Tag Archives: garmin

Step Challenge, 5 Mile Run, Awesome T-shirts, and Toenail Trouble

Hello everybody!! I feel like I’ve been really bad at keeping in touch with all of the other bloggers that I follow here on WordPress. Sometimes I just get into really weird moods where getting onto any kind of social media and trying to interact with people just seems super exhausting. I swear I’m going to catch up with all of you guys at some point though!

Anyways, on Monday I started a step challenge on Garmin Connect with my sisters Sarah and Jessica, our dad, and Jessica’s boyfriend, and things got kinda heated! Haha I swear these step challenges make people super duper competitive! So as I type this at 11:45 am I’m in the lead with 38,132 steps. But by the time I post this (which should be around 5 pm, but who knows haha) that may change. Hopefully that change will involve me still being in the lead, but who knows. Sarah and Jessica have been doing lots of hiking in Colorado and I don’t know if that’s something they plan on doing today. My dad will probably regain his lead tonight though. I swear he beats me at these damn step challenges every single time!

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So that kinda brings me to my 5 mile run that I did this morning. I actually was planning to do a little cross training instead of running, but knowing that I was in 4th place in the step challenge made me want to go get some steps in, and obviously the best way to accomplish that is by running!

I didn’t really plan on going for 5 miles though, but I was actually feeling pretty good which was surprising since I hadn’t done much running while I was sick and I kinda thought it was going to take me a while to get back into it. Luckily for me that doesn’t seem to be the case, so I figured why not go for 5 miles today! I ended up battling through some heat, humidity, and a heat advisory, but I got it done! And I hit my step goal of 10,000 steps and took the lead of the step challenge by the time I was done. So I felt very much accomplished. πŸ™‚

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Totally unrelated, but my lilies are starting to bloom and they are super pretty!

By the time I got back home from my run, the mail had come and it included a package from an old grade school friend of mine! We still talk on Facebook every once in a while, and at one point I mentioned that I was running low on t-shirts. So he sent me bunch of his that he doesn’t wear anymore. They’re all going to be kinda big on me, I mean, I wear a women’s small and these are men’s larges, but I plan on getting crafty with them and doing some neat t-shirt cutting things. So that’s pretty exciting! I didn’t take pictures of all of them because there are nine and that would have taken forever, but this one is definitely my favorite! πŸ™‚

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On a slightly unrelated note, does anyone remember last September when I had a toe incidentΒ which resulted in my big toenail falling off? Well it healed, my toenail grew back and every things been fine. Well, the toenail looked a little weird, but other than that it wasn’t giving me any trouble or anything. But while I was clipping my toenails this afternoon, I noticed that the nail really hasn’t grown at all since it first grew back. Like, it covered the nail bed, but then it just stopped growing. It’s also looking a little purple again and it feels a little loose. I think I’m going to lose it again. Sad face…I was so excited when it grew back.

I asked my sister who is officially a nurse now, and she said as long as it doesn’t hurt and isn’t infected it’s probably fine, but that it is probably going to come off again. She was actually surprised that it even grew back in the first place. Apparently it’s pretty common for toenails to just not grow back after they’ve been through some serious trauma like mine was in September. Luckily it doesn’t hurt or anything, so it’s not interfering with running, but I guess it’s something I’m going to have to keep an eye on it again. And I thought I had finally put the toe indecent behind me haha. Oh well.

That’s all I’ve got for today, but I’ll definitely keep you up to date on my step challenge and toe!

Happy Hump Day!

~Ashley

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Yay 5K PR!!!

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My previous PR was 37:42, so I’m very happy about this!

I feel like it’s been a long time since I’ve PR’d at the 5k distance, so I am super excited right now! I’m also super duper excited because this was completely unexpected!!

Last night I stayed up a little later than I usually do, and I drank a little bit too much wine and had a couple of slices of pizza, knowing good and well that I had a hard workout scheduled for today. Hahaha whoops… So when I got up this morning (a little earlier than I would have liked to, I should add) I thought this run was going to end up being absolutely miserable. If you follow my Instagram story at all, you would have seen that I was definitely doing some procrastinating this morning. πŸ˜‰ But I did eventually get dressed, out the door, and on the road.

