Fit for Life Half Marathon

Race Report: Fit for Life Half Marathon

Boise, Idaho

The day before the race, I fatted out big time. I usually go for a hike or something on my rest days, but considering I had just done a half marathon on Wednesday and had another on Saturday, I figured my body could use a lazy day.

My son and husband went to the garage on a secret mission–to make me a sign for the race the following day. I was reading my book when my son came in, all smiles and told me had a surprise that he couldn’t wait to show me–I had to come see it right then.

Check out my super sweet poster. He worked really hard on it. I am keeping this forever.

On the morning of race day, I woke up before the alarm so I had plenty of time to drink my coffee and read. It was nice to not feel rushed; relax a bit before the race. Lady H and B both woke up on their own, which means they were in pretty good spirits.

I had managed to go grocery shopping the day before, buying the much needed pre-race banana this time ’round. I try not to make the same mistake twice…too many times in a row, anyway. I suited up, compression socks and all. Grabbed a couple gels. My headphones. I was good to go.

The race started at 7:30 a.m. at the Hawks Memorial Stadium in Garden City, Idaho. The day was expected to be pretty hot, so I was bracing myself for that. It was a good atmosphere, as it always is at this baseball themed Fit for Life race. This is the third time I have done it. Each time has been a great, well-organized event. People are friendly and encouraging for the most part. You get the occasional hot-shot that thinks it makes them faster to be a rude hoser. Otherwise, it was great.

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When the race started, I was got a little worried because the first few kilometers felt rough. I was going at a 4:30 per kilometer pace. It felt harder than it should have. This happens to me sometimes and I am yet to really figure out why. There seems to not be much rhyme or reason to it. Within a few kilometers though, I found my stride and felt fine. I ran hard. I was the third/fourth woman for a lot of it, leapfrogging with one other woman.

At the 10.5 km turn around point, I spotted these guys cheering me on.

That was some good motivation. I am always so proud to see my crew. I sort of look at the other runners, like “Yeah, they are mine.”

Mr. G even ran a few seconds with me to give me a boost. It was pretty sweet.

After the turn around point, I finally succeeded in over-taking the woman I was leapfrogging with, but two other women passed me, putting me in 5th, where I remained the rest of the race. I am truly only racing against myself, so that didn’t phase me. I just kept an eye on my pace. I thought maybe I could PR on this one, but during the last 7 kilometers, I knew I wasn’t going to. My muscles still hadn’t recovered from the half marathon I had done two days ago. I did end up getting nearly the exact same time as Wednesday’s race…improved by 6 seconds, putting the Fit for Life race as my second best time.

Just as the elongated shadows started to shorten, I found these guys waiting for me before the final shoot onto home plate.

My heart.

Race Challenges:

-It was warm today, but it ended up not being quite as toasty as I expected. If I had been out there for even 10 more minutes, I think it would have wore on me. I made it just in time to take shelter by the beer tent.

-In the last kilometer, I developed a side ache, which I just ran through.

-I could have used a bit more water. I survived.

-My calf cramped slightly. Meh. I’m okay.

-I got tired. 

After the finish, I stood around chatting with a couple of the women that finished before me–super nice people. One woman had also been at the Firecracker Frolic two days ago. The other woman that finished a few seconds in front of me seemed semi-famous among the Boise runners. Everyone knew her. Pretty cool to see so many tough women finishing strong. Everyone was really positive and supportive–the running community tends to be. Runners be cool.

I finished in 1 hour, 44 minutes, 44 seconds.

I had two of those beers. They were hella good. Hop Valley brewhaha.
Watching runners come in on the baseball field with my beer and medal.
I received the second medal for 2nd place female in my category (5th place overall woman).

One cool and unusual thing I saw today was a lot of younger people out there racing. A 10-year-old even did the half! The second overall male was a teenager, as was the 3rd, 4th, and possibly even 5th place. It makes my heart happy to see kids getting involved in running. Maybe it is the teacher/parent in me, but I clapped extra loud for those kids. It also has me scheming to get B into a 10 k race soon.

