Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A short rundown of the year.

I can’t end the year without reviewing some of my running experiences throughout 2013.  It was a year of firsts for me!

·         It was the first time my daughter and I competed in the same half marathon.  She beat me, of course!

·         I won a pair of running shoes at a race! (Not because I was fast.  Lucky ticket number!)

·         It was the first time I have had a sweatshirt with the words “Coach Green” on the back.

·         I left flesh on the pavement during a workout – for the first and hopefully last time.

·         The first time I went for a run in Jackson Hole,WY.

·         The first time I had someone recognize me and say, “You’re gonna think I’m weird, but you are Running Granny Green!”  Thanks Jodi!

·         First iPhone which translates to, “First time tracking a workout on MapMyRun.”

There are certainly more, but this is the first time I have posted on New Year’s Eve and I think it’s time to start the celebration!

Have a Happy and Safe New Year!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Talking Turkey

It is Thanksgiving week.  Last week got away from me and I found myself taking a seven day break. I didn’t plan to take the time off, it just kind of happened.  As with anything that takes effort, beginning again can be challenging. It was only seven days, but I had to do a bit of self-talk before I headed out the door.  I decided to take a new approach.  I have mentioned how I enjoy my new iPhone and the use of the MapMyRun app that gives me pace and distance updates. It is a very good tool, especially when training for a race, but this week I turned on some tunes and turned off the app.  I didn’t pay attention to my speed or distance.  I just ran.  I had a really great time!  I think it was a good week to run for fun.  After all, it’s Thanksgiving!  I am thankful that running can be fun, because just like life, sometimes it can be really hard.  Just like life, it’s worth it.  Have a happy Turkey Day and remember why we celebrate – because we can!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wear them out!

All Asics but for the Pear Izumi pair
It’s no surprise that I am a hoarder.  I have confessed it publicly on more than one occasion and I am committed to overcoming this personality flaw – to a point.  I refuse to stop hoarding running shoes!  They just come in so handy.  When I retire a pair from logging miles on the road because the tread is worn and they no longer offer needed support, they get moved to the “I can wear these with jeans for shopping or other casual activity” pile.  As the pair that bumped them off the mileage list gets retired, they then get moved to the “biking” position followed by the “camping and hiking” designation.  Before they ever end up in the discard pile, they do an important stint as “yard and garden shoes.”  I currently have three pairs that are in good running condition. This is a record. Two of these pairs were obtained at no charge!  Take a look!
Can you spot the garden shoes?
I love my running shoes and I will hang onto them until they fall off my feet, or until they smell so bad they must be retired. They have been my companion through many miles and injuries.  I will not abandon them before their time!

Do you have something you cling to beyond its usefulness simply because it has served you well? Tell me about it in the comment section below.

Happy Running!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Mrs. Green's Power Cookie Recipe Reveal

It’s here!  The big Power Cookie Recipe Reveal is here! It really isn’t a secret recipe and the power in the cookie is merely in the mind.  Power Cookies help you run faster because you “think” they help.  That and the carb boost you get from the oatmeal in them.  These cookies are a favorite of the Parma Cross Country Team and a staple in the Green Household.  Give them a try!

Mrs. Green’s Power Cookies
1 ½ C Brown Sugar
1 ½ C Sugar
1 C Butter Flavor Crisco (Do not substitute!)
3 Eggs
3 Tbs. Milk
1 Tbs. Vanilla
4 C Flour (Add more if the dough seems too loose.)
1 ½ tsp each of baking soda, baking powder, salt
2 C Old Fashioned Oats
12 oz. bag of semisweet chocolate chips

 Cream together sugars and the Crisco.  Add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add one cup of flour, baking powder, salt, and soda and mix well.  Add oatmeal and mix until blended.  Mix in the rest of the flour and add chocolate chips. Bake for 11 minutes in 350◦ oven. Hide them!

*For “healthier” cookies you can substitute 2 cups whole wheat flour for two cups white flour and dried cranberries or raisins for chocolate chips.

 To learn more about the power of a cookie, read “Can a Cookie Cure a Cold?” in Gold Pans and Iron Skillets.


Find more of my favorite recipes HERE.

Question: Do you have a favorite recipe to share?  Comment below.

Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grand-parenting. The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Happy Running!
Carol - aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tuning In ...