I think in another post I had mentioned that I’m following one of the training plans on Garmin Connect. I’ve used their training plans for both of my half marathons and they’ve never steered me wrong, plus I really enjoy their plans and so far the “improve your fitness” plan has been a lot of fun as well! So anyway, the workout that was scheduled for today was an interval workout, and it wasΒ almost my favorite combination of hard and rest intervals; the plan was to warm up for 10 minutes, run at 10k pace for 3 minutes, rest for 2 minutes (I prefer to rest for 1 minute, so this was really close πŸ™‚ ), repeat 5 times, and then cool down. So that’s almostΒ what I did.

I know I’ve mentioned before that I run by feel and not pace, so I wasn’t at all trying to maintain any particular pace, I just ran the 3 minute intervals “hard”. Then for the first 3 rest intervals I ran at a super easy, super comfortable pace for 1 minute, and then walked for a minute. My mental game is super weak and I tend to always walk through my entire rest intervals, so I feel like that was actually a really big breakthrough for me! Haha even though for the last 3 intervals I ended up walking for the full 2 minutes because at that point I had decided to tackle some hills. But still, I’m very proud of myself. πŸ™‚

So when I started my 10 minute warm up I felt really good. Actually I felt pretty great! But at first that kinda had me worried, because sometimes I’ll feel super duper good during my warm up, and then after that everything will go down hill from there. But once I finished my first 3 minute interval at a 10:07 pace and it felt almost easy, I knew this run was going to be fucking fantastic. After that I decided that I wanted toΒ reallyΒ push myself and I busted out the next two intervals at a 9:39 and a 8:19 pace. That 8:19 pace interval had me super excited, because at one point I happened to glance at my watch (which is actually something I try really hard not to do while running intervals) and it said I was running at a 7:52 pace.Β 7:52!!!Β That’s almost unheard of for me! And then when I got home I realized that I managed to go even a little bit faster than that, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

So that brought me to about halfway through this workout and all the way back to my house (which was the starting point of my run), and then I was faced with a semi tough decision. I could either run down my street again, which is the flattest street in my neighborhood, and try to hit those same paces, or I could go tackle a few hills. Obviously I picked the hills. Haha running down the same street again would have just been way too boring! So the next three intervals were a little bit slower since they were, for the most part, spend going up hill. But I think I still maintained close to the same effort that I was running for the first half of my run. πŸ™‚ After my last 3 minute interval I turned off my watch and then waited for my shiny new PR to pop up onto the screen, because at that point I knew it would, and then spent 3-4 minutes walking back home so that was basically my cool down haha.

Once I got home the first thing I did was get my legs up on a wall (gotta help flush out that lactic acid!) and synced my GPS watch to Garmin Connect. That’s when I relized that at some point, probably not long after I glanced at my watch and saw that I was running at 7:52 pace, that I had actually hit a 7:46 pace! HOLY SHIT! I have absolutely no idea how I pulled that one off! I probably didn’t even hold that pace for very long, but still, I’ve never ever hit a pace anywhere close to that before! So yeah. I’d say this workout was a crazy huge success, which like I said is crazy, because I really thought it was going to be awful!

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Now I feel like tomorrow my legs are going to be super fun and my long run is going to be absolutely no fun, but maybe I’ll end up getting pleasantly surprised again. Haha I sure hope I do anyway, but I have a feeling that I’m not going to get that lucky two days in a row.

Anyway, after I felt like my legs had been up for long enough, I chugged the rest of the Gatorade that I was drinking, showered, and made myself a bacon and egg sandwich with extra bacon (which I devoured too fast to take a decent photo of) as a reward for my shiny new PR. Because obviously extra bacon is the best reward ever! πŸ˜‰

And now that I’m clean, fed, and probablyΒ adequately hydrated, I suppose I need to stretch and foam roll.

