Tag Archives: fall running

2018 Highlights Of The Year

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

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

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

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

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

January

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

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

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

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

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

February

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

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

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

March

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

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

April

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

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

May

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

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

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

June

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

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

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

July

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

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

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

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

August

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

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

September

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

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

October

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

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

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

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

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

November

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

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

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

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

December

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was a busy Christmas, but a good one.

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

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

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

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

Your happy, nostalgic, slightly sappy, blogger friend,

~Ashley

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November Miles and Goal Check In

After a not-so-successful Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days, one recovery week, one 5k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, and slowly starting to work my way back into a normal running routine, I’m ending November with 57.95 miles! November has had its ups and downs running wise, but overall I’m happy with how I’m ending this month. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜

Alrighty! As for my other goals, well, I kinda took a little break from them! Since Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days was my big goal for November I figured I could use a little break from everything else. Especially since I took about a week off from running and have just been slowly working my way back into a regular running routine. It didn’t really make sense to me to be trying to hit 10,000 steps everyday or trying to journal about everything since I have kinda fallen out of that habit anyway.

But now that a new month is upon us and I’m pretty much back into my usual running routine (but in a much more laud back fashion πŸ˜‰) I’m getting right back into it!

I’ve also been thinking about what my goals for the upcoming year are going to look like. I’ve been thinking about that a lot since all of my racing for the year is done. I’m thinking my goals for 2019 are going to involve a lot of time goals. I didn’t really have any this year and I ended up not PRing my times for anything. That’s not a huge deal considering I’ve still made quite a bit of progress this year, just in a different way. But I sure have missed getting this shiny new PRs so that’s what I’m going to be focusing on! Among a few other things, of course. πŸ˜‰

But that’s another blog post for another day! Wishing you a very merry December!! πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ¦ŒπŸŽ„πŸŽπŸ·πŸͺ❀️

~Ashley

Ward Parkway 5k Turkey Trot Race Recap

Oh man, I wanted to have this race recap up on Friday but Luke and I were quite busy! Lol a good majority of our day was spent installing a new dishwasher. That was a lot more difficult than it should have been thanks to the guy who lived in this house before us and his supposed handyman skills. πŸ™„ Hahaha buy we did eventually get it up and running and I couldn’t be happier! Our old dishwasher broke about two weeks ago and I’ve been having to do our dishes by had, which is my least favorite thing in the world to do. πŸ˜‚

After our dishwasher was installed we went out and did a little bit of Black Friday shopping. Usually we don’t like to go out on Black Friday but Like thought we both deserved presents after the dishwasher debacle. So I got a new Green Day T-shirt (because obviously I need more of those. πŸ˜‚ But hey, it was only $10 because Black Friday), a new necklace, and a new sorts bra that o desperately needed. Luke got Red Dead Redemption 2 and a new hard drive for his PS4. All on sale of course. πŸ˜‰ All though I’m not sure braving all of the crowds and craziness was worth it!

After all of that fun I needed a day to recover. So most of my Saturday was spent doing just that. πŸ˜‚

Anyway, enough about Black Friday. Let’s talk about my very first turkey trot!! πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ¦ƒ

This particular race started at 9 am so I didn’t have to wake up crazy early for it, which was really nice. But Luke and I still got up around 7 am and left our house about a half hour later. I still needed to be there early because I still needed to pick up my race packet. Honestly I hate picking up my packet on race day. I’ve only ever had to to that once before and I hated it haha. But I wasn’t able to go to packet pick up up the day the day before. Anyway, on our way to the race Luke had to stop for gas and to get some snacks haha.

Once we got to the race site things got a little bit more stressful. The mall where the starting line was was jam packed with cars. A lot of them were from other runners, but there were also stores around the mall that were still open even though it was Thanksgiving, so finding a parking spot was a whole ordeal even though we got there about an hour early.

Eventually we did find a spot and we followed the rest of the crowd of runners and spectators into the mall. The mall was actually closed on Thanksgiving, but they had some security guards letting people walk through it to get to the other side of the mall parking lot, which was where the race started. Haha it was kinda confusing really. While we were doing that I was trying to figure out where exactly packet pick up was. The directions to where exactly they was were kinda vague in the participants guide and from the sounds of the conversations going on around us, I wasn’t the only one trying to figure out where we were supposed to go. Hahaha looking back now it’s kinda funny, but at the time I was kinda freaking out.

