Showing posts with label the little jobber. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the little jobber. Show all posts

Monday, June 30, 2014

June recap.

June was one of those months for me. When I was in the thick of it, I didn't feel like writing about it, because I tend to feel like the more life you give anything bad, the worse it is.

Now that the month is over, I can say that it was a bit of a stressful one, full of both good and bad stress. Like regular life, right?

Anyway, June started great -- Conal turned 7 and that was a happy, happy day. But then, well, yuck. A few days later, a huge casserole pan filled with baked macaroni and cheese fell on my right big toe -- from a high shelf in the refrigerator.

So much pain, bruising, swelling. I thought my fall marathon plans would have to be put on hold. But, a week of total rest from running (and as much keeping off the foot as I could), plus some icing, elevating, and rubbing it with healing essential oils, and my toe is more or less OK. Meaning, I can run on it with not much more pain than I'm used to.

Then my little guy got Lyme disease. Grrrr . . .

Totally threw me for a loop. But, I know that it was caught early so he shouldn't have any lasting problems.

Unfortunately, it happened right in the midst of another medical issue that he had. I won't go into all the details but my poor little guy has been to so many doctor and specialist appointments in the past two months -- but this past Friday he had an exploratory procedure that gave us really good news!

I'm so lucky that he's a happy patient!

Such relief!

June wasn't all gloomy, however. Niall finished his first year of preschool and had a sweet moving up ceremony.

Moving up!

And then we had a rocking trip to Long Beach Island, where I got in some great runs and the whole family relaxed and enjoyed the beach.

My boys at the beach!

Here's what the month looked like, mileage-wise:

Running (miles): 57.6
Races: 0
Cross-training: plenty of crossfit and (here's a new one for me!) bike riding

So that was June. I finished up the month by starting marathon training. It will heat up over the summer and I. Am. Ready.

Have a great week, everyone. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 23, 2013


These weeks leading up to Christmas have been packed with delightful days. Not as much running as I would like, but definitely as much fun!

Here's a look at these delightful days of December:

Santa visit at preschool.

Gift from my little guy.

Dancing elf!

Aunt Claire's visit from Chicago!

Shepherds in the Christmas pagaent.

Two gingerbread-house-making parties means we have a gingerbread neighborhood!
Happy boys happily waiting for Christmas day.

And, while I'm at it, I might as well delight in the fact that this weekend I had two great runs. On Saturday, I ran 6 miles with Bridget and we both rocked the capris for our moderately warm first-day-of-winter run. Then, yesterday, the 60 degree temperature called for shorts. Shorts! For a run the second day of winter. In upstate New York! Awesome.

Now, the boys and I are enjoying the holiday break -- kicking off the week with some rollicking indoor hockey.

Thanks for stopping by -- have a great week!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Throwback Thursday.

Here he is, my little runner:

I love this picture of my happy little runner!

It was the Candy Cane Kids Run in December 2010. The run took place right before the Jingle Bell Run 5K, which was my first race after Niall was born (8 weeks earlier). Cold day, fun runs.

Can't believe that was 3 years ago, and my little runner was just 3, in his first year or preschool. Now he's 6 and a big first-grader. Time flies.

Yup, it sure does.

Thanks for stopping by -- enjoy the rest of the week!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

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!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The other (younger) happy runner.

We have another happy runner in the family.

This guy:

My little kindergartener had his first race on Monday -- the school-wide Great Pumpkin Race.

(I dressed him accordingly. Because, yes, I am that mom. Hey, he didn't complain!)

Anyway, the race was fun and my little guy ran hard and with determination -- and he finished in third place for the kindergarteners! He was super excited because although all the runners received pumpkins at the end, the first, second and third place winners all got a BIG pumpkin. He really wanted a big pumpkin!

Happy guy with his big pumpkin!

Getting a celebratory hug from little brother.

So, it appears I'm no longer the lone racer in Happy Runnerville. And I'm sure it is only a matter of time before I'm no longer the faster runner, either. My little guy will be leaving me in the dust in time! His school has a running club that starts in third grade and I admit that I can't wait for him to be part of it. I want to encourage this running thing. Surprise, surprise . . . 

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Felice

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Stroller running!

About a year ago I bought a jogging stroller. I had high hopes for Monday/Wednesday/Friday morning runs, pushing my little guy in the stroller while my preschooler was off preschooling.

