Tuesday, June 30, 2015

and that's almost a wrap on June!

June 30.  We are just getting into the ugly hot here in Montana.  By ugly hot I mean miserable and in the 90s.  July and August are generally just hot.  The first part of June was great, lots of perfect weather days and time spent outside.

I discovered I can still sorta do this
but, I don't think I will try it too often

My June went pretty good as far as running goes.  I didn't keep track of how many miles I ran, or what workouts I did.  I found after half marathon training it was nice to just relax and run what I wanted.  I did start adding in hill repeats towards the middle of the month in preparation for the Northwest Passage Ragnar in July.

Kohl's sent me a Fitbit a couple weeks ago and I haven't decided how I feel about wearing it... it basically told me what I already know.  I am very active.  I easily get my 10,000 steps a day.

It doesn't track runs super accurate unless I use the GPS on my phone option, which I don't feel inclined to as I prefer my Garmin. 

I have no desire to track my hydration, food eaten or sleep.  It seems like a lot of work.  I tried to do all three at first but quickly lost interest.  I already know I don't sleep good most of the time and I eat a lot. I could see using it if I wanted to lose weight, but nah!

I do like that the battery lasts all week before I need to recharge it although I am annoyed I apparently did not recharge it fully and it was dead Monday morning for my run.  This meant my run wasn't included on my step count so I didn't wear it all day, which throws off my count for the week.  Annoying.

For now I will keep wearing it, I do find the step count motivating, so really for me it is a fancy pedometer.

I ran one race in June, a 10k with a personal worst.  Guess my lack of structure on the running front did not pay off there.    I have one race coming up in July.. just the Ragnar! From here until school starts it seems like every weekend is booked.  As much fun as all that stuff is going to be I kind of like having free weekends too!

I am participating in Fit Approach's 1 Million Minutes and am currently sitting at 502 minutes!  Not to bad. Most of it of course is running. 

One of my current obsessions is Inknburn running clothes.... so hooked.  I love the bright colors and unique designs, not to mention they are comfy and flattering. I originally was just looking for a pair of shorts to match my Team Beef tank, and now I have a bunch of InknBurn and think it well worth the price.

See, super cute! 

What is one of your current obsessions? How was your June?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Summer running bites and weekend happenings

 The heat is here we have been in the high 90s so I have been really making sure to get out the door early, even then it feels warm and is in the 60s. UGH.  Summer is not my favorite.  I am not a water sports person, not a water person really at all so I would be fine if we skipped right to fall now. I really hate being hot, getting sunburned. two thumbs down. 
Saturday's Run
and Sunday's
 Out the door before 5 both mornings!   I count that as a win!

The weekend is going by crazy fast, Friday night my daughter had friends over for a camp out and Saturday we had about a 5 hour window and my son's friends were here for a camp out.  The old wall tent got a lot of use, but not a lot of sleeping in.
All the kids ended up camping out in the living room instead. The girl's scared each other telling scary stories and the boys wanted to come in and watch a movie.

Meet Foxy
The weekend wore her out.  She was a Father's Day present to my husband from the kids.  Barn cats have a considerably shorter life span than house cats, so we seem to go through them pretty fast between coyotes, fan belts, and who knows what else, they just disappear.

Full on haying season around here and everywhere I look there are swathers, balers, rakes etc running in the fields and bales as far as the eye can see.  It makes the air smell so sweet for my morning runs.

My flower gardens are full on blooming. I don't remember what these are, but so pretty!
Daisies finally blooming
and other flowers I have around the house.

Anyone else ready to skip right to fall?  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

1 Million Minutes (or will it blow that out of the water?) with Fit Approach

I signed up (for FREE!) to take part in the FitApproach 1MillionMinutes fitness challenge.  What in the heck is that?  Here is a quick run down from the Fit Approach websiteWho?

You! Your next door neighbor. Your long lost kindergarten friend. EVERYBODY!


Sign up and track your active minutes. Active minutes can include walking, running, yoga, Pilates, Zumba, dance, kickboxing, weight lifting and much, much more! If you are doing something active (like sweaty worthy), then log those minutes and share your progress towards helping the Sweat Pink community work towards one million minutes!


We want to inspire, ignite, and encourage everyone to move more.


The #1millionminutes with #sweatpink will begin on June 21, our 4th birthday (squeee!) and end two months later, August 21. Can we do it? Heck yeah, we can!


But of course! We’ll be revealing our awesome prizes very soon… ;)

The first contest they are running is to complete the Mad Lib below, so I'm doing that in this post! I'll be using my blog, Twitter, and Instagram throughout the 1MillionMinutes challenge to share my progress.  I am joining in a couple days late and that's okay.  You can still join too!

