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Thursday Things

Buckle in my friends, I have quite a bit of stuff to talk about today! Mostly involving fun fall stuff, but some running stuff too! πŸ˜‰ Including a fantastic #throwbackthursday photo from the start of the Longview Half last year. So, let’s get started!

Processed with Rookie Cam

I don’t think Luke really understands why I love this season, or really just the last few months of the year, so much. And honestly sometimes I’m not sure either. Well, aside from the fact that the best holidays happen in October, November, and December, my birthday is in November, the weather is fantastic, and everything just feels all warm and cozy and festive. So never mind, I’m totally sure! πŸ˜‰ But he’s a wonderful husband and is always making sure I get to experience all of the fun fall/winter related activities! Even if they seem ridiculously small and almost meaningless. Like baking pre-cut, Halloween sugar cookies (for real though, I think we can all admit that these are some of the best cookies ever!).

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So yeah, I’m not sure that he gets it. But he’ll still randomly show up after he gets home from work with things like this, and it makes me so ridiculously happy. It really is the little things in life you guys. πŸ™‚ Haha he also knows me incredibly well! While I was making them he asked how many raw cookies I ate. πŸ˜‚ The answer was 4. But come on, cookie dough is delicious and has anyone actually ever gotten salmonella from cookie dough anyway. πŸ˜‰

He also lets me decorate ALL OF THE THINGS!! Haha inside and outside! Although this is the first year we’ve actually had inside Halloween decorations. He even helps me pick out new ones and put them up! Haha but I’m not allowed on ladders (worlds biggest klutzs here!), so he kinda has to. πŸ˜‰ Anyway, so far our yard is looking pretty spooky! We’ve got a nice little graveyard set up (pictured below), spooky spider webs all over our trees, and several bats hanging around. We had ghosts hung up too, but the wind blew them down haha. We’re gonna fix that though. And Luke wants to figure out a better way to set up our lights. His mom sent us some really cool ones, but our house has no outdoor outlets, so setting up lights is always a pain in the ass. Good thing Luke’s got a degree in electrical design. πŸ˜‰

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He also tolerates me sending him ALL of the Halloween memes and our neighbor’s Halloween decorations. And by the way, some of my neighbors are totally KILLING it with their decorations! I love it! I also love that I’m not the only one who likes to go all out for Halloween. πŸ™‚ So far these are a few of my favorite houses. Haha actually, I talk to the guy who lives in the red/white house all of the time. He’s a really cool guy! He has two black labs that are always excited to see me and he always goes all out with Halloween and Christmas decorations. Obviously his blowups aren’t currently inflated, but they’re still really neat!

So yeah, I’m currently having ALL of the fall fun and my husband is THE BEST! πŸ‚πŸŽƒπŸ–€

Okey dokey then, lets talk about running stuff!

So, today’s run should have been fantastic! The weather was great, the leaves in my neighborhood are starting to change, everyone is starting to put up their Halloween decorations (haha the two photos above are actually from my run this morning), and I felt pretty great! Well, except for my right shin actually.

I am what most people would refer to as an β€œinjury prone runner”. A lot of that actually has to do with my klutzy-ness, but I also have notoriously weak hips. Which has caused me problems with my IT bands and shins. I’ve also had plantar facial issues, but that was from running in a pair of shoes that were waaay too supportive for my very high arches in my feet. πŸ™ƒ

Anyway, I was just beginning to think I might make it through this training cycle unscathed. I’ve been working on my hips and doing a pretty good job of keeping up with my recovery activities, but this morning my right shin/knee was feeling kind of off this morning… That’s actually super weird because it’s usually my left leg that’s the problem, but whatever. πŸ˜‚ So at first my stubborn ass thought I was just going to run through it and finish my 5 mile run as planned. I have a ridiculously high pain tolerance, so that was something I could have easily done. But the more I thought about it the more I realized I needed to stop. I’m obviously going to be better off taking care of what’s hopefully just a niggle and not a full blown injury before it gets any worse. I’m actually really good at being a lot more hurt than I think I am because of my crazy pain tolerance. So yeah, I made it 2.5 miles before I decided that those last 2.5 miles weren’t going to be worth it. πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Honestly though, I think whatever it is that I’ve done to myself happened on the treadmill yesterday. I legit can’t run properly on a treadmill. I thought that maybe I was starting to figure it out, but apparently not. I’m beginning to think treadmill running is actually a hazard to my health.

Processed with Rookie Cam

So I’ve spent the rest of the day resting my leg. I’m wearing my compression gear and did a bunch of stretching and foam rolling this afternoon. And I plan on taking tomorrow off too. I’m hoping that if I rest it and give it a little extra TLC that it will feel good enough to do my long run on Saturday. Possibly Sunday if it’s still feeling off on Saturday. But anyway, hopefully it’s just a little niggle from running weird on the treadmill.

Moving on, I’m super duper excited to announce that I get to be a part of the Honey Stinger Hive for the 3rd year in a row! πŸπŸ―πŸ’œ

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I’m sure by now a lot of you know that Honey Stinger waffles are my go-to running fuel! They’ve gotten me through 3 half marathons and most of my training! Along with their chews and new cracker and nut butter bars. Those things are amazing!

Of course I love the product, but what I really love is the community that Honey Stinger has created. Some of us are runners, cyclists, swimmers, hikers, surfers, snowboarders, golfers, the list goes on and on and on! But no matter how fast or slow, what sport or activity you participate in, what walk of life you’re in, whether you’re a stay at home mom, 9-5er, or a professional adventurer, you’re a complete beginner or are going pro, everyone is here for each other. Always positive. Always supportive. No one gets left out. And I just think that’s the bee’s knees. (See what I did there. πŸπŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚). So I’m very stoked that I have the privilege of representing this brand for another year. πŸ™‚

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Alrighty, as promised, the fantastic #throwbackthursday photo from last year…

Have you ever looked back through old race photos and thought to yourself “wow, I’m super photogenic!” Yeah, me neither. In all fairness though, getting your headphone placement just right is super important. Especially at the start of a race.

