Tag Archives: everyday life

Race Recaps Coming Soon!!

Holy cow you guys! Race weekend has officially come and gone!

My dad and brother drove in from Colorado so my dad and I could tackle two half marathons in two days this weekend. It was an all around blast but it also went by super duper fast!! So I’m still trying to wrap my head around everything that went down. πŸ˜‚

Oh and you know, attempting to recover from both races. My legs are DEAD. There’s just only so much an ice bath and foam rolling can do for very beat up legs. πŸ˜‚

But anyway, I’m am slowly starting to unpack everything that happened this weekend and I hope to have full race recaps up later in the week!! But for now, I’m just gonna sit around and zone out for a little bit. Right now even leaving my couch seems like a lot of work. πŸ˜‚

So for now, happy Sunday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend!!

~Ashley 😴

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An Update

It’s race week!!!

On Saturday my dad and I will be running the Longview Half in Grandview, Mo and then in Sunday we’ll be tackling the Gobbler Grind Half in Overland Park, KS!!

I am completely and overwhelming underprepared…πŸ˜‚

For the past 6 weeks I was hardly able to do any running let alone any actual training. My new job was absolutely beating the hell out of me and I got to the point where I wasn’t healing or recovering at all. My body was bruised and beaten down and every week just seemed to add more fatigue on top of it all. I was really hoping that I would end up adjusting to it all, but things just got progressively worse and worse and never really improved.

Cuts, scrapes, and bruises that just never seemed to go away.

At this point my wrist and hands have been red, swollen, and painful for weeks now. My hands and wrists are small, delicate, and have always been the weakest point of my body. And having to rip apart cat litter boxes ever 15 minutes just completely did them in. They even got to the point that they would throb with every step that I take when I’m running.

Instead of adjusting to the work the fatigue just seemed to pile up week after week. I literally couldn’t function when I would get home from my 12 hour shifts and on my days off I could barely get anything done. I tried to keep up with running, but mostly I just ended up cutting every run super short. Oh and my hair started falling out in clumps, so that’s cool.

Plus all of the dust in that place was just killing my asthmatic lungs. Your cat litter might say that it’s “low dust” but I can assure you that it’s not… Oh and we can’t forget this gem!

I know I probably sound like a whiny, ungrateful bitch right now but this was my reality for the past 6 weeks.

But last night I broke down and I quit my job at the cat litter factory. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I feel like I had to do it for my own physical and mental well being.

Honestly I don’t like having to admit that o couldn’t handle it. I’m not proud of how badly this job beat me down. I really did want it to work out. It was the best paying job that o could ever get, being uneducated and unskilled as I am. But the reality is that I just couldn’t handle it.

Plus on top of all of the physical stuff the blatant sexism and…I’m not sure what to call the “compliments” were really starting to get to me. I think it’s a little obvious that it’s mostly men who work jobs like this so it was mostly men that I worked with. The amount of times I got called a “pretty girl” was irritating, but what really pissed me off we’re comments like “you can’t stand around and look pretty all day when you work here” and “you can’t be pretty AND run the line at the same time”. Those were real, actual things that were said to me! They were meant to be jokes, I guess, but they sure didn’t feel that way. Ugh.

And yesterday a woman who works there who kind of took me under her wing told me the best thing I could do was keep my head down, do my job, and be careful what I say and who I say it to because the men there really do treat women differently. I really do appreciate her looking out for me, but hearing that was just a huge bummer on top of everything else…

So there you have it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ I’m still looking for another job and hopefully I’ll end up working again soon, but at this point I’m just glad that I never have to step foot in that place again.

Anyway, back to race week stuff!!

So I’m hoping that I can get enough rest and recover enough that these half marathons don’t go too poorly. Although at this point I’ve accepted that they’re going to be very painful and we’re definitely going to be the party in the back for both half’s. Hahaha but at least my dad will be right there with me for them both, so I won’t be suffering alone! He’s been going through some shit as well and he hasn’t done any training either. πŸ˜‚ Oh well, we always have a lot of fun together, no matter what we’re doing. Like running a 10k in the mountains that I also was not prepared for. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Aaand to top it all off, I’m a little bit ill. Cool! πŸ™ƒ But I don’t feel as bad as I usually do when I’m sick so I’m hoping that continues to be the case! Or that I just start feeling better by this weekend! I’ve been chugging water with Nuun immunity tablets in it though and I like to think that’s helping! Even if it is just a placebo effect (which I don’t think it is. At least not entirely). My shitty immune system needs all of the help it can get, so hopefully between the Nuun, the no longer working at the cat litter factory, and all of the rest I plan on doing over the next few days help me get over this thing quickly!

