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2018 Highlights Of The Year

Holy cow it’s the last day of the year!! 😱

Congrats on yet another collective trip around the sun! The ride might feel long, it might also seem like it’s flying by at times, but at least we get to share the experience with some awesome (and maybe some not so awesome) people. At the very least it’s an interesting ride!

Seriously though, does anyone else feel like this year gone by really fast while simultaneously dragging on an on and on?!? Hahaha I don’t know, I guess it’s just been a weird year. Weird, but also good. 😁

So I just wanted to look back month-by-month at all (or at least most πŸ˜‰) of my personal highlights from 2018. Last year I actual broke this idea up into two different posts, one for running and one for life in general. But for this year I’m just gonna stick with one post. I did have a lot of fun running-wise in 2018, but at the same time nothing really spectacular happened for me. I only accomplished one PR and that was for the longest run I’ve ever done. No shiny new time PR’s for me… So that’s kind of a bummer, but hey, now I’ve got a whole new year ahead of me to start working towards some other shiny new PR’s!!

Anyway, let’s get to it! Here are my month-by-month, personal highlights from 2018! πŸ₯³

January

Alrighty! 2018 kicked off with me putting one of my Christmas gifts from 2017 to good use!! My sisters bought me Run Fast Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky. What an amazing gift and an awesome cookbook! I must admit, while I do believe in eating clean, whole, nutritious foods, I can find some of it a little boring… But cooking with this cookbook taught me that healthy, nutritious food doesn’t have to be boring.

Around the end of December or early January, Kay Von D and Billie Joe Armstrong collaborated on a new eyeliner. Not gonna lie, I know nothing about makeup and have been doing my eyeliner in basically the same way since I was 16. But when an amazing artist and the guy who pretty much made guyliner (who also happens to be one of your own personal heroes) makes an eyeliner you buy it! And buy it I did! Hahaha and I’ve still got quite a bit of it left since I don’t often wear makeup.

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I think this photo came from Kat Von D’s instagram? Honestly I don’t remember, it’s been saved on my phone for a while haha.

Oh and I started dyeing my blonde streak purple in January. I’m not sure why I had never done that before, but I had always wanted to. So that was pretty cool.

PS, guess what eyeliner I’m wearing in this photo. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

February

I’m not sure if this really counts as a highlight, but looking back on it it makes me laugh really hard (I also kinda forgot that this happened this year πŸ˜‚). But I’m February I slipped in my living room (on nothing I might add), fell, and slammed my toe into the leg of our couch. I never did get it looked at by a doctor but I’m pretty sure I broke it. It’s fully healed now though, so that’s good.

In a weird twist of fate, my toe breaking escapade happened right before I got two root canals done. So I had some pretty sweet pain meds for both of those situations. πŸ˜‚ Seriously though, my teeth are REALLY bad and I began my journey to a healthier mouth in February. But I also ran out of insurance money, so it began and ended with those two root canals. But now that the new year is upon us I have insurance money again and can FINALLY get some more much needed work done on my teeth.

And last but certainly not least for February, I ended up going to Colorado with my dad and spending about a week there with him and my brother. I’m not gonna get into all of the details of our adventures while I was there, because I already have. πŸ˜‰ But we had a lot of fun together. Hahaha even on the 16 hour drive from Kansas to Colorado! Hahaha that drive is only supposed to take 11 hours, but my dad and I like to stop and do stuff!! Oh and I think my brother and I accidentally ended up in Nebraska in our way to Kansas. Oh man, those were some good times. πŸ˜‚

March

While I was in Colorado at the end of February Luke ended up buying a chicken coop and when I got back home we bought our first set of chicks of the year! Oh man I forgot how cute they were!! Unfortunately this was the set of chickens that my neighbor’s dog ended up killing because he kept getting into our yard. Luckily that finally got resolved, but I still wasn’t happy about losing all of our chickens…

Another adventure that was planned while I was in Colorado was running the Martin City Whiskey 5k with my dad! This was the first race we did together and it was so much fun!! Hahaha even though my dad ended up getting a little hurt at the end. But he eventually healed and I remember mentioning to him that now he needs to do a half marathon! I’m not sure how serious either of us were at that point though. But I was pretty stoked about my shot of Whiskey and super awesome post race breakfast and that was making me really look forward to some half marathoning!

April

Easter fell on April fools day this year, so on the first day of April Luke and were in Illinois celebrating Easter with our families. My grandma made a whole big lunch and lots of homemade desserts which is always fantastic! While we were there Luke, my brother who was also in Illinois for Easter, and I did some target shooting at our old house. We had to trespass a little bit on what used to be my grandma’s farm, but whatever. πŸ˜‰ I though I might be a little bit rusty because I don’t really get to shoot anymore, but I did alright. πŸ™‚ While we were there we ended up taking my brother and two of Luke’s brothers to the Saint Louis City Museum. We all had lots of fun there!

