Tag Archives: half marathoner

How Running Changed My Life

Happy Global Running Day!!!

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mile 11 of the Longview Half Marathon, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

~Ashley

 

 

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Thursday Things

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Ashley

Whiskey Run 5K 3/11/18

I haven’t done an “official” 5k since I did Running With The Cows back in May of 2016. Actually, last year the only race I did was the Longview half. Haha I don’t get to race very often, so it’s pretty exciting when I do! πŸ™‚ Plus this one was even more exciting because my dad did it with me! It was his first official 5k and that’s so super awesome!!

But before we get to how the Whiskey 5k went for the two of us yesterday, I need to talk about what I did on Saturday, and how apparently it wasn’t as bad as an idea as I thought it would have been.

So. Saturday. The day before the Whiskey Run. My dad had to drive from Colorado to Kansas, which is an 11 ish hour drive. I’m sure that wasn’t an ideal way to spend the day before your first 5k race, but he’s a truck driver so I suppose he’s used to it. Plus this whole thing was kind of his idea! Haha you see, while I was in Colorado I told him about it and he said it was the perfect race for him! First off, he enjoys whiskey. Second, the race is in Martin City, and Martin is his last name (and it was mine as well until I got married πŸ˜‰ ). So he told me to sign us up and obviously I did. So he ended up getting to my house at midnight on Sunday morning. Not ideal, but hey, we made it work. πŸ™‚

I on the other hand, ended up going out on Saturday night with Luke, his brother, and his brother’s girl friend. To a bar. To play pool. So not my thing… I enjoy a little bit (or sometimes a lot hahaha) of drinking every once in a while, but I definitely don’t do it often. Especially not the night before a race! Or long run, or hard workout, or the night before I know I need to be up super early. I could keep going. πŸ˜‰ And I’m terrible and pool and don’t particularly enjoy playing it. But Luke really wanted me to go and I’m glad that I did. We all had a pretty good time and spent more time talking than playing pool, which was good, because like I said, I’m terrible at it. Luke and I also devoured a plate of cheese fries and an order of mozzarella sticks. So with all of that on top of the 4 or 5 beers I had, Luke and I joked all night that I was “carb loading”. Because you know, totally necessary to do that before a 5k. And obviously beer and cheese fries are the way to go! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

 

 

Oh man, it was a fun night though. And Luke and I ended up getting to our house about 5 minutes before my dad did, so that worked out nicely. πŸ™‚

I made my dad some food, we all hung out for about half an hour or so, and then the three of us decided we needed to go to bed. Luke had to work in the morning, my dad and I had to be up at 6 am, and oh, did I mention daylight’s savings happened Sunday morning? So we lost an hour of sleep. Terrific…

Setting my alarm for 6 am was slightly demoralizing knowing that in 4 short hours I would need to be awake. And actually waking up to that alarm was pretty sucky. But after initially waking up, the race day excitement kicked in and everything was fine after that. πŸ™‚ And I mean, coffee and a Honey Stinger waffle definitely helped.

 

 

Plus I do kind of have a pre race routine, which starts the day before. I set my coffee maker, decide what I’m having for breakfast, lay out all of my gear, and just make sure everything will be as easy as possible in the morning. I had taken care of all of that stuff the day before and I’m very glad that I did! But this time was a little different because now I had another person I needed to worry about. So at 6 am I got up, turned on the coffee maker, woke up my dad, got dressed, made both of us coffee, made sure we both ate a little something, and were ready to leave at 7. It all ended up going very smoothly, which was nice. πŸ™‚

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The outfit I had planned on wearing. And I did wear it haha. But it was a lot colder than I thought it was going to be thanks to a lot of wind, so I had to wear a hoodie over my super pretty St. Patrick’s Day shirt.

We got to the starting line about an hour and a half early, so we ended up finding a parking space very easily. While we were driving on part of the course we found port-o-potties, and the tent where the post run breakfast was being held (it was a few blocks away from the start/finish line, so that walk made a nice cool down haha). After we parked we picked up our packets and went straight back to the car to put on our bibs and timing chips because it was pretty cold and windy out. Not ideal for standing around in, but I’ll gladly take cold and cloudy weather for a race any day. πŸ™‚ Luckily for my dad, I’ve done this a few times before and made sure to grab him some safety pins at the packet pick up booth because he completely forgot haha. Also explained that the bib goes on the front of your shirt and that some people (i.e. me before my very first half) obsess over making it perfectly straight. I’m very much over that though. πŸ˜‰

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My kinda crooked bib number.

Once that was all taken care of, we hung out in the nice, warm car for a while, watching all of the other runners arrive. We actually watched the people who ended up being the overall male and female winners warming up. Turns out they are married and both won a bottle of whiskey so that’s pretty cool! Party at their house, right? πŸ˜‰

Anyway, around 8:00, half an hour before start time, I had to pee (of course πŸ˜‰ ). So we set out to brave the cold and wind to get in line for a port-o-potty. There was only one at the start line though, so we walked a few blocks down to the port-o-potties by the buffet tent. I’m glad we did! That was a nice little warm up for us and there was no line for those haha! After that we were both pretty cold, so we warmed up in the car again for a few minutes and then we lined up at the start/finish line!