I am so excited to join #1MillionMinutes with #sweatpink! This summer my goal is to do _3000_ (number) minutes of running, hiking, HIIT, kettlebells and yoga (activity), while wearing my favorite _blue__ (color) _InknBurn shorts (noun).
I predict that we’ll _smash_ (Verb) the goal of #1MillionMinutes – we’ll actually hit _1,841,127_ (number) of minutes this summer! I predict that _running_ (activity) will be the top-logged movement.
I’ll get extra minutes in by  running_ (verb) to loops around the driveway to avoid the bears (place)!
My favorite way to get extra minutes in is by hiking (verb) with my munchkins! (person). My dog Cola_(person) is my BEST activity partner because he/she is so ready for adventure! (adjective). Our favorite way to relax post-workout is to drink ice water in the shade.
I tag  ,any other enthusiastic person  ( people) to help us reach #1MillionMInutes… or more!
Thanks to some great runs this week, so far I am up to 249 minutes for the challenge. 
How have I been racking up all these minutes?

plus a HIIT workout and a kettle bell workout. 
anymore questions?  Like...

What kinds of activities count?

Any kind of activities! Whatever your thing is: running, lifting weights, walking, water aerobics, zumba, late night dance parties, if you’re moving, it counts!

What if I forget to track my minutes one day?

That’s okay! Just add them in to today’s count, or you can always log multiple days at once.
Honor system. :)

How do I get win prizes?

Track your minutes, and share, share, share! Use the #1MillionMinutes and #sweatpink hashtags. We’ll also have special extra add-on bonus points hashtags on certain weeks (stay tuned for emails!).
Mostly, just share! Show us how you’re staying active this summer, and encourage your community to join you in racking up those minutes.

Sign up here and get active!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Heart and Sole 10k Recap

I didn't have a lot of goals going into this race, I think I loosely decided to beat last year's time.  If you want to skip the whole recap here is the spoiler: I did not beat last year's time.

bathroom selfie on the way out the door to the race. I got tons of compliments on my InknBurn shorts.
The race shirt was pretty color this year and actually a really nice one, although still unisex.  But I do see this one getting worn more than most.

The 10k didn't start until 8:40 and the 5k started at 8:00. There was also an Active Life Festival going on at the finish so I made plans to meet my friend Victoria at the Festival.  The Festival was close to the finish and not far from the start.  We decided to go right at 8 when they opened because I knew from experience that if you wait until after the 10k most of the fun freebies are gone.

We scored some good things including
  • a reusable ice pack
  • water bottle
  • salad shaker cup thing with a fork and salad dressing cup
  • pizza cutter
  • sunscreen
  • reusable bags
  • magnets
  • a new running magazine
  • pens
  • a coffee mug and coffee (okay that may have come from signing up for a half marathon)
  • granola bars, and other misc snacks. 

We hit the bathrooms in the stadium before dropping our prizes off at our vehicles and heading to the start line. We got there with about 5 minutes before the gun went off.  Just enough time to say hi to some people and get my Garmin connected to the satellites!

Mile 1 7:01 The first mile clicked by pretty fast, but it is also a lot downhill and easy to go out too fast so I made sure to reign it in a bit.  I could tell my legs were not feeling it already.  Maybe I shouldn't have ate a hot dog for supper?

Mile 2 7:44  There is a hill in this mile that evidently kicked my butt!  I had a hard time recovering and getting my pace back up.  The sun was feeling HOT! I think it was only like 65 degrees, but I am not used to at all apparently.  Maybe I shouldn't have drank that iced coffee half an hour before the start, it was not sitting well at this point.

Mile 3 7:26  I hate mile 3 of a 10k.  I was not feeling on my mental game at all, but I was hopeful I could still pull off a faster time than last year.  I just wasn't feeling like I could get in a rhythm. Maybe I shouldn't have run so many hills last week!

Mile 4  7:34 There is some slight uphill in this section and it once again kicked my butt.  I was feeling a little frustrated at this point, but at least no one was passing me, at least not any girls.  I was trying to catch up to a girl in front of me, but I just couldn't quite reel her in.  Maybe my long run should not have been Thursday this week.

Mile 5 7:28 Finally!  My legs were finally starting to get into a sort of rhythm and it wasn't feeling like quite a struggle.  I think mentally it gets easier at this point in a 10k anyway.  More than half way done!  Two point two miles to go isn't so far at all!

