Friday Fives: OMG Tomorrow Is Race Day Thoughts and Feelings

Tomorrow’s the day I’ve been waiting for/dreading for a while now and I’m trying to gather my thoughts a little bit, because they’ve just been all over the place this week. I’m pretty excited, because races are fun! I mean, you get to hang out with a bunch of other runners, have roads closed off and the police out making sure you’re safe from traffic, there are volunteers handing you water and Gatorade, and a bunch of people cheering you on, some of whom have fun signs, and hi-fives aplenty. What’s not to like?! You know, aside from the fact that I feel very unprepared for this half marathon. I got injured over the summer, got sick a week before the race, and am already a super slow runner, so being even slower because of those things really really sucks.

So I suppose that basically sums up how I feel, but in the spirit of “Friday Fives” here are 5 thoughts and feelings I have about the Longview half marathon tomorrow;

1. It’s Gonna Be A Total Suckfest…

Mostly because of the hills that I did not train for. So that’s probably just going to be loads of fun. But I’m fully aware of how sucky it’s going to be (running this course twice before helps with that) and I’m ready to embrace it. There have been a couple times in this training cycle that I said I wanted to hurt, and I guess I’m finally going to get my wish tomorrow! And I guess at this point I’ve just kinda hyped myself up so much for it that I’m just like “Yes! Bring on the pain!!!”. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not though. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow. 😉

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At least the course is pretty, being around a lake and all. 😉

2. It’s Going To Be Another Warm Year. 

Ok, so the weather isn’t going to be that bad. As of yesterday they’re calling for a high of 46 degrees a low of 41 and it’s supposed to be cloudy with a chance of rain (which is great for me!). But this race is held on the second weekend of November. I’ve signed up for this race 3 years in a row now hoping that it would be nice and cold out. But 3 years in a row, the high has been around 50 degrees. I’m about 2 seconds away from turning this into a climate change thing, but that wasn’t my original intent for this post, so I’m gonna stop there. Just know that I’ve been kinda disappointed that the weather has yet to be as cold as I’d wish it would be during this race.

But fun fact! The very first year they held this race, the only year I have not run it so far, race day fell on my birthday and they got some snow flurries. So yeah, I wish I would have done it that year, but I was not ready for a half marathon at that point of my life and I had no idea that this race or the KC Running Company even existed back then, so there’s that hahaha.

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3. I’ve Still Got A Few Things I Need To Get Done.

So usually I’m super on top of preparing for big events like this, but I’ve been very lax about it all this year. I mean, I’ve gotten my gear and fuel plan all figured out so at least there’s that. But I still need to make a playlist (because I like running with music damn it!! 😉 ), figure out where I’m going to keep my fuel (why does running gear have so few pockets???), pick up a throwaway jacket and gloves, bananas, chap stick. I’ve also got to go to packet pick up at some point this afternoon. I should theoretically get all of that done today though. And maybe it would be a good idea for me to come up with some kind of race plan? But meh. I’m not too worried about it honestly. As long as I keep moving forward I’ll make it to the finish line and that’s really my only goal. 🙂

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But hey, at least I know what I’m gonna wear! 😉 

4. I’m Excited! 

I know I’ve been a bit of a negative Nancy about things going wrong during this training cycle, and I do think this half marathon is gonna be super hard and suck and be painful but I’m still excited for it! I’m excited to line up at the starting line, thank all of the volunteers and police officers (seriously, if you wanna take your mind off of running for a little bit, start thanking all of the people out there making the race possible for you. It helps and everyone volunteering definitely deserves A LOT of recognition for what they’re doing), talk to other runners, hi five spectators, and crossing the finish line. I’m also excited to be ridiculous and laugh with the race photographer at mile 11, have a volunteer tell me I really made sure that my timing chip was secured to my shoe (because so far someone has said something about it at EVERY. SINGLE. RACE. I’ve done hahaha), get my medal, and partake in whatever food that will be at the finish line this year. Last year it was chili, which I didn’t think was a great choice…and this year they did not specify anything in the participant’s guide, so I guess I’ll just find out what it is when I get there! 😉

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5. I Get A Sweet Hoodie, Nifty Medal, and My Streak With This Race Continues! So Totally Worth It. 

