Tag Archives: Gobbler Grind Half marathon

Weekly Recap: August 6th-12th, 2018

This week has been a little more tough. Mostly because I’ve been pretty tired and it’s been really hot and gross out. But even so, I haven’t skipped or cut a single run short this week and I’m pretty darn proud of that! πŸ™‚

At this point I’m only 3 going on 4 weeks in, but this training cycle has been a lot different than the training I did for my first 3 half marathons. I haven’t skipped or cut anything short this time around, but I did a lot during my first 3 training cycles. In all fairness though, I was also hurt while training for those (and a few of those injuries weren’t even running related haha). I’m also doing more mileage earlier on and I’ve already done my first double digit run this week, which I wouldn’t have even been close to doing the other 3 times I’ve done this.

I don’t know what it is, but this time around something just clicked and I’m getting shit done! Originally I was just going to try to survive both of my half marathons (since I’m doing two in two days and all. πŸ˜‰ ), but now I’m thinking about chasing a PR during the Longview Half, which will be the first of the two. I’ve just been putting in a lot of work so far and if I keep things up at this rate I really should be able to! Which would be amazing since last year at Longview didn’t go very well for me. Plus I haven’t PR’d in anything in forever and that’s just kinda sucked. I’m still not entirely sure if it’s a good idea to chase a PR for that half when I have another the day after, but my goal for the Gobbler Grind was always just to survive it and cross the finish line anyway. Plus my dad and my brother are doing that one with me, so I feel like it will be easier to do just that since I wont be doing the second one by myself.

I don’t know man, the thought of chasing a PR in general is kinda scary and exciting. But especially now that I’ll still have another half to do after finishing the first one. I think I’m gonna go for it though! Because isn’t the whole point of running to do fun, crazy, scary, exciting things? It sure is for me!!

Anyway, those are just some thoughts I’ve been having. I know I’m still super early into this training cycle, but I have been needed to figure out my goals for these two races and I think I just have. πŸ™‚

So lets talk about this week’s training!

Monday:

  • rest day

Last Saturday and Sunday I did a long run and then a medium long run. It was the first time I’d ever done something like that and it went really well! But I still had to recover from it, hence the rest day on Monday. πŸ™‚ That night we had a few storms roll through and the brought some much needed rain with them! Haha one of my all time favorite hobbies is watching thunderstorms roll in and taking photos/videos. I got a pretty cool little video of some lightning that night. πŸ™‚

Tuesday:

  • 4 miles, intervals
  • 30 minutes of strength work

It was still raining on Tuesday morning, which made me a happy camper! I was feeling kinda tired though, so it did take me a while to get out the door. I’m so glad I did though! This run reminded me why I love interval work so much!! Plus it was a little bit cooler because of the rain and that helped a lot. Haha honestly this is probably one of the best runs I’ve had all summer! I worked hard and felt really great doing it. Followed it up with some strength work later in the day. πŸ™‚

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Wednesday:

  • 2 treadmill miles

Originally the plan was to do 5 miles on Wednesday and then 2 on Thursday, but I was feeling kinda worn out from my interval session on Tuesday and it was hot and gross out, so I decided to switch those two runs around. Did this one on the treadmill because of an air quality warning. It wasn’t exactly fun, but I got it done! πŸ™‚

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Thursday:

  • 5 miles

Thursday was another hot one! I tried to tough this one out on the road, but we had another air quality warning and it was pretty bad that day. So I ended up doing 3.18 miles on the road and then came inside and finished the last 1.82 miles on the treadmill. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do! But I got my 5 miles in and I was very happy about that.

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Friday:

  • 3 miles, hills

Stuck to the treadmill again on Friday. The weather was still pretty bad and I didn’t feel like running in it. Plus doing my hill workout was a lot easier on the treadmill haha. I was able to run uphill for the prescribed amount of time which was nice. None of the hills in my neighborhood are big enough to run up for more than 3-4 minutes, which can be a bit of a challenge when doing a hill workout. But now that I have a fancy treadmill I was able to do the whole thing, exactly as my training plan called for. Pretty neat!

