Tag Archives: healthy lifestyle

Running With The Cows 5k, 2019 Race Recap

Woohoo! The Sloth Running Team was back at it again!!

Hahaha except my dad forgot his shirt, so we didnโ€™t wear them for this race. ๐Ÿ˜‰

On Friday my dad drove here to Kansas from Colorado so that we could tackle the Running With The Cows 5k on Saturday! Yay!

Also Luke took me golfing for the first time ever (for me anyway๐Ÿ˜‰). Obviously the thing you wanna do the day before your race is pick up a brand new sport and then spend something like 3 hours doing it. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Surprisingly I wasn’t as terrible at golf as I thought I would be! Plus I didn’t end up hurting myself (world’s biggest klutz right here) so that was good! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Honestly though I wasn’t too worried about it. I’m still suffering from/getting over a cold, so all of the plans I had for this race kinda went out the window. That was kind of a bummer, but there are always other races. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ Plus Running With The Cows is a super duper fun race no matter what! ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ˜Š

We didnโ€™t keep score, but my first round of golf wasnโ€™t too terrible! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Other than my dad getting here and a rousing round of golf, Friday was relatively uneventful. Saturday was obviously when all of the real fun happened! ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ„

My dad and I were up at 6:00 Saturday morning! We didn’t have to get up super duper early because Running With The Cows is only 20 minutes from my house, which is super nice! We are our breakfasts, got dressed, then we headed out to the starting line!

The half marathon was originally supposed to start at 7:30 am and the 5k was supposed to start at 8, but it was raining a little bit and people were still pulling into the parking area (that was kinda slow going because of the rain as well. The parking area was really just a field and it was pretty muddy). That wasn’t a big deal though. That just gave us a little extra time to find packet pick up and to use the port-o-potties. Both of which we accomplished with relative ease! We got our packets and walked back to my dads van to put on our bibs and timing chips, then it was off to the port-o-potties! At that point the half marathoners were lined up and getting ready to take off, so there was no line! Sweet!!

The most crooked race bib youโ€™ll ever see! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I did in fact race with it like this. ๐Ÿ˜‚

After we had taken care of we got in line to have our picture taken with a baby cow! This race always has farm animals at the starting line. This year they had two sheep, a miniature pony, and the baby cow of course. This was the first time that they actually had a little photo op with it though (at least out of the 3 times that I’ve done it now ๐Ÿ˜‰) so I thought that was super neat!

He was such a cute little guy!!

After that my dad has to make another pit stop at the port-o-potties and then it was time to line up in the starting corral! It was pretty crowded! This race is pretty darn popular so that’s unsurprising, nor is it a bad thing. Although we were lined up a little too far back. We ended up getting stuck behind some slower people, which would have been more annoying if we were actually trying for a specific time. We weren’t though. The only goal for this race was to have a bunch of fun since I was still getting over being sick.

Anyway, after a quick countdown we were off! To a pretty slow start. ๐Ÿ˜‚

You can kinda see both me and my dad directly under the Running With The Cows banner. Both with huge smiles on our faces, of course! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Like I said, we did get stuck behind some slower people. Plus there are just so many people that it’s kinda hard to get into a good groove until everyone spreads out a bit. Which eventually they did of course, but it took until about half was through the race for that to really happen. Not a big deal though. ๐Ÿ˜Š

This race is put on by a Catholic Church/school so close to a mile in I think (they don’t put up mile markers for the 5k course. Probably because it’s an out and back so it is pretty straightforward. You go out about 1.5 miles then you come back about 1.5 miles. ๐Ÿ˜‰) the school band is out on the course playing for everyone. I think that’s super cool! Hahaha I cheered extra loud for them because I didn’t think enough people were. ๐Ÿ˜‚ This is also the only intersection you come across on this course (it’s super rural ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ˜) so I also made sure to thank the police officers who were out there blocking traffic and keeping everyone safe.

So at this point we’re trucking along and still weaving around slower runners. Honestly doing things like that really motivates me to go faster! I’m not typically a competitive person, but there is just something super fun about reeling groups of people in and then weaving past them. Hahaha we also went off roading a few times to get around people. We’d jump off of the road into the dirt and then hop back on after we passed someone. That was a lot of fun! I was actually pretty impressed with how well I was running and how good I felt considering I was sick all week leading up to this race and I still wasn’t feeling 100% on Saturday.

