Friday, March 29, 2013

Four Favorites for Friday

I keep seeing great posts of other runners favorite things so I thought I would share some things I am loving right now.

Yesterday we had a touch of spring.  I actually felt like I was getting hot on my run and I was in short sleeves and a skirt.  I think I must be a little acclimated to winter since it was only 48 degrees when I got back from my run and 43 degrees when I left.

I did an easy 4 miles at a 9 min/mile pace and then debated on doing some intervals, but since I had a dream Wednesday night that I was slow, I felt like I had better fit in some speed work.  I did 8x400 intervals with a 400m rest interval in between.  My slowest two were my first two and the fastest two were the last two.  It felt good to finish strong and feel like I good have done a couple more.

We dyed Easter eggs in the afternoon since the kids only had a half day of school and were home early.  It was a good thing too because right before my little sister and her kids showed up to dye eggs my daughter was going into meltdown mode because the finger nail polish she put on wasn't drying fast enough...

so get to the point already, what are some of my favorite things right now?

My half zip pullover that I got from Gap Fit.  I previously never would have thought of Gap when looking for workout/running clothes but this pullover is the bees knees.  It is so soft and stretchy.  I am also in love with the color. Obviously this is an older pictures since I am wearing the Pure Flow 2s in them and I took those shoes back.

I am also loving my Altra Torins.  I am trying to remember to alternate wearing them with my other shoes, since they are a zero drop and I haven't worn zero drops before, but they just really feel good to run in!
This weather..
okay so maybe Sunday isn't ideal or the showers at the end of next week, unless you are a farmer's daughter like me and you don't mind the rain and kind of want it really so my lawn will grow.  It is spring, it is supposed to rain. But hello..yesterday was PERFECT and it was my day off.  LOVE  IT!

I also picked up these lip butters at a local health food store and am in love with both flavors.  They are made in Montana even.
 The Limeade flavor is so yum!  They have a bunch of other flavors I you can check out HERE if you want.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. I had a dream last night about a 5 mile race I have coming up in May.  I dreamt that I ran it in 35:22 which is slower than the last two years I have ran it.  I was very very disappointed in my dream. I don't want to be slower!  Somehow I ended up third overall in the race, which that time would never allow.  It does make me more determined to work hard the next 6 weeks until the race!

2. I continue to be amazed at how many people think just because a food says it is "sugar free" means it is somehow okay to eat or better for you, or even good for you.  Most of the time it is empty calories and depending on what is making it sugar free it is BAD for you, especially for kids.

I already was mostly avoiding it, but after having a conversation with an ENT surgeon a couple weeks ago about it, I am now going out of my way to make sure my kids avoid it too. 

Aspartame has been linked to headaches, depression, mood disorders and increased hunger in kids. (source)  HERE is another great article talking about all the different kinds of non-natural sweeteners and problems associated with them.

I originally cut out artificial sweeteners when I was pregnant, but have become a little lax since.  They are in over 6,000 food products...including toothpaste and kids medicine.  So I think I will just try to keep it to a minimum and not bring anything into my house that say "sugar free" on it.

3. Last night when I got home from work it was BEAUTIFUL out.  A perfect spring evening.  Made me even crankier that they made us stay late at work to learn how to play get along with hard to get along with surgeons.  I really love my job and the people I work with, but I don't love staying late for things like that when they take away time from my family and playing outside in such beautiful weather. 

What is your take on artificial sweeteners?
Any race dreams lately?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spatula Run 10k

I am still feeling some of the effect of the half marathon I did a week and a half ago.  I don't think it helped when I was feeling good Saturday and I pushed the pace a little for 8 miles... so I am taking this week super easy still. 

I did a trail run Monday for the 2nd Annual Spatula Runners virtual run, cross training on Tuesday with a HIIT workout, and today will be a rest day.

Trail runs force me to slow down because of the varied terrain and uneven running ground.  I also tend to stop and take short walk breaks on big hills or photo ops when I see pretty views like this one framed in between a yucca and a sagebrush.