Anyway, today I’ve been resting and relaxing and doing some light house work. Just trying to slowly catch up on all of the things that have fallen to the wayside over the past 6 weeks, ya dig? It was a good day, but my favorite part was not having to wake up at 4 am and getting to sleep in until 8, and then waking up to Finn laying on my feet and Dean cuddled up to my back. I think the dogs have missed me as much as I’ve missed spending time with them. They’re the best.

Alrighty, that’s all for today! But I can promise you I’ll be keeping this blog more up to date now that I’m not killing my self slowly by working at the Clorox plant anymore.

I hope everyone had a great Halloween and has a fantastic November!!

~Ashley

How To Make An Ice Bath Suck Less

Ah ice baths. They can be an absolutely miserable experience, especially as you take the first steps to immerse yourself into a bathtub full of literally ice cold water. πŸ₯Ά

I’m a big believer in ice baths though, no matter how terrible they might sound or even feel in the moment. As far as I’m concerned they’re one of the best ways to sooth sore muscles and aid in recovery.

I’m not going to get into the science of the ice bath today. Every recovery method has plenty of research that suggests reasons why it may or may not work. I think all of that really comes down to the person and their personal preferences and experiences and in my experience ice baths are always a good idea. πŸ˜‰

I’ll be the first to tell you that ice baths can absolutely suck though. Especially first getting into one. That is always an awful experience. πŸ˜‚ But today I’m going to share some tips with you that can help make your next ice bath suck a little less.

Have Someone Else Add The Ice After You Get Into The Bath

The thought of stepping into a bath tube full of cold water and ice cubes sounds pretty awful, right? I sure think so!

One way to kind of work around that though is to have someone else dump the ice in after you. If you’re lucky enough to have someone who is willing to do that for you it can make the first step of the ice bath, actually getting in, a lot easier.

Actually executing this is super simple. First full up your bathtub to maybe 1/3 of the way full of cold water and then sit down in it. Then have your volunteer pour in the ice after you get situated. Easy peasy!

This is definitely my preferred way of getting into an ice bath! Trying to sit down into a tube full of ice water is not a great experience. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Winchester is very confused as to why I subject myself to this.πŸ˜‚

Wear A Warm Hoodie And Hat

Just because you’re icing your legs doesn’t mean the rest of you has to be cold! I find ice baths to be much more tolerable when I’m wearing something that keeps my ears and torso warm.

Be warned though that more likely than not your hoodie will get sopping wet. Along with whatever else you end up wearing in the bath. So plan accordingly. Usually I just strip out of my wet gear and throw it all into a towel and then clean up whatever water ends up on the floor. Because water always ends up on the floor. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Bring A Warm Beverage (Or Meal, I Don’t Judge) With You

Do not underestimate how comforting drinking (or eating) something warm can be while you’re sitting in a bathtub full of ice. I often bring coffee, hot chocolate, tea, or occasionally mac and cheese with me. The mac and cheese was a fantastic idea and I will be doing it again. πŸ˜‚

Have Something With You To Pass The Time

Trust me, just sitting there waiting for your timer to go off is going to make your ice bath feel like it’s dragging on forever. Been there, done that. πŸ™ƒ

I’ve brought books into the tub with me before, but lately I’m all about true crime podcasts, so I’ve been listening to those while I take my ice baths. It really does help to have something to pass the time!!

And that’s pretty much it! Easy enough, right? πŸ˜‰

Lately my recovery game hasn’t been great even though I needed it now more than ever. Between my very physically demanding job and attempting to keep running after my long ass shifts I’m just not recovering well. Honestly I’m still just trying to figure out how to balance all of this stuff into my life and it’s definitely still a learning process for me.

