Tag Archives: border collies

Branson Adventures: Day 1

Welp, we made it safely to Branson!

First thing in the morning we dropped the dogs off at the kennel. They had a bunch of goats and chickens and cats running around in the driveway when we pulled up haha. It was fantastic!! I loved it. ๐Ÿ˜ I also really liked the people who run the kennel. We told them we didn’t want to get the dogs out of the car with all of the goats nearby, because obviously all 3 of them are herding dogs. So they moved them and we showed off some of Lily’s heard of skills. We kept her on her leash and the ladies got a huge kick out of that! But now they know that our dogs can and will herd the goats if they aren’t careful haha.

As we were leaving them the lady who runs the place said she knows border collies are all kinda crazy, and that’s what for real sold me on the place! She obviously understands that they aren’t normal dogs and that’s what I was worried about haha. But anyway, they took them and put them in the kennel, and as we were leaving I could hear Lily crying and barking as we walked back to the truck. Poor baby. Obviously they’ll be fine, but I know they’re gonna be freaked out the whole time and that makes me sad.

Anyway, after we dropped them off we went back home, packed up the truck, stopped and got breakfast and then were on our way at around 8:45 this morning!

The drive there was pretty decent! It took us around 3 and a half ish hours to get there, and a lot of it was driving through farmland and by some lakes and stuff, which obviously I enjoyed. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Once we made it to our cabins we looked around a little bit. They’re pretty nice and the views are pretty! We talked to Luke’s brothers and sisters, unloaded the truck, and then headed off to the store to stock up on some groceries for our time here.

After we had our provisions and put them away in the cabin, we went to Luke’s grandma’s cabin and hung out with her, a few of his aunts, and a few other people. It’s his grandma’s birthday so that was nice! She definitely enjoyed hanging out with everyone.

After that a bunch of us went to the river that’s near the cabins and had a little too much fun! ๐Ÿ˜‰

But anyway, it’s been a long day and we’ve got another one ahead of us, so I need to get to bed! Happy Monday!!

~Ashley

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Itโ€™s Going To Be A Long Summer…

Good thing I have a treadmill now, because this keeps happening…

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I can’t run outside in this!

Well, technically I could, but it probably wouldn’t end well for me. Especially not with that air quality warning. So I’m just gonna stick with my treadmill for now and hope that I’ll get at least one day this week that I’ll be able to run outside, because I’m not exactly confident in my ability to run anymore than 5 miles on the treadmill haha. I did 7 a few weeks ago, but I wanted to absolutely die by the time I was done. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Plus training for “Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days” officially starts on the 22nd of this month, and I’d really like to do most of those runs outside. Having the treadmill is nice, but it’s just not the same as running on the road. And since both half marathons I’m doing in November on on the road (well, part of one is on a paved trail ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), I know it would be best to do a pretty good majority of my running on the roads. But if this weather keeps up I’m gonna have to suck it up and run on the treadmill. I’d rather do that than risk my health by running outside in dangerous weather conditions. Says the girl who intentionally runs during thunderstorms and has an absolute blast running on ice haha. But for real though, I’m really sensitive to the heat and I have asthma. It’s not bad, but I still have to be careful when the air quality sucks.

So I’m not exactly thrilled about the weather and the prospect of starting out my half marathon training mostly on the treadmill. But at least I have that option now! If we would have had this kind of weather last summer, before I had the treadmill, I’d have been completely screwed. Sure I’ve got the stationary bike, but that probably wouldn’t really help that much. But anyway, I haven’t really been completely stuck inside. Luke and I have been going for little walks in the evening, right around sunset, so it’s not too crazy hot out. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still hot, humid, and gross out. But it’s decent enough to go for short walks in. I’m not confident enough to actually run in it though haha. But at the very least I’m getting outside and moving around a little bit.

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I’m currently dreaming of chilly October nights.ย ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒ™๐Ÿฆ‡๐ŸŽƒ

What really sucks about this weather is that while we’ve had plenty of heat, we’ve had hardly any rain. Like, it’s for real been weeks since we’ve gotten any rain, and the last time we did it really wasn’t much. So I’ve been kinda struggling to keep our garden going. All of our plants are just wilty and sun burnt. But I have gotten a pretty decent amount of strawberries and blueberries! I think I’m getting towards the end of those plants producing though. I’ve got 3 nice little watermelons growing, my peaches are slowly starting to get bigger, and my zucchini plants are producing like crazy! And my tomatoes are finally starting to get ripe! The plants have had little green fruit on them for a while now, but it’s been so crazy hot that it’s taking forever for them to turn red. I picked a whole bunch of nice little cherry tomatoes yesterday though!