Dr. Seuss is credited with, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”  That is how I feel about cross country season.  In fact, there are days when I smile because it’s over! The changing of the seasons is always a challenge for me.  I am never quite ready for it to be this hot, cold, or windy.  Running doesn’t escape the challenge.  I have to adjust from the very social and consistent running of cross country practice to a solitary and admittedly sporadic winter running regimen. It isn’t sad, it’s just different and it takes me a week or two to adjust.

I have rediscovered one of my forgotten running buddies, Alan Jackson.  Because I now have an iPhone, I use the MapMyRun app and have a very encouraging female voice in my ear every half mile to give me pace and distance updates. This week I changed things up a bit and included Brad Paisely in my tight circle of running friends.  Here is one of my new favorite tunes!
We can fight change, or we can embrace it.  The choice is ours.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

To run or not to run?

I’ve been avoiding the run for a couple days.  I don’t know if it was the letdown after our trip to State Cross Country or if the change in weather had something to do with it, but I’ve had trouble getting out the door.  The fact is, now that cross country season has ended, I don’t have an obligation to run each weekday afternoon.  I have told myself that the afternoon practice kind of interrupts my day and I look forward to running in the mornings again. When the opportunity came, however, I was back to making a decision – every day. I decided to skip it for a couple of days! 
Parma Girls XC Team 2013

I made the decision last night that I would run this morning.  Morning came and I began to assess the weather and determine if I had a head cold that was bad enough to keep me off the streets.  This was silly because I have often gone for cold weather runs and I am a believer that a little exercise lessens the severity of a cold. I wasn’t completely committed to a morning run, but I chose to don my running gear while I went through the motions of my morning routine – making the bed, cleaning up the breakfast dishes, doing some laundry, checking to see how many views my recent blog post has earned, and so on.
Parma Boys XC Team 2013

I knew that this simple act would bring me closer to the front door.  Just as muscle memory workouts help us perform better in competition, the look and feel of my running clothes helped my mind prepare for the next step.  It worked!  I went for a run and it was great!  It wasn’t my longest or fastest run, but it was effective and I felt better afterwards.

I do this with other aspects of my life.  It’s often easy to talk myself out of any given project because I don’t feel up to it, or it isn’t convenient, or it might be uncomfortable.  When I simply dive in and get the job done, it often proves to be satisfying and not nearly as difficult as anticipated. Sometimes just going through the motions is the jump start I need.

What helps you tackle those things you would rather not face?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I’m a runner and I know it!

More evidence that I am a runner came today.  I escaped for a couple days with my husband.  While he was in meetings learning how to better do his job, I had free time on my hands in Teton Village! I could have booked a pedicure.  We all know runners need pedicures! I could have shopped the shops or ordered breakfast in and scheduled some other kind of pampering at the spa.  I could have gone to Jackson Hole and spent the day in those shops or stayed in my room to read a book. But I am a runner, and so I ran three miles at 6300 feet!  Here is the evidence.  Those would be Teton Peaks in the background.

I need to work on selfies.  I forgot to smile!
It was a brisk morning and the elevation is a killer, but here are some of the things I would have missed had I chosen a different activity.


A glimpse of the Tetons in the fall. My early years were spent in view of these mountains and I still get a feeling of “belonging” when I see them.
Check out those ski runs!  It won’t be long before they are covered in snow, the lifts are running, and skiers are scattered about the mountain.  Did I mention that I am also a skier?
Look at those fall colors! 
Yes, I am a runner and I know it, not because I can run a six minute mile – I can’t. It’s because I run.  Whether I run because I am racing, staying sane, helping with a cross country team, or killing time, it matters not.  What matters is – I run. 
Do you run?  If so, then you are a runner, too.
What do you do that says, "I am  runner?"

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It's Fall. What's your excuse?

It's Fall! I don't know why I think I should have time to report about running during this busy season.  The daylight gets shorter and the work load gets longer.  Here is a list of excuses for my silence.
  1. Harvesting the garden.
  2. Canning - tomatoes, hot pepper jelly, mandarin sauce, and chicken
  3. Lawn care.  Cooler temps and a little precipitation make for rapid grass growth.
  4. Football.
  5. Running - daily with the XC Team.
  6. XC Meets.
  7. Cookie baking - for the XC Team.
  8. Examining toes for shedding nails.  They are still hanging in there!
  9. Wondering what on earth I could possible write about!
That just about covers it. Now I am off to run in the rain with the XC Team!  Happy Fall!

Friday, August 23, 2013

I've been busy living life and neglecting the blog!