Later in the month Luke traded in our old Chevy Equinox and got a 2016 Dodge Ram. I feel like that was probably one of the best decisions that was made all year! Hahaha we’ve sure put the truck to good use since we’ve had it!!

May

On the second Saturday of May I did the Running With The Cows 5k for the second time! Eventually I need to do the half at this event, but I’m so glad I didn’t this year! It was super hot and muggy that day. Still a lot of fun though! I got to pet a baby cow, run a very pretty 5k on a super rural road that runs through a bunch of cow pastures, and then pick out food at the HUGE buffet they have for all of the runners. Seriously, they have some pretty awesome stuff there! I’ve been very happy both times I’ve left this race. If you’re ever looking to do a half or 5k in early May and happen to be in Kansas I definitely recommend checking this one out!

May was when we got our garden planted, built the chickens a bigger run, and just did a bunch of work outdoors. It’s not exactly glamours, but I sure do enjoy it. 😁

For Memorial Day Luke and I threw a bit of a party for some family and neighbors. The guys had a bit of a rib cook off, and I baked a couple of pies and made a bunch of sides. The neighbor kid that I babysit came over to play with my brother-in-law’s girlfriend’s kids, and we had 5 dogs running around because my brother-in-law brought his with him. Oh and us and the neighbors were just constantly climbing over the fence into each other’s yards for various reasons. Haha it was a little bit chaotic, but lots of fun!

June

On June first we got our second batch of chicks. Not exactly a highlight because we only had to get them because our neighbor’s dog killed the first set. But still kind of a highlight because LOOK HOW CUTE!!!!

Later in June we ended up in Illinois again. We did a bit more target practice at my parents old house while we were there, but the real high point of this particular trip was taking Luke’s youngest brother to Troy Park and playing on the playground and PokΓ©mon Go-ing. Oh and we also picked up my sister’s old treadmill from her boyfriend’s mom’s house that night. Hahaha she literally gave me her treadmill because we have a truck and could actually haul it back home. Told you we’ve been putting that thing to good use!

Ok, just a little side note. Through  the spring I’d been talking to my dad about doing a half marathon with me. I had been looking into the Gobbler Grind and told my dad that I was only going to do it if he’d do it with me because this race was the day after the Longview half which I was already registered for. So at some point he signed us both up and thus Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days was born!

July

July is Luke’s birthday month! Yay!! So on his birthday his brother, his girlfriend, her kids, and our next door neighbor kid all came over for Luke’s birthday and we threw him a little party. There was a cake and confetti and glow sticks and lots of dogs! What more do you need for a birthday party?!? πŸ˜‚

For the past several years Luke’s mom has planned/organized a big family vacation for a bunch of people on that whole side of the family. This year that included 25 people!! Hahaha it was easy for so many people to come this year because we went to Branson. MO and since most of us live in the Midwest that’s not too crazy out of the way. I think EVERYONE drove there. πŸ™‚ Anyway, we stayed in these cabins right next to a river so we spent a lot of our time there having a little too much fun out in the water. We did a lot of fishing, swimming, and those of us who were of age did a little a lot of drinking haha. πŸ˜‰ It was an absolute blast though. I think hanging out on the river was the most fun part, but we did do a few other things. We went to a slightly depressing animal “safari” thing. We also had a big birthday party for several people at the equivalent of a Chucky Cheese, and we went to the outlet stores several times.

On one of the days we were there (I think it was the second to last) we had a big cookout thing. Everyone cooked a bunch of food, but in the middle of it all a HUGE thunderstorm rolled in. So everyone rushed around to get their food done and into the different cabins, get all of the small children inside, and everything picked up and what not. Then, like the good Midwesterners that we are, we sat out on the cabin porches and watched it come! At one point somebody dared someone to stand out in the rain for the entire storm and eventually all of the “kids” (Me, Luke, his brother’s and sister. His step sisters, our nephew, and a couple of their friends) ended up standing in the pouring rain. It was hilarious! Although the next day we found out that was when the Ride The Duck thing got caught in the storm and a bunch of people die. It wasn’t so funny after we found that out.

Aaaaaaaand training for Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days started near the end of July! If you’ve been following me for any amount of time you probably know that I do not do well in the heat and that I’m not a fan of summer running. But starting a new training plan for a big goal is always exciting!

August

This sunrise on August 4th reminded me that even though summer running is rough and that I absolutely hate waking up at 5 am, views like this make it totally worth it.

I guess August was a relatively uneventful month, as I have very few photos from then. πŸ˜‚ But we did go to a casino for like the second time. Not exactly my thing, but it was still a good time.