I hope you have a great Saturday!!

~Ashley πŸ™‚

The Streak Lives On…But Just Barely

So I’m going to start off this post with a little bit of TMI; PMS has been absolutely kicking my ass since about last Friday.

I haven’t been sleeping well, I’m exhausted, moody, hungry, and I’ve been having the worst cravings ever (which doesn’t help with the moodiness, by the way, especially when you don’t have whatever it is that you’re craving). Ugh, being a person of the female variety really sucks fucking ass sometimes.

I’ve seriously been on the pill for 10 years, so I don’t even know if feeling like this is normal for me or not…but it seriously makes me contemplate going off the pill and getting a non hormonal IUD. Ugh but I’ve read way too many horror stories about IUD’s, and Chance scares me, so yeah…I’m probably going to end up talking to my doctor about it at my next check up.

So that’s been making getting out of bed and getting at least a mile of running done kinda difficult, but hormones and birth control aren’t the intended topic of this post, so moving on.

So looking back at last week’s recap, I’m really not doing as bad as I think I am, it’s just the getting out and doing it that’s getting really tough. Friday’s 2 miler was particularly sucky, but I was experimenting with running without my shoes, so I had that to distract me for the last little bit, Saturday was fun because I got to run in the snow, same with Sunday, although I really didn’t want to go out that day because I was super tired.

Monday was interesting, because all of my preferred winter running gear was stuck in the washing machine and had been since Sunday night (that’s a whole other thing that I’ll get to in a second), so I had to run in what was the absolute worst outfit ever. My sock and shoe situation was the same as usual, thank goodness because if it wasn’t I probably just would have given up on the whole streak thing. I had on a pair of tights that are too big and don’t have a drawstring (pants without drawstrings are literally the bane of my existence. Along with clothing that lacks pockets), those were under a pair of old, stained, stretched out, and way to big sweat pants. At the very least those have a drawstring, but it doesn’t do much good, I mean, you can only pull it so tight. On top I had a Victory Secret sports bra, not my favorite for running, those tend to chafe me under my arms after a while but since I wasn’t going far it didn’t matter. On top of that I had a too tight pull over that has sleeves that are too long and also super tight, so range of motion in my shoulders/arms was severely lacking, and getting to my Garmin was difficult. Over that I wore Luke’s Under Armour hoodie that I always steal. It comes down to almost my knees, so it’s huge on me, which is normally comfy, but not while running. So while doing my mile I simultaneously felt like I was being squeezed to death, while all of my clothes fell off. Oh and to top it all off, the tip of the thumb on my right glove had a hole in it, which wouldn’t have been an issue if it didn’t feel like -10 outside. By the time I finished I couldn’t feel my thumb and I’m kinda surprised that I didn’t get frost bite.

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Alright now that that’s all out of the way, I can tell the washing machine story. So for the last 2 and 1/2 ish weeks our front loading washing machine hasn’t been working properly. Near the end of the cycle it would get an error code and the door wouldn’t unlock and you couldn’t run it anymore on any cycle. So after looking up the error code we learned that it was a draining issue. Alright, after fiddling with the drain hose and unplugging and plugging the machine back in, we were able to get the door unlocked, run a drain and spin cycle (because everything would be sopping wet after a normal cycle), and that would be that. While super annoying, that worked for a while.

Both Luke and I kept saying we were going to find the warranty and call someone to come look at it, but we kept putting it off. I guess neither of us were too fond of that idea. Well on Sunday it stopped near the end of the cycle so I unplugged it and then completely forgot about it until the next morning. I tried all the usual tricks to get the damn thing to drain and get the door unlocked but at this point nothing was working. So Luke and I both did a bit of research and were texting each other back and forth about what we were finding on the good old interweb. We figured out that there was a filter somewhere in the machine that needed cleaned out. The only thing we couldn’t agree on was how to get to the thing, as we had both read different things, so we just decided we’d figure it out once he got home from work.

