Sunday, March 24, 2019

First Race of the Season, Spring has Sprung & My Weak Link

Last weekend was Run to the Pub - the kick off race to our season.  We finally got a decent break in the weather and we didn't freeze to death.  I will be posting a race recap and review later in the week so stay tuned.  Spoiler alert:  We finished!

I felt pretty good for that run consider the mileage I put in during the preceding days.  I did a 20 miler the day before.  I had never done this route.  I basically ran from one end of the city to the other and then back tracked to my office where I'd left my truck the day before.  The snow and ice made it challenging and seemed slow.  I don't know if I'll do that again.

I took the Monday following the race off from work and since I would be flying out for work on Tuesday, I hit the roads for my Tuesday Ten on Monday instead.  Spring weather is finally here!
I bought a new pair of shoes - Topo Magnifly 2s.  I wanted something that is low drop (zero) and wide in the toe box with a little cushion.  I tried on a pair of the Altra Torin's, which I have loved in the past but the current model had way more fluff than I wanted.  The Topos are very nice, but I'm not sure yet if they are going to work for me.  I'm suffering from pain in my right foot and at this point I'm unsure if that is a result of these shoes or the sandals I wore for 3 days while traveling.
PS.  Somehow I already have a sock tan line.  How is that possible?

After my ten-miler, I took myself on a date to the 406.  The restaurant has been open at least a couple of years now, but this is only the second time I have been there.  I was highly unimpressed the first time.  This apple-brie grilled cheese was pretty decent though and the beer was delicious (sadly I can't recall what kind it was).  Sometimes it's just nice to go on a lonely date, but it was entirely unnecessary since I would have to do it a couple of times while I was traveling anyway.

I went to Oklahoma City on Tuesday.  I knew it would be difficult to get in my training, but it was my goal to do it regardless.  Unfortunately, traveling is my weak link.  I eat terrible and work too late in to the night and I didn't get much running in at all.

I did get a running tour of Bricktown on the first night.  I ran from my hotel to the canal trail and through downtown, along the canal again at the Botanical Garden before heading back to my room.  I loved the trail along the canal but construction areas made it so that I couldn't easily get from one side to the other.  I do love this city. 

This is the Botanical Gardens (can you see the trees growing inside?).  From the front it looks like a space shuttle capsule. The canal trail goes under the building which is pretty neat and the canal is full of enormous Koi.  I took a picture, but it didn't do them justice.

On Wednesday and Thursday I should have run 9 miles each day but I was up until after Midnight working both of the preceding nights.  Getting up early just didn't happen. So I got a quick mile on Wednesday and 4.5 on Thursday using the hotel treadmill.  My view from the treadmill was kind of cool but nowhere near as awesome as running the city.

I've listened to the audiobook version of "My Year of Running Dangerously" by Tom Foreman a few times.  It's really good book and the author reads it himself.  He's very engaging to listen to unlike many of the audio books I have downloaded on my Audible app.  The first several chapters of the story is about how he and his daughter decided to do a marathon together and his training adventures while working as a busy news anchor.  This guy worked 100 hour weeks, traveling all over the place, running on strange streets and on strange trails (even after dark without a headlamp) and always managed to get in his miles. I need to be more like this guy.

I took Friday off because I had to finish preparing for my final work meeting while in OKC and then my travel home wouldn't get me in to Billings until 10:00 pm. 

Then I ended up taking Saturday off as well.  My right foot has been bothering me quite a bit this week.  I opted to work on getting out kinks so I did some hot/cold therapy - switching back and forth between ice and heating pad and massaging it with a golf ball and Tiger Balm. 

It feels much better and I am heading out for 18 miles shortly. 

I'll be home for a week and it's hell week on my training schedule.  I have 3 days of 10 milers in the middle of the week and a long run of 21 miles on Saturday.  There are no rest days over the next two weeks.  I will need to evaluate if that is a wise strategy for me as I put on the miles.  I have another week of work travel coming up too.