Right now it is so easy to run on trails or just wherever because the grass hasn't grown back yet. 
Cola even had a little excitement getting chased by my grandmothers horses when we cut across the pasture they were in.  They were pretty curious about him.  They ended up running off down the hill into the corral after this, which was perfect since unknown to me and Cola, my grandma had wanted them in.
I even wore the shirt I won last year in Spatula Runner virtual run.
 My official stats

Have a great Wedneday!

Monday, March 25, 2013

In my Fitness Closet

 Because I seem to be lacking any other inspiration for a post today I decided to link up with Pavement Runner and give you all a peek inside my closet.

Let's start at the!  Currently running in 1 pair of Asics, 2 pairs of Mizunos, 2 pairs of Altras, 3 pairs of Brooks although 2 are nearly retired and 2 others I can't show you because they are wear test shoes for someone.  I did actually throw out a pair this week.  That almost never happens!

Socks.  I kind of have a thing for Procompression socks, but I also have CEP, 2XU, and Spun compression socks. I love my Drymax and Champion C9 socks.  I could not get this picture to load turned.. so annoying.
Bras, sports bras same thing.  I am a  Handful girl.  It is pretty much all I wear.  Love these bras. I have a whole drawerful.  I think I own at least 12 of them. 
 Bottoms.  I love wearing skirts to run in...Lululemon makes my favorite, I think I love them most for the little shorts they have underneath that do not ride up. I also have Aspaeris compression shorts, Bibbity skirts, and shorts from UnderArmour, Fila, and Asics.
 Sadly it get too cold in winter to wear skirts so I have to have a drawer full of tights and capris.  My favorite tights are Brooks and UnderArmour. I do have some Nike and Prana capris that I love too.
 My shirts all hang front and center in my closet.  Not sure how I would survive without the Champion jackets and long sleeve running shirts I got from Costco several years ago.  They are a winter running staple! 

 I also got a half zip from Gap I love and an Asics rain jacket that I don't have to wear very often but I do love. Keeps me dry! I have a lot of tanks and no particular brand stands out.  1 from Nike and New Balance, Running Chiks, Tough Chicks, my Team Beef gear, lots of race shirts.
I tend to keep all my race shirts, the cotton ones are in a drawe and I never wear them, the tech ones get hung up and I wear them quite a bit.  Some of my favorites are the Missoula Marathon and the Run to the Pub half marathon, and Hood to Coast.
I have more stuff like my Lulu headband that was a gift this year, and my Brooks reflective vest that are also mainstays but I guess I didn't get a picture of those, or of the hats I wear, I have about 5 that I rotate.  Sunglasses are also a must!
I find that I would much rather buy workout clothes than other kinds of clothes, in fact I was just realizing that last time I bought a pair of jeans was almost three years ago.  But I guess when your jeans are the same size they were 15 years ago that is okay. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

One mile to my new solemate and a mystery man

So you may or may not remember when I posted about going to the local running store and coming home with the Pure Flow 2s.  I figured since me and the Pure Flow 1s were like solemates and besties from the first second I wore them that it would be the same with the 2s.

Not so much. 

I ran in them and ran in them all last week.  I even wore them to work a couple of times hoping it would help break them in.

No bueno. I was so sad.  I felt so let down.

They rubbed on my achilles.  The left foot rubbed on the base of my big toe and the ball of my right foot hurt under my big toe.  They felt loose in the heels. I tried lacing them different ways to no avail.

So I took them back.  They looked at them with me and yes they were the correct size for my feet.  The store took them back and we started on a mission to find me some shoes!

First I tried the Saucony Virattas. They are beautiful.  I wanted to love them. I really wanted to love them, but they rubbed funny on my arches.  I ran a quarter of a mile in them and it just didn't feel right. My feet were not in love.

