Tag Archives: 13.1

Gobbler Grind Half Marathon, 2018

After I DNF’d the Longview Half on Saturday I didn’t really have much time to sit around and think about it. Which now looking back, I think was a really good thing. Anyway, after I walked off the course my dad, Luke, and I hung out in the parking area for a little bit, talking, and we decided that since we were pretty close to where packet pick up for the Gobbler Grind was, that my dad and I were going straight there. Luke had to go to work, so unfortunately he didn’t get to join us for that adventure.

But anyway, I got into my dad’s van and we drove to the mall where Gary Gribbles was located. There were a bunch of people there! Haha I guess that’s pretty unsurprising given that packet pick up was that day. So we kinda wandered around the store for a little bit just looking at stuff. My dad bought some Honey Stinger stuff for his fuel for the next day (haha yup, I’ve got him hooked on Honey Stinger as well πŸ˜‰ ). He also got himself a pretty sweet hydration vest. He didn’t really need it for carring his water or fuel for the race. What he really wanted it for was to carry his “bondage Barbie”. Hahaha she’s just this Barbie doll that he has tied up to his backpack that travels the country with him. I guess shes a great conversation piece, so he wanted to bring her with him. πŸ˜‚ So he found a hydration vest that he liked and that would be perfect for her.

There was also a dog there just wandering around the store and greeting people! I assume he belonged to someone who worked at the store, but I was super stoked about him! I had to stop and pet him several times. Hahaha he was a friendly boy. 😊 While we were there we were also looking for a decent face mask/buff type deal to wear when it gets crazy cold out like it was on Saturday. According to one of the very helpful guys working there they didn’t have a lot of they’re winter stuff out yet. Mostly just hats and gloves. They did have a fantastic Game Of Thrones sign displayed over the hats and gloves though. I thought it was great!! πŸ˜‚

Anyway, after we were done looking around and my dad has payed for his stuff we got our packets. Up until this point I had only done races that gave you a timing chip for your shoe, but this particular race had the timing chip on your bib, and I just thought that was kinda neat! 😁

Once we had our packets we were done at that mall so we left and set our sights on Bass Pro shop. My dad was dead set on finding a winter face mask thing, but Bass Pro didn’t have what he was looking for either! They had those full head/face mask things, and plenty of baklava’s but that’s not what he wanted. So we kinda gave up on that and just wandered around looking at stuff for a little bit, before we finally headed back to my house.

When we got there we figured out how my dad was gonna rig up bondage Barbie so she’d stay in place, but so her hair wouldn’t constantly be in his face. Hahaha she ended up getting a zip tie ponytail, but it worked! After he hung out for a while, my dad went back to his hotel and I began repeating the process of getting my gear ready and preparing everything I’d need for the next day.

I was up at 6 am on Sunday morning and the first thing I did was check the weather. Luckily it was looking like the weather was going to be much more favorable!! I definitely enjoy seeing temperatures in the 30’s and that was what we were supposed to get! Yay!

 

 

 

So I started getting dressed and preparing my breakfast, when my dad showed up at my house about 15 minutes later, dressed in his running gear (featuring Barbie of course πŸ˜‰) and ready to go! So we kinda talked while I tried to eat and drink some coffee and water, but I was having trouble getting anything down because my stomach was NOT happy with my that morning. Probably had something to do with my bad day at Longview on Saturday… Whatever caused it though didn’t really matter. What mattered was that yet again I wasn’t feeling great and I was starting to get really nervous at the idea of attempting to travel 13.1 miles on foot. But damn it if I wasn’t going to try! So around 6:45 we got into my dad’s van and made our way to the starting line.

We ended up getting there super early which was actually really nice! There was literally NO line for the port-o-potties so we were able to pee in peace without having to wait. You have no idea how fantastic that was after having to wait in a long ass line at Longview, praying that if making it to the starting line in time. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

After that we sat in the van for about half an hour because it was cold out. Not as cold as the day before, but still, cold enough to be uncomfortable to stand in for an extended period of time. So we hung out, I took a couple bite of a banana and then kinda gave up on that because of my stomach, and just sipped on water instead, and we did lots of people watching. Haha that was kinda fun! Once it got to be about 15 minutes until the start we got out and wandered around for a little bit. We wanted to use the port-o-potties again, but the line was ridiculously long at that point! So we decided to wait until we came across a bathroom along the course. Except I seriously considered finding a nice, dense area in the woods and going out there. The start of this race was on a trail that I’m very familiar with and that wouldn’t be the first time I’ve peed in those woods. πŸ˜‚ But unfortunately most of the leaves were gone and the woods was pretty thin. Plus there were just too many kids around, I I figured I’d better just wait.

