Tag Archives: half marathoner

Spring 2019 Races

I have officially got two races lined up for this year already! Hahaha that doesn’t exactly happen often. I don’t really race much and I’ve never had two races lined up this early in the year! ๐Ÿ˜Š Well, technically I was registered for both of these races in December before the price increase, but whatever. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After Christmas I had several Visa gift cards burning a hole in my pocket and I figured a race would be a good thing to spend one of them on, so I decided to do the Running With The Cows 5k on May 11th. I’ve done this 5k in 2016 and 2018 and absolutely LOVED it, so I figured why not do it again? Plus it’s only 15 minutes away from my house, so super convenient. ๐Ÿ˜

The 5k is really just an add on to the half marathon they have though. One day I’d like to do the Running With The Cows half, but last year it was pretty hot and humid for May and I’m kinda terrified of doing a longer race on a hot day. Like, that’s one of my biggest fears. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Which is kinda dumb, because so far of done all of my half marathon training in the summer because I’ve always done my half marathoning in the fall. But I don’t know man, training in warm weather and actually racing in warm weather just seem like two very different things to me. Eventually though I am gonna suck it up and sign up for this half, but this is not that year. Besides, I just go to this race to pet the cows that they have there.๐Ÿ˜‰

I got to feed this mama cow last year! ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿ˜Š

Alrighty, so not a very exciting story about how I ended up registered for Running With The Cows, but how I ended up registered for another spring race is!

So on December 30th, the day before New Year’s Eve and two days before all of the price increases for race registrations, my dad and I had been texting back and forth for awhile. He had found these cool “Sloth Running Team” t-shirts and he sent me a picture of them. Well I said that we obviously needed them because they also say “we’ll get there when we get there” on them, which is something we said A LOT during the half marathon we did together in November. After that I got nothing but radio silence for about 5 minutes and then the next text I got from him was a screen shot of the order confirmation for two “Sloth Running Team” t-shirts. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Obviously I was pretty stoked about that. So I asked him what race are we running next? He had found this trail running festival thing in Colorado in April and wanted to do either the half or the 10k there. They also have a full marathon, 50k and a hundred miler (I think?). Luckily he didn’t want to do any of those. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Anyway, I wasn’t sure about going to that because it’s hard for me to leave my small petting zoo behind. Especially now that the chickens are laying eggs. Luke and I noticed that they don’t seem to like it when I’m gone. While we were in Illinois for Christmas and then New Year’s Eve we only got one egg each time we were gone and that was over a few days. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Poor chickens.

My hens are laying some really good looking eggs though! And theyโ€™re tasty too! ๐Ÿ˜Š

But I told my dad I’d talk to Luke about it and see what he thought. In the meantime, I told him that I was doing the Running With The Cows 5k again, which he and my mom actually spectated at in 2016, so he knows how neat this race is. After that I got more radio silence, and then a screen shot of his registration confirmation for Running With The Cows. ๐Ÿ˜‚

So the Sloth Running Team will be tackling another spring 5k together! Last March we did a Whiskey Run 5k together and I’m pretty sure that’s what go him hooked on the whole racing thing. Hahaha I’m ok with that though! That’s how we ended up doing a half marathon together in November. That was an absolute blast!!

Anyway, I talked to Luke about the trail running thing in Colorado. He said while it’s hard to deal with everything around here on top of him working, he could handle it if I wanted to go do one of these races. So I told my dad that I was going to be able to go and to send me a link to their website so I could register, and asked him exactly which race am he wanted to do because we hadn’t really figured that out. ๐Ÿ˜‚

We eventually decided to do the 10k because that was the shortest race at this festival thing. I live in Kansas at 862 feet above sea level, according to my Garmin. My dad lives at almost 5,000 feet above sea leaving in Longmont, CO and that elevation change is rough. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I found the elevation map for this race which is in Fruita, CO and it is to too terribly crazy, so that’s good. It’s still gonna be hard as hell though.

Anyway, we didn’t end up registering that day though. My dad wanted to talk to my brother and see if he wanted to do it with us. But at that point in our conversation my dad had to go to work, so I didn’t hear anything else from him until the next day.

In the midst of our New Year’s Eve festivities at Luke’s dad’s house I received yet another screenshot from my dad. This one was a registration confirmation for the Desert Rats Trail Festival 10k on Sunday April 14th (which is the day before the Boston Marathon. I’m not sure why that’s relevant, but that was my first thought ๐Ÿ˜‚), for the both of us.