Where did you race this weekend?! Tell me about it in the comments.

Happy running and stay rad!

Weekly Running Log Rundown

Hey, hey! I hope you are having a lovely summer weekend!

Here is my running log rundown for the week. Sunshine with a chance of sunshine this week.

Sunday: The in-laws were in town, I so tried to get out earlier than most of my summer runs have been. I don’t want to make them wait to long for me.

I am getting ready for a double half marathon this week and consequently wanted to go at a chiller pace and not go above 10 km. I call it micro-taper.

Some new socks I am trying out. What do you think?

Monday: I didn’t feel too well today. Headache and stomachache for the last day. Running seemed to help me feel better somewhat though. Doing a slight taper for that  half marathon coming up.

Tuesday: Rest day before tomorrow’s half marathon, so I went on a short 3.5 km hike with the family.

Wednesday: Race day! Firecracker Frolic half marathon. 1 hour, 44 minutes. Pretty happy with my time. It wasn’t exactly flat. A few hills that made it hard to try for a PR. Nice, small event. 2nd female, 3rd overall.

Thursday: Recovery run day. My legs felt fine after the race, but I could tell I needed to take it a bit easy. Nice to get out on the trails. Hill work was a good change of pace!

Friday: Rest day before tomorrow’s half marathon. Did a lot of fattin’ out.

My son made me an amazing poster for my race tomorrow.

Saturday: Race day!

This was the first race I ever did six years ago and the third time I have done this half. It is an excellent race course–flat, pretty, well-attended. Pretty stoked to get 2nd place in my category–fifth female overall. Cheers!

4th of July Firecracker Frolic Half Marathon

Race Report: Firecracker Frolic Half Marathon

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Post-Race Festivities

Melba, Idaho

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Melba. Population 550. Old West…with TACOS and American Flags.

I was stoked when I saw this race come around on my Facebook suggested events. It was set up pretty last minute–about a month before race day on July 4th. I think because of that, it had very few people sign up. I suspected it would be a small event because about two weeks before the race, the participants received an email saying they moved the location from downtown Boise, to the tiny town of Melba (I had to look up where Melba was), combining with the Olde Tyme fun runs that they have done for years on the 4th. I didn’t realize just how few racers had signed up until about half an hour before the race started and I asked a fellow runner picking up his race packet. He said the race director told him about 20. Turns out it was 22, to be exact.

Melba is about an hour drive from Boise, so I rallied my kids at 4:30 am by scooping them out of bed, still in their jams, my husband putting them in their car seats. They always view these early morning wake ups as adventures, so they were pretty excited. Fingers crossed that attitude doesn’t change in the foreseeable future. They also knew there was going to be a fun 4th of July parade after the race, so they were willing to comply.

We got there at 5:30 for the race packet pick up. It was at the Tower Theater, a tiny little old theater on a quintessential small town main street. Melba looks like a town out of an Old West-style movie. It even had people riding horses and tumbleweeds to make it legit Old West–not staged, I kid you not.

As I processed the size of the race, I was also grateful for the cooler morning. It isn’t usually lower degrees on the Forth of July, but because of the early start, Melba delivered perfect running temperatures. At the 6 am start time, we had a simple countdown from three to start us off. 

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I started off in second place, following a pretty fast guy in the lead. I held second for most of it, with a lady that trailed right behind me a majority of the time.

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Stars and Stripes

I was still feeling pretty strong and holding second place. I was starting to feel it at 18 kilometers, and the lady that was behind me overtook me. She was super sweet, offering me encouragement and telling me to stay with her.

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I couldn’t complain about the view. The race offered wide-open sights of the sunrise over the mountains. It was truly gorgeous.

I had failed to eat anything before the race and only had two gels with me, which is what I usually carry with me for a half, but without having my banana breakfast, I felt the loss in calories. The race did have a roaming aid station, which worked pretty well. She drove her van to three different locations, providing water, Gatorade, and oranges. She drove to the person in the lead and waited until the last runner had passed through her aid station before moving on. I know they were short on volunteers because of the later festivities in the town, so this was pretty clever.

