Monday, December 28, 2015

Final weekly wrap of the year. A week of snowy runs

 I am linking up today with my friends, Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin for the last link up of 2015! Join in and support other active women. Share your week!

Monday:  Kids were out of school for Christmas break so I took my son up to my Grandma's house and ran from there.  The roads were very snowy, but thankfully my brother had just blazed a trail through the snow with a truck taking salt up to the cows so I had a path to run on.  8.28 miles.
Clearly one of these cows was not like the other and doesn't belong.  My brother assured me that his name is Henry and he is fairly harmless.  Those horns just looks so crazy!
Tuesday: Work day. 24 minute HIIT in the morning before work.  Body weight and with weights.

Wednesday: 7.25 miles fairly flat run.  Cola hates selfies

Thursday: Work day (half day) Rest day

Friday:  Christmas Day! 12 minute HIIT

Saturday:  8 miles, hilly run  24 minute HIIT  Sunshine and no wind made the 14 degree weather feel awesome!  I love winter running!

Sunday 7 mile run.   Once again lovely winter running weather.
A random lovely shot of my sisters horses as I was running by

and a wandering cow trail I was running on since no one has bothered to drive through here lately.

If you want to join in the linkup
Check out the etiquette here

All in all a great Christmas week and the kids have had so much fun sledding and playing in the snow.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

My Year in Races

I really didn't do that many races this year.  One each for 5k, 5 mile and 10k. Three half marathons and a Ragnar Relay.  A total of 7. I did sign up for one other race, but I showed up on the wrong day.  

Purple 5K shiny new PR of 20:37 wasn't even going to run this one, but somehow ended up pulling off a PR.  I was and still am super happy about that.

Run to the Pub Half Marathon (March) 1:45:37  This was not the race I thought it was going to be.  I struggled a lot more than I anticipated, but still had a great time.

Womens Run 5 mile (May) 35:57  with my sister!

and my daughter ran the 2 mile with me and she did so awesome! (with no front teeth!)

Run for Heaven's Sake Half Marathon (May)  1:43:12 7:52 pace  This was a cold and rainy one, faster than the Run to the Pub and it had more hills than I thought it would.

Heart and Sole 10k  I don't know if I will ever like running 10ks.

Ragnar Northwest Passage  A total of 20.3 miles for me and so much fun!

Montana Half Marathon  1:40:21  Fastest half of the year! Also no doubt on the fastest course. I hadn't run this one in 5 years and was really excited to get back to it.

 My favorite race: not counting the Ragnar was the Montana Half Marathon, I felt good, the weather was perfect, the course is beautiful, it is well organized and I get to sleep in my own bed.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week in Review and a Mermaid

Hello Monday.  It tends to be one of my favorite days of the week. Most people go back to work.. I send the kids off to school and get to get caught up on laundry, running, and relaxing.

I decided to hook up this week for a weekly wrap up with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin. Let's see if I can remember how last week went.  I am still participating in the #beginneryoga15 Instagram challenge.  I kind of enjoy these and am inspired by the other posts.  It is fun to see how some people get creative with them.

 I challenge myself to find beautiful backdrops.  It doesn't always work out, but I do admit to sometimes taking several in the same location if I really love the spot. I also love it when one animal or the other is in the shot. Cola got in three this week, my cat Tip in one and my dad's dog Roscoe in another.

The one I am most proud of is crow with straight arms.. or is that crane? Either way, super excited I can finally do that one, even if it is only for a short time. 

  • Monday 24 minute HIIT first thing in the morning and a 10 mile long run
  • Tuesday rest day and work day.
  • Wednesday 24 minute HIIT first thing in the morning.  was planning to run today but life interefered.  We spent the day cutting and wrapping three pigs, (they had been butchered the day before) By the time we got done I needed a nap and then the wind was no fun.  I did 45 minutes on the elliptical instead.
  • Thursday. Nothing. Work day.
  • Friday 24 minute HIIT first thing in the morning. Work day 
  • Saturday  5.5 mile run. 4 hour hike with the family.
  • Sunday 24 minute HIIT first thing in the morning.  7 mile run..and speedy! Felt good to have a mostly flat run.  I have been doing a lot of hills lately. 
see... speedy!

 Some pics from our hike.. see the "statue" of the lady? or is it a mermaid? I think mermaid.

The house my grandparents lived in with 4 kids, no running water and no electricity. and no phones. Miles from anyone.  Beautiful place to raise kids, but so isolated!

and up exploring on some rocks.  We called them turtle rocks for the way they were shaped.  A seriously great hike with so many fun finds. We hope to get back in here soon,

and here is the link to the weekly wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin.  Check it out and link up!
How was your week? Mondays.. love em or hate em?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Run Interrupted

Yesterday was a perfect day for a run, my parents were out of town so I have been taking my dad's dog Roscoe running with Cola and I as well.  Can you tell they are the same breed of dog?  Cola is taller and lankier, but other than that they could be brothers!
I followed my winter running plan of not having a route in mind and we took off up into the hills.  We eventually came to a field and I decided to run along the edge of it for awhile and it became a run interrupted while we (okay I, the dogs could have cared less) checked out an old junk pile and what must be the remains of an old house.

