Operation kick 5K in the arse

I probably shouldn’t be surprised that the opportunity to blog appears when the house is silent with sleeping people….everyone except me and the cat, who if she doesn’t stop chasing her shadow on the floor and couch where the sleeping/semi-sick kid is now resting, I might pitch her outside with the coyotes. Not really, but if she wakes him up, I would be tempted to crack the door.

Anyway, so yesterday, I kicked off my 5K training plan…the Own It plan from Train Like A Mother to help me get my 5K down the last 2 races of the Platte River Fitness Series. I can’t believe we only have 2 races left…well, 3 races left but Hubby and I are headed away for our anniversary in November so I will miss one race…..leaving me with the Turkey Trot and Jingle Bell Run.

Right now, I’m AT 2454 for my PR…..totally thrilled with that, I am….but, in typical Tara fashion….I’m pretty sure I can go faster. I know I can.  So why not start now….maybe cause it took me 2 years to get THAT time….maybe because I have a strange aching on the outside of my left knee, and pain down the side of my right thigh….regardless I am 100 percent positive I haven’t found my 5K wall yet…so might as well start chasing it down…

Yesterday, day 1, 4 miles following by 4 strides. Of course, I didn’t have time to get it done in the morning, and Piper Kate has a volleyball tournament during the day, so I didn’t get to run until 430.

I despise afternoon running.

I despise missing a planned run more though so I got it done. 4 miles……2 hills, which results in 4 hill climbs….followed by 4 strides on the treadmill after I got home. I find speed work such as strides and times intervals much easier on the treadmill.

I’m also doing PIYO to stretch and build some strength at the same time. I did find that regardless of my plans for the day, PIYO has to happen in the morning…..I won’t do it after my run….I won’t.  I should, but I won’t, lol. None of the PIYO workouts are longer than 35 minutes so they really do fit easily into my day…..and a great way to wake up when I’m not going to get an early run in.

Plan for Week 1 of Kick 5K time in the ass

Monday – 4 miles EZ W/ 4 strides

Tuesday – 3 miles or Cross Train…..going to skip the run and cross train. I don’t want to push aching legs to far with 3 days running after 13 days off.  PIYO Buns and Upper Body Define.

Wednesday – Cross Train and PIYO Core

Thursday – Speed work – 1 mile warm up and cool down with 4×400 at 5K RP in the middle. POSSIBLY PIYO Lower Body Define…..the stretching would be amazing after speed work!

Friday – 3 EZ miles and PIYO Lower Body Define.

Saturday – 5 miles LSD and PIYO Sweat. We will see about that one….. probably don’t need a sweat workout after a long run but Ill get something in there.

Sunday – REST



Never Miss A Monday

Never Miss A Monday

I started this a few weeks ago after realizing that my week started off much, much better when I got a run in first thing Monday morning. Its hasn’t been easy, sometimes it doesn’t happen till noon when Shawn is in and occasionally, it had to happen after school was out but even then, it still helped.  I did miss the Monday after an adventure race I did because my legs were a.n.g.r.y. plus I had a 10K the following week that I really, REALLY wanted a P.R. for so I erred on the side of caution….aka wimped out.

Today, I did 1 mile on the Dreadmill to help stretch my hips and work some lactic acid out after 9 miles yesterday.  And possibly to avoid my children who were fighting over everything. 

I’m ok with that.

We have been MIA for a while, I know…it happens every summer doesn’t it…..but we certainly haven’t been sitting around doing nothing. We ran Deadwood Half in June, PR’S ALL AROUND…WOOT WOOT!

We did Deadwood.

We did Deadwood.


Jamie and Heather rocked the Women’s Ranch Rodeo world and in August QUALIFIED for the World Championships WOOT WOOT!

Photo from Shontells Smiles

Photo from Shontells Smiles

I backed off anything longer than 5 miles for the summer because my legs were starting to really feel the effects of distance.  Needed a break and focused on speed, which worked out well as I FINALLY got my sub 25 5K in August at UpStage Downtown….24;54….squeaked it in, but got it done WOOT WOOT!

It’s been a great summer and fall isn’t really giving us a break it the chaos….darn kiddos activities, but we are really going to try to get back into posting on a fairly regular basis.

Stay tuned….we are all over the place, you never know what might show up here!


Sillassen Half Marathon Recap


Lets just say that if there ever was a race I was NOT looking forward to, this one was it. For many reasons but mostly because if I don’t see anything FUN or EXCITING in it, then I get pouty and turn into a big baby about things and, yea….that is basically how I felt about this race for months.  Probably not right, but hey…brutal honesty is all your going to find here with PPMR, especially at our own expense..

