Friday, April 30, 2010

Five Things Friday, ep. 21.

1. What a week! First, there was the whole hospital episode with Conal and my SIL's surgery (she had two this week and is still in the hospital) and then there was the group run mix-up and then, to top it off, I gave myself the most painful injury I think I've ever had: I scratched my cornea. Holy searing pain, Batman!

For two days (no lie!) I was completely out of commission. I couldn't really see, my eye was red, puffy and tearing like crazy. And that doesn't even get to the pain. The pain was, at times, unbearable. It felt like dozens of daggers stabbing me in the eye, nose, cheek, ear, forehead, all at once. The worst part of this whole thing is that I have not been able to take any medication to ease the pain because I'm pregnant. So, I had to suck it up. And it sucked!

I am hap-hap-happy to report that I woke up this morning with MUCH less pain. I should be good to go for the weekend!

2. Conal is getting better every day, too. With my eye thing, he spent a good bit of time at my parents house and I think that was good for him. He needed a little change of scene and entertainment, but couldn't handle too much excitement. Grammy and Pop-pop were just his speed!

3. After not being able to run (or do much of anything, actually) on Wednesday or Thursday, I am dying to get out there and move my legs! Fortunately, warm weather is blowing in so I will have many opportunities. I already told Owen I'm heading out as soon as he gets home from work!

4. I'm behind in everything: I have tons of work to do on my book project, my cupboard and fridge are bare, I haven't read any blogs in days, the house needs to be vacuumed, my flower beds need weeding and I have three reviews to write for the other site.

5. But, even with all the catching up I'll be doing this weekend, I have fun stuff on tap! We have a dinner party to go to tomorrow (Conal is spending the night at my parents . . . yay!) and then a birthday party for a good friend on Sunday. Can't wait!

I hope you all have had less, ahem, eventful week -- and wish you the best for a great weekend! Good luck, racers!!!

~ Felice

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spastic group run (with bonus post-run pic!).

First, let me send you all a HUGE thanks for your kind comments and emails about the whole hospital/croup episode. I appreciate it all. Conal is MUCH better and he should be back to normal by the end of the week.

Now, about last night's spastic group run.

It was a big night because the plan was for the runners to run their first continuous mile. Their longest run!

Anyway, we planned to meet at 6 and run on a path that follows the river. I sent directions to a parking lot next to the boat launch, not realizing that there was another parking lot just south of that one. So, of course, at 6 there were three of us at the boat launch lot, waiting for two others. I checked my cell phone -- no messages. We waited. We walked on to the path and looked around but the others weren't there.

At 6:10, I put a note on my windshield and we headed off. I was running with Bridget and Janis and we had a bit of a time crunch because Bridget had to get home by 7. So, we couldn't wait any longer.

We walked for a quarter mile and then took off for the mile. Janis and Bridget did great! I know it was hard, but they stuck with it and finished the mile in about 10:45. Really good, right? We followed the run with a quarter mile walk and then the plan was to run a half mile, walk a quarter, run a half and cool down. Bridget, feeling peppy, suggested we just run another full mile, instead of two halves. Janis was game so that's what we did.

At .95, we ran into Jen and Lisa (the other two runners who were supposed to meet us) walking toward us. They had gone to the other parking lot! Well, since Janis and Bridget were almost done with their second mile, I sent them on their way to cool down and told Lisa and Jen I would run with them.

They had already walked more than a quarter mile so we took off for the mile. Lisa ran a little over a half mile and I continued on with Jen, who pulled out the whole mile! Then we walked, met up with Lisa and finished the plan (.5 run, .25 walk, .5 run, cool down). Since Jen is my speedster, I encouraged her to run ahead at her pace for the two half miles. I stayed with Lisa for most of each interval, and then sped up to catch Jen and tell her when to slow to a walk. It was nice knowing this pregnant runner could still pull out some speed :-)

Here we are post-run:

That's me looking like I have the biggest head in the world, with Jen and Lisa. Way to go, happy runners!

