Looking for something? Try here...

Monday, April 30, 2012

Another 26.2!!

Sorry about the blurry photo, but hopefully you can see the readout on the Garmin: 26.2 miles in 4 hours and 57 minutes!!  That's my PR by 15 minutes!  I was super excited when my friend, Holly called me over the weekend and asked if I wanted to do a 20 mile run with her today.  I haven't had a chance to run with her for a while and even though I did 12.6 miles with Chris on Saturday, and even though she is my little speedy friend who always pushes me to go a little faster than I normally would, I figured I could handle it and it would be a good chance for us to catch up on other things in our lives!  So we agreed on an out and back route leaving from her house this morning.

We were on the road by 8, once we got all the kiddos off to school.  We used the run/walk/run method, doing a 4 minute run to 1 minute walk ratio.  When we reached our half-way and turn around point, I mentioned to her that sometime I'd like to keep going from there, run across the freeway overpass and take the road on the opposite side of the freeway back home, a loop that would equal approximately 25 miles.  She said, "Want to do it today?  I know we were only going to do 20, but let's just do it!"  Okay!  We made our way across the freeway overpass, a bit of a scary endeavor I have to say, but so worth it to be able to run on a different road back home.  I also have to mention that the the first 10 miles were mostly uphill and we were both looking forward to running mostly downhill on the return 10, but since we changed plans, the new route involved many, many hills, two big hills that were pretty steep grade and over a mile long each!  My hamstrings were hurting at that point, but having someone to run with and talk to makes the time go by a lot faster.

I also have to mention something else cool that happened.  I had planted some extra water on our original route, which obviously wasn't going to help us on our new route.  But as we talked about it, we agreed that if things got really bad and we needed more water, we could just call one of our husbands to bring us some. Well at some point, a white utility-type truck drove past us, we waived but neither of us knew who we were waving at.  A couple of miles later, when we had reached approximately mile 20 of our run, the same truck pulled along side us again, going the opposite direction.  He slowed down and held out two fresh, cold bottles of water for us, at which point Holly recognized him as being a friend of their family.  He is also a runner, which is probably why when he saw we were so far from home he knew we were on a long run and was thoughtful enough to realize we might need some water.  It was awesome!  We drank some, then were able to use the rest to fill the bottles on our belts and that was plenty to get us through the last 6+ miles.

(Here we are after our run.  I've noticed I always have slumpy, sloppy posture after long runs.  Hmmm...tired, maybe?!)

Anyway, when we were within a mile of my friend's house, which was to be our stopping point, she looked at her Garmin and then asked me if I realized we were just over 24 miles at about 4 hours and 42 minutes?  That meant we had about 2 miles to go and 18 minutes to do them in if we wanted to do the full marathon distance in less than 5 hours.  So, with her keeping pace just in front of me and yelling words of encouragement at me, we decided to go for it and do those last two miles.  My legs were throbbing at this point because even though I've now done this distance 3 times this month, I've never done it pushing myself so hard, with increased speed and all those darn hills.  Still, there was no way I was going to miss the opportunity to PR when I was so close.  We ended up finishing right in front of my house, which was kind of cool!  So, I am now extremely happy to be able to say my marathon time - and it starts with a 4 instead of a 5!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

12.6 miles with the hubs!

This afternoon I finally had a chance to run with my husband again!   Due to his work schedule and his IT band trouble, it's been a couple of weeks since we've done a long run together.  We did the 12.6 mile loop, and since we didn't leave the house until after 11am, it was (kind of) warm, but definitely sunny and beautiful.  Every time I'm out there, but especially on a day like today, I feel so grateful to live in such a lovely place.

We took our run pretty easy today.  It's exactly three weeks until the marathon, so theoretically we're on our taper period.  Chris is trying to minimize the stress and strain on his knee, and on Monday I'm going to be running a 20 miler with a friend, so I kind of wanted to save my legs for that, as well.  We used the interval timer to do a 3:1 run/walk/run ratio.  I think we both felt pretty good for most of the run, although we ran out of water and Chris gets really thirsty when it's warm out, so he was suffering a bit at the end.  My hamstrings were pulling for some reason, but it wasn't too bad and I'm hoping having a rest day tomorrow will be enough for me to feel ready for 20 on Monday.

