Monday, November 29, 2010

Logging 20.

Hey, thanks for taking a break from Cyber Monday to stop over at the Happy Runner! I wish I had something enticing to offer you. How about some free shipping on this blog post? Today only!

Holy moley. What's up with Cyber Monday? I've been bombarded by emails, ads and Facebook posts all about the Cyber Monday madness. Has it always been this way? Did I miss the madness last year? Sheesh.

Anyway, in the midst of all the Thanksgiving eating and visiting with family, I managed to get in a few good runs. I didn't run in a Turkey Trot but I did log 5.5 miles on Thanksgiving when my legs gave thanks for the flat routes on Long Island -- what a break from the hills in my neighborhood! On Friday I went out for a quick 3.5 miler, which I shook up with some fartleks thrown in the middle. I took Saturday off and then ran a 5 miler yesterday (Sunday) to end the week with just over 20 miles!

OK, 20 miles a week may not be a lot for some but for me it is great. Back when I was still pregnant and imagining what my post-baby running would be like, I never thought I would be back to 20 miles 7 weeks after giving birth. Honestly, I thought it would be a little tougher and it would take me a little longer to get the mileage up. But, I'm back to 20 -- right around where I was before getting pregnant (I'm normally a 20-25 mile a week runner). Overall, getting to this point has gone well. There have been a few glitches but in the 5 weeks that I've been back to running, I've almost always felt very good. I'm fortunate, I know.

And now I'll cut back on my miles this week in preparation for Saturday's 5K race. I can't wait . . .

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and weekend. Congrats to all the turkey trotters!

~ Felice

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone! Don't eat the cheesecake pancakes.

~ Felice

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


For the past few days, my lungs have felt like ladyfingers soaking up espresso and rum to provide the spongy goodness in tiramisu. Only, there's been nothing good coming from my spongy lungs. And instead of espresso and rum, my lungs feel as if they are steeped in muck. The muckity muck of the common cold.

Yuck to the muck.

Owen had it first and it hung on for what seemed like forever. I thought for sure I was going to get a pass because of some sort of super post-pregnancy, nursing immunity. But, no. I guess that doesn't happen. Or at least not to me.

I loaded up on vitamins C and D. I kept up with my running. And yet, I caught the cold. Or whatever it is.

Since Saturday, I've had the spongy lungs, crazy coughing and a sore throat. The cold hasn't knocked me out, though, and I was able to get in two really good runs over the weekend. The worst part of the whole thing is that I often get coughing attacks while I'm nursing or trying to put Niall to bed and the horrendous noise startles the poor little guy. And the last thing anyone wants at a 3:30 am feeding is a startled baby. It doesn't make getting him back to sleep all that easy.

Oh, well. It won't last, I'm sure. I have a run on tap for tonight and I'm hoping some high intensity exercise will burn the bug out of my system!

I did recently read that flushing your ears with hydrogen peroxide will reduce the length of a cold. Sounds weird. Has anyone tried that? If you have, or you have any other works-for-me cold remedies, let me know!

~ Felice

Friday, November 19, 2010

Show the belly.

So, there I was wearing my running pants and a sports bra when my son came in my room and asked what I was doing.

"I'm getting ready to go for a run," I told him.

"Those aren't for runners," he said, pointing to my pants. "Runners wear shorts."

"Right. Runners wear shorts. But when it's cold out, runners wear pants," I said.

He seemed to buy this. Then he pointed to my sports bra. "That's for runners."

"Yup. You're right. It's my sports bra, for running," I agreed.

"Runners have to wear those to show their bellies."

Huh? I didn't say anything, but picked up my long sleeved shirt that I planned to wear.

"Yeah," he continued. "You have to show the belly." He gestured to my mid-section and then he gave me a very serious look. "You have to show the belly, Mommy. You have to pull your pants lower and show the belly."

"What are talking about?" I asked. With probably too snotty a tone.

He grabbed the waist of my pants and folded it over and said, "Like that. Show the belly." Then he pointed to my nightstand. "See? Runners show the belly!"

And with that, he ran off, out of my room.

I immediately knew what he was talking about. On my nightstand is a stack of Runner's World magazines. All of the cover runner-models wear sports bras and low-slung shorts. They show the belly, as it were.

I guess those covers made an impression on my impressionable 3 year old. I don't know exactly how I feel about this. Part of me is a little freaked out and annoyed that my son now thinks that runners need to wear as little as possible to be considered runners. Another part of me is happy that he thinks about running at all and that he pays attention enough to recognize differences in things like what people wear.