I think this might actually be more than one point, but I’m just gonna roll with it. 😉 So first off, the participation shirt for this race has just gotten better every year! This year it’s a pretty sweet hoodie, and I’m actually going to go pick that up along with my bib number later today! I’m pretty stoked about that. 🙂 And the finisher’s medal is pretty nifty too! Although I think I liked last years better, but still, not too shabby! Along with some neat finisher’s stuff, I get the pride of crossing another finish line and of completing this race 3 years in a row. And that’s a streak I’d like to keep going for as long as I possibly can!

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Three. More. Days. Until. My. Third. Half. Marathon!!!!!!

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I’m actually not all that nervous about it right now. I have a feeling that’s gonna come the day before though hahaha. So yeah, I’m not nervous, but I am currently just all over the place. I’m pretty sure I’m experiencing the taper crazies, which I think is something you hear more about with marathoners, but I think half marathoners also experience a little bit of taper madness in the week leading up to a race.

So that being said, I’ve been getting back into vlogging again! I’m not a good vlogger by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t script anything, I don’t do any editing, have any fancy equipment, or anything like that, but I have found that there is something a little bit therapeutic about ranting into a camera for 10-20 minutes hahaha. 😉 So if you want to witness my taper crazies first hand I suggest you check out my latest vlogs.

11/4/17: Let’s Talk Running Gear, Fuel, and Race Day Strategy!

11/6/17: Unboxing My November StrideBox

11/8/17: Taper Crazies 

In my StrideBox unboxing video I share a pretty nifty coupon code for the upcoming holiday season! I’ll talk a little bit more about that here eventually, but if you’re at all interested in gifting a StrideBox subscription to a running buddy or even to yourself for the upcoming holiday season, I suggest you go check that one out!! 🙂

But anyways, that’s all I’ve got for today. I hope everyone has a happy happy Wednesday and that you don’t feel as crazy as I do right now haha. 😉

~Ashley

 

 

Oh Shit, It’s Race Week!

I guess that means I should start being a little more positive and stop worrying about the things I can’t control, or the training I didn’t get to do because of an injury, or the fact that I got sick last week and am still getting over that virus. But I do like to complain, so I promise nothing! 😉

So, things that I can control, do, and that I plan on taking very seriously this week are as follow; 

  • Get enough sleep. I’ve been doing pretty well with sleep, so I’ve just gotta keep that up!
  • Drink enough water. I haven’t been doing so great with this one. Like, I know you need to drink more when you’re sick, by it’s so hard to do when you don’t feel like drinking or even eating much. 
  • Eat a little better. Since I’ve been sick I’ve been living off of canned soup and Halloween candy, because same as the above with water. Not ideal, but hey, what are you gonna do? 😉
  • Make a kick ass playlist. Because if I’m gonna suffer I’m gonna have fun doing it, damn it!
  • Visualize my fueling strategy for the race. So, 1 Honey Stinger waffles at the starting line, maybe half an hour before the gun goes off. 1 cup of water at every aid station and water AND Gatorade at every other aid station (the aid stations are about every 2 miles which is exactly what I trained for! Go me!). Along with 1/2 of a Honey Stinger waffles around miles 4, 6, 8, and 10. And maybe a cup of beer around mile 11 if they’re handing it out again. 😉 Hahaha my fuel plan is literally the only plan I’ve worked out for this half, so I’m hardcore clinging to it! 

Whew, alrighty then! I’m not anywhere near the realm of prepared for this half marathon, but I’ve covered the distance twice before and I know I can make it to that finish line again. And that’s my only goal; crossing the finish line. 

I’m coming for you half marathon number 3!!

~Ashley

Weekly Recap: October 30th-November 5th, 2017

Monday:

  • 3 miles

I kind of ended up surprising myself on this run! My legs were kinda sore/heavy from my not so great long run last Saturday, but I actually ended up feeling really good and having a lot of fun on Monday! Good thing too, because after my run I spent the rest of the day taking care of my sick husband, and knew that more likely than not, I was going to end up getting sick too.