See that fun fact? Yeah, thatโ€™s what my dad came up with for me. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

My brother didn’t want to do it, so it’s just gonna be the two of us again. Oh well, we have lots of fun doing these things together. My brother doesn’t know what he’s missing! ๐Ÿ˜‚

So yeah, that’s what I’ve got lined up for this year so far! I’m probably going to do another fall half marathon and at this point the only thing I’m really not sure about is weather or not I’m going to be doing it alone or if my dad will be with me. ๐Ÿ˜‚

But for now, this road runner who lives in Kansas is gonna have to figure out how the heck she’s gonna cover 6.2 miles on a trail in Colorado. I see lots of hill repeats in my future. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I’m also going to have to start getting used to running with my hydration pack again. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t actually need to carry any fluid with me on a 6 mile run. But the air is much more dry in Colorado, so I’m thinking it would be better to carry water with me. Especially since the aid stations at this event are pretty far apart.

Anyways, those are my plans for this spring! My year of big goals is already off to a good start and I can’t wait to see how my dad and I do in these two races!

Happy Tuesday!!

~Ashley

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Goals for 2019

Happy 2019!!!! I hope you had a fantastic holiday season and a safe and happy New Year’s celebration! ๐Ÿพ๐ŸŽ‰

Now that we’re 4 days into 2019 I thought I’d share my goals for the new year. Honestly I’ve actually had most of them planned out since November. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Mostly because that’s when I got my Believe Training Journal. It’s got a section in it about goal planning and that’s the first thing I filled out in it.

After that I spent some time really thinking about and refining what I came up with. Setting goals can require a little bit of soul searching. You’ve really got to admit to yourself where you’re at, the work you’re willing to/able to put in, and whether or not the goals you’re setting are actually realistic. I definitely believe in setting big, scary goals, but I also think if you’re going to set big goals you should set smaller, much more obtainable goals. Goals that can be used as stepping stones to set you up for success and get you that much closer to the bigger, scarier goals.

So, here are my big, scary goals for 2019!!

  • Run a 35 minute 5k
  • Run a 2:45:00 half marathon
  • Run 1000 miles this year

Yeah, considering my current PR times these are some really big goals! But I know I can run faster. I’m what I affectionately refer to as a slow runner, and I’m perfectly ok with that. But I still want to push myself and see what I’m capable of and I’m pretty sure that if I put in the work, I’ll be able to crush my goals. Or at the very least get close!

As for the 1000 miles on 2019, well, that’s mostly just a way to keep myself consistent. I ran 692.25 in 2018. That’s 118.9 miles more than I ran in 2017 which is pretty cool, but I know I have more in me. Hahaha if anything I think 2018 has built up my confidence and has really made me want to put in some hard work and get shit done in 2019!!

Now, as I’ve said, big scary goals are important. But you need smaller goals that are a bit more obtainable to use as stepping stones to get to those bigger goals. So I’ve got some of those as well!! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Hit 12,000 steps almost every day (similar to the 10,000 steps that I did almost every day in 2018)
  • Run a 10 minute mile
  • Run a 1:25:00 10k (I’ve actually done this before, but it’s been a while. I’d also really like to PR my 10k time, but for now this is my goal)
  • Get my nutrition in line (I’d also be happy to lose some weight, but I’m more concerned about nutrition and how it affects my performance)
  • Focus on the 1 precent-ers (yoga, strength work, foam rolling, getting enough sleep, things of that nature)
  • Keep writing Monthly Goal Check In post
  • Keep up with my training journal

Well, that about covers it! Those are my goals and now they’re out there for all the world to see! Not gonna lie, that’s kinda scary having it all out there because obviously there’s always the chance that I won’t hit my goals. But that’s exactly what happened with Operation Two Half Marathons In Two days. I had a big goal, something outside of my control prevented me from accomplishing it, I had to work through all of those feelings and what not but I lived hahaha. So even if I don’t hit my goals I know I’ll be able to get over it and move on. Honestly that’s I think that’s the hardest thing about setting goals. The possibility of failure holds you back, but once you experience it and make it through a failure in one piece it sure makes setting big, scary goals a little bit easier! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Okey dokey, that’s all for now!

Happy 2019!!

~Ashley

November Miles and Goal Check In

After a not-so-successful Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days, one recovery week, one 5k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, and slowly starting to work my way back into a normal running routine, Iโ€™m ending November with 57.95 miles! November has had its ups and downs running wise, but overall Iโ€™m happy with how Iโ€™m ending this month. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜

Alrighty! As for my other goals, well, I kinda took a little break from them! Since Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days was my big goal for November I figured I could use a little break from everything else. Especially since I took about a week off from running and have just been slowly working my way back into a regular running routine. It didn’t really make sense to me to be trying to hit 10,000 steps everyday or trying to journal about everything since I have kinda fallen out of that habit anyway.

But now that a new month is upon us and I’m pretty much back into my usual running routine (but in a much more laud back fashion ๐Ÿ˜‰) I’m getting right back into it!