I realized the other day that life is what is happening while I'm not writing.  Well, I haven't been writing much so here is a bit of what I have been doing.

I have been picking tomatoes so I can eat this!
Tomatoes, Mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar!
 And removing my toe polish so I can examine the nails that are going to fall off.
This is what happens while training for half marathons
And covering them with blue polish so nobody can see the nasty nails!
Much better!
And running with these folks ...
XC Team ready for a trail run

So I can hang out with these guys..

And do this!

Yup, that's me!

It's a tough life!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Burley Spudman 2013 – A little older and a little faster!

Awesome Friend Paulee
I’ve told you about my awesome friend, Paulee.  She talked me in to joining her for a team effort in the Burley Spudman Triathlon last year.  It is a beast!  Paulee did the first two legs, swimming a mile in the Snake River and then biking 25 miles! She is also a beast!  I ran the last six miles.  We thought we were pretty cool last year when we won our age group – until we broke our trophies!  Read about it here.

Another year.  Another Spudman. Did I mention we are in the oldest team age group?  Sometimes you can get more competitive as you age because you move into an older group.  Ya, we don’t have that luxury to look forward to.  Fortunately, you don’t have to win to get a trophy. You just have to finish in the top three.  (We really wanted another trophy since both of ours are broken.) We knew the competition was going to be tough and kept telling each other that we were doing it for fun, to keep in shape for snow and water skiing, and we just needed to finish.
Some of our fans
Experience is invaluable.  Last year I was nervous for nearly two hours before it was necessary.  This year I knew I had more time to get prepared for the run and I stayed much more calm waiting for Paulee to return on the bike.  My tummy was happy about that.  Paulee’s swim was FAST and she really cut time on her swim to bike transition – opting to forgo socks and gloves this time.  The weather was cool.  It even rained a bit during the run.  I was equipped with my new light Pearl Izumi runners and I was able to manage my mid-run fuel better.  I ran my fastest 10K thus far!
Three must be our lucky number this year.  We cut three minutes off our time from last year and we placed 3rd in our age group – good enough to get another coveted Spudman Trophy!
Unbroken Trophies
The best part?  That would be doing something I love with a friend I love.  That, and all the obnoxious bragging we do to our hubbies!

Obnoxious post-race selfie

Monday, July 29, 2013

About my new Pearl Izumi Runners

There's mud on my new shoes!

I promised a product review of my new Pearl Izumi Project Emotion running shoes courtesy of Shu's Idaho Running Co. so here it is.
I have been running in Asics Kayanos.  They have a lot of stability and cushioning and I LOVE them!  I thought that a free pair of shoes meant it was a good time to try a neutral runner.  I was right!  I recently competed in the 2013 Burley Spudman Triathlon – more on that later.  I took my new shoes for two short runs before the 10K leg of the Spudman and decided to try them out in a race.  So, after about ten miles with the new shoes, this is what I know.
The Pearl Izumis are LIGHT and comfortable! The upper is soft all over and I have no toe/nail/blister problems after a six mile run.
Definitely a road shoe as the sole is very smooth.  They were okay over 2 miles of dirt and gravel during the race. We had a little rain and they felt slippery on the wet pavement.
The verdict?  The Pearl Izumi Project Emotion is a great road racing shoe, but I wouldn’t recommend them for wet conditions.  It is oh, so comfortable!  I will stick with my Asics Kayanos for off-road and inclement weather.  They are heavier and I still think they are a very good training shoe.  I will save the PI’s for days when I need speed or I am feeling self-indulgent or when my toes feel beat up from a long run in the Asics.
Two great pairs of shoes - one happy runner!

Mud.  Proof that they've been worn off-road.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fit for Life 2013 – The Report


Ready to roll!
Well, here we are all pre-race smiles. We trained. We carbo-loaded.  We got up at 4:00am to eat breakfast and went back to bed for an hour.  We prayed!  I even cried a little bit at race start because I was excited to have Marie running this race with me.  I just knew she could break two hours.  It was almost like old times!

