Monday, September 29, 2014

Winners and Fall Weather Running Complaints

Winners of the Build Your Running Body Book and Omron Electrotherapy Unit are posted on the giveaway posts and winners have been notified as well.  I do have some more fun giveaways coming soon including a pair of Asics Kayano 21s so if you didn't win the last giveaways there are more chances to win things coming up.

Fall running is so here!  I love fall running, the crispness of the morning air, the coolness of the morning air.  NOT being hot!

My only complaint is it brings a bit more indecision about what to wear!  Summer is so easy.. you know it's going to be hot so tanks and shorts are an easy decision.  As it gets cooler I tend to overdress since I despise being cold.  Running with the wind can feel warm and I find myself shedding a layer, but then turning around to run into the wind can be so cold and I want the extra layer again!

Shorts, capris, tights?!  I wore capris yesterday in the chilly 43 degree weather and found myself thinking shorts would have been enough, until I turned and ran into the wind.  I also was thinking the gloves and ear band was overkill until I turned and ran into the wind and my hands got really cold so I put on my gloves again.

I love the way cool weather runs often leave me feeling energized vs so drained  from hot weather runs, so really no complaints. Fall running is my favorite

Fall is also football season am I am happy to report my son's flag football team won their first game this weekend. They played good together and Cade had a great run for a first down and caught a two point conversion.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Shenanigans and Vacationing

San Francisco and Ragnar Napa was a blast. I flew down on Thursday. Since I was the only person flying out of Billings I flew by myself, but most of the team was supposed to arrive at the airport at about the same time in San Francisco.  We all ended up with flight delays due to fog in SF, but still arrived close to the same time.

Shortly after we arrived we picked up the vans for the relay, (which seemed to take hours!) and as soon as we had our vans in sight we were on guard.  There is a tradition on the team that began before I was on it that involves pranking each others vans.  I wrote about last years HERE. 

We headed over to Costco to stock up on food and water for the relay, half of us went in to get food and the rest stayed out to decorate the vans.  The girls of van 1 made the first strike and sprayed something in the van that I could only describe as bad dog fart and we threw in a plastic turd for effect.

I think it scared them a little (seriously nasty stuff) because despite our paranoia nothing happened to our van until after the race. The boys were very astute about locking their van after that, but we still sprayed it on the door handles for good measure at different times during the race.  They couldn't figure out what it was, deer repellent? bear spray?
this might be a girl from van 1 doing something to van 2

We did find our van like this the morning after the race
note "vengeance" spelled out on the hood
I admit we were a bit apprehensive about turning it on.  Especially since we couldn't find the bottle of Liquid Ass that was thought to be in the glove box and clearly they had somehow got inside the van.

We stayed at the first night in SF at the Westin St Francis and I am so glad I didn't have to drive in that traffic on those crazy streets!

The boys conceded we won the pranking battle when they learned about the Craigslist ad that was placed about some Montana boys in town looking for some fun, have a chocolate fountain, please bring fruit. 
these were the magnets we tagged other vans with during the relay

The night after the relay we stayed at the Calistoga Inn and Brewery. It was a beautiful and quaint inn with bathrooms and showers down the hall. 

Sunday we took a longer path back to SF so that we could drive by the ocean. Talk about a winding road that had me quite ill by the time we got off it, but it was fun to get to put my feet in the ocean.

and some of the guys jumped in

Not me, it was cold!  We saw some fins out in the ocean and thought after the horn went off that maybe they were sharks.

I met up with my husband at the airport in SF after we cleaned and dropped off the vans.  We figured out how to get on the BART and were off on our own adventure.

We had a great couple of days in SF that included a trip to the Muir Woods

Wine tasting

Eating sourdough bread, dungeoness crabs, and saltwater taffy at the Fisherman's Wharf.

We walked up and down so many crazy hills in SF, I am so amazed by the way they build houses and roads on those steep hills. We of course also did Alcatraz, Lombard Street and the Aquarium at the Wharf.
and lots of early morning walks

I finally got to go to a Trader Joes and a Lululemon.  I made my husband walk for miles just to get to the Lululemon and then I later found out we were only blocks from an Athleta store at out hotel and my friend said the Athleta store had better sales. 

