Link Love: 4/19

I’m told not everyone had Good Friday off for the Easter weekend. Major bummer. I was pumped for a long weekend. Sleeping in. Running. Relaxing. It was needed after working all weekend last week.

Yesterday I slept for 10 hours. I needed it, oh, did I ever. I don’t often sleep that much (lies, I do every weekend that I can) but I enjoy it when it can!

Link Love April 19

Last night I was supposed to attend a bonfire with my girlfriends, but we had to postpone it due to snow. Yup. Snow. In April. What. The. Heck?! As bummed as I was to have to reschedule, it meant that I was neither tired nor hungover for my 9:45 hair appointment today. No, I’m not sure why I decided to book a 9:45 hair appointment on a Saturday – I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time?

Fun Fact

At my massage a week and a half ago, I was commenting to my massage therapist that nail polish will never ever stay on my nails. My theory was that it had something to do with the natural oils of my nailbed and it was confirmed!

She actually can’t make bread that requires kneading because her natural oils affect how it rises. So, ladies (and gents!) if you ever want to get out of needing to knead bread, blame it on your natural oils!!

Images

my quote

I love this owl. I think he should be my mascot. Well, aside from Merlin, that is.

Popular This Week

Running Makes Me Smile

Ultra Marathon Training Week 12

I Think I Need to Eat More <– THANK YOU so much for all of your amazing comments on this post. It was a bit scary to put all that out there, and I’m so glad to see I’m not alone! <3

WIAW – Minus Dinner

Link Love

I’ve been having a ton of issues with Bloglovin’ lately. When Google Reader disappeared I went with Bloglovin’ over Feedly because I liked that I was able to see the blog and I thought the set-up was great, but over the past week nearly one-third of all blogs I follow look like this.

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Sad face is RIGHT.

If I’ve noticed I’ve missed your blog, I’ve tried to remember to go to your site, but I know there are some I’ve completely missed and even thought it’s not my fault, I feel badly. I’m certain I’m missing out on some kick-ass posts and that bums me out.

So, if anyone has any recommendations for a new reader, send ‘em my way! :)

I Am Not Special via Erica House <– I looooove this post, and I’ve felt the same as Erica. I’m really not that special because I do crazy things like run. I just do it.

 I didn’t wake up one morning and just start running with ease. Just two years ago I celebrated being able to run one full mile without stopping!

Our Grocery Budget is $800 (And Why We’re Okay With It) via Back To Her Roots <– I can totally relate to this. I spent a LOT on food for someone who only ever cooks for one. I enjoy food. And I enjoy preparing food, so sometimes my budget is a teeny bit higher than it should be. Oops.

Antibiotics via A Gutsy Girl <– I fully support not running to antibiotics as soon as something is wrong, but I was surprised at the backlash Sarah received for choosing to take antibiotics after being ill for five days.

9 Videos You Can’t Miss This Week via BuzzFeed <– I’m highlighing one that you should watch. You need to watch. Trust me, just click play.

Individual Greek Yogurt Cheesecake via Pretty Little Grub <– YES PLEASE!

5 Tips to Improve Your SEO via The Healthy Maven <– 5 tips that are pretty easy to implement. Now I’ve added a TON to my blog “to do” list. I promise I’ll get to it eventually (actually, probably not until after my race – but after that? WATCH OUT!)

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Little Honey Bee <– I recently purchased almond flour and I keep looking for recipes so this is perfect! Yum!

Effort Is Not Pain via A Life Less Bullshit <– I’m not even sure how to sum this up, other to say, Nicole nailed it with this one. Go read it :)

76 Genius Ways to Use Coconut Oil In Your Everyday Life via Greatist <– since I have the world’s biggest tub of coconut oil from Costco, I might as well use it, right?! :)

The Difference Between Building MUSCLE and Building STRENGTH via Cotter Crunch written by Suzanne Digre <– as someone who needs build muscle and strength this was super helpful to me.

Can I Run a Marathon? via Mile Posts <– last weekend I was talking to a girl on a break and the subject of my ultra came up (doesn’t it always?) and she made a comment about needing to walk when she runs. I chuckled and said, “Oh, I totally take walk breaks” and she was amazed. So, yes, you, anyone can run a marathon.

What Are Macronutrients: Protein via Jessie Loves To Run <– I can’t share just one post in a series, so here’s Jessie’s post on protein (links to the other two are in Jessie’s post for y’all).

