Category Archives: Training

Weekly Recap: October 1st-7th, 2018

Damn it I was really beginning to think that I was going to make it through this training cycle unscathed! You see, I’m what most people would refer to as an “injury prone runner”. I talked more about all of that on Thursday, so I won’t go back into all of it here. But anyway, I managed to hurt my leg somehow earlier this week. I’m thinking it happened during my treadmill run on Wednesday. Luckily a shortened run on Thursday, an unscheduled rest day on Friday, and a little bit of extra TLC seemed to help and I was still able to do my long run on Saturday. So I’m thinking it was nothing too serious, and it was just a little bit of soreness from running awkwardly on the treadmill.

But we’ll get more into all of that! So lets recap the week! πŸ™‚

Monday:Β 

  • 3 miles
  • 30 minutes of strength work

Does anyone else find it especially satisfying when the first of the month falls on the first day of the week? Because I sure do! I kicked off the month/week with 3 miles that felt a lot more difficult than they actually were. Haha that’s all part of the process though. Followed that up with a Fit Collective Workout. It was another hard but fun strength session. πŸ™‚

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Tuesday:Β 

  • rest day

After Monday’s not so great run and just feeling all around tired, I figured a day off would help. It totally did too! Apparently that was exactly what I needed. πŸ™‚

Wednesday:

  • 3 miles on the treadmill

Wednesday called for threshold work, so I decided to do that on the treadmill. I’m really bad at holding a consistent pace and the treadmill is kind of a good tool for learning how to do that. Well, or at least forcing yourself to do it haha. Anyway, I warmed up for a mile, ran at threshold pace for about a mile and a half, and then cooled down for the last half mile. I felt like I totally crushed this workout! It was great!

But I also think that’s what caused me to hurt myself. I actually felt fine afterwards, but on Thursday my right knee and shin weren’t feeling so great…

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Thursday:

  • 2.5 miles
  • 20 minutes of yoga
  • a little bit of foam rolling in the evening

So like I said, on Thursday my right knee and shin weren’t feeling so great. At first I though maybe it was just a little bit of soreness or something, so I set out to do my scheduled 5 miler anyway. My leg situation wasn’t really improving as I ran though. If anything it started getting worse. Initially I was just going to suck it up and finish my run. I have a ridiculously high pain tolerance so I totally could have done it. πŸ˜‰ But the more I thought about it the more I realized that was probably a bad idea. I’ve done things like that before and I’ve ended up making injuries worse. So I did the smart thing and stopped. That was kinda hard though, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel kinda guilty doing it.

It was definitely the right move though. I spent the rest of the day off of my feet, wore compression socks, and did some yoga and foam rolling.

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Friday:

  • rest day
  • 20 minutes of yoga
  • random foam rolling

Ok so Friday was an interesting day. First off, I took the day off from running to let my leg rest a little bit more. I stretched, did some random foam rolling during the day, and wore my compression sleeves. My leg was feeling better, but I didn’t want to push it by running on it.

Anyway, on Friday we went on a “Luke Adventure”. Luke Adventure are always random, always very out of the blue, usually ridiculous or unnecessary, but always fun. A Luke Adventure could be anything from randomly going to St. Louis to visit family, a trip to the pumpkin farm, a trip to the mall, an adventure to the Grand Canyon, or getting something slightly impractical like chickens or a new puppy.

So he called my on his way home from work and to make sure I wasn’t baby sitting or particularly busy and to get ready because we were going on an Luke Adventure today. And of course he wouldn’t tell me what we were doing. A lot of the time he doesn’t haha. That’s how our hour and a half journey to our Luke Adventure began. I wont tell you what we did yet though. I’ll dedicate a whole post to that tomorrow. πŸ˜‰ But if you follow me on Instagram you probably already know what went down.

