Tag Archives: longview half marathon

I’ve Potentially Made A Bad Decision?

Or maybe a really good one? I’m not entirely sure yet. Something good has already come of it so far so that’s good, at least. But we’ll get to all of that in a second! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, kicked off my week with a little bit of 5k action! It wasn’t a particularly exciting run, but it was a good one. Plus my April StrideBox was waiting for me in my mailbox by the time I was done! Yay!! Always love getting my box full of exciting running goodies. So yeah, my week is off to a pretty great start so far. πŸ™‚

 

 

My hand is feeling a lot better today too! It’s still a little sore and awkward but I can actually use it mostly normally now. My little puncture wound is healing really well too. It’s not quite closed up yet, but it’s definitely getting there. Haha I do not recommend getting bit by a dog. It’s no fun and just might put your hand out of commission for several days. But luckily it hasn’t actually been too big of an issue.

Ok, so onto my potentially bad decision then I guess. So the other day I texted my dad and asked him if he’d want to do another running thing with me. A half marathon as a matter of fact! The Gobbler Grind half marathon that is held here in Kansas. November! My dad does a lot of hiking and has been doing some running ever since we did the Whiskey run 5k together in March. So I think he’ll be able to do it, no problem. Plus the cut off time for this particular half is 4 hours. That’s about a 14 minuter per mile pace. I think that’s totally doable for him. The real question is, will it be doable for me?

 

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gobblergrindmarathon.com

You see, the problem is the Gobbler Grind marathon/half marathon/5k (but obviously we want to do the half haha) is held the second Sunday of November every year. And the Longview half marathon is held the second Saturday of November every year. And obviously I want to to the Longview half every year! I’ve talked about all of those reasons on here before, but I also really want to do the Gobbler Grind half marathon. That’s actually why I’ve recruited my dad to do the Gobbler Grind with me! I figure I’ll be more likely to make it through another half marathon after doing one the day before if I have someone there with me! Specifically, someone who has no time goal and who just wants to make it through there first. So it’ll be beneficial for both of us. πŸ™‚

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I’m already registered for the Longview Half and there’s no way I’m skipping out on my newly established November tradition!

Now the Gobbler Grind isn’t a for sure thing yet. My dad works for a trucking company and they’re always crazy busy in November because of everyone shipping Christmas stuff, and at this point my dad is pretty much running two different trucking terminals and he and his boss are working on opening a third. Plus my dad lives in Colorado so it’s an 11 hour drive just for him to get her. But he seems like he really wants to do it and he said he’s gonna try to make it happen. Last night he went to a local specialty running store and had someone help him try on a bunch of shoes, and he finally decided on a pair of Hoka’s. He also got himself one of those fancy r8 rollers, some Honey Stinger waffles (he really likes the lemon flavored ones πŸ˜‰ ), and a pair of compression socks. So he’s getting all of the tools he needs and plans on doing a beginner’s half marathon training plan!

 

Not gonna lie, I’m pretty freaking excited that I’ve managed to convert my dad into a runner! I think that’s so awesome! Plus now I’ve finally got someone who actually wants to do races with me!! That’s pretty sweet!

Now I’ve just got to play a fun little guessing game called “can Ashley run two half marathons in two days?” Obviously I’ve never done anything like that before but I think it’s doable. Especially since the Gobbler Grind course looks a little bit easier than Longview’s. I haven’t run it before, but part of it is on a paved trail that I used to run on back when I lived in an apartment in Overland Park, KS. I know the second of trail that the course follows like the back of my hand and I also know that it’s relatively flat. Especially compared to all of Longview’s rolling hills. So that’s something! Plus the cutoff time for the Gobbler Grind is an hour more than Longview’s so that should help too haha.

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Here’s Longview’s elevation map according to my Garmin. As you can see, its a slightly up hill course, with plenty of hills, and one big ass hill that is the entirety of mile two. I am pretty sure there is not one flat stretch of road on this whole course haha. Fun fun fun!!

It’s a really good thing I plan on really working on upping my mileage this spring/summer! I’m gonna need it! I’m also probably going to have to really up my recovery game too, especially after I finish the Longview half for the 4th time in a row! Haha I am pretty stoked about that! My November tradition is going strong! πŸ™‚

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Mile 11 of the Longview half; 2015, 2016, and 2017. My goal for this year is to not look like I did last year at mile 11 hahaha.

Whew, the thought of running two half running two half marathons in two days is absolutely terrifying! But all the more reason to do it, right? I mean, I didn’t become a runner not to do hard things! But like I said, it’s still not a for sure thing yet. Just a crazy plan that both my dad and I want to make happen and are both going to be working toward.

Alrighty then! Today I’ll leave you with the new single from my new favorite band. πŸ˜‰ I hope everyone has a great week!

Your friend who is really good and making (potentially) really bad decisions,

~Ashley

 

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Thursday Things

They’re here!!!!!

