Monday, June 26, 2017

Rail Trail Run 30k in St Regis MT

I live in the northwestern Great Plains in Montana..think wide open spaces, big skies and broad expanses of land for farming and ranching. Not a lot of trees, so my friends all like to make fun of me because lots of trees kind of freak me out and mountains make me feel closed in and sort of trapped.   I know people like to "escape to the mountains" for the "open spaces", but it just doesn't feel open to me. ANYWAY. I ran a 30k Trail Rail Run in the mountains and the funniest thing to me about that was that I don't think the elevation ever went higher than where I live at nearly 4,000 ft.

It was in beautiful St Regis, Montana and it is beautiful. It is also just full of trees and really tall looking walls (mountains) of trees. I felt at times like I could hardly bring myself to look at the tall walls for more than a couple of seconds..I'm telling you, if you haven't been to Montana, there are two Montanas.  The wide open spaces and the Mountains.

I digress, but I am also drinking wine. HA! and cooking dinner, and blogging, and watching Orange is the New Black so this recap could be not the best.

I had to work the day before the run. BOO. Like we had mandatory let's count all the things in the building after a full day of work. Okay it wasn't that bad, but it's no one's favorite day. and you can't have the day off.  It's a 6.5 hour drive to St Regis from my house.  I got home at 7pm and everyone threw their bags in the car and we took off.

My husband was tired from haying all week and I was hoping to sleep some so I wasn't exhausted for the run.  We made pretty good time and got in to St Regis slightly before 2 am with only 1 stop for coffee and once to trade out driving.

I caught the bus out to the start at 8 am and it was a quick 20 minute drive and we were waiting out in the cold! I picked up my bib since I missed it the night before and before I knew it the gun went off.

The weather was a little cool but I knew once we started running it would feel AWESOME and I was right.   I am standing in the red shirt and red head band in the picture below.  I knew I should have taken off my long sleeve shirt, but I was so cold at the start!






















Right off I was the 4th person in the race... I kept waiting for some people to settle into their pace and pass me. Nope. I could see the three people up ahead of me for most of the race, which was nice. and motivating.

I was about 2 miles in and I was regretting my decision to leave on my long sleeve shirt, I finally took it off about 4 miles in and tied it around my waist.

I kept my pace right about 8 min per mile give or take a few seconds for the first 14 miles and the miles seem to fly by.

We had to check in at all the aid stations, the first station we checked in at was off of the trail about a quarter of the mile and then back to the trail, but the rest were all along the trail.  The aid stations all had water and some kind of rehydration drink. I had Tailwind in my bottles so I didn't look at what they had. I am not sure what else they had at the aid stations, I know there were gels and some foods, but I left those for the people running the 50k and 50 mile and had some Honeystinger waffles and chews in my pack.

I drank a cup of water at all the aid stations and made sure to drink some Tailwind every couple of miles.

I felt really good until about 15 miles in and then I started feeling tired and I tripped! I landed hard on my left knee and was really worried the last 4 miles could really hurt,  Both of my hands were throbbing and my right hand was bleeding a bit.   Luckily my knee was okay and other than a bruise later was none the worse for the fall, My hands only throbbed for about a mile or so and the pain was a welcome distraction from how tired my legs were feeling!

As you can see there was a lot of gravel on the trail/road we were on so the fall could have been a lot worse, some of the gravel was really rough and thick and there were potholes that were trying to trip me up more.

With about two miles to go we turned onto a paved road and I felt like my pace picked up a bit, and I was feeling motivated by the thought of being done soon. I also knew my family was going to be at the finish line.

Other things that were motivating the last couple of miles... I started passing some of the 12k walkers and slower runners. So nice after miles and miles of just seeing one other girl and guy up ahead of me to have people to pass!  I passed one other 30k runner with about 3 miles to go and that was motivating to try to stay ahead of him!

Finally I could see the finish line and as I crossed it my kids ran up and hugged me and I nearly cried.. always so emotional!  I received a railroad spike finisher prize and then went and got my swag bag which had my unisex tech tee and a water bottle in it.

I ended up third overall in the 30k and 2nd female and 2nd in my age group
Final time 2:3

My sister in law got this shot just after I crossed the finish line.  I was done!
Splits 8:05, 8:02, 7:56
7:58, 8:08, 8:08
7:57, 5:57, 7:52
8:00,  and then..?  I kept losing satelite connection and had weird ones like 11:07 and 5:37 kind of annoying, but my final time was 2:35:38 with average splits of 8:06 so I know I slowed down a bit the last couple miles but still held pretty consistent I think.


