Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Ah, the end of the year. A time for reflection. A time to look back and look ahead. Today, if you'll indulge me, I'll take a little look back at the year that was.

As of today, I've run 904 miles. Since I have one more run planned, I should end up with 909 miles for the year. That's a lot! Not a lot like Deena Kastor but a lot for the Happy Runner. I've been feeling good about my overall mileage and when I looked back at prior years, I've felt even better. Here's how the last few years have stacked up for me:

  • 2008: 500.52 (didn't run in Jan/Feb)
  • 2007: 210.88 (prego for half the year -- started running in July)
  • 2006: 373.32 (started with the prego -- didn't run after Sept)
So, to have run over 900 miles in 2009 is super for me! Sure, I would have loved to double my 2008 mileage but it wasn't in the cards. Running the number of miles that I did was what I needed for this year. For next year, though . . . I'm gunning for 1010 in 2010!

I'm not one for resolutions, per se. I do like setting goals, however, and I've been thinking about what my goals (beyond the 1010) will be for next year. I'll post about those early in Jan. Since this is the "look back" post, here is what I wrote down as my 2009 goals:
  1. Run a sub-23 minute 5k. Nope. Didn't happen. It caused me some sadness that I couldn't accomplish this goal but I'm over it. I may even set this as a 2010 goal.
  2. Do some trail running. Unfortunately, this didn't happen, either.
  3. Continue cross training. Yay! I did this! I was much more consistent with cross training this year.
  4. Decide whether or not to run a fall marathon. I did this -- I decided not to run a fall marathon. Why did I make deciding a goal? That's weird . . .
So that was that. Looks kinda weak but, in reality, I think 2009 was a good one for me, running-wise. I was more consistent with my running than ever before. I ran some new races, I finally went to the podiatrist and got custom orthotics, I ran injury-free all year and, most important of all, I truly enjoyed my running. Sure, there were days here and there when I felt sorry for myself or my hammies ached or I felt like I was too feeble to run for real but overall, I loved my running and running seemed to love me!

I continue to be grateful that I have the wherewithal to get out there and run. I love it!

Now. I have some New Year's Eve plans to attend to. So, I'm outta here!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone! I hope you all have fun and enjoy good health and lots of happiness in 2010!

~ Felice

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The one about the headlamp.

So, channeling my inner running geek is, apparently, easier than I ever could have thought:

I love my headlamp!

Yup, the headlamp rocks. It does what it needs to do, which is to light the road and light the runner. It definitely did both. Here's the one that I have (Owen gave it to me for Christmas -- I guess I hinted a little):

It's the Princeton Tec Fuel. You can read all about it here. You can also check it out on Amazon here.

Anyway, I was excited to get the headlamp. I've overcome my fear of the cold and have been running outside whenever there is daylight. The dark has been tough. I'm afraid of the icy patches on my route (and there are many) because my weak little flashlights just don't show the ice well enough. So the headlamp should have been the answer.

Luckily for me, it was. I wore the headlamp during last night's run. It was already completely dark when I headed out but it didn't matter: the headlamp lit my way. I didn't really know what to expect when before using the headlamp. I'm used to the inefficiency of those old, weak flashlights so, wow, the headlamp is WAY better than those. I turned the lamp on high (the first setting) to get full illumination. I could see probably 10 feet in front of me and everything was fairly clear. Ice patches were obvious, as were the sewer grates and some stray pieces of trash. Without the headlamp, I would not have been able to comfortably run last night. I would have slid on some of the black ice, or I would have been running with such a stilted gait and careful step that I probably would have hurt myself. With the headlamp, I ran just as if it was daytime.

Why didn't I get one of these sooner?

Good question. But at least I have one now. So, bring on the dark runs!

Of course, today it is only 10 degrees and the gusting winds are bringing the "feels like" temperature down to -10. MINUS 10. Too cold for this gal, even with the headlamp. And the fresh new gloves. I'll sit out the run and do something else. Tomorrow is supposed to be a balmy 26. I'll take what I can get!

Have a good day!

~ Felice

Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy running!

I hope you all had a great holiday and weekend!

This here Happy Runner sure did. We had a terrific Christmas day spent with tons of family (35 at dinner!). I even got a few (much needed) gifts: a pair of fresh Nike running gloves and a headlamp! Who's the cool runner now, huh? That's right, it's me!

I put the gloves to use this weekend, although I didn't have to wear them for long because it was pretty warm (it was 45 degrees on Sunday). Tonight, I plan to test the headlamp. With all that illumination, the ice can't scare me now!

Although I didn't run on Christmas day, I did run on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and it felt great to be outdoors. They were good runs -- each right around 5 miles at a nice, easy pace. Totally enjoyable. I love runs like that and to have three in a row? Well, that's the best!

What about you? Did you enjoy some running? Get any fun gear that I should add to my list?

Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you're having a good week!

~ Felice

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Ho, ho, ho!

I'm skipping out on Five Things Friday today because it's Christmas so it's a day of family, family, family! But I am not, however, skipping out on Cans for Comments. That's too important.

And so today, of all days, please consider supporting my Cans for Comments campaign. For every five comments left on my four Cans for Comments posts this month, I am donating a can of food to the Food Pantries for the Capital District. The organization provides much needed food to the poor and hungry in the greater Albany area.

I'm not going to tally up my comments until Sunday, so this will be Cans for Comments weekend! Leave me a comment today, tomorrow or Sunday to boost my donation!

Through the first three posts you left 103 comments.
Will you help me get to 125? 150? Please?

OK, folks. I'm off. Like I said, we have lots of family to spend time with today. It will be great. I hope you all have a great day, too.

Merry Christmas!

~ Felice

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Three things Thursday.

  1. I'm not doing a Five Things Friday tomorrow but I'll still have a Cans for Comments post. It will be my last one so stop over some time between tomorrow and Sunday to help me increase my donation to the food pantry. Thanks!
  2. After three days of cross training instead of running, I am SO looking forward to hitting the roads this afternoon for a leisurely run. (And I hope to run tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday, too.)
  3. Tomorrow will be a great day in Happy Runner-ville! We're having my parents and my siblings over for brunch and to exchange gifts in the morning. In the afternoon, we'll head to my parents' house for dinner. My mom's whole family will be there (she's the oldest of 6) so there should be about 32 of us for the delicious sit-down dinner. Can't wait!
Have a great day, everyone!

~ Felice

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fitting it all in.

My fear of encountering ice while out on a run in the dark kicked into high gear this week. There's ice all over in the back part of my neighborhood loop. So, my evening runs have been shelved. At least for a little while.

And I am totally OK with that because I've been using this time to shake up the cross training. After two great runs over the weekend, I got in an hour of cross training on Monday and yesterday. Today, I awoke with a tired butt, arms and hammies. I guess that cross training has been working!

I'm looking at this period of lower mileage as a necessary part of the cycle. In January, I'll pump up my mileage again, in preparation for the marathon relay, and I'm sure I'll be better off for these weeks of relative rest. And my strength should be improved from all of the cross training. I hope so, anyway.