Four weeks until Revel Mt. Charleston.  I feel really good about my endurance, but I'm not overly confident about my speed.  I'm perfectly capable of maintaining the necessary pace on down hills but I haven't had enough training on extended down hill to know if I can maintain the speed as long as needed.  My training has been very hilly with plenty of ups and downs so I'm hoping that will translate in to a solid base over all.  For better or worse, the time is near and I'm excited to be going to Vegas regardless.

BTW... I'm still working on Mitch, trying to talk him in to letting me do Javelina Jundred in October.  It's more the traveling logistics that are complicated (and expensive) than anything else.  If you have any great suggestions on how to get all your 100 mile gear for a HOT weather race to a location 1200 miles away and still be somewhat frugal, I'm listening.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

It's Been Redundant But I Can Finally See the Light

The last few weeks I've spent many miles between the treadmill and the path at Swords Park.  Montana experienced an insanely cold February with sub-zero temps more days than above.  I'm beyond grateful that I have a treadmill at home even if I hate to run on it.

But sometimes I just have to get outside and brave the cold no matter what or I will lose my mind.  I have put many miles on the path at Swords Park because they usually plow it.  However, a snow storm followed by strong winds made the trail quite challenging if I beat the plow there.  You can't see much of me because it was -4.  Even my eyeballs were frozen.  Why do I live where my eyeballs freeze?

Looking back over my Strava, the last ten days have literally been Treadmill, Swords Park, Treadmill, Swords Park, Treadmill, Swords Park......

The redundancy is starting to get to me.  On Sunday I had 18 miles to run and had planned to run Molt hills in to town but as Mitch was driving me out to the start point I had to change my game plan.  The sidewalks were in bad shape from the snow and had ice slicks from the melt off that was just starting to happen (finally).  My plan B was to run Swords Park.  It's only about 3.25 miles from end to end so that would mean doing about 3 out and back trips.  Ugh.  But it was a beautiful day and there were lots of runners out there.  Even Mitch went out and did 13.6 miles on his own!

Swords Park is also an easy place to meet after work to get some miles in.  Sometimes the views are pretty amazing so I shouldn't complain so much.

There is light at the end of tunnel finally.  Spring weather is on the horizon and we are starting to warm up.  This weekend is Run to the Pub half marathon in Bozeman and the forecast says it will be in the upper 30's.  Perfect.  I don't have any goals for this race.  In fact, I have a 21 miler that I will be doing the day before so I don't expect to have much left in my legs. 

I just ordered a new pair of running shoes.  I love the Brooks that I have been wear testing but they aren't great on down hills.  Since my marathon is all down hill I had to choose an alternative.  I have a pair of Topos that I love for working out.  They have a funny split toe so they look like deer toes.  The ones I ordered are similar to Altras in that they are zero drop and have a wide toe box.  I can't wait for them to get here.  Sadly they will arrive the day I'm leaving for Bozeman.

I also got a new cookbook.  Has anyone else tried a Hungry Girl cookbook?  I love her recipes which I usually get off the internet.  I made the Sloppy Janes last night and they were really good.


Have a great week!  I'll see you after the race this weekend.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Peak Training Has Begun, North vs. South and My New Habit

I have officially hit the peak weeks of my training schedule. With one more run to go this week I am at 47 miles.  It's hard to see at a glance using the Training Peaks app, but I believe the peak training will top out somewhere around 67+ miles/week.  I would be lying if I said that doesn't intimidate me a bit.  I don't recall what my biggest week is, but I know it's somewhere in the 50's.

I had to travel for work this last week.  Getting in the running was going to be very challenging, let alone the weight training.  I did weight workouts the Saturday and Sunday before knowing that I would not get to while I was out of town - partly due to time but as it turned out I didn't have access to dumbbells at one of my hotels either.