Anyway, we did eventually find it. It was inside the mall, kinda. But in some weird hallway area that looks like could only be accessed through one particular door from outside the mall. It was weird. But at least we’d made it with some time to spare. At this point it was about 30 minutes to the start time. The line for packet pick up was long, but luckily it moved pretty quickly. I’d didn’t take too long for me to get my bib, participant shirt, turkey hat, and a sweet temporary turkey tattoo. πŸ¦ƒ

So I pinned on my bib number and then started to fiddle with my turkey hat while we walked towards the port-o-potties. I’ve never experienced this at a race before but there was NO line for the port-o-potties! It was amazing haha! So I was able to get in and out of one quickly and the continued to mess with my turkey hat.

The problem was it was freaking huge! There was no way it was going to stay on my head without my beanie so I had to leave that on even though I’d actually planned on not wearing it during the race. Eventually I ended up pinning it to my beanie with an extra safety pin that I’d grabbed at packet pick up. I didn’t mean to take 5 safety pins, but it ended up working out for me. πŸ˜‚

After that was all taken care of and figured out Luke and I wandered around the starting area a little bit. They had some nifty photo op areas, so of course I had Luke take a couple of pictures for me. 😁 I also took a couple of pictures for a group of ladies who needed some help. 😊

Once we had about 10 minutes to go I made my way into the starting corral and lined up near the back-ish/middle area where I belong. As race time got closer more and more people started squeezing in and I finally realized just how many people were at this race! So far I think it might have been the biggest race I’ve ever done which was pretty cool!! The only problem was a lot of people didn’t line up correctly. People with strollers were supposed to line up BEHIND everyone else for safety reasons, but I saw a couple in front of where I was and even more that weren’t at the very back. And a lot of walkers lined up in front of the runners so that was kind of a problem for the first mile or so of the race. But I’ll get to that in a second.

In the starting corral waiting to get going!

The national anthem was sung, we were counted down, and then….nothing haha. The leaders and front of the pack took off, but it was really slow going for everyone else. I’m not entitled sure how long it took before I finally made it over the starting line, but it was definitely well over a minute. Honestly it could have been closer to two maybe even three. Hahaha Thank goodness for timing chips!! Honestly though I thought it was kinda fun though. This was my first ever super packed starting experience and I thought it was kinda neat watching everyone take off in all of their turkey gear. 😁

So like I said, a lot of people didn’t line up correctly so a lot of runners, myself included, spend a lot of time trying to make their way around the walkers. That was kind of annoying. But it was also kinda fun. I ended up going out too fast because it was just so darn easy to pick people off. πŸ˜‚ I ended up doing that for about the first mile, but I eventually had to stop and slow down. My legs were feeling really good! Well, the still felt heavy from not running much after my races earlier this month, but they felt really good to be moving again! My lungs on the other hand weren’t exactly ready for that. Especially since we started up a gradual uphill that basically kept going and then got bigger through the rest of the course. I wasn’t quite ready for that either. πŸ˜‚

Anyway, mike Two was relatively uneventful. I’m not exactly used to being surrounded by other people like I was in this race, but I was really enjoying checking out everyone’s turkey and Thanksgiving themed gear! At the mile two marker they had a little aid station with cups of water, getting one was a little bit hectic because of all of the people, but it wasn’t too bad. Then I hi fived a person dressed as a turkey on my way out of the aid station. Haha that was fun.