The funny thing about today's run was that right before we left the house, Chris went and grabbed our little camera and stuck it in his pocket.  He already keeps his pockets full when he runs, with his phone, his bulky can of pepper spray, tissue to wipe his nose, whatever.  Apparently he was in the mood to take some pictures and enjoy our time together out in the gorgeous landscape because normally it's me pulling out the camera, begging him to let me take photos or asking him to take photos of me.  And normally he'll do so, but only with a lot of grunting and groaning.

See what I mean?  Who wouldn't want to run down that road?

 Okay, getting a little warmer, top layer comes off. ;)

 We got some snow in the mountains last night.  Glad it didn't make it's way too far down!

Lots of hills on our route, for sure.  Makes me even more excited for Ogden...that course is almost all downhill, with the exception of one medium hill and a few tiny ups and downs.

Question:  What is your favorite thing about running, exercising or working out in some way outdoors?

For me, besides the landscape, it's the smells and the feeling of the fresh country air.  Sometimes it gets a little "farmy", but most of the time it's just cool, sweet, grassy smells.  Today it even smelled a lot like freshly mowed grass and wildflowers.  I love it.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Will spin for Spudnuts...

My husband will be the first to tell you, as healthy as I try to be with my food (most of the time), I have a serious sweet tooth.  I always have.  Sugary and dessert-y over salty and savory every time.  I've mentioned in previous posts how much I love Spudnuts, which are basically doughnuts made with potato flour.  They are slightly healthier than your typical fried delightfulness, but oh-so-yummy.  We try to keep our indulgence to a minimum, but today after my husband and I spent 2 hours at the gym, one hour doing weights and one hour of spin class, I talked him into stopping by The Donut in Pocatello to pick up a dozen of these babies to take home.  Believe me, it was tough, you know, talking him into it. ;)  As you can see, I have a preference: the chocolate and coconut Spudnut...mmmmm.

What are your indulgences?  Are you more likely to treat yourself on days when you work out hard?

I'm thinking that after I run the Pocatello Marathon in September, I just may eat two or three of these! After we run the Ogden Marathon in May, my husband wants to dive into a burger at 5 Guys. ;)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A little gym time.

This morning I was able to go to the gym after the kids left for school.  I had time to do 30 minutes on an elliptical machine before spin class.  Today's class was amazing.  I really love the workout I get in that one hour of spinning.  Have I mentioned that before? ;)

Got the June issue of Runner's World today - really, already?  Okay, well I'm not going to complain.  It's one of my favorite things to get in the mail.  Keeps me occupied during any downtime for the next few days!

Anyone out there running any races in May?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mid-week workout.

With my little guy at home today, I stayed inside and did a long cardio workout.  First, I began with 40 minutes of Pilates.  Then I got on the treadmill and did 40 minutes of speed work, similar to what I did a few days ago, running sprints for 1 minute, with 1 minute of jogging in between for a total of about 4 miles.  After that, I put the treadmill at a steep incline and walked at a pace of 3.5 for another 5 miles.  I also got off the treadmill every 5 minutes until I had finished a pyramid of Burpees (squat thrusts), starting with 10, then 12, 15, 18 and 20.  I was inspired to add Burpees to my workouts more often after reading a post from my friend over at AFitfamily.com where she wrote about her CrossFit workouts.  By the time I finished all of this, I had been at it for over 2.5 hours and decided it was time to move on to other things. :)

While I was working out, I was catching up on a few of my favorite shows.  I was struck by something Dolvett Quince (trainer) said on The Biggest Loser.  He was talking to one of the contestants about not focusing on winning the game and acknowledging how far he had come, he said "Don't fall in love with the (anticipated) result.  Fall in love with the work."  I love that concept.  Sometimes I think we get so wrapped up in trying to reach a destination, whether it's our "skinny-self",  financial success, or a happy relationship, that we forget to enjoy and learn to savor the journey.  I have finally come to a point where I go running, workout or go to the gym because I enjoy doing all of those things and exercise is a part of who I am.  Even so, I still have moments where I catch myself dwelling on the "when I lose 5 more pounds...", or "when I can fit into a size such-and-such..."  It's hard to break the habit of thinking in those terms when you're always waiting for the "when..."