September

So, every year since we’ve been married, Luke takes me to a pumpkin farm to pick pumpkins, apples, and to get other fun fall things. We ended up going super early this year (on September 14th to be exact πŸ˜‰) because this summer was hot, dry, and brutal and I was very much over it. So the day the pumpkin farm opened its pumpkin patch we went and started all of our fun fall festivities early! πŸŽƒπŸ˜Š

Later into September Luke’s mom added to my fall fun by sending me a big care package full of sweet Halloween stuff! She’s very much into Halloween as well, so she gets it. πŸ˜‰ I started putting some of it up that day! Luke wouldn’t let me start decorating outside until October though. πŸ˜‚

October

Yay October!! The brutal summer finally ended and it actually cooled down this year! It’s been FOREVER since we’ve actually had a chilly fall. That made me super duper happy!! So did all of the amazing fall foliage we had in the area this year! It’s been a long while since the trees have looked this pretty!

On October 5th we added a new member to our family!! On his way home from work that day Luke told me to be ready to leave when he got home because we were going on an adventure! That adventure turned out to be picking out a new puppy to be Finn’s future girlfriend! I made the right choice picking her out of the litter. Finn immediately fell in love with her.

The very next day I PR’d my longest distance run by doing a 14 mile long run! Haha I had to stop at home several times so I could let the new puppy out of her crate to pee and that did get a little bit annoying. But all in all this was a great run! I watched my watch while I hit and then went over the half marathon mark, because that was the first time I’ve ever done that in training and it was just so super cool!

On October 11th we went to Illinois yet again. This time for my mom’s birthday, one of Luke’s brother’s birthday, and his grandma’s and great aunt’s birthdays (they’re twins!!). Hahaha so we were kinda busy that time around! We only brought Whiskey with us for this trip just so she could get used to riding in the car, being by herself, and whatnot. But we ended up taking Luke’s youngest brother to Troy park again, this time with Whiskey, and apparently we went on the perfect day because there was some kinda of pet event going on! So there were all sorts of venders, rescues, and just people out there with a bunch of dogs! So Whiskey (and Luke’s brother, actually πŸ˜‚) got lots of positive socialization. We even met another red border collie while we were there! That was so cool!! Hahaha the other girl and I saw each others dogs, make eye contact and then booked it to each other so we could talked. πŸ˜‚ Oh man that was a great day!!

Oh and watching my grandma meet Whiskey for the first time was really cute too!! She used to breed German Shepherds, ran a dog boarding kennel, and was always super involved in the dog works (that’s where I get it all from!) so she LOVES meeting puppies. But I mean, who doesn’t?!

November

November got off to a really great start, with Whiskey and I watching the NYC marathon! Haha Luke signed up for another free trial of Hulu TV just so I could watch it (he did that for me in April so I could watch Boston as well ;). If you watched you know how amazing it was! If you didn’t, well, you really missed out!

November also brought the conclusion of Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days, and oh boy it didn’t end in any kind of way that I thought it would. I DNF’d the first half! ☹️ So that was really more of a low point of 2018. But the very next day I ran the Gobbler Grid half with my dad! It was the slowest half I’ve ever done, but it was also the most fun! Hahaha I’m so glad we ran that 5k together in the spring! If we hadn’t then this half might not have happened! Honestly I think this half marathon and the couple of days that I got to spend with my dad because of it was my favorite thing to happen this year.

The November fun didn’t end with that half marathon though! I ended up running a 5k on Thanksgiving morning! That was technically my first ever turkey trot and it was a blast!!! Plus they handed out pumpkin pies to all of the finishers instead of medals. That was awesome!! πŸ¦ƒπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ₯§

And even after that there was still some more November running fun to be had! Haha we had a legit blizzard on November and guess who decided to run in it? That’s right, this girl!! Oh my gosh that was so ridiculous dangerous because we were experiencing high winds and white out conditions, but it was oh so much fun!!

December

Oh boy! November sure was busy, but believe it or not, December was even more hectic! We did lots and lots of fun Christmas stuff though!

On the 15th Luke took me (and Dean πŸ˜‰) to two different Christmas light displays! First we went to one that was more of a light show that synced up to music. Those are always cool.

We didn’t stay there long though. Our next destination was a park that covers almost every tree around this lake in lights! It’s so beautiful! So we walked around there for a while and took a bunch of pictures! Haha Luke’s not big on the cold, Christmas, or picture taking, so I really appriciated doing all of that all at once. That being said, we had a really good night. πŸ™‚

The next day Luke and I ended up exchanging Christmas gifts because we’re both terrible at waiting to give gifts. πŸ˜‚ Apparently we both had similar ideas this year, because he got me a “fuck” coffee mug and I got him a monogrammed glass for adult beverages. πŸ˜‰ Hahaha we know each other well.

