Tag Archives: HSHIVE2017

Halfway Through The Streak, Two Year Blogging Anniversary, and A Few Other Things

Hello and happy Tuesday, friends!! 🙂

As of today I’m officially half way through the Runner’s World winter run streak! Yay!!

So the first two-ish weeks of running at least a mile every single day was tough. I was tired and sore and getting out of bed was basically a huge ordeal. But now, 20 days later, my body has adjusted feels pretty good! I’m not so crazy tired and I’m no more sore than I’d usually be. So that’s a nice change. 🙂

As long as I can keep this going through the Christmas eve/Christmas day adventures Luke and I will be having, since we’re driving to Illinois to spend time with our families, I definitely think I’m going to be able to finish this thing! Haha this is the 3rd year in a row that I’ve attempted it, so I’m pretty excited that I’m actually following through this year. 🙂 And as of right now I plan on finishing day 40 on New Year’s Day and then letting the streak die after that. It’s been pretty interesting overcoming all of the obstacles that life and the holidays have presented and still getting my runs in, but oh man streaking is hard haha. I don’t thing I’ll ever be the person who runs every single day for 10 years or something crazy like that, and I’m a-ok about that!

As for today’s run and running in general over the past week, well, it’s not been great… Ever since my brother in law came to my house followed by his nasty chemical trail of vape cloud grossness, I’ve been coughing, hacking, wheezing, and having trouble running. Ugh I swear vapes are worse than cigarettes and are an asthmatics worst nightmare. And my brother in law has his head shoved too far up his ass to care or even consider the fact that his actions effect other people.

Ugh whatever. Can’t do anything about it now… Just gotta wait and hope that it doesn’t take too long for my lungs to recover and then I should be good to go again. And at the very least I’ve managed to keep up with the streak.

Anyways, back to today’s run. Well, it sucked and part of that was definitely my own fault. Some of you might know that when I was 13 I had an “old fashioned” appendectomy. Apparently now a days they either use lasers to take it out (at least I think it was laser haha) and that only requires a very small incision. Or they just give you antibiotics in hopes that they wont have to take it out at all. But I guess none of that would have mattered for me, because mine ruptured, I almost died, it was a whole thing, and I guess that’s why they had to do it the “old” way. Anyways, since I lack an appendix I have trouble digesting certain things. Mainly sea food and most leafy greens. But this morning I decided to take a gamble on that and put some spinach in my smoothie. I thought maybe if it wasn’t just whole spinach leafs it might be ok. Apparently not…

I ended up spending all morning laid up on my couch with a VERY hot heat pack, because that’s the only thing that helps the terrible cramps I get. Yeah, I won’t be making that mistake again. I still managed to get in a slightly painful mile though, because I AM A BADASS!! Or just really dumb. Probably just really dumb haha. 😉 But that’s yet another thing that I’ve managed to overcome on this crazy streaking journey. If anything this is making me mentally stronger and that’s definitely something I need to work on!

So go me for getting my mile in! But now I’m going to end up feeling like shit all day haha. That always happens whenever I eat something I shouldn’t. And go figure the things I can’t eat are super healthy! Like, I can eat pretty much anything fried, that involves simple carbs, or covered in cheese, but I try to eat one of the healthiest vegetables ever and I end up in pain and feeling gross all day. Bodies are weird…

In other news, therunningrebel.com turns 2 today!

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That’s pretty freaking neat! Honestly I was really hesitant about starting a blog. I didn’t think I was interesting enough, or my story was good enough, or that I’m not a good enough runner so no one would be inspired by me or even be interested in my running journey, but oh boy was I wrong! I’ve met so many amazing people through this blog and the other social media accounts attached to it (and I’ve been doing a terrible job of keeping up with those people’s blogs and I’m really sorry about that!). People celebrate my accomplishments with me, remind me that setbacks are not failures, motivate me, inspire me, and have great conversations with me. For all of that I am eternally grateful! I’ve also had several people tell me that I’m inspiring (a word I honestly never thought would describe me) and that they appreciate that I post my mile paces, bad days, and things like that. And that is something I get! It can be super intimidating and even demoralizing whenever you’re scrolling through Instagram and seeing all of these incredible runners who are so much faster than you! It’s nice to know that there are people out there who run the same paces that you do and that everyone has bad days, and that all of that is ok!! 🙂

I’ve also been given the opportunity to represent a few brands that I use and believe in as an ambassador and I just think that’s so cool! I’m part of the Honey Stinger Hive (my go to running and adventure fuel), Team Zensah (I adore their compression socks), and the Stride Squad (thanks to StrideBox I’ve tried so many awesome new things that I never would have before!). I’m not gonna lie, I still feel really weird basically advertising for these brands here on this blog and other social media accounts, but these really are brands that I personally use and believe it. I would never be able to talk about something that I never used or didn’t like, or brands who don’t care about their customers, elite athletes, or ambassador teams.

So yeah, starting this blog opened up new opportunists for me, gave me a voice and a platform in which to use it, introduced me to all sorts of amazing people, and fully immersed me into the absolutely best part of the online running community. And for all of that I will always be grateful! Here’s to many more years of all of that!! 🙂

That’s all I wanted to talk about today! I hope everyone has a terrific Tuesday!

You’re digestively challenged, very grateful, streaking friend,

~Ashley

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Streaking Is Hard

But it’s starting to get easier. At least I think it is haha. Accomplished 2.5 miles for day 12 of #RWRunStreak. 🙂 The plan was actually 3, but I’m super tired and once I got to 2.5 I figured that was close enough. 😉 On the bright side, my legs are feeling a lot less sore/tired today so  that’s good! I guess they’re starting to adjust to the whole streaking thing.

