Tag Archives: half marathoner

Longview Half Marathon Recap 11/09/19

Sloth Running Team strikes again!!!

Yeah, just ignore how messy my bathroom is. πŸ˜‚

As you probably already know, last weekend my dad and brother drove from Colorado to Kansas so my dad and I could tackle the Longview Half on November 9th and then the Gobbler Grind Half on November 10th.

Two half marathons. Two days. No big deal, right? πŸ˜‚ Well, it might have been less of a big deal if either of us we’re actually trained and prepared to run the equivalent of a full marathon over the course of two days, but due to a plethora of reasons neither of us were.

That sure wasn’t going to stop us from trying though!!

So my dad and brother got here on Friday and honestly things just moved very quickly after that! After they got here Luke drove my dad and I to the KC Running Company store so we could pick up our packets and so my dad could get himself some Honey Stinger to fuel both of these races!

Packet pickup was smooth and uneventful, like it usually is for these smaller, local races. I’m cool with that though! I don’t need some big event surrounding packet pick up. I’m happy to just get my stuff and get out of there so I can start thinking about the upcoming race!

Anyway, after we got our stuff we went to Bo Ling’s for dinner. Because obviously Chinese food is the ideal pre-race meal. πŸ˜‰ I mean, I got noodles though so that counts as carb loading, right??

At the end of our meal we all opened our fortune cookies and shared aloud fortunes as a group does when eating at a Chinese restaurant. Luke and I both got typical “fortunes” but my dad’s was absolutely PERFECT for our situation!!

After we ate we had to run to tractor supply and then Walmart to pick up a few things, then after that we headed back home where we got our gear ready, set our alarms for 5:30 am, and then went to bed.

Race day morning was dark sand chilly (my favorite!) but the sun was supposed to be up and shining by the time we started. My dad and I ate, made coffee, and got dressed pretty quickly. Luke (he offered to drive us) got up around 6 am and by 6:30-ish we were headed to the start line!!

Unfortunately we ended up almost completely stopped on the highway. Later, while we were running, Luke overheard some people talking about the traffic we almost got stuck in. Apparently someone had hit a deer and that caused such a mess that it completely backed up the highway. Luckily Luke got off the highway before we got completely stuck in the traffic so weren’t stuck in that mess.

Getting off of the highway and going around did add some time to our drive though. Not much, but you’ve got to get to the start of this race early if you want a decent parking spot and if you want to use the port-o-potties. They seem to have the same issues directing traffic into the designated parking areas every year, and they never have enough port-o-potties. Especially considering now this race is a half, 10k, and 5k, so a lot more people are participating than they did in previous years (hahaha remember this is the 5th year I’ve been to this race! πŸ˜‚).

Very pretty view from our walk from the truck to the starting are.

And of course we ran into those same issues. Parking was a bit of a hassle, but it wasn’t too bad. We still had to walk a ways to the actual starting line, but no where near as far as we had to last year. But we were getting down to the wire as far as time goes, and we still wanted to use the port-o-potties. Which of course had a huge line… But we got in it and waited our turn. We waited for a little over 10 minutes, missed the national anthem, but we both did finally get to go!! By the tine we were both done the announcer was calling for 30 seconds until the start time and there were still a bunch of people in line!

We made it just in time though! And luckily we line up in the back so we didn’t have to fight through any people to get to where we belonged in the starting corral. We had time to snap a quick photo and then we were off on our my 5th and my dad’s 2nd 13.1 mile journey!

We went out fast. Too fast for two slow people who had little to no training. πŸ˜† For about the first 3 miles we hung with/in front of the 3 hour pace group. They were a lot of fun and we joked with them for a little bit. We are the party in the back and it sure felt that way!!! We also drank the beer that an aid station was handing out a little after mile 3. I’ve never done that before, but I decided a while ago that the next race I was offered alcohol while running I was gonna take some! Hahaha and I’m glad it did! It was only a little bit of beer, but it made the next mile a lot more fun. πŸ˜‚

At about mile 4 we started fading. I figured we would though. I knew we went out too fast and pushed too hard during the first few miles. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and I’ve told him this at every race we’ve done together πŸ˜‰) my dad is bad at pacing. And occasionally it drives me, who is a little more experienced at this kind thing, a little crazy. πŸ˜‚ Ah well, we were having fun! As you can definitely see in this photo taken a little after mile 4.