With 5 minutes to go we made our way to the staring area. I can’t really call it a corral because there wasn’t really any dividers or anything. They had pace flags set up so we could line up accordingly, but that was pretty much it. My dad and bondage Barbie were starting to get some attention and a couple of people asked about her, and I was getting more and more nervous.

After having to drop out of Longview the day before I was full of all sorts of doubt. Especially since I wasn’t feeling all that great that morning. At the time I wasn’t sure trying to go for it again so freaking soon after what felt like failing was a good idea. I kept thinking that if I couldn’t get it done yesterday then how was today any different? Especially since we hadn’t even started yet and my stomach was already feeling lousy. And most importantly I was worried that I’d let my dad down that day. He’d driven 11 hours from Colorado just to do this with me, at my request I might add. So if I was unable to do this with him then I felt like I would have been wasting his time and money. So even though I was feeling super unsure of myself I was resolved to at least give it my best shot.

The national anthem was sung, we were counted down and then sent off. As usual, a lot of my nerves started melting away as we got going. πŸ™‚ The weather was great and I was able to ditch my throw away sweater before we even got to mile 1! The only problem was I really had to pee so my bladder was getting uncomfortably full. We did eventually find and stop at a port-o-potty around mile 2. I felt a lot better after that hahaha.

But before that, there were race volunteers handing out tissues and cheering on the runners. I thought that was a crazy good idea! I’ve never been offered a tissue during a race before, but there have been plenty of times when I could have used one! So I thought that was fantastic! As we passed the mile 2 marker my dad decided that he wanted to take a selfie with every mile marker. We weren’t in any rush as the whole point of the day was to have fun, so we ended up doing just that! We weren’t very good at it though! Sometimes one of use was in front of the sign (like in the photo below), sometimes we got the back of them, and sometimes one of us wouldn’t be ready, so that resulted in some really funny photos! It was pretty great though! And near the end of the race we were both very grateful for the short little breaks!

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At some point before mile 3 we ended up on the part of the Indian Creek Trail that I know and love back from my apartment living days! Things got a little bit tight as the trail can be a little bit narrow in areas. We were getting passed by the 5k leaders so we were constantly trying to get out of their way. That was a new experience for me and it was definitely interesting! I could see how it could potentially be obnoxious, but I didn’t think it was too bad. And of course at mile 3 we stopped to take a selfie! Hahaha I was trying to hold up all 10 fingers, cause you know, 10 miles to go! But I wasn’t fast enough so it looks like I was doing a very poor t-rex impression. πŸ˜‚

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Miles 4 and 5 were relatively uneventful, which is a good thing! At this point we were still on the part of the trail that I’m super familiar with so I knew when hills were coming up, when the trail got more narrow, and where some of the really pretty views of the creek were, so that was kind of nice. πŸ™‚ My stomach still wasn’t feeling great though. I was taking water and Gatorade at the aid stations but was only able to sip on it and I was only able to take little tiny bites of a Honey Stinger waffle. I still felt ok at that point but I knew I was going to be in for a really rough time near the end of the race. Not fueling properly always does me in…

 

 

 

I believe around mile 6 we started to see the lead runners coming back in the opposite direction so we cheered them all on. Clapping and shouting encouraging things to them. That was fun! Although some of them seemed to be in rough shape and didn’t seem to appreciate it very much. I don’t blame them though. I know sometimes the last thing you want is people yelling encouraging things at you when you’re having a rough time. For some reason I don’t have a photo of us at mile 6 hahaha. I’m sure my dad does though. Also after the race was over he told me his knees were starting to ache around this point. I’m sure that was pretty awful.

Around miles 7, 8, and most of 9 were basically all up hill. Sorta. There were a few downhills as well, but really at the time it felt like it was all uphill. πŸ˜‚

 

 

 

Somewhere around the 7, 8, and 9 mile points we ended up talking to a really nice couple from South Carolina. They are traveling around the country in their RV and doing a half marathon in every state. This was their 17th half! They told us they were actually going to do Longview the day before but when they saw how cold it was they decided not to show up. I sure don’t blame them! They said that they talked to someone who said that a lot of people didn’t show up for that race and I totally believe that. I’m sure the unseasonably cold weather put a lot of people off. Of course I told them what happened to me at Longview and they said they didn’t blame me for quitting haha. They were an incredibly lovely couple and my dad and I enjoyed talking to them. They also stopped to talk to a bunch of the police officers and race volunteers and gave most of them gloves and hand warmers.