I’ve also been thinking about what my goals for the upcoming year are going to look like. I’ve been thinking about that a lot since all of my racing for the year is done. I’m thinking my goals for 2019 are going to involve a lot of time goals. I didn’t really have any this year and I ended up not PRing my times for anything. That’s not a huge deal considering I’ve still made quite a bit of progress this year, just in a different way. But I sure have missed getting this shiny new PRs so that’s what I’m going to be focusing on! Among a few other things, of course. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But that’s another blog post for another day! Wishing you a very merry December!! ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป๐ŸฆŒ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ๐Ÿท๐Ÿชโค๏ธ

~Ashley

Gobbler Grind Half Marathon, 2018

After I DNF’d the Longview Half on Saturday I didn’t really have much time to sit around and think about it. Which now looking back, I think was a really good thing. Anyway, after I walked off the course my dad, Luke, and I hung out in the parking area for a little bit, talking, and we decided that since we were pretty close to where packet pick up for the Gobbler Grind was, that my dad and I were going straight there. Luke had to go to work, so unfortunately he didn’t get to join us for that adventure.

But anyway, I got into my dad’s van and we drove to the mall where Gary Gribbles was located. There were a bunch of people there! Haha I guess that’s pretty unsurprising given that packet pick up was that day. So we kinda wandered around the store for a little bit just looking at stuff. My dad bought some Honey Stinger stuff for his fuel for the next day (haha yup, I’ve got him hooked on Honey Stinger as well ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). He also got himself a pretty sweet hydration vest. He didn’t really need it for carring his water or fuel for the race. What he really wanted it for was to carry his “bondage Barbie”. Hahaha she’s just this Barbie doll that he has tied up to his backpack that travels the country with him. I guess shes a great conversation piece, so he wanted to bring her with him. ๐Ÿ˜‚ So he found a hydration vest that he liked and that would be perfect for her.

There was also a dog there just wandering around the store and greeting people! I assume he belonged to someone who worked at the store, but I was super stoked about him! I had to stop and pet him several times. Hahaha he was a friendly boy. ๐Ÿ˜Š While we were there we were also looking for a decent face mask/buff type deal to wear when it gets crazy cold out like it was on Saturday. According to one of the very helpful guys working there they didn’t have a lot of they’re winter stuff out yet. Mostly just hats and gloves. They did have a fantastic Game Of Thrones sign displayed over the hats and gloves though. I thought it was great!! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Anyway, after we were done looking around and my dad has payed for his stuff we got our packets. Up until this point I had only done races that gave you a timing chip for your shoe, but this particular race had the timing chip on your bib, and I just thought that was kinda neat! ๐Ÿ˜

Once we had our packets we were done at that mall so we left and set our sights on Bass Pro shop. My dad was dead set on finding a winter face mask thing, but Bass Pro didn’t have what he was looking for either! They had those full head/face mask things, and plenty of baklava’s but that’s not what he wanted. So we kinda gave up on that and just wandered around looking at stuff for a little bit, before we finally headed back to my house.

When we got there we figured out how my dad was gonna rig up bondage Barbie so she’d stay in place, but so her hair wouldn’t constantly be in his face. Hahaha she ended up getting a zip tie ponytail, but it worked! After he hung out for a while, my dad went back to his hotel and I began repeating the process of getting my gear ready and preparing everything I’d need for the next day.

I was up at 6 am on Sunday morning and the first thing I did was check the weather. Luckily it was looking like the weather was going to be much more favorable!! I definitely enjoy seeing temperatures in the 30’s and that was what we were supposed to get! Yay!

 

 

 

So I started getting dressed and preparing my breakfast, when my dad showed up at my house about 15 minutes later, dressed in his running gear (featuring Barbie of course ๐Ÿ˜‰) and ready to go! So we kinda talked while I tried to eat and drink some coffee and water, but I was having trouble getting anything down because my stomach was NOT happy with my that morning. Probably had something to do with my bad day at Longview on Saturday… Whatever caused it though didn’t really matter. What mattered was that yet again I wasn’t feeling great and I was starting to get really nervous at the idea of attempting to travel 13.1 miles on foot. But damn it if I wasn’t going to try! So around 6:45 we got into my dad’s van and made our way to the starting line.

We ended up getting there super early which was actually really nice! There was literally NO line for the port-o-potties so we were able to pee in peace without having to wait. You have no idea how fantastic that was after having to wait in a long ass line at Longview, praying that if making it to the starting line in time. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

After that we sat in the van for about half an hour because it was cold out. Not as cold as the day before, but still, cold enough to be uncomfortable to stand in for an extended period of time. So we hung out, I took a couple bite of a banana and then kinda gave up on that because of my stomach, and just sipped on water instead, and we did lots of people watching. Haha that was kinda fun! Once it got to be about 15 minutes until the start we got out and wandered around for a little bit. We wanted to use the port-o-potties again, but the line was ridiculously long at that point! So we decided to wait until we came across a bathroom along the course. Except I seriously considered finding a nice, dense area in the woods and going out there. The start of this race was on a trail that I’m very familiar with and that wouldn’t be the first time I’ve peed in those woods. ๐Ÿ˜‚ But unfortunately most of the leaves were gone and the woods was pretty thin. Plus there were just too many kids around, I I figured I’d better just wait.