After this point we began our slow slog through some hills. They actually weren’t even that crazy of hills but they felt that way at the time. They actually changed this course last year so this was the first time I’ve run the new route and I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I probably should have looked up the course map and description, but I didn’t. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‚

But like I said, there was nothing really too crazy. And the last several miles were a net downhill.

Anyway, I’d say things really took a turn for us around mile 7, you know, about halfway through the race. πŸ˜‚ that’s when we REALLY slowed down and then eventually we just ended up walking all of miles 8 and 9.

At around mile 8 we turned onto a really nice gravel trail. It was super nice to go from asphalt to gravel in the last miles of this race. Plus it was SUPER pretty on the trail! The views there are much nicer than they were in previous years. πŸ˜„

I think mile 9 ended up being close to an 18 minute mile. That was tough for me. Physically because weirdly enough running was less painful than walking. But mostly mentally. Knowing we had three more miles to go. And we were walking. Ugh. I was mentally DONE at that point. Hahaha but again, the views were GREAT!

So a little after mile 10 I did something I swore I wasn’t going to do. I left my dad behind. Oh man, I felt shitty doing it, but I just couldn’t keep walking like that. It was KILLING my hips. A little earlier in the race he told me to go ahead and at this point I just had to.

So I went back to running and I actually ended up passing most of the people that had passed us over the last 2 or 3 miles. That was kind of a fantastic mental boost for me! Also the few people who I ended up talking to who weren’t part of the race but weren’t really spectators either (they were just out walking the trail I guess) helped too. One guy with a HUGE, happy looking pit bull told me I was doing great and that I was almost there. I could have hugged that man if I weren’t on a nice roll at that point. Hearing those words were literally the best thing to ever happen to me. At least it felt that way at that moment. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I think that happened around 12.7 miles. And I only know that because I had checked it on my watch a few minutes earlier. I don’t typically like watching my watch during hard races or workouts. It just makes it seem like the misery is dragging on and on. But I NEEDED to know how close I was, ya know? πŸ˜‚

Anyway, once I knew how close I was I could hear the announcer calling out names. So I sped up a little and ended up passing this couple who were also in the race. I guess after I did that I slowed down and they sped up because I heard then getting closer. I decided I was too close to the finish to let them pass me so I sped back up and turned off of the trail and onto the road to the finish before they did.

I crossed the finish line at 3:19:32. That was the biggest relief of my life! πŸ˜‚ I was so happy to be done. I don’t even care that this was my second slowest half marathon time (with all of the factors going into this race I knew it would be slow), finishing was a FANTASTIC feeling.

After I got my medal and had my timing chip clipped off of my shoe, and found Luke, I got my snacks and then had one of the active releases therapy people who were there stretch out my hamstrings. That was fantastic! It felt great after all of that walking! Hahaha apparently they weren’t ready to deal with all of that walking which was weird, but I guess does make sense. Walking is a different motion than running and I wasn’t ready for that.

Anyway, after that was done it was only a few more minutes before my dad came in sight of the finish line. The 3 hour pacer has walked back along the course and found him and ends up walking with him. He said she was great and played all sorts of music for him on her phone. She let him cross the finish line on his own though. He finished his second half marathon in 3:34:56, while I screamed and cheered my head off. 😁

After he finished we watched the very last guy finish. He carried a full sized American flag with him the entire way which is pretty badass. Then he was quickly followed by the very last pacer. She’s the sweeper who makes sure everyone makes it and that no one technically finishes last. We talked to her a little bit out of the course this year and found out that she was going to be at the Gobbler Grind the next day as well. My dad and I are also fairly certain that we talked to her during the Gobbler Grind last year as well. Either way, she’s one awesome chick!