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How super awesome are my matching skills?! 😉

After my run I did day 2 of the 30 Day Shred. Now that was really hard. Mostly because my upper body is crazy sore today. But I suppose that’s just another reason to stick with this workout program. My upper body has always been pathetically weak and that’s something I really need to work on. So I am working on it. 🙂

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Right now I’m motivating myself to keep up with this workout program, the streak, upping my running mileage, cross training, and stretching, by telling myself it’s all pre-marathon training. Because I want to train for and run a full marathon in 2019! I think I’ve kinda mentioned that here before already, but I’ve already been looking into local marathons and trying to figure out which one it is that I’m gonna want to do. 🙂 A couple of people have asked me why I don’t do one next year in 2018. Well the answer to that is basically what I mentioned above. I want to build up my running base and mileage, get stronger, and hopefully less injury prone. So that’s the plan! Spend next year really working on all of that and then hopefully I’ll be ready to tackle my first marathon in 2019!

Anyways, since I am so tired from this streak I feel like I haven’t been getting a whole lot accomplished haha. I’ve been sleeping in a little bit every morning, I napped for an hour and a half yesterday, and I’ve just been focusing on recover activities right now. I’ve been using my self massage stick thing-y on my quads for a few minutes pretty much everyday, stretching, wearing compression gear, and stuff like that. So yeah, I feel like my whole life is revolving around running and recovering from running right now. But I’m thinking that tiredness will go away once my body adjusts a little bit more and I get stronger. This is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while, not just streaking but upping my mileage as well, so I’m just gonna stick with it because I know it will eventually get easier. 🙂

And I say that I feel like I’m not getting anything accomplished and feel almost lazy, but I still won both step challenges that I was competing in last week, have managed to keep the house in somewhat decent shape, wrapped a bunch of Christmas presents, spent a good amount of time cleaning and doing/putting away laundry today, and still had time to walk one of the dogs. Haha and we don’t go for walks around the block, our walks tend to be around 2 ish miles every time. Sometimes longer. 🙂 So I guess I’m not actually being as lazy and I feel like I am.

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Anyways, I suppose that’s all I’ve got for today. I hope everyone has a great week!

~Ashley

Friday Fives: Stocking Stuffers For The Runner In Your Life

It’s that time of year again! Stressing over making sure you have a little something to give to your friends, family, coworkers, etc. It can be tough! But worry not my friends, you’re friendly neighborhood runner is here to give you some stocking stuffer ideas for the runner in your life. 🙂

1. Their Favorite On The Run Fuel 

I’m always up for trying new things, so personally I don’t mind getting something that’s not my favorite or that I’ve never tried before, but if your runner is a little bit more picky you might have to ask if you don’t already know. But some really popular brands are GU, Jelly Belly Sport’s Beans, and Honey Stinger.

Anyway, I know I never mind getting on the run fuel! It’s something that I could always use, and it’s relatively inexpensive to buy one or two gels, or waffles, or whatever, and you can usually find them at any local sporting good’s store.

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Honey Stinger waffles are my personal favorite. 🙂

2. Gloves 

If there’s one piece of running gear that I could consistently use more of, it would probably be cheap, throwaway gloves. Now, there are some fancier gloves out there; touch screen gloves, wind resistant gloves, moisture wicking gloves, etc. And those are all super neat! But honestly I’d rather receive a pair of gloves I could ditch at the starting line of a Turkey Trot, Santa Shuffle, or a Hangover Half Marathon (don’t let me lie to you, the only holiday themed running event I’ve ever done was a “run with Santa 5k” in my town haha. But I’d like to participate in others eventually. 😉 ). Also, I have a bad habit of blowing my nose into my hand (and I know I’m not the only runner who does this!!) and I don’t think I’d want to do that into a pair of $40 gloves haha.

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3. Custom Race Bib Ornament 

Did your runner crush a new PR, finish a big goal race, or just has a race bib that they particularly like? I think these race bib ornaments are super neat and a great way to remember a big race!! Also, shout out to my family and friends who might be reading this, looking for gift ideas for me. I think these are super duper neat and I don’t have one hahahaha. 😉 😉 😉

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Goneforarun.com actually has a bunch of cool custom race bib stuff, I just think the ornaments are particularly neat. 🙂

4. Runner Nation Coffee Mug

Fact; runners love coffee. Also fact; I’m not entirely sure how true that first “fact” is hahaha. 😉 But for real though, in my experience, a lot of runners do enjoy a nice cup of coffee. Especially on a day when they have to wake up particularly early or before a long run when a little bit of caffeine is definitely appreciated. And here’s another “fact” for ya, coffee tastes better when it’s in a neat mug. 😉

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5. A StrideBox Gift Subscription

Now a-days there’s a subscription box for everyone and everything, right? Well running is no exception!! StrideBox is a subscription box that comes full of lots of fun goodies for before, during, and after a run!!

So I’m not gonna lie, I was always a bit hesitant about subscription boxes because I was worried that after a few months the products that come in the box would get kinda lame after a while, but that hasn’t been my experience with StrideBox! It always comes full of all sorts of neat stuff to try! And good news!! If you use the code RunningRebel10, which is good until 12/24/17, you can get 10% off of a 3 or 6 month gift subscription for the runner in your life! Or for yourself, because you deserve a gift too, and I swear the day StrideBox comes in the mail is basically like Christmas morning. 😉

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Again, you can use the code RunningRebel10 to get 10% off of a 3 or 6 month gift subscription!! 🙂 Good until 12/14/17.

