Running and Yogurt Making.

Today was my long run, 6miles, although that doesn’t seem very long does it? Wait a few weeks and it will seem long enough to me. My phone up and crashed 3/4’s of the way into my run. It seems to do that periodically when it is cold outside. I guess smart phone batteries aren’t designed to take the cold. What I don’t get it, is that it only does it occasionally, why is that?

I recently started making my own yogurt. If you have never made yogurt before and are remotely curious,try it!! It is soooooo much better than anything in the stores, at least I think so. I am not a fan of all the tangy and tartness I associate with store bought plain yogurt. The stuff I have been making reminds me of homemade creme fraiche. Now, I just want to eat it all the time. Here is the recipe and directions I used. 

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2013/01/homemade-yogurt

I have also read that the bacteria grows best in temperatures around 105. So, I heated my oven up a little and then turned it off but left the light on. I put a digital meat thermometer in the oven and made sure it wasn’t going to get warmer than 105. Temperatures warmer will kill the bacteria. My oven stayed above 90 for a few hours and then I moved it to the area where our boiler is, careful not to jiggle or jostle it. I have read of people using a crock pot or wrapping a heating pad around it. I think as long as you are monitoring the temperature those ideas would work. 

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Wind, Wind, Wind

Another 3 miler today, in the cold wind. For the record, I am not a fan of the wind. I sandwiched a fast mile in between 2 slower ones. 

Since I the race I plan on doing is all on trails, I will need to be doing that as part of my preparation. However, it is still winter, not sure how realistic that will be right now. Maybe in a couple weeks the snow will have melted off some of the lower elevation trails. Fitness wise I feel like I am off to a great start. I would say overall I am running about 10-15 secs per mile faster so far which is really quite a difference. 

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I’m Baaaaaack!

I’m back and I am ready for another running season! I have penciled in a 25k for May 19th onto my calendar. The event is in Twisp Washington and will be a trail race. Official Training has already commenced. I have been running all winter long-when do I stop??? But it has been fairly loosey goosey, since last fall after my first half marathon. I believe in giving the body and mind a bit of a break from the regimen. I left the running app off and just ran however slow or fast and kept all runs under 5 miles. I also supplemented with some Jillian(from the Biggest Loser tv show) exercise dvds as well as some cross country skiing.

I have been battling some high hamstring tightness all winter long. It has slowly improved so I am crossing my fingers that they won’t hinder my racing plans.

Today’s run was a slow 3 miler. I was very happy to be done with this run. It was very windy and I just felt cold. This guy had it right with his butt in the wind.

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Hey! I’m Still Running!

I really miss not having any running goals though. I am looking for races that are less than a full marathon,scenic, and possibly involves trails. Anyways, Gus and I ran 8.2 miles today. I was hoping to find the larches in full on golden frenzy but nope. The weather is supposed to change today/tonight so I figured we better make the best of a really fine day!

 

A Different Sort of Run

 

 

 

We have spent the last week in Utah. The primary purpose was to attend a 4wd driving school with Bill Burke. I cannot say enough about the quality of this clinic .Bill’s background and expertise is extensive and impressive. Let me just say it was well worth the money and I was so glad we did this despite it being so out of my comfort zone. I had no idea really just what we were getting ourselves into and it was great! Our purpose in learning some driving skills is so that we can explore areas that are inaccessible really any other way than to drive there.

This first picture was from the most difficult ledge we drove down on the first day. The tires are 31 inches tall so you can get an idea how big a drop off it is. All told this ledge drops off about 4 ft? in a very short amount of time. At one point a back tire did lift off the ground. All normal I guess.

 

 

This ledge was the second most biggest ledge we drove up on Sunday. Sorry for the picture quality. I had to quick jump out and at first the camera settings were off. I didn’t get a picture of the biggest ledge as I stayed in the truck but it was bigger and steeper. Here is Bill spotting Brad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazing view!

 

The sand dunes, a definite highlight.

 

Took most of the vehicles several runs at it to get to the top. We also learned different recovery techniques and got 2 rigs unstuck here at the dunes.

 

 

At one point we drove along this-Sevenmile Rim.

A look back at the others coming down this steep road. Well, I thought it was steep.

 

We did not drive up this slick rock but we did drive up a rock that started off almost as steep as the top of this and then got less steep at the top and was a bit longer than this one. Everyone is looking at recent evidence that someone crashed in their attempt to drive up this. Again, the picture doesn’t really show how steep this got at the top.Again, I never thought I would ever be doing something like this but it really was a fantastic weekend. Have you ever done something you never thought you would do?

 

 

Make like a Bird!

Running has sort of grinded to a halt. As many of you know, the air quality in my area is hazardously compromised due to forest fires. So, while I love my running, I do know better not to run while the air is so unhealthy. I have been to the gym a couple times this week to punish myself on the dreadmill. I don’t have much to say about that. We will be heading south to the desert tomorrow and so I will soon be running under clear blue skies and in red rock country!

Race Day Musings

I meant to have written about the race a bit sooner but I got a little distracted by a forest fire forcing our evacuation and other sorts of chaos. So anyways, back to the race! Conditions for the race were pretty good. The smoke in the valley was acceptable and the temps while a little chilly at the first warmed up perfectly. Like I have said before, it takes me awhile to feel like I am settling into a run. The first few miles always feel a little rough. I surprised myself by locking into the pace I needed to run right at the start. The first half of the race was on gravel roads which was fine with me except at one point the washboards were not much fun to run on. I also rediscovered that I prefer running alone and during the race was no different. It wasn’t until about the  6 mile mark that I got my solitude. The course meandered thru rural properties complete with cows, dogs, and even a goat at one of the aid stations. I knew if I was to make my goal, I would have to really push my pace at every downhill moment. Running downhill may seem easy but after awhile the constant contraction of the quads does tire them. You don’t feel it though until the surface flattens out again. The miles passed quickly enough but I was ready to be done by the time I got to the 12 mile mark. The course then took the runners thru town before ending at the park where it started. Katie and David were so sweet to come see me finish and take this picture of me. My time was 1:57:40. My goal was to finish under 2 hours. I really wasn’t sure if I could do it. I was 6th in my age group 40-49 and was 17th overall of all the women. I am already looking ahead to the next race. I like the distance.