Tag Archives: half marathoner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyways, that’s all for today!!

Happy Monday! I hope you have a fantastic week!

Until next time,

~Ashley

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Weekly Recap: July 8th-14th, 2019

So having two teenagers (my brother and sister in law) living in my house this week has been an interesting endeavor. Not that it was bad or anything! It’s just that…they’re teenagers. So they sleep in a lot later than I do. So a lot of tip toeing around the house happened in the mornings. πŸ˜‚

Especially the early mornings when I had to get up at 5 am if I wanted to run before it got too terribly hot out. There were a few of those days. I sure hate having to wake up that early, but I always regret it when I don’t. The sun is not my friend in the summer…

Not gonna lie, I legit have a countdown on my phone for the Autumn Equinox and the first day of October. My body is ready!!! πŸŽƒπŸ‚

Monday:

  • 4 easy miles

I’d say I’m just trying to get back into the swing of things, but the swing of things has still been a little bit off this week, obviously! πŸ˜‰ So really I’m just trying to squeeze it in when I can.

So on Monday I was up at 5 am to get my run done! I’m not a fan of having to wake up that early, but at least I was treated to a nice sunrise. After my run I had to take care of a bunch of stuff around the house before my sister in laws got here. One of them left after a few minutes. She still had about a 5 hour drive to St. Louis. But obviously the other one stayed here with us. 😊 She and I, plus her brother spent the rest of the day hanging out and kinda picking on each other. Because what else are siblings supposed to do?? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Tuesday:

  • 2 treadmill miles
  • 20 minutes of yoga

Hahaha oh boy, I was tired from my early wake up and then later bedtime on Monday, so I ended up sleeping in till 8 on Tuesday. That’s definitely not a great thing to do in the summer. When I woke up the sun was out and it was HOT. So I decided I was going to do my run on the treadmill instead. I’m a huge wimp when it comes to the heat. πŸ₯΅πŸ€£

So I had to waited until about 11 to do this 2 mile run. My brother in law has been sleeping on an air up mattress in our spare bedroom, which is really our “exercise room” because that’s where my treadmill, stationary bike, yoga mats, foam rollers, and running shoes now reside. But yet again the problem with teenagers is they like to sleep in late. And I get it. I was a teenager once too. But I’m a morning runner and an inpatient person so I git tired of waiting. So I ended up running outside anyway. πŸ˜‚

Oh man that was miserable! I wanted to do a little bit of speed work today but that wasn’t going to happen in the mid-morning heat! So I just did two slow miles. Hahaha but that’s better than nothing! Afterwards I enjoyed some nice, cold watermelon, because literally nothing is better after a hot run. πŸ‰πŸ˜‹

Wednesday:

  • 5 miles
  • 30 minutes on the stationary bike

77 degrees. 94% humidity. At least that’s what the weather was like when I started my run on Wednesday morning at 5:30 I’m the morning.

Not exactly fun times, but I got it done!! Doing my very best to get back on track after 3 not so great running weeks. So far so good! 😊 Even though getting back into it is hard as hell and kinda hurts. πŸ˜‚ But I also know that it won’t be that way for long and that definitely helps!

Thursday:

  • Rest day

My legs were starting to feel HEAVY by Wednesday! πŸ˜‚ So a rest day definitely felt good on Thursday!

Hahaha originally I wanted it to be a cross training day, but I was tired so πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Friday:

  • Zoo day

So Friday didn’t end up going as I had planned, but it was a fun day! Luke kinda decided at the last minute that he wanted to take his brother and sister to the Kansas City Zoo and art museum so that’s what we did!

It was a long, hot day, but still lots of fun. You can read more about it here if you’re interested! 😁

Saturday:

  • 7 miles on the treadmill

So this was a weird run. Actually it just felt like a weird day in general! πŸ˜‚

So usually I run in the morning, but I woke up late on Saturday (our zoo adventures kinda sapped everyone’s energy, I think!) and decided I was going to run on the treadmill. But I had to wait until 1:20 pm when my brother in law finally woke up because he’s been sleeping on an air mattress in our spare bedroom, which is where my treadmill is. So that was all just weird.

