Tag Archives: half marathon

Running With The Cows 5k, 2018

Oh my gosh you guys! This race is just so much fun!! I think I might have to do it for a 3rd time next year because I had an absolute blast on Saturday! Haha I told Luke that, and he told me that he’s going to sign me up for the half instead of the 5k without telling me, just to force me to do the half marathon. And while I do love half marathons, I know for a fact that I wouldn’t like to run one in the weather conditions we had on Saturday.

The half marathon was supposed to start at 7:30 am on May 12th, but there were a scattered showers in the area and some of those little pockets of rain were producing lightning. They actually had someone there from one of the local news stations who had to check in with their meteorologist to make sure it was safe enough for the runners to go out.Β  According to the news station’s meteorologist it was though, and just a few minutes past 7:30 am the half marathoners took off. It was raining a little bit, but oh boy was it humid! And the temperatures were in the 70’s and it was only supposed to go up from there. Gross. I really feel for those runners doing the half. I feel like running 13.1 miles in that kinda sticky, heavy feeling, heat would have been terrible.

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Half Marathoners lining up at the starting line.

Which is exactly why I’m so hesitant to do this particular half marathon! The weather around this time of year in the Midwest can be unpredictable. Back in 2016 when I did this 5k for the first time it was cold enough for me to comfortable run in a hoodie. This year I would have absolutely baked in anything heavier than a light tank top haha. I think I’m just gonna stick with my fall half marathons, thank you very much. πŸ˜‰

Anyway that’s enough talk about the gross weather and why I’ve only run half marathons in the fall, and lets back track a little bit!

So, on Friday night I had laid out all of my gear, made sure my bib was pinned to my tank top, and my timing chip was secured to my shoe. I had my coffee maker ready to go and knew exactly what I was going to eat for breakfast the following morning. Haha I like to be prepared and have to do as little thinking as possible in the morning. πŸ˜‰

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Coach Bubbles helping me assemble my running gear.

When my alarm went off at 6 am on Saturday I was ready to roll! I got up, let the dogs out, started my coffee maker, ate, drank some water and my coffee, got dressed, applied a little bit of sunscreen, drank some more water, woke Luke up, and by 6:40 am we were ready to leave! At the last second Luke decided to take Dean with us. We always see other spectators at races with dogs so he figured why not? Plus Dean is the most calm out of all 3 dogs we have and is the only one that wouldn’t obsess over the livestock that they have at the starting area of this race. So the three of us loaded up into the truck and we were on our way.

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Normally it would take us about 20 minutes for us to get to Bucyrus. Kansas, where the race is held, but since we had to drive on part of the half marathon race course to get there it took a little bit longer because there were police officers already out directing traffic and getting ready to shut down the road. That wasn’t a big deal though, we had left early for that very reason. Well, that and I wanted to pet the cows and goats before the 5k started haha. But anyway, we got there and got parked quickly and without any trouble. The volunteers who were directing traffic were very efficient! Then Luke, Dean, and I started walking towards all of the fun stuff they have set up near the start/finish line.

Honestly at first we were a little nervous. We weren’t exactly sure if dogs were aloud to be there. Especially since they had livestock set up in pins there. But we saw several other people with dogs so we figured it was ok. And as it turns out, Dean was probably one of the most well behaved dogs there. Luke and I were both very proud of him. All of the people kind of made him nervous, but for the most part he took it really well. He wasn’t in the least bit interested in the cows and goats that were there (ha, some border collie he is πŸ˜‰ ), but they were very interested in him! We brought him up near the goat pin so I could pet them, and he didn’t care one way or the other about them. They were very curious about him though! One came right up to the fence to investigate the whole situation. They didn’t seem too afraid of him though. I bet they’ve been around dogs before.

The cow, on the other hand, wasn’t a fan of Dean. You could tell he was making her nervous. Probably because she had a calf. So Luke backed off with Dean so I could pet them haha. One of the little kids who were manning the cow pin (I guess they belonged to their parents) even gave me a treat to give her. She was still keeping an eye on Dean though and wouldn’t take it. Her calf did come up to the fence and let me pet it though, so that was neat!!

Once a bunch of people started crowding around the pens we left and stared meandering around near the starting area while the half marathoners started to line up. Once most of them were the race directer said a prayer, they played the national anthem, aaaand then the half marathoners had to wait for the weather update before they could take off. But like I said, that only took a few minutes. So Luke and I watched them start and cheered them on along with the other 5kers and spectators. After they took off we still had half an hour to kill, so we wandered around a little more, Luke took a picture of me and Dean in front of a giant cow, and then I got in line to use a port-o-potty. That was probably one of the worst port-o-potty experiences in my life! The urinal was literally almost over flowing with urine. It was absolutely disgusting sitting mere inches away from that disaster. Luckily I was quick and didn’t have to be in there with that mess for too long.

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Me, Dean, and a giant cow.

After I had finished up in the nasty port-o-potty we started making our way to the corral. Before I actually lined up Luke and I ended up talking to another lady about border collies haha. Dean really liked her (I guess he knew she had a border collie at home πŸ˜‰ ) and kept walking over to sniff her. So she started petting him and told us about her border collie. She was worried that she wouldn’t do well with all of the people so the lady had to leave her at home. After we had talked to her for a little bit I bid Luke and Dean farewell and started making my way into the corral and lined up near the back, since I’m a slow runner and all. πŸ˜‰ Plus with the heat and humidity and the lack of speed work I’ve been doing, I wasn’t sure how this race was going to end up going. But as the countdown on the timer got closer and closer to “0” I started getting kinda nervous and realized I still wanted to go for my time goal of 38 minutes.