Next up I tried the Brook Pure Cadence, these felt better, but still seemed a bit more in the arches than I wanted after another quarter of a mile.  I was leaning towards getting these ones at this point.

I tried something from Asics Gel-Lyte line and those were okay but I just didn't love. I went out and ran another quarter of a mile just to see how they felt.  There was no instant connection. I love my Pure Flow 1s and I want to love my next shoe too.  Of course they were all out of 1s.

Then they remembered the new shoe they had just got in last week.  So I tried it on and even before I ran a quarter of a mile in them I was in love with how they felt on my feet. It was like love at first step. My feet seemed to be saying "this is the one I want to be with".

So what were they?

Altra Torins!  I loved them so much I got them in the black and blue and the pink. 

I even ran my half marathon last Saturday in them after only running two miles in them on Friday. 

I was a little worried about doing it, but decided hey you only live once! They felt good.  I hope the love continues.  They are a zero drop, the first ones I have ever had, but I have ran two more times in them and still love them. 

I had actually really wanted the Intuitions after doing online research on them, but since my favorite local running store didn't have them I went with the Torins.  Not sad I did.
Intuitions (aren't they pretty!)

They just came out with these shoes called the One.  They are designed for speed work and racing.  I think I need them!
I hope no one really tried to roll over the pictures to zoom, because you can't.  Images were from

Seriously was not paid or bribed to do this post.  This is my new shoe love.

As a total Altra type side note, earlier in January I was contacted by someone claiming to be a representative of Altra and he wanted to do a guest post on my blog.  He offered to send me a pair of Altras even.  I never heard from him again despite attempting to contact him several times. So sad, I had really wanted to try the Altras.

I finally contacted the company who claimed to not have anyone by that name working for them.  I sent them my email chains.  I also contacted another blogger who had much the same experience with the "representative" I did.  I googled the guys name Mathew Kyle, and found he had done quite a few guest posts on blogs.

I haven't heard from Altra again either.

Just curious who else was contacted by him and what their experience was with the mysterious guest blogger who claimed to be from Altra that they denied knowing. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Three Things Thursday: Coming Up

I am officially registered for at least three more races this year (although I know there will be more.)

1. First up will be the Peaks to Prairie Adventure Race.  I will be doing the run portion and two people I work with will do the bike and the paddle portions.  It is a 9.3 mile run that is super speedy. It is a fast downhill course with some hills mixed in.  I couldn't walk down stairs for like a week after I did it last year.  My time last year was 1:05:16.  It feels a little imtimidating to try to beat that this year but I am going to give it my best shot!

In fact the picture of me running on my header is from Peaks to Prairie last year.

2..  After that in May I have the Montana Women's Run 5 mile.  This is one of my favorite races and one of the first ones I ever did.  I will do this one as a part of Team Beef Montana.   There should be lots of other Team Beef girls there so that will be fun. 

My fastest time so far for this race is 34:58.  Of course I want to run it faster this year!  So far I have done this race 5 times and I have never had a slower time.  I know eventually it will happen, I just don't want it too.

3.  and the third one is a Ragnar in Colorado in September.  This will be with Team Beef Montana since we didn't get in to Hood to Coast again this year this was the relay we decided on.  It will be nice since the drive will be so much shorter...way shorter especially for me.

The legs all look pretty tough..I love it.  I love a good challenge. So excited to get to do another relay.  My team will mostly be the same as it was last year with a few new people.  FUN!

I am hoping to also get in a couple of 5k and 10k races this spring. I am not in love with the 10k distance, but I really feel like I have unfinished business with it. That and the marathon, but that will have to come another year.

What race distance seems to challenge you the most?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

We made it through the winter, HELLO SPRING!

Yay for it being officially spring!  We made it through another winter.  Although I know it can still snow here at any given time.  Like last year we had 4 inches of heavy wet snow on Memorial Day weekend. 

These pictures are from my run on Monday.  You can't really see it, but the green grass is starting to poke up through the dirt.

