Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wednesday evening speedwork.

I'm not the best at speedwork and I'm OK with that.

Speedwork leaves me out of breath. It doesn't matter that I am only running half mile repeats a little slower than my 5k pace. Those repeats leave me out of breath. And dripping with sweat. It's a bit on the nasty side.

The schedule called for track repeats last night. Ha ha ha! No track for this runner. The 6 or so inches of snow, followed by the freezing rain that poured down on us yesterday, combined with the late hour meant I would not be running on a track. Who am I kidding? I haven't run on a track in years. It is likely that I will not run on a track until, perhaps, if I'm lucky, March. Maybe April. And it will be a big deal. I'll write about is ad nauseum, don't you worry.

Back to the workout: I ran the repeats on the treadmill. I actually prefer to play with my speed on the treadmill rather than trying to do a steady-state run. So, off I went.

My hammies felt tight when I started but they loosened up by the end of my warm up and they felt fine through the whole workout. In other words, I can't blame my lack of speedwork ability on my legs. It's all lungs. Or, maybe it is all in my head. Hmm . . . I wouldn't put it past that head of mine to set me up for a struggle. It's been known to do things like that. Silly head.

The good thing is that I got the speedwork done and it won't come around on the schedule again until next week.

So. That means I have another rest day today in preparation for tomorrow's tempo run and Sunday's 13 miler. If you get a chance, send some sunny, warm weather vibes my way for Sunday. Yes, I can handle 20 degrees but it would be so much better if the temperature rose to the 30s for my long run. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I'm going to lay it all out there for you, Internet: My running clothes stink. Really stink. Stink as in people probably don't want to be around me when I have my running clothes on, even when the clothes are freshly laundered and I haven't yet begun to sweat. And when I do begin to sweat, well, that just releases all the trapped-in stinky stink and I feel a little like those people in the Southwest "Wanna get away?" commercials. Let's not even talk about what it is like after a run.

So I was excited when Runners' Lounge offered up samples of Penguin Sport-Wash for some bloggers to review. I waited for my sample. And I waited. With every day that passed, I grew increasingly convinced that my mail-lady had co-opted my sample because, I don't know, maybe her uniform was stinky? Lucky for me she hadn't. My sample arrived last week and I was practically giddy.

On Saturday, I put the detergent to the test with a week's worth of running and other workout clothes. My husband even brought his running clothes home (he runs during the day at work, lucky dude) so I tossed those in as well.

My initial observations: The Sport-Wash doesn't really smell. It has more of a non-scent smell to it. It's not detergenty, at least not in the Tide, All, or Arm & Hammer sort of way. Since it doesn't have a scent, it doesn't leave a scent on the clothes. I gave my clothes a good whiff after the wash and dry and they smelled like nothing. Most importantly, they didn't stink.

The real test would be how they smelled while out on a run. This test was a little trickier because I decided to do it while running in the cold on Sunday. About a mile into the run, I looked both ways to make sure the coast was clear, so to speak, and then I sniffed my top. Keep in mind my nose was cold and who knows how well my senses were working at that chilly point but, honestly, my top still smelled OK. Not like roses, but not like a stinky ol' gym towel either. The shirt smelled like nothing. And that's probably the goal.

All in all, I give the stuff a thumbs up. It's available at various retailers, and Amazon sells two bottles for $20.

Back to running: My legs felt a little tired yesterday. I stretched and used the foam roller (after I thoroughly enjoyed my enchilada, more guacamole than one person really should eat in a sitting, and a big honking margarita) so my legs feel fine today. I'll hit the treadmill for an easy run this evening and then speedwork tomorrow. Again on the 'mill. We're supposed to get 5-8 inches of snow tomorrow. Bummer.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Long run shake up.

I had 11 miles on the schedule this weekend and after skipping last weekend, I was determined to get it in. Determined.

On Saturday, I had a morning meeting so I was able to get a good sense of the weather for my run. That is, I felt the stinging wind chill as I walked from the meeting to my car. Using my rudimentary meteorological skills, I observed that although the temperature was hovering above 20 degrees, the wind chill was more like -83. It was a wonder there was anyone outside at all, as blustery and cold as it was. Maybe they were lured by the going out of business sale at Circuit City. Who knows?