I put the railroad spike on top of my medal rack. Fits pretty good there :)

 Overall it was a great race and I would love to do it again.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Run For Heaven's Sake: Josh Tyree Memorial Half Marathon Race Recap

I had this race on my radar but didn't decide to sign up for it until the day before the race. My daughter decided she wanted to do the 5k as well. Since the 5k started at 8:45 and the half marathon started at 7, my mom agreed to bring her in.

I didn't think out any big goals for the race. My biggest goal in my head was to finish the half before the 5k started. I thought maybe I would run the 5k with Avery if my legs weren't too tired from the half.  (I am training for a 30k, so this is my long run for the week.)

The weather was looking perfect. Temps in the high forties at the start, partly cloudy and only a slight breeze.

Packet pickup was fairly simply except if you hadn't registered yet like we hadn't, it was painfully slow to get registered. We didn't get a t-shirt since we registered so late, we could have one left over from last year if we wanted.. we didn't. One of the last things I need is another cotton race shirt I won't wear.

They had lots of fun swag and you got to pick out two items. I picked out a buff and a water bottle. We all also got bubbles.   Other things to pick from included cell phone chargers, socks, hand sanitizer, wind shield scrapers and more.. all race themed of course.

I set out my race things about 8pm the Saturday night and went to bed.  I wasn't feeling stressed about the race at all.  I was a little worried about having tired legs after the 5 mile race I did last weekend, but my legs hadn't been sore at all after that and I had two great runs this week.

There were only about 70 people signed up for the half marathon, so a small one for sure, but there were lots of volunteers and the course was well marked.  I ran this one two years ago in the rain so I knew what to expect for the most part.  I had followed a plan for it that time so I wasn't sure I was going to beat my previous time of 1:43:12, but I was hoping to get close.
About 5 minutes before the start I went back and read my race recap from when I ran it two years ago, I think it helped my mental game during the race a lot, knowing when to expect the up and downhills. I also checked out the elevation profile to mentally prepare myself.


The gun went off and so did we... up the hill!

mile 1  7:57, 8:02, 7:46
I felt like I had a hard time getting my breathing under control for the first two miles. I have to admit it made me a little worried that it would be a rough race and was wondering if maybe I should slow up a bit.  My legs felt good though so I decided to keep pushing.   I noticed somewhere close to mile 3 that the back of my shorts on the left side felt a little cool.. like wet.  My water bottle on that side on my hydration belt was apparently leaking Tailwind on my shorts. It looked shut, but apparently was open enough for a slow leak. My shorts were soaked with Tailwind....I started to worry about chafing.

mile 4  7:37, 7:50, 7:35
My breathing settled in to an easier feel and my legs were still feeling good. This was all pretty much a slight down hill with one hill that was noticeable and looking at my pace you can guess which mile it was in.  As there was only 70 or so runners in the race at this point we were all pretty spread out. I could see two runners up ahead of me and was glad for it. I used them to focus on and keep pushing. I ate some Honey Stinger chews around mile 5.5 and told myself I could turn on my music at the halfway point. I decided I was feeling good though and didn't.  I wanted to save it for when I needed a kick.

mile 7  7:35, 7:27, 7:45
Miles 7 and 8 were still down hill and felt really good. I felt my Honey Stingers kick in around mile 7.  and loved the renewed energy it gave me. I turned on my music at mile 8 when the down hill part ended and we started a gradual climb.  My legs started feeling so tired around mile 9.5 and I wondered if I was going to hit a wall and be sorry so I ate the rest of my Honey Stingers and drank some Tailwind.

mile 10, 7:46, 7:57, 7:37
Mile 10 and 11 had a pretty good hill in it but also some down hill, I started catching a girl ahead of me and that was motivating for sure.  I was feeling tired, but not horribly so and at this point I know it isnt very much farther. Mile 12 I felt a kick of energy again and knowing I had only 2 miles to go was helpful. I started to feel like maybe my shorts were chafing my thighs, but it was just a vague irriation and I didn't dwell on it overly. I passed the girl in front of me going around a corner and heading up the last uphill portion.

mile 13 7:33, .1 pace 6:41
I was a little surprised at my pace here, but I knew the end was in sight and the girl I passed found a surge on energy too and went flying by me. She ended up finishing about 12 seconds ahead of me. The last mile the chafing really started to be uncomfortable, but I still wasn't that worried about it. Until I got across the finish line and checked out the damage.

Tailwind being a little salty and a little sweet makes for some really good chafing. My thighs were chafed raw and bleeding a little. YEOW!  My mother had brought my daughter in for the 5k that started at 8:45 so they were there to greet me at the finish line. I loved it.

