Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Week 1 of the plan to run a faster half marathon.

Kiley was super awesome and offered to write me a running plan for my next half marathon.  I have never followed a set plan before so I admit to being both excited and apprehensive.  So far I am loving it! So nice not to have to think about what I am going to do, it is all planned out already.  Although I do admit to adding in a few races that were not on the plan.

Sunday   plan said  7 miles easy with 4-8 strides at the beginning or the end of the run

what I did  7.3 miles easy (although hilly miles) with 5 strides at the end. I had planned to do more like 6-8 strides, but... guts.  I had to finish the run at an easier pace than a stride in order to make it back safely.  The plan calls for the strides to be 80-150m  long.

I am not good at meters.  My Garmin does not tell me things in meters,  I tried to do the math in my head but math doesn't always go well when I am running, so I opted to run my strides the length of the distance between the telephone poles.

Turned out this was pretty close as between the poles is about .05 miles and that is equal to 80.4 meters.  So I ran a few longer and a few at 80.

Monday   plan said 1 mile warm up with 800m 1:2 x4 with a 1 mile cool down.  Interval pace at 6:38 or at about 3:20 for each interval

what I did 1 mile warm up then 800 intervals 3:17, 3:18, 3:15, and 3:14 with an easy mile between each and a mile cooldown. total of 8 miles in 1:07:36  

How I felt about it...  those were tough.  I had been doing my 800 intervals a bit slower. Knowing there was only four really helped.  I had to really talk myself through them. 

Wednesday plan said 10-11 mile long run and then 4-8 strides 

what I did 11 miles with 4 strides for a time of 1:36 and a 8:45 pace.   Had a funny niggle in my right quad that seemed to work out by the end of the run.  

Saturday plan said  4 miles of hills with 3-4 strides at the end

what I did 4 miles, 2 of the miles were pretty flat and the middle 2 were all uphill.  I had no energy and no pep, the wind kicked my butt and the hills sucked the life out of me. 

So far I really like having a plan,  This plan pushes me and I wasn't too sure about strides at first, but I am starting to enjoy them at the end of a run.  

Also did yoga in the am on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I think I got in 2 strength workouts this week, which is one less then I would like, but as Carla would say WYCWYC (what you can when you can)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Purple 5k Race Recap complete with confessions

I signed up for the Purple 5k on Monday on a whim.  My running plan called for a very fast tempo run and I knew that if I did my tempo run during a race it would feel a lot easier.  I didn't think about it much for the rest of the week.  I didn't set goals.  I didn't obsess over my race outfit.  I even contemplated skipping it.  Yes you read that right.  I was thinking about skipping a race I signed up and paid for.

Why?  Because when I did my long run Wednesday I kept having a funny niggle in my right quad.  When I ran my 4 miles of hills Saturday I had no pep.  No pep, no energy, I felt tired.  and I had that niggle towards the end of the run. Saturday night we had a 4-H thing that kept me out late and I was tired.

The morning of the race I slept in.  Heck, I didn't even know what time the race started when I got up in the morning.  Who does that?!  I made coffee at 7 and shook out the race bag to try to figure out when it started.  The most I could find was shuttles to the start line would start heading up there at 7:30.

It takes me about 30 minutes to drive into town to where the race was.

I finally figured out the race started at 9 and decided to just park at the start line.  I wiggled, stretched and tested out my quad. It felt good.  I ate some oatmeal, got dressed and left.

I got to the race with enough time to cycle through the porta potty once and run a warm up mile

I sized up the other runners guessing which ones would be fast by their shoes.  I didn't see any other local runners there I knew.  Seemed kind of funny, but I haven't done too many local races the last 2 years.

The gun went off and the usual beeps were heard coming as everyone started their Garmins.  I held myself back a bit and let the people fly by, I sort of love that about the start of a race.  So many people start out so fast.  It is fun to pass lots of those people later on.

I tried for the whole first mile to shake some clompy footed guy who was really annoying and loud as his feet pounded the pavement.  He was pretty tenacious, but I finally shook free from him at the end of the second mile.

