Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Doing it Backwards

I saw a random thing on Instagram about running backwards and the benefits of it.  In fact the blurb said running backwards once around a track had similar benefits to running forwards 6 times around.

I wish now I would have saved the whole thing to look at later, but I did run backwards for a quarter of a mile with my kids (they ran forward) on their training run yesterday morning. They thought I was crazy and would surely get run over by a car.  I didn't.  I didn't trip or fall in a pothole either.

I also didn't feel like I ran a mile and a half forward, but it did actually feel pretty good and really worked my calves.  So being the person I am I had to look up what the benefits of it are and the downsides if any.

Here is what I found in quick little bullets:
  • Strengthens opposing muscles.  Works quads, calves and shins.  (Since I am a quad dominant runner I wonder if that part is a benefit or not to me.)
  • Claims to burn more calories, up to a fifth or a third (depending on the source) more than forward running. (Yay means I can eat more)
  • Can still run backwards with certain injuries like hamstring and groin, back, ankle, Achilles, and knee injuries.  (personally I question some of that, but sounds good)
  • Heightened senses since you will have to rely on your hearing and peripheral vision more (can you say Superhero?)
  • Improved posture. You naturally stand up straighter when running backwards, this in turn helps strengthen the core muscles (yay)
Sources HERE HERE and HERE

My son decided he wanted to learn crow pose, although he refuses to call it yoga, but working out instead.  It didn't take him too long to get it

The smoke from the Washington fires finally started to blow away and I finally got a real sunrise while out running yesterday. YAY! Although it was still a little muted.

I did a long run Sunday that seemed to suck the life out of me, I decided yesterday's run would be short and easy.  Then I started doing fartleks and it felt good to run fast, so I ended up going 6.2 miles.  Amazing what a difference a day makes!
Then I ran an easy mile and a half with the kids during which I did the backwards running.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

ProCakes Review

I was recently given the opportunity to try ProCakes.  I am a fan of protein pancakes, but I admit sometimes I am too lazy to make them.  ProCakes makes it pretty easy, just add milk and an egg and cook. or in my case forget the egg and wonder why the batter is so dry so add more milk. 
I spooned the batter into my pan to cook.

and even with messing up in the directions they turned out great.

I topped mine with almond butter and greek yogurt.

They were delicious and kept me feeling satiated all morning after a run.

so... what is so great about ProCakes, in their words
With over 20 grams of protein per serving, ProCakes high protein pancake mix is a great way to get your day started or fuel a workout without added sugars or artificial ingredients.

ProCakes are made with no added sugar, and no gluten. We’ve fused whey protein with a mix of nutrient dense flours like almond and coconut, and paired them with a mix of gluten free flours to keep the overall pancake experience just like you’d expect to taste.

In my words
 it is a quick easy way to make a high protein pancake, satisfy a breakfast craving and feel full all morning.

What is your favorite way to top pancakes?  Do you make protein pancakes?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Three Things Thursday

1. This summer in keeping up with how winter was, is cooler than normal. I am not complaining!  The wheat fields are starting to turn and are so beautiful.
They are so peaceful to drive through and especially run through.
Sadly we are supposed to get back into the 90s again and hit 99 on Saturday. It is making it easy for me to say no to a local half marathon on Sunday that only costs $20. It was also the first one I ever did, starts at 7 and always seems hot. I nearly heat stroked the first time I did it.  It's just tempting when there is a local half.

2. I did my first run today since the half on Sunday. It felt pretty good, my calves still feel pretty tight, but everything else feels raring to go, which makes the half this weekend even more tempting.

Random sunflower and butterfly picture

3. My kids want to do a 2 mile race in August. I told them I would do it with them, but I wouldn't sign them up unless they trained for it and could run a mile and a half. They have been running a half a mile in the mornings and we are going to kick it up this weekend to a mile.

They have been busy crosstraining helping their dad build fence.
What is the hottest half or full you have done?  Pretty sure it hit the 100s the day I ran my first half, it of course wasn't that hot in the morning for the race but it felt like it by the time I was done.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Random things from the Missoula Marathon

I picked up this great arm band at the Runner's Edge running store in Missoula.
The one I was using had bad Velcro and I wasn't a big of anyway.  This one is amazing in comparison.
It was my first time in the store. Seemed like a great store with everything a runner could want, my only complaint is if you came in in Monday after the race you could get 20% off in the store. Why not get it Saturday before the race of you show your race bib. Boo.

I picked up these two headbands at the expo. One for me and a sparkly one for my daughter.