Now, there are a bunch of other things going on that I wanted to share today:

  • I've been continuing to post my reviews over at my review site. My latest review, of GoLite, is here.
  • I've also joined a little challenge to run 1,010 miles in 2010 at RunninAround's site here. Check it out!
  • Today, I received some Mia Mallows in the mail -- a gourmet giveaway that I recently won! And, OK . . . YUM! These are decidedly not your regular ol' grocery store variety marshmallows. These are decadent. They come in tasty flavors like coffee, lemon, strawberry, eggnog and a bunch of others. My son and I have tried them out and love them! Here's a quick pic of what I won:

And on that yummy note, I'll sign off. Happy Wednesday!

~ Felice

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


OK, not writing about running today because I just couldn't resist: Some friends and I went to see Wicked last night and it was terrific! Man, oh man. What a great show!

It started out with dinner at a burrito place across from the theater. Four mamas, chips 'n salsa, margaritas -- yay! We were a little dorky at the start, barely able to contain our excitement at being OUT! We had lots of laughs and some good conversation. Unfortunately, two of the four dinners were pretty lousy and then there was a whole thing where we never got the check. The waiter told my friend he was too busy! Who doesn't give a table a check? We had to figure out what we owed and leave that. It was just crummy and we ended up having to rush to the theater. But there was no way we were going to let any of that mar our experience!

We shouldn't have even worried. From the start, the show was just awesome and we forgot about the not-so-great dinner immediately. Wicked is the "untold story of the witches of Oz" and it is a great one. The story was fun and the show was a real spectacle. (You'll never look at the Wicked Witch of the West -- or Glinda -- the same way after seeing this show.) All four of us left the theater thinking that we just wanted to tell everyone to go see it. We liked it that much. And, no, the margaritas had nothing to do with that! Ha!

Here we are at intermission:

Such fun! If you haven't seen it and have any interest at all, I say do it! It's a great time!

So, with all the excitement of last night, I did not get to run. I did get in an afternoon workout, but no run. I hope to get out there today! Remember, longer days starting today. Woo hoo!

~ Felice

Monday, December 21, 2009

Welcome, winter!

Here we are on the 21st of December, the first day of winter, Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. I'm all about this day because it signals a return to lengthening days. Even though today may be the shortest day, from here on out, the days will be getting longer.

Yay for longer days!

I need longer days. In my effort not to be a winter wimp and to run outdoors instead of in, I've been struggling with the dark. I feel that I've conquered the cold but the dark still has a hold on me. Last week, for example, I headed out for an evening run and even though I didn't think there would be any ice on the roads, there were a few slippery patches. In my neighborhood loop, there are some areas that get icy early in the season and just stay that way. For months. Those spots just don't get any sun.

So, on that evening run, when I slipped, I got a little scared. I could only imagine slipping for real and falling. On my butt. Or on my head. Or twisting my ankle. Fear makes for a great run. Or not!

Yeah, I need to deal with the dark. Since today is the shortest day of the year, tomorrow will be longer. Wednesday will be even longer and Thursday longer still. Before we know it, it will be light enough for comfortable, confident outdoor evening runs!

At least that's what I'm telling myself.

So, for now, cheers to you, winter. Your cold can't break me (did I mention my two awesome, super-chilly, super-windy runs this weekend?)! And I'll figure out how to deal with the dark, at some point.

To all of you dealing with the snow, I hope it isn't too bad (hate to say it, but we didn't even get a single snowflake here -- the storm missed us completely).

Happy Monday, everyone! Happy Winter Solstice!

~ Felice

Friday, December 18, 2009

Five things Friday, ep. 7: And, Cans for Comments #3!

  1. We're signing up! Suzy is on board for the Winter Marathon Relay so our team is all set: Amanda, Suzy and me. We still need to figure out who will run each leg (9.2, 5.7, 11.3) but we have some time since the race is still two months away.
  2. I reviewed Chocolate #9 energy gels over here. (I also posted the winner of my last giveaway.)
  3. My plans to run in our local Winterfest 5K this weekend fell through. I procrastinated, so it's my fault but, really, I never thought the race would sell out. And yet it did. When I went to register earlier this week, it was closed. No more entries available! Argh. Oh, well. That's what I get for waiting until the last minute to sign up for a race.
  4. It is ridiculous how long a silly song from a kids show can stay in your head. Ridiculous!
  5. Today is the third Friday in my Cans for Comments campaign. Comment away! Remember: For every 5 comments left on my site each Friday in December, I'll donate a can of food to the Food Pantries for the Capital District. So far, we're working on 13/14 cans -- help me to increase that number! Thanks!!! (5.1: Marlene at Mission to Another Marathon is doing Cans for Comments, too!)
Have a great weekend, everyone. Stay warm! And thanks for reading!

~ Felice

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I think I may have gone nuts.

Amanda from Manderz Road to a New Life asked me if I wanted to run a race with her. She lives near me and although we haven't had a chance to meet up yet, I know she's cool from reading her blog and from our email "conversations." So, I agreed to the race. Only, it isn't just a race. It's a marathon relay. In February. Have I mentioned that we live in upstate New York where the winters are cold and the average temps in February range from 16 to 34 degrees?

Sign me up!

It's a three-person relay and Amanda has asked another blogger as well, but she might have a conflict that weekend so she's not sure if she can do it. I think it would be awesome to run the marathon relay with these two other bloggers. I mean, what fun! But, the weather . . . it could be tough. We'll see what happens!

In the meantime, I'm returning my running shoes. I contacted the store and they said they'd take them back so as soon as I can get on that, I'll get on that. I've been running in an older pair of shoes -- same Brooks Addictions -- and I've had no problems at all. I'll stick with those until I get a replacement pair. So, yay for that.

And with that, I'm off. Have a great day!

~ Felice

PS: TODAY is the last day to enter my Winter Motivation Booster giveaway!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The tongue bruise.

Sounds weirder than it is. The bruise is actually on my ankle, but caused by the tongue of my beloved running shoes. My trusty Brooks Addictions, the shoes I adore and have worn for years and years and years with great success, are causing me pain.

Sad day. Sad few weeks, really, because these shoes have well over 100 miles on them. I guess what is happening is that the tongue of my right shoe is digging into my ankle. I've never had this happen before! Like I said, I've been wearing Brooks Addictions for years and have never had a problem with them at all. I love 'em!

But, this new pair has been different. The tongue bothered me on my first run and I chalked it up to the shoes being new and needing to be broken in a bit. Then I felt it on the second run. And the third, fourth, and so on. I've tried moving the tongue to the side and that doesn't help. I've also tried lacing my shoes differently and that doesn't help either.

Now, I'm bruised:

The photo doesn't do my bruise justice (but it sure does show how veiny my feet are!). Imagine the bruise a little worse than shown and you'll be right on.

So, here's what I'm wondering: Has the tongue of your running shoe ever bothered you? What have you done? Should I send the shoes back? Should I try cutting the offending edge off of the tongue?

It's such a bummer. Black toenails I can handle but bruised ankles? Not caused by clumsy tripping (who, me?)? No thanks. My shoes are otherwise fine and exactly as expected. It's just this slight pain and the bruising that I don't go for.

Anyway, that's that. Have a great Tuesday, everyone!

~ Felice

Don't forget to enter my Winter Motivation Booster giveaway here!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


So, no lie, last week was a tough one for me. Who knows what was up -- it was just tough all around. I had the cruddy treadmill run and then I sorta crumbled under the weight of my own insecurities and doubts. It wasn't limited to my running, unfortunately. I had plenty of doubts related to the rest of my life, too. I'm going to chalk it up to a bad week.