 

We are both slow runners, so we lined up at the back and we actually didn’t even hear the national anthem playing, but about midway through we noticed that people at the front had their hats off and their hands over their hearts, so we followed suit along with a few others in the back. We did hear the announcer counting down though! Everyone started surging forward, we crossed the timing mat, and my dad took off like a bat out of hell!

Holy cow I was not ready for that! As someone who’s race a few times, has been running for a few years, and has read several books on the subject, I now know that it’s best to start off all races conservatively. I told my dad that, he didn’t care, the first half mile was hell haha. Especially since my stomach wasn’t feeling all that happy after the beer and cheese fries the night before…

So throughout the first mile we kept getting separated. We were doing run/walk intervals and I was trying to take the run intervals somewhatΒ conservatively at first, but my dad would take off and start weaving between people. Eventually I told him that that was fine and I’d just catch up to him once he started feeling terrible and was regretting going out so fast, so I just started doing my own thing haha. Well, until he started talking shit! As we were closing in on mile two he told some lady that I was half his age and couldn’t keep up. Oh hell no! At that point I was feeling better and my stomach had settled so I planned on taking off! Haha we ended up getting kinda separated by a police officer on a motorcycle who was in front of the lead runner and I never saw my dad when I decided to take off.

So we ended up running most of mile two without each other, but that’s what he gets for starting out too fast! πŸ˜‰ I ended up seeing him at a turn around as I was leaving the water station and he was going through it. When I saw him I yelled “hey slow-poke” to get his attention,and I slowed down and he spend up and eventually caught me. By that point he was huffing, puffing, and wanting to take longer walking breaks, so we did. Haha I made fun of him the whole time though, telling him that now I felt great and that he should have listened to me at the beginning. It was all in good fun though.

During the last mile I realized that I did feel really good though! Like, freaking fantastic! At that point I got super duper excited about everything that is to come for me, running wise. I’ve got another 5k in May and I’m already signed up to do the Longview Half for the 4th year in a row, and I cannot wait to see what training for that will bring!

Anyway, we ended up walking the uphills during the last mile, and absolutely killing it on the downhills. I might have been pushing the pace a little bit. Plus running down hill with reckless abandoned is one of my favorite pass times. Plus did I mention how amazing I felt?Β  Haha my dad was still huffing and puffing, but he was a total trooper and kept up with me during my downhill escapades!

At the very end we were just behind this other guy and my dad goes “Ashley, we’re beating him”. Now in the back of my mind I started thinking that shooting past someone else at the finish line is kinda bad race etiquette, when you’re not really fighting for any particular place (I could be wrong about that, but I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere). But I was caught up in the moment, felt amazing, and now it was my turn to take off like a bat out of hell! I crossed the finish line feeling super strong and my dad came in about 2 seconds behind me! Not bad!! All in all I’d say my dad’s first 5k was a total success!

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Anyone remember me saying that my goal for Running With The Cows is 38 minutes? This result makes that feel a whole hell of a lot more doable than I had originally thought! πŸ™‚

Well, kind of. You see, my dad has this old injury in his calf, and that stunt at the finish line ended up irritating in. So apparently he was in a lot of pain crossing the finish line and spent the rest of the day limping around on it. Haha and I spent the rest of the day joking about how this means he obviously needs to start running more and should definitely do more races with me. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, at the finish line we took some photos on my phone, a race photographer took some photos of us with the KC Running Company trailer, we got and enjoyed our shot of whiskey, and we talked to a few people. Haha mostly because they were concerned about my dad who was obviously in pain and limping around. Ah man, I love runners. In general we tend to be some really awesome people. πŸ™‚

 

After hanging out at the finish line for a little bit we started making our way to the buffet tent. Although very slowly, because my dad couldn’t walk very fast on his hurt leg. I talked to a really nice kid (he was probably 17 or 18) about how much fun this race was and how finishing times didn’t matter and that having fun was the most important thing. That’s pretty much my philosophy for all things running, so I totally agreed! He was a very cool guy. πŸ™‚ By that time I was really feeling that shot of whisky haha. I don’t drink a lot of hard liquor so it tends to affect me pretty fast. Apparently even more so after running! So I was one happy camper heading to that breakfast buffet!

Once we finally go there we filled up our plates with bacon, eggs, sausages, and potatoes. Yum!! My dad also got biscuits and gravy. Gross… πŸ˜‰ Sat down and enjoyed our breakfast! And it was really good!! πŸ™‚ Jack Stacks did not disappoint!