Its hard to get excited for a race that is on the roads you run every day. Its hard to get all pumped up knowing that the hills will suck and the wind will blow and that my kids will be at mile marker 6 so if I look like death, they will see and, being my kids who inherited a lack of verbal filter from their mother, they will tell me I look like death.

I also knew if I didn’t run I would regret it and a good friend was the race director and she needed and deserved the support of the friends/runners in our little community so I made the decision I was going to do it.

I am so glad I did.   I have never been so happy to be wrong.  Could be because I am not often about things….oh..

The wind blew, like I knew it would….it was ONLY a headwind the last 4 miles or so….it was a cross wind till that point. The hills sucked, but they always do. The friendship was amazing, the atmosphere was great, the organization, awards, attention to detail was beyond what could have been expected from basically a one woman show in a town of 154 people, down a one lane oil strip in the Sandhills of Nebraska.

We were bussed to the starting line, and thankfully Heather, who occasionally gets motion sickness, commandeered the school van that was also getting people out there and we kinda sorta took that over for our local runners. Yes, I know, not the nicest thing ever but hey….everyone else was already on the big busses and frankly, if Heather did get sick, well…..at least it would only affect 8 people instead of 50.

ppmr sillassen

Not only did we have a nice chat on the way out to the start BUT we also suggested that instead of pulling all the way in to turn around, he should just turn at the end of the drive WHICH resulted in being first in line for the porta-pottys WHICH, now tell me this isn’t incredible and awesome, were BRAND NEW. I don’t mean newly dropped off new…. I mean never, ever been used before, ever. My husband does not see the excitement in this that I do, but he doesn’t utilize porta-potty’s like I do…he just finds a tree or a bush or something.

ANYWAY, the race got started and the first thing we did was climb a hill, shocker I know. I set waaaaay to fast of a pace and thankfully, the voice of reason…aka, running buddy Jolene, informed me that there was no way she was going to hold a 903 pace for 13.1 and if I wanted to run with her, neither was I….she was right so I backed way off….or so I thought but the voice of reason had to chime in a few more times before I got the hint. By mile 4 I had settled into a nice 930 pace and held it fairly steady there, until we turned a corner at Mile 9 and the wind became a factor. Then I started to fall off pace a bit but I knew that was going to happen and my plan was to just climb the last hills as steady as possible. Did I mention that they were 3 of them within a 1.6 mile stretch. BRUTAL.

I hit the top of the last hill and knew I was in good shape…it’s a really nice, LONG down hill slope to the relatively flat finish line. WITH a water station at mile 12….which is a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL thing.

I caught up with Kimberly, who was running her first ½ and kinda motivated her along to the finish. Which means I had on my bossy pants and told her I was not crossing the finish line before she was so she better get moving. Then I told her she could punch me at the finish line if she wanted. We ran past our town Sheriff, and then turned to see the finish line and it was a beautiful thing. The park had lots of people, the food smelled amaze-balls, and oh yea, THE CLOCK READ 205. I never, ever thought that is the time I would pull on that course. No way. Not with the hills and the wind. I was hoping for 210-220 so I am beyond thrilled with that time.

All in all, it was a great, great day. My parents were able to be here and see me run a long race for the first time. My kids were on the course and didn’t tell me I looked like death. I had great friends to run with, great friends to cheer in after and great friends who crossed before I was able to catch up with after the race. PR’s all over the place, and just great running and conversations to be had.

From a race I had a really, really hard time getting motivated for to something that I will NOT miss in the future. A course I dreaded to a course I now want to dominate because, well, I have an advantage that I did not utilize this year. I had a great race. Now, I’m simply more excited to see what I could do on that course if, instead of dreading the fact that I run on it every day, I will be using that to my advantage and own those hills.

Arthur ladies at our hometown half.

Arthur ladies at our hometown half.

Before I stop, I just want to say how ridiculous proud I am of each of the ladies in this photo. These are some of my running buddies AND I’m so happy to call them my friends outside of running as well.  Every one of them is local. Several running their first ½ because it was close and maybe some peer pressure, lol. They all made it across the finish line and I know a couple are already looking for another race. It’s not easy to run. It’s hard to race. It’s really hard to race for first time in front of people you know. They did it and I am so proud of all of them. WE are all proud of them. Just what our town needs….MORE RUNNERS.  The best part is that we had even MORE runners out on the course at water stations who, for reasons from pinched nerves to newborn babies, were unable to run with us this year. Next year, the above photo will grow as our community of runners grows.  That, I cannot wait to see.


