Tuesday, October 6, 2015

#MotivateMe Monday,er Tuesday

Last week running went really well. Until the weekend anyway. I did a long run and a couple shorter trail runs. I have to admit after spending all morning in the cold wind and rain watching flag football I was in no hurry to get back out into it. So I spent some time on the elliptical.

Sunday we moved cows and while it was a little chilly, it wasn't bad, I came home with extra kids and figured I would run once they went home.  By the time they went home my back was not happy. I didn't run.

This guy loves riding, and chasing cows, he never once complained of the cold.

Monday I got up hoping that my back would feel better, but it felt worse.  It was beautiful running weather outside of course, and my day off from work. I finally gave up and went to the chiropractor.  He said my lower back was way out in at least two spots and cracked me good.  It felt so much better!  Although I was still pretty gimpy. This morning it feels nearly back to normal, but still a bit tight and sore. At least I am walking normal.  No running today.  I do have to work, so I will try not to over do it at work.

I am also doing an Instagram yoga challenge this month. I haven't done one in awhile so I decided why not!

My marigolds are making a comeback after being decimated by grasshoppers earlier this summer.  They were pretty much down to the stems.  They didn't touch the zinnias though.   
I had considered doing a half marathon in October that was local, but I can't seem to find enthusiasm to run a super small half marathon on the streets of downtown Billings.  The half I did last year in October apparently isn't going to happen again this year. It had a really beautiful course along the Yellowstone River.  Boo. 

My little sister and her boys will be here this week and I anticipate we will try to get in at least one run together.  There will be lots of cousin sleepovers and fun,  My kids are so excited!  and me too.

I don't really have a fitness plan this week since my back isn't happy, I will just see what it tolerates and try running a couple miles tomorrow to start. Easy yoga and maybe some basics like squats and pushups.  

I am linking up this week with FitnessCheerleader.com, & t RunningRachel.com for a weekly linkup they host
A weekly linkup on Mondays for you to share your weekly fitness plans and meal plans #MotivateMe http://www.fitnesscheerleader.com

What's on your fitness, or nutrition plan for this week? Share your post and support each other! You have all week to link up :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Back in Love

Lately I haven't been LOVING running.  I have been running, and happy to go running, but not like IN LOVE with running. I think it has something to do with constantly being on a training plan. I haven't run many trails and everything has been on the road.

Today I started out on the road and had plans to stay on the road, but then I saw this "road" that leads off through the hills. I took it. I didn't care if I got grass seeds in my shoes, I was heading to the hills!
See the road?

I ran until I came to a gate and then stopped to decide if I should go back or cross the fence and keep going up.  While I procrastinated which way I wanted to go I snapped this picture of my little dog watching a cow. He really likes cows.
I started down the hill and then stopped.  I didn't want to go back to the main roads, I wanted to go up, I wanted to stay on trails, I wanted solitude. I wanted quiet. I wanted more wide open spaces.

I wanted this.

and this

I stopped and did about 15 minutes of yoga and 15 minutes of just sitting with my dog enjoying the views. It was a beautiful fall day.

Then I finished my run rather euphoric, my legs are feeling good and recovered and my soul refreshed. Seriously the best run mentally in a long time.  I think I will do nothing but trails every chance I get for awhile.

and while I don't know if running really is cheaper than therapy, runs like this are the best kind of therapy.   While I still may do a half marathon in October I have already decided I am not going to go all out training for it. I love running half marathons, I just am so over doing 800s and tempo runs and trying to reach specific paces etc, I just want to enjoy running for running.  Besides all these crazy hills are pretty good training.

I already have three halfs and a relay on the schedule for next year.  This year will hopefully have one more half marathon and at least one more 5k.

When was the last time you had a "fall back in love with running" run?

Monday, September 28, 2015

#MotivateMe Monday Deciding What's Next

I am a week out from my last half marathon.  My hamstrings were very tight in the days following the half marathon and to top it off I got a pretty good cold.  I think the cold was coming on before the half marathon as I remember feeling very fatigued and headachy in the days before.  It came on full after the half and I was very miserable for most of the week.

