Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Another Month in the Books

The state of running in February:
When you want to do tree pose but your shoes are really muddy!

Races: 0 None planned and none run. 

Injuries: None running related but I did do some burpees on Feb 2nd that sidelined my running for 5 days and has left a lingering stiffness that loosens up as the day goes on. 

Miles run: 118.8  This was higher than I expected it to be and lower than I wanted it to be, but a weekend of fire training left me 7 miles short and the back thing left me about 16 miles short. Overall I am happy with it though.

Weather:  I know a lot of the rest of the nation seems to be skipping winter, but we are not. We did get a reprieve and I ran in shorts and a tank at least twice. Yesterday the wind was biting cold. At this point in the year it feel like we have made it through the worst of winter and spring is inching closer, but I am so ready to be done with biting cold.

What's better than waking up to more snow?

Strength training: Going really good, for the most part I have been doing the 21 Day Fix Extreme workouts. I like how hard they are and at 30 minutes very easy to fit in before work in the mornings.  

Yoga: I have been doing at least once a week, although my goal is closer to 2x a week. I just feel like doing strength workouts more lately I guess. Hope I don't pay for that in the long run!

We are having more nicer days

If I had to grade my month of running I would give it a B. Running overall felt great, I got in all but one of my long runs, I did some hill workouts, but I didn't do very much speed work.

This week's writing prompt: Three Running Wishes.  If you don't have any running wishes, feel free to post any running related blog post.  Link-up with PattyErika, and Marcia!

Which would you rather run in sunshine and 25 degrees or gusty winds and 55 degrees?  Sunshine and 25 for me!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Weekly wrap: Nearly wrapped up Feb!

Sunday: 6.5 mile easyish run with some pushing the pace.  40 minutes of Yoga for Athletes

Monday:11.5 mile long run, with lots of long gradual hills and several short tough hills. felt great!
21 Day Fix Extreme Plyo workout

Tuesday: 7 mile progessive run. Felt awesome. 21 Day Fix Upper Body and 21 Day Fix Extreme Challenge.

Wednesday: 21 Day Fix Extreme Upper Body.. normally wouldn't do two upper body workouts in a row, but Tuesday regular 21 Day upper body workout didn't really feel like a workout at all.  I guess I need more extreme! and it snowed again after running in a cami and shorts Tuesday this was a little sad.

Thursday: 21 Day Fix Extreme ABC workout which is basically legs and abs.

Friday: 21 Day Fix Extreme Cardio workout in the morning before work.

Saturday: 21 Day Fix Extreme Lower Body     I had really hoped to get in a short run Saturday, but after sitting in a chair all day for a basic wildland firefighting in a cold room I have to admit I didn't feel like running when I got home. I was cold and my back was feeling wonky mad. So I relaxed after I cleaned up the kitchen and helped make supper and cleaned up the kitchen again.

Miles: 25  (was hoping for closer to 30)
Strength workouts:7
Yoga: 1  (goal is at least twice a week)
overall a good week

We got more snow Friday and Saturday.. not a lot but still more. While the rest of the country seems to be skipping winter, we are not and I am happy for it really.

linking up with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap
weekly wrap up
 feel free to check it out and join in! 
The purpose of this link is to connect with and support other active women.  You can summarize your whole week or just a small portion of it.  It's up to you!  Race recaps are also encouraged!   {See complete rules} 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Mud, Babies, and Countdown to a half.

It's a free Friday.
If you have been following me at all this winter, you might have noticed we had a lot of snow and cold. We had more snow and I think I heard were averaging 22 degrees below normal temps. The last two weeks finally warmed up.. for most of it, and we had some serious melting going on, which leads me to number 1

1. All that melting means MUD. and when you have cows and horses (and goats and pigs and rabbits and cats and dogs) outside to care for a lot of that mud tracked in by everyone is going to stink. The dogs are going to want to come inside and they are going to be up to their armpits in nasty corral muck. This is why mud rooms are a necessity when you live in the country.

2. Mud means moisture which means green grass and hay for the animals and the crops need it to grow which means food for us. That makes it hard to really hate mud. We need mud so I try to be thankful I have mud to sweep, scrub and vacuum.  I clean our mud room every day when it is muddy out, sometimes twice a day, sweeping the floor of the loose chunks that fall off boots, scrubbing the dried mud off the floor and vacuuming the rug that catches people as they enter. It can be tedious, but if it builds up in the mud room it starts to track into the rest of the house.

