Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Running + Fall Weather = Happy Girl, Yep Yep that's where it's at

 Might be a little picture over load here, but due to so many bears in the area over the summer I really limited where I ran so I was happy to have some new scenery. Yesterday I decided I could run on the same routes I had been all summer, or go for it.  I went for it.  I was wearing my bear spray of course.
Such a great decision.  I am feeling really good since the half marathon on Sunday.  I wonder if that means I could have ran it harder? Maybe, but I was pretty pooped the last two miles, so I say nope. I am going to chalk it up to being in such great shape!

Don't these roads just seem to say "come run here"  I always think they do.
I swear this is like a happy spot picture, I could stare at it all day
 These girls were pretty curious about me.  I was busy trying to avoid their droppings on the road.
 Love love love these wide open spaces. 

Originally I was only going to do 5 miles, with the option of quitting at 4 if my legs were tired from the half marathon.  I ended up running 6 and I felt like I could have kept running and running.

These last couple weeks have been the best weather wise and all the colors on the trees are so beautiful right now too along the creek bottoms.

Yep yep, that's where's it's at.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Review

I was sent a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 18s for review purposes through my affliation with FitFluential as an ambassador.  I am not required to give a positive review. 

I had not worn the Wave Riders before so I was excited to get to try out a new to me shoe that I hear a lot of good things about.  My little sister loves them.

First impressions:
This is a beautiful shoe.  I love how the black fades to white and the mint green accents. We didn't get to pick what color we were going to get, but this was easily the color I would have picked so I was very pleased to see them when I opened the box.

aren't they pretty? Pretty isn't what makes a good running shoe though so read on!
To me this shoe looks well made and I like all the attention to detail. They also come in a blue and a pink, both of which are beautiful also.

Comfort: The shoes feel good on. I drift between a size 8.5 and a size 9 (I swear my feet are still growing) when in doubt I size up.  Size nines were a perfect fit. They feel cushiony without overdoing it.   I think the only thing I would change about them is too make the toe box a little wider. I am a big fan of a wide and roomy toe box.

They feel responsive and flexible on my feet.  Have you ever had a pair of shoes that felt like you were running with bricks on? These will not feel like that.  Trust me.  I had a pair of shoes like that once. These feel responsive and hug my feet comfortably.  I am a fan of the Mizuno Wave Technology!

Want to see more views?  Of course you do.

sorry, they are a little dirty, but I was more excited about running in them than taking pictures right away
I did several runs in them and then decided to run a half marathon in them.  I had a little rubbing on the outside of  my big toe, but other than that they felt great for the whole 13.1 miles. I didn't feel like my heel was sliding around and I loved that I didn't have to adjust the laces, it was like they were set up for me.

I think Cola wishes he had some so those pesky goat heads won't get in his paws
I am two days post half marathon and feel great, I like to think part of that is my training and part these great shoes.

Mizuno bills the Wave Rider 18 as a great light weight every day trainer.  At 7.8 oz it is currently one of the lightest shoes in my running line up.  It has the Mizuno U4IC midsole.  What is that you wonder?
 U4ic midsole delivers optimal shock attenuation, durability and a superior ride that's 30% lighter than AP+. Innovatively light and well cushioned, discover your next brilliant run with U4ic. (from their site)
I learned a new Japanese word while working on this review.. "Hado" which means "the intrinsic vibrational life force energy that promotes powerful transformations".  It is a concept adopted by Mizuno.  I love it.  They create beautiful, functional shoes that help people transform their lives through the possibility that comes running. 

What is your favorite running shoe colors right now?
Have you tried these shoes before?
Have you ever picked shoes for their color? I have.. not always a good decision.

These shoes retail for $119, I was provided with them for this review. This is a review sponsored through my affliation with Fitfluential.  All opinions are my own. I will be wearing these out.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Shoes and Brews Half Marathon Recap and Review

A large part of why I did this half marathon was I really had it in my head that I wanted to do three half marathons this year and so far I only had two in the books.  This was also on a course that I did my very first half marathon on four years ago.  I went out like it was a 5k and by the turn around point was busy swearing off halfs for the rest of my life.