Around mile 3 there was a girl in a driveway with a laptop and speaker, playing Christmas music, and cheering everyone on. That was neat! Actually there were quite a few people sitting in their driveways watching everyone run by. Also a first for me. 😊 The last half mile or so was definitely the biggest uphill portion of the course. That was kinda tough. My lungs weren’t ready for that just yet. πŸ˜‚ And my legs decided they weren’t having as much fun anymore. But I still finished pretty strong, all things considered. Hahah I was a little worried at first, because the time clock was reading something close to 43 or 44 minutes. But once I crossed to finish line and checked my watch it read that I actually finished in 41:21. Then I remembered how long it took me to cross the starting line. πŸ˜‚

After I finished I went to go get my pumpkin pie and I texted Luke to let him know I had finished and where I was. The pie line actually moved really quickly despite how many people were there! Those race volunteers were awesome!! So I got my pumpkin pie and Luke found me near the line for that. Then I went to the food “lines” to get my snacks. “Lines” being in quotes because there were no actual dedicated lines that I could see. People were just kinda shoving their way to the tables. After a few minutes of waiting and trying up figure out the whole line thing I said fuck it and did the same thing. I felt incredibly rude doing it, but that seemed like the only way to actually get a half a banana, a cup full of cookies, and coffee. πŸ˜‚

Haha I was lucky and managed to get some shortbread Christmas cookies before they ran out. It was that or vanilla wafers or ginger snaps. I love me some shortbread cookies though. So I was super excited to get some! 😁

After I had my pie and snacks I was done being around that many people. So was Luke hahaha. So we made our way out of the staring area and then had to walk all the way around the mall because they weren’t letting people cut through the mall anymore. I didn’t really mind though. I had a pie, half a banana, a cup of cookies, and some coffee to keep me happy. πŸ˜‚

And that’s pretty much it! Once we got to the truck we left and went to the Indian Creek Trail (the part where the Gobbler Grind Half started and finished actually πŸ˜‰) and we played PokΓ©mon go for a little bit, then we when home, hung out for a while, then went to my brother-in-law’s girlfriend’s apartment for Thanksgiving dinner.

All in all it was a really fun race and a great day overall. Some parts were slightly stressful because of all of the people, but I’d definitely do this race again! πŸ¦ƒπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜Š

Alrighty! That’s all for now! Still no weekly recap for this week because honestly I haven’t been doing much so that would be kinda boring. πŸ˜‚ But since I kicked off my Thanksgiving with a fun turkey trot I’ve decided that would be a fun way to start another holiday run streak, so until further notice, that’s currently what I’m planning on doing.

But ok, I’m done now!

Happy Sunday!

~Ashley

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Wishing everyone the happiest of Thanksgivings!!!

I did my very first turkey trot this morning and I had so much fun! Hahaha check out that amazing turkey hat. πŸ¦ƒπŸ˜‚

I’ll have a full race recap up, probably tomorrow. But for now I just wanted to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving and congrats to everyone one who went turkey trotting today!! πŸ¦ƒπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

I hope everyone has a fantastic day and enjoys your feast, family, and friends. Enjoy it!! πŸ¦ƒπŸ₯§πŸ πŸžπŸ—πŸŒ½πŸͺβ˜•οΈ

~Ashley

Happy Monday!!!

Hahaha I saw that on Instagram and I just had to share it here! Who else is ready for Turkey, pie, and Black Friday shopping?!? Oh and maybe a turkey trot as well?!? πŸ¦ƒπŸ₯§ πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Usually I’m not a big fan of Black Friday. All of the crowds and people acting like giant assholes just to get a good deal on something they probably don’t need? Yuck…

That being said, our dishwasher broke a few weeks ago. Obviously a dishwasher isn’t a necessity, but washing dishes by had is legit my least favorite thing in the world to do! Plus it’s super time consuming and it feels never ending!!! So Luke and I plan on hitting up a Home Depot or a furniture store or something, in hopes that we can get a good deal on a new dishwasher. Hahaha I never thought I’d be so excited to buy a new appliance! Does that make me an adult now? πŸ€”

Anyway, I’m also super duper excited about my upcoming turkey trot!!! It looks it’s going to be super fun!! Apparently the course is really pretty, and instead of a medal you get a whole freaking pumpkin pie at the finish line! What’s not to love?!

I can’t wait!! Ive been wanting to do some fun, holiday themed runs! So far this year I’ve done a St. Patrick’s Day 5k, a Thanksgiving themed half marathon, and now this 5k on Thanksgiving. This is my first legit turkey trot and I’m super excited! πŸ˜„ I’d also like to do a Christmas themed run, but we’ll just have to wait and see about that.