Cola and I decided to take the road less traveled and ran around the edge of a field for awhile. Our fields here are not square, they follow the contours of the hills.  I remember a custom combiner when I was younger commenting on how strange our fields were shaped.  Obviously it was his first time out of Kansas.

Cutting through some hills to another finger of the field.

Did I mention I got some new shoes?  More on those later this week.  Long story!

To create watering holes for livestock they used to build little dams in coulees to create water resevoirs.  We have quite a few of these on the ranch.

Now they just develop the springs and put in stock tanks, which when you are a kid, it  makes a pretty good place to play.  They both do really.  We went swimming in the resevoirs quite a bit while I was growing up. Some had little frogs we would try to catch, although there was never a good place to put them when we were on our horses.
This old relic is from another time.  It sits along with some other old vehicles along the edge of the field.  Abandoned there before my family owned the place.  You can see Cola was impressed by it. 
1922 Montana license plate on another old vehicle up there.

This is the "car" the license plate was on.

I was so glad I got my run in right away Monday morning because the day turned windy and cold after that.  Not that it was super warm to begin with at 20 when I left, but it was sunny with minimal wind. Another great day to run in God's Country.

Feels good to know the worst of winter is behind us for another year and pretty soon the hills will be green again and the wildflowers will be blooming.

What is your favorite thing about spring?  Mine is simply everything turning GREEN!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Race pictures from the Run to the Pub Half Marathon

Thanks to my sister and my brother in law I have some pictures from the Run to the Pub race Saturday.

Prerace, waiting for it to be time to load the buses out to the start line, we had to take a picture in front of a Bobcats sign.

At the start line, trying to decide if I should take off my green pullover or not.
 (Note to time take it off!)

 About 6 miles in, so happy to see my husband not only for the mental pick me up but so I could toss him my green pullover.  I was tired of having it tied around my waist!

Coming in to the finish, so happy to see the finish line!

and I better pass one more person before the end. I like how I am heel striking in the first picture here, but it doesn't appear to be a heel strike in the second picture.

the after party.  A free beer.  I had the Guiness and showing off our hard earned medals. You maybe can't tell, but I was FREEZING here.  I went and got my coat and pants on shortly afterwards.

Sunday I rested and did some yoga. 
Monday I got out and did an easy 5 mile run with some walking mixed in on some cow trails.  I also did a 30 minute circuit workout that was part ZWOW 60 and part I made it up. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Run to the Pub Half Marathon Recap

We left our house at 5 am which was no big deal because I had been wide awake for 2 hours already by then.  I hate when I can't sleep!  We picked up my sister and her husband and headed out.  Bozeman is about a 2.5 hour drive from my house, so not too bad a drive.

We got up there in plenty of time to pickup our race packets and were left with an hour of waiting to catch the buses out to the start.  I got my husband lined up with a good place along the route to cheer us on from and then the boys took off to do their own thing for awhile.

It was a little chilly at the start and I had a hard time deciding if I should take my long sleeve shirt off or not, I was cold so I left it on.  I hate being cold..of course I hate being hot too so I should have just taken it off.

Finally it was go time!

The first three miles were uphill, not in a hard horrid way, just a slight sloping way.  I kept these three miles pretty steady and was feeling pretty good.  Of course about mile 2  I started getting hot and was regretting wearing my long sleeve pullover, so I took it off and tied it around my waist, which is also annoying but at least I felt cooler.

After mile 3, the road started sloping down slightly and felt pretty good.  My pace picked up a bit and I felt really good. 

I saw my husband and brother in law around mile 6.5 ish? and gave my husband my coat.  It was a great mental boost to see him.  He doesn't normally come to my races.

Somewhere at the start of the 8th mile Kiley caught up to me and we ran together for awhile.  I was starting to feel tired at this point.  I don't know if the higher altitude was getting to me a little but it felt harder to breathe.  Probably just not in the kind of shape to maintain a sub 7:30 pace... anyhoo, we ran togehter for about a mile and a half ish and then she was off and making it look easy!