The countdown hit 10 seconds. The announcer started counting us down. “3, 2, 1, 0, go!!!” Then we were off!! There was lots of cheering, cowbells, and the loudspeakers that were playing music were also playing cow sound effects too, which I though was pretty neat!

So I tried to go out conservatively for about the first mile. I mean, that’s what you’re supposed to do right? πŸ˜‰ But I found that my legs wanted to go and apparently my brain wasn’t about to stop them I kept telling myself that I was going to end up regretting that, but weirdly enough that didn’t happen! And although I ended up going out a little faster that I had originally planned, I spent probably about the first mile just taking in the sights, sounds, and enjoying the excitement of race day that was going on around me. The course is an out and back, so you don’t really get to see a lot in just 3.1 miles, but it’s still really pretty. It’s basically just a bunch of cow pastures out in the middle of nowhere Kansas which I think is super awesome. πŸ™‚

This course is also a little bit hilly. Nothing too crazy but still, those hills could be challenging if you aren’t careful or prepared for them. As I was getting closer to the water station which was also the turnaround point, I started noticing a very interesting pattern that quite a few of my fellow racers where doing. Some of them would fly on the downhills and then slow down a lot or even start to walk on the uphills. Now, I’m a big fan of running downhill with reckless abandon and I tend to do that around my neighborhood for shits and giggles. But in the almost 5 years that I’ve been a runner I’ve learned and am just now finally admitting to myself is that when I put my mind to it, running uphill can actually be a strong point for me! So once I noted that some people were wearing themselves out on the downhills (and probably trashing their quads in the process. Trust me, I’ve been there) and hardcore slowing down on the uphills I decided to take the opposite approach. I started to run the downhills a bit more conservatively. “Recover!” I’d tell myself in my head. And I starting to hit the uphills pretty hard!

Once I’d made it through the water station (I’ve yet to master the art of the aid station and have trouble drinking while on the move, so that whole process slowed me down a bit. If it wasn’t for all of that I probably could have negative split this whole race haha. But my last mile was my fastest, so at least there’s that. πŸ˜‰ ), made it around the turn around point, and I went fishing! If you don’t know, “going fishing” is when you pick out a person in front of you “reel” them in, pick another person in front of you, and repeat. All while continuing my pattern of going easy on the downhills and harder on the uphills. So I ended up getting passed by people I had reeled in. I yo-yoed with a couple of people for a while, but going up the final hill, right before we turned back onto the road (well, I guess it’s actually the school’s driveway. This race is held at a Catholic school haha), that took us to the finish line, I had left most of the people I had “fished” for behind me and crossed the finish line with the timer reading 39 minutes and some change. So I knew I probably hadn’tΒ  hit my goal of 38 minutes but I probably semi close.

So I crossed the finish line, stopped my watch, got my timing chip clipped off, got a water bottle and a cowbell from very nice volunteers, spotted Luke and Dean in the crowed, and started making my way towards them, while checking my time on my Garmin. It read that I have covered 3.15 miles in 38:54, which is about a 12:22 pace. Not bad! considering the heat and humidity! I know I made it sound like I was feeling super strong, especially on the uphills, and at some points I was! But there were also times when I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath, was suffocating because of the humidity, and just felt like general shit because of the heat. But still, I felt like I ran strong, I didn’t wimp out because of the weather, and man I felt like a badass running up those hills! All in all, I’m very happy with how this race went. Plus I kinda figured my chip time would a few less seconds. πŸ˜‰

Once I had made it to Luke and knew what my time roughly was, I started excitedly recapping all of this to him, while we made our way to the buffet. On our way there we passed theΒ Chick-fil-A tent that was set up just outside the school where the rest of the food was. They were handing out sandwiches so obviously I had to grab one of those! But it turned out to be a chicken/bacon/biscuit sandwich. I don’t likeΒ biscuit so I gave that to Luke and headed inside to get me something tasty! Haha but once I saw all of the food I realized just how not hungry I was. That was slightly disapointing because there was so much awesome looking food that I normally would have wanted to try, but running in the heat makes me kinda nauseous, so I just ended up grabbing a super cute cow cookie. It was slightly smashed, and to be honest with you I didn’t even want a cookie at that point, but it was adorable and I had to take it haha. I’m glad I did though, it was very tasty! I also got half a Panera bagel, a banana, and a turkey sub from subway. Haha I actually took my sandwich home and ended up eating it for lunch.

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You cannot tell me that that kinda smashed cow cookie is not adorable!

After I had gotten my food all 3 of us were pretty much over the big crowed of people, so we made our way back to the truck and then headed home. On the way I told Luke that nothing in the world sounded better to me at that moment than a watermelon. So he stopped at a store and got me one. He is literally the best. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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A very good race, an (almost) John Deer green cowbell, and a watermelon. Ashley was one very happy camper.

On the way home I also got my chip time: 38:51! I knew it had to of been just a few second faster than what my watch read. πŸ˜‰ Either way though, I was very happy with how I did.