3. Running in mud. Oh the joys of slip sliding around. Luckily the county roads tend to dry up pretty fast and have enough gravel on them that it isn't too big of a deal, but the field roads feel like they take forever to dry up enough to run on and now we are back in a cold snap with more snow (not a lot thankfully) which means...more mud.

4. Calving season is just starting. The heifers, first time mamas, get around the clock checks to make sure their first baby comes into this world safely, which last night meant waking up to this in my mud room.
Her mama had no intentions of going into the calving shed where it was warm and dry and my husband wore out several flashlights at 2 in the morning trying to get her in by himself. She finally jumped the fence and Rance decided to bring baby home to dry her off, warm her up and get some colostrum in her. He will find mama when the sun comes up and reunite them.

5. I have a half marathon in 15 days! I don't know if I feel ready or not. I did have a strong feeling hilly 11.5 mile long run last week so that gives me some confidence, but the speed work has been very hit and miss... more miss this winter with all the snow and cold. I haven't even thought about goals and since speed work hasn't really happened I don't know that I will set any big goals.

Friday Five Linkup 2.0


Link up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup!
Don't forget to link back to your hostesses and visit other bloggers :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Throwing Pennies in the Wishing Well

Linking up with Tuesday's on the run again and the topic this week is: Three Running Wishes.

This really was harder than I though it was going to be.  Do I wish for perfect running weather always? I didn't really want to. How can I possibly be so grateful for the perfect running weather days if I haven't survived the not so great ones.  How can I be thankful for 50, sunny and a slight breeze when I don't run when it's ten below, or an 85 degree slogfest where I think I'm going to melt?

Do I wish for PRs all the time?  Fun right? But when does fun just become no big deal. I want to fight for it, work for, I don't want a guarantee. I want it to mean something.

Free running shoes for life? A big corporate sponsorship so I don't have to work, only run?  My own personal coach? Someone to run whenever I wanted...like long runs?  The ability to transport anywhere in the world to run?  So many tough decisions! In the end I would wish for..

1. Injury free. There are positives to being injured, like rediscovering cross training and being forced to focus on other things etc. I am pretty good at this point at doing strength training and yoga and I enjoy those things so I don't think I would ever quit doing them. My first wish would be no more injuries that prevent me from running which would mean I could run right until the end of my life.

2. Runcations to look forward to every year. I'm not going to get all greedy here, just one awesome runcation a year would be awesome.   I have been doing these for 5 years now, I think, in the form of 200 mile relays. Our team is half men, but I tend to think of them as girls trips and treasure the time I get to spend with my running friends old and new. There are four of us girls that have been on the team for 5 years now and I am so grateful for the time with them. I hope I always get to have a runcation with them.

3. Joy of running. I hope I never lose the joy I find in running. I don't want it to be a chore, granted some days speed work feels that way, but over all I treasure my running time and the joy in the movement and feeling of running.  I love the thrill of a race and the quiet peace of a run alone. I love easy relaxing runs and the feeling of pushing myself,

This week's writing prompt: Three Running Wishes.  If you don't have any running wishes, feel free to post any running related blog post.  Link-up with PattyErika, and Marcia!

Which would you rather have... perfect running weather always OR all the race entries you could ever want?  Me.. all the race entries!!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Weekly Wrap: The One Where it Warms Up

Sunday: 7.3 miles running with a out back with a negative split and half an hour of yoga in the morning from the 21 Day Fix

Monday: 4.3 muddy miserable miles in which I had NO energy so I called it a run early.  Half an hour of easy yoga

Tuesday: 10 miles. Finally a long run, still felt a little short of energy but better than Monday.

Wednesday: Easy run.. wasn't going to run, but the beautiful weather demanded that I did.  Also did the Dirty 30 workout from 21 Day Extreme

Thursday: Rest day.

Friday: Zuzka Light 6 Pack Abs 24 minute HIIT workout.. modified for no burpees or really fast skaters... one of those two moves or maybe both hates my back. Or my back hates them, either way, I'm substituting other moves.

Saturday: 6 mile run. Started with some hill work and for the last two and a half miles or so did fartleks.  Running fast felt good! Also did 21 Day Fix Extreme Upper Body workout
Running: 33.2 miles
Strength workouts: 2
Yoga 3

This week was so much warmer and the snow is mostly melted and we have so much water around!
I also totally missed recapping the week before.. so very briefly..