I also met part of the Omnibar team at their booth. Last year they sent some Omnibars with is on our Ragnar relay in Colorado. We thanked them, talked about possible flavors for their new bars, and they agreed to send us some more for Ragnar Napa.  Yay! 

I had a hard time deciding what shoes to wear for the half. It was between these.
my daughter could not resist putting her toe in there

I went with the Asics and other than a hot spot on my left big toe, they worked out fine. I did decide I need more Altras.  I have a pair in rotation right now, but for some reason I decided to try a size smaller and while they work great for shorter runs, longer runs cause some toe rubbing.

I picked up two audiobooks from the library before I left. I listened to the first disc on one and was sad when the second disc was too scratched up to play, as was the third. I didn't even try the fourth or fifth. I didn't want to start the other audiobook too soon as I wanted it for the long drive home so I listened to podcasts for most of the drive over. I timed it perfect as the second audiobook ended just as I turned in my driveway. Yay!!!

Billie Jo and I had several people ask us what Team Beef is all about which is fun and I love talking about it with people. We are clearly both very passionate about it and grateful to be able to run for something we love so much.

As I was wondering what I should tackle next Billie Jo texted me about running another half in September two weeks before we go to Napa. Hmmm.  

I  have to admit I want to, gives me motivation to work on speed training and strength training. I would love to do another half this year and try to beat my time from Missoula. 

I am going to take it easy this week and then figure it out.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Missoula Half Marathon

The weather forecast for Missoula on race day was looking HOT!  It was supposed to be almost 100.  Luckily for me, the half marathon started at 6 am and it was in the high 50s low 60s and felt a little humid.  I knew since I would be finishing before 8 am it wouldn't be too hot during the race.

Bus pickup went smoothly, they had lots of busses, our bus driver seemed to hit every yellow light and slam on the brakes as soon as she saw it turn yellow.

We got out to the starting area about 40 minutes early and had lots of time to use the porta potties twice before the lines got really long on them. 

Pre-race photo with my good friend Billie Jo, who is also going to run the Napa Ragnar with me
Since there were 4000 runners entered in the half marathon, the start was very crowded and though I had tried to get near the front I was still quite a ways back so it seemed like forever until I crossed the starting line.  It also felt like a long time until the pack loosened up and some boy probably about 11-12 years old kept weaving in and out right in front of me with these crazy long slow loping strides and I thought to myself  "if he keeps this up, one of us is tripping"  sure enough pretty soon he cut in front of me again and his foot kicked my shin and he almost fell.   Then he had the nerve to look at me like it was my fault.  Thankfully he couldn't keep up with me and I am guessing he found someone else to cut in front of.

The first three miles went at a pretty steady 7:38 pace and felt pretty good, but my right sciatic was bothering me a little.  I had to hold back my pace a little and I felt like around mile 4ish I finally warmed up good and got into a good groove. 

I had a girl run with me for awhile, she said she felt like I had a good pace, but I could tell by her labored breathing she was not going to be able to stick with me for the whole race. 

Miles 4-9 I felt really strong and passed people that had gone out too fast.  I was still holding a pretty steady 7:40ish pace, breathing felt good, legs felt good, back was no longer bothering me.

About mile 10 my legs started to feel a little tired and by mile 11 I was questioning being able to hold onto my pace for the rest of the half.  Mile 12 was a struggle!  My legs were tired and it was starting to feel warm out.  The last mile hurt too, but at least at that point I knew it was my last mile plus .1 and I could do it.

Garmin read 1:41:12 with 13.18 miles for a pace of 7:41
officially 1:41:12  with a 7:44 pace for the 13.1
good enough for 61 out of 2300 female finishers and 11 in my age group.

so how does that stack up to my goals?
  • A goal is to come in under 1:40 which would be an average pace of 7:38
  • B goal is to come in around 1:41:42 like predicted with a 7:46 pace
  • C goal is to come in under 1:45 which would be a 8:01 pace
Pretty good, A goal was a shoot for the moon goal and B goal was my realistic goal, so I am very happy with my time. I felt like I gave it my all and have to admit I could feel the minimal amount of speed work I did during training.

Billie Jo and I got our finisher photo then went back to the hotel to shower and find somewhere to eat some breakfast.
I got so many compliments on my red sparkly skirt from other runners and spectators.  I would wear it again. 

I also had to get a picture with my son's first grade teacher post race.

I love the race shirt, a women's fit technical shirt and you can see in the above pictures the medal is a horseshoe and is pretty good sized.
The plan for today is yoga as I am feeling a little stiff and sore. 