I left Billings on Sunday afternoon and got in to St. Louis around 1:30 am and had to get up, check out of my hotel and get to my client's location by 7:30.  Meetings wrapped up there at 3:30 and then I had a 5+ hour drive to Willow Springs, MO.  I just have to say that driving through Oklahoma was a lesson for me... don't travel without cash.  I had to pay a toll on the interstate at 2 places and couldn't get off the freeway outside of the metro area without paying another toll to get OFF the freeway.  It was hours before I could use the restroom.

Thankfully Monday was a rest day.  I got in to Willow Springs around 9:30 pm and I was pooped.

I had the pleasure of running outside on Tuesday.  My schedule called for nine miles, which seemed like it would be difficult to do while I was out of town.  But Willow Springs is a sweet little town so I wasn't afraid to go running alone and I had plenty of daylight once my meetings were over.

They had a short, 1/2 mile loop around the park that I incorporated in to my run so that I could pick up the speed a little.  I did 3 loops when I first found it and another 2 on my way back from touring the town.

This mural is in the town center. There was another one as well and there was a nice "picnic" area.  I didn't get to learn much about Willow Springs, but I suspect it was a bustling railroad town at one time.

Their high school track isn't connected to the school.  I got here before students filtered in for whatever sport they are training for this time of year.  It is a really nice, paved track so I did four loops so I could pick up the speed again for a bit.  I didn't do the nine miles exactly by the prescribed speeds, so this is how I made up for it.

Willow Springs has these boxes at various places around town.  The first one I saw was at the park with the walking trail. This one is by the high school track. There are jars of food in this one.

As you can probably tell from the pictures above, the weather was pretty nice.  It was blissful to run in the sun and warmer weather.

Meanwhile in Montana.............. (I had Mitch screenshot this from his weather app at the same time I took the one above)

I flew home on Wednesday and got home after 6:30.  Mitch and I went to dinner and then I did 6 miles on the treadmill.  I was supposed to hit a 7:44/mile pace for the last 20 minutes of my run but I was tanked.  I could only hold that pace for about 3 minutes at a time.

While I was out of town, it snowed.... and snowed... and snowed.  When I got home, it was still snowing.

Thursday I had ten miles to do, broken up in to 5 mile segments of intensity.  I did the first five on the treadmill before I went to work and the other 5 in the neighborhood when I got home.  It was snowing again.

The temp was somewhere near zero.  These hand warmers are a life saver.  I wouldn't be running outside at all this year if it weren't for the bulk bags of them we bought at Scheels last winter.

I miss the beautiful 60 degree weather I enjoyed while in Missouri.  Why oh why didn't I bring it back with me?

I did 7 miles of interval work on Friday morning before work.  Then it snowed again that evening.

This weekend the bottom dropped out of the thermometer again.  I was planning to do Saturday's long run outside in spite of the forecasted 0 degrees.  But when I got up, it was -14 with a breeze which prompted me to change my plan.  Fifteen miles on the treadmill is good mental training, right?

Today is worse.  It is currently -19 degrees and the wind chill is somewhere in the -40's.  I'll be running inside again but thankfully it will be a much shorter run than yesterday.

I really dislike winter and the last month has highlighted exactly how much.  We've had the coldest February on record and plenty of snow to back it up.  I should live in Arizona.


I started a new habit recently.  It is my goal to drink over 100 ounces of water/day.  I dislike plain water so I don't get enough.  I started three weeks ago and only missed the days I was traveling and that is because you never know when you are going to get to use the restroom on an airplane or how long you might have to sit on a plane without going anywhere. I kept my liquid intake to a minimum on those days as well as the day I had to drive from Oklahoma to Missouri.

We bought a water filter for the sink because we already use a ridiculous number of plastic bottles.  If we added another gallon worth of Dasani bottles every day it was just irresponsible (we do recycle at least).  I got this crazy big water jug with motivational notes on the side to help me stay on track. It holds a gallon.  I've been teased a little at work about it.