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Tuesday:

  • First sick day

I would end up getting sick on one of my favorite holidays…not that it really matters though. Since Halloween fell on a Tuesday this year we didn’t really do anything fun, and it was pretty cold out so we only got 7 or 8 trick or treater’s. Anyways, spend the day watching a few Stephen King movies and pretty much moping around and feeling sorry for myself because I was too tired/weak feeling to do anything else.

Wednesday: 

  • Second sick day
  • 20 minutes of yoga

I felt even worse on Wednesday than I did on Tuesday…So I spend most of the day laying around, resting, and watching movies. But I did do a quick little “yoga for when you’re sick” sequence, from the Yoga with Adriene channel on YouTube. It actually did feel kinda good to stretch and move around a bit. 🙂

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Thursday: 

  • Third sick day
  • 20 minutes of yoga

Oh man, I woke up feeling absolutely miserable on Thursday. But I think I was finally on the up swing. I wasn’t as achy or weak feeling as I was on the previous two days, and I was finally coughing up all the nastiness from my lungs, sneezing non stop, and even my ears were draining. So I figured everything was working it’s way up and out and that I was hopefully on the mend.

Still spent most of the day taking it easy and resting. I didn’t want to do too much and relapse or something. But I did do a little bit of light cleaning around the house (something I’d been neglecting since I got sick) and did the “yoga for when you’re sick” sequence again.

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Friday:

  • Fourth sick day

Good news! Was feeling a little bit better (but still pretty shitty) on Friday! Bad news! Not good enough to run. I mean, I probably would have if I didn’t have a race coming up next weekend and wasn’t concerned about getting as healthy as possible by then. So as antsy as it’s making my feel, I took another day off to rest and recuperate from this damn chest cold. Hahaha this cold has seriously been making me wish I still had an appendix, which supposedly aids in our immune systems. I talk a little bit more about that in this post, if you’re interested. 🙂

Saturday: 

  • 5th sick day

I initially thought that I was going to be able to get a short run in on Saturday, but eventually decided against it. I was just exhausted and sore all over from coughing. I was feeling a bit better though and did do a decent amount of walking around. 😊

Also, shout out to my awesome mother in law for sending me a box of Honey Stinger waffles as an early birthday present! I am 1000% sure that giving the runner in your life their favorite running fuel as a gift is the best idea ever haha. 😊



Sunday: 

  • 6th sick day (but I think it’s finally almost over!)
  • 3.1 miles

Brought my total weekly mileage up to 6.22 today and felt absolutely great doing it!! Well aside from the fact that my chest, lungs, throat, back, and abs all hurt from all of the coughing and hacking I’ve been doing this week. But my legs felt fantastic! So hopefully that’ll carry over to next Saturday’s half marathon. I’ve also been wearing the finisher’s shirt from my first half marathon a lot lately for luck. Lol I need about as much of that as I can get!!! 😂 I’m coming for you for a 3rd time Longview Half!!! 🏃🏻‍♀️👍🏻😁


 

 

Friday Fives: Things I’m Excited For in November!

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November is one of my favorite months of the year!! I kind of already talked about that, along with some thing’s I’m excited about here, but hey, I figured I could go into a little bit more detail about what they are and why I’m excited about them again! 🙂

1. The Longview Half Marathon 

Not gonna lie, I’m partly dreading this one haha. This training cycle has not gone well for me. I spend almost two months over the summer injured and unable to run and then I got sick on Tuesday and was unable to do much running this week. That coupled with a lot of life stuff that’s been going on and I’ve been dealing with, I just don’t think I’ve done enough work to be able to run this half without doing a whole lot of suffering. If my most recent long runs are any indication, well then this thing is gonna be absolutely miserable.

I’m still excited for it though! This is going to be my 3rd half marathon and the 3rd year in a row that I’ve run this specific race (and since the KC Running Company has only been putting on this race for 4 years now, I think that’s really neat!). This race is becoming my November tradition and I want to run it as many years in a row as I can, so I definitely can’t back out on it now, when I’m so early into this little streak I’ve created for myself!

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2. My Birthday! 

Yay! I’m gonna be 26 years on on the 15th of this month!!

