Tag Archives: everyday adventures

Running With The Cows 5k, 2019 Race Recap

Woohoo! The Sloth Running Team was back at it again!!

Hahaha except my dad forgot his shirt, so we didnโ€™t wear them for this race. ๐Ÿ˜‰

On Friday my dad drove here to Kansas from Colorado so that we could tackle the Running With The Cows 5k on Saturday! Yay!

Also Luke took me golfing for the first time ever (for me anyway๐Ÿ˜‰). Obviously the thing you wanna do the day before your race is pick up a brand new sport and then spend something like 3 hours doing it. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Surprisingly I wasn’t as terrible at golf as I thought I would be! Plus I didn’t end up hurting myself (world’s biggest klutz right here) so that was good! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Honestly though I wasn’t too worried about it. I’m still suffering from/getting over a cold, so all of the plans I had for this race kinda went out the window. That was kind of a bummer, but there are always other races. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ Plus Running With The Cows is a super duper fun race no matter what! ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ˜Š

We didnโ€™t keep score, but my first round of golf wasnโ€™t too terrible! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Other than my dad getting here and a rousing round of golf, Friday was relatively uneventful. Saturday was obviously when all of the real fun happened! ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ„

My dad and I were up at 6:00 Saturday morning! We didn’t have to get up super duper early because Running With The Cows is only 20 minutes from my house, which is super nice! We are our breakfasts, got dressed, then we headed out to the starting line!

The half marathon was originally supposed to start at 7:30 am and the 5k was supposed to start at 8, but it was raining a little bit and people were still pulling into the parking area (that was kinda slow going because of the rain as well. The parking area was really just a field and it was pretty muddy). That wasn’t a big deal though. That just gave us a little extra time to find packet pick up and to use the port-o-potties. Both of which we accomplished with relative ease! We got our packets and walked back to my dads van to put on our bibs and timing chips, then it was off to the port-o-potties! At that point the half marathoners were lined up and getting ready to take off, so there was no line! Sweet!!

The most crooked race bib youโ€™ll ever see! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I did in fact race with it like this. ๐Ÿ˜‚

After we had taken care of we got in line to have our picture taken with a baby cow! This race always has farm animals at the starting line. This year they had two sheep, a miniature pony, and the baby cow of course. This was the first time that they actually had a little photo op with it though (at least out of the 3 times that I’ve done it now ๐Ÿ˜‰) so I thought that was super neat!

He was such a cute little guy!!

After that my dad has to make another pit stop at the port-o-potties and then it was time to line up in the starting corral! It was pretty crowded! This race is pretty darn popular so that’s unsurprising, nor is it a bad thing. Although we were lined up a little too far back. We ended up getting stuck behind some slower people, which would have been more annoying if we were actually trying for a specific time. We weren’t though. The only goal for this race was to have a bunch of fun since I was still getting over being sick.

Anyway, after a quick countdown we were off! To a pretty slow start. ๐Ÿ˜‚

You can kinda see both me and my dad directly under the Running With The Cows banner. Both with huge smiles on our faces, of course! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Like I said, we did get stuck behind some slower people. Plus there are just so many people that it’s kinda hard to get into a good groove until everyone spreads out a bit. Which eventually they did of course, but it took until about half was through the race for that to really happen. Not a big deal though. ๐Ÿ˜Š

This race is put on by a Catholic Church/school so close to a mile in I think (they don’t put up mile markers for the 5k course. Probably because it’s an out and back so it is pretty straightforward. You go out about 1.5 miles then you come back about 1.5 miles. ๐Ÿ˜‰) the school band is out on the course playing for everyone. I think that’s super cool! Hahaha I cheered extra loud for them because I didn’t think enough people were. ๐Ÿ˜‚ This is also the only intersection you come across on this course (it’s super rural ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ˜) so I also made sure to thank the police officers who were out there blocking traffic and keeping everyone safe.