Question for all of you:  How many Burpees have you done at one time?  Anyone else out there do CrossFit or P90X?  Finally, any other motivational quotes that you love?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spinning and weights.

My husband is out of town for a few days so after I did 30 minutes of Pilates at home, I went to spin class this morning alone.  It was a really good class.  I gauge my workout success during spinning by the depth of the pool of sweat under my bike by the end.  Today, it was like a wading pond. :)  After class, I did about 30 minutes of weights, mostly upper body but also a couple of leg exercises.

I'm reading a book right now called, "A Return to Virtue" by Elaine S. Dalton, in which the author compares her journey as she trained for and ran her first marathon with the discipline and self-control that is required to be a virtuous person.  I love this quote: "As we run life's race, it is virtue, meaning purity and power, that will sustain us through the long miles."  I'm only about half-way through the book right now, but I keep thinking about how much sense this idea makes, and wondering why I haven't been able to make more of a connection myself.  I train hard, I'm dedicated to doing my best at the point in life that I'm at right now, I'm not afraid of pain, sweat or hard work.  I love the feeling of accomplishment after a long run or at the end of a race.  I need to focus more on allowing those attributes and strengths to now seep more deeply into the other parts of my life, with my husband and family.  After all, what's most important is that I want to be with them ~ happy, whole, peaceful ~ at the ultimate finish line.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Not quite 13.

There was no way I was going to waste this magnificent morning, so after I did 30 minutes of Pilates and got the kids off to school, I went out for a run.  I used a 4:1 run/walk ratio and did a 12.7 mile loop.  I even left the house wearing only a tank top and shorts, and sunblock - the first time this year I haven't started out with layers!  It was about 50 degrees when I started, and with the wind blowing, my hands and face felt cold for the first 5 miles or so.  After that it warmed up and now it's about 80 degrees out there.  My mp3 player crapped out on me about a mile into my run.  I'm not sure why, it was charged I think, but it is about 5 years old, so who knows.  Anyway, I tucked it away in my belt pocket and with the lack of distractions I just focused on the rhythm of my feet.  The first half of the run, I could tell that I wasn't going very fast because my legs were feeling a little sluggish.  By the second half, I felt more "warmed up" and was able to pick up my pace a bit.  In the end I had an average pace of 11:20 min/mile, which is pretty good for a run that long and taking the walk breaks.  Right now though, as I sit here typing this, my calves are shaking and twitching, not too sure what that's about.

I was reading another runner's Facebook status the other day where he posted this quote by Bart Yasso, endurance athlete and Runner's World contributor:

"I often hear someone say I'm not a real runner.  We are all real runners, some just faster than others.  I've never met a fake runner."

I'd read this quote before, but it was good to read it again and be reminded of the importance of not comparing ourselves with others.  It's hard to do, but if we can focus on just trying to do our best and improve on our own individual achievements, I know we could be much happier with each success.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Oakley Perform Beautifully Contest

Please take a minute to go to the link below and read and vote on my submission to this contest hosted by Oakley.  I would absolutely encourage all of you, my readers, to also enter!  I can think of several of you right off the bat that would fit the bill, as well!  Thanks!

Treadmill leg-work.