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At the finish. I was tired, but had regained most of my strength by the end.

After the last aid station, where I grabbed some Gatorade, I felt much better, regaining a lot of my strength. I finished right behind the lady that had passed me. I also finished third overall and second female (you know, out of 22). My only complaint about the race was that the results were all screwed up. They also said they would hand deliver our medals to our houses, and I have not heard word on that yet. I guess things like that are to be expected in a race that was new this year and wasn’t maybe as planned out as it could be in the future. They did a good job with getting us our packets, the course, pictures, the roaming aid station, and of course, I dug the location because of the parade that was to follow. I would do this race again…if I get my medal, that is.

Evaluating the calorie situation, I should have had my 100 calorie banana in the morning (but, duh, I know) and I should have had my second gel one kilometer earlier, before I felt tired. It was hard to get back my speed after that.

At the end of the day, I only race against myself, and thinking about it from that angle, I did get my second best half marathon time. I was happy with that.

Finishing time:

1 hour, 44 minutes

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Red, white, and blue festivities

With the combination of the Olde Tyme fun run, it felt pretty festive afterward. Lots of families out and about with some good after race food. We set up our blankets and sat for a bit, snacking on some of the foods. It was still pretty chilly though, so we grabbed our change of clothes and found the nearest diner with hot coffee and American-style breakfast.

Check out that cool Idaho rock statue.

We killed time until 10:30, which was the start of the parade. It was the first parade our kids had seen, as that is not a thing that happens overseas…at least not the places we have lived abroad.

Lady H loving the painting of the tiny horse.
Cups for storing their candy loot.
So. Many. Tractors.
‘Merica, baby.
I loved all the old cars.
This was my favorite thing allll day.

We stayed and watched the parade until past noon. Sun-soaked and post candy saturated crash, the kids both passed out on the car ride back.

While Lady H napped at home, B and I made chocolate chip cookies with coconut oil. Running makes me hungry and we have to fit as much Americana as possible into the 4th of July. It is the only holiday we get to celebrate in the United States.
Nana and Grandpa Mike came by for some mild fireworks in the front yard.
Lady H was noooot having it.
The Mr. G hustle.
Smoke magic.
Some were too loud for B too.

The day flowed from race, to parade, to cookies, to fireworks well. We were all so tired at the end of the day though, everyone went to bed two hours earlier than usual. It was awesome.

Happy 4th. Happy running. Stay rad, my friends.

Mystery Blogger Award

Blogger award time! I have not participated in one of these before, but my blogging buddy thedancingrunner nominated me and thought it looked fun. You should check out her site, she has some great posts. Thanks for nominating me! I will also nominate three more bloggers that deserve recognition and to pass on the love after I answer some questions.

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Here are the rules…

-Thank whomever nominated you and include a link to their blog
-Tell your readers three things about yourself
-Nominate bloggers you feel deserve the award
-Answer the questions from the person who nominated you
-Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, with one weird or funny one
-Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

Soooo, following the rules of the “Mystery Blogger Award,” I need to tell you you three things about myself. Here it goes:

I travel to eat good food. That may not be the only reason, but it is a major reason. I mean, getting to know a culture through their food…yes! Street food is my favorite. You know if the locals are lined up and eating the cheap, fresh street food, it has gotta be good. Go where the locals go.

I am an ambivert. Yep, that is a thing. Depending on the situation, the people around me, the mood I am in, I can be an introvert or an extrovert. Sometimes, I just need to be alone or with my family to recharge, and other times I want to be in a crowd of people, socializing. I’m weird like that.

I was raised to be fiercely independent. I am certain this is a big reason I love running. I feel a lot of independence when I am out there, which I need and thrive on. No one can do a run for you. A runner has to rely completely on themselves to get it done, whether that is through a foreign country on unknown streets or trails, extreme weather conditions, or diving into a new race distance. I dig that. I feel like running is something I do completely on my own.

Q & A:

-What is your proudest moment in your life thus far?