All I know is that there was no way I was running outside in that wind. That cruel wind. So, I hopped on the treadmill for an easy 4 miles and that was that.

The forecast for Sunday was sunny and cold; colder than Saturday so I resigned myself to a sloggy treadmill run in the afternoon. Let me admit that I was not looking forward to 11 miles in my basement. Let me also admit that once I'm faced with a plan gone awry, I can be a bit of a Big Defeatist. Not getting outside for the run on Saturday had me convinced that I would, perhaps, never run outside again, or at least not until April, which was surely going to set me up for some sort of horrific injury once my delicate feet hit the asphalt after months on the 'mill. It went on from there. I'll spare you my spiral of self pity.

My husband, however, can shake a gal right out of that spiral. He took Conal to run errands in the morning and when they got back they did something very odd: They played outside. For a long time. Oddballs. At one point, Owen came inside and told me the weather was perfect for a run. "Ha!" I thought, "it's 19 degrees! As if I would run outside in that weather. Pshaw! Crazy husband."

He urged me to join them outside. I (reluctantly) did. He was right.

The sun was shining. There was very little wind. I had to do it.

And I did. I bundled up and hit the roads. It was colder than promised. And windier. But it was sunny! It took a long time for me to warm up, though. In fact, I don't think I warmed up until about 3 hours after I finished the run. Really. I was cold. I even had to run for a while with my left hand on my cheek because the cruel, cruel wind was too much for the two inches of exposed skin to take.

Other than the cold issue, it was a great run. I ran 11.07 miles in 1:45:21, or 9:32/mile, just where I wanted to be. My goal marathon pace is 9/mile and I'm targeting 30 seconds slower per mile for my long runs. It felt good to hit the right pace and, honestly, it felt really good to be outside. You know, all that vitamin D that I was absorbing had to be a good thing. Well, it probably wasn't all that much, since the sliver of exposed skin was covered in sunscreen. But, still! It was more vitamin D than I get in the basement.

Today is a rest day and I will be enjoying a much-deserved night out for Mexican yumminess with a friend. Can't wait!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Photo Friday

Yay, it's Friday! And, I'm in for Nikemom's Photo Friday this week.

Now, as you know because I have whined about it several times in the past, we have to worry about the cold up here. But that doesn't mean we forsake fashion. Oh, no. We're concerned about all things sartorial. We want to be hip and cool and with it. So, this week, my Little Jobber has a question for you:

"Do these gloves make my hands look too big?"

"Really, be honest."

He loves to wear my gloves and my running shoes. And my regular shoes. I guess he likes things loose and comfortable.

Anyway, enough about the Little Jobber (you can read all about him here, if you are ever interested). I had a totally blah, cruddy run last night but, whatever, I'm not going to dwell on it. Instead, I'll dwell on some of the good stuff. Like this weather. It's significantly better today (thanks for asking, BR!); the sun is shining and it's in the high 30s right now. Woo hoo!

Have a terrific weekend, everyone!

Snow on top of snow.

But, of course.

I'm standing in my family room, typing away on my beloved laptop and, yup, snow is falling outside my windows. Again. As if the 8-10 inches that have been covering the ground for, I don't know, like forever aren't enough. We apparently need more snow up here in Snowy Snowville.

At least it is supposed to be a slightly warmer today. High 20s! Whoa, balmy.

I was back to cross training last night and did another one of the 30 Day Shred workouts. I just love the Shred series and I'm glad I've started working out with them again. As I mentioned a few posts ago, my arms need to be strengthened and I think the exercises in the series will help me to do just that.

I've got a treadmill run on the schedule for tonight and then I hope, hope, hope I can get outside for 11 miles this weekend.

Happy Thursday, everyone. One more day until the weekend!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Marathon doubt.

Grrr . . . I was blindsided by self doubt this weekend. And I blame the cold.

Not the weather-related cold, although that hasn't helped. I blame the common cold. The sniffling, sneezing, feeling fluggy cold. The cold had me feeling like I couldn't do it. Couldn't run this weekend, which meant I would miss my long run. And that meant I couldn't keep to my schedule, which clearly meant I was done and would never run 26.2 miles in May. Or probably ever. I was just done.

Done in by the common cold.

