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.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sore, Unbroken, and New Plans!

After taking Sunday off to rest I ran yesterday and talk about stiff, sore legs! It felt pretty good once I got warmed up, but I had muscles I didn't even realize were sore decide to feel sore.  Like my hamstrings.  I ran an easy 6 miles. After having weather into the 70s over the weekend yesterday's cold gray skies and freezing wind was a bit of a letdown.
But the landscape is starting to green up and soon things will be green instead of shades of brown.

I finally got to watch Unbroken last night.  I read the book several years ago and then recommended it to everyone I knew.  It comes out of Blu-Ray and DVD on March 24th.  How I got on a list to get an advanced copy I will never know, but I did.
I was worried at first it was only Blu-Ray and I would have to go to someone else's house to watch it, but it came with a DVD also.  Yay!  The movie was excellent.  They of course couldn't capture all the details of the book and had to leave out a lot of the story, but Jolie did a great job capturing the story.  I of course cried at the end.  Such a great story and I love that in the end he chose forgiveness over hate.

I had an offer from another runner to write me a running plan for my next half marathon.  I accepted.  I guess this means I better sign up for another.  It also makes me a little nervous to have to be accountable.. I usually just loosely follow a plan,  I think it will be good for me.  I will share more about it as it develops.

and a parting picture of my little Cola dog who is no doubt giving me this look because I ran so slow yesterday!
Have you ever had a running coach or someone else write you a training plan?  Did it make you work harder?
Have you seen Unbroken or read the book?  I have done both now.  I am always a fan of the book over the movie, but I love how movies bring the book to life.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Run to the Pub Half Marathon Race Recap

I didn't have a lot of expectations going into this race except that my pace would probably be in the high 7:40s low 7:50s for pace per mile and I would finish feeling strong.  The weather was in the low 50s at the start, windy, partly cloudy and warmed into the low 60s by the finish.  I decided I would recycle my race outfit from 2 years ago.  I haven't worn it since then so why not?

thanks to Kiley from Daily Vitamin F for the picture.  She just had a baby girl so she couldn't run it this year.
I went up to Bozeman after work on Friday to stay with a friend, but before I left work I dropped my phone for the 1000th time and it shattered.  Shattered, with the case on.  It was workable, but only if I wanted glass slivers in my fingers.

My playlist for the half was on here.  So I did what any reasonable person would do and updated my phone to the new iPhone 6.  I had been looking for an excuse to do it anyway. Just not when I was headed out of town!

Luckily the ATT store wasn't busy and I was helped right away.  I then went over to City Brew and had a cup of tea while downloading all my apps and my running music.  The drive to Bozeman was uneventful, I met up with Billie Jo at the Bozeman Running Company and we picked up our packets and did some shopping.

We had what is now a tradition with us wine and steaks for supper then headed over to her husband's grandfather's house for the night.  He has the coolest octagon shaped house that he built himself.  I wish now I would have taken some pictures.

As I was getting ready for the race Saturday morning I put on my Garmin and was greeted by a blank screen.  I KNEW I had charged it so the battery couldn't be dead could it?!   I did a reset and was greeted by weirdness and crazy screens like this.

After several more resets it decided to function normally. Seriously first the phone then the watch?!  I was hoping it wasn't a sign of things to come.

I caught the bus out to the start and cycled through the porta potties twice, visited with some people I knew and did a warmup.  I was feeling pretty good.

The gun finally went off and I was somewhere near the middle of the 1,100 runners and felt like it took forever to get across the start line and then spent a lot of time weaving through people the first mile,

The first three miles were uphill AND into the wind. The first mile went by pretty fast in that race adrenaline sort of way.  I was really feeling it by the third mile and had to keep reminding myself it would be downhill soon!  Some of the wind gusts were pretty strong.  I was counting down until we turned and ran crossways with the wind for awhile.
Mile 1  8:10
Mile 2  8:16
Mile 3  8:25

When we finally did it was a big relief and my legs started to recover a bit from all the uphill and wind fighting.  My pace picked up and I finally had a mile under 8 minutes.

The downhill felt good, but I also noticed that I didn't really feel that easy spring in my step.  I had written the feeling off earlier when I was running uphill and into the wind, but running downhill with the wind wasn't feeling as easy as I thought it should.  Still I thought at this point I could still pull off goal pace.

Mile 4  7:46
Mile 5  7:40
Mile 6  7:34,
Mile 7  7:39
Mile 8  7:40

Then I hit the hills around mile 9 and 10,,, and it was rough!
Mile 9 8:14
Mile 10 8:43

My legs just felt spent and I had my slowest mile an 8:43 ... I knew this would kill my average pace and it killed my goal of a 7:40 something pace. but I was still hoping for a sub 8 average pace, and I knew the rest of the route was downhill.

Mile 11  7:58
Mile 12  8:16
Mile 13  8:08
Last .10 (or .14 according to Garmin) 7:51 pace

The last two miles despite being downhill I just couldn't get under 8 minute miles.  I haven't decided if I am just not in as good of shape as I thought I was or if it was an off day.  I took one Humagel at mile 6 and had my Cocogo in my hydration belt.  I drank about 8 oz of it.

I remember feeling hot from about mile 6 on.  I am not acclimated to running in warm weather!

I got across the finish line and felt like I had given it my all, I grabbed some water and drank nearly the entire bottle before getting my medal.  I grabbed 4 little Cuties oranges and ate them while sitting on the curb.

My friends had run the 10k and after we hooked up we went and had breakfast for lunch and a great little spot called Nova on Main Street in Bozeman and had a great time talking and catching up on life.  We did not win the trips to Dublin,  I guess we will have to try again next year!

Offical time 1:45:37
I ended up 17th out of 206 in the 30-39 age group and 43 out of 559 women.  So really not too shabby.    I can be happy with that.

This is a great half marathon and growing! Most of it is run through the country side with beautiful views of the mountains. Both times I have run it the weather was beautiful. The t shirt is a long sleeve tech shirt, you also get a pint glass and of course a fabulous medal.  There is beer and music at the finish,  Post race snacks were light with bananas and oranges, but all I like it oranges post race anyway.

Hmmm so what is next?
I have the Women's Run in May on the schedule for sure.  It is a 5 mile race.  and I confess as I was typing this my little sister and I were also texting about what halfs we were looking at doing next.

 There is a local one here in 8 weeks.  I am pretty tempted!