I also noticed I was gaining on three other girls.  I set my sights on the first one and started reeling them in.  I did get passed by another girl who went flying by, but I did catch three in the last mile, the final one not until the very end.    I saw the clock in the 20:20s as I was getting nearer and it didn't even occur to me I was close to a PR.

My official time was 20:32.  1st in my age group and 2nd female overall.    After I got my printout I had to look up my PR in the 5k.  It has been so long since I got close I couldn't even remember what it was!  It was 21:11.    I had to walk away by myself for a little minute as I was having watery eye problems.

I nearly had myself talked out of running and I crushed it.  I set my 5k PR in 2011.  4 years ago. It feel so good to beat it.  My Garmin had the race at 3.07 miles for a pace of 6:41 a mile vs the official of 6:37 a mile.  Either way though it is still a PR.  My previous 5k PR pace was 6:46.  Edit:  I just read the recap from that 5k and it was slightly short also and if it were a full my pace would have been 6:51 so.. I freaking crushed it today.

I ran in my new Altra One 2s  and am so in love with them.  They may be my new lucky fast shoes!

When was the last time you accidentally PRd?  Do you count the PR if the course is short?  I am  going to, especially since the pace is what really crushed it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Strides.. sorting out my issues

I admit I have been seeing this thing called running strides for quite awhile now and thinking "maybe I should be running strides".  I have been planning to add in strides at the end of runs for well over a year now.  Confession: I have not been running strides. Until Kiley wrote them into the plan.

I had a vague idea of what they were.  Some sort of fast running in short intervals.  They are described in my plan as "short burst of fast running 80-150m" to be done during warm up or cool down. Alrighty, I got it, I thought.

Until I was out running and doing them.  I couldn't help but wonder..
  • how far is 80-150 meters when converted into miles like my Garmin reads?
  • was I running them fast enough?
  • was I running them too fast?
  • what are the benefits of strides?
My questions answered 
  1. How far is 80-150 meters when converted into miles like my Garmin reads?
  • 80 meters is .0497 miles so about .5 miles
  • 100 meters is about .06
  • 150 meters is .093 miles
So I want to run them between .05 and .09 miles to get in the correct distance roughly.

     2.  Am I running them fast enough or too fast?  I was running them hard at about 90%
  • One website said to build them up to  95% and then gradually slow down
  • Another said to go at 5k pace
  • and finally the third site I looked at said build to 85% and gradually slow down,
So basically there is a bit of a range there,but the takeaway was build up to a fast speed and then gradually slow to a stop,
What are strides?
I was just going all out for the whole thing and then stopping into a slow jog, so clearly there was some room for improvement there.

So from what I can tell about a third of the distance should be used to ease into the fast pace, one third for the fast pace and then one third of the distance to slow down. Recovery should be a slow jog or even a walk.

and finally what we all really want to know...

What are the benefits of running strides?
  • They make you faster!
  • They can help loosen up tight leg muscles after a longer easy run.
  • They can improve running economy
  • Done before a race or speed session they get the heart pumping and the muscles warmed up.
Are you doing strides?  Cola and I are.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ranch Life and New Running Shoes

My kids were very excited Saturday to be out chasing cows for the first time this year on their horses.
Cows are generally always happy to move to greener pastures and headed out nicely.
The next pasture was greener indeed!  It was a field of winter wheat and they were pretty sure they could stay there and eat all day.  It seemed to take forever to move them the almost 2 miles across the field.

heads down busy eating!  Moove girls, mooove!
Once we finally did and had them in a big bunch again it was time to...

push them down the hill into the corral.  I thought the contrast between them all bunched up (above) and all strung out (below) was fun.  It was only minutes apart.  I was telling my kids there that really we were in the best spot as below they were running past the corral at a rapid rate and all we had to worry about was pushing the back of the herd.
We regrouped at the bottom and drove them back uphill into the corral for vaccinations that will protect their babies from diarrheas.

I have been wanting for months to get the Altra One2 shoes, but I didn't want to pay full price for them.  I received a 40 dollar voucher for Amazon the same day I saw them go on sale for 25% off on Amazon.  Coincidence?  I got them for $35!  Whoop!

