Friday, June 25, 2010

18 pounds. Give or take.

At 25.5 weeks into this whole second pregnancy thing, I'm getting big. Big. There's no mistaking this pregnant belly for simple pudge. Remember when I was worried people were thinking I was just getting fat? Ha! And another ha! I laugh at that version of myself!

What I'm sporting now is a full-on baby bu-u-u-u-ulge. No cute bump for me. It's a big ol' bulge. Check out my proof:

Eh, who cares? I'm thisclose to being in the 3rd trimester so I deserve these extra 18 pounds. Or 20, depending on the time of day. And how many jelly beans I've eaten.

Anyway, the weight is what it is and there's no getting around it. Yeah, it makes the running tougher but, you know how people say (or at least around here they do), "it's not the heat, it's the humidity?" Well, same goes for this summer pregnancy running thing: It's not the weight, it's the humidity. Holy cannoli. The humidity has been knocking me out this week. If it continues this way, my running may come to an end sooner than I had hoped.

Earlier this week, I went out for a 3 mile run but had to walk about 1.5 of them. Sure, it was 8:30pm and it was hot and humid and I was slightly beat. But, still. Having to walk half of the distance? Really? I guess the answer is yes. Yes, really.

I'll get used to it, I'm sure. But, until I have to hang up the running shoes completely (and I will fight that for as long as possible!), I'm running on. This weekend, in fact, I'm running a 5K with two good friends (who were also in the new running group -- this is their second race!). I can't wait!

Looks like a good weekend for me. Hitting the road, heading on vacation, running a race. Woo hoo!

Happy Friday, everyone. Have a great weekend!

~ Felice

PS: I have a new review up over here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Catching up.

I've been a blogging slacker lately. What's been happening . . .

Some gardening and a great run on Saturday . . . busy, busy Father's Day . . . article writing, errands running and a cruddy run on Monday . . . a fun few hours at the town beach, cross-training and vacation shopping yesterday.

Summer's been pretty good so far, I'd say.

On Sunday, part of the busy, busy Father's Day was that the whole family went to the Valleycats game:

Conal, me, my sister, my mom, my brother, my sister-in-law, my dad, Owen

After the game (which was tons of fun), Conal had a chance to run the bases. If you look closely at my pic, you can see him making his way from first base to second, where he passed the strange Rudolph he Reindeer mascot. Why there was a Christmas mascot at a baseball game I have no idea.

I loved watching Conal run the bases. He's just a little 3 year old and he looked so tiny out there on the big field. And yet he did it. The entire time that he waited in line, he was nervous and I thought for sure he wouldn't run. But he pulled himself together and went out there -- by himself (many kids run with their parents) -- and did it.

Such a big boy.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

~ Felice

Friday, June 18, 2010

Five Things Friday, ep. 23.

1. Today = sunny. NICE change after so many clouds this week. It's been rainy on and off all week (and the weekend was a wash-out) but things are looking sun-ny for this weekend! Yay!

2. Speaking of the weekend, I have a good one on tap. A few runs, a party with some good girlfriends, Father's Day, dinner with the family and then a whole family trip to the Valleycats. The 'Cats are our local minor league baseball team. They're affiliated with the Houston Astros. Funny, since we're in upstate New York. But, it's always a fun time going there.

3. I'm in total vacation-prep mode. It's nuts. No one should get so nutty about things like that.

4. I'm looking for something new to add to my daily smoothie. I currently make my smoothie with a banana, some frozen strawberries or blueberries (or both), plain low-fat yogurt and ground flax seeds. Should I try chia seeds? Wheatgrass? Whey protein? Something else to give my go-to breakfast a boost? Have you tried any of these? Do you like or dislike them?

5. This baby is shifting around like mad. It's a real change from a week ago when the movements were many but comfortable. Now, it seems that he's deliberately sticking his foot or arm exactly where he knows it will be the most uncomfortable. The stretching and pressure -- whoo ha! It's been something else. Yesterday it started to go away a bit and I haven't felt it as much today so I'm thinking that it was just a phase this week, just the baby finding a new place to settle. That would be nice because it has been such smooth sailing this pregnancy and I want to keep that going!