After a nice little jog on Saturday, I had plans for my weekly long run on Sunday. I had 11 miles on the schedule. I woke on Sunday feeling like crud and that progressed throughout the day so I scratched my run and cross trained instead. I told myself that one day was no big deal and I would just run the 11 miles on Monday instead. That would have worked if I had felt better on Monday. But, no, I didn't. Another day of cross training. Another day convinced that I was done.

I started to plan my blog post. It is with deep regret . . . I'd get about that far and just shake my head. Not only could I not run, but I couldn't even begin to craft a creative way of letting you know. I was done.

I walked around the house with slumped shoulders. I couldn't tell if they were the result of my gloom or all the crazy traveling push-ups I did during two days of the 30 Day Shred: Level 3. It didn't matter. I was done.

Fast forward to this morning. I received notice that another of the eight marathon training books I had reserved at the library had come in. I bundled up my toddler and off we went to pick it up. Back home, I started to read the book and I realized that I am a big, honking dummy. I know that the only way a marathon training schedule works is if it is flexible enough to account for all that you can't plan for. Missing one long run will not ruin my plan. I know this. In fact, all of those push-ups and squats and what-nots will only make me stronger.

So, this evening I hit the treadmill for speedwork. That shook the remaining gloom out of my system and I think I am back on track. At least for now.

Back on track with tired legs. It feels good.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Son of a runner!

Twice this week my son demonstrated very clearly that he is, indeed, a son of a runner.

1. My new Brooks arrived on Monday. I was busy and didn't have a chance to open the package right away so it sat inside the front door, waiting. And basically mocking my non-runningness. Every time Conal would walk past the package, he'd point and make some sort of questioning sound (no, he doesn't really have words yet. But he's working on it. I promise.).

Finally, on Wednesday, he'd had enough: he decided to take matters into his own hands.

I was in the kitchen. He dragged the package from the front door, stopped right in front of me and demanded that I open it (yes, demanded. No, not with words but with action. Tugging and pointing action. I'm fluent in todder-ese.) I submitted to his demands. As I was cutting open the bag, Conal began clapping his hands. Then twirling around and stopping quickly to squat and check things out. Once the bag was open, I pulled out the first box of shoes and he squealed. Stomped his feet and squealed. I pulled the other box out and, yep! More squealing. Baby likes it when mama gets a new pair of shoes.

He then tore open one of the boxes, pulled out my shiny new kicks and put them on his feet.

And then he tired of them and went to find his Thomas book.

2. The second demonstration came before my run on Wednesday. I was sitting on the stairs, re-lacing my new sneaks when Conal walked over to me and handed me The Stick. Without prompting. Mom in running gear = Mom using The Stick, I suppose. Smart little guy.

So, there you have it. My proof that young Conal is a son of a runner!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, everyone!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Day 2 of Running as Advil.

Another headache this afternoon. Not as bad as my three-day killer but, um, enough already?

Ah, well. Thankfully, I have running. My short, easy run again chased that sucker away. Big love for running. BIG love.

So. A few of you asked about my book. Prepare to be let down! It is not nearly as exciting as it may seem. I do a lot of work-for-hire writing; non-fiction guidebooks, test-prep, that sort of thing. The book that I've been working on for the past two months is a spelling book. Yup. Spelling. For middle school students.

Yeah. Go ahead! Ask me to spell something*. I can do it! I can probably even rustle up a mnemonic for you. What's a mnemonic? Well, that, my friends, you will have to find out for yourselves.

*But let's not go crazy. I don't want be all spelling, all the time, you know? I mean, The Happy Speller just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Running . . . take me away!

I have had a three-day headache that has been simply terrible; it's really gotten me down. Not even I have been able to find the silver lining in the headache cloud that has settled in my personal patch of sky.

I blame stress, which always seems like a good thing to blame where headaches are concerned. So, when I submitted my chapters for the book I've been working on and then finished the final press release that I've been contracted to write, I thought my headache would disappear.

Ah, no.

It took something a little bit stronger to knock this one out: I went for a run.

The 4.5 miles I ran this evening chased my headache cloud into an entirely different part of the sky. (Hope it hasn't settled in your sky...) Finally! I'm back.

I feel like a different person than the one I was for the past three days. I'm not grimacing -- or, at least, not from the pounding pain in my head. Relieved, I can now catch up on some blogs, read the newspaper and maybe, if I'm lucky, get a good night's sleep.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lessons from 9.5 miles on the treadmill.