Anyway, last week was a recovery week. I only ran one whole mile. πŸ˜‚ The plan was to not run at all, but oh man not running was driving me crazy.

Not running is hard. But getting back into it is even harder! My legs are so heavy!! πŸ˜‚ But I’m starting to get back into it this week. Just easy running for now, while I’m still working myself out of the awkward phase that is the first few runs after a recovery week. I went out and did 2 east miles this morning. It might have been short, but it felt really good to get my legs moving and my heart beating a little faster this morning.

After my run I sent out to clean my chicken coop. Cleaning up animal poop isn’t exactly fun, but dammit if it isn’t super satisfying. πŸ˜‚ We still aren’t getting any eggs, but they should start any day now. I’ve been giving them a protein supplement because I didn’t think they were getting enough, and they seem to be doing really well on it.

Jethro, our rooster who was supposed to be a hen, has been crowing in the morning. Only a little bit though, usually if I let them out without bringing their breakfast with me. Or every once in a while if the neighbor dogs are being particularly loud. He doesn’t seem to mind our dog though, which is good because my dogs are always outside haha. He also crows when men are around. He doesn’t care about me, or even my little neighbor who I babysit. But he gets pissed if Luke or my brother-in-law are in the backyard. Hahaha it’s kinda funny, but I really wish he wouldn’t. He’s bot exactly a loud crower, I can barely hear it when I’m inside. But I’d really like it if he wouldn’t draw any more attention to our house, as technically we aren’t supposed to have chickens.

I’d really hate to kill him because he’s the most friendly rooster I’ve ever met, and having a rooster around is good for the hens. But if he gets any louder or starts crowing throughout the day, or just turns into a huge asshole like most rooster are, then he’s gotta go. Hopefully it won’t come to that though. He’s my buddy hahaha. He’s also super handsome. Look at those gorgeous feathers!!

Anyways, I guess that’s a for today! I hope everyone has a great Monday and a fantastic Thanksgiving Week!

Stay safe out there!!

~Ashley

More November Fun

Ah November. It’s one on my most favorite months of the year. Mostly because we’ve always got a lot going on this month and I think it’s a lot of fun!! 😁

One of the reasons November is so much fun is because it’s my birthday month!!! Hahaha I was born exactly half way into November, on the 15th back in 1991. So I turned 27 this year. Yay!πŸ₯³

Haha so my father-in-law always pick out weird/funny cards to send me for my birthday. Last year’s was a cat shooting lasers out of its eyes to light the candles on a birthday cake. Haha it’s still hanging up on my fridge actually. πŸ˜‚ I thought that one was gonna be hard to beat, but this year’s was a flying kitten with rainbows and stuff. It was great.

Anyway, Luke is the best and got me a believe Training journal. I’ve wanted one of these for a while and I’m really stoked about it! It’s so neat and full of all sorts of awesome stuff! I can’t wait to start using it!! Hahaha I’m gonna wait to start filling it out until December though.

Ugh it’s so pretty!!! 😍😍😍 Plus I finally found a good use for a bunch of the stickers that have come in my monthly StrideBoxes. I’ve had a huge stack of them just collecting in my drawer, but I thought this was a good place to put them. Along with a good ol Honey Stinger sticker and a fortune cookie fortune. 😁

Luke also got me Chinese food for my birthday dinner, because that’s kind of a tradition for me. Even from when I was a little kid I always wanted Chinese food for my birthday. It was a great birthday dinner. 😊 No cake though. I’ve never been a big cake person. Hahaha when I was a kid my grandma used to make me giant batches of rice crispy treats instead of birthday cakes. I’ve also had cookie cakes, pies, cheesecake, and ice cream cakes (which is kinda weird for a November birthday πŸ˜‚), instead of normal cake. I wasn’t really feeling dessert this year though, which is weird for me. But I was really into the Chinese food.

Anyway, the day after my birthday I found out about a 5k/10k turkey trot on Thanksgiving Day that gives out while pumpkin pies to all of the finishers. So of course I signed up for the 5k. πŸ¦ƒπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ I’ve never done a turkey trot until this year, and of course I’m an overachiever about it and have ended up doing two. πŸ˜‚ Well, signing up for two at this point. But there’s no way I’m not gonna finish a 3.1 mile turkey trot.