So at this point we’re trucking along and still weaving around slower runners. Honestly doing things like that really motivates me to go faster! I’m not typically a competitive person, but there is just something super fun about reeling groups of people in and then weaving past them. Hahaha we also went off roading a few times to get around people. We’d jump off of the road into the dirt and then hop back on after we passed someone. That was a lot of fun! I was actually pretty impressed with how well I was running and how good I felt considering I was sick all week leading up to this race and I still wasn’t feeling 100% on Saturday.

At around 1.5 miles we came upon the only aid station and the turnaround point! My dad and I both grabbed a cup of Gatorade, cheered when the race volunteers said we were half way there, and pretty much just got out of there as quickly as we could. Since so many people do this race the aid station was a bit hectic, but the volunteers were totally on top of it! Huge kudos to them! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜Š They were also handing out orange slices, which I thought was kinda funny since this was only a 5k, but hey, whatever floats your boat! ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Š

Anyway, after the turnaround point things get lots and lots of fun because you get to run down the hill you had to run up to get there! The hill doesn’t make it all the way to the finish, but it is all a net downhill back the way you came. I wouldn’t say we were flying at that point, I was feeling good, but still not good enough to be at that point, but we were definitely going strong! Honestly the whole way felt like it took no time at all! Probably thanks to the downhill. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So right before you turn back into the church parking lot that the race starts in there is a grain silo with another Running With The Cows banner hung up on it. And since I’ve done this race twice before I knew they have a photographer at that point. So we were able to kinda pose for our photo. Hahaha I had to crop some people out, but I think it’s a good one!

Iโ€™m pretty sure we both were smiling like that throughout the whole race. ๐Ÿ˜

After that we made our final turn an crossed the finish line in 39:21! Except at that point I didn’t really have a good guess as to what our official time was because they had the clock running for the half, not the 5k. Once I did find out our official tune though I was pretty stoked! We did much better than I had though we would! Especially considering the fact that I was still getting over a horrible cold. ๐Ÿคง๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Š

I swear we were the happiest people there that day! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚

After crossing the finish line we went through all of the usual post race stuff. We got our medals which was actually a first for this particular 5k. Before they only gave the half marathon finishers medals, but they were celebrating they’re 10th anniversary of this race so I guess they wanted it all to be special. ๐Ÿ˜Š This was also the first time I actually had a medal hung around my neck. Every other time I’ve received a medal the race volunteer has just handed it to me, but this lady hung it around my neck and I just thought that was so cool! I know it’s such a small gesture, but honestly it really made me feel like I had accomplished something. I don’t know if that’s weird or not, but hey, it’s true. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

After having our timing chips cut off of our shoes we got in line for a second picture with the baby cow. But I mean, how could you pass it up! He was just too cute!! Plus this photo turned out better which is cool. ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’œ

After getting more baby cow hugs we headed inside the school for the post race buffet! They always have an awesome spread for the race finishers which is super awesome! And for that reason alone this could easily have been one of my favorite races ever! Hahaha but really I just adore the cow theme and the whole atmosphere. ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ˜

After enjoying our post race meal we headed on out and just kinda messed around for a while. We stopped back at my house, went to Scheels just for fun, and then we got burgers at 5 Guys. Going to 5 Guys is officially our new post race tradition, as we also went there after we did the Gobbler Grind Half last year! Hahaha I gotta say though, there burgers taste better after running a half. ๐Ÿ˜‰ They’re still pretty good though. ๐Ÿ˜‹

After our post race burger my dad took a nap and then had to leave to start driving back to Colorado around 6:30 pm that night. He had to work on Monday, so he couldn’t stay any longer. It’s all good though! If everything works out well Luke and I just might head out to Colorado for a few days this summer! And then of course my dad is going to be coming back here in November for Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days: Take Two, which he’ll be doing with me. ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜

Oh man, for real though. We both had an absolutely amazing time at this race! If you ever find yourself in the Kansas City area on the second Saturday in May you NEED to do this race! 5k or half, doesn’t matter. It’s a FANTASTIC event! ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ‚

Alrighty my friends! That is all! I hope you have a fantastic week!!

~Ashley

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Sick Days

Note to self; stay away from small children. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‚

Seriously though, I’m pretty sure either my niece and nephew or my next door neighbor gave me one hell of a bug when I babysat them all last Friday. It it me hard and I’ve been down and out since late Saturday night/early Sunday morning.