I've had the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium headphones on my wish list for a while now.  They are bone conductive so they don't go inside your ears.  You can hear what is going on around you while still listening to music, books, podcasts, etc.  Yesterday we found them on sale at Sam's Club so I got a pair.  I'm excited to try them out.  Stay tuned for a review.

I hope you have a great week with perfect running weather!  

Sunday, February 17, 2019

I Missed A Week of Training

I started coming down with a chest cold on Tuesday.  If you've never heard it before, let me reiterate the common rule for running when sick:  Above the neck, run.  Below the neck, rest.

I'm not going to lie.  I've never followed this because I've almost always been in the middle of a streak during cold/flu season.  I would get out and run at least a mile regardless of where the cold had settled in.  Before last year when we bought the treadmill, I usually went outside and ran regardless of temp.  This is the first time I've taken days off for chest congestion because I'm not in a running streak.

I'm beginning to think that I was doing it right all along.  This chest cold has settled in deeper and worse than anything I've had in the last several years.  Maybe getting out and working the lungs helped to work it out.  I'm not sure, but I'm prepared to go back to my old way of thinking.

I didn't run Tuesday through Friday.  That makes for a pretty cranky Angie.  I did get my LBC (Lean Body Challenge for those of you that haven't been following) workouts done every day, though they were done carefully and easy.  I was still sore the next day so I must have got something out of them.  I ran on the treadmill yesterday.  My plan called for 17 miles so I figured I would just get on and see how far I could go. 

We have a new running set up.  Mitch found a killer deal on a 55" smart TV at Sam's Club and since we'd been looking at that same TV when it wasn't on sale he bought it.  This TV now sits on a mock fireplace ledge in front of the treadmill.

I recently discovered TreadmillTV on YouTube and used the Roku on the new TV to stream a trail run in Singapore for my run yesterday.

(Excuse my mess!)   I think I like this set up better than using Zwift, though I could do both at the same time if I want since Zwift is done on the computer (which is set up to my left).  I tend to just watch the numbers on Zwift rather than the world I'm running in.  The TreadmillTV feed has the numbers of the person that's filming which are not relevant to me.  The trail I watched was really pretty and I didn't think about time too much.

Speaking of treadmills, we have been looking at buying a new one.  The one we have now is an older Proform.  I'm not exactly sure how old, but I think ancient.  I'm pretty sure the speed is way off, it gets squeaky, the incline doesn't work right and it doesn't have any cool functions.  It was a steal at $120 when we bought it off the Facebook marketplace, but I really want a new one.

I think we've decided on this one from Bowflex.  It has great reviews, connects with Zwift (or so I've heard).  The two things holding us back right now:  there is quite a bit of show at the back door that leads to where it would go - it comes in one box that weighs 300 pounds so the closer we can get it delivered to its destination the better.  And then we have to put it together, which apparently takes 2 people about 2 hours.  This doesn't sound like fun at all! 

My training has been disrupted by this cold but I'm still working on my Coaching certification.  My coworker found out that I was studying anatomy and was awesome enough to bring me her college text book so I can look up visual references (I learn much better this way).  PS. I love that there is a triathlete on the cover.

My course materials do not include any videos or great visuals.  I started out trying to memorize flashcards that I made but I have a hard time making myself pick them up in the middle of the week, so learning that way was slow.  Then I discovered that there are tons of YouTube videos on any subject, particularly college subjects.  I found some great mini-lectures on the skeletal system and I remember so much more than using the flash cards.

YouTube Link to Synovial Joints lesson
Click the picture for a link to the youtube channel

I'm hoping to get back to my full training schedule starting on Tuesday.  I may get on the treadmill and get a couple of miles or so, but today's workout is supposed to be speed which will get my lungs too worked up.  Monday is rest day, but I will get my LBC workout done.

