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Monday, July 17, 2017

Weekly Review: Recovery + Reset

Peet's Hill/Burke Park
July 10–July 16
Monday: rest
TuesdayRUN: 2.5 mi
WednesdayRUN: 2.9 mi ("speedwork" 3x1 mi)
Thursday: rest
FridayRUN: 4.1 mi
SaturdayRUN: 8.6 mi
SundayRUN 2.6 mi

Total RUN: 20.6 miles / 1,378 ft

Last week was the beginning of a new training plan, but also recovery from the Missoula Half (which I still haven't recapped because it was pretty uneventful). I stopped running when I felt tired and took an extra rest day in favor of going to Target for house stuff.

This is really from Tuesday, but I see this view a lot.
On Wednesday I did "speedwork" at lunch because Alex had a work picnic that evening. 3 miles: 1 at goal pace, 2 at goal pace –10 seconds, 3 at goal pace –20 seconds. I failed and ran miles 2 and 3 way too fast, so when I got home at 2.9 I was fine with stopping a tenth short.

Some of the trail Friday.
My run Friday morning started in a city park with a steep hill, a little climb, then a downhill. It was a bit hot, even at 8am, so I'm glad I got out when I did.

Photo by Megan
Saturday's miles happened at 6:30am, which means I was with someone else! I met a Volée member for a run on the South Cottonwood trail, which I'd never been to. It was great! No sweeping mountain views, but it was a relatively gradual climb, so I was able to run a lot more than normal. I felt like we were pretty well matched for the run, which is good because she's a faster road racer so I was scared I'd hold her back.

Giant mimosa
Post run, Alex and I went to brunch, where the giant mimosa knocked me out, so I napped after. The rest of Saturday is kind of a blur. Waking up early is hard. ;)

Sunday night (well, 8pm)

Sunday was house day. We have our first visitors next week and had a mega clean/decorate day.  I finally unpacked some boxes, set up my bookshelves, and decorated the guest room. So much progress. It's finally looking like a home! Oh yeah, I ran 2.6 miles, probably too fast. Still not sure about the Hoka Cliftons. I'm going to give them another week, this time with Superfeet insoles.

Do you wear Hokas? 
Have you ever met a "stranger" (or Instagram friend) for a run?

Once again, I'm joining Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin's Weekly Wrap linkup, plus Courtney's training linkup. Be sure to visit the hosts if you haven't already!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Weekly Review: Happy 4th

View while running home on Thursday morning
July 3–July 9
Monday: rest
TuesdayRUN #1: 3 mi + RUN #2: 4 mi (TNT) + WALK: 1 mi
Wednesday: rest
ThursdayRUN 3.5 mi + WALK 1 mi
Friday: rest
SaturdayWALK 1 mi
SundayRUN 13.15 mi (Missoula Half)

Total RUN: 23.7 miles / 538 ft

I barely remember last week. What I do remember: Fireworks. The city allows three days of fireworks, but folks set them off for 5 days straight. Tobias was freaked out at first, but eventually got used to it. More when I get to the night of the 4th...

I ran 3 miles early Tuesday and it was already suuuuuper hot, so I figured that night's Tuesday Night Trails (TNT) would be a scorcher. As soon as we arrived to the $5 informal race (complete with bibs!), I knew I'd finish towards the back. Everyone looked SO FAST.

Before sweating through my red, white, and blue
Mini recap of TNT: We ran the Highland Glen trail while cows roamed. It's kind of hilly, with one big climb and I trucked along behind one guy for about 2-2.5 miles with another right behind me. Our pod was probably 5th from last and Alex was somewhere in the middle. It was 87º and full sun, so around mile 3 I broke down and walked an uphill. Luckily, our pod took turns walking, so we stayed together (and caught a few other people).

(When I took this photo some old guy asked if I was taking a selfie, like it was the worst thing ever.)
It was a tough 4 miles, made tougher knowing if I'd done the same trail race in Ohio, with the same mile times (9:00-9:40), and over the same climb (221ft) I would have at least finished in the middle. On the plus side, everyone was so friendly. Post race, they had a cookout and raffle. It was a great event, but I felt l a little sad about my fitness level and worried I'd have to walk a ton during Sunday's half. (It feels really weird not knowing what to expect while running.)

The sled hill. Sorry, no good fireworks photos.
Later that night we walked to the closest city park, sat on the sled hill, and watched all of the civilian fireworks before the official city fireworks began. People are nuts here! A few rich folks had "shows" that went on for so long they seemed professional. Bozeman is in a valley so we had a 360º view of all kinds of displays. I have never in my life seen so many fireworks at one time. It was cool that night, but got pretty old during the other 4 days of non-stop noise.

