Thursday, May 31, 2012


Last day of May! It has been a great month -- a marathon on the 6th, Mother's day, gorgeous weather, fun runs, my birthday today . . . May rocks!

And, I have the winner of the Sony W-series MP3 player to announce. Yes, I meant to announce it yesterday but the day got away from me. We were busy up here in Happy Runner-ville. Anyway, the winner is . . .

Nate from Run. Dream. Achieve.

(His site looks super-awesome, by the way. Great advice.)

Congratulations, Nate! Shoot me an email at felicehalf dot yahoo dot com with your address and I'll get the MP3 player out to you right away.

For those of you who didn't win -- fear not! I have more giveaways coming up in June! Good ones that you won't want to miss. I promise.

OK, well, I'm off to enjoy the day. Thanks for stopping by!

~ Felice

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wicked hawt.

I probably don't have to tell you that it was hot out this weekend. But, really, it was so hot I can't avoid mentioning it. It was H.O.T. Wicked hawt.

We were fortunate in all the heat because a) we have central air conditioning, to keep us cool in the house and b) we had fun things going on. A BBQ and swimming with fun neighbors, mini golf with friends, running through sprinklers, a quick visit with my family, splashing in the kiddie pool, lots of gardening and, oh yeah, the sweet treat of summer ice cream.

Of course, I worked several runs into the weekend (4 days, 4 runs!), all of them leaving me ultra hot and sweaty. Wicked hawt.

This week I'm catching up, getting ready for my first post-marathon race (the Freihofer's Run for Women on Saturday) and celebrating my birthday.

Yup, the last day of May is this happy runner's birthday! A PR on Saturday would make an awesome gift so if you'd like to send me some fast running vibes, I'll take 'em!

Until then, splish splash!

Hope you all had a great weekend. Enjoy your week!

~ Felice

PS: My Sony W-series MP3 player giveaway ends tonight! Check it out HERE

Friday, May 25, 2012

Five things Friday.

1. Thanks for all the kind messages about my CLIF bar news!

2. Today's the day I retire my marathon running shoes. Aww . . . They were good to me, my marathon shoes. They helped me train hard and they carried me to the finish line of my marathon PR (and a few other PRs along the way).

Thanks for the strong miles, ol' shoes!

Welcome, identical new shoes! Zany, I know.

3. Three of the women I ran the New Jersey Marathon with are running another marathon this weekend. That's two marathons in one month!! So, cheers and good luck to Karen, Melissa and Tami as they run strong in the Memorial Day Marathon! And, good luck also to my pals Elisa and Amanda who are running the half. Have fun, ladies!

4. If you are paying attention, you're lucky because I have a super quick giveaway for you!

Long ago, I reviewed Sony's W series MP3 player. (Go ahead and read it HERE.) Now, I'm giving away the Meb Keflezighi version of the Sony MP3 player. From the Sony web site:
"This Meb Keflezighi special edition 2GB water-resistant MP3 player features exclusive colors and pre-loaded audio tips, plus a Runners booklet with subjects on running, nutrition, stretching and more."
Read more about MP3 player HERE

Want to win? Go ahead and leave me a comment on this post saying you want to win and you'll be entered.

As always, you can gain extra entries. Remember, though, you must complete the required entry first! (Leave one comment per entry for the additional ones to count):
  • Follow this blog, or let me know that you already do (leave a comment
  • Follow me on Pinterest, or let me know that you already do  (leave a comment
  • Pin the image from this post to share the giveaway on Pinterest  (leave a comment
  • Link to this giveaway on Twitter using this tweet (leave a comment): 
Win an MP3 player from @TheHappyRunner
  • Follow me on Twitter, or let me know that you already do  (leave a comment
  • Link to this giveaway from your blog  (leave a comment  
This giveaway will run through Tuesday, May 29th at 11:59pm EST and the winner will be announced on Wednesday.

Good luck!