Anyway, while signing up I also bought a sweet turkey hat, to go along with my spiffy turkey trot Zensah compression socks, and Gobbler Grind hoodie. So I’m gonna be all turkey’d out for this race! Well, my hoodie doesn’t have a turkey on it, it just says “Gobbler Grind Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k, and 5k”. But I think it still counts. πŸ¦ƒπŸ˜Š

Not the best photo, but you get the point. πŸ˜‰

So yeah, I’m super duper excited about that! I’ve never done a turkey trot on Thanksgiving Day before because Luke and I usually travel to either Colorado or Illinois to be apart of one of our families Thanksgiving’s. But both of our dads work on Thanksgiving this year, so we decided to save some money and just stay home and do our own Thanksgiving.

We might end up doing something with my brother-in-law, his girlfriend, and her kids. But they always want us to come to their apartment and Luke and I aren’t to keen on that idea. We’re both crazy excited to be out of our apartment (for going on 4 years now 😁) and we enjoy having more space that’s all our own. Plus they vape inside their apartment and I just can’t handle that. Those things destroy my lungs… And we have a backyard their dogs could run around in, but whatever. If they don’t want to come to our house we’ll probably just stay home and do our own thing.

Okey dokey, enough about Thanksgiving for now. I ran today!!! Hahaha I was very resigned to take at least a week off from running after my races last weekend and I mean, I kinda made it. πŸ˜‚ But oh man, my life is an absolute wreck when I don’t have running and the routine that it keeps me in. So I HAD to run today.

I only did 1 super easy mile, but apparently that was enough to get me back on track. Ever since I started my little break I’ve been eating like shit and sitting around being an absolute lazy and unproductive lump of a human being. Now, I’m a firm believer that sometimes doing things like that is necessary. But at this point I feel like I’ve gotten a bit out of hand with it. πŸ˜‚ But like I said, my super short run this morning helped. πŸ˜„

It’s pretty crazy how tired, lazy, and out of it NOT running can make a person feel! I know a break is necessary, but yesterday I felt like shit. That’s when I decided that I absolutely NEEDED to run. Even if it was only a super short 1 mile run. 😊

Whew! Anyway, more photos from the Gobbler Grind Half were posted online last night. Of course I appreciate free race photos, but I’m really disappointed about how terrible the quality of all of the photos are. legit could have taken better pictures with my phone. In fact, my dad and I DID take better photos with our phones.They had legit photographs with DSLR cameras, so I’m not sure what happened here…

I mean, they aren’t awful. But I still feel like I could have handed someone my phone and ended up with a much better quality photo. oh well. At least they’re free!

But let’s just compare them to this photo taken at Longview. I cropped this one A LOT and it’s still a much better quality. Plus photos from Longview were free as well.

Anyways, that’s all for now. I hope everyone has a super Saturday!

~Ashley

Gobbler Grind Half Marathon, 2018

After I DNF’d the Longview Half on Saturday I didn’t really have much time to sit around and think about it. Which now looking back, I think was a really good thing. Anyway, after I walked off the course my dad, Luke, and I hung out in the parking area for a little bit, talking, and we decided that since we were pretty close to where packet pick up for the Gobbler Grind was, that my dad and I were going straight there. Luke had to go to work, so unfortunately he didn’t get to join us for that adventure.

But anyway, I got into my dad’s van and we drove to the mall where Gary Gribbles was located. There were a bunch of people there! Haha I guess that’s pretty unsurprising given that packet pick up was that day. So we kinda wandered around the store for a little bit just looking at stuff. My dad bought some Honey Stinger stuff for his fuel for the next day (haha yup, I’ve got him hooked on Honey Stinger as well πŸ˜‰ ). He also got himself a pretty sweet hydration vest. He didn’t really need it for carring his water or fuel for the race. What he really wanted it for was to carry his “bondage Barbie”. Hahaha she’s just this Barbie doll that he has tied up to his backpack that travels the country with him. I guess shes a great conversation piece, so he wanted to bring her with him. πŸ˜‚ So he found a hydration vest that he liked and that would be perfect for her.