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Saturday:

  • 14 miles

New distance PR who dis? πŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Good news! My whole leg situation was a lot better on Saturday!! So I was able to do my scheduled long run. Yay! Got it done, felt pretty darn good doing it, and ran farther than I’ve ever gone before! Win win win win situation! I’m getting very excited about my upcoming half’s! Not sure how either of them are going to go, but hopefully they’ll be a lot of fun! πŸ™‚

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Sunday:

  • rest day

I feel like I’m doing something right this time around. I’m tired today, and my legs are a little bit sore, but not so much that I can’t walk properly or that I feel like I’m too tired to function. So I mean, I feel like that’s a good thing after hitting a distance PR yesterday!

That being said, I feel like I might be coming down with a cold or something. That kinda sucks, but it’s not unexpected. My immune system is already kinda shitty and I’m sure that half marathon training doesn’t help. But anyway, spent the day playing around with the results of our Luke Adventure yesterday and walking the dogs. It’s been raining like crazy which I like, but it’s crazy muddy so the dogs are a mess and now my house is a mess and it’s a whole thing… But still, I do enjoy the rainy weather. πŸ™‚

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Total Weekly Mileage: 22.5

Not bad considering I had to cut one run short and took a few unexpected rest days. πŸ™‚ I’m still kinda riding the high from my 14 miler yesterday. It’s been a while since I’ve PR’d anything, so it was pretty exciting to finally get one. Looking forward to see what I can do next week!

I hope the first week of October has treated everyone well!

~Ashley πŸŽƒπŸ–€

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Weekly Recap: September 24th-30th, 2018

This week was a little bit weird haha. We had plans and then those plans changed so my running plans changed. Then I spent several days being crazy sore from a strength workout I did on Monday. It was a whole thing haha. It was still a good week though. πŸ™‚

Monday:Β 

  • 6 miles
  • 35 minute strength workout

Whew! Monday was kinda hard, but oh boy was it good!! Started off the week with 6 fantastical miles! It was probably the best run I’ve had since spring. Which is crazy, but I’ve spent the whole summer just slugging along and trying to survive. But now that the weather has been getting better running is a lot more enjoyable! πŸ™‚ Anyway, the plan for Monday was a actually 5 miles, but I ended up doing 6 because I’m an overachiever. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

After my run I did workout #1 from this week’s plan from The Fit Collective. So, this workout had 8 moves and for the first set you did 10 reps of each move, then for the second set you did 9 sets, then 8, and so on and so forth until you got down to 1 rep of each move. I’ve never done a workout like that before and I thought it was a lot of fun! And hard too haha. By the time I was done and was exhausted! But in a good way. πŸ˜‰

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Tuesday:

  • rest day

Tuesday ended up being an impromptu rest day, for a few good reasons. πŸ˜‰

So Luke and his dad play Call Of Duty online together almost every night and they talk over their headsets. Luke’s dad mentioned that he was off of work on Friday and planned on taking his boat out and going fishing, so Luke decided that we were going to drive to Illinois on Thursday so that he could go with him. So I decided to switch around my running scheduled a little bit, just to ensure that my long run for this week gets done. I thought about doing it on Thursday, but then I figured Wednesday was probably a safer bet, so that’s what I decided to do.

That’s how Tuesday became a rest day, but honestly I’m kinda glad that I decided to take the day off. My hips and quads were crazy sore after my workout on Monday! In a good way, but still, trying to run on my legs as they were probably wouldn’t have been very pleasant.

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Wednesday:

  • 20 minutes of yoga

I obviously didn’t end up doing my long run on Wednesday. My legs were still super crazy sore. It’s been pretty bad, really. πŸ˜‚ But luckily (kinda) we’ve had another change of plans. Luke’s dad is going to be busy of Friday and isn’t planning on going fishing anymore. So not so lucky for Luke, but it is kinda good for my sore legs! Now they have a few more days to recover for my long run. πŸ™‚ I spent Tuesday and Wednesday night rolling and using my self massage tools to help my legs out as well. I’m in love with my little rollga activator! That thing is awesome!