I made a cake for Alex's birthday. 
On Thursday, I drove the car to the shop and ran home. I did a "fun reminder" from a Kara Goucher half plan, which is 2x1mile + 2x800, all at goal pace (with rests). It was hot and my first mile was slow, but my second was way too fast. I guess it balanced out? Later that night, we went out for Alex's birthday and then took the dog on a walk to see the sunset.  

On Saturday in Missoula, before feeling sick
On Saturday we drove to Missoula and made it just in time for the Montana Volée pizza picnic. I met some new folks, then picked up my packet before we checked into our hotel. Afer we dropped off the dog, we went back into Missoula for beer, BBQ (The Notorious P.I.G. -haha), and fro yo. Later in the afternoon I got a terrible, throbbing migraine (I get them about 2-3 times a year), felt nauseous, had stomach issues (...), and couldn't eat more than chips for dinner. Yikes! Needless to say, I was pretty worried about Sunday's 4am wakeup.

Volée team photo before the start of the race. 
I'll do a full recap of Sunday's half in a separate post, but I'll spoil it a bit: Despite my horrible night of sickness, I got a solid sleep from 11pm-4am and ran through my sour stomach. I was in a really good mood for some reason and was able to stay with, then pass the 2:00 pace group. It wasn't a PR, but it was pretty flippin' close -- on limited training and at about 3,200ft! All of the hiking in Bozeman (which is higher up) must have worked in my favor!

Did you run a race on the 4th?
Does your city have a ton of civilian fireworks? 
Ever get sick the night before a big race? (I thought I might DNS!)

Once again, I'm joining Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin's Weekly Wrap linkup, plus Courtney's training linkup. Be sure to visit the hosts if you haven't already!

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Weekly Review: Social time

One of the views from Saturday's run
First things first: Happy 4th of July!

Second, last week: Yikes. I skipped some miles and this was my lowest elevation since May, BUT I was social! I work from home, so I've met about 4 people here. (Ok, maybe 6.) I tried to work on running slower paces and failed. When I start my training plan (NEXT WEEK) I have to work on slowing down during easy runs!

June 26–July 2
Monday: RUN 3 mile
TuesdayRUN 3.3 mi (shoe demo)
Wednesday: rest
ThursdayRUN 2 mi; Trail Sisters Q&A
Friday: River float
SaturdayRUN 7.2 mi
SundayRUN 4 mi trail run

Total: 19.6 miles / 344 ft

Shoes, beer, free hat, and a meat sandwich
Alex and I went to Bozeman Running Co for their Altra demo on Tuesday night. We ran about a mile in each shoe, though Alex bailed after two and I did the last one solo. I really liked the Torin IQ and regular Torin. For some reason the IQ seemed cushier, but maybe that was mental. I also tried the Lone Peak, which I liked in theory, but my knee hurt at the end of the mile. After the demo we went to the Bogert Park farmer's market (our first time!) and had a giant meat sandwich. A good night!

Thursday's run was fine, but I only had time for a few miles between work and the Trail Sisters Q&A at BRC. The presentation was great. I recently learned about Trail Sisters and it was great to see the founder in real life. Ultra runner Nikki Kimball (Bozeman local) was also there to answer questions. The event was run like a group discussion and we talked about women in sport, trail running, endorsement money for women, advertising, brands we love, etc... It was a fascinating discussion and reminded me of Oiselle. I was really happy when other women brought up Oiselle as an example of a company FOR women. I didn't want to be an annoying superfan. ;)

Along the Madison River
I went on my first river float Friday. One of the 4 people I know here invited me. We had a group of 6 ladies and we tied our floats together and made our way down the Madison River. It took about 2 hours and it was a blast. So relaxing and beautiful. I would love to do it every week! I skipped my run later, mainly because I took a nap, then Alex and I went to dinner and shopping after he got out of work. Oops.

Saturday (video here)
I spent most of Saturday planning our guest room decor (first visitors arrive in two weeks) and didn't run until the heat subsided at 8pm. I had 8 miles on the plan and made it 7.2 before the stormy skies scared me inside. It didn't end up raining, so I really should have finished.

Double rainbow, but luckily no rain
Sunday's run was another late one with storms in the distance. Super windy, but I saw a double rainbow!

Coming up this week:
Missoula Half Marathon on Sunday. I felt pretty terrible at mile 2-3 of my 8 miler Saturday, but by mile 6 and 7 I was flying... so who freakin' knows how Missoula will go. I have no idea what my race pace is these days, so I'll probably just run by feel and avoid looking at my watch. I *hope* I can finish without feeling defeated.