I also just want to take a second to say how amazing the race volunteers were! They had all sorts of great snacks along with the usual energy gels, water, and Gatorade. A lot of them knew what they were talking about and were encouraging people to eat pickles for cramps, and to take as much food and water as you needed. They were fantastic. Around mile 9 I took a banana hoping it would help my stomach, but nope. I was only able to eat half of it a little after mile 10. I had to wait because I did drink a lot at that aid station and it was all sloshing around for a while.

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After mile 10 my dad’s phone died, so we started using mine to take photos at the mile markers. At this point we had obviously been out on the course for a while and both of our hips were starting to ache. Hahaha apparently we both have the same issues when it comes to our hips and I think that’s kinda funny. So we ended up walking through most of miles 11 and 12. Like I said, the goal was to just have fun so we took our sweet time getting there hahaha. We joked with several people that we were just getting our money’s worth from our entry fee. I also grew fond of saying that we were the party in the back. Because races are like a mullet, all business in the front and party in the back. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

 

 

After we passed mile 12 I was really looking forward to going through the November Projects aid station again. We went through there aid station around mile 4 already and at this point we were headed back the way we had come. Anyway, their aid station was so much fun the first time through and it was even more fun going through the second time! They were running out to hi-five people, yelling out bib numbers, blasting rock music, and just making everyone feel like a total badass as they ran through. It was amazing. They also had one of the best displays set up that I’ve ever seen at a race. πŸ™‚ Come on, how can you not love this?!?

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Haha and several feet after that we had to stop at the mile 13 marker. Oh boy was I happy to see that sign! I was DONE being on that course and very over the whole “half marathoning” thing at that point hahaha. This was the longest I’ve ever been out on a half marathon course and I’m really hoping that I never do another half marathon this slow. That being said, it was also the most fun half marathon I’ve ever done! Aside from not feeling great, I enjoyed almost all of it! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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Honestly crossing the finish line was a little bit underwhelming. Not many people where cheering, even though there were quite a few people there. It was kinda weird… Oh well, the race volunteers kinda made up for it. They knew how to make you feel pretty darn awesome as the hung a medal around your neck and started handing you food haha. Even though we came in at 3:30:05, the still really made me feel like we still accomplished something really cool! And I mean we did! AΒ  half marathon is no joke, no matter how slow you do it!

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I was a tad bit disappointed with the food they had though. Online they made it sound like they were gonna have all sorts of goodies, but all they had was broth, bagels, bananas, oranges, coffee, and chocolate milk. My dad got himself some broth and I grabbed a bagel and a chocolate milk (I was unsure of how my stomach was going to handle that, but of course it started to feel better after I ate my bagel….) and we set off to find a good place to take a picture with our medals! We ended up in front of the photo op thing they had set up that we didn’t notice until we were almost about to walk back to the van haha. That’s when the couple from South Carolina found us again and took our photo for us and then we took photos for them. πŸ™‚

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After that we talked for a little bit and then we got into the van and decided that we wanted to go back to the mall where Garry Gribbles was to show off our medals! When we got there the people working there recognized us which was really cool! And we ended up running into another lady who had also done the Gobble Grind Half as well! So we talked to her for a little bit and then we left the running store and somehow ended up in a target that was in this mall (I thought that was kinda weird, but whatever). We wandered around there for a little bit and spent some time looking at the Christmas decorations and my dad bough us both a ginger kombutcha which REALLY helped my stomach situation. πŸ™‚

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After we left Target we stopped at a 5 Guys and split a bacon cheeseburger. Oh man that was the best burger I’ve had in my life! Hahaha probably because I’d spent the last 5 hours or so trying to eat and kinda failing at it. While we were there a lady came up and asked to take a photo of my dad because he was still wearing bondage Barbie. He thought that was hilarious and let her do it. Oh man, eating there was worth it for that alone! πŸ˜‰

When we were done eating we went back to my house and just kinda relaxed until Luke got home and then we had our own little Thanksgiving dinner of ham, German green beans, sweet potatoes, and of course pumpkin pie, because we’ve had a slight change of plans and Luke and I aren’t going to Colorado for Thanksgiving anymore.

Whew! That ended up being a lot longer than I had anticipated haha so I’ll stop there! Thanks for sticking with me if you made it this far! Tomorrow is my birthday so I’m sure I’ll have more to talk about then, but for now, happy hump day!

~Ashley

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Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days

My little self appointed challenge was not a success… Or at least not a total one.

Out of all of the different possibilities and outcomes I thought of I never even considered this one; I DNF’d at the Longview Half. Yeah, I did not see that coming!

The views near the starting line were really pretty though!

