Tag Archives: gear

My Most Important Pieces Of Running Gear

Alrighty my friends! Do me a favor; quickly scroll through this list and then come back here…

Done?

Ok. πŸ˜„

Notice anything missing from this list? Running shoes, right? I mean, aren’t those literally the most important piece of running gear after all? And then after that a good sports bra, right?

Both of those things are super important, but here’s the thing, we all know that at this point! I mean, look at Runner’s World. At this point the magazine is 90% shoe ads. I stopped subscribing after they got a new editor and chief, but I’ve heard it’s just been going downhill ever since. But they aren’t the only company constantly telling us that we need shoes. Shoes shoes shoes shoes. Runners need their running shoes! Alright. We get it!

But I personally believe that finding the right running shoe for yourself is a very personal thing. Everyone’s feet, body, running stride, etc, are different. Therefore the perfect running shoe for someone else might be an injury waiting to happen for you!

So yes, maybe do a little bit of research before buying a pair of running shoes, but the best possible thing you can do is try on a variety of brands and styles. Run around in them a little bit at the store, and then just kinda hope that they’ll end up working for you. And if not, try again. I know that sounds like a lot of trial and error, but I really believe that’s the best way to figure out what’s going to work the best for you. You can also go to a reputable and trustworthy running specialty store, but take whatever they tell you with a grain of salt. Yes, they want to help you, but at the end of the day no one knows your feet and your body like you do.

Also if you have a particular shoe that works for you, don’t let anyone convince you that you’re wrong! I’m looking at you, people who say you can’t run long distances in Nike Frees!!

And don’t even get me started on sports bras. There is a lot wrong with that particular part of the athletic wear industry right now. I can’t find anything that isn’t super heavy duty that feels like you’re clipping yourself into a straight jacket, that has no pads or underwire (I get why some people like padded sports bras, but I hate them), or that had a bottom band that digs into and chafes the rib cage. I’ve seen women who end up bleeding pretty badly from these terrible sports bra bands. Nike used to make THE PERFECT sports bra for me, but they don’t anymore and I’m so freaking pissed! It’s been YEARS since I’ve had a sports bra that was actually comfortable…

But anyway. That’s why sports bras are also not on this list.

Hahaha oh wow. I really didn’t mean for that to turn into a rant like that. It just kinda happened. πŸ˜‚ But really I think someone needed to say it.

So, let’s get into a more positive track, shall we?

Obviously I’ve got a bone to pick with certain areas of the running gear/athletic wear industry, but there are actually quite a few brands and products out there that I love, trust, and believe in! Which is great because obviously running gear is fun! But it can also make or break your workout (I’m looking at you, terrible sports bras!), help you keep track of your training, progress, time, mileage, mile splits, or whatever, keep you comfortable in certain weather conditions, help keep you safe, provide you with a little extra piece of mind, or just make you feel like a total badass. Which is also super important!

So, today I wanted to share what I would consider to be my most important pieces of running gear. Obviously if asked, most runners would give you different answers as to what their most important gear is because we’re all different and need and want different things! How awesome is that?! 😊 But for me, these are a few of the things I just can’t live without when it comes to running.

ROAD iD

Safety first, my friends!!

My ROAD iD contains my name, birth year, blood type, and emergency contact. All things that could definitely come in handy in case of an emergency. Plus having all of that right on my wrist means I don’t have to carry my ID or anything else with me while I run, which is nice. πŸ˜„

At this point I WILL NOT run without my ROAD iD. Heck, I rarely ever take it off! It just gives me so much peace of mind knowing that if something were to ever happen to me my husband would be contacted right away. I seriously think everyone should have one!

(PS if you don’t have one yet, you can follow my special link to get you one and save 20% on your order. πŸ˜‰)

Garmin Fenix 5

I am a run by feel kinda gal, so I actually don’t pay a lot of attention to or get distracted by the paces that my Garmin is constantly providing me. Which is a problem that some people run into on occasion and something that can become a bit of an issue.

But, since it’s not a problem for me I always run wearing my Garmin Fenix 5. It’s a super fancy GPS watch and I do enjoy all of the data it can provide me, the biggest thing I’m looking for is my mileage. Yup, I’m the kind of person who can’t end a run at 4.8 miles even if I’m standing right in front of my house (and even though I know that GPS watches aren’t 100% accurate). But keeping track of my mileage is super important to me. It’s how I know if I’m being consistent and actually working hard instead of just phoning it in. Some people can measure that with time, but I prefer miles. Everything else that my Fenix 5 can do is just an added bonus. πŸ˜„

Oiselle Pocket Jogger Capris

You guys, the pants CHANGED MY LIFE!!!!!

I know that’s a little dramatic. πŸ˜‚ But seriously, the amount of pockets on running gear is too damn low!! I don’t need to carry much with me on my runs, but at the very least I like a pocket that my phone will fit in along with a few other pockets that I can keep fuel and chapstick in. But I literally never had that until these pants came into my life. I LOVE them. Now I just need to get the Pocket Jogger Shorts! Not one pair of my running shorts contains enough pockets.

I do have photos of my pair of pocket jogger capris, but they aren’t as good as this one from Oiselle’s website. πŸ˜‰

Trucker Hats

Oh trucker hats! Where would I be without you?!?