We’ve also been keeping the tiny raptors outside for the last week or so. They’re finally big enough to keep out in the coop, and obviously we haven’t had to worry about it being too cold for them! I run out there to check on them several times a day though. I don’t want them getting too hot. But so far they seem to be doing really well!!

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They’re getting moved back inside this weekend though, but only for a little bit. Our family trip to Branson, Mo is next week and we don’t want them outside while we’re gone. Luckily they’ll only actually be on their own for 3 full days. Luke and I are leaving Kansas on the 16th, probably in the late morning. First we have to drop the dogs off at a kennel. I grew up working in a kennel, so obviously I know they’ll be fine, but they’ve never been boarded before, so I know they’re gonna be completely freaked out. Poor babies… Luckily the’re all going to be kept in the same kennel run together, so I think that will help. I’m going to make it very clear that I do not want them separated. Sometimes they growl and snap at each other and when they play it can look like they’re actually fighting, but they’re not. They just work things out between each other like that.ย  And if you know dogs then you probably know that, but some people tend to freak out the second teeth start snapped at each other. But anyway, then we’ll be in Branson the 17th, 18th, and 19th, and then we’re driving back home on the 20th. It’s only a 4 hour drive, so I think if we leave early enough we’ll be there in time to pick up the dogs before the kennel closes. If not then I guess they’ll just have to spend another night there.

Anyway, I got the dogs’ vet records for the kennel this morning and I’ve kinda sorta started packing for this trip. Haha I guess I should get on that, huh? I mean, I’ve made a list and pretty much know everything that Luke and I are gonna need, so that counts for something, right? We’ll both probably still wait until the night before we leave to actually pack. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But that’s all for today! How’s the weather where you are? Hopefully better that it is here in Kansas…

Your treadmill bound friend,

~Ashley

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New Setup For The Chickens!

This whole Ozzy situation has officially gotten out of hand. So Luke and I finally did something about it yesterday.

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Ozzy is my neighbor’s dog. He’s been getting into my yard a lot for the past several weeks and terrorizing my chickens. But now he’s getting even worse about it. So something had to be done.

So, on Thursday night when Luke got home from work we began building a structure to protect them. We didn’t get very far with it that night though. It was pouring down rain and we were under a sever thunderstorm warning and it’s kinda hard to work outside in those conditions. Plus we ran out of daylight pretty quickly, so we had to stop and then continue the next morning.

 

 

 

It was a rough morning. Things weren’t going the way Luke had planned and after our little building project had fallen apart twice we decided to stop, go get some food, regroup, and figure out a better way to go about this thing we were trying to accomplish. Oh and did I mention that it was hot, humid, and super gross out that morning following the thunderstorm from the night before? Yeah, it stayed like that all day and it was pretty awful.

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Anyway, while we were eating we did some brain storming and came up with the idea to get a dog kennel. If we could get one that was big enough the chicken coop would fit in it, when Ozzy wasn’t around the chickens would have more area to roam around in, and when he was we’d be able to lock them up in the coop and they’d be more protected from him. And plus we figured a dog kennel would be easier to assemble than what we were trying to build, so after we ate we ended up at Tractor Supply.

At Tractor Supply we learned that the super fancy dog kennels don’t all come in one DIY kit. You have to buy pretty much each panel individually, which would get crazy expensive crazy fast, because each piece was close to $100 and that wasn’t even including the dog house, ramp, and roof that you could add to this kennel. But after some searching we found exactly what we wanted. A DIY dog kennel kit that came with the WHOLE kennel and not just sections of it, for $200. Not bad! The only thing that wasn’t included in the kit was a top cover though. That came all by itself for an additional $50. I though that was stupid, so I asked Luke if we could just get a tarp to cover the top. He thought that was a really good idea and wanted to know why it took me that long to come up with it haha. So after we loaded up our dog kennel into the truck we went to Home Depot and got a $15 dollar tarp and a few $1.50 bungee cords. That seemed a lot more reasonable than a $50 cover for the kennel. ๐Ÿ™‚

So we went home, unloaded the truck, and Luke said he still wasn’t sure how we were going to fit the coop into this kennel once it was built. That’s when I asked him if it wouldn’t just be easier to build the kennel around the coop, because that’s what I thought we were going to do anyway. Haha that was my second fantastic idea for the day, and I’m surprised that my engineer husband didn’t come up with that one all on his own! ๐Ÿ˜‰ So we moved the chicken coop to the area we wanted to build the kennel in, and then began to assemble it.

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There is actually grass and weeds in the new spot that we moved to coop to, and the chickens were definitely enjoying it!!

So we did end up running into a few bumps along the road that was putting this kennel together, but all in all it went pretty well. It was definitely a lot easier than what we were trying to do before!!