Packet pickup was Saturday at a local sports store and seemed easy and organized enough, although the two girls doing it seemed a little clueless about a lot of things.  They were able to tell me only about 40 people were signed up for the half.

I knew it was going to be on the smaller side, but I wasn't expecting tiny.

I got to the race about 20 minutes early, which for me is practically late.  Happily there was no line for the 3 whole porta potties they had and I cycled through twice before the race started.  I might have drank too much water on the way to the race because as soon as the gun went off I felt like I had to pee again. 

I told myself there was supposed to be two porta potties along the way and I could just use one of those if it came down to it.

Back to the gun going off... I went out easy snail pace (as least that is what it feels like at the start of the race when I am wanting to RUN!) and soon found myself with 3 guys and 2 girls in front of me.  The two girls didn't last long and I passed them before the first mile was up.  and one of the guys.

The miles went along pretty easy and I seemed to keep the splits in the mid to low 7:40s.  I worried a little around mile 4 because I seemed to be breathing pretty hard, but whatever that was worked itself out and my breathing was good again by the 5th mile.

The course was an out and back along the Yellowstone River and it was really beautiful with all the leaves changing colors.  They didn't close the road to traffic, but it is a pretty quiet road.

I got passed by another guy sometime before the turn around.  I was glad at least for the three guys in front of me, I find having someone to catch very motivational.

I was still feeling really good at the turn around but there was still no porta pottie!!  NONE along the whole route and I still had to pee!!  One of the guys in front of me paused to pee in the bushes and I considered doing the same, but figured I could last and I did.

Miles 9 and 10 had quit a bit of gradual uphill and were two of my slowest miles. Mile 11 was my fastest. I felt really good until the last two miles and then I was feeling tired! I kept pushing knowing the end was in sight. I ran super consistent and have to admit being a bit surprised with how good it all felt.

Mile 1  7:49              Mile 8  7:42
Mile 2  7:42              Mile 9  7:52
Mile 3  7:40              Mile 10  7:48
Mile 4  7:44              Mile 11  7:38
Mile 5  7:42              Mile 12  7:49
Mile 6  7:43              Mile 13  7:45
Mile 7  7:41              Mile .10  37 seconds at 6:36 pace

Final Garmin stats
13.10 miles
7:44 pace

Overall impressions:
Route: It's a beautiful out and back with rolling hills.  I felt the hills more on the way back than the way out, but they aren't horrible.

Water stations: I carry my own because I cannot drink and run at the same time out of a cup without half of it going up my nose.  They had one at the 5k turnaround (about a mile and a half in) one at the 10k turnaround (about 3.1 miles in) and one at the half turnaround 6.55 miles in.  One more wouldn't have hurt anything in my opinion, but once again I carry my own and was glad I did.

Organization:  Packet pickup, the race start, and finish line all seemed organized.  They didn't advertise well and it showed in the very small turnout.  It was hard to find any info on the race and a lot of it was really vague.

Swag:  Tech tee, but unisex and a beer glass.  No medals for the half and no age group awards. No awards at all.  This was disappointing, especially since one of the girls that ran the half emailed them asking if there was going to be medals and they said there would be. I talked to the race director afterwards and she said several people had asked her about them and she might do something after the fact for the half marathon runners.   She had decided the beer glasses would make up for no medals.  Some people may think so, I kind of really like getting a medal.

Post race:  They had beer, water and sandwich boxes that had a good turkey or ham sandwich, orange, bag of chips and small candy bars.  I ate part of the sandwich, drank about half a beer and save the rest for the kids.  I just can't eat that much after a half marathon, but it was a nice touch.

I would do this race again, medal or no. It is local and the route is beautiful.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Mystery Solved

By the time you read this I may already have run my half marathon, but I have some time this morning to blog so why not tell you the story of the missing charging cord and put down some goals for today.
flat Christy ready to run! except she will be wearing shoes too!