Thinking a little more about this, though, isn't is strange that all of the women on the RW covers wear more or less wearing the same thing? Don't some super runners wear singlets? Or shimmels? Honestly, seeing basically the same photo on the cover month after month is pretty boring.

But I guess it makes an impression. At least on the mind of a 3 year old.

And I'll leave you with that. Have a great weekend, everyone!

~ Felice

PS: I have a yummy giveaway going on over HERE so check it out!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Darn foot.

November is halfway over and I've already logged more miles than I did in October and in September! In September I ran 21.9 miles and I followed that with 21.4 in October. So far this month, I've run 28.9 free and easy miles! Yay!

Although, as I stand here typing, I'm reminded of the one thing that should temper my excitement: That little twinge in my right foot. Specifically, the ball of my big to and the arch area. Oh, that darn foot . . . it's the one with the bum toe(s) and the one that likes to cause problems now and then. I'm really hoping that now is not one of those times.

If it is, though, I'll have no one to blame but myself. See, as I've eased back into running, I started by running one day and taking two off. Then I went to taking one day off. Then, this weekend was 100% perfect running weather. Seriously. We're talking shorts and t-shirt weather.

So, I ran. Both days. After a speedy 5.1 miler on Thursday, I took Friday off. On Saturday, I went out for an easy 4 miler and had all intentions of calling it a week. But, well, then Sunday came around and it was sunny and warm and, you know, it's November after all and we don't get many sunny warm days in November. So . . . I ran again. Just 3 miles. Easy-peasy.

But now I've got the foot thing. There's a chance that my foot hurts because I squeezed into a pair of fancy shoes for my sister-in-law's baby shower on Saturday (grr . . . pregnancy caused my feet to expand!). I'm hoping that's all it is. I'm hoping it isn't from running. Because that would be a big bummer.

Whatever the cause, I'm not running today and, if the pain persists, I'll take tomorrow off, too. I'd rather a few extra days of not running than a prolonged injury!

I hope you all had a great weekend! It was beautiful here in upstate New York. Love the warm days in autumn!

~ Felice

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bloody run.

The upside is that I now have evidence that I have been running. The downside is that the evidence is physical. And a bit painful.

Let's start with the pain: The bloody, yucky chafing from my sports bra. Oh, yeah. Not good. I have about a 4 inch long chafed area on the underside of my right breast. It's no good. And you know what makes it worse? I'm breastfeeding. So, there's a lot of, um, action in that area and this chafing is not at all what I need.

I'd noticed a little bit of chafing a few runs ago, but it was nothing serious and didn't really bother me. Today? Well, today is a different story. I ran 5.1 (somewhat) speedy (for me) miles and, while doing so, my sports bra rubbed my skin raw. When I got back from my run it hurt a little. I went about my business until it was time to nurse my son and whamm-o! I sure noticed the bloody, raw chafed area then. Eek!

I've loaded it up with Aquaphor, hoping that it heals quickly. And, no. I will not wear that particular sports bra again.

Moving on . . .

After I fed my son, I took off my running shoes and saw this:

A bloody toe! Grrrr . . .

Not much pain there, just the blood. I believe that the nail from one toe dug into the side of another toe and made it bleed. There's a small cut but it doesn't hurt.


Aside from the chafing and the bleeding, my run was great. I ran progressively faster miles with my last 1.1 mile in 8:41 (7:53 pace, woo hoo!). And, I ran outside in shorts because it was sunny and brisk but not cold (mid-50s). Running in shorts in November is such a treat that it makes just about any run rock! Even those that end in blood.

Hope you're having a good, chafing-free day!

~ Felice

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

(Not quite) wordless Wednesday.

My little guy is one month old. A whole month! Can you believe it? No, neither can I.

He's getting B-I-G:

And his big brother loves him:

Aww . . .

Meanwhile, I really need to do something about the front closet:

Yup, home of a runner.
Happy Wednesday, everyone!

~ Felice

Monday, November 8, 2010

First 5.

Yesterday was my longest run since I gave birth: 5 miles at a comfortable 9:30 pace.

It was more-or-less a good run, except for the part where my ears felt as if they would freeze and fall off because I failed to wear a headband even though I knew there was a whipping wind. I blame it on a lack of sleep . . .

Anyway, my easing back plan is going well and my mileage is starting to creep back up. And, best of all, I have felt great each time out. Which means, of course, it is time for a plan! Not a major, serious plan or anything like that. I guess I'm thinking more of a guide. A guide that will get me back in to racing shape. You see, I've got a little 5K coming up on 12/4 and I'd like to run well. Ideally, I'd run it faster than the 27:11 I ran when I was 5.5 months preggo. Wishful thinking would be finishing faster than the 25:13 I ran in my first race back after Conal was born.