There were all sorts of cool finds, like this old door handle.

and this iron bed frame may have been one of my favorite things out there, just leaning against this huge old log.  Seems kind of sad.

A little further down the hill I started finding bits of broken glass and bottles. The little bits of china and crystal ware and tea cups seemed to speak of dreams that someone had once and were now long forgotten in this lonely hillside.

I am toying with going back and getting the prettier bits of broken glass and trying my hand at making some kind of a mosiac with them.  Maybe it will end up as a Pinterest fail.

With a half marathon in roughly 14 weeks I am starting to think about a running plan again and speed work.  I think all the hills I have been running lately are pretty good training.  I have been working on strength training doing a 20-24 minute HIIT workout with weights 3-4 mornings a week for the past three weeks.

I did carry back 4 treasures yesterday.. carried them for 5 miles while running!  Three of the bottles are pretty cool and I can't help but think the one on the far right looks a bit like a small ketchup bottle.

What is something you have found on a run that made you take pause and explore for a bit?

Just for fun I am linking up  with PattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the run.
Tuesdays on the Run
Check it out and link up!

Monday, December 7, 2015

So now I am a calendar girl.

Last February I attended the Montana Farmer's Union Women's Conference and met some amazing women who are all involved in agriculture.  I also got to meet a fellow blogger, runner and Team Beef Montana member and runner who blogs over at Prairie Ponderings.  

The Montana Farmer's Union puts out a Women in Ag calendar every year and I was asked at the conference to be on the calendar for 2016.  I excitedly agreed and knew that I would be wearing my Team Beef shirt for the shoot.

I received the calendar in the mail on Friday, as well as a canvas of my calendar print as a thank you.
My daughter is excited that I am Miss February since it is her birth month.

The Montana Stockgrowers Convention was held in Billings last weekend and the Montana Running Ranchers/Team Beef Montana had a booth at the convention with a slide show and pamphlets explaining what we do and what our mission is.   We are in part funded by Check Off dollars which come from the sale of beef cows.  Every cow sold means one dollar is given to the Check Off for the promotion of beef.

Love my Team Beef relay gals. Seriously the best running friends a girl could ask for.

and my big sis is Miss December! Isn't she beautiful?!

and I found another Instagram yoga challenge, thankfully it is geared towards beginners.  I enjoy the challenges but some of them get really hard!

Have a great Monday!

Friday, December 4, 2015

A Tale of Two Shoes

I took advantage of Black Friday online sales and got two pairs of running shoes for my birthday... A pair of Altra Torins and Asics Kayanos.   I already had a pair of Asics Kayano 21s and loved them so since they were way marked down I got another pair.  When I got them in the mail I compared them to the pair I already had.  The difference is amazing!

Look and how much shorter the ones I had worn out are compared to the new ones! This first picture is comparing two left shoes.

and this one is the left (new) and the right (old)

All that pounding on the road really compresses the shoe!  Not sure how many miles I had in the old ones but I am going to guess close to 500 if not over.  I got them in September of 2014 and didn't retire them until October of the this year.  I didn't run in them every time of course, I alternated them with other shoes, but these were a favorite.

and a quick look at the soles...
always sad to see a favorite have to go, but always fun to get new shoes.  I hope I love them as well as the first pair!

My other new shoes were the Altra Torin 2.0  LOVE THEM!  I ran in these last year also and I already tossed the old pair (the old ones were the 1.5s)   They were very worn out also and did not feel good to run in anymore.
These feel divine and are very reflective!  I know technically these are very different shoes... one is a stability shoe with a pretty good incline from heel to toe.. 11 mm I think. (Don't quote me I am too lazy to look it up right now) and the other is a zero drop shoe that is neutral.  I just know that I like them both and it works for me to alternate them.

and my sassy little cowgirl had her school Christmas program yesterday... and looked so cute!  She went for about a year of hating her hair curled but recently decided it was cool again.

Do you run in different kinds of shoes like me or do you stick with the same ones?  I also have Brooks Pure Cadence and Mizuno Wave Riders in my rotation right now.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday Motivation and New Shoes for my Birthday

Sometimes I wonder where my motivation for running comes from.  I am not training for anything right now, yet I still try to get in a long run every week or 10 days.  I love the feeling of running long. I love proving I can, even when the wind chills are below zero like my last three runs have been.

Partially of course the season is a huge motivator.. along with the all the Christmas goodies that are baked  by relatives and co workers, it's cold out and that tends to mean more time spent inside curled up watching movies, reading books, playing cards, etc instead of being outside and being active.

Hard to believe a week ago I was running in shorts and a tank and only 4 days later I was in double layers and super cold!

We did take that kids out an a sledding, hiking, Christmas tree hunting excursion Sunday afternoon that I think everyone loved.