Feb 5-11
Running 11.7 miles.. yep that's it. Skipped running on Monday and Wednesday because of a mad back. I had done burpees and skaters the week before.
Strength: 5
Yoga: 2
Elliptical: 60 minutes (I have seem some people count elliptical "miles" but my elliptical doesn't really measure miles and it is not miles to me) (no offense to anyone who does, I just in my head cannot do it. It does not bring the same satisfaction at all as running.)

linking up with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap
weekly wrap up
 feel free to check it out and join in! 
The purpose of this link is to connect with and support other active women.  You can summarize your whole week or just a small portion of it.  It's up to you!  Race recaps are also encouraged!   {See complete rules} 

Do you count elliptical miles?
What was the highlight of your week?  I got to run in tanks a couple times!! WIN!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Winter Fitness Rants. Friday Five

1. Mostly I am just over winter.. from the first week of December until about last week it's been cold, colder and cold. and snowy. and windy. and did I mention cold. When I say cold I mean teens, twenties, below zero.  I think I saw somewhere we were averaging 22 degrees below normal. Global warming is a cold business.  They have snow on the forecast for next weekend. Even with a week of melting temps we still have piles of it. I am over winter. It's mid February which means on average temps will be trending up, but it can still snow well into June and be overall cold.
Just looking at this picture makes me feel cold!

2. Winter running brings three times as much laundry.  There isn't just a tank, shorts, socks and a sports bra.  There can be a sports bra and uo to three layers on top.. all long sleeves, gloves, a hat, socks, two layers of tights, maybe a second pair of socks, maybe a buff or balaclava. Maybe that is four times as much laundry, but I don't wash my running jacket or hat everytime, but the gloves tend to get snot on them.

3. People asking continually.."you don't really run in this kind of weather do you?" 
Yes. I do. No I don't frostbite my lungs and I run in temps below zero a lot. Everyone seems to know someone who has though and it was a bad deal. Whatever.

Not the best running conditions. Really tests my determination!

4. It makes it hard to do speed work. I don't have a treadmill option, it's run outside or don't run. Dealing with mud and ice and crusty snow just makes it hard to really push the pace when you are worried about bad footing, slipping and tripping. Spring races are looming and I have only had a handful of good speed work days and they were sometimes far apart.
Speedwork... not gonna happen here!

5. It can be so beautiful. You look out the window and it's all sunny and the sky is blue and it looks so nice out. Then you step outside and it's freezing and windy and you wonder "I don't really run in this kind of weather do I?"  But I know I do and make a mile bargain.  If I still want to turn around after the first mile I can.  I never do.

Friday Five Linkup 2.0


Link up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup!
Don't forget to link back to your hostesses and visit other bloggers :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What I Love About Running

I think I have always loved running and the reason for it seems to vary through the years and depends on the day. Here are a few reasons I love running.

First of all I love it because...running. I think if you are a runner that doesn't even need explanation.

It has taught me I can do hard things.  I can run in the heat. I can run in the wind. I can run in the cold. I can run 26.2 miles. I can run 200 mile relays. I can survive the fast and furious 5k at sub 7 minute per mile pace, even if it hurts in that moment. Sometimes it isn't fun, but I can do it.

It moves me out of my comfort zone. If you would have asked me at one time if I would ever run a marathon I would have laughed. Nope!  If you asked me at one time if I would do a 200 mile relay with 11 people who were mostly strangers, I would have laughed, Nope!  

The friendships I have made and or made stronger through running are some of my favorite.
seriously my Montana Running Ranchers/Team Beef Montana relay team is the best
The time alone with my thoughts outside, no housework, no whining pets or kids.
I run outside year round and running keeps me sane and I love watching the seasons change and all the beauty that comes with each season.

 I'm a day late, but linking up anyway with

This week's writing prompt: What you love about running.  If you don't have anything to share about your love of running, feel free to post any running related blog post.  Link-up with PattyErika, and Marcia!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Five: Winter Running Love

Linking up with  Running On Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for this weeks Five Things Friday. The topic this week is love.  Let's talk about 5 things to love about winter running.  Yes there are five things to love about it!

1. Helps you beat SAD (seasonal affect disorder)  I have read lots of study reports talking about how getting outside helps lift the mood, increase energy and keeps you motivated to get back out there another day.  Plus it's so beautiful out, you can't help but love being outside.

2.  My favorite part of winter running.. it isn't hot. I hate running hot and all summer dream about those sunny 20-30 degree runs, which seem really rare this winter. It's just been cold. Colder than normal for like two months now and we are like 20 inches ahead of normal on snow.

3. When you do get a rare day in the winter to wear short sleeves, tanks, shorts, etc..it's heavenly and when spring really hits, you appreciate the feel of the warm (not hot yet) sun on your bare arms and legs as you run not to mention suddenly you have a third less running laundry!

