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Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days: Take Two is Officially A-go!!

Woohoo!! As of Saturday I am officially registered for the Gobbler Grind half marathon! That means Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days: Take Two is officially a-go!! 😱

Apparently hanging up my fliers at the Indian Creek Trail and at the office where Luke works really worked! So far I’ve had 8 people sign up for the Gobbler Grind using my ambassador discount code which means I got to register for free (I only needed 5 for that. πŸ˜‰). Sweet!!!

Some ambassador programs are definitely better than others! 😁 Some just give you a discount, but others (usually ones that you have to work a little bit harder for) have better benefits like this! And I’m not trying to brag or anything like that! Just keeping it real and everything in full disclosure! I am an ambassador for this race (and several brands) so I do get some perks from all of that. But I do strive to keep everything I post in here 100% real. I would never promote or become involved with a brand or race that I didn’t believe in or love.

Hahaha and I know I always say something like that whenever I talk about any of that ambassador programs I’m in, but like I said, just trying to keep it real on my little corner of the interwebs! πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

So anyway, Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days: Take Two is officially official! Yay!!

And right before I “officially” kick off my half marathon training cycle too!! Hahaha I say “officially” because my training plan actually starts next week, but I’ve been training with Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days: Take Two in mind since the beginning of this year, really.

I would be a lot more stoked about the start of my half marathon training plan if the last week of June and first week of July didn’t have so little running in them… Those weeks I only totaled 11 mile and the 7 miles respectively. Oops. But I mean, it’s been a busy summer and life just kinda happened. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Really though I was doing pretty well, at least mileage wise, up until that point though and I really got my shit together last week and got in 18 miles. Not what I’ve been aiming for, but not terrible. And I’m really focusing on making this week even better, so I should be ok in that department. I won’t be going into this training cycle ridiculously out of shape at least! πŸ˜‚

The real issue here is that I haven’t really done any speed work since this spring. Yikes. Since I’m tackling two half’s in two days I don’t really have a time goal for either. Especially since I’m running both races with my dad. But really, I should still be doing some speedier things…

Oh man the first few speed sessions of half marathon training are really going to hurt. 🀣

But all in all I am pretty excited to “officially” start training for this thing next week! Hopefully it’ll all go smoothly! Or as smoothly as summer running can ever go for me. Hahaha I am not a fan. πŸ₯΅ But summer miles bring fall smiles! So I’m going to do my best to stick with it!

And doing my best apparently means waking up at 5 am so I can get out the door before the sun comes up and slogging through 3 very slow, slightly painful miles. At least, that was my “best” this morning. Really I wanted to get in 5 miles today, but my legs are shot from walking around the zoo in Doc Martens all day on Saturday. My sparkle boots (Doc Martens 1460 Pascal Glitter πŸ˜‰) are very pretty and SUPER comfortable! But they are a lot heavier than the shoes that I have been wearing lately.

I actually experienced this every fall when I got from wearing mostly tennis shoes and flip flops to wearing heavier boots. My legs always feel a little heavy when I start my footwear transition. πŸ˜‚

Worth it! I got several compliments on my boots that day. 😊

So, 3 miles today! I think my slow slogging (in my super light Nike Free’s! πŸ˜‰) helped shake out my legs a little bit though. So hopefully tomorrow’s run will go a little bit better! Either way, still got in 3 miles before the sun had a chance to rise and really heat up the road, so I’ll take that as a win!!

After I finished my slow slog run I spent about an hour and a half tending to my chickens and my garden. I had quite a bit of weeding to do. πŸ˜‚ But my tomato plants are finally starting to go off!! They’ve had a bunch of green tomatoes on them for a while now but they’re starting to get ripe! Plus I’ve got these HUGE green tomatoes out there and I absolutely cannot wait for them to to finally turn red!!

Our garden is much smaller than it’s been in previous years. This year we’ve only got tomato plants, pepper plants (which I’ve already gotten one huge, green pepper from, cantaloupe plants, and cucumber plants (which are just now starting to grow little tiny cucumbers!!!). But it’s doing MUCH better than last year. Last summer was absolutely BRUTAL. It was crazy hot and sunny pretty much every day and I’m not even exaggerating when I say we went two whole months without a drop of rain. It was crazy! But this year has been sooo much better and we’re definitely going to get a much better produce yield, which means we’ll actually have some stuff to can! Yay!!