Longview was the race I was the most confident about. I woke up feeling really good! I thought I was ready! But weirdly enough the weather got the best of me. On Saturday we had a really crazy cold snap. Like, it was unseasonably cold. No one was really ready for these kinds of temperatures! It was 12 degrees at the start. The course takes you over a damn and the wind blowing off of the lake was crazy cold.

So all of that unseasonably cold weather that I’m not acclimated to yet got the best of me… The crazy cold air was making my asthma really act up and the wind wasn’t helping. I wasn’t feeling great at mile 1. By mile 3 I felt TERRIBLE and started texting my husband and dad who were out there spectating. I told them I didn’t think I could do this for another 10 miles. At mile 5 I was done…

My dad and husband walked out there to rescue me. Once I started texting them around mile 3 the bought me a Powerade, s banana, my dad got me a bandanna for my face out of his car, and they started heading my direction. We met up around mile 5 and I was just done. There was no way I was finishing that half. At least not without jeopardizing my health. So I took off my bib and we walked close to a mile to the car. Haha so it was pretty lucky that I decided to quit so close to where we parked. πŸ˜‚

So that was kind of a huge bummer. This was my very first DNF and it was not fun haha. But at the same time I know I made the right choice. There will always be other races (like the very next day πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚) and I’m not the first runner who’s ever had to DNF and I certainly won’t be the last!

Today’s race went much better though!

Initially I woke up feeling kinda nervous and I wasn’t really sure that I wanted to give the half marathon distance another shot. But my dad was doing this one with me and her drive all the way from Colorado to do it, so I couldn’t really not do it. Or at least try, ya know?

So I got up, my dad came to my house and we talked while I got dressed and ate breakfast, I checked the weather and saw that it was MUCH better this morning. Now those are temps I like to see!! That’s PERFECT running weather in my book!! 😁

So we went out to the race start, hung out in the car for a while because we got there super early, walked around near the start for a little bit, and then lined up with everyone else. At this point I was super duper nervous! Yesterday really shook my confidence and I had already kinda felt like I had let people down and I really didn’t want to do it again…

We did it though! Near the end my dads knee/hips were kinda bothering him near the end and my lungs and stomach never really felt great at all during this half, but we finished!! And despite how not so great we both felt we had a lot of fun! We talked to some really awesome people, cheered on other runners, thanked all of the wonderful police officers who had to stand in the cold to keep us safe, and the amazing aid station volunteers who kept everyone fed, hydrated, and motivated. Seriously they were all great! And got the very most out of our entry fee! πŸ˜‚ Haha we took our sweet time crossing that finish line, but we did it and that’s all that matters!

So am I bummed that I had my very first DNF and wasn’t able to complete Operation Two Half Marathon’s In Two Days? Absolutely. But honestly today’s half totally made up for it! My dad and I got to spend some quality time together and we both had a lot of fun! 😁😁😁

Alright, that’s all for now! We’ve had a bit of a change in plans and Luke and I won’t be going up Colorado for Thanksgiving, so we’re going to have a kinda sorta Thanksgiving dinner tonight! πŸ¦ƒπŸ˜Š (Haha well, we’re having ham instead of turkey, but it’s the thought that counts, right? πŸ˜‰).

Anyway, I’ll have full recaps of both races up in a few days! But for now, happy Saturday!!

~AshleyπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ¦ƒπŸ˜Š

November 7th, 2018

We are getting so close!!! Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days is going down this weekend and I’m super excited!!

So I thought today would be a good time to share some random thoughts, feelings, and on-goings, since today and tomorrow are my last kinda chill days really. On Friday Luke and I have some running around we have to do, including going to packet pick up for the Longview half, which is the first of my two races. And then my dad is should be arriving here at some point on Friday night. Then of course Saturday and Sunday are the races! I’m pretty darn excited that my dad is going to be able to spectate at Longview with Luke. That’s pretty cool. πŸ™‚

Anyway, it’s looking like the weather is going to be pretty awesome this weekend! Hahaha well, I think so at least. I know a lot of people don’t agree with or understand my love of cold weather. But it’s definitely going to be cold on both days! YAY!! One of the reasons why I’ve always done fall half marathons (and pretty late in the fall at that) is because I DO NOT do well in the heat! But aside from last year when it was a little more chilly, it’s always been relatively warm when I’ve done my half marathoning. So I’m really freakin’ stoked that it’s actually going to be cold!! Not too thrilled about that chance of frozen mix on Sunday though. Luckily it’s a small chance at this point, but still, that might make things a bit unpleasant. But the possibility of snow tomorrow makes me really happy! πŸ™‚

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The weather has actually been pretty awesome lately! Ranging from kinda chilly to actually cold and I’ve been loving it! I was able to break out my winter running gear for my easy 3 miler this morning which was neat! I’m also probably going to need it this weekend. The Longview half is named thus after the lake it’s held by, so I imagine it will be cold by the water! And the course change this year is supposed to offer more lake views so I’d imagine it’s going to be pretty cold at times! Yay!