Good things come to those who wait and stalk them on line.  I love them.  I did a 7 mile run in them with no issues and love how cushy they are.  I can't wait to race in them.  Zoom!  They are light!  To test them out I signed up for a 5k this weekend.
What would you like to know about cows and or beef?  Ask away!
Do you have fast shoes for racing or do you just wear the same shoes for everything?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A plan and a playlist

It's official... I have a plan for my next half marathon and a racing schedule at least through July!! I start on my plan today! It is the first time I have had a plan written for me and the first time I will actually be following a plan,  I can already see the plan is going to push me and I like it.

One of my races is written into the plan and another fits great where there is a very fast paced tempo run scheduled and I really wanted a race in April so I am going to fit it in.


I also wanted to share the 6 newest songs on my racing playlist.

Safe and Sound by Capital Cities
I'll Fly Away by Flatfoot 56  this is one that I had to listen to a couple times before it really grew on me, but now is in my head all the time!  Fun and fast paced.  I am thinking I will be looking for more music by Flatfoot 56 soon.

Sugar by Maroon 5  because what runner doesn't like some sugar!  This helped keep me moving during my Run to the Pub Half for sure.
Something I Need by One Republic  just a great song to run to.
Marchin On by One Republic  another great running song.. right, right, left, right, left.
I Bet My Life by Imagine Dragons

I had put out a plea for running playlist songs on Instagram and I am pretty sure I got all of these from that plea,  A lot of people suggested Uptown Funk... but no matter how many times I listened to it I couldn't imagine wanting to run to it.  It annoys me on some level.  Other suggestions I that didn't make it included Eminem, Linkin Park bleed it out, and Psycosocial  by Slipknot.   Slipknot it just not my thing.. or Eminem for that matter to hardcore or something.  Four Five seconds by Rihanna also just didn't speak to me.  Eh,

The fun part about the plea was how diverse the suggestions were and listening to music I never would have without the suggestions even if I didn't like the music.

Are any of these on your playlist?  Do you love any of the ones I don't?

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring and a Grainy Day CSA

This is how I feel about the weather lately and it being the first day of spring! Woop!
tank and shorts from Tommie Copper, socks Vim n Vigr, shoes Altra Torins
It felt so good to get home from work yesterday to have the time for a short run and to be able to run in shorts and a tank.

I also had a package in the mail I was excited about. A Grainy Day box.  I recently met the owner of Prairie Heritage Farm from Power MT and when I heard about the Grainy Day CSA box they sell I was intrigued.

So what is it anyway?
Prairie Heritage Farm's new Grainy Day Box is a subscription program that delivers organic, family-farmed heritage and ancient grains and fresh flour right to your door each month
Depending on what options you choose, you will receive 2 to 4 pounds of our unique, certified organic, heritage and ancient grains and flour once a month. You can sign up for just one month or you can subscribe for 12 months, 6 months or 3 months.
Each month we vary the grain, but you will receive Sonora Heritage Wheat, Prairie Farro, Bronze Barley, Black Lentils, or fresh flour.
Here is what I found when I opened the box

and inside was the Bronze Barley and the Black Lentils with a note describing the grains, a note about Prairie Heritage Farm and two recipe cards.

I am excited to try out the recipes for lentil curry and barley with bananas, walnuts and dried cranberries. Additional recipes are listed on their website that can be found HERE

I signed up for three months and am really looking forward to trying the farro for some reason.

My little cowgirl is also very excited about spring and can't wait to take her horse out chasing cows this weekend!  I am not sure Shorty looks as enthused.

Is it acting spring like where you are?
Ever tried ancient grains or been a part of a CSA?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Three Things Thursday: Riding, Running and Resting

1. After I sent the kids off to school yesterday I asked my husband his plans for the day ( he is self employed so has a lot of say in his day). When he told me he was going to be helping my Dad and brother scour guard the 3 year old cows I was in.