Then about 4 miles into my run my dad called me and we talked for about an hour. But since I couldn’t really hear with the treadmill going I had to stop. So yeah, my 7 miles weren’t exactly consecutive. But at least I finished them after I got off of the phone with my dad. πŸ˜‚

Then I did some stretching, showered, ate, and all of a sudden it was 4 pm but it felt like it should have only be 11 am (because I usually do all of this in the morning) and my whole perception of time was off for the rest of the day. But at least I got 7 miles done. πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‚

Sunday:

  • Rest day

Happy anniversary to us!

7 years married. 11 years (almost πŸ˜‰) together. And 13 years of knowing each other. We’re still the coolest people I know. πŸ˜ŽπŸ–€πŸ˜‚

Total Weekly Mileage: 18

Not exactly what I’ve been aiming for, but after everything we’ve had going on I’ll definitely take it!! 😊

My sister in law left today, and while I really enjoyed having another girl around here, that’s one less person I have to worry about which means I’ll have a little more time on my hands next week. πŸ˜‰ So maybe I’ll be able to squeeze in a few more miles. But I am happy with what I was able to get done this week. πŸ˜„

Happy Sunday! I hope you had a great week!

~Ashley

Sick Days

Note to self; stay away from small children. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚

Seriously though, I’m pretty sure either my niece and nephew or my next door neighbor gave me one hell of a bug when I babysat them all last Friday. It it me hard and I’ve been down and out since late Saturday night/early Sunday morning.

It wasn’t one of those colds where like, you’re a little stuffed up and not feeling super great, maybe your a little more tired than usual. No. It was the kind that make you feel absolutely miserable. You’re exhausted all of the time and even getting up to walk to the bathroom sounds like a challenge. You’re not sleeping well, have a headache from being so stopped up, and with chest congestion and a sore throat to boot. Holy moly, most of this week has been pretty awful for me. 🀧

Thankfully I’m finally on the upswing though! I’m still not feeling super great but I’m much improved compared to earlier this week! Luckily I had Luke to take care of me! He kept me stocked up on tea and Halo Top ice cream. Obvious necessities for when you’re sick. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I’m finally starting to feel a little bit better today. Not great, but good enough to go out and run 2 very slow miles. Hey, I’ll take it! It wasn’t a great run or anything but it was good enough to clear out some snot! Gross but necessary. 🀧

I kinda spent the rest of the day resting though. It felt good to get outside and get moving but not gonna lie, I still feel pretty shitty. Definitely not how I want to be feeling just a few days before my next race, but at this point I’m pretty confident that I’m going to make it through the Running With The Cows 5k on Saturday without dying. πŸ˜‚

The plan for now is to keep resting, staying hydrated, and decently fueled in hopes that will help me get to the starting line in a little bit better shape. Hahaha I guess we’ll see though.

So yeah, that’s just a quick little update for today.

Happy Thursday!

~Ashley

It’s Race Week!

I’m not in as good of a place as I was before the last race I did in April though…

Now, on top of the knee thing I’ve been dealing with for about a week or two now, I woke up at 3:30 this morning with a sore throat. Shit. πŸ˜‘

There was no way I was getting back to sleep without doing something for my throat, so I got up, took some ibuprofen, and made my go-to throat soothing drink; 2 tbs of apple cider vinegar and two tbs of raw honey mixed into about 6-8 ounces of warm water. I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s kinda gross! But it really does help soothe the throat!

It definitely made mine feel better early this morning! I was finally able to get back to sleep about an hour later. Woke back up at 8:30 am, throat still sore but not as bad as earlier, and got the day off to a very slow and relaxed start.