Running hasn’t been going well. Not going to lie. I’m just too beat down and worn out from work. So I’m trying to up my recovery game again! For the last week or so I’ve been focusing on adding more protein into my diet and yesterday I took an ice bath and spent a decent amount of time with my legs propped up hole wearing compression socks. Yay for baby steps!!

Alrighty, that’s all for today!

Happy Monday/Halloween Week!

~AshleyπŸ–€πŸŽƒ

Sunday Funday

Well we’ve done it! Another week done and dusted!!

I’d be lying if I said I was looking forward to the upcoming week, but I am trying to stay positive about it! This week is only a 3 day week. That means I’ll only have to spend something close to 36 hours at the Clorox plant. A place I don’t exactly enjoy being.

Last week I somehow managed to really bruise my arm while working there. I honestly have no clue how I accomplished this. I never really felt anything that could have done it, but obviously something happened. I went into work without a bruise and I left that evening with one hell of a mark on my left forearm!

Yeah, it’s pretty bad right?!? But I literally didn’t notice it until I was walking into the office to sign out for the day (I was wearing long sleeves so I never saw it). I’ve gotten all sorts of bruises working here but I never really thought anything of them because they were just small things. But this one I had to report. Luckily my shift lead was really nice about it and asked me several times through my shift the next day if I was alright. And I was! My arm was just a little bit sore. πŸ˜‚

It looked worse on the second day! Haha but luckily now it’s mostly healed and you can just faintly see it.

So yeah. Hopefully I make it through this week unscathed! 🀣 I’ve still been frantically applying to other jobs though. This right here is a fantastic example of why I don’t want to work at this plant any longer than I have to. I’m literally getting beat up and I hate it…

And my getting beat up at work is not helping my running. Like, at all. I’m just tired and worn down all of the time. I ran a grand total of 10 miles this week. Yikes. Yesterday I set out to do a 10-12 mile long run but I only made it 3 miles. That’s literally all I had in me. That’s not boding well for my upcoming half marathons. Honestly I have no clue how I’m going to get through them at this point. But I guess I’m going to try.

In other news, I recently bought a collagen supplement to try out!

I’ve been wanting to try out a collagen supplement for a while now. Mostly because it’s a good way to get more protein into my diet but also because it’s great for muscles, bones, and tendons. It’s also great for your nails and hair which is just an added bonus really. My hair is pretty thick and healthy and it grows pretty fast on its own, but my nails are pathetic. They’re super thin and brittle, and I can’t get them to grow at all because they’re constantly breaking. Hahaha so I’m hoping that the collagen not only helps aid my body in recovering from my runs and now my physically demanding job, but maybe my nails will look a little bit better too. πŸ˜‚

Anyway, I’ve heard lots of good things about Vital Proteins so that’s what I went with! I got the flavorless collagen peptides powder that I haven’t tried yet but I’m super excited about! Flavorless means I can put it in pretty much anything which is great because then there is literally no reason for me not to consume it. I also got 3 bottles of collagen water because I was super intrigued by the idea. So far I have tried 2 of those. πŸ˜‰

I really like them! I would definitely say that the collagen is pretty much tasteless! Or at the very least it doesn’t have any weird texture or aftertaste that a lot of supplements (and especially protein powders) can get. As far as flavors go the Blackberry Hibiscus was ok, but I REALLY liked the Lemon Ginger! But I’ve always been partial to anything ginger flavored. πŸ˜‰

Like I said I haven’t actually tried the collagen peptide powder out yet but I’ll get there on Tuesday probably! Tomorrow I plan on drinking my last collagen water, the Strawberry Lemon, and then from there I think I’ll be adding the flavorless collagen powder to my coffee! So I’ll let you know how that turns out and I’ll definitely update you on any changes I see/feel after trying all of this collagen stuff out for a while.

I gotta say though, I’m probably going to end up getting more of the collagen water. It’s pretty darn good! πŸ˜‹

Alrighty! So does anyone else just take a bunch of random stuff, throw it in a pot, and call it soup? Because I do that a lot. πŸ˜‚

Today I sautΓ©ed some onions and butternut squash in some olive oil, added bone broth, water, and split peas to the pot, brought it all to a boil, and then simmered it until the peas were soft. I burnt the onions a little bit, but it still turned out to be pretty darn tasty! Which is good because now I have lunches ready to go for this week! πŸ˜„

The rest of my day was spent doing chores, walking dogs, and getting all of my shit ready and laid out for work tomorrow.