There was also a dog there just wandering around the store and greeting people! I assume he belonged to someone who worked at the store, but I was super stoked about him! I had to stop and pet him several times. Hahaha he was a friendly boy. 😊 While we were there we were also looking for a decent face mask/buff type deal to wear when it gets crazy cold out like it was on Saturday. According to one of the very helpful guys working there they didn’t have a lot of they’re winter stuff out yet. Mostly just hats and gloves. They did have a fantastic Game Of Thrones sign displayed over the hats and gloves though. I thought it was great!! πŸ˜‚

Anyway, after we were done looking around and my dad has payed for his stuff we got our packets. Up until this point I had only done races that gave you a timing chip for your shoe, but this particular race had the timing chip on your bib, and I just thought that was kinda neat! 😁

Once we had our packets we were done at that mall so we left and set our sights on Bass Pro shop. My dad was dead set on finding a winter face mask thing, but Bass Pro didn’t have what he was looking for either! They had those full head/face mask things, and plenty of baklava’s but that’s not what he wanted. So we kinda gave up on that and just wandered around looking at stuff for a little bit, before we finally headed back to my house.

When we got there we figured out how my dad was gonna rig up bondage Barbie so she’d stay in place, but so her hair wouldn’t constantly be in his face. Hahaha she ended up getting a zip tie ponytail, but it worked! After he hung out for a while, my dad went back to his hotel and I began repeating the process of getting my gear ready and preparing everything I’d need for the next day.

I was up at 6 am on Sunday morning and the first thing I did was check the weather. Luckily it was looking like the weather was going to be much more favorable!! I definitely enjoy seeing temperatures in the 30’s and that was what we were supposed to get! Yay!

 

 

 

So I started getting dressed and preparing my breakfast, when my dad showed up at my house about 15 minutes later, dressed in his running gear (featuring Barbie of course πŸ˜‰) and ready to go! So we kinda talked while I tried to eat and drink some coffee and water, but I was having trouble getting anything down because my stomach was NOT happy with my that morning. Probably had something to do with my bad day at Longview on Saturday… Whatever caused it though didn’t really matter. What mattered was that yet again I wasn’t feeling great and I was starting to get really nervous at the idea of attempting to travel 13.1 miles on foot. But damn it if I wasn’t going to try! So around 6:45 we got into my dad’s van and made our way to the starting line.

We ended up getting there super early which was actually really nice! There was literally NO line for the port-o-potties so we were able to pee in peace without having to wait. You have no idea how fantastic that was after having to wait in a long ass line at Longview, praying that if making it to the starting line in time. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

After that we sat in the van for about half an hour because it was cold out. Not as cold as the day before, but still, cold enough to be uncomfortable to stand in for an extended period of time. So we hung out, I took a couple bite of a banana and then kinda gave up on that because of my stomach, and just sipped on water instead, and we did lots of people watching. Haha that was kinda fun! Once it got to be about 15 minutes until the start we got out and wandered around for a little bit. We wanted to use the port-o-potties again, but the line was ridiculously long at that point! So we decided to wait until we came across a bathroom along the course. Except I seriously considered finding a nice, dense area in the woods and going out there. The start of this race was on a trail that I’m very familiar with and that wouldn’t be the first time I’ve peed in those woods. πŸ˜‚ But unfortunately most of the leaves were gone and the woods was pretty thin. Plus there were just too many kids around, I I figured I’d better just wait.

With 5 minutes to go we made our way to the staring area. I can’t really call it a corral because there wasn’t really any dividers or anything. They had pace flags set up so we could line up accordingly, but that was pretty much it. My dad and bondage Barbie were starting to get some attention and a couple of people asked about her, and I was getting more and more nervous.

After having to drop out of Longview the day before I was full of all sorts of doubt. Especially since I wasn’t feeling all that great that morning. At the time I wasn’t sure trying to go for it again so freaking soon after what felt like failing was a good idea. I kept thinking that if I couldn’t get it done yesterday then how was today any different? Especially since we hadn’t even started yet and my stomach was already feeling lousy. And most importantly I was worried that I’d let my dad down that day. He’d driven 11 hours from Colorado just to do this with me, at my request I might add. So if I was unable to do this with him then I felt like I would have been wasting his time and money. So even though I was feeling super unsure of myself I was resolved to at least give it my best shot.