Thursday:

  • 3 miles
  • Halloween decorating!

So the only downside to the weather being super nice is that I tend to get a little bit excited and then end up going a little bit too hard haha. My plan for Thursday was to do 3 easy miles, but that obviously didn’t happen. I had a lot of fun though. πŸ™‚

Earlier this week my mother-in-law mailed me some Halloween decorations and they got here on Thursday! So I spent most of the afternoon decorating. Fun times! πŸ™‚ πŸŽƒπŸ‚πŸ˜„

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Friday:

  • Rest Day

Kinda haha. Luke and I were very busy on Friday. We went to Sam’s Club. Hobby Lobby. On The Border for Lunch. Walmart. Barnes and Noble. Tractor Supply. And Aldi for groceries. We put up more Halloween decorations. Started prepping the chickens for the colder weather. Busy busy busy.

So we went to Hobby Lobby for more fun fall stuff. And we did find some, but they had a piss ton more Christmas stuff than Halloween/Thanksgiving/fall stuff. It was kinda disappointing. But oh well. We ended up with a couple of really nice candles and new art thing for the kitchen, bandannas for the dogs, among other fun Halloween things. As for the chickens, we put up another tarp on the side of the coop to help keep the wind from blowing in and it should help hold a little bit of heat in. Winchester helped. πŸ˜‰

Saturday:

  • 13 miles

Wow, this run…A lot of stuff happened during this run haha. This was the longest run I’ve done in a while and for the most part it went really well! πŸ™‚

The first two miles were a little bit rough. Not gonna lie, that made me a little bit nervous, but around mile 3 I started feeling better and by mile 5 I started having a lot of fun. The last 2-3 miles were pretty tough, but not unmanageable. That’s probably the best part about long runs. A lot can happen and a lot can change. And a lot of times it changes for the better. πŸ™‚ Anyway, my town’s fall festival was on Saturday, so there were a piss ton of people out and about. First people were heading to the parade rout and then after that they were making their way to the park for the rest of the fall festivities, so during the parade I made my way to the town cemetery and the outer part of my town so that I could avoid a lot of the commotion haha. That ended up working out pretty well for me. For the most part I missed the migration from the parade route to the park.

At some point during this run the mail came and so did my Gobbler Grind in training tank top. So of course I had to change into it haha. I like to stop at my house every 2-3 miles to get a drink, eat a little something, and pee if I have to. So during one of those little breaks I got the mail and ended up changing. πŸ˜‰

The weather was pretty spectacular during my long run! It started out in the high 40’s but it felt colder than that and it was cloudy for pretty much the whole thing. It was great!

Ummm I guess that pretty much everything from this run haha. I feel like I might be missing a few things, but at the very least that covers most of it.

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Sunday:

  • Rest Day

Alrighty! So Saturday was the longest run I’ve ever done in a half marathon training cycle. I’m hoping to keep that trend going for the next couple of weeks though. πŸ˜‰ Since I’ve done this several times now I figure it well past time for me to start increasing my long runs. Yesterday’s went really well and surprisingly I feel pretty good today! I’m feeling slightly dehydrated, but nothing too crazy and a little bit achy, but I’ve felt a lot more sore after shorter long runs. So that’s been a pleasant surprise! I also feel like it confirms the fact that I should definitely be increasing my long runs. πŸ˜‰

Total Weekly Mileage: 22.11

I was aiming for a little bit more than that, but still not bad considering I was so sore I could hardly walk and my plans got switched around a few times haha. All in all it was a good week though. πŸ™‚

I hope everyone had a good week as well! Happy last day of September and I hope your October is wonderful!