I got my daughter over to the start and helped her find her friend. I had originally planned to possibly run the 5k with her, but the chafing put that out of the question in a major way. She was a little sad and so was I not only to not get to run with her but I need the miles for my fast approaching 30k

Avery ended up with a PR in the 5k and 5th in the 12 and under age group. So proud of her! I think she is hooked on racing!
I beat my previous time on this course by 2 minutes exactly!! I know mentally that to finish before the 5k, I would have to keep my pace under 8 minute miles.
It was super fun having my mom at the finish line, just like in high school with cross country!

What worked:  

  • Tailwind Raspberry Buzz Flavored.  I started drinking it 4 miles in and every two miles took a couple good swallows of it
  • Honey Stinger chews.  I ate 5 at mile 5.5 and 5 at mile 9.5  I don't know if it was imagined or real but I could feel that burst of energy enter my system both time.
  • It was so helpful to read my race recap from 2 years ago and have a mental strategy.
  • The weather was awesome. A little chilly at the start just the way I like it!
What didn't work:
  • Tailwind on my shorts.  Seriously. It may be a while before I can run in shorts again. I have worn these same shorts for 16 mile runs before so I know it wasn't the shorts.

The swag.  We signed up too late for T-shirts but we still got the bubbles, and picked out a water bottle and buff. They had chapstick and little blue pocket things that can be clipped to your shoe to carry the chapstick or a key or money.  The medal were nice.



I would do this race again.

I ended up 6th female and 4th in my age group.  Once again, my age group around here is fast! I love it!
 Linking up!


Friday, April 14, 2017

5 Reasons why Spring Running is the Best

Spring running in Montana can be a bit of a crap shoot.. some days winter tries hard to remind us it wasn't that long ago and other days are blue sky sunshine perfect running days with temps in the 50s and 60s.

       Like many places in the northern hemisphere, winter can make for some brutal running conditions, there are some days that are perfect for running and others that are quite inhospitable. This winter seemed more brutal than average with below normal temps for an extended spell and lots of snow.  When spring finally arrives it is a most welcome thing!

Here are five of my favorite things about spring running in Montana

1. Losing the layers. When the temps are -10 with the windchill it requires double layers for tights, triple layers for tops, jackets, etc, gloves, hats, neck buff, etc to keep warm. This makes running feel a bit bundled up and also makes for a lot of laundry. It feels freeing to not worry about how many layers, which layers and where is my left glove.

2. Being out in the green.  Depending on the year things brown up here in late June early July. It's still beautiful but it's hard to beat that bright green that is here April, May and June. The

3. Getting out the tanks and shorts (and camis and skirts)

4. Wildflowers: my two favorite early spring flowers are currently in bloom
  • Yellow bells
  • Shooting stars

5. Not having frozen hands (or ears, or nose, or toes) and knowing that we do get the spring snows they won't last long and will be followed by perfect running weather.


Friday Five Linkup 2.0

It's FRIDAY!

Link up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup!
Don't forget to link back to your hostesses and visit other bloggers :)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Weekly Wrap: The one where I have a cold

Sunday: Easy ish run with some fartleks, but overall just didn't feel very good. I felt a bit hungover, which considering I hadn't drank at all wasn't a good thing. The run seemed to clear my head for a bit, but then it was back to wanting to crawl back in bed all day.

Monday: Feeling better, except my sinuses and getting snotty... ran some hills, but overall felt low on energy for the run so I cut it short.  Also did 21 Day Fix Extreme Upper body


Tuesday: A bit of yoga in the morning before work


Wedenesday: Still feeling not 100% and blowing my nose all the time. UGH  Still managed to get in a good long run. Happily it is also a cutback week so instead of a longer run I only had 10 on the schedule.  The first couple miles really drug on but I ran the last 4 as intervals to make it go faster

Thursday: Super gorgeous day out so I snuck in a run after work


Friday: Nothing.  I was tired and I didn't feel like it and am so very over blowing my nose. Little cowgirl spent the night at my parents with three other cousins and little cowboy spent the night at my Aunt's house with another cousin so my cowboy and I could have gone out on the town, but we were both so tired we just went to bed early.

Saturday: I had great intentions of running, but I felt even worse. I decided that the best thing would be to not run even though the weather outside was amazing perfect for running.   I worked in my flower beds, did a 24 minute HIIT workout, helped my Aunt set up her new Total Body Gym
Yellow bells are out in full force
and my Dad haul in his feed truck that had died on him while out feeding the cows that morning.


Miles run 23
Strength workouts: 2
Yoga: 1

Not my best week but hopefully I am over the hump with this cold thingy. I know I personally am so over it.