My proudest moment so far is bringing my two children into the world and thus far, not screwing them up too badly. They seem relatively happy and adjusted, so that makes me super proud. It was not easy getting them here, especially our daughter, but those little people make my heart swell more than anything else in the world. They are the definition of good.

-If you had to post one more picture on social media and then never post again for the rest of your life, what would it be a picture of?

I should say this one:

But, I would probably choose this one:

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-What is your favorite summer beverage (alcoholic or non alcoholic) besides water?

Coffee is my breakfast. It may be my favorite part of the day, the combination of drinking coffee and reading my book.

But specifically for summer, I would say soda water. Those LaCroix flavors are ammaaazing. I am currently in love with the coconut one. It is like summer in a can.

Red wine for the end of the day when it is time to kick back.
-How long have you been blogging?

I am a newbie. I have only been blogging for two months. What a learning curve this has been! Any and all blogging advice is welcome. Some of you are veterans when compared to my measly two months. I am really enjoying it though. It gives me a place to voice my ideas. I am a somewhat quiet person, depending on whom surrounds me, so this is a good place for me to get some things I have learned about running, traveling, and including my family in on those things.
-What is the best blog post that you’ve ever posted?

People shared this one quite a bit and drove traffic to my site. I think I timed it right as it was the beginning of warmer weather and people were wanting to start a running routine.

10 Tips for Running in the Morning: As Told by GIFs

Here are some bloggers I would like to learn more about!

Trevor–Rubber Ankle Running

Nat–This Vet Runs

Cat–cat h. bradley

And here are my five questions for my nominees:

1. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?

2. You all are impressive runners, so this applies to all of you–how long have you been running and what was your proudest moment in running?

3. What are some things that make your day better? 

4. What is the best book you have read? 

5. What job would you be terrible at? 

Until next time, my friends.

Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

Two years ago, I hadn’t even heard of plantar fasciitis. Now it feels like I only purchase shoes based on this. I also feel like I went half mad and half broke trying to cure myself. If you don’t know what it is, it probably means you are lucky enough to not suffer from it. Basically, what it is a bunch of micro tears to the plantar, a ligament that attaches to the heel bone. It becomes inflamed and super painful. It is a common running injury. Mine actually started during pregnancy with increased progesterone caused all the ligaments loosen up.

For a year, it was really bad. I limped around, I taped every day, I massaged, I wore a medical boot, I rolled out on a tennis ball, I saw a sports therapist, and even tried acupuncture. I’m going to let you know what worked for me, but everyone is different. I am also not a doctor, nor trained in any sports medicine. I just scowered every corner of the internet researching plantar fasciitis. I am not 99% okay, but I do not believe it will ever go away completely. There will be things on this list that I will always need to use and do.

Plantar Fasciitis Tips

Magnesium: I wish I had started with this as soon as I found out I had plantar fasciitis. I firmly believe it is what finally made it livable. I can tell that if I forget it for even a day, it hurts more. When I first started using it, I would take one 400 mg dose in the morning and one at night, spreading out the amount due to it causing stomach distress. I was willing to deal with the stomach troubles, because it made my foot feel better. I tried glycinate magnesium because read that it was better on the stomach, but it also did less for my foot. There are many kinds out there, most have worked for me. I am currently using magnesium oxide and it works great for me. After being on it for a few months, my stomach adjusted and causes no problems now. I listed both below so you can decide what would work better for you (I use the first one).

Taping: I had to use the below taping method to run or walk every day. I used plain white medical tape and found it worked MUCH better than the expensive KT Tape for this particular type of taping. Keep it taut, but do not pull too tight while taping.

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Spiky ball: I found the spiky ball made for plantar worked better than a tennis ball, but when I was in the midst of severe pain, a harder ball like a golf ball or a racquetball worked best to break up the damaged scar tissue.

Hokas: Once I discovered Hokas, I didn’t need to tape anymore. I cannot suggest these enough. They are great for the injured runner or walker.

Inserts: I do put the PowerStep insert into my running shoes still. I think it is a necessity for anyone with plantar fasciitis, but even if you aren’t injured, they are just more comfortable.