On the 22nd we got our first eggs!!!!! You guys have no idea how excited I was! I’ve been waiting for this for such a long time!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Ever since then we’ve been getting at least 2, sometimes 3 eggs a day from our hens. By this spring/summer we should be getting around 5-7 eggs a day! How freaking sweet is that?!?

We spent pretty much the rest of our December running around and getting stuff ready for Christmas. At 3 am on Christmas Eve we left Kansas and drove to Illinois so we could spend Christmas with some family. On Christmas Eve we started out at Luke’s dad’s, then we went to his grandma’s for a little bit. Then my grandma had a little party at her house of Christmas Eve, so we hung out there with her, my mom, and my uncle for a while.

Christmas Day was just as busy! Luke and I stayed at his dad’s house Christmas Eve night so we could open presents from them and Santa. After we did that Luke’s dad made us a late breakfast and we hung out there until noon when we went to Luke’s other grandma’s Christmas party. That’s always a big even! That side of the family takes Christmas VERY seriously and this year was no different. We had lots of food, presents, and fun. πŸ™‚ That night me, Luke, and one of his brother’s stayed up playing this game on the Playstation. It got out of hand very quickly but it was a lot of fun haha.

It was a busy Christmas, but a good one.

At some point during our stay in Illinois Luke’s dad convinced him to come back for New Year’s Eve, because he was actually going to be off from work for that. So we drove back to Illinois last night at we’re at Luke’s dad’s right now. So we’ll be ringing in the New Year with Luke’s dad, step mom, and 2 of his brothers!

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Oh man this post ended up being really long! Maybe I should have broken it up into two different posts. πŸ˜‰ Oh well.

Thanks to everyone who hung in there with me and actually read everything hahaha. Honestly though I think I want to start writing a recap like this at the end of every year! Looking back at all of the adventures I’ve had this year was fun and it reminded me that I have done a lot of cool stuff in my life. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that on days that feel never ending or mind numbingly boring. But life is full of ups and downs and the not-so-great times make the good times that much better! I hope you’ve had a wonderful year full of fun, laughter, adventures, and many happy, healthy miles!

Wishing you a wonderful New Years Eve and a very happy New Year! Stay safe and have fun out there! Here’s to making 2019 a FANTASTIC year!

Your happy, nostalgic, slightly sappy, blogger friend,

~Ashley

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Weekly Recap: December 24th-30th, 2018

Holy cow this week has been a crazy one!! But Christmas will definitely do that!!

Luke and I were in Illinois until Wednesday night, visiting family for the holiday, so things have been a bit hectic around here. I didn’t run until Thursday this week! πŸ˜‚ It’s all good though, my one and only goal for this week was to enjoy Christmas. Mission accomplished on that front!!

You can read more about our Christmas adventures here, because I don’t want to repeat myself too much. Since I’ve already kinda gone over all of that I won’t be getting too much into it all again. πŸ˜‰

Monday:

Christmas Eve! Yay!!

Luke and I woke up at 3 am to drive from Kansas to Illinois so that we would get there early enough to see his dad for a little bit before after he got off work but before had to go to bed (he’s been working midnights lately). And we did! Hahaha oh man, after being awake at 3 am and driving for 5 hours, Monday was a LONG day. We still had fun though. 😊

Tuesday:

Merry Christmas!! πŸ¦ŒπŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽπŸͺ🍷

Another very hectic day, running all around our old stomping grounds, trying to see and participate in as much family festivities as possible! I like to think we did a pretty good job of that. 😊 Oh, and there was SO MUCH FOOD! Hahaha it was great. πŸ˜‹ We definitely had a very good Christmas.

Wednesday:

We finally made our way back home Wednesday afternoon after eating yet another large lunch with one of Luke’s grandmas. We got home around 5:30 pm, but instead of getting to relax after our hectic few days we had to unload the truck, put away all of our Christmas gifts, take care of all of the animals, go grocery shopping, and then clean up the house. Once all of that was taken care of we had a couple of hours to kick back and chill before we went to bed.

This photo is actually from Christmas, but my father-in-law got me this wearable blanket/Snuggie kinda thing for Christmas and I love it! Hahaha I’ve been wearing it pretty much non stop. 😁

Thursday:

  • 2 miles
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Woohoo! Finally got a run in!!