I’ve been struggling between “I need to rest” and “I need to get/stay in shape and keep doing some kind of exercise”. Since my knee got hurt. At first I thought I just tweaked it and that it would be fine in a couple of days, but that hasn’t been the case. I’ve been experiencing discomfort in it anytime I run. Even when all I was doing was running around a playground with a bunch of little kids. Not cool… I know I need to rest it, give it some extra love, and just let it heal on it’s own time, but it’s been hard. I’ve barely been running, and have been avoiding pretty much everything outside of yoga, gentle walking, and some upper body strength work, in order to avoid hurting my knee anymore. I know I have a legit reason to be doing that, but man most days I just feel lazy and like I should be doing more. Not true. But still, it’s how I’ve been feeling.

I also know that after taking all of this time off getting back into regular training is going to SUCK. It always does… I’m definitely not looking forward to that but I really just want to be back running constantly again.

Anyway, I’m done throwing myself a pity party. I just need to get that out. πŸ˜‰

So, it’s race week!

This Saturday my dad and I are taking on the Running With The Cows 5k! This will be my 3rd time doing this race and it will be my dad’s first! I’m super duper excited! I LOVE this race! I always say one day I might even do the half, but we’ll see. πŸ˜‰ For now I’m just happy with running the 5k, seeing the cows, and enjoying the large buffet at the end. 😁

Me feeding a mama cow at the starting line last year.

Since I’ve been having issues with my knee I’ve long since decided that I’m not gonna to go for a fasted time or a PR or anything for this one. It’s just all for fun now. Which is cool. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to drag my dad through my PR pace anyway. πŸ˜‚

We like to actually run these things together and either way I wasn’t planning on leaving him behind. πŸ˜‰ I still get to set the pace though! At the first 5k we did together last year he went out waaaay to fast. An easy mistake to make. Especially at your first ever race. That ended up not going well for him. He made fun of me for “not being able to keep up” all during the first half. But guess who was laughing at him sucking wind during the last mile or so, while feeling quite fantastic herself. πŸ˜‰ So yeah, now I get to control the pace. For the most part anyway. πŸ˜‚

Finishing the Whiskey 5k last March. Hahaha now he listens to me when I tell him not to go out so fast. πŸ˜‚

So while I am just a little bit bummed that this race isn’t going to be as fast as I would have liked, it’s still going to be fun! But here’s hoping I feel a lot better by Saturday and my throat stops hurting and I don’t have to limp my way across the finish line.

So random thought that I’ve probably already mentioned before but here we go again; I wanna do more 5k’s! 5k’s are so much fun! They’re mercifully short (although obviously only having 3 miles to cover comes with its own set of challenges) and easy to recover from! You could basically do one every weekend, at least throughout the spring and fall! Plus I really enjoy all of the fun, themed 5k’s! Pumpkin runs, Turkey trots, Santa shuffles, ya know, the ones that are more for fun than actually running for a certain time. πŸ˜‚ So yeah, I wanna do more fun 5k’s! Last year I did my first legit turkey trot on Thanksgiving morning. I absolutely loved the fun, laid back vibe at the starting line that day! It was especially nice after doing a half marathon a week or two before. πŸ˜‚ Maybe I’ll have to do that one again this year! πŸ¦ƒπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Anyway, I didn’t really spend much time on the whole “It’s Race Week!” subject, did I? Really all I did was throw a pity party and then went on about 5k’s. πŸ˜‚

Oh well. It is race week though. And since getting to the starting line healthy is looking super iffy, my goal right now is to get there feeling as good as possible. And if that means doing a ridiculously small amount of running this week so be it (I’m still not gonna be happy about it though. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ). At this point in my running career I’ve never lined up at a starting line feeling too poorly. I’ve always managed to make it there healthy and with relatively healed injuries. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this one goes! I’ve still got several days to heal and recover anyway. πŸ˜‰

Is anyone else racing this week?!?

Happy Monday!

~Ashley

Happy Mail Day To Me!!