With 5 minutes to go we made our way to the staring area. I can’t really call it a corral because there wasn’t really any dividers or anything. They had pace flags set up so we could line up accordingly, but that was pretty much it. My dad and bondage Barbie were starting to get some attention and a couple of people asked about her, and I was getting more and more nervous.

After having to drop out of Longview the day before I was full of all sorts of doubt. Especially since I wasn’t feeling all that great that morning. At the time I wasn’t sure trying to go for it again so freaking soon after what felt like failing was a good idea. I kept thinking that if I couldn’t get it done yesterday then how was today any different? Especially since we hadn’t even started yet and my stomach was already feeling lousy. And most importantly I was worried that I’d let my dad down that day. He’d driven 11 hours from Colorado just to do this with me, at my request I might add. So if I was unable to do this with him then I felt like I would have been wasting his time and money. So even though I was feeling super unsure of myself I was resolved to at least give it my best shot.

The national anthem was sung, we were counted down and then sent off. As usual, a lot of my nerves started melting away as we got going. ๐Ÿ™‚ The weather was great and I was able to ditch my throw away sweater before we even got to mile 1! The only problem was I really had to pee so my bladder was getting uncomfortably full. We did eventually find and stop at a port-o-potty around mile 2. I felt a lot better after that hahaha.

But before that, there were race volunteers handing out tissues and cheering on the runners. I thought that was a crazy good idea! I’ve never been offered a tissue during a race before, but there have been plenty of times when I could have used one! So I thought that was fantastic! As we passed the mile 2 marker my dad decided that he wanted to take a selfie with every mile marker. We weren’t in any rush as the whole point of the day was to have fun, so we ended up doing just that! We weren’t very good at it though! Sometimes one of use was in front of the sign (like in the photo below), sometimes we got the back of them, and sometimes one of us wouldn’t be ready, so that resulted in some really funny photos! It was pretty great though! And near the end of the race we were both very grateful for the short little breaks!

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At some point before mile 3 we ended up on the part of the Indian Creek Trail that I know and love back from my apartment living days! Things got a little bit tight as the trail can be a little bit narrow in areas. We were getting passed by the 5k leaders so we were constantly trying to get out of their way. That was a new experience for me and it was definitely interesting! I could see how it could potentially be obnoxious, but I didn’t think it was too bad. And of course at mile 3 we stopped to take a selfie! Hahaha I was trying to hold up all 10 fingers, cause you know, 10 miles to go! But I wasn’t fast enough so it looks like I was doing a very poor t-rex impression. ๐Ÿ˜‚

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Miles 4 and 5 were relatively uneventful, which is a good thing! At this point we were still on the part of the trail that I’m super familiar with so I knew when hills were coming up, when the trail got more narrow, and where some of the really pretty views of the creek were, so that was kind of nice. ๐Ÿ™‚ My stomach still wasn’t feeling great though. I was taking water and Gatorade at the aid stations but was only able to sip on it and I was only able to take little tiny bites of a Honey Stinger waffle. I still felt ok at that point but I knew I was going to be in for a really rough time near the end of the race. Not fueling properly always does me in…

 

 

 

I believe around mile 6 we started to see the lead runners coming back in the opposite direction so we cheered them all on. Clapping and shouting encouraging things to them. That was fun! Although some of them seemed to be in rough shape and didn’t seem to appreciate it very much. I don’t blame them though. I know sometimes the last thing you want is people yelling encouraging things at you when you’re having a rough time. For some reason I don’t have a photo of us at mile 6 hahaha. I’m sure my dad does though. Also after the race was over he told me his knees were starting to ache around this point. I’m sure that was pretty awful.

Around miles 7, 8, and most of 9 were basically all up hill. Sorta. There were a few downhills as well, but really at the time it felt like it was all uphill. ๐Ÿ˜‚

 

 

 

Somewhere around the 7, 8, and 9 mile points we ended up talking to a really nice couple from South Carolina. They are traveling around the country in their RV and doing a half marathon in every state. This was their 17th half! They told us they were actually going to do Longview the day before but when they saw how cold it was they decided not to show up. I sure don’t blame them! They said that they talked to someone who said that a lot of people didn’t show up for that race and I totally believe that. I’m sure the unseasonably cold weather put a lot of people off. Of course I told them what happened to me at Longview and they said they didn’t blame me for quitting haha. They were an incredibly lovely couple and my dad and I enjoyed talking to them. They also stopped to talk to a bunch of the police officers and race volunteers and gave most of them gloves and hand warmers.

