Monday, December 29, 2014

Winter running

Winter is settling into our little corner of Montana, but that didn't stop Cola and I from getting out and having a great run yesterday.  My Dad's dog Roscoe seems to be loving running as well, can you see him there behind Cola?
When I take the kids to my parent's house while I run Roscoe comes along and the two dogs run about three times as far as I do.

I have kept most of my runs the last couple months shorter and easier, and am now getting excited to start training for a half in March.  YAY! I did 10 miles Christmas day and it felt great, so I feel like I am in a really good spot.  I will start adding in a day of speed work every week.  I like to have a long run of 14 miles at least once before a half, so I will gradually build up to that.

I was a little overdressed yesterday and got hot right away, but that is the beauty of layers. 
Today is supposed to be below 0 with the windchills.  I am hoping to run outside a little, but I will be okay with keeping it in the house also.  It is annoying when the eyes try to freeze shut.  Haha, yep just looked at the weather forecast for today.  Windchills of -20.  The chances of keeping it inside just got bigger!

While this is really fun. I hate being cold.
Sorry Cola! I might wuss out today.
Would you rather run in the cold or the heat? 
I would much rather run in the cold.  Heat sucks the life right out of me.
Stay warm!


Friday, December 26, 2014

A Perfect Christmas and a Run too.

Merry Christmas a day late!  The kids and I had a fun time Christmas eve delivering Christmas goodies to family and neighbors and singing Christmas Carols in the morning. We drank lots of apple cider and hot chocolate and ate lots of goodies!

My husband and I had our parents and my big sister's family over for appetizers.  First we managed to get a family photo with the self timer on my camera
The kids were having a hard time sitting still since they got to open one present as soon as the pictures were done!
Lil Cowboy played some cribbage with my Dad

the Grandmas visited

and us girls, plus my niece, played rummy.

Christmas day we kept it low key.  We opened presents, ate breakfast, put together presents etc.

I even got in a heavenly much needed 10 mile run while everyone else watched movies.  It was one of those runs where I was feeling like I could run all day.  I think Cola was pleased with it too.  I didn't get a picture of it, but we had a white Christmas and the run was beautiful!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Trying, not trying

After a week of beautiful weather and running in tanks, short and capris

It's back to hats, tights, and gloves this week
Cola doesn't care, he just wants to run
I guess I would have to agree.
What I have been doing besides blogging lately
  • went to an excellent Mary Poppins put on by local talent
  • taking kids to things
  • moving Ralf the Elf on the Shelf around the house
  • running
  • working working working
  • finally put up my Christmas tree
  • trying to ignore all the great sales on running things (key work there is trying)
  • taking advantage of a few great sales on running things (I'm not perfect)
  • I used Asics buy one get one free to get something for my little sister for Christmas and one for me too (win win!) I would love to show you what it is, but that would give it away for her!  HA! But I love it.
Have you saved money in the long run on running things by taking advantage of Christmas sales?
I confess to having bought three things.  Asics 12 days of Bestivus sales were killing me. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

It's December still right?

The weather right now here in Montana is so nice.  In the 50s in December!  My little dog and I couldn't help but take advantage of the weather. With the kids in school we had lots of time to run and play.
                                               Tuesday I ran in capris and a short sleeve shirt.
I think these are my most favorite capris ever
and we ran trails.  So heavenly.
Wednesday I had plans to hit the trails again, but after spending all morning helping my Dad and brother vaccinate heifers I found I needed a nap after lunch. My full belly wouldn't have liked running anyway.  I hadn't had a nap in ages and I have to admit that felt pretty awesome.  After that I didn't have a whole lot of time so I just ran the roads close to home.

In shorts and a tank.  In December.  It is supposed to get cold again this weekend so I am soaking it up while I can.
I have to work today, but hopefully I can squeeze in a couple miles after work.

Is the weather this amazing where you are?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Year of Running 2014

I am linking up with Miss Zippy for this one.  This is a brief look back at my year in running, which was pretty awesome.