Once we were done cheering for the last runner, my dad also went to the active release therapy booth where he had him work on his hips. It looked painful, but he said that it felt progressively better every time the guy moved his leg. πŸ˜‚

And then we were done! We walked back to the truck and Luke drove us to Garry Gribbles so we could pick up our packets for the Gobbler Grind. Then we went to 5 Guys for burgers, which is now our post race tradition. 5 Guys is already pretty good but their burgers taste even better after completely a half marathon!! πŸ˜‹

After we ate we went back home, where I promptly made hot chocolate and then took an ice bath. Getting into the ice bath initially sucked as it usually does, but after that it actually felt sooooo good on my feet, hips, and hamstrings. Those were all really hurting at that point. But completing a half marathon on basically no training will do that to a person. πŸ˜‚

Then my dad showered while Luke and I went to Walmart because he had promised my dad and I pies after we finished, so he bought us a pumpkin pie and an apple pie. πŸ˜‚ So that evening me, my dad, my brother, and Luke hung out in my living room, eating pie, and getting ready for our race the next day. At least I was attempting to do that anyway. πŸ˜‰

Aaand I guess that’s where I’m going to end! This post is long enough as it is anyway.

So I’m gonna try to have your Gobbler Grind recap tomorrow! So wishing you the best until then!

~Ashley

Race Recaps Coming Soon!!

Holy cow you guys! Race weekend has officially come and gone!

My dad and brother drove in from Colorado so my dad and I could tackle two half marathons in two days this weekend. It was an all around blast but it also went by super duper fast!! So I’m still trying to wrap my head around everything that went down. πŸ˜‚

Oh and you know, attempting to recover from both races. My legs are DEAD. There’s just only so much an ice bath and foam rolling can do for very beat up legs. πŸ˜‚

But anyway, I’m am slowly starting to unpack everything that happened this weekend and I hope to have full race recaps up later in the week!! But for now, I’m just gonna sit around and zone out for a little bit. Right now even leaving my couch seems like a lot of work. πŸ˜‚

So for now, happy Sunday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend!!

~Ashley 😴

An Update

It’s race week!!!

On Saturday my dad and I will be running the Longview Half in Grandview, Mo and then in Sunday we’ll be tackling the Gobbler Grind Half in Overland Park, KS!!

I am completely and overwhelming underprepared…πŸ˜‚

For the past 6 weeks I was hardly able to do any running let alone any actual training. My new job was absolutely beating the hell out of me and I got to the point where I wasn’t healing or recovering at all. My body was bruised and beaten down and every week just seemed to add more fatigue on top of it all. I was really hoping that I would end up adjusting to it all, but things just got progressively worse and worse and never really improved.

Cuts, scrapes, and bruises that just never seemed to go away.

At this point my wrist and hands have been red, swollen, and painful for weeks now. My hands and wrists are small, delicate, and have always been the weakest point of my body. And having to rip apart cat litter boxes ever 15 minutes just completely did them in. They even got to the point that they would throb with every step that I take when I’m running.

Instead of adjusting to the work the fatigue just seemed to pile up week after week. I literally couldn’t function when I would get home from my 12 hour shifts and on my days off I could barely get anything done. I tried to keep up with running, but mostly I just ended up cutting every run super short. Oh and my hair started falling out in clumps, so that’s cool.

Plus all of the dust in that place was just killing my asthmatic lungs. Your cat litter might say that it’s “low dust” but I can assure you that it’s not… Oh and we can’t forget this gem!

I know I probably sound like a whiny, ungrateful bitch right now but this was my reality for the past 6 weeks.

But last night I broke down and I quit my job at the cat litter factory. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I feel like I had to do it for my own physical and mental well being.

Honestly I don’t like having to admit that o couldn’t handle it. I’m not proud of how badly this job beat me down. I really did want it to work out. It was the best paying job that o could ever get, being uneducated and unskilled as I am. But the reality is that I just couldn’t handle it.

Plus on top of all of the physical stuff the blatant sexism and…I’m not sure what to call the “compliments” were really starting to get to me. I think it’s a little obvious that it’s mostly men who work jobs like this so it was mostly men that I worked with. The amount of times I got called a “pretty girl” was irritating, but what really pissed me off we’re comments like “you can’t stand around and look pretty all day when you work here” and “you can’t be pretty AND run the line at the same time”. Those were real, actual things that were said to me! They were meant to be jokes, I guess, but they sure didn’t feel that way. Ugh.