It wasn’t one of those colds where like, you’re a little stuffed up and not feeling super great, maybe your a little more tired than usual. No. It was the kind that make you feel absolutely miserable. You’re exhausted all of the time and even getting up to walk to the bathroom sounds like a challenge. You’re not sleeping well, have a headache from being so stopped up, and with chest congestion and a sore throat to boot. Holy moly, most of this week has been pretty awful for me. ๐Ÿคง

Thankfully I’m finally on the upswing though! I’m still not feeling super great but I’m much improved compared to earlier this week! Luckily I had Luke to take care of me! He kept me stocked up on tea and Halo Top ice cream. Obvious necessities for when you’re sick. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, I’m finally starting to feel a little bit better today. Not great, but good enough to go out and run 2 very slow miles. Hey, I’ll take it! It wasn’t a great run or anything but it was good enough to clear out some snot! Gross but necessary. ๐Ÿคง

I kinda spent the rest of the day resting though. It felt good to get outside and get moving but not gonna lie, I still feel pretty shitty. Definitely not how I want to be feeling just a few days before my next race, but at this point I’m pretty confident that I’m going to make it through the Running With The Cows 5k on Saturday without dying. ๐Ÿ˜‚

The plan for now is to keep resting, staying hydrated, and decently fueled in hopes that will help me get to the starting line in a little bit better shape. Hahaha I guess we’ll see though.

So yeah, that’s just a quick little update for today.

Happy Thursday!

~Ashley

โ€œLook Ashley, I donโ€™t even have to hold it!โ€

Those were the words spoke to me as my 4 year old nephew turned from the toilet, and sprayed urine all over my bathroom and right leg. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‚

I admire his free spirit though! And the fact that he’s comfortable enough to share that information with me. But still not stoked about having my bathroom and person covered in pee. Don’t worry though, he didn’t get any on himself. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‚

Ah, the adventures of babysitting.

Yesterday I somehow ended up in charge of 3 small children. My 8 year old niece, 4 year old nephew, and my 5 year old next door neighbor. The one that I babysit all of the time. Actually, she and I hung out all day on Thursday because her mom had to get carpal tunnel surgery.

Then yesterday my husband and brother-in-law wanted to go golfing, but my brother-in-law had no one to watch the kids and that’s where I came in! Hahaha I’ll never understand why people feel comfortable putting me in charge of young children. Even at 27 years old I don’t feel like an adult-y enough adult, but apparently I’m more responsible than I give myself credit for! ๐Ÿ˜‚

So in exchange for my babysitting services yesterday and giving my husband a chance to golf with his brother, I was paid in sparkle boots and Picky Oats. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰

Seriously though, Iโ€™m absolutely in love with my new Docs!!

Anyway, my brother-in-law and his 2 kids came over around 4:30 yesterday afternoon. The grownup boys left and me and the 2 kids did some coloring in their new coloring books (and the box of 120 crayons that Luke bought them on his way home from work) while we waited for our pizza to come! Once it did we gobbled it down and then we walked to the park. Luckily there’s one not even a block from my house so we didn’t have to walk far!

We ended up having a slight incident though. On the way there the 4 year old tripped, fell, and skinned his knee. He was fine. After a few tears and me and his sister brushing dirt off of him he got over it pretty quickly. I have a feeling getting to play at the park helped. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, we played a rousing game of “getting chased by a monster”. The monster played by yours truly. ๐Ÿ˜‚ After running around for a while we were all thirsty so we walked back to my house for drinks and snacks. On the way there we saw my next door neighbor waking into her house with her mom. She saw us and looked super sad to see me with other kids. My niece and nephew saw her too and asked if she could come play with us. They’ve met her before and they all like each other. So while we collected snacks and drinks to take back to the park I texted my neighbor about her kid coming with us and that’s how I ended up in charge of 3 children. ๐Ÿ˜‚

So we all went back to the park and continued on with our games. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Even when my neighbor someone got a little cut on her toe. Hahaha luckily that and a skinned knee were the only injuries of the day. Well, that and I managed to irritate my already hurt knee. But I was already having trouble with it anyway.