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Saturday:

  • 10 miles
  • 40 minutes of yoga

I understand why my training plan calls for hard workouts and speed sessions the day before my long runs every once in a while, but that doesn’t mean I like it. 10 miles on very tired legs on Saturday. But I mean, that is kinda the point…and probably really helpful for the two half marathons in two days thing. Still though, this one was hard. Well actually for the most part it wasn’t too bad. But it was really starting to heat up during the last 3 miles and that’s when it started getting really hard. I had made it back to my house at 9.57 miles and said fuck it, I’m finishing this run on my treadmill. And you bet your ass I did hop on the treadmill for .43 miles. Oh man that was probably one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever done, but it was nice to finish that last little bit in my air-conditioned house haha.

Finally did some stretching on Saturday as well. You might have notice that I haven’t really done much of that or strength work or any cross training this week. Yeah, remember how I said I’ve been really tired? The fact that I’ve gotten all of my runs done this week is impressive! But I do know that all of that other stuff is important and I am going to focus on doing more next week. This week I was just happy to get all of my runs in. πŸ˜‰

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Sunday:

  • rest day

Yay!! Haha I’ve legit been looking forward to my rest day all week. πŸ˜‰ I spent the day binge watching Game Of Thrones. Last night Luke and I went to a house warming party that our friends threw and they let me borrow season 6 and 7 so I can catch up. But anyway, it was nice to sit around, do nothing, and watch TV all day. πŸ™‚

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Now this is more of the mileage that I had wanted to be running all summer! Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but at least I’m here now. πŸ™‚

Anyway, this week was a little bit of a challenge, but I got it done! Can’t wait to see what I accomplish next week!!

Happy Sunday!

~Ashley

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Half Marathon Training W1D2

First run of half marathon training for Operation Two Half Marathons in Two days is done!! πŸ™‚

Not gonna lie, I felt kind of out of shape today, but I suppose that’s bound to happen when you do little to no running for 2 weeks in a month. Oops. I’m not too worried about that though, these first few weeks might be a little tough but I’m sure I’ll start feeling better after that. Haha and then the real work will begin! πŸ˜‰

Now that being said, I actually felt really good on today’s run! I did an easy 3 miler, followed by 30 minutes of strength training. The run was uneventful, but a lot of fun! Last night I was so super stoked about it while I was getting all of my gear ready and I was even pretty excited to wake up early and get it done! It’s been a while since I’ve felt that way, so maybe those 2 weeks of little to no running were actually a good thing. πŸ˜‰ But I was super excited for this run and to start half marathon training! Plus it was like 68 degrees when I ran thisΒ  morning and that certainly helped! I’m hoping the crazy heat we’ve been having is finally done and being outside will actually be an option again!

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After my run I did about 30 minutes of strength work, which was not as fun. Haha it never is though. πŸ˜‰ But building a little more strength is something I really want to focus on right now. I feel like I’m gonna need it to make it across the finish line of both half marathons. Especially the second one.

So that really wasn’t too bad, but the whole out of shape feeling came after my run and my workout. After I did both of those things I went out and tended to the garden. Unfortunately my zucchini plants died while we were in Branson, so that sucks, but I’ve still got 4 watermelons growing on my watermelon vines, my strawberry plant is still kicking off a few berries ever now and then (although at this point I’m pretty sure it’s close to being done for the year), and my tomatoes, while very sad looking, are producing quite a bit of fruit! I picked a bunch of cherry tomatoes yesterday and a pretty decent amount today, as well as a few regular tomatoes. They crazy heatwave we had earlier this summer definitely didn’t go our garden any favors and we’re not having a good harvest because of it, but at least we’re getting something.