State Track 2005

Then we ran, and ran, and ran for 13.1 miles.  I could see her for awhile trotting up ahead of me while I labored along. I was ever so grateful for the shaded Boise Greenbelt because I had forgotten my sunglasses!  There was a guy ringing cow bells and I thought perhaps he was just my fan because I saw him at three different locations.  Hey Cow Bell Guy, I know you weren’t there just for me, but “Thanks for the support!”
I saw Marie again a half mile before the turn around point (my mile 6 – her mile7).  She was wearing the watch and called out my time.  Right on pace!  Too bad I didn’t drink Gatorade instead of water at the water stops.  I ran out of fuel about mile 10.  That’s when the walking breaks increased and I fell off pace.  My quads were killing me at the 11.5 mile mark.  I crossed Home Plate (finish line at Hawks Memorial Stadium) at 2:23:04.  That’s 26 minutes faster than last year’s High Desert Trail Run.  Respectable.

Marie was waiting for me with our other fans.
Photo: Missing my girls.
Some of the fans.

Some really great things happened!  Marie finished in 1:58:12!  I knew she could break two hours!  We both received finisher medals like this one.

T-shirt and finisher medal
And … we stayed at the after party long enough for me to win a pair of Pearl Izumi shoes from Shu’s Idaho Running Company!  A report on the shoes will follow.
My new Pearl Izumi's courtesy of Shu's!
The verdict is … Fit for Life is a great race!  Flat. Shady.  Friendly.  Fun!  Thanks to Jeff and the folks at BlueCircle Sports for a great time.  Thanks to Marie for running .  Thanks, especially, to Shu’s for the new shoes!

P.S.  No after photos due to a dead camera battery.  I am ok with that.  I don't look so good after!

Monday, July 8, 2013

A little bit of running and a lot of grandmothering ...

I am just checking in.  It is a busy summer with half marathon training and grandchildren visiting.  Not much time for blogging.  I have a few minutes while my youngest granddaughter and I share a snack of cheese, crackers, and some great big ruffled potato chips.  (Don't tell her mom!) 
Our construction:  Backyard Fairy Castle
Running - One more three mile run before race day on Saturday.  I was ever so grateful that last Saturday was the last long run on the schedule! I think I'm ready to scale it back just a bit.
Grandmothering - Sadly, the grandkids will be leaving the day after the race. We have baked, camped, boated, snacked, lazed, constructed, and visited all while trying to maintain a training regimen.  It has been fun getting reacquainted.  Grandchildren are one of life's great rewards.
I will report after the race.  It may take a few days as I will have grandkids to hug and tears to dry.  Oh ... and a few sore muscles to be sure!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What Would You Walk a Mile for?

What would you walk a mile for? I grew up in a time when cigarette commercials were acceptable and common on television, long before the Surgeon General required “harmful to your health” warnings on tobacco products. The Marlboro Man was handsome and rode a horse, but more impressive to me was the ad for Camel cigarettes.  “I’d walk a mile for a Camel,” claimed the tired cowboy as he leaned back in a chair, smoked his Camel, and rested his dusty boot clad feet on a fence pole.  In my young mind, a mile must have been a very long way to have worn a hole in the sole of those boots!

In retrospect, it would have been a good idea for that cowboy to walk a mile for every Camel cigarette he smoked. We now know how detrimental to one’s health smoking truly is. We also know how beneficial it is to log a few miles on foot. Unfortunately, some of us are still convinced that a mile is a very long way and we might wear out our shoes, knees, lungs, hearts, or other body parts if we run or walk too many miles. While it is true about the shoes (See this post) most of those other things will benefit from the activity, especially our hearts!

I would walk a mile for these:

·         My heart

·         Better blood pressure readings

·         Lower risk of Type II Diabetes and Stroke

·         To manage my weight

·         Endurance

·         Sense of well-being

·         My husband, children, and grandchildren

Question: What would you walk a mile for? 

Visit A Milefor My Heart on Facebook to tell me what you did for your heart today!

Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grand-parenting. The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Happy Running!
Carol - aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Will's Hill tempo run

Today’s workout was supposed to be a Tempo Run.  I’ve complained about those before.  My Smart Coach training plan said, “Tempo run including warm up, three miles at 10:06, cool down.” That adds up to 5 miles. Since I had an awesome race on Saturday at the Old Fort Boise Fun Run, I thought, “Forget about the tempo.  I did speed work on Saturday.  I will just do an easy hill workout on Will’s Hill.”  Right.

Will’s Hill is a 5 mile out and back.  Out - into a head wind.  Back – downhill most of the way! If you can do the first 2.5 miles, the next 2.5 are rewarding.  Here is how I fared.

Mile 1  – 11:00 minutes.  I was sticking with the “easy hill workout.”

Mile 2.5 – 26:23 minutes.  I had picked up the pace, uphill with a headwind no less!