5. That's about it. I hope everyone has a great weekend! Get out there and run!

~ Felice

Giveaway disclosure: I was sent free MP3 players for my earlier review and to giveaway. I was not otherwise compensated for this giveaway.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy Runner gets sponsored!

I have been meaning to make this announcement for a few weeks now but I was a bit distracted with the marathon and all of the catch up afterward. Life always seems to get in the way -- even when you have such exciting news!

Yes, exciting news!!

My news? Well, yay for me -- I was chosen to receive a CLIF Ambassador Sponsorship for 2012! Yup, I'm now a CLIF Ambassador. This is the first year of the CLIF Ambassador sponsored athlete program and I'm proud to be a part of it! The CLIF Ambassador sponsorship is for trainers and active enthusiasts who are focused on training others and promoting a healthy lifestyle, and who have a strong passion for their sport.

As part of the program, I'll race and train in CLIF gear. Remember these photos?

That's me sporting my CLIF gear after a run. I'll be out and about in my gear a lot this year. Be on the look-out :-)

I'm also stocked to the gills with CLIF samples.

Right now, I am absolutely in love with the Blueberry Crisp bars. In love! Fortunately, I'm meant to share the bars (CLIF bars and their new protein-rich Builder's Bars) with others. So I'll be spreading the word about CLIF goodness and giving out samples during training runs and at races.

Here's some information on CLIF:

CLIF BarsCLIF Bars are 70% organic and come loaded with 23 vitamins and minerals, which makes them the ideal nutrition for athletes. Whether you're riding your bike or exploring a new trail, CLIF bar is crafted to sustain energy for your next adventure.
CLIF Builder's BarsCLIF Builder's bar is the protein bar that works as hard as you do. We only use ingredients that help to build and repair muscle - so you can get the most out of your workout. Builder's is crafted with the best carbohydrates and protein, and no hydrogenated oils, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols or GMOs.

Questions about the CLIF products? Let me know!

Big things are happening here in Happy Runner-ville! I'm excited about it all -- especially my new association with CLIF! I hope you'll stick around to enjoy the fun with me!

~ Felice

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kale recipes (or how I got my kids to eat - and love - kale).

My boys are kale addicts. Addicts, I tell you.

They love it. Beg me to buy it. Plead with me to cook with it. Jump for joy when we talk about growing it in the garden. Addicts.

And I couldn't be happier.

I love that the boys love kale because kale is a rockin' good food -- loaded with vitamins A, C, and K (among others), and full of  fiber, iron, calcium, and even a little protein. But, you know, it is a little weird. I mean, kale? Have you looked at it lately? Doesn't jump out as a #1 kid favorite.

So, how, you may wonder, did we get here? How did I turn my little guys into kale lovers?

The answer is: A little olive oil, some salt and a waaaaaaay too enthusiastic mama.

I started out all low key, nonchalantly introducing kale to the kids one day. "Oh, hey. This is a funny vegetable," I said while putting the groceries away. Of course, Conal wanted to know what it was. "Oh, just kale." 

And I left it at that.

His curiosity got the better of him and soon he wanted to know what kale was for. "Oh, man. Well, I love it. I mean, I could eat it all the time. I like to make chips out of kale. And other things. But, I'll probably make chips this time and eat them all myself."

The boy took that as a challenge. No way was he going to let me eat the chips all by myself.

"You want to help make them?"

Of course he did. And so we made kale chips. Easy peasy:

Kale Chips

1 head of kale
olive oil
kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350. Peel the kale off the stalks, breaking it into pieces as you do:

Wash thoroughly. Dry as well as you can. Spread kale pieces on a baking sheet (you'll probably need two). Drizzle olive oil over the kale and rub it into the kale pieces. Sprinkle with salt. 

Bake in the oven for 10-20 minutes (depending on how stuffed your baking sheet is).  Check the chips often, to make sure they haven't burned and to stir. They'll shrivel up quite a bit: 

When they are crisp, take them out and eat 'em up! 

If you're lucky, you might get to enjoy a few -- my kids eat at least half of them within the first few minutes of taking them out of the oven.