It wasn’t a great run though. After sleeping on a pull out couch, eating a bunch of yummy but not so healthy food and not drinking nearly enough water, this run was kinda tough! It felt really good to get out there and get moving though! Especially after spending 5 hours in the car the day before. Sleeping in my own bed was also pretty great. 😊

Friday:

  • 4.5 miles

Another tough run. Still got about 2 miles of some decent interval work done during this run though. I’m feeling kinda out of shape, but after all of the events that have unfolded this week thats really not surprising. πŸ˜‚ I’m not worried about it though. While it is pretty easy to lose fitness in running, it’s not too terribly difficult to regain some of it in a relatively short time frame. Especially if you’ve been running for a while. πŸ˜‰

Saturday:

  • Rest day
  • 30 minutes of yoga

A rest day? Really Ashley?? After only 2 days of running? πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚

Really I just needed a break. After all of the Christmas craziness I just needed a day to sit back, relax, and spend some time by myself. Especially since we’ll be back in Illinois in a couple of days. Honestly though I just did the resting and relaxing thing in the morning. I also spent some time working on blog posts that you’ll be seeing here in the next couple of days. I spent the rest of the day putting away all of my Christmas decorations and cleaning the house. Honestly it felt really good doing that. 😁

Sunday:

  • 3 treadmill miles

I am literally the most awkward treadmill runner ever. πŸ˜‚ Hahaha oh well, still squeezed in 3 miles for today. The rest of my day has been dedicated to getting ready to drive back to Illinois for New Year’s Eve.

That brings my total weekly mileage to a whopping 9.5 miles. πŸ˜‚ Honestly I’m happy I got any running done this week! It’s been a hectic one!

Wishing everyone a happy New Year’s Eve Eve! πŸ˜‰

~Ashley

Thursday Things

Happy blogging birthday to me!!

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As of Tuesday I’ve been blogging here for 3 years! I thought that was pretty neat! I’ve met some really cool people and have felt like I was a part of an awesome community thanks to this blog. It’s been a fun 3 years! πŸ™‚

Coincidentally, 3 years ago was when I started to get into races. I did my first half marathon in November of 2015 and then I did my very first organized “5k” in December of that year. My first 5k-ing experience was definitely an interesting one! The race I did was a super small, Christmas themed one, put on by one of the churches in my town. Unfortunately they don’t put it on anymore or else I totally would have done it again! I think it was one of the most unique races I’ve done as of yet!

  • It was held at night. As far as I know most races are held in the morning, so that was pretty cool! Especially because of all of the Christmas lights!! Which was the whole point of running at night, I suppose.
  • No race bibs. We were given Santa hats that had tiny Santa’s on them that light up instead.
  • Santa drove the course in a lime green VW beetle with the top pulled down and all decked out with Christmas lights. That was a lot of fun!
  • There were maybe 30 people who ran it? That took β€œsmall, local race” to a whole new level!
  • The finish line was one of those little yard tent things you use to shade patios in the summer. Covered in Christmas lights of course! 😊 No fancy time display, timing mats, or time chips.
  • Soooo many people from my town were out cheering on the runners! Honestly this race probably had the best crowd support I’ve ever experienced! And why not?!? It was our friends, neighbors, and police force cheering us on!
  • Remember how I said there was no fancy timing equipment? Apparently there was no measuring of the course either. This run was advertised as a 5k, but it actually came out to be around 3.03 miles. Not a big deal though. At the end of the day it was all just got fun. 😊
  • And last but not least, there was hot chocolate and cookies for all and the end! What’s not to love about that?! πŸͺ

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Seriously, it was one of the most interesting and probably most fun runs I’ve ever done! πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ And can we just take a second to appreciate how long my hair was?!? Jeez that was kind of excessive and I kinda miss it. πŸ˜‚

Also, fun little fact; that’s the only race I’ve ever done that I didn’t write a race recap for haha. But I mean, I pretty much summed it all up now. So that’ count’s for something, right? πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I just want to take a second to acknowledge how big Whiskey is getting!!

Processed with Rookie Cam

She was such a tiny little thing when we got her, but she is growing into a beautiful dog! Haha you can see one of her ears has gone up. I thought she was going to end up with floppy ears, but it’s looking like I was wrong!! That one just kinda shot up over night! Every once in a while the other one will go up too, but it usually doesn’t stay that way long. But I’m thinking eventually it will end up being pricked too. Hahaha honestly I’m pretty excited about that! Obviously it really doesn’t matter much, but I do like dogs with pricked ears. πŸ™‚

She is a very well built little puppy. She’s been going through a growth spurt and gained 6 pounds in a month hahaha. The vet is thinking she’ll get up to be around 30-35 pounds and I was thinking the same thing. Our vet is also pretty supportive of us breeding Finn to her as long as she doesn’t have any kind of health issues pop up, which is unlikely but it’s always a possibility.