An Unusual What I Ate Wednesday via Oatmeal With A Fork <– I’m glad Lauren addressed what’s become a bit of a trend for WIAW, and that is questioning what people eat. I don’t see it stopping, but I’m glad she she was so transparent in her writing.

The Answer to Every Fitness Question via Brittany Lesser <– as much as I don’t want this to be the answer, I know it’s true.

FYI Friday – Practising Mindful Eating via Pretty Little Grub <– another awesome post from Jen, and it’s perfect timing with Easter being this weekend.

11 Helpful WordPress Plugins for Your Blog via . running with spoons . <– Amanda’s timing is absolutely perfect on this post as I bought a self hosting package on Thursday. I’m waiting for my domain to transfer from WordPress.com to my new host and I’m really hoping I don’t break my blog when I end up making the transfer. I ended up reading all the comments and entering them into my list in Wunderlist (thanks for the recommendation, Kim!!)

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Can Being Religious Make You Healthier? via Greatist <– the biggest takeaway from this is community and connections improve your health. So go forth and make connections (religious, or not).

Do You Have to Count Calories to Lose Weight? via Bring Joy <– very timely considering my theme of the week. I definitely agree that tracking food for a period of time to get you “on track” is extremely helpful.

 Tell me: What’s your favourite post from the week?

PS – since I forgot to do this yesterday: it’s one month less one day until my birthday :D

Ways in which living with a cat is similar to living with a toddler

Thank you all so much for your love and comments on my post yesterday. I’m torn between feeling glad that I’m not alone in this and feeling sad that magazines and the media have completely skewed our way of thinking of food and calories. I have something a little more light-hearted for you today, so I hope you enjoy it!

If you follow me on Instagram I’m sure you’ve seen the occasional picture of my pretty guy, Merlin. (If you don’t follow me on Instagram, why the heck not?!).

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Some days his pretty is his only saving grace. Truly. I’ve often uttered, “You’re lucky you’re cute” in response to something he’s done.

I’m also fairly certain that he’s training me to be able to one day (maybe?) live with a toddler. (Or convincing me I should stick to cats. I haven’ yet determined which).

1. You pee with the bathroom door open. Now, I’m sure this is likely for somewhat different reasons, but I’m also sure toddlers will likely cry outside the door like the cat. However, I’m pretty certain a toddler won’t hop up on your lap for cuddles while you’re peeing. Maybe.

2. You’re woken up at early hours because they’re hungry. Unlike a Merlin, who tells me this at 5am by jumping on my bed and meowing, I have a feeling a toddler would more likely call out from their bedroom. But what do I know, maybe toddlers also like to hop up on the bed and roll around until you a) kick them out of the bedroom and shut the door, or 2) feed them.

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3. They crawl up your leg whenever you’re in the kitchen. Merlin does it because he wants to be picked up. I think toddlers do it for that reason also?

4. If they eat and then play, they puke. Pretty self-explanatory there.

5. They celebrate poops. Again, pretty self-explanatory. But really, don’t we all?

6. They make up silly little games. Merlin’s current favourite is “I must beat you into the bedroom anytime you walk into the walk-through closet. He zooms past me and jumps up onto the bed.

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7. You’re constantly asked “Why? Why? Why?”. Maybe Merlin doesn’t so much ask, “Why?” as he does chat all.day.long. Yes, it does eventually stop being cute.

8. Forget the actual present; boxes are the best! Put a big empty box in front of a cat or a toddler and I’m sure they’ll be pleased as punch!

9. At the end of the day when they curl up into you and purr (okay, maybe purring is only the cat) everything is right with the world. Whoa. How is that for super sappy? :)

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Tell me: What would you add to the list?

I Think I Need to Eat More

Warning: this is probably going to be very rambly and all over the place. I’m sure I could spend some time editing it and trying to make it more coherent, but I think I’d end up censoring myself or changing the message of my thoughts, so I’m just going to go with it. Messy and uncensored and all.

Last week I read a number of articles about food. Specifically, how the heck much food do we need to eat. (You probably saw them in my link love post).

The resounding message was that the majority of us are under eating.

I thought about it.

Then I thought about it some more.

I reasoned that I am likely under eating.

Because of that I need to eat more. (duh!)

Now, here’s where it gets tricky for me…..A year ago I weighed nearly 10 pounds less than I do now. I saw a number on the scale I hadn’t seen in years. To be completely, brutally honest, I liked it. I liked seeing that number. Heck, I probably even valued that number.