At around 1.5 miles we came upon the only aid station and the turnaround point! My dad and I both grabbed a cup of Gatorade, cheered when the race volunteers said we were half way there, and pretty much just got out of there as quickly as we could. Since so many people do this race the aid station was a bit hectic, but the volunteers were totally on top of it! Huge kudos to them! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜Š They were also handing out orange slices, which I thought was kinda funny since this was only a 5k, but hey, whatever floats your boat! ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Š

Anyway, after the turnaround point things get lots and lots of fun because you get to run down the hill you had to run up to get there! The hill doesn’t make it all the way to the finish, but it is all a net downhill back the way you came. I wouldn’t say we were flying at that point, I was feeling good, but still not good enough to be at that point, but we were definitely going strong! Honestly the whole way felt like it took no time at all! Probably thanks to the downhill. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So right before you turn back into the church parking lot that the race starts in there is a grain silo with another Running With The Cows banner hung up on it. And since I’ve done this race twice before I knew they have a photographer at that point. So we were able to kinda pose for our photo. Hahaha I had to crop some people out, but I think it’s a good one!

Iโ€™m pretty sure we both were smiling like that throughout the whole race. ๐Ÿ˜

After that we made our final turn an crossed the finish line in 39:21! Except at that point I didn’t really have a good guess as to what our official time was because they had the clock running for the half, not the 5k. Once I did find out our official tune though I was pretty stoked! We did much better than I had though we would! Especially considering the fact that I was still getting over a horrible cold. ๐Ÿคง๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Š

I swear we were the happiest people there that day! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚

After crossing the finish line we went through all of the usual post race stuff. We got our medals which was actually a first for this particular 5k. Before they only gave the half marathon finishers medals, but they were celebrating they’re 10th anniversary of this race so I guess they wanted it all to be special. ๐Ÿ˜Š This was also the first time I actually had a medal hung around my neck. Every other time I’ve received a medal the race volunteer has just handed it to me, but this lady hung it around my neck and I just thought that was so cool! I know it’s such a small gesture, but honestly it really made me feel like I had accomplished something. I don’t know if that’s weird or not, but hey, it’s true. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

After having our timing chips cut off of our shoes we got in line for a second picture with the baby cow. But I mean, how could you pass it up! He was just too cute!! Plus this photo turned out better which is cool. ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’œ

After getting more baby cow hugs we headed inside the school for the post race buffet! They always have an awesome spread for the race finishers which is super awesome! And for that reason alone this could easily have been one of my favorite races ever! Hahaha but really I just adore the cow theme and the whole atmosphere. ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ˜

After enjoying our post race meal we headed on out and just kinda messed around for a while. We stopped back at my house, went to Scheels just for fun, and then we got burgers at 5 Guys. Going to 5 Guys is officially our new post race tradition, as we also went there after we did the Gobbler Grind Half last year! Hahaha I gotta say though, there burgers taste better after running a half. ๐Ÿ˜‰ They’re still pretty good though. ๐Ÿ˜‹

After our post race burger my dad took a nap and then had to leave to start driving back to Colorado around 6:30 pm that night. He had to work on Monday, so he couldn’t stay any longer. It’s all good though! If everything works out well Luke and I just might head out to Colorado for a few days this summer! And then of course my dad is going to be coming back here in November for Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days: Take Two, which he’ll be doing with me. ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜

Oh man, for real though. We both had an absolutely amazing time at this race! If you ever find yourself in the Kansas City area on the second Saturday in May you NEED to do this race! 5k or half, doesn’t matter. It’s a FANTASTIC event! ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ‚

Alrighty my friends! That is all! I hope you have a fantastic week!!

~Ashley

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Sick Days

Note to self; stay away from small children. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‚

Seriously though, I’m pretty sure either my niece and nephew or my next door neighbor gave me one hell of a bug when I babysat them all last Friday. It it me hard and I’ve been down and out since late Saturday night/early Sunday morning.

It wasn’t one of those colds where like, you’re a little stuffed up and not feeling super great, maybe your a little more tired than usual. No. It was the kind that make you feel absolutely miserable. You’re exhausted all of the time and even getting up to walk to the bathroom sounds like a challenge. You’re not sleeping well, have a headache from being so stopped up, and with chest congestion and a sore throat to boot. Holy moly, most of this week has been pretty awful for me. ๐Ÿคง

Thankfully I’m finally on the upswing though! I’m still not feeling super great but I’m much improved compared to earlier this week! Luckily I had Luke to take care of me! He kept me stocked up on tea and Halo Top ice cream. Obvious necessities for when you’re sick. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, I’m finally starting to feel a little bit better today. Not great, but good enough to go out and run 2 very slow miles. Hey, I’ll take it! It wasn’t a great run or anything but it was good enough to clear out some snot! Gross but necessary. ๐Ÿคง

I kinda spent the rest of the day resting though. It felt good to get outside and get moving but not gonna lie, I still feel pretty shitty. Definitely not how I want to be feeling just a few days before my next race, but at this point I’m pretty confident that I’m going to make it through the Running With The Cows 5k on Saturday without dying. ๐Ÿ˜‚

The plan for now is to keep resting, staying hydrated, and decently fueled in hopes that will help me get to the starting line in a little bit better shape. Hahaha I guess we’ll see though.

So yeah, that’s just a quick little update for today.

Happy Thursday!

~Ashley

Itโ€™s Race Week!