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Once we got home we got the other 2 dogs and took the 3 of them to the dog park for a little bit. Haha I was getting kinda tired, but walking around a little bit was probably good for me. After we were done there I finally got to shower and then take a nice nap with Bubbles. That was a nice way to end this whole adventure. πŸ™‚

Whew! That was kind of a long recap for just a 5k, but whatever haha. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of me running or crossing the finish line. I saw some photographers at the start and it looked like they were taking photos, but if there are photos of the 5k then they haven’t posted them online yet. Not like that’s a big deal or anything though. πŸ™‚

So there you have it! Running With The Cows 5k, 2018. If you actually stuck around to the very end and read this whole post, then I thank you very much!

Have a wonderful week!!

~Ashley

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StrideBox, Earlier Mornings, and My Neighbor’s Dog, Ozzy.

Another month means another StrideBox! Yay!!

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Getting a box full of running goodies once a month never gets old! I was particularly excited about the Honey Stinger Cracker N’ Nut bar that came in May’s box! Those things have quickly become one of my all time favorite snacks. πŸ™‚

Anyway, it would appear that spring didn’t stick around very long. It’s been feeling more and more like summer here in Kansas. So far the highs are all in the 80’s this week, and on Wednesday (I think), it’s supposed to be around 89 degrees. And it’s just gonna keep getting hotter from here. Yuck… But on the bright side, summer is thunderstorm season and I do love thunderstorms! Watching storm fronts move in is basically one of my favorite hobbies. πŸ˜‰

Haha but anyway, I’ve got a 5k on Saturday and it’s looking like the weather isn’t gonna be too great for that. According to my weather app the high is gonna be 90 degrees. Cloudy, which will help a bit, but still, 90 degrees…Well, this race is at 8 am though, so it should actually be cooler than that, but still. Plus there are a few thunderstorms in the forecast before Saturday, which means it’s gonna be crazy humid…Β  I’m beginning to think the time goal I had in mind might not happen on Saturday. I know it’s only a 5k and if it were any other weather condition (cold, rainy, icy, snowy, even windy) I could and gladly would suffer through it. But for whatever reason I’ve never been able to do that when it comes to heat and humidity. It slows me waaay down, completely drains me, and leaves me feeling pretty shitty and tired for the rest of the day. Haha I mean, I always kinda feel tired and bleh when it’s hot out, but it just gets worse if I ran that day.

Anyway, I haven’t completely given up on my goal. I just might get super lucky! But I’m also prepared to accept the fact that the weather is what it is and I just not might be able to fight through it. And at the very least there will be cows, goats, and a huge buffet at the end. Even if I am only running the 5k, I’m gonna hit that buffet HARD hahahaha. πŸ˜‰

Ok, back to the point that I actually wanted to make. Since the weather has been getting warmer I’ve been having to wake up earlier. Right now I’m only having to get up at 6 am, which is only about an hour earlier than I usually do. So that’s not too horrible. But I’m able to get up, eat, drink my coffee and some water, brush my teeth, get dressed, and then get out the door just a little bit before 7 am. And that’s been working quite well, since the sun isn’t all the way up by then so it feels a little cooler. Plus the asphalt is still relatively cool since the sun hasn’t been shining on it for long at that time of day.

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View from my back porch at 6 am this morning.

So my run today was pretty pleasant, for the most part. It felt kinda cool even though it was in the high 60’s, there was a very nice breeze, and the sun was still mostly below the trees by the time I finished so I never got miserably hot. I felt pretty good during all 5 miles. The only real problem was my neighbor’s dog, Ozzy.

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You see, Ozzy is a relatively young dog, probably around Finn’s age, and my neighbor has had him for maybe 5 or 6 months (his old dog, Zadie, had to be euthanized. She was a really good dog and everyone was pretty upset about that.) Ozzy is also a red heeler (or maybe only part heeler, I don’t remember exactly), so he’s a herding dog. And obviously we have all sorts of small creatures in our backyard that look fun to chase. And for the past few weeks our chickens have really gotten his attention.

Anther thing that’s important to note is that the fence that we share with this neighbor is old and very broken haha. So he and Luke have been working on replacing it, but that’s been kind of a slow process because they both work a lot and our neighbor also goes camping a lot with his brother. That’s not been an issue until later last week though, when Ozzy figured out how to squeeze under the fence and started terrorizing my chickens.

So last Friday while I was feeding my little flock I saw a flash of white in what is usually a mostly black blur that happens in my backyard when all 3 of my dogs are running around, and of course it was Ozzy. Initially I wasn’t too worried about it. You can tell that he really wants to play with my dogs when he’s in his yard and they all like to run the fence line together. But after a few minutes of running around my yard he started to bother the chickens. Running around their coop, jumping on it, barking at them, and just kinda freaking them out in general. That pissed Finn off. Those are Finn’s chickens. He spends a lot of time trying to herd them through the coop (and sometimes he can even successfully make them move into a little group haha), but for the most part he just likes to sit near the coop and guard them. He does the same thing to the rabbit hutch. Those are his small animals and he has taken it upon himself to protect them. He’s also super protective of me (he will literally throw himself across my body and shield me from anything he thinks is a threat), the backyard, and pretty much anything he knows belongs to Luke and I. He’s a good dog, but he’s also still pretty young and dumb. He’s basically a teenager. πŸ˜‰