I also use kale in lots of other dinner recipes. One of my boys' favorites is rotini with kale and carrots:

I simply saute sliced carrots and kale in a little olive oil while I boil the pasta. When the pasta is still firm, I add it to the vegetables, along with a half cup of chicken broth. I let that boil down for about 5 minutes and that's it. I serve it with a little shredded pecorino romano and the kids love it.

Seriously. They eat all the kale before the even start on the pasta. 

And then they ask for more. Of the kale.

And that's how I did it, that's how I created little kale lovers. If you want to get your kids to love -- or maybe just try -- kale (or any other vegetable, really), my advice is to start with a kid-friendly recipe, like the kale chips. Do not give your kids any indication whatsoever that the vegetable is weird, or that they might not like it. In fact, just act cool, like the vegetable is no big deal at all.

Once you've hooked them, expand the recipes you make with the vegetable. If you don't meet with success the first time, though, don't give up! Be cool and keep trying!

Enjoy your kale, everyone!

~ Felice

Monday, May 21, 2012

Favorite arm exercises for runners.

Now that marathon training is over, I've gotten back into a little strength training. My training plan had called for strength training during the first two months, but none for the last month. I followed the plan and believe that I am stronger for it, especially in my upper body. Even though when I look at my marathon photos, I can see I'm a little hunched over at mile 25, my arms/back/shoulders didn't feel too tired over the course of my 26.2 miles.

Since I'm not really in training for anything at this point, I've spent some time experimenting and thinking about my favorite upper-body strength moves. There are some that I love, and some that I can't stand.

These are the upper-body exercises that I have found are easy to do and most beneficial to my running form (I use 6lb dumbbells for all except push-ups and planks):

And then there is my favorite, running arms! They are super easy to do. Just stand with either your right or left leg slightly in front of the other (switch legs after each set -- I like to do two sets of 25). With a light weight in each hand, slowly swing each arm as if you were running. You'll mimic the running motion, which will build excellent running-specific arm strength!

And that's it! I like to do these exercises three times a week and, like I said, they really have helped my running. I hope they will help you, too!

Do you have a favorite arm exercise that isn't included here? Let me know!

Thanks for stopping by -- have a great week!

~ Felice

Friday, May 18, 2012

Five things Friday.

1. Post-marathon running is really going well. Two 3 milers earlier this week and then a great 5 miler this morning. I plan to go for an 8-10 mile run on Sunday.

2. The boys are getting into the action, too. We've been racing in the driveway and, I'm a little sad to say, my almost-5-year-old really gives me a run for my money. He's pretty much as fast as I am. No lie.

3. Want to win a super cool Endorphin Warrior training bracelet? Check out Running Jennie's blog and enter her giveaway! You can find it HERE.

4. Garden season is in full-effect. Owen does all the vegetable planting and planning with the boys; I stick to the fun stuff like harvesting and, this year, garden decorating.

We've been painting garden rocks, to identify the plants. And, yes, make things a little prettier.

The rocks were easy to make and lots of fun. We just grabbed up some rocks from the yard, washed them off, let them dry overnight and then got busy. Then, I did the writing and my little guy painted the vegetables and added some extra flair to the rocks. After we painted them, I put three coats of varnish on top, to protect the paint from the weather.

I love how they turned out!

5. Have a great weekend, everyone! Many of my running pals have races this weekend so I have to wish them fleet feet -- run strong, ladies! Good luck to everyone else racing, too!

~ Felice

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Get Moving Today!

If you have kids and you'd like them to move a little more, then I have a great resource for you: The Get Moving Today Activity Calendar!

This calendar is put out by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD) and National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) with the goal of getting kids -- and their parents -- moving. 

The calendar is chock-full of creative suggestions for getting active, with a different activity for every day of the month. Have a look at today's activity:

"Roll up a t-shirt into a lasso and swing it over your head. Try using your other arm. Add some galloping."

Lasso. Huh. Honestly, I wouldn't have thought about doing that with my kids and yet, what a good workout for the arms!