At this point there were also a lot of 10k runners on the road and I had to do a lot of dodging and weaving.  I had it in my head that after the end of mile 8 and the start of mile 9 there were no more hills.  WRONG... so wrong. The last hill didn't end until the end of mile 10.

That last hill kicked my butt, my quads felt spent after that.

Thankfully after that it was all downhill, but my legs were pooped!  I had really hoped for a sub 1:40 finish and was on track for it until the last couple miles.  I did't quite pull it off.

My unofficial Garmin time was 1:40:16... so close! Officail time was 1:40:18 so I was close.  That makes it my 2nd fastest half marathon  and yes I am happy with that.  Came to about a 7:38 pace.

Here are my splits.

I also find it motivating... clearly I need to be doing more speed work! I felt like I pretty much left it all out there yesterday.  My legs are feeling a little sore today.  I have some yoga plans and maybe a walk to loosen up a little.

I found the race very well organized.  Packet pickup was quick and easy. The buses were lined up ready to go on time. There seemed like there were quite a few water stops along the way.  I carry my own though so I didn't pay too much attention to it.

We got a long sleeve tech shirt and a pint glass. 

 Although it seemed like there weren't a lot of portapotties I never had to wait in line more than 5 minutes to use one.

The course is beautiful with great views of the Gallatin valley and the mountains in the distance. 

There was a free beer waiting at the end and the finisher medals were bottle openers. Post race food was water, oranges and bananas. Pretty simple, but enough for me.  Oranges post race are my favorite.  They also had some food vendors there and after I had my free Guiness I ate a HUGE burrito that left me stuffed for the rest of the day.

The worst part was running into the huge mass of 10k racers and having to weave through them at the end of the race when I was getting tired. or maybe the worst part was that I did not win one of the four trips to Dublin that were given away.

My little sister had been having some back problems and just wanted to come in under 2 hours.  She ran it in 1:52 ish so she did great!

Blogger fail, I had my camera charged up, but then left the memory card at home!  My sister and her husband did get some pictures so I will have them send me some and hopefully have some to share!

I ended up 109 overall and 13th in my age group.

So half number 5 is in the books!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Three Things Thursday: My Plan

I am sure you are all getting tired of hearing about the half marathon I have coming up this weekend, but I haven't ran a race since November and a half marathon since September of 2011!  Forever ago and I am really excited about finally doing another! Here is my 3 part plan

1. Run my own race.  I used to try to start out fast with everyone, but I later discovered that if I can just hold it in at the start and not take off like a bat out of hell sprinting when the gun goes off I tend to pass a lot of people as the race goes on.  It is so much more gratifying to pass people who are struggling than to be passed by people who are making it look easy while I am struggling.

2. Two words..NEGATIVE SPLIT
Always a goal in a race.  Means I finished strong and didn't start out all crazy.This will be easy since the first half of the race has roughly three uphill miles and the second half has only one and as far as I can tell the rest of the race is downhill

3. Have fun, relax, and enjoy.  I know this won't be a crazy PR attempt.  I haven't been able to get the training in.  If I am not feeling the pace I am expecting to run it at, I am okay with letting go of it..really. BUT if at the halfway point I am feeling it...go for it!

also...if anyone has any great songs on their playlist I am looking for some new ones to add to mine.  I probably will run without music for the first 5 miles or so, but then I like to turn some on to keep me pumped up. 

and I will leave you with what one of my favorite shirts says.  Happy running today!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Happy News, Bummer News and Spun Performance Compression sock winners

I had a pretty easy day yesterday, I ran an easy 4 miles.  Felt like I was just getting warmed up and it was over.