It was a beautiful morning out and I hadn't been on a horse yet this year!  It felt great. The cows pretty much followed the feed truck to the corral and I followed the cows.  A great way to spend National Ag Day!
My aunt, husband and I stayed on our horses in the corral and helped push the cows through the chute where they were given the Scour Guard vaccine.  Yep, cows get vaccines too! This protects the babies that will be born soon from several strains of  diarrhea causing bacterias.
note my niece in the background wanting to be a part of the action.
My niece really wanted to ride a horse too! She got to ride after all the action was over.

The 3 year old cows will be joined with the rest of the older cows soon and just be a part of the herd.  There were two babies in the bunch already and the rest will calve soon!

2.  After moving the cows back to their pasture I changed my boots and jeans for running shoes and capris and took my little dog Cola for a run.  We ran through the heifers (2 year olds, first time mommas who need more watching over than the older cows and are calved out sooner.)  The heifers are a lot like teenagers.

They were very unimpressed with my dog so we gave them a wide circle and moved on

I took my run up through the hills and took time to enjoy the views.  My legs are still a little sore but feeling a lot better!

3.  Once I got home I discovered the power was out so cleaning and blogging was not an option, A nap however sounded divine. I slept for two hours.  All that fresh air was exhausting!  The power came on in time to shower up and make supper.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sore, Unbroken, and New Plans!

After taking Sunday off to rest I ran yesterday and talk about stiff, sore legs! It felt pretty good once I got warmed up, but I had muscles I didn't even realize were sore decide to feel sore.  Like my hamstrings.  I ran an easy 6 miles. After having weather into the 70s over the weekend yesterday's cold gray skies and freezing wind was a bit of a letdown.
But the landscape is starting to green up and soon things will be green instead of shades of brown.

I finally got to watch Unbroken last night.  I read the book several years ago and then recommended it to everyone I knew.  It comes out of Blu-Ray and DVD on March 24th.  How I got on a list to get an advanced copy I will never know, but I did.
I was worried at first it was only Blu-Ray and I would have to go to someone else's house to watch it, but it came with a DVD also.  Yay!  The movie was excellent.  They of course couldn't capture all the details of the book and had to leave out a lot of the story, but Jolie did a great job capturing the story.  I of course cried at the end.  Such a great story and I love that in the end he chose forgiveness over hate.

I had an offer from another runner to write me a running plan for my next half marathon.  I accepted.  I guess this means I better sign up for another.  It also makes me a little nervous to have to be accountable.. I usually just loosely follow a plan,  I think it will be good for me.  I will share more about it as it develops.

and a parting picture of my little Cola dog who is no doubt giving me this look because I ran so slow yesterday!
Have you ever had a running coach or someone else write you a training plan?  Did it make you work harder?
Have you seen Unbroken or read the book?  I have done both now.  I am always a fan of the book over the movie, but I love how movies bring the book to life.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Run to the Pub Half Marathon Race Recap

I didn't have a lot of expectations going into this race except that my pace would probably be in the high 7:40s low 7:50s for pace per mile and I would finish feeling strong.  The weather was in the low 50s at the start, windy, partly cloudy and warmed into the low 60s by the finish.  I decided I would recycle my race outfit from 2 years ago.  I haven't worn it since then so why not?

thanks to Kiley from Daily Vitamin F for the picture.  She just had a baby girl so she couldn't run it this year.
I went up to Bozeman after work on Friday to stay with a friend, but before I left work I dropped my phone for the 1000th time and it shattered.  Shattered, with the case on.  It was workable, but only if I wanted glass slivers in my fingers.

My playlist for the half was on here.  So I did what any reasonable person would do and updated my phone to the new iPhone 6.  I had been looking for an excuse to do it anyway. Just not when I was headed out of town!

Luckily the ATT store wasn't busy and I was helped right away.  I then went over to City Brew and had a cup of tea while downloading all my apps and my running music.  The drive to Bozeman was uneventful, I met up with Billie Jo at the Bozeman Running Company and we picked up our packets and did some shopping.

We had what is now a tradition with us wine and steaks for supper then headed over to her husband's grandfather's house for the night.  He has the coolest octagon shaped house that he built himself.  I wish now I would have taken some pictures.

As I was getting ready for the race Saturday morning I put on my Garmin and was greeted by a blank screen.  I KNEW I had charged it so the battery couldn't be dead could it?!   I did a reset and was greeted by weirdness and crazy screens like this.