All in all, my gals did AWESOME!!! I only wish they had a less spastic "coach" who would have been more clear about the directions. We'll know better for next time. The path is a nice one, running along the river, which, last night, was full of rowers:

I'm sure we'll check it out again sometime.

Have a great day, everyone. It is chilly and windy here in upstate New York -- hope it is nicer by you :-)

~ Felice

Monday, April 26, 2010

Oh, crud. Croup.

Chalk it up to bad decisions or -- and this is my preference -- a series of unfortunate events.

Either way, what should have been a weekend full of family fun was, instead, a weekend spent at the Children's Hospital.

Far from a running post, this one . . .

The long story is:

Conal had been a little "off" on Thursday and Friday but, honestly, I thought it was the tree pollen that had been causing runny noses all around town. I guess I brushed it off. Bad decision #1. He never seemed sick, just not completely himself. So, on Saturday morning when he woke up at 5am with a cough, but went back to sleep, and then woke up again and was full of pep, I thought he was fine. Fine enough to travel to see family. Bad decision #2.

At the start of the trip he was all OK. Two hours in, after waking up from a short nap, he couldn't talk -- had no voice at all. And neither energy nor appetite. I took his temperature at a rest stop and it was normal, so we continued on. Bad decision #3.

When we go to our niece's lacrosse game (what was to be our first stop of the weekend), Conal was flushed and lethargic. He still had no voice and he was drooling like crazy. He got worse as the game went on so we decided we'd drive straight home afterward. When we were waiting to say hi to our niece after the game, he ate some fruit, had something to drink, and seemed to perk up. I thought maybe we might be able to stay but then, after playing with one of his cousins, he came rushing over to me with a very scared look on his face, unable to catch his breath. He was wheezing and having a very hard time.

In the meantime, though, we had a horrible experience when my sister-in-law, who was at the game and has been dealing with a bad hip/back, passed out and we didn't know what was going on. As Owen was helping her and talking to the EMTs, I was stressing about Conal. My SIL was in rough shape; she ended up going to the hospital and is having surgery today. Unfortunate event #1.

Later than we would have liked, we left Columbia and started the 2.5 hour trip home. About half-way there, we stopped to get something to eat and I took Conal's temperature again. This time he had a fever. He wouldn't eat anything and he was saying he didn't feel well. The breathing was still bad (although better than it had been) so we called our pediatrician for advice. The doctor called back when we were on the road and, as I described Conal's symptoms, he started to have an attack. He was crying and unable to catch his breath and turning blue in the lips. So, there I was: On the phone with the doctor, trying console Conal and motioning to Owen to, "PULL OFF! PULL OFF!" The doctor, justifiably concerned, told us to go to the hospital.

So, we did. We got there around 7:30. By that time, the poor guy had a fever of over 103.4 and was just wheezing like crazy. After all kinds of exams, it turns out he has croup and his trachea was narrowed and his larynx was inflamed (or something like that). They gave him Motrin for the fever, but after an hour it hadn't gone down so they gave him Tylenol. Then they gave him steroids and an epinephrine treatment before sending him for x-rays.

Then there was all the observation and checking and more poking and prodding, but at 11:30pm we were told that the attending physician had talked to our pediatrician and they agreed that if Conal was stable we could leave at 2:30. Seemed like a long time to wait but we were willing because we wanted to get Conal home.

At 2, the nurse who had been treating Conal and a new doctor came in. Unfortunate event #2. We woke Conal up and the new doc examined him. No fever. Lungs still clear. Heart rate fine. But the breathing still wasn't great. So, she decided to admit us. I wanted to cry. It was so late and all I wanted was for Conal to sleep and, I hoped, get better. I had been expecting to go home because that's what the first doctor had said to but the new doctor disagreed.

At 2:30, when the admitting doctors came to examine Conal, I wanted to die. He was so tired and felt so crappy and here he was being poked and prodded and asked questions all over again. He looked at me with the saddest eyes and said, "I don't like this" and it broke my heart. He cried and cried and it was just . . . ugh.