So there you have it! Some nifty gift ideas for the runner in your life! Or at least I think they are. Fellow runners, what are some gift ideas that you’d like to receive or give during this holiday season? 🙂

 

 

Fun Mail Day, The Streak Continues, and Other Thursday Things

Alrighty! I’ve got a bunch of randomness to talk about today, so just bear with me for a little bit. 😉

Christmas time is here!!! That means decorating, baking, gift wrapping, Christmas music, lots of packages in the mail, family time, and all sorts of other fun and craziness. Oh man, I love it though. Even though it can become a little bit stressful. 😉 So far I’ve got the inside of the house decorated and it looks great!! I still want to hang up the outside lights, but Luke wont let me get on the roof. Something about me being clumsy and not wanting a hospital bill…So I guess he’s gonna have to do it at some point. 😉

All of the animals are ok with Christmas, except for Finn. Christmas confuses and upsets him and he’s been spending most of his time hiding outside or in the bedroom. Haha but this is his first Christmas so this is all new to him.

We’ve also officially got a good start on Christmas gifts! We’ve got his mom and his brother and sister on that side of the family taken care of. All that’s left to do is wrap them and ship them off to Minnesota. We also know what we’re getting his dad, one of his brothers on that side of the family, and we bought his other brother on that side of the family his gift. We’ve got one of my sisters taken care of, we know what we’re getting my brother and dad, we’ve just got to figure out my other sister and mom. And we’ve got gifts to each other all figured out. There’s still one thing I want to pick up for him, but I’m gonna take care of that this weekend. 🙂

And I guess that brings me to the fun mail day stuff!! Well, today was supposed to be a fun mail day. A bunch of stuff that Luke and I had ordered over the last week or so was all supposed to come today. But a gift I’d gotten him and my Honey Stinger stuff got delayed. That’s not surprising, shipping stuff gets all kinds of crazy this time of year and I’m not worried about it. I am pretty super excited about my Honey Stinger stuff though. They had a crazy awesome cyber Monday sale. Literally everything was 50% off, so I stocked up on waffles and also bought a pair of socks, because I can always use more running socks haha. That’s all supposedly going to make it here tomorrow. Hopefully it does because I’m pretty stoked about all the waffles I bought haha.

Anyways, the stuff he got me for Christmas arrived and I have been told multiple times to stay out of it. Haha that’s pretty hypocritical from someone who told me if he finds where I’ve hidden his Christmas gifts he was going to open it and ruin Christmas (his words, not mine). But whatever. 😉 Also my amazing holiday socks from Zensah also came today! I’m so stoked about these socks!! I actually purchased them on the way home from Colorado last Friday because I wanted to make sure I was able to snag a pair and I was afraid they’d sell out pretty quickly. But anyway, I’m so excited that they’re here and they are probably the only pair of socks that I’m going to be wearing all season. 🙂

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Also, speaking of Honey Stinger (I’m so good at segues 😉 ), I’m super duper excited to announce that I’ve officially been accepted back into the hive for 2018!! Yay! Honey Stinger for real fuels 90% of my running, dog walking, road trips, hiking, and other random adventures. Seriously, I’m not kidding when I say Honey Stinger is my favorite fuel. 🙂

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And I guess while we’re on the subject of brands I’m an ambassador for, lets talk about StrideBox for the holidays for a second!! First off, I absolutely love StrideBox! It’s basically like getting a Christmas gift in the mail once a month. 🙂 Second off, if you’re looking for a great gift for one of your runner friends, a gift subscription to StrideBox just might be the way to go!! And now until December 24th, you can use the code RunningRebel10 to get 10% off of a 3 or 6 month gift subscription to StrideBox.

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Okey Dokey, now that that’s out of the way, lets talk about this run streak for a second!

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As of today I’m 8 days in and feeling pretty good! I’m actually really glad to have a goal to keep me going haha. If I didn’t I don’t think I’d have done very much running this week. Not like I’ve actually done a lot of running or anything, but it would have been a lot less if I didn’t have a goal to get out there and do at least a mile every day. 🙂 So for today I did the bare minimum of a mile, and I legit waited until the mail got here so that I could wear my super spiffy socks. They made me feel better about the fact that it’s been kinda warm and sunny out lately.

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Keeping up with the running thing is going well but I’m not doing so well with the stretching/strength training/cross training thing. Well, at least I haven’t been this week. Last week I actually did kinda well with all of that, but I’ve been slacking off for a couple of days now. I definitely need to get back on track with all of that. Especially recovery stuff. I think that just might be important when it comes to the run streak thing. 😉 So I spent some time getting reacquainted with my foam roller and yoga mat this afternoon. Yeah, that sucked pretty bad but it was totally worth it! Well, probably haha. Also spent a little bit of time on the stationary bike, just to get my legs moving in a way that’s not running or walking. I figured that would probably be a good idea. 🙂

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Torturer tools. 

Alrighty then! That was basically just a bunch of super duper randomness, but my “Thursday things” posts tend to be just that! But that is all for today I suppose. So Happy Thursday everyone! 🙂

~Ashley

Weekly Recap: November 20th-26th, 2017

Whew! This week was a crazy one!! Luke, the dogs, and I spent Thanksgiving at my parent’s place in Colorado, so we spent a crazy amount of time driving. On Wednesday our drive took 11 ish hours (although I think the time zone change actually made it more like 12 hours). But we spent a lot of time messing around and having fun (I talk all about that here, if you’re interested! 😉 ). And then the drive home on Friday took closer to 10 hours but it was a lot less fun. It was actually a huge cluster fuck, but at least it’s over and we’re home! 🙂 Along with our crazy holiday week, I also started the RWRunStreak for the 3rd year in a row. I didn’t finish it the past two years, but this is gonna be my year!! Anyways, lets get to my weekly recap!!