Anyways, that’s all for today!!

Happy Monday! I hope you have a fantastic week!

Until next time,

~Ashley

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Weekly Recap: June 3rd-9th, 2019

So I’ve been following Blogilates for quite some time now. She was actually one of the first fitness YouTube channels I started watching and following along with back in 2012 when I stared losing weight and getting fit. I never participated in any of the challenges that she has done though. I just kinda used her videos and did my own thing with them.

But I’ve kinda fallen off from doing them, or any kind of strength training really. Which definitely isn’t good! It’s just that running is so much fun and I don’t want to do anything else! πŸ˜‚ But this June she’s putting on a 28 Day Summer Sculpt Challenge and I’ve decided to actually follow along with it! I’m hoping that it will kick my butt into gear and keep me motivated to get some strength work done! We’ll see how that goes. But as of right now, I’m pretty motivated to get it done! πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ˜‰

Monday:

  • 3 miles
  • Day 1 of Blogilates 28 Day Summer Sculpt Challenge

3 more miles added to the ol’ leg bank! Nothing fancy. Nothing fun. Just went out there and got it done! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Followed that with day of of the Summer Sculpt Challenge. This one was a full body workout and it was tough! It was really good though! 😊

Also, more of my lilies are blooming and I love it!!

Tuesday:

  • 2 miles on the treadmill
  • Day 2 of Blogilates Summer Sculpt Challenge

Holy moly I woke up sore on Tuesday! Especially in my triceps. That was definitely a testament to how little strength work I’ve done lately. πŸ˜‚ It was nothing a few easy miles on the treadmill couldn’t work out though, so that was good!

Tuesday are dedicated to legs and butt for this challenge and the video was HARD. But it was also a ton of fun! I really enjoyed this one! πŸ˜„

2 days down, 26 more to go! πŸ˜‚

Wednesday:

  • 3 miles
  • Day 3 of Blogilates Summer Sculpt Challenge

Was up bright and early on Wednesday morning! I like to get out the door before the sun is up and has heated up the asphalt adding just another layer of misery to to activity that is summer running. πŸ₯΅πŸ€£

Anyway, after my run I finished day 3 of the Summer Sculpt Challenge and then did a bunch of work in my garden. It was a productive day! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜„

  • Thursday:
    • 9 holes of golf

    Hahaha so I actually intended for Thursday to be a rest day. I was sore AF and just felt like I wasn’t recovering at all from the Summer Sculpt Challenge. There in lies the problem with working out every single day, I suppose.

    But when my husband got home from work and he wanted to play a quick 9 holes of golf. I was feeling better by that afternoon, so I figured why not! πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Plus after moving around a little bit on the golf course I started to feel a little bit better. πŸ˜„

    Friday:

    • 17 holes of golf

    On Friday Luke got me my own set of golf clubs! Yay!!

    Hahaha before I was just using his and they were not working for me. Men’s clubs are a little bit longer and heavier than women’s clubs so I wasn’t able to actually swing properly with his. Hence why he got me my own! πŸŒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

    So obviously we had to go golfing on Friday. πŸ˜‚ This time we had a group of 4 that included me, Luke, his brother from Minnesota who is currently staying with us, and his other brother who lives here in Kansas. So having 4 people slowed us down considerably! We were out on the course for what felt like FOREVER! It was fun at first, but it was hot, humid, and exhausting. Which is why we ended up skipping that last hole. 🀣🀣

    I did play a lot better with my new clubs though, so there’s that! Honestly though all this golfing is probably going to have to slow down for me soon though! Training for Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days: Take Two starts soon and I want to actually be able to do that. Golfing in the heat just took waaaay too much out of me.

    Lol yeah, I sure look like I should be lined up at the starting line of a half marathon, not on a golf course. πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‚

    Saturday:

    • 3.5 miles
    • Blogilates Summer Sculpt Challenge

    A failed attempt at a long run… Obviously I wasn’t happy about that. But for real, I was crazy tired and drained from being out in the heat and humidity for so long the day before. It wasn’t good….

    So after my run I made sure I spent the day rehydrating, and apparently my body really needed refueled because I was STARVING all day. So I just kinda rolled with it and tried to give my body what it needed. Luckily the Summer Sculpt Challenge video was just stretching on Saturday. I sure needed that too. But apparently mostly I just needed to sleep!