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I couldn’t remember if I’ve actually shared this photo on here or not, but I figure it’s too good not to. Haha I find candid race photos to be very amusing. And why not? It’s hard to look good for a camera when you’re focused on the task ahead. It makes for fun photos to look back on. At least I think so. πŸ˜‰

Whew! Alright! I’m pretty sure that covers everything for today!

I hope you have a great Thursday and the MOST fantastic fall!

~Ashley πŸŽƒπŸ–€

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Weekly Recap: September 24th-30th, 2018

This week was a little bit weird haha. We had plans and then those plans changed so my running plans changed. Then I spent several days being crazy sore from a strength workout I did on Monday. It was a whole thing haha. It was still a good week though. πŸ™‚

Monday:Β 

  • 6 miles
  • 35 minute strength workout

Whew! Monday was kinda hard, but oh boy was it good!! Started off the week with 6 fantastical miles! It was probably the best run I’ve had since spring. Which is crazy, but I’ve spent the whole summer just slugging along and trying to survive. But now that the weather has been getting better running is a lot more enjoyable! πŸ™‚ Anyway, the plan for Monday was a actually 5 miles, but I ended up doing 6 because I’m an overachiever. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

After my run I did workout #1 from this week’s plan from The Fit Collective. So, this workout had 8 moves and for the first set you did 10 reps of each move, then for the second set you did 9 sets, then 8, and so on and so forth until you got down to 1 rep of each move. I’ve never done a workout like that before and I thought it was a lot of fun! And hard too haha. By the time I was done and was exhausted! But in a good way. πŸ˜‰

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Tuesday:

  • rest day

Tuesday ended up being an impromptu rest day, for a few good reasons. πŸ˜‰

So Luke and his dad play Call Of Duty online together almost every night and they talk over their headsets. Luke’s dad mentioned that he was off of work on Friday and planned on taking his boat out and going fishing, so Luke decided that we were going to drive to Illinois on Thursday so that he could go with him. So I decided to switch around my running scheduled a little bit, just to ensure that my long run for this week gets done. I thought about doing it on Thursday, but then I figured Wednesday was probably a safer bet, so that’s what I decided to do.

That’s how Tuesday became a rest day, but honestly I’m kinda glad that I decided to take the day off. My hips and quads were crazy sore after my workout on Monday! In a good way, but still, trying to run on my legs as they were probably wouldn’t have been very pleasant.

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Wednesday:

  • 20 minutes of yoga

I obviously didn’t end up doing my long run on Wednesday. My legs were still super crazy sore. It’s been pretty bad, really. πŸ˜‚ But luckily (kinda) we’ve had another change of plans. Luke’s dad is going to be busy of Friday and isn’t planning on going fishing anymore. So not so lucky for Luke, but it is kinda good for my sore legs! Now they have a few more days to recover for my long run. πŸ™‚ I spent Tuesday and Wednesday night rolling and using my self massage tools to help my legs out as well. I’m in love with my little rollga activator! That thing is awesome!

Thursday:

  • 3 miles
  • Halloween decorating!

So the only downside to the weather being super nice is that I tend to get a little bit excited and then end up going a little bit too hard haha. My plan for Thursday was to do 3 easy miles, but that obviously didn’t happen. I had a lot of fun though. πŸ™‚

Earlier this week my mother-in-law mailed me some Halloween decorations and they got here on Thursday! So I spent most of the afternoon decorating. Fun times! πŸ™‚ πŸŽƒπŸ‚πŸ˜„

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Friday:

  • Rest Day

Kinda haha. Luke and I were very busy on Friday. We went to Sam’s Club. Hobby Lobby. On The Border for Lunch. Walmart. Barnes and Noble. Tractor Supply. And Aldi for groceries. We put up more Halloween decorations. Started prepping the chickens for the colder weather. Busy busy busy.

So we went to Hobby Lobby for more fun fall stuff. And we did find some, but they had a piss ton more Christmas stuff than Halloween/Thanksgiving/fall stuff. It was kinda disappointing. But oh well. We ended up with a couple of really nice candles and new art thing for the kitchen, bandannas for the dogs, among other fun Halloween things. As for the chickens, we put up another tarp on the side of the coop to help keep the wind from blowing in and it should help hold a little bit of heat in. Winchester helped. πŸ˜‰

Saturday:

  • 13 miles

Wow, this run…A lot of stuff happened during this run haha. This was the longest run I’ve done in a while and for the most part it went really well! πŸ™‚

The first two miles were a little bit rough. Not gonna lie, that made me a little bit nervous, but around mile 3 I started feeling better and by mile 5 I started having a lot of fun. The last 2-3 miles were pretty tough, but not unmanageable. That’s probably the best part about long runs. A lot can happen and a lot can change. And a lot of times it changes for the better. πŸ™‚ Anyway, my town’s fall festival was on Saturday, so there were a piss ton of people out and about. First people were heading to the parade rout and then after that they were making their way to the park for the rest of the fall festivities, so during the parade I made my way to the town cemetery and the outer part of my town so that I could avoid a lot of the commotion haha. That ended up working out pretty well for me. For the most part I missed the migration from the parade route to the park.