Monday: 

  • 1 easy mile
  • 10 minute of strength training

Just an easy mile on Monday, because I wanted to run but I didn’t want to run that much, ya feel me? 😉 Haha I’m very much enjoying my little off season thing right now. Just running for fun and sometimes that means only hitting the road for a single mile. Anyways, I’ve been writing down some of my goals and one of them for this month is to work on strength training. Specifically strength work that caters to runners, so I found this short little 10 minute workout on YouTube that I really like and will be doing for a little bit. 🙂

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Tuesday: 

  • Thanksgiving trip prep day

Haha I couldn’t call Tuesday a rest day even though I didn’t really do any kind of workout, not really. I spent the day cleaning the house, packing, made a pie, walked the dogs, and just got everything ready in general for Thanksgiving and the few days we’d be in Colorado.

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Wednesday: 

  • Drove to Colorado

On Wednesday we woke up at 3 in the morning, packed the car, and drove 30 minutes in the opposite direction from the state of Colorado because Luke forgot to turn in his time sheet at work and he had to do that before we left haha. After that was done we began our crazy 11 ish hour journey. So we didn’t get very far at first because it was 17 degrees outside and the heater in our car doesn’t work. So we had to stop at walmart and get a heated blanket and some of those hand warmer things to stuff in our socks. That was interesting. We also saw some crazy stuff! We saw a semi truck hauling one of those ready made homes, stuck under an overpass, the poop emoji on a billboard, a UPS truck sitting in a ditch, a guy getting out of his truck at a gas station to shoo a crow off of his car, among other things. I talk in more detail about all of that craziness here. 🙂

 

Thursday: Thanksgiving Day 

  • 2 mile hike around Rabbit Mountain with Luke, my brother, and all 3 dogs
  • 4 mile run/walk around a lake with my dad

Whew! Things got crazy on Thanksgiving!! This was the first day Luke actually got to spend in Colorado (the last time he’d been in the state was just to drive through on our way to the Grand Canyon), so he wanted to go hiking somewhere. So we took the dogs and my brother to Rabbit Mountain, which is super pretty, 10 minutes away from my mom and dad’s apartment, and the mountain my dad took me hiking on the last time I was in Colorado. We hiked to the top, did some fun bushwhacking, and back down (which ended up being 2 miles) in a little over an hour. It was a lot of fun and the dogs loved it!! Also, on the way there I found a Honey Stinger waffle in the car and I was super stoked about that because I really needed it by the time we were done haha.

 

After our hike we headed back to the apartment, hung out with my mom and helped her do some cooking while my dad slept (he works nights), once he woke up we ate our Thanksgiving dinner, and then after letting our dinner digest a little bit my dad and I set out to run/walk around the lake next to his apartment complex. It’s a super pretty lake with a nice trail that’s mostly gravel, but also had some concrete, with the mountains off in the distance and an amazing view of Longs peak. It was probably one of the most beautiful runs I’ve ever been on!! So my dad isn’t much of a runner, so I’m super impressed with how well we did! We did run/walk intervals for the first 5k and then ended up walking the last mile we did for a total of 4 miles. It was so much fun and we both had a great time. I love doing stuff with my dad because I always learn stuff when I’m with him. He’s taught me everything I know about gardening, growing stuff, and the great outdoors. 🙂

So this 4 mile adventure kicked off this years winter run streak and it was a great way to start it!! 🙂

 

Friday: 

  • easy 1 mile
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Unfortunately we couldn’t spend more time in Colorado because Luke had to work. So at 2 am on Friday morning we had to head back to Kansas. The ride back was pretty awful. I guess the dogs had eaten something that didn’t agree with them so Finn ended up having diarrhea in the car twice, and Lily did once…We had to stop several times to let them go potty and we threw away some stuffed animals that my mom sent home with us for the dogs, a blanket, hoodie, and backpack because they were covered in dog shit. It was awful. But we finally made it home!

After relaxing for a little bit I went out and got my mile in for the RWRunStreak, did a little bit of much needed yoga, and then did a bunch of cleaning around the house. So yeah, Friday was pretty busy too, but I’m very glad to be back home. 🙂

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Saturday: 

  • RWRunStreak Day 3: 2 miles

Nothing too exciting running wise on Saturday. Just two easy miles. Haha I needed to work on rehydrating after our super lon trip home yesterday. I never drink enough water on long car rides. 😆

Sunday:

  • RWRunStreak day 4: 1 mile
  • 30 minutes on the stationary bike
  • 20 minutes of yoga

Jus a mile to keep the streak alive, 30 minutes of pedaling because I was bored, and 20 minutes of yoga to keep the body happy.😁

Thanksgiving In Colorado and Another Run Streak

Oh man, the last couple of days have been kind of a whirlwind of craziness between driving to and from Colorado, hanging out with my mom, dad, and brother for Thanksgiving, and the stuff that we did there. Throw three dogs  and starting another run streak into that mix and you’ve got quite the crazy adventure! So lets just get right into it I guess. This is probably going to be a pretty long post, but bare with me because I’ve got a few neat photos! 🙂

So Luke, all three dogs and I woke up at 3 am on Wednesday morning to begin our journey to Colorado. We made sure the rabbits, ferrets, cats, and leopard gecko would be fine on their own for a few days. Packed up the car, loaded up the dogs, and then set off 30 minutes in the opposite direction that we needed to go hahaha. Luke forgot to turn in his time sheet at work, so he had to go there and do that before we left. So he got that done and then around 4:30 am we were finally on our way.