So yeah, that’s how my winter running gear got stuck in the washer and why I had to run in the worst assortment of stuff ever.

Once Luke got home from work (around 5:45 pm) we got to work. After doing more reading, and watching a billion videos on YouTube, we learned that we had to take off the top panel, the panel that has all the buttons and electrical stuff on it, the door, and the rest of the front panel.  I’m not even going to bother explaining how we ended up doing all of that because it took forever, and was an absolutely shitty process. Just know that we eventually got it all off and found this stupid filter.

Upon opening said filter, literally 5 gallons of water came rushing out. We knew this was going to happen, but that still didn’t make it a pleasant experience. We ended up using every towel we own, most of our dish/hand towels, and a shop vac, but we still ended up working with a bunch of water on the floor. And because that wasn’t bad enough, Winchester decided this was a opportune moment to use the litter box (which is located in the laundry room) and kick cat litter all over the wet floor. So now we were working in freezing cold cat litter filled water. Fun fun fun.

Once the water was drained and partially cleaned up, we finally got the filter out and promptly learned that yup, that was definitely the problem. It was full of almost 2 years worth of dog hair (most of which belonged to my brother in laws dog, I might add, because he absolutely refuses to brush the damn thing or clean up so his hair gets everywhere because he’s part lab /husky so he sheds a new freaking dogs worth of hair every. Single. Day. But I’m not bitter about it or anything, she said sarcastically), and gunk, and just complete nastiness. So we pulled all of that shit out of the filter, rinsed it off, and put it back in.

Yup, fixing the problem was that freaking easy. It was getting to it that was the hard part. Go figure. Probably because they want you to call a service technician to come and do it for you, but we ain’t about that life. Oh, and did I mention this is supposed to be done every month? So once a month they want you to call someone to come do this for you. Yeah, not gonna happen.

Anyway, so getting everything put back together didn’t take as long as taking it apart did, but it still took a while. We finally got it done though, plugged the washing machine back in, turned it on and the door was unlocked. That was a good sign. So we added a few wet towels to my now unstuck running gear, poured some detergent into the slot, turned it on the normal cycle, hit start and…IT DIDN’T FUCKING WORK!!!!!!!!!!

Luke and I just looked at each other with absolute defeat smeared across our faces. By then it was almost 9 pm, neither of us had eaten since lunch, we were cold, wet, dirty, and so done with this damn washing machine. After a few deep breaths Luke said that maybe he plugged the power to the door in upside down, and he thought maybe he could get to it without taking the whole thing apart again. After some fiddling and lots of yelling, he got it unplugged and then plugged back in what he hoped was the right way. So we started her up again and thank the lord baby Jesus hallelujah, we got it started! Then 45 minutes later, the cycle finished and I swear to God I’ve never heard a more beautiful sound than the little chime that the washing machine does when a cycle is done. I’m pretty sure it moved me so much that I teared up a little bit (ok, now I’m just being over dramatic).

So I put everything into the dryer (which has been working just fine, knock on wood) and then we went to bed and passed the fuck out. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my washing machine story.

After all of that hard work and drama, you’d thing that I’d finally end up getting a goodnight’s sleep, right? Well that’s where you’d be wrong! I tossed and turned all night, kept alternating between being freezing cold and ridiculously hot, apparently woke Luke up a few times (yeah, he wasn’t too happy with me this morning), and to top it all off, I woke up a little after 4:45 with a terrible headache and couldn’t get back to sleep. Oh man, that was awful, I’m a morning person, but not that much of a morning person, ya dig?

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Anyway, I tried going back to sleep, but after a few minutes I knew that just wasn’t going to happen, so I got up, made coffee, took some ibuprofen, started a load of laundry (we fixed it, might as well use it), and started writing this post.