Please don't think I'm all Debbie Downer all the time! This is, after all, The Happy Runner blog.

After writing my post on Thursday, I felt like a weight had been lifted. Just saying what had been going on was liberating and your encouraging and supportive comments totally buoyed my spirits. And, I admit, your comments made me realize even more just how ridiculous it is to compare oneself to others.

I met a deadline and had a nice evening with Owen and Conal on Friday, and went for a nice run, finished decorating the tree and had some delicious Japanese food on Saturday. All good.

And the frosting on this gingerbread cookie of a good weekend? I received an awesome package of running goodies in the mail from Jill (onelittletrigirl) at Finishing is Winning. I won her giveaway a little while ago and it was as good as advertised!

Check out what she sent:

Who's the lucky runner now? Me! Me! Yup, I am. (It has taken all of my willpower not to rip open the Pretzel Slims and eat them all.)

Thanks, Jill! I love it!!

Hope you all are enjoying the weekend!

~ Felice

: Don't forget about my winter motivation booster giveaway over here!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Five things Friday, ep. 6: And, Cans for Comments #2!

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your comments on yesterday's post. It's silly, I know and I am working to stop judging myself and comparing myself to others. I appreciate your kind words and sharing your own stories. It's good to know I'm not alone -- although I do wish that none of us judged ourselves!
  2. I have a FUN giveaway up at my other site. It's my Great Winter Motivation Booster package. Who doesn't need a little motivation these days, right? Well, go now and check it out!
  3. If you don't do any pushups for a week, and then try to jump right back into them . . . ouch!
  4. It's so freezing here! And so windy! We've been outside a bit here and there but, oh, man. It is so cold and tough to get out there. I'm hoping to get out for some sunny (and freezing cold) runs this weekend.
  5. Today is Friday and that means this is a Cans for Comments post! Last week was such a good start to the campaign. You all left a total of 37 comments so we're well on our way! Remember to leave a comment on this post to be counted in -- I'll donate a can of food for every 5 comments. Thank you!
Have a great weekend, everyone! Thanks for reading.

~ Felice

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stop judging yourself!

Be warned -- a bit of a rant ahead . . .

Stop judging yourself!

That's me (The Happy Runner) yelling at the other me (The Self-Judgmental Runner) for getting into a yuck-o running funk where I tell myself that I suck as a runner. Where I judge my abilities and determine that they are sub-par. Where I look at what I've accomplished and feel like it's not enough.

Stop judging yourself!

What I should probably be saying is, stop comparing yourself to the rest of the running blogosphere.* It's not exactly productive.

See, that's what has been happening. Counter-productive comparisons. Gradually, since I started blogging and reading other people's blogs, I've started to look at the number of miles they run each week, or the speed of their 5ks, or the number of marathons they run each year, or whatever, and I compare myself to what they're doing. What you're doing. And I've let it get me down and it is silly.

Back when I ran my first (and, so far, only) marathon, I was SO HAPPY with my time. I wasn't a super runner and I trained by myself just tacking on miles to my long, solo run each week. I thought I'd run a 4:20 and I crossed the line in 4:12. Talk about a happy moment! That year, my husband gave me a framed 8 x 10 of me with arms-raised-in-triumph crossing the finish the line. And I love it.

But, somewhere from there to now, I started to think that it wasn't so great. Another blogger wrote about how she's seeking "marathon redemption" in 2010 after running her first marathon this year in 4:11. Hey, that's only one minute faster than I ran! Should I be seeking marathon redemption? Was my time actually a cruddy time?

And then there are the days when I go for enjoyable 5-milers and then read about others who've logged 16 speedy miles. And I feel like a chump.

If so-and-so can run that fast, why can't I? If so-and-so can run that much, why can't I? If so-and-so can run that many races, why can't I? What is WRONG with me?

What's wrong? For starters, I'm not taking my own advice. I am not running my own race. I'm looking at what others are doing, comparing myself to them, and coming up short. I'm being judgmental -- and overly harsh in those judgments. Instead of running my own race, I'm trying to fit a mold. But there isn't one mold. There are many and I need to realize that my life is its own mold and it is a perfectly fine one at that. I need to run my own race. I need to stop judging myself!

If a friend spoke about herself the way I've been talking to myself, I'd let her have it. I wouldn't stand for it! So, I shouldn't stand for it when it comes from me.

Easier said than done, I'm afraid.

I want to be a better runner, just as I want to always strive to be a better mom and a better wife and a better friend, daughter, writer, and person in general. I guess I just need to find the balance between striving and being overly self-critical.

Am I alone here? Gosh, I hope not. But, in keeping with my advice, if I am, I guess I need to accept that. And run my own race. Stop judging myself. Just get on with it.

I need to get back to being as happy with my accomplishments as I am with everyone else's accomplishments. Fear not -- I'm not going to get all Stuart Smalley here. I'm just going to work on not judging myself when I run. Or when I don't run. Or when I don't run as fast as I'd like to. Or . . . you get the picture.

Have you struggled with comparisons? Self-judgments? How have you shaken the thoughts?

I, as always, appreciate any and all advice :-)

Have a great day, everyone!

~ Felice

* It might seem like I'm blaming blogs, and I'm most definitely not. Reading running blogs, and the comments left here, have helped me to become a much better and smarter runner! I love this virtual community!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The wrong decision.

OK, so, I've been talking about how I'm getting tough this year and running outside. All winter. In the cold. Like a Toughie McTougherson.

And, um, well, I've been moderately tough. Until today. I made the wrong decision today. It was chilly this evening when Owen got home from work. And dark. And I was afraid that the hilly part of my neighborhood loop, the part that is notoriously icy in winter, would, in fact, be icy. So I decided to run on the treadmill.

All I have to say now is . . . why?!?! Why did I do such a silly thing? It stunk. My run just plain stunk. I couldn't find any sort of rhythm and every quarter mile felt like two miles and it was just all wrong. I ran 4.25 cruddy miles on the 'mill. Ugh.

I have no idea why I often have cruddy treadmill runs. Sometimes I can get a good pace going and enjoy my 'mill runs. But then I have these cruddy ones. And, for some reason, they are far cruddier than the cruddiest outdoor runs.

Chalk it up to making the wrong decision. I hadn't run on the 'mill in ages so I'd forgotten. I need to remind myself that a cold run is most likely better than a treadmill run. And I need to get some of those stabilicers or yaktrax or something so that I don't have to fear the ice.

I don't mean to be a treadmill downer today. Tomorrow maybe I'll hit the roads. Or, considering we're supposed to get a storm, maybe I'll run on the 'mill during the day and it will be better. We'll see!

~ Felice

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bracing for winter.

Saturday's snow seems to signal that our mild fall is over. We've been really, really lucky and have had tons of warm sunny days. More often than not, I ran in shorts in November. It was great.

But then, like I said, we got some snow. All of 2 inches but, still. Snow. And then it was cold. And I am normally a cold weather wimp.

However. This year, I proclaimed that I was no longer going to let my wimpy side win. This year, I would brave the cold. This year, I would be tough!

If you're going to make loud claims, I guess you have to follow up on them. So, on Sunday, with temps in the low 30s, I headed out. With a base layer of tights and a long sleeve shirt, a second layer of running pants and a wind jacket, topped off with gloves and a fleece headband over my forehead and ears, I felt perfectly comfortable.