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Whiskey and Lily

Hahaha my house is super duper Christmas-y right now and it makes me super happy! πŸ™‚ And now I’ve finally got a gift under my tree!! I’m literally the worst gift wrapper in the world, but Luke’s been threatening to go snooping for what I got him for Christmas so I had to wrap that today. But other than that, that’s the only gift we have under the tree. We’ve mailed some off so we aren’t like behind on Christmas shopping or anything, so that’s good. I temporarily had two under my tree! The little neighbor girl I babysit turned 5 yesterday so I had her gift under the tree for a whole hour haha. She came over today so obviously I gave it to her. Getting gifts is great, but honestly I think I like giving people something I know they’ll really like more! That’s always a great feeling. πŸ™‚ And my neighbor seemed really happy with what I got her. It was just a stuffed Stitch (from Lilo and Stitch πŸ˜‰ ). She told me she was definitely going to sleep with him tonight, so I figured that meant she liked him haha.

Anyway, last night Green Day put out a new music video as kind of a Christmas gift for their fans. Obviously I was pretty excited about that because they are my favorite haha. But I thought it was especially cool because it’s made up of a bunch of different clips from their Revolution Radio tour and they included a bunch of different clips of fans. I just think its really awesome that Green Day seems to love their fans just as much as their fans love them and when they do things like this it just makes you feel like you’re a part of something, ya know?

Hahaha I haven’t fangirl-ed in a while, so I’m not gonna apologize for doing it this time. πŸ˜‰

Okey Dokey, that’s all for today!

Happy Friday eve, I hope everyone is enjoying the Christmas season!

~Ashley

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Yet Another Trip To Illinois

We finally got a chance to make another trip to Illinois!! We were originally going to go two weekends ago, but this weekend ended up working out a lot better for several reasons. One reason being that Luke got today off from work. He gets every other Friday off which is pretty spiffy! And it always works out really well to travel to places after Luke gets off from work on Thursday, so that’s what we did yesterday! But before we did that, of course I had to run! πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‰

It was absolutely gorgeous on Thursday morning! The sun was finally out after almost 3 days of basically non stop rain (that was pretty awful… and you know it’s bad when I’m saying that, because I love raining weather. πŸ˜‚), it was a cool and crips 41 degrees, the trees are starting to change colors, it was great!

It was so perfect and I loved it!!

So earlier this week I had actually planned on doing my long run on Thursday morning, since I knew we’d be heading to Illinois this weekend, but Luke brought home a bug from work. And of course he didn’t get sick, but I definitely started to come down with it… So since I wasn’t feeling so great I just went out to see what I could do on Thursday. I made it 3 miles before I knew it was time to be done. So it kinda sucks that I didn’t get in my long run like I wanted to, but at least I got something done. πŸ™‚

It’s actually a good thing I didn’t go any longer than that though. Luke ended up leaving work earlier than he’d originally planned, so by the time he got home I had actually gotten everything I needed to done before we left. So that did end up working pretty well! I was showered, dressed, had all of the animals taken care of, and everything packed and ready to go by the time he got home. Go me! 😁

So once Luke got home he changed, and then we were able to pack up the truck and hit the road! This time around we only brought Whiskey with us. My brother-in-law is taking care of the rest of our critters for us.

Whiskey did really well on her first road trip! Haha she actually slept for almost all 5 hours of it, so that was good. We stopped at a rest area about 3 hours in so that she could pee. She did really well with that! She didn’t have any accidents in the truck, but went right away when we stopped. So far this dog has been the easiest dog I’ve EVER potty trained. It’s crazy!

Anyway, since we ended up leaving home earlier that planned we ended up getting caught in good ‘ol St. Louis rush hour traffic . It was stop and go for quite a while and it was pretty obnoxious haha. It got better once we got across the Mississippi River though.

We finally got to my grandma’s house right around 7 pm. Just in time for my mom’s birthday dinner! Yesterday was her birthday, so it was pretty nice that I got to be there for that! Obviously she was super stoked about that! πŸ˜„ Haha and her little dog Bella was very happy to see me too. πŸ˜‰

Luke hung around for a little bit so that my grandma and mom could meet Whiskey. My uncle’s dog Luther was making her kinda nervous, but she did enjoy meeting some new people! Luke wanted her to meet his dad and brothers too, so he took her to his dad’s house last night and that’s where they stayed the night.

(Sorry that these photos aren’t in a nice little collage. I did this all on my phone. πŸ˜‰)

Haha not gonna lie though, it was kinda nice getting a break from the new puppy. I was able to eat my dinner without having a little puppy trying to steal all of my food! πŸ˜‚And it’s not like I could be too lonely, Luther really likes me and cuddled with slept with me last night.

So this morning Luke and his dad went fishing. They took his dad’s boat out to a lake and Whiskey got to go with them. Last night Luke bought her a little sweater so she wouldn’t get too cold out on the water. It was another chilly day in the Midwest. It was 40 this morning. But apparently she did really well on the boat, so that’s good. Haha she’s just been experiencing all sorts of new stuff in the week we’ve had her.