  • Although I'm no Christine Clark, I can handle some distance on the 'mill.
  • Half-way through feels good, one mile to go feels better and the post-run walk feels awesome!
  • I can get into some pretty long conversations with myself while running. I'm a terrific listener. And I totally crack myself up.
  • Hills are your friends and treadmill inclines just don't cut it.
  • It's easy to keep a steady pace on the 'mill, but it gets a bit boring and shaking it up helps.
  • In 90+ minutes I can plan an amazing basement renovation.
  • Daydreaming about crossing the finish line in 3:55 or 3:50 or -- dare to dream -- 3:45 can make a mile pass in what feels like a minute.
  • Man, oh man, do I need to build up my arm strength.
  • The post-run banana makes me feel a little pukey.
  • Finishing my longest run in over three years is one of those Rock on! moments that makes me want to shake my wimpy arms over my head in glee.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Give it up for Canadians!

This is not a running post. This is a confession.

Are you ready? Good. Then, here it is:

I love the Canadian accent.

Yeah! No kidding! I do. You knew it was going to be something about Canadians, didn't you? My post title gave it away, huh? You're right. I've got to work on that. Anyway, I could listen to Canadians talk for hours. No, I'm not trying to curry favor with all of those fine running (and non-running! Hiya!) bloggers north of the border. No, ho. I wouldn't do that! Not me! I just honestly dig the accent.

This fact occurred to me last night as I listened to the Rangers' coach, Tom Renney, during an interview after the game. He's a charmer! With all those raised dipthongs and whatnot. Quite lovely.

I'm having a hard time pinpointing exactly what the allure is. There's just something about it.

Ah, Canucks . . .

So, lest you think that I've gone completely bonkers with my tipsy legs and Canadian love, let me tell you about yesterday's run (I know I said this wasn't a post about running but you just can't stop me!).

Last night was Yasso 800s. Why are they hard? I don't know. They probably shouldn't be. Maybe they were hard tonight to make up for the fact that I fell so in love with Thursday's run. Who knows?

Anyway, my plan calls for me to run these in 4 minutes. Whoop de doo. I warmed up for a mile and felt fine. I ran my first 800, and it was . . . well, I finished it. I sucked it up on the second 800. But then the third was OK. After the third 800, I called it a run. Finish on a high note, that's my strategy. Yes. Three and done. I cooled down and that was it.

Afterward, though, I felt much better than I normally do after speed workouts and I'm thinking that these Yassos are all right. Just like those Canadians.

And that's it! Have a great weekend, everyone.

***Edited: For those of you that are interested, I found a little info on Canadian English and their kooky raised dipthongs.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A little slow. A little bliss. A little tipsy.

Why, hello there, Slow Run. Nice to meet you. I'd like to be your new fan, if you wouldn't mind.

I ran slowly this evening. Quite slowly. It was blissful. Really.

Some background: I usually run 5k races (when I race, that is). The only long stuff I've done is a marathon in 2004 and a handful of 15ks. That's it! Nothing very long. So, I'm not used to running long, slow distance, which is what I'll need to do in preparation for the NJ marathon in May. My regular ol' runs are usually run at an 8:45-ish pace but my goal marathon pace is 9:00. I need to run slower long runs and faster tempo and LT runs. This, I know.

So, let's get back to this evening. The run. The blissful run. People, I'm not exaggerating. This run was just so good. I started the run really slowly and gradually increased my speed to a slightly less slow pace. Still slow, though. And then I realized that this run was different from most others. I felt like I was floating, like my legs were hardly working at all. I felt like . . . well, I felt like I was drunk.

No, not drunk. Tipsy. I felt tipsy! I felt like I was in that giddy stage where everything is funny and cute and oh-ha-ha-ha-I-can't-really-my-legs! You know that stage that comes after a glass of wine (if you are a light-weight like me) but before the squinty eyes and the Dude! I LOVE you! and the tears? I mean, not that I've ever really experienced that latter phase personally (ahem) but I've heard that's what can happen. You know, in theory.


That's how I felt! Tipsy in the legs.

Ah, it was good. And it is my new goal. My recovery/easy runs will be run at tipsy-in-the-legs pace.