I'm joining Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin's Weekly Wrap linkup and Courtney's training linkup. Be sure to visit both linkups if you haven't already!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Weekly Review: Montana continues to be awesome

Tuesday night's sunset.

My "no plan" plan: I'm still without a training plan and two weeks from the Missoula Half. I suppose my intention for this "no plan, but I'm running a race soon" thing is to just run those 13.1 miles, hope for the best, and use it as my base for fall. I have no idea what my race pace is these days, so my time will become my "Montana PR" and we'll take it from there.

June 19–June 25
Monday: RUN 3.1 mile
TuesdayRUN 4.3 mi
Wednesday: rest
ThursdayRUN 5 mi
Friday: rest
SaturdayRUN 4 mi + canoeing
SundayRUN 6 mi trail run + 3 mi at home

Total: 25.5 miles / 1,617 ft

This week I tried my new Hoka Clifton 3's from the REI garage sale. My legs hurt on the first two runs, but felt a little better later in the week. I don't think they'll replace my Saucony Omni's for racing, but they're a good option for shoe rotation. Not sure how they work on trails...

Flowers in my neighborhood
There were a few hot runs this week, but nothing like Ohio summers. Sure the sun is brighter (and hotter), but humidity is so much lower and it makes a huge difference. I tend to run close to sunset, so direct sunlight isn't an issue.

Hyalite on Saturday (we live here??!!)
Alex and I went canoeing on Saturday. We've had the canoe since our engagement (he bought it as a surprise, then proposed while we were in it) and moved it to Montana – which required a giant moving truck – so we had to bring it out at least once. It's heavy, so loading and unloading is a pain, but once we got it in the water it was lovely.

Reading spot
Alex fished from the canoe a bit, but my favorite part was when we pulled up to a nice little meadow and I read my book for a while as Alex fished from the shore. Unfortunately, the water was really high and moved too fast to catch anything.

Lone Peak as seen from Beehive Basin
I planed to run 10 miles on Sunday and heard from a new Oiselle friend, Hillary. She was in Big Sky (little over an hour from Bozeman) for the weekend and invited me for a run. Even though we'v been here since March, this was our first time in Big Sky (Alex came along and hiked). Hillary and I tackled the Beehive Basin trail. Or rather, Hillary did and I almost died on the way up.

So pretty

My legs felt like lead and running became almost impossible. At 1.3 I was really honest and told her to go up ahead and I'd keep going til she turned around and we'd run back together. I walked up the steep bits, running occasionally... and took lots of photos.

Last stop before losing the trail...

Just past a snowy pond, I lost the trail. Instead of continuing on what seemed to be the trail, I decided to go back to the pond and wait for Hillary. Luckily, she turned around, too. Running down was soooo easy. In the end, we only got 6 miles BUT when I uploaded my data it turned out we ran from 7,900ft to 9,100ft. My house is around 4,800ft so I felt a tiny bit better about how hard it was. Altitude sure is humbling!

Montana ladies
I'm trying something new this week: in addition to Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin's Weekly Wrap linkup, I thought I'd also join Courtney's since I always read her training recaps. Check out her post on getting faster. I know it's all true, but sometimes I need a little reminder.

Have you ever been to Big Sky? 
Have you tried Hokas? 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Bird Camp Idaho

Partial group shot from our first trail run
Welcome to another Weekly Review post with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin! I took off a few days from training then went to Birdcamp, so I thought I'd revisit what we did last week.

June 12–June 18
Total Run: 24 miles / 4,377 ft
Total Hike: 3.6 miles / 850 ft

What is Bird Camp? 
First things first, Bird Camp is a women-only running camp through Oiselle. Only current Volée members have access to Bird Camp. There are several across the United States with accommodations for 20 to 150 women. I went to Bird Camp Michigan last year where the focus was sand dunes and wine tours. It was beautiful and my Volée membership finally made sense. (In real life meetings are where it's at.) 

In our Bird Camp shirts
I figured I'd go to Michigan again, but when we decided to move to Bozeman I signed up for Idaho Bird Camp, which is unofficially known as the trail running camp. The run/hikes were steep and in high altitude, but I can confidently say that all levels are welcome. There was a race option as well. The River of No Return Endurance Run had a 25k, 50k, and 108k option. I chose to run the 25k and didn't know what to expect. 

Living Waters Ranch

When and Where
Idaho Bird Camp took place Wednesday, June 14 thru Sunday, June 18 at Living Waters Ranch in Challis, Idaho. Challis is pretty remote, so many folks flew into Salt Lake, Boise, or Sun Valley. From Bozeman it's about a 5.5 hour drive, but I ended up going to Missoula (3 hours away) to meet up with other Montana ladies to ride the rest of the way with them. It was really nice to have 3 friends right off the bat! 