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Anyway, today’s run was beautiful and a lot of fun! I was kinda worried that I’d end up getting really excited about the fact that it’s cold out and run way to fast, but I managed to reign it in and stay at a very reasonable pace. πŸ™‚ That’s obviously really good. I don’t need to be tired from a hard 5k effort this weekend. πŸ˜‰ I’ve got one more easy 2 miler for tomorrow and then that’s it! Friday is a rest day and then I’ve got the half marathons to do on Saturday and Sunday! I feel like I might have mentioned that a few times already. πŸ˜‰ I’m just super excited.

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So after my run today my Garmin Fenix 5 said that I’m peaking. I’m not entirely sure how accurate that is, but either way I’d imagine that’s a good thing, right? I mean, I sure hope it is! My Garmin never showed me peaking for last year’s half and things went very poorly for me then. So maybe things will go really well for me this time? I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

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I’m very confident that I’m going to be able to finish both races without any real issues. I’ve said a couple of times now that I’d really like to PR at Longview, but if I’m being 100% honest I don’t think it’s going to happen. I’ve been really focused on volume and increasing my mileage during this training cycle and honestly I’ve gotten slower (which is saying something because I’m already super slow. πŸ˜‰ ). From what I understand that’s pretty typical and I’m not really upset about it. A PR would be nice but I’ve done all sorts of new and exciting things leading up to these races and the challenge of completing two half’s in two days is still a really cool and worthy goal/accomplishment in my book. So PR or no PR I’m just happy that I’m going to be showing up at two starting lines healthy, injury free, and ready to go!

So I’ve already kinda started prepping and getting all of my gear and what not ready and in one place. I know some people like to create flat runners by laying out their gear all nice and neat and then taking a photo of that and posting it to social media with all of the appropriate hashtags and all of the relevant brands tagged in the photo. I think that’s super neat but so far all I’ve got is a pile of random shit that I’m probably going to be wearing this weekend. Maybe in a few days it will turn into a flat runner. I doubt it though. πŸ˜‚

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Underneath the running gear you’ll notice a couple of white sweaters. Those would be sweaters that my husband never wears and has graciously given me to use as throwaway jackets for the start of both races. They’re both men’s larges so they are absolutely huge on me, but at least they’ll keep me warmer in the starting corrals and for the first mile or two than if I were just to wear my running gear!

So during my taper crazies, tantrums, whatever you want to call them, I’ve kinda been neglecting my stretching and foam rolling…But on the bright side, I’ve had more time on my hands than I normally do since I’ve been running a lot less and not having to dedicate time to pre/post run activities, so my house is VERY clean! Ok that’s kind of a lie. We’ve had a little bit of rain this week so there are muddy paw prints all over my floor and our animal room (our extra bedroom) is covered with dirt because that’s where Finn and Dean have been sleeping (Lily and Whiskey are a little bit better about staying clean.). But other than that I’ve been scrubbing walls, cleaning little nooks and crannys that often get neglected, and dusting and wiping down ALL OF THE THINGS! Hey, at least it’s keeping me busy, right? πŸ˜‰

Whew! I guess that pretty much covers everything for today! I probably wont be posting a weekly recap for this week because that would be a little bit boring haha. But I’m sure I’ll have plenty more to fill you in on this weekend. πŸ˜‰

As for now, I’ve got nice and clean sheets that need put on the bed, more laundry to do, and a floor that needs vacuumed and mopped. πŸ˜‰

Happy Wednesday!

~Ashley

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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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Weekly Recap: August 20th-26th, 2018

This week I’ve been feeling like I might be coming down with a cold, but then I’ve never actually gotten one. It’s been pretty obnoxious. It hasn’t stopped me though! Slowed me a down a little, sure, but I’m still trucking!

