Friday, August 24, 2012

Next up: Fast running.

After such a good experience in the 10-mile race last Saturday, I'm going to keep the momentum going and run a 5K race on Sunday. It's another small race and since I seem to do well in those, I'd like to run it fast.

I finished my last 5K in 22:43, so it would be super to finish this one right around 23 minutes. But, I'll be happy with anything under 24 minutes.

So, I'm setting 23 minutes as my A goal, and 24 as my B.

Those are just my time goals.

What I'd really like to accomplish in this race is to run negative splits. In my last 5K, I ran 7:51, 7:05 and 6:51 for miles 1, 2 and 3 respectively (and then a quick 6:09 pace for that last .10). That was basically a perfect race for me. I've rarely been able to pull off splits like that! On Sunday, I'd like to run similarly. Maybe my times won't be the same, but I'd like mile 3 to kick mile 1's butt!

I'd also like to run in such a way that I finish feeling strong. That's how I felt after Sunday's race and it is a great feeling. These summer races aren't my goal races so I should finish feeling like I have something left in the tank -- because I'm going to need to tap that tank for my half marathons!

Well, folks, that's the plan. I hope you all have a great weekend!

Are you racing this weekend? Let me know so I can send you some good running vibes!

~ Felice

Thursday, August 23, 2012

New addiction.

Check it out: We're a little more than halfway through 2012 and I'm gasp! catching up with late-2010 technology.

Word up.

(See? Still stuck in the 80s. 1980s.)

The technology in question? Instagram. And a kickin' new cool phone. (I'm in love, by the way, with my new Samsung Galaxy SIII. It is the best.)

Yes, I've become slightly addicted to Instagram. I've been snapping and sharing pics like mad.

Like these:

Half of the kale patch -- still going strong!

My speedy feet. OK, my speedy Mizunos.

Post-workout -- with my 5-year-old getting in on the action.

What's so fun about taking pictures of my kale? And my running shoes?

I don't know. It just is. Maybe it's the fact that I feel so 2010 -- maybe even 2011 -- that makes it fun? You know, because I feel so with it? Dunno. Could just be the fancy new phone.

Whatever it is, I like it.

Are you on Instagram? Give me a follow and I'll follow you back! 

Happy Thursday -- getting close to the weekend!

~ Felice

Monday, August 20, 2012

Clove Run 2012 race report.

I needed this race. I really, really did.

After all my talk about channeling my inner-Danell Leyva and moving on after my lousy experience at the Boilermaker, I was still in a funk.

Sure, I've had plenty of good runs since the Boilermaker. But my mind has been out to get me. It has been telling me that, yes, I can run. I can even, often, run well. Just not in races. Not anymore.

Not anymore? Nope, not anymore.

For some reason, my mind has been convinced of this -- convinced that I've lost my racing edge.

And that is why I needed the Clove Run. I needed race redemption.

Race redemption is what I got.

The Clove Run is a super small 10 mile race that winds through the small village of Castleton and then out on to sparsely-populated hilly country roads before turning back in to the village for the last two or so miles.

Oh, and there is a sick hill right around mile 9. Sick.

Last year, I won the thing. That's right! First female overall. It was awesome.

This year, I felt like I'd be lucky to finish. My racing spirit has been so deflated and I honestly did not know what to expect from this race. I wanted to run at my goal half-marathon pace, which is about 8:15/mile, and I was hopeful that I could do it.

I met up with a bunch of my friends and at a little after 9:00, we took off. I settled in to a good rhythm within a half mile and told myself to just run, nice and steady.

Running that way, I passed two women in the first mile and another two in the second mile. Then I was passed by a shirtless man a little before mile 3. I could see another woman ahead of me and I wanted to catch up with her -- for no good reason, other than I wanted to. But, I was just at mile 3 and I knew that all the big hills were yet to come. So, I calmed down and continued to run steady.

That strategy worked because I ended up passing her a little before mile 4.