By the time we flew home on Wednesday I was ready to be home!  I had a great time with Team Beef and was so happy my husband was able to meet me for some time together on vacation. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ragnar Napa

Oh my goodness, where to start?!  Ragnar Napa was so much fun and I had such a great time with my amazing team. This post is simply going to be about the legs I ran. I am going to do another on all the fun we had before and after the run and any shenanigans that went on (hint there were a few).
Team Beef Montana/The Montana Running Ranchers at the start

Run 1
Leg 2 of Ragnar Napa . As soon as I took off I realized I had not turned on my Garmin. Eh. I hit the button, but it took a long time to find the satellites. I had my music on, but it didn't take me long to take out my earbuds as I was running near the ocean and I wanted to listen to the waves crash on the shore. Pretty neat sound for an inland girl to get to listen to while running. This was a beautiful beautiful leg to get to run, I so enjoyed the lush greenery, trees and that were foreign to me and the smells of the ocean. I almost felt like I was in a whole other world with the misty fog and trees and are so different from where I live. This leg if the relay was 5.5 ish miles and most of the first part was on trails.

some of the beauty I saw on leg 1

The last part was running across the Golden Gate Bridge. It was pretty foggy out so the views weren't super awesome, but just knowing I was running across it was sweet.
my team mate took this photo, I love how happy I look!

Thoughts, it was a lot harder than I thought it would be with lots of stairs, hills and running on sand. And the humidity made the air feel so thick. Running across the Golden Gate Bridge made it all worth it though. There were a lot of pedestrians on the bridge, I didn't expect there to be so many.

Run 2
Leg 14 4.7 miles
It was just getting dark when I took off out of the exchange. I was feeling pretty good and passed 27 people on this leg.!it was fun to see all the blinking lights up ahead of all the other runners. This was a pretty uneventful leg with a little bit of a hill. Since it was dark I have no idea what the scenery was like, but I do know we must have run past some livestock at some point. I could smell them!
running across the bridge

I remember having a "I am so happy to be here running" moment in the dark with all the other blinking lights up ahead, knowing they were all runners and this was fun!

Run 3
8.3 miles.  When I left the exchange for this run it was still dark, but I knew it would get light as I ran so I was happy about that.  The last leg is always the toughest mentally I think because I am tired physically and mentally and it always seems to be my longest leg.   

This run was along a busy busy road and I did not enjoy all the traffic, but I did enjoy being able to see the scenery and the vineyards as it started to get light out.  I did not carry water for this leg and was grateful for the water stops. I was also very grateful for LuDawn (spelling?) who I met along the run and we ran the last 3.5 or so miles together and had a great time visiting.  She really helped the time pass fast.

Before I knew it we were at the exchange and I was done! 

Overall impressions of Ragnar Napa.. it was beautiful.. all the vineyards along the way, but it also felt like we were running with busier traffic and through more towns than past relays I have done.  The humidity in San Francisco was out of this world.  I loved meeting all the runners from all over. 
the girls of Van 1 doing a little celebrating after the relay

I even convinced my husband to fly down and meet me after the relay for a couple fun filled days in the big city after the relay :)

Manitoba Harvest HempPro 70 Review

I had the opportunity through Sweatpink to try Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70 protein powder.  I was sent a single serve sample in the vanilla and chocolate flavor and was in no other way compensated for this post. 

so what is Manitoba Harvest HempPro 70? 
  • the only water soluble hemp based protein powder on the market
  • only 4 ingredients in both flavors
  • doesn't need a blender, you can shake it up smooth
  • sweetened with coconut sugar which makes it low on the glycemic index
  • a 30 g serving of the vanilla has 15g of protein and 130 calories
  • Chocolate has 14g of protein per 30g
  • full of Omegas
  • can be mixed with water, coconut water, milk (dairy or non-dairy), juice.. whatever you decide!
In case you were curious.

I tried the chocolate first and mixed it with milk.  I thought the flavor was good and it went down easy.  It didn't leave a bad aftertaste in my mouth.  Tasted a lot like chocolate milk.