    Sunday:

    • Rest day

    After my failed long run yesterday I seriously considered trying to get some more miles in today. I had my gear all laid out and an alarm set, but when it came time to actually wake up I turned off my alarm and went right back to sleep. I ended up sleeping for about 9 and 1/2 hours and honestly it was great! I felt sooo much better after that!

    I actually kinda wanted to run this afternoon, but I figured if I wanted to run today but didn’t, I’d probably feel even better and want to run even more tomorrow. Hahaha but I guess we’ll have to wait and see about that though. I did spend a good amount of time walking dogs today though. πŸ˜„

    Total Weekly Mileage: 11.51

    Yeah, obviously this week didn’t go as planned. πŸ˜‚ But it wasn’t bad either! Honestly if I would have gotten my long run in I’d be a lot happier, but I am working on becoming a stronger athlete and learning a new sport, so I’ll take it!! πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸŒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

    Happy Sunday!

    ~Ashley

    Weekly Recap: May 26th – June 2nd, 2019

    Wow with all of the shenanigans going on over the past few months I’ve kinda fallen off of the blogging bandwagon. I’m back on it though (I think πŸ˜‰) and hopefully it’ll stay that way!

    So, this week was a weird one as far as training goes. Luke and I went to Minnesota over Memorial Day weekend for one of his brother’s high school graduation and between lots and lots of family time and not having anywhere safe to run, well, I didn’t. πŸ˜† So getting back into the swing of things, especially in the middle of the week, was super hard. But, I like to think I made it work. πŸ˜‰

    Monday:

    • 18 holes of golf
    • Badminton and volleyball with Luke and his siblings

    While I may not have run while we were in Minnesota that doesn’t mean I was sitting around idle! On Monday Luke, his brother, and I played our final game of golf in Minnesota. And this time we actually kept score! I won!!! πŸŒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ But only because Luke was giving me a few handicaps. πŸ˜‚ I’m not very good at golf. Plus I was playing with Luke’s men’s clubs (because that’s all we have) and that makes things a little more difficult.

    After our golf game we headed back to Luke’s mom’s house for a little Memorial Day party. We ended up playing a terrible game of badminton (mostly because me and one of Luke’s sisters were terrible at it πŸ˜‚) and then a game of volley ball where I was probably the best player! Go me! πŸ’ͺ🏻 Hahahaha and at one point Luke’s oldest sister decided that if anyone hit the ball out of bounds that they had to do a burpee. So everyone ended up having to do a few of those. It was terrible and fun all at the same time! 😁

    Tuesday:

    • Rest day

    On Tuesday we left Minnesota and spent 12 hours in the truck during our drive back to Kansas. We had an extra passenger with us because we ended up bringing Luke’s brother back to Kansas! He’s gonna hang out here until the middle of July because this is his last summer vacation before college. πŸ˜„

    Anyway, the ride was long. We drove through some crazy thunderstorms, but we made it home alright.

    Wednesday:

    • 2 miles
    • 9 holes of golf

    Wednesday Luke decided that he needed to go golfing again. πŸ˜‰ Really he just wanted to take his brother to one of the golf courses here. So I ran 2 easy miles and then went with them and played 9 holes of golf.

    I wasn’t doing so hot that day though. Mostly because I was pretty tired, I think. So I stopped at 9. Luke and his brother payed for another 9 but they only ended up playing 4 holes because the members of this particular golf course showed up and were doing something. They didn’t feel like playing through all of that so we left.

    Thursday:

    • 3 miles
    • Yard work
    • 30 minutes of Yoga

    Busy busy day!

    Luke went back to work on Thursday and I had A BUNCH of stuff I needed to get done in the yard/garden since we were gone for 5 days. But of course I ran first. πŸ˜‰ I did 3 easy miles. Nothing fancy. Just working on getting back into the swing of things after not running for 5 days.

    After that I spent several hours weed whacking, cleaning the chicken coop, and the doing a little bit of weeding in our landscaping and garden. Hahaha it doesn’t sound like much when you write it down, but it was a pretty tiresome day!

    That evening I did done much need yoga and foam rolling. After two 12 hour car rides and all the work I did on Thursday I really needed that!

