Tag Archives: healthy lifestyle

How I Dress For Cold, Dry Winter Runs

How do you dress for cold runs? Well, I’m not sure. But I can tell you how I do it. πŸ˜‰

Honestly I think that gearing up for any kind of weather condition is a very personal thing. Everyone runs at different temperatures and everyone experiences the elements in different ways. So while one runner might be wearing shorts and a t-shirt when it’s 40 degrees outside another might be wearing tights and a light jacket. Neither runner is wrong. If you feel comfortable then you are dressed properly!

That being said, dressing for the cold and I mean the real cold, I’m talking single digit temps here (or even real feel temperatures in the single digits) can be kinda tricky. But before we get started on how I gear up for the bitter cold I just wanted to note a couple of different things;

First and foremost the importance of moisture wicking material! It is absolutely CRUCIAL to wear materials that are going to move moister away from your skin in the winter. Being wet and cold is a dangerous state to be in. You can develop hypothermia rather quickly in very cold conditions so you’re going to want to stay as dry as possible. Moisture wicking material will help. Especially the layers closest to your skin. I try to wear only moisture wicking material, but when it’s super cold and windy out I’ll usually throw a cotton pullover hoodie on over the rest of my moisture wicking gear.

Secondly, I’ve specified dry conditions for a reason. Running when it’s cold and wet (snow, ice, sleet, freezing rain, etc.) is a whole different animal. We’ve already talked about how important it is to stay dry when it’s cold out, but that’s not to say you can’t run when it’s cold and wet out. That just takes a little bit more prep, slightly different gear, and the ability and willingness to exercise caution (especially in icy conditions) and modifying or cutting your run short as need be.

Okey Dokey! Now that that’s out of the way, here is how I dress for cold, dry winter runs!!

So yesterday was a pretty cold day here in Kansas. Cold enough that even I wasn’t super stoked about running outside. πŸ˜‚ It was 22 degrees with a real feel temperature of 8, cloudy, and with winds coming in from the south east at about 16 mph. Honestly it’s the wind that always gets me. I HATE it.

But, I would most definitely rather run in the cold wind than run on a treadmill (which I am lucky enough to have as an option. I’m well aware of that fact. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜) so I decided to gear up and do my run outside! One of the most important aspects of gearing up for the cold is layers! Layers that you can take off or adjust as need be are also very helpful. But layering your clothing probably will make a huge difference in how you feel in the cold.

(Sorry in advance for the not-so-great photos. I’m working with the bad lighting in my house and an iPhone camera here. πŸ˜‰)

My layers laid out on my bed.

Alrighty, let’s start from the bottom and work our way up! I like to go with one pair of socks. Crew cut to help keep my ankles warm. I’m kinda tall so my pants sometimes don’t cover them. πŸ˜‰ In life in general my feet are always freezing, but when I run they are always hot and sweaty, so one pair of thin socks is all I need when it’s dry out.

I always go commando while running. I’m just more comfortable that way. So when the winter winds start to blow I double up on pants. At least when the temperatures are super low. That wind can really cut through a single layer and that can make your crotch really cold and nobody wants a cold crotch. πŸ˜‰ So I like to wear a pair of fleece lined leggings with with either a pair of windbreakers or nice thick sweatpants overtop.

For the top I wear a sports bra of course, followed by a thin shirt. I’m rather fond of quarter length sleeves, but a long sleeved shirt is also a good option. Followed by a running jacket. I LOVE my Nike one. It’s got thumb holes which are always fantastic. Vents in the armpits and a little bit thinner fabric on the back and under arms where most people tend to get hot and sweaty. Plus it’s a quarter zip which can really come in handy if you start feeling a little too warm. You’d be surprised how big of a difference that can make!

Anyway, like I mentioned before, on particularly windy days I’ll wear a pullover hoodie on top of all of that. It really helps keep me from feeling that cold wind. A nice windbreaker jacket would also probably help but I do not have one of those. πŸ˜‚

Then come the hat, gloves, and a bandanna that I borrowed from my dog. πŸ˜‚ So the hat and gloves are pretty obvious. Gotta keep those ears and fingers warm! I just wear cheap little cotton gloves. Nothing fancy, but they work for me. And I’m sure they’re are better beanies for winter running, but my Carhartt has never done me wrong! I know some people prefer to run with just earmuffs or whatever because a whole hat on your head does get pretty warm. I’m not a fan of just having my ears covered though so I like a full on hat. If I start feeling too hot I just take it off for a few minutes.

Now, on to the bandana! Honestly I really need a good buff or something, but I do t have one and this is what I’ve got to work with. A buff or a bandanna or a balaclava will give you some extra face and neck coverage, which can be necessary when it gets crazy cold out. You can also pull them up over your nose and mouth to give your lungs a little break from the cold air. I know some people like to run with their nose and mouth covered the whole time and I’m sure that’s pretty practical in places where it gets even colder, but I prefer to just wear the bandanna and pull it over my mouth and nose as I need it.