Boston Strong


The running community forever changed 1 year ago today.  This year, the Boston Marathon promises to bring back something that was almost taken away.  The bombers messed with the wrong group, however, as the determination and resilience of runners, especially those who work their asses off for years and years to qualify for Boston, cannot be destroyed, tampered with or removed.  They will be back in Boston and they will run and they will win.  Parts of it will be for themselves.  Much of it will be for Boston.

Boston Strong.

boston shoes



Bunny Run 5K Race Recap


Yesterday I loaded up all my kids and headed to the Bunny Run  at Cody Park in North Platte.  For all the running I have done in the Platte River Fitness Series, it’s the first time I have run at Cody Park.

My babies and I, ready for the Bunny Run 5K.

My babies and I, ready for the Bunny Run 5K.

Really, it’s the first time I have been to Cody Park except to turn around after making a wrong turn.

It was a run race, nice size group, and a pretty course as Cody Park has critters though out it such as Elk, Bison, Deer, Geese and some noisy Peacocks.  Three loops around the paved road is the course, and it’s a combination of some shade, some turns, little bit of everything, which is nice especially if there is wind.

The kids race took place after the 5K started which tends to pose a bit of a problem for moms who bring little kids like mine, 3 and 4, to the race.  Thankfully, I had Piper with us also so she was in charge of the boys.  Their race was on the same course with little stops along the way at different volunteers to get some Easter goodies.  While I was nervous about it at first, and if I hadn’t had my 11 year old with me it never would have worked, it turned out great for the kids.  Brannon, my youngest , really thought he was in a race since the adults were running past them as they were making their way.  Sage, who had less then zero desire to race at all, thought it was awesome to wander along, look at critters and get candy.  The volunteers were close enough to each other that if someone had tried to grab a kid or if a little one wandered away to far, they would be seen by two volunteer stations.  And Piper is often called  A WARDEN, so her brothers don’t get very far from her sight.

To top it all off, my sister in law was there with her 3 kids…..her oldest is a year younger then Piper, middle child is 6 and youngest is same age as Sage…..with the cousins there, and another set of older sibling eyes….Heather and I felt comfortable to run the 5K.  THEN another friend showed up with HER 6 year old and we knew..safety in numbers….no one in their right mind would mess with that group of craziness.

The whole crew.

The whole crew.


Sage getting some loot.

Sage getting some loot.


There wasn’t a cost for the kids mile either, which again, is always nice AND then they still got shirts.  I love that….i love that they don’t get charged to run and till get the swag.  Yes, Im cheap but really, its nice that the kids are encouraged to get out, run around and have fun and still get a shirt for doing so.

LOVE the look on Brannon's face...he is all about the good stuff.

LOVE the look on Brannon’s face…he is all about the good stuff.

The first mile I went out way to fast…..like 7:45 to fast…which is a good 30 seconds faster then I wanted to run but what can you do….you can try not to die in the middle of the course and hope you have something left to give in the end.  It was tough but I did it to myself so I didn’t have a choice but to try to be smart the remaining laps.

This was one of those times I’m glad I had my watch….its much easier to not die when you look at your watch and control you pace.

Mile 1  – 7:45

Mile 2- 8:15

Mile 3 – 8:13

Average pace of 8:04, 25:26

2nd overall in my age group.

Fun run…really fun run.

I love the course, the atmosphere was fun…it’s a wide enough road that you can run past the kiddos and strollers without too much trouble.

The only thing I would do different would be the kids mile thing, but like I said before…it worked out for us this time.  Its not my favorite…..I would rather run with my kiddos.


Hello Summer

Hello Summer

Nice of you to arrive, but the runner in me is wondering what happened to your good buddy Spring?  Probably snowed in somewhere in the North East would be my guess…or South Dakota.




These yahoos thought it was perfect out for a picnic….which lasted all of 5 minutes with the wind.

I had all intentions of getting up early to get my run out of the way before it got to hot, but that didn’t happen thanks to a crazy headache and a 3 year old not feeling so well.

My run ended up being over lunch, 5 miles at race pace, which is 915-920 and I came in well under that, so I’m pretty happy.  Maybe my sub 2 isn’t as far off as I think……

NOT my race pace for this coming weekend….but my hopeful sub 2 pace in Deadwood in June. 

Either way, it felt good albeit an bit hot but thanks to Heather, I was prepared with water.

I started listening to books while I run.  My playlist was boring me, so I switch it up and now am listening to Postcard Killers by James Patterson.  I was worried I wouldn’t be able to hold a pace without the beat of music, but I have found I actually hold it better with the book then the music.   I started the book during my 10 miler last week and with the exception wanting to die going up a hill and some, shall we say, gastro issue, I held a steady 936 pace, which is the pace I’m going for at the Sillassen Half in 10 days.