And then I was alone. Running up two honking, big hills. Alone. Running over the country roads, alone.

Around mile 5, I heard foot steps and I thought the woman I had passed was coming up on me. The steps were behind me for about a half mile and all I could think during that time was, "Pass me! Just pass me!"

And then she did -- only, it was a different woman. She passed me somewhere after the mile 5 marker and just ran on, putting more and more distance between us.

Then I was alone again.

A little after mile 7, though, was awesome. There, I ran past my friend Jen's house and she was at the end of her driveway, with her kids, cheering and snapping photos. Like this one:

I wasn't kidding when I said I was running alone!

Seeing Jen and her kids was super! It was a much-needed boost.

Soon enough, the course turned on to a (relatively) busy road, a flat mile or so before the killer hill. I told myself to hang on and not push the pace, because I knew I needed to save whatever energy I could for the big hill.

Oh, that hill.

I don't like that hill. Not one bit. See, the hill is steep. That in itself isn't terrible. It is the fact that it comes at mile 9 that makes it terrible. After you've run 9 miles -- and already tackled a bunch of hills -- having to take on a steep one isn't really what you want.

At least, it isn't what I want.

But, I did it. I managed to run up most of the hill, before slowing to a walk at the end of it, and then trying to pick up the pace and bring it home.

In the end, I finished second place female overall!

I was psyched! Best of all is that all my friends had great races, too. Tami finished right behind me in third place, Karen was first in her age group, Elisa felt terrific and ran fast, and Bridget set a 3 minute PR! Woo hoo!

That's Tami and me, with our HUGE trophies. Seriously, these were the biggest trophies ever! 

Here are my splits:

Mile 1: 7:58
Mile 2: 7:59
Mile 3: 8:13
Mile 4: 8:06
Mile 5: 7:54
Mile 6: 8:06
Mile 7: 8:44
Mile 8: 7:57
Mile 9: 8:33
Mile 10: 8:23

Finish time: 1:21:54 -- 8:11 pace!

I needed this awesome race. I felt great. It really was race redemption.

As silly as it sounds, now I feel like I am ready to take on my fall half marathons. Mentally, I needed to find some post-Boilermaker success in order to truly refocus. Now, I believe I can do it. Watch out, half marathons!!

Thanks for stopping by and for making it through this super long race report!

Have a great week!

~ Felice

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Injinji running socks (review).

Check out my weird green feet:

Funky, huh?

They are the Injinji toe socks and I love them. I was lucky to be sent two pair for review and over the past two months I've become a big fan.

At first, I admit, I thought they were the weirdest socks ever. Seriously. I mean, look at them. Weird.

And weirder still was putting them on. Poking each toe into the individual slots -- sleeves? toe thingies? -- well, whatever they are called, poking each toe into them was . . . odd.

But, to my surprise, I love my Injinjis and they've become my go-to socks. In fact, I wore them on this morning's almost-6 miler.

The individual toe things really keep my toes dry when I run, which is nice since I'm still feeling nervous about getting blisters after the Boilermaker Blister Incident.

They are comfortable, thin, low-profile -- just right.

My new favorite socks!

Thank you, Injinji, for being so weird. And so great to run in.

Have you tried the Injinji socks? Do you like them?

You can find the Injinji Performance Lightweight No Showsocks -- just like mine in the photo -- at Amazon and other retailers.

Have a great day!

~ Felice

Review disclaimer: I was sent socks to review and was not otherwise compensated. The opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Just run.

We were away this past weekend, enjoying the summer with family at Sacandaga Lake.



Greedy ducks!
It was a great weekend that even involved two good runs.

The first was a quick 4-miler. The next was odd for me. About a quarter mile into my run, my Garmin died. Well, the battery ran out. No charge.

I'm not familiar with distances where we were so I had no way of knowing how far I was running. I did have my phone, though, so when my Garmin went dead I looked at the time on my phone and figured I'd look at the time when I was done, so I could have some sort of idea of time, at least.

