Friday, July 30, 2010

Five Things Friday, ep. 25.

1. I hit 30 weeks this week. 30 weeks pregnant! That's a long time, no? I could have trained for two marathons in that time. Instead, I'm making a human. Nice trade-off.

2. My MIL, BIL and niece are visiting this weekend so we're taking them to the Saratoga Race Track. Fortunately, the extended heat wave has broken and we're supposed to have highs of only 80* this weekend. Such a nice treat after weeks and weeks of high heat and humidity.

3. I hosted a gold party earlier this week because my friend just became a gold specialist. People bring their gold to the party, she checks it out, weighs it and then writes a check. A few people went away from the party with $500+! It was kinda exciting, actually. The upside for me is, having had the party, I now have a little extra money that I can bring with me to the race track for betting. I hope I don't blow it all . . .

4. My new giveaway is up over here. Shoes, shoes, shoes!

5. And you have until 8/1 to enter to win the $100 Visa gift card here.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

~ Felice

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Another milestone last night.

My friends, Bridget and Janis, who just started running in March are training for a 10K in October. They've run two great 5Ks and now they've set their sights on the longer distance. So, last night, they wanted to run a 4-miler -- their longest distance -- and asked me to run with them.

We set out around 8:20 and it was still about 85* and humid. We were sticky by the time we reached .25 miles. Yuck! As the miles ticked by, the sun set, the breeze picked up and the temperature dropped -- maybe a degree or two. Still hot but the humidity started to go away so it felt better.

By the end of the run, it was dark and we were a sweaty mess. Three hot (literally) mamas, 4.1 miles, one awesome run. It was the longest run that Bridget and Janis had ever done and they rocked it!

I know it was hard, and there were probably times when they felt like stopping. But I also know that they felt proud of themselves when they were done, as they should! I remember those feelings well: Struggling to extend my mileage and feeling totally burned out yet very accomplished at the end.

After the run, they made comments about not knowing how they'd get to the 6.2 miles but we talked about how they said the same type of thing when they were training for the 5K. They didn't think they'd be able to run 3.1 miles when they hadn't even run a full mile. And now, here they are running 4. Soon to be 4.5 and then 5 and then . . .

The funny thing (to me) about their training for this 10K is that it takes places 3 weeks after my due date. It feels weird to be talking about their race and how they will train and what the weather will be like and how they'll feel -- all while knowing that, at that time, my life is going to be so different. I may not yet be in post-preg running shape. I definitely won't be racing. Will I even be walking? Sleeping? Who knows!?! I may still be a hormonal mess, trying to just make it through the day.

Whatever, I'll be rooting for my pals on race day, whether in person or in spirit. Now, we've just got to stretch those 4.1 miles to 6.2! They can do it, I'm sure.

~ Felice

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday.

Yesterday we went to our beach for a few hours. It's just a little beach on a little lake, but it's close to our house, inexpensive and offers hours and hours of summer fun.

Conal at the beach.

Conal with his pals.

The scene.

There's a playground and a pavilion in the back.

Happy Wednesday!

~ Felice

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Packing it in.

It was a nice weekend around here. I packed in a few runs, including an awesome 4.5-miler Saturday morning before the heat and humidity (and the half-hour heavy rain storm) made it unbearable to be outside. I was happy to get out early for a change.

Owen went out of town Saturday afternoon for a friend's 40th birthday party so Conal and I occupied ourselves and I was able to get some solid work time in Saturday evening after he went to bed. I know, exciting Saturday night, huh? But, I did get a lot of work done and since I have two deadlines right before I'm due to have this baby, I need to work whenever I can.

On Sunday, I squeezed in a quick run after Owen got home and before we left to have a family dinner at my parents' house.

Overall, nice weekend.

Which led to yesterday and some more success. My mom watched Conal for a few hours in the morning, so I worked some more and, in a fit of efficiency, I also ran 2.5 miles. Woo hoo! Three days, three runs -- 9.3 miles total. Today, I'm off for sure and feeling very deserving of the break!

In other news, anyone need a gaudy suit of armor or decorative urn? Yikes.

And in even more (this time running-related) news, I have a super-cool giveaway coming up later this week at my other site. We're talking free shoes! It's very exciting. Almost as exciting as the giveaway I've been running all week over there. If you haven't entered to win the $100 gift card and read my ramblings, please check it out!

Well, I'm off to the beach. Hope you all have a great day!

~ Felice

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fitness achievements

Another Monday, another post up over here. This week is your last chance to enter the Visa $100 gift card giveaway that goes along with the posts so be sure to check it out.

Have a good week!

~ Felice

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mama miles.

Last night's run was exactly what I needed.