Sure, the first mile was c-c-cold. Then I warmed up. By mile 3, I'd shed my gloves. At mile 4, I wanted to run all afternoon. But, to protect my usually wimpy self, I had planned to just run my neighborhood loop so at 5.21 miles, I called it a run.

I was SO happy that I went out there and ran in the cold. With the right gear, it wasn't tough. I need to recall this feeling whenever I'm convinced that a few miles on the dreadmill are preferable to some cold ones outside. Must channel my inner tough girl!

There you have it. I had a great weekend (Conal LOVED going to see the model trains yesterday and we had a nice dinner with some friends on Sat)! I hope you all did, too.

Happy Monday!

~ Felice

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The snow came.

And I did not run.

I wimped out! I could have run in the snow but I just didn't. I ran 5 super-duper miles on Friday, in the sun, while my son played with the neighbor's kid. It was just great to get out there.

On Saturday, I had tons of errands to run in the morning and then I had to get ready to have some friends over for dinner. Still, I had time to run. And yet, once it started to snow I decided not to run.

Owen told me that I needed to get out there. Needed to prove my toughness. He was probably right but I didn't listen to him.

No biggie. It was a good day overall. Sunday will bring better running weather and I'll be out there, logging some miles. In the meantime, here's a peek at how much my son enjoyed the snow:

(We got about 2 inches of snow, but it was good packing snow, so it was perfect for snowman making!)

I hope you're all having a great weekend!

Oh, and THANKS for all the comments on Friday's post! My Cans for Comments is off to a good start!

~ Felice

Friday, December 4, 2009

Five things Friday, ep. 5: The Cans for Comments version!

  1. After canceling my post-Race for the Cure races, I'm going to get back into racing this month. Way to pick winter to start anew, huh? Yeah, that's me. We'll see what happens. But, right now, I'm looking at the Albany Winterfest 5K on 12/19. But I might run a 3-miler the weekend before. Both races look fun so it will probably come down to which day has better weather. (Note to local peeps: I recently wrote about upcoming races here.)
  2. I didn't finish my book reviews so those aren't going to be posted until next week. :-(
  3. Although today is a gorgeous, sunny day, we're supposed to get our first real snow tomorrow -- a slushy mix of up to an inch. Yuck! But, other than the forecast for snow, the weekend should be decent and I'm looking forward to some good runs and kid-centric fun at a train expo.
  4. I'm sending good luck vibes to everyone racing this weekend -- especially those marathoners tackling CIM, Vegas, Memphis & Santa Barbara! Yay -- have a great time!
  5. And last but SO NOT LEAST! Today begins my month-long Cans for Comments campaign. Each Friday during December, for every 5 comments left on the site, I'll donate a canned good to the Food Pantries for the Capital District. This organization is a coalition of 50 food pantries that serve the hungry in the Capital District (which is the greater Albany area in upstate New York). It's a wonderful organization that fills a huge need, one that seems to grow and grow. So, show me some love and help increase my donation! At the end of the four Fridays, I'll give you a total of what I'm donating. Let's hope it is a lot :-))) Don't be shy! Feel free to just say hi, or ask me a question or let me know how you handle running in the snow. Or say anything else that you'd like to say!
Have a great weekend, everyone!

~ Felice

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Comments. And November wrap-up.

I'm stealing an idea from Marlene: Cans for Comments. Every Friday during the month of December, for every 5 comments left on my post I'll donate a canned good to a local food pantry. I'll keep a tally and let you all know how much I donated -- if I'm on top of things, I'll even take a picture!

So, stop by on Friday to run up my donations!

On to the stats . . .

November stats

Running (miles): 67
Cross-training (sessions): 7

I was back in cross-training action last month with several sessions of Jillian Michaels' The Shred level 3 and No More Trouble Zones. That's the good for the month. The bad is the low mileage. I don't know what happened -- I'm just punky. I had some super runs, outside in the sun, wearing shorts. But, I slacked when it came to evening runs and since that's mostly what I'm able to do, I need to get better about them!

OK, have a great Wednesday, everyone!


Monday, November 30, 2009


The whirlwind has died down. We're back from Long Island and the big 40th anniversary party that we hosted for my parents is over. Back to normal (so to speak).


Easy trip down to LI. No traffic. Yippee! Lovely Thanksgiving day, which included a great 6.1 mile run (in shorts!), lots of family time and even more food. Fun Friday-after-Thanksgiving with a big family gathering. Late night trip back upstate. No traffic. Yippee! Chaos getting ready for the surprise anniversary party. Success. Surprised parents, 55 happy people at our house. Yippee!

Sunday, we caught up. I cleaned. I ran. I was a little lazy.

Now, I'm back. I'll eventually get caught up on everything in my Google reader. I may even attempt to write an interesting post or two. Don't hold your breath too long . . .

In the meantime, I posted the bodyshaper winner over here and I'm getting ready to post a pretty cool running books review/giveaway later this week. So stay tuned! Oh, and, wow -- how is it December tomorrow? This fall flew by . . .

Have a great week, everyone!

~ Felice

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've been jamming a ton of stuff into the last two days including, but not limited to, toilet cleaning, dip making, laundry washing, clothes folding, floor mopping, errand running and lots and lots and lots of coffee drinking.

Now, I'm almost -- almost -- ready to head to Long Island for the Thanksgiving holiday. We leave later this afternoon so I really ought to get packing! And I probably need to fit a shower in at some point, too . . .

In the meantime, since I won't be able to post while I'm away, I wanted to thank each and every one of you who stops by and reads my posts and makes me feel like I'm not quite as nutso as my mother and others would have me believe. (Yes, my mom did express concern that my uterus would fall out when I ran "that marathon.") Your comments and emails and overall support make my day!

Yes, I'm grateful to the running blogging community this Thanksgiving season. I'm also grateful that I have a loving family, some terrific friends and an overall happy, healthy little life. Yay!

So, now I best finish getting ready. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

~ Felice

PS: Remember to enter my bodyshaper giveaway, if you're interested.

And . . . check out some Black Friday deals for runners here and here!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Buggin' out.

We have chaos on all fronts here in Happy Runner-ville. First, we're headed to Long Island on Wednesday to celebrate Thanksgiving with my husband's family. We'll head back home late Friday night, probably arriving early Saturday morning. We won't have much time to relax when we get home because we're then hosting a huge surprise 40th anniversary party for my parents that night. We're expecting about 50 people! Needless to say, I'm bugging out.

On top of that, my toddler has decided that now is a good time to throw some tantrums. As in: hour-long tantrums. Oh, and to skip his naps, too. He thinks that's the winning formula.

It all makes me want to just drop everything and head out for a run.

But that would be irresponsible and, in the case of leaving my child at home alone, illegal. Don't worry -- I would never, ever, ever, ever do such a thing. But there are times when I'm tempted to just walk out that door.

Instead, here I am. And, lucky me, I got some good news today. I have a new project! A few weeks ago, when I finished my last one, I wrote about how nervous I was that I wouldn't get any new work. Well, no worries. A past client contacted me to help them on their new brochure. Yay! I'm relieved.

Of course, that means a bunch of deadlines which can only be met if my little guy behaves. So, I'll be praying to the Good Naps and No Tantrums gods for a few weeks. Forgive me if I seem a little distracted . . .

Hope you all had a great weekend! Happy Monday --

~ Felice

PS: Oh, and hey! I have a new review and giveaway over at my other site. Bodyshaping . . .