You can link up with Miss Zippy too, or just check out everyone else's great links
  • Best race experience.  Hmm this is a hard one.  After struggling a lot last year and the first part of 2014 with leg pain, I was truly grateful for every race I ran.  I will have to say perhaps best overall race experience was the Missoula Half Marathon in July.  Missoula puts on a well run race and I got to have a girl's weekend with my friend Billie Jo. It was also my first half marathon in over a year and I felt pretty good!

  • Best run. Hmm I have to admit I have had a lot of great runs and at this point in the year it is hard to narrow it down, but I would say maybe the run where I ran into a bear.  Excluding the bear part, it was a beautiful run and I loved every minute of it and the bear made it all the more memorable! I loved how green and lush everything was and all the wildflowers, plus I just felt good. It was a perfect day to be out running, in my favorite place to run
you can't see it, but there is a bear down the road!

  • Best new piece of gear.  My Armpocket.  Love this thing.  So comfortable to wear and I can put so many things in it!
  • Best piece of running advice you received.  Hmmmm.  I think this is indirect, but when I went to the doctor in January and he told me my problems were most likely coming from my back this changed everything for me.  I started doing yoga and worked more on core strengthening.  6 weeks later I quit waking up in the middle of the night in pain and my running started to pick up again.  I still yoga twice a week and have some issues, but only a whisper compared to what it was.

  • Most inspirational runner.  Shalane Flanagan.  That girl really goes for it! She sets big goals and while she didn't reach them, she really puts her heart into it.
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would it be?  Triumphant and Happy.  It feels so good to not be struggling with quad pain and to be running races again strong and happy.
 How would you sum up your running year in a couple of words?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Stocking Stuffers for Runners

 We braved the elements this weekend and went to the playoff game in Bozeman.  Hard to believe the day before it had been a balmy 62 degrees and Saturday we were sitting in a snowstorm with windchills around 0 degrees. 
It was a great game but the Bobcats lost.  We had a great time cheering them on and can't wait for next year and more Bobcat football.
 Despite being cold, my son wanted to wait around and meet some of the players.  He was excited to meet the quarterback, who was a freshman this year so will be back next year. He let Cade hold his helmet and was so nice!
 And this beast, who is such an amazing defensive player.  He is a senior and we are sad he won't be back again.
The players were amazingly gracious and thankful to the fans who had hung around in the super cold.  There was lots of interaction, fist bumps and high fives.  The kids left there very happy and I left an even bigger fan.

I am sure no one needs a whole lot of motivation to get any shopping done with all the great deals floating around right now, but I still wanted to share some of my favorites!

Cocogo is my go to form of hydration for running and working out. They are running a special one day only Cyber Monday Cocogo Sale. Everything is 20% off on Monday, plus another 10% off with my Ambassador code,(use CHRISTYRUNS when you check out) plus bundle discounts still apply (like 25% off a case or 10% off a 3-Pack and free shipping over $55).

 I discovered Armpocket this year and now never run without it. Armpocket armbands are great for runners, walkers and any active person on your gift giving list. Shop now for their pre-holiday deal: $10 Armpocket gift card with any $20 purchase - use code FBHoliday14

Handful bras are 20% off with the code TAKEOFF20.  These bras nearly never go on sale so this is a great deal to take advantage of.

And my favorite running gel.. Humagel!  I couldn't find any codes for this one, but it is always a good thing to have on hand and they recently added four new flavors with caffeine. 

What is the best deal you have found today?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Run Turkey Run 5k Recap

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  My internet has been down much of the week so I haven't been on here, but a break is nice too.

I ran a 5k on Thanksgiving, my first 5k of the year! In fact I think it has been well over a year and a half since I ran a 5k.  Seems like a long time to go without running a 5k doesn't it?

I have to admit to feeling nervous and not real sure just how to pace it.  I haven't run anything shorter than a half marathon since June, unless of course you count the Ragnar Relay, which I don't. 

