Tag Archives: fall fun

Yet Another Trip To Illinois

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

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

It was so perfect and I loved it!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alrighty, that’s all for today!

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

Happy Friday!!

~Ashley

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Thursday Things

Buckle in my friends, I have quite a bit of stuff to talk about today! Mostly involving fun fall stuff, but some running stuff too! πŸ˜‰ Including a fantastic #throwbackthursday photo from the start of the Longview Half last year. So, let’s get started!

Processed with Rookie Cam

I don’t think Luke really understands why I love this season, or really just the last few months of the year, so much. And honestly sometimes I’m not sure either. Well, aside from the fact that the best holidays happen in October, November, and December, my birthday is in November, the weather is fantastic, and everything just feels all warm and cozy and festive. So never mind, I’m totally sure! πŸ˜‰ But he’s a wonderful husband and is always making sure I get to experience all of the fun fall/winter related activities! Even if they seem ridiculously small and almost meaningless. Like baking pre-cut, Halloween sugar cookies (for real though, I think we can all admit that these are some of the best cookies ever!).

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So yeah, I’m not sure that he gets it. But he’ll still randomly show up after he gets home from work with things like this, and it makes me so ridiculously happy. It really is the little things in life you guys. πŸ™‚ Haha he also knows me incredibly well! While I was making them he asked how many raw cookies I ate. πŸ˜‚ The answer was 4. But come on, cookie dough is delicious and has anyone actually ever gotten salmonella from cookie dough anyway. πŸ˜‰

He also lets me decorate ALL OF THE THINGS!! Haha inside and outside! Although this is the first year we’ve actually had inside Halloween decorations. He even helps me pick out new ones and put them up! Haha but I’m not allowed on ladders (worlds biggest klutzs here!), so he kinda has to. πŸ˜‰ Anyway, so far our yard is looking pretty spooky! We’ve got a nice little graveyard set up (pictured below), spooky spider webs all over our trees, and several bats hanging around. We had ghosts hung up too, but the wind blew them down haha. We’re gonna fix that though. And Luke wants to figure out a better way to set up our lights. His mom sent us some really cool ones, but our house has no outdoor outlets, so setting up lights is always a pain in the ass. Good thing Luke’s got a degree in electrical design. πŸ˜‰

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He also tolerates me sending him ALL of the Halloween memes and our neighbor’s Halloween decorations. And by the way, some of my neighbors are totally KILLING it with their decorations! I love it! I also love that I’m not the only one who likes to go all out for Halloween. πŸ™‚ So far these are a few of my favorite houses. Haha actually, I talk to the guy who lives in the red/white house all of the time. He’s a really cool guy! He has two black labs that are always excited to see me and he always goes all out with Halloween and Christmas decorations. Obviously his blowups aren’t currently inflated, but they’re still really neat!

So yeah, I’m currently having ALL of the fall fun and my husband is THE BEST! πŸ‚πŸŽƒπŸ–€

Okey dokey then, lets talk about running stuff!

So, today’s run should have been fantastic! The weather was great, the leaves in my neighborhood are starting to change, everyone is starting to put up their Halloween decorations (haha the two photos above are actually from my run this morning), and I felt pretty great! Well, except for my right shin actually.

I am what most people would refer to as an β€œinjury prone runner”. A lot of that actually has to do with my klutzy-ness, but I also have notoriously weak hips. Which has caused me problems with my IT bands and shins. I’ve also had plantar facial issues, but that was from running in a pair of shoes that were waaay too supportive for my very high arches in my feet. πŸ™ƒ

Anyway, I was just beginning to think I might make it through this training cycle unscathed. I’ve been working on my hips and doing a pretty good job of keeping up with my recovery activities, but this morning my right shin/knee was feeling kind of off this morning… That’s actually super weird because it’s usually my left leg that’s the problem, but whatever. πŸ˜‚ So at first my stubborn ass thought I was just going to run through it and finish my 5 mile run as planned. I have a ridiculously high pain tolerance, so that was something I could have easily done. But the more I thought about it the more I realized I needed to stop. I’m obviously going to be better off taking care of what’s hopefully just a niggle and not a full blown injury before it gets any worse. I’m actually really good at being a lot more hurt than I think I am because of my crazy pain tolerance. So yeah, I made it 2.5 miles before I decided that those last 2.5 miles weren’t going to be worth it. πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Honestly though, I think whatever it is that I’ve done to myself happened on the treadmill yesterday. I legit can’t run properly on a treadmill. I thought that maybe I was starting to figure it out, but apparently not. I’m beginning to think treadmill running is actually a hazard to my health.