~Ashley

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Hair, Running, and The Fit Collective

Hey guys, no weekly recap from last week. Sorry about that… I’ve gotten kinda lazy about keeping up with my weekly recaps throughout the week, and it’s really hard to remember everything that happened and try to recap it all on Sunday. So I didn’t. I swear I’m gonna do better with it this week though. πŸ˜„πŸ‘πŸ»

Besides, last week really wasn’t all that exciting anyway. But these next few upcoming weeks should be! I’m pretty excited and slightly terrified. πŸ˜‚

Anyway, as usual Sunday (yesterday) was my rest day. I spent a good majority of it (like, 6 hours I think?) bleaching and re-dyeing part of my hair (and scalp πŸ˜‚) purple. So if you ever look at my photos and think “Ashley your hair kinda looks like shit and you need to fix it”, just know that I’m very aware, it just takes sooooo long to do that I always end up putting it off. Plus that section of my hair is super duper damaged. I’ve been dyeing it since I was 17, so honestly I’m kinda surprised it hasn’t just fallen out yet. But hey, at least it looks cool, right?!

Yeah so that’s what I spend my Sunday doing. Today was a little bit more productive. Well, running-wise at least. Got 6 miles in and I felt pretty fantastic! I’m very much enjoying the weather right now! It’s definitely been cooling off and feeling more like fall. I love it! Some of the trees are even starting to change colors! πŸ™‚ Haha it’s really hard to see in the photo below, but the trees in the woods off in the distance are starting to turn yellow and brown. I love it!

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The plan for today’s run was actually 5 miles but I ended up doing 6 because I’m an over achiever. πŸ˜‰ Actually, because I wasn’t paying attention and it just kinda happened haha. But those are the best kinds of runs, right? Honestly I think this might have been my best run since this spring. I’ve been slogging along just trying to survive the summer but now that the weather is getting better running is starting to get a lot more enjoyable. πŸ™‚ Now if only I could start feeling faster. Then I’d feel a little better about my upcoming half marathons. I’m currently still worried about them. But I’ve still got 47 and 48 days to go, so I’ve still got some time to make some improvements! πŸ™‚

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After my run I ate a quick snack and then got some strength training done with The Fit Collective! The fit collective is an online training program and it’s pretty neat! You get 3 new 30 minute at home strength workouts every week, access to personal trainers via email and their Facebook page, along with live Facebook Q&A sessions every month. They also have monthly goals and challenges along with a whole page on their website full of healthy recipes. Fun stuff!! The online membership is $20 a month, but if you hang tight for a few days I’ll have a code for new members to get 50% off of your first month. So it would be $10 instead of $20. πŸ™‚

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From my and then jointhefitcolletive’s intagram accounts. πŸ™‚Β 

So my workout for today was something that I’ve never done before and it was a lot of fun! Freaking hard, but fun! So the workout consisted of 8 moves. For the first set the goal was to do 10 reps of each move, then for the second set do 9 reps of each move, for the third 8 reps, and so on and so forth until you get to 1 rep for each move. So like I said, it was different and I really enjoyed it. Plus it totally kicked my butt too! It took me about 35 minutes to complete the workout and by the time I was done I was completely beat! It was really good though. I’m pretty stoked to continue on with this program and see what other fun workout they have in store!

Having fun is super important to me when it comes it working out. I get bored really easily and I find it hard to really stay consistent with anything that’s not running. That’s actually one of the reasons I started running! I was bored with my workout regimen and decided to give running a try. So far it’s the only thing that stuck, but I think The Fit Collective is really going to help in that regard! I don’t think I’m going to get bored getting 3 new workouts every week! πŸ™‚

Anyway, that all I’ve got for today I suppose.

Happy Monday!

~Ashley

β€œFast” Running, β€œSlow” Running, Summer Running, and Treadmill Running

Running, running, running. Yay!