At some point during this run the mail came and so did my Gobbler Grind in training tank top. So of course I had to change into it haha. I like to stop at my house every 2-3 miles to get a drink, eat a little something, and pee if I have to. So during one of those little breaks I got the mail and ended up changing. πŸ˜‰

The weather was pretty spectacular during my long run! It started out in the high 40’s but it felt colder than that and it was cloudy for pretty much the whole thing. It was great!

Ummm I guess that pretty much everything from this run haha. I feel like I might be missing a few things, but at the very least that covers most of it.

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Sunday:

  • Rest Day

Alrighty! So Saturday was the longest run I’ve ever done in a half marathon training cycle. I’m hoping to keep that trend going for the next couple of weeks though. πŸ˜‰ Since I’ve done this several times now I figure it well past time for me to start increasing my long runs. Yesterday’s went really well and surprisingly I feel pretty good today! I’m feeling slightly dehydrated, but nothing too crazy and a little bit achy, but I’ve felt a lot more sore after shorter long runs. So that’s been a pleasant surprise! I also feel like it confirms the fact that I should definitely be increasing my long runs. πŸ˜‰

Total Weekly Mileage: 22.11

I was aiming for a little bit more than that, but still not bad considering I was so sore I could hardly walk and my plans got switched around a few times haha. All in all it was a good week though. πŸ™‚

I hope everyone had a good week as well! Happy last day of September and I hope your October is wonderful!

~Ashley

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Weekly Recap: August 20th-26th, 2018

This week I’ve been feeling like I might be coming down with a cold, but then I’ve never actually gotten one. It’s been pretty obnoxious. It hasn’t stopped me though! Slowed me a down a little, sure, but I’m still trucking!

Currently just taking things week by week and day by day, and not trying to worry about the runs I’ve done or the runs that I have to do. It’s a lot easier getting through workouts when you’re not super aware of the run you did the day before haha. At this point in my training I’m having fun (despite not feeling that great this week), but I guess it hasn’t really hit me that I’ve got a new, big challenge coming up. Right now I’m not in the least bit worried about my two half marathons in two days. But I’m sure that’ll change once we start getting closer and closer to the race days! But for now, everything is going pretty well and I’m not stressing over anything. πŸ™‚

Monday:

  • 3 easy miles
  • 30 minutes of strength training
  • 25 minutes of yoga

Kicked off week 5 of half marathon training with 3 easy miles, on a chilly, drizzly morning! It was great! Haha I’m always much more enthusiastic about running when it’s not hot and sunny outside. πŸ˜‰ Followed my run with some strength work and then yoga later in the day.

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Tuesday:Β 

  • 2 miles

I was a lot less enthusiastic about my run on Tuesday. The plan was to do an interval workout and to do 4 miles, but obviously I only ended up doing half of that. I just wasn’t feeling it, but hey, it happens. And at the very least, I still ran. That’s always better than not running at all. πŸ™‚

Also probably should have done some yoga or stretching or something on Tuesday. But enthusiasm to do anything was super low haha. But I did completely clean out my chicken coop, so there is that.

Oh and for some reason my mom asked me to send her pictures of all of my tattoos. Haha it started out with my Green Day one (which she hates πŸ˜‰ ), and then she wanted to see the rest of them. Not sure what that was about, but now I have recent photos of all of them. Why is it so hard to take good photos of tattoos? Haha I swear the all look better in real life. Also, I definitely need more.

Wednesday:Β 

  • 5 miles

I was much more enthusiastic about running on Wednesday! The weather was still pretty nice out, not too hot out and pretty cloudy. πŸ™‚ Had a lot more fun doing these 5 miles than I did doing the 2 on Tuesday.

Even though my run was fun I was still feeling pretty bleh though. I needed to do some strength work but obviously I didn’t. Meh, at least I still ran though. πŸ™‚

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Thursday:Β 

  • rest day
  • 15 minutes of foam rolling

I was hoping a rest day would beat my bleh feeling. Originally the plan was to have Thursday be a cross train day, but I skipped that. It was rainy out pretty much all day though. My favorite!! So I ended up taking Dean for a nice little walk in it. Haha we both like the rain. πŸ™‚

But anyway, Thursday night I made a last minute decision to switch around my long run and hill workout this week, because it was supposed to get really hot again over the weekend, and at this point we all know I ain’t about that life. So at 9:45 on Thursday night I started rushing around getting everything ready to do a long run on Friday.

Friday:

  • 8 miles
  • 15 minutes of foam rolling

So, I made a very rookie mistake during this run. I didn’t drink enough water before or during this run, I didn’t fuel during it at all, and I didn’t have any kind of electrolyte replacement. All things I need to do during summer long runs. Especially particularly hot and humid ones. Friday wasn’tΒ tooΒ hot, but it was really humid (97%) and hazy out. Haha you can even see how hazy it was in the photo below. And it’s not edited or filtered in any way.

The plan was to do 10 miles, but obviously that didn’t happen. Totally my fault. Like I said, should have fueled and hydrated better. At about mile 6 I felt like I was dying. Luckily mile 6 happened at about a mile away from my house, so I had to keep going to get back there haha. When I did I grabbed some cash and ran to Casey’s (which is just around the corner from my house) and got a Body Armor and oh boy did I need it! I downed it really fast once I had made it back home, and I felt a lot better afterwards. It was hot and sunny out and I didn’t feel like heading back out the door, so I hopped onto the treadmill. I made it another mile, but that was all I had left in me. So didn’t make it to 10 miles, but I got close. I know I would have made it if I would have actually fueled and hydrated properly. Oh well. 8 miles on a really humid and hot day basically counts for 10 anyway. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

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Saturday:Β 

  • 3 miles, hills
  • like 3 hours of bowling

Getting up and doing this run after my hard, depleted feeling long run was, well, hard. πŸ˜‚ I was tired from the long run and the thought of doing a hill workout wasn’t very pleasant. I did it though! On the treadmill. I had actually decided earlier this week that I wanted to do this run on the treadmill. Since I don’t have many big hills near by, at least ones that take 5-10 minutes to run up, that makes the logistics of running up a hill for 8 minutes (the plan for Saturday. 3 times.) a little bit difficult. So the treadmill is a great option for that!