I’m not in as good of a place as I was before the last race I did in April though…

Now, on top of the knee thing I’ve been dealing with for about a week or two now, I woke up at 3:30 this morning with a sore throat. Shit. ๐Ÿ˜‘

There was no way I was getting back to sleep without doing something for my throat, so I got up, took some ibuprofen, and made my go-to throat soothing drink; 2 tbs of apple cider vinegar and two tbs of raw honey mixed into about 6-8 ounces of warm water. I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s kinda gross! But it really does help soothe the throat!

It definitely made mine feel better early this morning! I was finally able to get back to sleep about an hour later. Woke back up at 8:30 am, throat still sore but not as bad as earlier, and got the day off to a very slow and relaxed start.

I’ve been struggling between “I need to rest” and “I need to get/stay in shape and keep doing some kind of exercise”. Since my knee got hurt. At first I thought I just tweaked it and that it would be fine in a couple of days, but that hasn’t been the case. I’ve been experiencing discomfort in it anytime I run. Even when all I was doing was running around a playground with a bunch of little kids. Not cool… I know I need to rest it, give it some extra love, and just let it heal on it’s own time, but it’s been hard. I’ve barely been running, and have been avoiding pretty much everything outside of yoga, gentle walking, and some upper body strength work, in order to avoid hurting my knee anymore. I know I have a legit reason to be doing that, but man most days I just feel lazy and like I should be doing more. Not true. But still, it’s how I’ve been feeling.

I also know that after taking all of this time off getting back into regular training is going to SUCK. It always does… I’m definitely not looking forward to that but I really just want to be back running constantly again.

Anyway, I’m done throwing myself a pity party. I just need to get that out. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, it’s race week!

This Saturday my dad and I are taking on the Running With The Cows 5k! This will be my 3rd time doing this race and it will be my dad’s first! I’m super duper excited! I LOVE this race! I always say one day I might even do the half, but we’ll see. ๐Ÿ˜‰ For now I’m just happy with running the 5k, seeing the cows, and enjoying the large buffet at the end. ๐Ÿ˜

Me feeding a mama cow at the starting line last year.

Since I’ve been having issues with my knee I’ve long since decided that I’m not gonna to go for a fasted time or a PR or anything for this one. It’s just all for fun now. Which is cool. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to drag my dad through my PR pace anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‚

We like to actually run these things together and either way I wasn’t planning on leaving him behind. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I still get to set the pace though! At the first 5k we did together last year he went out waaaay to fast. An easy mistake to make. Especially at your first ever race. That ended up not going well for him. He made fun of me for “not being able to keep up” all during the first half. But guess who was laughing at him sucking wind during the last mile or so, while feeling quite fantastic herself. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So yeah, now I get to control the pace. For the most part anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Finishing the Whiskey 5k last March. Hahaha now he listens to me when I tell him not to go out so fast. ๐Ÿ˜‚

So while I am just a little bit bummed that this race isn’t going to be as fast as I would have liked, it’s still going to be fun! But here’s hoping I feel a lot better by Saturday and my throat stops hurting and I don’t have to limp my way across the finish line.

So random thought that I’ve probably already mentioned before but here we go again; I wanna do more 5k’s! 5k’s are so much fun! They’re mercifully short (although obviously only having 3 miles to cover comes with its own set of challenges) and easy to recover from! You could basically do one every weekend, at least throughout the spring and fall! Plus I really enjoy all of the fun, themed 5k’s! Pumpkin runs, Turkey trots, Santa shuffles, ya know, the ones that are more for fun than actually running for a certain time. ๐Ÿ˜‚ So yeah, I wanna do more fun 5k’s! Last year I did my first legit turkey trot on Thanksgiving morning. I absolutely loved the fun, laid back vibe at the starting line that day! It was especially nice after doing a half marathon a week or two before. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Maybe I’ll have to do that one again this year! ๐Ÿฆƒ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

Anyway, I didn’t really spend much time on the whole “It’s Race Week!” subject, did I? Really all I did was throw a pity party and then went on about 5k’s. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Oh well. It is race week though. And since getting to the starting line healthy is looking super iffy, my goal right now is to get there feeling as good as possible. And if that means doing a ridiculously small amount of running this week so be it (I’m still not gonna be happy about it though. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ). At this point in my running career I’ve never lined up at a starting line feeling too poorly. I’ve always managed to make it there healthy and with relatively healed injuries. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this one goes! I’ve still got several days to heal and recover anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Is anyone else racing this week?!?

Happy Monday!

~Ashley

Weekly Recap: April 22nd-28th, 2019

Oh wow! The last two weeks were kinda crazy and just all fun and games with my trip to Colorado, my trail race, and recovering from all of that. Plus I was just super busy. That’s why I missed two weeks of weekly recaps. ๐Ÿ˜‚

But I’m back!

