and going.

    All told, this week has filled me with running confidence! I'm heading into 2011 with a short term goal to run a half-marathon in April and the past week has me convinced I can do it and do it well. With my legs gravitating to the 9min/mile pace, I know that with proper training, I can hold that for 13.1 miles and break 2 hours for the half. Yes, it will take a commitment to training but I'm ready for it. My training will start in about two weeks and right now I have a plan but I'm still tweaking it.

    So, let me ask you this: As I tweak my plan, who has suggestions for me? Any good half marathon training advice or tips? Lay it on me. Thanks!

    Hope you all had a great weekend!

    ~ Felice

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    Photo Friday!

    Yesterday afternoon my two little guys behaved incredibly well and I was able to run for 5.5 miles on the treadmill. It was great. Conal ran around, Niall laid next to me. At one point, Conal decided he needed to "protect" Niall so he surrounded him with hockey sticks. Nothing like the logic of a 3 year old . . .

    I thought they were so cute that I had to stop my run for a sec to snap a pic.

    My view from the 'mill:

    As much as I'm happy to be getting my runs in on the treadmill, I'll be really glad to get to run outside this weekend! Yahoo!

    Have a great weekend, everyone!

    ~ Felice

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    You call that a run?!?

    My boys were cooperating with me on Tuesday so I DID get that run in. If you can call it that . . .

    It started out with me feeding Niall and then speed-changing into some running clothes. I tossed back a sip of water, laced up my running shoes and brought the boys downstairs to the basement.

    Then Niall needed a diaper change. So back upstairs we went. Once he was all clean, I put him on the floor next to the treadmill, hopped on, and started to run. Warm-up? What warm-up?

    Conal played soccer, Niall laid peacefully and I ran. For about 2 miles.

    Then there was a diaper explosion.

    I hit the pause button, hopped off the 'mill and brought Niall upstairs to change him. I thought about calling it a run at that point and then shook my head at my folly. I was not giving up on the run. No, sir.

    So, back downstairs we went. I put Niall back on the mat next to the 'mill and ran. For almost a half mile . . . until he started screaming. Since I was not giving up, I strapped on the Baby Bjorn, put him in and walked for a bit to calm him. Then, I started all over again.

    Another mile. I was going well. Until Conal needed me SO MUCH because he had lost a hockey puck. I hopped off the teadmill, found the puck, and then hopped back on. Felt like I barely broke my stride.

    I knew it was only a matter of time before Niall started fussing again so I ran fast, getting in another 2 miles before the boys lost it and I had to stop.

    4.8 all together but I almost want to round up to 5, given all the extra curriculars I had to deal with!

    But, yes. I do call that a run. At this point, I take what I can get :-)

    Thanks for stopping by!

    ~ Felice

    PS: Don't miss my cranberry juice giveaway HERE and my Coolmax EcoMade socks giveaway HERE.

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    #11: Run.

    So, the thing is, even though I've re-friended the treadmill, I can only run when I'm not otherwise occupied by such things as:

    1. Breastfeeding (which my son requires frequently)
    2. Changing diapers (which the same son requires even more frequently)
    3. Holding a baby (that would be that same son again)
    4. Making breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, and snack (for both sons. And some for the husband. And, OK, much of it for me.)
    5. Trying to write a blog post
    6. Collecting, washing, drying and folding laundry
    7. Breastfeeding (did I already mention that?)
    8. Working (ha! Deadlines? What deadlines?)
    9. Occupying one or both of the boys
    10. Fantasizing about running a 1:50 half-marathon
    Last night, I thought I would sneak in a quick run while both boys were in good moods. Owen was going to be late, so I knew I wouldn't have time to run after he got home. I put Niall on a pad next to the treadmill in the basement and let Conal loose to play soccer/football/hockey/basketball.

    By the time I got warmed up, Niall was done. I couldn't run while he cried so I called it after 1.5 miles. Whoop-dee-doo.

    But, you know, that's what happens. My situation right now is that my little guys come first and my running is, um, maybe 11th on the list. 1.5 miles isn't much, but it is better than nothing and right now, I take what I can get. I'm happy about every mile!

    Today, though, I could really go for a long run . . . wish me luck. And cooperative kids!

    *     *     *

    Speaking of luck, I have a running SOCKS giveaway going on HERE. Do check it out.

    ~ Felice

    Sunday, December 12, 2010

    Going long.

    It seems that the treadmill and I have decided to be friends this year. This is not to say that I will be forgoing my outdoors runs in favor of the 'mill. There's no way that will happen. I can't imagine a more dreadful season than one spent running every mile on the 'mill. It's more that I think I won't hate every mile that I have to run indoors. And that's a good thing.

    I found a bit of a treadmill groove this week. After taking a few days off after the 5k race, I was itching to run, but I had little interest in running in the cold and dark this week. So, the 'mill it was. And it wasn't horrible. The key to my decent runs was starting slow -- and I mean S. L. O. W. The problem with me and the 'mill is that I always jump into my regular run pace and, for some reason, that doesn't work. I can do that outside, but not in. So, this week, I ran the first mile at a wicked slow pace and then a bit faster for the second mile and got into the groove of my regular pace for the third and fourth miles. I don't know why it takes me so long to warm-up/find a rhythm on the treadmill but it does. It's too bad my time was short because once I was in the groove I felt as if I could have run many miles more.

    Yesterday, though, was an incredibly beautiful day -- really warm (for December!) and sunny -- so I was happy Owen was home so I could get outside for a run. I ran a nice 5-miler at 9:20 pace and felt great! Today, I followed up with a 4.4 miler. With more time on my hands, I could have gone much longer for both runs.

    All of this "I could have gone longer" is leading up to the inevitable: Training for a longer race. Now that I'm feeling like 5 miles is an easy-peasy run, I'm getting more confident in my (95% sure) decision to run a half marathon this spring.

    You read that right. I'm going long!

    I haven't run a race longer than a 15k since I ran a marathon in 2004. That's a long time and two babies ago. What am I thinking?

    I'm thinking I can do it. The race is in April. Yes, I'll still be breast-feeding but my little guy will be almost 6 months old, so he should be able to handle being away from me for half a day. Yes, I'll have to train in crappy winter weather but I'm at peace with the treadmill (this week). And I have a head lamp. And warm clothes. So, basically, no excuses.

    I've started putting together my plan. It's a combination of a bunch of different plans that I've seen, mushed together and tailored to fit my style, goals and time constraints.

    So, there you have it. I'm friends with the treadmill, better friends with the warm December weather and hopeful that the 13.1 distance will be friendly to me come April. We'll see how that works out.

    Hope you all had a great weekend!