Gagging and choking on my hair, and constantly trying to keep my bangs out of my eyes, probably. πŸ˜‚

Trucker hats are an absolute MUST for me during the warmer months. I have what I affectionately refer to as a “choppy hair cut”. There are multiple layers, bangs, it’s kinda long, messy, and nothing is the same length. It can be hard to contain. πŸ˜‚ Even braids and headbands can’t keep it all out of my way. But trucker hats help without holding in too much heat thanks to their mesh backs. Plus I like to have some kind of brimmed hat anyway to keep the sun/wind/rain/who knows what out of my eyes if need be. πŸ˜„

Moisture Wicking Socks

Honestly the brand and style don’t matter much to me. Sometimes I wear compression socks. Sometimes I don’t. As long as my socks keep me feet from getting too sweaty and gross then I’m good to go!

The thing is, one time in my early days as a runner I forgot to switch into moisture wicking socks. It was a miserable experience for my poor, sweaty feet and I have never and probably will never make that same mistake again. I always double check my feet before I hit the pavement, just to be sure that I did indeed put on a pair of my running socks. πŸ˜‚

I’m a simple girl with simple needs. Aside from my Garmin I really don’t have any super duper fancy gear. Obviously there is nothing wrong with having the latest/expensive/technologically advanced/super spiffy gear. But I like to remind people that while all of that stuff can be fun, you really don’t need much to start running. That’s one of the cool things about this sport! It really doesn’t take fancy equipment. You just need a pair of shoes that work for you and whatever allows you to move comfortably over however many miles you want to cover.

Alrighty! That’s all from me for now!

What running gear can’t you live without? I’d love to hear your answers!

But for now I’ll wish you happy Monday and a wonderful new week!!

~Ashley

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Team ROAD iD

You guys!!!!! I’m super duper excited to finally be able to announce that I get to be apart of ROAD iD’s ambassador program this year!!!!!!!! πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

If you’ve been following me for a while then you might already know how much I love my ROAD iD. I wear it all of the time! When I’m running, walking my dogs, or doing anything or going anywhere, really.!I seriously consider it to be one of my most important pieces of running gear. I even wrote a blog post about what ROAD iD is and why I wear it a few years ago. So I’ve been pretty loyal to this brand ever since I just kind of stumbled upon it back in 2015.

Lol as I was looking for photos for this post I realized that my teal ROAD iD band had seen 3 different Garmins before I finally broke it. πŸ˜‚

I had honestly never heard about ROAD iD until the day before my very first race/half marathon ever back in 2015. I went to packet pick up the day before my first half feeling super excited and very nervous since I literally had no idea what to expect, about the race and whether or not I could actually cover 13.1 miles on foot sure, but also because I had never done anything like this before and had no clue what to expect throughout the whole process. So when I revived my packet I didn’t even make it to the car before I had torn into the envelope containing my first ever race bib (it’s still displayed on my bedroom wall along with all of my medals and other race bibs 😊). Number 136. I admired it for a while, just kinda soaking it all in. But of course I was curious as to what else was in that envelope. I found advertisements for other local races, a coupon for the KC Running Company Stores, and a coupon for $5 (at least I think it was $5. Hahaha it might have been more. Cut me some slack guys, it’s been a while! πŸ˜‰) off of a ROAD iD order.

At that moment I didn’t think much of it. I was too busy freaking out about my first half/race ever. But a few weeks after I finished my first race (which you can read about here, if you’d like 😁) I decided to visit this ROAD iD’s website. I did have a coupon after all. πŸ˜‰ Hahaha I hate to sound super dramatic, but my life kinda changed at that point!

I immediately fell in love with the idea; a customizable, wearable ID tag. A place where you can put super important info that you never really want to need, but would definitely be happy to have on your person just in case anything were to happen. Better than having to carry your ID with you for sure! Especially since your ID doesn’t usually include your emergency contact’s info. So I ordered one that day, along with a super spiffy 13.1 badge, since I was a new half marathoner and all. πŸ˜‰ And now about 4 years later I still have my original face-plate and that 13.1 badge. They have certainly stood the test of time! They haven’t worn down at all and they barely have a scratch on them! 😊 I did eventually manage to snap very pretty teal stretch band by taking it off and putting it back on thought. But it took me almost 4 years to do that! So I’d definitely say they are durable!!

I wear mine EVERYWHERE! At this point I rarely even take it off! In the summer I end up with some really funky tan lines because I also wear my Garmin pretty much all the time. So my left wrist always ends up with two weird pale spots on it.πŸ˜‚

For real though I think everyone should have one! At this point I’ve got my mom and dad wearing them and i’m currently working on my two sisters and my brother. πŸ˜‰

My mom has a seizure disorder which is included on her ROAD iD, along with a medical alert badge. She wears hers all of the time and it make her feel like she can actually go out in public and live a normal life despite her medical issues.

My mom is rocking some super sweet badges on her pretty pink ROAD iD.

My dad does all sorts of crazy things!! He hikes, runs, and climbs mountains, when he’s not busy driving semi trucks, training drivers, or basically running a trucking company, often accompanied by his Russian Bear dog, Niko or the “All American girl”, Barbie. So it was a pretty obvious choice for him to wear a ROAD iD during his many adventures.