Processed with Rookie Cam

So I’ve spent the rest of the day resting my leg. I’m wearing my compression gear and did a bunch of stretching and foam rolling this afternoon. And I plan on taking tomorrow off too. I’m hoping that if I rest it and give it a little extra TLC that it will feel good enough to do my long run on Saturday. Possibly Sunday if it’s still feeling off on Saturday. But anyway, hopefully it’s just a little niggle from running weird on the treadmill.

Moving on, I’m super duper excited to announce that I get to be a part of the Honey Stinger Hive for the 3rd year in a row! πŸπŸ―πŸ’œ

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I’m sure by now a lot of you know that Honey Stinger waffles are my go-to running fuel! They’ve gotten me through 3 half marathons and most of my training! Along with their chews and new cracker and nut butter bars. Those things are amazing!

Of course I love the product, but what I really love is the community that Honey Stinger has created. Some of us are runners, cyclists, swimmers, hikers, surfers, snowboarders, golfers, the list goes on and on and on! But no matter how fast or slow, what sport or activity you participate in, what walk of life you’re in, whether you’re a stay at home mom, 9-5er, or a professional adventurer, you’re a complete beginner or are going pro, everyone is here for each other. Always positive. Always supportive. No one gets left out. And I just think that’s the bee’s knees. (See what I did there. πŸπŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚). So I’m very stoked that I have the privilege of representing this brand for another year. πŸ™‚

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Alrighty, as promised, the fantastic #throwbackthursday photo from last year…

Have you ever looked back through old race photos and thought to yourself “wow, I’m super photogenic!” Yeah, me neither. In all fairness though, getting your headphone placement just right is super important. Especially at the start of a race.

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I couldn’t remember if I’ve actually shared this photo on here or not, but I figure it’s too good not to. Haha I find candid race photos to be very amusing. And why not? It’s hard to look good for a camera when you’re focused on the task ahead. It makes for fun photos to look back on. At least I think so. πŸ˜‰

Whew! Alright! I’m pretty sure that covers everything for today!

I hope you have a great Thursday and the MOST fantastic fall!

~Ashley πŸŽƒπŸ–€

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Thursday Things

Happy Thursday everyone, and welcome to another edition of me rambling on about things that are going on in my life! πŸ˜‰

Okey dokey, this Thursday has been quite eventful! So let’s just start with the very first thing that I experienced today and the one thing that is a slight bummer; my big, Brahma chicken Jethro is definitely a male. I’ve been kinda suspicious about it for a while, but he started crowing today and that pretty much confirms what I basically already knew… And the reason that’s a bummer is that he wasn’t supposed to be male. The hatchery we got them from sexes them, but obviously accidents happen and we just got unlucky. So unfortunately Jethro might have to die. We just can’t have a rooster. Roosters tend to be kind of loud. Plus we don’t want any fertilized eggs. Obviously we’d gather them everyday, so the likely hood of ending up with chicks would be super small.Β  But still…So yeah, bummer.

Haha but go figure the most friendly and social chicken is a male. Usually roosters are giant assholes. They can get crazy aggressive and will attack people. A lot of my dad’s roosters did. Have you ever been stabbed by the little spur things some breeds of roosters get on the back of their legs? Because I have and it’s not pleasant. πŸ˜‚ But Jethro is a different breed than those chickens were, so that might be why he’s not so aggressive. Plus he’s still pretty young so that could be it too.

So all morning I’ve been texting my dad and husband about what the best course of action would be. Luke seems to be a bit on the fence about it, but my dad and I think butchering him and having him for dinner is the best course of action. Especially since he is still young, so his meat will be nice and tender. The only problem is that can get really messy and we have neighborhood children to consider. Back when we lived on a farm we would just chop their heads off. I suppose that’s a bit graphic, but it’s effective. So I’ve looked into ways that involve less mess and I’ve found one that I like. But for now, Jethro’s fate is still undecided.

Since I was dealing with that this morning I ended up getting out a little later for my run. Not a big deal though, because the weather has been crazy nice! We literally just switched from summer to fall over the course of a few days and it’s been fantastic!!! The last couple of years we’ve had super warm falls and the weather would kind of switch back and forth from being cold to warm, but always staying more to the warmer side, but so far that hasn’t happened yet! I’m really hoping for a cold fall and winter! It feels like FOREVER since we’ve had them or a decent amount of snow.