Haha So lets talk about that today! Running, half marathon training, all of that fun stuff. πŸ˜‰ I actually wanted to write about this yesterday because I had a really good run on the treadmill, but my 4 year old neighbor came over and stayed at my house for 5 hours. Holy cow I don’t know how people with small children get anything done! Because I sure didn’t during the 5 hours she was here. Pretty much all we did was color, watch cartoons, and play with the chickens and ferrets. I didn’t get anything that I wanted to do done yesterday (aside from my run, that is πŸ˜‰ ) but holy cow by the time she finally went home I was EXHAUSTED.

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I’m pretty sure this is what I look like every morning. πŸ˜‰

Anyways, I haven’t been feeling all that great the last couple of days. I guess I’ve come down with a bit of a cold or something. So on Monday I took the day completely off. I did pretty much nothing but sit on the couch and watch TV. Although at one point I did trip over a dog toy and fell pretty hard on my knees. They’re fine, just a little bruised. Haha but yeah, that’s why I’m not allowed to get on the ladder. Or use power tools. Or the lawn mower. And my weed whacker privileges are on thin ice. Hahahaha I’m just too big of a klutz apparently.

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Pictures never seem to do bruises justice haha.

Anyway, then on Tuesday I slept in for about an hour longer than I usually do, and I woke up feeling quite a bit better! Still not at 100%, but a definite improvement! But since I did sleep in it was really warm and sunny outside by the time I was ready to run, so I took to the treadmill! Having that option has been fantastic! I’ve definitely been able to do more running over the summer thanks to it! πŸ™‚

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So on the scheduled for yesterday was an interval workout. And a pretty tough one too! The hard intervals were a little longer and I usually despise doing long intervals haha. But I did most of the workout despite not usually being a fan (which is really a good reason to do it anyway) and having not felt so great for the last couple of days. I did end up cutting it a little short. I used the last interval as a cool down, instead of running it hard and then doing a cool down and I had to stop a few times to hack up my lungs, but other than that this workout actually went really well! Honestly it was the first time I felt like I was really able to run “fast” (in quotations because fast and slow are all relative. πŸ˜‰ ) since I did the Running With The Cows 5k back in May. So yeah. It’s been a while.

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It was warm and humid that day, but I got shit done! And learned a few interesting things about myself that day. You can read the recap for this race here. πŸ™‚

But all of my slow running hasn’t been for lack of trying. I’ve had plenty of speed work outs on my scheduled but I just haven’t actually been able to accomplish anything particularly speedy. I’m already a slow runner, but holy cow this summer has just felt particularly slow and terrible and terrible and slow. It hasn’t been good. I’ve really just been feeling, well, defeated.

I’ve been particularly worried about how I’m going to do in my upcoming half marathons. Mostly the Longview half. I really want to PR my half marathon time. Like, soooo bad! And if I’m going to do it this year Longview will be the place to do it, since it’s the first of the two half marathon’s I’m doing back to back. And since they’ve changed the race course and gotten rid of the giant hill at mile 2, well, that will really work out in my favor! And that’s all fine and good, but the paces I’ve been running this summer have just been too slow to really make me think that PRing is going to be possible. Grant it I am attributing a lot of that to the terrible weather this summer. So many heat warnings. So many air quality advisories. So much humidity. It’s been bad… But still, I feel like I’ve just been too slow. There is still some time to change that though, and yesterday’s run was a bit of a confidence booster! Now all I need is a good/faster long run or two and I’d feelΒ a lotΒ better about where I am fitness-wise.

Luckily for me, that just might happen! The first day of fall is in 3 days, and according to WeatherBug tomorrow is supposed to be the last really hot day on the 10 day forecasts! Thank goodness! I’m so ready for summer to be over!!

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I’m also ready to be done with the treadmill. Or at least less reliant on it. I like being able to run on it whenever it’s super hot out, but I’ve gotten a little bit lazy about it. Like yesterday. I could have gotten up earlier and run outside. Although yesterday I think the little bit of extra sleep really did help me feel better. Although I think I might have gone a little too hard yesterday. I was planning to do another treadmill run today, but I was tired, sore, and just not feeling it. I’m trying to listen to my body, so I skipped the run and did yoga instead. I felt really good afterwards, so I think I made the right decision. πŸ™‚

Whew, I guess that covers everything I wanted to talk about today. Haha all of this thinking about paces and times, I guess I’m starting to get some pre-race nerves. Just a little bit though. I still feel like I’ve got some time to do some more work. πŸ˜‰

Happy Wednesday!