    ~ Felice

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    Candy Cane Kids Run race report

    You think mama was the only one having a good race on Saturday? Oh, no. Conal was right there racing too, only he was handed candy at the end of his race and I had to wander around in my depleted state searching for coffee and water.

    Wah, wah, wah . . .

    The Candy Cane Kids Run took place a half hour before the Jingle Bell Run 5K on Saturday. There were only about 20 kids in the race, which was far fewer than Conal's first race, the Freihofer's Kids Run, where there were so many kids that they had to start in waves. And there were no race bibs or t-shirts, two things that Conal fully expected to receive. When I told him that this was a small race so they didn't have bibs or tees, he didn't believe me. "Nooooooo! You is wrong!" Sorry, kid, I'm right. And, you know what? That's life.

    Once he came to grips with the fact that he was indeed the wrong one (and I was right! Ha ha!), he was ready to race. He lined up next to his friends, the sibling pair Luke and Leah, and waited for the word, "GO!"

    Check him out -- puffy jacket as streamlined racing gear? Hey, it kept him warm!

    Once the race started, the kid took off. Go, Conal, go! But then he stopped, turned, and waited for his friends, Luke and Leah, who -- in pure adorable fashion -- were running hand-in-hand. Running hand-in-hand slows you down a bit so they were behind and I guess Conal didn't want them to fall too far back. So, he'd wait. Then, once they'd get a little closer, he'd take off again. He did this several times. It was, as they say, too cute.

    The race was a 3/10ths of a mile loop around a pond and I'm proud to say that my little guy managed the whole loop. In fact, I'd say he showed that he has a little Happy Runner in him:


    That's some kind of joy right there, people. Happy running.

    And then, at the finish line, he collected his candy cane and moved on. In search of yogurt. Which they didn't have, but that he expected because, you know, they had it at his last race. This kid is nothing if not full of expectations. 

    Can't wait to find out what he expects from his next race.

    ~ Felice

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Jingle Bell Run 5K race report.

    My alarm came too early on Saturday morning. Yes, I was excited and raring to go. But, my little 2-monther has a cold and was up all night coughing, which means I was too. And so when the alarm went off at 7, I felt as if I hadn't slept at all and had to work hard to convince myself to get out of the bed.

    I eventually got up, at my customary English muffin with peanut butter, drank a glass of water and a cup of coffee and then debated what to wear. It was cold on Saturday but sunny so I settled on a pair of running pants over a base layer (thin EMS leggings) on the bottom, and a long-sleeve shirt under a fleece on top. In retrospect, I didn't need the leggings but, enh, you live and learn.

    I nursed Niall as much as possible and then it was time to go. There was a kids run before the 5K (race report to come!) so we wanted to get to the race early so Conal could run. I'm glad we did . . .

    So, OK. The race. We got there, I met up with some awesome strong running mamas and Conal ran his race. Then it was time for me to nurse Niall again -- yes, that was me nursing my baby in the lobby while a bunch of serious runners stretched  out. Yeah, let me say this for pre-race nursing: It's stressful. You're watching the clock (15 minutes to start time!); trying to keep the race bib out of the baby's face while not exposing too much of your own, well, you know; talking to yourself about not starting out too fast; ignoring the curious looks . . . aiy! The pressure!

    But I managed the feeding and met back up with my pals. Here we are before the race:

    Jen, Bridget, me, Janis

    And here we are with Santa. And Darlene.
     Janis, Jen, Santa, Bridget, me, Darlene 
    (we missed Amanda and Tami for the pic!)

    After the requisite photos, we made our way to the starting line and then we were off! As I mentioned in my last post, I had three goals for the race but I really wanted to go after my A goal of finishing under 25:13. So, I took off and weaved through the small crowd at the start, almost tripped over a dog that was running (?!?!) and smacked into a woman who had tripped over said dog's leash . . . and made my way to a clearing where I could run comfortably. 

    Oh, look! That's me!

    Throughout the first and second miles I passed people and felt good. I was running more or less at the pace I was hoping for and figured I had a good shot at finishing right around 25:13. Because the course winded back and forth through a local park, Owen and the boys were able to cheer for me at a few different locations. That was awesome. The best was that each time I passed Conal, he cheered exuberantly and stuck out his hand to give me a High 5. I loved it!

    But even my own personal cheering section wasn't enough to help me maintain my speed through mile 3. Just about as soon as I began the third mile I felt grateful for B and C goals.

    I faded. Big time. Where I felt strong in miles 1 and 2, I was just hanging on in mile 3. So much so, that I didn't even have a kick at the end. What's up with that?

    I loped to the finish and crossed the line in 25:50, just short of my A goal, but pretty far ahead of my B goal of finishing under 27:11. So . . . not too shabby, all things considered. And, in fact, I felt pretty good with my time and the race overall. 

    Race stats:
    Mile 1: 7:56
    Mile 2: 8:01
    Mile 3: 8:24 (?!?)
    last .18: 1:29

    Finish time: 25:50
    Overall place: 40/227

    Post-race: Jen, Janis, Bridget, me
    I wanted to run hard and run strong and I did. I wanted to use the race to gauge my fitness and I'm happy to say that 8 weeks after having my baby, I'm feeling fit. I had a hard time in the last mile, sure, but it wasn't terrible, really. I never stopped. And since the race, my body has felt fine -- no lingering muscle soreness (other than my bum foot, but that's just the norm around here), no pelvic discomfort, nothing. So, yay! I'm back!

    I didn't achieve my A goal, but that just means that I have something to strive for in my next race. And while I could be disappointed, I'm not. I'm putting this race result in the books as my Masters 5K PR! I hope to shatter that record soon but, for now, it stands.

    As a thank you to everyone for rooting me on in my first post-preggo race, here's a little photo for you to ponder over:

    I don't even know what was going on there. Maybe he was going for sunburn, windburn AND frostbite? Runners . . . sheesh . . .

    Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend!

    ~ Felice

    Thanks to Jen for the photos!

    Friday, December 3, 2010

    Race goals.

    Tomorrow's my big race. (You know, the one I've been yammering about for, oh, the last month or so?)

    It's not an especially big race as far as participants go (I think there will be about 200 runners) but it's big for me. It's my first post-preggo race.

    Yup, tomorrow marks 8 weeks since I gave birth and I'm celebrating with a 5k.

    And although I haven't exactly trained for the race -- I've mostly just been running at a comfortable pace -- I do have some goals. Sure, it would be nice to say I just want to finish with a smile on my face but, let's be real. I want to run well. I want to run fast.