Around 7:30 it was finally pretty light out, so I decided I needed to go run. Ugh I really really really didn’t want to run. I did though. I finally got my ass out the door around 7:45 and did what was basically an unstructured hill workout. I ran to “the big hill”, ran up it, ran down a “little hill” then ran back up that, ran back down the “big hill” , then ran home. That got me to 2 miles and I am a-ok with that. In my weekly recap I mentioned that I’m working my way back up to 20 miles a week, but I feel like I’m going to be lucky if I hit 16 again this week. Oh well, at this point my only goal for this week is keeping my streak going. I mean, I’ve come too far to quit now, I’ve only got 12 more days to go!

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American Idiot is the only playlist appropriate for days like today.

Upon returning home, I found the lucky cat my great grandma gave me when I was like 5, broken on the floor. I thought I heard something crash and break before I got out of bed this morning. I’m pretty sure one of that cats was trying to get on my bookshelf and knocked it off, so that’s awesome. I’m pretty sure it can be fixed with a little super glue, but I’m still not happy about it. 😦

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Yeah, I changed right back into my pajamas when I got home. 

After my run I had second breakfast (because what’s even the point of being a runner if you don’t get 2 breakfasts), started another load of laundry, showered, cleaned the rabbits’ cage (which in retrospect I realized I probably should have done before I showered, but whatevs), finished cleaning up our mess from last night in the laundry room, and now here we are! 

I’m thinking I’m going to do a little yoga, eat some lunch, take a quick nap, and then see where the day takes me after that. 

I hope your day is going a little better than mine has been. 

~Ashley

Goodbye, Running Slump!Β 

I’m pretty sure I broke through my running slump today! I PRd my 5K time (again) by 40 seconds, so that’s pretty neat! πŸ˜„

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Now that I think about it; I’ve been PRing a lot during my short interval workouts, which is what I did today, so I suppose all of this interval training is really working! I’m still walking during my recovery intervals, but hey, I’m still seeing some pretty big improvements!

Plus the slightly cooler, misty, overcast weather we had today really helped. I’ve also noticed that I tend to PR these workouts in similar conditions. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, this was pretty good timing for the whole slump getting over thing, as the Longview Half is in 9 days!!! Not gonna lie, I was getting a little bit worried about that, but today has brought my confidence back. At this point I’m just super excited to run this race. I’m sure the nerves will kick in hardcore before too long, but right now I feel calm and ready to go!

I’m not too excited about how the weather’s looking though. Like, 80% of the reason why I wanted to do this race last year because it’s on the second Saturday of November so I figured the weather would be at least a little chilly. It ended up being in the high 40’s and low 50’s while I was running. That’s not too bad, but I still prefer colder weather. Anyway, I figured that was just a fluke and that this year would be better. Nope. It’s actually supposed to be about 10 degrees warmer that last year and it’s supposed to be more humid. Fucking awesome. 😦

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I’m really hoping that the whole crazy Midwest weather thing will kick in, and we end up having a drop in temperature, but that’s probably not going to happen. At the rate things have been going, the temperature will probably go up instead. Bleh. Maybe next year, right? πŸ˜‰

Do you have any races coming up?

I’m not the only one who starts obsessing over the weather 10 days before a race, right?Β 

What’s your ideal running temperature?Β 

Ten. Freaking. Miles.Β 

This morning I did the first 10 miler of my half marathon training plan. It’s not the first time I’ve done a 10 mile training run, but it was the longest run I’ve done since I ran my first half last year. So I feel like it’s still a big deal. 

Luke was kind enough to take me to the trail this morning. Although, it did take some convincing to get out of bed this morning at 8. Haha that’s what he gets for staying up so late on the weekends haha! 

Today’s run was nothing fancy. 5 miles out and then 5 miles back. Easy peasy, right? Well at least that’s what I’m telling myself! The first 6 miles went well, around mile 7 I was ready for a nap, at mile 8 I was ready to swear off running for good, and by mile 9 I wanted to die. But hey, I got got through it, and now next weeks long run should be a little easier (hopefully). 

So I got this 10 miles done at the exact same pace that I did the Longview half last year, so I’m pretty confident that this year I’ll be able to do it a little faster. At least I sure hope so! 