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So anyway, he ended up getting into a fight with Ozzy because he didn’t like Ozzy upsetting his chickens. Luckily they both stopped when I yelled at them and neither of them were hurt. So I put my dogs in my house, locked the chickens in their nesting area, and caught Ozzy and put him back in his yard. Then I covered all of the spots in the fence that he could squeeze under with rocks and bricks, hoping that would keep him out. And it did for the rest of Friday, but now he’s learned how to dig at them and move them just enough so that he can squeeze back under and he’s been in our yard at least once (but usually more than that) ever since. And like I said, I wouldn’t really mind him being in our yard, if he didn’t cause problems

So back to what happened today. I got up at 6, let Finn and Dean out (Luke was still asleep at this point and Lily will refuse to leave the bedroom if he’s still in bed. Haha she’s also super protective like Finn is. She’s just smarter and more mature about it. πŸ˜‰ ), then let the chickens out into the outside area of their coop and fed them. About half an hour later I found Ozzy in the yard, so I got him out, readjusted the rocks and bricks on the fence, and went out for my run. When I was about 3 miles in I ran past my house and saw he was back in my yard so I had to stop, repeat the whole process again, and then left to do the last two miles of my run.

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Ozzy and Dean watching me take off for the last portion of my run this morning.

Finished my remaining 2 miles, and of course I found Ozzy back in the yard again. And this time he was trying to dig under the coop to get to my chickens! Yeah, obviously I’m not about to let that happen. I’m already kind of irritated that he’s been upsetting them. So went through the whole process of catching him again, put more stuff along the fence in an attempt to keep him out, and then I lined the outside of the chicken coop with rocks and bricks. So if he does get in my yard and tries to dig underneath the coop again it should at least slow him down. Or at least that’s what I’m hoping. Haha the chickens did enjoy this though. The rocks and bricks were covered in all sorts of bugs and worms, so they got to have themselves a nice little bug buffet this morning. They seemed to enjoy chasing and chasing bugs to their little hearts’ content. πŸ™‚

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And of course there’s Finn and his long ass tongue on the other side of the coop keeping an eye on them haha. If you look at the top of the photo you can also see Ozzy claw marks on the wood of the coop. He’s scratched up the other side of the coop really bad… 😦

So far he hasn’t gotten back into our yard since I caught him for the third time today, so that’s good. But here in a little bit Luke and I are going to go bury some rocks and bricks along the fence line in hopes that will keep Ozzy out of our yard until they can finish replacing that fence. Hopefully then he wont be able to get into our yard anymore and our chickens will be safe. At least from him haha. Last summer a raccoon took up residence under our shed. I haven’t seen him since last fall though so I’m hoping he’s gone for good. I’m pretty sure all of the feral cats are too afraid of my dogs to even attempt to get into my back yard (raise you’re hand if you know what tends to happen to feral cats on a farm! Yeah, I kinda miss having that option. Feral cats are nothing but a problem…). There are also a couple of foxes that live in my neighborhood. One lives under someone else’s shed a few blocks down, as a matter of fact! There’s not much we can do about them though, except hope that all of the dogs keep them away. And there are a lot of dogs in all of the yards surrounding our house haha.

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But of course my dogs are the best, and I’m definitely not biased at all about that. πŸ˜‰Β 

Well this post ended up being longer than I thought it was gonna be! Haha it happens though. Sometimes I just get going and I can’t stop! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I’ll definitely be posting about what goes down with my 5k on Saturday! Hopefully it doesn’t end up being as bad as I think it might be.

I hope your Tuesday was terrific! (That was super lame, I know.)

~Ashley

Weekly Recap: April 30th-May 6th, 2018

This week brought with it warm weather, humidity, thunderstorms, and more severe weather. So basically normal spring time stuff here in the Midwest! On Wednesday night we even had two tornado’s forming in the area and were predicted to have wind gusts of over 70 miles per hour! Luckily nothing came of that and we just ended up getting some rain, thunder, and lightning. But to be on the safe side, the chickens got moved back into the spare bedroom and spent the night there haha. Luke and I both figured that it would be better to have them make a huge mess in there than it would have been for them to get hurt or blown away in the severe weather. But like I said, nothing ended up really happening so that was good. πŸ™‚

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Anyways, I know I’m always talking about the weather and I’m sure that can get a little boring some times, but it’s usually a pretty big factor in my world. Between my garden, my animals, and my running, the weather is something I pay a lot of attention to. And like I said, this week brought some thunderstorms, and while I do love me some thunderstorms, the rain makes it super humid and muggy out and that kinda stuff absolutelyΒ drainsΒ me and doesn’t help my asthma situation (luckily that never really gets too bad). So since this was really the first humid week we’ve had this year (and one of the warmest so far) things did not go as planned. I always go through a super rough adjustment period when it starts getting hot and muggy out and it takes a while for me to somewhat adjust. Haha but I’ll adamantly tell you that I never actually adjust and that I was just born to reside in colder climates. πŸ˜‰

while that might not be necessarily true, I’m still not a fan of this kind of weather and my running tends to suffer because of that.

Monday:

  • 3 miles
  • 10 minutes of strength work

Hot. Humid. Windy. That pretty much sums up Monday’s run. Wasn’t a fan hahaha.