At about 7:30 pm we packed up all our stuff and walked back to my house. We ate more pizza, watched some TV, attempted to play the board game “Sorry” which is super hard when only 2 of the people played can read well. I suggested Candy Land but no one was on bored with that. ๐Ÿ˜‚ After making it through about 3 or 4 turns each we turned on music (the kids all got to take turns picking songs) and we had us a little dance party. At one point I broke the turn cycle so I could teach them how to do the Cha Cha Slide. That was fun! Then when it was my nephews turn to pick a song he took my phone and turned on Saturday Night by the Misfits. He can’t read so he just kinda found it on my YouTube account and apparently liked the album art from the thumbnail. Hahaha the girls HATED it. My niece kept asking why they looked so weird and my neighbor covered her ears and told me to turn it off. ๐Ÿ˜‚ My nephew said he liked it though, so obviously he’s my favorite now. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰

At one point everyone was dancing hardcore and my nephew ran up to me with his cheeks puffed up. I asked if he was ok and he shook his head no. I asked if he needed to spit in the sink and he shook his head yes. And that’s how I almost ended up with regurgitated koolaid either on me or the floor. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Thank goodness we actually made it to the sink!

A few songs later Luke and my brother-in-Law showed up. At that point it was about 9 pm. My neighbor went home, we picked up everyone’s toys, then I took my nephew to the bathroom one last time and that’s when the pee incident happened. Honestly it wasn’t a super big deal though. I’ve been covered in a lot worse. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Whew! Babysitting is hardcore! I went to bed exhausted last night! But according to my niece I’m the best babysitter ever. So totally worth it!

So yeah. I didn’t end up running today because I hurt my knee again. Not super stoked about that. But I’m desperately trying to heal it ASAP because I have another race next weekend! Here’s hoping it feels better by then!

Anyway, I spent my day recouping after 2 days in a row of childcare and I finally got around to dyeing my hair purple again. So there’s a plus! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Happy Saturday! I hope you have a great rest of the weekend!!

~Ashley

Weekly Recap: April 22nd-28th, 2019

Oh wow! The last two weeks were kinda crazy and just all fun and games with my trip to Colorado, my trail race, and recovering from all of that. Plus I was just super busy. That’s why I missed two weeks of weekly recaps. ๐Ÿ˜‚

But I’m back!

Monday:

  • 2 miles
  • 25 minutes of Pilates

So this run actually wasn’t super great. I had too much wine and Easter ham the night before. ๐Ÿ–๐Ÿท๐Ÿคข But I wanted to go out and so something, so I did! Followed by Pilates. THAT was a struggle, but I got a decent lower body workout done. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜

Tuesday:

  • 5 miles
  • 20 minutes of yoga

I had 3 easy miles on the schedule for today but that turned into what was basically a 5 mile fartlek, because I was having way too much fun for a shorter, easy run. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Training plans are definitely important and theyโ€™re there for a reason, but every so often you just need to embrace how you feel and roll with it. Sometimes that means backing off a little bit, sometimes that means taking a day off, and other times it means throwing caution to the wind and just running as fast and as far as you want to

Wednesday:

  • 3 miles

So this run was hard. Like, it wasn’t actually bad or anything. It was just super humid and that’s not fun.

Plus I’ve been having some discomfort in my left knee all week (I tweaked it at some point. I’m not sure how, but I’m almost positive it didn’t happen while I was running). I’ve been doing the exact opposite of what you should actually do when you get a little niggle and I’ve just been completely ignoring it. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Definitely not a great course of action. But my high pain tolerance sometimes lets me get away with things like this. I mean, I ran 5 miles on a newly broken toe a few years ago. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  • Thursday:
    • Rest day

    Since my knee discomfort wasn’t really improving and I actually started feeling it down into my shin (which is pretty typical actually. I’ve had this issue with my knee since I was a kid) I finally made the correct decision to rest it.