My dad also rocks a pretty pink ROAD iD. If anyone needs a male model for anything you should probably hit him up on Instagram @martiniiijames.

I think it’s such an important piece of gear for anyone who has medical issues, does any kind of adventuring, traveling, or just enjoys walking their dog around the block. It’s certainly one of those things that’s better to have and not need it than to need it and not have it. Mine has definitely given me and my family a little more peace of mind while I’m out running. I literally will not run without it.

I think at this point I’ve gone on enough about how much I love my ROAD iD. Hahaha I’m just so super stoked to be able to represent a brand that I love and believe in this much! And to make things even more exciting I have a special link you can follow to get 20% off of your next ROAD iD order!!

Click here to save 20% on your ROAD iD order!! 😁

Seriously my friends, if you don’t have a ROAD iD yet, if yours needs updating, or if you know a friend or family member who could use one, follow the above link, save yourself some money, and get yourself a little extra piece of mind!

Stay safe out there my friends! Wishing you all many happy healthy miles and lots of amazing adventures!

-Ashley

How I Dress For Cold, Dry Winter Runs

How do you dress for cold runs? Well, I’m not sure. But I can tell you how I do it. πŸ˜‰

Honestly I think that gearing up for any kind of weather condition is a very personal thing. Everyone runs at different temperatures and everyone experiences the elements in different ways. So while one runner might be wearing shorts and a t-shirt when it’s 40 degrees outside another might be wearing tights and a light jacket. Neither runner is wrong. If you feel comfortable then you are dressed properly!

That being said, dressing for the cold and I mean the real cold, I’m talking single digit temps here (or even real feel temperatures in the single digits) can be kinda tricky. But before we get started on how I gear up for the bitter cold I just wanted to note a couple of different things;

First and foremost the importance of moisture wicking material! It is absolutely CRUCIAL to wear materials that are going to move moister away from your skin in the winter. Being wet and cold is a dangerous state to be in. You can develop hypothermia rather quickly in very cold conditions so you’re going to want to stay as dry as possible. Moisture wicking material will help. Especially the layers closest to your skin. I try to wear only moisture wicking material, but when it’s super cold and windy out I’ll usually throw a cotton pullover hoodie on over the rest of my moisture wicking gear.

Secondly, I’ve specified dry conditions for a reason. Running when it’s cold and wet (snow, ice, sleet, freezing rain, etc.) is a whole different animal. We’ve already talked about how important it is to stay dry when it’s cold out, but that’s not to say you can’t run when it’s cold and wet out. That just takes a little bit more prep, slightly different gear, and the ability and willingness to exercise caution (especially in icy conditions) and modifying or cutting your run short as need be.

Okey Dokey! Now that that’s out of the way, here is how I dress for cold, dry winter runs!!

So yesterday was a pretty cold day here in Kansas. Cold enough that even I wasn’t super stoked about running outside. πŸ˜‚ It was 22 degrees with a real feel temperature of 8, cloudy, and with winds coming in from the south east at about 16 mph. Honestly it’s the wind that always gets me. I HATE it.

But, I would most definitely rather run in the cold wind than run on a treadmill (which I am lucky enough to have as an option. I’m well aware of that fact. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜) so I decided to gear up and do my run outside! One of the most important aspects of gearing up for the cold is layers! Layers that you can take off or adjust as need be are also very helpful. But layering your clothing probably will make a huge difference in how you feel in the cold.

(Sorry in advance for the not-so-great photos. I’m working with the bad lighting in my house and an iPhone camera here. πŸ˜‰)

My layers laid out on my bed.

Alrighty, let’s start from the bottom and work our way up! I like to go with one pair of socks. Crew cut to help keep my ankles warm. I’m kinda tall so my pants sometimes don’t cover them. πŸ˜‰ In life in general my feet are always freezing, but when I run they are always hot and sweaty, so one pair of thin socks is all I need when it’s dry out.

I always go commando while running. I’m just more comfortable that way. So when the winter winds start to blow I double up on pants. At least when the temperatures are super low. That wind can really cut through a single layer and that can make your crotch really cold and nobody wants a cold crotch. πŸ˜‰ So I like to wear a pair of fleece lined leggings with with either a pair of windbreakers or nice thick sweatpants overtop.

For the top I wear a sports bra of course, followed by a thin shirt. I’m rather fond of quarter length sleeves, but a long sleeved shirt is also a good option. Followed by a running jacket. I LOVE my Nike one. It’s got thumb holes which are always fantastic. Vents in the armpits and a little bit thinner fabric on the back and under arms where most people tend to get hot and sweaty. Plus it’s a quarter zip which can really come in handy if you start feeling a little too warm. You’d be surprised how big of a difference that can make!

Anyway, like I mentioned before, on particularly windy days I’ll wear a pullover hoodie on top of all of that. It really helps keep me from feeling that cold wind. A nice windbreaker jacket would also probably help but I do not have one of those. πŸ˜‚

Then come the hat, gloves, and a bandanna that I borrowed from my dog. πŸ˜‚ So the hat and gloves are pretty obvious. Gotta keep those ears and fingers warm! I just wear cheap little cotton gloves. Nothing fancy, but they work for me. And I’m sure they’re are better beanies for winter running, but my Carhartt has never done me wrong! I know some people prefer to run with just earmuffs or whatever because a whole hat on your head does get pretty warm. I’m not a fan of just having my ears covered though so I like a full on hat. If I start feeling too hot I just take it off for a few minutes.