I did try to run on Wednesday, but between no energy and my hamstrings so sore I decided it was no fun and went home.
A failed run day, but that's okay. 
I didn't try again until Saturday!  I whole week of nothing except gentle stretching! Saturday my hamstrings, especially my right one still felt tight, but 80% improved and Sunday they felt even better.  I got in a easy 5.5 miles Saturday and 7.1 on Sunday.
A successful run day. YAY!

This week my plan is to continue easy running and try a long run Thursday, but if my body isn't ready I will abort.  I was planning on a half marathon in October, I haven't signed up yet and have to admit to not being super excited about it, so I may not sign up at all.   I may do a shorter race instead.

here is my tentative plan for the week

Monday: Easy run 6-8 miles, Yoga
Tuesday: HIIT bodyweight workout
Wednesday: 5 miles, yoga
Thursday: 10-12 mile long run if my legs feel like it, if not, cut it short
Friday: Yoga
Saturday: 7 miles with fartleks
Sunday: 5 miles easy.  Horseback riding. (moving cows home from summer pasture)

We had clouds last night and I missed the blood super moon won't happen again for 17 years eclipse, but I did get this picture before the sun went down, I loved the horse on the horizon.

I am linking up this week with FitnessCheerleader.com, & t RunningRachel.com for a weekly linkup they host
A weekly linkup on Mondays for you to share your weekly fitness plans and meal plans #MotivateMe http://www.fitnesscheerleader.com

What's on your fitness, or nutrition plan for this week? Share your post and support each other!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Montana Half Marathon Rest of the Story

I did a race recap yesterday so today I will recap everything else.

Packet Pickup: Quick and easy.  All you really picked up was your bib and timing chip to attach to your shoe.  It is conveniently located right by the local running store. I have been having an issue with the shoes I planned to run in so I decided to just see what they had.

Shoes:  I have had the Pure Flows before but not since the originals. I LOVED the originals and hated version 2.0, since they were now on version 4.0 I thought I would see if they improved... no.  I ended up walking out of the store with the Pure Cadence.  I ran two miles in them Saturday and decided to go for it.  RISKY! But they worked out great, I only ended up with a little rubbing on one of my toes.

What I wore: My Team Beef Montana tank and INKnBURN Paeon shorts.  I took an informal vote on Facebook and Instagram Saturday and Leaf shorts won, but I just couldn't.  I felt like a Christmas elf. Maybe for a Christmas run or a 5k sometime or a fun run.  Usually I would also wear compression socks, but I couldn't find the ones I wanted so I opted for shorter ones.

What I ate the morning of:  A bowl of oatmeal with flax seed, chia, raisins, and pecans. Then I stopped at a gas station on my way in to the half and got a Powerbar and a cup of coffee.  I still had over two hours and was really hungry!

The bus ride out to the start:  I rode out with my friend Victoria, it was her first half marathon and I was very excited for her! We talked running, and family things.  Then we saw the start of the half marathon go by the window.  All the people around me started talking "Um, isn't that where we start?" We decided maybe he was just looking for a good place to turn around?  Nope he just kept driving. Finally we spoke up and told him we are running the half!  He turned around.

The starting line:  First thing I did when we got there was get in the porta potty line. We still had about an hour to the start so we all milled around talking to people we knew. With half an hour to go I got in the porta potty line again then headed to the start. There were only 8 porta potties, but it seemed enough, the line moved fast.

What I fueled with: Tropical Punch shot blocks.  I had cut them in half and put them in a baggie so I could eat them easier while running and will do this again.  I also had grape Cocogo in my water bottles of which I didn't even drink half.  I thought I was hydrating more than that...wrong!

How I felt during the race: Pretty strong! The last mile was super tough, but if I had felt really energetic at that point then maybe I should have been pushing harder. I think I paced myself really well.  Miles 6 through 13 varied only slightly in pace with the fastest mile 7:31 and the slowest being 7:38.

