10/30/10

Cows on a Playdate

I started smoking today. At least that’s how it looked as I jogged this morning and puffs of fluffy white clouds gently floated from my lips with my every exhale. Fall is really here! The trees are becoming balder. I was able to spy several bird’s nests in the branches today – nests that were well-hidden only a few weeks ago. I wanted to reach up and touch them, but I ran on, through the fallen leaves on the asphalt.

I wore a jacket and my red, warm gloves today. And shorts. It was the perfect chilly morning running ensemble. I thought about arm sleeves and wondered if they were just for compression or if they actually kept the arms a bit warmer. I’ll have to buy a pair and find out for myself.

I did a double take when I ran by a pasture with two mama cows and their two baby calves – obviously enjoying a nice little barnyard play date. 

37 degrees. 81% humidity. Partly cloudy. 3 mph winds. Perfect running weather. 

Stats: 4.35 miles. 9:49 ave pace. 42:45: time. Felt: Good.

10/29/10

NO WAY! Got a call today that the Harvest Classic 8k I did a few weeks ago had some timing chip mixups. Some of the female finishing times were actually MEN! One was named Brandy. I can see how that one was a mixup.  But… that meant I wasn’t actually 5th female overall (out of 61 women that day). I was 3rd!  3rd overall female got a check for $50! I am in SHOCK!  How in the heck? ME?! No way! Wow. 

I was only 10 seconds behind the 2nd place winner. Next year I will run faster.

10/28/10

Wind Runner

Crazy winds! 21 mph. Sunny. 59 degrees. Felt a bit warm actually even in a short sleeved tech shirt and track shorts. Speaking of track shorts, my “bargain” order showed up last night from JcPenney — 6 pairs of cute running shorts (with tags still attached saying $22 apiece) that I scored for $4.99 each (so less than $30 for the whole group!) So, it was kind of necessary to go for a run today and try a pair of them out. I’m happy with them. 

The winds were so wild out there, I nearly blew away. Running along the ditch banks was fun.It was weird looking down into the bottoms and seeing the old tires and shoes and such stuck in the mud. I’m so used to seeing the water flowing and the ducks swimming! I had a cramp in my right calf that I had to stop and stretch. That doesn’t usually happen to me and I was going very slow and easy today. Not sure what that was about. My right knee has been twingey too.

I’d only intended to run 3-4 miles, but was pleasantly surprised to find my energy coming back after mile 2 and I decided to go a bit longer. I always enjoy when that happens.

Stats: 6.51 miles. 9:57 ave pace. 1:04 – total time. Felt: Ok

10/27/10

Apparently Child’s Pose = Mommy’s Giving Horsie Rides!!!

It’s been awhile since I used my wii fit plus. According to the little calendar on the screen, today was the first wii workout all month. Oops! But, I’m back on the horse. 

I could really see the difference in my feedback and scores on the poses today in comparison to the other times I’ve used it. That’s one of the things I love best about the Wii — the instant feedback and the ability to compare your performance today with past workouts. The trainer pointed out that my right side isn’t as flexible as my left. True. My right hamstring has been aching at me and my right knee too. Reminders that I need to improve my flexibility and strength on both sides of my body.

When I felt the need for a little extra stretch after one of the poses, I moved into child’s pose (one not offered on the wii, but one I always like to use.) Apparently, to my 3 and 5 year old daughters that was just an invitation to climb on my back and yell “Yeehawwwww!!!!”  Savannah, my 3 year old loves to do yoga and strength side-by-side with me. She held my hand during jackknives (while she wrapped herself up in the yoga mat and said, “Look! I’m a burrito!”) I fully agreed with her on half-moon today, “Ow! Ow! Ow! Hurts my back, Mommy!” “Mine too!” I said. 

Looks like she and I have our work cut out for us.

Stats: 31 min of Wii Fit Strength and Yoga

10/27/10

Easy Short Run

40 degrees. 10 mph winds. Sunny. Beautiful. Great running weather. 

My calves were weary today almost from the start. I don’t think they’ve fully recovered from all the hills from last week’s schedule. I’ve neglected my foam roller and yoga and it’s showing. Time to work those back into the schedule.

A week and a half left until the hill half marathon. Less than a week until my birthday.  I pulled out my driver’s license this week and saw that I have just one more year before it’s time to renew it after this upcoming birthday. I used to dread that – always trying to put myself on a diet and hoping I’d be a better weight by the time I got the new license. I admit to lying on most of the old ones, at least by a few pounds, so sure that I’d lose those extra few pounds within the 4 years I’d have the license. I never did. Now, that I’ve gotten healthy and lost the weight, I’m actually excited to next year’s renewal! I get to proudly say that I’ve lost weight and kept it off.  I never used to think that would really happen. So glad it finally did. Running sure has changed my life for the better. 