But – here’s the kicker I wasn’t healthy.

I did not lose the weight in a healthy way. I lost the weight through stress. And not eating. And drinking lots of wine. And not sleeping.

I may weigh 10 pounds more, but I’m also probably in the best shape I’ve even been in. I just finished a week where I ran nearly 86km. In ONE FREAKING WEEK. I remember getting into running and being amazed at running 100km in a MONTH, let alone a week.

The logical part of my brain knows I’m healthier now that I was a year ago. That part of my brain also knows I need to eat more. It even knows that if I were to eat more I’d probably lose weight because I’d be feeling my body properly.

The hard part is actually getting there.

See, back in the day of disordered eating I made up these food “rules” for myself and they’ve become so ingrained in my life that I still abide by them, mostly:

  • don’t drink juice, juice has calories and is therefore bad
  • don’t eat pasta
  • dinner should consist only of protein and veggies
  • don’t eat after 10pm
  • don’t drink your calories
  • always order the salad instead of the fries
  • don’t snack after lunch – hold out until dinner
  • 1200 is the magic number <– ugh. Barf.
  • treats should be “earned” through exercise
  • it’s okay to eat a lot after a long run, but only one meal

I’m sure there are more than just this, but these are the ones that come to mind, and I have a really hard time getting them out of my head.

Do I think I still suffer from disordered eating? No. I don’t. I can and have and will do things that are “against” my “rules” and I don’t feel guilty about it, I don’t feel like I have to exercise it off and I don’t beat myself up. But regardless, those feelings are still there.

Sometimes I think about going to get a body fat and metabolic analysis done. I think if science told me I need to eat 2400 calories a day to maintain my level of exercise, I’d have an easier time doing it. But when I go to a site (like this one) and enter in my height and weight to determine my RMR, I’m…..hesitant. I’m hesitant to believe that what it’s telling me is accurate.

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Yup. I put my weight on the blog. I figured I could dance around it, but I’ve decided to OWN IT! :D

From reading Giselle’s post on RMR, there’s still some math to be done…See that 1513 number is only 70% of my metabolic function, I still need to add 30% to it to account for doing something other than just laying in bed (no matter how sloth-like I can be at times) plus what I burn when running. Let me tell you, what I burn when running can be a lot.

Pre-exercise I should be consuming ~1960 calories.

Umm, what?! That’s a heck of a lot of calories, yo. Definitely far more than I eat, even with the booze I sometimes consume.

So.

Yeah.

I think I need to eat more.

And…I’m working on it.

Tell me: Do you think you’re eating enough? How does your intake compare to the RMR calculator?

Thinking-Out-Loud

Since it’s Thursday and I’m rambling on and on, I’m linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud. <3

WIAW – Minus Dinner

Well hello and Happy Wednesday to you all!

While it may be mid-way through the week for most of you, I just have one more day of work until I get a long weekend. Let me tell you, I’m very much looking forward to having an extra day to rest and sleep in.

WIAW - Minus Dinner

Today’s post is an excellent example of why I’m not so great at WIAW posts.

I did awesome and taking pictures of my meals all the way until dinner. And then? Plain old forgot. Whoops. So today you can see everything minus my (super amazing) dinner :)

Breakfast

By now you probably know I’m a creature of habit. Same breakfast every week day.

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Boring :P

I promise to remember to take pictures of my weekend food one day because it’s far more interesting :)

Snack

Oh. Hey. Trailmix.

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That’s new.

Heh.

Lunch

Since I ended up working all last weekend I had no time to grocery shop. Thankfully I had food in my fridge from my Costco run, so lunch was the most amazing soup…

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…baby carrots…

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…and a hot cross bun with coconut butter.

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I can’t believe it took me so long to make coconut butter. I used Ang’s recipe and it turned out so yummy!!

I also had some chocolate for lunch dessert, because lunch dessert is important.

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Snack

Refresh tea with vanilla syrup and some milk. Noms.

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Banana – note the lack of banana spots. This one was pretty much perfect! with strawberries.

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I know it’s not exactly strawberry season, but these were on sale and they looked good to me.

The dinner that wasn’t

After work I came home and had a slice of cheese…

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…and a small glass of wine to told me over until dinner time.

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I was cooking dinner for a friend and I had the most amazing dinner planned!

