Tag Archives: 13.1

What My First Three Half Marathons Taught me

I actually posted a much smaller version of what this post is on my Instagram accountย 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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, 2016ย 

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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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 alreadyย knew,ย 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Followed my run with some strength work and then yoga later in the day.

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Tuesday:ย 

  • 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), 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:ย 

  • 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Thursday:ย 

  • 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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’tย tooย 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Saturday:ย 

  • 3 miles, hills
  • like 3 hours of bowling

Getting up and doing this run after my hard, depleted feeling long run was, well, hard. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰

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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. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

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You can check out Rollga’s website here!ย 

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I was super excited for this run and to start half marathon training! Plus it was like 68 degrees when I ran thisย  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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ateย anotherย 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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Weekly Recap: July 9th-15th, 2018

Woohoo!! I was back at it this week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, kinda haha. I didn’t get as much done as I probably should have, but I still ran, and did a little bit of strength training, and stretching, and that’s much better than nothing!

And Good thing too! Because this week was the last week before our little family trip to Branson, Mo. I’m not sure how much running I’m going to be able to get done while we’re there. Luckily we won’t be gone for long. We’re leaving tomorrow morning and will be driving back home by Friday, so it’s nothing too crazy.

Monday:

  • 4 treadmill miles
  • 13 minutes of yoga

Kicked off the week with 4 miles on the treadmill! We had anther air quality alert from Sunday-Monday evening, so I figured it was best to do my run indoors. Had a little fun with this run and did kind of a ladder workout. Increased my pace incrementallyย  going up and then back down. It was actually a lot of fun!

Is it just me, or has this summer been particularly brutal?!? We’ve been getting heat and air quality warning like crazy here in Kansas. Hopefully the next 3 months wont end up as more of the same…

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Tuesday:

  • 3 more treadmill miles
  • 15 minutes of strength work

Tuesday brought another heat and air quality advisory with it. So another treadmill run was had. Haha Luckily Luke and I have been going for short little walks in the evening. Obviously that’s not gonna be the same as the pounding I’d do while running on the asphalt, but at least I’m still spending a little bit of time out on the roads. Photo is from the night before on one of our walks, because running on the treadmill doesn’t exactly come with very exciting views. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Wednesday:ย 

  • 15 minutes of pilates
  • 10 minutes of stretching

The heat warning continues!! I didn’t think it was safe for me to run outside and Iย reallyย didn’t want to get on the treadmill again, so no run for me on Wednesday. Did a few other things in place of running though, so there’s that!

Haha so, since it’s been so hot out I’ve been having to keep ice in the chicken coop to keep them cool! They do not like being so hot, so it’s been kinda hard on them. But they’re doing ok. Every couple of hours I have to run out there, change their water, and give them more ice.

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Thursday:ย 

  • 3.33 treadmill miles

More time on the treadmill. Fun! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I just kinda hopped on with the intent to see just how long I could stay on. Apparently the answer was 3.33 miles. About then I was absolutely dying of boredom. Haha but at least it was something! Thursday night Luke and I went on yet anther little walk around the neighborhood. It was hot, humid, and gross, but still kinda nice. At least the sunset was pretty. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Friday:

  • Did lots of work in the garden

So, yet another day without a run, but I was still pretty busy!! I spent quite a bit of time weed eating in and around the garden, pulling weeds, watering the plants, pruning back my tomatoes a little bit, and then picking and washing tomatoes and a few zucchini. Oh and did I mention it was another crazy hot day? Haha because of course it was! We are in desperate need of some rain and a break from all of this heat…

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Saturday:

  • 3 miles

Oh hey! I ran outside on Saturday!! It was the first day in like, 3 weeks I think, that we haven’t had a air or heat warning and the first day in forever where the high was only 85. Crazy stuff, man! So obviously I had to get out while the weather was a little more decent! Unfortunately it was still pretty humid and I only ended up making it 3 miles before I felt like death and had to quit. Haha the humidity and heat just saps everything out of me…But I ran outside and I was still very happy about that! Even if it wasn’t a good run.