    Ps, my lilies are starting to bloom. 😊

    Friday:

    • 2 miles

    Note to self; don’t listen to a pump up playlist on a recovery day. πŸ˜‚

    Somehow I was still able to keep it easy though. I know this because I was like, hardcore rocking out. Then some dude sitting in his truck on the side of the road saw me and was laughing. He gave me thumbs up though, so it’s all good. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜‚

    Saturday:

    • 9 miles
    • 25 minutes of Pilates
    • 2 speedy miles on the treadmill
    • 30 minutes on the stationary bike

    My new motto is “keep the hard days HARD”. So that’s what I did on Saturday! πŸ‘πŸ»β˜ οΈπŸ€˜πŸ»

    I started my day with a nice 9 miler. It was hot, humid, and hazy out, so it was pretty slow going. Still pretty hard though. Running in 88% humidity is no joke!

    That afternoon I tackled a nice 25 minutes of full body Pilates. Then that night I was bored and decided that a nice little speed session sounded like a lot of fun, so I hopped on my treadmill for 2 speedy miles. Then I followed that with some time on the stationary bike. Mostly to loosen up the ol legs.

    Keep the hard days hard. Mission accomplished. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜

    Sunday:

    • rest day

    Well, kinda. In the morning I had to do some work in the garden, but after that the rest of my day was easy peasy. Thank goodness for that! Hahaha I was TIRED after all of my shenanigans yesterday. And probably from traveling an whatnot earlier in the week. I definitely needed a day off from everything! 😴

    Total Weekly Mileage: 18.13

    I will gladly take it! Especially after several weeks of hardly logging any real mileage and after not even being in the same state earlier this week! Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but I still got some real work in and I’m quite happy about that. πŸ˜„

    Now, all of the crazy traveling shenanigans are over for a while, so the plan is to buckle down in June and put in some real work! I’m doing Blogilates’ 28 day Summer Sculpt challenge this month (it starts on Monday!) because I’m basically shit at getting any kind of strength work in, so I figured this would be a good/fun way to do it! June is going to be hard, but I know it’ll be with it this fall! πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

    Alrighty! That just about covers it!

    Happy Sunday!!

    ~Ashley

    Thursday Things

    Ashley’s continuing saga of slowly but surely getting her terrible teeth taken care of had yet another chapter today! (Yeah, I don’t know why I’m talkings I’m 3rd person. I’m gonna stop now. πŸ˜‚)

    My 3rd root canal is officially finished as of this morning! I went to the dentist again and I got the temperature crown taken off, the permanent crown put on, and a regular cleaning for good measure. πŸ˜„ I’ve still got more work that needs done on my teeth. Like a lot. But at least I’m one step closer to having a healthier mouth. Plus this time I didn’t need 8 million shots of novocaine so I left this dental appointment with feeling in my face. That was definitely nice. πŸ˜‚

    I’m glad that’s done. Maybe later this year I’ll get some more work on my teeth done. It really just depends on how much insurance Luke and I have left and if we’re able to save up some more money for it. Oh man don’t even get me started on how terrible the health care/dental care system in the US is just completely fucked. Because it is…

    Anyway, let’s talk about some more sun stuff shall we? 😊

    So, my chickens are laying much much much more consistently now! Obviously that’s to be expected as they’re much more mature now and now that the weather is getting warmer and the days a little longer. But it’s still pretty exciting!!

    Right now I have about 2 and a half dozen eggs. We are officially at the point that we aren’t able to eat a of the eggs that they’re laying. I’ve given some to my brother-in-law and to my neighbors, but at this point I think I could start selling some. Luke isn’t sure that we actually have enough chickens for that, but I don’t see why we couldn’t sell a carton of eggs every week or so. Obviously that’s not a lot, but hey, it’s something!

    My chickens lay very pretty eggs. πŸ₯šπŸ“πŸ˜Š

    I plan on bringing some to Colorado to my dad and brother when I go there. That’s coming up soon! I’ll be headed there in around 10 or 11 days. Something like that. πŸ˜‰

    My dad has planned out some hikes he wants to take me on and then that weekend we’ll be doing our trail race! We’re both pretty excited about that! Even though I think it’s gonna be a total suffer fest. πŸ˜‚ The course description includes phrases like “steep hills”, “rocky gully”, and “rugged Jeep trail”. Yeah, I’m not sure how this road runner is gonna handle all of that. Plus the whole being at altitude thing. That’s definitely not going to help. Still though, it’ll be a good time and the mountain views should be totally worth it! 😁

    The view of Long’s Peak (I think? I’m probably wrong) from near where my dad lives. This isn’t where the race is though, it’s actually 5 hours away from here. πŸ˜‚ But it’s supposed to be super pretty there too.