    I know I'm not going to be all that fast, unfortunately, because I'm still carrying about 12 extra pounds. But I'll use this race to gauge where I am, fitness-wise. So, here's what I'm shooting for tomorrow:

    • A goal: 25:13 or better. This was my time for my first 5K after Conal was born, 4 months postpartum.
    • B goal: 27:11 or better. This was my best preggo 5K time, run when I was 5.5 months pregnant.
    • C goal: 29:59 or better. I just don't want to finish in the 30s.

    Do I have any idea how I'll do? Not really. If I want to sandbag, I could go on and on about the cough that I have had for almost two weeks now or my feet, which feel oddly like they are broken. Bum feet and congested lungs probably aren't setting me up for any PRs. But will they ruin my shot at a good time?


    I've run through coughs and foot pain before. I can suck it up with the best of them. It's only 3.1 miles, after all. I can run hard for 3.1 miles.

    And that'll be my plan. Run hard. Run strong. Yup, that's my plan.

    Have a great weekend, everyone! And to those of you who are racing: Run hard. Run strong!

    ~ Felice

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    November recap.

    Since October was taken up with giving birth and taking care of a newborn, my mileage was low. So, in November, there was no where to go but up.

    And up it went!

    I feel as if I ran a lot in November, making the most of every opportunity. One thing I've learned since having another baby is that I need to be more flexible with my routines. In the past, I would make sure to eat 1.5-2 hours before a run. Now, though, that doesn't fly. I can try to keep to that routine, but it doesn't always work. When I was at my mother-in-law's for Thanksgiving weekend, for example, I had an opportunity to run only a half hour after eating breakfast. I didn't know if I would be able to run later, and actually highly doubted it, so I went for it, full belly and all.

    The other thing I've learned is to be prepared and not dilly-dally. Evenings when I plan to run when Owen gets home, I'm dressed and ready to go as soon as he walks in the door. That also means I've fed and changed Niall and have him ready to be peaceful while I'm gone (ha ha!) and I have prepped or completely made dinner. So far, it is working.

    And now, here's how the month looked.

    November stats:

    Running (miles): 64.8
    Cross-training (sessions): 4

    Considering September and October were each 21 mile months, that 64.8 looks pretty good!

    And now, bring on December! It's the month of my first post-preggo race (and you already know I'm super excited) -- but what about you? Big plans for December?

    ~ Felice

    Monday, November 29, 2010

    Logging 20.

    Hey, thanks for taking a break from Cyber Monday to stop over at the Happy Runner! I wish I had something enticing to offer you. How about some free shipping on this blog post? Today only!

    Holy moley. What's up with Cyber Monday? I've been bombarded by emails, ads and Facebook posts all about the Cyber Monday madness. Has it always been this way? Did I miss the madness last year? Sheesh.

    Anyway, in the midst of all the Thanksgiving eating and visiting with family, I managed to get in a few good runs. I didn't run in a Turkey Trot but I did log 5.5 miles on Thanksgiving when my legs gave thanks for the flat routes on Long Island -- what a break from the hills in my neighborhood! On Friday I went out for a quick 3.5 miler, which I shook up with some fartleks thrown in the middle. I took Saturday off and then ran a 5 miler yesterday (Sunday) to end the week with just over 20 miles!

    OK, 20 miles a week may not be a lot for some but for me it is great. Back when I was still pregnant and imagining what my post-baby running would be like, I never thought I would be back to 20 miles 7 weeks after giving birth. Honestly, I thought it would be a little tougher and it would take me a little longer to get the mileage up. But, I'm back to 20 -- right around where I was before getting pregnant (I'm normally a 20-25 mile a week runner). Overall, getting to this point has gone well. There have been a few glitches but in the 5 weeks that I've been back to running, I've almost always felt very good. I'm fortunate, I know.

    And now I'll cut back on my miles this week in preparation for Saturday's 5K race. I can't wait . . .

    I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and weekend. Congrats to all the turkey trotters!

    ~ Felice

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone! Don't eat the cheesecake pancakes.

    ~ Felice

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010


    For the past few days, my lungs have felt like ladyfingers soaking up espresso and rum to provide the spongy goodness in tiramisu. Only, there's been nothing good coming from my spongy lungs. And instead of espresso and rum, my lungs feel as if they are steeped in muck. The muckity muck of the common cold.

    Yuck to the muck.

    Owen had it first and it hung on for what seemed like forever. I thought for sure I was going to get a pass because of some sort of super post-pregnancy, nursing immunity. But, no. I guess that doesn't happen. Or at least not to me.

    I loaded up on vitamins C and D. I kept up with my running. And yet, I caught the cold. Or whatever it is.

    Since Saturday, I've had the spongy lungs, crazy coughing and a sore throat. The cold hasn't knocked me out, though, and I was able to get in two really good runs over the weekend. The worst part of the whole thing is that I often get coughing attacks while I'm nursing or trying to put Niall to bed and the horrendous noise startles the poor little guy. And the last thing anyone wants at a 3:30 am feeding is a startled baby. It doesn't make getting him back to sleep all that easy.

    Oh, well. It won't last, I'm sure. I have a run on tap for tonight and I'm hoping some high intensity exercise will burn the bug out of my system!

    I did recently read that flushing your ears with hydrogen peroxide will reduce the length of a cold. Sounds weird. Has anyone tried that? If you have, or you have any other works-for-me cold remedies, let me know!

    ~ Felice

    Friday, November 19, 2010

    Show the belly.

    So, there I was wearing my running pants and a sports bra when my son came in my room and asked what I was doing.

    "I'm getting ready to go for a run," I told him.

    "Those aren't for runners," he said, pointing to my pants. "Runners wear shorts."

    "Right. Runners wear shorts. But when it's cold out, runners wear pants," I said.

    He seemed to buy this. Then he pointed to my sports bra. "That's for runners."

    "Yup. You're right. It's my sports bra, for running," I agreed.

    "Runners have to wear those to show their bellies."

    Huh? I didn't say anything, but picked up my long sleeved shirt that I planned to wear.

    "Yeah," he continued. "You have to show the belly." He gestured to my mid-section and then he gave me a very serious look. "You have to show the belly, Mommy. You have to pull your pants lower and show the belly."

    "What are talking about?" I asked. With probably too snotty a tone.

    He grabbed the waist of my pants and folded it over and said, "Like that. Show the belly." Then he pointed to my nightstand. "See? Runners show the belly!"

    And with that, he ran off, out of my room.

    I immediately knew what he was talking about. On my nightstand is a stack of Runner's World magazines. All of the cover runner-models wear sports bras and low-slung shorts. They show the belly, as it were.