Monday:

  • 2 miles
  • 25 minutes of Pilates

So this run actually wasn’t super great. I had too much wine and Easter ham the night before. ๐Ÿ–๐Ÿท๐Ÿคข But I wanted to go out and so something, so I did! Followed by Pilates. THAT was a struggle, but I got a decent lower body workout done. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜

Tuesday:

  • 5 miles
  • 20 minutes of yoga

I had 3 easy miles on the schedule for today but that turned into what was basically a 5 mile fartlek, because I was having way too much fun for a shorter, easy run. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Training plans are definitely important and theyโ€™re there for a reason, but every so often you just need to embrace how you feel and roll with it. Sometimes that means backing off a little bit, sometimes that means taking a day off, and other times it means throwing caution to the wind and just running as fast and as far as you want to

Wednesday:

  • 3 miles

So this run was hard. Like, it wasn’t actually bad or anything. It was just super humid and that’s not fun.

Plus I’ve been having some discomfort in my left knee all week (I tweaked it at some point. I’m not sure how, but I’m almost positive it didn’t happen while I was running). I’ve been doing the exact opposite of what you should actually do when you get a little niggle and I’ve just been completely ignoring it. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Definitely not a great course of action. But my high pain tolerance sometimes lets me get away with things like this. I mean, I ran 5 miles on a newly broken toe a few years ago. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  • Thursday:
    • Rest day

    Since my knee discomfort wasn’t really improving and I actually started feeling it down into my shin (which is pretty typical actually. I’ve had this issue with my knee since I was a kid) I finally made the correct decision to rest it.

    Like I said, I’ve had this knee thing for forever so I’m not super worried about it. Hence why I kept running on it. ๐Ÿ˜‚ But since it wasn’t getting better I figured a little RICE was necessary. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Friday:

    • Rest day

    Still letting the ol’ knee have a little break! So I mean, the back half of this week has been pretty boring. Running wise at least. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Finn got his annual vaccinations on Friday. Going ya the vet stresses him the fuck out because he’s not particularly fond of strangers, but he did well! Also got the vet records for him, Lily, and Dean. We’re going to Minnesota later this month and they all have to be kenneled unfortunately. We’re bringing Whiskey with us though, because Luke and I aren’t fond of the idea of kenneling an 8 month old puppy. Obviously she’s had all of her shots and what not. But puppies her age can still have a bit of a fragile psyche. But it’s good for her to come with us, experience some new things (she’s not as well traveled as the other dogs ๐Ÿ˜‰), and be away from the rest of our small herd of border collies.

    Saturday:

    • Rest day

    Skipping my long run is always the hardest part of taking time off. It’s been ingrained into my head that the long run is the most important run of the week. Maybe it’s not the most important, but obviously it’s there for a very good reason! Plus I never know what to do with myself on long run days when I don’t run. Like, normally a good chunk of the day is dedicated to preparing to run, running, and then recovering from said run.

    But since I didn’t do any of that on Saturday I ended up binge watching several episodes of The Act on Hulu. I’d kinda heard bits and pieces of the story of Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee Blanchard, so when I saw The Act pop up on Hulu I was intrigued, but hadn’t gotten around to watching it until now. That’s done pretty crazy (and obviously dramatized for TV) stuff! It’s definitely an interesting watch!

    Sunday:

    • Rest Day

    Not running when you want to run is hard. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    But today was easier since Sunday’s are usually my rest days anyway. I finished watching Season 1 of The Act. Made scrambled eggs for my chickens (I had a ridiculous amount of eggs and they like them, so ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ. It works out really. It’s a cheap protein to give them. ๐Ÿ˜‰). Did some stretching. Fun stuff.

    Tomorrow I’m going to give a couple of easy miles a go though! See how everything feels and whatnot. It is all feeling better today, but sometimes it can be hard to really tell with things like this until you actually try to run on them.

    So yeah, not the week I wanted to have. But it happens. Hopefully I’ll be good to go next week!

    Happy Sunday!

    ~Ashley

    Happy Mail Day To Me!!

    I’ve been watching this documentary series thing about the 90’s on Netflix and it’s been super entertaining/slightly nostalgia (I was born in ’91 so I only really remember the later 90’s). I’ve really been enjoying it aside from the fact that they barely even included Green Day their music episode. Dookie was literally one of the biggest albums of the 90’s. Especially coming out the year Kurt Cobain does. But whatever…I guess they almost made up for it by the amount of time they spent on Nirvana. Almost. And of course they ended the episode with Good Riddance playing in the background. Clichรฉ, but my little fan-girl heart was still happy to hear it. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Hi my name is Ashley and Iโ€™m the worldโ€™s biggest Green Day fan. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‚

    Oh man, anyway. This series has done exactly what it was probably meant to do, I suppose. It’s gotten me thinking of just how far we’ve come (and how far we haven’t come) as the human race. Like, 30 years ago the internet was barely even a thing but now we have access to it 24/7 via these relatively tiny devices that we carry with us in our pockets. Really it’s kinda mind blowing when you think of it!