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And then FINALLY, Saturday afternoon we had a little thunderstorm roll through! It rained for a little over an hour and then stayed cloudy for pretty much the rest of the day which was great! Weย reallyย needed the rain and a little break from the sun. It was fantastic!! But unfortunately it’s not looking like we’ve got much of a chance of that happening again anytime soon. There’s supposedly a few chances for more rain next week, but they’re really low; 30 and 40%. But hopefully that will change and we’ll get more rain. It’s been terribly dry and hot here and we need as much rain as we can get! Even if it does make the air more humid. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Sunday:

  • 2 miles

On Sunday my mother-in-law, her two kids (haha obviously Luke is her kid, and so is my brother-in-law. And obviously they are my brother and sister in law as well, but really I just consider them to be more of my brother and sister. Haha it’s just that our family, especially Luke’s side, is really big and gets kinda confusing and I don’t want to have to go over all of that on here. That is a lot of long stories that are not mine to tell. So, for all intents and purposes, this is what I’m going with hahaha), and her boyfriend stopped here on their way from Minnesota, which is where they live now, to Branson, MO. They didn’t stay long, they just wanted to take a little pit stop on their way there, and we’re gonna be there on Monday anyway, so it’s not like we’re not going to see each other again for a while. So they just kinda hung out for an hour or so and then hit the road again.

And once they left I did too! But on foot. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was yet another super hot, super humid day, but I wanted to run outside again, so I did 2 easy miles. Well, they were slow anyway. Haha they sure didn’t feel easy! But I know it was good for me. Doing tough summer runs like that is only going to make fall running (and hopefully training for and then doing those two half marathons is two days) that much more enjoyable!

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Total weekly mileage: 15.36ย 

Meh, that’s not that great. But honestly it’s a lot better than I thought I was gonna do, so I’ll take it!

Anyway, I spent a lot of time yesterday packing for our family trip and today I’ve finished that up, gotten all of the animals situated, and took care of everything in the garden that I had wanted to do before we leave. So we should be good to go! Tomorrow morning we’re going to drop the dogs off at the kennel, which is going to be terrible and heart-wrenching and I’m not looking forward to it. Every other time we’ve ever gone anywhere we’ve either been able to bring the dogs with us (can’t do that this time. The owners of the cabins we’re staying in don’t allow pets), they’ve stayed with my mom and dad or Luke’s dad, or someone has been able to stay at home with them. But this time we couldn’t do any of that. So a kennel it is! And my family owned a kennel, I grew up working in it, so I know they’re gonna be fine. It’s just that they’re gonna be so sad and confused because they’ve never been to one before and they’ve never been left alone with people they don’t know (except for Dean who got neutered and had to stay at the vet over night, but that was the only time). They’re probably going to whine, cry, be pitiful, and not eat the whole time they’re there and like, think we’ve abandoned them or something. And that just makes me sad haha.

Obviously it works for some dogs. Sure, they miss their owners, but they’re friendly, like other dogs and people, and think they’re just on some fun adventure. Like I said, I worked in a kennel, I’ve known many, many,ย many,ย dogs like that. I’ve also known dogs like mine who don’t particularly like other dogs or people (it’s just a border collie thing. They have their family and they don’t care about anything else) and don’t understand why they’d ever get left behind. Dogs like that tend to be a pain in the ass at a kennel and don’t eat. I hope they don’t cause too much trouble. My dogs don’t listen to people the don’t know/like, so that could be a problem…but I just kinda foresee them being sad and pathetic the whole time they’re there and that just kinda makes me sad haha.

Like with our Florida trip last year, I’ll probably be posting our adventures here everyday. Not sure how that’s all gonna go down since Luke and I are really tight on cash right now and after gas to get there and back we’ll only have about $200 while we’re there.ย  So we probably won’t be doing much…

Anyway, I hope you had a fantastic week and are staying cool! Happy Sunday!

~Ashley

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How Running Changed My Life

Happy Global Running Day!!!