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Got a little off track there haha, but anyway, after my garden was tended to I took a shower and then felt absolutely starving (even though I had a good post run/workout snack) and exhausted! And that’s why I was feeling out of shape haha. I usually don’t feel that way unless I’m deep into training and just finished a hard workout. Nothing I did this morning was particularly hard and it definitely didn’t warrant me feeling like that haha. Oh man, it’s all good though. I ateΒ anotherΒ snack and the promptly passed out in my bed for about an hour and 20 minutes. The fact that I was able to get dressed and eat before I did that was a feat in and of itself. Along with actually being able to nap. Usually that’s a difficult thing for me to do for some reason. It was pretty great though! It was one of those naps that you wake up feeling kinda disoriented and totally out of it when you wake up. That’s how I know I napped hard. πŸ˜‰ But I felt fine, albeit still a little worn out feeling after a bottle of water and lunch. So that’s good.

I feel like I’m not going to be as excited or feel as good on tomorrows run haha. Oh well, it’s still going to happen. πŸ™‚

Anyways, that’s all for today! Wishing you a happy Monday and a great week!

~Ashley and her ever faithful blogging assistant, Bubbles.

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How Running Changed My Life

Happy Global Running Day!!!

Earlier this week I had pledged to run 6 miles on globalrunningday.org. Mostly just for fun, but also as a way to celebrate the day and the sport of running in general. Plus I was planning on running 6 miles today anyway, so why not participate in the global running day festivities? πŸ˜‰

 

 

But unfortunaly, last night I ate something that my stomach did not like (pumpkin seeds?? I’ve never had a problem with them before…). That kinda thing happens to me sometimes. It has ever since I had an appendectomy when I was 13. Every once in a while I’ll eat something that my stomach doesn’t like (usually it’s spinach or fish. I absolutely will not eat either of those anymore) and then I getΒ terrible stomach cramps. Like, curled up in the fetal position trying not to move or vomit. It’s no fun. Luckily I’ve found that heat kinda helps. So last night I spent a lot of time in the shower just letting the hot water hit my stomach and back (because for some reason that tenses up really bad too) and once I ran out of hot water I spent the rest of the night with a hot water pack on my back and a mug of hot water resting on my stomach. That actually helped a lot!Β  And while I did feel a lot better when I woke up this morning, I knew that running wasn’t going to help my current situation, so I didn’t. That was kind of a bummer, but it was for the best. Besides, I can do my 6 miles tomorrow, anyway. πŸ™‚

So, since I didn’t run today, I figured I could still take a look back and just kinda remember why I started running, how that reason has changed over the almost 5 years that I’ve been doing it now, and how running has changed my life. Because it really has.

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I started this whole crazy running adventure back in 2013. But really you have to go back to around 2012 to get the whole story. 2012 was a pretty busy year for me! I got married, moved 5 hours away from my childhood home to Kansas for my new husband’s job, so we were living all on our own 5 hours away from our family and any help that they might have given us. That was pretty crazy, but obviously we got through that all in one piece! But before we got married and moved to Kansas my now husband was finishing up college and I was working at a Walgreen’s.

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I did not, in fact, ❀ Walgreen’s haha. But I needed the money.

So back when I worked there, Walgreen’s slogan or whatever was “where there’s a way to stay well.” Not sure if that’s still the case, but sometimes when I answer the phone I have some weird flashback thing and want to answer with “Hi, thank you for calling you’re Troy Walgreen’s, where there’s a way to stay well. My name is Ashley, how may I help you.” In my best customer service voice of course haha. But since they’re whole thing was “staying well” they always had little challenges and incentives for their emplyoees to do that. We got free flu shots during flue season, could get check ups at the wellness clincic for a crazy reduced price, were encouraged and rewarded for participating in the 1 5k that small ass town held every year (haha if only I was a runner back then! Walgreen’s paid for your entry fee!). And at one point we were given the option to take a pedometer that they provided for free (it was a shitty one, and this was back in 2011 before fitbits and other wearable devices were really becoming a thing) and whoever got the most steps in a certain amount of time won something. Although I don’t recall what that prize was. I didn’t participate in the challenge though. But in 2012, the year I got married, I participated in the weight loss challenge that they held. We all bought in with $5 or $10 and whoever lost the biggest percentage of weigh won the pot. I didn’t win, but that did kinda kick off my weight loss journey.