 

 

We got the frame assembled very quickly, had a little bit of an issue with the gate, but Luke figured that out, and then put up the chain-link! Some dude at Tractor Supply (we are pretty sure that he didn’t even work their haha) told us that putting up the chain-link was going to be a bitch and we shouldn’t even bother buying the kit, but it was actually pretty easy! A bit time consuming, but still, it really wasn’t that hard. And once it was all put together we let the chickens out to explore a little bit (under close supervision from Lily and Finn ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and took a short break before we put the tarp over top of it.

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The tarp ended up being really easy to put up as well, plus it kinda helped it re-enforce the whole thing. Luke also put a steak in the middle of it so that the rain, snow, or whatever should fall right off of it instead of pooling up on it. So now the chickens can’t fly out, nothing else could fly in, and they’ve got plenty of shade and should be a little more protected from the elements in general.

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Lily, who was raised on a farm, has some legit herding training, and grew up around chickens and therefore knows how to handle herself around them, is a big fan of this new setup haha. Now she can get in the kennel with them and keep an eye on them and kinda sorta herd them a bit. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Finn thinks it’s pretty neat too! And although he’s got some pretty impressive instincts, he’s never had any kind of herding training, and is young and excitable, so he’s not allowed in there with them. At least not yet. But he seems to think that it’s pretty neat that they can move around more, so he can kinda follow them around a little bit more.

 

 

All in all we’re very happy with how the dog kennel set up ended up working, and like I said, now the chickens have some more room to roam when Ozzy isn’t around to bother them, they’ll be a little bit more protected from the elements, and when Ozzy does get into my yard they can just be put into their coop and then he won’t be able to be as close to them or jump up on or scratch at the coop anymore. So that’s pretty freaking sweet!! I mean, it does kinda suck that we had to go through all of this trouble because of someone else dog, but still, the chickens end up benefiting a lot from it, so at least there’s that.

Alright then, now I have to get up on my soapbox and talk about whyย herding/working/high-energy/highly intelligent breeds of dogs don’t make good pets unless you’re prepared to deal with them and know 100% what you’re getting into with certain breeds of dogs. Because that’s the problem with Ozzy. He’s a heeler or a heeler mix. So he’s a herding dog. He’s pretty smart, full of energy, and he’s also bored and lonely because he’s left out in my neighbor’s backyard all day while he’s at work. That is basically a recipe for disaster when it comes to these kinds of dogs. You CANNOT get a high-energy/intelligent breed of dog and expect them to just be content running around a yard by themselves all day. They’ll end up getting bored and then doing things like barking excessively, digging, tearing stuff up, or escaping into your neighbors yard and terrorizing her chickens and rabbits, and playing with her 2 high-energy dogs who are out there a lot (haha Lily has separation anxiety, so she’ll only hang out in the backyard if Luke or myself go out there with her).

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My dogs know how to behave around the chickens and don’t want to kill/chase them. Lily and Finn just want to herd them/guard them, and Dean wants nothing to do with them. Ozzy wants to make them move, chase them, and then probably rip them to pieces. This photo was taken right before Finn started fighting Ozzy, because Ozzy was bothering his chickens. Finn thinks his job it to keep the chickens safe and that’s exactly what he was trying to do.

After seeing the way my dogs behave and how smart they are, a lot of people who see them actually end up telling me that they want a border collie (or something similar) as well. And honestly I tend to try to discourage them because these types of dogs need a lot of exercise, attention, and mental stimulation. Like, A LOT. They are happiest when they are working. And when they aren’t they become problems which is why a lot of them end up in shelters labeled as “hyper” or “aggressive” or with “behavioral issues”. So that’s why I think that unless you have the time, patience, knowledge, and energy to care for a dog that’s a herding/working/high-energy/highly intelligent breed, most people would be better off with a different breed of dog. And remember that this is coming from someone with 3 border collies and thinks that they are the best dogs in the world haha. But they are not for everyone. Luke and I spend a lot of time making sure that they get the attention that they need and that they all have “jobs”. We also take them to an off leash dog park almost every weekend.

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They don’t just get to run around all willy nilly at the dog park. They’re constantly being told to come, sit, stay, and do other tricks and commands, to keep them mentally stimulated and to make them feel like they’re working.

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But they also get to play around a little bit while we’re there. ๐Ÿ™‚

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And whenever possible we like to take them to new places and put them into different situations. So they’re prepared for pretty much anything and always know how to act, no matter where we are or whats going on.

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When we’re at home fetch is a way of life and is taken very seriously.

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Individual walks happen pretty much everyday, regardless of the weather. The longer the better, although shorter ones will suffice if pressed for time.