4. You gain mental toughness, you know you can handle running outside in all kinds of conditions. 

5. People think you are either crazy or a badass for running outside in the winter.  They will ask you with a confused look on their face "you don't run outside in this kind of weather do you?"  Yes, actually I do! All the way down to -20.  With the proper layering it's really no big deal, but I'll take the badass.
Friday Five Linkup 2.0


Link up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup!
Don't forget to link back to your hostesses and visit other bloggers :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Winter Wear Wednesday: Altra Heat Zone Tights and Jacket

Since becoming an Altra ambassador I have paid a bit more attention to the clothing line.  I have been in love with their shoes for years now, but hadn't  tried anything from their clothing line.  This last week I have been pretty stoked to try out the Zoned Heat jacket and tights. While I am an Altra ambassador I am not required to give a positive review, all opinions are my own.

I have to admit when I first felt the jacket I was very surprised at how thin and light it is, when they say it is made with the ZeroLite Fabric they are not kidding, but would it be warm enough for winter running in Montana?

I don't like to run cold.  or hot for that matter, but being cold is so miserable. Having the right gear makes all the difference in the world.

My first run in the Zoned Heat jacket was in 17 degree weather with a feels like 5 and a slight breeze.  That's not very warm. So I put on my thermal top and bottoms underneath just like I normally would and resisted the urge too add a third layer on top.  I also had on my neck buff and a hat and my Altra Lone Peak NeoShells (this are a new winter running must have for me). 

no need for double socks and toe warmers with my NeoShells!  I put on the gaitors to keep snow from getting in also, worked perfectly. 
A mile into the run I was hot and sweating profusely so I turned around and put on a lighter layer underneath.. my INKnBURN tights and an INKnBURN pullover.  It was perfect.

Jacket details to love (I did size up to a medium based on recommendations and knowing I would be layering underneath it)
  • Two zippered pockets (I hate when pockets on running jackets don't have zippers, makes them useless in my opinion
  • Super light.. no more feeling so bundled up for cold winter runs.
  • Nice long sleeves (only thumbholes and mitten cuffs on the ends would be better)(because..thumbholes)
  • Zips up high (think mock turtle neck to keep the neck warm)
  • Did I mention how light it is?  The ZeroLite fabric is feather light!
  • Reflective logo on back and front
  • Warm..water and wind resistant
Tights details to love:(I sized up on the tights as well and probably didn't need too, even with a thicker thermal layer underneath they have lots of room in them, but still fit okay enough that I didn't exchange them for a small.)(I saw a review that said they had compressive qualities..I lost that in sizing up and am okay with that)
If you look close you can see the quilted panels above and below my knees, try not to get distracted by the beagle.
  •  A pocket on each leg (big enough for bigger than my iPhone6 and lots of fuel)
  • Lots of mobility, the quilted parts are strategically placed on the thigh and shin, but not over parts that need flexibility like the knees.
  • Drawstring in the waist band
  • Reflective logo on back and front
  • warm!

See.. lots of flexibility for yoga moves in the tights.
The quilted parts aren't as flexible, but they are strategically placed so it's not a problem. My only complaint is... black. If you follow me at all you know I love bright running clothes.. They do have a pink jacket, but I am not a fan of pink. Blue, green, yellow.. I would have got that.  Black is always classy though!

I added this photo so show off the details a little better and show you the pink jacket, the pink are the quilted areas.

When I head out for my run today in the cold you can get I will have on my Zoned Heat Gear! The high today is supposed to be 12. Brr!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Scenes from my winter run

It's been cold here since the beginning of December.. we had a really divine fall. Like an ideal fall, the weather was insanely perfect and everyone knew it had to end, but no one wanted it too. My last run in shorts and a tank was November 27, coincidentally also my birthday, since then I have been running in the cold all bundled up.

There have been a few scattered days of sunshine and temps in the 30s and 40s but it feels like so few and far between. If I had to describe this winter I would say it's really what you think of as winter, cold, snowy and miserable.

Here are a few scenes from my winter running
All that snow does make for pretty pictures though.  I have been running on snow packed roads a lot.
 As long as it isn't icy, it's pretty good to run on
These are what I think of as the colors of winter, whites, browns, and blues in the sky
 and the muted green of the evergreens.
 but I love it best when the skies are the achingly beautiful endless blue.

I don't think I would want to live somewhere that doesn't have the 4 very distinct seasons.

The snow globe look is pretty too

This week's writing prompt: Views On Your Winter Run!  If you don't have anything to share about Views On Your Winter Run, feel free to post any running related blog post.  Link-up with PattyErika, and Marcia!