Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rest and run.

After Sunday's long treadmill run, Monday was a well-deserved rest day.

Tuesday was a planned 5 miler. And . . . it didn't happen. Due to a series of unfortunate events, which included some gross vomit, I couldn't run. But that happens sometimes and I'm looking at it as a bonus rest day. Unplanned, but fine. I can roll with an unplanned rest day!

Today, I made up for it a bit with an awesome outdoor stroller run.

Take a look:

5 hilly miles in the sun.

Wearing capris.

Pushing my (heavy) running buddy.


With any luck, I'll get back out there tomorrow for my planned 6 miles. Fingers crossed. Whatever happens, I'm enjoying the fact that the spring weather is starting to warm up!

Happy running, folks!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Win a $10 Target gift card + cereal and a game!

I've got another giveaway going on!

Check it out:

I'm giving away a prize pack with 2 boxes of cereal, a $10 Target gift card and a retro Parcheesi game.

To enter this giveaway, pop on over to my other blog and follow the instructions.

Good luck!

Monday, March 25, 2013

12 miles. Treadmill style.

I had a great plan for yesterday's long run. I was going to meet Bridget for 3 miles at 7:30. Then Elisa would join us for 5 miles. I'd finish with 4 miles by myself. 

Only, that didn't happen. 

See, it was cold this weekend and my body has been rebelling against the cold. Not in a "Oh, I don't like the cold and would rather not go out in it" kind of way. That I could handle. No, it has been rebelling in a "I'm going to kick all of your nerve pain into high gear and I'm going to keep it like that for hours and hours and hours" kind of way.

Not pleasant.

I've learned that if I'm feeling a certain way and it is too cold and windy, my body can't handle it. The pain while I run is one thing -- and, believe me, I can handle pain while I run -- but the lingering pain is another thing entirely. After a cold run, my feet can hurt for a full day. Same with my hands. And my face? It is bad. My face gets a feeling like I've just been shot-up with Novocaine. And it doesn't go away. The worst is my nose. In addition to the pain from exposure, it is red and raw -- some combination of sunburn (the antibiotics make me more susceptible to sunburn) and response to the cold.

Lovely, right? Right.

So, I've more or less learned my lesson and stick to indoor runs when the conditions aren't right. Like this weekend.

Saturday was 5.75 miles on the treadmill. Sunday was 12.3.

So much for a long run with friends!

It didn't bother me too much. After all, I got to run in shorts:

Never a bad thing.

But, you know, treadmill miles can be boring and there's not a lot of fun stuff on TV on Sunday morning. How many episodes of "Say Yes to the Dress" can a runner really watch? 

So, long run on the treadmill: Done. 12.3 miles. Sure, I wanted to stop at 9. And at 10. And, I really, really, really wanted to stop at 11. But I kept going and even finished strong.

Now, can we just get some warm weather sometime soon? 


Have a great week, everyone!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Happy first day of spring!

We've been waiting and waiting for this day, with its promise of sunshine, flowers, and warmer days. And yet . . . here is what spring looks like this morning in Happy Runnerville:

Well, they've got their hockey sticks so they're happy!

Have a great day, everyone -- snow or no snow!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Designer Whey snacks and sips.

I have never been a huge protein powder kind of gal so it is quite the admission to say that I've recently been won over. Which I have.

Let me give you a little history: I'm super wary of soy (the main ingredient in many protein powders) and try to avoid it. Also, I believe in getting nutrients from whole foods.

But then, in January, I was put on my sugar-free diet and, well, things changed. Not the soy part -- I'm still not in favor of soy. But the protein powder part. That, I'm down with.

See, if I want to have sugar in my diet, it needs to be from natural sources like fruit. But it also needs to balanced out by plenty of fiber and protein. Since fruit generally is pretty high in fiber, that first part is covered. Protein, though? There isn't all that much of it in fruit.

Welcome to my world, protein powder!

When I was given the opportunity to review Designer Whey protein powder I was excited to try it out. I started out by adding a scoop of the vanilla powder to my regular smoothies (banana, strawberry, a little almond milk), ate a few of their protein bars, tried the pre-mixed shakes after two tough runs, and then I decided to get a little crazy. I decided to branch out a little and experiment. I made some different smoothies with success and before I knew it, I was cooking-up (OK, processing up) new energy bites recipes.

Yes, that's apparently what passes for crazy around here!

Anyway . . . I added the vanilla powder to some of my standard energy bites recipes and felt pleased that my sweet treats were now protein rich as well.

Good for me.

And then things got even better for me. I opened my can of white chocolate protein powder. I took out a bag of pistachios. I went to town.

To Delicious Town.

Friends, these are my favorite:

You want the recipe, don't you?

Of course you do.

And I'm not stingy, so here you go:

Pistachio White Chocolate Energy Bites

  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup whole (but pitted) medjool dates
  • 1 scoop white chocolate Designer Whey protein powder
  • about 1/8 cup water

Process the first 4 ingredients in a food processor until well blended and the nuts and coconut are finely chopped. Add the water and pulse. The mixture will begin to clump together in a big ball. This is what you're going for. Once you have this dough, stop processing and form into balls, or squares if you prefer. I like to make mine big enough for two bites but feel free to make yours smaller or larger.