How was your weekend?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Three Point Two Things Because It's Thursday

1. I conducted an informal poll on my facebook and Instagram about what I should wear for the half marathon this weekend.  There are two skirt and three sock options.

Skirt A is a black Lululemon skirt and skirt B is a red Team Sparkle Skirt with Lululemon shorts (essentially the same shorts that are under the Lulu skirt, they are so great to run in)

The sock options are red, black or white with green Procompression socks.  I call the green ones my lucky socks.  Only 5 people so far have picked the lucky socks.

I was showing this picture to another nurse at work and we were discussing the sparkle skirt and I threw out a "yeah naturally people run faster in a sparkly skirt" this made a guy I work with laugh pretty good and maybe actually snort a little. I didn't even think he was listening since he was busy helping close a surgical incision. I offered to let him try one of my sparkly skirts for his next run, but he clearly isn't convinced.

2. The kids found my 2 man tent in the basement and have been bugging us for weeks to have a campout on the lawn.  So we finally did Tuesday night.  All four of us in the two man tent.
That picture is after Rance and I got up in the morning.  It was pretty snug in there and the kittens kept climbing over it. all night.  We had fun though and the kids can't wait to do it again.  I, however, can't get the montrous spider that I killed not so very far away from the tent out of my head.  EEK.

3. My older sister's husband made this great swimming pool for the kids at their house.
He made it out of old hay bales and a tarp.  Pretty awesome, except their horses keep trying to eat it and the goats think it is a great place to swim too.  The kids can't get enough.
3. This picture of my little dog and I makes my lawn look amazing, but mostly I love it because Cola looks so happy.  My lawn in real life while steadily improving doesn't look quite this good.
3.2 While Cola and I took that selfie, my cat got jealous and chewed my earbuds cord in freaking half.  My most favorite ones ever.
Four days before my half marathon and although I KNOW somewhere in my house I have at least 5 other pairs all coiled up neatly and stored in plastic sandwich bags so they don't get tangled together, I cannot find where I put them.  I am sure I put them somewhere I would remember them.  Grr.

If you haven't already..weigh in and give me your opinion on what I should wear this weekend.  I am pretty sure I already know what I will wear, but it is fun to see what other people think.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Quick Tips for Early Morning Runs and last week in review

Last week

Sunday         14 mile long run
Monday        50 minutes elliptical
                     60 minutes power yoga
Tuesday        20 minutes yoga in the morning before work
                       4 mile tempo run after work
                     40 pushups, 20 pullups, 15 divebombers, and 30 box jumps while making supper
Thursday        7 miles of intervals
Friday             5 easy miles
Saturday         yoga in the morning
                       25 minutes rowing

Runs 30 miles in 4 runs
Strength 1.. oops but the power yoga Monday was like strength training
yoga 3
Rowing 25 minutes
Elliptical 50 minutes

How I think training is going.. overall pretty good.  This was not a training cycle where I emphasized a lot of speed training or hills the goal was overall to get to the start line and cross the finish.

As the half marathon gets closer I have to keep reminding myself of that.  That competitive part of me wants to go for it. 
My motivation right now is coming from my upcoming half of course, but also partially from the weather this week that has skipped the 80s and shot straight into the 90s.. HOT.  My favorite time of day to run is to get out before the sun comes up so I can be out running to really savor the sunrise.
I love watching the colors slowly change, I like to think Cola likes it too
I especially love partly cloudy mornings when the clouds all across the sky take on a pink/purple hue. 

My quick tips for getting out the door for early morning runs
  • have your clothes laid out the night before
  • better yet go to sleep in them
  • unless your internal alarm clock goes off somewhere between 3:30 and 4:05 like mine does, set an alarm
  • have anything you are taking with you laid out (watch, water bottle, fuel, bear spray, etc) the less time you have to spend searching for things the sooner you get out the door
  • DO NOT SIT DOWN AT THE COMPUTER  I can't tell you how many pre dawn runs I have ruined, by just sitting down to check out Facebook.  It can be such a time suck!
  • Don't give yourself an option.  The decision has already been make..do it!
I find the less time I allow to think about it the better it goes in the morning. I remind myself how much I love running into the sunrise and how hot it will be later if I wait.

My son and I went on a mother-son date last week and went to How to Train Your Dragon 2 in 3D
We had a blast and stuffed ourselves of movie popcorn.
Are you a pre dawn runner?  I am only in the spring, and summer, a little in the fall.  I prefer to wait until the sun comes up when it is super cold out. 

What tips do you have for getting out the door for early morning runs?