Mile 6  8:10  This is Garmin data, but I also know that that Garmin loses contact for a it while we run 5 stories up a parking garage and go through a tunnel, so I think this mile really was faster.  I normally hate the parking garage part, but this year I was loving it, because... SHADE! 

Last .15 6:45 pace  The reward for going up the parking garage and through the tunnel is that the last part of the race is all downhill and you can really fly!

I ended up 2nd in my age group and 14th female overall.  Exactly the same as last year just slower by about 30 seconds.  Wah wah wah.    

This is a well run, well organized race.  I however completely disagree with starting the shorter race earlier and having the longer race when it is hotter out.  I get why they are doing it, so that the 10k people don't have to weave through all the walkers and slower 5k runners at the end.  That used to happen and it sucked.  Every 10k person I talked to said they would rather run an hour earlier, at least or more than run it so late though.    I whine about it every time, but I keep doing it, so I must not hate it that much.

I helped at the Team Beef booth at the Active Life Festival for a bit and then talked Victoria into signing up for her first half marathon.  YAY!  
Lisa made over 500 beef bagel sandwiches for this event!  and they were all gone. YUM
Next up.. Ragnar Northwest Passage! I think I am leg 8, although we were noticing the legs have changed so I might end up with something else. Either way.. FUN!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Three Things Friday.

1. I had an unexpected day off Wednesday , so I took my son and nephew hiking.  My daughter and niece stayed with my mom who was also off yesterday.  The boys and I had a great time hiking around. We found a lot of ticks crawling on us after we got back though.  EEK! Final tally was 12.
On the way back my son decided to turn it into a trail run for the last half mile or so back to the house.  I of course happily followed suit.
Maybe I have a future trail runner on my hands.  He loved the running as much as I did.

2. I saw this little guy in the middle of the road while running Wednesday morning.  I tried to get him to head into the grass, but all he wanted to do was put him tail over his head and pretend I wasn't there.
3. I finally signed up for the race I am doing this weekend.  My toe is feeling good so I went ahead and signed up for the 10k.  I am not so sure I am in top form for a 10k... I have done zero speed work since my half marathon a month ago.

I have to admit the month of easy running has felt GOOD.  My body is feeling refreshed and ready for more running.  I have been doing more hill training since Ragnar Northwest Passage will be hilly. 

My gripe about the race this weekend... the 5k starts at 8, but the 10k doesn't start until 8:40.  This makes me mad everytime I do this race.  Why does the shorter race get the cooler air?  Things get hot this time of year and I don't like to run hot!  I suppose I could just run the 5k and get over it, but I haven't run a 10k yet this year and I want to!   There aren't any other 10ks I can for awhile.

I am not going to set any big goals coming in to this run, I will probably start out around 7:10-15 pace and see where it goes from there.  My PR is 44:45 at a 7:12 pace. This will be my fourth time running this 10k.

This was my first 10k back in 2011 and I ran it in 45:27.  I started out too fast and paid for it.
In 2012 I ran my PR.  I was in awesome shape that year, also marathon training.
I didn't run it in 2013 due to injury. 
Last year I ran it with no Garmin in 45:52 on no speed training and not a lot of running. 

Fine I have a goal... I want to beat last years time.

Who else is racing this weekend? 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

These are the days and Race Decisions

I had such a great run yesterday morning.. 7.18 miles in 58:37 or roughly 8:09 minute miles and it just felt good.  I think my body is ready for another training cycle.  My very annoying summer cold is nearly gone, finally.  Although I did stub my right middle toe in the middle of the night Sunday night and now it is very sore and purple.  OUCH!  and then I set a coffee table on it while rearranging the living room.  I nearly peed my pants. 

I gave it a rest from running today against my better judgment.  I really wanted to run.

My sis in law and I also took the kids on a hike yesterday.  I love that the kids love hiking on the ranch so much and love playing in all the areas I did growing up.
They are also having a blast working on their fort below my parents house.  We found some big orange mineral tubs and they had to have them for tables in the group room in the fort.

My blog is taking a back seat this summer and I am planning on spending more time with the kids out hiking and exploring.  I still plan to blog when I have time, but it isn't going to be a focus this summer.  The kids are growing up fast and we have things to do.

That said, I am currently trying to decide if my toe will let me race this weekend!  I was planning on a 10k, now I may downgrade to the 5k, or not at all.  Boo.  It feels like forever since I have done a race!  A month!

I also found a really great run called the Montana Cattlewomen's Ranch Run.  It is a relay for 5, each with 5 miles to run.  The snag for me is that the Montana Half marathon is the next day, and I really wanted to run that one this year. Maybe I can swing both.  The Ranch Run would be a super great one for me and my Team Beef pals!