    Like I said, I’ve had this knee thing for forever so I’m not super worried about it. Hence why I kept running on it. ๐Ÿ˜‚ But since it wasn’t getting better I figured a little RICE was necessary. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Friday:

    • Rest day

    Still letting the ol’ knee have a little break! So I mean, the back half of this week has been pretty boring. Running wise at least. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Finn got his annual vaccinations on Friday. Going ya the vet stresses him the fuck out because he’s not particularly fond of strangers, but he did well! Also got the vet records for him, Lily, and Dean. We’re going to Minnesota later this month and they all have to be kenneled unfortunately. We’re bringing Whiskey with us though, because Luke and I aren’t fond of the idea of kenneling an 8 month old puppy. Obviously she’s had all of her shots and what not. But puppies her age can still have a bit of a fragile psyche. But it’s good for her to come with us, experience some new things (she’s not as well traveled as the other dogs ๐Ÿ˜‰), and be away from the rest of our small herd of border collies.

    Saturday:

    • Rest day

    Skipping my long run is always the hardest part of taking time off. It’s been ingrained into my head that the long run is the most important run of the week. Maybe it’s not the most important, but obviously it’s there for a very good reason! Plus I never know what to do with myself on long run days when I don’t run. Like, normally a good chunk of the day is dedicated to preparing to run, running, and then recovering from said run.

    But since I didn’t do any of that on Saturday I ended up binge watching several episodes of The Act on Hulu. I’d kinda heard bits and pieces of the story of Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee Blanchard, so when I saw The Act pop up on Hulu I was intrigued, but hadn’t gotten around to watching it until now. That’s done pretty crazy (and obviously dramatized for TV) stuff! It’s definitely an interesting watch!

    Sunday:

    • Rest Day

    Not running when you want to run is hard. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    But today was easier since Sunday’s are usually my rest days anyway. I finished watching Season 1 of The Act. Made scrambled eggs for my chickens (I had a ridiculous amount of eggs and they like them, so ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ. It works out really. It’s a cheap protein to give them. ๐Ÿ˜‰). Did some stretching. Fun stuff.

    Tomorrow I’m going to give a couple of easy miles a go though! See how everything feels and whatnot. It is all feeling better today, but sometimes it can be hard to really tell with things like this until you actually try to run on them.

    So yeah, not the week I wanted to have. But it happens. Hopefully I’ll be good to go next week!

    Happy Sunday!

    ~Ashley

    Hanging Lake, April 13th 2019

    Happy Marathon Monday!

    Who else spent most of the day keeping up with the Boston Marathon? ๐Ÿคš๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜‚

    Anyway, I am back home from Colorado! Yesterday my dad and I did our trail race in Fruita, Co (I’ll have a full race recap on that soon!) and then spent 16 or 17 hours on the road, making our way back to Kansas. And then eventually Illinois for my dad. Hahaha I’m very happy to say I get to stay home in Kansas. ๐Ÿ˜

    So, I’ve been busy, having lots of fun, and out of phone service for a while, so I haven’t really had a chance to write about our adventures in Colorado over the weekend. So I’m going to play a little bit of catch up the next few days.

    Friday was actually a pretty chill day. That Thursday was a lot of fun and while we didn’t do anything on Friday I’m actually pretty glad about that now. Saturday and Sunday were fun, busy, painful, and absolutely gorgeous.

    So our Saturday began with a 5 am wake up call. Fun! ๐Ÿ˜‰ My dad and I packed up his van and started making our way to Fruita from his apartment in Longmont for our trail race the next day. But of course we had to make several stops along the way. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    First we stopped in Genesee Park to check out a little herd of bison. Well, really we stopped along the side of the highway and walked over to the fence where the were for a few minutes.

    I’ve actually seen a bigger herd of bison in the Grand Canyon National Park back in 2014, but it was still fun to go see some more here. There was even a brand new baby which was cool! Only the one though, but we definitely saw some very pregnant bison.