Despite the fact that it's an absolutely gorgeous day, I spent my morning with my trusty treadmill.  With my husband and the two older boys gone on their camping trip, I decided I'd rather just let the two younger kids kick back in their jammies and enjoy a lazy morning, rather than making them hit the pavement with me at the park.  I started out doing some speed work.  After a 5 minute warm-up, I did intervals of 1 minute easy jogging pace, then 1 minute of sprinting and I did that for 45 minutes.  When I finished with that, I pushed the incline up on my treadmill as high as it would go (again, not sure the % incline because my treadmill doesn't have a read on that info), then I set the pace for 3.5 mph and "hiked" uphill for another 45 minutes.  I wore my heart rate monitor for the entire workout and used my average HR to calculate my calorie burn.  It's funny, but I actually burned more calories during the walking portion of the workout than I did during the speed work.  See, it's those hills that will get you every time.  I probably should have run some of the hills, too, but my legs are actually feeling a little tweaked from a long week of a lot of miles.  Between long-long runs and real uphill hikes, they've taken a beating.  Tomorrow's a rest day, and then I look forward to seeing what next week has in store.  If the weather keeps up like this, I may be spending a lot of quality time on the road! :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Is it Casserole Friday again, already?

What a crazy day in our household, and not much room for working out, either.  I was up early getting my daughter ready to be at the church by 8am for a girls' activity, then I had to come home and get myself ready to go to cub scout meetings, then back home to make lunch and help my husband get himself and the two older boys ready to go on an overnight backpacking trip with the Boy Scouts.

Once I got them dropped off at their meeting place, I came back home and quickly cleaned the bathrooms and kitchen, then took the two younger kids to the walking park where we "played" for a bit before walking back home again.

Now that it's almost 8pm, the kids are fed, chocolate chip cookies made, starting bath time for Nicolas, I think I'll be able to spend a little time on the exercise bike while I catch up on Dancing with the Stars.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spin class and an 8 mile mountain hike!!

This morning while my husband went off to work for just a few hours, I went to the gym and did a spin class.  Spin class with my favorite instructor, Misty, is an instant mood-booster for me.  I'm not sure what it is exactly about the way she teaches, probably a combination of the music she chooses, the way she gives the instructions and the fact that she pushes us hard from the minute the class starts, right up until the end of a full hour, that I always feel like I've had the BEST workout at the end of her class.  Last night my husband and I went to the gym before doing the weekly grocery shopping, and we took a spin class with an instructor we hadn't had before.  She didn't get the class going until 15 minutes past when it was supposed to start, then I could barely understand anything she was saying into the microphone.  I still got a decent enough workout, just because I've learned how to make it harder for myself, but she ended the class 10 minutes early so we could do some ab-work.  Don't get me wrong, it's always good to get in a little core strengthening, but when I go for a cardiovascular workout, that's what I'm looking for.

Anyway, today's class was great, and I came home in a good mood and excited for my husband to return home so we could go out for a hike.  As you can see in the above photo, there were storm clouds hovering and we had a few intermittent sprinkles off and on, but the temperatures stayed in the 50's and every once in a while the sun even peeked through the clouds for a moment.  We hiked a trail called the Valvehouse Trail, and we went out and back for a total of about 8 miles, which took us about 2 hours and 45 minutes.  On the way up, I could tell the steady incline was giving me a great workout.  On the way back down, we even ran parts of the trail.  It made me realize that if I was to get into trail running, or if I wanted to do any trail races in the future, I'm definitely going to need to spend lots more time running trails.  It's tough!  I was afraid of losing my footing, there were pretty decent sized rocks all along the way, not to mention mud and even some snow up at the higher elevations.  This trail is part of the route that makes up a race called the Pocatello 50, a 50 mile trail race.  It was gorgeous up there, so peaceful and serene.  We saw lots of animal tracks and scat, including deer, moose and even mountain lion, eek.  Sometimes I get a little nervous about traversing these remote types of areas, but I'm not too worried with my husband there leading the way, and pepper spray and a gun in our backpack...just in case. :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Road to recovery.