I’ve been watching this documentary series thing about the 90’s on Netflix and it’s been super entertaining/slightly nostalgia (I was born in ’91 so I only really remember the later 90’s). I’ve really been enjoying it aside from the fact that they barely even included Green Day their music episode. Dookie was literally one of the biggest albums of the 90’s. Especially coming out the year Kurt Cobain does. But whatever…I guess they almost made up for it by the amount of time they spent on Nirvana. Almost. And of course they ended the episode with Good Riddance playing in the background. ClichΓ©, but my little fan-girl heart was still happy to hear it. πŸ˜‚

Hi my name is Ashley and I’m the world’s biggest Green Day fan. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚

Oh man, anyway. This series has done exactly what it was probably meant to do, I suppose. It’s gotten me thinking of just how far we’ve come (and how far we haven’t come) as the human race. Like, 30 years ago the internet was barely even a thing but now we have access to it 24/7 via these relatively tiny devices that we carry with us in our pockets. Really it’s kinda mind blowing when you think of it!

At this point we can purchase basically anything we could possibly dream of and have it delivered to our front doors in just a few days. And once it is delivered we snap a photo with the small devices that give us access to the internet at all times and post about it on our social media accounts. And thus, the whole “mail day” social media thing began. Pretty crazy, right?! πŸ˜‚

So I revived two packages today! The first one came via the good ol’ USPS this morning and I wasn’t exactly expecting it. That’s always a good feeling, right?! 😁 The second was delivered via FedEx (dude, don’t even get me started on all of the delivery options we have today! And how much that’s grown, especially with Amazon and drones and people renting out vans just to deliver stuff. Holy moly!!πŸ˜‚). That one I was expecting, tracking, and highly anticipating! πŸ˜‰

So, our regular mail actually comes super duper early in the morning. Around 8-9 am, which has always kinda blown my mind. Back when I lived in Illinois it always came around 3-4 pm. But I guess that’s the difference between living in town, almost across the street from the post office and on a farm in the middle of nowhere. πŸ˜‚ Anyway, today I got the mail as usual, whatever. But there was a package in there addressed to me from a local running store! Yay!! I wasn’t really expecting it (even though I was promised this stuff) but I knew exactly what it was and was pretty stoked about it!

My ambassador stuff from the Gobbler Grind Half finally came!! Hahaha back in February I was accepted as an ambassador for the Gobbler Grind and was promised some apparel and flyers basically in exchange for free advertising (which really is all any ambassador program is πŸ˜‰). They said “a few weeks” but I guess that turned into “a few months”. I’m not complaining or anything though. I’ve never organized a race so I have no idea what all goes into that, but I’m sure the race director and everyone is is pretty busy all year. Planning this race and more likely than not a few others. Really all that waiting did was turn it into a pleasant surprise because I had almost forgotten about it. πŸ˜‚

But anyway, now I’ve got a sweet Gobbler Grind t-shirt, some flyers to hand out, and another buff! It’s so funny actually, I’ve been saying I needed a buff for a while but I never ended up getting myself one. But now I’ve gotten two for “free”. One at the Desert Rats 10k earlier this month and now this one that came with my Gobbler Grind stuff! Pretty sweet! Also just a weird coincidence that I’ve been talking about wanting one and now I’ve got two. πŸ˜‚

Now that I’ve got some flyers I need to figure out what to do with them! In all transparency, if I get 5 people to register for this race using my code (GG19AD) I get a free entry! I’ve already got one person to use it so only 4 more to go! Anyone wanna help a girl out? πŸ˜‰ It’s a super fun race!! Plus I’m really hoping to meet some of my online friends there! How super cool would that be?!? 😁

But anyway, for now I’m going to give a couple to my husband to hang up at his work. Apparently a bunch of people there are runners so that’s probably a good place to start! I’m also thinking my local grocery store? I live in a super small town so basically everyone who lives here shops there, even if it’s just occasionally. And I know there are some runners around here. I mean, I see them while I’m out running! πŸ˜„