~Ashley

Weekly Recap: September 10th-16th, 2018

Oh man, this week has been tough. I’ve been feeling kind of off all week and then on Sunday I woke up feeling sore everywhere for no real reason, tired, and sniffly. So I suppose that would explain it.

Unfortunately that means I didn’t run a lot this week. That might be for the best though, it I am sick or getting sick it’s probably better that I take things easy instead of pushing myself and stressing my system more. It’s just been kinda frustrating because I didn’t really know what was up until Sunday morning. So yeah, this week was a struggle, but at least now I have a pretty good idea as to why. Not exactly happy with how it went, running wise, but it happens. Hopefully I’ll feel better next week.

Monday:Β 

  • 2 miles
  • 15 minutes of yoga

Had a shorter, slightly speedy run on the scheduled for Monday. I thought it was going to be an easier run but it turns out I was really wrong. This two mile run was harder than the 11 miles I did on Saturday. Running is weird like that somethings.

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Tuesday:

  • 3.1 miles

Things I regretted about this run; that I didn’t get out earlier and that I wore tights instead of shorts. Things I didn’t regret about this run; doing it.

Another rough run…The plan was 5 miles, but I cut it short. Obviously. Still pretty happy with what I got done though. πŸ™‚

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Wednesday:Β 

  • 3 miles on the treadmill

I actually ended up sleeping in on Wednesday and really didn’t feel like going out, so I did this workout on the treadmill. Warmed up for a mile, ran at threshold pace for about a mile, and then cooled down for a mile. Kinda haha. There was about a 40 minute break between my threshold mile and cool down mile. My dad actually called me right as I was starting that last mile, so I hopped off the treadmill to talk to him. We haven’t really talked in a while so that was nice. Plus talking to my dad was definitely more important than running 3 consecutive miles. πŸ˜‰

So instead of a photo from Wednesday’s run here’s a photo of my dad and I hiking in Lory State Park from 2016. πŸ™‚

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Thursday:

  • rest day

Yeah, no. Just not feeling it…

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Friday:

Yay pumpkin picking!

So I didn’t run on Friday, but Luke and I were pretty busy! We got quite a bit done, along with going to a cider mill and picking some pumpkins. It was a lot of fun, and you can read more about it by clicking the link above!

Saturday:

  • 2.25 miles

Had no real intentions for Saturday. I just went out to see what I could do. Apparently the answer to to that was 2.25 miles. Not great considering my long runs are usually on Saturdays, but a little something is always better than nothing.

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Sunday:

  • Β rest day

Luke and I both woke up feeling sniffly and gross. Well, even more so than I’ve been feeling. So I spent the day resting, relaxing, and trying to recover from whatever bug I seem to have come down with. Hopefully I wont be feeling too badly for too long.

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Total Weekly Mileage: 10.47

Well that’s slightly embarrassing. But still better than nothing! Really hoping that next week goes better.

But for now, happy Sunday! I Hope everyone has a great week!

~Ashley

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Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days: 59 and 60 Days To Go!

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Two months to go!! Well, more specifically 59 more days until the Longview Half and 60 more days until the Gobble Grind Half!

