Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Week 1 of the plan to run a faster half marathon.

Kiley was super awesome and offered to write me a running plan for my next half marathon.  I have never followed a set plan before so I admit to being both excited and apprehensive.  So far I am loving it! So nice not to have to think about what I am going to do, it is all planned out already.  Although I do admit to adding in a few races that were not on the plan.

Sunday   plan said  7 miles easy with 4-8 strides at the beginning or the end of the run

what I did  7.3 miles easy (although hilly miles) with 5 strides at the end. I had planned to do more like 6-8 strides, but... guts.  I had to finish the run at an easier pace than a stride in order to make it back safely.  The plan calls for the strides to be 80-150m  long.

I am not good at meters.  My Garmin does not tell me things in meters,  I tried to do the math in my head but math doesn't always go well when I am running, so I opted to run my strides the length of the distance between the telephone poles.

Turned out this was pretty close as between the poles is about .05 miles and that is equal to 80.4 meters.  So I ran a few longer and a few at 80.

Monday   plan said 1 mile warm up with 800m 1:2 x4 with a 1 mile cool down.  Interval pace at 6:38 or at about 3:20 for each interval

what I did 1 mile warm up then 800 intervals 3:17, 3:18, 3:15, and 3:14 with an easy mile between each and a mile cooldown. total of 8 miles in 1:07:36  

How I felt about it...  those were tough.  I had been doing my 800 intervals a bit slower. Knowing there was only four really helped.  I had to really talk myself through them. 

Wednesday plan said 10-11 mile long run and then 4-8 strides 

what I did 11 miles with 4 strides for a time of 1:36 and a 8:45 pace.   Had a funny niggle in my right quad that seemed to work out by the end of the run.  

Saturday plan said  4 miles of hills with 3-4 strides at the end

what I did 4 miles, 2 of the miles were pretty flat and the middle 2 were all uphill.  I had no energy and no pep, the wind kicked my butt and the hills sucked the life out of me. 

So far I really like having a plan,  This plan pushes me and I wasn't too sure about strides at first, but I am starting to enjoy them at the end of a run.  

Also did yoga in the am on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I think I got in 2 strength workouts this week, which is one less then I would like, but as Carla would say WYCWYC (what you can when you can)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Purple 5k Race Recap complete with confessions

I signed up for the Purple 5k on Monday on a whim.  My running plan called for a very fast tempo run and I knew that if I did my tempo run during a race it would feel a lot easier.  I didn't think about it much for the rest of the week.  I didn't set goals.  I didn't obsess over my race outfit.  I even contemplated skipping it.  Yes you read that right.  I was thinking about skipping a race I signed up and paid for.

Why?  Because when I did my long run Wednesday I kept having a funny niggle in my right quad.  When I ran my 4 miles of hills Saturday I had no pep.  No pep, no energy, I felt tired.  and I had that niggle towards the end of the run. Saturday night we had a 4-H thing that kept me out late and I was tired.

The morning of the race I slept in.  Heck, I didn't even know what time the race started when I got up in the morning.  Who does that?!  I made coffee at 7 and shook out the race bag to try to figure out when it started.  The most I could find was shuttles to the start line would start heading up there at 7:30.

It takes me about 30 minutes to drive into town to where the race was.

I finally figured out the race started at 9 and decided to just park at the start line.  I wiggled, stretched and tested out my quad. It felt good.  I ate some oatmeal, got dressed and left.

I got to the race with enough time to cycle through the porta potty once and run a warm up mile

I sized up the other runners guessing which ones would be fast by their shoes.  I didn't see any other local runners there I knew.  Seemed kind of funny, but I haven't done too many local races the last 2 years.

The gun went off and the usual beeps were heard coming as everyone started their Garmins.  I held myself back a bit and let the people fly by, I sort of love that about the start of a race.  So many people start out so fast.  It is fun to pass lots of those people later on.

I tried for the whole first mile to shake some clompy footed guy who was really annoying and loud as his feet pounded the pavement.  He was pretty tenacious, but I finally shook free from him at the end of the second mile.

I also noticed I was gaining on three other girls.  I set my sights on the first one and started reeling them in.  I did get passed by another girl who went flying by, but I did catch three in the last mile, the final one not until the very end.    I saw the clock in the 20:20s as I was getting nearer and it didn't even occur to me I was close to a PR.

My official time was 20:32.  1st in my age group and 2nd female overall.    After I got my printout I had to look up my PR in the 5k.  It has been so long since I got close I couldn't even remember what it was!  It was 21:11.    I had to walk away by myself for a little minute as I was having watery eye problems.