Yes, Slow Run. I am definitely your new fan.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fun with flax!

First, let me thank everyone who has left advice and suggestions about my rest days. I'm still sorting it out but I'm leaning toward full-on rest rather than cross training. But I may add some cross-training on my easy run days. We'll see. Feel free to leave additional advice or suggestions because, really, I can't get enough of them. I'm like an addict.

An addict with a muffin making addiction, apparently. (Addict with an addiction . . . hmm . . . I guess I'm hard-up for variety in my word choice today.) (And what about that topic change? Smooth, huh?)

This is where the "Fun with flax!" comes in to play. I've been creating muffin recipes lately, part of my attempt to healthify my diet. Today, I made a super-star batch that I have deemed to be healthy. I tried them and liked them. My toddler tried them and simply could not get enough of them. You are welcome to try them as well. Fully fortified my their goodness, I headed off (well, down, to my basement) for my tempo run. One muffin provided all the energy I needed to power on through. Granted, it was only 4.5 miles but I felt strong. Thanks, muffins!

Here's the recipe. Enjoy!

Flaxy Muffins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12 cup muffin pan with Pam or similar spray oil. Or, you could use muffin liners. If you choose to use the liners, though, they can be tough to take off these muffins because they contain so little fat.

1-1/4c. flour (half whole wheat, half unbleached white)
1/4 c. flax meal
1 c. old fashioned oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

3 carrots, peeled, steamed and pureed in food processor
1 banana
1 c. 1% milk
1/2c. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl (first 6 ingredients). Mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon until well-combined. Add in dry ingredients and stir until combined. The batter will be lumpy, so don't worry about trying to get it smooth.

Pour batter evenly into muffin cups. Bake for 20-22 minutes.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Getting into the rest.

Yesterday was a rest day. I've decided that throughout my training I will schedule a complete rest day after my long runs. Knowing my age, mechanics and ability, this seems to be the wisest thing to do ensure I'm able to start my marathon as strong and healthy as possible. I'll stretch and do some super-easy walking on my rest days but, other than that, I'll be resting. Feet up, sparkling water and a never-ending bowl of fruit salad at my side . . .

Whoops! Daydreaming again. Scratch that last thought.

Anyway, I seem to like this rest even if it involves "running" around after a toddler, cleaning up in the wake of his destruction. So much so, that today is a rest day, too! Look at me go, rocking the rest schedule! Happy Rester, oh yeah.

Since my schedule will be full of rest (I'll balance rest with 4 runs per week: one long, one medium, one tempo/Yassos/other hard and one easy run), I need to create a resting plan. So, I'm looking to you guys: What do you do on rest days? Should I really cross-train? As I stated above, I plan to do a little light walking and stretching on my rests days. But I do wonder if I should do more than that. Can't bike: This clumsy gal is NOT a cyclist. Can't swim: No access.

Knowing my body and my ability to get stressed out I'm leaning toward walking and stretching only on my rest days. But I want to make sure I'm doing everything I possibly can to cross the finish line in under 4 hours. Any suggestions?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Officially in training mode.

Now that I made the commitment to run the NJ marathon, I'm officially in marathon training mode. For me, this means overcoming one huge obstacle: My wimpiness. We've established that I am not the biggest fan of running outside in the cold or the dark. I'm just a major weather wimp. Some of you have encouraged me to suck it up, embrace the cold, that sort of thing. Good advice, however, I haven't really followed it.

I've been running on the treadmill. And, you know, that's been fine. I found my groove and I've been happily trotting along for 4 miles or so at a time. I've done some decent speed work on the 'mill, since I do tend to get bored just looking at the bins of Christmas ornaments and Conal's out-grown clothes and playing with my speed keeps things interesting. But, as you know, you can't just run speedy 4 milers and think you can cross the finish line of a marathon alive. Well, maybe you'd be alive but, man, I would imagine you'd be dragging.

So. I think you what's coming . . . and you're right! I sucked it up and ran outside today. Oh, it was chilly for sure. Maybe 22 degrees? Not sure. Probably colder. And, with the wind chill, definitely colder. But, I bundled up and it was fine.