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Last time I went on a long road trip my ankles and feet swelled terribly because I forgot to wear my compression sleeves. I made sure not to make that mistake this time. 🙂

Intitally we didn’t get very far. You see, the heat doesn’t work in our car…So we had bundled up, but it was 17 degrees outside and an extra pair of pants and several shirts and pairs of socks just doesn’t help against that kind of cold. Especially when it’s dark and you’re sitting still. So when we were about an hour into our 11 hour car ride we had to stop at a Walmart to try to find something that would help keep up warm. We ended up getting this heated blanket that plugged into the car. It didn’t exactly get really warm, but it did help! And we also got those hand warmer things to shove into our socks because our feet were numb and in pain. Those made a huge difference! So it was still cold, but as we drove it did get warmer and less miserable. 🙂

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Sunset views from the Walmart parking lot.

Probably an hour and a half to two ish hours later, the sun was all the way up and the dogs had to pee. Of course. So we had to pull over at a rest stop and walk them all around a little bit so that they could all pee and run around a little bit. This is the problem with traveling with border collies, they don’t like sitting still haha. At this point Luke decided that since we didn’t have to be in Colorado at any specific time that we were just gonna take our time, stop several places and maybe have some fun. And we actually did!! Anyway, while we were at this rest stop I had found one of my Honey Stinger waffles in the glove compartment that I left in there after the Longview Half. That was a very pleasant surprise because I was super hungry at that point, and you know I love me some Honey Stinger waffles!!

After that we actually started making some pretty decent time and we saw some very interesting things haha! I’m not sure if I can remember everything that we thought was funny, but some of our favorites included a semi truck hauling a ready made home that had gotten stuck under an over pass. A UPS truck that was just sitting in a ditch. The poop emoji on a billboard. At one point we had to stop to get gas and we saw a guy get out of his truck and shoo away a crow that wouldn’t get off of the truck. Several cute dogs, lots of interesting people, and all sorts of other stuff that you only get to witness on long road trips. We also ended up taking a little tour through the town of Colby Kansas, because we saw a billboard for a dog park there. We never found that dog park, but we did end up eating a super early lunch at their Taco Johns haha.

Colby was about an hour away from the Colorado state line, so once we got there we stopped to take a photo in front of the welcome sign! Well, Luke took a photo of me and the dogs, because he doesn’t like having his picture taken haha. Anyway, the dogs were all very ready to be out of the car at that point, but we still had around 3 hours to go until we got to our destination of Longmont Colorado. Poor puppies.

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The last 3 hours of our drive were pretty uneventful. Well, aside from seeing the mountains that is! They are absolutely beautiful and I don’t think I’d ever get tired of looking at them. 🙂

So we finally got to my mom and dad’s apartment around 3 pm. We let the dogs run around the little fenced in dog area once we got there and they weren’t too thrilled with that haha. Our backyard is bigger than the dog area there and they didn’t know what to do with themselves. They also were not thrilled about having to be on the leash all the time. None of them see the point of being on a leash and honestly they could all probably go the rest of their lives without ever needed one, but leash laws and all of that.

So we hung out for a little bit, watched some movies, ordered Chinese food, opened birthday and Christmas gifts (since they weren’t able to come to Kansas for my birthday and we wont be able to go to Colorado for Christmas) and went to bed at like 8:30 pm. That was aided by a little bit of the green stuff, if you catch my drift. 😉 But hey, it’s legal there!

Since we went to bed so early we woke up pretty early on Thanksgiving morning. Actually all things considered it wasn’t that early. Colorado is an hour behind Kansas, so it was actually 7 am our time haha. Anyway, Luke and I took the dogs out, went to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast (I’ve never had Dunkin Donuts before. Probably because I don’t like donuts haha. But their breakfast sandwiches and coffee are pretty good!) And then we took the dogs to a dog park because we didn’t want them to be noisy and wake up my dad, who had gotten home a little bit before we woke up (he’s a truck driver and works nights). The dog park didn’t got well. It was small, cramped, and full of rowdy dogs. So we didn’t spend much time there. We ended up going back to the apartment, looking for places to hike, and then ended up taking my brother and all three dogs to Rabbit Mountain, which is actually where my dad took me hiking last time I was there. But it’s super pretty and a pretty easy hike all things considered, so that’s where we ended up going. 🙂

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Views on the way to Rabbit Mountain.

I’m really glad my brother went with us. I don’t get to hang out with him very often and he’s a lot of fun! Plus that meant that we had one person per dog and that made life a little bit easier haha.

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The dogs did seem to have a lot of fun while we were there! We started out on the trail, but to get to the top we ended up doing a lot of bushwhacking. That was a lot of fun for me and my brother, but I don’t think Luke was a fan of the bushwhacking thing haha. So we got to the top (although I don’t think we actually made it to the highest point, but it’s not like it’s a big Mountain or anything haha). We continued our bushwhacking on the way back down, which was a lot harder than going up because of the loose rocks. It was pretty fun though! 🙂 By the time we had made it up, over, and back down to the car we had managed to cover two miles in an hour and eight minutes. Haha yeah, we’re definitely not the worlds best hikers, but we all had a lot of fun. Oh and I had found ANOTHER Honey Stinger waffle in the car before our hike. That was pretty sweet!! 🙂 Climbing very small mountains is hard for flatlanders like me, and according to my Garmin I burned 400 calories in the two miles we did. So a few extra calories after breakfast was nice. 🙂

After our hike we headed back to the apartment, hung out with my mom and helped her with some of the Thanksgiving dinner cooking while I waited for my dad to wake up. About a week before our trip to Colorado he had promised me that we were going to do a little bit of running together and I was super stoked about that! I’m doing the RWRunStreak again this year (which is just a run streak that Runner’s World hosts, that starts on Thanksgiving and ends on New Years Day) and I thought that would be a great way to kick off the streak! 🙂 So once he got up we actually ended up eating our Thanksgiving dinner first (which was amazing!) and waiting for our food to digest a little bit before we set out on our run.