I also just want to take a second to say how amazing the race volunteers were! They had all sorts of great snacks along with the usual energy gels, water, and Gatorade. A lot of them knew what they were talking about and were encouraging people to eat pickles for cramps, and to take as much food and water as you needed. They were fantastic. Around mile 9 I took a banana hoping it would help my stomach, but nope. I was only able to eat half of it a little after mile 10. I had to wait because I did drink a lot at that aid station and it was all sloshing around for a while.

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After mile 10 my dad’s phone died, so we started using mine to take photos at the mile markers. At this point we had obviously been out on the course for a while and both of our hips were starting to ache. Hahaha apparently we both have the same issues when it comes to our hips and I think that’s kinda funny. So we ended up walking through most of miles 11 and 12. Like I said, the goal was to just have fun so we took our sweet time getting there hahaha. We joked with several people that we were just getting our money’s worth from our entry fee. I also grew fond of saying that we were the party in the back. Because races are like a mullet, all business in the front and party in the back. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

 

 

After we passed mile 12 I was really looking forward to going through the November Projects aid station again. We went through there aid station around mile 4 already and at this point we were headed back the way we had come. Anyway, their aid station was so much fun the first time through and it was even more fun going through the second time! They were running out to hi-five people, yelling out bib numbers, blasting rock music, and just making everyone feel like a total badass as they ran through. It was amazing. They also had one of the best displays set up that I’ve ever seen at a race. ๐Ÿ™‚ Come on, how can you not love this?!?

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Haha and several feet after that we had to stop at the mile 13 marker. Oh boy was I happy to see that sign! I was DONE being on that course and very over the whole “half marathoning” thing at that point hahaha. This was the longest I’ve ever been out on a half marathon course and I’m really hoping that I never do another half marathon this slow. That being said, it was also the most fun half marathon I’ve ever done! Aside from not feeling great, I enjoyed almost all of it! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

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Honestly crossing the finish line was a little bit underwhelming. Not many people where cheering, even though there were quite a few people there. It was kinda weird… Oh well, the race volunteers kinda made up for it. They knew how to make you feel pretty darn awesome as the hung a medal around your neck and started handing you food haha. Even though we came in at 3:30:05, the still really made me feel like we still accomplished something really cool! And I mean we did! Aย  half marathon is no joke, no matter how slow you do it!

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I was a tad bit disappointed with the food they had though. Online they made it sound like they were gonna have all sorts of goodies, but all they had was broth, bagels, bananas, oranges, coffee, and chocolate milk. My dad got himself some broth and I grabbed a bagel and a chocolate milk (I was unsure of how my stomach was going to handle that, but of course it started to feel better after I ate my bagel….) and we set off to find a good place to take a picture with our medals! We ended up in front of the photo op thing they had set up that we didn’t notice until we were almost about to walk back to the van haha. That’s when the couple from South Carolina found us again and took our photo for us and then we took photos for them. ๐Ÿ™‚

Processed with Rookie Cam

After that we talked for a little bit and then we got into the van and decided that we wanted to go back to the mall where Garry Gribbles was to show off our medals! When we got there the people working there recognized us which was really cool! And we ended up running into another lady who had also done the Gobble Grind Half as well! So we talked to her for a little bit and then we left the running store and somehow ended up in a target that was in this mall (I thought that was kinda weird, but whatever). We wandered around there for a little bit and spent some time looking at the Christmas decorations and my dad bough us both a ginger kombutcha which REALLY helped my stomach situation. ๐Ÿ™‚

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After we left Target we stopped at a 5 Guys and split a bacon cheeseburger. Oh man that was the best burger I’ve had in my life! Hahaha probably because I’d spent the last 5 hours or so trying to eat and kinda failing at it. While we were there a lady came up and asked to take a photo of my dad because he was still wearing bondage Barbie. He thought that was hilarious and let her do it. Oh man, eating there was worth it for that alone! ๐Ÿ˜‰

When we were done eating we went back to my house and just kinda relaxed until Luke got home and then we had our own little Thanksgiving dinner of ham, German green beans, sweet potatoes, and of course pumpkin pie, because we’ve had a slight change of plans and Luke and I aren’t going to Colorado for Thanksgiving anymore.

Whew! That ended up being a lot longer than I had anticipated haha so I’ll stop there! Thanks for sticking with me if you made it this far! Tomorrow is my birthday so I’m sure I’ll have more to talk about then, but for now, happy hump day!