How is your summer going?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Why Runners Get Hurt

Okay so this is a bit of a throwback from 2 years ago, but it all still rings true and since I enjoyed reading it again this morning I thought I would re blog it.

"I received an email from Runners Connect titled "Why Runners Get Hurt".  It started out like this:
Recent research has shown that as many as 79% of runners get injured at least once during the year.
Stop. Think about that number for a moment.
Nearly 8 out of every 10 runners you see at your next race have been or will be injured sometime that year.
I have to admit that the first thing that popped into my head was

The reason runners get hurt is because we don't like to quit.  We like to believe we are invincible.  We are superwomen/men.  We can't help it, we want to run the extra mile.   We want the endorphin high.  We want to see how much faster we can do that next half marathon/5k whatever.  We get injured because even though we know better we aren't always patient about progressing our training. We don't want to believe our medical professionals when they tell us to NOT run for x amount of time.

We are going to test this every chance we get.  We are stubborn.  You don't run a marathon by being weak and not believing in yourself. 

We get injured because we NEED the run like a popstar needs fans. We define ourselves by our running, how can we be a runner if we can't run? 

We get injured because there are so many fitspo photos with inspirational sayings like

  • push past the pain
  • you can feel sore tomorrow or you can feel sorry (how about both?)
  • Life begins at the end of your comfort zone
  • the voice in your head that says you can't do this is a liar
  • It will hurt, but it will be worth it
  • and seriously on and on! 

and bam the next thing you know you are blogging about your therapy, comeback plan and how running 1 mile pain free is a victory.  How you should have listened to your body a little closer, got new shoes a little sooner or quit the run three miles earlier. You are using your bike for cross training, hoping to do a race at the end of the summer and doing things like concentrating on your core and upper body. 

Upside to being injured, it makes your running shoes last longer, you save money from not paying entry fees and you have more time on your hands to do things like shop for new running clothes when you make your great comeback while you ice your leg.  You can discover hidden talents like handstand push ups.

Any of this ring true or is that just why I got hurt?

Although if you want to read what they had to say about it, you can check it out HERE, they do have some really good pointers, some that are even similar to what I pointed out. "

Obviously I wrote that while injured, but I am not injured right now and here is how I feel about that.
Right now I am on a bit of a cutback, just running mostly easy miles and recently, like this week, starting doing more hill work and plan to add in some speed work next week.  It has felt good to take it easy for the last month after the half marathon.  My body is feeling recharged.

When is the last time you dealt with a running injury?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

No run, but a hike, a fort, a HIIT and a bit.

I declined my run this morning.  Boo.  I had every intention of going,  I slept in my running clothes, I had my shoes and my watch sitting ready to go, but then I coughed a lot last night.  Boo.  So I did the prudent thing and didn't run even though I was up earlier than usual.   I did have to go to a work meeting and then the kids and I met up with my sister in law and her kids for a hike.
The wildflowers were so beautiful. 

We explored some rocks and trails.
Then we headed down to my parent's house for some fun by the creek.  These girls were waiting to greet us. These are young cows and still act very much like teenagers.  They like to group together and stay together and are very curious!
They had the black mud in the creek all churned up, but we didn't let that deter our main reason for wanting to play by the creek...
Fort building!
We spent a good hour and a half dragging over big sticks for the fort. Brought back so many great memories growing up and building forts with my siblings.  The kids were loving it.
I did go home and do a quick HIIT workout later in the afternoon.  Even with no run I had my 10,000 steps in on my new Fitbit that Kohl's sent me that I got from FedEx just minutes before we left for our hike. 

Not too sure how I feel about fitness trackers.  Do I really need something to tell me how active I am?  I can see how it is motivating, but do I NEED 10,000 steps everyday?  And who picked out 10,000 steps anyway? Is that challenging enough for me? I don't need it to tell me I sleep crappy, I already know that.  I also wonder if I will quit checking how many steps I have done like every hour.  I bet so.

Who has a Fitbit or other fitness tracker that they wear?  What are your thoughts?  Do you always wear it?

Monday, June 8, 2015

The last four days in 5 pictures

Thursday. Joe the goat usually isn't too far from his goat pal Custard and their herd of horses except when the steers are getting fed some pellets.  Then he is not only the one telling us it is time for the pellets, but the first one to get to the pellets.
Friday.. National Donut Day.  My co worker Karla tried to get me to bring donuts, but the good donut place is not on my way to work, so I texted another co worker and he came through!
We love maple bars and these are so fresh and amazing.

Saturday.. I helped my sister with a youth rodeo she was putting on.  I did important things like run judge sheets, cheer for my niece and nephew, find lost kids, and double check results.
Go Carter!  My niece was all around both days.