Now, on to the bandana! Honestly I really need a good buff or something, but I do t have one and this is what I’ve got to work with. A buff or a bandanna or a balaclava will give you some extra face and neck coverage, which can be necessary when it gets crazy cold out. You can also pull them up over your nose and mouth to give your lungs a little break from the cold air. I know some people like to run with their nose and mouth covered the whole time and I’m sure that’s pretty practical in places where it gets even colder, but I prefer to just wear the bandanna and pull it over my mouth and nose as I need it.

And last but not least sunglasses!! I actually wear my sunglasses during a good majority of my runs for several reasons. First off, my eyes are pretty sensitive to bright lights. So even if it’s cloudy out I still like to wear them. Especially if there is snow on the ground. They also offer a little more protection from the cold. Sure it’s not a lot, but it is something! Especially on those really windy days or when it’s so cold it feels like your eyes are gonna freeze.

And that’s it! Once all of my layers are on, I lace up my shoes and head out into the world ready to face the elements! Sure I feel a little bit like Randy from A Christmas Story, but hey, at least I feel relatively comfortable whenever it’s extremely cold out! πŸ˜‰

So this is what works for me on dry, windy days, when temperatures get into the single digits. As you can see, while I do have a few really nice pieces of winter running gear, I don’t have too many crazy fancy things for when the weather get crazy cold, but I am able to make it work! I do have the option of running on the treadmill but I like to avoid that whenever possible. πŸ˜‚ But obviously that’s not an option for everyone, so I just wanted to say that it is possible to get out there and be relatively comfortable even in low temperatures!

Alrighty! I think that about covers it for today! Happy Tuesday!!

~Ashley

Ashley’s Tips For Surviving Summer Running

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Ah, summer. For some the thought of summertime brings up wonderful thoughts of days at the beach, road trips, ice cream, fireworks, fun in the sun, and relaxation. Not me though. While those things are fun in their own right, I’m a self-proclaimed cold weather person and I don’t particularly enjoy the summer months. The thought of summertime makes me think of super early mornings, that gross feeling of your thighs sticking to a chair on a warm summer day, getting third degree burns while trying to buckle your seat belt in a boiling hot car, and of course hot, slow, miserable runs, feeling like I’m drowning in my own sweat, and bugs. So. Many. BUGS!!

Haha alright, alright, I’m a bit melodramatic, I can admit that. I can also admit that summer running does have its perks and sometimes it can be down right enjoyable! Still though, I can’t wait for fall to get here. πŸ˜‰ But since summer is in full swing and we’ve got a while before fall blesses us with its wonderful presence, I thought it would be a good time to talk a little about surviving summer runs. It can be a little tricky sometimes! But these are my tips for making running in hot, humid weather, more bearable! πŸ™‚

1. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you could ever do for your body! Dehydration can cause a slew of unpleasant side effects such as feeling tired and sluggish, headaches, dizziness, and rapid heart rate. Yeah, that’s not a good way to feel in general, but side effects like that can make running an absolutely miserable experience, so staying hydrated is a must!! And not just before your run either. When the weather is hot you sweat a lot more and that dehydrates you pretty quickly, so it’s usually a good idea to take in some fluids while you run too. Water is always a fantastic option, but if you’re like me and sweat super salty, or are planning on doing a hard workout or are just going to be running for more than an hour sipping on a sports drink to replace electrolytes might be a good idea as well.

As for when and how much you should be drinking on a run, well, that’s going to vary from person to person. I generally like to take a few sips of water and maybe a sports drink if it’s particularly hot or if I’m going longer around every 2-3 miles. But that’s just what works for me. You’ll have to do a bit of experimenting to find what works for you.

A good way to gauge your hydration is actually your urine color! If it’s a darker yellow (think apple juice) then you need to drink more. If it’s a nice pale yellow you’re probably adequately hydrated. If it’s completely clear then you might be overdoing it on water and might need some electrolytes as well. Now more likely than not, when you finish a run your urine is probably going to be a dark yellow. That’s perfectly fine! Just make sure you drink enough to get it back to a pale yellow as soon as you can. I’m always weirdly proud when my urine is just the right color hahaha.

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My long run necessities.

2. Dress Appropriately

What you wear can make a really big difference on how you feel! In the summer its best to opt for light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, made with a breathable, moisture wicking material. When it’s really hot shedding as much clothing as you’re comfortable with and the law allows (as far as I know, most states in the US frown upon displaying your more intimate bits in public πŸ˜‰ ) can also help keep you cool.

The goal in the summer is to keep sweat and excess body heat moving away from the body and everything mentioned above will help with that. Tight fitting clothes can can actually trap in some heat and cotton material gets weighed down with sweat and doesn’t breathe the way moister wicking material does. That can leave you feeling more hot and even a little weighed down. Plus that can cause all kinds of uncomfortable chafing and blisters. Take it from someone who accidentally wore a pair of cotton socks on a hot summer day, moister wicking material is important! I’ve literally never made that mistake again haha.