I really do love this race though. That was the whole reason I even applied to be an ambassador for it. So far it’s probably one of the best races I’ve ever done! So even if I can’t get 4 more people to register I’m still going to do it! I still can’t get over how awesome the aid station volunteers were last year. They were literally THE BEST! So I’m very excited to be doing this half marathon again this year! And with my dad, too! 😁

Anyway, at around 12:30 pm a very nice FedEx driver dropped off my Honey Stinger order! Yay!! A couple of days ago I did some restocking of my running fuel! Of course that meant Honey Stinger waffles!! They are my go-to running fuel. They also make good snacks. πŸ˜‰ So I got a box of my favorite flavor; chocolate. I’ve also been enjoying the lemon flavored waffles as well, so I got a box of those too. Plus a box of cracker n’ nut butter bars because yum!! πŸ˜‹ And a “variety pack” which is just a box of different flavors of waffles, a few chews, bars, and cracker n’ nut butter bars.

Now I’ll be set on that front for a while. 😁 Probably for at least most of the summer. Training for Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days: Take Two officially starts in a few months and I definitely want to be ready for that! πŸ˜„

And speaking of that, guess who I’ve officially convinced to take on this challenge with me?!?!

Hahaha yup! It’s official! My dad is signed up for both races and is going to tackle them with me! Yay!! We have lots of fun racing together! Actually, at this point everything single race I’m doing this year I’ll be doing with him. That is unless I end up registering for another race, but right now that’s kinda unlikely. It’s all good though! Two half marathons, one 10k, and one 5k is more than I’ve done in other years.πŸ˜„

Alrighty! That’s all for today! Just an exciting mail day. 😊

Happy Wednesday!

~Ashley

Desert Rats 10k Race Recap

Better a little late than never right?! πŸ˜‰

I’ve been trying to sort through all of my thoughts on this race, but I still haven’t been able to pull them all together. I’m gonna try though! But this post might end up being s jumbled mess. πŸ˜‚

I’ve also been waiting for the professional race photos to be posted onto Gemini Adventures’ website. Mission accomplished on that front! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜‰

That being said, I still have a ridiculous amount of photos thanks to my dad. He’s become quite the shutterbug and we definitely stopped more than once just so he could take pictures. But I mean, I can blame him when the views from the course looked like this…

Anyway, let’s recap this thing!

So, the day before this race my dad and I drove about 5 hours from Longmont to Grand Junction, which was super close to Fruita, where the race was being held. We made a few stops along the way, including one stop to take around 3 hours to hike to and from Hanging Lake. I won’t go into all of that again since I’ve already written about that here. But I will say that whole adventure was super hard, fun, and beautiful. Not exactly something I’d recommend doing the day before a race, but I don’t regret it. πŸ˜‚

After that adventure we made a stop for some burgers and then made our way to one of my dad’s drivers houses (my dad basically runs several FedEx terminals). He invited us to stay the night with him and his family so that we didn’t have to stay at a motel. That was super nice of him and he and his whole family were super welcoming and incredibly nice. 😊

I ended up getting to bed around 11 that night and I’m not sure when my dad finally made his way to bed. But we were up before the sun at 5 am Sunday morning. The guy we stayed with laid out breakfast for us the night before; a couple of water bottles, some instant oatmeal, bread, candy bars, and an invitation to anything in the fridge or pantry that we wanted. I definitely like oatmeal before a run though, so that’s what I stuck with. πŸ˜„ So we ate, got dressed, and loaded up our stuff into my dad’s van and then made our way to the staring line in Fruita.

It only took us about a half an hour to get there. So we actually got there super duper early at around 6:30 am. The race didn’t even start until 8:30 am. πŸ˜‚ So we drove up this pretty gnarly Jeep trail. That was a bit iffy in my dad’s van. But it was fun.