After the amazing weather on Saturday we had this to look forward to..

woke up to this Sunday.

linking up with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap
weekly wrap up
feel free to check it out and join in! 
The purpose of this link is to connect with and support other active women. You can summarize your whole week or just a small portion of it. It's up to you! Race recaps are also encouraged! {See complete rules} 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Weekly Review: Last of March

Sunday:  Nothing. I can't remember why now, it just seemed like one thing after another

Monday: 6 miles easy and half an hour of yoga
Tuesday:  21 day Fix Extreme Upper Body Workout

Wednesday: Long run day: 15 miles.. started out a little rough, felt like I didn't have a lot of get up and go, but by the end I was cranking the miles out

Thursday: Just a quick after work run:


Friday: 24 minute HIIT workout

Saturday: Easy run with a few fartleks thrown in.

Miles Run: 30.5 
Strength workouts: 2
Yoga:1


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Weekly Wrap: Back at it


Sunday:  Went for a walk in the morning with Rance to check the cows,  check out this cute baldy baby.  So adorable!

 3.1 easy miles then I headed into town for the  5k Shamrock run in the afternoon for a total of 6.2 miles.


Monday: 5 mile hilly muddy messy beautiful trail run, with a lot of walking up the big hills, my legs were tired from the 5k the day before and a little sore.


Tuesday: Nothing, work day and it snowed, it was all melted off by the afternoon.


Wednesday : 15 minute HIIT with Zuzka Light   14 mile run, my legs felt pretty good for this, still a little tired, but I did pick a hilly route.


Thursday: 21 Day Fix Extreme Upper Body one time through for 30 minutes and then each move one more time for another 15 or so minutes counting rest time.

Friday. Easy 5k after work, with some yoga, handstands and hops afterwards...it was just too nice to go in the house.


Saturday: 1 mile easy and then 8 800 intervals at about 7min/mile pace with 400 recovery intervals. I didn't have them programmed in my watch so it wasn't exact, but by the end my pace was closer to 6:45.. guess I was feeling good!  Also did Hammer Strength Conditioning workout in the morning.

Running 35.3 miles
Strength workouts: 3
Yoga: 1 yoga stretch session of about 15 minutes..

Overall a great week running and weather wise.

linking up with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap
weekly wrap up
feel free to check it out and join in! 
The purpose of this link is to connect with and support other active women. You can summarize your whole week or just a small portion of it. It's up to you! Race recaps are also encouraged! {See complete rules} 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Shamrock Run 5k

I signed up for this one on Friday.  I hadn't much entertained doing it, but when I saw they had a family rate of $35 for the whole family and you got pint glasses, I was in! No t-shirts, which was fine with me. I have way too many race shirts as it is and hardly any of them get worn enough.  It is also the membership drive and renewal for our local running club.

The kids decided they wanted to do the 5k and not the kids 1 mile run.   I used to get all worked up and nervous before every race, but I noticed today with the race at 1, that at 11 I still had not decided what I was going to wear. I do have to admit with it being a Shamrock run I had it pretty narrowed down.

The kids were pretty nervous for the race, but told me I was not to hang back with them.
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The first mile has a pretty significant hill before that ends at right about .3 miles into the run. and my legs that just ran a half marathon last weekend felt like they protested a bit and I was worried that maybe a 5k wasn't my brightest idea. The first mile was 7:24

Mile 2 is pretty flat for all of it and I was pleased to see my pace for this one was 7:07 and wondered if it would hold for the last mile. I was sticking pretty close to another gal and we were passing other runners pretty steady. I was hopeful for a bit that maybe I would pass her too, but she proved to have the stronger legs and by the end of the 2nd mile was starting to pull away from me pretty good.

Mile 3 thanks to running back down that hill we had to run up at the start was 6:59 (I was very thrilled to have it under 7!)

the last .1 or .15 according to my garmin was at 6:12 pace.

Garmin time 3.15 miles for 7:07 pace
Official time 3.1 miles for 7:15 pace

I then grabbed a water and headed back to see where the kids were at. I found my daughter and she was tired but looking strong with about a quarter mile to go here.
Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

I made it back just in time to get her finish line picture
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and my son wasn't far behind
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Either way I'm happy and I was 4th female overall and won my age group.

My daughter finished just over 30 minutes and was 4th for 9 and under. She did so well, but did admit to being very happy to being done! My son wasn't too far behind and is a bit worried about how sore he will be.

My son was 5th in the 10-14 group,  They didn't really have kids age groups since they had a mile kids run. There was just a 1-19 age group, but the kids and I went back and counted what would be their age group roughly

We picked up our pint glasses and were going to wait around for the awards but it started to rain and it was cold and the kids were freezing after their run so we ran back to the car and the comforts of the heater, We were going to wait out the rain, but it didn't seem to want to quit so we left. I never picked up my age group award. Insert sad face.  


This week's writing prompt: Local Races.  If you don't have anything to share about your favoriteLocal Races, feel free to post any running related blog post.  Link-up with PattyErika, and Marcia!