Boston Strong

marathonsspirit

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

 

Share

Bunny Run 5K Race Recap

Bunny-Run

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.

Share

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.

weather2

 

boyspicnic

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.

Share

Urban Adventure Race Recap

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

urbanadventure

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:

hardcart

-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.

Share

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.

Share

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.

photo

mothernature

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.

30-day-ab-challenge

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

Share

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.

wicklow_half_logo

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.

Share

We are still here.

Oh my…what is WRONG with us…..no post since February 1……I’m sure you are all on the edge of your seats wondering what happened, where are we, what have we been up to….

Really, you all are….I’m sure of it.

Truth of the matter is that sometimes, life gets in the way of fun stuff, like blogging.  Our kids are crazy busy these days with basketball tourneys, and now we, well, Jamie and I, are going BACK to volleyball for another 6 weeks of club play.  Oh, and we are all calving now…well, not us specifically but all the critters are calving which means husbands become very scarce, and cranky, and hungry and well….busy.

In the midst of all of this….. YES, we are all still running and training.  We have halves coming up down the road, some Tri’s we really, REALLY want to hit and a few 5K’s as well.

To say the PPMR have a bit on our plates is an understatement, but really….if we didn’t overload ourselves we would probably think we were missing something.  Or life was boring…..which, we can honestly say, it is never boring.

BUT we are here and back and will be better about posting…I promise.  Again.

To prove we have been busy….Ill share some photos of the last month of life…..

The tree jumped out in front of Jamie.

The tree jumped out in front of Jamie.

 

I didn't hit any trees, but I did bury the end of my sled more then once.

I didn’t hit any trees, but I did bury the end of my sled more then once.

 

While we were screwing around on the mountain, Heather got a brand spankin' new kitchen.

While we were screwing around on the mountain, Heather got a brand spankin’ new kitchen.

 

NEW.RULE.

NEW.RULE.

 

 

Share

It’s worth it. I promise.

I, well, we, have a friend who is organizing a half marathon in our little town.  The Sillassen Half will take place on April 19, and runs, literally, in my front yard.  Yes, FINALLY, I found a race that I don’t have crazy travel!

There are lots of upsides to this race, but so far, my favorite UP is that I have a few friends who have jumped onto the crazy train and are going to run it, as their first half!

I am beyond crazy proud of both of them for tossing all common sense out the window and committing.  Really, the idea of running 13.1 miles is daunting to anyone, but especially for the first time out and really, the road I live in is a little hilly

So I was talking with one of them on Thursday, asked how she was doing with her training, all that good stuff.  She is doing great, she really is, but our conversation got me to thinking…which is never a good thing.

Like most of us, she is a mom and a wife and the balancing act can be challenging.  And let’s face it…..the only one who mom will let suffer, is mom.  Mom will eat last.  Mom will clean up the living room before she goes to be so she doesn’t have to do it in the morning.  Mom will skip her run to take care of everything else that needs attending or run at 0 dark 30 before the munchkins are up and moving so as to not disturb their schedules anymore then necessary.  We have all been there ….. many of us are going right back there AGAIN….you are so not alone in this.

Training for a half is demanding.  Training PERIOD is demanding, however the half, while much easier to manage then a full, is a lot to take on.  You are still committing to 3-4 days a week and a long run on the weekend that, eventually, will take a couple hours and allow you to solve world peace.  In Winter….when motivation to get outside for long runs is simply that the idea of a double digit run on the dreadmill is the only thing less appealing the double digits in single digit weather and slick roads.

To both Trisha and Kimberly, and anyone else who is training for their first half…regardless of the race, I want you to know this….

It is worth it.

The time, energy, the sweat and tears and pulled muscles and aching feet.  The blisters and stomach aches, the EXHAUSTION.  It is all worth it.  None of it will be in vain.  The time from your kids, it might take you away from them now, but when they are standing at the finish line, cheering you in…..it will be worth it.  When you sit down and can’t get up again without some assistance, you will have earned every bit of help.  You just ran 13.1 miles…you deserve some help.  And a beer.