If I'm going to do either, I need to make a plan. Since my schedule is driven by my little one-month-old, I can't set anything in stone. So, I've decided that my plan will be to run 3-4 times a week with a progressively longer run on the weekend, one 3-4 mile fartlek or tempo run, and then another run or two at my comfortable base-building pace for about 4-5 miles. I don't want to push my body with intervals at this point so I'll hold off on them until after the new year. By then, I'll be three months postpartum so I should be able to handle tougher workouts.

So that's that. A plan is a plan.

Now, I just want to say a little something about the NYC marathon. I watched the broadcast yesterday and was, as usual, entranced. It was so exciting and I was really happy for Shalane Flanagan and her second place finish.

But I was even happier for a runner named Wendi Ray. She rocks, people. Rocks. Wendi is 37, works THREE jobs, trains in Wisconsin, and finished in 2:39:15 yesterday -- good enough for 22nd place overall and 6th among American women. She was recently profiled on the Running Times site and when I read about her I thought to myself, "Dang. I have NO excuse not to get it done."

No, I don't mean running a 2:39 marathon because that's just laughable. I mean making time for running. Getting back and running strong and well. If people much busier than I am can run to their potential, well, so can I.

And so I shall.

Did you watch the NYCM yesterday? Run it? Love it? Are you entering the lottery for next year? Good luck to those of you who are!

~ Felice

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The postpartum postmortem part 1.

Earlier this year, when my pregnancy was still new and barely noticeable, I had this idea of summing up each of the three trimesters as I went along. I thought I would share some stories of my running exploits, maybe scare a few non-mothers away with my tales of fatigue, queasiness and never-ending Braxton-Hicks contractions. You know, fun stuff like that.

But, well, no. I never got around to writing the recaps but I continued to want to so -- lucky you -- I will recap my three trimesters now, from the vantage point of (almost) four weeks postpartum. I know! So exciting, right? Let's get to it.

Part 1: The first trimester

Here's the thing about the first trimester: You're tired. Really tired. Tired like you've never felt before. Imagine, if you will, a Mack truck of fatigue running you over 15,689 times and that's sorta what it is like. No exaggeration.

So, my first trimester involved that sort of fatigue but I was fortunate to be able to continue to run. I had to take a little bit of time off here and there and I had several low mileage weeks in the beginning (thanks, of course, to that Mack truck of fatigue) but, overall, my running was decent.

In fact, I ran 154.5 miles in my first trimester. That included a 10K race (51:24) and the marathon relay 5.7m leg (50:25). My race results buoyed my running spirits and helped me believe that I would be able to run throughout my pregnancy.

I knew that I would not be able to run at my pre-pregnancy level, however, so I decided to turn my focus outward and I started a running moms group to train new runners for their first 5K.  This was big for me. I mean, huge. And, I loved it. Also, mom runners rock.

Physically, I felt good during this trimester. I wasn't showing much, although I had begun to gain weight and my hips had widened right away, but I still felt normal. The weirdest symptoms during the first 13 weeks was that I couldn't eat lettuce or onions. For some reason, they skeeved me out like nothing else. That soon faded in my second trimester but, sheesh. Lettuce and onions really turned my stomach.

Speaking of stomachs, I was hungry all the time, a symptom that would continue until . . . well, it still continues so who knows when that will fade away!

And that's about it. My first trimester was exciting in that it was when I found out I was pregnant but, other than that, it was fairly uneventful -- and that's what you want when you're preggo! Stay tuned for part 2, coming soon . . .

~ Felice

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

October recap.

I started the month as a pregnant mom and ended as a mom of two, with a three-week old baby and a belly full of way too much Halloween candy. Between the 1st and the 31st, a lot happened.

The biggest thing, of course, was the birth of my little guy, Niall. Yup, big doings around here, for sure! The second biggest thing was my return to running a little over a week ago. So far, so good -- I'm loving it!

I logged both my walking and running miles this month and I'm pleased to report that there were slightly more running miles than walking. Things are speeding up around here.

October stats:

Running/walking (miles): 21.4
Cross-training (sessions): 5 (way, way more if you count labor and delivery . . . )

I'm pleased with my progress and expect that November will be even better. Too bad we're heading into winter just as I'm getting ready to make my comeback. But, such is life. You can't always get what you want, right?

Have a great week, everyone!

~ Felice

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