Here's what my week looked like:

Sunday - LBC Legs (drop sets... those are killer) and hill sprints on my treadmill - sort of
Monday - Rest Day
Tuesday - LBC Shoulders which was thankfully short and easy because this is when the cold hit.  I slept almost all day.
Wednesday - LBC Back/Biceps - I made it to work and this might have been the day I felt best all week once the cold settled in.
Thursday - LBC Legs - I cut out a couple of the moves because they were too much cardio so it was short.  I went to work but coughed all day and felt pretty cruddy by the time I got home.  Thankfully Mitch and I had Valentines Day dinner over the weekend before.
Friday - LBC Chest & Triceps - I stayed home from work to spare my coworkers the awful sounds I was making but worked from home.  I had some periods where I felt pretty good and did my workout over my lunch.  Feeling cruddy set back in later.
Saturday - 5 miles on the treadmill.  I thought I might run farther but took a break at 5 miles and when the painful coughing set in I called it a day.

See you Thursday with a throwback race recap.  I'm planning to post about the Beaverhead 55K, which is one of the hardest things I have ever done.  In case you missed the Revel Rockies recap, you can find it here.  Or if you want to spend some time reading my race recap of the firs time I did the Rut 50K, you can check it out here.

What type of learner are you? Do you get more from books, videos, hands on?  I prefer hands on, but that's hard to get with anatomy.

Have you been sick this year? This might be the third time for me this season, which is unusual.  It's been a rough winter!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Throwback (should've been) Thursday

I wanted to run this post yesterday as a "Throwback Thursday" since I'm recapping an old race from last season.  But I have come down with a nasty chest cold and last night I was too sick to focus on writing.  I was in bed at about 8:00, which is just crazy talk.

Last spring I attempted to get my Boston Qualifier running the Revel Rockies Marathon in Colorado.  I chose this race because of the total elevation loss and the proximity to home. 

Denver is about a 9 hour drive from here.  I love Denver and I'll take any opportunity to go back.  It is such a cool city (I wish I had more pictures of places we went downtown like the brewery and the 16th Street Mall).

While we were visiting there was a street fair.  We walked around the capital which was next to the park where they held the street fair.  It might be one of the worst areas for druggies.  It's not a place you would typically want to sit down in the grass because you don't know what you might get poked with.

We hung out and listened to some music.  Mitch has a habit of making faces at me when I try to take his picture.  I reward him by posting it on my blog.

Denver is loaded with running trails.  I thought it was cool that one we went on the day before the race went right next to Six Flags.  I really should've gone to the amusement park while I was there.

Voodoo Doughnuts... solely a good reason to visit Denver or Portland in itself!!

The Revel Rockies race had a decent size expo.  I'm sure it is small in comparison to places like Chicago or Boston, but it was the biggest one I've been to.  We had fun taking pictures.

The race started so early.  Gun time was 6am which meant that buses were loading at 3am.  It was super chilly on the mountain where we started.  Mitch and I found a spot next to the generator to stay warm and inhale exhaust fumes.  The race gave throw-away gloves in our packets which came in handy (pun intended).

Mitch and I both ran this race, but separately since I was looking for a specific goal time.  I stepped in with the 3:40 pace group, which gave me a little buffer time for my BQ.  I ran on pace easily for the first 13 miles.  But my pace group took off well ahead of me and even the 3:45 and 3:50 pace groups passed me long before the 13.1 mile mark.  I thought I had fallen off pace.  This got in to my head and I let it take over.  Looking at my splits later, I was well on track to hit my BQ with room to spare if I had kept that pace.  Stupid head games.  And what pace group takes their people out at a 10 minute fast pace in the first half??  Add that to the fact that there was a significant uphill at the half-way point and my race took a nose-dive.  I couldn't keep pace any longer.  I walked a lot in the last half and finished with a 4:30 time.  It was a great time and a huge PR, but way off my goal for a BQ.

The weather was perfect for the whole race and the scenery was amazing.  It's a beautiful course for a road race.  I could handle this one again, but my strategy would be much different if I were aiming for a certain goal.

Revel races have photographers all along the course.  They took pretty good pictures and they are free, which I think is awesome.