I don’t want to get too much into that though, because that’s not what this is about. But I was pretty overweight as a teenager and in my early 20’s. And technically I think I might still be pushing toward the “over weight” category on the BMI chart, but I am much healthier now than I was back then. But anyway, so for that challenge I had started walking a lot more. Every single day I’d go out and walk around the woods on my family’s farm and I started counting calories on MyFitnessPal. Once we were married and moved I was still going at it and by then I was doing at home workouts. Mostly things like Jillian Michaels’ DVDs and blogilates, along with some other stuff on YouTube. I ended up getting down to 142 pounds, the lowest weight I’ve ever been in my adult life (and man do I wish I was at that weight now!! I’m currently fluctuating somewhere around 158-160 pounds these days, but I’m not as obsessed with the number on the scale as I was back then).

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I kept up with all of that really well for a while, but by the summer of 2013 I was getting kinda bored with it all. I was also getting super frustrated because although I was at a really healthy weight, and looked great, I didn’t think so. I was kind of in a super unhealthy place with food, calorie counting, and my body. I wanted to get down to 135 pounds (yikes! I don’t think that would have been healthy for me). I refused to eat anything that wasn’t “clean” and was very strict about my calorie limit, but eventually that lead to me being really unhappy and I would have binging episodes. And since the number on the scale refused to budge any lower than 142 pounds (I though I’d be happy if I could at least get to 140. Oh man I’m glad I don’t think like that anymore.), I decided I needed to switch it up and do something that burned a lot more calories than the at home workouts I was doing, so I downloaded a couch to 5k app and started doing it on the treadmill at my apartment complex’s fitness center. And in the worst pair of shoes for my feet, ever! Haha they were too small for me to be running in and waaay to supportive for my feet. Running in them wasn’t pleasant, but I was pretty proud of myself for trying though. But I don’t consider that point and time when I became a runner. And my life definitely didn’t change runnning on that treadmill. That didn’t happen until around October of that year.

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Oh man is the treadmill boring!! I hated it back then and I still hate it now. At this point in my life I absolutely refuse to use one, unless absolutely necessary. Which is probably a good thing considering I don’t currently have access to one haha. I’m not to upset about that though. πŸ˜‰ But my hatred of the treadmill but my growing love for running made me start venturing outside that fall. Fall is my favorite season and the weather that year was amazing! So I wasn’t about to spend anymore time inside than I had to. Plus by that point I was a little more comfortable using the paved trail that was near my apartment. When we first moved there I was kind of experiencing a bit of….culture shock for lack of a better term. I had moved from a farm in a rural area to a pretty big city and was not used to being around people all of the time.Β  So I avoided the trail for the most part until what was well over a year after we had moved there that fall.

But that fall, when I started running outside, in what was kind of nature (there were some parks and woods, but remember, it was still in a big city), out in the elements, and surrounded by other runners. That’s when I really became a runner. That’s when my life changed. That’s when I started to feel free.

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I really started to change things then. I was reading just about any thing about running that I could get my hands on. Books, magazines, and of course I always had the good ‘ol internet. I got my first pair of real running shoes in the November of 2013. Nike Pegasus 30? Or maybe they were the 32’s. I don’t remember exactly. I just remember being really freaking excited because they fit me right, were comfortable, and super pretty. πŸ™‚

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From that point on everything became about running. Losing weight and counting calories became fueling my body for my runs and making sure I was getting the proper nutrients. Running was something I did for fun, not just to burn calories, and those at home workouts just became supplemental to my running. I stopped worrying so much about the number on the scale and was more focused on the number of my 5k time. Running had pretty much become my life and to be honest that probably saved me from going really deep into the disordered eating that I had doing and gave me something much more positive to focus on.

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These photos were taken in November 2014. I legit just got rid of those running tights. Haha that was long over due. They were VERY worn out.