Mile 4 – 40:10 minutes. That downhill-wind-at-your-back stuff is pretty nice!

Mile 5 – 50:36 minutes.  That’s a 10:07/mile average!  Five miles at 10:07 is better than three miles at 10:06 in my book. That’s pretty good for this old granny!

What have I learned?

·         Training plans really can help improve your speed.

·         If I wear a watch (and start it), I push harder.

·         My first mile is always slow.

Visit Runner’s World and try out a Smart Coach plan for yourself.  You may be glad you did!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

It's a Rest/XT day!

It’s a Rest/XT (Cross Training) day so I mowed the lawn.  I am not sure that qualifies as rest.  It’s a big lawn and I don’t have a riding mower.  Someday I am going to wear a pedometer while I mow.  Then I will know how many steps I have taken and can calculate how many miles it I walked.  I am guessing, given the time it takes to mow, that it is around 2 -2.5 miles.  It’s just a guess.  Someday I will find out for sure. 

We have a few hills and I always think that difficulty should be factored into any workout.  For instance, if you go for a run in the wind, rain, or heat you should get extra points.  Not that it matters, because I haven’t ever figured out a point system – but if there was one, those things would surely count for more!

The trees are always fun to maneuver around, too.  We get lots of compliments on our green lawn.  There are a few tricks to keeping it lush.

§  Bluegrass.  It isn’t hardy, but it is beautiful grass.

§  Fertilizer.  Yes!

§  Water.

§  Pest  defense.

§  Alternate mowing directions.

§  Frequent manicuring every 4 -5 days.

That’s pretty much what it takes.  It helps to have an on site crop specialist (Hubby) as well!

That’s what I did for my heart today.  How about you? Tell me about it HERE.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

You are a runner if ...

“I am a runner.” When can one who runs confidently make this claim?  I believe it is different for everyone. This morning I ran eight miles to stay on track for half marathon training. My legs are pretty tired. Actually, all of me is quite tired! I think I can say, “I am a runner.”
I heard others refer to me as a runner long before I thought I was legit. I ran, sometimes, and not especially fast – but I did run. When I participated in my first 5K I was hysterical afterwards, laughing to keep from crying. It was hard! It rained that day and there was the added difficulty of being cold and wet. I didn’t do much of anything the rest of the day. I was busy recovering! Did that make me a runner?
I ran for four years before I could break a ten minute mile and it still doesn’t happen every day. Did clearing that hurdle make me a runner? I ran and walked a half marathon last year. Does that qualify me? I have run in the rain, the wind, and a blizzard. Runner yet?
This is what I have determined. It’s just the opinion of a granny who runs. 
  • You are a runner if you run. It matters not how fast or how far. 
  • Racing doesn't matter. Some runners love to race and some do not, so racing doesn’t matter. (Well, it does for those of us who enjoy it!) 
  • You are a runner if you continue to run. Obstacles such as illness and injury, scheduling, and really bad weather might get in the way, but a runner will resume his sport as soon as the obstacle has been cleared. 
  • Some days will be easier than others.  Some runs will be longer or faster than others, it matters not. 
  • You are a runner if you run.
Run on, you runner, you!

Question: Do you have an opinion about what makes a runner?  Feel free to sound off in a comment below.

Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grand-parenting. The cookie recipes are a bonus!
Happy Running!
Carol - aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Fun Run - It's not an oxymoron

Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so too, is fun.  There are many who say that running cannot be fun so there is no such thing as a “fun run.”  I would argue that this is not so. This is why:

·         To a serious runner, it is fun to run a race and win.

·         To a recreational runner, it is fun to run a race and perform better than last time.

·         To a beginner runner, it is fun to run your first race and experience  the sense of accomplishment that accompanies it.

·         To a walker (because walking is allowed at Fun Runs), it is fun to do something healthy with other walkers.

·         To everyone, it is fun to get a T-shirt that tells the world you participated in a Fun Run!

·         Prizes are fun!  Sure, the fast guys get a prize, but race registrations often go in a drawing for things like water bottles, gift certificates, and socks.  That is always fun!

·         It is fun to hear observers cheering you on along the route.
T-shirt from Old Fort Boise Days Run 2012
The next time you hear the phrase “Fun Run,” remember it isn’t that running is fun (Well, for some), it’s that participating in a run is fun.  Don’t believe me?  Why not try it?  This one is small and low key, so you really can have fun!

Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grand-parenting. The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Happy Running!
Carol - aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.