Birkenstocks: Wear these from the moment you get out of bed until you go to sleep. Your feet need them. For two years, they were all I could wear. They are ugly as sin, but have recently come back into fashion as a tongue-in-cheek style statement. Just pretend you are in on the trend when really you are just luxuriating in the Birk. Anyone raised in the 90s know that a ‘cute Birkenstock’ is an oxymoron, but who cares if your feet don’t hurt.

Lacing shoes: Don’t mind the mud. Check out the lacing. Basically, you lace the first holes normally and then skip over middle ones, lacing normally again on the last few holes. Works to alleviate pressure on your arch. I still have to do this with my shoes, and probably always will.

Medical boot: I had to sleep in a medical boot like the one below for quite a few months and will still pull it out when my plantar fasciitis feels like it is making itself known again. It is a little uncomfortable to sleep in all night, so try to start with a few hours at first, then increase the hours as you get more used to it. It helps quite a bit to stretch the plantar all night. I can tell that the first step out of bed doesn’t hurt as much after wearing this, and then proceeds to be better the rest of the day. It certainly didn’t cure it, but improved it.


Foam rolling: I personally roll out on the back of my calf and the tibialis anterior, the muscle to the side of the shin bone. I included a video on how to foam roll your shins. It starts the technique around 1 minute into the video. It helped a fair bit, but again did not cure it.

Other things that others said to try that did not work for me:

Frozen water bottle to roll your foot on.

Stretching your calf

Stretching your toes

Massage

Night sock that stretches your foot

It is really hard not to get depressed when you are injured and lead an active lifestyle. I know how frustrating it was for me, which I don’t think is unique. Keep trying different things and be patient. Adjust what you need to. Know I sympathize with you.

Stay rad, my friends.

Bogus Basin Stack Rock Family Hike

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. -Ralph W. Emerson

Hiking is a great way to spend a day off from running. It is also really good for our kids to get outside and into nature. Both of them love it. Their imaginations run wild and they find endless entertainment in the rocks, sticks, dirt, butterflies, chipmunks, and whatever else they discover along the way. They learn to get back up when they fall and scrape their knees, both of which did this on our 13.7 kilometer (8.5 mile) hike through the trails of Bogus Basin.

This is another annual hike we do. It is about an hour drive from our house and is one of the greener places to be found in the desert city of Boise. Driving up Bogus Basin Road, you can see the terrain change from dry, dusty, brown to green, muddy, pine trees. It makes me reminiscent of the greener Northern Idaho, where I was born and bred.

The hike has a fair bit of elevation gain throughout, but the kids did great. Lady H was packed for most of it, but insisted on getting out and walking parts herself, which is wonderful to see her exerting her love of nature like the rest of us. B hiked nearly the whole thing, with an occasional piggy back ride from me. It took us a little under four hours, but very little complaining. The break at Stack Rock helped B regain his energy. As for Mr. G, he was pretty tired from doing most of the packing of Lady H.

There is no place in the world that brings the same feeling as the wilderness of Idaho. You can feel and see the patience of nature in every direction. Stress evaporates. There is something instinctual in being in the woods. It feels like it is a place we are supposed to be. I spend a lot of my life feeling foreign and stretching my learning, which is wonderful and I am grateful for all of the opportunities, but places like this are places where I can just be.

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My 6-year-old is my photographer.

Dad strength

Rachael Anderson: Ultrarunner Taking on Vol State 500km

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I have gotten to meet some really great runners from around the world, all of whom inspire me in different ways. This is Rachael Anderson. She will be taking on Vol State 500km…for a second time.

I met Rachael when we both showed up to run with Bangkok Runners in Khao Mai Keow, Thailand. This awesome group would organize meet ups to run in the jungle occasionally, because we liked to torture ourselves with heat and humidity, in good company of course.

Neither one of us is in Thailand anymore, but I have been following her running and it is most impressive. Check out what she has to say:

1. What is your everyday occupation?

I’m a high school calculus teacher at an international school in Pakistan.