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Tuesday:

  • rest day

Yeah, just couldn’t do it haha. After Monday’s run I was tired, and just bleh. But like I’ve said, humid weather does that to me. While I didn’t run on Tuesday Luke and I did end up doing some yard work before some of the rain came. He mowed the lawn, I did a bunch of weed eating, and we cleaned out our shed. Not really exciting stuff, but it needed done.

Wednesday:Β 

  • 4 miles
  • 30 minutes of yoga

It rained late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. So it was pretty gross out side when I ran. Yuck. I felt pretty terrible during and afterwards. But I did a little something and that’s all that matters. πŸ™‚

Then of course Wednesday night was when we had the severe weather scare. But luckily nothing really ended up happening.

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Thursday:

  • rest day

Nope nope nope nope nope. Not feeling it. Plus my calves were super duper tight and I’m not sure what that was all about. Weird. So no running for me. But I did do a little bit of work in the garden. Picked up dog poop and trash and what not. Then later in the day my 4 year old neighbor came over and she helped me clean out the chicken coop haha. I told her mom that every time she comes over I put her to work! But she has fun doing it, so it’s a win win for everyone. πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Friday:

  • 3 miles
  • planted tomatoes and peppers

We had another small storm come through on Thursday night, so that meant more humidity on Friday morning. Yuck. Haha but on the bright side, all of the rain has made the grass and trees super duper green, so it’s really pretty out right now.

Haha and gardening totally counts as a workout! On Friday we went out and got most of the plants we wanted for this year so Luke did all of the hard work by tilling the big area that we grow our tomatoes and peppers in and then I planted them. πŸ™‚ So far they’re all looking really good out there!

 

 

Saturday:

  • 6.5 miles
  • 1 hour on the stationary bike

Ewww. This run. This run was not fun. The original plan was 8 miles, and I had even thought to myself that if I felt really good I might even go for 10! Obviously I didn’t feel really good though haha. I was absolutely and completely done by about mile 5. But I pushed through another mile and a half before I finally called it quits. Adjusting to the warm, humid, sunny weather is always a long and difficult process for me. But I think sticking it out there for as long as I did on Saturday probably helped some. And then later in the afternoon I was bored so I figured I might as well hop on the stationary bike for a bit. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, this run did kind make me a bit nervous for the 5k I’m doing next week. I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be warm and sunny and I obviously don’t do well in that kind of weather haha. Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to see what happens.

 

 

Sunday:

  • more work in the garden

I can’t really call today a rest day because I feel like I didn’t really do much resting. Plus I did a lot of weed whacking around the yard and pulled weeds out of the tomato/pepper patch and now my arms feel like jello hahaha. So I mean, working in the garden totally counts as cross training in my book!! πŸ˜‰

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Total Weekly Mileage: 16.63

Not exactly what I’ve been aiming for, but considering the heat, humidity, and my weirdly tight calves, I’ll gladly take it! All in all I’d say it wasn’t a bad week. Definitely not a great week, but still not bad! I’ve got the Running With The Cows 5k next week and I’m getting pretty excited about that! It should be lots of fun!! πŸ™‚

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

~Ashley

April Miles and Goal Check In

I totally forgot to do one of these last month. Oops. That’s my bad.

Hahaha but in all fairness, I was out of town and pretty busy doing stuff with family for Easter. πŸ˜‰ Anyways, lets get right to it, shall we?

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Not bad! Not bad at all!! It’s been like, a crazy long time, but I feel like I’ve actually been accomplishing something this month. I’ve been in kind of a rut for a lot longer than I’d like to admit when it comes to running, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been making progress with putting that all behind me this month and I Got. Shit. Done! Yay me!!

I feel like the whole running 2 half marathons in 2 days thing that I’m going to be attempting to do in November (which you can read more about here and here. πŸ˜‰ ) was exactly the kick in the ass that I needed to shut up and start putting in the real work again. Now the real question is will I be able to keep this up until then? So far I’m thinking I will! I mean, I’m kinda gonna have to now that I’ve got a big, crazy goal that I want to accomplish. Plus it helps that my dad also has a big, crazy goal that he’s working toward; his first half marathon! He’s going to be doing the second half marathon that I’m doing with me! πŸ™‚ And he’s totally killing it!! We’ve been texting each other non stop about how our training runs are going, so just having someone I can do things like that with is definitely helping my situation, and I imagine it will continue to do so as we both get farther into our training. πŸ™‚

Now then, onto the goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the year!

Okey dokey, so I’ve been crushing my step goal! The plan has been to walk 10,000 stepsΒ mostΒ days. I didn’t set out to walk 10,000 stepsΒ everydayΒ because I knew there would be no way I could get that done. I need a full day off from everything every once in a while. Still though, I did really well with it in April. πŸ™‚

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I’ve been using the app HabitBull to keep track of this goal.Β 

And of course my other main goal was to write in my training journal everyday and include at least one good thing that’s happened in every entry. And I was doing really well with that up until about a week and a half ago haha. I just kinda forgot about it a few times and it’s spiraled out of control since then. πŸ˜‰ But now that I’ve reminded myself that it’s something that I wanted to do this year, I’m gonna go fill it out right now. πŸ™‚

I feel like I’ve had a really good month and I’m super excited to see what I can accomplish this month. Happy first day of May!!

