Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October Sunsets, Time to Make Changes & a Few of My Favorite Things

Last week I had to go on an impromptu business trip to Washington.  I was only home from the Colorado trip for 4 days before I flew out again.  This time I wasn't very comfortable in the area I stayed so I did not get outside for a run.  I did go to the hotel fitness center for one good treadmill (weird to put those two words together) run.

Almost worth blogging about was the guy on the treadmill next to me who nearly biffed it while trying to look at his phone while walking.  I managed to keep my snickers to myself.  Maybe he just saw this on facebook:

On my flight home, I had a window seat and the most beautiful show.

And today on my run, I was graced with another beautiful view.


In the last six weeks I have come down with two colds, two UTIs and been on two business trips.  This has wrecked HAVOC on my running schedule to say the least.  I haven't had an immune system breakdown like that in several years.  It's been frustrating but admittedly I couldn't ask for better timing.  I'm not training for any races so the cut in mileage isn't that big of a deal.

My diet and exercise have suffered since my marathon.  Ok... my diet has been suffering since summer started.  I don't know what has gotten in to me (other than food).  I have to get back to my healthy lifestyle because I'm sure it is the key to getting and staying healthy.

Starting tomorrow I'm making a change.  Why put off until tomorrow what I can do today, you may ask?  Well, it is almost bedtime.

I'm going to make better food choices and no more skipping out on my run.  I may not be in official training mode, but it's going to take a lot of hard work to shave 20 minutes from my half marathon best time.


Next week I am traveling for work again and I expect the treadmill will be my workout of choice, but if it's a nice neighborhood and I get some daylight I'm going to get out and see the sights on foot!  It's been a gorgeous autumn here and by the looks of the weather reports I bet it is in Colorado next week too!


I never look forward to autumn.  It's not that I don't like the season.  I just don't like that it means Summer is over and Winter is almost here.  But a few of my favorite things come with Fall:

* Sunsets with fall foliage in the foreground
* The smell of leaves and crisp morning air
* Fall colors of course
* Cool weather for running
* My fuzzy robe
* Fireplaces
* Some of my favorite Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab scents
* Comfort food (Soup season and all things pumpkin!)
* Red wine
* Snuggling with extra blankets
* Thanksgiving

What are your favorite things about Autumn?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Problem with Waiting A Week Since Posting....

...is how much stuff happened in a week!!!

I must start by shouting out a giant THANK YOU to my husband Mitch who has kindly taken over the maintenance of my blog.  Doesn't it look great??  I love to write, but I do not love computer technology.  Mitch is great at teaching himself how to do just about anything computer tech online.  He made my blog look so much better and you will see it evolve in coming months.  I have some pretty neat stuff planned and he will help me make it happen.

On Monday, I flew down to Colorado on business.  I thought I would have to run all week on the treadmill, but it didn't work out that way.

Our first day there the health fair was very short and I was done by 3:00 so I was able to run after.  I stayed in Rifle, Colorado at the Hampton Inn.  I had a rather difficult time finding a decent place to run, but ended up on a trail that ran behind Walmart.  I got 3 miles in, but admittedly it was a little scary.

Day 2 I woke up too early and did a quick 2 miles on the dreadmill.  It was stupid HOT in that room. But they did have 3 nice treadmills, an eliptical, a recumbent bicycle and a set of weights.  2 miles that seemed like an eternity.

Day 3 I was able to go for a run with a client in the morning.  She spends a bit of time in Rifle so knew a better spot for a good run than I had managed on Monday.  It was a nice trail that circled a pond near the town visitors center.  I admit that I was too shy to take selfies or pictures on our run.  We did 3 miles.

So, I have a confession to make.  When I am by myself, I am kind of a kid.

I bought this as a recovery snack.  Truth be told, I almost bought the one that was shaped like a Mickey Mouse head.

My week was actually filled with amazing food.  We ate at some great restaurants.