And last but not least sunglasses!! I actually wear my sunglasses during a good majority of my runs for several reasons. First off, my eyes are pretty sensitive to bright lights. So even if it’s cloudy out I still like to wear them. Especially if there is snow on the ground. They also offer a little more protection from the cold. Sure it’s not a lot, but it is something! Especially on those really windy days or when it’s so cold it feels like your eyes are gonna freeze.

And that’s it! Once all of my layers are on, I lace up my shoes and head out into the world ready to face the elements! Sure I feel a little bit like Randy from A Christmas Story, but hey, at least I feel relatively comfortable whenever it’s extremely cold out! πŸ˜‰

So this is what works for me on dry, windy days, when temperatures get into the single digits. As you can see, while I do have a few really nice pieces of winter running gear, I don’t have too many crazy fancy things for when the weather get crazy cold, but I am able to make it work! I do have the option of running on the treadmill but I like to avoid that whenever possible. πŸ˜‚ But obviously that’s not an option for everyone, so I just wanted to say that it is possible to get out there and be relatively comfortable even in low temperatures!

Alrighty! I think that about covers it for today! Happy Tuesday!!

~Ashley

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Weekly Recap: January 14th-20th, 2019

Monday:

  • 2 easy miles
  • 30 minutes stretching/foam rolling

I’m used to going into Monday’s feeling rested, refreshed, and ready to go! That wasn’t the case this week though! After shoveling a bunch of snow and cleaning up huge tree limbs on Sunday I was feeling sore and tired! 😴 Still got out and did a couple of easy miles though. Stretching and foam rolling sure felt nice after all of that work I did on Sunday!

Oh and after my run I built a short little snowman, because why not?!? β›„οΈβ„οΈπŸ˜Š

Tuesday:

  • 3 miles on the treadmill
  • 20 minutes of Pilates
  • 30 minutes on the stationary bike

HILLS!!!!!! Oh man, I haven’t done a good hill workout in a while and I sure didn’t make this one easy on myself. It was hard. I felt like I was dying. My elbows were dripping sweat by the time I was done. πŸ˜‚ I got through it though! And it sure made running on the treadmill a bit more interesting.

Later in the afternoon I got a quick Pilates session on and then that night I spent some time on the stationary bike. Good times! 😁

Wednesday:

  • 5 miles

Nothing really eventful about this run. It was just 5 nice and easy miles on a cold day. 😊

Thursday:

  • 30 minutes strength workout

I said I’m trying to dedicate myself more to strength training and I’m sticking with that! Pilates is good, but this strength training session was better! Haha I’m currently using a Jillian Michaels at home workout DVD for my big strength training session of the week. Her workouts are no joke! I’m hoping that sticking with a good stench routine will not only make me a better runner, but help me survive the trail 10k in Colorado that I’m doing with my dad in April. πŸ˜‚

Unrelated but I didn’t have any other photo to share from Thursday except for this one! My husband is the best! He bought me this shirt and it makes me so ridiculously happy! Raise your hand if you get it! πŸ€šπŸ»πŸ˜‰

Friday:

  • 2 miles

Holy cow Friday was busy!! Luke and I went grocery shopping (which involves multiple stores for us), went to Home Depot, and then spend a good majority of the rest of our afternoon installing a new faucet for our kitchen sink and replacing our old garbage disposal. It was broken so nasty water kept backing up into the sink… We’ve tried fixing it before but we had finally decided that we just needed a new one. πŸ˜‚ After that fun adventure a technician came to our house to fix our WiFi. This was around 5:30 pm or so. Our internet would just randomly go out for no reason. It turns out that some squirrels had chewed some wire up on the pole. So he fixed that and replaced some wires or something in the house as well just to be on the safe side. But problem solved!

Anyway, while he was here I went out and got a quick little 2 mile run in. I wasn’t exactly planning on this, but it kinda turned into almost a tempo run. Hahaha I felt really good! I wish I wold have had time to stay out and do a little more, but I did not. Oh well, at least it was fun! 😁

Saturday:

  • 5 miles

I didn’t have time to run more the day before because rain, ice, and snow was on the way. And it did indeed come. Not much though, but enough to make the roads slick. I didn’t feel like dealing with that so I took to the treadmill on Saturday. It wasn’t fun, but I got it done! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜Š

Sunday:

  • Rest Day

Letting all of my training this week seep in!! Spent most of my day hanging out on the couch! Resting, relaxing, and gearing up for next week!

It can be hard to take days completely off. There were a few times today where I thought to myself that I should do something. But the reality is that I DID do something. I gave my body a chance to rest and repair itself. Which is a crucial and critical part of training! Obviously you shouldn’t be a couch potato all of the time, but every once in a while it’s the best possible thing you can do for yourself! Take a day complete off every once in a while, my friends. Your body will thank you!

Total Weekly Mileage: 17.02

Not where I want to be, but I did put in some hard work this week. I got back into my regular routine, did a hard hill workout, what was basically a tempo run, toughed it out on the treadmill twice this week, and took a whole day off of everything. Also stuck with my strength training plan! I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m working towards it! 😊

I hope you’ve had a great week!