It probably would have been a better idea to do our little run/walk adventure before we ate, but we still somehow got it done! We literally started the second we stepped foot out of the door which threw me off a little bit because I thought we were going to walk to the trail and then start doing the run/walk intervals that we had agreed upon, but he wanted to hit 4 miles and to do that we had to start right out the door haha. The trail is about 3.5 miles long and was probably close to 1/4 a mile away from the apartment so by the time we finished we hit 3.9 miles, so basically 4. 😉

We both had a lot of fun and I’m super impressed with how my dad did considering he’s not exactly a runner. Haha and I’m super impressed with how I did because running at a little over 5,0000 feet above sea level is hard considering I live at 1,063 feet above sea level. The trail we ran on goes around a lake and has a really nice view of Longs Peak in distance, so that was really neat! We ended up run/walking the first 5k and then walked the last mile, but I think that still totally counts as day one of the RWRunStreak. 🙂

After our little run/walk adventure me, my mom, dad, and Luke went to the apartment complex’s hot tub and hung out there for a little bit. Oh man, that felt soooo good after the hiking and running I did. After that we went back to my parent’s apartment, ate some pie, watched a bunch of Steel Panther music videos (my dad and brother loved them, but I don’t thing my mom was a fan. 😉 ), and then Luke and I went to bed early again, because we had another early morning and a long day of driving ahead of us.

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My mom gave Finn a new stuffed animal. He was pretty freaking thrilled about that.

So we woke up at 2 am, packed up the car, let the dogs run around the dog area for a little bit, said goodbye to my parents, and started the long drive back home. This drive did not go well. I guess the dogs ate something that didn’t agree with them because they all ended up getting diarrhea. We had to stop several times for them to go potty, but apparently that wasn’t enough, because Finn ended up shitting in the hatchback once, and Lily shit in the back seat once. We ended up throwing away the stuffed animal my mom gave Finn, a blanket, hoodie, and a backpack because they were all covered in dog shit and we didn’t want to spend hours in the car with that. Luckily that was all stuff that we were too upset to lose, but it still sucked…

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The ride home was pretty awful, but at least we got to witness a pretty sunrise.

And of course the ride home always seems to take longer, so riding in the car for another 11 hours was pretty much torture, but we finally made it home around 1:30 pm. That gave us enough time to unpack the car, get the dogs in the back yard, go grocery shopping, and then relax a little bit before poor Luke had to go to work. After driving 11 hours. That was probably pretty terrible.

After Luke went to work I set out to tackle the mountain of laundry we created, cleaned up the house a little bit, took care of the ferrets, cats, rabbits, and gecko. After that was all taken care of I got my mile for the streak in! Not gonna lie, I really didn’t want to do it, but I’m glad I did! Moving around after being in the car for a long time was nice, plus it was dark and a bunch of people in my neighborhood have their Christmas lights up, so it was a very pretty little mile. 🙂 After that I did some much needed yoga and then went to bed and passed out.

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So yeah, I guess that pretty much covers it! I’ve spent today rehydrating and relaxing a little bit, but I still got my run in for the day, so day 3 of the streak was a success! 🙂

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! I know I sure did!

Happy Saturday!

~Ashley

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Longview Half Marathon Recap 11/11/17

It’s done! Finally! This terrible, horrible, crazy training cycle is finally over! My 3rd half marathon is done, I did it, and I never have to worry about half marathon number 3 ever again!!!! 😉

I know I’ve talked about how and why this training cycle just did not go well about 8 billion times, but I figure for the purpose of this race recap I should mention why, yet again. So just real quick, I hurt my knee in August, was unable to run for most of August and September because of that. I had a bunch of crazy life stuff going on; family stuff, a friend who died, and some other randomness. Then a week before race day I got sick with a terrible chest cold and I found out during the race that I definitely was not as over it as I thought it was.

Okey Dokey, now that that’s out of the way, I just want to take a second to say that I’m a little bit disappointed with how the Longview Half was organized this year. I know this race is still really new (this was literally the 4th year they’ve held it) and I’m sure there are plenty of kinks to work out, but I just feel like the previous two years that I ran this race it went a little bit better. Especially in regards to the aid stations.

So first off, I don’t think there are enough porta potties at the starting line. Especially now that there are more runners because of the 5k that’s attached to this event now. I’m pretty sure the half started a few minutes late because of the amount of runners still in line to use the porta potties. I do, however, really appreciate the person (I’m not sure if he was a race official or a volunteer, but I can only assume he was somehow involved with putting on the race) who was encouraging the 5k runners to let the half marathon runners go first. I do not appreciate the man who was wearing jeans and obviously not a runner, who was in front of me in line….Come on people, let the runners go first!!! We paid to be here, do this thing, and use all of the race amenities.

Second off, I feel like the aid station situation was a complete disaster! I’m not sure who the aid station volunteers were this year, but for the most part they seemed to mostly be a bunch of high school age kids and they were super duper unorganized. Like, last year and the year before the first couple of people handing out cups would have water and then the next couple of people would have water and it was nice and organized and easy to make it through the aid station with what you needed. This was not the case this year. This year it was all completely random. Some people had Gatorade, some had water, some had both, and a lot of them weren’t telling you what they had, so you’d have to ask. I guess that’s not really that big of a deal, but it was a little confusing. But what really sucked was that a lot of these kids were running around the tables, in the road, and just all over the place. That was super stressful and confusing. At one point I wasn’t even sure where I was supposed to go because people were running around everywhere and standing in front of the arrows pointing out the race course, and it sucked. Also, I don’t think the Gatorade was mixed properly. The previous two years I ran this race the Gatorade tasted fine, but this year it was super watered down and gross…That was crazy disappointing.