Currently just taking things week by week and day by day, and not trying to worry about the runs I’ve done or the runs that I have to do. It’s a lot easier getting through workouts when you’re not super aware of the run you did the day before haha. At this point in my training I’m having fun (despite not feeling that great this week), but I guess it hasn’t really hit me that I’ve got a new, big challenge coming up. Right now I’m not in the least bit worried about my two half marathons in two days. But I’m sure that’ll change once we start getting closer and closer to the race days! But for now, everything is going pretty well and I’m not stressing over anything. πŸ™‚

Monday:

  • 3 easy miles
  • 30 minutes of strength training
  • 25 minutes of yoga

Kicked off week 5 of half marathon training with 3 easy miles, on a chilly, drizzly morning! It was great! Haha I’m always much more enthusiastic about running when it’s not hot and sunny outside. πŸ˜‰ Followed my run with some strength work and then yoga later in the day.

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Tuesday:Β 

  • 2 miles

I was a lot less enthusiastic about my run on Tuesday. The plan was to do an interval workout and to do 4 miles, but obviously I only ended up doing half of that. I just wasn’t feeling it, but hey, it happens. And at the very least, I still ran. That’s always better than not running at all. πŸ™‚

Also probably should have done some yoga or stretching or something on Tuesday. But enthusiasm to do anything was super low haha. But I did completely clean out my chicken coop, so there is that.

Oh and for some reason my mom asked me to send her pictures of all of my tattoos. Haha it started out with my Green Day one (which she hates πŸ˜‰ ), and then she wanted to see the rest of them. Not sure what that was about, but now I have recent photos of all of them. Why is it so hard to take good photos of tattoos? Haha I swear the all look better in real life. Also, I definitely need more.

Wednesday:Β 

  • 5 miles

I was much more enthusiastic about running on Wednesday! The weather was still pretty nice out, not too hot out and pretty cloudy. πŸ™‚ Had a lot more fun doing these 5 miles than I did doing the 2 on Tuesday.

Even though my run was fun I was still feeling pretty bleh though. I needed to do some strength work but obviously I didn’t. Meh, at least I still ran though. πŸ™‚

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Thursday:Β 

  • rest day
  • 15 minutes of foam rolling

I was hoping a rest day would beat my bleh feeling. Originally the plan was to have Thursday be a cross train day, but I skipped that. It was rainy out pretty much all day though. My favorite!! So I ended up taking Dean for a nice little walk in it. Haha we both like the rain. πŸ™‚

But anyway, Thursday night I made a last minute decision to switch around my long run and hill workout this week, because it was supposed to get really hot again over the weekend, and at this point we all know I ain’t about that life. So at 9:45 on Thursday night I started rushing around getting everything ready to do a long run on Friday.

Friday:

  • 8 miles
  • 15 minutes of foam rolling

So, I made a very rookie mistake during this run. I didn’t drink enough water before or during this run, I didn’t fuel during it at all, and I didn’t have any kind of electrolyte replacement. All things I need to do during summer long runs. Especially particularly hot and humid ones. Friday wasn’tΒ tooΒ hot, but it was really humid (97%) and hazy out. Haha you can even see how hazy it was in the photo below. And it’s not edited or filtered in any way.

The plan was to do 10 miles, but obviously that didn’t happen. Totally my fault. Like I said, should have fueled and hydrated better. At about mile 6 I felt like I was dying. Luckily mile 6 happened at about a mile away from my house, so I had to keep going to get back there haha. When I did I grabbed some cash and ran to Casey’s (which is just around the corner from my house) and got a Body Armor and oh boy did I need it! I downed it really fast once I had made it back home, and I felt a lot better afterwards. It was hot and sunny out and I didn’t feel like heading back out the door, so I hopped onto the treadmill. I made it another mile, but that was all I had left in me. So didn’t make it to 10 miles, but I got close. I know I would have made it if I would have actually fueled and hydrated properly. Oh well. 8 miles on a really humid and hot day basically counts for 10 anyway. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

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Saturday:Β 

  • 3 miles, hills
  • like 3 hours of bowling

Getting up and doing this run after my hard, depleted feeling long run was, well, hard. πŸ˜‚ I was tired from the long run and the thought of doing a hill workout wasn’t very pleasant. I did it though! On the treadmill. I had actually decided earlier this week that I wanted to do this run on the treadmill. Since I don’t have many big hills near by, at least ones that take 5-10 minutes to run up, that makes the logistics of running up a hill for 8 minutes (the plan for Saturday. 3 times.) a little bit difficult. So the treadmill is a great option for that!

Anyway, it was hard. My legs were tired, but I got it done!