    I guess those covers made an impression on my impressionable 3 year old. I don't know exactly how I feel about this. Part of me is a little freaked out and annoyed that my son now thinks that runners need to wear as little as possible to be considered runners. Another part of me is happy that he thinks about running at all and that he pays attention enough to recognize differences in things like what people wear.

    Thinking a little more about this, though, isn't is strange that all of the women on the RW covers wear more or less wearing the same thing? Don't some super runners wear singlets? Or shimmels? Honestly, seeing basically the same photo on the cover month after month is pretty boring.

    But I guess it makes an impression. At least on the mind of a 3 year old.

    And I'll leave you with that. Have a great weekend, everyone!

    ~ Felice

    PS: I have a yummy giveaway going on over HERE so check it out!

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Darn foot.

    November is halfway over and I've already logged more miles than I did in October and in September! In September I ran 21.9 miles and I followed that with 21.4 in October. So far this month, I've run 28.9 free and easy miles! Yay!

    Although, as I stand here typing, I'm reminded of the one thing that should temper my excitement: That little twinge in my right foot. Specifically, the ball of my big to and the arch area. Oh, that darn foot . . . it's the one with the bum toe(s) and the one that likes to cause problems now and then. I'm really hoping that now is not one of those times.

    If it is, though, I'll have no one to blame but myself. See, as I've eased back into running, I started by running one day and taking two off. Then I went to taking one day off. Then, this weekend was 100% perfect running weather. Seriously. We're talking shorts and t-shirt weather.

    So, I ran. Both days. After a speedy 5.1 miler on Thursday, I took Friday off. On Saturday, I went out for an easy 4 miler and had all intentions of calling it a week. But, well, then Sunday came around and it was sunny and warm and, you know, it's November after all and we don't get many sunny warm days in November. So . . . I ran again. Just 3 miles. Easy-peasy.

    But now I've got the foot thing. There's a chance that my foot hurts because I squeezed into a pair of fancy shoes for my sister-in-law's baby shower on Saturday (grr . . . pregnancy caused my feet to expand!). I'm hoping that's all it is. I'm hoping it isn't from running. Because that would be a big bummer.

    Whatever the cause, I'm not running today and, if the pain persists, I'll take tomorrow off, too. I'd rather a few extra days of not running than a prolonged injury!

    I hope you all had a great weekend! It was beautiful here in upstate New York. Love the warm days in autumn!

    ~ Felice

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Bloody run.

    The upside is that I now have evidence that I have been running. The downside is that the evidence is physical. And a bit painful.

    Let's start with the pain: The bloody, yucky chafing from my sports bra. Oh, yeah. Not good. I have about a 4 inch long chafed area on the underside of my right breast. It's no good. And you know what makes it worse? I'm breastfeeding. So, there's a lot of, um, action in that area and this chafing is not at all what I need.

    I'd noticed a little bit of chafing a few runs ago, but it was nothing serious and didn't really bother me. Today? Well, today is a different story. I ran 5.1 (somewhat) speedy (for me) miles and, while doing so, my sports bra rubbed my skin raw. When I got back from my run it hurt a little. I went about my business until it was time to nurse my son and whamm-o! I sure noticed the bloody, raw chafed area then. Eek!

    I've loaded it up with Aquaphor, hoping that it heals quickly. And, no. I will not wear that particular sports bra again.

    Moving on . . .

    After I fed my son, I took off my running shoes and saw this:

    A bloody toe! Grrrr . . .

    Not much pain there, just the blood. I believe that the nail from one toe dug into the side of another toe and made it bleed. There's a small cut but it doesn't hurt.


    Aside from the chafing and the bleeding, my run was great. I ran progressively faster miles with my last 1.1 mile in 8:41 (7:53 pace, woo hoo!). And, I ran outside in shorts because it was sunny and brisk but not cold (mid-50s). Running in shorts in November is such a treat that it makes just about any run rock! Even those that end in blood.

    Hope you're having a good, chafing-free day!

    ~ Felice

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    (Not quite) wordless Wednesday.

    My little guy is one month old. A whole month! Can you believe it? No, neither can I.

    He's getting B-I-G:

    And his big brother loves him:

    Aww . . .

    Meanwhile, I really need to do something about the front closet:

    Yup, home of a runner.
    Happy Wednesday, everyone!

    ~ Felice

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    First 5.

    Yesterday was my longest run since I gave birth: 5 miles at a comfortable 9:30 pace.

    It was more-or-less a good run, except for the part where my ears felt as if they would freeze and fall off because I failed to wear a headband even though I knew there was a whipping wind. I blame it on a lack of sleep . . .

    Anyway, my easing back plan is going well and my mileage is starting to creep back up. And, best of all, I have felt great each time out. Which means, of course, it is time for a plan! Not a major, serious plan or anything like that. I guess I'm thinking more of a guide. A guide that will get me back in to racing shape. You see, I've got a little 5K coming up on 12/4 and I'd like to run well. Ideally, I'd run it faster than the 27:11 I ran when I was 5.5 months preggo. Wishful thinking would be finishing faster than the 25:13 I ran in my first race back after Conal was born.

    If I'm going to do either, I need to make a plan. Since my schedule is driven by my little one-month-old, I can't set anything in stone. So, I've decided that my plan will be to run 3-4 times a week with a progressively longer run on the weekend, one 3-4 mile fartlek or tempo run, and then another run or two at my comfortable base-building pace for about 4-5 miles. I don't want to push my body with intervals at this point so I'll hold off on them until after the new year. By then, I'll be three months postpartum so I should be able to handle tougher workouts.

    So that's that. A plan is a plan.

    Now, I just want to say a little something about the NYC marathon. I watched the broadcast yesterday and was, as usual, entranced. It was so exciting and I was really happy for Shalane Flanagan and her second place finish.

    But I was even happier for a runner named Wendi Ray. She rocks, people. Rocks. Wendi is 37, works THREE jobs, trains in Wisconsin, and finished in 2:39:15 yesterday -- good enough for 22nd place overall and 6th among American women. She was recently profiled on the Running Times site and when I read about her I thought to myself, "Dang. I have NO excuse not to get it done."

    No, I don't mean running a 2:39 marathon because that's just laughable. I mean making time for running. Getting back and running strong and well. If people much busier than I am can run to their potential, well, so can I.

    And so I shall.

    Did you watch the NYCM yesterday? Run it? Love it? Are you entering the lottery for next year? Good luck to those of you who are!

    ~ Felice

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    The postpartum postmortem part 1.

    Earlier this year, when my pregnancy was still new and barely noticeable, I had this idea of summing up each of the three trimesters as I went along. I thought I would share some stories of my running exploits, maybe scare a few non-mothers away with my tales of fatigue, queasiness and never-ending Braxton-Hicks contractions. You know, fun stuff like that.