Hand-made perogies that were filled with potato and cheese AND another kind with sauerkraut. Seriously amazing.

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We paired the perogies with bratwurst, beans and beats. Seriously, so amaze.

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I’m kind of bummed I forgot to take pictures, but by the time it was 7:40 I was far too concerned with shoveling food into my face and didn’t remember about pictures until I’d cleaned my plate.

Guess that just goes to show how yummy my dinner was :)

Tell me: What was the favourite thing you ate yesterday?

WIAWbutton

 I’m also going to link up for What I Ate Wednesday.

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Facebook --> Cowgirl Runs
Twitter --> @cowgirlruns
Instagram --> cowgirlruns
Bloglovin --> cowgirlruns

Running Makes Me Smile

Have you ever had a day where you know exactly what you’re going to post about, but you just can’t seem to do it?

That was me last night and earlier this morning.

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Topic was determined (yay for Tuesday!!) and I knew what I was going to say, but the discipline, or motivation, or whatever was completely lacking.

Having a messed up ankle sure doesn’t help when talking about the awesome running gear I bought for myself, considering I’m NOT ABLE TO RUN RIGHT NOW :(

In case you missed it last night, here’s a super sexy picture of my turgid (heh) ankle.

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In case you’re uncertain of the turgid reference, here’s a YouTube video for you….

And then there’s the knowledge that it’s the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. And that just makes me all sorts of emotional. I feel like it’s wrong to not acknowledge it, but I also don’t have anything thought-provoking or profound to say about it.

But I am thinking about it.

Now that y’all know all about why this post took me a bit to write, let’s get to the meat of it.

Treats!

Today’s are all running focused – first up clothes!

This means you’ll be subject to a lot (seriously, a lot!) of bathroom mirror selfies. #sorrynotsorry

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I told you it was a lot :)

lurve Oiselle clothes. A lot. <3 They’ve become my absolute favourite clothes to run it.

1 – they’re totally cute and soft and BIRDS. Yay!

2 – I love what they stand for.

I’ve worn everything with the exception of the Lesko Shimmel and I have to say, I love of them.

Next up?

SHOES!

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Since my mileage is approaching crazy-ville, I reasoned I would benefit from more shoes. I know, I know, but still.

These arrived on Friday and I was pumped!

Yesterday I mentioned one of the pairs was too big – that would be the pink ones – the Gravity III’s. I’ve already heard back from Newton and the exchange to a half-size smaller is no problem at all.

Newton Running gets a HUGE thumbs up from me for amazing customer service!

With these purchases I should be set for training and races for the next little while, but as every runner knows, we can always justify a purchase :)

Tell me: What’s your favourite brand of running apparel and shoes?

TreatYourselfTuesdayBadge_thumb.jpg

I’m linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday today.

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Facebook --> Cowgirl Runs
Twitter --> @cowgirlruns
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Bloglovin --> cowgirlruns

Weekly Plan: 4/14 – 4/20 (Ultra Marathon Training Week 12)

Instead of reviewing and planning my training last night, I threw myself a bit of a pity party. After spending all day Saturday and most of Sunday grading papers I was pumped to go for a run….and then everything kind of fell apart.

cowgirl-runs-weekly-plan

I was all excited to run in my new shoes because running in new shoes is awesome and amazing and wonderful.

But? They’re too big :(

My heel kept slipping out and I finally turned around and stomped home.

I was extra bummed until I realized I can exchange them no questions asked for up to 30 days.

So then I poured myself a glass of wine and watched The Good Wife.

Exercise

Monday 10km easy 4km – my legs were like lead.
Tuesday 6x1mile strong 4×1 mile (10.11km)
Wednesday Off – Massage!! Off!!
Thursday 15k tempo 8.5km tempo. Ish.
Friday 12k easy 12k easy
Saturday 15k easy 2k walk
Sunday 29 long :(

Total planned mileage: 91km; actual 55.7km

As of today there are 47 days until my race. I keep telling myself that the crappy running days are “mental training” days, I had a lot of them this week.

After running 21.1km on Sunday, my run on Monday was hard. Unbelievably hard.

That said, I did notice my legs felt good on Tuesday, so that counted for something. I felt great on Tuesday until my stomach decided it had other plans. Like lead in my tummy. I really wanted to get in my last two intervals but it just wasn’t happening. At all.