Then I went home and enjoyed a beautiful evening outside with my family and we had shadow fun.
Sunday.. short run, feeling a little under the weather with a dreaded summer cold coming on, but it still felt good to run, just not a lot of energy.

then you know.. house stuff, cleaning,laundry, cooking, etc.

How was your weekend? 
What is your favorite donut?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Happy National Running Day: So many reasons to run.

 Happy National Running Day!    There are so many great ways to celebrate today, but the best way is of course running!

I run for the solitude.  The time to myself to think, de-stress, decompress.  To get out into the hills and enjoy the beauty, the fresh air, the places that I love. I run to see the sunrises in the morning, feel the mist on my face and hear the wind in the pine trees.

I run for the places it takes me and the adventures I get to go on.  I run to push myself a little harder, a little farther, a little faster. I run for the joy of the movement.  I run for the love of competition and Team Beef.

I run for the high, the joy and elation of a run well done.  The endorphins.  The love of running. The feeling of I did it.

I run for the good times with friends old and new.  Friendships and bonds formed. I run for the memories made.

I run for my kids, to show them being active is fun and a priority. I run because it makes me a better mother.
I run because I can.

Happy National Running Day!  How did you celebrate?  I got up and ran super early before work!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

So What Happens at a Branding Anyway? #Ranchlife

so this post is a little late, but yeesh, I seem to be so far behind on my posting.  We branded over the weekend. Some of you readers know exactly what that means, others might have a vague idea, and some might even be scratching their heads. Every place does things a little different, but here is how we do it. I do feel like I should put a disclaimer here:  PICTURE HEAVY POST!!

kids get in on the action early and learn by doing, it's just a little funner getting to do it with a world champion saddle bronc rider.
Why do we brand our cows? Simple answer: so you know who the cow belongs to. There are other ways, like ear tags (but they fall out) but you need a brand to sell a cow.  Cattle rustling still happens!

My Dad has a super cool brand called a horsetrack.  It is a single iron brand, meaning it takes one hot iron to brand.  My husband has a three iron brand RJ/ 
some of my families brands

Brand Inspection is required:
  1. Before removal from the County.
  2. Before removal from the State.
  3. Before a change of ownership (selling one head or more cattle or horses).
  4. Before cattle or horses are sold at a livestock auction.
  5. Before slaughter at a licensed establishment.
If you are really interested there is more info HERE

Before a branding can happen: 
  • Friends and family are notified 
  • Vaccines and neccesary medicines are purchased
  • Some outfits use growth hormones, we do not
  • A temporary corral is set up where the cows are. (not all do this) 
  • The food is planned and prepared to feed the crew
  • Temporary corral setup with portable panels
On the morning of the branding everyone meets at the corral, we then set up all the trucks and horse trailors as a wing to help guide the herd into the corral.  Some women are busy with small kids and preparing food, although most of the food will have been prepared the night before.

This was the riding crew Saturday morning, note the wing of trucks and trailors behind us. I am fourth from the right.
note the small girl close to the end on the left with her small pony.

 Then we get our directions and split up. We head to different areas of the pasture.  The goal is to find all the cows and calves and get them into the corral and do it on the first pass. 

Sometimes a calf will run back, then another, and another, and then the whole herd is making for the back forty and you have to start over.  Calves move better if they can stay with their moms.  Sounds easy, but isn't.  The calmer you can keep the cows the better. Making noise gets them moving, making too much fuss and commotion freaks them out and makes the herd harder to manage.

Once we got them to the part of the pasture where the corral was we held them for about 20-30 minutes.  This allowed the moms and babies to find each other again and makes the move into the corral smoother. 

 Once the cows are in the corral the branding irons get heated,  vaccines drawn up, extra supplies readied.

People are needed to
  •  rope calves
  • wrestle calves
  • give vaccines
  • notch ears
  • run branding irons
  • keep a tally
 Once a calf is roped and brought out to the branding area, a team of two wrestlers hold the calf down.  The tally person checks whose calf it is as identified by the color of eartag in and whether or not the calf is a steer or a heifer.   The overall health of the calf is given a quick once over, vaccines are given and the calf is branded. Any other issues are adressed like if the calf has diarrhea, an infected umbilical cord etc.
things get busy! See all the action in the background?

The kids get to ride a calf or two and make sure to compare rides afterwards.

note the other boys watching!

Once the last calf if branded the rest of the cows are turned out, the corral is torn down, and it's time to eat!
This was pretty vague, but it would have been a really long post to get more detailed. Feel free to ask questions!