~Ashley

Weekly Recap: January 7th-13th, 2019

With 2 races on my schedule for this spring it’s time to get to work!! If I’m gonna survive the trail 10k I’m doing with my dad in Colorado this April I figure I need to get stronger. Actually, I really just need to get stronger in general. πŸ˜‚

So that’s kinda what I want to focus on right now. Although I missed my big strength day this week. Oops. But I wasn’t feeling well on Thursday. Plus earlier in the week I had a little strain or something in my right quad. Luckily after taking it easy for a few days it’s gone away, so hopefully that’s the end of that! But other than that it’s been a pretty good week!!

Monday:

  • 2 miles
  • 30 minutes of yoga

The plan for Monday was a hard, interval workout. Unfortunately that’s not what happened. During my one mile warm up I noticed that my right quad wasn’t feeling right. I was hoping it would work itself out during my warm up but it never did. So I ran another easy mile home and called it a day. That afternoon I spent some time on my yoga mat trying to stretch it out a little bit but it still just wasn’t feeling great.

Tuesday:

  • 30 minutes of yoga
  • 20 minutes of Pilates

My quad still wasn’t feeling great on Tuesday. In fact, it was even more sore! So I decided not to run. I did clean out the chicken coop though. πŸ˜‰ Also did some more yoga, done Pilates for strength work, and really got into my quad with my foam roller that night. That REALLY seemed to help!

Wednesday:

  • 4 easy miles

My quad was still a bit sore, but feeling much better by Wednesday! Got in 4 relatively easy miles that morning. The first two miles were nice, slow, and easy. Just to see how my leg felt. It seemed fine so I finished the last two a little bit faster. Nothing too crazy or hard or anything. I felt like I was still going easy, but I also felt like I finished strong. That’s actually been my mantra lately. Whenever I find myself in a tough spot I just repeat the word “strong” to myself. It’s really been resonating with me lately. 😊

Thursday:

  • Rest Day

Thursday was supposed to be my cross training day dedicated to a longer strength work out, but my stomach was not happy and I just wasn’t feeling well. So it kinda turned into a rest day. I’m not really happy about that because I really want to dedicate myself to doing this kinda thing on Thursdays, but shit happens I guess. Obviously taking a rest Day was a good idea because I felt a lot better on Friday. πŸ˜„

Not really related to anything, but here’s a picture of Jethro eating a banana. πŸ˜‚

Friday:

  • 3 miles

Felt really good going into Friday! My quad was feeling much better as was my stomach! Plus it was cold and rainy out! My favorite! πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸŒ§ The rain was supposed to turn into a big snow storm and while I didn’t deal with anything like that during my run I did get hit with a tiny bit of sleet and saw a few snowflakes. Then much later that afternoon, the rain finally started turning into snow! β„οΈβ˜ƒοΈ

Saturday:

  • 4 miles in a snow storm!

Oh man, Saturday was crazy! We had a snow storm come through that started Friday afternoon and didn’t let up until Saturday afternoon. I talked all about that here. πŸ˜‰ Anyway, I ran in a blizzard in November so of course I had to run in this snow storm as well!

The original plan for Saturday was 6 miles but that became negotiable once it started snowing on Friday. Running in the snow is fun but it’s also really hard! I like to think these snowy miles were the equivalent of 6 miles on a normal day. πŸ˜‰

Sunday:

    Snow storm clean up

Sundays are usually my rest days but I didn’t really rest at all today. πŸ˜‚ I spent a good majority of my morning shoveling snow out of the chicken coop and dragging the big ass tree limbs that fell in our backyard to the wood pile. Once it started getting close to lunch time I was hungry and needed a break so I went inside, showered because I was covered in chicken poop, ate lunch, and then did stuff around the house while my hair dried. Then I went back out in the afternoon to take care of the tree branches in the front yard. I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to be able up get them all because some of them were really big and heavy! I did it though!! 😊

Shoveling snow and moving those tree branches was HARD WORK! But I like to think that made up for the fact that I skipped my strength workout on Thursday. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰

This photo doesn’t even do it justice! There were even more branches than this and the biggest one isn’t even pictured! But they’re all in our wood pile now. 😁

Honestly I’m pretty stoked about how this week went! In a perfect world I would have gotten more miles in, but a sore quad (which is feeling 100% better now!) and a snow storm (slowed me down but didn’t stop me!) didn’t exactly help. πŸ˜‚ Still though, it was a good week! I’m very happy to be back into my normal routine after the holidays. Now that I’m feeling back on track, it’s only up from here! 😊

Happy Sunday!