Earlier this week, a few of the girls from this spring's moms running group had posted on Facebook that they missed our group runs. So, I emailed them and set up a run for last night. Turns out, the best time for all of us to meet was after 8, so the 5 of us convened at Bridget's house at 8:15.

Although I've run after 8 several times this summer, I was nervous about last night. See, I've been having these pm contractions lately and I wasn't sure how they'd affect my run. Before you get all worried, let me tell you that they're perfectly normal. Just Braxton-Hicks contractions that occur throughout pregnancy but, this week, I've felt them stronger and they've mostly kicked in around 7:30 or 8 and have annoyed me until bedtime.

Before we headed out for our run, I told the girls I might need to walk depending on how the contractions were. Just a warning.

Running, apparently, chases the contractions away because there was no need for this preggo to walk. No, no, no. As soon as we settled in to the run, I felt great! I think my belly was in a constant contraction so it didn't have a chance to contract, un-contract, contract again. It just stayed firm and I was able to run without a care.

And the run was awesome. It was great to run with some of my best pals. We chatted about life stuff and running and had a good time in the cool late evening. We ran strong for 3.5 miles and then spent a little time drinking our water and chatting on Bridget's porch before we all went our separate ways, promising to keep up the group runs.

Had I not been running with my friends, I may not have run last night, I may have been "too tired" or "not feeling up to it." They carried me over that hurdle that often lies in the way of the first step of a great run. They got me out the door. Thanks, mamas!

Today was supposed to be a beach day. Big plans to meet lots of friends there, but the weather has decided not to cooperate. Oh, well. Not everything can go as well as last night's run!

Have a great weekend, everyone! Local runners participating in Silks & Satins: Good luck and have fun. Same goes for everyone racing this weekend!

~ Felice

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

(Almost ) wordless Wednesday.

Conal and Owen went to another ValleyCats game on Sunday and Conal had a chance to run the bases again, this time with less trepidation. Here he is coming in to home base:

He looks like a speedy little 3 year old, no?

Thanks to my pal, Jen, who took some photos of him!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

~ Felice

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Adjusted expectations.

Anyone who has ever had to deal with injuries, an illness, or anything that has kept them from running knows the power of adjusted expectations. To that list, I will add the pregnant woman. Specifically, the pregnant runner.

Adjusted expectations are the pregnant runner's friend. They are certainly my friend.

I started out running strong. I set a goal of running 17-20 miles a week and set my sights on a few races, and with training the new running group. No problem. I ran and ran and felt great -- some days better than others, but that's the case whether you're pregnant or not. Some days just rot. Others rock. That's the way it is.

So, I ran and ran. And then I started to fade. The weather got to me and I'm not foolish enough to push it in 90*+ temperatures, at least not while I'm carrying such precious cargo. I adjusted and, when I could, I ran at night when the heat and humidity had tailed off a bit. I also replaced more of my runs with cross training: lots of squats, plies and lunges; tons of push-ups and enough arm exercises to make them feel like cooked spaghetti.

The bottom line is that, recently, 17-20 miles a week of running has no longer been a possibility.

I've adjusted my expectations. Now, I'm happy with about 10 miles a week. My 2.5 and 3 mile runs make me feel like I'm still in the game. When I bust out a 4-miler, I feel like I'm on top of the world. And let me tell you, feeling awesome about a 4-miler sure beats feeling disappointed over a missed run or because my weekly mileage is getting lower and lower!

Adjusted expectations will likely be a big part of my running up until I give birth and probably for a good while afterward. I'm ready.

What about you? Have you had to adjust your expectations recently? Have you felt better after doing so? I really do think it makes a big difference!

~ Felice

Monday, July 19, 2010

Natural foods and drinks.

It's Monday again so my post is over on my other site. Check it out. I'm talking about natural foods and drinks (and giving you a chance to enter to win a $100 gift card from Crystal Light).

Hurry on over!

~ Felice

Friday, July 16, 2010

Five Things Friday, ep. 25.

1. Gloating, gloating: I was completely honored to be this week's Follow This Mother! on the Run Like A Mother site. (Check out the book-- it's great!) Welcome, welcome to all of you who found my blog through RLAM! I've gotten several really kind comments and emails based on that post and I do appreciate them :-)

2. Went for a great run last night with a friend. We started out around 8:2o because it has just been so hot during the day. And, of course, it was still hot when we were out there but at least it had cooled a little. We managed 3.1 hot, sweaty, chatty miles before calling it a run.

3. I seem to still be in vacation mode because when I went to get my hair cut and highlighted on Wednesday, I had my hairdresser turn up the blonde. Who do I think I am? A sun-kissed blondie, apparently. But, honestly, I love it. I feel all kinds of summery and bright and, who knows, maybe it distracts from my expanding girth.