Then last night Luke and I went out with his brother and his girlfriend. That was fun, but we really need to find something to do other than bowling. Sure it’s fun, but we were there for 3 hours and it got really boring after a while…

Sunday:

  • rest day
  • 15 minutes of foam rolling

As usual, Sunday’s are my rest days! I’ve been pretty tired today. Probably because of my long run/hill workout, and then staying out late last night. Plus alcohol haha. So it’s been nice doing nothing all day. Today I’ve just kicked back, relaxed, and let my work from the week seep in. 😁

Total Weekly Mileage: 21.10

Not bad considering that I cut a couple of runs short! Besides, I wanted to take this week a little bit easier anyway, so mission accomplished! Still feeling a little bleh and tired, but hopefully that will get better soon. Also hoping that the weather starts cooling down again. But we’re getting close to the end of August and to the beginning of fall, so maybe it will. πŸ™‚

But for now, I will wish you a happy Sunday because that pretty much covers everything from this week!

~Ashley

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Long Run and a Hill Workout

Well, we’re back to this again…

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I got really spoiled by the really nice weather we had last weekend and earlier this week. But all good things must come to an end and the cooler, rainy weather did yesterday. Bummer. But we’re getting really close to the end of August and the first day of fall is about a month away, so hopefully the summer weather wont be around for much longer!!

Anyway, now that it’s all hot and gross out again, I really regret not running on Thursday haha. I took a rest day because I was tired, but oh man I should have just sucked it up and gone for a run anyway. It rained almost all day and it wasn’t crazy hot out. I did take a nice long walk with Dean though. That was nice. We like the rain. πŸ™‚

 

So since we are getting closer and closer to fall, I’ve been keeping and eye on the weather like a crazy person, just hoping and praying that we’ll start getting little hints of fall soon and that summer doesn’t hang around for too long haha. Since I’ve been doing that I knew that this weekend was supposed to be really hot and humid again. So on Thursday night I made kind of a last minute decision to do my long run on Friday, instead of on Saturday like I usually do. So at like, 9:45 that night (which is only 15 minutes before we go to bed haha) I started rushing around and getting stuff ready to go for the next morning. I like to have my coffee maker prepped, have an idea what I’m going to eat for breakfast, and my gear all in one place, the night before my long runs. Any other run I don’t make this much of an effort to prep for, but I like to be ready for when I run long haha.

The plan for this week’s long run was 10 miles but that didn’t happen. I got pretty close though. While the weather on Friday was still better than it was today, it was crazy humid, hazy, and hot out. And I made the really bad mistake of not drinking enough water before or during my long run, I didn’t fuel during my run, and I had no form of electrolyte replacement. Those are all things I need to function during summer long runs, so by mile 6 I felt like I was dying.

Luckily mile 6 happened when I was about a mile away from home, so I got to close to 7 by the time I made it back and once I did I grabbed some cash and ran to Casey’s (it’s less than a block away from my house), bought a couple of Body Armor’s (it’s my new favorite sports drink! So much tastier than Gatorade), ran back home, and proceeded to chug one whole bottle of my sports drink. Oh man, looking back now, it’s a really good thing I went back home when I did. I don’t think it would have ended up well for me if I didn’t. Anyway, I really didn’t want to go back outside after that, so I hopped on my treadmill and did a little over a mile. Just enough to hit 8 miles for the day, and then I called it quits. There’s not doubt in my mind that I would have been able to finish out 10 miles if I would have hydrated and fueled better, but hey, we all make mistakes. And 8 miles in the heat and humidity almost counts for 10 anyway. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

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You can literally see how hazy it was in this photo. It’s not edited or filtered or anything. Gross…

While I didn’t quite accomplish my goal yesterday, I’m still glad I decided to switch my long run and hill workout. It was even hotter out today, without a single cloud in the sky, and of course we had another heat advisory. But earlier this week I had already decided that I was going to do this week’s hill workout on my treadmill. It’s actually super convenient because I don’t have any hills nearby that take me 6 or 8 or however many minutes my training plan calls for me to run up, so the treadmill kinda solves that problem! The only downside to doing a hill workout on the treadmill is that there is no downhill haha. I like the reward of being able to coast downhill after a hard climb up, but on a treadmill the most you get is totally flat. Which still isn’t bad, I just think running downhill is fun.

Anyway, I’m not sure if I killed this workout or if this workout killed me. Every inch of my body was dripping with sweat by the time I was done. It was pretty darn hard, especially after my run yesterday, but I still feel like I crushed it!

 

Afterwards while I was laying on the floor with my legs up on the wall my doorbell rang and I answered looking like this…

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Sweaty, smelly, and wearing clothes that did not match at all because I threw on the nearest shirt I could find before I opened the door. Haha it ended up being one of the election candidates for the Kansas House of Representatives. I guess she was going door to door to talk to people today and while she gave me her whole spiel she kept looking at me like I was a crazy person. It was pretty freaking hilarious. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Honestly when I went to answer the door I figured it might be one of my neighbors. One of them currently has his truck parked in our driveway because he’s re-doing his, so I thought he might want to ask if his cousin who’s there helping if he could park his truck in our driveway too, or something like that. He know’s I’m a runner and is very used to seeing me run around the neighborhood and being a sweaty mess so I didn’t really thing anything of it but nope, it was someone out campaigning. Haha I thought it was really funny though. I don’t think she expected someone that gross to open the door.