Anyway, it was hard. My legs were tired, but I got it done!

Then last night Luke and I went out with his brother and his girlfriend. That was fun, but we really need to find something to do other than bowling. Sure it’s fun, but we were there for 3 hours and it got really boring after a while…

Sunday:

  • rest day
  • 15 minutes of foam rolling

As usual, Sunday’s are my rest days! I’ve been pretty tired today. Probably because of my long run/hill workout, and then staying out late last night. Plus alcohol haha. So it’s been nice doing nothing all day. Today I’ve just kicked back, relaxed, and let my work from the week seep in. 😁

Total Weekly Mileage: 21.10

Not bad considering that I cut a couple of runs short! Besides, I wanted to take this week a little bit easier anyway, so mission accomplished! Still feeling a little bleh and tired, but hopefully that will get better soon. Also hoping that the weather starts cooling down again. But we’re getting close to the end of August and to the beginning of fall, so maybe it will. πŸ™‚

But for now, I will wish you a happy Sunday because that pretty much covers everything from this week!

~Ashley

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Long Run and a Hill Workout

Well, we’re back to this again…

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I got really spoiled by the really nice weather we had last weekend and earlier this week. But all good things must come to an end and the cooler, rainy weather did yesterday. Bummer. But we’re getting really close to the end of August and the first day of fall is about a month away, so hopefully the summer weather wont be around for much longer!!

Anyway, now that it’s all hot and gross out again, I really regret not running on Thursday haha. I took a rest day because I was tired, but oh man I should have just sucked it up and gone for a run anyway. It rained almost all day and it wasn’t crazy hot out. I did take a nice long walk with Dean though. That was nice. We like the rain. πŸ™‚

 

So since we are getting closer and closer to fall, I’ve been keeping and eye on the weather like a crazy person, just hoping and praying that we’ll start getting little hints of fall soon and that summer doesn’t hang around for too long haha. Since I’ve been doing that I knew that this weekend was supposed to be really hot and humid again. So on Thursday night I made kind of a last minute decision to do my long run on Friday, instead of on Saturday like I usually do. So at like, 9:45 that night (which is only 15 minutes before we go to bed haha) I started rushing around and getting stuff ready to go for the next morning. I like to have my coffee maker prepped, have an idea what I’m going to eat for breakfast, and my gear all in one place, the night before my long runs. Any other run I don’t make this much of an effort to prep for, but I like to be ready for when I run long haha.

The plan for this week’s long run was 10 miles but that didn’t happen. I got pretty close though. While the weather on Friday was still better than it was today, it was crazy humid, hazy, and hot out. And I made the really bad mistake of not drinking enough water before or during my long run, I didn’t fuel during my run, and I had no form of electrolyte replacement. Those are all things I need to function during summer long runs, so by mile 6 I felt like I was dying.

Luckily mile 6 happened when I was about a mile away from home, so I got to close to 7 by the time I made it back and once I did I grabbed some cash and ran to Casey’s (it’s less than a block away from my house), bought a couple of Body Armor’s (it’s my new favorite sports drink! So much tastier than Gatorade), ran back home, and proceeded to chug one whole bottle of my sports drink. Oh man, looking back now, it’s a really good thing I went back home when I did. I don’t think it would have ended up well for me if I didn’t. Anyway, I really didn’t want to go back outside after that, so I hopped on my treadmill and did a little over a mile. Just enough to hit 8 miles for the day, and then I called it quits. There’s not doubt in my mind that I would have been able to finish out 10 miles if I would have hydrated and fueled better, but hey, we all make mistakes. And 8 miles in the heat and humidity almost counts for 10 anyway. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

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You can literally see how hazy it was in this photo. It’s not edited or filtered or anything. Gross…

While I didn’t quite accomplish my goal yesterday, I’m still glad I decided to switch my long run and hill workout. It was even hotter out today, without a single cloud in the sky, and of course we had another heat advisory. But earlier this week I had already decided that I was going to do this week’s hill workout on my treadmill. It’s actually super convenient because I don’t have any hills nearby that take me 6 or 8 or however many minutes my training plan calls for me to run up, so the treadmill kinda solves that problem! The only downside to doing a hill workout on the treadmill is that there is no downhill haha. I like the reward of being able to coast downhill after a hard climb up, but on a treadmill the most you get is totally flat. Which still isn’t bad, I just think running downhill is fun.

Anyway, I’m not sure if I killed this workout or if this workout killed me. Every inch of my body was dripping with sweat by the time I was done. It was pretty darn hard, especially after my run yesterday, but I still feel like I crushed it!

 

Afterwards while I was laying on the floor with my legs up on the wall my doorbell rang and I answered looking like this…

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Sweaty, smelly, and wearing clothes that did not match at all because I threw on the nearest shirt I could find before I opened the door. Haha it ended up being one of the election candidates for the Kansas House of Representatives. I guess she was going door to door to talk to people today and while she gave me her whole spiel she kept looking at me like I was a crazy person. It was pretty freaking hilarious. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Honestly when I went to answer the door I figured it might be one of my neighbors. One of them currently has his truck parked in our driveway because he’s re-doing his, so I thought he might want to ask if his cousin who’s there helping if he could park his truck in our driveway too, or something like that. He know’s I’m a runner and is very used to seeing me run around the neighborhood and being a sweaty mess so I didn’t really thing anything of it but nope, it was someone out campaigning. Haha I thought it was really funny though. I don’t think she expected someone that gross to open the door.