    So yeah, I’m pretty excited to hang out with my dad, brother, and their Russian bear dog, Niko. Maybe even my sisters too if we have time! They live about 2 hours away from my dad and brother in Colorado. I don’t get to see them very often since they all live 11 hours away from Luke and I.

    Hahaha last time I stayed with my dad Niko was super excited to see me, but at night he wouldn’t let me sleep on the couch in the living room! That asshole would just stare at me and growl. One night he even cornered me in the kitchen. Having a 140 pound dog corner you like that is kinda scary. Pretty much every night I was there my brother had to come save me and then let me sleep in his room. πŸ˜‚ Niko’s just weird. πŸ™„ He can be sweet though.

    Niko and I on Rabbit Mountain in 2016

    Anyway, I’ll keep you all updated on my next set of Colorado adventures as they come! 😊

    So yeah, that’s pretty much what’s going on in my world at the moment. Nothing too terribly exciting yet, but that’s life sometimes. More exciting stuff is on the way though. Obviously I’ve got the trail race coming up soon. In May I’ve got a 5k to look forward to, along with starting our garden. Hopefully it’ll do better this year than it did last year! But last summer was pretty brutal as far as weather goes. It was crazy hot and we barely had any rain and my poor garden suffered because of it. But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what this year brings.

    As far as running goes I’ve just been kinda grinding away. If you keep up with my weekly recaps you probably already knew that. πŸ˜‰ I haven’t been doing anything glamorous or sexy, but oh man I feel like I’m making some real progress! I feel like I’m running stronger and more constantly than I ever have before! It’s a really awesome feeling. I think 2019 is already shaping up to be a great year for me! Well, running-wise at least. We’ll see about the rest of it.

    I can’t really go into too much detail about certain things, but life has just been kinda crazy. Weird things are going on with my family. And just…I don’t know. Things I can’t talk about here. It’s just kinda messy. But life can be that way sometimes. Inevitable it’ll get worked through, one way or another.

    Alrighty then! Not exactly a super duper awesome place to end things, but that’s all I’ve got for today! πŸ˜‚

    I hope everyone has happy Thursday and a fantastic weekend!

    Until next time,

    ~Ashley

    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.

    img_8762

    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

    Weekly Recap: July 30th – August 5th, 2018

    Another great week of training is in the bag!

    I did my last run of the week today and that officially wraps up week two of training for Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days. Obviously I’m not very far into my training, but at this point I’m feeling great physically and mentally! So lets get right into this week’s recap! πŸ™‚

    Monday:

    • 3 easy miles

    Kicked off the week with a nice and easy 3 miler. We had some pretty nice weather earlier this week and it was in the high 60’s when I did this run on Monday morning. It was pretty darn nice!

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    Tuesday:

    • 3 miles, intervals
    • 20 minutes of Pilates

    Intervals! Yay!! Haha so it’s actually been a hot minute since I’ve done a real, actual interval workout so this one was pretty tough! My paces were a little slower than I would have liked, but like I said, it’s been a while. Plus by Tuesday it was starting to get a little more hot out again, so I’m not too worried about it. I’m still happy with what I got done! Followed my run with 20 minutes of Pilates because I’m working on that strength! All in all pretty happy with the work I put in on Tuesday.

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    WednesdayΒ 

    • 30 minutes of strength training

    Day off from running but still put in some work! During my little strength session I kinda came to grips with the fact that I avoid push ups at all costs. They’re hard and I hate them haha. But since I’m trying to build strength through my entire body I figured maybe I should work on some of my weaknesses and this seemed like a good place to start, especially since it was the first day of August. So I decided to do a push up challenge thing for the month of August. Just to force myself to do them and hopefully at least get a little bit better at them. So we shall see how that goes.

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    Thursday:

    • 3 easy miles

    Just another easy 3 miler followed by day two of my push up challenge! Haha like I said, I’m really bad at push ups. I can’t really go down all that far, but I still accomplished 4 push ups on my toes instead of on my knees, so I’ll take it!