Also did I mention I had a birthday?  I did, and I even got my husband to buy me new running shoes!! I did have to agree to get rid of three pairs of old shoes.  I got rid of three and am taking a fourth to work.  YAY!

Monday, November 23, 2015

From Balaclavas to Bare Arms

After a cold windy freeze my fingers off run on Saturday I was so happy for a blue sky sunny day Sunday.  From double layers and a balaclava on Saturday to this..

You bet I was loving it!   Weather is pretty much going to be my motivation again today.  The cold is coming back on Thursday and I intend to get in a nice long trail run today before it does.

Yesterday was so beautiful we decided we really couldn't waste it and took the kids out for an afternoon hike.

Lil Cowboy found a rope and had been lost in the hills and used it to try to rope me.

We found this cool tree stump where two trees had grown together. I thought it so neat.

My son took a look at it and declared "It is interesting what you find interesting."

The kids and Cola agreed it was a great day for a hike.

The plan this week is pretty simple..

  • Monday...trail run and a HIIT
  • day.. maybe yoga
  • Wednesday... easy shorter trail run and a HIIT
  • Thursday.. Run Turkey Run 5k
  • Friday.. easy run depending on how I feel
  • Satrday.. run and HIIT
  • Sunday.. run and yoga
I love this lack of training plan thing.  I just go run based on what I feel like for the day for the most part.  I do plan in a longer run between 8-10 miles and an easier type run.

Due to my birthday this week Thanksgiving I only have to work one day this week.  Don't I feel spoiled!  Yay!

Soon, like December soon, I will be back on a training plan for a half marathon in March.

Friday, November 20, 2015

First Snowy Run Day and Current Goals

Tuesday was my first snowy run day of the season.  There wasn't all that much snow and it was practically all melted off by the time I was done, but it was beautiful

I wore my holiday tech "sweater" from INKnBURN for a festive feeling run.

By the time I got back to my car the road was muddy!

It's felt great to be in a not training for anything mode. No distances to hit, no times to shoot for just running and enjoying the time outside with my little dog.  I do sort of have goals for right now...

  • Crosstraining - I feel like I had been slacking off here.  I have been back to 3-4 times a week of HIIT workouts. I think I had fallen back to like 1 or two a week.
  • Yoga - I was really slacking off here.  I am back to once or twice a week
  • Running - No worrying about pace or distance just running.  Getting out on trails as much as possible, running more hills, and enjoying the scenery/

My next half marathon will be in March so soon I will be back to training.  I have been regularly doing long runs of 8-9 miles so building the distance won't be the focus as much as building up my speed again. Although I have considered relaxing my speed goals a bit and just enjoying an easier training cycle.

I had to share this photo of my little dog enjoying the view and no doubt wondering where we were running next.

How is your fall training going? Any races coming up? Do you love not being on a training plan sometimes? I do.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Broken Leg

I knew I had to get going for my run yesterday shortly after getting the kids on the bus as the forecast was calling for strong winds close to 11 and continuing throughout the day.   The kids had an atrocious morning getting ready for school and couldn't seem to manage doing anything without fighting.  Lil Cowgirl couldn't find her shoes or her boots and nearly had to get on the bus in her slippers.  I found her boots at the last possible second and she ran out the door in tears clutching them to her chest to get on the bus.

I breathed a deep sigh of relief, posted my sentiments on Facebook
Some mornings I am sooooo happy to see that bus pull up. What was with all the drama this morning, holy moly! To top it off Avery couldn't find her shoes and nearly had to go to school in her slippers, I found her boots at the last possible second. Hope her school day is better then her morning. Now it's off on a trail run for me! Ahhhh, I need it after dealing with two crabby kids the last hour. Cripes they even fought over whether he walked down a hall or by a hall.
and got ready for my run.

I am not training for anything and one of my goals this winter is hills, hills, hills and lots of trails, and not to shy away from harder runs.  I decided to park at shop on the ranch and run up to a pasture we call Broken Leg.  It has breath taking views and crazy hills everywhere.  It's a two mile up hill run from the shop to get to the top of Broken Leg.
Love this picture of Cola. He often runs along side me, looking at me as if to say "isn't this great?"
A great view from the top of Broken Leg on a sunnier day.  Yes that is my favorite running shirt right now.

It has some pretty rough areas that I pretty much had to walk through, but all the cool rocks are fun to explore.  Since I'm not training I confess I pause my Garmin and take my time in these areas.  

There was really no running there unless I wanted to end up with a broken leg like the way the pasture got it's name. There were lots of great running spots like this too though.

It started to rain just as I was starting the 2 miles back down hill to the shop and my car. Brr! and the wind picked up.  But I got in a happy, really tough 9 miles.

Cola loved it too.
and I got this as one of the comments on my Facebook post from my sister
I'm still laughing. We had a huge blowup because Chase was convinced his sister had snuck in the truck and covered his backpack in hay...he'd forgotten throwing it in the back on top of the hay on Friday.
Life is great.