Until next time,

~Ashley

 

Weekly Recap: April 23rd-29th, 2018

Holy cow we’re already coming up on the end of April! It seems to me like January and February went by super slow, but now the months are starting to go by faster. Haha our perception of time is weird. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, this week was hard. I kinda figured it would be though, at this point I’m kinda upping my mileage and trying to build a decent base for my upcoming half marathon training cycle. Kinda don’t even want to think about that right now though, because I’m thinking I might have to do a few back to back long run days which might not be very pleasant haha. But gotta get myself ready for my back to back half marathons in November! And I’ve also got another 5k coming up on May 12th. I’m feeling pretty good about that race though! Oh and in July Luke and I are going to be going to Branson, MO on another vacation with a bunch of family members. All of that on top of everything else I’ve got going on (caring for my chickens, hanging out with the neighbor kids that just show up at my house now, the garden, the dogs obviously, everyday life, blogging, etc…) no wonder it seems like time is starting to speed up!

Okey Dokey then, lets get this week recapped!!

Monday:

  • 3 miles with a few strides at the end
  • 20 minutes of strength work

I was feeling motivated AF on Monday. That’s what all you crazy kids are saying now a-days right? AF? I don’t understand pop culture anymore! Send help!! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ Haha for real though, I was ready to get shit done on Monday! Although I really didn’t have much to get done that day. On the scheduled for me was 3 easy miles, which I did followed by a few strides because I think those are pretty fun! Then did some strength training. It wasn’t a long session but it was a hard one haha. I ended up regretting that for pretty much the rest of the week…

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Tuesday:Β 

  • 2 miles

Hahahahaha I totally faked my way through the workout I was supposed to do on Tuesday. So much for being motivated AF, right? πŸ˜‰ Ugh, it was just so sunny and warm out. Gross… That’s right ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of year again! I’m not going to stop bitching about the weather until it starts getting cold again. So buckle up, because complaining about being hot and miserable is my favorite summer pass time. Anyway, at least I got the miles in on Tuesday.

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Wednesday:Β 

  • 6 miles

Ah hump day. Some stuff happened on this Wednesday.

So first off, I woke up tired and sore from that strength workout that I did on Monday. Fun times, but I knew it was coming haha. Ugh I really didn’t want to run on Wednesday, but the only thing that got me out the door was knowing that getting in my miles now is only going to make this year’s round of half marathon training that much easier. Plus my dad and brother ran 6 miles last night, and that was my plan for Wednesday anyway, so obviously I had to do it. I mean, I couldn’t let them beat me. πŸ˜‰

Also woke up with this song stuck in my head;

That’s not super relevant, it’s just a good song and I wanted to share it with you. πŸ˜‰

Oh and we also traded in our piece of shit SUV for a truck. Haha I talk about that here if you’re interested. But now we have a vehicle that’s not completely falling apart and that actually has heat! If you read about our adventures traveling to Colorado on Thanksgiving or to Illinois for Easter, then you might recall me saying that we spent a crazy amount of time freezing our butts off because the SUV’s heater didn’t work. But that’s not a problem anymore! πŸ™‚

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Thursday:

  • 4 miles

My legs were still feeling sore and tired on Thursday. Still got my run done in the morning though! And good thing I did too, because Luke ended up leaving work early on Thursday and once he got home we drove to Illinois because he wanted to show off his truck to his dad haha. But since Luke had to work on Saturday we didn’t end up staying in Illinois for very long.

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Friday:

  • Rest Day

So our one day in Illinois ended up coinciding with my rest day really well haha!

On Thursday I stayed the night at Luke’s dad’s house, then on Friday they went to Luke’s grandparents’ house to fish, but before they did that they dropped me off at my grandma’s house. So I spent most of Friday hanging out with her, our dogs, and my uncle. Then around 4 pm we packed up the truck and drove back home.

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Saturday:

  • 10 miles

Oh man, I wasn’t entirely sure I was gonna make it through this weeks long run! Friday may have been a rest day, but spending 5 hours in a truck isn’t exactly relaxing. Plus I don’t likes drinking a lot on long car rides because I don’t like having to stop to pee haha. But my run actually ended up going alright! It was hot, slow, and kinda not so fun but I got it done without too many issues! πŸ™‚ Plus when we got home on Friday night my Honey Stinger and Nuun orders where waiting for my on the front porch, so I got to try out a few new things during my run on Saturday.

After my long run I spent a lot of time doing nothing haha. But that evening Luke and I ended up going bowling with my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. That was fun, but I was pretty tired haha.

 

Sunday:

  • rest day

Oh boy was I ready for this rest day!! After our short trip to Illinois, my long run, and then our bowling adventure I’m pretty darn worn out!! My legs are feeling surprisingly good though. They’re a bit tired, but not as sore as I thought they were going to be. Anyway, since I didn’t have to run I took some time to re-dye my hair. It’s a super long process so it’s hard to do it on days when I run. But I got it taken care of today. πŸ™‚

Total Weekly Mileage: 25.33Β 

This week was a total success!! Hit my weekly mileage goal, did all of the runs that I wanted to do, traveled to Illinois and hung out with some family, went out and had some fun. It was a good week all around. πŸ™‚ I’m excited to see what I can make happen next week!

 

 

Thursday Things

Some stuff has happened this week! Haha actually, Luke and I have had quite a bit of stuff going on. So has my dad! He’s been absolutely killing it with all the running he’s been doing! I hope my brother has been too, since he’s gonna be running the Gobbler Grind half marathon with us in November as well, but he doesn’t like to text much haha.