Well, I hope you all have a great weekend! And don't forget to enter my giveaways over here :-)

~ Felice

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

(Almost) summer fun.

My little guy has been in a great mood lately. Man, this kid is fun! Sure, he can get into things that he's not supposed to and, yesterday, when I asked him (from another room) if he was doing OK, he answered, "Um, I don't know if I'm doing OK because I broke my truck book." But, you know, some book destruction is slightly normal, right?

Anyway, I'm riding the good mood wave. The playset, picnic blanket and sand table are getting lots of use. I love (almost) summer and happy kids!

Here's a pic of him, thinking that the botched camping trip was a bit funny:

I also love (almost) summer nights on my porch with good friends! Last night was one of those nights. I have a standing once-a-month night with some wonderful girls and last night we opted to hang out on my porch. Here's the gang (minus two):

We had such a good time last night. Yay!

So, yeah, not much of a running post but you know I love that, too. And, as always, I'm looking forward to this evening's run. Had to sacrifice the evening run yesterday for my girls but it was worth it :-)

Hope you're enjoying (almost) summer, too! Happy Wednesday!

~ Felice

PS: TWO giveaways on my other site! Some laundry detergent and a running book. Hurry on!

Monday, June 14, 2010

A bust. And not.

The weekend was both great and a bit of a bust.

My guys had grand plans to go camping on Saturday -- Conal's first time. The kid was excited. Extremely excited. Owen had set up the tent with the blow-up mattresses earlier in the week and Conal couldn't wait to sleep outside.

My plan was to get to work as soon as they left, take a break for my long-anticipated massage and time to myself, and then get back to work and finish my book.

The weather's plan was to rain. And rain and rain and rain. But it didn't want to be up-front about it. Instead, it wanted to fool the weathermen and make it appear that the day was not going to be a wash out. So that's what it did. All forecasts called for "passing showers" or "maybe a quick thunderstorm" but "nothing to cancel plans over." Checking the radar map showed a line of heavy rain for early in the day with no major precipitation behind it.

Owen took that as a challenge and decided to stick to the plan and go camping. They planned for some rain and decided they could come home if it got too bad.

I settled in to work, then took a break for my massage, which, by the way, was AWESOME. Oh, wow. One of the best massages I've ever had. I loved it! I stopped at Starbucks for a chai tea latte on my way home and enjoyed every sip of it while sitting on the couch with my feet up. Ahh . . .

I went back to work, had some dinner, and listened as the rain poured down. It had been raining on and off all afternoon and had gotten very heavy after dinner. At 9:15 -- after I had just finished the book -- Owen called to say he and Conal were on their way home. Too much rain.

Yup, the rain won. It was just too much for them. But, they had given it a shot and now they know for next time. Since Conal came home with huge welts where mosquitoes had bitten him on the forehead, eye, neck and legs, they also knew to load up on the bug spray a little more.

Overall, I think it was stressful for Owen but Conal saw it as an adventure. A bit of a bust, but OK.

On Sunday, I went for a super 5-mile run that felt terrific the whole time. I loved every step, even the ones where I was walking up my hills. No biggie -- that's just where I am these days. It was a misty day yesterday; although it never actually rained, it never stopped misting. Weird. But, it made for a cool run.

And that was the weekend. Enjoyable run, relaxing massage, success with the book. On the flip side, a rain-out for the camping trip. Great and a bust. Good and bad. But, that's life, right? You just have to take it all.

Hope you all had a weekend that was more on the great side than bust!

~ Felice

PS: I posted a new giveaway over here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Five Things Friday, ep. 22.

After a few weeks off, I'm back to my Five Things Friday. Because I'm just that creative . . .

1. My little boy turned three about a week ago and he's allofasudden a kid. He's truly not a baby anymore. Sure, many would say he hasn't been a baby for a long time but, look, I'm a mom. I'm trying to halt time here!

But, really, I have to admit he's a kid. He's potty trained. YAY! He wears size 10 shoes. Yikes! He says things like, "I suppose so" when I ask him just about anything and he corrects me at every turn. He's a real kid.