~Ashley

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Longview Half Marathon – DNF, 2018

If you read my post from yesterdaypost from yesterday then you already know the result from the Longview Half on Saturday. In fact, if you read the title to this post then you probably know the outcome of this half marathon.

Did Not Finish

My very first DNF. And it was just about as fun as you’d probably imagine. But it was still a race that I showed up to the starting line for, so we’re gonna recap it!

So if you follow me on Instagram you probably already know about my pile. Hahaha so people like to create a “flat runner” with all of their gear laid out nice and neat a day or so before a race. I am not one of those people. Last week around Monday or Tuesday I started gathering up all of the gear that I needed and thought I might wear for both of my half marathons. But instead of being all nice and neat I just kinda threw it all on a stool in my bedroom. But hey, at least it was all in one place! ๐Ÿ˜‚

So my gear pretty much stayed like that until after packet pick up on Friday.

Luke and I were actually super busy on Friday (which you can read more about hereย ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). We had a lot of stuff we needed to get done, including packet pick up for Longview and my dad was driving to Kansas from Colorado that day so we had to be ready for him as well. Plus we had to go to 4 DIFFERENT STORES to find a box of freaking frozen whole grain waffles for my race day breakfasts. That was a whole thing haha. We did finally find me some waffles, got to and from packet pick up (which is usually an uneventful affair for a lot of the local races that I do) without any incidents, and my dad did eventually get to Kansas.

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We did end up getting everything done that we needed to of Friday, so that was great! So I ended up spending that afternoon/night resting, relaxing, and getting my gear ready, making a playlist, setting my coffee maker, you know, important stuff like that!! By the time Luke and I went to bed at 10:00 pm my pile was actually looking kinda civilized! But my dad didn’t make it to our neck of the woods until around 10:30 pm that night, so he went straight to his hotel instead of stopping at our house first.

 

So I woke up at 6:30 am on Saturday morning feeling good, confident, and ready to go! I drank my coffee, at my pre-race breakfast, and got dressed all while texting my dad haha. I wasn’t sure if he wanted to just meet us at the race, if he wanted us to pick him up at the hotel, of he wanted to meet us at the house, or whatever so that’s mostly what we were trying to figure out. Eventually we decided that Luke and I were going to meet him at his hotel and he was going to follow us to the race. So after I was ready that’s where Luke and I headed.

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Before we move on we need to discus the weather a little bit. That was also a big topic between Luke, my dad, and I that morning, because it was crazy and unseasonably cold. The temperature just kinda dropped out of nowhere on Saturday and I don’t think a lot of people were really prepared for that drastic of a drop in temperature in the middle of November. I know I sure wasn’t…

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Anyway, Luke and I met up with my dad at his hotel and then were off to the starting line! The whole parking situation was a little bit weird (isn’t it always haha) and the guy who was directing traffic wasn’t really being specific about where and how people were supposed to park in this field, but I guess enough people had done this kinda thing enough times and we eventually figured it out. Usually we park in the field right next to the starting line, but this year we ended up in a different field about 1/2 a mile away. Eventually I ended up being really grateful for where we ended up parking hahaha. Luke complained the whole way walking to the starting line because it was COLD. But the views of the lake were beautiful!

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Once we got to the starting line we thought we had actually made it in time for me to stand in line to use a port-o-potty and not have to worry about missing the starting gun! It was a really close call last year! But yet again we were wrong and 20 minutes was not enough time…. I’m telling you, they need more port-o-potties at the start of this race! But anyway, I was still able to line up before the gun went off. They started the race about 10 minutes late again this year, probably because of all of the people in line to use the bathroom. I’m not sure if they actually played the national anthem this year. If they did Luke, my dad, and I sure didn’t hear it haha! But they counted us down and sent us on our way.

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So I made a bad decision with how I was dressed this year. It was crazy cold so I figured I should wear one of my heavier hoodies over one of my warmer running jackets. That turned out to be a bad idea because I was starting to get really warm before I had even hit a mile. Well, my torso was anyway. At that point my legs were cold and heavy and I couldn’t feel my toes haha. Running like that was kinda hard. Anyway, I had to fumble around with my bib a little bit, but I managed to get the extra hoodie off, toss it, and put my bib back onto my other jacket haha. I think I might have finished the first mile or so during that whole ordeal? Honestly I don’t remember the miles very well haha. I’ve done this race 3 times before this year, but they changed the course this year so it was all new to me. Plus I was having some trouble paying attention to things. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, I remember seeing the 2nd mile marker and thinking that I didn’t feel so great. But at that point I was hoping it was just because I was really cold and needed to warm up a little bit.ย  Somewhere around miles 2-3 ish I crossed over the damn for the first time. There were timing mats at the begging and end of the dam along with a finish line at the end because there was a little “race within the race” to see who could get over the dam the fastest. Obviously I wasn’t a contender for that, but it’s still pretty neat! That’s also why it looks like I’m crossing a finish line in the photos below. Because I kinda was haha.