Once I was finished, I knew I would have some time to kill before Mitch would come in.  I sat on the ground in the beer garden and enjoyed my free beer.  I skipped the food tents at the finish line.  They had a couple of food trucks and a tent with free pizza and I think a couple of other things.  I wasn't really interested in eating yet.  My biggest complaint about this race was that they were taking all of the food stations down at the finish line before the finish cut-off, which meant that back of the pack racers didn't get the option to eat (and took away my option to eat after waiting a little while).  This is a HUGE no-no in my book.  If someone comes in to the finish within the advertised end time of the race, they should get all the perks that the first finishers get.

I was so proud watching Mitch cross the finish line!  This was his second Marathon and the first one he had done without me to encourage him. 

I wish I could remember other details such as what the aid stations were like, but I really only recall the one at the half-way mark and I don't remember it very well.  That's what happens when you wait 8 months to write a race recap.
This race wrecked me.  That much downhill running is rough even for someone that trains on down hills all the time.  The next couple of days were painful.  I remember when we got to our hotel after the race, we laid down in bed and took a 2 hour nap.  We were both spent.
However, that didn't stop us from taking in some beautiful trails in Colorado the next day for "recovery."

There was just  a little bit of vertical gain on this trail.  That's how you counteract a down hill marathon, right?  Climb steep hills?  However, what goes up, must come down.  That was the hard part!

Where this monument stands is crazy.  Its on an outcrop of the mountainside.

It was also my birthday weekend while we were there so I got to eat at Joe's Crab Shack and drink margaritas.  Life is good and I am so spoiled.

This year, the Boston Marathon upped the qualifying times to get in which means I now have to finish in 3:40 with a little cushion just in case.  I'm making my attempt at another Revel race, but not this one.  The Revel Mt. Charleston has faster finishing times overall.  It's still a long shot to get there, but I'm going to give it everything I've got.  Too bad the race isn't after my birthday in June.  I go into another age bracket and would get five extra minutes.

If you could go anywhere for your birthday dinner, where would you pick?

Favorite place to get donuts?

Sunday, February 10, 2019

My Next Big Idea - But He Might Need Convincing

If you've been following my blog for at least the last month, you know that we have a fairly full race calendar for 2019.  Even since the last update Mitch added a small trail run at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park in April.  That brings us to 6 races plus the potential for one more in August if we get picked in the lottery for the Bridger Ridge Run.  In this schedule I have 2 main goals:  get a Boston Qualifier and finish The Rut.  All the rest are just for fun.

What I really want now is to do a 100 miler.

Yeah, pretty much.  I lost it quite a while ago when I decided to sign up for the 2016 Rut 50K as my very first ultra.  The journey from then until now has been full of beautiful adventures, working through fears and many miles of pure joy (and a few miles of pure Hell.... let's just be real).

One might say that I could take the time to build up and do a 50 miler and/or a 100K since my longest ultra to date has been 55K.  But that's not really my style.  I like to just rip the Band-Aid off, I guess.

I've been pondering this idea for quite some time, which means I've been devouring YouTube videos, books and articles.  The hundred miler I would like to do is the Javelina Jundred in Arizona.  100 miles in the desert in October.  Still hot that time of year in Arizona, which is a little bit of a deterrent but what draws me to this race over others that I've researched is the party atmosphere and the minimal elevation gain (compared to anything closer to me).
Aravaipa Running Website - Javelina Jundred (click Image)

Mitch already knows I want to do a hundred miler but yesterday I tossed out the idea that I wanted to do this race... this year.

I might have gotten the side-eye over that idea.

We have a lot of racing this year.  It might make more sense to  wait and do it in 2020.  But that is almost 2 years away.