We got to the hospital room at 3-ish and after being checked in we tried to sleep a little but how can you? At 7:15 someone came with breakfast and then someone to check Conal's vitals and the day started. Our pediatrician came by to examine him at 9:30 and said that we'd probably be able to go home after lunch, which we did.

It was stressful and I hated every minute of it. It was our first trip to the hospital and it made me truly appreciate how healthy Conal has been. I don't know how parents who have to take their kids to the hospital frequently -- or even more than once -- handle it. It sucks.

Since we've been home, Conal's been better. We all took a nap on Sunday and slept late this morning. His breathing is still labored and we have to keep him calm, which is hard for an almost 3-year-old. So, we're all about Sesame Street and Kipper today!

In the end, I'm glad we went to the hospital because Conal got the treatment he needed and he's on the road to recovery. But, I do wish I had made better decisions along the way. Owen keeps telling me that you just do the best with the information you have so I shouldn't blame myself. But, man, it is hard not to!

Wow, what a long post. Thanks for reading! I hope I never have to write about another hospital episode again -- and I hope everyone has a great week (Conal included!).

Do you think I need a run today? You're SO right!!!

~ Felice

Friday, April 23, 2010

Full and fun.

Warm spring weeks rule. They're just the best!

Between packing in work (I finished four chapters on my book project -- I'm rolling!), running alone, running with friends (another fun run last night, this time with Bridget!), a girls night out (woo hoo!), laundry, cleaning, etc., etc., this week was also prime-time for . . .

picnics in the driveway . . .

goofing around . . .

mowing the lawn . . .

gardening . . .

and the always fun trick of running away from Mom!

What a fun week! Conal loves being outside and can you blame him? The sunshine, the fresh air . . . it feels wonderful.

We're off to the park today for some play with friends and then to Columbia U tomorrow to watch a niece play one of her last college lacrosse games. Go, Delia! And, without fail, I will be sending tons of good running vibes to my running pal Amanda, who is running the More Half-marathon in NYC (her 2nd half in five weeks). Go, Amanda!

I also hope to have time for one more run this week. That would be the icing on the cake.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

~ Felice

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

From in to out.

Yesterday, I took a new runner off the treadmill and in to the great outdoors. Sure, it was a suburban park but it was outdoors nevertheless.

Jen M., one of the new runners in my running group, had never run anywhere but on the treadmill. She's been training well, but hasn't been able to make any of our group runs yet. With the race about a month and a half away, she was getting a little nervous about being able to make the transition from inside to out. I told her I would run with her so she could get at least one run under her belt.

So, we met for a run yesterday evening, although I have to admit that I did sneak in a quick run on my own before Jen arrived. I had too!

Anyway, Jen arrived and she told me she was nervous. Nervous about running outdoors and running the distance (I had her running 3/4mile (x2) and 1/2mile, with 1/4mile walks in between -- her longest distance). Don't be too nervous, I told her, you can do it!

We got her pumped up:

I'm not going to die. No, you're not going to die.
I'm not going to throw up. No, you're not going to throw up.
I can do this. Yes, you can do this!!!

And with that, we headed off.

Jen did great. We started with a quarter mile walk and then ran for 3/4 of a mile. I slowed Jen down a little at the start but she still settled into a solid, brisk pace. Faster than I thought she would run. She was running strong and her form was good so on we went. After the run interval, we walked for a quarter mile and then it was back to the run. Again, Jen held a solid pace of under 10-min/mile. We walked again and then ran the final, half-mile interval. She was pretty much done by the end of that interval, but that was OK because, well, she was done!

It was a successful first outdoor run for my newbie runner. Our full run/walk was 3.11miles in about 36 minutes. Yay!

After the run, we cleaned up just a bit and headed out to meet some other friends for our monthly girls night out. Yes, we were sweaty. But the run was worth it and no one seemed to mind. Or, at least, they were nice to us and didn't say anything :-)

Have a great day!

~ Felice

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ah, Monday.

After a great weekend, I'm back to reality this morning. Babysitting, meeting, work, play with the kid, etc., etc. I am hoping to sneak in some Boston marathon watching, too, but who knows if that will happen.