And yet again the person who was supposed to be calling out names at the finish line missed a bunch of people this year. I didn’t get to witness this and I actually got announced as I crossed the finish line this year (last year I didn’t), but my husband Luke did, and he told me it was really starting to piss him off. He told me that just doesn’t seem fair because this is a bunch of people’s big day and that everyone deserves to feel like a bad ass athlete at the finish line of their race, and I totally agree! I don’t think it’s fair that some people miss out on that. And I can personally say that it is a little bit disappointing when you don’t get to hear your name being announced as you cross the finish line, because like I said, I didn’t get that last year.

Alrighty then! Now that that’s out of the way, lets talk about my race day!!

It started at 5:45 am, which I now know was waaay too late haha. The race started at 8 am and is 40 minutes away from my house, so I thought that would give me enough time to eat, get dressed, and then get to the starting line with plenty of time to spare, but that was not the case. I ate what I could (I was getting pretty nervous at this point so that wasn’t much haha), drank some coffee, let my dogs out, got dressed, let two of the dogs back in because they are the two that can’t/don’t want to be left in the yard for extended periods of time, woke up Luke (who was my chauffeur/coach/motivational speaker/photographer/cheerleader/anything else I needed him to be. Basically what I’m saying is he had to do all of the hard work and all I had to do was run 😉 ), and got all loaded up into the car by about 6:20 am, which was about 20 minutes later than we should have left. Oops.

That really only ended up being a problem because of race day traffic, which was obviously expected, and I just want to say that I think the police officers who were out there directing traffic in the cold did an awesome job. They were all super nice and took very good care of us runners, so I thanked as many of them as I could while I was out on the course. Seriously, I’m so great full for what they were out there doing. 🙂

So anyway, the parking situation seemed to go pretty smoothly, and we got parked and to the start area with about 10 minutes before the starting time. That kinda sucked because like I said before, the lines for the porta potties were pretty long and I had to pee, but on the bright side, at least I didn’t have to stand in the cold for a long amount of time. Haha not gonna lie though, while standing in line for the porta potties Luke was starting to stress me out by constantly asking me what time it was and saying that some of the runners weren’t going to start on time. A bunch of us missed the national anthem (I was literally peeing while it happened) but the race started a few minutes late, so I think most of us got lined up just in time. 🙂

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Me being slightly stressed out by the 5k runners who were mingling in with the half marathoners at the starting line, but at least I made it there! 🙂

Luckily all of the confusion with the 5k runners just generally being in the way at the starting line didn’t last too long. I had just enough time to shove my phone into the pocket in my tights before we were counted down and sent onto our 13.1 mile journey back to where we started.

I started out near the 3 hour pacer, but within the first half mile-ish I ended up near the 2:50 pacer. I knew that probably wasn’t a good idea, but the second I started running I felt amazing! The weather was nice; cloudy and chilly. My legs were fresh and felt great. I was ready to go! At this point I still had no plans other than finishing, but I thought it was going to be a great run!! Unfortunately I was very wrong…

The first mile flew by, as I think most first miles do during a race. By mile two I was nice and warmed up, so I ditched my hoodie at the first aid station and only got away with a single cup of water instead of a cup of Gatorade like I had wanted, because of some of the aid station confusion that I had mentioned before. But that early into the race I wasn’t all that worried about it.

So mile two is where the biggest hill on the course is, and the Longview Half has a timing mat at the bottom and top of this hill, and gives out a “King Of The Mountain” award to the fastest man and woman to make it up the hill, which I think is super duper neat! Even thought that’s something I’ll never win hahaha. Especially since I walked up most  of the hill, but that was part of my plan and I was gonna stick to it because I wanted the good feelings I was experiencing to last. Near the top of the hill I started running again and I felt strong as hell! Apparently I looked strong too, because the announcer at the top of the hill said I was making it look easy. I liked him. 🙂 There was also another race photographer at the top of the hill and I think those would have been some of my best race photos. They actually posted the race photos last night, but the King of the Mountain photos stopped at the 2:40 pace group and at that point I think I was still running near the 2:50, which sucks…I asked about that on their Facebook page and haven’t heard anything back yet, but it is still pretty early and I’m still super impressed that they got most of the photos up so quickly!

Anyway, around the 5k mark I backed off a little because I knew I was probably running too fast considering the lack of training I went into this thing with. So once I got to around mile 4 I was running near the 2:55 pacer and still feeling good! At the mile 4 aid station I discovered the gross, poorly mixed Gatorade, but I was glad that I had gotten some, along with a cup of water. This was also the aid station that I got a bit confused at because of all of the craziness that was going on with the volunteers, but it didn’t take me long to continue on my way in the correct direction. This was also the point in the race that I wanted to eat the first half of one of my Honey Stinger waffles, but the gross Gatorade upset my stomach and was only able to take a few bites of one. But it was still pretty early into the race and I was still feeling great, so I wasn’t all that worried about it. Especially since I was hoping that the Gatorade at that aid station was just a fluke and that it would be better at the other aid stations, but it did not…

Miles 5 and 6 were pretty uneventful. I was still feeling good, running in between the two 2:55 pacers (I think one was planning on finishing a little bit before 2:55 and the other planned on finishing a little after). At mile 6 I was yet again disappointed by the nasty Gatorade situation, but there was no point of worrying about it then, so I didn’t. But I did get two cups of it at that aid station, because it was so diluted and I wanted to make sure I was getting an adequate amount of electrolytes.

Anyway, around mile 7 I was feeling strong as hell. I was tackling the hills and felt great doing it, still running with the 2:55 pacer and talking to her a little bit. I’m pretty sure she started calling me “Nike” at this point because of my shirt haha. She was pretty awesome!

