Tag Archives: healthy lifestyle

Weekly Recap: November 26th – December 2nd, 2018

Finally starting to feel a little more normal this week! After my races and then a whole week off from running I was feeling off and having a bit of trouble getting back into the swing of things. I’m getting there though!! This week certainly looked more like a normal running week for me and for that I am extremely grateful! 😊 I feel like starting another holiday run streak has really helped! It’s definitely given me the motivation to get out the door and run, and the more I run the more normal I feel! 😁

Monday:

  • 2 snowy, icy, slushy miles
  • 25 minutes yoga

So we had a legit blizzard on Sunday. Like for real! It was insane! And guess who ran during it! That’s right, this girl! πŸ˜‚ Oh man, that was probably insanely dangerous as we were experiencing white out conditions, but it was also a lot of fun!!

Anyway, on Monday the sun was shining but there was still quite a lot of snow, ice, and slush on the ground. I know a lot of people hate it when the roads look like this, but I have soooo much fun running in this kinda stuff! Winter running is my favorite. Even if it does involve some slipping and sliding. β„οΈβ›„οΈπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Tuesday:

    3 miles
    20 minutes strength work

Another snowy run! Yay!!

Well, kinda. The roads were mostly clear on Tuesday, but there were still some really icy spots. Most of them were short enough for me to dodge, but some of them were longer and required slow, deliberate tiptoeing over. Hahaha that’s what’s fun about running on ice and snow. It really makes you have to focus and think about where your feet are going. One misstep and you could end up on the ground. Luckily I’ve always been really good at picking out good footing in the ice and snow. At this point I I’ve never lost my footing enough to actually fall, which is pretty impressive considering how big of a klutz I am. πŸ˜‚

Anyway, followed my run with some lower body strength work! I’m definitely getting back into the swing of things and it feels good!!

Wednesday:

    2 miles

I just like winter running. Winter running is my favorite. β„οΈπŸ˜Š

You guys, the snow is still sticking around! It started getting all mushy and melty Wednesday afternoon. Still though, I’ve been enjoying it. 😁

Thursday:

  • 1 mile
  • 20 minutes on the stationary bike
  • 10 minutes ab work

Nice and easy 1 mile just to keep my run streak going. Followed that up with 29 minutes on my stationary bike and then 10 minutes of ab work, just for fun. Also broke out my all time favorite Christmas Zensah compression socks! ‘It’s the season!! πŸ¦Œβ€οΈπŸ’š

Friday:

  • 2.57 miles

Friday’s Run was supposed to be easy but it sure didn’t feel that way. Running is like that sometimes. But I was still smiling because running is a gift. Even on days when it feels hard.

Saturday:

  • 4 miles

4 fantastic miles to kick off the new month!!

Getting back into a more regular running routine has been a bit of a challenge, but Saturday’s run was the best if felt on a run in a LONG time! πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„ I think I’m finally ready to start doing some real work again now!!

Sunday:

  • 1 mile

Just one easy mile to keep the streak alive! Nothin’ fancy, but it did feel really good!!

Alrighty! I’ve been not-so-patiently been waiting for this week to get over so I can start using my new Believe Training Journal! I mean, I could have started using it the day I got it, but I thought it made more sense to start it on the first Monday of a month! I’m dreaming big for 2019 and I think this journal will be a fantastic tool to help me make shit happen! I. Am. Stoked!!

Happy Sunday! Wishing you a fantastic new month!!

~Ashley ❄️⛄️

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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, I’m ending November with 57.95 miles! November has had its ups and downs running wise, but overall I’m happy with how I’m ending this month. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜

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 πŸ˜‰) 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. πŸ˜‰

But that’s another blog post for another day! Wishing you a very merry December!! πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ¦ŒπŸŽ„πŸŽπŸ·πŸͺ❀️

~Ashley

Ward Parkway 5k Turkey Trot Race Recap

Oh man, I wanted to have this race recap up on Friday but Luke and I were quite busy! Lol a good majority of our day was spent installing a new dishwasher. That was a lot more difficult than it should have been thanks to the guy who lived in this house before us and his supposed handyman skills. πŸ™„ Hahaha buy we did eventually get it up and running and I couldn’t be happier! Our old dishwasher broke about two weeks ago and I’ve been having to do our dishes by had, which is my least favorite thing in the world to do. πŸ˜‚

After our dishwasher was installed we went out and did a little bit of Black Friday shopping. Usually we don’t like to go out on Black Friday but Like thought we both deserved presents after the dishwasher debacle. So I got a new Green Day T-shirt (because obviously I need more of those. πŸ˜‚ But hey, it was only $10 because Black Friday), a new necklace, and a new sorts bra that o desperately needed. Luke got Red Dead Redemption 2 and a new hard drive for his PS4. All on sale of course. πŸ˜‰ All though I’m not sure braving all of the crowds and craziness was worth it!