After several more resets it decided to function normally. Seriously first the phone then the watch?!  I was hoping it wasn't a sign of things to come.

I caught the bus out to the start and cycled through the porta potties twice, visited with some people I knew and did a warmup.  I was feeling pretty good.

The gun finally went off and I was somewhere near the middle of the 1,100 runners and felt like it took forever to get across the start line and then spent a lot of time weaving through people the first mile,

The first three miles were uphill AND into the wind. The first mile went by pretty fast in that race adrenaline sort of way.  I was really feeling it by the third mile and had to keep reminding myself it would be downhill soon!  Some of the wind gusts were pretty strong.  I was counting down until we turned and ran crossways with the wind for awhile.
Mile 1  8:10
Mile 2  8:16
Mile 3  8:25

When we finally did it was a big relief and my legs started to recover a bit from all the uphill and wind fighting.  My pace picked up and I finally had a mile under 8 minutes.

The downhill felt good, but I also noticed that I didn't really feel that easy spring in my step.  I had written the feeling off earlier when I was running uphill and into the wind, but running downhill with the wind wasn't feeling as easy as I thought it should.  Still I thought at this point I could still pull off goal pace.

Mile 4  7:46
Mile 5  7:40
Mile 6  7:34,
Mile 7  7:39
Mile 8  7:40

Then I hit the hills around mile 9 and 10,,, and it was rough!
Mile 9 8:14
Mile 10 8:43

My legs just felt spent and I had my slowest mile an 8:43 ... I knew this would kill my average pace and it killed my goal of a 7:40 something pace. but I was still hoping for a sub 8 average pace, and I knew the rest of the route was downhill.

Mile 11  7:58
Mile 12  8:16
Mile 13  8:08
Last .10 (or .14 according to Garmin) 7:51 pace

The last two miles despite being downhill I just couldn't get under 8 minute miles.  I haven't decided if I am just not in as good of shape as I thought I was or if it was an off day.  I took one Humagel at mile 6 and had my Cocogo in my hydration belt.  I drank about 8 oz of it.

I remember feeling hot from about mile 6 on.  I am not acclimated to running in warm weather!

I got across the finish line and felt like I had given it my all, I grabbed some water and drank nearly the entire bottle before getting my medal.  I grabbed 4 little Cuties oranges and ate them while sitting on the curb.

My friends had run the 10k and after we hooked up we went and had breakfast for lunch and a great little spot called Nova on Main Street in Bozeman and had a great time talking and catching up on life.  We did not win the trips to Dublin,  I guess we will have to try again next year!

Offical time 1:45:37
I ended up 17th out of 206 in the 30-39 age group and 43 out of 559 women.  So really not too shabby.    I can be happy with that.

This is a great half marathon and growing! Most of it is run through the country side with beautiful views of the mountains. Both times I have run it the weather was beautiful. The t shirt is a long sleeve tech shirt, you also get a pint glass and of course a fabulous medal.  There is beer and music at the finish,  Post race snacks were light with bananas and oranges, but all I like it oranges post race anyway.

Hmmm so what is next?
I have the Women's Run in May on the schedule for sure.  It is a 5 mile race.  and I confess as I was typing this my little sister and I were also texting about what halfs we were looking at doing next.

 There is a local one here in 8 weeks.  I am pretty tempted!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Three Things Thursday: Throwing it Back

1. I am trying to decide what I am going to wear for the Run to the Pub Half Marathon this weekend. It is supposed to be in the high 40s, low 50s at the start with a high of 64 or so for the day.  That means shorts and a tank!  I had originally planned to wear my Team Beef Montana tank, but after discussing it with two fellow Team Beef ladies, we decided we wanted to dress in St Patricks theme for the race.  (disclaimer.. it's Thursday which also makes it throw back Thursday so I am going to have a lot of older pictures, sorry, not sorry)

Is it lame that I am thinking of wearing the same thing I did 2 years ago for this race?
I really like it, and don't want to spend money on more things I will only wear once
Do I really care if it is lame? I'm waving my hands in the air, like I just don't care... because I don't!
dear big headed person... get out of my picture!
 2. My little sister ran this race with me two years ago, she can't this year.  Insert sad face.  She is running a half on the same day though in Virgina!  and she gets to run on Team Beef Montana with me for a run when she is here in May..  YAY!  My older sis will be participating also.  I will run the 5 mile and then grab my daughter and run the 2 mile with her.  Avery gets to run on Team Beef Montana also. 
Sister power!