My route started with a half mile hill so I warmed up quickly. Once I was warm, I just cruised along, finishing 7.65 miles in 67:19 or 8:48/mile. I didn't look at my watch at all during this run because I wanted to go out there and run comfortably, to determine what pace my body would settle into. I wasn't surprised since an 8:45 or so pace seems to be where my body tends to gravitate on most runs. This means I'll need to slow it down for my long runs and speed it up for my tempo runs. I'll stick with that pace for my regular ol' runs.

The treadmill will continue to get some action during the week, when it is too dark for me to run in the evenings. But on Saturdays and Sundays, I'll now be hitting the roads. Watch out, world!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

RRS sale/deals.

In case you didn't see the one day sale from Road Runner Sports, it's going on now. But, it ends today at 11:59 (est). I picked up two pairs of my beloved Brooks for $77.50 each (regularly $103). The running shoes were on sale for $90 and with the RRS promotion, I received an additional $25 off, plus free shipping!

The order code is: CA19006E.

I know it is late and RRS does have sales fairly regularly. But, it was such a good deal for me that I had to share it.

My plan calls for a 3-4 mile run today and then 7 tomorrow. I hope the weather cooperates.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy Runner Reviews

My Product Review Policy can be found here.


Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon
(original post here)

Food & Drink

Solixir Sparkling Botanical Beverage
(original post here)

Oikos Organic Yogurt

(original post here)

(original post here)

POM Wonderful
(original post here)

(original post here)

[me] & Goji
(original post here)

Running Gear

KN Running Socks
(original post here)

Wright Socks
(original post here)

Health & Beauty

Dove Ultimate Visibly Smooth
(original post here)


Penguin Sport Wash

(original post here)

About the Happy Runner

Post HMRRC Winter Marathon Relay: Suzy, Amanda, me

"If movement is a sign of life and stillness is death, running is an example of life most fully lived. It's beautiful." -- British artist, Martin Creed

Hey there! I'm Felice, the Happy Runner. Thanks for visiting. I'm grateful for each and every person who stops by this blog, especially those who take the time to leave me a comment and let me know that, really, it isn't just my cat and me who read my words. OK, my cat doesn't really read my blog. I have to read the words to my cat. But he pretends to listen. Most of the time. When I'm not too boring.

This blog is a journal of my running, thoughts on running, and running-related tips and information that I've picked up or learned along the way. I'm not a professional runner, nor am I a runner who finishes races too close to the front of the pack. I occasionally place in my age group but it is very, very unlikely that I would ever win a race. I do, however, try my best. And I love, love, love to run. So I figure that has to count for something!

I have a few other things going on in my life beside running: I'm a mom to a two-year-old boy, a wife (of 10 years!) to a great guy, an active community volunteer, a freelance writer and editor, and a bit of a Yankees fan. I love Starburst jelly beans, Craisins, my Brooks Addiction running shoes and all of A.S. Byatt's books.

Why I have composed this like an online dating profile, I'll never know. But, now you know a little more about me. And I hope that's not a bad thing.

You want more info? You got it!

Recent Race Results:

Freihofer's Run for Women 5K (6/10 -- preggo): 27:11
Mother's Day 3.5-mile (5/10 -- preggo): 29:59
HMRRC Winter Series 10K (1/10): 51:24
Freihofer's Run for Women 5K (5/09): 23:46
Runnin' of the Green 4-mile (3/09): 31:05
Komen Race for the Cure 5K (10/08): 23:27
ValleyCats Home Run 5K (6/08): 24:15
Freihofer's Run for Women 5K (5/08): 24:16

My PRs:

5K — 22:57 (Neighborhood Challenge, 5/02)
4m — 31:05 (Runnin' of the Green, 3/09)
10K — 50:41 (RunAground, 9/02)
15K — 75:16 (Stockade-athon, 11/03)
Marathon — 4:12:43 (Mohawk-Hudson River Marathon, 10/04)

Interviews, etc.: -- Profile, October 10, 2009
Freihofer's Run for Women blog -- Profile, July 21, 2009 -- Interview, November 10, 2008

I also write here:

Albany Running Examiner

My policies:

Product Review Policy

Contact me:

Want to chat? Got a question? E-mail me at felicehalf at yahoo dot com.
I'm also on twitter, should you have any interest in following me:

Modest running goals.

I had some fairly modest running goals for 2008, in part because I was unsure what to expect after being off for most of 2007. For a while, I was just happy to be running. Then I decided I needed to focus. I started this blog and set some goals.