I nearly had myself talked out of running and I crushed it.  I set my 5k PR in 2011.  4 years ago. It feel so good to beat it.  My Garmin had the race at 3.07 miles for a pace of 6:41 a mile vs the official of 6:37 a mile.  Either way though it is still a PR.  My previous 5k PR pace was 6:46.  Edit:  I just read the recap from that 5k and it was slightly short also and if it were a full my pace would have been 6:51 so.. I freaking crushed it today.

I ran in my new Altra One 2s  and am so in love with them.  They may be my new lucky fast shoes!

When was the last time you accidentally PRd?  Do you count the PR if the course is short?  I am  going to, especially since the pace is what really crushed it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Strides.. sorting out my issues

I admit I have been seeing this thing called running strides for quite awhile now and thinking "maybe I should be running strides".  I have been planning to add in strides at the end of runs for well over a year now.  Confession: I have not been running strides. Until Kiley wrote them into the plan.

I had a vague idea of what they were.  Some sort of fast running in short intervals.  They are described in my plan as "short burst of fast running 80-150m" to be done during warm up or cool down. Alrighty, I got it, I thought.

Until I was out running and doing them.  I couldn't help but wonder..
  • how far is 80-150 meters when converted into miles like my Garmin reads?
  • was I running them fast enough?
  • was I running them too fast?
  • what are the benefits of strides?
My questions answered 
  1. How far is 80-150 meters when converted into miles like my Garmin reads?
  • 80 meters is .0497 miles so about .5 miles
  • 100 meters is about .06
  • 150 meters is .093 miles
So I want to run them between .05 and .09 miles to get in the correct distance roughly.

     2.  Am I running them fast enough or too fast?  I was running them hard at about 90%
  • One website said to build them up to  95% and then gradually slow down
  • Another said to go at 5k pace
  • and finally the third site I looked at said build to 85% and gradually slow down,
So basically there is a bit of a range there,but the takeaway was build up to a fast speed and then gradually slow to a stop,
What are strides?
I was just going all out for the whole thing and then stopping into a slow jog, so clearly there was some room for improvement there.

So from what I can tell about a third of the distance should be used to ease into the fast pace, one third for the fast pace and then one third of the distance to slow down. Recovery should be a slow jog or even a walk.

and finally what we all really want to know...

What are the benefits of running strides?
  • They make you faster!
  • They can help loosen up tight leg muscles after a longer easy run.
  • They can improve running economy
  • Done before a race or speed session they get the heart pumping and the muscles warmed up.
Are you doing strides?  Cola and I are.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ranch Life and New Running Shoes

My kids were very excited Saturday to be out chasing cows for the first time this year on their horses.
Cows are generally always happy to move to greener pastures and headed out nicely.
The next pasture was greener indeed!  It was a field of winter wheat and they were pretty sure they could stay there and eat all day.  It seemed to take forever to move them the almost 2 miles across the field.

heads down busy eating!  Moove girls, mooove!
Once we finally did and had them in a big bunch again it was time to...

push them down the hill into the corral.  I thought the contrast between them all bunched up (above) and all strung out (below) was fun.  It was only minutes apart.  I was telling my kids there that really we were in the best spot as below they were running past the corral at a rapid rate and all we had to worry about was pushing the back of the herd.
We regrouped at the bottom and drove them back uphill into the corral for vaccinations that will protect their babies from diarrheas.

I have been wanting for months to get the Altra One2 shoes, but I didn't want to pay full price for them.  I received a 40 dollar voucher for Amazon the same day I saw them go on sale for 25% off on Amazon.  Coincidence?  I got them for $35!  Whoop!

Good things come to those who wait and stalk them on line.  I love them.  I did a 7 mile run in them with no issues and love how cushy they are.  I can't wait to race in them.  Zoom!  They are light!  To test them out I signed up for a 5k this weekend.
What would you like to know about cows and or beef?  Ask away!
Do you have fast shoes for racing or do you just wear the same shoes for everything?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A plan and a playlist

It's official... I have a plan for my next half marathon and a racing schedule at least through July!! I start on my plan today! It is the first time I have had a plan written for me and the first time I will actually be following a plan,  I can already see the plan is going to push me and I like it.

One of my races is written into the plan and another fits great where there is a very fast paced tempo run scheduled and I really wanted a race in April so I am going to fit it in.