My son's kindergarten teacher called yesterday after school got out just to let me know how much she enjoyed having him in her class.  She had nothing but wonderful things to say about him that left me all choked up and with tears streaming down my face. SO proud of this boy. Sounds like she had a bit of a crazy day in class and Cade was a sane spot in the day.
Some of the wonderful things she had to say include
  • He always pays attention in class
  • Is so ready for 1st grade
  • Is so polite and considerate of others
  • She uses him as an example when others are misbehaving
  • He always participates in class activities
  • He is learning new math skill easily
  • Helps others

On a bummer side of things.  I was really hoping to do another half marathon in April with my little sister.  I and several of my co workers kept emailing the website asking if they were still doing it and as recent as three weeks ago they assured as they were and it would be open for entries very soon.  Last week they postponed it until October...OCTOBER.  Not thrilled with that.  Last October they postponed it until April.

Very disappointed, there are a lot of fall half marathons, but a spring one here is so rare.  There will be no more close by me until JULY when it is SWELTERING hot and they aren't fun to run.  I will probably still do it in October, but I am still very disappointed, and sad, and let down, and bummed out.  You get the picture.

I know what you are really here for is to see if you are a winner!
if one of those is you.. send me an email at bugs2001rn AT yahoo DOT com with your address, the socks you want and what size, I will pass it along to Spun Performance.  Hope you love your socks as much as I love mine!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Winning Streak

I have been a bit of a lucky girl lately..

I won a Chapstick giveaway from Kylie at Daily Vitamin F, who I am meeting this weekend at the Run to the Pub Half Marathon (blogger meetup in Bozeman this weekend).  She is just going to give me my prize when me meet.

After that I won a ProCompression Socks giveaway from Courtney at Third Times a Charm Runner, so I picked the neon green ones since I didn't have those yet. My daughter was thrilled when they came in the mail.

And then yesterday I learned I won a Flipbelt giveaway from Toni over at Running Loving Living.  I picked green of course since I am on a green kick right now. 

Pretty excited about all these things. I know I love the first two and have been wanting to try the Flipbelt for awhile now. Seems like a pretty cool thing to have.
I also recently won a a K-Pack running backpack from Rachelle at Livin the Sweat Life from her virtual run. I haven't run in it yet.  It is comfortable, but I haven't decided how practical it would be for me. I don't like how I can't access what is in the backpack without taking it off.  My arms just aren't flexible enough or talented enough.
 It felt like it had been awhile since I had won any giveaways then BAM!  Now I probably won't win anything again for a long time.
I am hoping my winning luck carries over to this weekend, I don't expect to win the half marathon, but I would like to "win" in my book which would be to finish in goal time and feel good doing it.
My Spun Performaance Compression socks giveaway ends tonight! There will be three lucky winners.  I will try to have them posted in the morning.
What is the best thing you have won lately..or ever?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Weekend wrapup and new shoes!

I had some pretty great running weather this weekend.  Saturday was a little windy, but Sunday was perfect.  Even though the thermometer said it was only 32 degrees, the sun was shining and it felt great to be out in a skirt. 

and I got to try out my new Pure Flow 2 shoes.  They were pretty great,  I kind of think I like my Pure Flow originals better though.  I have only run in them twice so I can't make a judgement yet.  I do like the improvements they made attaching the tongue of the shoe so it stays put better and the ergonomic lacing.

I do find the look of the first version more appealing. 

My daughter was thrilled when she saw my new shoes in the pink!

 I also stocked up on some Nuun and Honey Stingers.  Citrus Fruits and Strawberry Lemonade are my favorite flavors and I have been wanting to try Lemon Tea and Kona Cola.
Saturday I did my 10k for Team Gabby virtual run, although I forgot I had to have it submitted..yesterday.  So I guess I am a day late, but I was out there running for you Gabby!  Kick cancer in the can!
Yup, my weekend was pretty quiet. 
 Other than running we had some 4-H stuff, laundry, cleaning, and lots of kid time!
6 days until I am toeing the line at my next half marathon.  YAY! 
Do you hate the time change as much as I do?