Thursday was a mess of “what can go wrong”. First, I decided to do a hard run the day after my massage therapist stripped my shins. Yeah, probably not a great idea. Then I wore stiff speed shoes. Again, not a great idea. I did make it half distance, which felt good – and confirmed that it really does take me 30 minutes to get warmed up when running.

This weekend didn’t quite go as planned. At all. I’m a bit bummed about it, but I’m also not going to beat myself up over it. I so rarely end up working all weekend, and I’m pretty certain one weekend of low mileage won’t kill me.

Here’s what week 12 looks like…

Monday 10km easy
Tuesday 4×1.5 miles strong
Wednesday Off
Thursday 15k tempo
Friday 12k easy
Saturday 15k easy
Sunday 16k long

Total planned mileage: 78km

I’m feeling good about this upcoming week.

I’m pumped about having Friday off, so I can sleep in, be lazy and run.

Today is gorgeous, so I brought my running gear to work with me so I can run at lunch. This means my run will probably only be about 7km, but I think it’s a fair trade off to be able to enjoy a bit more of the evening :)

Tell me: How long does it take you to get warmed up for a run?

Bestfoot This Week Link Up[4]

I’m also linking up with AmandaKrysten and Ericka for #bestfoot Monday today :)

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More ways to connect with Ange:
Facebook --> Cowgirl Runs
Twitter --> @cowgirlruns
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Bloglovin --> cowgirlruns

Link Love: 4/12

I’m so glad y’all love reading my link love posts as much as I love writing them! I really enjoy sharing my awesome finds with y’all!

This weekend while the majority of you are sleeping in and relaxing on your couch with coffee, I’ll be working my bum off marking exams. It puts a bit of a damper on my weekend, but I can’t complain too much as they do pay me well :)

cowgirl-runs-link-love-april-22

Fun Fact

(I started this last week and I’m hoping to continue it!) Eating beets at dinner will turn you pee pink. And then you’ll get scared and think you might die until you remember you ate beets. Then you’ll laugh at yourself and post it on Twitter. #noshame

 

Images

Popular This Week

Picky About Bananas

Eating Like A Runner

50k Ultra Plan (Hanson’s Method)

 Help! I’m Running an Ultra Marathon <– I’d LOVE to hear your suggestions on this! <3

Link Love

Stay Lean Without Tracking Your Calories or Macros via Nia Shanks <– this is pretty much what I’ve done in my life. While I take time to plan my meals for the week, it’s much simpler than needing to track every dang thing I shove into my facehole :)

Blogging: 13 Things I Wish I’d Known Sooner via Bring Joy <– thanks to Erica for introducing me to Janae, I’m loving her blog!! This post is wonderfully written. I loved all of it.

How to Speed Up Recovery and Get Fit Faster via Eat Spin Run Repeat <– Angela (yup, another one, also Canadian, also a runner) has some great tips for reducing inflammation after exercise. I don’t consume all the foods listed here, so I’m going to add them to my grocery list this weekend!

It’s Okay, part 7 via Snack Therapy <– yay, Carly’s back with another awesome no-nonsense post. She’s been busy with school or something important like that (pfffft, whatever) and I’ve been missing her sass something fierce! <3

Why You Should Never Ever Get a Tattoo (but having a baby is fine) via The Ugly Volvo <– ha! I loved this. Related: I think I decided on what two (yes, two) tattoos I’d like. I obviously decided while running because that’s when I make the best decisions (see: signing up for a marathon and subsequently signing up for an ultra marathon).

A surprise, a new accessory and a change in plans via Kara Goucher <– Kara’s outlook on her unexpected (obviously!) injury is inspiring. I had chills reading about her decision to move to Oiselle and am so inspired by her attitude surrounding her injury.

Overtraining and Taking a Step Back via Altra Drop Zero <– With my massive increase in mileage and running days I’ve been very conscious about overtraining. I’m constantly asking myself if I feel okay, if I need to sleep more, etc etc. I’ve started checking my heart rate in the mornings to determine if I need to slow things down for a day or two, so far so good, but I’m working to pay attention to my body for the next few weeks.

Why I Wasn’t Convinced by ‘It Starts With Food’ via Better With Sprinkles <– I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m pretty reluctant to hop on any “paleo” “whole 30″ whatever restrictive diet bandwagon. I really like reading Sam’s critical take of this book that’s making it’s rounds through the HLB world.