3. Wear sunscreen

I’ve heard several conflicting things about sunscreen; That it prevents your body from absorbing as much UV rays and therefore keeping you marginally cooler. Or that it can block your sweat glands and prevents you from sweating as much and therefore making you retain more heat. Now I’m not sure if either of those things are true, but what I do know is that sunburn sucks. Protect your skin. Wear sunscreen.

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In 2013 Luke and I went on vacation in Florida. On our second day there we spent the whole day at the beach. I told him he needed to put on sunscreen but he didn’t listen. He spent the rest of the week we were there in a lot of pain. Seriously, WEAR SUNSCREEN!!

4. Wear A Hat

Hats have become one of my all-time favorite pieces of running gear. I started out my running career as a headband girl, but that quickly changed once I learned just how versatile and useful hats are! Now I rarely run without one. In the summer hats with a mesh back are probably your best option. That will allow some heat to escape while keeping your face nice and shaded (and in my case it also helps keep my hair out of my face and mouth. πŸ˜‰ ). Visors are also a good choice for the summer, but if you wear one you one really be able to do #5 on this list.

5. Put Ice In Your Hat

Obviously the logistics of this one can be a little tricky, but if you’re running near home, have the ability to stop at a gas station/restaurant/store, or have an awesome person supporting you on a run or who is willing to meet you somewhere, putting a few ice cubes in your hat can be a real life saver!!! It cools you off pretty quick but since it takes the ice a little bit to melt it can help keep you a little bit cooler for longer than just dumping water in on your head. Although in a pinch, dumping water on your head is also refreshing! It doesn’t keep you as cool for as long though, that’s why I prefer ice! Another good place to stick a few ice cubes is in your sports bra! Cool boobs are happy boobs, that’s what I always say! πŸ˜‰ Hahaha ok, I’ve never actually said that, but a few ice cubes in the sports bra when it’s crazy hot out is also nice way to cool off a bit. πŸ™‚

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6. Run In Shade If You Can

Never underestimate the cooling effects of running in the shade!! It can feel around 10-15 degrees cooler in the shade. Not because it’s actually cooler or anything, the temperature is still the same, but while in the shade you get hit with less solar radiation and therefore don’t feel as hot. It also might help you avoid getting a sun burn, but you shouldn’t have to worry about that, because you’re wearing sun screen, right? πŸ˜‰

But anyway, planning a route with some nice, tall trees can be a life saver on a hot day, when the sun isΒ out!

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7. Get Out Before The Sun

Did you know on a hot summer day asphalt can get up around 140 degrees?? That’s why it’s usually not safe to walk your dog on in when it’s hot out, but that’s another post for another day. πŸ˜‰ But you know what happens to the heat the asphalt absorbs on hot days? It reflects it right back up. So imagine this; your out running on a hot summer day, it’s about 85 degrees out, the sun is shining directly on you, and the asphalt is just reflecting even more heat back up at you. Doesn’t sound too pleasant, right? So the solution to this little problem is to get out before the sun comes up and heats up the asphalt. Which unfortunately requires waking up pretty early haha. Don’t get me wrong, running has turned me into a morning person, but like, a 6:30-7:00 kinda morning person. Waking up around 4:30-5:00 am is justΒ too muchΒ morning, ya feel me? πŸ˜‰ It’s usually worth it on a hot summer day though. Running at 5 in the morning is a lot more comfortable than running at 5 in the afternoon, after the suns been out all day and the asphalt is burning hot. Plus you’re usually greeted with some pretty amazing sunrises!!

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8. Slow Down

I know this is something that a lot of people don’t want to hear, but when it’s really hot and humid out one of the best things you can do is slow down. Maybe even take walking breaks if you have to. I know runners are constantly striving to better themselves and get discouraged when they feel like they’re working really hard but their paces don’t reflect that. Well Ashley is here to tell you that that’s ok!! The heat can really slow you down and if you’re not careful you can easily end up overheating. Heat exhaustion is no joke! So stay safe out there. Slow down. Don’t over exert yourself and end up sick or injured. Summer is the perfect time of year to focus on running by feel instead of running by whatever pace your GPS watch is reading. I promise you’ll end up feeling better when your run is done, and once the weather starts getting better you’ll be able to run faster again.

9. Be Aware Of Heat Exhaustion/Heat Stroke

Just as you must be wary of frost bite and hypothermia in the winter, you must be wary and know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Especially if you plan on being outside in the sun for long periods of time (and remember that it can happen in a short amount of time as well). This kind of stuff can and does happen, even to the most fit and prepared people, so I think it’s very important to know the symptoms and what to do if you, your running buddy, or some guy out mowing his yard, starts exhibiting said symptoms. THESE ARE SERIOUS CONDITIONS AND CAN TURN ANY RUN OR OUTDOOR ACTIVITY INTO A LIFE OR DEATH SITUATION!

Stay safe out there guys! The point is to enjoy running for as long in life as possible, not to push yourself so hard that you end up sick or in the hospital.