Oh man, sometimes it’s just little things like that that make life great. πŸ™‚

Anyway, earlier this week the wonderful people at Rollga sent me one of their Rollga foam rollers and their Activator thing, and those got here on Thursday. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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You can check out Rollga’s website here!Β 

I did a little bit of rolling with them that day, but I’m thinking I’m going to get super duper acquainted with them tonight! I could really use it!! Plus not gonna lie, even though I’ve only used it once at this point, I think this might be the best foam roller I’ve ever used! I really like the way the groves in in kinda cradle your muscles. It’s fantastic. I haven’t exactly figured out the Activator yet, but I’m gonna work on it!! It looks like it might end up being pretty darn useful.

(Friendly reminder that I’m not trying to brag or anything, but I did get these recovery tools for free. I’m not getting paid or anything and wasn’t obligated in anyway to talk about or promote them though, so I really do mean what I say. Just trying to be 100% transparent and real here. πŸ™‚ )

Anyways, I hope you’re having a great weekend!

Until next time,

~Ashley

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Half Marathon Training W1D2

First run of half marathon training for Operation Two Half Marathons in Two days is done!! πŸ™‚

Not gonna lie, I felt kind of out of shape today, but I suppose that’s bound to happen when you do little to no running for 2 weeks in a month. Oops. I’m not too worried about that though, these first few weeks might be a little tough but I’m sure I’ll start feeling better after that. Haha and then the real work will begin! πŸ˜‰

Now that being said, I actually felt really good on today’s run! I did an easy 3 miler, followed by 30 minutes of strength training. The run was uneventful, but a lot of fun! Last night I was so super stoked about it while I was getting all of my gear ready and I was even pretty excited to wake up early and get it done! It’s been a while since I’ve felt that way, so maybe those 2 weeks of little to no running were actually a good thing. πŸ˜‰ But I was super excited for this run and to start half marathon training! Plus it was like 68 degrees when I ran thisΒ  morning and that certainly helped! I’m hoping the crazy heat we’ve been having is finally done and being outside will actually be an option again!

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After my run I did about 30 minutes of strength work, which was not as fun. Haha it never is though. πŸ˜‰ But building a little more strength is something I really want to focus on right now. I feel like I’m gonna need it to make it across the finish line of both half marathons. Especially the second one.

So that really wasn’t too bad, but the whole out of shape feeling came after my run and my workout. After I did both of those things I went out and tended to the garden. Unfortunately my zucchini plants died while we were in Branson, so that sucks, but I’ve still got 4 watermelons growing on my watermelon vines, my strawberry plant is still kicking off a few berries ever now and then (although at this point I’m pretty sure it’s close to being done for the year), and my tomatoes, while very sad looking, are producing quite a bit of fruit! I picked a bunch of cherry tomatoes yesterday and a pretty decent amount today, as well as a few regular tomatoes. They crazy heatwave we had earlier this summer definitely didn’t go our garden any favors and we’re not having a good harvest because of it, but at least we’re getting something.

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Got a little off track there haha, but anyway, after my garden was tended to I took a shower and then felt absolutely starving (even though I had a good post run/workout snack) and exhausted! And that’s why I was feeling out of shape haha. I usually don’t feel that way unless I’m deep into training and just finished a hard workout. Nothing I did this morning was particularly hard and it definitely didn’t warrant me feeling like that haha. Oh man, it’s all good though. I ateΒ anotherΒ snack and the promptly passed out in my bed for about an hour and 20 minutes. The fact that I was able to get dressed and eat before I did that was a feat in and of itself. Along with actually being able to nap. Usually that’s a difficult thing for me to do for some reason. It was pretty great though! It was one of those naps that you wake up feeling kinda disoriented and totally out of it when you wake up. That’s how I know I napped hard. πŸ˜‰ But I felt fine, albeit still a little worn out feeling after a bottle of water and lunch. So that’s good.

I feel like I’m not going to be as excited or feel as good on tomorrows run haha. Oh well, it’s still going to happen. πŸ™‚

Anyways, that’s all for today! Wishing you a happy Monday and a great week!

~Ashley and her ever faithful blogging assistant, Bubbles.

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