*     *     *

These are so good. The pistachio/white chocolate combination is perfect and the dates give the energy bites just the right amount of sweetness.

For someone (like me!) who needs to be concerned with balancing carbs with protein, these are a good solution.

I also made a wicked-good green smoothie:

Smooth. Creamy. Satisfying.

And easy to whip up:
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla Designer Whey protein powder
  • a few ice cubes




Here's what I like about Designer Whey protein powder (aside from the really good taste of the white chocolate):

  • Whey is something that I can consume (my options are limited, after all), so that's a win right there
  • It has a low glycemic index
  • It is grain-free (gluten, corn, etc.) and peanut-free
  • All the whey is produced in the USA
Here's what I don't:
  • It contains soy lecithin. Granted, not that much but still. Why must there be soy in everything? I really wish this was a completely soy-free option, since there aren't many out there.

Overall, I like the products. 

I'm using it instead of yogurt in my smoothies. I'm adding it to my energy bites to balance the carbs. I'm checking out other recipes and have found a few dessert ones that I really need to try. For me, Designer Whey is a good addition to my pantry!

To buy: Designer Whey is available at most grocery and mass market stores. You can find store locations on their web site.

Have you tried Designer Whey? 
What do you think? What's your favorite recipe using protein powder?

Thanks for stopping by!

Review disclaimer: I was sent free products for this review through FitFluential but was not otherwise compensated. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Runnin' of the Green (Island) race report.

Saturday was my first race on the spring season, and my first since New Year's Day: The Runnin' of the Green (Island) 4 miles.

Last year, this race was terrific. The weather was perfect (I ran in a skirt and a tank top), a bunch of my friends ran it, and I ran a distance PR of 29:05.

This year, the race was still great but a few things were different. For starters, it was freezing and windy on Saturday. And I did not run a PR, which is totally OK since I wasn't going for one.

I was, however, going for a solid race. I wanted to run as steady as possible and not blow up in the last mile. Ideally, I wanted to finish in 30 minutes or faster.

For all of those loose goals, the race was a success!

I went to the race with Bridget, who was running it for the first time. We got there in plenty of time, picked up our packets and then raced back to the warmth of her car to figure out how many layers to wear. After re-layering, we made our way to the start and we were off.

With Bridget, before the start of the race. We were sporting our green!

I started in the middle, to make sure I didn't go out too fast and it ended up being a good plan. I pretty much passed people the whole race -- what a boost! I felt really good the whole way, with the exception of my breathing. Because it was so cold, my breath was more labored than is normal for a race and I couldn't breathe through my nose at all. Fortunately, it wasn't much of a problem.

At the end of the race, the route turns and you run a long straight-away where you can see the finish line from fairly far off. It is deceiving. On one hand, you're sooooooo close to the finish line so you want to run hard and be done. On the other hand, you're still far enough away that if you run too hard, you risk burning up before the finish line.

So, I pushed it a little when I saw the end and just tried to hold it. Once I was truly close, I pushed harder and finished strong.

As I said, not a PR, but well under my ideal of 30:00! A good race!

Here are my stats:

Official time: 29:37

Overall pace: 7:24
Mile 1: 7:23
Mile 2: 7:16
Mile 3: 7:19
Mile 4: 7:29
extra distance on Garmin: :10

Overall place: 159 out of 664
Gender place: 43 out of 353
Age group place (female, 40-49): 14 out of . . . hmm . . . not sure.

I'll take it.

Hope you all had a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lucky winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered my Lucky Runner giveaway! The lucky winner (selected using is . . .


Congratulations! Send me an email at felicehalf [at] yahoo [dot] com with your mailing address and I will get your goodies right out to you!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Let's Pretend This Never Happened.

You know how people are always saying they have crazy families? And then they go on to tell you something that sounds exactly like your family?

Yeah, that's not at all how it goes in Jenny Lawson's new book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir). Lawson really does have a crazy family. And tons of crazy stuff happened during her childhood in rural Texas.

Crazy, laugh-out-loud funny stuff.

It's nuts.

And Lawson's telling of it -- from the whack-o stories about her taxidermist father's antics to cow fertility lessons -- is really, truly funny. And often a little gross.

(Mind you, I can be a tad squeamish so even the funniest stories about animal insides might gross me out. A little.)

Lawson has a great writing voice and is, obviously, a born story-teller. I hadn't read her blog before reading her book (she blogs at super-popular site, The Bloggess) but I must try to do so now that I know how funny she is.

Because, like most people, I could always use a little more funny in my life.

Check out the book. It's a bestseller for a reason. And, believe me, after reading the book you'll probably think your family is a little less crazy than you originally thought.

Have you read Let's Pretend This Never Happened? 
What did you think? Are you a regular reader of The Bloggess?

Have a great day!

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lucky runner giveaway!

Here's how I'm going to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year:

First, a 4-mile race, the Runnin' of the Green, on Saturday.

Second, a giveaway on this here blog.