Streaking for Three Years and Counting… via Running with Rhyno <– could you run every day for 3 years? Una has ran a minimum of 5k every day since January 1, 2011. I’m taking part in #RunToCanadaDay (I just keep forgetting to tag my runs and I think I even forgot to mention it on the blog. Whoops) where we’re running (or walking) a minimum of 2k for 90 days and I’m sure I’m going to have troubles fitting it in at times.

What If You Don’t Eat Enough? via Fit ‘n Cookies <– this is something I’ve been really conscious of. I’m running 6 days/week right now and am burning a buttload (technical term) of calories. After tracking my food and making some changes, I stepped on the scale and I had a moment where I thought about cutting calories because I didn’t like the number. I’m working on a post about this, but suffice it to say, eating enough is important, especially when training for something crazy like an ultra marathon.

10 Free Blogging Printables via The SITS Girls <– Are you a blogger? Do you want your blog to be awesome? Then click the link and get some printables!

WIAW: Resting Metabolic Rate via My Healthy Happy Home <– after tracking my calories last week, I came to the conclusion I wasn’t eating enough. Based on the calculations in Giselle’s post, I need to eat nearly 2700 calories a day to keep up with all the running I’m doing. What even. That’s just….insane. Wow.

Stop Playing Small. If You Want It, Own It via A Life Less Bullshit <– I kind of want to be Nicole’s best friend. Seriously. I love her no-nonsense approach to life.

So often, our fear of failure makes us shy away from admitting what we want most. Guess what? Fuck that. I’m over it. WANT WHAT YOU WANT You don’t want to fail? Neither do I. But it’s time to redefine “failure.” Why does failure have to mean not reaching your goal? Why can’t failure instead be marked by not giving your best?

WIAW: Why 1200 is so, so wrong via The Real Life RD <– so the theme of this week seems to be how much do I need to eat and this post is just perfectly timed.

Post Workout Nutrition: What do we need and why? via The Little Honey Bee <– Confession: I never took recovery seriously until last year. In the past I’d run, no drink water, kind of eat dinner and go along my way. No wonder I was tired and sore all the time! Amy breaks down what we need any why and it’s super easy to understand. Also? This:

Drink water. Pee often. It shouldn’t be too yellow.

Google Translate for Runners via Fleet Feet <– LOVE! <3

9 Things To Know Before You Marry A Runner via Shut Up + Run <– so true. So, so true. Love it!!

It doesn’t get easier, but it isn’t that hard via Run To The Finish <– I love Amanda’s message here – healthy living isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s surely not as difficult as we like to pretend it is. I believe it and it’s so, so true!

Getting healthy, losing weight, feeling happier, they all require the same incremental progress approach.

But here’s the thing, being overweight and taking pills, visiting the doctor frequently, not being able to run around with your kids…that doesn’t sound easy either. Eating food that makes you feel bloated and lethargic, gives you mood swings…hmm easier than 5 minutes to steam some broccoli??

My response? NAILED IT!

My Least Favourite Running Saying via The T-Rex Runner <– this post from Danielle really got me thinking. So much so that I might have to write a post on my thoughts – if I can get them to make sense, that is.

Ask Me Anything – Happy Heart 5km via Darwinian Fail <– if you’re a runner and are probably going to do a training run sometime between April 22 and 25 please sign up for Krysten’s Happy Heart 5k! The money goes to a great cause and you have a chance to win some killer prizes! And – if you’re in Calgary maybe we can meet up for a run?

Apparently water transfer painting is a thing.

And this is what my face looked like while watching the video.

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Sorry about that. :)

We Have To Be Thin. via Lift Me Up Fitness <– I’m having a moment where I suck at words and I’m not good at articulating what this post meant to me. So I’ll leave you with this

When can we just realize that our bodies are OURS and they aren’t for anyone to “decide” they aren’t good enough?

FYI Friday – Organic is NOT a Synonym for Healthy via Pretty Little Grub <– I LOVE Jen’s posts and I LOVE that she’s a Registered Dietician and she knows her stuff.

Somewhere along the way, organic became a trendy marketing term and people lost sight of what it truly means. Organic refers solely to the method of farming and processing used for agricultural products, it has no relevance to the nutritional value of the product. 

I couldn’t agree more!!

Tell me: What have you loved this week?

Help! I’m Running An Ultra Marathon

Although I may have signed up to run this race back in December, it’s been more of an idea; an intangible thing that I set out to do.

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Over the past few weeks, I’ve come to realize that on June 1 I actually will be running 50k.