Earlier this week I had pledged to run 6 miles on globalrunningday.org. Mostly just for fun, but also as a way to celebrate the day and the sport of running in general. Plus I was planning on running 6 miles today anyway, so why not participate in the global running day festivities? ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

But unfortunaly, last night I ate something that my stomach did not like (pumpkin seeds?? I’ve never had a problem with them before…). That kinda thing happens to me sometimes. It has ever since I had an appendectomy when I was 13. Every once in a while I’ll eat something that my stomach doesn’t like (usually it’s spinach or fish. I absolutely will not eat either of those anymore) and then I getย terrible stomach cramps. Like, curled up in the fetal position trying not to move or vomit. It’s no fun. Luckily I’ve found that heat kinda helps. So last night I spent a lot of time in the shower just letting the hot water hit my stomach and back (because for some reason that tenses up really bad too) and once I ran out of hot water I spent the rest of the night with a hot water pack on my back and a mug of hot water resting on my stomach. That actually helped a lot!ย  And while I did feel a lot better when I woke up this morning, I knew that running wasn’t going to help my current situation, so I didn’t. That was kind of a bummer, but it was for the best. Besides, I can do my 6 miles tomorrow, anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, since I didn’t run today, I figured I could still take a look back and just kinda remember why I started running, how that reason has changed over the almost 5 years that I’ve been doing it now, and how running has changed my life. Because it really has.

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I started this whole crazy running adventure back in 2013. But really you have to go back to around 2012 to get the whole story. 2012 was a pretty busy year for me! I got married, moved 5 hours away from my childhood home to Kansas for my new husband’s job, so we were living all on our own 5 hours away from our family and any help that they might have given us. That was pretty crazy, but obviously we got through that all in one piece! But before we got married and moved to Kansas my now husband was finishing up college and I was working at a Walgreen’s.

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I did not, in fact, โค Walgreen’s haha. But I needed the money.

So back when I worked there, Walgreen’s slogan or whatever was “where there’s a way to stay well.” Not sure if that’s still the case, but sometimes when I answer the phone I have some weird flashback thing and want to answer with “Hi, thank you for calling you’re Troy Walgreen’s, where there’s a way to stay well. My name is Ashley, how may I help you.” In my best customer service voice of course haha. But since they’re whole thing was “staying well” they always had little challenges and incentives for their emplyoees to do that. We got free flu shots during flue season, could get check ups at the wellness clincic for a crazy reduced price, were encouraged and rewarded for participating in the 1 5k that small ass town held every year (haha if only I was a runner back then! Walgreen’s paid for your entry fee!). And at one point we were given the option to take a pedometer that they provided for free (it was a shitty one, and this was back in 2011 before fitbits and other wearable devices were really becoming a thing) and whoever got the most steps in a certain amount of time won something. Although I don’t recall what that prize was. I didn’t participate in the challenge though. But in 2012, the year I got married, I participated in the weight loss challenge that they held. We all bought in with $5 or $10 and whoever lost the biggest percentage of weigh won the pot. I didn’t win, but that did kinda kick off my weight loss journey.

I don’t want to get too much into that though, because that’s not what this is about. But I was pretty overweight as a teenager and in my early 20’s. And technically I think I might still be pushing toward the “over weight” category on the BMI chart, but I am much healthier now than I was back then. But anyway, so for that challenge I had started walking a lot more. Every single day I’d go out and walk around the woods on my family’s farm and I started counting calories on MyFitnessPal. Once we were married and moved I was still going at it and by then I was doing at home workouts. Mostly things like Jillian Michaels’ DVDs and blogilates, along with some other stuff on YouTube. I ended up getting down to 142 pounds, the lowest weight I’ve ever been in my adult life (and man do I wish I was at that weight now!! I’m currently fluctuating somewhere around 158-160 pounds these days, but I’m not as obsessed with the number on the scale as I was back then).