I tried the vanilla in a smoothie with frozen strawberries, blueberries and orange juice.  It was heavenly.  It added a subtle but not overpowering vanilla flavor to the smoothie.

If I had to choose one flavor it would be the vanilla, it was so yum in the orange and strawberry smoothie!

An 11oz bag of HempPro 70 costs $24.99, but you can try it for 20% off with the code sweatpinkpro70
The code only works for the HempPro 70 chocolate and vanilla flavors.

Manitoba Harvest is also running a contest right now that ends on September 30.  To enter all you have to do is snap a picture of HempPro and tag it on Instagram or twitter @manitobaharvest and use the hash tag #pro70.  This will automatically enter you to win a case of your favorite flavor. (I would pcik vanilla!)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The airport edition: Three Things Thursday

1. I am sitting at the airport and my flight doesn't board for another hour so why not do a three things Thursday? I sure hope I am not sitting close to the guy who keeps snorting boogers, cause that's annoying. In case you aren't up to speed here, I am flying to San Francisco for Ragnar Napa. I feel so blessed and happy to get to run for Team Beef Montana/The Montana Running Ranchers. It has been such a huge opportunity for me to travel, make amazing new friends and promote beef. I am so incredibly thankful for all of our sponsors and our team captains who make this happen.

2. My checked bag was exactly right on the dot 50 lbs. I will have a lot of room in my bags as soon as I get the 30lbs of jerky out of them. That's a lot of jerky in case you were wondering. Our team will be passing out the jerky along the way during the relay. I probably way overpacked, but I am packing for a relay and a vacation with my husband. 

I sent my little sister a lot of should I bring this outfit pictures
She approved of both of these.

3. Seriously if I have to sit next to the booger snorter I might have to put my earbuds in and rock out all the way to my next stop. I haven't flown in almost nine years. I was a little nervous going through  security. I didn't want to be the jerk who slowed the line down because they were clueless. Luckily I got here early and went through fairly fast. 

3.1 remember Runty, my special needs kitten? Still doing good and she found a snuggle buddy.

When is the last time you flew? Totally routine or not?

Ps I can't figure out how to link from this app on my phone but I do have two give giveaways going on!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Omron Electrotherapy Unit Review and Giveaway

I am linking up today with Kristy @ Runaway Bridal Planner for a bloghop today after you enter this giveaway go and check out all the other giveaways on her blog.

I was recently sent the Omron ElectroTHERAPY TENS Pain Relief Pro unit to review.

What does TENS stand for and how does it work?

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation works by  attaching small electrodes to the skin by the area of the pain, small electrical pulses from a machine the size of a cell phone are delivered to the area. The electrical impulses feel like a tingly sensation and interfere with the transmission of pain signals to the brain, increases endorphins, and increases blood flow to the area. 

The Omron unit I was sent has 5 different pain modes
  • arm
  • lower back
  • leg
  • foot
  • joint
and 3 massage modes
  • tap
  • knead
  • rub
all the can be administered with 10 different intensity levels. 

I did worry that since it was a small home unit the intensity levels wouldn't be very high...wrong.  I can only stand it up to a 5!  My husband likes it set between 6-8. Clearly he is tougher than I am.  We do both agree it seems to help alleviate our lower back pain and after you get used to the tingly sensation it feels good.  I find it rather relaxing.

You don't have to worry about having to buy pads all the time for it since the ones that come with the unit are reusable and are good for up to 150 uses.  Awesome. That was for sure one of my worries.

It is set for 15 minutes and turns off automatically after that. They recommend no more that 30 minutes at a time and no more than 45 minutes in a day. 

Super easy to use
  • apply the pads
  • select mode
  • select intensity
  • hang out for 15 minutes and let it do it's thing
Want to win one of these to try for yourself?
comes with everything shown here

Build Your Running Body

I am linking up today with Kristy @ Runaway Bridal Planner for a bloghop today after you enter this giveaway go and check out all the other giveaways on her blog.

I love it when I get the chance to review a running book!  I was provided this book free of charge for review purposes.

It bills itself as a total body fitness plan for all distance runners, from milers to ultramarathoners and indeed it covers it all in this book.
For distance runners of any level looking to take the next step in their training comes a total-body running guide and fully illustrated training manual designed to help runners improve their times, run more comfortably at longer distances, and reduce injury. 