    But, well, no. I never got around to writing the recaps but I continued to want to so -- lucky you -- I will recap my three trimesters now, from the vantage point of (almost) four weeks postpartum. I know! So exciting, right? Let's get to it.

    Part 1: The first trimester

    Here's the thing about the first trimester: You're tired. Really tired. Tired like you've never felt before. Imagine, if you will, a Mack truck of fatigue running you over 15,689 times and that's sorta what it is like. No exaggeration.

    So, my first trimester involved that sort of fatigue but I was fortunate to be able to continue to run. I had to take a little bit of time off here and there and I had several low mileage weeks in the beginning (thanks, of course, to that Mack truck of fatigue) but, overall, my running was decent.

    In fact, I ran 154.5 miles in my first trimester. That included a 10K race (51:24) and the marathon relay 5.7m leg (50:25). My race results buoyed my running spirits and helped me believe that I would be able to run throughout my pregnancy.

    I knew that I would not be able to run at my pre-pregnancy level, however, so I decided to turn my focus outward and I started a running moms group to train new runners for their first 5K.  This was big for me. I mean, huge. And, I loved it. Also, mom runners rock.

    Physically, I felt good during this trimester. I wasn't showing much, although I had begun to gain weight and my hips had widened right away, but I still felt normal. The weirdest symptoms during the first 13 weeks was that I couldn't eat lettuce or onions. For some reason, they skeeved me out like nothing else. That soon faded in my second trimester but, sheesh. Lettuce and onions really turned my stomach.

    Speaking of stomachs, I was hungry all the time, a symptom that would continue until . . . well, it still continues so who knows when that will fade away!

    And that's about it. My first trimester was exciting in that it was when I found out I was pregnant but, other than that, it was fairly uneventful -- and that's what you want when you're preggo! Stay tuned for part 2, coming soon . . .

    ~ Felice

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    October recap.

    I started the month as a pregnant mom and ended as a mom of two, with a three-week old baby and a belly full of way too much Halloween candy. Between the 1st and the 31st, a lot happened.

    The biggest thing, of course, was the birth of my little guy, Niall. Yup, big doings around here, for sure! The second biggest thing was my return to running a little over a week ago. So far, so good -- I'm loving it!

    I logged both my walking and running miles this month and I'm pleased to report that there were slightly more running miles than walking. Things are speeding up around here.

    October stats:

    Running/walking (miles): 21.4
    Cross-training (sessions): 5 (way, way more if you count labor and delivery . . . )

    I'm pleased with my progress and expect that November will be even better. Too bad we're heading into winter just as I'm getting ready to make my comeback. But, such is life. You can't always get what you want, right?

    Have a great week, everyone!

    ~ Felice

    Friday, October 29, 2010


    So, Run #2 = Success.

    I ran again on Wednesday (shortly after posting about being bummed to have missed runs on Monday and Tuesday). Actually, I feel weird calling it a run because it felt more like a float. I honestly felt as if I were floating over my miles. Like my feet weren't even touching the ground.

    It was a super run. I logged 4.1 miles -- 4.1 floating miles. How lucky am I?

    Pretty lucky, for sure. I know that I've been fortunate with the whole pregnancy and baby thing: I had an easy pregnancy and was able to run through almost all of it. Then, I recovered quickly after delivery. Two weeks later, I started running and have not had a single ill effect from it. Instead, I've felt terrific. Not everyone has the same experience and I am grateful that I've been able to bounce back the way I have. I chalk it up to the miles I ran while pregnant. Those tough pregnancy miles were deposits in my big ol' running bank -- now I'm raking in the dividends in the form of floaty, easy post-pregnancy miles. Thank you, pregnant self! 

    And now, it's Friday and I'm looking forward to a fun weekend -- hope you are, too! Big cheers to everyone running the MCM on Sunday, especially first-time marathoner, Amanda! Yay!

    ~ Felice

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Following the run.

    Based on how excited I was to go on my first post-baby run, you would probably think that I would have followed it up by going for more runs. Or, at least, another one.

    Yeah, not quite. You see, I'm easing back but, honestly, even I didn't think I would ease back this slowly. I had every intention of running on Monday (after taking Sunday off). My plan for easing back was to run every other day. Seems reasonable, right?

    Well, Monday came and before I knew it, Monday went. No run. I had company in the morning and then work to do in the afternoon. We were supposed to have company in the evening, but they cancelled. Unfortunately, too late for me to re-jig my plans and get out for a run.

    No big deal, really, except that I couldn't run yesterday, either. So, I made the most of the day and took Niall out for a 2-mile power walk. Not quite the same as a run, but it was a beautiful day so I was happy to be outside enjoying it.

    I was even more happy to be enjoying it while wearing my pre-pregnancy running clothes! (Gloating, yes, it's true . . . although I shouldn't gloat too much because I'm not yet back into my regular jeans, just my heavy jeans.)

    What will today bring? I'm hoping I get a run in, but that may not be in the cards. I'm quickly learning that flexibility is the name of the game when you have a preschooler and an infant. So, I'll just have to be flexible. That may mean going for power walks instead of runs, running on the treadmill instead of hitting the roads, or lifting weights instead of doing anything else. I'll take what I can get!

    Happy Wednesday, everyone!

    ~ Felice

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    The return to running.

    I held off for as long as I could. I lasted two weeks.

    Two weeks after Niall was born, I laced up my shoes, tugged on the biggest sports bra I have, pulled on a baggy t-shirt and a pair of running shorts and hit the road. Ah, yes. I hit the road for my first post-baby run. And let me tell you: I loved it. Loved every step of my (just about) 3 miles.

    I could have kept going but didn't want to push it. I've been off since I hit 38 weeks in my pregnancy, so with Niall arriving about a week late that's just about 5 weeks of no running. With that much time off, I need to ease back in to the miles. So, ease I will.

    Easing back has felt terrific. I have never run such comfortable 9:30 miles. OK, sure, that's not particularly fast but, still. I was practically bounding up my neighborhood hills! Saturday's 3 miles felt like the easiest miles ever and I attribute that to the fact that I had been used to running while carrying about 30 extra pounds, most of them front and center. There's something about being pregnant that makes the miles a bit harder to run. Go figure . . .

    So, the Happy Runner is back. Back and running. I love it! I'm even thinking about a race with my running mamas (most of whom, by the way, ran their first 10k over the weekend -- go, mamas!) on December 4th. Will I do it? Based on how I feel so far, I'd say yes. I'm not going to register just yet, in case something changes. But, in my head, I'm planning on it. Woo hoo!

    Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you all had a great weekend!