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It’s not exactly easy, but Luke and I have gotten pretty good and wearing them out!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ok, I’m done now. But obviously this is something that’s near and dear to my heart and it drives me crazy seeing a good dog turn into a problem. In almost every situation it’s not the dogs fault, it’s the handler. Because trust me, my dogs are fantastic! And I’ve met a lot of amazing dogs, but they don’t come that way. You have to MAKE them that way. And that’s a lot easier to do when you get a dog that you know with out a shadow of a doubt that you can handle and provide everything that it could possible need. That way you’re life will be a lot easier and you’ll end up with an amazing dog.

 

Whew! I didn’t mean to go onto a tangent like that, but I think the more that things like that get said, the better!

Anyways, after our building adventures were done we were finally able to spend the rest of the evening in the glorious air conditioner!! And that night someone live-streamed most of The Longshot’s concert that happened last night on Billie Joe Armstrong’s Instagram account, so obviously my little fangirl heart was as happy as could be! It looked like one hell of a show and I’m super duper jealous of anyone who gets to see The Longshot live, because they aren’t coming anywhere near where I live haha. But it is nice to at least get to see it on my phone. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Haha between getting another root canal and this big project, I haven’t gotten a lot of running done this week. But it’s all good! I felt like I could use a little bit of a break from all of the gross summer running anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Plus all of the work we did putting together that dog kennel for the chickens hardcore wore me out!! When I woke up this morning I decided that I wasn’t going to do shit today, and so far so good!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m very much on board with having the laziest Saturday ever!!

I hope you have a fantastic day and a great Memorial Day weekend!!

Your very dog obsessed friend,

~Ashley

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*squee!!!!!* Finn was so little!!!!! Haha he wasn’t a very cute puppy though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

 

 

May 23rd, 2018

Lets play a fun little game!!

My dog.

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My dog.

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My dog.

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Not my dog. ๐Ÿ˜†

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Now in the morning whenever I let my dogs out, Ozzy comes right over. Haha I guess he gets bored and lonely while my neighbor (his owner) is at work. But this morning after he hung out in my yard for a little bit and bothering my chickens, he hopped my fence and was running around the easement….So I spent 15 minutes trying to get him back into my yard so at the very least he’d be safe and wouldn’t get hurt or lost. So eventually I got him back into my yard, made all of my dogs go inside, so he got bored in my yard and went back home. Oh man, this is getting a little annoying. I’m not about to keep an eye on that dog all day everyday. I like him, and he’s very sweet, but he’s not my dog (although he seems to think he is whenever my neighbor isn’t home, because he tries to come into my house when I let my dogs in), and not my responsibility. I’d feel terrible if something were to happen to him, but I can’t spend all day checking up on him and making sure he’s where he should be. Hopefully once the new fence gets built between our two yards his escape artist antic will stop.

Since I had to spend some time wrangling a dog that doesn’t belong to me, I got out on the road a little later than I would have liked. But luckily I had only planned on doing 2 easy miles today, so it wasn’t too big of a deal. It’s not like the weather would have really been much better anyway. It was 73 degrees, 85% humidity, and sunny. Yuck. That on top of the fact that I’m still kinda red and itchy from the antibiotics that I took one whole dose of for my root canal made today’s run not so fun. But I did it and that’s all that matters. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Seriously though, penicillin and cindamycin give hives, andย azithromycin gave me a rash similar to what the other two antibiotics do, but it was much more mild. So when the dentists office called to check up on me yesterday (which I though was really nice) I told them about it and was told to stop taking theย azithromycin. So, totally not sure what kind of antibiotics I would take if I had an actual infection. I guess I’d just have to tough it out. But luckily the last time I actually had an infection that needed treated with antibiotics was when I was 13 and had an appendectomy. I don’t remember a lot from my time in the hospital for that. I was on a lot of morphine haha. But I think they might have just continued to give me penicillin and just kept an eye on the hives it gave me. Because I remember being itchy the whole time I was there and don’t remember ever getting a different antibiotic. Like I said though, I was on a lot of morphine so I could be totally wrong about that haha.

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It’s kinda hard to see in this photo. Especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. But I’m still a little red, bumpy, and itchy from theย azithromycin I took 2 days ago.

Luckily aย benadryl helped with the itching on Monday, but they make me so tired that I haven’t taken another since then haha. But the rash is definitely going away and not as bad as it was on Monday, so that’s good. ๐Ÿ™‚

My mouth/tooth area is feeling a little bit more sore today that it did after I got the root canal on Monday and yesterday. It got to the point where it woke me up a few times last night. I think I might have bit down on it weird at some point. Maybe even while I was sleeping. That and I haven’t been doing a good job of taking the pain medication the dentist gave me. He told me it would probably be a good idea to take one in the morning for the next few days as a preventive thing and then one every 6-8 hours after that as needed. But I only took one before I went to bed last night. Woops haha. I just don’t like taking medication, especially pain medication before I run. It’s only an 800 mg ibuprofen, but still… Hahaha and the endorphins from my run seemed to help with the discomfort I was having this morning anyway! ๐Ÿ™‚ Probably going to take another one before bed tonight though and hopefully I’ll be able to sleep a little better tonight than I did last night.