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Running again.

After the rotten post-run migraine on Sunday, I didn't run all week. I was feeling nervous and so I decided to go for some cross-training. I did more lunges, squats and push ups last week than I've done in ages. And my body has been feeling it!

Today, though, I got back in the running shoes and went out for a relaxing 5.5 mile run. It was GREAT! Don't get me wrong: I was still quite nervous after the run, thinking that I might get another migraine. But, I took the time for a proper cool-down then I ate my usual handful of raw almonds and dried cranberries, followed by a glass of water and a cup of coffee. I also took an Advil sinus because I needed to cover myself, just in case.

It all worked and I'm pleased. It felt terrific to be out there running again. Sure, cross-training is important and enjoyable but, really, it isn't running. Nothing compares to a run!

And with that, I'm off to enjoy my Saturday evening and hope that you enjoy yours, too. I'm also sending some good vibes to everyone racing tomorrow - I'm rooting for you!!!

Have a great rest of the weekend, everyone!

~ Felice

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Unconvential races -- TIART.

It's time for another Take it and Run Thursday! Today, we have a question from Kate at 00Kate:

What's the most unconventional race you've ever run? Have you run a race like North Carolina's "Take Pride in your Hide" naked race? Does your local running group have "prediction runs" where everyone guesses their finish time, and the winner is the person who has the closest guess? How about a Mud Run? If you could make up a wacky race, what would the twist be?
When I sat down to think about my most unconventional race, I was disappointed. It seems that I only run conventional races. I had a tough time thinking of anything unconventional and then I remembered my team triathlon.

A few years ago, I participated in The Great Josh Billings Run Aground in Great Barrington, MA. It's a strange event. It's the second oldest bike, canoe/kayak, run triathlon in the world (according to their web site). That doesn't make it strange. I think the strange part was that I was used to running regular road races and then I signed up for this thing and didn't know what to expect.

I joined a team consisting of my mom's good friend, Barb, paddling the kayak and Barb's friend, Tom, riding the bike. I was to run the 10K. Since I had never participated in a team event, I didn't really know how to prepare and make sure I was ready for my leg. I also didn't know how long it was going to take the others to paddle/ride their legs. So, I stood around. When it was time to run, it took quite a while to warm up. But, I finished and I think we ended up doing OK.

It was tough to judge our overall performance because the event had three person teams (like us), two person teams and "Iron" teams. Also, there were teams who canoed and those who kayaked.

Other than the Josh, my races have mostly been road races. I've enjoyed the few trail races that I've done and certainly hope to do more of those in the future. And I wouldn't mind shaking it up with some unconventional races now and then. Not a naked race like Kate mentions in her question -- but maybe a mud run. I could probably handle a little mud!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

~ Felice

PS: Today is the last day to enter my greeting card giveaway over here. Enter before midnight EST!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The upside of worrying.

Sunday's migraine scared me out of my run yesterday. I was still feeling a bit off and, frankly, I was a little too nervous to go for a run. So I worked out with my tv instead.

It was all upper body yesterday and I'm feeling it today.

I started out with my push ups and then moved on to Jackie Warner's upper body workout. I finished with some more push ups and a bunch o' crunches. These push ups are kinda killing me. And the added weight workout has made these wobbly arms of mine a little sore today.

I consider that the upside of worrying that I'll get another migraine: Stronger upper body. And I'll take it. After my last race, I realized that I need to strengthen my arms especially but I hadn't been doing anything about it. No longer. It's been almost three weeks since I renewed my commitment to the push ups and upper body strength. I feel some improvement. Not a ton, but some. And some is better than none.

What's more, this sun -- as in remarkably sunny November days -- is better than none. I know I go on and on about it but, wow, I just love it. Love this sunshine! Now, I'm just hoping that the weather is perfect this weekend for everyone running the Philadelphia Marathon. 55 and overcast? (But sunny in upstate NY?)

My fingers are crossed :-)

~ Felice

PS: My giveaway over here is still going on so check it out!
And . . . PPS: Sarah is have an awesome giveaway (yeah, yummy) here. Check her out, too!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hello, Migraine. I've been worried to see you.

Yesterday started out so well.

Owen woke up in the morning with Conal so I slept in (Full disclosure: I got to sleep in on Saturday, too. I'm lucky!). When I finally got up, I had a smoothie, some coffee and read the paper. It was another warm day so I was looking forward to running in shorts.

I went out for my run and thoroughly enjoyed it.

And then I came home. And it all went downhill.

Within a half hour, I started to feel the migraine coming on. I drank some coffee and took some drugs and felt like crying. I hate my migraines. They are debilitating and evil. Eee-vil.

After three hours of fitful lying around/sorta sleeping in a darkened bedroom, I began to feel better. I couldn't warm up for the rest of the day or night (even though it wasn't cold) and my body felt wrecked. All of my muscles felt as if I had run a really hard race and then followed it up with an hour-long strength workout. Bleh. They still feel that way today. I feel wiped out.

It's such a drag. I haven't had a run-induced migraine in a few months, which has been great. But, I fully admit that just about every time I get back from a run, I'm nervous that I'll get one. I take some steps to stave them off but, unfortunately, I still get them. Normally, I don't get them from easy runs (and yesterday was pretty easy -- 5.6 miles in just over 50 minutes) so yesterday was unexpected. Ugh. Just ugh.

Oh, well. Today is a beautiful, sunny day. Conal had a great time at gymnastics this morning and is now crashed out for his nap, which means I can catch up!

Happy Monday, everyone!

~ Felice

PS: I'm hosting a giveaway at my other site. Check it out here!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thriv shirts giveaway info.

Last week, I reviewed the Thriv Natural Performance Women's Racerback Tank on my other site. You can read what I had to say about it here. After I reviewed the top, Jonathan from Thriv told me about a giveaway they are running and asked if I would share the information about it with all of you. Since I like the top, I figure others will to. So, why not check out their giveaway?

To be entered to win one of 500 Thriv shirts, you just need to join their Thriv1st group. By joining, you'll receive their monthly newsletter as well. You can sign up here.

Good luck if you enter! And, if you win one of the tops, I hope you like it!

Hope you're enjoying the weekend!

~ Felice

Friday, November 13, 2009

Five things Friday, ep. 4.

1. The weather this month has been incredible. Toss in the husband's unexpected day off last week and holiday this week, and I've been able to take advantage of the awesome weather with more daytime runs than usual. Running in the evening in warm-ish (shorts!) weather is great but running during the day (in shorts!) is just better.

2. The return to cross training is going well. I've been doing level 3 of the 30 Day Shredtwice a week and I'm still working on the push ups for Lisa's challenge.

3. I posted a review of Sun Crystals over at my other blog, including a link to get some free samples, if you are interested.

4. I'm between projects. This means I am antsy and trying my hardest not to let my mind go to that paranoid place where I imagine I'll never work again. Where I imagine that everyone hates my work and thinks I'm a hack. Where my reputation is mud. Yeah, I try not to go there. Instead, I'm looking for new projects and keeping my attitude as positive as possible (people need to hire freelancers in this economy; we're more cost-effective!).

5. Today is Friday the 13th. I'm not superstitious but two crummy things did happen. First, a friend canceled a lunch/play date that we had scheduled for today. Then, my Friday morning standing play date/babysitter (the babysitter comes over for 2 hours every Friday, with the little boy from next door to play with Conal) didn't work out. So, I had two fun things for Conal (and me, too) this morning but both went bust.