The weather for the 5k was pretty good, slightly on the chilly side so I wore tights and a long sleeve shirt, and gloves because I hate cold hands.  I had been a little worried with all the snow we got Wednesday the streets would be snowy and full of ice.  The start line and all around it looked good.

The gun went of and some kid who looked about 10 shoved me rudely aside and sprinted out.  I have to admit here, I really wanted to shove him back.  There was no "excuse me", just a two handed shove that pushed me into the person next to me. What the heck!?

my only picture from the race.
Anyway I think I did pretty good not starting out too fast since I saw a number of people sprint out nicely (no shoving) past me in the first 100 yards or so that I later passed a lot of later in the first mile.  I also passed rude boy, and while I really wanted to give him a double handed shove as I ran past the now laboring kid, I just leaned over and said "you shouldn't be rude and push people when you run past them, it slows you down later" and off I went.

About half a mile into the first mile the streets quit being so nice and turned to a sheet of ice.  We had left the main roads and were now in a residential area.  It was rough.  I tried to mostly run in the snow along the side of the road that wasn't packed down into ice and that seemed to help a lot, but it was still hard to avoid the ice.

Mile 1 6:59 
Not too surprised to be under 7, but worried about maintaining it

Mile 2 7:14
Slowed dramatically by the ice, it sure felt good to hit ice free intersections and speed up, but then it was back into the ice!

Mile 3  6:59 WOOT!  I really didn't expect the last mile to be under 7, about half of the mile was ice and the other half good streets, so it felt good to speed up and run with fear of falling again.

last .14  was at 6:10 pace.  I have to admit.. I felt so good!  I passed a girl at the end and had a really strong finish. 

Official time was 22:10 for an official pace of 7:09.
My Garmin pace for the 3.14 had me at 7:03.   
Kind of makes me want to run another 5k and get back to having sub 7 minute miles all the way!

They gave out pint glasses at the finish line to fill with either beer or root beer.  There was lots of oranges, bananas, and frosted cinnamon rolls to eat, but I didn't feel like sticking around.  I visited with a few people and then headed home to get ready for Thanksgiving.

I ended up 2nd in my age group.  They did the expanded 30-39 age group, other wise I would have won the 35-39 as I was beat by a 30 year old.    I did feel better about the 30 year old beating me when I saw her last night at the holiday parade and she told me she was so sore from the 5k.
what I wore and the swag

I wasn't, HA! I guess that means I should have busted my butt a little more. 

Speaking of my birthday.. I got new boots for my bday.  New cowgirl boots from my Dad and new muck boots from myself :).  My old winter boots were nearly 20 years old.. good boots, but time for new ones. 

The last time I bought new boots for riding was almost 10 years ago right after I started dating my husband!  Yay to both.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A weekend of great running and some motivation

Well last week was a bit of a long week,  I didn't do nearly as much running as I would have liked, but between picking up an extra day of work and the stomach bug that went through my house there wasn't a lot of time.  My turn for the bug was on Friday, and I laid around feeling sorry for myself most of the day.  My son was home with me on Friday also and we watched Return to Lonesome Dove (nearly all 7 hours), played cribbage and slept a lot.

I did get in a 5 mile run on Saturday, but kept it short since I had been feeling sick the day before and noticed I still lacked a bit of energy.

I am starting out the week better already as Cola and I got in a good run yesterday and ran half of it on trails. I have also been taking my Dad's dog Roscoe running with us as my Dad is recovering from getting a new hip and his dog is bored!

Cola and Roscoe have a lot of fun running together.  It is however very hard to get a picture of the two of them together.