Now I’m be spending my evening the same way I’ve been spending them lately; curled up on the couch with a Stephen King novel (I just bought his new book The Institute last night and I’m excited to start it), with my warm wool socks on and my fall candles lit! It’s an ideal way to end the day. 😊

Happy Sunday everyone! Sending you all positive vibes for the week to come!

~Ashley πŸŽƒπŸ–€

First Sunday Shift, $20 Off Of Oiselle, and Other Randomness

First of all, look at how itty bitty Whiskey was a year ago!!

I mean, she’s still itty bitty now. But she’s always been tiny, apparently. πŸ˜‚ Oh well. She’s healthy and happy and that’s all that matters.

In other dog related news “PuppyPuppy” went to go live with his new owners, my father-in-law, step-mother-in-law, and youngest brother-in-law, last weekend. Apparently he’s adjusting well and they’ve finally settled on a name for him! A name that Luke and I both approve of! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰ They’re calling him “Yadi” after the Cardinals player Yadier Molina and I can definitely get on board with that! They were originally going to call him “Po” after the character in Kung Fu Panda and I’m sure glad that’s not what they settled on. He doesn’t look like a “Po” in my opinion.

Look at those ears!!

Anyway, Yesterday was my first Sunday shift, meaning this is my first 4 days in a row of 12 hour days. I am already exhausted. And bruised. And scraped up. And sore… But 2 days are down two more to go!

I thought about running when I got home tonight. Like, I really considered doing it. But I was just too tired and hungry and wanted to wash all of the cat litter remnants off of me. So that’s what I did. But first I had to get all of my shit ready for tomorrow while making Luke his dinner. While also shoving leftover pizza in my face.

Maybe one day I’ll actually start running in the first half of the week. But we’ll see. Haha just watch though, once I finally get used to all of this and actually feel like I can squeeze in a run or 2 after work, they’re gonna switch me to nights and I’ll have to go through an adjustment period all over again…I’m currently praying that one of the other jobs I’ve applied to hires me. I’m just…yeah. Not great right now.

I’m better news, I caved and finally bought a nice, long sleeved Oiselle top!

I’ve been eyeing the FLYTE long sleeve top for a while now, but $68 is a lot for one top…

But I have been wanting to kind of revamp my running wardrobe for a while now. Most of my gear is pretty old and some of it is getting really worn out. And not gonna lie, I just want some nicer stuff. πŸ˜‚ So I bought this top! I’ve heard lots of good things about it and I adore the Oiselle tights I’ve had for a while now, so I’ve been wanting to get some more Oiselle gear. Plus this color is just…😍😍😍

Hahaha it still took me like 30 minutes to actually buy the damn thing! I kept going back and forth with myself, but I’m glad I did finally buy it. πŸ˜‚

After I made my purchase Oiselle gave me a code for $20 to share with friends. So if you’ve been wanting to make a Oiselle purchase now might be the time! That shit is expensive! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰

Save $20 on your next Oiselle order.

Plus if you do use the link above I’ll also get $20 off of my next order and I already know what I’m going to get! Lighting bolt tights!!! ⚑️⚑️⚑️

Anyway, I guess that’s all for today.

The lemon grass scented cat litter that we’re currently running gives me a horrible headache so I can’t think of anything else I wanted to mention today, but I know there was something else. πŸ˜‚ Plus I need to be in bed in an hour anyway.

It’s only Monday and I’m already so over this week…

~Ashley

Work, Running, And A Trip To The Dentist

Not gonna lie. I want to do more complaining. I’m going to try to keep that to a minimum today. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰

For real though I’m just feeling so burnt out. Monday-Wednesday for the past two weeks have looked a little something like this for me;

  • Wake up at 4 am.
  • Eat, get dressed, go to work.
  • Do cat litter related stuff for 12 hours.
  • Get home at 5pm.
  • Make dinner and then breakfasts/lunches for my husband and myself for the next day.
  • Shower.
  • Maybe do a few chores around the house.
  • Read.
  • Go to bed at 8pm.
  • Rinse and repeat.