Turned out not to be so bad because I decided to take Conal to the NYS Museum, which is right by Owen's office. So, as an extra treat, we went to his office and then out for lunch. It was lots of fun!

Happy Friday, everyone. Have a great weekend!

~ Felice

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Favorite races.

Today's Take it and Run Thursday is a question from a favorite blogger, J (Joanna at Morning Runner)! She asks:

What is your favorite race? Do you live for the marathons or crave a 5k? Would you rather race in the morning, afternoon, or at night? Do you like big races with tons of people and encouraging crowds or do you prefer the smaller hometown races?
I'm not the raciest (har, har) runner. I only run a handful of races each year -- about five or so. But, I have some preferences, for sure. I'm more of a short distance runner; I enjoy the 5K.

My ideal race would be a well-organized 5K with a few hundred people in it, that begins at 10am in the late spring or early fall. And that has a fast course, with not too many twists and turns but enough easy hills to make it interesting. Oh, and one that has some decent crowd support along the way. And oranges at the finish line.

But I'm not picky.

Some of my favorite races haven't fit that mold at all. One favorite will always be the first race I ran even though I almost passed out after running it. (I wrote all about it waaaaay back before I even had this blog here.) I hated the actual race because I did think I would die but I love that it gave me desire to run and race. Plus, it was my first race and I learned what not to do in it. That counts for something!

Other favorite races include my fastest 5K, my first 15K and, of course, my first (and so far only) marathon.

All this talk of racing makes me want to run one! Hmm . . .

Now, what about you? Do you have a favorite race? Check out J or Take it and Run Thursday or, heck, leave me a comment!

* * *

Another great shorts run mid-day yesterday! I'm feeling a little bit spoiled.

Have a great day, everyone!

~ Felice

PS: I posted a NYC Marathon slideshow here if like to look at race pics.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Silver linings.

So, it's Tuesday. Sometimes, a Tuesday is just a Tuesday. No need to get worked up about it, because it's just a Tuesday.

Tuesday. Not the first day of the week like Monday. Not the middle like Wednesday. Not almost Friday like Thursday. And certainly not TGIF-ish like Friday, or weekend-y like Saturday and Sunday. Just Tuesday.

Gray and dreary, yet warm enough for another shorts run.

Certainly, a silver lining.

And you know what else could constitute a silver lining, like if you were really desperate for one and you really stretched the definition? Well, I'll tell you. Team Strands is seeking athletes to sponsor. As in, runners. Runners that they can give money to. So those runners can run.

Who's in???

Before you start spending that money, check out what you need to do. They sent me a press release about it so I figured I would share the info. Here it is:

Corvallis, OR, November 9, 2009— Team Strands is accepting applications for athlete sponsorship for the 2010 calendar year. Interested athletes should submit a running resume with a one-page sponsorship proposal.
The resume should include, but is not limited to:
  • Running Background
  • Personal Bests
  • Race Highlights
  • Tentative 2010 Race Schedule
The proposal should highlight why you believe you would be a good brand advocate for It would be helpful to include information about your level of involvement in the running community, and your “reach” online with social networking sites and blogs. Preference will be given to athletes willing to relocate to Corvallis. Please indicate whether you would be willing to move in your sponsorship proposal.

You must be willing to share your training and interact with the online community, so familiarity with is a must. If you would like to apply for sponsorship and haven’t set up a free Strands profile at, please do so before applying.

When you have completed your running resume and one-page proposal, please send an email with both documents attached to by December 15, 2009. We will begin notifying athletes starting January 1, 2010.

ABOUT - is an online training log and social networking site where athletes share their training, connect with friends and teammates, and streamline their online activities. The site is operated by Strands Labs, Inc. For more information on Strands Labs, Inc, visit
So there you have it. A Tuesday silver lining. Kinda. Sure, they say preference will be given to people who relocate to Oregon. That doesn't mean they are only going to sponsor runners who move there. So, even if you don't want to relocate, you might want to give it a shot!

Just don't forget about me when you're all kinds of famous.

~ Felice

Monday, November 9, 2009

Get shorty.

November in upstate New York is usually chilly, with an average high for the month of 48 degrees. Today, though, is sunny and the forecast calls for a high of 65. Yay! This will make two days in a row: Yesterday was sunny and warm with temps in the high 60s. Yes, I ran in shorts!

Running in shorts in November is just a real treat for this runner. Last week, I was bundled up in running pants and a jacket. To wear my favorite shorts and a t-shirt made me feel a little like a kid out there. I felt fast! Not that I was, of course, I just felt that way.

Speaking of fast . . .

As I was running up a moderately steep hill yesterday, I saw a guy up ahead of me on his bike. A cyclist, slick cycling outfit and all. I ran at a steady pace, gaining on him at every step. As I got closer to him (I was on the opposite side of the road, running facing traffic), he must have heard me (am I really that loud??) because he looked back at me and then he tried to speed up. I just kept running, quickly passing him and putting space between us.

Until we crested the hill when he flew by me on the downhill. But he was coasting.

The whole thing just made me chuckle a little because he definitely did not like getting passed on that hill. After all, he was on a bike. Now, I'm no cyclist so I have no idea if it is easier to run or ride uphill. But it would seem to me that using a two-wheeled machine would give you an advantage over just using your body.

Anyway, passing Mr. Coaster, along with being able to run in shorts and a t-shirt, made me feel pretty fleet of feet yesterday. What a way to end a great weekend (freshly highlighted hair, a dinner party, a birthday party, three great runs, re-arranged the family room, lots of fun . . . )!

I hope to feel fast again today. I'll be running in shorts, for sure!

Happy Monday, everyone!

~ Felice

Friday, November 6, 2009

Five things Friday.

  1. My arms hate me. So does my chest. And my back and my hamstrings. They all hate me for making them so sore. Sore in a good way, I think. They think differently, I guess. How long can I keep this push ups/cross training thing going?
  2. I was able to run outside during the day today! Yes, 4.7 miles of happiness. Happiness, I tell ya! So cool.
  3. I reviewed the Thriv racerback tank over at my other site. Check it out here.
  4. Upstate NYers!!! Two things: 1) I'm looking for favorite running routes in Albany/Rensselaer/Saratoga/Schenectady counties for an article I'm working on. Have a fave? Please email me! (felicehalf at yahoo dot com) Or leave a comment. 2) Thinking about racing this weekend? My pick of the week is here.
  5. Obviously, I don't have much today. So #5 is a bit weak. In fact, it is nothing. A bullet full of nothing. Sorry. Maybe next week I'll be more creative or, perhaps, if we're all lucky and the stars align properly, more interesting. One can only hope.
Have a terrific weekend, everyone!

~ Felice

Thursday, November 5, 2009

OK, arms. The party's over.

Once upon a time, I participated in the hundred push ups challenge. I worked hard to do tons of real, straight leg push ups. I made it through week 5 (of 6) by repeating weeks 3, 4 and 5 over and over. It was tough. I never got to week 6 and never was able to perform all 100 push ups consecutively.

But all was not lost because my arms (and core) had gotten a lot stronger just by doing the push ups three times a week. So, really, it was a win. And I took that win, patted myself on the back, and gave up on push ups for a good year or so.