So since I had the root canal on Monday, I’ve been trying to stick with soft, easy to eat food. That meant that yesterday pretty much all I ate was 2 muffins and some rice and guacamole. Yeah, that wasn’t all that great…Easy to eat though haha! So today I made a point to eat some stuff that was a little more nutritious, including a berry/oatmeal smoothie, more rice and guacamole (this is one of my favorite combinations right now haha. Trust me, it’s delicious) with a fried egg this time, and a pint of ice cream. Oh and Luke made hamburgers for dinner so I had to had to have one of those. They were delicious! ๐Ÿ™‚ But at the very least I got a little more nutritious than yesterday haha.

But anyway. Other than my tooth being a little bit sore and it being hot in general, my day has been really good! I plan on running a little further tomorrow, so I’m gonna have to wake up earlier tomorrow, so hopefully I’ll sleep a little bit better tonight.

But anyway, I suppose that’s all for today!

Happy hump day!

~Ashley

Another Root Canal Done

Finally got another tooth taken care of yesterday!

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I went to a different dentist this time and it was a lot cheaper haha. Plus this guy was a lot faster and is actually willing to work with Luke and I because of our insurance. So now my two worst teeth have been mostly fixed. Now they just need crowns. The one that got a root canal in February still doesn’t have a crown on it because the other dentist was waaaay over charging and it was just too expensive. But this guy that I’m going to now is going to do it for less money, so next Tuesday both of those teeth will be completely taken care of. And then we’re going to start talking about fillings for my other teeth. That’s probably not going to be cheap. Especially since we’re officially out of dental insurance until next year and any more dental work that either Luke and I need done will have to come out of pocket. So hopefully neither of us need anything crazy done in the next year…

But so far I’m feeling pretty good today! My mouth doesn’t really hurt at all! The spot where I got Novocaine shots is a little sore, but other than that its fine which is great! The only problem is that, yet again, I had a bad reaction to the antibiotics they gave me. I’m allergic to penicillin and clindamycin so they gave me azithomycin. But last night that made my stomach hurt pretty bad and this morning I woke up with a rash. Luckily it wasn’t as bad and the hives thatย penicillin and clindamycin give me, but still. It sucks…So I took aย benadryl and that seemed to help. But yeah, not sure what’s up with my body and antibiotic, but it sure doesn’t like them.

Since I had to get more dental work done I didn’t run yesterday or today. Honestly I probably could have today, but the antibiotics just made me feel gross and I didn’t feel like doing it haha. But hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow.

But anyway, that’s what’s currently going on with me. Well that and the fact that my neighbor’s dog Ozzy just spends most of the day in our yard now. Luckily Luke and I have yelled at him enough that he mostly leaves the chickens alone now, and he just come’s over and hangs out usually until my neighbor gets home. Haha that’s kinda weird, but at least he’s not really causing problems anymore. Still though, I can’t wait for them to finish replacing the fence and he can’t get over here anymore. I still worry about him hurting the chickens and Finn puts up with him now, but I still don’t think he’s a fan of Ozzy being in his yard.

Alrighty then, that’s all for today! Happy Tuesday everyone!

~Ashley

 

 

Running With The Cows 5k, 2018

Oh my gosh you guys! This race is just so much fun!! I think I might have to do it for a 3rd time next year because I had an absolute blast on Saturday! Haha I told Luke that, and he told me that he’s going to sign me up for the half instead of the 5k without telling me, just to force me to do the half marathon. And while I do love half marathons, I know for a fact that I wouldn’t like to run one in the weather conditions we had on Saturday.

The half marathon was supposed to start at 7:30 am on May 12th, but there were a scattered showers in the area and some of those little pockets of rain were producing lightning. They actually had someone there from one of the local news stations who had to check in with their meteorologist to make sure it was safe enough for the runners to go out.ย  According to the news station’s meteorologist it was though, and just a few minutes past 7:30 am the half marathoners took off. It was raining a little bit, but oh boy was it humid! And the temperatures were in the 70’s and it was only supposed to go up from there. Gross. I really feel for those runners doing the half. I feel like running 13.1 miles in that kinda sticky, heavy feeling, heat would have been terrible.

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Half Marathoners lining up at the starting line.

Which is exactly why I’m so hesitant to do this particular half marathon! The weather around this time of year in the Midwest can be unpredictable. Back in 2016 when I did this 5k for the first time it was cold enough for me to comfortable run in a hoodie. This year I would have absolutely baked in anything heavier than a light tank top haha. I think I’m just gonna stick with my fall half marathons, thank you very much. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway that’s enough talk about the gross weather and why I’ve only run half marathons in the fall, and lets back track a little bit!