And yesterday a woman who works there who kind of took me under her wing told me the best thing I could do was keep my head down, do my job, and be careful what I say and who I say it to because the men there really do treat women differently. I really do appreciate her looking out for me, but hearing that was just a huge bummer on top of everything else…

So there you have it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ I’m still looking for another job and hopefully I’ll end up working again soon, but at this point I’m just glad that I never have to step foot in that place again.

Anyway, back to race week stuff!!

So I’m hoping that I can get enough rest and recover enough that these half marathons don’t go too poorly. Although at this point I’ve accepted that they’re going to be very painful and we’re definitely going to be the party in the back for both half’s. Hahaha but at least my dad will be right there with me for them both, so I won’t be suffering alone! He’s been going through some shit as well and he hasn’t done any training either. πŸ˜‚ Oh well, we always have a lot of fun together, no matter what we’re doing. Like running a 10k in the mountains that I also was not prepared for. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Aaand to top it all off, I’m a little bit ill. Cool! πŸ™ƒ But I don’t feel as bad as I usually do when I’m sick so I’m hoping that continues to be the case! Or that I just start feeling better by this weekend! I’ve been chugging water with Nuun immunity tablets in it though and I like to think that’s helping! Even if it is just a placebo effect (which I don’t think it is. At least not entirely). My shitty immune system needs all of the help it can get, so hopefully between the Nuun, the no longer working at the cat litter factory, and all of the rest I plan on doing over the next few days help me get over this thing quickly!

Anyway, today I’ve been resting and relaxing and doing some light house work. Just trying to slowly catch up on all of the things that have fallen to the wayside over the past 6 weeks, ya dig? It was a good day, but my favorite part was not having to wake up at 4 am and getting to sleep in until 8, and then waking up to Finn laying on my feet and Dean cuddled up to my back. I think the dogs have missed me as much as I’ve missed spending time with them. They’re the best.

Alrighty, that’s all for today! But I can promise you I’ll be keeping this blog more up to date now that I’m not killing my self slowly by working at the Clorox plant anymore.

I hope everyone had a great Halloween and has a fantastic November!!

~Ashley

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

Happy first day of October!!!

Fact: October-January is THE BEST time of the year!

Let’s talk about why!!

October:

  • Halloween, duh! πŸŽƒ
  • Fall weather

November:

  • The Longview half is November 9th and the Gobbler Grind half of November 10th! And my dad is doing both of them with me!
  • My birthday is November 15th! Yay!
  • Thanksgiving
  • The Christmas season starts this month! I do t care what anyone says, you can’t stope from being holly jolly in November.
  • Cold, frosty mornings

December:

  • Winter weather! Snow! Cold! Yay!! ⛄️❄️
  • Christmas!
  • New Year’s Eve

January:

  • The winter weather continues!
  • New Year’s Day

I guess made out into a list like that it doesn’t seem like much, but I LOVE all of these things and I think they all basically need whole months to be celebrated! πŸ˜‰

I hope everyone had a fantastically spooky October!

~Ashley πŸ‚πŸŽƒπŸ¦‡πŸ•ΈπŸŒ™πŸπŸ’€πŸ–€

Pumpkin Picking 2019

Woohoo! The tradition continues!!

Every year since Luke and I moved from Illinois to Kansas we’ve gone pumpkin picking in the fall. Not on any specific date. We just go whenever works best for us. Or at a particular place. We’ve gone to a few different cider mills, orchards, and straight up pumpkin patches. But it’s still a tradition that’s still going strong 7 years as of today!

We took Dean with us today because we’ve always wanted to bring a dog with us but we never bothered looking up whether or not we could until today. πŸ˜‚ But they said dogs were allowed so we brought one!!

Hahaha it’s hard picking when you’ve got 4 to choose from. But we chose Dean because he’s the most laid back and chill. Plus he has very little herding drive so he didn’t really bother the goats and chickens and rabbits at the petting zoo area. Lily, Finn, and Whiskey would have wanted to herd all of the critters. πŸ˜‚

Anyway, we went to the Louisburg Cider Mill bright and early this morning! We got there at 8 am, right when they open, so we could beat the heat and the crowds! And we were totally successful!!