I think I might be getting to that age when some people (especially women) start getting a little bit self conscious about their age and don’t exactly want to celebrate birthdays anymore. I say that because I see a bunch of people I went to high school with post on Facebook complaining about how their getting “old”. I’m not entirely sure if they mean it or not though. Either way, I don’t think that at 25 going on 26 years old that I have enough life experience to be self conscious of my age. And honestly I don’t think I’m ever going to be the kind of person who is. It’s just a number, right? And besides, birthdays are fun! I mean, people spend the day acknowledging the fact that they’re glad you were born and celebrating the fact that you’ve traveled around the sun, well, 26 times in my case, but obviously that varies depending on how old you are. How neat is that?! 🙂

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3. Traveling to Colorado for Thanksgiving! 

Obviously Thanksgiving is usually a lot of fun in and of itself. You get to spend the day (hopefully) surrounded by family, stuffing your face full of turkey, pie, and all sorts of goodies, while thinking about all of the things you’re thankful for. But this year should be even more exciting because Luke and I are going to be spending Thanksgiving day with my mom, dad, and brother in Colorado. I don’t exactly get to see my family very often now that they live 10 hours away, so I’m excited to see them! I mean, neither of my sisters will be there. One has to work and the other’s husband just got home from being deployed in Europe so they want to spend some time alone, but at least I’ll get to see my parents and brother! I actually got to see my mom and brother over the summer, but it’s been a really long time since I’ve seen my dad, so I’m super stoked about that!!

 

4. The Coming of Colder Weather! 

We’ve had some pretty nice days in October, and even a few pretty cold days, but November usually brings much colder weather and I can’t wait! Cold weather running is sooo much better and so much more fun than warm weather running.

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5. Christmas Season!! 

For me, Christmas season starts in November. Now, I’m not one of those people who start decorating and playing Christmas music and what not the second the clock strikes midnight on November first. But in my family it was basically a tradition to start decorating for Christmas on Thanksgiving day. I wont be able to do that this year, since we’ll be in Colorado on Thanksgiving (well, unless my mom and dad want to decorate their apartment that is), but I will the second I get home! Plus Christmas season is such a fun, magical time of year, so I’m gonna celebrate as long as possible, dammit! 😉

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What are some things that you’re excited for this month? 🙂

Happy Friday and November, everyone!

~Ashley

Hello November!!!!!

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I know, I know, I’m a day late. But we’ll get to that in a second. 😉

So, happy second day of November! November is definitely one of my favorite months out of the year. Actually, I think October-January is usually a lot of fun. I absolutely love all of the fall/winter/holiday festivities. But November is usually especially fun because I tend to have a lot going on during this month and of course this year is no different. So far here’s what I’ve got lined up for the wonderful month of November 2017;

11th – Longview Half Marathon (my 3rd half so far! 🙂 )

15th – My 26th Birthday

22nd – Drive to Longmont Colorado to spend Thanksgiving with my parents

23rd – Thanksgiving. Bring on the turkey and pumpkin pie (that Luke and I will be making by the way. 🙂 )

24th- Drive back to Kansas. So we wont be there long. But sometime is better than no time. 🙂

25th – Start Decorating for Christmas!

So yeah! That’s all the fun stuff I’ve got going on this month (so far, the list might get added to. 😉 ). But I’ve also got some not so fun stuff I have to do. Like take down my Halloween decorations (which I’ll probably do tomorrow) and go to the gynecologist on the 13th for my yearly check up (I swear that place is freaking hard to get into! I scheduled this appointment at the beginning of the year and they were already pretty booked up!).

But yeah, the reason I’m a day late with this post and didn’t exactly get to enjoy Halloween, is because I’ve been suffering from the chest cold from hell!! Yeah, remember the reason why Luke had to take a sick day on Monday? Yeah, it got me on Tuesday…I would get sick on one of my favorite holidays. Not like it really matters though. Since Halloween was on a Tuesday we didn’t really do anything fun, and it was pretty darn cold so we for real only got 8 trick or treater’s this year. That was kinda sad. I gave everyone a big handful of candy (big enough for an 11 year old kid dressed as Pennywise to go “woooow!!!” 😉 ) but we still have a shit ton of left over candy…Oh well.