So, on Friday night I had laid out all of my gear, made sure my bib was pinned to my tank top, and my timing chip was secured to my shoe. I had my coffee maker ready to go and knew exactly what I was going to eat for breakfast the following morning. Haha I like to be prepared and have to do as little thinking as possible in the morning. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Coach Bubbles helping me assemble my running gear.

When my alarm went off at 6 am on Saturday I was ready to roll! I got up, let the dogs out, started my coffee maker, ate, drank some water and my coffee, got dressed, applied a little bit of sunscreen, drank some more water, woke Luke up, and by 6:40 am we were ready to leave! At the last second Luke decided to take Dean with us. We always see other spectators at races with dogs so he figured why not? Plus Dean is the most calm out of all 3 dogs we have and is the only one that wouldn’t obsess over the livestock that they have at the starting area of this race. So the three of us loaded up into the truck and we were on our way.

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Normally it would take us about 20 minutes for us to get to Bucyrus. Kansas, where the race is held, but since we had to drive on part of the half marathon race course to get there it took a little bit longer because there were police officers already out directing traffic and getting ready to shut down the road. That wasn’t a big deal though, we had left early for that very reason. Well, that and I wanted to pet the cows and goats before the 5k started haha. But anyway, we got there and got parked quickly and without any trouble. The volunteers who were directing traffic were very efficient! Then Luke, Dean, and I started walking towards all of the fun stuff they have set up near the start/finish line.

Honestly at first we were a little nervous. We weren’t exactly sure if dogs were aloud to be there. Especially since they had livestock set up in pins there. But we saw several other people with dogs so we figured it was ok. And as it turns out, Dean was probably one of the most well behaved dogs there. Luke and I were both very proud of him. All of the people kind of made him nervous, but for the most part he took it really well. He wasn’t in the least bit interested in the cows and goats that were there (ha, some border collie he is ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), but they were very interested in him! We brought him up near the goat pin so I could pet them, and he didn’t care one way or the other about them. They were very curious about him though! One came right up to the fence to investigate the whole situation. They didn’t seem too afraid of him though. I bet they’ve been around dogs before.

The cow, on the other hand, wasn’t a fan of Dean. You could tell he was making her nervous. Probably because she had a calf. So Luke backed off with Dean so I could pet them haha. One of the little kids who were manning the cow pin (I guess they belonged to their parents) even gave me a treat to give her. She was still keeping an eye on Dean though and wouldn’t take it. Her calf did come up to the fence and let me pet it though, so that was neat!!

Once a bunch of people started crowding around the pens we left and stared meandering around near the starting area while the half marathoners started to line up. Once most of them were the race directer said a prayer, they played the national anthem, aaaand then the half marathoners had to wait for the weather update before they could take off. But like I said, that only took a few minutes. So Luke and I watched them start and cheered them on along with the other 5kers and spectators. After they took off we still had half an hour to kill, so we wandered around a little more, Luke took a picture of me and Dean in front of a giant cow, and then I got in line to use a port-o-potty. That was probably one of the worst port-o-potty experiences in my life! The urinal was literally almost over flowing with urine. It was absolutely disgusting sitting mere inches away from that disaster. Luckily I was quick and didn’t have to be in there with that mess for too long.

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Me, Dean, and a giant cow.

After I had finished up in the nasty port-o-potty we started making our way to the corral. Before I actually lined up Luke and I ended up talking to another lady about border collies haha. Dean really liked her (I guess he knew she had a border collie at home ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and kept walking over to sniff her. So she started petting him and told us about her border collie. She was worried that she wouldn’t do well with all of the people so the lady had to leave her at home. After we had talked to her for a little bit I bid Luke and Dean farewell and started making my way into the corral and lined up near the back, since I’m a slow runner and all. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Plus with the heat and humidity and the lack of speed work I’ve been doing, I wasn’t sure how this race was going to end up going. But as the countdown on the timer got closer and closer to “0” I started getting kinda nervous and realized I still wanted to go for my time goal of 38 minutes.

The countdown hit 10 seconds. The announcer started counting us down. “3, 2, 1, 0, go!!!” Then we were off!! There was lots of cheering, cowbells, and the loudspeakers that were playing music were also playing cow sound effects too, which I though was pretty neat!