On Thursday night, I went with one of my coworkers for a hike at Rifle Falls.  We paid a ridiculous $20 to get in to the park because I didn't have any change (it was supposed to be $7 per car), then we were only there for about an hour and a half at the most.

The plane ride home was pretty much awesome.  Since there were so many of us from my company flying back from Colorado, we came home in style... in the company plane.

Mitch is a pilot and thanks to him I adore flying in small planes!

When you fly like this, you kind of get treated like someone special.  Lunch was served in a present box complete with a bow and tissue paper:

I had to take these pictures secretly because I didn't want my coworkers to tease me.  (yes there are knees in the picture... they aren't mine)

After a 5 day trip, I was super excited to get home.  I thought I would go for a run as soon as I got back, but I didn't.  Instead I went out for dinner with that guy I really missed and had burgers.

Today I woke up at almost 9:30.  I usually don't sleep that late and I jumped up in a start because it's long run day.  I didn't really want to sleep that long.

Mitch drove me to my favorite long run place:  Red Lodge.  I got a 10 mile run and 4 mile walk.  I got a little panicky because Mitch hadn't come down off the mountain in the time I thought he should have so I was prepared to walk back to the truck.  Of course, he did come down.  I was just being silly.

Some great pics from my run today:

 Mile One'ish
 Mile 10'ish
 Out of order... but my favorite spot along the way at about mile 8.  I call it God's Thumb.

Home again to favorite Easy Nachos for dinner.

I'm excited because tonight is the Monster Energy Cup (supercross)!!  Whoot.  More than likely this event will also involve Fireball.

Anyone else traveled in a small airplane?

What is your favorite quick and easy dinner?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Harvest Fest Fun and a Night Run

Yesterday was Harvest Fest in downtown Billings.  The weather was lovely, even a little on the warm side.  One of the local breweries hosted Elysian Brewing pumpkin ales... I was kind of excited about it.

I had that brew in my hand at 10:30.  And a second one before 11 a.m. If I could drink four of them, I could get a cool t-shirt to go with that cool glass (I actually got two glasses, one of which is a standard pint glass).  I rose to the challenge and drank 4 by noon.  I'm now sporting a nifty shirt that I haven't taken a picture of.  I then went home and took a good nap!

Oh, and I danced with the belly dancers at the festival for about 2 minutes.  It takes a few beers to get that brave, I guess.

Obviously with a morning like that, the long run was put off for Sunday.  The opportunity to run didn't present itself until pretty late.  Like dark, late.  I haven't done that very many times and I'll admit its not my favorite.  I don't dress for the occasion.  I figure I am responsible tor keeping myself out of the way of cars.  What was really disconcerting was hearing dogs rush at me barking and not being able to tell if they were behind fences or on leashes.  Not all of them were.

The turn-around point of my run....

I still had about 1.75 miles left to run, so it was quite dark by the time I got home.

Before I do that again there are some things I need to get:
~ head lamp
~ dog repellent (variety to be determined... I HATE carrying things in my hand when running)

I set my alarm and woke up at 6:30 this morning (who AM I?) to watch the Chicago Marathon.  Congrats to Deena Kastor for setting the American Women's Masters record.  She is such an inspiring elite runner to watch.  It's a shame there wasn't much in the way of coverage for her.

Sadly there was no long run today either.  70 mile/hour wind gusts is just a bit much to weather - no pun intended.  Okay, maybe it was intended.

Tomorrow morning I fly out on business to Colorado.  I expect most of my running will have to be done on the hotel treadmill, but hopefully the neighborhood is nice enough to get one or two outdoor runs this week.  I don't expect to post again until next weekend.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Thrown Together Thursday

I just couldn't think of one topic so today is a hodgepodge.

My week started like this:

I went home early from work on Tuesday and stayed home Wednesday.  I pretty much spent two days sleeping, eating, watching Harry Potter extras and sleeping.  Did I mention sleeping?

One trick I have learned to get out of a sick funk is to get out of the house and get some sort of activity.  If I don't, then the next day I feel much worse in the morning.  Its a cycle and I usually can recognize when I am physically well enough to break it.  Before my running days, this usually involved going grocery shopping or for a walk... anything that got me out of bed and some fresh, outside air in my lungs.