So while they were out fishing, I was hanging out with my mom and grandma. Not super exciting stuff, but still nice. I made THE BEST oatmeal for breakfast haha. It wasn’t super healthy, but I couldn’t resist adding some chocolate chips and sprinkles to my breakfast. πŸ˜‚

Later this afternoon my mom had to go babysit her friend’s daughter, so Luke and I went to his grandma’s house to visit. She got to meet the puppy for the first time and she was thrilled! So we actually ended up staying there for a while and she made us chilli for dinner. It was perfect for the cold/drizzly day we’re experiencing here in Illinois. 😊

Haha so I’ve had two really big “grandma meals” since we’ve been here. Luke was joking that I’m going to gain weight if I keep going to grandma’s houses. And I mean, he’s probably right! πŸ˜‚ But how do you turn down grandma’s cooking?!? You just can’t!

Anyway after that Luke brought me back to my grandma’s, and of course the first thing she did when I got home was offer me food. πŸ˜‚ I politely decline. I’m stuffed!

So Whiskey is staying with us tonight and she’s really been enjoying playing with my uncle’s dog. Unfortunately he’s super loud, likes to bark, and was driving us all crazy. But at least they’re all having fun.

Alrighty, that’s all for today!

Tomorrow Luke and I are going to be going to his other grandma’s birthday party so that should be fun!

Happy Friday!!

~Ashley

Weekly Recap: September 24th-30th, 2018

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

Monday:Β 

  • 6 miles
  • 35 minute strength workout

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

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

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Tuesday:

  • rest day

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

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

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

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Wednesday:

  • 20 minutes of yoga

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

Thursday:

  • 3 miles
  • Halloween decorating!

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

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

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Friday:

  • Rest Day

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

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

Saturday:

  • 13 miles

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday:

  • Rest Day

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

Total Weekly Mileage: 22.11

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

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

~Ashley

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June Miles and Goal Check In

I totally almost forgot today was the last day of June! And it’s not like June has felt like it flew by or anything, I legit just forgot haha. But anyway, we’re half way through the year and I’m still going pretty strong with all of my goals! Haha well, at the very least I’m still thinking about and working on them, so that’s pretty impressive! I don’t think I’ve ever actually continued with goals I set for myself at the begging of the year for this long, so that’s just an impressive feat in and of itself! Now, only 6 more months to go! πŸ˜‰

So this last week of June has been crazy hot. I don’t think we’ve had one day this week were the heat index didn’t go over 100 degrees. It’s been kinda rough. My poor garden is really suffering. The plants just aren’t getting any break from the intense heat and sun. That’s another problem, it’s been hot, humid, and sunny with little to no cloud cover. Hopefully we’ll get a break from the intense heat soon! I’m not sure how much more my plants can take. And if the rest of this summer is gonna be like this, then well, gross…

But despite the awful weather we’ve been having, my running hasn’t actually suffered much! Haha probably thanks to my spiffy new treadmill!!! When it’s just too hot out I’ve been able to hope on the treadmill and do my runs instead of either having to cut them short or just not do them at all. I even managed to run 6.23 more miles than I did last month when the weather was a little better. Go me!!

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I’ve also been hardcore kicking ass at getting my step goal done this month! I only had 8 day’s this month were I didn’t hit it and only 2 of those days were consecutive. Haha you can see that it’s usually Sunday that I don’t make my goal, but that’s because that’s usually my rest day and I don’t typically go for it. I mean, I need at least one day of complete rest a week. πŸ˜‰

img_2884Β Last month I wasn’t doing a very good job of keeping up with my training journal and that kinda carried over for the first half of this month. Oops. But for the last 2 weeks I’ve been pretty darn meticulous about it. I’ve also been trying to be much more detailed with it. Since I start training for my two halves in two days in November next month I want to be in the habit of keeping a much more detailed training log. I feel like that will come in very handy for this upcoming training cycle, so it’s just something I want to stay on top of.

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Even though it’s been intensely hot and I haven’t been enjoying it at all, I’ve still had a pretty good month! In a couple of weeks Luke and I are going to be going on vacation with a bunch of his family, so I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to keep up with this trend of running more monthly miles. I’d like to and I’m going to try, but I’m not sure how this vacation is going to go (hopefully it’s nothing like our Florida vacation from last year), so I guess we shall see?

How was your month? Have you been keeping up with your goals? I sure hope so!!

But anyways, that’s all for today! I hope you’ve had a good Saturday!

~Ashley

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Thursday Things

Ok, first and foremost, I am so super duper stoked about Honey Stinger’s new snack bars!!!!