The calendar is very easy to access. Each month is listed separately and you simply click on the month you want to view and that opens a PDF. Print it out, hang it on your fridge or wherever, and you'll never be at a loss for how to get active!

May is hanging on my fridge right now. This activity calendar is right up my alley and, folks, I think it will be right up yours, too.


~ Felice

Disclaimer: I was sent a link to this calendar but was not compensated for this post in any way. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Post marathon running.

There hasn't been a lot of it but the running I've done since the marathon last Sunday has all been good. I followed the marathon by taking Monday completely off and then ran an easy and slow 2 miler on Tuesday. No problems.

I knew that what my body needed most this week, though, was rest. So, I took Wednesday and Thursday off and ran again on Friday, basically repeating Monday's run. Yup, 2.1 whopping miles. Again, no problems.

And then --

After another rest day on Saturday, I met up with some of my fab running buddies for an 8 miler on Sunday. It was super! I felt great and was really happy to run with my friends Amanda, Tami, Karen and Melissa. We ran over hilly country roads where a donkey gave us a serious evil eye, the cows seemed indifferent to us and the horses looked at us like we were absurd to be running at 7 on a Sunday morning.

Mother's Day, no less.

But, honestly? What better way for a bunch of running mamas to start their Mother's day then with a run? No better way.

Karen, me, Melissa

Amanda and me

Today, I'm resting again and I will probably keep up an abbreviated running schedule for the rest of the week. After only running 12 miles last week, I might inch up to 20 or so this week and then I'll get back to normal. I'm happy that my body feels good.

What else have I done for recovery? For starters, I've rolled out my legs A TON, used the tennis ball on my hips and hammies to keep my ITB/hips/knee in check, and I've done a little easy stretching. I've also tried to eat well and drink a lot of water. I believe it is all working. A little easy running, a good bit of preventative rolling and healthy nutrition. That would be my marathon recovery plan.

Have to admit, it feels a little weird not gearing up for a race. But, I've got a 5K coming up on June 2nd and I'm sure I'll be gunning for a PR so I might as well enjoy these days of easy running while they last.

What do you do to enhance your post-race recovery?

Have a great week, everyone!

~ Felice

Thursday, May 10, 2012

You Have No Idea (review).

Taking a break from running, I have a BlogHer Book Club book review for you: You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss (and Each Other)by Vanessa Williams and Helen Williams.

OK, true confession. If given the choice between People and just about any other non-celebrity magazine, I'm going to pick up People. I know. I blame my grandmother. She always read Star magazine and whenever I was at her house I would read it too. Now, of course, I read Runner's World and Outsidebut, still, sometimes celebrity stories are fun.

Which was totally the case with Vanessa Williams' memoir that she wrote with her mother. I enjoyed reading her story because I knew basically nothing about her: I've never (gasp!) seen Desperate Housewives or Ugly Betty. But I did, way back in that part of my brain that I don't access all that often, remember a little about the whole nude pictures fiasco when she was Miss America.

In the book, Vanessa explains that whole thing --  how and why it happened -- and how she bounced back from it. She comes across as an intelligent, hard-working working woman who made a few mistakes along the way -- but always rose up and owned them. She also shows the downside of the celebrity world and explains how her love of performing has kept her in that world.

And her mom? One tough cookie. The book alternates Vanessa's stories with her mother's take on things. To me, it was interesting to read what she, as a non-celebrity, thought of Vanessa's choices, stardom and everything that goes along with being a celebrity.

You Have No Idea was a fun, interesting book to read. I feel like I know Vanessa now, like we could probably meet for lunch and chat it up about our kids and have a great time laughing and swapping stories. If you'd like to get to know Vanessa -- and her mom -- pick up a copy of the book. Or maybe an issue of People.

~ Felice

Review disclaimer: This is a compensated review for the BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New Jersey Marathon race report: Part 2.

If you didn't catch Part 1, you can pop over here and read away. 