Recovering from a long run is not always pretty.  Last night I didn't sleep well, waking up several times due to aching muscles and sore, sunburned skin.  Hey, I told you before that sometimes I learn from my mistakes, sometimes...eh, not so much.  Yesterday it was cloudy and gloomy when we left for our run, so it didn't occur to me to remember the sunblock.  Today I am paying the price.  Again.
(Don't be too jealous of my sweaty, no-makeup morning-time glow.) ☺

My attempt at a workout this morning was a bit laid back.  I sat on the recumbent bike and pedaled through episodes of The Biggest Loser and the results show from The Voice.  I did work up a sweat, but it was kind of an active recovery type workout.  Later today I think our plan involves taking our youngest and going to the gym, maybe for a swim, maybe I'll get some weights in as well.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

There's strength in numbers...

Hey, check it out...I'm officially "Another Mother Runner!" :)  Love that blog!

Oops, I did it again.

Well, the original plan was that Chris and would do our long run on Thursday.  We had it all figured out.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are our days without kids at home, and Thursday Chris was supposed to have the day off from work.  When Chris found out he had court on Thursday morning, we kind of had to make a new plan.  The weather forecast called for rain this morning, and usually we go to spin class, but Chris left it up to me whether I wanted to make a go of it to run long and take our chances on the weather, or go to the gym and try and fit our run in next week sometime.  I was literally on the fence about it right up until about 20 minutes before we headed out the door.  It had rained all night and the storm clouds were still looming, but it wasn't too cold, so I figured what the heck.

We decided to do a loop that is 12.5 miles.  Leaving from our house, the route covers lots of up and down hills.  Chris knew he was only going to be doing part of the run with me because he's still letting his IT band issues heal.  I was actually hoping to do a little more today than I did on my last long run, maybe 27-28 miles.  We did the loop once, then stopped at the house where Chris stayed home and I took off and did the loop a second time.  I was tempted to call it quits when I had a majorly strong headwind the whole way back out on the loop, but I knew that if I could just make it until the route turned, I'd probably be okay.  I'm glad I stuck it out, even though it wasn't very fun, and I swore a little.  When I was close to home and only at 25 miles, I just took a bit of a detour to the park where I ran around the walking path until I was almost at 26 miles, then headed home.  I had run out of water and was super thirsty.  With this run being kind of a spur of the moment thing, I was concerned that it would be too difficult for me, since I ran 9 miles yesterday.  Normally I would have the day before a long run like this be a non-running day.  I did have some major aching in my legs, but I just pushed through and got it done.  

Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy Patriot's Day!

This morning I did a 9.22 mile run which took me about 1 hour and 42 minutes, and dedicated my efforts to those who courageously ran the Boston Marathon today in record breaking heat!  My running and life mentor ran it today with his daughter and afterwards he texted me that the heat was horrible to contend with during the race.  But they finished.  Sometimes the races and runs with the most obstacles can have the best afterglow effect on us.  As much fun as it is to run in "perfect" conditions, the feeling you have after accomplishing something that seems insurmountable, well, there's nothing like it.  So here's to all those runners who finished Boston today!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

We did the double spin, then drove off into the mountains!

Well, we did it, and it wasn't nearly as bad as I had anticipated!  Yesterday morning Chris and I got up early, made a big breakfast of french toast and sausage for him and the kids, (I had my usual steel-cut oats with blueberries).  Then we went to the gym and had a double dose of spinning class.  It was pretty fun, though we had two instructors that we haven't had before and we both felt they were a little less intense than our favorite, not to mention their music selection wasn't quite on par.  I mean, I felt like I was in an 80's power hour or something.  The good thing about spinning is that you get out of it what you put in, so you can make it as hard or as easy as you want.  We like to make it hard, 'cause we REALLY like to sweat...a lot.  Ha.  I wore my heart rate monitor for the two hours worth of spinning, and according to that, I burned a whopping 1400+ calories!  That's a lot for someone my size, so I must have been putting in the work.