10.Β When Worst Comes To Worst, Stay IndoorsΒ 

You wake up early in the morning, before the sun is even out and get ready to run; you drink some water and enjoy a nice breakfast, apply a liberal amount of sunscreen, don your lightest colored, loose-fitting, dry fit tank top and shorts, your most favorite trucker hat, and bad-ass reflective sunglasses, you plan to stop back at your house every 2-3 miles for a sip of water and to cool down with some ice. You’re ready to roll! “But better check my weather app first” you think to yourself as your about to walk out the door, and are greeted with several alerts about the heat and air quality.

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You know you’re a heat sensitive person with asthma. Your also smart enough to know that sometimes running outside just isn’t worth it. Right??

Haha obviously that’s a situation I’ve found myself in several times in the almost 5 years that I’ve been running. And usually I am smart enough to know that running outside just isn’t worth it. There have been a few times I was not smart though and tried to run anyway. Luckily in those situations I’ve always ended up cutting my runs short after realizing I’d made a bad decision, and so far I’ve always managed to realize that well before I’d run into any serious trouble. Luckily for me, I’ve become a little more cautions about this kind of thing as I’ve gotten a little older and learned more about running and life in general.

The lesson here, my friends, is sometimes it’s just not worth it. If the weather is ever detrimental to your health or safety, it’s usually best to stay indoors. Maybe run on a treadmill instead, or do some laps in a pool, take a spin class, try out some yoga, or something. I know getting in your miles or doing certain workouts are important, but that’s never more important than staying healthy. There really are times when you’re better off doing nothing than risking injury, illness, or even death. Don’t risk your well-being on something as stupid as some arbitrary number of miles or a specific work out. It’s not worth it.

Alright, I know those last 2 points were kinda serious and I’m not trying to scare anyone off of summer running or anything. Summer running can be fun and has all sorts of benefits! I just think it’s important to keep those things in mind.

Enjoy your summer (or at least try to if you’re like me and dislike the heat haha), have fun, stay safe, and remember; summer miles bring fall smiles!

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Happy summer running, everyone!

~Ashley

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Thursday Things

My dad signed us up Tuesday, so there’s no turning back now! This November he’ll be running his first half marathon and I’ll be running two half marathons in two days! That should be an interesting experience!

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I think I’m up for the challenge though! Plus its pretty darn exciting that my dad and I are doing another race together and the fact that this will be the first of hopefully many half marathons that he will run! πŸ˜‰ It’s also pretty exciting that I have someone who actually wants to do these things with me! Not gonna lie, for the most part I do prefer to run alone, but I’m always open to run with other people anyway! Especially my family!

So like I mentioned on Monday, he’s been gearing up in preparation for half marathon training! On Sunday he got himself a legit pair of running shoes, an r8 roller, a bunch of Honey Stinger waffles, and a pair of compression socks, and on Tuesday, along with registering ups both for the Gobbler Grind, he got himself a Road ID (which I think is one of the most important pieces of gear you can own. I’ve got a whole post about what they are and why I think they’re important that you can read here πŸ™‚ ) and a bunch of badges for it.

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So he should be pretty much set! Plus he has the added benefit of being able to talk to someone who’s done the whole half marathon thing, has been running for almost 5 years, and who is always reading, listening to podcasts, and talking to more experienced runners about the subject. Lucky him haha! Aside from all of the various resources I’ve mentioned I’ve been pretty much on my own with the whole running and half marathon-ing thing. Maybe one day I’ll hire a coach. At least that would take a lot of the guess work out of it. But I do kinda like flying solo. πŸ˜‰

As for me, well, I’m not too worried. At least not yet haha. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be able to pull off this stunt and when I do I’m pretty sure that’s just gonna be even more justification to myself that I absolutely need to run a full marathon, probably next year. πŸ˜‰ But we’ve still got a ways to go before we get anywhere near that territory.

Anyway, I’m a little bit annoyed right now. Earlier this week my neighbor let her daughter come over while she was really sick. Literally the first thing that kid said when she walked through my door was “I have a really bad cold.” Yup, after she said that I knew I’d be getting sick…and now, of course I am. It was really bad yesterday, but I seem to be improving a little bit today. My throat is pretty sore though and that’s super annoying. Plus I’ve been super crazy tired, so I didn’t run yesterday or today. I figured it was probably best to let my body rest.

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I’m annoyed though because now Luke has also come down with it and had to come home early from work today. All of this could have been prevented if my neighbor would have just kept her kid at home. Or at least would have told me that the kid was sick when she asked if she could come over, because then I would have said no. Don’t get me wrong, I like my neighbors and I really don’t mind that her kid comes over all the time. She likes to hang out with me and play with all of our animals. But I don’t exactly think it’s cool to be sending your sick kid to someone else house so that she can infect everyone else. Like I said, now both Luke and I have it and it fucking sucks..

Especially since it’s really nice outside right now and there is a bunch of stuff we need to get done for the garden, the rabbits, the chickens, and whatnot and this evening would have been a good time to get a start on some of that because Luke doesn’t work tomorrow, but now we aren’t going to get a chance to take advantage of that or the nice weather (it’s supposed to rain on tomorrow, and then get kinda cold again on Saturday and Sunday) which sucks. I don’t know man, obviously I don’t have kids, but if I did I don’t think I’d be sending their sick asses around to infect the neighbors.