 

Just looking at those I can tell I was already struggling at that point. I remember seeing the mile 3 marker and just thinking that I wasn’t going to be able to do this for 10 more miles. It was sill crazy cold for this time of year and that was really making my asthma act up. I felt like shit. The wind crossing back over the dam was making my situation worse, and I started texting Luke telling him that I was struggling. Apparently after I did that him and my dad went and bought me a powerade and a banana and started walking in my direction. Not on the course though. They walked along the median in the road.

At mile 4 I knew I wasn’t going to make it. There was just no way. I texted Luke telling him I think I needed to stop and asked him how far away the car was from mile 4. He didn’t answer (we didn’t have a very good signal out there), so I texted my dad as well and got nothing from him either. Honestly at that point that was ridiculously heartbreaking. Looking back it’s kinda funny, but in the moment it really wasn’t.

As I approaching mile 5 I finally heard back from Luke. He told me they were approaching mile 5 with some stuff for me and I let him know I was coming up on mile 5 as well. Right as I passed the mile marker I saw them walking at me. That was equal parts THE BEST THING EVER and THE WORST THING EVER, because I knew I had to quit, but I felt like I was letting them down at that point. Along with everyone else who’s been following along with my training this year.

Once we got to each other they offered me all of the goodies they brought for me, but I told them I was done. They said ok, we’re only a mile away from the car. Haha I think it was actually less than that though, so thank goodness for that! So we started heading that direction, I took off my bib, stopped my watch, and walked off the course. Officially earning my very first DNF. Honestly I think walking away would have been a lot harder if I didn’t have another race the day after. If I didn’t I think I just might have tried to keep going and I don’t think that would have been a good idea…

Once we got to the parking area Luke started the truck for me while I cut off my timing chip. Then I sat in the truck while Luke and my dad walked another 1/2 mile to the starting line to give them my timing chip and let them know I wasn’t finishing (I was worried that the race officials would see that I started but didn’t finish and freak out about that). While they were there they also got me a yogurt and chocolate milk and walked back another 1/2 mile to get back to me hahaha. Oh man, I’m forever grateful that they did that for me though.

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We ended up hanging out in the parking area for a little while, just talking and then figuring out what we were going to do for the rest of the day. Luke had to go to work and my dad and I had a packet pick up to go to, so Luke went home to get ready for work and my dad and I ended up going to Garry Gribble’s running store to pick up our stuff for our half on Sunday.

But I’ll talk about all of that in my Gobbler Grind recap. Spoiler alert; that one ends on a much better note. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So that’s all for now! It’s been snowing all day and it’s still coming down at 12:44 pm as I type this, so I need to go play in it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope you had a great weekend!

~Ashley

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Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days

My little self appointed challenge was not a success… Or at least not a total one.

Out of all of the different possibilities and outcomes I thought of I never even considered this one; I DNF’d at the Longview Half. Yeah, I did not see that coming!

The views near the starting line were really pretty though!

Longview was the race I was the most confident about. I woke up feeling really good! I thought I was ready! But weirdly enough the weather got the best of me. On Saturday we had a really crazy cold snap. Like, it was unseasonably cold. No one was really ready for these kinds of temperatures! It was 12 degrees at the start. The course takes you over a damn and the wind blowing off of the lake was crazy cold.

So all of that unseasonably cold weather that I’m not acclimated to yet got the best of me… The crazy cold air was making my asthma really act up and the wind wasn’t helping. I wasn’t feeling great at mile 1. By mile 3 I felt TERRIBLE and started texting my husband and dad who were out there spectating. I told them I didn’t think I could do this for another 10 miles. At mile 5 I was done…

My dad and husband walked out there to rescue me. Once I started texting them around mile 3 the bought me a Powerade, s banana, my dad got me a bandanna for my face out of his car, and they started heading my direction. We met up around mile 5 and I was just done. There was no way I was finishing that half. At least not without jeopardizing my health. So I took off my bib and we walked close to a mile to the car. Haha so it was pretty lucky that I decided to quit so close to where we parked. ๐Ÿ˜‚

So that was kind of a huge bummer. This was my very first DNF and it was not fun haha. But at the same time I know I made the right choice. There will always be other races (like the very next day ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚) and I’m not the first runner who’s ever had to DNF and I certainly won’t be the last!

Today’s race went much better though!

Initially I woke up feeling kinda nervous and I wasn’t really sure that I wanted to give the half marathon distance another shot. But my dad was doing this one with me and her drive all the way from Colorado to do it, so I couldn’t really not do it. Or at least try, ya know?