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I kept up with all of that really well for a while, but by the summer of 2013 I was getting kinda bored with it all. I was also getting super frustrated because although I was at a really healthy weight, and looked great, I didn’t think so. I was kind of in a super unhealthy place with food, calorie counting, and my body. I wanted to get down to 135 pounds (yikes! I don’t think that would have been healthy for me). I refused to eat anything that wasn’t “clean” and was very strict about my calorie limit, but eventually that lead to me being really unhappy and I would have binging episodes. And since the number on the scale refused to budge any lower than 142 pounds (I though I’d be happy if I could at least get to 140. Oh man I’m glad I don’t think like that anymore.), I decided I needed to switch it up and do something that burned a lot more calories than the at home workouts I was doing, so I downloaded a couch to 5k app and started doing it on the treadmill at my apartment complex’s fitness center. And in the worst pair of shoes for my feet, ever! Haha they were too small for me to be running in and waaay to supportive for my feet. Running in them wasn’t pleasant, but I was pretty proud of myself for trying though. But I don’t consider that point and time when I became a runner. And my life definitely didn’t change runnning on that treadmill. That didn’t happen until around October of that year.

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Oh man is the treadmill boring!! I hated it back then and I still hate it now. At this point in my life I absolutely refuse to use one, unless absolutely necessary. Which is probably a good thing considering I don’t currently have access to one haha. I’m not to upset about that though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But my hatred of the treadmill but my growing love for running made me start venturing outside that fall. Fall is my favorite season and the weather that year was amazing! So I wasn’t about to spend anymore time inside than I had to. Plus by that point I was a little more comfortable using the paved trail that was near my apartment. When we first moved there I was kind of experiencing a bit of….culture shock for lack of a better term. I had moved from a farm in a rural area to a pretty big city and was not used to being around people all of the time.ย  So I avoided the trail for the most part until what was well over a year after we had moved there that fall.

But that fall, when I started running outside, in what was kind of nature (there were some parks and woods, but remember, it was still in a big city), out in the elements, and surrounded by other runners. That’s when I really became a runner. That’s when my life changed. That’s when I started to feel free.

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I really started to change things then. I was reading just about any thing about running that I could get my hands on. Books, magazines, and of course I always had the good ‘ol internet. I got my first pair of real running shoes in the November of 2013. Nike Pegasus 30? Or maybe they were the 32’s. I don’t remember exactly. I just remember being really freaking excited because they fit me right, were comfortable, and super pretty. ๐Ÿ™‚

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From that point on everything became about running. Losing weight and counting calories became fueling my body for my runs and making sure I was getting the proper nutrients. Running was something I did for fun, not just to burn calories, and those at home workouts just became supplemental to my running. I stopped worrying so much about the number on the scale and was more focused on the number of my 5k time. Running had pretty much become my life and to be honest that probably saved me from going really deep into the disordered eating that I had doing and gave me something much more positive to focus on.

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These photos were taken in November 2014. I legit just got rid of those running tights. Haha that was long over due. They were VERY worn out.

So from the fall of 2013 to about 2015, right before we moved out of the apartment and into the house we live in now, I was running for fun. I wasn’t doing any kind of training and I really didn’t have any real goals in mind. And at that point I hadn’t run any races. Not even a little 5k fun run. But I decided I wanted to challenge myself, try something new, and make a potentially bad decision (haha can you tell I kinda like doing things like that? ;), so I signed up for my very first race ever, a half marathon. Obviously that’s not exactly recommended, but what can I say? I’m a rebel. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Training for my first half was one of the craziest, most challenging, and exhausting experiences I’ve ever had. I learned a lot though. About myself and what I’m capable and about running too, although I did make a lot of mistakes during my very first training cycle. But who doesn’t? I was running more and farther distances than I ever had before and I absolutely loved it! Although there were bumps in the road, I spent a lot of time being tired, and even ended up getting injured, I had never had so much fun and felt so in tune with my body and mind. Honestly, training for my first half marathon was probably one of the happiest moments in my life at that point.

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Actually completing it, however, was on of the hardest things I’d ever done in my life at that point. I struggled. I didn’t fuel correctly. I definitely didn’t pace myself well (still have trouble with that though haha). And it was slow as fuck (which is something I still am, but also something I don’t care about anymore). When I crossed the finish line of my very first half marathon, my life changed again. Not as drastically as when I had first started running, but still, I felt almost reborn.