The national anthem was sung, we were counted down and then sent off. As usual, a lot of my nerves started melting away as we got going. πŸ™‚ The weather was great and I was able to ditch my throw away sweater before we even got to mile 1! The only problem was I really had to pee so my bladder was getting uncomfortably full. We did eventually find and stop at a port-o-potty around mile 2. I felt a lot better after that hahaha.

But before that, there were race volunteers handing out tissues and cheering on the runners. I thought that was a crazy good idea! I’ve never been offered a tissue during a race before, but there have been plenty of times when I could have used one! So I thought that was fantastic! As we passed the mile 2 marker my dad decided that he wanted to take a selfie with every mile marker. We weren’t in any rush as the whole point of the day was to have fun, so we ended up doing just that! We weren’t very good at it though! Sometimes one of use was in front of the sign (like in the photo below), sometimes we got the back of them, and sometimes one of us wouldn’t be ready, so that resulted in some really funny photos! It was pretty great though! And near the end of the race we were both very grateful for the short little breaks!

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At some point before mile 3 we ended up on the part of the Indian Creek Trail that I know and love back from my apartment living days! Things got a little bit tight as the trail can be a little bit narrow in areas. We were getting passed by the 5k leaders so we were constantly trying to get out of their way. That was a new experience for me and it was definitely interesting! I could see how it could potentially be obnoxious, but I didn’t think it was too bad. And of course at mile 3 we stopped to take a selfie! Hahaha I was trying to hold up all 10 fingers, cause you know, 10 miles to go! But I wasn’t fast enough so it looks like I was doing a very poor t-rex impression. πŸ˜‚

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Miles 4 and 5 were relatively uneventful, which is a good thing! At this point we were still on the part of the trail that I’m super familiar with so I knew when hills were coming up, when the trail got more narrow, and where some of the really pretty views of the creek were, so that was kind of nice. πŸ™‚ My stomach still wasn’t feeling great though. I was taking water and Gatorade at the aid stations but was only able to sip on it and I was only able to take little tiny bites of a Honey Stinger waffle. I still felt ok at that point but I knew I was going to be in for a really rough time near the end of the race. Not fueling properly always does me in…

 

 

 

I believe around mile 6 we started to see the lead runners coming back in the opposite direction so we cheered them all on. Clapping and shouting encouraging things to them. That was fun! Although some of them seemed to be in rough shape and didn’t seem to appreciate it very much. I don’t blame them though. I know sometimes the last thing you want is people yelling encouraging things at you when you’re having a rough time. For some reason I don’t have a photo of us at mile 6 hahaha. I’m sure my dad does though. Also after the race was over he told me his knees were starting to ache around this point. I’m sure that was pretty awful.

Around miles 7, 8, and most of 9 were basically all up hill. Sorta. There were a few downhills as well, but really at the time it felt like it was all uphill. πŸ˜‚

 

 

 

Somewhere around the 7, 8, and 9 mile points we ended up talking to a really nice couple from South Carolina. They are traveling around the country in their RV and doing a half marathon in every state. This was their 17th half! They told us they were actually going to do Longview the day before but when they saw how cold it was they decided not to show up. I sure don’t blame them! They said that they talked to someone who said that a lot of people didn’t show up for that race and I totally believe that. I’m sure the unseasonably cold weather put a lot of people off. Of course I told them what happened to me at Longview and they said they didn’t blame me for quitting haha. They were an incredibly lovely couple and my dad and I enjoyed talking to them. They also stopped to talk to a bunch of the police officers and race volunteers and gave most of them gloves and hand warmers.

I also just want to take a second to say how amazing the race volunteers were! They had all sorts of great snacks along with the usual energy gels, water, and Gatorade. A lot of them knew what they were talking about and were encouraging people to eat pickles for cramps, and to take as much food and water as you needed. They were fantastic. Around mile 9 I took a banana hoping it would help my stomach, but nope. I was only able to eat half of it a little after mile 10. I had to wait because I did drink a lot at that aid station and it was all sloshing around for a while.