My little cowgirl lost her second tooth yesterday on the way home from town.  First she got it stuck in a straight out position though.  I tried to get a picture of it, but just didn't happen.  I had to borrow money from my son this morning for the tooth fairy.   At least I remembered!
sometimes we lose the trail and go where we want
In other news.. I have a 5k coming up on Thursday and I feel so not ready for it!  It is going to be a cold one! I think the high is supposed to be in the low thirties, but the race is at 9 am.  I do like running in the cold! 

and in case you need some motivation and haven't seen this story yet, this girl is amazing
Who else is racing on Thanksgiving Day?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Motivation and an Armpocket winner

I have to be honest two things have me super excited to run outside today

1.  "the Sunny Twenties" Pretty self explanatory. Cold right now, but later on sunshine and compared to what we had last week, warm out there!

It is my favorite winter running weather.  Something about it is so invigorating.

2. I didn't run outside all weekend!  I did the elliptical, yoga, and a HIIT workout, but no running.  That has left me feeling a little cagey and wanting to get outside.  I probably could have fit it in, but Saturday was nonstop things to get done in town and then I had a sick kid.

Little cowgirl finished her last event at her mini meet and then proceeded to throw up.  She did get all blue ribbons!

Sunday was uber windy out, my husband was busy and I didn't want to take my kid to anyone's house while I ran and run the risk of anyone getting sick.

and the winner of the ArmPocket giveaway is...Jen B at Running With the Girls.  If you haven't checked out Armpocket yet you should, I love mine! and check out my bio on their blog!

What is motivating you today to get out and run?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Stuff you can't make up

My daughter complained of an itchy head as I was bundling her off to school.  I reassured her hats can make heads itchy and we went through several hats before she found one of mine she liked.  I did also check both kids over for lice since it has made the rounds at school already this year.  I didn't see anything I was positive for lice, but I couldn't rule it out really either.

I decided I would Google it later and just pick up some lice control things on my way home from work as a precautionary.  I Googled it.  EW ew ew.  I doubled my resolve to double check the kids when I got home.

While at work my mom texted me "Happy Anniversary".  Oops. The cowboy and I both forgot about it this morning.  Made a mental note to pick up some wine after work and try to make plans to go out and eat this weekend.

As I was eating lunch I got a call from the school.  My daughter had been to the nurse's office twice complaining of itchy head.  They had checked her over thoroughly twice and hadn't found anything, possibly she just had an itchy dry scalp.  Three girls from her class went home with lice though.  I thought of the Google images, itchy scalp, things I had seen this morning that could be nits or eggs and how she crawled in bed and slept on my pillow with me the night before.

My scalp got itchy.

I stopped and picked up two bottles of wine, chocolate, and some lice stuff on my way home.

Luckily I had thrown a roast in the crock pot before I left for work, because after checking both kids heads... they both had it and I didn't want to cook, I wanted to delouse everything.

The little cowboy needed a haircut anyway so my husband got out the trimmers and got to work.  He picked a really short one though and pretty soon our son was crying he was bald and he looked bad.  Little Cowgirl of course thought it was funny.

Little Cowgirl then decided maybe she should cut her hair a little and asked me to trim it up to her shoulders.  I told her to sit up straight and made the first cut.  She hunched her shoulders and it ended up chin length. 

Cue the drama.

Now she was crying she looked like a boy and it was ugly.  Now it was Little Cowboys turn to laugh. 

Then I spent the next hour combing out nits and eggs and..eww lice.  All the while washing all the bedding and laundry.. two days after I washed all the bedding in the closet due to mouse poo in the closet on everything.

My husband washed dishes. Truly a monumental thing. He never does dishes unless I am gone or sick. So romantic. 

After all the drama both kids are loving their new hair cuts. 

My husband and I then checked it other's heads, declared each other clean for now and wished each other a happy 9th anniversary.

You can't make this shit up, but you can laugh about and scratch your head.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Winter Run Love

I have to admit when I heard the forecast for Monday.. cold, snowy and a high of 18, I wasn't thrilled with the prospect of running outside in it. I even planned on just doing some cardio inside on my elliptical.  Somewhere in the back of my head though I kept remembering I like running in the snow.