     

     

     

     

    We stopped a few other places. Nothing too exciting though. Mostly just gas stations and little viewing areas along the highways. Going through Vail was pretty interesting though. We ended up going through a blizzard. My second blizzard of this trip. In a shitty little van that my dad and brother use mostly for work. ๐Ÿ˜‚ We made it through alright though.

    At about 1 pm we made it to our main stop for the day; Glenwood Canyon. A few weeks ago my dad hiked up the mile-ish (I think?) trail to Hanging Lake and he said I absolutely had to see it while I was there, so that was the plan for Saturday afternoon.

    It was actually snowing a little bit when we got there! And it continued to snow a little bit off and on for most of our hike up and eventually a little bit of the hike back down.

    So you start out on a little paved path, maybe about half a mile to the trailhead. At this point I was already feeling the elevation. Oh boy I had no idea what I was actually in for. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    So like I said, the hike up to Hanging Lake was around a mile, but it was hard, steep, icy and treacherous in places, and oh yeah, it was super hard! ๐Ÿ˜‚ It was fun and super pretty though.

     

     

     

    The trail started off super rocky, but eventually it turned into more dirt as you started to follow a creek (I’m not sure which creek that would be and I’m too lazy to look it up. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Then the farther we went up the more ice/snow was on the trail. Luckily my dad has some tracktion that we put on our boots and that helped us out a lot. But we saw a lot of people who weren’t as prepared and they were slipping and sliding all around. On our way down we actually saw a dude who fell on the ice and broke his leg. He was ok, he had several people in his group taking care of him and the rescue team was on his way to get to him.

     

     

     

    Anyway, did I mention how freaking hard this climb up was?!? Haha oh man, it seemed to take us FOREVER. But the the trail was super pretty and we had a hydration pack and lots of snacks, so at least there was that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

     

     

     

    I think it took us close to two hours to hike up the trail to Hanging Lake. It was a tough hike. Especially for someone from Kansas who isn’t used to being at 8,000 feet above sea level, let alone doing hard hiking at that kind of elevation. Once we finally made it to the lake though, man, words can’t even describe how amazing it was! Photos barely even do it justice. But wow. Once I saw that lake, it was totally worth it!

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    We hung out there for a while. We ate some snacks and made a few friends. Yeah, I know, I know, you’re not supposed to feed the wildlife. But theses little guys were so unafraid of people, so they obviously get fed all of the time. Hahaha we actually got pretty much everyone who was up there with us feeding the chipmunks. It was so funny. Everyone was sharing snacks, pointing out where our little friends were, taking pictures for each other, and just smiling and laughing with a large group of mostly strangers. So in a weird way, breaking the rules brought a bunch of people together that day!

     

    After sharing our snacks with our new friends, we hiked out just a little bit farther to Spouting Rock. That was super duper neat! We took some pictures for this group of women so they took some pictures of us. You guys, if you ever need to be reminded that people are generally good, hike somewhere. Or run a race. But we’ll get to that later. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Okey dokey, after seeing Spouting Rock we began our hike back down. Oh boy going down was a lot easier, especially once we got past the slippery ice/snow. We even did a little bit of running! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hahaha so we got down A LOT faster than it took us to get up. The downhill was much more enjoyable.

    img_0949-1

    So we hung out at near the trail head for a little bit. Mostly just looking at wildflowers. But my dad actually found a pair of Lululemon leggings crumpled up in the weeds. Why the heck you’d get rid of a pair of expensive leggings like that I’ll never know, but we took them and I’m pretty sure they’ll fit me. So yeah, hiked up to Hanging Lake and obtained a pair of fancy Lululemon leggings. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    After we were done I was STARVING! So we went to s little restaurant in Glenwood Springs and got cheeseburgers. Holy cow! That was the best burger and fries I’ve ever had. Probably because I was so hungry. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    After we ate we drove about another hour to one of my dad’s driver’s houses. He invited us to stay there the night before our race so we didn’t have to stay at a motel. He was really nice as well as his whole family. We went out to ANOTHER restaurant to eat again ๐Ÿ˜‚, and then my dad and I showered and went to bed once we got back to their house. We had a another 5 am wake up for Sunday before our race.