 I did start noticing my left hamstring tightening up with about 5 miles to do.  I worked on trying to keep my stride short so I didn't really irritate it. This half marathon felt better than the other two I ran this year and was the fastest, but also had the fastest course so that was expected.

The course:  I love this course. It is fast! It starts on a downhill and has about three uphill portions. The second up hill portion is the longest and comes during mile 5.  There is a small hill near the end, but other than that is it down hill slightly or flat. I recommend it to anyone.  The first couple miles also feature some spectacular wide open spaces to feast the eyes on.  I made sure to take time to enjoy the views.

The mantra: Stay calm, stay focused, you've got this.  Over and over! I even found myself repeating it while cleaning house for the birthday party after I got home. It wasn't what I had planned to use, it just popped into my head and stuck.  and it worked.

The finish:  They had chocolate milk and water just inside the finish line and further in had pretzels, gummy bears, more drinks, coffee, and more food including free smoothies.  I drank a bottle of water right away and then munched on some pretzels.

Finisher T-shirts were given out at the finish line as well.  They are nice Brooks tech shirts, but sadly are unisex.  I will still wear mine of course and did for my son's birthday party later in the day.

Medals: They had different medals for full, half and 10k finishers which I think is always an awesome touch,  I won 2nd in my age group and received another medal for that as well. On first glance it looked identical to the my finisher medal. On closer inspection the medal had a darker finish and the ribbon said age group winner.  Yay for a double medal day!

How I am feeling two days after: Sore! Tight hammies and obliques.  My oblique abdominals always get sore after a hard race, I must really use them when racing more than I normally do.

Now I am dealing with a head cold, headache, snot, sinus congestion, fatigue..ugh.  I felt this coming on in the days before the half, thankfully the brunt of it held off until after it was over. I also had a skin check with a dermatologist yesterday and got an all clear. YAY keep wearing sunscreen!

After the race it was all about this guy!
Can't believe my lil guy is 9!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Montana Half Marathon Race Recap

I am going to break this up into two posts, one for the race and one for other thoughts all related to the race.

Starting line photo with another Montana Running Rancher.

Mile 1: Always the sweetest mile in my opinion and so much depends on the first mile. If you go out too fast you could burn up too much energy and not have enough for the second half of the half marathon. It also can be a great indicator of how the whole race is going to go.  If the first mile is a struggle it, in my opinion, it is never a good sign.  If the first mile feels effortless, is at a comfortable pace and my breathing is under control, I take it as a good sign. 
Time for mile 1: 7:26  This is a downhill mile so I knew it would be pretty fast.  My breathing felt good. and of course with the downhill it all felt very effortless.  I also started in with my mantra

"Stay calm. Stay focused. You've got this."
I had predetermined not to use my music until at least mile 5. 

Mile 2: This was a bit uphill and had a bit of a headwind, but it still felt pretty good 7:43.
Mile 3: Pretty consistent with 7:42, but not really were I wanted to be either I decided I was feeling too good for that pace. I ate two shot blocks.

Mile 4: Picked it up just a bit and hit 7:33. I decided that was where I wanted to be.
Mile 5: Still no music and still using my mantra "Stay calm. Stay focused. You've got this." Feeling really good and had a pretty good uphill portion so this mile was a little slower with 7:56.
Mile 6: 7:36 Feeling good and starting to get tired of the mantra so I decided once I hit the halfway mark of 6.55 miles I would turn on my music.
Mile 7: 7:36 (how is that for consistent!) Feeling good and finally turned on my music! The music gave me a needed boost! Starting to feel tired but also still feeling strong and breathing was under control.  The pace was feeling really good.
Mile 8: 7:38 Ate three shot blocks, and I think there was a bit of hill in here, I can't remember now.
Mile 9: 7:38 Road construction~ rough road! But feeling pretty good and still passing people.
Mile 10: 7:33 I attempted to pick up the pace a little here. Mentally knowing I only had three miles left was awesome and a huge boost.
Mile 11: 7:31 Another strong mile ticked off and some passing of people done!