 3. Not related to running, well actually it is, my son's class last year learned about the Iditarod and picked mushers to follow.  He picked Richie Diehl and we tracked him at home too.  We were really rooting for him.  Last year he finished 14th.  We have been cheering him on again this year and are all in!  We check his progress multiple times a day.  So far he has been as high as 20th and as low as 52.  Right now he is sitting 19th and has over 300 miles completed.  He is down to 12 dogs from 16.  My daughter decided to start following a girl musher, she of course picked the one that was winning at the time. 

Happy Running!

 Do you recycle themed race outfits?
Ever followed the Iditarod? Last year was my first and I am hooked!

Laundry Basket Workout

I was challenged to come up with a 10 minute workout routine using a household object as part of the Keeping Your Heart Healthy campaign with www.myvouchercodes.com

I chose a laundry basket.  I am a big fan of home workouts and have been doing them for years, so this was a fun challenge.  I also admit my laundry basket has been used many times over the years during workouts.  I hope you try the workout, or at least gain some inspiration from it. 

It always drives me crazy when people say they don't workout because they can't afford to belong to a gym. You don't need to go to a gym to be fit!

and so for the second time this week, I present you with a vlog.  Things are getting crazy!

and just to break it down..
It is a 10 minute workout, but you can repeat as many times as you want to make it longer. 
50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest for each move
  • toe taps on basket
  • up and over pushups
  • sit-ups with a twist
  •  forward and backward lunges
  • hop over the basket burpees
  • repeat  

Do you make up your own workouts?  I do all the time.  I haven't belonged to a gym in over a decade and I really have to admit I don't miss the gym.  Home workouts save time and money.  There are plenty of online sites to get workouts and inspiration from.  Plus, there is the added bonus of my kids seeing me be active.   

What things in your house do you use when you workout?  I also use my coffee table and dining room chairs regularly. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

He runs like a farmer, frozen shoes, and other news.

Check out this adorable baby, this was a fresh one and still had wobbly legs.  Soon these brown hillsides will be green.  I am ready for that.

I hate to say this, but the weather for the Run to the Pub Half marathon this weekend... It is looking like it just might be quite nearly freaking perfect. It may even be on the warm side of things. I mean I am not acclimated to temps above 30 for running and the low will be 40?!  Good thing it will be cloudy.

No complaints here!

I was volunteering yesterday afternoon in my daughter's classroom when my daughter and a friend came over and informed me that Travis had a crush on my lil cowgirl.  I asked which one was Travis.  They pointed him out and I looked him over.  Nice clean cut looking kid with wranglers, scuffed boots, and a silver snap shirt on. I nodded my approval and told her "He's cute!"  to which my daughter exclaimed "yeah but have you seen how he runs?"  I laughed and we finished what we were doing.

Later as we were leaving the school I heard the lil cowgirl telling her brother about Travis having a crush on her.  I interjected "He's a nice looking kid"!  My daughter turned to her brother and asked "yeah, but have you seen him run"?

Not even wasting a beat he yells "HE RUNS LIKE A FARMER"!  
I nearly had to pull the car over I was laughing so hard.  My lil cowboy went on to explain that every different farmer runs the same. 

Later I asked him how his Grandpa Mike ran (my poppa) and he said "more like a rancher" because even though he grows wheat the cows influence your running more.  Travis'  family has cows too, but apparently the corn they grow influences his running more.  Me, I run like a mom.

In other news the other thing I learned yesterday at school was that my daughter put my running shoes in the freezer.  Luckily I have a few pairs of shoes and hadn't even missed the two pairs she put in there, her whole class knew about it and couldn't wait to tell me when I got there.  Maybe that is something that will feel good this summer?