    I’ll recap the race tomorrow probably. But for now, that’s it! We had lots and lots of fun on Saturday! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    I hope everyone had a great weekend as well!

    ~Ashley

    The Stanley Hotel and Rocky Mountain National Park

    My dad and I had us some adventures yesterday!!

    But first and foremost, after making it through a blizzard the day before, we were blessed with an absolute gorgeous morning here in Longmont Colorado!

    My Thursday actually started with me getting woken up by one whiny and pathetic Russian bear dog. He wanted to go outside to go potty. But he also wanted to play in the snow because it’s like, his most favorite thing ever! But the problem with that is after a while he’ll just lay down in the snow and refuse to move. And trust me it hard to get a stubborn, 146 pound dog to move. ๐Ÿ™„ Hahaha that being said, we still had a nice little walk on Thursday morning.

    Mr. whiny pants, Niko begging to be taken outside right after we had gotten back in. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    So after Niko had gotten walked 3 times, first by me, then by my dad, and finally by my brother, we began to make plans for the day. My dad basically runs several FedEx terminals and drives semi trucks (even though he’s not really supposed to because he’s supposed to be running the whole operation, but they currently don’t have enough drivers) and he had several things for my brother to do on Thursday. After giving him all of his assignments and sending him on his way, we decided we were going to drive to Estes Park and go check out the Stanley Hotel!

    So no one I know personally has ever actually stayed at the Stanley Hotel before (although I’d totally like to one day!) I’ve actually been there a few times!

    You see, the Stanley Hotel was Stephen King’s inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. And Stephen King has been my all time favorite author since I was in 7th grade. So I just think it’s super duper cool to go there and look around outside a little bit. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    This time around my dad has me bring my copy of The Shining and we got some pretty neat pictures!

    I got my butt very wet sitting on those steps. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    So yeah, that was fun! After that we decided we might as well go mess around in the Rocky Mountain State Park while we were there. By first my dad took me to a discount outdoors wear store because I was not prepared for winter. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I came to Colorado ready for spring, but boy was I wrong! Up until then I had been borrowing one of my brother’s coats (hence the camo. Hahaha that’s not really my thing) and wearing on thoroughly soaked pair of retired running shoes. So I got me a pair of discounted, waterproof hiking boot and a super nice North Face coat for over 50% off. Both of these are men’s items because in weird and prefer men’s coats/hoodies and the selection of women’s hiking boots was kinda sad. But either way, after that I was actually prepared to spend some time in Rocky Mountain National Park.

    I have been into Rocky Mountain National Park before, but not very far. So this was a super fun experience! We didn’t really hike that much because it was cold, we were ill prepared, and my dad had to work that night, but we drove around for a while and would get out and walk around some cool places.

    First we stopped at Sheep Lakes, which ironically enough, my dad (who’s been there often) has never seen any sheep there. And today was no exception. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Then we drove around for a while, admiring how pretty everything looked covered in snow. We saw lots of mule deer and elk, and of course we had to stop to observe them and take pictures! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    This guy got super close to the van when we stopped on the side of the road. That was neat!

    Then my dad decided he wanted to go to Bear Lake because he had only been there once and obviously I had never been there before, so we continued on with our journey through the park.

    We stopped a few more times on our way there because everything looked super pretty covered in snow, so it was kinda hard not to. ๐Ÿ˜‚ But by the time we finally made it it was actually kinda snowing and the wind was blowing super hard! We hiked a short ways from the parking lot to the lake itself which was kinda interesting because the snow drifts were pretty high! It was a lot of fun though!

    Bear Lake was frozen, covered in snow, and absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. Unfortunately pictures will never be able to do it justice. The wind was cold and blowing snow directly into our faces which was painful. But the way it was swirling in the air was beautiful.

    We didn’t stay there long. Like I said, the snow pelting our faces was painful. ๐Ÿ˜‚ But we both think we need to come back in the summer and actually hike around Bear Lake when we’re actually prepared for it.