So yeah, did a whole lot of nothing yesterday. This morning I walked Lily since it was crazy nice out and I figured getting a little bit of vitamin D might help my situation a little bit. I’ve also been trying to drink more water today because I didn’t drink much yesterday. It’s super hard to motivate yourself to drink water when your throat hurts. Which is weird because right now cold stuff seems to be making my throat feel a little better, but I still don’t feel like drinking water. Haha bodies are weird. I’ve also been making a point to eat super well today. Trying to get lots of nutrients in to help my body fight off this thing as quickly as possible. I’m already tired of all of this “resting” nonsense, but I know I’ll probably get well faster if I do it. I just don’t really do the whole sitting around doing nothing thing well. Especially on really pretty days like today when I’d rather be outside.

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Oh well. I can’t do much about it now, aside from what I’m already doing. Hopefully this illness wont stick around for too long because both Luke and I are already very tired of it haha.

Oh, but possible on the bright side, my Oiselle pocket jogger capris should hopefully be getting here tomorrow! There was a whole freaking debacle about that haha. I had originally ordered a pair on March 16th, but long story short, the UPS lost them and it took them 3 weeks to figure that out. Yeah, that was super annoying. But Oiselle’s customer service is pretty great and they refunded the order right away after the UPS officially declared them lost or whatever. So I re-ordered them last Friday and hopefully they’ll actually get here this time. If not I’m gonna have to make a point to not order anything online that ships via the UPS. This isn’t the first time I’ve had issues with the UPS but it’s been the worst by far. I really really want to try out Oiselle’s leggings though and this particular pair has ALL OF THE POCKETS! So fingers crossed that the UPS doesn’t fuck up a second time. I mean, what are the odds, right?

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Alrighty then, that’s all for today! I’m gonna go back to wallowing in my own misery now. πŸ˜‰

~Ashley

Thursday Things

They’re here!!!!!

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I’ve mentioned before how excited I was about these Honey Stinger cracker n’ nut butter snack bars, right? Well, if not, I’m super duper excited about theseΒ  Honey Stinger cracker n’ nut butter snack bars!! Haha so of course I ordered a box of the almond butter and dark chocolate bars on Monday. Along with a couple of boxes of waffles because priorities. πŸ˜‰

So that all got here today and I was able to try out one of the snack bars. They. Are. Amazing! Honey Stinger has yet to disappoint! πŸ™‚

You can get a box of these bad boys here, if you’re interested. πŸ™‚

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Along with getting my Honey Stinger fix, I also got a new pair of Zensah compression sleeves earlier this week! How super spiffy are these?!?!?!

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Haha I think they’re pretty freaking great. Plus along with being super neat looking (who doesn’t like rubber ducks?), I love Zensah’s compression sleeves (and socks). They’re super comfortable and I don’t feel like I’m being squeezed to death when I’m wearing them, but they still provide a pretty good amount of compression. I think they’re great. πŸ™‚

These rubber ducky sleeves, mini crew socks, and no-show socks are limited edition, so if you’re into that kinda thing like me, I’d snatch them up while I can! And obviously I did haha. πŸ™‚

Anyway, I finally got around to updating my “Goals and PR’s” page. You know, we’re only halfway through the 3rd month of the year, but better late than never, right? πŸ˜‰ At some point I need to get around to update my “About” page. I think it’s been something like 2 years since I’ve updated that, and obviously some things have changed. Plus I’ve just never been a fan of my “about” page so I really probably should just sit down and work on that. I’ll do it at some point haha.

Oh man, I’ve talked a little bit about what kind of running nutrition and gear that I like, so I guess maybe I should talk about actual running…it’s hard. I’m just having one of those weeks where everything feels hard and I just don’t want to do it. Which is super discouraging after how much fun and how great I felt during the Whiskey Run last Sunday. But it happens. It seems to happen to me a lot, but hey, just gotta work through it. So that’s what I’m doing. I took a rest day on Monday since I raced on Sunday. Did an easy 2 mile run on Tuesday (it didn’t feel easy), did the most difficult 4 miler of my life on Wednesday. Seriously, it was awful. I got through it though. Slowly. But my goal was 4 so dammit I did 4 haha.

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This morning I wanted to get another 3-4 miles in, but holy cow I felt like shit! I woke up sore, tired, and gross feeling. And I’m not entirely sure why. I don’t think I’ve done anything so far this week to warrant being this sore, so I figured I should play it safe and take the day off. Part of me kinda wonders if that’s just a lame excuse to get out of doing what probably would have been another not so fun run, but the rest of me is too tired and achy to care haha. So I’m mostly happy with my decision. I have a feeling skipping today’s run means I’m avoiding some kind of illness or potential injury, because like I said, I really don’t think I have a reason to feel this crappy today haha.

So, instead of running I took an epsom salt bath at 9 am (that was really nice πŸ™‚ ), walked my dogs, did some yoga, drank some bone broth, and spent quite a bit of time working on blog posts. I definitely felt better doing all of that than I probably would have if I’d attempted to run. πŸ˜‰

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Whew, I really hope things start feeling better for me running-wise soon. But I’m pretty much dedicated to suffering through it until it finally does. Hopefully that means I’ll come out on the other side of it stronger, but I guess we’ll find out when I get there.