Oh man, sometimes it’s just little things like that that make life great. πŸ™‚

Anyway, earlier this week the wonderful people at Rollga sent me one of their Rollga foam rollers and their Activator thing, and those got here on Thursday. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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You can check out Rollga’s website here!Β 

I did a little bit of rolling with them that day, but I’m thinking I’m going to get super duper acquainted with them tonight! I could really use it!! Plus not gonna lie, even though I’ve only used it once at this point, I think this might be the best foam roller I’ve ever used! I really like the way the groves in in kinda cradle your muscles. It’s fantastic. I haven’t exactly figured out the Activator yet, but I’m gonna work on it!! It looks like it might end up being pretty darn useful.

(Friendly reminder that I’m not trying to brag or anything, but I did get these recovery tools for free. I’m not getting paid or anything and wasn’t obligated in anyway to talk about or promote them though, so I really do mean what I say. Just trying to be 100% transparent and real here. πŸ™‚ )

Anyways, I hope you’re having a great weekend!

Until next time,

~Ashley

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Weekly Recap: July 23rd-29th, 2018

The first week of training for Operation Two Half Marathons in Two Days is done!! I think it went really well and all-in-all it was a great way to kick off this training cycle! Now hopefully the next 15 weeks will go just as well. πŸ˜‰ We’ll just have to wait and see about that, but at this point I’m super stoked and motivated to be training and working towards a new goal! πŸ™‚

Monday:

  • 3 easy miles
  • 30 minutes of strength work

Started off the week with 3 easy miles, followed by 30 minutes of strength work! Right now I really want to focus on getting stronger! I think that’s going to be really important to help get me across both finish lines on November 10th and 11th and will hopefully help reduce my likely hood of getting injured. I feel like I’m going to need all of the help I can get in that department haha. But anyway, for the most part Monday’s run was good, but uneventful. πŸ™‚

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Tuesday:

  • 2 “steady” miles

In the past when my training plans have called for steady runs, I usually just ignore the steady part haha. I’m not very good at holding a steady pace. In fact, that’s probably one of my biggest weaknesses as a runner. But instead of ignoring that this time, I took my run onto the treadmill instead! Because as long as you don’t mess with the speed on the treadmill too much, it pretty much forces you to run at a steady pace haha. But the thing is, I usually do interval stuff on the treadmill because constantly changing up the pace helps fight off the boredom of running on a treadmill. But I did manage to make this run a steady one and hopefully got a little bit stronger mentally by sticking it out at one pace on the treadmill haha. πŸ™‚

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Wednesday:

  • 5 easy miles
  • 30 minutes of yoga

So on Tuesday night I went to Luke’s softball games and ended up staying up a little too late, so I wasn’t too thrilled about having to wake up early on Wednesday morning. Getting out of bed and eating breakfast was hard. Getting dressed and getting out of the door was hard. But once I managed that things got considerably more easy. πŸ˜‰ Then later in the afternoon I did a really nice yoga session. I didn’t realize how tight my body actually was until I got onto my yoga mat haha. But at least I did something about it and I ended up feeling pretty good afterward!

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Thursday:

  • rest day

Thursday was actually supposed to be another strength day, but I was sore and tired and kinda had a feeling that if I did do a workout that my run the next day wouldn’t go as well. So I ended up sleeping in a little bit, I got to slow down and really enjoy my breakfast that morning. Then I worked on some blog posts, cleaned up around the house a little bit, did a little more yoga in the afternoon, and spent the rest of my day reading and relaxing. πŸ™‚ There was a time when I would feel kind of guilty for not doing much of anything for a day, but rest is most definitely part of the program!! Not too long ago Alexi Pappas did a live stream on her Instagram account and said something to the affect of “days off are like allowing your body to marinate in you’re hard work”, and compared it to letting a steak marinate in the fridge for a day. For some reason that really got through to me and now I’m trying to take my off days more seriously and giving my training seep into my body a little bit more and not feel guilty that I “didn’t do anything that day” or didn’t hit my step goal or whatever.

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Friday:

  • 2 easy miles
  • about 10 minutes of strength work

My training plan called for a fartlek on Friday, but I didn’t really feel like doing a fartlek. That just didn’t sound like fun. So instead I just did a couple of easy miles. Noting fancy but it felt good! Followed that with a very very small amount of strength work, but I figure a little bit is better than nothing at all!

Then on Friday night we helped some friends move (more strength work? πŸ˜‰ ) and then went out to dinner with them. We ended up staying out later than we’d planned, but it was a good time. πŸ™‚

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Saturday:

  • 8 miles

Getting out of bed on Saturday morning was hard. It seems like no one in my life understands my need for sleep haha. I just don’t feel great if I don’t sleep for 8 hours a night. Luke thinks I’m just being a baby, but damn it I need to sleep! Haha anyway, I ended up getting up a little bit later that I would have liked, butΒ it was cloudy and in the 70’s today, so I wasn’t too worried about it. It did start warming up more towards the end of my run, but at least I didn’t end up having to run in 80 or 90 degrees. That would have sucked! But all in all it was a pretty decent run and I had a pretty decent time doing it. πŸ™‚

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Sunday:

  • rest day

Since Sunday was a day off of running I took all three dogs out for walks. One at a time though haha. If I take more than one at a time they gang up on me and will drag me around town, chasing every squirrel we see! So while walking the dogs I was also playing Pokemon Go. Mostly catching pokemon, but I also battled and took over a gym. Now this has been kind of an ongoing thing, but there’s this guy in my town who always goes around taking over the gyms. He’s super annoying and a higher level than pretty much everyone else in my town, so today I made it my mission in life to keep him out of the gym closest to my house. Every time he’d take it over, I’d go over there and take it back. 3 times I took that gym from him. It was great hahaha! Luke even helped me take over a few gyms from him when he got home from work, but my main objective was to keep that one from him and I feel I was very successful that that. So yeah, that’s how I spent most of my day. πŸ˜‰

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Total Weekly Mileage: 20.12

Not exactly where I wanted to be at this point in the year, but I’ll take it! I feel like I’m off to a pretty good start for my training! This week was a good one, but there’s still a lot more work to be done! I’m excited to see what I can get done next week and throughout this entire training cycle!