So, where was I?

Oh, yes. I'd gone through the half marathon in 1:51:39 (8:31 pace) and the 3:45 pace group had gone through in 1:51:02 (8:28 pace). I was trying to catch the group in mile 14. Doing my best, trying to make up ground.

Mile 14: 8:22

The effort wasn't so much taxing on my body as it was on my mind. I knew that at the half marathon mark, I was ahead of my pace (which was supposed to be 8:35 per mile) -- and yet the pace group was well ahead of me. That was not the plan. I felt myself starting to slow and, as I did, I was beating myself up. You're losing the group. You're going to miss your goal. Don't you want to run a 3:45 marathon? You have it in you, why aren't you pushing?

And so on.

My internal banter was, as my friend Bridget would say, ludicrous. Fortunately, I realized the ludicrous nature of what was going on and began to think, instead, about this:

In trying to run with the 3:45 pace group I was not running my own race. I was running at someone else's pace, someone else's racing plan. Not mine. Somewhere around mile 15, I decided to give up on the pace group and run my own race.

It was not easy. No, not at all. I could see the pace group ahead of me for quite a while and I fully admit that there were moments when I wanted to try to get back to where they were. But as the distance between us grew, there was no catching up and that was a bit defeating. The next few miles were mentally challenging, but I got through them.

Mile 15: 9:19
Mile 16: 9:24
Mile 17: 8:55
Mile 18: 9:22

And then there was the turn-around at mile 19, waaaaaaay down there in Ocean Grove:

For some reason, this whole turn-around situation made me really angry. Angry? Yes, angry. Well, at first I was happy because getting to mile 19 meant there were only 7.2 miles left. And then I was angry. Surely I was being irrational but the idea that I was excited to only have 7.2 miles left made me so mad. Only 7.2 miles? Only? Do you know how long it is going to take you to run 7.2 miles? FOREVER. Seriously. If I could do the math right now, I would tell you but, believe me, you are going to be running far longer than you would like. 7.2 miles is far. This sucks. Why, oh WHY did you start out so fast? That wasn't the plan! This SUCKS.

So I walked. I needed a drink, I think I probably took a gel and I was just so angry that I had to stop and walk.

Mile 19: 9:53

But then the anger was out of my system and I caught a bit of a second wind.  One mile at a time. You're doing great. You're running a sub-4 hour marathon. That'll be a huge PR. I turned my outlook around and was totally, 100% happy with going after my B goal. The time is now. Go get it.

Mile 20: 9:18
Mile 21: 9:30
Mile 22: 9:16

At some point during these miles (I think, maybe it was earlier?) I saw Tami, Melissa, Elisa and Bridget going the other way. That was great. Every time I saw a friend, I felt a little lift. Unfortunately, I had to stop to walk during the next two water stops; once because I accidentally took Gatorade when I wanted water and it was so thick it made me gag so I had to stop and deal with that whole situation, and once because, well, because my body just wanted to walk.

Mile 23: 9:40
Mile 24: 9:44

With two miles left, I started to feel confident that I was actually going to get the sub-4 hour marathon. I kept running and tried my best not to shuffle.

Mile 25: 9:31
Mile 26: 9:29
last bit: 9:15 pace

When I saw the finish line and that big ol' 3 at the beginning of my time, I was thrilled. And, yeah, I was pretty happy to be done.

26.2 miles is no joke. No joke at all.

Bottom line? I didn't reach my A goal of running a 3:45 marathon. "But, Happy Runner," you may ask, "why did you start yesterday's post by saying the marathon was great?"

Because it was. It was great. The race, the weekend, the build-up, the whole thing was just plain great. I ran strong. Sure, I ran too fast in the first half and, sure, I had to give up my A goal. But did I give up completely? No, I did not. I ran on. I ran my own race, at least for half of that marathon.

Best of all is that I felt pretty good afterward, even better one day later and then, yesterday, I had a nice recovery run that felt fine. I hardly have any soreness and, honestly, barely feel like I ran a marathon. To some, that may mean that I didn't push hard enough during the race. To me, that means I was well-trained to run the marathon I ran.