So I got up, my dad came to my house and we talked while I got dressed and ate breakfast, I checked the weather and saw that it was MUCH better this morning. Now those are temps I like to see!! That’s PERFECT running weather in my book!! ๐Ÿ˜

So we went out to the race start, hung out in the car for a while because we got there super early, walked around near the start for a little bit, and then lined up with everyone else. At this point I was super duper nervous! Yesterday really shook my confidence and I had already kinda felt like I had let people down and I really didn’t want to do it again…

We did it though! Near the end my dads knee/hips were kinda bothering him near the end and my lungs and stomach never really felt great at all during this half, but we finished!! And despite how not so great we both felt we had a lot of fun! We talked to some really awesome people, cheered on other runners, thanked all of the wonderful police officers who had to stand in the cold to keep us safe, and the amazing aid station volunteers who kept everyone fed, hydrated, and motivated. Seriously they were all great! And got the very most out of our entry fee! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Haha we took our sweet time crossing that finish line, but we did it and that’s all that matters!

So am I bummed that I had my very first DNF and wasn’t able to complete Operation Two Half Marathon’s In Two Days? Absolutely. But honestly today’s half totally made up for it! My dad and I got to spend some quality time together and we both had a lot of fun! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Alright, that’s all for now! We’ve had a bit of a change in plans and Luke and I won’t be going up Colorado for Thanksgiving, so we’re going to have a kinda sorta Thanksgiving dinner tonight! ๐Ÿฆƒ๐Ÿ˜Š (Haha well, we’re having ham instead of turkey, but it’s the thought that counts, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰).

Anyway, I’ll have full recaps of both races up in a few days! But for now, happy Saturday!!

~Ashley๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿฆƒ๐Ÿ˜Š

November 9th, 2018

Holy cow we’ve been busy today!!!

Luke and I both had a bunch of stuff that we wanted to get done today, so we spent our entire morning running around and getting shit done!

Our first stop was Tractor Supply. We needed to pick up chicken feed, a protein supplement for them because they’re molting, straw because apparently winter is here? And we needed more to stuff in the chicken coop, and puppy chow for Whiskey. So we got all of that, came back home, and put down the straw for the chickens. Hahaha the seemed very pleased with the amount of straw we put in their nesting area and all around the entire coop.

Like I said, apparently winter is here! It snowed for almost 8 hours straight yesterday! And even more surprisingly, some of it stuck! It’s all melted now, but it was pretty while it lasted. โ„๏ธโ›„๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Š

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Anyway, after the chickens were taken care of it was off to Aldi, followed by Sam’s Club to get our groceries for the next two weeks. That was uneventful for the most part, but it kind of set off a ridiculous mission for us to find frozen whole grain waffles. That’s what I like to eat before my long runs and what I was planning on eating for breakfast before both of my races this weekend, but the Aldi we typically shop at didn’t have any! In fact, they haven’t had them for several weeks! They have a spot in the freezer for them, but no waffles… So while we were Sam’s Club we checked there as well, but they didn’t have any either. So we went to a different Aldi and THEY DIDNT HAVE ANY FROZEN WHOLE WHEAT WAFFLES EITHER!!!!!! Yet again, they had a spot on the shelves for them, but it was empty. *sigh*

We still had other things to get done, so the waffles had to wait. We went home, unloaded and put away our groceries, and then we were back off to Home Depot for a new air filter. Whiskey got to go with us. ๐Ÿ˜Š

So we got that, came back home again, Luke replaced the air filter, we swapped Whiskey for Lily, and drove 40 minutes to Lee Summit, Mo to get my packet for the Longview Half. Luckily traffic wasn’t too bad and we were in and out of the running store pretty quickly, so we made our way to Walmart before going home, in a last attempt to find some damn frozen whole grain waffles.

Thank goodness Walmart actually had some!!! Otherwise I would of had to figure something else out for my pre-race breakfast and I really didn’t want to have to do that. ๐Ÿ˜‚

After Walmart we had a late lunch at Arby’s. Hahaha that was probably bad idea, but whateves. The gyro I got there was pretty good. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Then we got back home around 2:40 pm and were done for the day! Thank goodness haha. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Even with all of that running around I was still able to keep up with my hydration and aside from the Arby’s sandwich I ate pretty well. Well, I’m planning on having mac and cheese for dinner because carb loading. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This post will be up at 5 pm central time (so like an hour from right now as I type ๐Ÿ˜‚) and my dad still won’t be here. He had to change the oil in his work van so he left later than he had planned. He should be here around 9 or 10 pm though, and that’s not too crazy late. ๐Ÿ˜

But anyway, that’s it for today! I’m going to spend the rest of my evening relaxing, reading, and doing some light stretching. Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days is starting tomorrow and I’m really stoked!!!

Happy Friday!

~Ashley