Daily Activities
Check in, a light dinner, introductions, and a tour of the campgroups. Our camp swag bag included a high quality Oiselle backpack/tote, Lux layer Bird Camp shirt, Stance socks, Nuun, a trucker hat, Hank Orange headband, Blue Rub anti chafe stick, Picky Bars, and some things I'm probably forgetting. It was a great spread.    

Water crossing #1 on the Juliette Creek Trail
Breakfast was at 7, then most of us suited up for a trail run at Juliette Creek. (Four of the more advanced ladies went to mark and scout a snowy section of trail along the River of No Return 108k course.) The Juliette Creek trail was also part of the 108k course and included 4 or 5 river crossings over high water with a strong current. There were ropes to help us cross and the water was freeeeeezing. After 4.7 miles we went up and down 1,257 feet. 

Bayhorse Lake

Afterwards, we drove up to Bayhorse Lake for a photo stop. Last year, the lake wasn't snowy so they were able to run around and even jump in the water. Way too cold for that! My group took the downtime between the lake and lunch to stock up on groceries. 

Goldbug infinity pool
After lunch, we took a long ride out to Goldbug Hot Springs in Elk Bend. It was about 35 miles from Challis, but soooo worth the drive and steep-steep-steep hike. I don't think we were mentally prepared for a hot hike, but the view from the hot spring pool was amazing. The water felt fantastic and it was a great break before the hike down. 

Part of the pizza party

The night ended with dinner at a pizza place in Challis. I was beat by bedtime! 

Up the camp road

Another 7am breakfast and folks divided into groups for the morning's activities. I went on a shakeout run with about 8 or so others. We ran up the road closest to camp and it was deceptive. It looked flat, but it turned out to be a slight incline. We walked a bit and socialized in the middle, but it was a great workout and I began to appreciate my Bozeman training. I think it would have been very difficult to run this route with Ohio lungs. 

I watched as they did the work.
Before lunch, one of the Idaho Volée leaders led an hour-long yoga class. I considered joining, but decided to lay in the room and relax instead. The yoga class was fantastic and the music was amazing. (I would take her class in a heartbeat if I lived in Idaho.) Post yoga lunch was nice, then a nutritionist came to give a talk. She had us go around and introduce ourselves and ask one nutrition question, then she touched on the answers throughout her talk. It all came in handy during the race the next day. At 6pm we went to the race briefing and packet pickup. I was really starting to get nervous about the 25k, but at least our course was easier than the 108k. No snow or water crossings for us! 

Birdstike film: watch the trailer
After the race meeting (or was it before?) we got to watch the short film from Oiselle and Polartec called Birdstrike. I highly recommend it. It was great to get a bit of inside info from one of the crew members (and all-around awesome woman). I only wish the film was longer! Post-movie we were able to touch and try on some clothes and gear from Oiselle's latest line. I wish we could see fall and spring previews, but I'll take what I can get. ;) 

Almost all of the racers

I didn't get great sleep on Friday night, so waking up for the race on Saturday was a bit of a challenge. I was still very nervous, but at least my race morning went smoothly. I'll do a longer recap once race photos are up, but here's a spoiler: it was really hard from mile 4-7, but then I felt fantastic. I was afraid of not being able to handle it or taking too long, but now that I look back I wish I would have run faster. Ha! Isn't that always the case?
I think this was before... when I was still nervous. ;)

Post-race we hung around for the taco bar, beer, and age group awards then went back to camp for showers and lunch. Most of us went to the local brewery for a little while, then killed more time at camp before dinner. Around 10 or 11pm we went to the last aid station on the 108k course (right outside of our camp) to wait for one of our members to finish her race. It was really great to be there to cheer for her and a few other runners who came through. That aid station was 5 miles from the end, so anyone coming through knew they were going to finish. Very exciting! 

The Montana Volée memers
One last breakfast and then we said our goodbyes. I road with the other Montana ladies until Missoula, then rocked out to loud music on my way back to Bozeman. Until next year!

I'd go back to Idaho in a heartbeat. I loved Michigan Bird Camp (and would also go there again), but I'm not sure if it was the slightly smaller group, the extra half day, or the West Coast personalities (ha!), but I felt like I made more lasting connections with the ladies in Idaho. (Don't worry: I made a few magical friendships in Michigan!) In the end, the scenery was fantastic, the runs were confidence builders, and, ultimately, the company made Idaho Bird Camp amazing. 

Have you gone to camp as an adult?
Have you been to Idaho or run a race with crazy elevation?

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