Ok, I need to figure out where I want to start, because I really do have a lot to talk about today…Lets kick off this post with some exciting news about our current transportation situation!

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Yesterday Luke traded in our piece of shit 2005 (I think?) Chevy Equinox for a 2016 Ram 1500. Holy cow that is one nice truck!! And its a huge improvement over what we were driving around in before! We actually have heat now!! You might recall that our journey to Colorado for Thanksgiving was awful because the SUV’s heater didn’t work. Haha and it was basically falling apart on on, so an upgrade was necessary. πŸ™‚ Plus Luke is super duper happy because he finally has his truck. He’s wanted on FOREVER and is pretty stoked that he has one now.

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This summer we’re going to be going on another family vacation with Luke’s mom, siblings, a few aunts, his grandma, etc. We’re going to be going to Branson, Mo to spend a week together, and since it’s only 4 hours away from us Luke and I will be driving there. But it’s gonna be such a nice trip in the new truck!

Alrighty, lets get back to my dad and half marathon training! He’s been running A LOT!! On Thursday’s he’s been going to a group run thing that a local running store puts on which is awesome, and last weekend he did a 12 mile long run! I told him to be careful, but at this rate he’s already ready to run a half marathon!

On Tuesday he and my brother did a 6 mile run. My plan for yesterday was to do a 6 miler and I was about 3 seconds away from skipping it, but since my training partners went out and did it the day before I obviously had to do it too. I am the most experienced runner in this family and I’m not about to let the two newbies beat me!! πŸ˜‰ Haha we might be separated by 600 miles, but we’re still motivating each other to get shit done!

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If it wasn’t for my dad and brother running 6 miles the day before, I wouldn’t have done this run on Wednesday.

So I’m super stoked that my dad is 100% dedicated himself to this half marathon thing and I hope he keeps running even after we cross that finish line!

As for me, well, running is going pretty good. I’m currently going through a base building thing since I spent so much of the winter fucking around, hurt, and sick (haha I’m always those two things..). And that’s all fine and good until I realized that I didn’t want to completely die during the first few weeks of actual half marathon training, so I’m just gonna completely die now and then hopefully be in a lot better shape in July when my training plan starts. πŸ˜‰ It’s actually not that bad, I’m just really tired. But I’ve been through this before and I know in a few weeks I’ll feel good and actually like running again. Haha but for now I’m not to thrilled about lacing up my running shoes every morning. Especially not this morning. Ugh, I just wanted to sleep in and then spend the day doing absolutely nothing. I got it done though!

Ok, so lets talk a little bit about my chickens now, because I absolutely love them and can’t wait for fresh eggs!!

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They have adjusted to life in their coop very well! Around 6:45-7 ish in the morning either Luke or I run out there, let them out of their nesting box, and feed them. Haha they’re so funny. They get so excited when they hear you coming. They know that people mean food, and obviously they like their food! Then I go out there a few times a day to check on them and give them treats. So far their favorite thing is bananas! They go crazy over bananas!! So at 8 pm when we lock them up again, if they aren’t already in their nesting area (which a lot of the time they are) I can just get them up there with a banana. πŸ™‚

They seem like very happy chickens and happy chickens lay the tastiest eggs!!

So one of Luke’s co-workers has a bee hive in his vegetable garden and harvests their honey, so eventually we’re gonna trade him some eggs for some honey. And one of our neighbors has a bunch of fruit trees and grows a garden too, so we’re gonna trade him eggs for some of his stuff too. I just think that’s the best thing ever! Everyone benefits from situations like this and its awesome! Plus growing/producing your own food is just so freaking rewarding! I firmly believe that everyone should growΒ something.Β Even if it is just a few herbs in your window. πŸ™‚

So, Luke decided he needed to drive to STL to show off his truck to his dad, so he ended up leaving work early and we started making our way to his dads house. We’re currently still driving (but we’re almost there!), it’s been a good trip! This truck is damn comfortable!

We won’t be gone long though. We’re literally driving back home tomorrow. Haha like I said, Luke just wants to show off the truck.

Alrighty then! That’s all for today!

Happy Friday eve!!

~Ashley

Weekly Recap: April 16th-22nd, 2018

I was still sick for a good portion of this week, but I definitely started to feel better and was pretty much recovered from this illness by the end of the week which was awesome! And bonus, I was able to do pretty much all of the running I wanted to accomplish. It was mostly slow and kinda boring stuff and some of it got cut a little shorter than I wanted, but hey, it was a vast improvement over last week and I will gladly take that! πŸ™‚

Monday:

  • 3 easy miles

Marathon Monday. Wow! Still can’t get over Des Linden’s win at the Boston Marathon! That was just incredible!

So since I spent the whole morning watching the Elite coverage of the Boston Marathon, I didn’t end up running until around 12:30 that afternoon. That wasn’t a big deal, but it felt kinda weird haha. I like to get my running done and out of the way first thing in the morning that way I don’t have to worry about it throughout the day. Anyway, just did an uneventful 3 miles on Monday. After that I had to take care of all of the things I neglected to do since I spent so much time watching TV haha.