And the marathon I ran is not too shabby:

Official time: 3:56:37
Overall place: 846 out of 2307
Female place: 211 out of 900
Age group (40-44) place: 29 out of 143
Overall pace: 9:02

That's a huge 16 minute PR for me. It's also 11 minutes slower than my A goal and there are many things that I can point to for that, but those I'll cover in another post. Lessons learned and all that.

Right now, let me share with you how the other runners in my little gang did -- because I was far from the only one with goals last weekend. Melissa, Tami and Karen all ran really well and set new PRs! Elisa didn't get a racing PR, but she did get a coaching PR because she ran the whole race with Bridget, as a superstar supporter. Bridget and Janis finished their first marathons, and Janis even came in under 5 hours! Gail and Ginny ran the half marathon, Gail finishing in just over 2 hours and Ginny finishing a strong 2:27 just 4 months after having knee surgery.

Rock on, ladies! Rock, ON!

And now, I'll leave you with a few more photos from the weekend:

The group! (from top, l-r) Elisa and Ginny; Karen, Gail and Janis; Me, Bridget and Melissa
Yes, we all had our medals on. Why not?

Relaxing with some champagne after the race!
So, that was the marathon. I enjoyed my training and I'm glad that it paid off in the end. Will I run another? Do I want try again for a 3:45? I'm not sure. Those are questions I'll be thinking about this week. Right now, though, I'm enjoying having a new marathon PR -- and trying to catch up on laundry, house cleaning, and other work!

Thanks for coming along on this marathon journey of mine. Have a great day!

~ Felice

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New Jersey Marathon race report: Part 1.

The marathon has come and gone and let me tell you: It was great. Great!

The weekend was terrific. We left Saturday morning from Bridget's house, where we packed oodles of junk food and overstuffed suitcases into Melissa's car:

Janis, me, Melissa
The New Jersey Marathon was Bridget's and Janis' first marathon and they (like the rest of us) were super excited!

Bridget, me, Janis -- just before we packed up the car and took off!

Along with four others, we had rented a house in New Jersey and I'm so glad we did. It was much nicer to have a house for the two nights we were down there than a hotel room.

The drive to Jersey was fine, but the traffic around the Expo was crazy. We stopped anyway so we'd know where to go in the morning. And so we could show off our truly geeky sides:

Here I am with Bridget and Melissa, bringing out our inner-geeks at the start line on Saturday.

After settling in at the house, we enjoyed our carbo-loading pasta dinner, thanks to Gail.

We were a bunch of keyed-up, nervous runners, let me tell you. I, for one, was slightly nuts and I don't think I was alone. We were excited for the race!

Soon enough it was bedtime and after a fitful night's sleep it was time to wake up and get going. We had to leave the house at 5:45 to get to the start, so my plan was to wake up around 4:30, shower and get ready. Yeah, that plan went awry because there was no hot water on Sunday morning. That pretty much rotted big time. So, no pre-marathon shower for this runner!

There was, however, a nice treat for all of us. Our friend, Tami, her husband and her baby showed up late Saturday night and stayed at the house. I hadn't seen them when they arrived but I was so happy to see Tami at 5 a.m.!

The other nice treat was that the weather was perfect and the forecast for the day was just what you want when running a marathon. Well, except for the humidity. But we won't get into that right now.

So, anyway, it was soon time to head to the marathon. The traffic was nuts but we had plenty of time. We made it with time to spare, found the porta-potties, waited around a little, bid each other good luck and lined up!

I was in corral B and I went straight for the 3:45 pacer. I fully believed I could run 3:45. I wanted to run 3:45. I went for 3:45.

I chatted with the pacer and he said he was going to start conservatively and then pick up the pace after the first couple of miles. Excellent! That was exactly what I wanted to do so I felt it would be a good fit. I wanted to run slightly slower than the 8:35 pace I needed -- maybe 8:40 or so -- for the first two or three miles and then settle in to just under 8:35. My hope was that I could hold a fairly steady pace for most of the marathon.