I ran down one road to an intersection then turned around and ran to another. Then, back to the camp.

Checked the time: 54 minutes. Maybe a tad less.

No idea of distance.

Of course, being as weekly-mileage obsessed as I am, I tracked the distance when I got home. 6.2 miles. About 8:43 pace. Not bad for an unknown run.

Maybe I should run Garmin-free all the time!

Do you run faster when you just run? I think I might.

~ Felice

Monday, August 13, 2012

The hangover.

This is kinda what I have going on over in Happy Runner-ville today:

Oh, Olympics. I'll miss you.

I really, really will. But I've missed my sleep dearly and the stress of all that competition has, at times, been too much. So, in a way, I'm glad you're over.

See you in four years!

And, friends, if you see me sleep sprinting, just look away. It's just a mad case of POSD!

Happy Monday, everyone!

~ Felice

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Olay, Olay!

Hey there! I have a great deal for you today!

P&G -- you know, that BIG Olympics sponsor -- has an eStore with tons of beauty and home care items. Now through August 31st they are offering YOU 10% off all items plus free shipping on all orders over $25.

I've used a bunch of P&G products, like Cascade, Tide, Crest, Iams cat food and Olay.

One of my favorite Olay products is from the Olay Regenerist line: The Regenerating Cream Cleanser. I really like the way the cream cleanser made my skin feel, especially in the winter. I have combination skin that tends to get dry in the winter so I usually switch to a creamier cleanser as the weather gets colder. The Regenerating Cream Cleanser worked well for me!

Would you like to try it out? Or try out any of the other P&G products? Well, you can check out the convenient P&G eStore by clicking on the link below -- you'll find some great deals!

Olay Regenerist Skin Care Starter Trio Pack

See anything you like? After you place your order, feel free to leave me a comment to let me know if you decide to take advantage of these deals!

Happy shopping!

~ Felice

Disclosure: I will receive compensation for orders placed on the P&G eStore.

Gummy-licious winners!

It is winner time, here. For last week's gummy bear giveaway, I was able to choose two winners, which I did using

And the lucky winners are . . . 

Amy Lauren from The Tiny Terror


Melissa from My Running Journey

Congratulations to both of you! shoot me an email at felicehalf at yahoo dot com with your addresses and I'll send your coupons for 4 free bags of gummy bears!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

~ Felice

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


We hit the beach this past weekend.

It was a great time. We had a family wedding to go to on Saturday (tons of fun!) so we stayed at my sister in law's house for the weekend, which meant we could enjoy a full day at the beach on Sunday.

My boys love the beach.

The fam!

So do I.

Can't summer last just a little longer?

On the running side of things . . . we had a tough night (toddler stomach bug? something...) on Friday and I didn't sleep much at all so my planned 10-miler was reduced to a quick 4. But, I got a run in and I'm happy about that!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

~ Felice

Friday, August 3, 2012

I want candy! (giveaway)

Sometimes you just have to say, "Yes."

Like when someone offers you the opportunity to review (and give away!) gummy bears. Especially when couched as running fuel. Lots of people eat gummy bears or jelly beans when out for a long run -- they are pretty portable and the sugar gives a nice little energy boost.

And, yes, I've been known to eat some jelly beans here and there. Granted, I've cut down. But that doesn't mean I don't still crave them. There is just something about fruity, chewy sugary candy . . . yum.

Anyway . . . I was sent a pack of "sweat-approved" Haribo Gold Bears to try out and review:

Try them out I did!

They are . . . well, they are gummy bears. So, they're gummy. Chewy, fruity candy bears. I liked the different flavors and I also liked that the bears were not super soft. These gummy bears actually require a bit of work to chew -- a good thing if you want to indulge a sweets craving, but you don't want to go crazy with handful after handful of easy-to-chew jelly beans (or M&Ms or whathaveyou). What? You don't ever go crazy with the candy?!?

The other thing that I liked is that 11 of these little bears are just 75 calories so grabbing a few when that sweets craving hits won't break your diet.