I found these great capris in the girls clothes at Costco.  I picked some out for my daughter and was wishing they had them in my size when I remembered I had bought a girls 14/16 at Target and they fit, so I bought some for myself as well.  Score!

Anyone else running a race this weekend?  I am so excited!  It feels like forever since my last race on Thanksgiving and it has been since October since I ran a half, nearly half a year!

How long since your last half?
Crazy prints on leggings/capris or no?  I am in love with them right now.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Total Body Tabata

If you know me at all you know I workout at home and I LOVE doing high intensity interval training so when HumanX by Harbinger asked my if I wanted in on their   Total Body Tabata campaign I was all in!  They sent me some gear as well to try out and I put it to the test.  The fun part is you can win the gear I was sent.  Check out the details HERE

What is Tabata anyway?
  • Tabata is a form of HIIT (high intensity interval training) it consists of 4 minutes of 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest for a total of 8 rounds.  So it is SHORT!  This makes it ideal for squeezing in a quick workout.
Why Tabata? You can check out a previous post I did on Tabata workouts here
  • Rounds of Tabata can be stacked for 8, 12, 16, etc minute workouts that scorch calories
  • It has been shown to improve aerobic and anaerobic systems
  • It was #2 on the top fitness trends for 2015, #1 was bodyweight training. Tabata can be bodyweight.  They totally go together!
  • It is simple and efficient
  • You can do it at home or the gym
  • Endless move possibilities!
Here is an example of a Tabata inspired workout I did this morning. If you do all 5 sets it is a total of 20 minutes.  Totally doable, if you don't have that much time just do as many sets as you have time for.  Alternate between moves a and b for each Tabata set. Each move will be done 4 times for a total of 8 rounds in each set.

Disclaimer:  I am not a trainer.  I am just a health nut who has made up her own workouts for over a decade and doing HIIT workouts for nearly 5 years.

Set 1
a) Jump rope high knees
b) Jump lunges

Set 2
a) Sit-ups with a twist
b) Reverse crunch

Set 3
a) Deep lunge right leg, curls with resistance band
b) Deep lunge left leg, tricep kickbacks with resistance band

Set 4
a) Kettle bell shoulder press right and squat
b) Kettle bell shoulder press left and squat

Set 5
a) Jump rope high knees
b) Pushups

and here I go through each move Tabata style


Step One:
Follow @humanxgear on Twitter or Instagram–look for the #TotalTabata hashtag to find awesome Tabata workouts from fitness pros & participating bloggers. It’s time to get moving!
Step Two:
Post about your Total Body Tabata workout. Tell us what you loved and/or share a tip for others and tag your tweet/post with #TotalTabata and @humanxgear (p.s we love photos AND videos!). We’ll be giving away gear every Tuesday through the end of March AND a #TotalTabata grand prize pack on March 31st. Each post and/or tweet enters you to WIN.
Step Three:
Fill out this short form so they know how to contact you if you win!

HumanX sent me the AbX, the Competition Speedrope, the PowerAmp FlexFast Cable, and the Kettlebell Arm guards to review.  I was not compensated in any other way for this post.  All opinions are my own.  You can enter to win this gear for your self by participatipating in the Total Body Tabata campaign.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

February Highlights

I ended February with 131.1 miles which brings the total for the year up to 248.44.  So even though I felt like I spent a lot of days on the elliptical due to the cold and snow and miserable conditions, I still had more miles outside than January (117ish). I can live with that, and I did pretty good with my speed workouts. 

I sort of fell off the P90X3 wagon... not sure how it happened just did.  I liked it, but felt like there was so much talking going on.  I am used to doing very intense HIIT workouts and while I found them a challenge they started to bore me a little, with all the talking. I have gone back to doing HIIT workouts more. 

I have continued to be very diligent doing my yoga and I can tell!  I love how good I am feeling, I especially notice it in my back and right leg at night with the lack of pain/burning in my leg.  It's so great.  It is why I recommend yoga to everyone. 