So from the fall of 2013 to about 2015, right before we moved out of the apartment and into the house we live in now, I was running for fun. I wasn’t doing any kind of training and I really didn’t have any real goals in mind. And at that point I hadn’t run any races. Not even a little 5k fun run. But I decided I wanted to challenge myself, try something new, and make a potentially bad decision (haha can you tell I kinda like doing things like that? ;), so I signed up for my very first race ever, a half marathon. Obviously that’s not exactly recommended, but what can I say? I’m a rebel. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

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Training for my first half was one of the craziest, most challenging, and exhausting experiences I’ve ever had. I learned a lot though. About myself and what I’m capable and about running too, although I did make a lot of mistakes during my very first training cycle. But who doesn’t? I was running more and farther distances than I ever had before and I absolutely loved it! Although there were bumps in the road, I spent a lot of time being tired, and even ended up getting injured, I had never had so much fun and felt so in tune with my body and mind. Honestly, training for my first half marathon was probably one of the happiest moments in my life at that point.

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Actually completing it, however, was on of the hardest things I’d ever done in my life at that point. I struggled. I didn’t fuel correctly. I definitely didn’t pace myself well (still have trouble with that though haha). And it was slow as fuck (which is something I still am, but also something I don’t care about anymore). When I crossed the finish line of my very first half marathon, my life changed again. Not as drastically as when I had first started running, but still, I felt almost reborn.

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Mile 11 of the Longview Half Marathon, 2015

I started this blog not long after finishing my first race ever, which just so happened to be my first half marathon. πŸ˜‰ I guess the rest is history. I’ve been sharing my story here and connecting with all sorts of amazing people ever since. πŸ™‚

I like to call myself a reformed couch potato, because it’s kinda true. I wasn’t very active in my teenage years and I was unhappy. Unhappy with my body and who I was as a person. Once I started losing weight in my late teens and early 20’s I thought I’d be happy once the scale read a certain number, but really I was just making myself even more unhappy with my body and going down the really slippery slope of disordered eating. Running didn’t exactly reform my couch potato ways, but it sure saved me from going down a really dark path and brought me back into the light. I still struggle with it sometimes, but I’m much happier with my body and who I am as a person now. I go out and chase my dreams instead of wasting my time on the couch. I’m much more healthy. I’m not so focused on how much I weigh, I can eat treats and all sort of yummy foods without feeling guilty and like I’m ruining my weight loss “progress”. I don’t run to burn calories. I run for fun and to achieve the things I once thought were completely impossible. Running saved me from myself. I am eternally grateful for the day that I decided to download that couch to 5k app. And for the day I decided to set a ridiculous goal and run a half marathon. And that’s why I’m going to continue to set crazy goals for myself (like running two half marathons in two days this November). Chasing goals is a lot more fun and rewarding than just trying to lose weight or look a certain way.

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Whew! That ended up being a lot longer and a little more deep than I had originally planned. I think it was finally time to go a little deeper into all of that though. I mean, if I’m going to be sharing my story here then I might as well shareΒ allΒ of it. And I think this part of it is pretty important. So if you took the time to read all of that I thank you! And thank you to everyone who’s supported me on my running journey! Honestly I don’t think I’d still be here today, running, training for half marathons, and blogging about it if it wasn’t for all of the support and love I get from each and everyone of you. ❀ πŸ™‚

That got kinda sappy and that’s not my usual style, but whateves, this whole post is a tad bit sappy anyway. πŸ˜‰

Happy Global Running Day! And shout out to all of the runners out there. Yes,Β all of them. Runners are awesome. You are awesome. Period. Alright. I’m done now. πŸ™‚

~Ashley

 

 

I’ve Potentially Made A Bad Decision?

Or maybe a really good one? I’m not entirely sure yet. Something good has already come of it so far so that’s good, at least. But we’ll get to all of that in a second! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, kicked off my week with a little bit of 5k action! It wasn’t a particularly exciting run, but it was a good one. Plus my April StrideBox was waiting for me in my mailbox by the time I was done! Yay!! Always love getting my box full of exciting running goodies. So yeah, my week is off to a pretty great start so far. πŸ™‚

 

 

My hand is feeling a lot better today too! It’s still a little sore and awkward but I can actually use it mostly normally now. My little puncture wound is healing really well too. It’s not quite closed up yet, but it’s definitely getting there. Haha I do not recommend getting bit by a dog. It’s no fun and just might put your hand out of commission for several days. But luckily it hasn’t actually been too big of an issue.