In the book you'll find:
  • 9 chapters on running components (what they are & how best to train them)
  • 350+ photos as part the photo-instruction for more than 150 workouts, exercises, and stretches
  • 6 chapters on diet and nutrition
  • Sample training schedules for runners of all levels
  • Training plans for the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, and Marathon
  • An injury-prevention chart for 40+ common running injuries, including recommended exercises for prevention of each
  • Advice on creating your own, individualized training program
  • Advice on running gear (what you need for different climate, terrain, and training intensities)
  • Pace charts for all workouts and major race distances
  • Calorie charts for all workouts
  • Dozens of recipes for healthy and delicious fueling
  • Detailed analysis of various cross training options
  • A glossary of words and phrases that you'll use while navigating the world of running
This book is very comprehensive and even breaks it down into the anatomy and physiology of running.  I read part of it while traveling across the state and kept entertaining my husband with facts about mitochondria, tendons, fascia and such.  At least I like to think he was as entertained as I was.

It has workouts for both bodyweight only and with weights, track workouts, warm up drills, foam rolling and more.  If you want it, I am pretty sure it is in this book somewhere.  I have done several of the workouts and found them great total body workouts. There are over 150 different workouts in this book. My favorite one was featured HERE on

Are you the kind of person who likes lots of visuals?  This book is LOADED with pictures, over 350 pictures! 

Amazon lets you preview the book a little, you can check it out HERE if you are interested.

Lucky for one of you I was sent an additional copy to give away. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"This is a blog hop with lots of bloggers and giveaways, lots of chances to win.  You can CLICK HERE to hop on over to the next giveaway in the list."
Don't forget to check out all the other giveaways in the hop!  and my other giveaway for an Omron Electrotherapy TENS unit

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Relay Packing Woes and a Runt

I took nearly a whole week off of running.  Partly because life was so busy and  I picked up an extra day of work last week and partly because I really felt like my body needed a small running break.  I didn't want to take too long though since I have a Ragnar Relay on the 19th!  Eeek!  Just saying that makes me a little stressed out about packing!

I was for some reason thinking I would get everything in a carry on.  I can already tell that isn't going to happen.  I am also taking enough jerky along to fill up my carry on.  and I mean completely full of jerky.  We are going to be handing it out during the relay.  So if you are running the Napa Ragnar and like jerky, look for Team Beef Montana/The Montana Running Ranchers.

This will be my third relay so I have the part down about packing for the relay, more or less it is that this year we are flying and previously we have always drove a big van with lots of room for pillow, blankets and other luggage.  Not sure how I will get a pillow and a blanket and all the jerky and all my things in a carry on.

I won't. 

I did start packing yesterday.

Oh wait.. did I forget to mention the part about how my husband is flying down to San Fransisco after the relay to meet up with me for a vacation, just the two of us?  That seems to be complicating my packing a little more.  I don't know why but I cannot spell Fransico. Francisco. (Wow.  Don't expect me to do that again, that was a struggle!)

I may try to have my husband bring down some things for me, but he only wants a carry on of course.  and what if he forgets my things?

This week will pass in a blur of work, kid functions and packing. (lil cowgirl started gymnastics and lil cowboy started flag football, husband birthday Monday, lil cowboy birthday treats to school Wednesday, Tuesday night Farm Bureau dinner I am supposed to talk at since they are a major Team Beef Montana sponsor for the relay, fly out Thursday morning. WHEW)

but really only four days until I leave!!!
PS meet Runty, her littermates are all twice as big as she is, hence the name Runty.

 She is a little fighter, but I do think she has some genetic issues as she has a shake, walks cross legged and has a very narrow head.  My little mama barn cat had 5 kittens and then disappeared when they were 5 weeks old.  so Runty is an orphan too.  but don't worry she gets lots of love around here and her own feeding dish since the others just push her out of the way. I think I have all her littermates given away, but we are keeping her.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Three Things Thursday

1. It is Thursday and I still haven't run.. ack!  Monday was okay since I wanted to rest after the half, I was hoping to get home from work in time on Tuesday or Wednesday to get in a quick run, but work has been crazy busy.  I did get in some yoga yesterday morning and that felt great.