Anyway, I finally got around to trying Honey Stinger energy chews. I really liked them! They were yummy, easy to eat, and they didn’t upset my stomach. I had some trouble opening the package, but that may have been because I was so sweaty haha. Even though I did like these, I still prefer the waffles! I think those are more tasty. πŸ˜‰

When my run was done, I got some much needed mac and cheese from Panera. Hahaha trust me when I say that was very much necessary! As was my super long shower once we got home. I was disgusting.

So once all that excitement was done, Luke cooked a whole bunch of stuff! He made two jars of apple pie filling, he’s not sure how those are going to turn out but it seems fine to me. He also made chicken and dumplings and pumpkin bread. And while he was doing all that, I sat on the couch, attempted and failed at taking a nap, and sat some more. I’m so helpful haha. 


I suppose I should stretch and foam roll. I’ll get right on that once the pumpkin bread is done! πŸŽƒπŸ˜

Happy first day of October!! 

~Ashley

Half Marathon Training: Day 37

I was absolutely exhausted all day yesterday. I was hoping a rest day and a good night ofΒ sleep would help, but I woke up with stiff and sore legs, and I didn’t sleep very well last night. I haven’t been sleeping well at all lately, and I’m not sure if it’s from caffeine (although I only have 1 cup of coffee in the morning) or if it’s just because our bedroom gets so hot at night. Either way, it’s no fun.

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I desperately need more deep sleep.

So I think my lack of good sleep combined with humidity (it was at 98%) is why my easy 3 mile run this morning was so absolutely miserable. A LOT of walking happened. Like, waaay to much for a 3 miler, but whatever. I still covered the 3 miles and that’s all that matters. Especially since it was just supposed to be an easy run anyway. But I’m pretty sure this is the most time it’s ever taken me to cover this distance and that’s a little sad, but I’ll get over it. Oh! But on the bright side, I stretched immediate after running and that’s a habit I’ve hardcore fallen out of, but I did it today. It’s the little things, right? πŸ˜‰

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Anyway, after I was stretched, fed, and showered, I did a bunch of cleaning (but didn’t actually finish anything) and some ab work. After that I didn’t get anything done. I’m just so tired…Bleh. Hopefully I’ll start sleeping well again and have so more energy. Dragging ass all day everyday is no fun.

The Adventures of Half Marathon Training: Day 12

Alrighty then! Let’s just get right into it!

So I switched things up a bit over the last two days. Yesterday was supposed to be an easy run day, but I took a much much muchΒ needed rest day instead. That ended up being a wise decision. I don’t think I would have been able to have made a 40 minute “easy” run happen in yesterday’s heat. Plus the humidity and hills. Ugh.Β Instead I took it easy. I did some cleaning, worked in the garden a bit, and Luke and I went for a short walk in the evening. πŸ™‚

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Since I took my rest day yesterday, the original plan was to do that easy run today, but we are under another heat advisory. Fun times… I didn’t feel like waking up crazy early, so I ended up spending 40 minutes on the stationary bike instead. I feel like that’s a fair trade off.

Unfortunately I’m not sure how many miles I went. The bottom screen of my stationary bike went out halfway the my workout, so all I know is that I went 40 minutes…But it was probably somewhere around 10.5 miles, since that’s usually how far I go in 4o minutes.

Anyway, before putting in miles on my bike, I took Lily out for a quick walk to loosen up my legs a bit. They’re still kinda tight and the stationary bike doesn’t help in that regard.

Look what I hit on pokemon Go during our walk this morning! 😬

And afterwards when my legs were nice and tight, I did a nice 30 minute long “yoga for runners” video and threw in a bit of foam rolling. So my legs are feeling a little better. My quads are still kinda tight though…

But aside from my tight quads, I’m feeling great! No foot, shin, or hip issues for me!! Last year during my first half, my right hip gave me trouble all throughout training and the actual race. So this year in working really hard to make sure it, and the rest of my body, stays happy. I want to make it to the starting line (and finish line) healthy and injury free!

As of today I’m 100 days out and feeling good!

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