In less than two months (I’m not even going to look at the number of days) I’m going to *ahem* willingly run for > 5 hours.

What was I thinking?! <– I’m mostly joking here. Mostly.

With this race becoming reality, I’ve realized I need to consider the logistics of the race.

When I ran Disney, I didn’t bother with a fuel belt because there were water stations every mile. I never worried about getting thirsty or dehydrated as the longest I’d go without a stop was 15 or so minutes.

Looking at the course map for the Wild Rose Brewery 50k (can I just say how freaking awesome it is that a brewery is the sponsor for the 50k?! LOVE IT!! I’ll take a Velvet Fog at the finish line please :) ) there are points where I’ll go upwards of 4k (that’s 2.5 miles) without a water stop, and there are only 2 gel stations on course as well.

This means I should probably have some sort of a water and fueling plan.

Or something.

In the past I’ve carried my 3-bottle fuel belt, but even that wasn’t enough to get me through my marathon, so I’ve been considering a camel back.

Someone suggested one to me a few months ago and I scoffed because I’m not sure if I’d enjoy running with something possibly sloshing on my back. But, it’s likely better to have something sloshing around than to get dehydrated and not finish. So I’m considering one, but I have no idea what one to get. Which is really the entire point of this post.

As a first time ultra marathoner, what do I need to know?

I’ve heard of people using real food for fuel when running ultras but I’m not sure if my stomach would be able to stomach it. In the past I’ve been fine with gels, but how many do I need? How much water do I need?

Aside from water and fuel, what do I need to consider?

As Dean Karnazes will be speaking at the expo (along with Bart Yasso!) I’m sure I could ask questions then, but I’m asking them now because I want to be prepared.

I’m running the Calgary Police Half Marathon on April 27 as a training run and I’d like to try out a camel back at that point to see if I like it or hate it. I also hope it doesn’t snow.

What the heck do I wear?!

The Calagary Marathon has also thrown in a bit of a wrench buy offering three amazing prizes for the three best dressed runners. Since the race is celebrating the 50th anniversay of the marathon, people have been asked to dress in costume.

Now, I’m uncertain if I will dress up for a 50k (that’s a long freaking time to run in costume) but I also think it could be fun, and anything to add a smile on my face when running would be a good thing. So if anyone has any (non-chafing) suggestions for a costume, I’m all ears!

Tell me: Please give me any and all advice you have! I’m a total n00b at the ultra marathon!

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Hansons Method: Strength

It sure has been a while since I posted an update on my Hanson’s Method training plan. This is because 1) I was dealing with not always hitting my scheduled runs and 2) the first half of my program was speedwork and then it moved to a strength run.

Hansons-Method-Strength-Cowgirl-Runs

These are totally new to me, as my programs in the past were focused on tempo. steady, speedwork and long runs – so what in the heck is a strength run?! I even had to review the chapter in my book to make sure I knew what I was getting myself into on Tuesday.

Strength workouts are still runs, but ones that emphasize volume at a slightly lower intensity with the goal of stressing the aerobic system at a high level. While the speed sessions are designed to be short enough to avoid lactate accumulation, the strength sessions are meant to force the runner to adapt to running longer distances with moderate amounts of lactate accumulation.

Sounds….fun?

The benefits of strength workouts include:

  • improved lactate clearance
  • improved lactate tolerance
  • improved endurance at faster paces
  • improved O2 delivery
  • improved running economy

All of that sounds really good to me, especially since come race day I’ll be running and running and running and runni……You get the idea.

My speedwork sessions started with 400m (0.25 mile) repeats and progressed to 1200m (0.75mile) repeats. Strength workouts don’t start our nearly as kind. I started with 6x1mile (1600m) with 400m (0.25 mile) rest and will progress to 2x3miles (just shy of 5k) with only 800m (0.50 mile) of rest.

However, these are at a much slower pace than speedwork. I was running my speedwork at an average pace of 5:13-5:32/km and 5:00-5:18/km or 8:24-8:55/mile and 8:03-8:33/mile.

My super handy pace chart (click here) tells me for a 4:00-4:15 marathon time, I’ll want to run my strength workouts at a pace of 8:59-9:34/mile or 5:34-5:56/km.

That sounds….doable.

The lack of rest will probably be a challenge, but really, that’s the whole point of these runs – to get my body used to pushing hard and maintaining pace for a looong time.