First we took Dean through the corn maze. He was very confused about that. He wanted to keep running through the corn. Eventually he figured out that we were staying on the path though and eventually we let him lead the way. He wasn’t very successful about finding his way to the end, but eventually Luke and I figured it out! Hahaha I’m pretty sure that was the first time I’ve actually entered and exited a corn maze in the correct place. πŸ˜‚

After we finished the corn maze we got down to business picking THE PERFECT pumpkin! I think we succeeded in that endeavor! It’s HUGE, and round, and perfect! Hahaha I’m very excited! πŸŽƒπŸŽƒπŸŽƒ

Surprisingly enough I don’t have any photos of it right now. I’m sure I’ll have a whole bunch throughout the rest of spooky season though! But I do have a few photos of the pumpkin patch and Dean dragging me through it. πŸ˜‚

Whew! That was a lot of fun!! After we picked out our perfect (but super expensive) pumpkin we went to the little country store they have there and got some loose tea (they have THE BEST loose tea) and soup mix. Yum!! πŸ˜‹

Now if only the weather would cooperate and cool off! It was super nice out this morning but it got up to 90 by this afternoon. Boo… It is supposed to cool down but next week though and I sure hope it does! I’m looking forward to some fall weather!

Anyway, after our pumpkin picking adventures Luke and I ran some errands, bough groceries, then went to Walmart for some golf balls because Luke wanted to golf today. So we did get his golf balls. But we also ended up with some mini pumpkins as well. πŸ˜‚

And he did get to get in 18 holes of golf. I didn’t feel like playing though so I played the part of caddy/spectator. πŸ˜‰

So I got to go pumpkin picking which is one of my favorite things and Luke got yo go golfing which is one of his favorite things, so everyone was a winner today! πŸŽƒ 🏌️😊

And now that we’re done with all of that fun we’re going to spend our evening just hanging out at home. And I’m going to at least attempt to prepare for my long run tomorrow. Really all I need to do is make sure I have breakfast ready, set my coffee maker, and lay out my clothes. But I don’t feel like doing That right now. I should also probably drink some water because I basically haven’t all day. Oops.🀣

Anyway, happy Friday everyone!!

~Ashley πŸŽƒπŸ–€

c9189a84-a647-4bf0-8996-683e542c2ad7

Weekly Recap: September 16th-22nd, 2019

Monday:

  • 3 easy miles

Found a turtle friend (who was promptly moved off of the street), got chased by a big, mean, yellow lab that was running loose (it was a short chase, he got distracted by a car and started chasing that), and then talked to a guy who was looking for his dog who took off after the yellow lab. It was a very eventful 3 miles. πŸ˜‚

But I was glad to get it in! Last week I was sick and ran a grand total of 2 miles. Not good…and honestly I feel like this whole training cycle has been absolute shit and I’m kinda freaking out because I’m not sure I’m going to get two half marathons done in two days this November. I feel like I just keep getting slower. I haven’t had a good long run in forever and most of my long runs haven’t even been long lately. Oh man I just feel like I’m so fucked right now.

Tuesday:

  • 1.5 miles on the treadmill
  • 20 minutes of hip/glute work

This didn’t help with my confidence. Which is a bummer because it’s already crazy low. The plan for Tuesday was a long interval workout. I made it through the warm up and one out of 3 intervals. Gross.

Honestly I’m not sure if this was a mental thing or a physical thing. Probably a little bit of both. Either way, I just didn’t have it in me that day.

My little strength session turned out to be really good though, so at least that’s something! πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Wednesday:

  • 3 easy miles
  • 20 minutes of arm/shoulder work

I wanted to do 5 but I only made it through 3…If you couldn’t tell, I’m just having a really rough go at things right now. Hopefully they’ll get better soon, but not gonna lie, I’m not all that optimistic about it right now.

Thursday:

  • Rest day

Was supposed to cross train, but I wasn’t feeling it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Friday:

  • Rest day

Now this was an actual scheduled rest day! πŸ˜‚

I started making some bone broth on Thursday and finished it on Friday (it’s got to cook for 24 hours for maximum nutrient absorption). Honestly I’d rather make bone broth myself versus buying it from a store. It’s so much more rich and flavorful when you make it yourself. I also made a piss ton of chocolate chip cookies. I’ve been on a bit of a baking spree lately and I’m my opinion, nothing is better than made from scratch chocolate chip cookies!