Good luck to everyone racing!

I'm also hoping to get a little more running in this week than last. Don't know exactly what happened but I only ran 13 miles last week. Yikes! I guess I needed to take it easy. Anyway, tomorrow I am running with a friend from the running group who has never run outdoors before. She's been cranking on her treadmill runs and I hope the outdoor run goes as well.

Well, that's it. Just a quickie today. Have a great day and week, everyone!

~ Felice

PS: Today is the last day to enter the sports bra giveaway!
And don't forget about the spa package, too!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Five Things Friday, ep. 20.

1. Thanks for all of your comments yesterday! I took them to heart, wrapped myself up in them, what-have-you . . . and walked proudly up my big hill (protruding belly and all). And I felt like I was gliding as I ran over the flats. Of course, when I passed a guy mowing his lawn, I did have the feeling he was staring at my belly as it bounced under my top. But that was probably all in my head ;-)

2. Do you watch Modern Family? Holy Moley, I love that show.

3. Don't forget to enter my sports bra giveaway! It ends on Monday.

4. I'm all kinds of excited for the Boston Marathon on Monday. Not that I will be there. But I will be following it on Universal Sports. And I will be root-root-rooting for all the running bloggers out there who will be rockin' the course! Yep, I'm sending you all my best happy running vibes!

5. Looks like I'm going to spring for a maternity running skirt. It's the only maternity running apparel that got any comments on my call for recommendations (although it's not too late -- if you have any favorite maternity running gear, please let me know about it!), so there you have it.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Good luck to all the racers!

~ Felice

PS: I just posted a yogurt giveaway here. Check it out!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


So, yesterday when I was out for my run, I had just slowed down to walk up the biggest hill in the neighborhood when I crossed paths with a neighbor. It was Flash's owner (you may recall my concern over Flash's disappearance a while back).

We both stopped to say hello and I gave Flash a little pet. He's looking good these days, so I'm happy.

But that's not the point. After we said our hellos, Flash's owner said something along the lines of, "Haven't seen you out much lately. And now you're walking up the hill. Coming back from an injury?"

Nope, I told him. Just pregnant.

And then we chatted about pregnancy (yikes, I know . . . ) and kids and then went our separate ways.

As I ran on, I couldn't help thinking about how people are seeing me right now. They think I'm wimping out. Or that I'm injured. Or that I'm just packing on the pounds. Yeah, that little conversation with Flash's owner made me want to go out and get a running shirt that announces my pregnancy. Something that gets my point across: Nope, this is not my normal running weight and, uh-uh, this is not my normal running pace. Blame the little bun in the oven for sucking up all my oxygen and whatnot.

But, then, I don't know . . . really? Am I really going to worry if my neighbors think I'm getting plump? Well, maybe a little. Especially those neighbors who will look at me and say to themselves, "Ah-ha! I knew that running was a silly thing. That girl runs all the time and look at her! Fatter than ever!"

Yeah, I don't want people thinking running is making me fat, that's for sure. But should I care?

No, I shouldn't care. I should listen to my own advice and run my own race. Even if it involves walking up the hills.

I'll work on that tonight.

~ Felice

PS: Have you entered to win a sports bra?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday.

(OK, fewer words.)

The little guy found last year's summer hat and decided to wear it. All the time. Everywhere. From around the house, to the library and the grocery store. Never mind that, at the time, it was chilly out. He'd found his own bit of summer.

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Hope you get in a good run -- I'm looking forward to mine!

~ Felice

PS: Don't forget to enter my sports bra giveaway!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Six weekend miles.

I had big running plans for this weekend but the plans changed. A much, much needed nap won out over the run on Saturday. I felt a little wimpy but I gotta tell you, I really needed that nap more than I needed the run. So, Saturday's planned miles were not to be.

Sunday was the group run and, unfortunately, most of the members couldn't make it. We had a strong group of four, though, who all got out there and enjoyed some sunny -- if a little windy -- miles. Suzy and Darlene ran together and I lead Jen on a run/walk (Jen is one of the moms who just started running 4 weeks ago).