2. I thought that the Freihofer's Run for Women would be my last preggo race. Turns out, there's a 5K going on when I'm away on vacation later this summer. Since I go on vacation every year with two of the new runners, we're all going to do it. I couldn't say no! It was actually kinda exciting that the two runners, Bridget and Janis, were itching to do another race already. So, why not?

3. Tomorrow. Pregnancy massage. Cannot wait.

4. More cross training = more soreness. I took most of this week off from running but tonight I plan to shake out these tired, sore, cross-trained muscles with an easy run. And then enjoy that massage tomorrow!

5. I've been uber-productive this week and I hope that carries over into this weekend. I plan to finish the book project I've been working on tomorrow (which is a month early!) so I can move on to other things and keep this good work vibe going.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

~ Felice

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Cross training, after not doing much of it at all for the past two or so months, means:

  • legs that beg for mercy halfway through the first set of lunges;
  • a butt that tries to give up when you switch to squats;
  • thighs that laugh when you attempt to cajole them into one more set of plies;
  • a three-year-old son who tells you that you look "very, very weird" doing your push-ups; and
  • a body that wakes up so wiped out the next day that it doesn't even want to walk downstairs. Even though that's where the food is. And the body is hungry. All the time. So food holds a lot of appeal.
Yeah, you would think I was doing some sort of hard-core whip-your-body-into-shape thing but, no. I wasn't. I was simply attempting to make it through an hour of Exercise TV on demand. No kidding. And I was only using 6lb hand weights for the exercises that required them.

I'm blaming the baby. Maybe blame isn't such a nice word. It's more like I'm using that little guy as an excuse. He's got to be making it harder to lunge and squat and plie and hoist weights and do all those things that used to feel so easy. Right? Right.

(Forget about how I haven't done any lunges or squats or plies or what-have-yous in ahem two months. That can't be it. It's got to be the baby!)

Anyway, since the race I've been cross-training and you can see it has been kicking my butt. I'm going to stick with it, though, because these legs aren't going to strengthen themselves. And with all the eating I've been doing lately I've got to do something because I simply can't get in as many running miles as I used to. Not possible.

So, there you have it. Lots of cross training on the horizon. Still some running, probably lots of walking. Taking it as it comes. And learning that push-ups in front of the kid are a no-no. I don't need anyone telling me I look weird!

~ Felice

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Freihofer's Run for Women race report.

OK, I told you all about how great the running group is and their special gift to me. Now I'll get on with the actual race report. First, here's a look at the crew (minus a few) before the race:

Darlene, Jen M, Melissa, Janis, me, Jen F, Bridget

And here I am sharing a hug with Conal:

(Yes, I'm wearing my "Running for Two" shirt!)

After the hug, I went to line up with 3500 or so other women. The race starts in front of the New York State Museum, on a two-lane avenue that thins out about a quarter mile in to the route. It gets super crowded there in the beginning!

I was fortunate to find a decent place to line up, more toward the front than I would have liked, in part because I had to pee right before the start so I was a little on the late side. No matter, I was where I was and I was just happy to be doing the race.

Since the day was so warm and humid, I'd more or less wiped my A goal (27 min or better) out of my mind and told myself to go out and run, but run comfortably. There was no need to push it and risk overheating.

So, when the gun went off, that's what I did. I ran. Soon enough, I had settled into a good pace and felt that I was running well. I passed the first mile in 8:59. Shortly after that was the first water stop and I slowed just a bit, grabbed a cup and drank on the run.

The second mile of the race winds through the south side of Albany's Washington Park and there are two sneaky uphills so it can be tricky. I continued to feel strong and I even found myself thanking the spectators for their exuberant cheers. Normally, I'm so focused on a specific pace that I am pushing and pushing and not paying attention to those nice people who shout encouragement to the runners. It was a nice change of pace (har, har) to appreciate the spectators!

I went through mile 2 in 17:47 and started to concentrate on running strong for the third mile. Of course, my mind couldn't help but start trying to do the math to see if I could finish under 27 minutes. I knew I would have to really push in order to make that happen and I also knew that I didn't feel like I should. As I said, it was hot and, well, at 5.5 months pregnant the heat isn't something you mess around with.