As we were driving home, it was sunny and 60 degrees - just a beautiful day.  I said to Chris, "Let's just pack up and go to Jackson Hole for a night."  You see, we live a short 2-3 hours from Jackson, WY and Grand Teton National Park, and in the almost 8 years that we've lived here, it has become one of our most favorite places to visit.  I really think it's one of the most gorgeous places on earth.  I would love to live there in a nice, big rustic log home with oodles of windows to see and enjoy all the wildlife and the beautiful landscape.  Unfortunately, it costs an arm and a leg to live there, so as of right now it remains a pipe dream.  At least we can go there and enjoy it a day or two at a time.

While we were there, Chris started receiving calls from work that he was needed for an investigation into an officer-involved shooting that happened last night, so as much as we would've liked to stay longer, we had to get back after basically just a 24-hour respite.  Besides, the kids have school tomorrow anyway.  Gosh.  What's with life, schedules and responsibilities?  I think I'm getting a bit antsy for summer vacation...
My three boys, with the Snake River in the background.

Me standing at a scenic overlook, the Tetons looming in the distance.

Willows in the spring.

A momma moose and her yearling eating willows on Moose-Wilson Rd.

I thought this was a cool picture of my Sam watching the moose pictured above from the car. :)

On our way home, we stopped to play and skip some rocks in the river.

Mount Moran.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Casserole Friday, remember?

I got up a tad early this morning to get in a mini-workout before heading out for cub scout meetings.  I did Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown DVD, and that's really all I had time to do.  Later in the afternoon, though, my husband and I were able to take the kids and go to the gym, where I was able to workout a little more while Chris swam with the kids.  I started out on a treadmill where I did 30 minutes and 3 miles.  After that, I got on a StairMaster machine and did another 30 minutes.  I wore my heart rate monitor, and my average heart rate for that hour was 145, so it was a decent workout.  I wasn't feeling that great, though.  I have been in a bit of a slump mentally the past few days, and try as I might to get my mood swinging back in the right direction, it hasn't quite happened yet.  At least, not for more than short little bursts of time.

Tomorrow would normally be a running day.  My husband has the day off from work and we had wanted to run together.  Unfortunately, Chris is still nursing a bum knee/IT band and in an effort to keep it on the healing path and not worsen it, with only 5 weeks to go before the marathon, we've decided not to run tomorrow.  Instead we're going to go to the gym in the morning and do a double-header spinning class.  Saturday morning is the only time they offer back to back spinning classes, and most people do one or the other.  We're going to do both.  I'm kind of excited, but a bit nervous at the same time.  I always feel totally wiped out after 1 hour of spinning, I can't imagine how I'll feel after 2!  I'm sure we'll make it through, and it should give us an excellent cardiovascular workout to substitute for a run.  Next week will be our biggest training week before starting the taper period before the marathon.  I can't wait!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gym day, and just in time.

Wow, what a change from yesterday.  It poured rain all night, and has been overcast, windy and cold all day.  I have really been timing my runs just right lately.  For the past several weeks, Chris' work schedule has been such that he has been able to come with me to Tues/Thurs spin classes.  Unfortunately today he had to go in to work and I had to head to the gym alone.  It's too bad, because he missed out on an awesome class.  Our favorite instructor was there in full force - she is such a great spin teacher.  Today's class had so much more energy and momentum than Tuesday's class.  I loved it and felt purged afterwards.  Then I did about 30 minutes of weight lifting.  I couldn't do all of my usual things without Chris there to help me, but I did most of them.

After my time at the gym, I stopped at TJMaxx before going grocery shopping.  I was in search of some new workout (under) clothes, and hoped to maybe find a cute tank or pair of shorts, now that we've been having some warmer days.  Recently I've been dealing with body image issues, so it was probably not the best time to go clothes shopping.  I don't know why, but no matter how much I work out and no matter how well tuned I keep my diet, I still have such huge fluctuations in how I feel about how my body looks.  Some days I feel strong and light on my feet, other days I feel floppy, jiggly and lumpy - in all the wrong places.  I honestly think there may be some things that happened to my body during the process of carrying 4 children that are permanent, unless I want to consider a surgical "mommy makeover."