    ~ Felice

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Photo Friday!

    I don't want to jinx myself but, yay! Things are going really well just about two weeks into the whole "mother of two" thing.

    Sure, I'm getting a little less sleep than I normally do (or, in the case of last night, a lot less sleep than I normally do), but I'm also getting used to it. I feel like I've been adjusting well and, in fact, I've been walking a bit and doing some Exercise TV workouts and generally feeling great. So, no complaints here, just a lot of good stuff. Two weeks in and Niall is, for the most part, a great sleeper. And he's so sweet. And adorable. And cute as can be. And . . . oh, am I gushing? Sorry. Can't help it these days!

    Anyway, here are some pics for those of you who are interested:

     Conal holding Niall

     Hanging out.

    Resting with the cat, who isn't quite that huge in real life. I swear!

    So, that's that. Hope you all have a great weekend! 

    ~ Felice

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Better late than never.

    My little guy finally decided to make his appearance, a little later than expected and amid much more chaos. But, he's here. He's healthy. We're happy!

    I'll post more soon -- maybe once I feel like some of my brain cells have returned -- but here's a quick pick of little Niall:




    Getting some love from his big brother.

    Hope you're all having a good week! I am . . . 

    ~ Felice

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Things I'll miss.

    Assuming I ever deliver this bambino (and, these days, that seems a little questionable), there are a few things that I will probably miss about being preggo:

    1. The anticipation.
    2. Butter, and smothering my food in lots of it.
    3. A big ol' baby belly that makes my hips and butt look smaller by comparison.
    4. No pressure racing.
    5. No pressure running.
    6. Considering a walk solid exercise.
    7. Having a really good excuse for crying while watching just about anything on tv -- including Modern Family. Only a preggo could generate non-laughter tears from that comedy.
    8. Kind words from strangers and friends alike (including all those from yesterday's post -- thanks! I appreciate them!)
    9. Jelly beans.
    10. Sleep.
    Feeling wistful . . . but ready. More than ready!

    Happy almost weekend, everyone!

    ~ Felice

    PS: I have an EcoMom giveaway going on over here if you haven't checked it out.

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    September recap.

    If you're interested, my due date has come and gone. Sigh . . .  Yep. Yesterday was d-day and yet the little guy apparently is in no rush to make his big debut. So, I'm still waiting.

    Lesson learned: What all those diet and financial service ads say really is true: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. I thought for sure that since Conal was born 10 days early, this baby would come early, too. Ha! Ha! Joke's on me, huh? Yeah, guess so. And now I wait. I never should have expected this little guy to show up early. Or, I suppose, to even show up on time! Apparently that just wasn't part of the plan.

    Well, since I'm just hanging out, re-stocking the fridge, re-cleaning the kitchen and re-catching up on laundry I might as well take a look back at the month that was. September was my last month of running. Actually, my last run was on the 20th -- at my 38 week mark. I'm proud that I ran for so long but I have to be honest and make sure you all know that the last two weeks or so of running was a mixture of running and walking. There were just some times when I was out on the road and couldn't keep up the run. So I walked. No biggie.

    Anyway, here's what the month looked like:

    September stats:

    Running/walking (miles): 21.9
    Cross-training (sessions): several, but didn't keep count

    So, there you have it. I hope that the next time I post I'm a mama of two . . . but I'm not going to count on it!

    Have a great week, everyone!

    ~ Felice

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010


    When you're waiting for something big to happen like, for example, the birth of your second child, you tend to become boring. It's a result of fixating on the big thing and all the whens, hows, and what ifs of that thing. All that fixating sorta takes over.

    In my case, that means I can barely find room in my brain to think up a less-than-average dinner, I have repeatedly tried to put the milk away in the pantry and I've fallen behind on answering emails, blogging (obviously) and keeping up on the ol' Facebook.

    But I am all kinds of on top of the grocery shopping (although my choices have grown increasingly odd and heavy on the cereal), laundry and other things domestic. In other words, I'm a (slowly) walking cliche. You know, the wack-a-doodle preggo lady getting the house all ready for the arrival of baby. Yeah, that would be me.

    Only I feel like I'm just hanging out and waiting. The iron pills have boosted my flagging energy a bit and I'm still going for walks and enjoying my 30 minutes routines with the gals on Exercise TV. Other than that? I'm waiting. And waiting. And questioning every little twinge. Googling every symptom, real or imagined.

    In other words, fixating.

    To put it in runner terms, I feel like I'm in some sort of other-wordly taper. The pregnancy taper. Gathering energy for the big marathon of birth. And feeling antsy while doing it.

    Like marathoners who ache to keep putting in the miles on rest days, I long to get going. I would love to head out for a long run or tackle some hills or nail a half-dozen 400s. But the body won't allow it and I know that's for the best and I honestly don't mind. I'm gearing up, people. Gearing up.

    About a week to go . . .

    ~ Felice 

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Is it bedtime yet?

    You know what happens after months and months of chirping about how great pregnancy is?

    You get your comeuppance. In my case, that means getting hit smack in the face with a big ol' plate of fatigue pie.

    We're talking sheer exhaustion. Tired beyond belief. Tired that doesn't go away. Sure, I have some good reasons for why I'm exhausted -- I'm at the tail end of this here pregnancy, my son has decided that it's great fun to wake up in the middle of the night to pee and he needs me to take him to the bathroom every time, and I'm anemic. Fortunately, I can do something about that last one and ever since I found out about the anemia (OK, yesterday) I've been taking iron supplements.

    But, come on! Do I really need to be this tired? Really?

    I'm not complaining complaining I'm just, you know, complaining. I don't like being tired. I'm not one of those people who's normally tired all the time. Yes, I get tired. But, not like this. Not so I have to lie down and nap or else I will suddenly just stop functioning and end up standing in the middle of the room as if I were some sort of zombie woman who hasn't yet figured out how to move her limbs.

    (I guess in addition to my fatigue, I've also gained a heightened flair for exaggeration in my 38th week.)

    Grumble, grumble, grumble . . . 

    On the more cheery-ho! side of things, my doctor -- admittedly based on very little -- has predicted that I will deliver prior to my next scheduled ob appointment, which is next Wednesday. So I've got that going for me. And I won a free housecleaning! Well, not exactly the whole house -- just the bathrooms and the kitchen, but still! I'm psyched! After all, I keep the house fairly clean (which could be why I'm tired . . . ) but I always feel as if I'm behind on the bathrooms. They just get yucky and, I admit, I don't give them the thorough cleaning that they deserve. Because they're bathrooms and who enjoys cleaning bathrooms? Especially when sporting a sizable baby belly?