4. I posted a review of Somnio running shoes over at my other site.

5. This weekend looks to be another hot one. We have a busy day planned for today and then a family birthday party tomorrow (at a house with a pool!) and a baseball game with friends on Sunday. And I'm hoping for another run tonight and Sunday.

Hope you all have a great weekend! And if you are racing -- good luck!

~ Felice

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

28 down, 23 up.

That's where I am right now: 28 weeks down (only 12 to go!) and 23 pounds up.

Let me tell you something about being 23 pounds heavier than usual. It's tough. Those Clydesdale runners earn their special category. Lugging around that extra weight is no easy task. I'm proof of that. And yet, when pushed, I can still bang out a decent run.

Which makes me think that a lot of my reduction in miles and speed has been completely mental.

Now, there is nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all wrong with taking a conservative approach to running while pregnant, especially in my elderly gravida* state. I stand by my lower, slower miles just as I feel proud of the results I've posted while racing pregnant.

But there's a part of me that realizes that I have indeed fallen back on my state as an excuse not to run on certain days or to run easier than I really need to. Human nature? Perhaps. Necessary? Not really.

Sure, when I feel that the hill I'm lugging my bulging belly up is seriously kicking my butt, I slow to a walk. And, yeah, I often (OK, almost always) have to take pee breaks during even 3 mile runs. However, I do not really, truly, in all honesty need to run at such a slow pace through the flat straightaways. I simply don't. Nor do I need to continue to walk even after I've crested those butt-kicking hills. Again, I simply don't.

How do I know this? Easy. The other night (yes, night, it's been pretty hot around here), I went out for a run/walk. I crossed paths with one of my neighbors and we started to chat and before I knew it, we'd been chatting for a half hour and by the time we parted ways, it was quite dark. So, I ran home. I didn't jog or shuffle or walk. I ran. I held a nice sub-9 minute mile pace for the whole 1.5 miles. In the dark. With bats swirling above.

And I felt great.

Shows that when I want to, I can still bring it. Why I don't bring it every run is up for discussion. Probably due to that mental thing I mentioned. Maybe I'm a bit scared about pushing it too hard. Or maybe I'm just enjoying taking it easy, not having to worry about pace or distance or -- my least favorite ever -- tempo runs.

Whatever it is, it is where I am. 28 weeks down, 23 pounds up. Slower and lower with the miles. And I'm OK with it all.

Happy Wednesday, folks. Hope you're OK with where you are, too :-)

~ Felice

* My doctors are kind and refer to my current state as advanced maternal age. Much nicer than elderly gravida, which remains the official diagnosis, and makes me feel like I'm about 87 years old.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fitness inspiration.

I have no post today. Instead, I'll send you over here where I've written about fitness inspiration.

Inspire yourself!

~ Felice

Friday, July 9, 2010

Five Things Friday, ep. 24.

1. 6.5 months pregnant + 98* temperatures = cankles. No getting around it.

2. I gave the blog a face-lift! Well, more like a shot of Restylane and a smidge of Botox but you get the idea. It looks more up-to-date, no?

3. Yesterday, I ran at 9pm. It was no longer too hot and there was a nice breeze. There were also tons of bugs and my legs are now all chewed up. No real complaints, though, because I didn't think I was going to be able to run so my night-time 2-miler was a treat.

4. About two months ago I had major computer problems with viruses and malware and blah, blah, blah. I had to completely rebuild the computer and since then it had been working fine. Until now. Apparently, I have been infected. Again. Argh! So, looks like I'll be in disinfection mode for a bit. Such a drag . . .

5. Heading to the beach again this weekend! We have a family graduation party to go to on Long Island so we're going to sneak in some beach time while we're there. My cankles are looking forward to it :-)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

~ Felice

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Quick update.

Super busy with catching up this week so this will be a really quick one.

First, I have to share my relief that Conal does not have peanut allergies. He'd been showing some signs of a potential allergy so I had him tested yesterday and the test came back negative. I was beyond worried about that peanut allergies can be life-threatening and a total headache. So, phew!

Second, check out some of my reviews and giveaways that I recently posted at my other site. You can enter to win a $100 Visa gift card on my Crystal Light Pure Fitness post and three Uncle Ben's brown rice coupons on my review post. I'll be posting a few other reviews in the upcoming days including Somnio running shoes, Shamrock Farms Rockin' Refuel and Scape sunscreen. Stay tuned and check back!

OK, I'm off. Have a great Thursday!

~ Felice

Monday, July 5, 2010

June recap.