My running hasn't been super consistent the last three weeks due to working more than usual, kid activities and cow work, but I have been running some and I got in a good 13 mile run two weeks ago so I know I can run a half this morning, it just won't be the fastest of the year.  I do like having goals though so I am going to set some down.

A goal (as in shoot for the stars) Finish under 1:40 (likelihood of this happening is not good, hilly course, and not consistent training) this requires running a 7:37 pace or better.  Like I said it's a shoot for the stars, everything aligns kind of goal.

B goal (I feel this is more real, but still going to require a bit of effort) Finish in under 1:45 which will require an 8 minute or better per mile pace.  This is where I am going to start.  I will evaluate how I feel after the first three miles and go from there.

C goal (the wheels fell off the bus goal) finish in under 1:55 which is the time I ran the first time I ran a half and was on this course.

I had hoped to get in a good shake out run Friday after work.  The stars were aligning, I got off a little early, the kids were at an Auntie's house, the weather was gorgeous, and then bam!

My Garmin was dead.

No biggie really just plug it in to charge for the race and then go for an easy 4 or 5 miles without it. 

I couldn't find the charging cord.  I wasn't going to worry about it, but then I started to think I should really know where it was.  I looked everywhere I could think of that I might of stashed it.  In drawers, in bags, in boxes, in cupboards.  I looked places I didn't think I would have put it.  In closets, under the sink, in the kids' rooms, under the bed, behind the dryer.  Eekk!  I spent an hour looking for it and then ran out of time to run and still no cord.

I looked again Saturday morning.  In all the same spots and a few more I could think of.

I resigned myself to running Garmin free on Sunday. I could always use my phone. It isn't as handy, but it isn't like it is a big goal race either.  I mean apparently there are only even 40 people signed up for the half.

So Saturday I cleaned house, went for a little shake out run, picked up my race packet, went to a flag football game, did grocery shopping and then came home to tackle the 6 loads of laundry waiting for me.

There in the bottom of the last laundry basket, hiding in all the mismatch socks was my charging cord.  I held it over my head in victory, then went and plugged in my Garmin.

Whew, persistence paid off.  If I had quit early on the laundry like I wanted to so I could read my book I never would have found it!  Thanks Grey's Anatomy for keeping me entertained long enough to find it!

PS look what I found at Walmart!

Pumpkin pie flavored Chapstick, and Candy Cane back for the holidays.  I also grabbed another Cake Batter since it is one of my favorites.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Cows, Work and Running

Finally Friday!  The week has been so busy I sat down to blog a couple of times, but busy kept happening!  I usually only work 3 days a week so the last couple weeks of 4 days a week has been a little hard on my house and me, but not horrible.

I am still getting in some good runs at least three days a week and some HIIT workouts.  My kids made out easy this week and only had school two days.  Monday they skipped school to help ship calves and Thursday and Friday were no school days for everyone. The weather has been amazing.

I love seeing my kids big enough and interested in helping work cows. My son in particular really wants to help and insists on wanting to know what he can do to help.  Both kids were on their horses all day yesterday first helping gather cows and then helping in the corrals push cows in the corral to get preg tested.  I had to work yesterday but my aunt sent me this great photo and a glowing report of how great they were being.
here with another cousin

This is pretty much all I saw of the cow action.
By the time I got off work they were taking the pregnant cows to another pasture

I love that feeling of doing something right, these are some great kids and I am so proud of them.  Don't' worry they weren't all work and no play, by the time I got off work and all their work was done I found the boys playing war and practicing their camo
and the little cowgirl was testing out Uncle's horse with her cousin
Lil Cowboy insists on doing as much of his own things as he can with his horse.  You know you have a great kid horse when you can leave him unbridled, walk away for a minute while looking for your halter and then come back and your horse hasn't moved and puts his head down to help get it on.
The kids were hoping to spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa's house but after a bath they fell asleep. Nothing like lots of work and sunshine to wear out a kid!