And on that note; who wants to see some super unflattering photos of my dad and I at the Whiskey Run 5k last Sunday? Because the official race photos were posted a few days ago, and oh boy we are some very photogenic people! πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

They got a great photo of me walking up a hill, I totally nailed the “stopping your watch at the finish line” photo (that’s the first time I’ve done that, I think! πŸ˜‰ ), there’s a great photo of my dad being in pain because he hurt himself in the last few feet of the run (he’s feeling better now though), and post race/breakfast coffee while walking to the car while my dad was still in pain. Haha oh man, they’re all pretty great, but none of them beat my photos from mile 11 at last years Longview half marathon.

 

 

 

My goal for this year at Longview is to not be making that face at mile 11. πŸ˜‚

And finally, how about a little chicken update? My tiny raptors are growing like crazy! Look at all of those feathers they’re growing!! πŸ™‚ Since they are doing so well, getting a little bigger, and the weather’s been relatively nice, Luke and I took them outside and let them explore their chicken coop a little bit for the first time last night. Initially they were kinda freaked out (and understandably so) but after a few minutes they started wandering around and checking everything out. After about 10 or 15 minutes we brought them back inside though. Don’t want them getting sick or too stressed out or anything. We want them laying eggs ASAP! They should start around June or July, so that’s not too long of a wait. πŸ˜‰ Plus by then they’ll be living outside full-time, and thank goodness for that! Having chicks living in your house is kinda fun, but they are messy little creatures haha.

 

Alrighty then! I guess that pretty much covers everything I wanted to talk about today. Today is basically my Friday because Luke is off work tomorrow and apparently we’re going to be super busy tomorrow! Should be fun though! πŸ™‚

Happy Friday eve!

~Ashley

February 17th, 2018

Hello friends! I hope everyone has had a super Saturday! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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This photo is kind of irrelevant haha. I’ve just been wearing these socks all day and they make me super happy. πŸ˜‰

I’m not sure if I can describe my Saturday as “super”, but I did have a pretty good day. πŸ™‚ I’m still not running thanks to my toe, but it is starting to look and feel a lot better! And the tooth that had the root canal seems to be healing nicely as well! It’s still a little sore, especially where I had the Novocaine shots, but other than that it’s doing great! Now I just need to get a crown on it and it should be good to go! I’m still feeling a little bit itchy from the antibiotics I had though (I had an allergic reaction to them). I only took two doses of it so I was hoping the rash wouldn’t last for very long, and for the most part it’s gone, I’ve just got a few itchy spots left and it’s kind of obnoxious haha. But all in all, my ailments are healing and I’m very happy about that! I was in kind of miserable shape there for a little bit, so it feels great to finally be on the mend!

Just for comparison, the photos below show my toe on February 7th, and 16th. So it’s definitely healing! I’m still kinda limping around on it, but it definitely feels better than it did on the 7th when I hurt it!

 

It’s kind of annoying that I’m always doing this kind of stuff my myself though. I swear almost every time I get hurt and am unable to run, it happens because I did something stupid or klutzy (like slipping, falling, and hitting my toe on the edge of my couch). Most of my injuries don’t come from running, although I have had my fair share of those as well. I’m just super injury prone, I guess.

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This is my husband’s assessment of my life. It’s also the reason he won’t let me get on the roof to take down our Christmas lights EVEN THOUGH IT”S THE MIDDLE OF FEBRUARY!!!Β 

Anyway, 4 years ago today to my parents’ extreme disappointment, I got my second tattoo!

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Haha I guess they weren’t too fond of their eldest daughter getting a relatively large, black skull permanently put onto her body. πŸ˜‰ I, on the other hand, think it’s fucking fantastic! A lot of people don’t seem to agree with me on that one though, but that just makes me like it even more haha. The artist who did it was pretty awesome! She did a tattoo on Luke a few days before she did mine and they both turned out really great! I bled a lot during this one (it took a lot of ink haha), but even so there is very little visible scaring and 4 years later it still looks really good!

And funnily enough, February 17th also just so happens to be Billie Joe Armstrong’s birthday! That didn’t happen on purpose, it was just a really weird coincidence. Still kinda neat though. πŸ™‚ So yeah, wishing the happiest of birthdays to my favorite front-man!

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I wish I knew who to properly credit this photo for! All I know is that I found it on pinterest.Β 

Speaking of tattoos, I want another one (or two, or ten. πŸ˜‰ ). So does Luke. And it would appear that we will be going on another family vacation this summer (this year we’re going to Branson, MO), and I’m thinking we might end up coming home from that trip with a little more ink. πŸ˜‰ We’ll have to wait and see, but we both have several ideas of things we want done, and I’m pretty sure we’re just going to start making it a tradition to get tattooed while we’re on vacation, because why not?! Haha I mean, we both got tattooed while we were in Florida and that was a lot of fun! πŸ™‚ I also kinda want another ear piercing, but I absolutely hate healing piercings. It usually takes my body a while to finally get used to them. So maybe that wont happen. Or maybe it will. I can’t make up my mind haha.

But anyway, that’s all I’ve got for today. Haha I don’t have a lot going on right now, especially since I’m not currently running, so I feel like I don’t have a lot to talk about. Oh well. Hopefully it wont be too much longer until I can run again!

Until next time,

~Ashley