After a stellar May, during which I logged the most mileage so far this pregnancy, June was a bit of a bust. Sure, I had to recover from a rockin' 5K and my 40th birthday. And, yes, I had a big deadline to meet and a vacation to prep for and go on. But, hrrm . . . the miles were lower than expected. The proof is in the stats.

June stats:

Running (miles): 48.4
Cross-training (sessions): 5

Not even 50 miles. Oh, well. I'm pleased with the cross-training, especially when I consider that I had only one such session in May. Also, when I look back to what I was thinking a month ago, I expected my mileage to decrease and I figured I would be walking most of them and not really running much.

Well, I'm still running. I'm doing a lot of walking, for sure, but I'm still running and June did include two 5K races. So, there's that to be proud of. We'll see what happens in July -- so far I've logged a whopping 5.2 miles so I'll need to get a move on if I'm going to get close to my June mileage! Since we're in the midst of a heat wave here, the treadmill is going to become my new-found friend this week. High heat and pregnancy just don't mix!

OK, everyone, I hope you all have a great week! I'm trying to catch up on blogs a bit because I missed a ton while I was away. Oh, and be sure to check my giveaway site this week because I have a super-duper cool big giveaway coming!

~ Felice

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

I'm home. Vacation is over. My mind is full of wonderful memories of a fun week, I'm all kinds of tan and I'm feeling relaxed, yet a bit beat, from the week away. In other words, I had a terrific time!

Today I had the grand plan to run 4 miles to celebrate the 4th of July. Only, the baby had different ideas. I managed just about 2.7 miles and called it a run. OK, in truth it was more of a run/walk. And, if I'm going to be super honest, it was more of a run/lots of walk. Eh, no big deal. I was still out there.

So, that's that. Now I'm off to catch up on laundry, vacuuming and a little outdoor activity if I can manage it (we're looking at a really hot day here in upstate NY). And I'll leave you with a few picks from my time at the beach:

Have a great day, everyone!

~ Felice

Don't miss the Athletica $50 gift card giveaway.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Jaws Youth Fund Fitness Festival 5k race report.

Ah, vacation. Perfect time for a 5k race!

Yep, I'm away this week, basking in the sun (and lots of it!) at the Jersey shore. And on Sunday -- a hazy, hot, humid morning -- my friends (and vacation and running buddies) and I ran the Jaws Youth Fund Fitness Festival 5k. For Janis and Bridget, this was their second 5k and it marked their first in New Jersey. Two races, two states. I wonder if that'll be a trend . . .

The night before the race, Bridget, Janis and I talked about race goals. I had none other than to run the race with them. But they both wanted to run faster than they had at the Freihofer's Run for Women. So we talked times and settled on finishing in under 30 minutes. Janis had run her first 5k in just over 31 minutes and Bridget in just under 33 so it was a reachable goal.

Here we are before the race:

Bridget, me, Janis

The race started at 9, which seemed like it would be the perfect time for a summer race. But the weather was already super sunny and steamy by 8 and there was no shade whatsoever on the course so we pretty much dripped with sweat the whole race.

The race started with a goofy mascot race, and all 400 or so runners hanging around getting hotter, waiting for the gun to go off. I'm telling you, we were dripping before we even took our first step. Once we did, though, we settled into a nice pace. With the 30 minute goal in mind, I decided to keep the pace right around 9:35, which would give us a little wiggle room. I knew with the heat that it could be difficult but I also knew that the course was flat so I figured that would balance out the heat. And it did.

I have to say, it was great to run with my pals! Of course, I was slightly obsessive about checking my Garmin to make sure we were on pace but, other than that, it was fun. Here we are just past the half-way point:

Bridget, Janis, me -- happy runners!

Our husbands and kids were able to walk to the main street to cheer for us and it was a real treat to see them. Conal even got into the action, giving the runners the high-five:

I felt like we were all running strong through the whole race. With just about a half mile to go, Bridget took a quick walk break and Janis and I continued on. She ran tough, sprinting the last bit and finished in 29:34. I was right behind her in 29:35 and Bridget crossed the line in 30:37.

Awesome, right? I mean, second race ever and they pulled off 2 minute or so PRs! Yay! I couldn't have been prouder of my running mama pals!

After the race, we chowed down on some fresh berries and walked a mile back to the vacation house. It was a good cooldown and just an overall nice time for the three of us.

Since the race, we've been lying about on the beach and just fully enjoying our time away. Oh, and doing a little running. We ran on the beach on Tuesday and plan to go later today, although I think we're going to opt for the roads this time since the sand seemed to kick our butts!

Hope you're all having a great week!

~ Felice

PS: I have a $50 gift card giveaway going on over here. Don't miss it!

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