    So, that's my story these days. I may not be running and I may be all kinds of tired but you had better believe I will have a clean house.

    Happy almost Friday, everyone!


    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Walking is the new running

    OK, for real this time. I'm no longer running. I haven't run in 10 days and that's cool. Walking, at 38 weeks preggo, is totally the new running. I'm so into it.

    Well, not really. But I'm telling myself I am. When Conal hits the bed for his afternoon nap and I am dying -- dying -- to do the same? Oh, yeah. I tell myself I'm really into this whole walking-as-the-new-running thing. Sometimes it actually works.

    But . . . hmmm . . . walking just isn't the same as running is it? Nope. Not at all. It's a fine substitute for the time being but I kinda can't wait for that postpartum day when I can lace up my running shoes, pull on two sports bras, squeeze into the largest running top that I have and hit the roads. It'll be awesome.

    You know what else is awesome? Well, I'll tell you! I've got a giveaway for Brooks gear going on over here. Check it out!

    Enjoy the rest of the day, everyone! Thanks for stopping by.

    ~ Felice

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    You're a jogger?

    The other night I went to get my hair cut and colored. If you get highlights, or any kind of haircoloring, you know that you spend a lot of time in the chair while the color is being applied. So, my hairdresser, Angela, and I had lots of time to chat.

    And we have a lot to chat about. We both have boys and are both pregnant with our second child. As the conversation wore on, we started to discuss weight -- gain during pregnancy, loss after pregnancy, blah, blah, blah. At one point, Angela told me she was going to take up jogging after her baby is born. She'd definitely lose the weight that way, she figured. She went on and on and I was agreeing with her in the form of some very enthusiastic cheers of, "You can do it!" and "Absolutely!" and "Running is the perfect exercise for a mom!" when she said, "But, you know, it will be hard to get out and do it with two kids."

    I stopped her right there. I told her that I run and that I ran through (most of) this pregnancy and that I even trained a group of non-running moms -- all of whom have at least two kids -- for a 5K this spring. I started to go on about prioritizing and making time for yourself and all the things I tend to go on and on about when she interrupted me.

    "Wait a minute," she said. "You're a jogger?"

    "Um, yeah," I said.

    "You've been jogging while you're pregnant?"

    I bit my tongue.

    Oh, how I wanted to say, "Run! I run! I'm a runner! Not a jogger." But I didn't. This is a mom who wants to get into running -- whether she refers to it as running or jogging. Why snob it up?

    And, frankly, I'm not doing much running these days at all so who am I to correct the jogging label? Honestly, she could have asked me if I waddle and I would have had to say yes. So, yes. I told her I've been jogging while pregnant and we went on to have a great conversation about it.

    She was really interested in my whole pregnant running story. And she seemed quite gung-ho about starting her own running program this spring. I hope she does! I can't wait to give her some support -- while she gives me some nice "sun-kissed" hair!

    Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you all had a great weekend -- running, jogging or even just a little waddling!

    ~ Felice

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Still here.

    37 weeks! Just 3 to go, unless the little guy decides to come early. Which, of course, I wouldn't mind at all.

    And what of my running? Well, let's say it has mostly been walking. I've done a teeny-weeny bit of running over the past few days but nothing remarkable. Part of that is the pregnancy thing (go figure . . . ) and part is the go-go-go of the past week. I have a book project due this week and another due at the end of the month and I really can't be late with those because, you know, I'll soon have this whole new baby to take care of.

    I've still been exercising and I'm trying to be diligent with my little squats/plies/lunges routine since I do believe that leg strength is important for a smooth delivery. Apparently, Conal doesn't go for this. The past two times that I have started up my routine he's said, "Be careful, Mommy."

    "OK, I will," I respond and continue with my reps.

    Yesterday, though, after he told me to be careful, he turned it up: "No, Mommy. You're going to get hurt."

    "No, I won't"

    "Yes," he said, shaking his head. "Yes, you are. You're going to get hurt deep in your legs and in the head and in the baby."

    I stopped and told him I wasn't going to get hurt and that I did the same thing when I was pregnant with him so it was OK.

    "Oh, yeah. I remember. I liked it and it didn't hurt."

    And then he went back to his trains and I went back to my routine. He's easily convinced, that one.

    So, that's that. I'm still here. Still moving. Still trying to get it all done between now and d-day.

    Thanks for stopping by -- hope you all are doing well!

    ~ Felice

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Off he goes!

    It finally arrived. The day that had been looming in my mind for months: My little guy started preschool.

    For the past several days I had been lecturing myself about the importance of not crying in front of him. Showing up at preschool with a smiling, happy kid and ruining the moment with sobs would not be cool. "No way, Jose," as Conal says.

    So, I managed to keep it together, no thanks to the raging pregnancy hormones. Or his big boy looks:

    How was this kid just a baby the last time I looked?

    Yeah, so yay me, no tears. I had a whopping 1.5 hours before pickup so I treated myself to a real pedicure (first one in about 3 years!) and ran a few errands. Then I headed back to school to get my little guy.

    He did great. He loved it. He asked me why it was time to leave. No worries about the transition for him.

    So, overall, a success!

    I had a lack of success with last night's run, however. About a mile in, I had to stop to walk because my lower legs felt oddly swollen and sore. When I felt around, they weren't really swollen, they just felt that way. Like they were full and there was a lot of outward pressure. Strange.

    Anyway, I walked for about 3/4 of a mile and then ran again and the weird sore swollen feeling never came back so I'm not sure what it was all about. I'm going to be on the look-out, though, because I didn't like it one bit. Nope, not a bit.

    Have any of you ever had that kind of weird lower leg thing (pregnant or not)? I'm curious.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    ~ Felice

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Case of the crazies.

    Apparently, being pregnant makes one slightly crazy.

    In my case, I should have known. I've been preggo before but I suppose that the first time I was too busy with all those first time things that I didn't pay attention to the crazies. This time? This time I see what's going on. Oh, yeah. I do. But, that doesn't mean I stop it. Oh, no. Instead, I let my craziness run free by filling my freezer with many weeks worth of casseroles for after the baby is born. Because I guess Conal, Owen and I are going to have huge post-baby appetites . . .

    Stocking up on the expensive baby wipes. Hey, they're chlorine-free and I got a good deal . . .

    Crying at commercials. Eh, that's normal . . .

    And Josh Ritter songs. Eh, probably normal too . . .

    And Pearl Jam songs. OK, that's a little weird . . .

    Repeatedly going through my closets, cleaning them out and donating my no longer wanted/needed clothes to Goodwill. And doing the same with my kitchen cabinets. And my pantry. And my bathroom cabinets. And the basement. And pretty much any place I can get my hands on. That's not nesting. That's weeding . . .