Did I mention that the Bozeman marathon gave out socks that matched the shirts?

YAY!  My only complaint about this shirt is that it is white!  Whites do not stay white long with me.

2. I didn't stick around for awards after the half marathon, but I did email them to see if I did get anything for my age group award.  They were super awesome and mailed my award to me.  A jar of taffy and a jar of salted caramels.  All made in Montana. 
These may or may not have only lasted two days in my house even while hidden from everyone else.

3. Now I am on the countdown to Ragnar Napa.

Pretty much the same crew is going that went last year, I think only 2 of the guys are different.  
Did I mention I will be running across the Golden Gate Bridge?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Bozeman Half Marathon Race Recap

The PLAN was ton Saturday to work cows in the morning, come home shower, drive 2.5 hours to Bozeman, pick up my race packet, go to college football game and then spend the night in a hotel before the half marathon.

What really happened was I stayed home with a sick kid on Saturday while my husband went and worked cows, we watched college football game on TV, and I got up at 3 am to drive to Bozeman for the half marathon. I had a friend pick up my race packet for me on Saturday when she got hers.

The drive up was pretty uneventful and I picked a parking spot coincidentally right behind a guy that I work with who was also running the half marathon.  I walked down to main street and met up with my friend Billie Jo and we hopped on the bus.

It was a little chilly at the start but I knew once we got running it would feel great.  If you are looking for a scenic Montana marathon or half marathon this one is beautiful.  The views along the run were amazing. Sorry I didn't get any pictures.

Pre-Race picture by the porta potties with a Team Beef Wyoming member we ran into.

Anyhoo on to the race.  About four minutes before the gun went off I realized I had not turned on my Garmin yet (FAIL!) It still had not found a satellite when I crossed the starting line and didn't until I was roughly half a mile in.  When I hit the one mile marker my Garmin said .56 miles, so I was about .44 behind on the Garmin.  I hit the lap button at the mile marker so it would tell me my times on the mile.

The first three miles flew by and felt fast, my legs felt fresh and full of energy, my breathing was under control and I didn't feel like I was breathing hard at all (awesome).

About 4 miles in my hip started to feel like it had something going on with it.  Nothing bad, but not great either, just a niggle.  It was still there at 5 miles and starting to bother me more so I worked on my form a bit, shortening my stride and increasing my steps per minute.  That seemed to do the trick and after awhile the niggle went away.

The course is mostly downhill, but there were a few hills and my legs were so used to going down that the uphills were killer.

10 or so miles in I saw the guy that I work with up ahead and started to reel him in.  When I ran past him I took out my earbud and said to him "The word is "chicked".    Of course after that I was afraid he would pass me again and I would have to eat my words so that was pretty good motivation so keep moving as by now my legs were getting pretty tired.

I was also breathing a lot harder by now, but knowing there was only 3 miles left is pretty motivational.  I went back and forth with several different guys, two of which came up to me after the race and said thanks to me they had PRd and thanked me for the motivation to keep pushing.  I don't really feel like I can take credit for their PRs but they did help push me too since every time they passed me I worked to pass them back! 

When I finally turned onto Main Street where the finish line was I was a little sad about how far away it looked, but I managed a 6:51 pace for the last part of the race.  I crossed the finish line and was toast!  My legs were tired.

I  got in line for the free massages and chiropractor adjustments.  He did something to my calf that had me wanting to cry, but it did feel better afterwards.

I met another Team Beef Montana gal and we had a great time visiting at the finish line.  She won her age group.  Go Team Beef!

Official Time was 1:39:21 with a 7:35 pace. I ended up 3rd in my age group and
14 out of 486 women
54 out of 651 overall.

Garmin time 1:36:12 for 12.75 miles and a 7:33 pace.  So according to this I ran the course a little long since my Garmin started .44 miles into the race that would make 13.19 mile.  Not a big deal just a numbers thing.