    At this point we can purchase basically anything we could possibly dream of and have it delivered to our front doors in just a few days. And once it is delivered we snap a photo with the small devices that give us access to the internet at all times and post about it on our social media accounts. And thus, the whole “mail day” social media thing began. Pretty crazy, right?! ๐Ÿ˜‚

    So I revived two packages today! The first one came via the good ol’ USPS this morning and I wasn’t exactly expecting it. That’s always a good feeling, right?! ๐Ÿ˜ The second was delivered via FedEx (dude, don’t even get me started on all of the delivery options we have today! And how much that’s grown, especially with Amazon and drones and people renting out vans just to deliver stuff. Holy moly!!๐Ÿ˜‚). That one I was expecting, tracking, and highly anticipating! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    So, our regular mail actually comes super duper early in the morning. Around 8-9 am, which has always kinda blown my mind. Back when I lived in Illinois it always came around 3-4 pm. But I guess that’s the difference between living in town, almost across the street from the post office and on a farm in the middle of nowhere. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Anyway, today I got the mail as usual, whatever. But there was a package in there addressed to me from a local running store! Yay!! I wasn’t really expecting it (even though I was promised this stuff) but I knew exactly what it was and was pretty stoked about it!

    My ambassador stuff from the Gobbler Grind Half finally came!! Hahaha back in February I was accepted as an ambassador for the Gobbler Grind and was promised some apparel and flyers basically in exchange for free advertising (which really is all any ambassador program is ๐Ÿ˜‰). They said “a few weeks” but I guess that turned into “a few months”. I’m not complaining or anything though. I’ve never organized a race so I have no idea what all goes into that, but I’m sure the race director and everyone is is pretty busy all year. Planning this race and more likely than not a few others. Really all that waiting did was turn it into a pleasant surprise because I had almost forgotten about it. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    But anyway, now I’ve got a sweet Gobbler Grind t-shirt, some flyers to hand out, and another buff! It’s so funny actually, I’ve been saying I needed a buff for a while but I never ended up getting myself one. But now I’ve gotten two for “free”. One at the Desert Rats 10k earlier this month and now this one that came with my Gobbler Grind stuff! Pretty sweet! Also just a weird coincidence that I’ve been talking about wanting one and now I’ve got two. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Now that I’ve got some flyers I need to figure out what to do with them! In all transparency, if I get 5 people to register for this race using my code (GG19AD) I get a free entry! I’ve already got one person to use it so only 4 more to go! Anyone wanna help a girl out? ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s a super fun race!! Plus I’m really hoping to meet some of my online friends there! How super cool would that be?!? ๐Ÿ˜

    But anyway, for now I’m going to give a couple to my husband to hang up at his work. Apparently a bunch of people there are runners so that’s probably a good place to start! I’m also thinking my local grocery store? I live in a super small town so basically everyone who lives here shops there, even if it’s just occasionally. And I know there are some runners around here. I mean, I see them while I’m out running! ๐Ÿ˜„

    I really do love this race though. That was the whole reason I even applied to be an ambassador for it. So far it’s probably one of the best races I’ve ever done! So even if I can’t get 4 more people to register I’m still going to do it! I still can’t get over how awesome the aid station volunteers were last year. They were literally THE BEST! So I’m very excited to be doing this half marathon again this year! And with my dad, too! ๐Ÿ˜

    Anyway, at around 12:30 pm a very nice FedEx driver dropped off my Honey Stinger order! Yay!! A couple of days ago I did some restocking of my running fuel! Of course that meant Honey Stinger waffles!! They are my go-to running fuel. They also make good snacks. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So I got a box of my favorite flavor; chocolate. I’ve also been enjoying the lemon flavored waffles as well, so I got a box of those too. Plus a box of cracker n’ nut butter bars because yum!! ๐Ÿ˜‹ And a “variety pack” which is just a box of different flavors of waffles, a few chews, bars, and cracker n’ nut butter bars.

    Now I’ll be set on that front for a while. ๐Ÿ˜ Probably for at least most of the summer. Training for Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days: Take Two officially starts in a few months and I definitely want to be ready for that! ๐Ÿ˜„

    And speaking of that, guess who I’ve officially convinced to take on this challenge with me?!?!

    Hahaha yup! It’s official! My dad is signed up for both races and is going to tackle them with me! Yay!! We have lots of fun racing together! Actually, at this point everything single race I’m doing this year I’ll be doing with him. That is unless I end up registering for another race, but right now that’s kinda unlikely. It’s all good though! Two half marathons, one 10k, and one 5k is more than I’ve done in other years.๐Ÿ˜„

    Alrighty! That’s all for today! Just an exciting mail day. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Happy Wednesday!