Looks like I run, you (get a chance to) win!

So, who wants to win a BIG BOX OF RUNNING GOODIES?!?!?

Check it out:

A pair of Yurbuds (earphones for women)
12 Builder's Bars (chocolate mint)
A Brooks travel toiletries bag
Pair of Clif running socks 
Yurbuds branded headband
Pair of white Lock Laces
And a super-cool bumper sticker :-)

Enter to win!

If you want to win, leave me a comment. That's it. Easy-peasy.

Additional entries:

As always, you can gain extra entries. Remember, though, you must complete the required entry first! And, yes, I'll check. (Leave one comment per entry for the additional ones to count) So, here's what to do:
  • 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)   
  • Follow me on Twitter, or let me know that you already do (leave a comment) 
  • Share this post on Twitter using this tweet:
I just entered to win a box of runner goodies from @TheHappyRunner #giveaway
  • Follow me on Instagram, 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 Thursday, March 14th at 11:59pm EST and the winner will be announced on Friday.

Good luck!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Uber winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered my uber bars giveaway!

I used to select a winner from all of the eligible entries and that winner is . . .


Congratulations!!! Email me at felicehalf [at] yahoo [dot] com and I'll get your bars mailed out to you.

I have a big running giveaway coming up next week -- be sure to check back. In the meantime, have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Paleo brownies.

You need these in your life.

For real. These brownies are soooo good and when you eat them, you will swear that there is no way they are sugar-free/grain-free. And yet they are!

I found a recipe for these Magic Brownie Bars on the PaleoOMG site. They looked delicious and since I've been craving dessert, I had to try them. Still wanting to be basically sugar-free with my eating, and not having any coconut flour on hand, I had to change up the recipe a bit but it didn't matter. I've never had the original so I can't compare my version but I do think they are great and they don't miss the extra honey called for in the original recipe.

So . . . here's the recipe:


Brownie layer:
15 dried medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup coconut manna (liquified)
1/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa
2 tbs almond flour
3 eggs, whisked
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

Coconut layer:
1-1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
4 tbs coconut manna (liquified)
1 tbs honey
2 egg whites


Preheat the oven to 365 degrees (yup, that's 365).

Put dates in a food processor and process until they form a clump. Add coconut manna and cocoa and process until smooth.

Add remaining ingredients and process until combined and smooth.

Spread into an 8 x 8 pan lined with greased aluminum foil.

For the coconut layer, mix first 3 ingredients together in a bowl. Add well-whisked egg whites and stir to combine.

Pour topping over the brownie layer and spread to cover the whole surface.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool. Cut into bars and enjoy!


And, OK, OK. They aren't 100% sugar free. But, look, there's only one measly tablespoon of honey in the whole batch. And when you think of that one tablespoon of honey spread across the entire pan of brownies . . . well, that means there's hardly any honey in any given bar. So, really, basically sugar free!

Yes, I am justifying the use of honey!

Try them out for yourself. And let me know what you think!

Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, March 4, 2013

über® bars giveaway.

I have a quick, fun giveaway for you today! 

Do you watch The Biggest Loser? I do. And last week, trainer Jillian Michaels introduced one of the contestants, Danni, to LARABAR's über® bars

The super yummy über® bars. These bars are great. I had the opportunity to try the bars out when they were first released and . . . yum! I love the Cherry Cobbler bar. Love.

Anyway . . . in celebration of the shout-out on The Biggest Loser, LARABAR is offering up a giveaway for my readers. Lucky you!

The giveaway

One reader will win 4 über® bars -- 1 of each flavor:

To enter: Just leave me a comment letting me know you want to win. 

Additional entries:

As always, you can gain extra entries. Remember, though, you must complete the required entry first! And, yes, I'll check. (Leave one comment per entry for the additional ones to count) So, here's what to do:
  • 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  
  • Follow me on Twitter, or let me know that you already do (leave a comment
  • Share this post on Twitter using this tweet:
I just entered to win uber bars from @TheHappyRunner and @larabar #giveaway
  • Follow me on Instagram, 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 Thursday, March 7 at 11:59pm EST and the winner will be announced on Friday.

Good luck!

Friday, March 1, 2013

February recap.

I'm pretty happy with my running in February. Although it was a short month, I logged over 100 miles, with two 27+ mile weeks. I also got in a few solid interval workouts that I hope will help me run well in my upcoming 4-mile race in March and my half-marathon in April.

The only down-side was my treadmill. I rely on my 'mill for many reasons and I would be devastated if it broke down. And I guess I should get ready for some devastation because my 'mill has started breaking down. 


Twice this past week I tried running fast intervals on the treadmill and both times it konked out. As soon as I sped up to a 7:00min/mile pace, the treadmill just stopped. Completely. After turning the treadmill off and then back on again I was able to run, but only at a slower speed. If I tried to go fast again it would stop. 

So, I don't know what I'm going to do. I need my treadmill for right now and I hope we can get it fixed!

Anyway, here's a look at my month.

February stats:

Running (miles): 102.3
Racing: none
Cross training: 9

Not bad! I'm looking forward to March and getting going with some spring races.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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