Last night I went for a "run."  I say "run" loosely because it was really more walk than run.  But it did the trick.  I got out of bed and went to work this morning.  Not that it was easy.  I still felt cruddy when I woke up.  By this evening I felt well enough that I had an easy five mile run and felt pretty good for most of it.

Registration opened today for this:

Did I sign up, you ask?  Don't be silly!  Of course I did!

This is a goal race for me.  I'm hoping to finish this half marathon in 2 hours.

Run to the Pub is in Bozeman, MT on March 12th.  They put on a heck of a good party, so if you're looking for a fun spring race, I highly recommend this one.  Oh... and I might add that 4 runners will win a trip to the Dublin Marathon in Ireland.

Next week I'm traveling to Colorado on business.  I'll be gone for 5 days and I have NO idea how I'm going to get my running workouts in.  I'm very interested in running the local area if I get any daylight.  I'm sure there will be a dreadmill at the hotel, but Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  I will be very cranky if I don't get to run for Five. Whole. Days.

and just to add to the randomness....

A few images from last weekend's long run:

This is a pretty steep hill.  The picture does it NO justice.

The views from the top of that hill.

Tomorrow is FRIDAY!  My husband will be home from his business trip and I can't wait to see him.

I don't know what the long run plan is for the weekend yet.  Only that there will be one.  Hopefully I will post before the weekend is over because after that it will be several days before I can tell you all about running in Colorado.  Or running on the dreadmill... however that works out.   Let's hope for the more exciting option.

Friday, October 2, 2015

New Kicks ~ First Impression Review

Anyone who knows me fairly well will tell you that I have a love affair with running shoes.  I LOVE my Brooks Pureflows (I have 4 pairs - not including the other styles of runners I own but wear less often).

I've tried other shoes... other brand names and other styles of Brooks.  I haven't found any that I like as much.  But I have been on the hunt for something with more cushion for when I'm logging a lot of training miles.  It's also good to switch shoe styles from time to time so you work different muscles.

I have been eyeballing Altras for a long time.  Two features of the Pureflows that make them my favorite shoes are the low heel drop (4 mm) and they are lightweight.  Unfortunately, the lightweight also means that I wear the soles down VERY quickly.  Altras have Zero drop, which means the heel and the ball of your foot are at the same level.    I bought a pair of Altra Torins several months ago and had to return them because they run very small and they didn't have them in the size I would need.

Last week I found a smokin' deal on Altra Intuition 2s.  They have a newer version of this model and I got this $100 pair of shoes for $27.  I was smart and ordered a full size bigger than my Brooks.

They arrived today and I couldn't wait to try them out.  I re-laced them (whoever did the lacing did a very poor job of it), put them on and headed out for a 3 mile run.  Now, normally 3 miles is a bit excessive for breaking in a brand new pair of runners but the only time I run less than 3 miles is when I'm on the treadmill.  Personally, I don't like breaking in new shoes that way.

Okay, they look a little like clown shoes.  The toe box is wide because Altras are also known for shoes designed to let your toes splay.

I really love these!  The best part about these shoes is how well they absorb the shock to my body especially on the downhills.  They are very comfortable.

I can certainly tell that I worked different muscles on my run today and I know this will take some getting used to, but all in all I am super happy with them.  I think the soles will last longer than the Pureflows too.


So yesterday I did this.....

Almost 2 hours after registration actually opened, so maybe I wasn't first. :-)

This race isn't until July, so I have plenty of time to get down to the 04:50:00 time I put as my expected finish time.


Tomorrow is long run day.  We will be heading out to Columbus so Mitch can ride the road to Rapelje and I will run towards Park City.  I expect to get around 14 or so miles but that isn't set in stone.

The weather is expected to be in the 50's, which means we won't have to get up early to beat the heat!

Have a GREAT weekend!  I'll see you at some point with a shiny new post.