Sure, I would do them when working out with Jillian Michaels and her Shred girls. That was about it, though. I rarely, if ever, did them just to do them.

Well, the time has come to get back to kicking my own butt. Bring on the push ups!

Lisa over at Chasin' Bunnies wrote about how she's doing the challenge and invited others to join her. I seem to not be able to pass up a challenge because I signed up. I'm in. Get ready, arms! Today, I did the initial test and was able to squeeze out 15 good form, straight leg push ups. I almost made it to 16 but that one was crud and my back was all archy, so it didn't count.

Yes, 15 is a far cry from 100 but I'm not so worried about getting to 100 this time around. Lisa is all low-pressure with this challenge so it's more about building strength than actually reaching a certain number. That should work well for me.

Now, speaking of Jillian Michaels (because we were, right?), I went back the Shred last night. I did Shred level 3 using 6lb weights and I feel a little sore today. I'm going to cut myself some slack because a) I've hardly done any cross training in the past few months and b) Jillian and her girls use 3lb weights. So I'm practically a rock star hoisting my mighty 6lbs. Ha!

Right. So, it's almost Friday! Woo hoo! Enjoy it, everyone!

~ Felice

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Night runnin', night runnin'.

With apologies to the Bee Gees* . . .

Night runnin', night runnin'.
We know how to do it.
Gimme that night runnin', night runnin'
We know how to show it.

Since the time change, I've been night runnin'. Running in the pitch dark. I know, I know. It's only been since Sunday but here's the thing: Last year, I avoided dark runs and took refuge in the fluorescent safety of my basement treadmill. This year, I'm toughing it out. Running in the dark. And when it gets colder, I'll run in the cold, too. No wimping out this season!

And so far, so good. There is something almost soothing about running in the dark. There are fewer people out and about, for one thing. No lawn mowers. No dogs. Fewer cars in the neighborhood. When I'm running, there's little to distract me. I hear my breathing and the rhythm of my foot steps.

Sure, the fire hydrants still appear to be serial killers squatting on the side of the road, just waiting for me to get close enough so they can drag me into the woods. And, I'm considering getting a headlamp to avoid mistaking everyday objects for murders. But, overall, my night runs have been peaceful.

So, dark I can handle. Can I handle the cold? That will be the real test. Maybe we'll have a mild winter? In upstate New York? Not likely . . . but a girl can dream!

We'll see how it goes. For now, enjoy a little night runnin', everyone! Night runnin', night runnin' . . .

~ Felice

* For the real thing:

(When will someone bring the medallion-over-white-turtleneck look back?)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Let's hear it for the moms!

It felt like the Olympics all over again.

A late 30-something mom won the marathon yesterday. The New York City Marathon, that is. Like in the 2008 Olympics, when 38-year-old mother Constantina Tomescu-Dita won the gold, I felt a surge of pride when Derartu Tulu crossed the finish line first yesterday. Tulu is 37. She has two birth children and four that she has adopted. She ran the NYC marathon in 2:28:52. She's one fast mother!

It didn't stop with Tulu, though. Lyudmila Petrova, a 41-year-old who is also a mother, finished second. There were other moms banging out awesome times, too (Paula Radcliffe, top American Magdalena Lewy Boulet and Salina Kosgei, all of whom finished in the top 10).

Way to go, moms!

Granted, these aren't regular moms. They are superstar runners. But they are also moms. And from my vantage point as a mom who runs, I think they are superstar cool. They show that you don't have to hang it up (whatever it happens to be) just because you have kids. And Tulu and Petrova show that you can continue to rock it (again, whatever it happens to be) even as you creep up there in age.

Of course, the take-away is that I guess you can't use age (or kids) as an excuse, either!

Watching the marathon made me so happy that I run and reinforced that I want to do this as well as I can for as long as I can.

I had a little extra pep in my step during this evening's run. Thank you, NYC Marathon!

* * *

Wondering how all those celebrities who ran the marathon finished? I did the research for you. Check out my article for the finish times.

~ Felice

Friday, October 30, 2009

Five things Friday.

  1. I've already set my DVR to record the NYC marathon recap on NBC, just in case I don't get to watch it when it airs. Yes, I'm that geeky.
  2. I ran in shorts again yesterday evening and I'm crossing my fingers that the weather holds so I can do the same tonight. Love the late-October runs in shorts. Such a treat.
  3. My last CSA delivery was yesterday. Seems so . . . final. I'm thinking about whether or not to purchase a share again next year. This year, I split a share with a friend, but she's not planning to buy-in next year. Decisions, decisions . . .
  4. This here Happy Runner is not planning to run any races right now. None. I had been planning to do at least one more 5K this year and a 15K. Then I dropped them from my "schedule." I don't know, just wasn't feeling it. Ever since I dropped the races? Wow -- my runs have felt great. Free and easy and fun. Loving it! I think it is exactly what I need right now.
  5. Go Yankees!!!! (Sorry, Phillies fans -- although I do love your Phillie Phanatic.)
Have a great weekend, everyone! Good luck to everyone who is racing -- yay!!!

~ Felice

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Helloooooo, Genie!

Do you ever wish you could have your own genie to grant all of your running wishes? Maybe à la Barbara Eden?

Well, that's the theme over at Runners' Lounge today for Take it and Run Thursday. So let's get wishing!

This week's sponsor is Julia, author of her blog, Chocolate Shoestrings. Julia knows all runners have dreams and wishes, so she invites us to share ours. Julia asks:

If a genie were to appear and grant you any three running wishes in the world, what would you choose? It can be anything from superhuman powers, new running inventions, race entries, shoes, you name it!

What would be your three wishes?

I've often found myself mumbling the words, "I wish . . . " about something related to my running. I wish I had more time to run, I wish I had more endurance, I wish I was faster, I wish my foot didn't hurt so much, I wish, I wish, I wish.

If I could be granted three wishes, though, I know exactly what I would ask for:
  1. First, and most important, I'd wish for my toe problems to completely disappear. I'm afraid of the surgery. I mean, surgery is just so, blech. And then there's the three months without running during the recovery period. The alternative, though, is to continue to run (and walk, stand, sit, lie around) with the pain. Doesn't seem right. So, toe problems -- gone. Yes, that would be my first wish.
  2. My second wish would be to have as much time as I'd like to run, whenever I feel like running, for as long as I feel like running. What often happens is that I feel like running but can't because of any number of things. Or, I get going on a run and would like to keep it going for a few more miles than planned, but can't because I need to get back.
  3. And then, since I'm working with a genie here, I have to have the shallow wish. I wish that I could have an endless supply of extremely flattering running clothes. You know, a huge closet full of shorts that don't ever bunch up but make my legs look lean and long. Tops that slim my torso and show my arms to their best advantage. Lots and lots of flattering gear. That would rock. Rock!
And then I'd be perfectly happy. A perfectly happy Happy Runner!

What about you? What are your running wishes?

~ Felice

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Nuts-o and knees.

Things have been nuts-o here. I had a tight deadline, which meant I was staying up late and trying to squeeze in work whenever I had a free moment. I also had a knee thing.

I didn't want to write about it because I feared that doing so would give it life and make it worse (weird? sure.). So I didn't say anything and now the knee thing is gone so my weirdness may just have paid off!