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    Friday:

    • rest day

    Luke and I had a pretty busy day on Friday! We had errands to run, groceries to buy, and then we made a jar of tomato sauce, 2 jars of strawberry jam, and a jar of blueberry jam. That was a lot of fun. You can read more about that here, if you’re interested! πŸ™‚

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    Saturday:

    • 8 miles
    • 30 minutes of yoga

    Longer run #1 done for the weekend!!! Since I’m going to be running back to back half’s I figure that means I need to do at least a few back to back long-ish runs. So that was my plan for this weekend. πŸ™‚

    Saturday’s long run was relatively uneventful. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t terrible. I was treated to a really pretty sunrise though, so that was nice. πŸ™‚ Afterwards I spent a good majority of the day resting, re-hydrating, and mentally preparing to go again on Sunday. I don’t think I’ve ever run the day after a long run before, so this is a brand new experience for me.

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    Sunday:

    • 5 miles

    Well, mission accomplished!! I followed yesterday’s long run with a medium long run today and I didn’t die! πŸ˜‰ Haha my legs were kinda tired, but other than that I felt pretty great! During the first mile-ish I was viciously assaulted with lots of love by a black lab who snuck out of the door while his owner was walking outside. I didn’t see it but all of a sudden I heard the unmistakable sound of a dog running at full speed right at me, so I turned to look, saw him coming, and had time to say “oh shit,” before he was right on me. Luckily he was just friendly and wanted love. But had he not been that could have ended badly for me. I had very little time to react before he got to me. Haha he was a very speedy boy. But his owner ran after him and apologized and since nothing bad happened I told him it was all good and that I love dogs. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like to stop during my runs to pet dogs, haha this one just kinda scared me at first!

    Anyway, after my run I watered the garden, fed the chickens and cleaned up around their coop, and then did a few more chores around the house. After that I was pretty tired and spent most of the day focusing on re-hydrating and resting. Luckily tomorrow is a rest day. I’m really looking forward to that haha.

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    Total Weekly Mileage: 22Β 

    Starting to move onward and upward! So far my half marathon training is going really well and I hope that continues! I’m currently feeling very positive about training and my upcoming half’s!! πŸ™‚ Oh and I’ve also been doing a pretty good job of keeping up with this push up challenge so far! I can’t actually go down very far yet, but I’ve been doing them all on my toes and that’s a total win for me! Pretty stoked about that haha.

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    Anyway, I hope you’ve had a great weekend!!

    Until next time,

    ~Ashley

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    Buy Me A Coffee

    Canning Season, A Long Run, and August’s StrideBox

    It’s officially one of my favorite times of year! It’s canning season!! Yay!

    Unfortunately we’ve had a pretty bad growing season. It’s been hot, the sun has been intense, and we haven’t had nearly enough rain, and my garden is suffering. My zucchini plants died, one of my berry bushes died, my cucumber plants aren’t doing so well, my watermelon plants haven’t even grown new flowers for at least two weeks, and my tomato plants are looking really sad. But they have started producing enough tomatoes for us to start doing some stuff with them, so yesterday Luke and I made a jar of tomato sauce. πŸ™‚

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    It is kind of a long process for one little jar of sauce, but we thing it’s totally worth it! First you have to blanch the tomatoes, then peel the skin off and then cut off the stems, quarter them, and then let them boil in a sauce pan until they’re completely broken down and add in salt and lemon juice. While all of that’s happening you have to sterilize your jar (boiling it for about a minute works pretty well πŸ™‚ ) and once your sauce and jar are ready you pour the sauce into your now sterile jar, put the lid on nice and tight, and then boil it for another 45 minutes or so. Then you let the jar sit on your counter until the lid seals (hearing it pop shut is a very rewarding experience haha) and then store it for future chilly or pasta sauce, or whatever. Aside from the salt and lemon juice we don’t season it at all. That just makes it more versatile when you go to use it! Obviously this is just a super simplified version of what happens. Maybe once I feel like we’ve perfected the art of canning I’ll share our step by step instructions. πŸ˜‰