Stats: 3.02 miles. 9:19 ave pace. Total time: 28:11 Felt: Ok

10/25/10

My friend, Sam, who’s 58 attempted his first 100 mile race this weekend. He had knee pain from mile 10 on, but kept going and going like the Energizer Bunny. He was determined to finish, but the race cutoff was 30 hours and he made it something like 91 miles I think and they told him, “No. We can’t allow you to keep going on the course.” He was going to finish the last few miles even if it didnt’ count – even if he didn’t get the coveted 100 mile Javelina Jundred belt buckle (yeah, that’s the big prize for most huge ultras – a belt buckle. Funny, huh?) Sam was upset since he was willing to keep going but his knees were both so sore by that point, they were both taped up with ice packs. Though, he wasn’t allowed to complete his journey – I have so much respect and admiration for Sam. About half the runners in this event (and most 100 mile races) were DNF’s. 100 mile races are only for the super tough. I know Sam will earn that buckle next time. My hero!!!!!!!!!

Here is Sam (we call him “Sam the Man”) He’s the one who ran me in at my recent marathon. He’s like a coach and a great friend. And, I forgot to mention, last year, in his first marathon ever – he qualified for Boston! A-mazing!!!

The run happened over 30 hours so the runners ran through the night. It took place in Arizona and here’s a cool picture of what it looked like out there running in the desert at night.

Another cool thing — our friend Ryan is another person I admire a ton. He was overweight and a smoker just about a year ago. He’s dropped 130 lbs, helped his wife lose 100, he’s stopped smoking and he ran his first marathon this month – qualifying for BOSTON!!!!!!!! AMAZING! Ryan had never ran more than 26.2, but he came with Sam to pace him in the last 50 miles of the race and he did it! I’m so in awe of my friends for rising to these types of challenges.

Here’s a photo of Ryan standing behind is “fat” pants. He’s super fit and fast now. Amazing!


Ok, now for something funny. The Javelina Jundred happens so close to Halloween that the runners often come in costume. Here’s a photo of my favorite one from that day that Ryan took.

Talk about chafing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10/25/10

I have a half marathon (a really hilly, tough one) in two weeks. I think all these hills I’ve been running will help. 

Here’s a few pictures of the course. It has an elevation gain (uphills) of about 1200 feet over the course of the 13.1 miles.

It’s such a pretty area.  Here’s some of the race photos from a couple of years ago. The trees are breathtaking!!!

http://www.finishshots.com/browse_al…id=579&Page=10

10/25/10


The city of Boise from above.


This is my friends and I a few months ago on a run.


This is a picture of some of the foothills after a wildfire.  Sad.

This, happier picture shows Boise, Idaho with the foothills in the background. See that tippy top treeline at the top of the hills? I’ve ran up there a few times with my pals.  It wasn’t easy!!!!!

10/25/10

Usually when I run the foothills, the paces are closer to 14 min miles. They are SO steep going up, most runners power hike them up with their hearts beating crazy loud. When you stand at the bottom and look up at the mountains, you almost strain your neck. And, halfway through the run, you are standing wayyyy on the top of those mountains looking DOWN at the city far below and it looks so tiny. 

When I’m running down the switchbacks on the hills, my paces often reach 5 and 6 min miles. I’m zooming, flying down a single track trail with jutted rocks and mud and sand and roots and sticks everywhere. Each quick step is a risk – If I pick wrong I fall down hard. But, I rarely fall. It’s weird. I feel like a gazelle on those things. It looks kind of scary. On one side is a steep mountain, so you can’t really fall into it easily and the other side is often a canyon-type area, so if I fell I could roll a bit down into the gully and have to climb/hike back up to where I’d been running if I lost my balance. But, I love it! Love it like crazy! I feel WILD when I run there!!! And, I giggle when those who aren’t from the area talk about pace on these mountain trails. No one cares about pace when we’re up there. We just want to stay upright and get to the beautiful scenery at the top.  Sometimes we see wild life – snakes, gophers, deer, cougars (thankfully they are nocturnal so that doesn’t happen often!) and possums. Yesterday I saw a huge pile of balck volcanic rocks right next to a little lake. I just wanted to stop and stare it was so pretty!  The fall colors are especially vibrant right now in Boise. Our town is nicknamed “The City of Trees” and looking down on those trees in Autum is such a treat – gold and red and brown and green. The prairie grasses on each side of the path are almost elbow high now — pale, wheat-colored and they tickle my elbows as I pass. Some of the foothills have sufferred wild fires this summer and those stretches are pitch black, with our dirt trail – maybe 10 inches wide a ribbon right down the center of this dark field. It’s sad, but it’s common and we’re used to it here. And, it looks kind of cool in a way — so different from the scenery all around it. Strange and different.

Sometimes up there in the foothills, we get up early enough on certain days and run ABOVE the clouds! Those are my favorite mornings. 

You totally have to come run with my pals and I sometime. I promise you’ll love and hate it and want to come back for more! 

Here’s a few pictures to help you guys visualize what it’s like:

Boise is home to lots of cyclists too. We are often dodging them on our runs. I’ve always encountered lots of friendly people and every shares the trails really well here in my experience.