Since there aren’t really pace times out there for the 50km, I plugged some expected finish times (anywhere from 5:00 to 5:30) into this site (<– also very handy if you need to convert min/mile to min/km and vice versa!) and here’s what it spit out.

5-00 5-15 5-30

 

To be honest, these all seem pretty reasonable to me. The 5 hour finish is definitely a stretch and I’m not even going to have that as a goal, but I really feel like a 5:15-5:30 finish is doable (provided I don’t cramp like I did in my marathon). I even looked up my average pace for my full and it was 6:19/km even with all the cramping and walking, so I feel like if I stay healthy, running at a 6:18/km pace for 50km is actually achievable.

Wow!

The First Run

Tueday I set out to do my first ever strength session.

To be honest I really just wanted to lay on the couch. I was tired. It was my seventh day in a row of running. But, I knew I’d get to rest on Wednesday (can we pause for a moment to honour the awesomeness of a rest day) so I decided to get out there and just do it. You know, like the commercials said.

It went….okay.

My dinner on Monday probably didn’t help matters: fish, beans and four (yes, four) beets. Holy fibre.

It was also hella windy. Welcome to spring in Alberta. (I could look up how windy, but I think hella windy works).

The plan was to run 6×1 mile intervals, due to the wind, every second interval was running into the wind, so that was super fun. Then came my tummy.

Whenever I have speed work to do, I always tell myself I must complete more than half the intervals and then I can decide if I want to continue. 99% of the time I do them all. Not this time.

I made it to 4 intervals and my tummy had other plans. I tried to do a slow run for the 2.5km back home and even that didn’t help, so I walked.

All in all, my run was over 10km and I definitely think these workouts are dobale. For the majority of my running I was running a near 5:30 min/km pace and I felt really good about that.

Tell me: Have you ever ran a program with a strength run?

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Why

Tempo

Speed

Long Runs

Training Plan

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A Day of Food: Sick Day

I have a confession to make……I really enjoyed talking about food with all y’all last week.

I’m glad I decided to do a WIAW post because it really showed that what I thought my feelings were about sharing my food, weren’t actually my feelings about sharing my food. Did that make sense? Maybe?

Cowgirl-Runs-WIAW-Sick-Day

Anyway before I even posted my food last week, I was already taking pictures of what I ate when I was home sick. See, I’m approaching this whole posting food on my blog thing as a way to show how I eat for different days: sick days, running days, lazy days, etc.

While I’m a super boring eater, I do eat differently depending on the day and my hunger levels (and sometimes I even remember to take pictures!) and while I would never claim to the healthiest person out there, I do think it’s important to show how I fit food into my day.

Typically, when I’m not feeling well, I revert back to being a six year old. White bread and easy carbs for me please :)

Breakfast

 Cowgirl-Runs-WIAW

You would need to pry coffee from my cold dead hand for me to give it up. Yes, even when I am sick. Sorry, not happening.

(Shout out to Ann for the kick ass mug for my collection!!)

Cowgirl-Runs-WIAW-Love-Grown-Hot-Oats

Cowgirl-Runs-WIAW-Love-Grown-Hot-Oats

Instead of my usual green smoothie, oatmeal sounded pretty much perfect to my feverish and dizzy body.

These were amazing. Seriously amazing. I’m so glad I picked them up and I can’t wait to eat more of them! <3

Snack

Cowgirl-Runs-WIAW-trail-mix

Mmmmm. Nuts. <–TWSS

That is all.

Lunch

Cowgirl-Runs-WIAW-Lunch

I popped over to the store to buy….something? I think it was zucchini for dinner, anyway, I saw bagels and I just knew I was going to be shoving a bagel into my facehole for lunch.

I love bagels so much, but rarely eat them and I appreciated every bite of this one – topped with dill cream cheese. So yum!

Snack

Cowgirl-Runs-WIAW-snack

Cheese and crackers will always be the most perfect snack. Always.

Dinner

Cowgirl-Runs-WAIW-dinner

This pan of amazingness is all thanks to Amy. When she posted about sweet potato, zucchini and runny eggs I knew I’d be making it sometime soon. It just sounded like healthy comfort food to my sick body. I even branched out and sprinkled nutritional yeast on it to give it a cheesey flavour. Who am I?!

Tell me: What do you crave when you’re feeling under the weather?

WIAWbutton

 I’m also going to link up for What I Ate Wednesday for the second week in a row!

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