This was AFTER we made it back down the super iffy section of road we went up. πŸ˜‚

We didn’t go too far though. There wasn’t a lot of parking for this race so we made our way back to the starting/finish area and snagged us an awesome parking spot.

We sat in the van for a while. Talking, people watching, and sipping at water and nibbling on a few snacks. Packet pick up started at 7 am, so we got out our stuff right as they open up. Being some of the first people there definitely had its benefits! Along with our bibs and participation shirts, we also got buffs. They had a limited supply of them that were donated to them so not everyone got one. Hahaha I was pretty stoked though! Mine sure came in handy during the race. I wiped my nose on it more times than I can count. πŸ˜‚

After we collected our things we stopped at the port-o-potties. There weren’t many of them but at this point it was still pretty early so no one was in line. Score!! 😁 Hahaha after our business with the port-o-potties was taken care of we went back to the van to warm up because it was pretty chilly out that morning. And of course while we were there we pinned on our bibs and got the rest of our gear ready.

Before we picked up our bibs we obviously needed to get a selfie with the starting line. πŸ˜„

At about 15 minutes to the start time we shed our outer layers (and oh boy was that hard! It was still pretty chilly out! πŸ˜‚), strapped on our hydration packs, and made our way to the starting area. We also marveled at the line for the port-o-potties and we’re grateful that 1. We went when we did and 2. Didn’t have to go again. πŸ˜‚

There was very little organization going on. Half marathoners were mixed in with the 10k-ers and as far as I could tell no one was really lined up according to pace. It wasn’t really a super big deal though because this was a really small race. Just several hundred people really. Those aren’t negatives though! Just facts. 😁

A race official counted us down but honestly we couldn’t hear him all that well, but it was kind of easy to tell when we were supposed to take off because everyone cheered and started moving forward. πŸ˜‚ So we took off down the trail, starting with a slight down hill that I definitely didn’t feel and sure didn’t notice until we had to climb up it on our way back to the finish line. 🀣

That downhill was short lived though! We began one of the bigger climbs of the race (and there were several) in the first few minutes. Those climbs KILLED me. My legs were actually pretty prepared for them thanks to the hill work I had done on my treadmill, but my legs were also sore sand tired from our hike the day before. And unfortunately that never went away… That wasn’t what actually killed me though. It was the elevation. Here in Kansas I’m just about 1,000 feet above sea level. I. Fruita Colorado we were at 5,000 feet and we gained around 600 feet getting up some of those hills. I’m sure that’s not a lot for you mountain runners out there, but for this flatlander who also happens to be exclusively a road runner it was TOUGH.

Anyway, the first 1.5 miles were the hardest. I think. Hahaha honestly from this point on everything is a blur. The aide stations were each about a mile and 1/2 apart and that’s what I’m kinda basing everything on. πŸ˜‰

So by the time we made it to the first aid station we were DFL (Dead Fucking Last). At least as far as the 10k-ers went. But considering how small the race was and all of the other circumstances that was pretty unsurprising. And honestly, not at all upsetting. I went into this thing just wanting to survive it and to have some fun. I knew it was going to slow going and I had put any kind of ego aside for this one.

Anyway, the volunteers at the aide were all super awesome. We got many complaints on our Sloth Running Team t-shirts, and I got several laughs and sympathetic looks every time my dad told people I was from Kansas.

Ps. Next time I do a trail race in Colorado I’m wearing a shirt that says “I’m from Kansas”. Just so everyone understands why I look and sound like I’m dying. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Anyway, the next 1.5 miles were much more rugged. There were loose rocks and the rail definitely got more technical. Honestly though I had so much fun on the harder (but more flat/downhill!) sections of the course. Having to chose you’re footing and trying not to trip over rocks was a lot of fun! And I was actually pretty good at it!