    After our single jar of tomato sauce was done we moved on to making a few jars of berry jam, just for fun. We had to use store bought berries though. At this point none of our berry plants are producing enough fruit for us to do anything other than eat right away haha. But I have pretty high hopes for my strawberry plant! It did fantastic this year and it should do even better next year! Anyway, making the jam was pretty similar to making the tomato sauce. We just had to smash the berries before boiling them to break them down even more and then adding lots of sugar haha. So I mean, it’s not very healthy in that regard, but at least we know exactly what went into it (berries, sugar, lemon juice) and it doesn’t have any corn syrup, artificial sweetener, or weird food dyes in it. So I think that’s a plus! And it’s just a lot of fun to make! πŸ™‚

    So now we have one jar of tomato sauce, two jars of strawberry jam, and one jar of blueberry jam. Not Bad! And I’m sure come fall we will have added more to our little store of homemade canned goods. πŸ™‚ Growing, processing, and cooking your own food is such a fun and rewarding experience! I think everyone should do at least a little bit of it! I personally thing those are all very useful skills to have. πŸ™‚

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    Our tomato sauce and two jars of strawberry jam. Haha the blueberry wasn’t quite done when I took this photo. πŸ˜‰Β 

    So Luke and I were pretty busy yesterday! In the morning we had to go grocery shopping and then took care of a few other things while we were out. Then we had to fix the tarp on the chicken coop (the wind keeps blowing it around and messing it all up) and then just kinda played with the chickens for a while. We did all of our canning and then cleaned up the kitchen (both of which took a while haha) and we still managed to get to be around 10 pm last night! Good thing too, because I needed to wake up at 5:00 this morning so I could do this week’s long run before it got too hot outside.

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    We actually got a nice little break from the intense heat and at this point it’s looking like we wont be going back to having all sorts of heat and air quality warnings like we were having in June and July, but the hotter weather is back and that means I have to wake up super early to get out before the sun. Yuck. Waking up at 5 am is not my favorite thing to do, and I totally got spoiled from our little break from the heat so I’m not used to doing it anymore haha. I did it this morning though and was treated to a very nice sunrise.

    All of those pretty colors didn’t actually last very long. The sky was pink for maybe 5 minutes, then it turned more yellow/orange for a few minutes, and then it turned to more normal daytime colors. I guess that’s what makes sunrises so special though. They don’t last very long and in the summer you have to get up pretty early to see them.

    Anyway, had yet another uneventful long run. I wasn’t feeling too great today, but I also didn’t feel too terrible either haha. Tomorrow might be a lot more interesting though. Since I’m training for two half marathons in two days I plan on doing some back to back long-ish runs. So the plan for this weekend was to do 8 miles today, which I did. πŸ™‚ And then do 5 miles tomorrow. I don’t think I’ve ever run the day after a long run before and if I ever have it was probably a super short one. Maybe like 1 or 2 miles. So tomorrow will be a brand new experience for me! I feel like my legs are going to be super tired, but that’s pretty much the whole point of doing it haha! We shall see though. Hopefully it wont be too bad.

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    I’m only two weeks into my training plan but I’m currently just trying to take it one day, one run, and one mile at a time, and not think too much about what I have coming in the future or what I did in the past. I’m hoping getting into and then staying in that mindset will help me get through the rest of this training cycle (because it’s gonna be a big one for me!) and then my two half marathons. I don’t think overthinking is going to help me so I’m just gonna try to do the exact opposite. πŸ˜‰

    Anyway, not long after I finished my run the mail came and my August StrideBox did too!! That was a pleasant surprise, because last time I had checked the tracker for it, it said it wasn’t going to get here until Monday. πŸ™‚ This months box came with all sorts of fun snack like things, which is pretty much my favorite thing to get in my StrideBoxes. It also came with another cooling towel which is awesome because I lost mine haha. I’m not sure where or how my old one got away from me, but at least now I have a new one! πŸ˜‰ I’m also pretty excitied the protein gummy’s that came in it. I didn’t even know protein gummy’s were a thing, but I love me some gummy candy and have a slight issue with consuming enough protein on a daily basis, so I enjoy finding tasty things that help with that.

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    Also, I just need to take a second to express how awkward it is for me to see the word “daily” spelled out properly. Ever since I got married my last name has been Dailey (pronounced the same way as “daily”) so the normal word just looks weird to me now every time I see it. Haha I know that’s kinda weird, but these are the things I experience in my life. πŸ˜‰

    Okey Dokey then! That is all for today! I’ll let you know how my 5 miler tomorrow goes in my weekly recap that will be up tomorrow evening. πŸ™‚

    Happy Saturday!

    ~Ashley