Anyway, I’ve definitely been enjoying the nice weather! The only problem is that I get a little bit too excited and then end up going to hard. And that’s what I did today. πŸ˜‚ The plan was to do 3 easy miles to loosen up my sore legs, but that didn’t happen! I mean, the 3 miles did, but not the easy part. It was fun though. 😊

Once I got back from my run I had a huge ass box waiting for me on my front porch! Earlier this week my mother-in-law was going through all of her Halloween stuff because she’s trying to down size, so she sent me a bunch of it! She sent me some super cool stuff and I’m very stoked, so of course I had to start decorating today. πŸŽƒπŸ¦‡πŸπŸ–€

I started inside the house. This is actually the first year we’ve had indoor Halloween decor so that pretty freaking sweet!

Once Luke got home we moved onto the front yard. He set up a little cemetery with skeleton flamingos and I hung up all of the fake spiders/spider webs. We haven’t hung up the ghosts, bats, or lights yet though. Luke wants to pick up a few more things and then we’re gonna finish decorating the yard tomorrow. I’m pretty excited with how everything is looking and I’m definitely looking forward to getting a few new spooky things!!

Luke’s mom also sent him a super spiffy Michael Myers mask. How sweet is that?! We want to build a scarecrow, get a mannequin head thing, put the mask on it and then use it for the head. How cool would that be?!

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While we were out decorating we had Lily and Dean hanging out in the front yard with us. Finn is still too young and excitable to have that privilege, but he’ll get there before too long. πŸ™‚ I very much enjoy the fact that we’ve taken the time to train them and can now trust them to hang out in the front yard like this. A lot of people around here don’t and just let their dogs run around in the street or chase people and it’s super annoying. I get chased by dogs while I’m running all of the time and it’s no fun. But this is an example of a proper way to do it. My dogs are trained to stay in the yard. They don’t chase after people, cars, or other dogs. They can sit, stay, down, and come immediately. And the one who could potentially be a problem is kept inside or in the fenced in backyard. It’s not that difficult and I can’t even begin to fathom why the loose dog problem in my neighborhood is so freaking bad…but oh well. It’s not my dogs that are an issue.

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Alrighty, I guess that’s all for today! Tomorrow is a rest day for me, which is good because we’ve got errands to run and then more decorating to do! And then on Saturday I’ve got a 13 mile long run on the scheduled. That should be fun!

But for now, happy Friday eve!

~Ashley πŸŽƒπŸ–€

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Rest Day, Pumpkin Bread, And Jack O Lanterns!

Never miss a Monday? Ha! Screw that!

 


My Garmin data is telling me that I need another rest day. But more importantly, my body is telling me that I shouldn’t run today. I’m just really tired and I feel like I might have a cold coming on. I’m hoping another day off and some more rest will make that feeling go away though. The last thing I need right now is a cold. My half marathon is in 19 days so we’re getting really really close and I don’t need any more obstacles to overcome at this point. Even one as small as a cold hahaha.

But anyways, I think the whole “never miss a Monday”, “no off day’s”, and things like that that you see all over the internet on “motivational” photos is a very unhealthy mindset to find yourself in. You be go go go all the time. You just can’t. You need to take days off from running and working out. You’re muscles need to rest, your body needs to recover, and you can’t do that if you’re always running, always going, and never taking the time to allow your body to rest. Rest is essential!! 

And I’m not just saying that to make myself feel better haha. I really truly believe that, and I really truly believe that a lot of people fall into the trap of “no days off” and I don’t think that typically ends well for most people.

So yeah, there’s my little soapbox speech for today. πŸ˜‰

Instead of running I did some baking this morning! I somehow made it to the end of October without really making anything pumpkin related. *Gasp* That’s absolutely insane haha. I mean, I’ve made some french toast with some pumpkin, but that hardly counts. πŸ˜‰ So I made some pumpkin bread today. I. LOVE. PUMPKIN BREAD!!! Ugh its sooooo good!! Probably not the best thing in the world for you…I did make a few healthier swaps with this loaf though. Instead of using sugar I used honey, and instead of vegetable or canola oil I used coconut oil, so at least there’s that! There’s still a shit ton of calories in a single slice hahaha. Totally worth it thought! At least I sure thing so.

So my bread ended up being pretty good! Not as good as it could have been though. I think maybe it could have used a bit more spice and a little more honey. Other than that it was still quite yummy! And maybe once I feel I’ve perfected the recipe I’ll share it here! πŸ˜‹

Anyways, after Luke came home we carved three of our pumpkins yay!! Hahaha of course I went with the usual jack o lantern face and I attempted a moon and stars. The moon looks fine but the stars are kinda weird. Oh well, it’s still neat. πŸ™‚ As I type this Luke’s still working on his first pumpkin. He’s trying to do the anti possession thing from Supernatural and so far it’s looking good, but he’s got a loooong way to go. Maybe I’ll get to post a picture of that one tomorrow but for now I need to clean up pumpkin guts. 😝


Happy Monday!!
~Ashley