You can definitely see the rocks in this photo, but there were more fun sections of the trail than this!😁

Now, if I remember correctly (and I probably don’t πŸ˜‚) pretty close to the next aide station and the half way point there was part we had to kinda scramble up! Oh man, that was hard! My poor lungs were just not doing well this less oxen than they’re used to. But we both made it up it. With lots of huffing and puffing on my part. 🀣

At the next aide station I took a little cup of tailwind to drink and a couple of Honey Stinger gels (score!!). I don typically like gels for fuel while running because they upset my stomach but I took some just incase. But at this point I was doing pretty well on just water and a Gatorade that I had stashed in my hydration pack.

This side station was located on Pizza Overlook. Sadly they didn’t have any pizza. πŸ˜‚

After we left the second aide station is when we ended up running around the rim of the canyon (at least I’m pretty sure. Hahaha like I said. Everything is a blur. πŸ˜‚). Pictures will never do justice to how beautiful it actually was.

After a few twists and turns we stumbled upon the one and only race photography. Shout out to him for sitting there and waiting for our DFL asses. πŸ˜‚ of course I had to be a total dork for my photo. But at the very least I was being a total dork during a super hard 10k with some incredible views! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

On the way to the final aid station at about 4.3 miles were we’re blessed with some amazing downhills. The trail was still a little tricky but I picked it up quite a bit going down those hills (around 10 minutes per mile pace according to the one time I actually glanced at my Garmin πŸ˜‚). That was a ton of fun!! At this point we were starting to head back the way we came and the last aide station was also the very first aide station. We were also heading back up hill. Yuck. 🀒🀣Basically the whole last mile was uphill, with one super short down hill in the middle of it.

The finish line was just on the other side of that hill on the left side of this photo.

We crossed the finish line at the EXACT same time, cheering and holding hands! That was pretty cool! And according to the official results, we weren’t actually DFL. Hahaha neat! But also still, not a big deal. πŸ˜‚

Once we crossed the finish line we were handed our “medals” (really just a dog tag on a chain, but still super neat!), and made our way to the food tables were we got pancakes, fruit, coffee, and a few other things, although they did have quite a bit of other post race snacks as well. πŸ˜„ we found a nice place to sit and cheered on some of the first half marathoners to start running in.

After we ate we went back to the van, wiped ourselves down with wet wipes and I changed my shirt (and managed to get out of my wet sports bra without showing any boobies to the world. πŸ˜‚). And then we started our 17 hour drive back to Kansas.

So yeah. This was my first trail race ever. My first official 10k. The farthest I’ve ever run at 5,000 feet above sea level, and the slowest 10k/race I’ve ever done. It was hard. It was beautiful. And it was absolutely so much fun!!

Apparently we’re doing the half next year. Hahaha we’ll see about that. 🀣🀣

But for now, the next race on the schedule is the Running With The Cows 5k on May 11th here in Kansas! I’m very excited about that!!

Until next time,

~Ashley

Upcoming Adventures

Things have been kinda quite around here lately! Aside from some chicken drama we haven’t really had much going on since Christmas time. That’s going to change here very shortly though! This spring is going to be a busy one and I’m pretty excited about sone of the things that are going to go down and the adventures that are going to be had!

First on my list is my upcoming trip to Colorado! That’s this week actually!

So currently, the plan is my brother is driving here from Illinois to pick me up and bring me to Colorado with him (Luke and I only have one vehicle and obviously he’ll need that to go to and from work, so this was the option that worked best for everyone). I’m not sure what my dad has planned for the week, but on Saturday we’re going to be driving from Longmont to Fruita (about a 5 hour drive) and then do some hiking there. Then we’re going to stay at a motel there and then on Sunday is the Desert Rats 10k trail race that we’re doing together. After that my dad and I will head back to Kansas where obviously I live and he might stay the night, and then he needs to to take care of some stuff in Illinois so that kinda works out well for him.