~Ashley

Weekly Recap: December 31st – January 6th, 2018-2019

Hello 2019! I’ve sure got some big goals for you!! πŸ₯³πŸŽ‰

I haven’t really gotten right down to work this week though. πŸ˜‚ Luke and I went back to Illinois for New Year’s Eve, and then he took the rest of the week off from work. So I was still caught in a bit of that weird holiday limbo this week. Although it has been a lot better than last week and I do feel like I’ve accomplished something. 😁

Monday:

New Years Eve

On Sunday night Luke and I drove back to Illinois so we could hang out at his dad’s house for New Year’s Eve, and that we did! We spent Sunday night eating too much, staying up too late, and playing board games. Same for New Year’s Eve, except we stayed up even later (we finally went to bed at 3 am πŸ˜‚), lived solely on several different cheese dips, chips, little smokies, and alcohol. Whew, it was a crazy night, but a good one!

The dogs all passed out around 9:30 pm though. πŸ˜‚

Unfortunately we didn’t get to see anyone on my side of the family but my grandma and Uncle. But my siblings and dad are in Colorado and my mom is still in Illinois, but …well that situation is just really weird right now.

My dad and I are always texting back and forth though. I don’t remember exactly when, but at some point over the weekend he decided to do the Running With The Cows 5k with me this year (I’m not even sure if I mentioned that I’ve signed up for that here or not πŸ˜‚), so he signed up for that. Then he found some big trail running festival thing in Colorado that he wanted to go to, so he signed us both up for the 10k that’s being held that weekend. That event is in April and is about 5 hours away from where he lives, so we’re gonna drive there and then camp there all weekend. That should be fun!! 😊

So I’m pretty stoked that I’ve already got two races lined up for 2019, but now I really need to get my ass in gear and start training for them. πŸ˜‚

Tuesday:

We hung out at Luke’s dad’s for a while on Tuesday, but that afternoon we went and visited his grandma for a little bit and then drove home that evening. It’s nice to go visit family, but holy cow is it exhausting!! We’re pretty much done with that for a while now. πŸ˜‰

Wednesday:

  • 2.5 miles

After our drive back from Illinois Tuesday evening, we spent Wednesday morning recuperating from New Year’s Eve and all of the driving. πŸ˜‚ It was ridiculously nice to sleep in our own bed that night.

In the afternoon I went out and ran a couple of miles. I probably could have and should have done more, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I was still feeling kinda bleh from all of the junk food, alcohol, and lack of sleep. But at least I got out and ran! 😊

Anyway, I found $5 on my first run in 2019! I feel like that’s a good sign for this year! At least I sure hope so!

Thursday:

  • 4 miles

Was feeling a lot better on Thursday! My legs were kinda dead though. Probably from spending so much time in the truck earlier this week. Still pretty happy with the 4 miles I got done though. Plus it was nice and cold which is nice. β„οΈπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜Š

Friday:

  • Rest Day

Friday was the last day of Luke’s little vacation, so we had ourselves a little party for just the two of us. πŸ˜‰ Basically all we did on Friday was farm virtually (Luke playing Stardew Valley on his Switch and me playing Story Of Seasons: Trio Of Towns on my 3DS) while eating a ridiculous amount of snacks. I also baked cookies, so yeah, more snacks. πŸ˜‚ It was a good time though! 😁

Bubbles snuggled with me throughout most of it, but here she is on our pile of couch blankets. 😹

Saturday:

  • 5 miles
  • 30 minutes of Pilates

Whew! Back to reality!

Apparently chips, queso dip, and chocolate chip cookie are fantastic running fuel because this run was pretty great!! Hahaha I thought it was gonna be horrible after all of those snacks on Friday. πŸ˜‚ My legs were still feeling kinda heavy, but other than that I felt pretty good! Even managed a few speedy intervals in the middle of this run that felt really good. Hahaha but those probably felt good because I also ate some a Honey Stinger chews in the middle of this run. πŸ˜‚ I felt like I needed it though. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, after my run I cleaned out the chicken coop and collected two eggs for the day, cleaned around the house, showered, attempted and failed to nap (although just laying in bed for 30 minutes was nice), finished cleaning the house, did a piss ton of laundry, and then finally did some Pilates. It was a very productive day. 😁

Sunday:

  • Rest Day

Yeah, yeah. ANOTHER rest day. But I’m trying to get back into the regular rhythm and flow of a usual week in my life, and Sundays are always my day off, so it made sense.

Anyway, spent my Sunday off dyeing my hair. Because my Sundays tend to be dedicated to hair upkeep nowadays, between dyeing it and using hair masks on it. πŸ˜‚ But it’s getting longer and it does require more work when it’s long. Plus this purple I’ve been using fades out super fast and I hate it. I need to get some more Manic Panic. That seems to work a lot better for me. πŸ˜πŸ’œ

Alrighty! It’s been a crazy week! It was fun, but I’m ready to get back into a regular routine and to start training for some upcoming races this spring (be in the lookout for a post about that later in the week! πŸ˜‰).

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! Now let’s get back at it! πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

~Ashley

Goals for 2019

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

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. πŸ˜‚ 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!! 😊

  • 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! πŸ˜‚

Okey dokey, that’s all for now!

Happy 2019!!

~Ashley

2018 Highlights Of The Year

Holy cow it’s the last day of the year!! 😱

Congrats on yet another collective trip around the sun! The ride might feel long, it might also seem like it’s flying by at times, but at least we get to share the experience with some awesome (and maybe some not so awesome) people. At the very least it’s an interesting ride!