Has Summer leap-frogged over Spring where you live?

What is your next big race…and don’t say JUST a 5K.


Urban Adventure Race Recap

My first adventure into the world of adventure runs was an adventure…to say the least.


The NebraskaLand National Bank Urban Adenture Race was put on by Angry Cow Adventures and held on March 29. This is the second year it has been a part of the Platte River Fitness Series….in what can only be considered a typical, beautiful day in Western Nebraska….60-65 degrees with 30mph winds.  Hey, when the sun is shining and its not snowing, it’s a beautiful day…..we are learning to just LIVE with the bloody wind. Sidebar….thanks to my Aussie friend, I am slowly becoming bilingual….English and Aussie.

Anyway, I was on a team called Total Strangers.  Why you ask was it called Total Strangers?  Because I met my partner about 30 minutes before the race started.  Long story short, I had mentioned a few months ago to a friend about running it….she could not, I forgot about it, then she called me and said she had another friend who needed a partner, did I still want to do it.  SURE I said….and that is the start of Total Strangers.

The idea of this race is basically a scavenger hunt of sorts all over town….and by all over, I mean the end result on my garmin was 17.91 miles of biking/running, with emphasis on biking.  We each had check list with 3 different locations to get to, check points on the way and at each location worth 1 point each, photos to gather, with 6 points if we got them all, and, once we were at each location, 4-5 different challenges to tackle and earn points at.  With a 3 hour time limit, it was all about points…time only figured in as a tie breaker.  It helped that my partner knows North Platte like the back of her hand as we all know how directionally challenged I am.

We managed to earn 42 of the 48 points possible, which earned us 2nd place overall in the womens division….and 28 points each in the series….woot woot

A brief synopsis of our day:


-moving/driving/riding/whatever you would call it an handcart down the railroad tracks….watch the end and the braking….its very important to survival.

-steering a red wagon down a sledding hill and between 2 cones….they really do steer much better then I thought they would

-designing a 200 outfit at a store I LOVE to shop at, consisting of at least 5 items….really, it would have been much harder to pick out an outfit less then 200….i might have announed I got this shit in that store…oops.

-30 burpees with box jump per team ….. ouch.

-smashing my face into a plate or coolwhip looking for a gumball….they did not want the gumball back after I found it.

-biking up the viaduct….twice.

3 legged race across railroad ties

-3 legged race on railroad ties…thank you to the team ahead of us and their struggles….we leaned what not to do from them.

-biking a small portion on a mountain biking trail….which made me realize for certain that mountain biking is NOT my thing…way to much coordiation and balance required to NOT because part of a tree.

-ever gone down a slide with your arm tied to your partners leg….me either, but just in case, person whose arm is tied goes first, turns around and DO NOT use a covered slide.

finish line leap frog

-leap frog to cross the finish line

All in all, it was a super fun, EXHAUSTING day….and yes, I totally blew my diet that evening, but I had a great time.  I would LOVE to do more races like this….and while my partner was amazeballs, it would be even more fun to do it with friends….maybe a couple groups of friends…..NEXT YEAR LADIES.

I would not recommend this with your spouse….i can see marraiges ending, or at the very least, long, silent car rides home, lol.


Wordless Wednesday..the ranchers wife’s life.

photo 2 (2)


Told you the odds of my ending up with a calf-sicle in my garage was high….didn’t think it would end up in my dining room…unfinished, thankfully.  But he was fairly chilled and my wood stove was fairly warm so there he is….blankets, stuffed animals and lovin’ from a 4 year old.

You will be happy to know he warmed up, stood up and promptly ended up back out with him momma several hours later.

From March to May our lives are dominated by the cows/calves.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.


I made a decision….which turned into 3….oh my…..

IN typical fashion, our plans for this weekend became victim of Mother Nature.

She is certainly in a mood these days isn’t she…..thank you….because of you and your temper tantrum, my 11 year old in also now, in a mood.  Thankfully, she is spending the day with her dad and stepmom, who are here from Michigan for the weekend.  They will spoil her…she will be happy…..all will be right in her world.



Anyway, no volleyball tourney 3 hours away on roads that can turn less than stellar in a moments notice….instead, we are here, probably helping hubby do some calving in weather that is less than stellar and could very easily result in calvies spending a night or so in my garage so they stay warm.  Which will also mean I will end up bottle feeding them, and my kids will probably grow very attached to them and there will be plenty of tears shed when the weather breaks and they go back with their mommas.

So is the life of the ranchers wife.