2. How many ultras have you done? What was your favorite or most memorable?

I’ve actually only done three races that qualify as ultras – two 50km races and the 2017 Last Annual Vol State (LAVS) 500km race. I’ve also done the Camino de Santiago – a 500 mile hike across Spain – twice.

My favorite race has to be LAVS just because of the sheer difficultly of the undertaking and the camaraderie I experienced during and after the race. When you’re put in a situation like that with other people, you quickly become a family.

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3. What is your next big race you have been training for?

I’ve spent the past 10 months training for the 2018 LAVS, which will be held from July 12-22. The course starts in Dorena Landing, Missouri and ends in Castle Rock, Georgia, crossing the state of Tennessee.

4. Where do you live and does it impact training?

I live in Pakistan, so I’m limited to my compound when it comes to training. Luckily, I have access to a nice weight room, a 25m pool, a 400m track, and a 1km loop around the school. My training is largely solitary and I have to work hard to keep up my motivation.  I rely on podcasts and audiobooks to keep my mind occupied on long runs.

Another issue with training in Pakistan is the heat. The temperature in Karachi, where I live, is above 80 degrees for the majority of the year and can get up to 120 degrees in the summer. This isn’t a dry heat either. Due to our proximity to the Indian Ocean, it is quite humid throughout the year. This makes training brutal, but I know that it will be worth it when I’m running through Tennessee in the middle of the summer.

5. How do you prepare for a 500 kilometer (314 mile) unaided race?

This is really a difficult question, and I think the answer heavily depends on the person. A lot of my fellow runners do back to back runs on the weekend. So, perhaps 30 miles on Saturday and another 20 miles on Sunday. This is a fairly typical staple of ultra training but, under the direction of my coach, I did something a bit different this year.

My training generally consists of 9-10 workouts spread over six days, with one rest day per week. These include swimming, cycling (I use an indoor trainer and Zwift), weightlifting, and running (15-20 miles a week). My entire training plan has been built around heart rate zones, in order to improve my endurance and aerobic capacity. I also do journey runs/walks when I’m outside of Pakistan. For these, I take a small pack with a bit of food and water, and then just head out on 20 or 30 mile walk to the next town. It gets me comfortable with navigation, walking next to traffic, and dealing with unforeseen issues like a lack of water (because I dropped a bottle without realizing it).

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6. What are your expectations of Vol State?

Last year I finished in 7 days, 18 hours by mainly walking and getting 6-8 hours of sleep each night in a hotel. This year, I hope to finish in under 6 days by sleeping less and running more.

 7. How long do you expect recovery to take?

After last year’s race, I was able to run again within a few days, although it took about 3 weeks for me to feel 100% again. I expect this year to be about the same in terms of recovery.

8. Do you have any pre-race routines or advice to offer runners considering doing an ultra?

The biggest piece of advice I have is to understand that there is no one way to do an ultra and that a linear progression through race distances is largely unnecessary. I get asked often about how many half marathons and marathons I did before I started running ultras. The answer is none. In fact, the first marathon I did was this year, which is a solid 5 years after I ran my first ultramarathon. This goes for training as well. What works for other people may not work for you – it’s a learning process. So, have fun, talk to other ultrarunners, and figure out what does work for you.

9. The big runner question–why do you do ultras of this magnitude?

Running 500km was the first time in my life where I felt like I had been stripped down to my core both emotionally and physically and actually got a glimpse of who I really was. It was both terrifying and exhilarating and, now that I’ve seen it, I have an unquenchable desire to figure out just how far I can push myself.

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Rachael also has a UMDF page that she has been updating. This page is for collecting donations that go directly to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation and help to fund much needed research into these illnesses.

Consider donating to United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation

Weekly Running Log Rundown

How I felt this week:

Sunday: Sunny Sunday here in Boise. Saw my first snake of the season, some natural artwork left by a fellow Idahoan, and even ran into a friend biking the path with her crew.

Monday: Mondays are supposed to be my day off from running, but I decided to get the family out. They rode bikes and I ran along beside them. It was hot, but fun was had by all (most of the time). I am proud of B–9.5 kilometers on a bike in mid-day sun isn’t easy and he is only six. We took a break at the turn around point to get artisan fries at the Boise Fry Company. Check out the sauce collection!