As we waited for the starting gun, I told myself I could do it. Over and over. You've done the training. You've put in the hard work. You've got this. Go run 3:45. You can do it. It is going to hurt, but it is going to be worth it. You can do it!

The gun went off and so did we.

Cruising. I stayed right with the pace group and was feeling good. The first three miles felt so smooth but I heard people grumbling that the pacer was going too fast. And he was. But I stayed with him anyway -- dumb move and totally my fault.

Mile 1: 8:31
Mile 2: 8:24
Mile 3: 8:25

The course for the first 10 miles or so zigzags all over the place and there were tons of twists and turns:

But it was nice enough. We were running through residential neighborhoods and I was feeling great. I kept thinking that the pace group was going a tad too fast but I didn't want to lose the group. I really wanted to stay with them, so I did. I held the pace and stayed with the group.

Mile 4: 8:23
Mile 5: 8:26
Mile 6: 8:13
Mile 7: 8:32
Mile 8: 8:31
Mile 9: 8:30
Mile 10: 8:21

After mile 10, I got into a weird mental place. I was feeling the pace a little but, more than that, I was just worried about being able to hold it for the next 16 miles. I didn't want to explode and have to drop out. Looking back, that was silly. I wasn't going to explode. I wasn't going to drop out. But I worried.

Right around mile 11, though, I saw Melissa's husband and daughter and they gave me a nice boost. I kept hanging with the pace group.

Mile 11: 8:30

But then I started to drop back. The pace group was just a little ahead of me at first, and then I started to really lose them.

Mile 12: 8:36
Mile 13: 8:50

I went through the half marathon in 1:51:39 -- the 3:45 pacer had gone through in 1:51:02.

I could still see the group and decided that if I was going to hang on and really try for that 3:45, I needed to catch up with the group. So I picked up the pace and tried my best to catch the group.

Mile 14: 8:22

And that, my friends, is where this story takes a break. I have a lot to say about this marathon so you'll have to come back tomorrow to read the rest :-)

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Felice

Friday, May 4, 2012

My New Jersey Marathon Goals.

Two sleeps 'til Jersey!

I'm gunning for a good night of sleep tonight, because I highly doubt I'll sleep much on Saturday. Nerves, nerves, nerves.

Speaking of nerves . . .

I have my marathon goals all laid out. There have been days when I've thought, "I've got some nerve thinking I can run 26.2 miles at an aggressive pace." But then, there have been just as many days when I've thought, "I've got this."

I sure hope I do . . . 

Anyway, for those of you who are interested, here are my goals for the New Jersey Marathon:

My "If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough" A goal:

  • 3:44:59 or better
My "Liberate your inner awesome" B goal: 
  • sub-4 hours
My "I have it within me right now" C goal: 
  • A PR (under 4:12:48)

I really believe that I can achieve my A goal. If everything lines-up perfectly and goes according to plan, I should be able to get that 3:45.

Why do I think I can run 3:45? Well, for starters, before I set my goal, I put a bunch of my recent race times into the McMillan calculator and it spit out equivalent marathon times that ranged from 3:36 to 3:48. When I averaged all of the times out, I came up with 3:43, so I set my goal as 3:45.

Then I developed a training plan to get me there. I followed my plan, for the most part, and ran strong, quality workouts over the course of 16 weeks. I ran two 18-milers, two 20-milers and one 22-miler -- so I know I have the endurance to carry me through 26.2. I ran a bunch of 2-mile repeats at just under marathon pace -- so I'm familiar and comfortable with my race pace. I ran a strong 11 mile race in February in 1:29:50 (8:10 pace) and, more recently, a fast 4 mile race in 29:05 (7:17 pace) -- so I know my legs have the speed they need.

I just need to go out there and do it.

Will I be devastated if I don't run 3:45? Nope. I won't. Seriously. Not lying at all.