    ~Ashley

    Desert Rats 10k Race Recap

    Better a little late than never right?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’ve been trying to sort through all of my thoughts on this race, but I still haven’t been able to pull them all together. I’m gonna try though! But this post might end up being s jumbled mess. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    I’ve also been waiting for the professional race photos to be posted onto Gemini Adventures’ website. Mission accomplished on that front! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜‰

    That being said, I still have a ridiculous amount of photos thanks to my dad. He’s become quite the shutterbug and we definitely stopped more than once just so he could take pictures. But I mean, I can blame him when the views from the course looked like this…

    Anyway, let’s recap this thing!

    So, the day before this race my dad and I drove about 5 hours from Longmont to Grand Junction, which was super close to Fruita, where the race was being held. We made a few stops along the way, including one stop to take around 3 hours to hike to and from Hanging Lake. I won’t go into all of that again since I’ve already written about that here. But I will say that whole adventure was super hard, fun, and beautiful. Not exactly something I’d recommend doing the day before a race, but I don’t regret it. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    After that adventure we made a stop for some burgers and then made our way to one of my dad’s drivers houses (my dad basically runs several FedEx terminals). He invited us to stay the night with him and his family so that we didn’t have to stay at a motel. That was super nice of him and he and his whole family were super welcoming and incredibly nice. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    I ended up getting to bed around 11 that night and I’m not sure when my dad finally made his way to bed. But we were up before the sun at 5 am Sunday morning. The guy we stayed with laid out breakfast for us the night before; a couple of water bottles, some instant oatmeal, bread, candy bars, and an invitation to anything in the fridge or pantry that we wanted. I definitely like oatmeal before a run though, so that’s what I stuck with. ๐Ÿ˜„ So we ate, got dressed, and loaded up our stuff into my dad’s van and then made our way to the staring line in Fruita.

    It only took us about a half an hour to get there. So we actually got there super duper early at around 6:30 am. The race didn’t even start until 8:30 am. ๐Ÿ˜‚ So we drove up this pretty gnarly Jeep trail. That was a bit iffy in my dad’s van. But it was fun.

    This was AFTER we made it back down the super iffy section of road we went up. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    We didn’t go too far though. There wasn’t a lot of parking for this race so we made our way back to the starting/finish area and snagged us an awesome parking spot.

    We sat in the van for a while. Talking, people watching, and sipping at water and nibbling on a few snacks. Packet pick up started at 7 am, so we got out our stuff right as they open up. Being some of the first people there definitely had its benefits! Along with our bibs and participation shirts, we also got buffs. They had a limited supply of them that were donated to them so not everyone got one. Hahaha I was pretty stoked though! Mine sure came in handy during the race. I wiped my nose on it more times than I can count. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    After we collected our things we stopped at the port-o-potties. There weren’t many of them but at this point it was still pretty early so no one was in line. Score!! ๐Ÿ˜ Hahaha after our business with the port-o-potties was taken care of we went back to the van to warm up because it was pretty chilly out that morning. And of course while we were there we pinned on our bibs and got the rest of our gear ready.

    Before we picked up our bibs we obviously needed to get a selfie with the starting line. ๐Ÿ˜„

    At about 15 minutes to the start time we shed our outer layers (and oh boy was that hard! It was still pretty chilly out! ๐Ÿ˜‚), strapped on our hydration packs, and made our way to the starting area. We also marveled at the line for the port-o-potties and we’re grateful that 1. We went when we did and 2. Didn’t have to go again. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    There was very little organization going on. Half marathoners were mixed in with the 10k-ers and as far as I could tell no one was really lined up according to pace. It wasn’t really a super big deal though because this was a really small race. Just several hundred people really. Those aren’t negatives though! Just facts. ๐Ÿ˜

    A race official counted us down but honestly we couldn’t hear him all that well, but it was kind of easy to tell when we were supposed to take off because everyone cheered and started moving forward. ๐Ÿ˜‚ So we took off down the trail, starting with a slight down hill that I definitely didn’t feel and sure didn’t notice until we had to climb up it on our way back to the finish line. ๐Ÿคฃ

    That downhill was short lived though! We began one of the bigger climbs of the race (and there were several) in the first few minutes. Those climbs KILLED me. My legs were actually pretty prepared for them thanks to the hill work I had done on my treadmill, but my legs were also sore sand tired from our hike the day before. And unfortunately that never went away… That wasn’t what actually killed me though. It was the elevation. Here in Kansas I’m just about 1,000 feet above sea level. I. Fruita Colorado we were at 5,000 feet and we gained around 600 feet getting up some of those hills. I’m sure that’s not a lot for you mountain runners out there, but for this flatlander who also happens to be exclusively a road runner it was TOUGH.

    Anyway, the first 1.5 miles were the hardest. I think. Hahaha honestly from this point on everything is a blur. The aide stations were each about a mile and 1/2 apart and that’s what I’m kinda basing everything on. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    So by the time we made it to the first aid station we were DFL (Dead Fucking Last). At least as far as the 10k-ers went. But considering how small the race was and all of the other circumstances that was pretty unsurprising. And honestly, not at all upsetting. I went into this thing just wanting to survive it and to have some fun. I knew it was going to slow going and I had put any kind of ego aside for this one.