Around this time I had started getting anxious to see Luke, because near the end of mile 7 was where he had planned on being. I finally found him and he walked with me for a few seconds. He had a water bottle with him so I took a drink and I handed off my gloves because my hands felt warm enough and my sunglasses because they were fogging up and pissing me off. He told me I looked good, wished me luck, and then we parted ways.

Then mile 8 happened. Fuck you mile 8! I made it through the aid station alright. Got more water and gross Gatorade. Tried to eat a few more bites of one of my Honey Stinger waffles, but I was nowhere near following my fueling plan at this point. Anyway, about half way through mile 8 the wheels completely came off the bus. I was starting to get really dizzy, which was super frustrating because aside from the dizziness I still felt great!

Around mile 9 I started coughing and hacking pretty badly. That’s when I realized I wasn’t as over my cold as I had thought and that I obviously still had phlegm in my lungs, which I think what might have been causing me to be dizzy. That along with my not so great fueling. I was getting even more dizzy at this point, so I ended up walking all of mile 9 and losing the 2:55 pace group.

Around mile 10 I was still dizzy, still walking, and had been passed by the 3 hour pace group, but I was just right behind them. But I felt fucking awful. This was for real the worst I’ve ever felt and I had no idea how I was going to make it another 3 miles…Especially since mile 11 takes you over the lake which tends to be the hardest part of the race for me, since you have to deal with some strong bursts of wind coming off of the lake. But once I saw the mile 11 sign I started running again. I was still feeling pretty awful, but I wasn’t as dizzy. Plus I having 2 miles to go seemed a little less daunting than 3. There is another race photographer on the bridge during mile 11 and that’s where I’ve been doing my smiley, thumbs up photo, but this year I didn’t have it in me. This photographer was doing a really good job of getting a photo of every person by themselves and she perfectly captured how I felt in that moment. Fucking terrible.

Haha in the moment I knew I was going to look terrible in these and I regretted that a little bit, but now I’m actually really glad I have them. They definitely show just how much I was struggling, but I persevered and made it to the finish line!

Anyway, once I made it to the 12 mile mark I knew I was going to finish, but I had lost sight of the 3 hour pacer and I honestly thought I was going to be coming in at 3:10, 3:15 ish. Part of me was really upset about that, but I was also just really glad to be that close to the finish and I started chanting “One more mile. One more mile. Just one more mile.” to myself. And honestly that last mile wasn’t too bad. I was feeling less awful by then and knowing that I was so close to the finish line was definitely helping.

And then the finish line was in sight! I swear I’ve never been so happy to see a finish line in my life! Haha and I feel like that’s kinda saying something, considering I’ve only done 5 races (including this one) at this point. Once I got close enough to read the clock I glanced up and was genuinely surprised to see something close to 3:03. I was still under the impression that I was going to be crossing the finish line of my 3rd half marathon slower than I had finished my first. So that was a pleasant surprise. It was also nice to get to hear my name called as I crossed the finish line, because like I said before, I didn’t get that last year.

So my official time was 3:02:34, which was better than my first half (which I did in 3:09:32), and slower than my second half last year (which I did in 2:52:42). So I’m actually pretty happy with that time. Considering my not so great training, how badly the second half of this race went for me, and the fact that my only goal was to finish. 🙂

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After I crossed the finish line I got my medal, had my timing chip clipped off, was handed a bottle of water, and found my husband. I also looked for someone handing out mylar blankets because it was still pretty chilly, but it didn’t appear that they had any. I asked Luke if they had run out, but he said he never saw anyone with one and he didn’t think they handed them out at all, which was just yet anther disappointing thing at this years race, but oh well.

So at that point I was ready to go, but Luke told me I needed a photo by the finish line so he told me to stand in front of the Longview sign, told me to look a little less miserable, and took the photo.

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This was my best attempt at not looking miserable haha. But I was pretty darn stoked to be done and wearing my medal. 🙂

After Luke took my photo I went to see if there was any food left. Most of the booths that had been set up at the start were either gone or in the process of being taken down which kinda sucked, but I can’t really complain considering they technically want you to finish in 3 hours. Anyway, all that was left was a few yogurt, some chocolate milk, and granola bars. But the first year I did this half there was still a bunch of chicken noodle soup left, and I believe there was still some chili left last year (haha but I definitely didn’t want any chili after running 13.1 miles), so that was just kinda the cherry on top of all of the disappointment of how this thing was organized this year.

That all really sucks because I really do love this course and this race, and I think it could get more popular over the years, but only if it’s organized better. There needs to be more porta potties and maybe the porta potties need to be sectioned off so that only the runners can use them. And they need better aid station volunteers. And I mean, I really do appreciate them all being out there for us, but the aid stations were super chaotic this year,  whereas the previous two years I’ve run this race they were much more organized.

But on the bright side, the finisher’s medal is pretty spiffy and the participation hoodie is pretty sweet, so at least there’s that. 🙂

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Haha I got a little off track there. But anyways, I grabbed a chocolate milk and while we were walking to the car Luke told me all of the things he was disappointed with about how this years race was organised and promised me any kind of food that I wanted haha. So at first I wanted a bagel from Panera, but then I though Starbucks coffee sounded really good. So while we were on our way to Starbucks I changed my mind and told Luke we should get Chinese food, so we ended up going to a Bo Lings instead. Hahaha so I guess I just want to take this time to thank Luke for being so patient with my slightly out of it, post half marathon self, and for taking me to Bo Lings. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Post race feast!!

So yeah, this post is pretty long so thanks to anyone who read it all the way to the end! But I think that pretty much covers it! 🙂 I’m very happy for this training cycle to be over and to have a 3rd half marathon under my belt. Now it’s time to rest, recover, and then move on to other things!

~Ashley

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