After 7 weeks of the best fall weather ever I couldn't imagine why I would like running outside in 18 degree weather.  I was cold just looking out the window thinking about it. I hate being cold.

Then I couldn't stand the thought of being a big baby about it, especially since the sun was shining.
seriously doesn't looking at it make you feel a little cold? But look at that beautiful sky!

So I dug around in my closet for my cold weather running layers.
I also added a medium jacket, a hat and gloves.  I was actually looking for my "Suck it up Buttercup" tank. but couldn't find it.  "Be Epic" worked too I guess.

By the time I got dressed, quit procrastinating and started running the sun was no longer shining.  Insert sad face here. Half a mile into the run my face was freezing and I was wondering if I should go home and get a face mask thingy or just go home.  I didn't want frostbite on my face.

Sun!  Where did you go?
I had told myself go at least a mile and then you can turn around and go home.  By the time I hit I mile, I talked myself into a mile and a half, then 2 miles and then I was totally warmed up, my face had thawed out and I was feeling good and loving winter running again. Truth be told I was a little on the hot side and maybe didn't need such a heavy jacket. 

We aren't even supposed to hit freezing until next week so I guess I better just get used to it.
I will say it's the best I have felt running in several weeks and once I got past the my face is going to freeze and fall off stage I loved it.  The pace felt so effortless. I remember now why I love winter running. 

The hardest part about winter running for me is often getting out the door and maybe that first half mile to a mile until I get warmed up. 

What is the hardest part about it for you?

If you haven't already check out my Armpocket giveaway.

Monday, November 10, 2014

ArmPocket Review and Giveaway

A friend of mine introduced me to ArmPocket in July and the first time I ran in one was during a half marathon.  I loved it right away and run nearly every run with it now.
mine went across the Golden Gate Bridge with me 
How about a quick run down of all the things I love about my ArmPockets, besides the bright colors
I have the Sport I-25 in the orange and in the yellow.

The zipper.

The gripper tabs on it are grippy not slippy. (too cheesy?)  They are.  I also like that there is two zipper tabs.  Makes it easy to zip up around my ear bud cord and to access the pocket while running if I need to, which I frequently do to adjust the volume.

The fabric.

It is thick and durable.  and water resistant.  and I love the bright colors it comes in.
There is also a reflective stripe around the outside. It is also machine washable.  After Ragnar Napa I needed to wash mine it was sweat soaked and then was wrapped in a bag with all my sweaty clothes for four days.  Ew. 

I can fit my phone inside while still in the Otterbox case.  I used to have to take my phone out of the case while running which I found annoying.  I can also have full control over my phone without having to take it out of the ArmPocket thanks to the clear protective cover.

Two pockets inside to put money, keys, gels, what ever.

I have put money, a key, my phone, a gel, and chapstick in during a race. and usually just carry my phone and chapstick while running at home.
from the website, showing how it can be stuffed!
 and here is a breakdown to show you how much detail goes into an Armpocket

I also have just learned about the headphone holes on the bottom.  How did I not already know this?
This is from the Armpocket website, it is how I learned about the ear bud holes and notice Jason Aldean with Dirt Road Anthem playing on the phone shown.. and my blog is My Dirt Road Anthem...
 and there is a handy velcro strap on the side to tuck your head phone cord into to keep it out of the way.

tuck all the slack in and avoid the flying cord problem

What is it like to run with?  I was so worried I would be adjusting it constantly or that it would cut off circulation to my arm.  Nope. Doesn't bounce, wicks sweat, isn't constricting.

My orange one is a size small and my yellow a medium.  I find that I prefer the longer strap to the smaller one.  They both are comfortable to run in, but I find the small sometimes comes undone easier.  If in doubt size up is my advice.
 Check out more about the ArmPocket  here.
It isn't just great for running I also use it when
  •  gardening, yard work
  • biking
  • hiking
  • cleaning the house
  • on the rowing machine
  • strength training
To find the one that would work best with your phone start here or check out this handy graph
Want to win one?