Hahaha this is what my hair looks like after spending over 12 hours in a messy bun. πŸ˜‚

It’s been a hard adjustment so far. And I’m really not looking forward to this Sunday. I’m working that day which means I’ll be working 4 days in a row. Then eventually mandatory overtime is going to kick in.

I already feel like I have no life. At least on the days that I work. And it sure doesn’t help hearing everyone at the plant talking about how they don’t have time to do anything because they’re always working. Like, I’m already having trouble trying to run and keep up with everything else in my life. I’m not sure how I’ll be able to get anything done when I’m having to work more…

That on top of how bruised and beat up my body is. I don’t know man. Maybe the kind of money you make at this plant is worth all of that to some people, but honestly I think I’d rather be able to actually participate in life and have a body that’s not so beat up. But at this point I don’t have many options. I wish I did though.

Whew, anyway. I miss running. I haven’t been able to do much of it lately. I just haven’t been able to squeeze it in between this new job, my brother-in-law’s wedding last weekend and all of the shenanigans that went into that.

But since I didn’t have to work today, which means I didn’t have to worry about getting to bed early so that I could get up early, I was able to swap out my work boots for my running shoes and I got 3 miles in!! πŸ˜„

I think this run might make it onto my top 10 list of greatest runs. Every step hurt because my quads are on fire from the ridiculous amount of squatting down I did at work yesterday (it’s a long story. πŸ˜‰), and I felt like I was going to puke the entire time because I scarfed down a large bowl of spaghetti minutes before I hit the road. But I was running. And really that’s all that matters. I’ll take whatever amount of running I can get at this point though. No matter how short or painful it might be.

Anyway, not having to wake up at 4 am this morning was literally the best feeling ever! I slept in until 8, actually made myself a hog breakfast, and sat around and enjoyed my coffee. It was magical. πŸ˜‰

Later this morning I had to go to the dentist and get some fillings. 6 to be exact. That was less magical. πŸ˜‚

If you’ve been following me for a while then you know getting my shitty teeth fixed has been quite a process for me. I went 10 years without seeing a dentist because I just couldn’t afford it (how fucked is that? The US health care system is absolutely terrible…). Even though I knew my teeth needed work and that waiting meant that they would require even more work. And it’s not like I didn’t take care of them. I actually did and still do! But my mom and dad both have trouble with their teeth and apparently they passed that along to me.

But now, 3 years, 3 root canals, later I’m slowly but surely getting things taken care of! πŸ˜„ I’ve still got more work that needs done on them but after today I don’t have enough insurance to cover any of it. But luckily we’re pretty close to the end of the year so I only have to wait a little bit longer until I can get more of my teeth fixed!! 😁

The healthcare system in this country might be fucked but I do really like my dentist. He’s a very kind and compassionate man and he does seem to understand people having to work around all of our insurance stuff. And he does great work! My front teeth look soooo much better now! And now that they’ve got fillings they’re not going to get worse and need root canals or anything like that later on.

Hahaha my face was still very numb when I got home from the dentist but I was hungry, so I ate some soup. That was hard. πŸ˜‚

Ok then, that’s all for today!

Sorry for doing more complaining. I try to keep it real here and that’s how I currently feel so that’s what you get. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, happy Thursday!

~Ashley

It’s Finally Fall!!

Last Wednesday it got up to 85 degrees in the afternoon. So basically the same kinda temperatures we’ve been having for a while here in Kansas. But overnight the temperature dropped like crazy and we woke up to a crisp 52 degrees in the morning!

Haha so one day is was summer and then the next day it was fall. πŸ˜‚ I’m sure not complaining though! Cool weather is my favorite and October-January is pretty much my favorite time of year. 😁

Anyway, the latter half of last week was just a whirlwind of activity! My brother-in-law got married on Saturday so a bunch of our family traveled from out of state to Kansas for that and things were just a little hectic as they sometimes get when you have a bunch of people traveling and visiting for a wedding. All on top of my first “week” of working at the Clorox plant. So needless to say, it was a pretty tiring week!