So, I ran on. When we turned out of the park on to Madison Ave, which marks the straightaway to the finish line, I felt myself pick up the pace a little. And once I hit the downhill to the finish, I poured it on.

Here I am, bringing it home:

I crossed the line in 27:28 -- so close to my A goal! My bib time, however, was 27:11 and I'll take it!

Race stats:

Net time: 27:11 (8:45/mi pace)
Mile 1: 8:59
Mile 2: 8:48
Mile 3: 8:28
Last .1: 1:23
Age group place: 64/421
Overall place: 668/3521

So, yay me. Getting it done for all the pregnant runners out there!

Now, how did my awesome new runners do? Um . . . they did GREAT! Man, oh, man. They really did. This was their first race and these mamas gave it their all and made me so proud! Here's how they finished:

Janis: 31:09
Bridget: 32:47
Jen M.: 33:18
Jen F.: 35:29
Lisa: 38:02

Great, right? The best part is that they looked so happy afterward and they are already talking about their next races! How cool is that?

One of the runners has run many races but has been trying to get back to running after having her baby (who is just 6-months old):

Melissa: 30:58

And then there were my super-duper running blogger buddies who helped out over the past three months, supporting the new runners, showing up at group runs and generally being good friends and runners:

Darlene: 30:39
Suzy: 30:53
Amanda: 31:06

Everyone did SO WELL! I mean, check us out:

Melissa, Amanda, Darlene, me, Jen M, Janis, Jen F, Lisa
Bridget, Suzy (kneeling)

Those are some happy runners :-)

After the race we hung out a bit and chatted and hugged and cried and did all that fun stuff. Then, it was time for the kids' run. This was Conal's first race and it was a quick 50m. Since he's just in the little guy category, I had to run with him.

See the tongue in the corner of his mouth? That kid is focused! He loved running the race, almost as much as I did.

Once we got home, it was time to kick things in to high gear to finish preparing for an afternoon birthday celebration for Conal (and me). We had a house and backyard full of almost 60 people and I, insane woman that I am, was making pretty much all the food. Fortunately, I'd done most everything on Friday so Saturday was just the final touches. The party was great fun and even though I forgot to put out one of the chicken dishes I had made, I think everything went well. At least everyone let me think it did ;-)

Do you think I was wiped out on Sunday? Sure was! It was all worth it.

Have a great day, everyone!

~ Felice

PS: Have you entered my two giveaways over here?

Monday, June 7, 2010

The awesomeness of runners.

Saturday was The Race: The Freihofer's Run for Women, which "my runners" had been working toward for the past three months. It was awesome. Even more, I saw again the hard-core awesomeness of runners.

But first, the expo.

On Friday, I met up with four of the new runners and fellow running blogger, Suzy, to get our shirts, bibs and box o' chocolate chip cookies! Makes it all worth it . . .

With Suzy just before heading over to the cookie table.

With new runners Bridget and Jen M.

I have to admit it was a little exciting watching everyone get their first bibs! Bibs in hand, we picked up our cookies and then headed off to shop. Suzy and Jen F. picked up some cute Bondi Bands and I kept my wallet in my bag, although there were plenty of cute things I could have purchased.

And then it was race day.

Hot and humid, but no rain. The forecast had been iffy so the no rain thing was big. The group met ahead of time for a pre-race photo and what was supposed to be my last pep talk. I didn't have it in me. Folks, I don't know if I've said this before but I'm a crier. Oh, yeah. Total crier. Sobby McCrierson. Add in some pregnancy hormones and, sheesh, I turn into a weeper.

So, I skipped my talk. I knew I wouldn't be able to get the words out without getting choked up so, instead, I simply gathered the runners, wished them good luck and gave them each one of these:

I'd had these bracelets made about a month ago and couldn't wait to hand them out! They say, "Strong Running Mama" on them because each of the runners are just that: Strong running mamas! Hard working, tough, getting-it-done women.

So, off we went to race and everyone did great but you'll have to wait until tomorrow when I post my race report to learn more about it. Sorry!