Mile 12: 7:33 Seriously impressed with how consistent my pace was. This mile felt pretty good, but starting to get some tired legs!
Mile 13: 7:37 The hardest mile! I was really feeling the hill that was in this mile, thank goodness it wasn't a very big one and thank goodness this was the last mile. and then it was all down hill.

last .1 or (.2 according to my Garmin) big downhill, like a cruel joke at this point on tired legs 1:19 with a 6:34 pace.  I was really hoping to get under 1:40, which unofficially I did, but officially I did not! 

I am still very happy with my time.  I ended up 2nd in my age group and 8th out of all the females in the half marathon.  YAY!

end of part one! Part two to follow, but after going home yesterday and getting ready for my son's birthday party, hosting a birthday party and sleepover and then a morning of dr appt I am exhausted and ready to nap! so later this week the rest will follow!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Three Things Thursday: Busy Tapering

1. Since I am tapering for the half marathon I am also not doing any strength type workouts from Monday on this week. You would think I would have a clean house and laundry all put away.  but nah, I went and had coffee with my Grandma yesterday morning, did an easy run, cleaned the kitchen and then took a nap yesterday.
I'm not going to lie, it felt pretty great. With the kids back in school my days off have been pretty busy with appointments in town, but finally not yesterday! Just a nice quiet lazy day. I did also make soup and get about 2/3 of the laundry put away.

It was cool enough out yesterday morning to finally break out my sweet INKnBURN robot capris.
I love the detail on them. I also got my daughter a matching pair.  She was super excited to have her own INKnBURN finally.

2. I found this assignment in my son't backpack.  They had to write about what they would do with the last hour of their life. (Talk about a dark subject for third grade!)
The sad face at the end kills me. Then I think about all those kids fleeing Syria, how uncertain their futures must feel, all the kids in war torn areas, all the kids growing up in intense poverty.  Ugh. My kid has is so good, but I still don't want him to do thinking about his last hour of life.

3. The very best thing about a run that is three miles up hill to start with on an out and back run?

The way back feels so good! I felt like I had so much energy at the end of my run yesterday! The skies were very grey yesterday and I started and ended my run in long sleeves.  I took my long sleeve shirt off for about half the run, but rain and a cool breeze had me sliding back into it!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A runner sees a road.

I was going through my phone last night at gymnastics deleting old photos, bad shots, etc and I couldn't help but notice every time I came across a gravel or dirt road picture it made me want to run. I took this one on my run yesterday.  I couldn't help but wonder, do the pictures make me want to run because I run there or do the pictures make me want to run because I am a runner?

Probably both.

I think I could run for days just looking at this picture, it makes me miss spring and green.

I think my little dog loves looking down the road thinking of the joy about to come from the run too.

Even cold snowy roads make me want to run. I kind of really like snowy runs.

I was helping my son with his third grade math last night. His teacher had him erase the answers to problem numbers 2 and 3.  Unless my math is terrible (which it is not) he was right.
I asked him if she gave him any clues or if he was supposed to do something different and he had no clue. He was very frustrated and the homework as a whole left me aggravated. Should have been easy and it is, but either his teacher isn't understanding it or teaching to him in a way he understands or I don't get what they are doing.

Last I knew the sum was the total.

Three weeks into school and not impressed with his teacher already.  He has had nothing but amazing teachers so far and has so far been way above average in math so I know it isn't just him.  I wrote a note on the page saying he didn't understand and neither did I what was wrong and why he had to erase his answers, but Cade scribbled it out.

If they come back still wrong and he doesn't get why, I will be visiting with his teacher. If she can't help him I need to be able to.

Anyone else get the urge to run when they see a great place to run either in real life or in pictures? What you rather run in snowy weather or hot weather?  Snowy every time!