    Then going out and stocking up on granola bars and Craisins. Because, again, I guess we're all going to have huge appetites and when we do, we're going to want to eat dried berries and grains . . .

    Obsessing about Miki Gorman's stellar 1975 when she gave birth in January and then placed second in the NYC marathon in November. And she was 40! Like me! But probably in better shape . . .

    And then obsessing a little more over the fact that Gorman went on to win NYC at age 41 and 42. And, oh yeah. She won Boston when she was 42 also. So what's my excuse?*

    There are no doubt other examples but I'm sure you get the gist. It's craziness. And it will continue to be all crazy, all the time for a good month or two. So, that's where I am. Crazyville.

    But! I'm also in week 36, which means I am getting close for real. For real! For really real!


    Until then, I'm keeping up with the crazies. I ran again on Sunday -- same little 3.1 mile loop that I do. It's comforting, that loop. And I love that I'm still able to run it, without too much walking. Of course, I can't run two days in a row but if I get enough rest I'm A-OK with running every other day. Which means that I'm up for a run today. Lucky me!

    Enjoy the week, everyone!

    ~ Felice

    * Fear not, dear Reader. I have no delusions of winning a marathon. But I do think I could get a wee bit faster.

    Saturday, September 4, 2010

    The one with the belly shot.

    It's been a while since I've put my big ol' belly on display so I figured it was about time. You know, since I only have about a month left and I'm getting huge these days. So, lucky you! You get a pic!

    But first, let's talk about yesterday's run. After a week of killer temps in the 90s, yesterday was a relatively mild day temps in the high 80s. Still hot. Still humid. But more or less run-able for me. And that's what I did. I went out for 3.1 miles in my neighborhood. It was hotter than I expected. And it more humid. Overall, a bit tongue-wagging:

    Seriously, while I was pretty hot and sweaty after the run, I loved every minute of it. I had one of those days yesterday and really, really needed the run. My little guy was all about misbehaving yesterday and by the time Owen got home from work all I needed was to shake out my frustration with a good run.

    Yup, I loved getting out there.

    Here I am sweaty, red-cheeked and happy after my run:

    Note the dead, pesky black fly on my forehead. There were tons of them out there last night. What gives? I don't know. I seem to have fly issues this year and they just gross me out. I was swatting them away all run. Yuck!

    Anyway, with my run done, I enjoyed some pizza and a quiet Friday evening.

    And now . . . I bring you my belly pic! Here I am at 35.5 weeks pregnant (one calendar month until my due date!):

    I know, I look a little unsure about sharing my heft with the Internets but, what the heck, right? And, if I'm going to do it, I might as well share a photo with a weird angle. Yikes. Sorry, folks, it's all I've got.

    So that's me these days. Lots of belly. But still moving!

    Hope you all have a great weekend! I'm wishing my running pals lots of luck in Monday's 5K. Woo hoo -- those new runners just keep on running! Go, mamas!

    ~ Felice

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    Down, doobie doo down down . . .

    At my last ob appointment, my doctor confirmed that I have indeed "dropped" so the baby is no longer freely floating above my pelvis. Instead, he's locked, loaded and ready to go: Head down, engaged in my pelvis. Of course "ready to go" could mean that he'll make his way out right around my due date (less than 5 weeks!), in 3 weeks, in 7 weeks or who knows when! But I'll take it because what it mostly means is that he's cooperating and doing what he should be doing at this point.

    It also means that way back when I thought I had to pee all the time, I knew nothing. Nothing at all. Because now? Now? Now I really mean it. Now since the baby is down low, this peeing thing has become something totally different. Who knew?

    Well, I probably should have, considering this is my second pregnancy and all. But, people, let me tell you: You forget things. Holy cow. You think you remember it all but, yeah, you don't. You just don't. I'm sure labor will bring all sorts of lovely surprises . . .

    Anyway, I blame the low lie on why my last few attempts to run have been walks. The bouncing from running along with a low-lying baby . . . well, let's just say they're not the best combination. No biggie. I have all those lunges, squats and plies to fall back on. When I feel like it.

    Would you like to know what else has been going down? I'll tell you. It's my mileage! Yes indeed. I ran a whopping 26.4 miles in August. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! That's funny. That's an average of . . . what? 4.5 miles a week. Ha! Of course I did have the 10 days in there when I thought I was done with running before I Brett Favred it right back in to action. So, I really only ran 3 weeks last month, and my mileage was more like 9 miles for each one.

    And that is fine. We're closing in on the end as it is. I have more important things to do than run -- like figure out a name for this little guy (c'mon!) and finish up my writing projects so I'm not stressing about them in the labor & delivery room.

    So with that, I'm off to work! Have a great day, everyone. Thanks for stopping by!

    ~ Felice

    PS: I have a giveaway going on here. I originally posted it with the wrong ending date so I've corrected it and re-posted the whole thing.

    Monday, August 30, 2010

    Weekend fun.

    At this point in the pregnancy, there's a lot of counting down. I'm now 35 weeks into this thing, meaning I have 5 weeks to go. 35 days (give or take). Conal came 10 days early and I would not mind if this little one did the same. Of course, that would give me 10 fewer days to figure out the name, which we aren't even close to figuring out yet. Yikes!

    Well, aside from stressing about the name I had a great weekend. My parents popped over for pizza on Friday and on Saturday Owen, Conal and I got up early(ish) and went for a little hike. There's a pretty cool waterfall about 15 minutes from our house so we decided to check it out. Walking from the parking spot to the trail-head, we ran into Amanda who was heading home after a 14 mile marathon training run. She looked great! Hard to believe she had just finished her longest run ever -- go, Amanda!

    Anyway, we hiked to the bottom of the falls and they did not disappoint:

    Conal had a great time tossing rocks and sticks into the water and Owen had fun pointing out the snakeskin that he found among the rocks.

    After enjoying the view, we headed back up the trail and it proved quite steep for this mama. It's a short hike but -- hoo-ha! -- it was tiring for me. So tiring, in fact, that after we got home I was only able to sneak off to the farm stand and do about a half-hour of weeding before needing to break it down with a nap. Sheesh!

    Sunday was spent with a trip to a nursery to investigate trees that we want to add around our house, a short workout and then a cookout/party at a neighbor's house. It was tons of fun and we met a bunch of neighbors we'd previously only waved to. It was great hanging out with a fun bunch of people who live so close to us! We'd thought our neighborhood was slightly anti-social but it turns out we just didn't know where the social was happening. Now we do so . . . watch out! Ha!

    And today it is back to normal. Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you all had a good weekend!

    ~ Felice

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