Seriously though, does anyone else feel like this year gone by really fast while simultaneously dragging on an on and on?!? Hahaha I don’t know, I guess it’s just been a weird year. Weird, but also good. 😁

So I just wanted to look back month-by-month at all (or at least most πŸ˜‰) of my personal highlights from 2018. Last year I actual broke this idea up into two different posts, one for running and one for life in general. But for this year I’m just gonna stick with one post. I did have a lot of fun running-wise in 2018, but at the same time nothing really spectacular happened for me. I only accomplished one PR and that was for the longest run I’ve ever done. No shiny new time PR’s for me… So that’s kind of a bummer, but hey, now I’ve got a whole new year ahead of me to start working towards some other shiny new PR’s!!

Anyway, let’s get to it! Here are my month-by-month, personal highlights from 2018! πŸ₯³

January

Alrighty! 2018 kicked off with me putting one of my Christmas gifts from 2017 to good use!! My sisters bought me Run Fast Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky. What an amazing gift and an awesome cookbook! I must admit, while I do believe in eating clean, whole, nutritious foods, I can find some of it a little boring… But cooking with this cookbook taught me that healthy, nutritious food doesn’t have to be boring.

Around the end of December or early January, Kay Von D and Billie Joe Armstrong collaborated on a new eyeliner. Not gonna lie, I know nothing about makeup and have been doing my eyeliner in basically the same way since I was 16. But when an amazing artist and the guy who pretty much made guyliner (who also happens to be one of your own personal heroes) makes an eyeliner you buy it! And buy it I did! Hahaha and I’ve still got quite a bit of it left since I don’t often wear makeup.

img_8762

I think this photo came from Kat Von D’s instagram? Honestly I don’t remember, it’s been saved on my phone for a while haha.

Oh and I started dyeing my blonde streak purple in January. I’m not sure why I had never done that before, but I had always wanted to. So that was pretty cool.

PS, guess what eyeliner I’m wearing in this photo. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

February

I’m not sure if this really counts as a highlight, but looking back on it it makes me laugh really hard (I also kinda forgot that this happened this year πŸ˜‚). But I’m February I slipped in my living room (on nothing I might add), fell, and slammed my toe into the leg of our couch. I never did get it looked at by a doctor but I’m pretty sure I broke it. It’s fully healed now though, so that’s good.

In a weird twist of fate, my toe breaking escapade happened right before I got two root canals done. So I had some pretty sweet pain meds for both of those situations. πŸ˜‚ Seriously though, my teeth are REALLY bad and I began my journey to a healthier mouth in February. But I also ran out of insurance money, so it began and ended with those two root canals. But now that the new year is upon us I have insurance money again and can FINALLY get some more much needed work done on my teeth.

And last but certainly not least for February, I ended up going to Colorado with my dad and spending about a week there with him and my brother. I’m not gonna get into all of the details of our adventures while I was there, because I already have. πŸ˜‰ But we had a lot of fun together. Hahaha even on the 16 hour drive from Kansas to Colorado! Hahaha that drive is only supposed to take 11 hours, but my dad and I like to stop and do stuff!! Oh and I think my brother and I accidentally ended up in Nebraska in our way to Kansas. Oh man, those were some good times. πŸ˜‚

March

While I was in Colorado at the end of February Luke ended up buying a chicken coop and when I got back home we bought our first set of chicks of the year! Oh man I forgot how cute they were!! Unfortunately this was the set of chickens that my neighbor’s dog ended up killing because he kept getting into our yard. Luckily that finally got resolved, but I still wasn’t happy about losing all of our chickens…

Another adventure that was planned while I was in Colorado was running the Martin City Whiskey 5k with my dad! This was the first race we did together and it was so much fun!! Hahaha even though my dad ended up getting a little hurt at the end. But he eventually healed and I remember mentioning to him that now he needs to do a half marathon! I’m not sure how serious either of us were at that point though. But I was pretty stoked about my shot of Whiskey and super awesome post race breakfast and that was making me really look forward to some half marathoning!

April

Easter fell on April fools day this year, so on the first day of April Luke and were in Illinois celebrating Easter with our families. My grandma made a whole big lunch and lots of homemade desserts which is always fantastic! While we were there Luke, my brother who was also in Illinois for Easter, and I did some target shooting at our old house. We had to trespass a little bit on what used to be my grandma’s farm, but whatever. πŸ˜‰ I though I might be a little bit rusty because I don’t really get to shoot anymore, but I did alright. πŸ™‚ While we were there we ended up taking my brother and two of Luke’s brothers to the Saint Louis City Museum. We all had lots of fun there!

Later in the month Luke traded in our old Chevy Equinox and got a 2016 Dodge Ram. I feel like that was probably one of the best decisions that was made all year! Hahaha we’ve sure put the truck to good use since we’ve had it!!