Thursday night Luke’s dad, step-mom, and his youngest brother stopped by our house to hang out for a little bit and to drop off their dog, Lexi after they drove in from Illinois. They were staying at a hotel and they didn’t want to board her at a kennel so she stayed with us over the weekend.

On Friday morning Luke’s mom, and one of his brothers and sisters got here after a long trip from Minnesota. They actually got here while Luke and his dad were out golfing. πŸ˜‚ So we just hung out at our house for a while until Luke got home. Then we had to head to the rehearsal dinner for the wedding.

After we got through the rehearsal Luke dropped me and his sister off at our house and then him, his two brothers, his dad, and some of their friends took my brother-in-law to Top Golf for his bachelor party. So while they did that Luke’s sister and I painted our nails and introduced each other to the music each of us likes. πŸ˜‚ Around midnight she got tired and went to bed. Not long after that Luke, his brother, and my brother-in-law (I know this gets super confusing with all of his siblings. πŸ˜‚) came to our house to stay the night. My brother-in-law and his fiancΓ©e were doing the thing were you don’t see the bride until the wedding day, so he couldn’t stay at his house. We had a lot of fun though! Quite a bit of alcohol was consumed and we stayed up until almost 4 am. It was like old times waaay back in the day. It was a lot of fun!

Alcohol influenced our music selection. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Saturday morning we all woke up pretty late. Obviously. πŸ˜‚ Not long after we got up Luke’s grandparents dropped by to visit for a little bit. After they left my brother-in-law left to go get ready for his wedding, Luke and I had to drop his brother and sister off at the house where his mom, aunt, and grandma were staying, then we drove back home, got ready, then headed to the wedding venue. Several hours later and long story short, my brother-in-law was married and everyone headed upstairs to the reception.

Honestly it was one of the strangest wedding receptions I’ve been to. They did the usual first dance, parents dances, cutting the cake, and then they did a dollar dance, and that was pretty much the only dancing any adults did. The dance floor was quickly taken over by the shit ton of children who were there and most of the adults in my age range ended up hanging out outside for a while. πŸ˜‚ It was pretty fun though!

My brother-in-law and I during the dollar dance. πŸ˜‚

After the reception Luke and I took his brother and sister back to our house and we stayed up until 1:30 am playing board games. It was a good time. πŸ˜„

Yesterday everyone who drove to Kansas stopped by our house to say goodbye and then they headed back to Illinois and Minnesota. Luke’s dad, step-mom, and youngest brother took “PuppyPuppy” home with them. He’s 8 weeks old now and while I think it’s usually best to keep them until they’re 10 weeks old, this case was a little bit different. So he’s at his home now.

We’re are going to miss him a little bit, but honestly Luke and I are mostly relieved that he’s gone. Puppies are a lot of work and we’re both over being woken up by a puppy that wants to play at 3 am every morning. So he’s their problem now. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰

Hahaha alright. That’s a super condensed version of all of this weekend’s shenanigans. But basically the point I wanted to get across was that we had some busy days, late nights, and more alcohol than I usually consume. It was fun though. πŸ˜„

I spent yesterday evening attempting to recover from all of the fun and mentally prepare for the next 3 days of 12 hours a day at the Clorox plant. I like to think I succeeded in that endeavor. I was in bed by 8 pm and waking up at 4 am this morning wasn’t too bad.πŸ˜‰

My workday today was a freaking drag though!!! The plant was having all sorts of issues with a new computer system that they have going on, so our lines went down at 10 am and they never went back up. So from 10 am – 5 pm we had to find other ways to keep ourselves busy. It was horrible. The day felt like it went on FOREVER!

But now I’ve got one down, two more to go! But I have to work Sunday. So that means I’ll be working 4 days in a row. Not looking forward to that…

Not gonna lie, I’ve been applying to some other jobs I’ve seen on job boards. I’ll get paid less at basically any other job, but I just don’t think I’m cut out for factory life. It’s not too terrible now. But once mandatory overtime kicks in and I have to work 5-6 days a week at 12 hours a day. Yeah, I’m not sure my injury prone body can handle that. I’m just now starting to heal up from my first week of working at this plant. But I’m just going to look like this again by the end of the week because I’m sure we’ll actually be working tomorrow and Wednesday.

Battle scars from my first week.

Bleh. I’m already over it…

~Ashley