For now, I want to talk about this:

After the race, we lined up to take a group shot and the runners presented me with a gift bag. As soon as I pulled the book out, I teared up (Sobby McCrierson, remember?). If I was teary just looking at the cover, when I opened the book I was full-on crying:

The girls had made a beautiful book celebrating the running group and our journey together. It's full of pictures from our group runs and some of me running various races over the past years. They also put in a bunch of my favorite quotations and even some things that I've written on this blog.

I had to wait until I was home to look at it for real because I was simply too emotional right after the race to view it without sobbing.

It's just a wonderful, special gift. I love it. Love the photos, love the quotes but most of all I love the sentiment behind it:

Awesome. Runners are awesome. And I couldn't be happier to have had a small part in turning a few great women into awesome runners.

Jeez, I'm getting teary just writing about it! I had no idea what I was getting into when I decided to start this running group a little over three months ago. I thought it would be fun, for sure, but I didn't realize how much I would get out of the group. I didn't realize that simply by trying to share my love for running with a group of non-runners, my appreciation for that most basic human activity of moving forward would grow. And I really had no way of knowing how much the new runners would come to love running. I'm happy they do. I'm proud of what they've accomplished. I'm glad I was part of it!

Now, before I cry again, I'll sign off. But I'll be back tomorrow with my race report so you can find out how well all these awesome runners did in their first race!

Thanks for reading!

~ Felice

Thursday, June 3, 2010

May recap and race goals.

May was a good month: I ran a race, continued training the new runners in my running group and logged my highest monthly mileage of the year! This whole second trimester thing rocks!

And I'll take it because in a month or so I probably will be walking most of my miles. The heat, having to pee . . . it all takes a toll. Wah, wah, wah.

May stats:

Running (miles): 76.7
Cross-training (sessions): 1

Ha! One cross-training session. Why did I even bother? Who knows . . .

But the mileage looks good to me. As I've said before, my goal has been to run about 17-20 miles per week for as long as I can. My May weekly average was just over 19. Yay! I expect that will decrease from here on out but that's OK.

So, that's May. Now it is June and I have a race coming up in, oh, just two days. This Saturday is the big Freihofer's Run for Women and it is The Race that "my runners" have spent the past three months training for. I can't tell you how excited I am for them. It's going to be awesome, I just know it!

But, there is this little issue of my running. As in, what should I do?

The cautious part of me thinks I should run easy and just shoot to finish. Period. Just take it slow. You're not going to set any records so why push yourself?

The runner part of me . . . well, she has some different thoughts. She thinks I should go for it and see how fast I can run. This could be your last race during this pregnancy. Don't you want to see how well you can run at 5.5 months? Don't you want to give it your all?

Argh! OK, yeah. The thing is, I think I do want to give it my all. I do want to see how well I can run!

Now, though, what does "give it my all" mean this time around? Last year I ran the same 5K in 23:47, a 7:40 pace. Three weeks ago, I ran a 3.5-mile race in 29:59, an 8:34 pace. So, based on those two races I believe I could run the race in about 27 minutes, an 8:40 pace. That will be my A goal and I'm giving myself a B and C goal, too. Here they are:

A goal: 27:00 or better
B goal: 27:56 (9min/mi)
C goal: 31:00 (10min/mi)

I have no doubt I'll reach at least one of those goals, provided I don't have to stop to pee. If I do -- and there's a decent possibility that I'll have to -- then all bets are off!

Until then . . . yay for almost Friday! Thanks for stopping by.

~ Felice

PS: Don't forget to enter my CSN gift card giveaway!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Here it is June 1st, which means that yesterday I turned 40. Yup, this happy runner is a now a masters runner! It's a new day and a new age group for me.

Of course, I'll be spending most of my first year as a masters runner either pregnant or coming back from pregnancy. So, I doubt I'll be very competitive. But just you wait until I hit 41! There'll be no stopping me. Ha!

Seriously, I'm not going to rest on my PRs from my earlier running days. I would still like to run faster in all sorts of races -- from 5Ks to marathons -- and I have no doubt that I can do it. Even now, as a pregnant runner, I'm a smarter, fitter runner than I was at 30.

So, here's to 40!

And here's a few pics from the hike that Conal, Owen and I went on yesterday:

Have a great day, everyone. Happy June!

~ Felice

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