Since I was doing a 3-mile run/walk, I got to the park early and ran 3 miles before meeting the group so I could get in a total of 6 miles for the day. I'm glad I did because I feel it is still important for me to extend my distance and breaking it into two runs actually works well.

Out on the run/walk with Jen, I feel like I had a true "coaching" moment. I recognized that Jen was pushing her pace both during the warm-up walk and in the first running interval. So I slowed her down and we talked about why starting slowly is important and she had a much better run than she had anticipated. In fact, because I had put 5 minute running intervals on her schedule, she'd been a little nervous at the start and wasn't expecting success. But she got it! She ran the entire plan and, at the end said, "I didn't feel like I was going to die!"

And that's a good thing :-)

Here we all are post-run:

Jen, me, Suzy, Darlene

You can totally see that I am going to need some maternity gear really soon!

Speaking of gear, I have a sports bra giveaway going on here. (A new, larger sports bra is the one thing I've already moved onto.) Go check it out!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Five Things Friday, ep. 19.

1. Apparently, all I had to do was mention the heat wave in a post and that scared it away. Today we're looking at gray skies and a high of 57. Nice running weather, but not the sun and warmth of the past few days. It should be good for those of you who are racing (locally, at least) this weekend. Good luck!

2. Hey, Moms! Do any of you who ran through your pregnancies have recommendations for maternity running gear? I'll need to get some within the next few weeks. Please let me know if anything worked particularly well -- or didn't work at all. Thanks!

3. I posted a review of KD Energy bites over here. These bites were created by an area runner and they are pretty tasty! Check them out.

4. The running group is meeting again on Sunday for our third run. Unfortunately, many of the members can't make this run but I'm sure we'll have a good time anyway!

5. I excited about some of the awesome giveaways I have coming up over on my other site, starting with a sports bra on Monday! Get ready, ladies! I feel really fortunate to have the opportunity to review so many goodies and share them through giveaways. After the sports bra, look for breakfast, juice, sunblock, yogurt and more!

Have a great weekend, everyone! Hope it is filled with running and fun!

~ Felice

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Heat, an obvious tip, and camp!

It's been hot here. In fact, yesterday was 85 degrees and that is pretty hot for upstate New York in April. Tuesday wasn't quite as hot but it was very humid.

I ran both days and loved it. There is something about running in the heat that I actually enjoy. Sure, by July I may be whining about the heat but right now I'll take it. My body warms up so much faster in the heat so I can get into my groove earlier in a run. Although the humidity knocked me around a bit on Tuesday, it felt good to have an easy run in a tank top and shorts. (Yes, I can still fit into my regular running clothes but I won't be able to for long!)

To adjust to the heat, I've been drinking more water during the day and making sure that I cool-down really well after the run. The cool-down is a relatively new development and I'm finding that it makes a big difference in my performance (such as it is these days). Since I'm running at about a 10/10:30-minute per mile pace these days (slower, obviously, when I run/walk with the running group), I've been cooling down with a 5 minute walk. Before the pregnancy, I would cool-down with a slow jog for a few minutes and then walk for one or two.

I guess the key to the cool-down is like everything in life: You do what works for you. Right now, walking works.

So that's the heat and the "tip."

Posting has been light and probably will continue to be. As I mentioned last week, I have a new project and seeing as it is something that actually pays, unlike many of my other pursuits, I need to make that a priority. Darn bills!

I did have a chance to write about a very cool sounding new running camp that will take place in Vermont this summer, however. If you've ever thought about getting some elite coaching for yourself and spending a week focusing on nothing other than improving your running, I'd urge you to check it out. The camp takes place in beautiful Jay Peak in the Green Mountain State and I'm sure it is a lovely place to run in the summer. I would totally be into it if I wasn't going to be 7 months pregnant at the time :-)

You'll find all the info on the camp here. Please let me know if you decide to attend! I want to hear all about it!

Have a nice day!