May

On the second Saturday of May I did the Running With The Cows 5k for the second time! Eventually I need to do the half at this event, but I’m so glad I didn’t this year! It was super hot and muggy that day. Still a lot of fun though! I got to pet a baby cow, run a very pretty 5k on a super rural road that runs through a bunch of cow pastures, and then pick out food at the HUGE buffet they have for all of the runners. Seriously, they have some pretty awesome stuff there! I’ve been very happy both times I’ve left this race. If you’re ever looking to do a half or 5k in early May and happen to be in Kansas I definitely recommend checking this one out!

May was when we got our garden planted, built the chickens a bigger run, and just did a bunch of work outdoors. It’s not exactly glamours, but I sure do enjoy it. 😁

For Memorial Day Luke and I threw a bit of a party for some family and neighbors. The guys had a bit of a rib cook off, and I baked a couple of pies and made a bunch of sides. The neighbor kid that I babysit came over to play with my brother-in-law’s girlfriend’s kids, and we had 5 dogs running around because my brother-in-law brought his with him. Oh and us and the neighbors were just constantly climbing over the fence into each other’s yards for various reasons. Haha it was a little bit chaotic, but lots of fun!

June

On June first we got our second batch of chicks. Not exactly a highlight because we only had to get them because our neighbor’s dog killed the first set. But still kind of a highlight because LOOK HOW CUTE!!!!

Later in June we ended up in Illinois again. We did a bit more target practice at my parents old house while we were there, but the real high point of this particular trip was taking Luke’s youngest brother to Troy Park and playing on the playground and PokΓ©mon Go-ing. Oh and we also picked up my sister’s old treadmill from her boyfriend’s mom’s house that night. Hahaha she literally gave me her treadmill because we have a truck and could actually haul it back home. Told you we’ve been putting that thing to good use!

Ok, just a little side note. Through  the spring I’d been talking to my dad about doing a half marathon with me. I had been looking into the Gobbler Grind and told my dad that I was only going to do it if he’d do it with me because this race was the day after the Longview half which I was already registered for. So at some point he signed us both up and thus Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days was born!

July

July is Luke’s birthday month! Yay!! So on his birthday his brother, his girlfriend, her kids, and our next door neighbor kid all came over for Luke’s birthday and we threw him a little party. There was a cake and confetti and glow sticks and lots of dogs! What more do you need for a birthday party?!? πŸ˜‚

For the past several years Luke’s mom has planned/organized a big family vacation for a bunch of people on that whole side of the family. This year that included 25 people!! Hahaha it was easy for so many people to come this year because we went to Branson. MO and since most of us live in the Midwest that’s not too crazy out of the way. I think EVERYONE drove there. πŸ™‚ Anyway, we stayed in these cabins right next to a river so we spent a lot of our time there having a little too much fun out in the water. We did a lot of fishing, swimming, and those of us who were of age did a little a lot of drinking haha. πŸ˜‰ It was an absolute blast though. I think hanging out on the river was the most fun part, but we did do a few other things. We went to a slightly depressing animal “safari” thing. We also had a big birthday party for several people at the equivalent of a Chucky Cheese, and we went to the outlet stores several times.

On one of the days we were there (I think it was the second to last) we had a big cookout thing. Everyone cooked a bunch of food, but in the middle of it all a HUGE thunderstorm rolled in. So everyone rushed around to get their food done and into the different cabins, get all of the small children inside, and everything picked up and what not. Then, like the good Midwesterners that we are, we sat out on the cabin porches and watched it come! At one point somebody dared someone to stand out in the rain for the entire storm and eventually all of the “kids” (Me, Luke, his brother’s and sister. His step sisters, our nephew, and a couple of their friends) ended up standing in the pouring rain. It was hilarious! Although the next day we found out that was when the Ride The Duck thing got caught in the storm and a bunch of people die. It wasn’t so funny after we found that out.

Aaaaaaaand training for Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days started near the end of July! If you’ve been following me for any amount of time you probably know that I do not do well in the heat and that I’m not a fan of summer running. But starting a new training plan for a big goal is always exciting!

August

This sunrise on August 4th reminded me that even though summer running is rough and that I absolutely hate waking up at 5 am, views like this make it totally worth it.

I guess August was a relatively uneventful month, as I have very few photos from then. πŸ˜‚ But we did go to a casino for like the second time. Not exactly my thing, but it was still a good time.

September

So, every year since we’ve been married, Luke takes me to a pumpkin farm to pick pumpkins, apples, and to get other fun fall things. We ended up going super early this year (on September 14th to be exact πŸ˜‰) because this summer was hot, dry, and brutal and I was very much over it. So the day the pumpkin farm opened its pumpkin patch we went and started all of our fun fall festivities early! πŸŽƒπŸ˜Š

Later into September Luke’s mom added to my fall fun by sending me a big care package full of sweet Halloween stuff! She’s very much into Halloween as well, so she gets it. πŸ˜‰ I started putting some of it up that day! Luke wouldn’t let me start decorating outside until October though. πŸ˜‚

October

Yay October!! The brutal summer finally ended and it actually cooled down this year! It’s been FOREVER since we’ve actually had a chilly fall. That made me super duper happy!! So did all of the amazing fall foliage we had in the area this year! It’s been a long while since the trees have looked this pretty!