Ok, so onto my potentially bad decision then I guess. So the other day I texted my dad and asked him if he’d want to do another running thing with me. A half marathon as a matter of fact! The Gobbler Grind half marathon that is held here in Kansas. November! My dad does a lot of hiking and has been doing some running ever since we did the Whiskey run 5k together in March. So I think he’ll be able to do it, no problem. Plus the cut off time for this particular half is 4 hours. That’s about a 14 minuter per mile pace. I think that’s totally doable for him. The real question is, will it be doable for me?

 

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gobblergrindmarathon.com

You see, the problem is the Gobbler Grind marathon/half marathon/5k (but obviously we want to do the half haha) is held the second Sunday of November every year. And the Longview half marathon is held the second Saturday of November every year. And obviously I want to to the Longview half every year! I’ve talked about all of those reasons on here before, but I also really want to do the Gobbler Grind half marathon. That’s actually why I’ve recruited my dad to do the Gobbler Grind with me! I figure I’ll be more likely to make it through another half marathon after doing one the day before if I have someone there with me! Specifically, someone who has no time goal and who just wants to make it through there first. So it’ll be beneficial for both of us. πŸ™‚

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I’m already registered for the Longview Half and there’s no way I’m skipping out on my newly established November tradition!

Now the Gobbler Grind isn’t a for sure thing yet. My dad works for a trucking company and they’re always crazy busy in November because of everyone shipping Christmas stuff, and at this point my dad is pretty much running two different trucking terminals and he and his boss are working on opening a third. Plus my dad lives in Colorado so it’s an 11 hour drive just for him to get her. But he seems like he really wants to do it and he said he’s gonna try to make it happen. Last night he went to a local specialty running store and had someone help him try on a bunch of shoes, and he finally decided on a pair of Hoka’s. He also got himself one of those fancy r8 rollers, some Honey Stinger waffles (he really likes the lemon flavored ones πŸ˜‰ ), and a pair of compression socks. So he’s getting all of the tools he needs and plans on doing a beginner’s half marathon training plan!

 

Not gonna lie, I’m pretty freaking excited that I’ve managed to convert my dad into a runner! I think that’s so awesome! Plus now I’ve finally got someone who actually wants to do races with me!! That’s pretty sweet!

Now I’ve just got to play a fun little guessing game called “can Ashley run two half marathons in two days?” Obviously I’ve never done anything like that before but I think it’s doable. Especially since the Gobbler Grind course looks a little bit easier than Longview’s. I haven’t run it before, but part of it is on a paved trail that I used to run on back when I lived in an apartment in Overland Park, KS. I know the second of trail that the course follows like the back of my hand and I also know that it’s relatively flat. Especially compared to all of Longview’s rolling hills. So that’s something! Plus the cutoff time for the Gobbler Grind is an hour more than Longview’s so that should help too haha.

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Here’s Longview’s elevation map according to my Garmin. As you can see, its a slightly up hill course, with plenty of hills, and one big ass hill that is the entirety of mile two. I am pretty sure there is not one flat stretch of road on this whole course haha. Fun fun fun!!

It’s a really good thing I plan on really working on upping my mileage this spring/summer! I’m gonna need it! I’m also probably going to have to really up my recovery game too, especially after I finish the Longview half for the 4th time in a row! Haha I am pretty stoked about that! My November tradition is going strong! πŸ™‚

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Mile 11 of the Longview half; 2015, 2016, and 2017. My goal for this year is to not look like I did last year at mile 11 hahaha.

Whew, the thought of running two half running two half marathons in two days is absolutely terrifying! But all the more reason to do it, right? I mean, I didn’t become a runner not to do hard things! But like I said, it’s still not a for sure thing yet. Just a crazy plan that both my dad and I want to make happen and are both going to be working toward.

Alrighty then! Today I’ll leave you with the new single from my new favorite band. πŸ˜‰ I hope everyone has a great week!

Your friend who is really good and making (potentially) really bad decisions,

~Ashley