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On our way out we both grabbed some coffee for our not-so-long, but definitely slow walk back to the car. On our way home we stopped at Target so my dad could get some Epsom salt and I grabbed a Kombucha which I definitely enjoyed in the shower. πŸ˜‰ When I was done my dad took his Epsom salt bath, we both napped (haha the 4 hours of sleep we both got was definitely catching up to us), and then around 5 pm my dad had to leave. He had to work today so he couldn’t stay any longer.

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We both had a great time and I think I might have convinced my dad to become a runner! I sure hope so, anyway! πŸ˜‰

I hope you had a good weekend!

~Ashley

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I Believe My Streaking Days Have Come To An End

And like, 2 days after my optimistic and yet slightly delusional “half way there” post. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

But oh man, this morning I woke up feeling pretty miserable. I mean, I was just so exhausted that I legit woke up at 7 am and just sat on my couch doing nothing for 2 hours. At that point I decided I should probably do a little bit of soul searching, take inventory of my body and mind, and decide if this is something I should even continue do.

After doing a little bit of thinking, I realized I’ve kinda been tired for a while. I’ve also felt sore and achy in some places I normally wouldn’t considering what I’ve been doing. I’ve been constantly hungry and look like I might have gained some weight (although I think most of that just might be water retention).I feel like I might be coming down with a cold. I haven’t been sleeping well and for the last week or two I haven’t really been able to run more than 3 miles. Sounds kinda like symptoms of over-training, right? Haha yeah, well my stubborn ass didn’t realize that until this morning. And even then (and now) I was kind of unsure about whether or not I actually need a break from running, or if this is something I should continue to work through. Especially since I really haven’t done all that much running over the last two weeks. But after I decided that I was going to take a short break from running I didn’t even feel upset or disappointed about ending the streak. I felt relived. And that pretty much told me everything I needed to know. πŸ˜‰

So did I learn anything during this crazy streaking adventure? As a matter of fact I did! I learned to push through physical discomfort in a way that I hadn’t before (and what kind I should and shouldn’t try to run through πŸ˜‰ ). I learned not to use long, busy days as an excuse not to run. I learned that cross training really helps with recovery and soreness and my legs actually felt a lot better the day after I did it. And possibly most importantly, I’ve learned that, at least at this point in my running career, that streaking is not for me haha. I need at least a day or 2 off from running every week in order to recover and be able to function properly. πŸ˜‰

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So now it’s time for a break! A break from running, tracking food, workout scheduled, and goals! I kind of already did that in November after my half marathon, but now seems like a good time to do it again. Especially with all of the holiday festivities going on. πŸ™‚ I do need to figure out and come up with goals I want to work towards in 2018, but I’ll worry about all of that later.

Alrighty then! Now that’s all taken care of and figured out, lets take look at my top 9 Instagram posts of 2017!

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Haha oh man, my hair’s been on quite the journey this year! It started out the year super long and natural colored, with my signature blonde streak. Then I cut it super short. Then I dyed it black. And now it’s more medium length hahah. Oh yeah, and I did some running stuff too. πŸ˜‰ Funny how a photo from my half marathon last year made it into my top 9, but one from this year didn’t haha. Probably because I looked much happier to be at mile 11 last year than I did this year. Seriously though, lets compare…

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Mile 11 of the Longview Half Marathon, 2015, 2016, and 2017. Let’s play a fun game called “guess which years I was having fun and which year I was not!” I like to think it’s pretty obvious. πŸ˜‰ But I’ve finished that damn half 3 years in a row and I plan on continuing to do so! At least I’ve managed to keep that streak alive and will hopefully be able to continue to for years to come. πŸ™‚

Well that was a fun little trip down memory lane, but I think I’m done for today. I have a full day of doing absolutely nothing in front of me and I plan on taking full advantage of it!

Happy happy happy Thursday!!

~ Ashley

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I’m Capable Of More Than I’ve Ever Imagined

So this is just a little something that I posted on instagram last night, but I wanted to share it here with you guys as well! πŸ™‚ It’s kinda short, sweet, and too the point, but I’ve found that somethings are better that way.

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“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”
-John Bingham ✨


5 years ago if you would have told me I was going to become a dedicated runner I would have laughed in your face. I was never an athletic person and found running to be some kind of awful torture forced upon us by gym teachers and coaches.

3 years ago if you would have told me in just a year I’d cross the finish line of my first half marathon I would have called you crazy. Sure I was a “runner” (back then I wasn’t so sure about that though), but I was slow and running was painful and I thought I’d never be able to cover more than 5 miles.

Now here I am in the middle of 2017. I’m training for my 3rd half marathon, a 6 mile interval workout has quickly become one of my all time favorites, and I don’t even bat an eye when I see a 10 mile run on my training plan. Running can still be painful, I’m still slow, and some days I absolutely hate it. But I’ve proven to myself time and time again that I’m capable of more than I’ve ever imagined. I just had to find the courage to start. And once I did, I realized that I could do anything as long as I kept moving forward. πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