Tuesday: A quiet morning out on the greenbelt listening to my audiobook. Not many people out on this Tuesday sunny morning. I slept 9.5 hours last night and I think that is why I was able to do a 5:14/km pace. Hope I can keep this pace going!

Wednesday: I was feeling the fresh air and sunshine. I took it somewhat easy as I can feel my body may need to take a day off soon. I am on a two week streak currently.

Thursday: Hit the trails today. It is always good for me to do hill work. I can tell my legs aren’t as used to going up hill so it challenges me in all the right ways. The morning was quiet and peaceful–grateful to be in Idaho this summer.

Friday: I have been putting off taking a day off. However, today was that day. On my rest day, we went on a family hike up into the pine trees of Bogus.

Saturday: I upped the challenge today and brought Lady H along. She loved it, and I got my heart rate up. It was also a great bonding experience.

Foothills Family Hike

Top of the hill, shoes full of cheatgrass.

Every summer, we do a family hike into the Foothills behind our house. We have done this since we first built our house and it was vast open space. It was once on the edge of town, but now it has started to blend into the rest of Boise. We have watched houses be built in our neighborhood, then the next neighborhood over, and so on. We sit at the top of the hill and contemplate what it will look like in ten years time.

Our annual tradition involves cheatgrass and local beers. We always go in the afternoon, after naps and early dinner. The wind is always blowing and the hot sun beats down. As the years have gone by, B has gotten stronger and more capable of hiking longer portions on his own. It is now Lady H’s turn to go through the slow release of independence as she goes in and out of the pack, taking turns with running and running out of energy.

Ready to go!

Sunglasses and trucker hats.

 

My little trail runners. My mama heart is proud!

Chasing after her brother.
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Caught him.
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Keep it rad, all day.

 

My sweet Lady H.

Go outside and stay rad!

 

Interview with Mr. G: Running Told by My Other Half

Often, we run to become become better people. Hopefully, we become better people not only for ourselves, but for those that have to interact with us.

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An example of Mr. G holding down the fort, while I am racing in Romania.

Mr. G gets asked a lot how he feels about my running, so I decided to throw some questions at him for the curious.

Here are his thoughts:

1. The classic question–what do you do while Tara runs?

Try to keep the children from getting injured.  Make sure the house doesn’t burn down.  Sneak in some recording/editing time for YouTube.  Check my watch and make sure that you aren’t coming in way later than you should.

2. How does my running impact your life? 

It makes my marriage much better, because it makes you happy.  Running keeps you sane, and that has been really good for our relationship.

3. Do you run with her?

I have chased after Tara a few times. In particular in airports. If we have a tight connection to make you’re on your own for speed.  So, I’ve gotten some really good cardio in packing Baby G across airports at full speed. That’s about it for running. I will also do an occasional 5k, for the kids.

4. How do you feel about Tara’s running? 

She is really good at it.  It’s something she enjoys that brings her pleasure.  Everyone needs a passion.  Everyone needs one thing separate from work, or even family.  Something that is just for them.  For Tara that is running.  For me it’s YouTube.  We support one another in both of these endeavors and our relationship is stronger for it.

5. Tell about a time or two that stand out as memorable.

The most memorable time for me ever was when Tara had a trail run in Bosnia in the mountains.  The day of the run there was a particularly bad, unexpected blizzard up in the mountains.  It was the first time I ever saw my wife ask a race director if she could switch to a shorter distance.  We were both worried, but I know that if I tell Tara she shouldn’t do something, then she is more likely to dig in her heels and do it.  So, whenever she asks me if she should do a race, I always answer with this:

“Will you regret not having done this?  Which feels better to you, staying home and sitting this one out, or signing up and going for it?”

Long story short, she completed the race.  She got lost a few times, her phone nearly died, there were scares about mine fields, I called search and rescue, and had a speedy drive to the finish line.  However, that story deserves it’s own telling from start to finish, so I’ll save my side of that one for another time.

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