You will have pushed yourself so far past any point where you thought possible, and you continued on and you did it.

I was told several times before my first half that the person who finishes the race, is not the same person who starts.  I have found this to be very, VERY true.  Something happens on the course….between the elation of starting, the frustration when your watch isn’t ticking away the miles nearly as fast as you would like, the agony of knowing your whole body hurts yet there are still 4 miles to go, to the very welcome final burst of adrenaline when the sights and sounds of the finish line come into view.  It will be worth it.

Question your sanity now.  I promise that we all do it.  After 6 half marathons, and a full, I still ask myself why I do this.  And the reason is because you cannot duplicate the race day experience and from the starting line to the finish, it is an experience.  It is your experience, so treasure it.  Don’t let anything get in the way.  And the training is part of your experience.  The run that feels like you can run forever and the one where you want to throw away your shoes and never run again….it’s all part of it.

Your kids will thank you….and cheer you in, steal your medal, and probably fight with each other over who gets to wear it but even that will be worth it.  They will be proud of you.  Hubby will be proud of you.  You will be proud of you.

You get to the starting line feeling confident and ready.  You finish physically drained, emotionally worn but you will be stronger then you were when you began.  Exhausted but strong.

www.fellowflowers.com

www.fellowflowers.com

P.S. Once again, inspirational photo from Fellow Flowers….check them out.

Share

#megsmiles

I don’t personally know Meg. All I know about her is that she is a Boston Qualifier. She is a mother of 3, a wife, a daughter. I know she loved to run and she died doing what she loved to do.

Today, while Meg was being laid to rest in Virginia, people all over the world were running for Meg. In support of her family and friends. To do what runners do….finish her run. The running community is just that….a community. It showed during Boston. It showed for Sherry Arnold. It shows for Meg. Its seems every year, I run at least 1 memorial run. Its sad, but at the same time, the run itself always seems to being me a sense of peace. Of happiness. It is not a secret that I have struggled with my run love for the past few weeks. I took over a week off, and while I got back out there, the run was great, but I didn’t LOOOVE it. Today, I didn’t really except anything else but to run, post a photo with #megsmiles so her family monitoring the Facebook page could see, and be done with it.

It was so much more. It was the run I needed. The wind was blowing, again, still…whatever….it was blowing and seemed to be a headwind the whole way so I had to fight for every step. I loved it. I did it. Up the hills, down the hills, I tripped over my dog a few times, skid on a slick patch of leaves, and realized how damn lucky I am that I could get out and run. That I often take for granted my ability to run, and I often forget how happy it makes me feel when I run, just to run. I didn’t care about how fast I went and Mother Nature made sure I wasn’t going to worry about it at all.

run1

Happy Pup

run4

My view.

 

horsesrunning

Got some additional 4 legged running buddies today.

I enjoyed taking my dogs with me, running with the neighbor’s horses and frankly, the fresh air and beautiful blue sky. I forgot all about my messy house, my cranky children or what was I going to make sure supper. Instead I thought about how much I love my kids…and how I will always kiss them good-bye when I go for a run. How I adore my husband and how supportive he is of my passion me. My friends….several of who have jumped on the running crazy train with me. They are the ones who ground me….tell me to get over it, suck it up, keep moving or take a break.

Really….how F’N LUCKY I AM TO BE ABLE TO RUN.  End of story.

I thought about how Meg and her family would do anything to have one more run. It’s sad that it always takes the stories like this, that are the kick to the teeth I need to check a crappy attitude. It is sad that these stories are all too common, for all of us. I don’t know Meg. But I’m willing to take a guess and say she is looking down on all of us running, thinking, enjoy it…..enjoy running while you can….enjoy life while you can.

I pray for peace for Meg’s family and friends.  I pray for justice.  I pray for all of us, the banded community of runners….we will simply keep doing what we do, which is to finish the run for those who cannot.

RIP Meg.

megsmiles

Share