Although I am sure I will be disappointed, I will not be sad or angry or devastated. I am going in to this race knowing that I have put in the work. I set an ambitious goal that, at the beginning of this training cycle, I felt I could achieve -- IF I worked hard. And I did.

If I miss my A goal, I'll live. I'll be angry if I don't give 100% of what I have to give but, barring that, I'll be happy to achieve my B or C goals.

Source: via Felice on Pinterest

But, of course, I'm going there to get my 3:45. I trained for it. I can run it. As I said earlier, I just need to go out there and do it.

If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough.

A 3:45 marathon scares me. It's big.

I'm ready.

***Thanks for all of your well wishes over the past few weeks, especially this last one. I've really appreciated the encouraging comments!***

Have a great weekend, everyone!

~ Felice

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Marathon motivation!

Back to marathon mania today!

Three sleeps until the New Jersey marathon. I'm excited. I'm nervous. I've developed what my friend Tami calls phantom pains. 

But I'm ready. I know it. I just need to remember it! So, here's some motivation for everyone racing this weekend or anytime soon -- and for me and my fellow New Jersey marathon runners! 

Enjoy . . . 

Have a great day, everyone! 

~ Felice

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Get clean. And fresh! (review)

Taking a break from my constant marathon chatter today. Lucky you!

In place of the all-NJ marathon-all-the-time (4 days and counting!) talk, I have a review of a new product I recently tried out: Irish Spring Clear & Fresh Skin body wash. I was sent a bottle of this body wash from Colgate for this review.

The body wash is formulated to prevent body breakouts, which tend to increase during the warmer months. Warm weather = more running = more sweat = potentially more breakouts. This body wash contains 2% salicylic acid to combat breakouts. It also has what is touted as an "8 hour scent system," which was designed to tackle tough (ahem) body odor.

I've used the body wash after running, squirting a little bit one of those scrunchy body sponge things. (What are those called, anyway?). I like it. The wash foams up well and you only need to use a little, which means that the bottle will last a long time. The scent is fairly strong but it doesn't bother me. Since this body wash is actually marketed to men, the scent is not too "perfume-y." Not is it really all that masculine. It is just, I don't know, fresh? Yes. Strong and fresh. There you go.

Although the Irish Spring body wash was created and marketed to men, I see no reason why women wouldn't like it. My problem with other body washes is that they are too flowery or perfume-y and, often, too thick. This wash rinses well -- as you would expect from a wash designed to prevent breakouts.

Does it work? Well, that's tough to tell. I've liked it as a substitute for my regular soap (full disclosure here: We normally use the Irish Spring bar soap so it wasn't much a leap to try the body wash), and I haven't broken out all that much, even though I've been running much more lately. So, that's a good thing!

Overall, I like it and think it is a good product for the warmer months. For me, it would probably be too drying for the winter, which is when I should probably use those heavier body washes that I usually avoid.

What about you: Are you a body wash kind of person? 
Have you tried the Irish Spring Clear & Fresh Skin wash? Like it?

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Felice

Review disclosure: I was sent a bottle of the body wash for review. I was not otherwise compensated and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Peak month recap.

April was big for me with my second 20-miler and my only 22-miler both packed in to the month.

I ran some strong 2-mile repeats at just under race pace. I also ran some speedy 400s and 800s, although not as many as I would have liked. I missed a few runs when I was run down but I can't worry about that. For the most part, I'm pleased with how I ran this month.

Here's a quick look at the month.

April stats:

Running (miles): 158.6
Racing: 0
Cross training: fairly non-existent

That is a lifetime high for my mileage and it makes sense because April was my peak month before the New Jersey marathon. I don't know much about what May will bring, other than I know for sure it will bring marathon day and, if you haven't guessed from my constant chatter about it, I'm excited for that! 

Speaking of the marathon, I'm obsessed with checking race day weather. 

That temperature looks AWESOME! But, please, can someone tell the showers to stay away? Thank you.

Happy May!

~ Felice

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...