Honestly when put that way, holy cow we’re getting close!! Haha I’ve been kinda thinking along the lines of “it’s still pretty early in September and November is still a ways a way”, but it’s really not. Two months. Two short months to go. Yikes. But it’s only “yikes” when I think about it that way. Once I go back to the whole “it’s only September” thing I feel a little bit better about it. Weird how the mind works like that. πŸ˜‰

Really though I’m not so worried about finishing either half. I’ve done the Longview half 3 years in a row, and this year will make it 4. IΒ knowΒ I can finish that race in particular, but the 13.1 miles in general. So I’m not really worried about that. I’m not really worried about finishing the Gobbler Grind the next day either.Β  At this point I’m actually pretty confident in my ability to finish both races. Especially since I’ll be doing the second one with my dad and brother.

What I’m really worried about is finishing times. I would really like to set a new PR and the way I see it, it’s probably best for me to go for that during the first half at Longview. My legs will be fresh, I wont be tired, and I kind of feel like I have to redeem myself after last year’s not-so-great experience at Longview. The course is going to be a little bit different this year. They got rid of the giant hill at mile two, so that will probably work out in my favor as well.

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Elevation data from the Longview Half, according to my Garmin. That hill at mile two is pretty killer haha.

I haven’t been feeling particularly speedy though. I mean, I’m definitely not a speedy person to begin with. I like to affectionately refer to myself a slow runner. But I’ve just been feeling extra slow lately. Although looking back at my running data from 2016 (the year I ran my best half marathon so far), the paces from my long runs are pretty similar. Although my shorter runs were definitely faster than I’ve been doing this year. But I have been running more this year. A lot more actually. I’ve also been injury free throughout this training cycle *knock on wood*, which is something I’ve never been able to say while training for a half marathon haha. So really it would appear that things are really going well! But jeez I’m still really worried about times. I really want a PR. It’s been a while since I’ve PR’d in anything. That being said, if things go a planned, I should be PR-ing my longest run in 4 weeks, I think? That should be pretty exciting. But I’d still really like a shiny new time PR.

I’m mostly just worried about times for the Longview Half though. The Gobbler Grind is just gonna be more for fun, although obviously it’s still going to be a bit of a challenge since I’m doing another half the day before. Since I’m doing it with family, who currently haven’t been able to do much training because of their work schedules. So it’s going to be an interesting day for all of us! Hopefully it’ll be a lot of fun though. But misery loves company and all of that, so I’m sure we’ll all have fun. πŸ˜‰

Luke plans on being at both races for me and my mom is coming with with my dad and brother, but I don’t know if they plan on being at my house the morning I do Longview. Probably not, but it is a possibility that I’ll have a big cheering squad for Longview. I did the first year I ran it. My mom and dad came for it then and that was pretty sweet! But either way, it’ll be fun to have them all here, plus my mom wants to celebrate my birthday while they are, since the Gobbler Grind is only 4 days before my actual birthday. πŸ™‚

Anyways, I suppose that just about covers all of my thoughts and feelings of Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days, so far. I know it’s nothing really all that insightful. At this point in my life running doesn’t really feel deep and meaningful. It’s just something I do, ya know? I get up in the morning, run, and then get on with my day. I’m not sure how I’d feel if I had to go an extended period of time without running. I don’t think that would go for me. It’s just something that’s really ingrained into my life right now.

Okey dokey then! That’s all for now! I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

~Ashley and her very in the way blogging assistant, Bubbles

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What My First Three Half Marathons Taught me

I actually posted a much smaller version of what this post is on my Instagram accountΒ a couple of weeks ago, but the more I thought about it the more I wanted to get a little bit more in-depth with it and share my thoughts here. Especially since I’m getting pretty deep into my half marathon training at this point. I just thought it would be nice to reflect on the things I’ve learned from my previous halfs, and since it half/full marathon training season is in full swing, I thought maybe other people could take something away from the things I’ve learned so far as well! πŸ™‚

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Half Marathon Number One: Longview Half, 2015.