Our (fairly recent) regular attendance at the gym has really not helped me with these issues I have.  Sure, there are some women at the gym that are more average and less than perfect, like me, but there are also lots of women who appear so rock solid and have just the right amount of muscle definition and lack of body fat.  Ugh.  Why are we so hard on ourselves?  I mean, in the scheme of things it's really not that important what we look like anyway, but one of the reasons why I work out as hard as I do is to feel good about myself.  Seems kind of futile, if my goals are set unrealistically.  It's just so frustrating.  For example, today at the grocery store, the lady in the checkout next to me looked like she was in her mid-thirties, and stick skinny.  I mean, legs like thin, little poles, skinny.  Oddly enough, she was purchasing (and I'm not exaggerating) 2 boxes of Twinkies, 2 boxes of Hostess Cupcakes, Monster energy drinks, bags of chips and a bunch of other junk.  What the heck?  Okay, judgement aside, but what the heck?!  Alright, I'm done with my rant/pity party for the day.  Isn't this supposed to be an inspirational blog...?

Anyway, I did find one pair of bermuda-length running shorts, but they're nothing too exciting.  Plain black, as usual, but at least they're shorts and hopefully I'll stay a little cooler on warm runs.

Question for all of you: "What brands, styles, types and shapes of workout wear are your favorites and why?"

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

There's a chocolate moose, on the loose...12 miles.

This morning I was scheduled to run with my friend Holly, but when she had to cancel last minute due to a sick child, I decided to do the same route we had planned anyway.  Chris drove me up to the top of Buckskin Rd. and I ran the first 12 miles of the Pocatello Marathon route.  This is my happy place, especially on a day like today.  It was absolutely gorgeous running out there.  I wish I could bottle the images, sounds and smells and share them with all of you.  The air was warm and breezy, it smelled like wild grass and pine, and there were a hundred different kinds of birds making all kinds of sounds.  Gorgeous.  On the drive up to the top of the hill, we spotted a moose lying in the trees...

And some deer on a hill...

I had a fabulous time, running without any music playing today, just listening to the peace and quiet of country.

And not a bad pace, either.  I did my 4:1 run/walk/run ratio and finished 12.05 miles in 2:09, an average pace of 10:44 min./mile.

This is why I run. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bare bones.

This morning my husband and I went to a spinning class.  Today's instructor was the one who is recently back after being on maternity leave.  Normally she's pretty tough, but today we kind of got off to a slow start.  She commented she was feeling especially tired and I'm guessing a late night with a new baby could be the cause. ;)  Once we got going, about 30 minutes into the class, I really started to get my sweat on, but I have to admit I was feeling a little less than enthusiastic about working out today, too.  Some days I just feel kind of blah, mentally and physically.  Today's been one of those kinds of days.  After spin, we went into the weight room and my husband helped me through my usual rotation, which took me about an hour.

After doing some work in the yard, starting to get the ground ready where we'll be planting our garden soon, I decided to "hike" up the hill in our backyard, just for fun.

We live in town, but our house is at the bottom of a huge, rocky hill of a little over 12 acres, which is all part of our property.  We're right on the edge of the town limit, so our property butts up against BLM land.
(Going up.)

(Looking down.)

(That's our house, down there with the red vehicle parked in front.)

We have lots of wildlife frequenting our hill throughout the year, like this little guy.  My husband calls them "rock-chucks", but I actually think they are Yellow-bellied Marmots - for real. :)

I was hoping I might find some deer antlers, but all I found were several animal carcasses.  Kind of macabre, I know, but I brought back some of the bones for the kids to look at.  Kids think that kind of stuff is cool.

After my fun up on the hill, out in the warm air and sun, I feel a little less "blah."

Monday, April 9, 2012

9.2 miles.