And in the famous words of Veruca Salt: 

So I might need your help convincing Mitch that 2019 is the year of the 100.  Just pop on over to the RunWhichWay facebook and leave a little comment and help me talk him in to it:

Just a few highlight arguments for doing it this year:
  • I'm already doing lots of miles training for the other races we are doing this year
  • We both still have good jobs with adequate paid time off (I can make this one work... really)
  • Carpe Diem!  Because you never know what tomorrow will bring 
If you can think of just a few more that might help. :-)

A quick recap of this week's training -

Monday - Rest Day
Tuesday - LBC Legs and 10 treadmill miles
Wednesday - LBC Back/Bis/Abs and 2 icy cold miles in -3 (more like -15 with the windchill)
Thursday - 10 treadmill miles that I broke up in to two runs: 5 in the morning, 5 after work
Friday - LBC Shoulders with Mitch and  15 miles in my neighborhood.  This was supposed to be Saturday but the weather was decent and Saturday was supposed to be sub-zero again.
Saturday - 5 miles with speed intervals on the treadmill.  Mitch ran 10 on the treadmill for his long run and we marked it on the calendar as the day he ran more miles than me.  Go Mitch!!
Sunday - I want to get 5 more miles today but I haven't decided when/where/how I will get that done yet.

Stay tuned... For the next couple of weeks I will put out a "Throw Back Thursday" post that will cover some of the highlight races from last year.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Running in the Dark - Is it Spring Yet?

It doesn't matter whether I'm getting up to run in the morning or tackling my training after work.  This time of year means running in the dark if I'm going to be outside.  The higher mileage and nice weather this week means I did a lot of miles in the dark.

It also meant I had to overcome my fear of running alone in the dark because Mitch isn't doing the same amount of miles with his plan as I am with mine.

On Wednesday I was scheduled for 10 miles.  We've had temps in the mid-30's so the treadmill just didn't seem appropriate.  Mitch joined me for the first 2 miles and the rest I did on my own at Swords Park. 

I took my headlamp but didn't turn it on until it was really quite dark.  By the time I got done there was no light left at all.  I ended up only doing 8.5.  This is because at the turn-around point there is a tunnel and I was not comfortable running through it or on the other side of it by myself.  Baby steps.

On Friday I had another 10 mile day scheduled.  I broke this one up in to two 5 mile runs (as the training plan says is okay).  The first 5 were in my neighborhood before work in the dark and the second 5 was at Swords Park with Mitch, after work.  In the dark.

My long run was scheduled for Sunday, but I moved it to Saturday so I could enjoy the beautiful 45+ degrees and sunshine.  I did 17 miles, mostly along the Yellowstone River.  It has quite an ice jam built up at the bridge at Duck Creek.

I can't post a picture here but I'm a wear tester for Brooks.  The shoes I'm testing right now are amazing for long runs!  I was quite tired at the end of 17 miles but my body didn't feel as beat up as usual after that distance.

After running, we went to Montana Brewing Company for lunch.  I discovered their Chips & Chicken and it is a game changer.  My favorite thing to order on the menu is their Chicken Enchilada.  This is the next best thing and a fraction of the calories so I didn't blow all my hard work from this week.  I mixed about a tablespoon of the ranch, a tablespoon of sour cream and the container of salsa to make the dressing. 

I'm so ready for winter to be over.  We've been very fortunate with our weather this year and even missed the big polar vortex that froze much of the country just to the east of us.  But starting this morning, we get a bit of our own bitter cold.  It's going to be just a few miles on the dreadmill for the next few days.  I don't mind running in the cold or the dark or the snow and ice but when you put them all together its just a recipe for injury.

My week of training in review -

Monday:  Rest day
Tuesday:  6 miles of Fartleks on the treadmill and LBC Legs (LBC = Lean Body Challenge)
Wednesday:   8.5 miles and  LBC Back/Biceps/Abs
Thursday:  3.6 easy miles and LBC Legs
Friday:  Two 5 mile runs
Saturday:  17 miles
Sunday:  Rest day

Total Miles for the week:  45.3.  I'm already at 181 miles for 2019.  I'm impressed with myself!
I have been up very early every day for the last 3 weeks.  This meme nails it for me:
Who else hates going out in the dark by themselves?
What is the weather like where you are at?