All of this baking hasn’t been good for my nutrition game though. Especially since o could really stand to lose some weight. But baked goods are yummy. πŸ˜‹πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‚

Saturday:

  • 10 miles

I redeemed myself this week with this run! At least that’s what it felt like. In all honesty it’s been a while since I’ve done a double digit run (yikes!) but this one went surprisingly well. Especially considering it was about 73 degrees and 97% humidity when I started this run. I got through it though! So obviously the lesson here is fuel your long runs with a ridiculous amount of cookies. πŸͺπŸ˜‰

Also, it’s starting to look like fall in Kansas, but it sure doesn’t feel like fall…

Sunday:

  • 3 easy miles

It was POURING down rain when I started out today! So I got soaking wet. That didn’t last very long though. The rain stopped and the wind picked up a little bit so I got a little blow dried. That was a lot less fun that the rainy part. πŸ˜‚ All in all it was a pretty good run though! My legs felt surprisingly good especially considering that I did my first double digit run in FOREVER yesterday. So I’ll take it!

Total Weekly Mileage: 20.51

This isn’t were I wanted to be at this point of half marathon training. I wanted to be getting closer to 30 miles by now. I’m 7 weeks out from race week so I still have some time left to put in some actual work though. Definitely not as much as I’d have liked, but here we are. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

I’ve had quite a lot going on lately. Being sick, looking for a job (which is hopefully about to happen. Just not at a particularly desirable place.), and honestly just not being into running for the past couple of months if I’m being honest. I spent a lot of time not wanting to do it, hating the process, hating that I always seem so ridiculously slow no matter what I do, and just not wanting to do it anymore. I’ve finally worked my way out of that headspace though and I’m ready to go, get shit done, and be in love with the process again.

I’ve got 7 weeks until I run two half marathons in two days with my dad. And I’m ready to work! Although at this point I’m coming to terms with the fact that they are both going to be incredibly slow half marathons. My dad has a lot of stuff going on in his world so he hasn’t been training at all. I’m about to start working at a plant that produces cat litter and I’m going to be on my feet for 12 hours a day 3, sometimes 4 days a week. That’s definitely going to affect my running. At least at first. That’s ok though. I’m ready to start embracing some chance and working my running around it. Because I’ve fallen back in love with running again. And I’m going to make training happen however I can. Because while my next two races will be slow ones, there are always other races in the horizon! (I don’t even want to think about how things are going to go when I inevitably have to work overnights. But I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it, I suppose).

Happy last day of summer! Fall is almost here!! Now if only the weather would get with the picture! πŸ‚πŸ

~Ashley

Running Doesn’t Have To Be Fancy Or Pretty Or Perfect

I shared this on Instagram on Wednesday, but I wanted to share it here as well just in case you don’t follow me there. 😊

How often do you look at a photo of yourself mid run and think to yourself β€œwow I look attractive!” If you’re like me the answer is probably not often. But that’s not the point of running. Despite what those people with perfectly curated Instagram accounts with professionally done photos, wearing the latest and fanciest gear, while hardly breaking a sweat might want you to believe.

Running isn’t supposed to be a pretty sport! That’s part of the fun of it really! It’s a sport quite literally filled with blood, sweat, and tears. Dirt and snot. Messy, windblown hair and crusty, salty skin. I think that’s incredibly freeing. Especially in the world of very photoshopped Instagram models that we live in.

Fuck looking pretty. Fuck having to look a certain way to get likes and engagement. Here I am. Bad angle, double chin, and all. Wearing a 5 year old tank top and leggings that have holes in them (which you can’t see, but I promise they’re there), in a slightly edited (I mean, you HAVE to put a filter on it πŸ˜‰), but not photoshopped photo that I took by screenshotting a video I took on my iPhone. Nothing fancy.

That’s the beauty of it though! Running doesn’t have to be fancy or pretty or perfect. Running can be whatever you want to make it.