On October 5th we added a new member to our family!! On his way home from work that day Luke told me to be ready to leave when he got home because we were going on an adventure! That adventure turned out to be picking out a new puppy to be Finn’s future girlfriend! I made the right choice picking her out of the litter. Finn immediately fell in love with her.

The very next day I PR’d my longest distance run by doing a 14 mile long run! Haha I had to stop at home several times so I could let the new puppy out of her crate to pee and that did get a little bit annoying. But all in all this was a great run! I watched my watch while I hit and then went over the half marathon mark, because that was the first time I’ve ever done that in training and it was just so super cool!

On October 11th we went to Illinois yet again. This time for my mom’s birthday, one of Luke’s brother’s birthday, and his grandma’s and great aunt’s birthdays (they’re twins!!). Hahaha so we were kinda busy that time around! We only brought Whiskey with us for this trip just so she could get used to riding in the car, being by herself, and whatnot. But we ended up taking Luke’s youngest brother to Troy park again, this time with Whiskey, and apparently we went on the perfect day because there was some kinda of pet event going on! So there were all sorts of venders, rescues, and just people out there with a bunch of dogs! So Whiskey (and Luke’s brother, actually πŸ˜‚) got lots of positive socialization. We even met another red border collie while we were there! That was so cool!! Hahaha the other girl and I saw each others dogs, make eye contact and then booked it to each other so we could talked. πŸ˜‚ Oh man that was a great day!!

Oh and watching my grandma meet Whiskey for the first time was really cute too!! She used to breed German Shepherds, ran a dog boarding kennel, and was always super involved in the dog works (that’s where I get it all from!) so she LOVES meeting puppies. But I mean, who doesn’t?!

November

November got off to a really great start, with Whiskey and I watching the NYC marathon! Haha Luke signed up for another free trial of Hulu TV just so I could watch it (he did that for me in April so I could watch Boston as well ;). If you watched you know how amazing it was! If you didn’t, well, you really missed out!

November also brought the conclusion of Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days, and oh boy it didn’t end in any kind of way that I thought it would. I DNF’d the first half! ☹️ So that was really more of a low point of 2018. But the very next day I ran the Gobbler Grid half with my dad! It was the slowest half I’ve ever done, but it was also the most fun! Hahaha I’m so glad we ran that 5k together in the spring! If we hadn’t then this half might not have happened! Honestly I think this half marathon and the couple of days that I got to spend with my dad because of it was my favorite thing to happen this year.

The November fun didn’t end with that half marathon though! I ended up running a 5k on Thanksgiving morning! That was technically my first ever turkey trot and it was a blast!!! Plus they handed out pumpkin pies to all of the finishers instead of medals. That was awesome!! πŸ¦ƒπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ₯§

And even after that there was still some more November running fun to be had! Haha we had a legit blizzard on November and guess who decided to run in it? That’s right, this girl!! Oh my gosh that was so ridiculous dangerous because we were experiencing high winds and white out conditions, but it was oh so much fun!!

December

Oh boy! November sure was busy, but believe it or not, December was even more hectic! We did lots and lots of fun Christmas stuff though!

On the 15th Luke took me (and Dean πŸ˜‰) to two different Christmas light displays! First we went to one that was more of a light show that synced up to music. Those are always cool.

We didn’t stay there long though. Our next destination was a park that covers almost every tree around this lake in lights! It’s so beautiful! So we walked around there for a while and took a bunch of pictures! Haha Luke’s not big on the cold, Christmas, or picture taking, so I really appriciated doing all of that all at once. That being said, we had a really good night. πŸ™‚

The next day Luke and I ended up exchanging Christmas gifts because we’re both terrible at waiting to give gifts. πŸ˜‚ Apparently we both had similar ideas this year, because he got me a “fuck” coffee mug and I got him a monogrammed glass for adult beverages. πŸ˜‰ Hahaha we know each other well.

On the 22nd we got our first eggs!!!!! You guys have no idea how excited I was! I’ve been waiting for this for such a long time!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Ever since then we’ve been getting at least 2, sometimes 3 eggs a day from our hens. By this spring/summer we should be getting around 5-7 eggs a day! How freaking sweet is that?!?

We spent pretty much the rest of our December running around and getting stuff ready for Christmas. At 3 am on Christmas Eve we left Kansas and drove to Illinois so we could spend Christmas with some family. On Christmas Eve we started out at Luke’s dad’s, then we went to his grandma’s for a little bit. Then my grandma had a little party at her house of Christmas Eve, so we hung out there with her, my mom, and my uncle for a while.

Christmas Day was just as busy! Luke and I stayed at his dad’s house Christmas Eve night so we could open presents from them and Santa. After we did that Luke’s dad made us a late breakfast and we hung out there until noon when we went to Luke’s other grandma’s Christmas party. That’s always a big even! That side of the family takes Christmas VERY seriously and this year was no different. We had lots of food, presents, and fun. πŸ™‚ That night me, Luke, and one of his brother’s stayed up playing this game on the Playstation. It got out of hand very quickly but it was a lot of fun haha.