Tuesday:

  • 5 miles

I was still feeling kinda bleh on Tuesday and had originally only planned to do 2-3 miles because I sill wasn’t feeling great. But it seemed like the more I ran the better I felt, so I ended up doing 5 haha. It wasn’t exactly fun and I spent a lot of time coughing and wiping my nose, but I’m glad I did it. πŸ™‚

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Wednesday:Β 

  • 3 miles with a couple strides thrown in for fun
  • 20 minutes of yoga/foam rolling

I was finally starting to feel better by Wednesday! Not at 100% but still, I was very happy with the improvement and it showed during my run! It was hard, but fun hard and not I’m still sick and feel like I’m dying, which I will gladly take! After my run I spent over 2 hours cleaning out our spare bedroom where the chickens had lived until Tuesday night when we finally moved them into the coop. That was an adventure in and of itself! Wednesday was a good day and you can read more about it here. πŸ˜‰

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Thursday:

  • 30 minutes on the stationary bike
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Cross training is a necessary evil as far as I’m concerned. I don’t particularly enjoy doing it, I usually find it to be boring, but I know it’s good for me. So I do it. Sometimes hahaha. But by Thursday I was feeling sooooo much better! Still probably not 100% better, I still had a cough, but for the most part I was feeling pretty good! πŸ™‚

Friday:

  • 2.5 miles

Friday was an interesting day. Started off with a run as usual. I warmed up with what was supposed to be a nice and easy mile, but my new favorite band finally released their new album the night before so obviously I had to listen to that while I ran. I new that was a bad idea but I did it anyway haha. New music makes me a happy camper. But it also makes me go out waaaay too fast during my warm up and then that tends to make the rest of the workout a huge suffer fest. Luckily it was a short on on Friday though haha. After my “warm up” I did some cadence drills (about a mile of ’em πŸ™‚ ) and then cooled down with a little more easy running. Like I said, it was kinda a huge suffer fest, but it was also pretty fun!

And just for some clarification; I’ve been joking about The Longshot being my new favorite band for a while now (if you know me then you know I’m the biggest Green Day fangirl in ALL THE LAND!). But the thing is, it’s literally just another side band that the front man for Green Day has come up with. So its pretty much just Green Day with a few different people. Haha I still thing it’s fucking great though and I absolutely love their album. Hence the going out too fast during my warm up on Friday. πŸ˜‰

Anyways, on Friday evening my brother-in-law, his girlfriend, and her two kids came over to our house to hang out. And so did one of my neighbor’s and her kid (the one who likes to come over and hang out with me). So for some reason all of the small children (they were 7, 4, and 3 years old) all flocked to me, fought for my attention, and over who got to sit in my lap. Small children terrify me. Haha so not sure why they all wanted to be my friend (well, except for my neighbor, like I said, she likes hanging out with me). So that went on for several hours and was exhausting. I passed out right away when I finally went to bed that night.

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Saturday:

  • 5.58 miles

Saturday’s are usually my long run day. So the original plan was to do 8 miles. But between getting over an illness, going a little too hard during my workout on Friday, and then having 3 young children all over me the night before I was kinda worn out and just not feeling it. After about 2 miles I just started laughing at myself and was like “yeah, 8 miles definitely isn’t gonna happen today.” Then at about 3 miles I got chased to two little demon dogs that were running around unleashed in a non-fenced in front yard. Once the took off after me the followed my for a little bit, so I stopped and looked back to their house to see if their owner was out. She was, but she was just throwing her hands in the air, then covering her face, and I’m pretty sure she started crying… Like, I get that your dogs running off is a frustrating situation, but freaking out like that isn’t going to do anyone any good. Plus those little assholes were trying to bite at my ankles and I wasn’t about to try to catch them and bring them back to her. As far as I’m concerned that’s not my problem (and remember this is coming from the person who has caught and returned several dogs to their owners while out running). Ugh, I’ve grown to despise people who let their dogs run after people like that, then act like it’s the person who the dogs are chasing’s fault. Like, I’m on a public road. The law says that I can be here. And the law also says that your dogs can’t be out in public like that without a leash. Therefore, not my problem.

As someone who goes to great lengths to train her dogs not to do shit like that, and follow all the laws that pertain to dogs, I find it super frustrating when other people don’t. And then throw a fit whenever they let their dogs get into a potentially dangerous situation and are chasing/trying to bite a random passerby.

Anyway, I was in a standoff with those two dogs for several minutes, and had to resort to growling at them to keep them from coming close enough to bite me (usually a firm “no!” does the trick, but that didn’t work this time). Eventually some kid in a truck drove by and that distracted them long enough for me to get away. I’m not sure what happened to them after that, but again, not my problem.

After that it took me another 2 ish miles to loop back around to my house and once I got there I was just done. That was enough excitement for me that day. Oh well, aside from being chased by 2 little dogs (and can we just take a second to acknowledge that smaller dogs breeds are much more aggressive than most medium/large dog breeds?), I was happy with what I got done on Saturday. πŸ™‚

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Sunday:

  • rest day

And a well earned one, I think!!

Total Weekly Mileage: 19.20

Between getting over an illness and all of the shenanigans that happened this week, I still got shit done!! All things considered, I got a decent amount of miles in and got a tiny bit of cross training and stretching done. All in all, I felt like I had a productive week. And my Garmin is telling me that I’ve been productive, so go me!! πŸ™‚

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I hope you’ve had a good week and a fun weekend!

Until next time,

~Ashley

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