Anyways, I caught the chest cold from hell on Tuesday and spent most of the day lying around feeling sorry for myself. Because I was too tired/weak feeling to do much else. By Wednesday I was in an even worse state. I couldn’t really stand up for too long because it made me dizzy (the joys of combining chest congestion with asthma. Fun fun fun…), I was achy all over and my body basically felt super heavy, so I spent the day watching movies and trying pretty much unsuccessfully to cough up phlegm. Gross but true. But now on Thursday morning I think I’m on the up swing. I’m not so achy today and I keep sneezing, am finally able to hack up the nastiness from my lungs, and my ears are draining. Yet again, gross but true. But now that everything is moving up and out I’m starting to feel a little better. I plan on taking today easy as well, but depending on how I feel tomorrow I might just go for a short run! Because you know, this cold has just caused me to spend even more time not running during this training cycle…

Curse my weak immune system. And I really mean that. My immune system sucks. Partly because I do have asthma, and obviously airborne viruses + no so great lungs = a weaker immune system. But luckily at this point in my life my asthma isn’t too bad. I just kinda wheeze sometimes, and hot/humid weather and cigarette smoke will sometimes knock me on my ass, but other than that it’s not currently bad enough to warrant an inhaler of any kind. But I’ve also just learned that I have another hit against my immune system, and that would be the fact that I lack an appendix. Jeez! This whole not having an appendix thing really causes me some problems. I can’t eat certain things without having absolutely terrible stomach cramps and now my immune system is apparently weaker, because now doctors are pretty sure that the appendix plays a part in our immune systems. Which is why now a-days if you have appendicitis they’ll give you antibiotics first in hopes that will solve the issue and they wont have to take it out. Not that that would have helped me. My appendix ruptured (yeah apparently my abdomen was a huge mess) so it obviously had to come out. And now every doctor I’ve ever seen ever likes to tell me that I had an “old fashioned appendectomy” and then touch my scar. Which I absolutely hate…

Haha well that kinda turned into a rant! I wasn’t exactly planning on that. But dammit the more time that goes on the more medical science seems to learn about the appendix, and the more they learn, the more I wish I still had mine…One day I need to tell the story of how that all went down. It’s an interesting story that involves me almost dying thanks to my high pain tolerance and an incompetently stubborn doctor. Maybe one day I’ll take the time to type that all up. Maybe. 😉

But anyway, it would appear that I’m going to spend the rest of the day hacking up phlegm, blowing my nose, chugging water (because I’m super thirsty and haven’t been drinking nearly enough since I’ve gotten sick, and hoping/praying/visualizing my half marathon next Saturday doesn’t completely suck. Because this training cycle sure has…

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Only 8 more days!!!! 

Anyways, I hope you’re well, having a great week, and are enjoying your appendix (if you have one that is 😉 ).

~ Ashley

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Things I’ve Thought While Running: Fall Fun Edition

Ah fall,  my favorite season! Well until winter rolls around, then winter is my favorite season. 😉 But that’s besides the point! 

Fall running is a lot of fun!! The cooler weather, beautiful scenery, and getting to look at Halloween decorations, and it’s just great! It also brings about a little bit of nervousness, because for the last 3 years in a row October is when my half marathon training starts winding down and the pre race anxiety kinda starts. So I’m not gonna lie, a lot of the thoughts I’ve had on the run as of late have revolved around how terrified I am for my upcoming half, because I missed out on a lot of training thanks to an injury…

“Oh my gosh Pennywise is visiting Kansas!”

Ok, but is this not the best Halloween decoration ever?!?

“Ooooooooh gotta rum through that pile of leaves!!” 

“The lack of crunch in the leaf I went out of my way to step on was very disappointing…”

“I wonder if the cemetery’s open? I need to run there at least once because ‘it’s the season!”

“Foggy mornings are perfect in the fall!”


“Oh shit the Longview Half is in ___ days!” (The number changes every day because I’ve literally thought this every day that I’ve run this month 😂)

“Does my knee actually hurt or am I imagining that?”

“I think I’m gonna die during this half marathon…”

“I know I’m going to be able to finish this half, but it’s probably not going to be a fun experience.”

“I’m so glad I don’t have to wake up at 5 in the morning anymore.”

“I wore too many layers.”

“I didn’t wear enough layers.”

“That’s a pretty tree!!”


“I’m never training for a half marathon ever again.” 

“Just kidding I’m totally doing this again next year!”