But it was a drag. It crept up on me on Wednesday. My knee just started to hurt. On Thursday, it hurt a little more but I ran anyway. On Friday, it hurt for real. I took the day off. When it still hurt on Saturday, I skipped my planned 5K race and secretly felt pretty OK with that since it was pouring rain here.

Then, Sunday. The knee felt fine! Totally better, like nothing had ever happened. I ran 5.5 easy and enjoyable miles. Monday, easy and enjoyable 4.5. Yesterday, I ran 4 through an evening drizzle. All three runs were grade-A fall runs and (knock on wood) my knee hasn't bothered me one bit since Saturday.

I feel like I dodged a bullet!

I've got a lot of catching up to do but I'll leave you with a giveaway to check out:

Mel -- Tall Mom on the Run is hosting an AWESOME Brooks for Her giveaway! She's giving away a pink jacket that is just too cute. Enter here.

Have a great (half over) week!

~ Felice

Friday, October 23, 2009

Five things Friday.

  1. After Tuesday's tantrum, my little guy has been fine and fairly well behaved. In fact, we had a great day yesterday that involved lots of outdoor play, some errands and lunch at the bagel shop.
  2. In the midst of that great day, I barged in on this blogger. Barged! She won the Solixir giveaway that I hosted at my other site so since she lives near me, I delivered it to her. But I didn't let her know I was going to deliver it so I just sorta showed up. That's the way it goes sometimes with kids, though. I'm not always 100% sure I can do something (like, what if I said I was going to go to her house and then Conal had another tantrum?) so sometimes I have to wing it. And that's what I did yesterday. But Suzy was nice and didn't shoo me away. And, how cool that I got to meet another running blogger?!?!
  3. Yesterday evening's run was terrific! Just a little easy one, but run in shorts and a t-back top. Not wearing a jacket (or sleeves!) made me feel so free. I wish we could have more of those not-too-hot, not-too-cold days. They are perfect for running.
  4. I dreamed that I was wearing a pair of fleece-lined running tights and extolling them to no end to a (non-running) friend. Fleece-lined tight are on my winter gear purchase list (thanks to one of your recommendations) but do I really need to dream of them? I guess so.
  5. My Friday morning babysitter had H1N1 last week so she wasn't around to watch Conal. She's back and healthy today so this morning I'll have some time to get to work. Which is a very good thing because I have two deadlines early next week.
Have a great weekend, everyone!

~ Felice

PS: I just posted a review of the Opedix running tights over at my other site. Check it out!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Why race?

Today's Take it and Run Thursday at Runners' Lounge is sponsored by MCM Mama who asks:

We've all discussed why we run, but why do you RACE and how do you choose which races to run?

Do you look for certain distances, swag, location, start time, or something else? Tell me how you decide where and when to race. Also, I'm currently on a quest to run a race in every state. Please tell me--and others about a particular race you've run that is not to be missed.

That's a good question. Why do we runners race? Why do we do we push ourselves so hard? Why does someone, like me, who has no chance of winning, race?

I wondered that a lot a few weeks ago when I ran that rotten 5K race. I felt like crud. I just wanted to be done. I did not like racing one bit on that day. Not one bit.

But that passed. Because, truthfully, I enjoy racing. Although I don't race all that often (just a few races a year; so far I've run 5), I like it. I like the build up to the race, the goal setting, the anticipation, the hard effort that a race takes in order to be successful. I like the purpose and focus it gives to my running.

I also like the feeling of community that comes with the shared experience of racing. When you line up at the start of a race, whether that race has 35 entrants or 3500, you can't help but feel part of a pretty awesome group. Now, I may be biased but I think runners kinda rule. And to get out on a Saturday morning or whenever and try to run your best, knowing that all the runners around you are doing the same, can be very empowering. All those runners, running hard. I like that community!

The other thing that I like about racing is that it gives me a glimpse of what I'm capable of doing. Because I race, I know I can push myself fairly hard. I also know that sometimes my mind gets in my way and trips me up, but other times it helps me reach what I may have otherwise thought were unreachable goals. Racing sharpens the body and the mind.

There are so many other reasons to race, more than I could mention here. I can't wait to read about why others race!

Have a great day, everyone! It's going to be 70 degrees here today!! You better believe I'll be out running :-)

~ Felice

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Missing the run.

Some days, you need to run. Things haven't gone well, you're stressed out, you feel like a mud puddle. Your body needs to get out and run to re-set itself.

That was my yesterday. Only, without the run. I had the need to run but couldn't.

The short story is that my little guy decided to explode at the library. He didn't want to leave, so he threw a huge tantrum -- of the sort I have never, ever experienced before -- in the parking lot. He thrashed on the ground. He rolled under the car. He kicked. He used his super-human toddler strength to fight getting in the car seat. He went on and on for 45 minutes.

Do you know how exhausting and humiliating a 45-minute toddler tantrum is? Multiply your guess by 853 and you're close.

Well, it finally ended and all I could think about was how I could seriously use a run. I imagined hitting the road for a longish, slow run and how soothing that would be to my bruised psyche. Then I thought that maybe a good hard run would be the better option, to pound out my frustration as I pounded out the miles.

Either way, it would have been nice.

This Happy Runner, though, had no chance to run. I had work on the schedule for nap-time, then a meeting at 6:30 so my afternoon and night were taken. Sigh. Something about really, really, really wanting to run and not being able to made me appreciate running just a little bit more. Running can work wonders to improve a mood and yesterday I didn't have that. I missed it.

I'll be running this evening, no doubt. My hope for today, though, is that I don't need it in quite the same way as I did yesterday!

Hope you all have a tantrum-free day :-)

~ Felice

Monday, October 19, 2009

Adirondack weekend.

My weekend away was great. Relaxing. Fun. Full of laughs, food, drinks, and a (very, very) hilly run.

It was something I'd been looking forward to for ages. Some friends and I had talked about doing a "girls weekend" for years and it just never happened. Then, this summer, we talked about it again and, by some stroke of luck, actually made it happen. And I'm so glad it!

There were six of us who left our kids and husbands at home while we enjoyed a perfect fall weekend in the Adirondacks. Two nights for the moms!

We stayed in on Friday, just hanging out. On Saturday, we walked around the village and did some outlet shopping. Like the true moms that we are, we mostly purchased stuff for our kids. I had visions of finding that perfect winter running jacket but instead I found the perfect pea coat for my toddler. That's the way it goes, these days.

That afternoon, I hit the roads for a run!

Although I had wanted to get in an 8-miler, I only managed 5 because the hills wiped me out a bit. Wimp! The views during my run were striking. The leaves, the lake, the mountains . . . all oohs and ahhs. I wish I had been able to capture the beauty a little better, but I was running and the shots were quick.

Here are some views from my run:

I'm glad I made time for the run. After spending Friday night eating, drinking and staying up late and then spending Saturday eating and shopping it would have been easy to bail. And don't think I didn't consider it! But, the runner in me beat out the lounger for an hour Saturday afternoon and I'm happy it did.

That night, we went back in to the village for some yummy Mexican food (and drinks). Here's the group:

A little later, after a few rum-aritas:

See? I wasn't kidding about the laughter -- the weekend had lots of it! To me, that's proof of a good weekend with good friends.

One of the best parts of the weekend, though, was when I got home and Owen told me that he and Conal had an awesome day together on Saturday. I guess it is good for everyone when this mom gets away for a bit!

I hope everyone had a super weekend!

~ Felice

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