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I’m totally on board with anything to do with nut butter, chocolate, or honey. Put all three of them together and I’m one happy camper! Seriously though, I can’t wait for these to come out! They look soooo good! But the don’t become available until April, so I guess I’ve got a little bit to wait hahaha. But you can check out Honey Stinger’s blog for the rest of the details, if you’re interested. πŸ™‚

I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about new, healthier snack before. Becoming a runner changes people in weird, awesome ways like that haha.

Anyway, enough about snacks for now. Lets talk about dogs!!

Today is Lily’s birthday! Yay! Our baby turned 8 years old today! πŸ™‚

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The birthday girl, this morning! Haha I don’t know if it’s sad or impressive that I’ve made her sit and stay on the porch for photos so often, that at this point she know’s exactly what I want.

Lily is one of the most awesome and special dogs ever! I might be a little bit biased though. πŸ˜‰ But she was my first border collie. The first dog Luke and I ever owned together. Farm bred and raised, she is 35 pounds of pure bad ass. She’s not afraid to stand nose to nose with a 1,000 pound steer. Hell, she actually enjoys it! She’s the only dog I own that has any kind of herding skills/experience. She’s lived on a farm, in what I can only describe as “the hood”, in an apartment, and now in a house in a small town, and has taken it all in stride. She’s also pretty well traveled for a dog! She’s lived in Illinois and Kansas, and has traveled with Luke and I to Missouri, Minnesota, Colorado, and all of the states in between. She’s helped load cattle onto trailers, has climbed a (small) mountain, can track/hunt, has helped raise two puppies, can be trusted around small children (even when they’re taking her bone that she was chewing on away from her), trekked through countless amounts of woods, is a fantastic guard dog, incredibly loyal, and was even the ring bearer in our wedding. Lily is one awesome bitch.

If I could breed her to Finn I totally would. They’d make fantastic puppies. But she’s getting older, Finn’s still too young, and when she was 6 months old she got hit by a car and had her hip broken, and her vet at the time didn’t think she’d be able to give birth without complications. So that kinda sucks. I think a Lily/Finn cross would result in some really great dogs. They both have great instincts, working drive, temperaments, and are both pretty healthy (although if and when the breeding of two dogs happens under my watch I’d make sure to get their hips and eyes checked first. bad hips and eyes are two things that tend to be cause for concern in border collies that you don’t want to be passed on, but that’s a whole thing that I don’t need to worry about right now). But oh well. Lily’s good genetics are just gonna have to end with her. Finn might end up be a different story though. πŸ˜‰

Oh man, my dogs are my pride and joy, and I could talk about them for days on end hahaha. But I’ll stop for now. πŸ™‚

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Yup. I’m that crazy dog lady who gets weird looks, because I insist on taking photos like this. BUT LOOK AT HOW CUTE AND SMART AND WELL BEHAVED MY PUPPIES ARE!!!! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, tomorrow is grocery day, and oh boy can I tell! Haha we are kinda running low on pretty much everything as we usually are the day before we go on our shopping adventures. So that means I have to get creative with my meals. So today for lunch I threw together some canned goods (corn, stewed tomatoes, and black beans), fried up a couple eggs, put that all on some brown rice and topped it with some guacamole. Kinda random, but it actually ended up being one of the most delicious lunches I’ve had in a while! Just proves that it definitely pays off to get creative sometimes! πŸ™‚

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There’s always at least one border collie under my feet…Today there were two.

Breakfast and dinner definitely weren’t that exciting though! All I had for breakfast was coffee (which I add soy milk, honey, and coconut oil to) and a Honey Stinger waffle. Breakfast of champions right there haha. And dinner is going to be a bowl of boring oatmeal. Not exciting, but hey, I made it work. πŸ™‚ I’m pretty excited about grocery day though. I LOVE grocery shopping haha.

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My not-so-exciting breakfast. Bubbles was unimpressed.Β 

Haha like 90% of this post has just been me going on about food. But I mean, who doesn’t like food talking about food?!? I know I sure do. Food, dogs, and running. I think that sums up my life quite nicely. πŸ˜‰

Although I didn’t do any running today. My legs are kinda sore and tired from a workout I did on Tuesday. So I gave them a little break and spent some time on my stationary bike instead. Boring. But it got the job done. Followed that up with some stretching and foam rolling and my legs were much happier after that.

Anyways, I suppose that’s all I’ve got for today. I know I don’t really have anything all that exciting going on right now haha. But I’ve got a few things I’m gonna start working towards very soon. I’ve got a 5k coming up in May and I’m actually going to train for it! The only two other 5k’s I’ve ever done I didn’t train for at all. I knew that I could cover the distance and that’s all I cared about. But now I have a time goal in mind and I’m going to need to train specifically to get there! But I’ll talk more about that later. πŸ™‚

For now,

Happy Friday eve!

~Ashley