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After mile 10 my dad’s phone died, so we started using mine to take photos at the mile markers. At this point we had obviously been out on the course for a while and both of our hips were starting to ache. Hahaha apparently we both have the same issues when it comes to our hips and I think that’s kinda funny. So we ended up walking through most of miles 11 and 12. Like I said, the goal was to just have fun so we took our sweet time getting there hahaha. We joked with several people that we were just getting our money’s worth from our entry fee. I also grew fond of saying that we were the party in the back. Because races are like a mullet, all business in the front and party in the back. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

 

 

After we passed mile 12 I was really looking forward to going through the November Projects aid station again. We went through there aid station around mile 4 already and at this point we were headed back the way we had come. Anyway, their aid station was so much fun the first time through and it was even more fun going through the second time! They were running out to hi-five people, yelling out bib numbers, blasting rock music, and just making everyone feel like a total badass as they ran through. It was amazing. They also had one of the best displays set up that I’ve ever seen at a race. πŸ™‚ Come on, how can you not love this?!?

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Haha and several feet after that we had to stop at the mile 13 marker. Oh boy was I happy to see that sign! I was DONE being on that course and very over the whole “half marathoning” thing at that point hahaha. This was the longest I’ve ever been out on a half marathon course and I’m really hoping that I never do another half marathon this slow. That being said, it was also the most fun half marathon I’ve ever done! Aside from not feeling great, I enjoyed almost all of it! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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Honestly crossing the finish line was a little bit underwhelming. Not many people where cheering, even though there were quite a few people there. It was kinda weird… Oh well, the race volunteers kinda made up for it. They knew how to make you feel pretty darn awesome as the hung a medal around your neck and started handing you food haha. Even though we came in at 3:30:05, the still really made me feel like we still accomplished something really cool! And I mean we did! AΒ  half marathon is no joke, no matter how slow you do it!

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I was a tad bit disappointed with the food they had though. Online they made it sound like they were gonna have all sorts of goodies, but all they had was broth, bagels, bananas, oranges, coffee, and chocolate milk. My dad got himself some broth and I grabbed a bagel and a chocolate milk (I was unsure of how my stomach was going to handle that, but of course it started to feel better after I ate my bagel….) and we set off to find a good place to take a picture with our medals! We ended up in front of the photo op thing they had set up that we didn’t notice until we were almost about to walk back to the van haha. That’s when the couple from South Carolina found us again and took our photo for us and then we took photos for them. πŸ™‚

Processed with Rookie Cam

After that we talked for a little bit and then we got into the van and decided that we wanted to go back to the mall where Garry Gribbles was to show off our medals! When we got there the people working there recognized us which was really cool! And we ended up running into another lady who had also done the Gobble Grind Half as well! So we talked to her for a little bit and then we left the running store and somehow ended up in a target that was in this mall (I thought that was kinda weird, but whatever). We wandered around there for a little bit and spent some time looking at the Christmas decorations and my dad bough us both a ginger kombutcha which REALLY helped my stomach situation. πŸ™‚

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After we left Target we stopped at a 5 Guys and split a bacon cheeseburger. Oh man that was the best burger I’ve had in my life! Hahaha probably because I’d spent the last 5 hours or so trying to eat and kinda failing at it. While we were there a lady came up and asked to take a photo of my dad because he was still wearing bondage Barbie. He thought that was hilarious and let her do it. Oh man, eating there was worth it for that alone! πŸ˜‰

When we were done eating we went back to my house and just kinda relaxed until Luke got home and then we had our own little Thanksgiving dinner of ham, German green beans, sweet potatoes, and of course pumpkin pie, because we’ve had a slight change of plans and Luke and I aren’t going to Colorado for Thanksgiving anymore.

Whew! That ended up being a lot longer than I had anticipated haha so I’ll stop there! Thanks for sticking with me if you made it this far! Tomorrow is my birthday so I’m sure I’ll have more to talk about then, but for now, happy hump day!

~Ashley

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