After all of that fun I needed a day to recover. So most of my Saturday was spent doing just that. πŸ˜‚

Anyway, enough about Black Friday. Let’s talk about my very first turkey trot!! πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ¦ƒ

This particular race started at 9 am so I didn’t have to wake up crazy early for it, which was really nice. But Luke and I still got up around 7 am and left our house about a half hour later. I still needed to be there early because I still needed to pick up my race packet. Honestly I hate picking up my packet on race day. I’ve only ever had to to that once before and I hated it haha. But I wasn’t able to go to packet pick up up the day the day before. Anyway, on our way to the race Luke had to stop for gas and to get some snacks haha.

Once we got to the race site things got a little bit more stressful. The mall where the starting line was was jam packed with cars. A lot of them were from other runners, but there were also stores around the mall that were still open even though it was Thanksgiving, so finding a parking spot was a whole ordeal even though we got there about an hour early.

Eventually we did find a spot and we followed the rest of the crowd of runners and spectators into the mall. The mall was actually closed on Thanksgiving, but they had some security guards letting people walk through it to get to the other side of the mall parking lot, which was where the race started. Haha it was kinda confusing really. While we were doing that I was trying to figure out where exactly packet pick up was. The directions to where exactly they was were kinda vague in the participants guide and from the sounds of the conversations going on around us, I wasn’t the only one trying to figure out where we were supposed to go. Hahaha looking back now it’s kinda funny, but at the time I was kinda freaking out.

Anyway, we did eventually find it. It was inside the mall, kinda. But in some weird hallway area that looks like could only be accessed through one particular door from outside the mall. It was weird. But at least we’d made it with some time to spare. At this point it was about 30 minutes to the start time. The line for packet pick up was long, but luckily it moved pretty quickly. I’d didn’t take too long for me to get my bib, participant shirt, turkey hat, and a sweet temporary turkey tattoo. πŸ¦ƒ

So I pinned on my bib number and then started to fiddle with my turkey hat while we walked towards the port-o-potties. I’ve never experienced this at a race before but there was NO line for the port-o-potties! It was amazing haha! So I was able to get in and out of one quickly and the continued to mess with my turkey hat.

The problem was it was freaking huge! There was no way it was going to stay on my head without my beanie so I had to leave that on even though I’d actually planned on not wearing it during the race. Eventually I ended up pinning it to my beanie with an extra safety pin that I’d grabbed at packet pick up. I didn’t mean to take 5 safety pins, but it ended up working out for me. πŸ˜‚

After that was all taken care of and figured out Luke and I wandered around the starting area a little bit. They had some nifty photo op areas, so of course I had Luke take a couple of pictures for me. 😁 I also took a couple of pictures for a group of ladies who needed some help. 😊

Once we had about 10 minutes to go I made my way into the starting corral and lined up near the back-ish/middle area where I belong. As race time got closer more and more people started squeezing in and I finally realized just how many people were at this race! So far I think it might have been the biggest race I’ve ever done which was pretty cool!! The only problem was a lot of people didn’t line up correctly. People with strollers were supposed to line up BEHIND everyone else for safety reasons, but I saw a couple in front of where I was and even more that weren’t at the very back. And a lot of walkers lined up in front of the runners so that was kind of a problem for the first mile or so of the race. But I’ll get to that in a second.

In the starting corral waiting to get going!