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Mile 11 of the Longview Half Marathon, 2015

I started this blog not long after finishing my first race ever, which just so happened to be my first half marathon. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I guess the rest is history. I’ve been sharing my story here and connecting with all sorts of amazing people ever since. ๐Ÿ™‚

I like to call myself a reformed couch potato, because it’s kinda true. I wasn’t very active in my teenage years and I was unhappy. Unhappy with my body and who I was as a person. Once I started losing weight in my late teens and early 20’s I thought I’d be happy once the scale read a certain number, but really I was just making myself even more unhappy with my body and going down the really slippery slope of disordered eating. Running didn’t exactly reform my couch potato ways, but it sure saved me from going down a really dark path and brought me back into the light. I still struggle with it sometimes, but I’m much happier with my body and who I am as a person now. I go out and chase my dreams instead of wasting my time on the couch. I’m much more healthy. I’m not so focused on how much I weigh, I can eat treats and all sort of yummy foods without feeling guilty and like I’m ruining my weight loss “progress”. I don’t run to burn calories. I run for fun and to achieve the things I once thought were completely impossible. Running saved me from myself. I am eternally grateful for the day that I decided to download that couch to 5k app. And for the day I decided to set a ridiculous goal and run a half marathon. And that’s why I’m going to continue to set crazy goals for myself (like running two half marathons in two days this November). Chasing goals is a lot more fun and rewarding than just trying to lose weight or look a certain way.

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Whew! That ended up being a lot longer and a little more deep than I had originally planned. I think it was finally time to go a little deeper into all of that though. I mean, if I’m going to be sharing my story here then I might as well shareย allย of it. And I think this part of it is pretty important. So if you took the time to read all of that I thank you! And thank you to everyone who’s supported me on my running journey! Honestly I don’t think I’d still be here today, running, training for half marathons, and blogging about it if it wasn’t for all of the support and love I get from each and everyone of you. โค ๐Ÿ™‚

That got kinda sappy and that’s not my usual style, but whateves, this whole post is a tad bit sappy anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Happy Global Running Day! And shout out to all of the runners out there. Yes,ย all of them. Runners are awesome. You are awesome. Period. Alright. I’m done now. ๐Ÿ™‚

~Ashley

 

 

Whiskey Run 5K 3/11/18

I haven’t done an “official” 5k since I did Running With The Cows back in May of 2016. Actually, last year the only race I did was the Longview half. Haha I don’t get to race very often, so it’s pretty exciting when I do! ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus this one was even more exciting because my dad did it with me! It was his first official 5k and that’s so super awesome!!

But before we get to how the Whiskey 5k went for the two of us yesterday, I need to talk about what I did on Saturday, and how apparently it wasn’t as bad as an idea as I thought it would have been.

So. Saturday. The day before the Whiskey Run. My dad had to drive from Colorado to Kansas, which is an 11 ish hour drive. I’m sure that wasn’t an ideal way to spend the day before your first 5k race, but he’s a truck driver so I suppose he’s used to it. Plus this whole thing was kind of his idea! Haha you see, while I was in Colorado I told him about it and he said it was the perfect race for him! First off, he enjoys whiskey. Second, the race is in Martin City, and Martin is his last name (and it was mine as well until I got married ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). So he told me to sign us up and obviously I did. So he ended up getting to my house at midnight on Sunday morning. Not ideal, but hey, we made it work. ๐Ÿ™‚

I on the other hand, ended up going out on Saturday night with Luke, his brother, and his brother’s girl friend. To a bar. To play pool. So not my thing… I enjoy a little bit (or sometimes a lot hahaha) of drinking every once in a while, but I definitely don’t do it often. Especially not the night before a race! Or long run, or hard workout, or the night before I know I need to be up super early. I could keep going. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I’m terrible and pool and don’t particularly enjoy playing it. But Luke really wanted me to go and I’m glad that I did. We all had a pretty good time and spent more time talking than playing pool, which was good, because like I said, I’m terrible at it. Luke and I also devoured a plate of cheese fries and an order of mozzarella sticks. So with all of that on top of the 4 or 5 beers I had, Luke and I joked all night that I was “carb loading”. Because you know, totally necessary to do that before a 5k. And obviously beer and cheese fries are the way to go! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