It was a busy Christmas, but a good one.

At some point during our stay in Illinois Luke’s dad convinced him to come back for New Year’s Eve, because he was actually going to be off from work for that. So we drove back to Illinois last night at we’re at Luke’s dad’s right now. So we’ll be ringing in the New Year with Luke’s dad, step mom, and 2 of his brothers!

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Oh man this post ended up being really long! Maybe I should have broken it up into two different posts. πŸ˜‰ Oh well.

Thanks to everyone who hung in there with me and actually read everything hahaha. Honestly though I think I want to start writing a recap like this at the end of every year! Looking back at all of the adventures I’ve had this year was fun and it reminded me that I have done a lot of cool stuff in my life. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that on days that feel never ending or mind numbingly boring. But life is full of ups and downs and the not-so-great times make the good times that much better! I hope you’ve had a wonderful year full of fun, laughter, adventures, and many happy, healthy miles!

Wishing you a wonderful New Years Eve and a very happy New Year! Stay safe and have fun out there! Here’s to making 2019 a FANTASTIC year!

Your happy, nostalgic, slightly sappy, blogger friend,

~Ashley

Weekly Recap: December 24th-30th, 2018

Holy cow this week has been a crazy one!! But Christmas will definitely do that!!

Luke and I were in Illinois until Wednesday night, visiting family for the holiday, so things have been a bit hectic around here. I didn’t run until Thursday this week! πŸ˜‚ It’s all good though, my one and only goal for this week was to enjoy Christmas. Mission accomplished on that front!!

You can read more about our Christmas adventures here, because I don’t want to repeat myself too much. Since I’ve already kinda gone over all of that I won’t be getting too much into it all again. πŸ˜‰

Monday:

Christmas Eve! Yay!!

Luke and I woke up at 3 am to drive from Kansas to Illinois so that we would get there early enough to see his dad for a little bit before after he got off work but before had to go to bed (he’s been working midnights lately). And we did! Hahaha oh man, after being awake at 3 am and driving for 5 hours, Monday was a LONG day. We still had fun though. 😊

Tuesday:

Merry Christmas!! πŸ¦ŒπŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽπŸͺ🍷

Another very hectic day, running all around our old stomping grounds, trying to see and participate in as much family festivities as possible! I like to think we did a pretty good job of that. 😊 Oh, and there was SO MUCH FOOD! Hahaha it was great. πŸ˜‹ We definitely had a very good Christmas.

Wednesday:

We finally made our way back home Wednesday afternoon after eating yet another large lunch with one of Luke’s grandmas. We got home around 5:30 pm, but instead of getting to relax after our hectic few days we had to unload the truck, put away all of our Christmas gifts, take care of all of the animals, go grocery shopping, and then clean up the house. Once all of that was taken care of we had a couple of hours to kick back and chill before we went to bed.

This photo is actually from Christmas, but my father-in-law got me this wearable blanket/Snuggie kinda thing for Christmas and I love it! Hahaha I’ve been wearing it pretty much non stop. 😁

Thursday:

  • 2 miles
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Woohoo! Finally got a run in!!

It wasn’t a great run though. After sleeping on a pull out couch, eating a bunch of yummy but not so healthy food and not drinking nearly enough water, this run was kinda tough! It felt really good to get out there and get moving though! Especially after spending 5 hours in the car the day before. Sleeping in my own bed was also pretty great. 😊

Friday:

  • 4.5 miles

Another tough run. Still got about 2 miles of some decent interval work done during this run though. I’m feeling kinda out of shape, but after all of the events that have unfolded this week thats really not surprising. πŸ˜‚ I’m not worried about it though. While it is pretty easy to lose fitness in running, it’s not too terribly difficult to regain some of it in a relatively short time frame. Especially if you’ve been running for a while. πŸ˜‰

Saturday:

  • Rest day
  • 30 minutes of yoga

A rest day? Really Ashley?? After only 2 days of running? πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚

Really I just needed a break. After all of the Christmas craziness I just needed a day to sit back, relax, and spend some time by myself. Especially since we’ll be back in Illinois in a couple of days. Honestly though I just did the resting and relaxing thing in the morning. I also spent some time working on blog posts that you’ll be seeing here in the next couple of days. I spent the rest of the day putting away all of my Christmas decorations and cleaning the house. Honestly it felt really good doing that. 😁

Sunday:

  • 3 treadmill miles

I am literally the most awkward treadmill runner ever. πŸ˜‚ Hahaha oh well, still squeezed in 3 miles for today. The rest of my day has been dedicated to getting ready to drive back to Illinois for New Year’s Eve.

That brings my total weekly mileage to a whopping 9.5 miles. πŸ˜‚ Honestly I’m happy I got any running done this week! It’s been a hectic one!

Wishing everyone a happy New Year’s Eve Eve! πŸ˜‰

~Ashley