So I tried to go out conservatively for about the first mile. I mean, that’s what you’re supposed to do right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I found that my legs wanted to go and apparently my brain wasn’t about to stop them I kept telling myself that I was going to end up regretting that, but weirdly enough that didn’t happen! And although I ended up going out a little faster that I had originally planned, I spent probably about the first mile just taking in the sights, sounds, and enjoying the excitement of race day that was going on around me. The course is an out and back, so you don’t really get to see a lot in just 3.1 miles, but it’s still really pretty. It’s basically just a bunch of cow pastures out in the middle of nowhere Kansas which I think is super awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

This course is also a little bit hilly. Nothing too crazy but still, those hills could be challenging if you aren’t careful or prepared for them. As I was getting closer to the water station which was also the turnaround point, I started noticing a very interesting pattern that quite a few of my fellow racers where doing. Some of them would fly on the downhills and then slow down a lot or even start to walk on the uphills. Now, I’m a big fan of running downhill with reckless abandon and I tend to do that around my neighborhood for shits and giggles. But in the almost 5 years that I’ve been a runner I’ve learned and am just now finally admitting to myself is that when I put my mind to it, running uphill can actually be a strong point for me! So once I noted that some people were wearing themselves out on the downhills (and probably trashing their quads in the process. Trust me, I’ve been there) and hardcore slowing down on the uphills I decided to take the opposite approach. I started to run the downhills a bit more conservatively. “Recover!” I’d tell myself in my head. And I starting to hit the uphills pretty hard!

Once I’d made it through the water station (I’ve yet to master the art of the aid station and have trouble drinking while on the move, so that whole process slowed me down a bit. If it wasn’t for all of that I probably could have negative split this whole race haha. But my last mile was my fastest, so at least there’s that. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), made it around the turn around point, and I went fishing! If you don’t know, “going fishing” is when you pick out a person in front of you “reel” them in, pick another person in front of you, and repeat. All while continuing my pattern of going easy on the downhills and harder on the uphills. So I ended up getting passed by people I had reeled in. I yo-yoed with a couple of people for a while, but going up the final hill, right before we turned back onto the road (well, I guess it’s actually the school’s driveway. This race is held at a Catholic school haha), that took us to the finish line, I had left most of the people I had “fished” for behind me and crossed the finish line with the timer reading 39 minutes and some change. So I knew I probably hadn’tย  hit my goal of 38 minutes but I probably semi close.

So I crossed the finish line, stopped my watch, got my timing chip clipped off, got a water bottle and a cowbell from very nice volunteers, spotted Luke and Dean in the crowed, and started making my way towards them, while checking my time on my Garmin. It read that I have covered 3.15 miles in 38:54, which is about a 12:22 pace. Not bad! considering the heat and humidity! I know I made it sound like I was feeling super strong, especially on the uphills, and at some points I was! But there were also times when I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath, was suffocating because of the humidity, and just felt like general shit because of the heat. But still, I felt like I ran strong, I didn’t wimp out because of the weather, and man I felt like a badass running up those hills! All in all, I’m very happy with how this race went. Plus I kinda figured my chip time would a few less seconds. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Once I had made it to Luke and knew what my time roughly was, I started excitedly recapping all of this to him, while we made our way to the buffet. On our way there we passed theย Chick-fil-A tent that was set up just outside the school where the rest of the food was. They were handing out sandwiches so obviously I had to grab one of those! But it turned out to be a chicken/bacon/biscuit sandwich. I don’t likeย biscuit so I gave that to Luke and headed inside to get me something tasty! Haha but once I saw all of the food I realized just how not hungry I was. That was slightly disapointing because there was so much awesome looking food that I normally would have wanted to try, but running in the heat makes me kinda nauseous, so I just ended up grabbing a super cute cow cookie. It was slightly smashed, and to be honest with you I didn’t even want a cookie at that point, but it was adorable and I had to take it haha. I’m glad I did though, it was very tasty! I also got half a Panera bagel, a banana, and a turkey sub from subway. Haha I actually took my sandwich home and ended up eating it for lunch.

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You cannot tell me that that kinda smashed cow cookie is not adorable!

After I had gotten my food all 3 of us were pretty much over the big crowed of people, so we made our way back to the truck and then headed home. On the way I told Luke that nothing in the world sounded better to me at that moment than a watermelon. So he stopped at a store and got me one. He is literally the best. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

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A very good race, an (almost) John Deer green cowbell, and a watermelon. Ashley was one very happy camper.

On the way home I also got my chip time: 38:51! I knew it had to of been just a few second faster than what my watch read. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Either way though, I was very happy with how I did.

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Once we got home we got the other 2 dogs and took the 3 of them to the dog park for a little bit. Haha I was getting kinda tired, but walking around a little bit was probably good for me. After we were done there I finally got to shower and then take a nice nap with Bubbles. That was a nice way to end this whole adventure. ๐Ÿ™‚

Whew! That was kind of a long recap for just a 5k, but whatever haha. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of me running or crossing the finish line. I saw some photographers at the start and it looked like they were taking photos, but if there are photos of the 5k then they haven’t posted them online yet. Not like that’s a big deal or anything though. ๐Ÿ™‚

So there you have it! Running With The Cows 5k, 2018. If you actually stuck around to the very end and read this whole post, then I thank you very much!