The national anthem was sung, we were counted down, and then….nothing haha. The leaders and front of the pack took off, but it was really slow going for everyone else. I’m not entitled sure how long it took before I finally made it over the starting line, but it was definitely well over a minute. Honestly it could have been closer to two maybe even three. Hahaha Thank goodness for timing chips!! Honestly though I thought it was kinda fun though. This was my first ever super packed starting experience and I thought it was kinda neat watching everyone take off in all of their turkey gear. 😁

So like I said, a lot of people didn’t line up correctly so a lot of runners, myself included, spend a lot of time trying to make their way around the walkers. That was kind of annoying. But it was also kinda fun. I ended up going out too fast because it was just so darn easy to pick people off. πŸ˜‚ I ended up doing that for about the first mile, but I eventually had to stop and slow down. My legs were feeling really good! Well, the still felt heavy from not running much after my races earlier this month, but they felt really good to be moving again! My lungs on the other hand weren’t exactly ready for that. Especially since we started up a gradual uphill that basically kept going and then got bigger through the rest of the course. I wasn’t quite ready for that either. πŸ˜‚

Anyway, mike Two was relatively uneventful. I’m not exactly used to being surrounded by other people like I was in this race, but I was really enjoying checking out everyone’s turkey and Thanksgiving themed gear! At the mile two marker they had a little aid station with cups of water, getting one was a little bit hectic because of all of the people, but it wasn’t too bad. Then I hi fived a person dressed as a turkey on my way out of the aid station. Haha that was fun.

Around mile 3 there was a girl in a driveway with a laptop and speaker, playing Christmas music, and cheering everyone on. That was neat! Actually there were quite a few people sitting in their driveways watching everyone run by. Also a first for me. 😊 The last half mile or so was definitely the biggest uphill portion of the course. That was kinda tough. My lungs weren’t ready for that just yet. πŸ˜‚ And my legs decided they weren’t having as much fun anymore. But I still finished pretty strong, all things considered. Hahah I was a little worried at first, because the time clock was reading something close to 43 or 44 minutes. But once I crossed to finish line and checked my watch it read that I actually finished in 41:21. Then I remembered how long it took me to cross the starting line. πŸ˜‚

After I finished I went to go get my pumpkin pie and I texted Luke to let him know I had finished and where I was. The pie line actually moved really quickly despite how many people were there! Those race volunteers were awesome!! So I got my pumpkin pie and Luke found me near the line for that. Then I went to the food “lines” to get my snacks. “Lines” being in quotes because there were no actual dedicated lines that I could see. People were just kinda shoving their way to the tables. After a few minutes of waiting and trying up figure out the whole line thing I said fuck it and did the same thing. I felt incredibly rude doing it, but that seemed like the only way to actually get a half a banana, a cup full of cookies, and coffee. πŸ˜‚

Haha I was lucky and managed to get some shortbread Christmas cookies before they ran out. It was that or vanilla wafers or ginger snaps. I love me some shortbread cookies though. So I was super excited to get some! 😁

After I had my pie and snacks I was done being around that many people. So was Luke hahaha. So we made our way out of the staring area and then had to walk all the way around the mall because they weren’t letting people cut through the mall anymore. I didn’t really mind though. I had a pie, half a banana, a cup of cookies, and some coffee to keep me happy. πŸ˜‚

And that’s pretty much it! Once we got to the truck we left and went to the Indian Creek Trail (the part where the Gobbler Grind Half started and finished actually πŸ˜‰) and we played PokΓ©mon go for a little bit, then we when home, hung out for a while, then went to my brother-in-law’s girlfriend’s apartment for Thanksgiving dinner.

All in all it was a really fun race and a great day overall. Some parts were slightly stressful because of all of the people, but I’d definitely do this race again! πŸ¦ƒπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜Š

Alrighty! That’s all for now! Still no weekly recap for this week because honestly I haven’t been doing much so that would be kinda boring. πŸ˜‚ But since I kicked off my Thanksgiving with a fun turkey trot I’ve decided that would be a fun way to start another holiday run streak, so until further notice, that’s currently what I’m planning on doing.

But ok, I’m done now!

Happy Sunday!

~Ashley

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Wishing everyone the happiest of Thanksgivings!!!

I did my very first turkey trot this morning and I had so much fun! Hahaha check out that amazing turkey hat. πŸ¦ƒπŸ˜‚

I’ll have a full race recap up, probably tomorrow. But for now I just wanted to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving and congrats to everyone one who went turkey trotting today!! πŸ¦ƒπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

I hope everyone has a fantastic day and enjoys your feast, family, and friends. Enjoy it!! πŸ¦ƒπŸ₯§πŸ πŸžπŸ—πŸŒ½πŸͺβ˜•οΈ

~Ashley

Happy Monday!!!