Splits were (I am sure boring for you, but I like to look at these things)
first .56 miles on the Garmin 7:17 pace
7:48 some uphillness here, but very slight
7:51 same as before
7:19 going down!
7:52 must have been another hill
7:41 last hill YAY
6:51 last .19 miles very flat

Great course, not very many hills and fast!
Lots of aid stations along the way.
There were more spectators along the way than I expected for as rural as most of the course is, so that was fun.
My second fastest half time.
Lots of great Team Beef peoples.  There was one other girl, but she left before we could get a group photo.

apparently the massage and chiropractic adjustment gave me crazy hair
Not getting very much sleep the night before
Feeling jittery from all the coffee I drank on the way up.  oops
Little sore in the calves and quads today.
Sad my family couldn't be there so cheer me on, I was really excited about it.

I would do this race again and hope to next year. I think the downhillness of the course (what Shakespeare made up words all the time) helped cut almost 2 minutes off my last half time and with more dedication to speed work this would be a great course to PR on. I was only about 2 minutes off my PR time of 1:37:06.

Final thought.. I love half marathons.  I was hurting so much towards the end I thought I could wait a bit before I do another, but today I am already thinking ahead to when I can do another!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Three Things Thursday

1. So Sunday I am running another half marathon.. !!  It will be my 7th half marathon and I admit I have not put a lot of thought into goals.  I don't have a specific reason really.  I haven't focused on getting faster (speedwork), just staying healthy so I am not expecting a PR, but I am excited.

I would be lying if I said I didn't want to beat my time from the half marathon I did in July though.  I think this is an achievable goal since the Bozeman course is mostly downhill and the weather on Sunday looks pretty good.  It will be in the 50s at the start.  

2. I have decided just now to just steal my goals from the Missoula half and update them slightly so here they are

  • A goal is to come in under 1:40 which would be an average pace of 7:38
  • B goal is to come in around 1:41:14 like predicted with a 7:44 pace (this would beat the Missoula time)
  • C goal is to come in under 1:45 which would be a 8:01 pace
Not sure I really need the C goal, but since I haven't felt real spanky this week I decided to keep it.  About that... I don't know why but I have just felt tired and not very energetic this week.  AACKK!  That better go away already.

3.I am also looking for some new songs to add to my playlist.  I did add

Superheroes by the Script
Story of my Life by One Direction
Come with me Now by the Kongos

would love any suggestions!

4. (oops did I do four and it is a three things day) (my bad) Since it is a Team Beef sponsored race I know I will be wearing my Team Beef tank and I think I will wear my red sparkle skirt again.  I love when it is an easy decision.

I haven't decided if I will wear my hydration belt.  I really really like having my own water bottles with Cocogo in them since that is what I run with, but having a belt on does get annoying sometimes,  and I HATE running with one in my hand.  I really hate trying to drink out of the cups at the water stops though.  I ALWAYS seem to send at least one cup of water straight up my nose. If I do not wear my hydration belt I think I will wear my Flipbelt for my phone and things otherwise I will wear my ArmPocket.
Flipbelt vs ArmPocket (I do like this color)

Such decisions!  I loved my ArmPocket until I got my Flipbelt and I have to admit it is nice not having anything on my arm.

I really want to wear the new shoes I got sent to try out, but since I have only done one 5 mile run in them I better not!  so I think I will wear the shoes I wore for Missoula.
comfy for 5 miles but another 8.1 may not be!

What is on your playlist right now?
Do you carry your own water during halfs?
How do you carry your phone/iPod/gels/whatevers?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day weekend flew by, but it was awesome.  The weather was perfect all weekend.  We took the kids on several long rides and I love that they are getting so comfortable on their horses.
I could take in these views all day.
Family picture. Me on Pepsi (not shown) Avery on Shorty, Cade on Cow Gent, and Rance on CJ.

I ran down and met up with the family when they put out some salt and mineral for the cows and we took turns shooting a 22.  Cade even shot a bullseye.
Cola however was not impressed with the shooting noises and took off.  We found him halfway home. Poor Cola!

The kids also got in lots of great cousin time while working cows, coming over to play and spending the night.

Little cowboys melt my heart everytime
and I did get in two great runs including my long run.
no yoga or cross training, but between the riding, running, cows, cousins, picking crab apples and gardening there wasn't much time for anything else!

How was your Labor Day weekend?