I was happy to see the clear skies this morning when I took the kids to school, so I came home, got my running gear on and headed out by myself to do the 9 mile loop.  I used a 4:1 run/walk/run ratio for today's run, even though it was only 9.2 miles.  I felt mostly good, but oddly enough, my legs started to hurt a little bit around mile 5.  I was surprised because I had a rest day yesterday and had been feeling really good with no soreness at all. My average pace for today's run was 11:12 min./mile and I'm content with that.

Today ended the kids' spring break, so with just my youngest at home I've been getting some (much needed) house work done.  As I was getting ready to vacuum our bedroom and saw this:

I realized we may have a problem! ;)  Anyone who knows me well, knows that I can't stand clutter and (typically) keep my home pretty dang neat and tidy.  So how has it come to this?  Between my husband and I, both of us with a rotation of running shoes and a closet that is teeny-tiny, I have no where to keep the shoes where we can conveniently grab them and go...except here, apparently.  I need to figure something else out.  I'd love to hear any of your storage solutions!

Which brings me to today's question:

"How many pairs of running shoes do you currently have?"

I have a total of  7.  Two pairs that have well over 1000 miles on them and should probably be thrown away, but I just can't bring myself to do it.  Another pair that I bought on clearance last year, wore them for a few training runs and 1 marathon, but they're not my favorite, so I got new ones to replace them.  1 pair of trail running shoes, which are actually 1/2 size too small to wear on runs longer than 5 or 6 miles, so I mostly use them for hiking and camping.  And finally, my three favorite pairs, my ASICS.  My old pair of Nimbus 13's that also have over 1000 miles on them and holes in the top where my toes push up when I run (which I now use for just everyday wear).  Then I have my new ones which are the exact same shoes, and a pair of ASICS Gel-Kinsei's that I bought used on eBay to rotate with my new Nimbus 13's.  Phew.  Please tell me I'm not the only one with a running shoe fetish?!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter sunshine. :)

Happy Easter, everyone!  We started out our day with the kids enjoying their modest baskets of candy and a couple other small items, then we were off to church to celebrate the true meaning of Easter.  As we came out of the church services at 2pm, it was so beautiful, warm and sunny.  We came home, ate a quick lunch then went into Pocatello to go for a nice family walk at a nature preserve.

Gosh, if it's like this tomorrow, I am definitely going for a run!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Saturday spin.

Since I did my long run earlier this week, I was free to do a spin class this morning.  As usual, a top-notch cardio workout.  After the class, I got on one of the Arc trainer/elliptical things and did another hour.  I tried to keep my heart rate up, and for the two hours of working out, my average HR was 149, although during the "anaerobic" portion of the spin class, I topped out at 180 bpm several times.

My husband came with me to spin class, then left the gym after that equipped to run all the way back home (13.4 miles) to get in his long run for the week.  Unfortunately, as I was leaving the gym, he called me and had me pick him up on my way home, so he only made it about 8.5 miles.  The wind was crazy, as usual, and he said he wasn't feeling very good.  At least we know now that if we were to feel the urge one day, we could run to the gym, workout and then run back home and the running part would equal a marathon! ;)

Question of the day: What products do any of you use for your skin?  I have been finding that, particularly after spin class, the excessive amount of sweating I do is wreaking havoc on my skin.  Any suggestions?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday, as usual, like a casserole.

Maybe I'll start calling it, "Casserole Friday" just for fun. :)  It seems like most Friday workouts end up being a bunch of different things, all thrown together with some cheese on top.
First of all, when I woke up and looked out the window and saw this:

I knew I wouldn't be doing anything outside.  So, I started out doing two Jillian Michaels DVD workouts: 30 Day Shred, followed by Yoga Meltdown.  Then I took a break to help the kids color some Easter eggs.

After lunch, I got on the treadmill and walked for 2 miles and then rode the recumbent bike for 9 miles, all while catching up on the performance episode of Dancing with the Stars.  I'm still feeling pretty dang good today.  I'm choosing not to focus on my toenails. ;)