Hahaha I saw that on Instagram and I just had to share it here! Who else is ready for Turkey, pie, and Black Friday shopping?!? Oh and maybe a turkey trot as well?!? πŸ¦ƒπŸ₯§ πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Usually I’m not a big fan of Black Friday. All of the crowds and people acting like giant assholes just to get a good deal on something they probably don’t need? Yuck…

That being said, our dishwasher broke a few weeks ago. Obviously a dishwasher isn’t a necessity, but washing dishes by had is legit my least favorite thing in the world to do! Plus it’s super time consuming and it feels never ending!!! So Luke and I plan on hitting up a Home Depot or a furniture store or something, in hopes that we can get a good deal on a new dishwasher. Hahaha I never thought I’d be so excited to buy a new appliance! Does that make me an adult now? πŸ€”

Anyway, I’m also super duper excited about my upcoming turkey trot!!! It looks it’s going to be super fun!! Apparently the course is really pretty, and instead of a medal you get a whole freaking pumpkin pie at the finish line! What’s not to love?!

I can’t wait!! Ive been wanting to do some fun, holiday themed runs! So far this year I’ve done a St. Patrick’s Day 5k, a Thanksgiving themed half marathon, and now this 5k on Thanksgiving. This is my first legit turkey trot and I’m super excited! πŸ˜„ I’d also like to do a Christmas themed run, but we’ll just have to wait and see about that.

Anyway, last week was a recovery week. I only ran one whole mile. πŸ˜‚ The plan was to not run at all, but oh man not running was driving me crazy.

Not running is hard. But getting back into it is even harder! My legs are so heavy!! πŸ˜‚ But I’m starting to get back into it this week. Just easy running for now, while I’m still working myself out of the awkward phase that is the first few runs after a recovery week. I went out and did 2 east miles this morning. It might have been short, but it felt really good to get my legs moving and my heart beating a little faster this morning.

After my run I sent out to clean my chicken coop. Cleaning up animal poop isn’t exactly fun, but dammit if it isn’t super satisfying. πŸ˜‚ We still aren’t getting any eggs, but they should start any day now. I’ve been giving them a protein supplement because I didn’t think they were getting enough, and they seem to be doing really well on it.

Jethro, our rooster who was supposed to be a hen, has been crowing in the morning. Only a little bit though, usually if I let them out without bringing their breakfast with me. Or every once in a while if the neighbor dogs are being particularly loud. He doesn’t seem to mind our dog though, which is good because my dogs are always outside haha. He also crows when men are around. He doesn’t care about me, or even my little neighbor who I babysit. But he gets pissed if Luke or my brother-in-law are in the backyard. Hahaha it’s kinda funny, but I really wish he wouldn’t. He’s bot exactly a loud crower, I can barely hear it when I’m inside. But I’d really like it if he wouldn’t draw any more attention to our house, as technically we aren’t supposed to have chickens.

I’d really hate to kill him because he’s the most friendly rooster I’ve ever met, and having a rooster around is good for the hens. But if he gets any louder or starts crowing throughout the day, or just turns into a huge asshole like most rooster are, then he’s gotta go. Hopefully it won’t come to that though. He’s my buddy hahaha. He’s also super handsome. Look at those gorgeous feathers!!

Anyways, I guess that’s a for today! I hope everyone has a great Monday and a fantastic Thanksgiving Week!

Stay safe out there!!

~Ashley

More November Fun

Ah November. It’s one on my most favorite months of the year. Mostly because we’ve always got a lot going on this month and I think it’s a lot of fun!! 😁

One of the reasons November is so much fun is because it’s my birthday month!!! Hahaha I was born exactly half way into November, on the 15th back in 1991. So I turned 27 this year. Yay!πŸ₯³

Haha so my father-in-law always pick out weird/funny cards to send me for my birthday. Last year’s was a cat shooting lasers out of its eyes to light the candles on a birthday cake. Haha it’s still hanging up on my fridge actually. πŸ˜‚ I thought that one was gonna be hard to beat, but this year’s was a flying kitten with rainbows and stuff. It was great.

Anyway, Luke is the best and got me a believe Training journal. I’ve wanted one of these for a while and I’m really stoked about it! It’s so neat and full of all sorts of awesome stuff! I can’t wait to start using it!! Hahaha I’m gonna wait to start filling it out until December though.