Your currently very motivated runner friend,

~Ashley

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Ashley’s Tips For Surviving Summer Running

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Ah, summer. For some the thought of summertime brings up wonderful thoughts of days at the beach, road trips, ice cream, fireworks, fun in the sun, and relaxation. Not me though. While those things are fun in their own right, I’m a self-proclaimed cold weather person and I don’t particularly enjoy the summer months. The thought of summertime makes me think of super early mornings, that gross feeling of your thighs sticking to a chair on a warm summer day, getting third degree burns while trying to buckle your seat belt in a boiling hot car, and of course hot, slow, miserable runs, feeling like I’m drowning in my own sweat, and bugs. So. Many. BUGS!!

Haha alright, alright, I’m a bit melodramatic, I can admit that. I can also admit that summer running does have its perks and sometimes it can be down right enjoyable! Still though, I can’t wait for fall to get here. πŸ˜‰ But since summer is in full swing and we’ve got a while before fall blesses us with its wonderful presence, I thought it would be a good time to talk a little about surviving summer runs. It can be a little tricky sometimes! But these are my tips for making running in hot, humid weather, more bearable! πŸ™‚

1. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you could ever do for your body! Dehydration can cause a slew of unpleasant side effects such as feeling tired and sluggish, headaches, dizziness, and rapid heart rate. Yeah, that’s not a good way to feel in general, but side effects like that can make running an absolutely miserable experience, so staying hydrated is a must!! And not just before your run either. When the weather is hot you sweat a lot more and that dehydrates you pretty quickly, so it’s usually a good idea to take in some fluids while you run too. Water is always a fantastic option, but if you’re like me and sweat super salty, or are planning on doing a hard workout or are just going to be running for more than an hour sipping on a sports drink to replace electrolytes might be a good idea as well.

As for when and how much you should be drinking on a run, well, that’s going to vary from person to person. I generally like to take a few sips of water and maybe a sports drink if it’s particularly hot or if I’m going longer around every 2-3 miles. But that’s just what works for me. You’ll have to do a bit of experimenting to find what works for you.

A good way to gauge your hydration is actually your urine color! If it’s a darker yellow (think apple juice) then you need to drink more. If it’s a nice pale yellow you’re probably adequately hydrated. If it’s completely clear then you might be overdoing it on water and might need some electrolytes as well. Now more likely than not, when you finish a run your urine is probably going to be a dark yellow. That’s perfectly fine! Just make sure you drink enough to get it back to a pale yellow as soon as you can. I’m always weirdly proud when my urine is just the right color hahaha.

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My long run necessities.

2. Dress Appropriately

What you wear can make a really big difference on how you feel! In the summer its best to opt for light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, made with a breathable, moisture wicking material. When it’s really hot shedding as much clothing as you’re comfortable with and the law allows (as far as I know, most states in the US frown upon displaying your more intimate bits in public πŸ˜‰ ) can also help keep you cool.

The goal in the summer is to keep sweat and excess body heat moving away from the body and everything mentioned above will help with that. Tight fitting clothes can can actually trap in some heat and cotton material gets weighed down with sweat and doesn’t breathe the way moister wicking material does. That can leave you feeling more hot and even a little weighed down. Plus that can cause all kinds of uncomfortable chafing and blisters. Take it from someone who accidentally wore a pair of cotton socks on a hot summer day, moister wicking material is important! I’ve literally never made that mistake again haha.

3. Wear sunscreen

I’ve heard several conflicting things about sunscreen; That it prevents your body from absorbing as much UV rays and therefore keeping you marginally cooler. Or that it can block your sweat glands and prevents you from sweating as much and therefore making you retain more heat. Now I’m not sure if either of those things are true, but what I do know is that sunburn sucks. Protect your skin. Wear sunscreen.

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In 2013 Luke and I went on vacation in Florida. On our second day there we spent the whole day at the beach. I told him he needed to put on sunscreen but he didn’t listen. He spent the rest of the week we were there in a lot of pain. Seriously, WEAR SUNSCREEN!!

4. Wear A Hat

Hats have become one of my all-time favorite pieces of running gear. I started out my running career as a headband girl, but that quickly changed once I learned just how versatile and useful hats are! Now I rarely run without one. In the summer hats with a mesh back are probably your best option. That will allow some heat to escape while keeping your face nice and shaded (and in my case it also helps keep my hair out of my face and mouth. πŸ˜‰ ). Visors are also a good choice for the summer, but if you wear one you one really be able to do #5 on this list.