    Anyway, the volunteers at the aide were all super awesome. We got many complaints on our Sloth Running Team t-shirts, and I got several laughs and sympathetic looks every time my dad told people I was from Kansas.

    Ps. Next time I do a trail race in Colorado I’m wearing a shirt that says “I’m from Kansas”. Just so everyone understands why I look and sound like I’m dying. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

    Anyway, the next 1.5 miles were much more rugged. There were loose rocks and the rail definitely got more technical. Honestly though I had so much fun on the harder (but more flat/downhill!) sections of the course. Having to chose you’re footing and trying not to trip over rocks was a lot of fun! And I was actually pretty good at it!

    You can definitely see the rocks in this photo, but there were more fun sections of the trail than this!๐Ÿ˜

    Now, if I remember correctly (and I probably don’t ๐Ÿ˜‚) pretty close to the next aide station and the half way point there was part we had to kinda scramble up! Oh man, that was hard! My poor lungs were just not doing well this less oxen than they’re used to. But we both made it up it. With lots of huffing and puffing on my part. ๐Ÿคฃ

    At the next aide station I took a little cup of tailwind to drink and a couple of Honey Stinger gels (score!!). I don typically like gels for fuel while running because they upset my stomach but I took some just incase. But at this point I was doing pretty well on just water and a Gatorade that I had stashed in my hydration pack.

    This side station was located on Pizza Overlook. Sadly they didnโ€™t have any pizza. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    After we left the second aide station is when we ended up running around the rim of the canyon (at least I’m pretty sure. Hahaha like I said. Everything is a blur. ๐Ÿ˜‚). Pictures will never do justice to how beautiful it actually was.

    After a few twists and turns we stumbled upon the one and only race photography. Shout out to him for sitting there and waiting for our DFL asses. ๐Ÿ˜‚ of course I had to be a total dork for my photo. But at the very least I was being a total dork during a super hard 10k with some incredible views! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

    On the way to the final aid station at about 4.3 miles were we’re blessed with some amazing downhills. The trail was still a little tricky but I picked it up quite a bit going down those hills (around 10 minutes per mile pace according to the one time I actually glanced at my Garmin ๐Ÿ˜‚). That was a ton of fun!! At this point we were starting to head back the way we came and the last aide station was also the very first aide station. We were also heading back up hill. Yuck. ๐Ÿคข๐ŸคฃBasically the whole last mile was uphill, with one super short down hill in the middle of it.

    The finish line was just on the other side of that hill on the left side of this photo.

    We crossed the finish line at the EXACT same time, cheering and holding hands! That was pretty cool! And according to the official results, we weren’t actually DFL. Hahaha neat! But also still, not a big deal. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Once we crossed the finish line we were handed our “medals” (really just a dog tag on a chain, but still super neat!), and made our way to the food tables were we got pancakes, fruit, coffee, and a few other things, although they did have quite a bit of other post race snacks as well. ๐Ÿ˜„ we found a nice place to sit and cheered on some of the first half marathoners to start running in.

    After we ate we went back to the van, wiped ourselves down with wet wipes and I changed my shirt (and managed to get out of my wet sports bra without showing any boobies to the world. ๐Ÿ˜‚). And then we started our 17 hour drive back to Kansas.

    So yeah. This was my first trail race ever. My first official 10k. The farthest I’ve ever run at 5,000 feet above sea level, and the slowest 10k/race I’ve ever done. It was hard. It was beautiful. And it was absolutely so much fun!!

    Apparently we’re doing the half next year. Hahaha we’ll see about that. ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

    But for now, the next race on the schedule is the Running With The Cows 5k on May 11th here in Kansas! I’m very excited about that!!

    Until next time,

    ~Ashley

    Hanging Lake, April 13th 2019

    Happy Marathon Monday!

    Who else spent most of the day keeping up with the Boston Marathon? ๐Ÿคš๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜‚

    Anyway, I am back home from Colorado! Yesterday my dad and I did our trail race in Fruita, Co (I’ll have a full race recap on that soon!) and then spent 16 or 17 hours on the road, making our way back to Kansas. And then eventually Illinois for my dad. Hahaha I’m very happy to say I get to stay home in Kansas. ๐Ÿ˜

    So, I’ve been busy, having lots of fun, and out of phone service for a while, so I haven’t really had a chance to write about our adventures in Colorado over the weekend. So I’m going to play a little bit of catch up the next few days.

    Friday was actually a pretty chill day. That Thursday was a lot of fun and while we didn’t do anything on Friday I’m actually pretty glad about that now. Saturday and Sunday were fun, busy, painful, and absolutely gorgeous.