Didn't happen. For starters, the second (third?) time I used it, I injured my knee/hamstring while running downhill. So I didn't want to attempt any hills while pushing the stroller (and my neighborhood happens to be all hills). And then I got serious about marathon training and I felt that my stroller runs weren't serious enough so I shelved them.

And then it was summer and my preschooler was done preschooling and with two kids at home, the jogging stroller did me no good. With the exception of a week when the preschooler went to camp, running when the kids were with me meant running on the treadmill. No big deal.

Now, I am (knock on wood) injury free. And my preschooler has become a kindergartener and is off every day kindergartening. I have one kid at home. One kid who fits nicely in the jogging stroller.

So recently I've been running while pushing my 30+ lb son in the jogging stroller. I love it!

Check him out -- my jogging stroller buddy. With toys. And refreshments. And double hats!

Have you been thinking about stroller running? Want some tips?

It's your lucky day. I happen to have picked up a few along the way that I'd like to share. Here they are:

It doesn't hurt to start the stroller run with a minute or so of walking. Pushing a stroller while running is tough. Easing in to the run makes it, well, easier. Cut yourself some slack and walk to warm up.

Don't look at your pace. Really. Just don't. Not much good can come from trying to maintain your non-stroller pace while stroller running. Seriously. When I first started, I thought I'd be off by a few seconds. A few seconds!?! Such folly! I was off my pace by about a minute. Not 30 seconds. Not 45. A full minute. It was disappointing. I felt like a weakling. As I've gotten better at this stroller running thing, I'm still off-pace by about 30 seconds. The difference is, I don't care. And you shouldn't either.

Hills turn ugly when you're stroller running. Oh, hills. How I used to love you. Now, you simply make me sweat -- a lot -- and feel like I am going to pass out. You are hard to conquer. So, sometimes, I quit you. I simply walk. And that's OK. I am not ashamed to have to slow to a walk when stroller running up a hill. Not ashamed at all.

But with one small adjustment, hills can become a little easier to climb. 
Get this: Just by shifting your foot strike, you take back the hill. I always ran up the hills just landing as I would if I wasn't pushing a stroller. Then, one day, I started to land solely (ha!) on my toes. What. A. Difference. I practically glide up the (shorter, not-so-steep) hills now. Try it: Tippy-toe run up the hill. I bet it will work for you, too.

Downhill running, however, is another thing entirely. 
Downhills can get you. They got me. Last November, the downhills got me baaaaad. I was trying to run down the hills, but my quads/knees/hamstrings were putting on the brakes. They were trying to protect me from flying down the hill and, potentially, flying over the jogging stroller and landing, mortified, on my face. Smart body parts I have. Not so smart is the fact that by putting on the body brakes, I strained my muscles and tendons and was injured for almost two full months. 

I've learned my lesson and hope you can learn from it, too. Use the hand brake on your jogging stroller to slow the stroller when you are running downhill -- don't make your legs have to do the braking. By just putting the hand brake on about halfway, I can slow the stroller enough so that I pretty much still have to push it on the downhills. It is much safer that way. Take my word for it!

There is nothing -- and I mean nothing -- wrong with a little bribery. Toys. Snacks. Drinks. Promises of future tv shows or usually-reserved-for-dessert snacks. It is all good. Whatever you need to do to keep your little one happy while you are running is fine. All good. Feel no guilt.

That's what I've compiled so far. I'm feeling totally good about my stroller running and hope to keep it up until the weather gets too cold. Wish me luck!

In the meantime . . . do you have any stroller running tips to share? Hit me up!

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Felice

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday.

(Big day here in Happy Runner-ville. Big day indeed.)

~ Felice

Monday, July 2, 2012

June recap.

June was a busy month. We had field trips and school events, my little guy turned 5 and then he graduated from preschool, we went away for a long weekend at the Jersey shore, and there's been all the regular stuff that goes on when you're determined to make the most of the summer season.

(Here are a few pics from our recent NJ trip.)

Loving the warm water!
Goofy big brother!

Head in the sand . . . why not?

There's also been a bit of running. After dipping under 100 miles for the month in May, I finished June with exactly 100. I'm slowly building back up.

I'm also slowly getting back into training mode. I admit that, since the marathon, I've been pretty much in easy running mode. Sure, I've kicked it up with a speed workout here and there and a few strong long runs. But, overall, the running has still been easy. I hope my Boilermaker performance doesn't suffer for that because I've enjoyed this month of running and I'd like to think it is setting me up well for my half marathon this fall.

Here's a look at June.