I am running a half marathon on Sunday.  It is on a course that I did my very first half marathon on four years ago.  Kind of hard to believe this will only be half number 8!  The course has rolling hills and is an out and back.  I haven't been training super hard so I am going into this one with the idea of not killing myself in the first half on the rolling hills like I did the first time I ran it and to run about an 8 minute mile. 

It starts at 10 in the morning which feels a little off to me, and the weather is supposed to be warm with high of 72 so I wish they were starting a little earlier, but whatever. This isn't like a big goal race or anything.  Fun is the goal.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Because really...Why Not?

I thought when I had kids I would be doing all the teaching.  Teaching them how to live, eat, be healthy, dress for school,  etc.  I, of course, was wrong.  Sure I teach them plenty of things, but they teach me things too.

I call it the "Because why not" lesson.

My son is playing flag football so I got him some athletic type pants and shorts suitable for playing flag football in. They sit in the dresser at home and he plays in his Wrangler jeans.  I tried to assure him he would be more comfortable in the clothing designed for playing sports in, but he wasn't convinced.  I pointed out the other kids wearing theirs. He didn't care.  At that point I decided, why not?

He plays pretty damn good in his Wranglers and it makes him happy.  How can I argue with that?

Cowboys just like their jeans I guess! At least they got out of their boots! but no smiling
My daughter recently picked out a beautiful "party dress" at Costco that is blue, frilly, glittery and very fancy. She wanted to wear it to school.  On a normal school day.  I said no, it's for the holidays and fancy occasions.  She persisted.  I pointed out she might be a little overdressed for school.

She wore it to school. I wish now I would have taken a picture she did look so beautiful! Now she wants more dresses to wear to school everyday, because why not?  I am not going to buy her more fancy dresses (she is spoiled enough) but what's the point of saving a dress she will grow out of in a year for only 2 or 3 occasions anyway.  Want to wear it to school?  Why not? 

Obviously the why not factor has some limits, especially when I come up with valid why nots.

I was wavering on signing up for an October half marathon, feeling a little guilty about wanting to do a run when I just came back from a big one, but then I decided, why not?  It won't be a fast one, I don't feel like I have run consistently since the Bozeman half in the beginning of September.  I know I can do it though since I ran 13 miles Monday, so really why not?

Not every race effort needs to be a top of my game race, and after reading Miss Zippy's post about finding the joy in your racing I am sold. I do love running races.

It's local, cheap, and I love half marathons.  There won't be another until next spring and I really wanted to do three this year.  I can't come up with any "why nots" that sound convincing to me so..YAY!

What have you said why not to lately and done it?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tips for Running on Windy Days

I ran a half marathon for fun yesterday although I am not sure all of it was fun as it was so windy.   EEEK!  Not my favorite.  It wasn't too bad for the first 5 miles, but then it really picked up and made 4 of the last 8 miles seem really long.

I do run in the wind quite a bit, I don't have a treadmill and I don't belong to a gym. I used to look outside and think.."NOPE" but now I just get mentally prepared and pick my route accordingly. Here are my best tips for running in the wind.

1.  If at all possible run into the wind to start with, this is great for several reasons.  It makes for a run with a negative split.  If it is cold out, you get the coldest part of the run done first and it helps mentally to know once you get halfway done the hardest part is over and you can practically fly on the way back.

2. If you have long hair do yourself a huge favor and put your hair into a braid or a bun.  I made the mistake of putting my hair into a ponytail for a windy 6 miles on Saturday.  I was nearly crying trying to brush out the tangles afterwards.

3. Layers are your friend if it is cold out.  I often find that while running with the wind I get warm and lulled into taking off my jacket and gloves, but when I start running into the wind I start getting cold, so if I have to shed layers I make sure to keep them with me.

4. Run cross ways into the wind.  It never seems quite as bad to me this way.

5. Remind yourself how much tougher this is making you and all the extra calories being burned.  Running in tough conditions helps make you stronger mentally and physically.  It also makes those perfect running days seem that much more awesome.

What is your best windy weather running tip?
Would you rather run in the wind or in the rain?
I think I would rather do rain, if it isn't windy or too cold out.