    So our Saturday began with a 5 am wake up call. Fun! ๐Ÿ˜‰ My dad and I packed up his van and started making our way to Fruita from his apartment in Longmont for our trail race the next day. But of course we had to make several stops along the way. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    First we stopped in Genesee Park to check out a little herd of bison. Well, really we stopped along the side of the highway and walked over to the fence where the were for a few minutes.

    I’ve actually seen a bigger herd of bison in the Grand Canyon National Park back in 2014, but it was still fun to go see some more here. There was even a brand new baby which was cool! Only the one though, but we definitely saw some very pregnant bison.

     

     

     

     

    We stopped a few other places. Nothing too exciting though. Mostly just gas stations and little viewing areas along the highways. Going through Vail was pretty interesting though. We ended up going through a blizzard. My second blizzard of this trip. In a shitty little van that my dad and brother use mostly for work. ๐Ÿ˜‚ We made it through alright though.

    At about 1 pm we made it to our main stop for the day; Glenwood Canyon. A few weeks ago my dad hiked up the mile-ish (I think?) trail to Hanging Lake and he said I absolutely had to see it while I was there, so that was the plan for Saturday afternoon.

    It was actually snowing a little bit when we got there! And it continued to snow a little bit off and on for most of our hike up and eventually a little bit of the hike back down.

    So you start out on a little paved path, maybe about half a mile to the trailhead. At this point I was already feeling the elevation. Oh boy I had no idea what I was actually in for. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    So like I said, the hike up to Hanging Lake was around a mile, but it was hard, steep, icy and treacherous in places, and oh yeah, it was super hard! ๐Ÿ˜‚ It was fun and super pretty though.

     

     

     

    The trail started off super rocky, but eventually it turned into more dirt as you started to follow a creek (I’m not sure which creek that would be and I’m too lazy to look it up. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Then the farther we went up the more ice/snow was on the trail. Luckily my dad has some tracktion that we put on our boots and that helped us out a lot. But we saw a lot of people who weren’t as prepared and they were slipping and sliding all around. On our way down we actually saw a dude who fell on the ice and broke his leg. He was ok, he had several people in his group taking care of him and the rescue team was on his way to get to him.

     

     

     

    Anyway, did I mention how freaking hard this climb up was?!? Haha oh man, it seemed to take us FOREVER. But the the trail was super pretty and we had a hydration pack and lots of snacks, so at least there was that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

     

     

     

    I think it took us close to two hours to hike up the trail to Hanging Lake. It was a tough hike. Especially for someone from Kansas who isn’t used to being at 8,000 feet above sea level, let alone doing hard hiking at that kind of elevation. Once we finally made it to the lake though, man, words can’t even describe how amazing it was! Photos barely even do it justice. But wow. Once I saw that lake, it was totally worth it!

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    We hung out there for a while. We ate some snacks and made a few friends. Yeah, I know, I know, you’re not supposed to feed the wildlife. But theses little guys were so unafraid of people, so they obviously get fed all of the time. Hahaha we actually got pretty much everyone who was up there with us feeding the chipmunks. It was so funny. Everyone was sharing snacks, pointing out where our little friends were, taking pictures for each other, and just smiling and laughing with a large group of mostly strangers. So in a weird way, breaking the rules brought a bunch of people together that day!

     

    After sharing our snacks with our new friends, we hiked out just a little bit farther to Spouting Rock. That was super duper neat! We took some pictures for this group of women so they took some pictures of us. You guys, if you ever need to be reminded that people are generally good, hike somewhere. Or run a race. But we’ll get to that later. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Okey dokey, after seeing Spouting Rock we began our hike back down. Oh boy going down was a lot easier, especially once we got past the slippery ice/snow. We even did a little bit of running! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hahaha so we got down A LOT faster than it took us to get up. The downhill was much more enjoyable.

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    So we hung out at near the trail head for a little bit. Mostly just looking at wildflowers. But my dad actually found a pair of Lululemon leggings crumpled up in the weeds. Why the heck you’d get rid of a pair of expensive leggings like that I’ll never know, but we took them and I’m pretty sure they’ll fit me. So yeah, hiked up to Hanging Lake and obtained a pair of fancy Lululemon leggings. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    After we were done I was STARVING! So we went to s little restaurant in Glenwood Springs and got cheeseburgers. Holy cow! That was the best burger and fries I’ve ever had. Probably because I was so hungry. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    After we ate we drove about another hour to one of my dad’s driver’s houses. He invited us to stay there the night before our race so we didn’t have to stay at a motel. He was really nice as well as his whole family. We went out to ANOTHER restaurant to eat again ๐Ÿ˜‚, and then my dad and I showered and went to bed once we got back to their house. We had a another 5 am wake up for Sunday before our race.

    I’ll recap the race tomorrow probably. But for now, that’s it! We had lots and lots of fun on Saturday! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    I hope everyone had a great weekend as well!

    ~Ashley