Oh man, it was a fun night though. And Luke and I ended up getting to our house about 5 minutes before my dad did, so that worked out nicely. ๐Ÿ™‚

I made my dad some food, we all hung out for about half an hour or so, and then the three of us decided we needed to go to bed. Luke had to work in the morning, my dad and I had to be up at 6 am, and oh, did I mention daylight’s savings happened Sunday morning? So we lost an hour of sleep. Terrific…

Setting my alarm for 6 am was slightly demoralizing knowing that in 4 short hours I would need to be awake. And actually waking up to that alarm was pretty sucky. But after initially waking up, the race day excitement kicked in and everything was fine after that. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I mean, coffee and a Honey Stinger waffle definitely helped.

 

 

Plus I do kind of have a pre race routine, which starts the day before. I set my coffee maker, decide what I’m having for breakfast, lay out all of my gear, and just make sure everything will be as easy as possible in the morning. I had taken care of all of that stuff the day before and I’m very glad that I did! But this time was a little different because now I had another person I needed to worry about. So at 6 am I got up, turned on the coffee maker, woke up my dad, got dressed, made both of us coffee, made sure we both ate a little something, and were ready to leave at 7. It all ended up going very smoothly, which was nice. ๐Ÿ™‚

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The outfit I had planned on wearing. And I did wear it haha. But it was a lot colder than I thought it was going to be thanks to a lot of wind, so I had to wear a hoodie over my super pretty St. Patrick’s Day shirt.

We got to the starting line about an hour and a half early, so we ended up finding a parking space very easily. While we were driving on part of the course we found port-o-potties, and the tent where the post run breakfast was being held (it was a few blocks away from the start/finish line, so that walk made a nice cool down haha). After we parked we picked up our packets and went straight back to the car to put on our bibs and timing chips because it was pretty cold and windy out. Not ideal for standing around in, but I’ll gladly take cold and cloudy weather for a race any day. ๐Ÿ™‚ Luckily for my dad, I’ve done this a few times before and made sure to grab him some safety pins at the packet pick up booth because he completely forgot haha. Also explained that the bib goes on the front of your shirt and that some people (i.e. me before my very first half) obsess over making it perfectly straight. I’m very much over that though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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My kinda crooked bib number.

Once that was all taken care of, we hung out in the nice, warm car for a while, watching all of the other runners arrive. We actually watched the people who ended up being the overall male and female winners warming up. Turns out they are married and both won a bottle of whiskey so that’s pretty cool! Party at their house, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, around 8:00, half an hour before start time, I had to pee (of course ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). So we set out to brave the cold and wind to get in line for a port-o-potty. There was only one at the start line though, so we walked a few blocks down to the port-o-potties by the buffet tent. I’m glad we did! That was a nice little warm up for us and there was no line for those haha! After that we were both pretty cold, so we warmed up in the car again for a few minutes and then we lined up at the start/finish line!

 

We are both slow runners, so we lined up at the back and we actually didn’t even hear the national anthem playing, but about midway through we noticed that people at the front had their hats off and their hands over their hearts, so we followed suit along with a few others in the back. We did hear the announcer counting down though! Everyone started surging forward, we crossed the timing mat, and my dad took off like a bat out of hell!

Holy cow I was not ready for that! As someone who’s race a few times, has been running for a few years, and has read several books on the subject, I now know that it’s best to start off all races conservatively. I told my dad that, he didn’t care, the first half mile was hell haha. Especially since my stomach wasn’t feeling all that happy after the beer and cheese fries the night before…

So throughout the first mile we kept getting separated. We were doing run/walk intervals and I was trying to take the run intervals somewhatย conservatively at first, but my dad would take off and start weaving between people. Eventually I told him that that was fine and I’d just catch up to him once he started feeling terrible and was regretting going out so fast, so I just started doing my own thing haha. Well, until he started talking shit! As we were closing in on mile two he told some lady that I was half his age and couldn’t keep up. Oh hell no! At that point I was feeling better and my stomach had settled so I planned on taking off! Haha we ended up getting kinda separated by a police officer on a motorcycle who was in front of the lead runner and I never saw my dad when I decided to take off.