Now, I'm working on cutting down on using sugar during and right before my long runs, so I don't think I'd add the gummy bears to my routine. I would, however, keep these on-hand for when I just need a smidge of sweetness.They are a nice little treat!

The Giveaway!

OK. Who wants to try out some gummy bears? You? Great. Because I have coupons for free bags o' bears for two lucky readers (4 free bags each)! Here's what you need to do:

To enter, leave me a comment and let me know that you want to win!

Additional entries:

As always, you can gain extra entries. Remember, though, you must complete the required entry first! (Leave one comment per entry for the additional ones to count):
  • Follow this blog, or let me know that you already do (leave a comment
  • Follow me on Pinterest, or let me know that you already do (leave a comment 
  • Pin the image from this post to share the giveaway on Pinterest (leave a comment  
  • Link to this giveaway on Twitter using this tweet  (leave a comment

Win candy from @TheHappyRunner: 

  • Follow me on Twitter, or let me know that you already do (leave a comment
  • Link to this giveaway from your blog  (leave a comment 

This giveaway will run through Wednesday, August 8 at 11:59pm EST and the winner will be announced on Thursday.

Good luck!

~ Felice

Review/giveaway disclosure: I was sent candy to review. I was not otherwise compensated and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lessons from Danell Leyva.

Last night, I watched the Olympics men's gymnastics individual all-around finals and I was struck by something that I am 100% going to strive to apply to my running.

Danell Leyva rocked out on his floor routine at the start of the competition. One rotation later, he had to tackle the pommel horse. 

Unfortunately, it was more like the pommel horse tackled him. 

He had a poor routine that garnered a low score. It looked like he was out of the run for a medal. He was so low in the standings. He had to feel defeated.

He did not give up.

Somehow, someway, he shook off his "catastrophic" pommel horse routine and moved on, scoring well in each of the following rotations and moving up to claim the bronze medal.

He went from a low-low to the high of being an Olympic medalist!

Believe me, I know I'm not ever going to win an Olympic medal. But I still can learn from Danell. And, I bet, so can you.

He did not give up.

How bad must it have appeared after that pommel horse routine? How horrible must he have felt? How many doubts about himself must he have had?

Plenty bad. Plenty horrible. Plenty doubts.

I'm just guessing.

He did not give up.

So what did I learn from Danell? Well, if a 20-year-old can find a way not to crumble under pressure after almost certain failure, then I -- you know, with all the worldly wisdom that comes with age and motherhood -- should not crumble after one lousy race, one lousy run, or one lousy mile.

There is no reason to let past mistakes lead to future failures. A lousy run doesn't mean I've lost my endurance. A lousy mile repeat doesn't mean I've lost my speed. A lousy race doesn't mean my PRs are all behind me.

If I trust my training and trust my abilities, I can rise above poor performances and keep on going. 

In other words, I will not give up.

I've been feeling off ever since my crummy performance at the Boilermaker in early July. August will be my month to shake off that feeling and focus on my training and upcoming races. The Boilermaker will be forgotten.

Have you had to work hard to move on after lousy races? What worked best for you?

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Felice

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

July recap.

July was a strange month and, admittedly, I'm glad to be moving on to August.

My training didn't go as planned -- I had a tough race at the beginning of the month, followed by almost a full week off from running because of a blister. Then I couldn't find my groove. I had plenty of really good runs, but I also had some runs that -- while not exactly lousy runs -- were just a little off.

I'm sure it was all mental and turning the calendar page will probably be just the change I need to shift my mind-set.

Here is how July shaped up:

Running (miles): 94.1 (lowest mileage since last December)
Races: 1 -- the Boilermaker 
Cross training (sessions): lots -- at least two a week

I'm traveling a lot this month so I'll have to work to fit in my long runs and other workouts. But I know I can do it. I'm rededicating myself to my training this month -- my goal half marathon is 9 weeks away!

How was your July?

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Felice

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