My first half marathon actually taught me quite a lot! But I mean, that does make sense considering that it was my very first. My first half and my very first race ever! Haha it’s not exactly recommenced to start off your racing career with a half, but what can I say? I’m an overachiever. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, my first half marathon taught me to set big goals, dream big, and that I’m capable of more than I thought. Before I even signed up for my first half the farthest I’d ever run was 5 or 6 miles. I had no idea if I could actually cover 13.1 miles in one go. At that point I was still impressed and amazed at the fact that I could do 5! That was still relatively new to me! I also knew nothing about proper running attire, fueling, or actual running workouts. Back in 2015 I was still a relative newbie to the sport. But one day I just kinda decided that I was going to run a half marathon, so I signed up, started a training plan, and never looked back. It was a rocky road to the starting line, like I said, I had no idea what I was doing. But the second I crossed that finish line I learned that setting big, crazy goals could be a good thing! Dreaming big will help you accomplish those goals! But most importantly, I learned that I was capable of doing hard things and that I really was a runner. Not just some person who was faking it. Not that there’s any fake runners or anything. That’s just something I had struggled with for a while. But once I became a half marathoner I never hesitated to call myself a runner ever again.

Crossing the finish line of my first half was an incredible experience and it’s something I’ll never forget!

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Longview half marathon, 2015. Mile 11.

Half Marathon Number Two: Longview Half, 2016Β 

I went into my second half marathon much more knowledgeable and prepared! I knew I could cover the distance having done it once before, and I had a few 5k’s under my belt as well, so I had a little bit of a better idea of what I was getting myself into. Training went well and the race itself went even better!

My second half taught me how to really have fun during training and to enjoy every mile during a race. Even when it started to hurt and get really hard. This was definitely my best half so far! Maybe even my best race so far! I’m hoping that will change this November though. πŸ˜‰

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Longview half marathon, 2016. Mile 11.

Half Marathon Number Three: Longview Half, 2017

My third half marathon is a little bit notorious in my mind. Training went pretty well, but I crashed and burned hard at about mile 8 during this half. By mile 10 I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to finish. I did, buy jeez it was pretty terrible…

My third half was my first bad racing experience. I’m still a relative newbie at the whole racing thing. At this point I’ve only got 7 actual races under my belt, but this half, this half was by far the absolute worst I’ve ever done. That being said, I still learned a few things from this race. First and foremost, I learned just how important proper fueling and hydrating is. I mean, I alreadyΒ knew,Β but I experienced firsthand why during this race. The Gatorade at the aid-stations wasn’t mixed properly and that made my stomach unhappy. Since my stomach was unhappy I wasn’t able to eat my Honey Stinger waffles. One of the wonderful pacers gave me a Twizzlers at one point and I was able to eat that in slow, little bites, but that was about it. I crashed. I burned. I suffered.

Suffering was the most important thing I learned during this half. I thought I had suffered through hard workouts before, but it was nothing compared to the last 3 miles of this race. It was a hard lesson to learn. Finishing hurt and then dealing with my finishing time hurt even more. But eventually I got over it and learned that I can suffer and suffer badly, but still finish. And at the end of the day finishing is still a huge accomplishment!

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Longview half marathon, 2017. Mile 11.

There you have it! What half marathoning has taught me so far! I’m pretty excited to take these lessons into the two half marathons I’m doing in November. The Longview Half again on November 10th and the Gobbler Grind Half on November 11th. I’m sure Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days will end up teaching me a few things as well. πŸ˜‰ Hahaha right now I’m thinking that suffering lesson is going to come in quite handy for this little challenge.

I’m also pretty excited to finally be doing a half marathon that is not Longview. I love that race and want to continue to do it as many years in a row as I can, but it’s going to be fun to be doing a race that’s new to me! Actually, they changed the Longview course this year, so both races are going to be kind of new to me. At this point I’m really looking forward to both of them! I’m not really nervous yet, but I know that will come soon.

Anyway, have you learned any important lessons from a race? How have you applied them in life, running, or other races? I’d love to hear your answers!

But for now, wishing you a happy Monday!

~Ashley

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Longview Half finish, 2016

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