5. Put Ice In Your Hat

Obviously the logistics of this one can be a little tricky, but if you’re running near home, have the ability to stop at a gas station/restaurant/store, or have an awesome person supporting you on a run or who is willing to meet you somewhere, putting a few ice cubes in your hat can be a real life saver!!! It cools you off pretty quick but since it takes the ice a little bit to melt it can help keep you a little bit cooler for longer than just dumping water in on your head. Although in a pinch, dumping water on your head is also refreshing! It doesn’t keep you as cool for as long though, that’s why I prefer ice! Another good place to stick a few ice cubes is in your sports bra! Cool boobs are happy boobs, that’s what I always say! πŸ˜‰ Hahaha ok, I’ve never actually said that, but a few ice cubes in the sports bra when it’s crazy hot out is also nice way to cool off a bit. πŸ™‚

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6. Run In Shade If You Can

Never underestimate the cooling effects of running in the shade!! It can feel around 10-15 degrees cooler in the shade. Not because it’s actually cooler or anything, the temperature is still the same, but while in the shade you get hit with less solar radiation and therefore don’t feel as hot. It also might help you avoid getting a sun burn, but you shouldn’t have to worry about that, because you’re wearing sun screen, right? πŸ˜‰

But anyway, planning a route with some nice, tall trees can be a life saver on a hot day, when the sun isΒ out!

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7. Get Out Before The Sun

Did you know on a hot summer day asphalt can get up around 140 degrees?? That’s why it’s usually not safe to walk your dog on in when it’s hot out, but that’s another post for another day. πŸ˜‰ But you know what happens to the heat the asphalt absorbs on hot days? It reflects it right back up. So imagine this; your out running on a hot summer day, it’s about 85 degrees out, the sun is shining directly on you, and the asphalt is just reflecting even more heat back up at you. Doesn’t sound too pleasant, right? So the solution to this little problem is to get out before the sun comes up and heats up the asphalt. Which unfortunately requires waking up pretty early haha. Don’t get me wrong, running has turned me into a morning person, but like, a 6:30-7:00 kinda morning person. Waking up around 4:30-5:00 am is justΒ too muchΒ morning, ya feel me? πŸ˜‰ It’s usually worth it on a hot summer day though. Running at 5 in the morning is a lot more comfortable than running at 5 in the afternoon, after the suns been out all day and the asphalt is burning hot. Plus you’re usually greeted with some pretty amazing sunrises!!

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8. Slow Down

I know this is something that a lot of people don’t want to hear, but when it’s really hot and humid out one of the best things you can do is slow down. Maybe even take walking breaks if you have to. I know runners are constantly striving to better themselves and get discouraged when they feel like they’re working really hard but their paces don’t reflect that. Well Ashley is here to tell you that that’s ok!! The heat can really slow you down and if you’re not careful you can easily end up overheating. Heat exhaustion is no joke! So stay safe out there. Slow down. Don’t over exert yourself and end up sick or injured. Summer is the perfect time of year to focus on running by feel instead of running by whatever pace your GPS watch is reading. I promise you’ll end up feeling better when your run is done, and once the weather starts getting better you’ll be able to run faster again.

9. Be Aware Of Heat Exhaustion/Heat Stroke

Just as you must be wary of frost bite and hypothermia in the winter, you must be wary and know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Especially if you plan on being outside in the sun for long periods of time (and remember that it can happen in a short amount of time as well). This kind of stuff can and does happen, even to the most fit and prepared people, so I think it’s very important to know the symptoms and what to do if you, your running buddy, or some guy out mowing his yard, starts exhibiting said symptoms. THESE ARE SERIOUS CONDITIONS AND CAN TURN ANY RUN OR OUTDOOR ACTIVITY INTO A LIFE OR DEATH SITUATION!

Stay safe out there guys! The point is to enjoy running for as long in life as possible, not to push yourself so hard that you end up sick or in the hospital.

10.Β When Worst Comes To Worst, Stay IndoorsΒ 

You wake up early in the morning, before the sun is even out and get ready to run; you drink some water and enjoy a nice breakfast, apply a liberal amount of sunscreen, don your lightest colored, loose-fitting, dry fit tank top and shorts, your most favorite trucker hat, and bad-ass reflective sunglasses, you plan to stop back at your house every 2-3 miles for a sip of water and to cool down with some ice. You’re ready to roll! “But better check my weather app first” you think to yourself as your about to walk out the door, and are greeted with several alerts about the heat and air quality.

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You know you’re a heat sensitive person with asthma. Your also smart enough to know that sometimes running outside just isn’t worth it. Right??

Haha obviously that’s a situation I’ve found myself in several times in the almost 5 years that I’ve been running. And usually I am smart enough to know that running outside just isn’t worth it. There have been a few times I was not smart though and tried to run anyway. Luckily in those situations I’ve always ended up cutting my runs short after realizing I’d made a bad decision, and so far I’ve always managed to realize that well before I’d run into any serious trouble. Luckily for me, I’ve become a little more cautions about this kind of thing as I’ve gotten a little older and learned more about running and life in general.

The lesson here, my friends, is sometimes it’s just not worth it. If the weather is ever detrimental to your health or safety, it’s usually best to stay indoors. Maybe run on a treadmill instead, or do some laps in a pool, take a spin class, try out some yoga, or something. I know getting in your miles or doing certain workouts are important, but that’s never more important than staying healthy. There really are times when you’re better off doing nothing than risking injury, illness, or even death. Don’t risk your well-being on something as stupid as some arbitrary number of miles or a specific work out. It’s not worth it.

Alright, I know those last 2 points were kinda serious and I’m not trying to scare anyone off of summer running or anything. Summer running can be fun and has all sorts of benefits! I just think it’s important to keep those things in mind.

Enjoy your summer (or at least try to if you’re like me and dislike the heat haha), have fun, stay safe, and remember; summer miles bring fall smiles!

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Happy summer running, everyone!