We’re planning on squeezing in as much fun as possible in the short amount of time I’m there and I’m sure we will! I’m very much looking forward to spending some more time in Colorado. 😊

Views while hiking up Rabbit Mountain with Luke and my brother on Thanksgiving of 2017

Next on the agenda is the Running With The Cows 5k! I’ve done this race twice now and I absolutely love it! One day I’ll end up doing the half marathon. Once I get over my fear of racing in warm weather. πŸ˜‚

So this is coming up on May 11th and my dad is doing this one with me as well!

I’m not sure when he plans on coming here from Colorado for that, but no matter when he does I’m sure we’ll end up having lots of fun! 😊

Running With The Cows 5k, 2018

Later in May one of my brother-in-laws graduates from high school so Luke and I will be driving to Minnesota for that! We’ve been going on vacations in the summer with Luke’s mom’s side of the family so we actually haven’t even been up to Minnesota since 2015! Crazy stuff!!

So aside from celebrating the new high school grad I’m not sure what all is going down while we’re there but I’m sure it will involve some fun stuff! Last time we were there we went to Itasca State Park. That was super cool! Especially for a group of people who all used to (and a couple still do) live near the Mississippi in Illinois!

Unfortunately no running events will be taking place while we’re in Minnesota. Hahahaha that would have been fun though! Maybe I’ll look up some races and see if I can swing one while we’re there. πŸ˜‰ honestly though there probably won’t be time for that.

Itasca State Park, October 2015

Alrighty, so those are the big ones coming up soon! Of course we’ve got all sorts of smaller adventures along the way. Like starting our garden for instance. Now that spring is finally here we’ll be getting that started soon! I’m very excited about that. I wanna grow ALL OF THE THINGS! πŸŒ±πŸ…πŸ₯¬πŸ“πŸ₯¦πŸ‘πŸŽƒ

And I’m sure at some point we’ll be making our way back to Illinois again. Another of my brother-in-laws girlfriend just had their baby on March 19th. That’s kind of a whole thing, but I’m sure Luke’s dad will convince him to come meet her before too long. I mean, she is our first…”official” (for lack of a better term.) niece.

Hahaha Luke’s whole side of the family is a little bit confusing and I’m not about to get into all of that here. But we do already have a couple of nephews and a niece on his mom’s side. They just aren’t directly related to Luke. But this new baby is like for reals related to him. So “official” sure. But not our first niece or nephew or relative of that sort. πŸ˜‚

Anyway, right now that covers the majority of the races I’m doing this year. For now. There’s always the possibility that more might be added to the schedule though. πŸ˜‰

But for now there are only two other races on tap for 2019; the Longview Half and the Gobbler Grind Half, which I’ll be doing with my dad again. Jeez I’m beginning to think he likes this whole racing thing! 😁 I’m currently trying to convince him to do Longview with me too, but that one is the day before the Gobbler Grind. Yeah, I’m trying that again. πŸ˜‚ But anyway, he’ll be coming back to Kansas again for that. We had an absolute blast running it last year!

So, will I be seeing any of you guys there on November 10th?!?

This is such a fun race held in Overland Park Kansas! I can’t say that the whole course is super pretty because it is in a pretty big city and I ain’t a about that life, but a lot of the course is on a super pretty paved trail that follows a nice little creek. I actually used to run on parts of the course all of the time back when Luke and I lived in an apartment in Overland Park so I thought that was super cool!!

And don’t even get me started on the volunteers! They were the best!!

If you’re looking for a fun half marathon in the Kansas City area I can’t recommend this one enough! And of course you can use my code GG19AD to get $20 off of your entry fee!

http://gobblergrindmarathon.com

Right now that comes out to be about 33% off, but once the price increase my discount stays the same at $20, so if you wanna save a little extra money now is the time to register!

I hope to see you there!!!

So yeah, I’m pretty excited about my upcoming adventures! Both in the near future and the ones happening later this year! Yay for exciting adventures!!

What about you? Got any fun adventures coming up soon?? I sure hope so!

But for now, I need to start packing!! Colorado here I come!!

~Ashley

Ya know, just me hanging out with an Elk on my last trip to Colorado, March 2018