~ Felice

Monday, April 5, 2010

Again with the hills.

Last month, I mentioned that my formerly beloved hills were doing a number on me. They were making me slow down, huff and puff, and turning my stride into an embarrassing shuffle.

Well. Apparently, they were only playing with me. This weekend, they got serious. Serious. As in: They took me down. The hills beat me.


I knew the time would come when I would have to give in and walk the hills. I knew it. I just didn't think it would happen so soon. But, here I am. Walking the hills. Actually, I'm only walking up the two steepest and longest hills right now and I can still make it about half-way up before I slow to a walk. But still! They've won!

On Saturday, I headed out for a 5-miler in the glorious, warm sun. I conquered the first hill with (relative) ease. The second one was a different story. It's long and it starts out gradually but then the incline kicks in and it is pretty steep for about a quarter mile. I made my way through the gradual incline but slowed to a walk when the hill became steeper.

Then I took off again at the top of the hill, made my way through much of my loop, including some regular hills, and walked again when I hit another steep one.

Yup. Walking the hills. Next up? Walking all the hills. And after that? Waddling, I'm sure.

At least I'm still running, that's what I tell myself.

So happy Monday, everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend :-)

~ Felice

PS: Don't forget to VOTE FOR fellow running blogging mama AMANDA!!!!

And my Run Like a Mother giveaway ends tonight at 11:59EST. Go enter if you haven't!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Five Things Friday, ep. 18.

1. Yahoo for awesome weather! After a chilly start to the week, we're ending with beautiful, warm weather. Yesterday -- sunny and warm. Today -- sunny and warm. Tomorrow -- sunny and warm. Let's keep it up, April!

2. The life of a stay-at-home-mom who also happens to be a freelancer can get hairy at times. There were some weeks last year when I felt overwhelmed with work and there were periods that were equally stressful because I was worried that I would never find another project. Ever. For the rest of my life.

For the past three months, I've been feeling the latter. I finished up a project at the end of December and then . . . poof! Nothing. Nada. Three months of no work. Fortunately, the lack of work coincided with the early part of my pregnancy so I was a little preoccupied with that. But don't worry for me! This week I was contracted for a new book project! Big phew!

3. So about that running thing . . . although I have been walking a bit more, I am still enjoying my runs. Last evening's run is a prime example: Perfect weather, dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, nice pace, felt strong. That's the way a run should go. I am looking forward to more of the same this weekend. Is it wrong to get so excited for your runs?

4. Don't forget my Run Like a Mother giveaway!

5. Have a great weekend, everyone! Happy Easter to those who celebrate it :-)

~ Felice

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Recaps of the running group and March miles sort.

After postponing for one day due to the cruddy weather, the running group got together last night and they all did great. Two women headed off to run together (yay Melissa and Darlene!) and I lead the other four in a run/walk.

I really pushed them last night. Not in a bad way (I don't think!) but I definitely asked them to push themselves a little harder than they had been. For starters, these new runners have been, for the most part, logging all of their miles on flat treadmills. Last night, we ran outdoors in a neighborhood that was deceptively hilly. They've been building up to 3 minutes of walking, alternated with 1 or 2 minutes of walking. Last night, I had them run a pyramid: They ran for 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 3, 2, 1 minutes, with 1 minute of walking in between each running interval.

While there is a good chance they were cursing my name most of the time, in just shy of 40 minutes these mamas covered 2.85 miles. They did it. They ran. They pushed on through. They got it done. And they should feel very proud of themselves!

* * *

It's been a while since I posted a monthly update. In fact, my last was November. And if you're wondering, December, January and February were light. Done. March was a little better, although not much.

On to the stats . . .

March stats

Running (miles): 61.5
Cross-training (sessions): 3

Wow. Look at me go. But, you know what? My goal at the start of my pregnancy was to see if I could run about 15-20 miles a week and that's what my March miles work out to. So, I'm pleased about that. As long as I'm feeling good while I run I'm happy!

Happy April, everyone!

~ Felice

PS: Don't forget to enter my Run Like a Mother giveaway!

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