Have a wonderful week!!

~Ashley

Weekly Recap: May 7th-13th, 2018

This week was a good week. I’ve been having a little bit of trouble with my neighbor’s dog, Ozzy, but other than that, I’ve really got nothing to complain about! Well, except for the warm weather maybe, but we all know I’m never going to stop complaining about that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Had some good runs, got my monthly StrideBox, my garden is growing and doing well, as are my chickens, and did one of my favorite races ever on Saturday. Like I said, it’s been a good week. ๐Ÿ™‚

Monday:

  • 4 miles

Kicked off the week with 4 hot and sunny miles! Obviously that’s not my favorite kind of weather, but I still had some fun.

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Tuesday:

  • 5 miles
  • 10 minutes of yoga

Tuesday was the day I had the most issues with Ozzy. When I woke up that morning I let the chickens out as usual, then went to eat breakfast. About a half an hour later I happened to look in my backyard and there was Ozzy, bothering the poor chickens. So I caught him, put him in his yard, fixed some of the bricks that were covering the holes next to the fence we share with this neighbor (we’re currently in the process of replacing it, so it’s in terrible shape right now), then headed out for my run. After about 3 miles I happened to run by my house and saw that Ozzy was in my yard again. So I had to stop, repeat the whole process again, and then went out and finished my last 2 miles. But of course when I finished that Ozzy was back in my yard again. So this time I put even more bricks in the holes by the fence and lined the outside of my chicken coop with them. He’s been trying to dig under it, so I’m hoping at the very least the bricks will slow him down enough for someone to realize he’s not where he’s suppose to be before he can hurt my chickens.

But anyway, at least I got my run in, and got some strength training done because dead lifting a 30 pound dog over a fence multiple times has to count for something, and moving all of those bricks around was hard haha.

 

 

Wednesday:ย 

  • 4 miles

Another easy 4 miler on Wednesday. This time Ozzy stayed in his yard and Dean was waiting to great me when I got back! Nothing is better than getting ALL OF THE PUPPY LOVIN’ when you get back from a run. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Thursday:

  • rest day

I had 2 easy miles planned for Thursday but oh man was I tired! So I figured taking a rest day was probably a good plan. I actually ended up spending most of the day reading/finishing Cujo. Can you believe this was legit the first time I’ve ever read Cujo?!? Stephen King is my all time favorite author and it took me this long to read one of his most iconic books? That’s just nuts! Haha and I talk about that more here, if you’re interested. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thursday was one of the packet pick up days for Running With The Cows, so I went to get mine that evening. How super neat is this t-shirt?!?

 

 

Friday:

  • 15 minutes of stretching

So, Friday’s tend to be the day Luke and I run around and do a bunch of errands, and this Friday was no different. In the morning we had to meet with our insurance agent to go over all of our policies. Fun Stuff. Then the rest of the day was actually spent getting the truck titled. First we had to take it to get inspected since Luke bought it in Missouri, then we had to wait at the DMV for 8 million years haha. We ended up getting so bored that we wandered around the building, found a blood pressure machine,so obviously we had to play with that. Good news is we both have good blood pressure!

When we finally got home that evening I did some stretching and got all of my stuff ready for Running With The Cows. ๐Ÿ™‚

Saturday:

  • Running With The Cows 5k

I had so much fun at this race!!!

I had a goal time of 38 minutes for it, but it was hot, humid, and this course is a bit hilly, so I ended up running it in 38:51. Not bad though! I’m very happy with how it went!! I’ll be posting a full recap on Monday, so stay tuned for that. ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜„

 

 

Sunday:

  • rest day

I actually thought about doing a few easy miles today, but running in the heat yesterday really took it out of me! Plus my legs were a little sore from running hard on those hills. So I figured I could use a day off from running. I did spent some time cleaning out the rabbit cages today, cleaning out the chicken coop, and pulling a few weeds out of the garden, so at least I got a little bit of something done. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Total Weekly Mileage: 16.15

Considering the fact that I didn’t do a long run this week I’m pretty happy with that! Definitely not what I want to be and should be running, but still not bad. All in all I’m quite happy with how this week is gone and how well Running With The Cows went. But now that I’ve got that done it’s time to really kick into gear my “pre half marathon” training. I’m going to be focusing on more miles and strength training. I feel like being stronger and more resilient is going to help with the whole two half marathons in two days thing that’s going down in November. So bring it on!!

Oh and happy Mother’s Day you all of you awesome moms out there! You guys are true superheros!!

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Until next time,

~Ashley

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