~Ashley

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Weekly Recap: June 25th-July 1st, 2018

This week I’ve been insanely grateful for my new treadmill! It’s been another hot one here in Kansas; with a few thunderstorms, high humidity, and air quality warnings. So definitely not ideal running weather haha. I did manage to get out and do some outdoor running, but most of it was done on the treadmill this week. But with heat indexes around 105 degrees, there was no way I was going to be able to do much outside. So thank goodness for my treadmill! Because of it I was still able to get my running done this week! πŸ™‚

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This was just from Tuesday! Both alerts ended up getting extended!

Monday:Β 

  • 3 miles

It was actually relatively cool on Monday! I wasn’t about to waste that, so I hit the road that morning. We had some thunderstorms come through and even more that were nearby and that left the temperatures in the high 60’s in the morning. Not bad for late June!! The only downside was that those storms made it pretty darn humid! But I mean, it is summertime in the Midwest. It’s ALWAYS humid this time of year haha.

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Tuesday:Β 

  • 2 miles
  • 30 minutes strength training
  • 10 minutes stretching

71 degrees + 90% humidity = the poor man’s altitude training. Haha seriously! Summer running is no freaking joke and it actually does help your body create more red blood cells, similar to the way altitude training does! And knowing this, I decided to take this run outside as well. I kinda didn’t want to haha, but I figured it was so short there was really no reason for me not to. I was completely drenched in sweat by the time I was done though!!

Followed up my run with some strength training. My current goal is to get stronger and hopefully a little more injury resistant since I’m going to be running two half marathons in two days this November, so I’ve been fitting in a couple of strength sessions every week. Haha I can already see the difference in my tiny little biceps! Now that being said, my heals have been kinda hurting me. I know exactly why too, like, two weeks ago I think, I ran too far in a pair of shoes that were too worn out…oops. I had a similar problem when I had first started running by wearing a pair of shoes that were too supportive for my feet. So I’ve been working on getting my feet back to feeling well. Lots of calf and foot stretching, along with ice, and rolling my feet with one of those little massage ball things. Last time I had this issue it lasted a while. Hopefully that wont be the case this time, but we shall see.

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Wednesday:

  • 7 treadmill miles
  • 10 minutes stretching

Holy cow! I feel like this run was more exhausting on the treadmill that it would have been on the road! My goal was actually 8 miles but once I got to 7 I just couldn’t spend another minute on my treadmill. I like it, it’s a really nice treadmill, and I’m extremely grateful to have it because getting in 7 miles on Wednesday probably wouldn’t have happened. All day I was getting air quality alerts and excessive heat warning on my phone haha. But jeez louise running on the treadmill is hard! Like, I’m actually going slower, but it feels harder. I’m just awkward and not good at running on treadmills, I guess. I also felt kinda dizzy getting off the treadmill. Probably because I was moving, but not really moving, ya feel me? Oh and treadmill running is hopelessly boring. Watching Hulu helped, but still. Haha anyway, this was the longest run I’ve ever done on a treadmill and I was very glad to be done with it!

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Also, my latest Honey Stinger order came on Wednesday!! Since training for my half marathons on November 10th and 11th (yup, two half’s in two days. That’s slightly terrifying and a potentially bad decision on my part! I still haven’t gotten over that yet. 🀣) officially starts on July 22nd, so I figured now would be a good time to top off my Honey Stinger supply!! The sick new hat and Hive stickers were an added bonus that were just too good to pass up! πŸπŸ―πŸ˜„Β I’ve already put on of the stickers on my laptop. Now I just need to figure out what I want to do with the other 4 haha.

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Thursday:

  • 2 miles

The excessive heat warning continues with no end in sight… So on Thursday my run was done on the treadmill again. It was slow and unpleasant, but at least it got done. πŸ™‚

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Friday:

  • Rest Day
  • 40 minutes stretching

And a much needed one too! This heat just wears me out!! I did some stretching though and felt pretty good after that! πŸ˜„

Saturday:

  • 3.5 morning miles
  • 2 afternoon miles

Saturday was yet another hot and humid day. IΒ really didn’t want to run on the treadmill that morning though, so I decided to just take my run outside and see how far I could go until I felt like I was going to die. Apparently 3.5 miles was my limit haha. It felt good to get outside and run on the road though! πŸ™‚ Then a little later that afternoon I figured why not got for a total of 5 miles for the day and ended up running 2 miles on the treadmill, which obviously got me to 5.5 miles for the day. πŸ™‚

Sunday:Β 

  • Rest Day

Yesterday I was kinda thinking that I could run a mile or two to get my weekly mileage up over 20, but I got a little bit wine drunk last night and didn’t really feel like running today. πŸ˜‰Β Not like that’s a big deal or anything. Sunday’s are usually a rest day for me anyway, and since half marathon training starts later this month I might as well start getting into the habit of doing certain things on certain days. πŸ˜‰

So I didn’t run today, but I did do some walking. Last night in my slightly drunken state (haha I drank almost 2 bottles of wine, slightly may be a bit of an understatement. πŸ˜‰ ) I decided that I was going to start playing Pokemon Go again. So at midnight, slightly drunk, and all alone (because Luke was too busy playing Call Of Duty with his dad and brother), I walked like, 2 blocks to the civics center to hit a few Pokestops. And since I did that I decided I really wanted to start playing Pokemon Go again, so that’s what I’ve done today. Walked dogs and played Pokemon Go haha. It’s been kinda fun though. πŸ˜‰

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Total Weekly Mileage: 19.55Β 

Not bad considering the terrible weather!! This kinda stuff usually puts a damper on my running, but thanks to my treadmill I’ve still been able to get some miles in! πŸ™‚ Hopefully the weather will be a little better next week, but as of right now it doesn’t look like this heat is going to be letting up…

But anyway, happy first day of July!! I hope everyone has a safe and fun 4th of July!! We’ve currently got a few things planned so that should be exciting!

But that’s all for now!

Until next time,

~Ashley