Ugh it’s so pretty!!! 😍😍😍 Plus I finally found a good use for a bunch of the stickers that have come in my monthly StrideBoxes. I’ve had a huge stack of them just collecting in my drawer, but I thought this was a good place to put them. Along with a good ol Honey Stinger sticker and a fortune cookie fortune. 😁

Luke also got me Chinese food for my birthday dinner, because that’s kind of a tradition for me. Even from when I was a little kid I always wanted Chinese food for my birthday. It was a great birthday dinner. 😊 No cake though. I’ve never been a big cake person. Hahaha when I was a kid my grandma used to make me giant batches of rice crispy treats instead of birthday cakes. I’ve also had cookie cakes, pies, cheesecake, and ice cream cakes (which is kinda weird for a November birthday πŸ˜‚), instead of normal cake. I wasn’t really feeling dessert this year though, which is weird for me. But I was really into the Chinese food.

Anyway, the day after my birthday I found out about a 5k/10k turkey trot on Thanksgiving Day that gives out while pumpkin pies to all of the finishers. So of course I signed up for the 5k. πŸ¦ƒπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ I’ve never done a turkey trot until this year, and of course I’m an overachiever about it and have ended up doing two. πŸ˜‚ Well, signing up for two at this point. But there’s no way I’m not gonna finish a 3.1 mile turkey trot.

Anyway, while signing up I also bought a sweet turkey hat, to go along with my spiffy turkey trot Zensah compression socks, and Gobbler Grind hoodie. So I’m gonna be all turkey’d out for this race! Well, my hoodie doesn’t have a turkey on it, it just says “Gobbler Grind Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k, and 5k”. But I think it still counts. πŸ¦ƒπŸ˜Š

Not the best photo, but you get the point. πŸ˜‰

So yeah, I’m super duper excited about that! I’ve never done a turkey trot on Thanksgiving Day before because Luke and I usually travel to either Colorado or Illinois to be apart of one of our families Thanksgiving’s. But both of our dads work on Thanksgiving this year, so we decided to save some money and just stay home and do our own Thanksgiving.

We might end up doing something with my brother-in-law, his girlfriend, and her kids. But they always want us to come to their apartment and Luke and I aren’t to keen on that idea. We’re both crazy excited to be out of our apartment (for going on 4 years now 😁) and we enjoy having more space that’s all our own. Plus they vape inside their apartment and I just can’t handle that. Those things destroy my lungs… And we have a backyard their dogs could run around in, but whatever. If they don’t want to come to our house we’ll probably just stay home and do our own thing.

Okey dokey, enough about Thanksgiving for now. I ran today!!! Hahaha I was very resigned to take at least a week off from running after my races last weekend and I mean, I kinda made it. πŸ˜‚ But oh man, my life is an absolute wreck when I don’t have running and the routine that it keeps me in. So I HAD to run today.

I only did 1 super easy mile, but apparently that was enough to get me back on track. Ever since I started my little break I’ve been eating like shit and sitting around being an absolute lazy and unproductive lump of a human being. Now, I’m a firm believer that sometimes doing things like that is necessary. But at this point I feel like I’ve gotten a bit out of hand with it. πŸ˜‚ But like I said, my super short run this morning helped. πŸ˜„

It’s pretty crazy how tired, lazy, and out of it NOT running can make a person feel! I know a break is necessary, but yesterday I felt like shit. That’s when I decided that I absolutely NEEDED to run. Even if it was only a super short 1 mile run. 😊

Whew! Anyway, more photos from the Gobbler Grind Half were posted online last night. Of course I appreciate free race photos, but I’m really disappointed about how terrible the quality of all of the photos are. legit could have taken better pictures with my phone. In fact, my dad and I DID take better photos with our phones.They had legit photographs with DSLR cameras, so I’m not sure what happened here…

I mean, they aren’t awful. But I still feel like I could have handed someone my phone and ended up with a much better quality photo. oh well. At least they’re free!

But let’s just compare them to this photo taken at Longview. I cropped this one A LOT and it’s still a much better quality. Plus photos from Longview were free as well.

Anyways, that’s all for now. I hope everyone has a super Saturday!

~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 πŸ˜‰ ). 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. πŸ˜‚ 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. 😊 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!! πŸ˜‚

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! 😁

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 πŸ˜‰) 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. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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. πŸ˜‚ 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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ˜‚

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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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ˜‚

 

 

 

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. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

 

 

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. πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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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! AΒ  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. πŸ™‚

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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. πŸ™‚

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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! πŸ˜‰

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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