June stats:

Running (miles): 100
Races: 1 -- the Freihofer's Run for Women 5K where I set a new PR!
Cross training (sessions): lots

I added in a lot of cross training in June -- mostly in the form of box jumps, lunges, squats and a few key arm exercises. Oh yeah, and chasing after my toddler on playgrounds, the beach and at pools. That has to count as cross training!

Now, I'm looking forward to a great July of running. And a good race on Saturday.

How was your June? Did you hit your mileage or other running goals?

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Felice

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Don't wish it away.

Last week, my 5 year old graduated from pre-school.

During the ceremony.

That's me with my little guy after the graduation.

And there's the graduate with his dad.

He seems so old. And, yet, still so young (this is a kid who still asks to watch Blue's Clues after all). I can't believe he'll be off to kindergarten in the fall. It doesn't seem possible.

Parenting really is like that saying: The days are long but the years are short

The years certainly are short. And those long days? I believe they are meant to be enjoyed. A friend sent me an email the other day and in it she wrote, "It really is lovely to see how you enjoy your family." It touched my heart -- such a kind thing to say. And so true. I do enjoy them. I truly love spending my days with my family and that is a great feeling. 

Yet, there have been times when I've gotten caught up in the trap of wishing it all away. I hear others talking about how they can't wait for their kids to go off to kindergarten, or they can't wait for camp to start, or they can't wait for this milestone or that. And, truth be told, I've often covered my discomfort in those conversations by nodding my head or giving a "Yeah, I know."

But I don't. I don't know. I can wait for kindergarten. No, I don't want to keep my kids home forever but, honestly, I'll miss my little guy when he goes off to school for 7 hours. It is not popular, but I wish our school district had half-day kindergarten. We don't. So, he'll be off to kindergarten. He'll get older and older. 

And me? I don't plan to wish any of it away. I plan to continue to enjoy these days. I plan to make the most of all the moments we have together.

Source: via Felice on Pinterest

So, now, I'm off to enjoy my days of miracle and wonder with my two little boys!

Enjoy the day, everyone!

Thanks for stopping by.

~ Felice 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The little jobber turns 5.

In a blink of an eye, my little guy has gone from this:

to this:

He's a big 5 year old and he's super excited about it. We're off to celebrate -- he wants to go to the museum and then to "Sub Boy" (Subway) for lunch. And, of course, play with his new Legos because that's all he wants to do these days.

Have a great day, everyone!

~ 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

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

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Crafty Valentine-ers.

We've been on a crafting and cooking roll here at Chez Happy Runner. Bread, biscuits, soup. Collages, heart chains, sun-catchers. All lot of doing. And my boys love it. They enjoy the doing, the working together. 

Over the past week or so, it's been all hearts, all the time. At one point, my son asked if we could make a Valentine's Day wreath. Well, sure! I didn't know exactly how we'd go about it but then I put my thinking cap on, called up all the creativity I have (not much) and planned out a cute, easy-to-make wreath.

So, for you procrastinators out there who still want to do a little Valentine's day decorating, I give you this: 

  • Start with a thin wire clothes hanger.

  • Clip the hook end off with a wire cutter, and twist the remaining ends together (be careful if they are sharp at all).

  • Shape the hanger into a heart shape -- with a thin hanger, the shaping is easy. It doesn't have to be perfect, just get the general shape of a heart.

  • Next, find an old RED t-shirt, top, sweatpants, socks, towel, whatever to cut into strips. I used an old polo-style top that was stained and ready to be tossed out. 

  • Cut the shirt (or whatever you are using) into strips, about 1 inch wide and 4-6 inches long:

  • Again, they don't need to be perfect. As you can see, my strips were all different lengths. In my opinion, that adds to the charm of the wreath :-)

  • Cut about 50 strips.

Now you're prepped and ready to go!
  • Take the heart-shaped hanger and start tying your strips of material on it, in a simple knot. Nothing fancy. Tie as many as you need to cover the entire hanger.

Viola! Easy Valentine's Day wreath! This is what is now hanging on our front door:

To hang the wreath on the door, I used an extra strip to make a loop that I then tied on to one of the tied strips on the wreath. 

It looks cute and, best of all,  my son loves it!

*     *     *

Yesterday was a rest day after my cold, long run on Sunday. Today I have 6 on the schedule; 1 mile warm-up, 4 miles of pick-ups at 5K pace, 1 mile cool-down. It is one of my favorite workouts so I'm looking forward to it!

I'm also looking forward to a little baking, Valentine's Day style. The boys are, too.

Have a great day, everyone!

~ Felice

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