    After our short adventure at Bear Lake we started making our way out of the park. But of course we ended up stopping a few more times. Hahaha I sure put my new hiking boots to good use today! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    After we finally made our way out of Estes Park and back home my dad heated up the Keto version of broccoli and cheddar soup that he had made the day before. At that point it was the best thing I had ever eaten. Probably because I didn’t really eat much before that. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    And that was the end of our adventuring on Thursday. We were both really tired after we ate so I showered and then we both ended up taking naps. ๐Ÿ˜‚ But obviously my dad needed to since he had to work that night.

    So since my dad is doing the whole Keto thing there are NO carbs aside from some veggies in his apartment, and that’s super boring. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I knew he had been doing the Keto thing though, so I had brought a whole big thing of Cheerios with me. Still not super fun, but I NEED my carbs man, and I’ll take them were I can get them. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    But once my brother got back from everything he had to do today he order us a bunch of carb-y deliciousness. He’s not into Keto either, but neither of us felt like going to the store. So we had the carbs brought to us. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I swear after like, a day of eating very few carbs, this personal pizza was the best thing I’ve ever eaten! ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ• Hahaha I paced myself though and only ate half of it and saved the other half for today. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Anyway, that just about covers Thursday! I don’t think we’re going to be doing anything as exciting today, but tomorrow my dad and I are driving to Fruita, CO for our race on Sunday! We’re going to be staying at one of his driver’s houses that night (which was super cool of him to let us stay with them!), and we might do some hiking while we’re there. The day before our race. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Probably not the best idea, but we aren’t going for any world records at this trail race anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    But alrighty! That’s all for now!

    Happy Friday!

    ~Ashley ๐Ÿ—ป๐ŸŒฒโ„๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Hello Again, Colorado!

    It’s race week!!

    Destination race week really! I’ve never done a destination race or “racecation” before so I’m pretty excited!

    Anyway, my brother had some stuff to do in Illinois which worked out pretty well for me! Yesterday he drove from Illinois to my house in Kansas and then stayed the night. Then this morning I did all of my usual chores, especially the ones pertaining to the animals ๐Ÿ˜‰, then we packed up his work van and hit the road to Colorado!

    This isnโ€™t even everything I packed. Hahaha I kinda brought an excessive amount of stuff with me. But at least Iโ€™m prepared for pretty much any situation! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Our drive was mostly uneventful. We didn’t stop anywhere outside of a few rest areas and gas stations so we made pretty decent time at first. Hahaha every time my dad and I make the trip either to Colorado from Kansas or to Kansas to Colorado we end up stopping several places so we end up taking a lot longer. Our record is 16 hours for what should be around a 10 hour drive. ๐Ÿ˜‚ My brother an I would have made it in 10 hours if it wasn’t for the blizzard.

    The super scenic views of western Kansas. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Really though it’s a good thing that we didn’t do much dicking around. Several people warned us that we were in for some bad weather and they were right! The farther west we got the colder it got, and not too long after crossing the Kansas/Colorado state line it started raining and snowing off and on.

    Hahaha of course we had to stop at Coloradoโ€™s welcome sign. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    My sister who lives in Colorado Springs warned us that the Denver area was expecting a pretty bad blizzard. She told us that all of the flights out of the Denver airport were canceled. My dad basically runs several FedEx terminals and he told us that they probably weren’t going to have drivers out running tonight either. So yeah, they were expecting it to get pretty bad. And of course I kept getting alerts for it on my phone. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    For a while there was actually a decent amount of snow on the ground! And it was blowing around so sometimes everything was just super white. It was kinda crazy, but honestly not too terrible. But the farther we went the more snow that was on the ground.

    It did really start snowing about an hour out from our destination. Things got a little bit iffy at that point. It was just s snowy, icy, slushy mess. It was pretty gross for a while, but eventually it did get a little bit better.

    We made it though! And my dad had a bunch of food waiting for us. ๐Ÿ˜„

    Hahaha so the most fun part of this trip is watching the altimeter on my Garmin steadily go up. It’s super amusing. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Hahaha but anyway, we made it. My dads dog Niko was super duper excited to see me, and now I’m just hanging out with my dad.

    Happy Wednesday!

    ~Ashley