I participated in the Take the Leap yoga challenge with Sweatpink and Prana for most of February and did pretty good with it until things got busy, (same time I fell of the P90X3 bandwagon)  I was still doing yoga everyday I just wasn't remembering to post it on Instagram.  Cola participated a little too.

Capping off February with the Women's Conference in Chico was a perfect way to end the month, new friends, running, sister time, and learning new things.
and a comparison of beef with other popular protein sources and what 25 g of protein looks like.

What was your February highlight?  Mine was the conference in Chico for sure!
What is your favorite protein source?  Mine is of course ... beef!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Three Things Thursday

1. Yesterday I did my last long run before the half marathon next weekend.  I was planning on 12-14 miles depending on how I felt, but I misjudged a loop in the middle and I ended up running 15.  I would guess I am more than ready for my half in 9 days.  All easy from here on out.  and (fingers crossed) the weather looks like it is going to be beautiful!!  Like nearly perfect!!  I know the forecast can change a lot by then but, fingers crossed!

2. Cola and I surprised a couple herds of deer while running and some even were so distracted by me that they went right in front of Cola.  He had some fun chasing them.   If you look close enough at the picture below Cola really looks like he is flying after this deer.
We also had a greeting committee when we got to the next field after the deer.  

3. and since we had some cows how about some beef info from MyBeefCheckoff.com  This is a great site to check out if you are interested in learning more about the facts of beef.
MYTH: Meat consumption is too high, and this overconsumption is leading to increased health problems.
FACTS: That simply is NOT TRUE! In fact, Americans consume just 5.1 ounces of protein foods each day, while national guidelines recommend an average of 5.5 ounces daily. And BEEF CONSUMPTION CONTRIBUTES LESS THAN 5% OF TOTAL CALORIES in the American diet and less cholesterol (at 11%) than chicken (12%) and eggs (25%).
Further, research suggests that many Americans could actually BENEFIT from adding lean beef to their diets because of its positive role in weight management, healthy aging and disease prevention!
3.1 and finally the Winner of the Sonic Fuel Ear Phones giveaway is Erica A.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Everything you want

I spent the weekend at a the Montana Farmer's Union Women's Conference in Chico Hot Springs with my sister and I would guess 48 other wonderful women from around the state.  I got up early both mornings and enjoyed early morning runs despite the single digit temperatures.  I even convinced fellow Team Beef Montana runner Katie from Prairie Ponderings to run with me Sunday morning.

It was just light enough to see when we headed out and when we turned around we enjoyed this view back to the resort. Katie is an Iowa city girl married extreme rural farmer and has really embraced the life.  I love that I had someone to run with and got to know her better.
and this view off to the side.  The weirdest thing about being in the mountains to me is the lack of sunrise, it just sort of gets light.  Katie and I decided that while the mountains are beautiful they can't hold anything over a prairie sunrise.
My sister and I had a great time not cooking, not cleaning and not chasing kids for two days just soaking in the hot springs, reading, talking, and of course the amazing conference.
and to try to be good bloggers Katie and I took a picture at the end of the conference.
Like all great conferences I came away from this one feeling inspired and empowered, I even stood up and spoke a little in front of the whole group, which is amazing because public speaking terrifies me!

Some of my favorite takeaways from the conference:
  • "Everything you want is on the other side of fear"
  • "Be courageous for this moment"
  • Mistakes can become something beautiful
  • If you mirror in your life everyday becomes the same, you shrink from awareness and no change happens
  • You are responsible for your own happiness
  • "Rural living and farm life needs believers, because our voice is so small it needs to be powerful"
  • What we put in our minds is so important
  • You are teaching your children to approach life the same way you approach it
We also talked about marketing strategies, owned vs earned media, telling your story, we had a photography workshop, a writing workshop, and a discussion of goal setting.

Such a great weekend.  My sister and I are hoping to do this conference again next year.  The biggest disappointment for me was no cake with dinner.  We did have a wine tasting Friday night and were supposed to see a cheese making demonstration but the cheese maker was ill. 

The speakers were all excellent and inspiring and I made some fabulous new friends.  I just wish they lived closer. 

What was the best thing about your weekend?  For me it was lots of empowering woman time!