I also wanted to share the 6 newest songs on my racing playlist.

Safe and Sound by Capital Cities
I'll Fly Away by Flatfoot 56  this is one that I had to listen to a couple times before it really grew on me, but now is in my head all the time!  Fun and fast paced.  I am thinking I will be looking for more music by Flatfoot 56 soon.

Sugar by Maroon 5  because what runner doesn't like some sugar!  This helped keep me moving during my Run to the Pub Half for sure.
Something I Need by One Republic  just a great song to run to.
Marchin On by One Republic  another great running song.. right, right, left, right, left.
I Bet My Life by Imagine Dragons

I had put out a plea for running playlist songs on Instagram and I am pretty sure I got all of these from that plea,  A lot of people suggested Uptown Funk... but no matter how many times I listened to it I couldn't imagine wanting to run to it.  It annoys me on some level.  Other suggestions I that didn't make it included Eminem, Linkin Park bleed it out, and Psycosocial  by Slipknot.   Slipknot it just not my thing.. or Eminem for that matter to hardcore or something.  Four Five seconds by Rihanna also just didn't speak to me.  Eh,

The fun part about the plea was how diverse the suggestions were and listening to music I never would have without the suggestions even if I didn't like the music.

Are any of these on your playlist?  Do you love any of the ones I don't?

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring and a Grainy Day CSA

This is how I feel about the weather lately and it being the first day of spring! Woop!
tank and shorts from Tommie Copper, socks Vim n Vigr, shoes Altra Torins
It felt so good to get home from work yesterday to have the time for a short run and to be able to run in shorts and a tank.

I also had a package in the mail I was excited about. A Grainy Day box.  I recently met the owner of Prairie Heritage Farm from Power MT and when I heard about the Grainy Day CSA box they sell I was intrigued.

So what is it anyway?
Prairie Heritage Farm's new Grainy Day Box is a subscription program that delivers organic, family-farmed heritage and ancient grains and fresh flour right to your door each month
Depending on what options you choose, you will receive 2 to 4 pounds of our unique, certified organic, heritage and ancient grains and flour once a month. You can sign up for just one month or you can subscribe for 12 months, 6 months or 3 months.
Each month we vary the grain, but you will receive Sonora Heritage Wheat, Prairie Farro, Bronze Barley, Black Lentils, or fresh flour.
Here is what I found when I opened the box

and inside was the Bronze Barley and the Black Lentils with a note describing the grains, a note about Prairie Heritage Farm and two recipe cards.

I am excited to try out the recipes for lentil curry and barley with bananas, walnuts and dried cranberries. Additional recipes are listed on their website that can be found HERE

I signed up for three months and am really looking forward to trying the farro for some reason.

My little cowgirl is also very excited about spring and can't wait to take her horse out chasing cows this weekend!  I am not sure Shorty looks as enthused.

Is it acting spring like where you are?
Ever tried ancient grains or been a part of a CSA?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Three Things Thursday: Riding, Running and Resting

1. After I sent the kids off to school yesterday I asked my husband his plans for the day ( he is self employed so has a lot of say in his day). When he told me he was going to be helping my Dad and brother scour guard the 3 year old cows I was in.

It was a beautiful morning out and I hadn't been on a horse yet this year!  It felt great. The cows pretty much followed the feed truck to the corral and I followed the cows.  A great way to spend National Ag Day!
My aunt, husband and I stayed on our horses in the corral and helped push the cows through the chute where they were given the Scour Guard vaccine.  Yep, cows get vaccines too! This protects the babies that will be born soon from several strains of  diarrhea causing bacterias.
note my niece in the background wanting to be a part of the action.
My niece really wanted to ride a horse too! She got to ride after all the action was over.

The 3 year old cows will be joined with the rest of the older cows soon and just be a part of the herd.  There were two babies in the bunch already and the rest will calve soon!

2.  After moving the cows back to their pasture I changed my boots and jeans for running shoes and capris and took my little dog Cola for a run.  We ran through the heifers (2 year olds, first time mommas who need more watching over than the older cows and are calved out sooner.)  The heifers are a lot like teenagers.

They were very unimpressed with my dog so we gave them a wide circle and moved on

I took my run up through the hills and took time to enjoy the views.  My legs are still a little sore but feeling a lot better!

3.  Once I got home I discovered the power was out so cleaning and blogging was not an option, A nap however sounded divine. I slept for two hours.  All that fresh air was exhausting!  The power came on in time to shower up and make supper.