Also Mother Nature has put a damper on my running….the idea of 8 miles on the dreadmill makes me want to poke my eyes out with a hot knife but the idea of another round of frostbite is even less appealing so I think im going to attempt to break my long run up….which isn’t hard to do, except my hot water is STILL NOT WORKING and I have to go to MIL’S to shower….and really, 2 showers a day isn’t necessary when your utilizing someone elses water supply.  So I really don’t have a freakin’ clue how im going to get my long run or if I even will get my long run in.

I did make the decision to order a new bathing suit for the summer  which lead to the SECOND decision I made to start a 30 day ab challenge.  Look at that….2 decision made in.a.row….this is progress people.

Then I had to narrow down which of the 5,754 ab challenges on the WWW I wanted to do….so I made a THIRD decision, and picked this one.  Which, in all honesty, was more of a close my eyes and pick type of thing but hey, a decision is  decision…..don’t just my process.


Hopefully, starting this challenge brand new on March 1 will keep me focused and going forward with it….

Now, if Mother Nature will cooperate for just a few days, I can find my run love again….I’m sure its somewhere on the street as it sure isn’t anywhere near the dreadmill….uhhhhhh


5 Things Friday – Race List

I have a hard time getting into 5 random facts about  my week…..no one really cares all that much.  So I decided to make our 5 Things Friday post different editions….races, bucket list, must see/do…..and whatever else we think about that you might need to know.

Race edition

1.  Leadville anything but ultimately the 100– Leadville, Colorado

Considering I still haven’t convinced myself I want to run another full marathon, the Leadville 100 really shouldn’t be anywhere near my list, but it is gorgeous and a challenge.  I really want to get more into trail running and to me, this is the ultimate in trail running.  I get so bored on my regular route that even jumping into the pastures is new a fun for me.  To bad now, everything around me is full of soon to be momma cows, who are not always the most understanding or accepting of intruders.  I can be speedy when I want to be but I try not to tempt the hand of fate….and if I not fast enough…well, they weigh a lot more then I do.  Odds are not in my favor.

leadville course

2. Wicklow Gaol Break Half Marathon and 10K – County Wicklow, Ireland

I have a long standing love affair with Ireland.  Why not mix my love for Ireland and running together.  It worked out really well when I mixed my love of horses and Ireland together in 2006. I don’t want to go into the city, though.  I want to see the country side of Ireland…the thatched roof houses, the castles, the sweet, funny people and the history that is Ireland.


3.  Mineral creek Half Marathon – Valdez, Alaska

I also have an obsession with Alaska.  Unlike Ireland, this one plays to the mountain lover in me.  The one who cannot get enough trees, snow, sky and mother nature.  Valdez has been on my hit list for years…since high school so a half up there, yes please…where do I sign up.  plus, it crazy cheap…with little support…opposite of typical race environments, however, playing up to that need, for me, to just hammer away on a mountain.

Minus the snow, and that is the view. WOW.

Minus the snow, and that is the view. WOW.

4.  Yellowstone Half – Montana

Is there anything more beautiful, in life, then National Parks….I personally, think not, which is why Yellowstone Half is on my list.  Being a keep me away from the sand and surf and put me in the mountains kinda girl that I am, this one is right up my ally.  Its relatively close, compared to, oh I don’t know, Alaska and Ireland, so it’s a definite possibility within the next few years.  It would be a family vacation so my kiddos could enjoy the endless wonders that a national park has to offer.

Photo from www.yellowstonehalfmarathon.com

Photo from www.yellowstonehalfmarathon.com

5.  Great Turtle Half Marathon – Mackinac Island, Michigan

Growing up in Michigan, I spent alot of time in the summers visiting Mackinac Island.  This historic colonial island is a major tourist attraction in the summer time, which is why I love the fact that the Great Turtle half is the last weekend of October.  Not only are the colors amaze-balls, but the island is fairly empty….except for the locals and a couple thousand people running.  No worries…compared to the ten’s of thousands of people there in July, 2000 is nothing.  The best part of the island, is that there are no motorized vehicles allowed on the island, so the trails aren’t rutted up.  Only horseback and bikes are allowed in the summer….snowmobiles in the winter but that is only for island residents…all 17 of them, I think.

Photo from http://blog.mlive.com/traveling_coach/2008/10/fall_colors_fading_but_heres_w.html

Photo from http://blog.mlive.com/traveling_coach/2008/10/fall_colors_fading_but_heres_w.html

FYI, Mackinac Island is called the great turtle island because the Native Americans said it rises out of the great water like a turtle…hence, Great Turtle Island Half. Michigan history lesson for the day. Your welcome.