1. I started off with the simple goal of running consistently and competing in three races. Accomplished!

Yeah, not much of a stretch, I know, but I did it! Nothing like setting yourself up for success, huh? From mid-March on, I ran consistently (until I had to break because of my silly ankle injury this fall) and I ran three 5k races.

2. Mid-year, I added the goal of running a 5k in under 24 minutes. Accomplished!

I finished the Albany Race for the Cure in 23:27.

3. This fall, I decided to add to my goals. I added the very vague "run more" to my list and said I wanted to complete the 100 push up challenge. Accomplished and not.

I increased my mileage this fall (for the most part) so I guess you could say I ran more*. I wish I had been a little more specific. Lesson learned. I did say that I wanted to accomplish my goal by running in the morning (oh, so didn't happen) and going on more long runs (yup!), so I was specific with my tactics, just not with what more meant.

But, um, push ups. They didn't work out so well. I followed the program for what seemed like 10 years and never made it to week 6. Now, the failed challenge is hanging out there, mocking me every time I think about it. That alone might be reason enough to attempt it again this year. I need to quiet the mocking! I mean, really, who wants to be mocked by un-completed push ups? Not me, sir. Not me.

What will 2009 bring? I'm not entirely sure. For starters, I have no crystal ball so I can't predict the future. I do have a plan to run a marathon in May and two other races this spring. I would like to lay out some additional goals. But first, I have a sunny day to enjoy. My modest goal setting for 2009 will just have to wait.

Happy new year!

*I'm a wee bit happy to report that I ran 500 miles this year. Not a lot by some standards but I didn't run in January or February and I consider that 2008 was a building year. But don't call it a comeback. I been here for years. Rockin' my peers . . . No? I should leave 1991 in past? Hmm . . . you're probably right.

Happy Runner Recipes

Here are all of the recipes that have been featured on this blog. This page is still a work in progress, and will be expanded as my recipe feature grows.


Flaxy Muffins

(click here for the original post)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12 cup muffin pan with Pam or similar spray oil. Or, you could use muffin liners. If you choose to use the liners, though, they can be tough to take off these muffins because they contain so little fat.

1-1/4c. flour (half whole wheat, half unbleached white)
1/4 c. flax meal
1 c. old fashioned oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

3 carrots, peeled, steamed and pureed in food processor
1 banana
1 c. 1% milk
1/2c. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl (first 6 ingredients). Mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon until well-combined. Add in dry ingredients and stir until combined. The batter will be lumpy, so don't worry about trying to get it smooth.

Pour batter evenly into muffin cups. Bake for 20-22 minutes.

Blueberry Muffins
(click here for the original post)

1/3 stick butter, softened or melted
1 banana
1 egg
1/2c. sugar
1/3c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2c. fat-free plain yogurt
1/2c. fat-free milk (or 1c. of yogurt and skip the milk)
2-3/4c. flour (mix of whole wheat and white)
1/4c. wheat germ
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2c. frozen blueberries.

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

Beat the butter, banana, egg and sugar. Stir in the applesauce, yogurt and milk. Add all the dry ingredients together and mix until just combined. Stir in the blueberries.

Pour batter into prepared muffin tin and bake for about 25 minutes, until the muffins are lightly browned on top.

Enjoy the muffins warm from the oven and freeze what you can't eat within two days or so.

Sauteed Eggplant and Pasta
(click here for the original post)

2 tbsps olive oil
1 medium eggplant, chopped into 1-inch cubes ***EDITED: I forgot to mention that the eggplant should be peeled :-)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. chopped basil
4 medium carrots
1/2 c. sundried tomatoes, julienned
1/2 c. roasted red peppers, sliced
1 can chopped tomatoes (don't drain)

Warm oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring, until the eggplant starts to brown and soften, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat and add basil, carrots, red peppers, both tomatoes. Let simmer for about 20 minutes or so. Adjust seasoning, as needed.

Meanwhile, boil pasta. I use Barilla Plus rotini, but use whatever kind you like. When the pasta is cooked to your liking, drain it and add to the eggplant. Mix together and cook over low heat for a few minutes to let the sauce combine well with the pasta. Serve hot, sprinkled with freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.

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