So we ended up running most of mile two without each other, but that’s what he gets for starting out too fast! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I ended up seeing him at a turn around as I was leaving the water station and he was going through it. When I saw him I yelled “hey slow-poke” to get his attention,and I slowed down and he spend up and eventually caught me. By that point he was huffing, puffing, and wanting to take longer walking breaks, so we did. Haha I made fun of him the whole time though, telling him that now I felt great and that he should have listened to me at the beginning. It was all in good fun though.

During the last mile I realized that I did feel really good though! Like, freaking fantastic! At that point I got super duper excited about everything that is to come for me, running wise. I’ve got another 5k in May and I’m already signed up to do the Longview Half for the 4th year in a row, and I cannot wait to see what training for that will bring!

Anyway, we ended up walking the uphills during the last mile, and absolutely killing it on the downhills. I might have been pushing the pace a little bit. Plus running down hill with reckless abandoned is one of my favorite pass times. Plus did I mention how amazing I felt?ย  Haha my dad was still huffing and puffing, but he was a total trooper and kept up with me during my downhill escapades!

At the very end we were just behind this other guy and my dad goes “Ashley, we’re beating him”. Now in the back of my mind I started thinking that shooting past someone else at the finish line is kinda bad race etiquette, when you’re not really fighting for any particular place (I could be wrong about that, but I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere). But I was caught up in the moment, felt amazing, and now it was my turn to take off like a bat out of hell! I crossed the finish line feeling super strong and my dad came in about 2 seconds behind me! Not bad!! All in all I’d say my dad’s first 5k was a total success!

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Anyone remember me saying that my goal for Running With The Cows is 38 minutes? This result makes that feel a whole hell of a lot more doable than I had originally thought! ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, kind of. You see, my dad has this old injury in his calf, and that stunt at the finish line ended up irritating in. So apparently he was in a lot of pain crossing the finish line and spent the rest of the day limping around on it. Haha and I spent the rest of the day joking about how this means he obviously needs to start running more and should definitely do more races with me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, at the finish line we took some photos on my phone, a race photographer took some photos of us with the KC Running Company trailer, we got and enjoyed our shot of whiskey, and we talked to a few people. Haha mostly because they were concerned about my dad who was obviously in pain and limping around. Ah man, I love runners. In general we tend to be some really awesome people. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

After hanging out at the finish line for a little bit we started making our way to the buffet tent. Although very slowly, because my dad couldn’t walk very fast on his hurt leg. I talked to a really nice kid (he was probably 17 or 18) about how much fun this race was and how finishing times didn’t matter and that having fun was the most important thing. That’s pretty much my philosophy for all things running, so I totally agreed! He was a very cool guy. ๐Ÿ™‚ By that time I was really feeling that shot of whisky haha. I don’t drink a lot of hard liquor so it tends to affect me pretty fast. Apparently even more so after running! So I was one happy camper heading to that breakfast buffet!

Once we finally go there we filled up our plates with bacon, eggs, sausages, and potatoes. Yum!! My dad also got biscuits and gravy. Gross… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sat down and enjoyed our breakfast! And it was really good!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Jack Stacks did not disappoint!

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On our way out we both grabbed some coffee for our not-so-long, but definitely slow walk back to the car. On our way home we stopped at Target so my dad could get some Epsom salt and I grabbed a Kombucha which I definitely enjoyed in the shower. ๐Ÿ˜‰ When I was done my dad took his Epsom salt bath, we both napped (haha the 4 hours of sleep we both got was definitely catching up to us), and then around 5 pm my dad had to leave. He had to work today so he couldn’t stay any longer.

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We both had a great time and I think I might have convinced my dad to become a runner! I sure hope so, anyway! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope you had a good weekend!

~Ashley

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