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I’ve mentioned before how excited I was about these Honey Stinger cracker n’ nut butter snack bars, right? Well, if not, I’m super duper excited about theseΒ  Honey Stinger cracker n’ nut butter snack bars!! Haha so of course I ordered a box of the almond butter and dark chocolate bars on Monday. Along with a couple of boxes of waffles because priorities. πŸ˜‰

So that all got here today and I was able to try out one of the snack bars. They. Are. Amazing! Honey Stinger has yet to disappoint! πŸ™‚

You can get a box of these bad boys here, if you’re interested. πŸ™‚

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Along with getting my Honey Stinger fix, I also got a new pair of Zensah compression sleeves earlier this week! How super spiffy are these?!?!?!

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Haha I think they’re pretty freaking great. Plus along with being super neat looking (who doesn’t like rubber ducks?), I love Zensah’s compression sleeves (and socks). They’re super comfortable and I don’t feel like I’m being squeezed to death when I’m wearing them, but they still provide a pretty good amount of compression. I think they’re great. πŸ™‚

These rubber ducky sleeves, mini crew socks, and no-show socks are limited edition, so if you’re into that kinda thing like me, I’d snatch them up while I can! And obviously I did haha. πŸ™‚

Anyway, I finally got around to updating my “Goals and PR’s” page. You know, we’re only halfway through the 3rd month of the year, but better late than never, right? πŸ˜‰ At some point I need to get around to update my “About” page. I think it’s been something like 2 years since I’ve updated that, and obviously some things have changed. Plus I’ve just never been a fan of my “about” page so I really probably should just sit down and work on that. I’ll do it at some point haha.

Oh man, I’ve talked a little bit about what kind of running nutrition and gear that I like, so I guess maybe I should talk about actual running…it’s hard. I’m just having one of those weeks where everything feels hard and I just don’t want to do it. Which is super discouraging after how much fun and how great I felt during the Whiskey Run last Sunday. But it happens. It seems to happen to me a lot, but hey, just gotta work through it. So that’s what I’m doing. I took a rest day on Monday since I raced on Sunday. Did an easy 2 mile run on Tuesday (it didn’t feel easy), did the most difficult 4 miler of my life on Wednesday. Seriously, it was awful. I got through it though. Slowly. But my goal was 4 so dammit I did 4 haha.

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This morning I wanted to get another 3-4 miles in, but holy cow I felt like shit! I woke up sore, tired, and gross feeling. And I’m not entirely sure why. I don’t think I’ve done anything so far this week to warrant being this sore, so I figured I should play it safe and take the day off. Part of me kinda wonders if that’s just a lame excuse to get out of doing what probably would have been another not so fun run, but the rest of me is too tired and achy to care haha. So I’m mostly happy with my decision. I have a feeling skipping today’s run means I’m avoiding some kind of illness or potential injury, because like I said, I really don’t think I have a reason to feel this crappy today haha.

So, instead of running I took an epsom salt bath at 9 am (that was really nice πŸ™‚ ), walked my dogs, did some yoga, drank some bone broth, and spent quite a bit of time working on blog posts. I definitely felt better doing all of that than I probably would have if I’d attempted to run. πŸ˜‰

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Whew, I really hope things start feeling better for me running-wise soon. But I’m pretty much dedicated to suffering through it until it finally does. Hopefully that means I’ll come out on the other side of it stronger, but I guess we’ll find out when I get there.

And on that note; who wants to see some super unflattering photos of my dad and I at the Whiskey Run 5k last Sunday? Because the official race photos were posted a few days ago, and oh boy we are some very photogenic people! πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

They got a great photo of me walking up a hill, I totally nailed the “stopping your watch at the finish line” photo (that’s the first time I’ve done that, I think! πŸ˜‰ ), there’s a great photo of my dad being in pain because he hurt himself in the last few feet of the run (he’s feeling better now though), and post race/breakfast coffee while walking to the car while my dad was still in pain. Haha oh man, they’re all pretty great, but none of them beat my photos from mile 11 at last years Longview half marathon.

 

 

 

My goal for this year at Longview is to not be making that face at mile 11. πŸ˜‚

And finally, how about a little chicken update? My tiny raptors are growing like crazy! Look at all of those feathers they’re growing!! πŸ™‚ Since they are doing so well, getting a little bigger, and the weather’s been relatively nice, Luke and I took them outside and let them explore their chicken coop a little bit for the first time last night. Initially they were kinda freaked out (and understandably so) but after a few minutes they started wandering around and checking everything out. After about 10 or 15 minutes we brought them back inside though. Don’t want them getting sick or too stressed out or anything. We want them laying eggs ASAP! They should start around June or July, so that’s not too long of a wait. πŸ˜‰ Plus by then they’ll be living outside full-time, and thank goodness for that! Having chicks living in your house is kinda fun, but they are messy little creatures haha.

 

Alrighty then! I guess that pretty much covers everything I wanted to talk about today. Today is basically my Friday because Luke is off work tomorrow and apparently we’re going to be super busy tomorrow! Should be fun though! πŸ™‚

Happy Friday eve!

~Ashley

Whiskey Run 5K 3/11/18

I haven’t done an “official” 5k since I did Running With The Cows back in May of 2016. Actually, last year the only race I did was the Longview half. Haha I don’t get to race very often, so it’s pretty exciting when I do! πŸ™‚ Plus this one was even more exciting because my dad did it with me! It was his first official 5k and that’s so super awesome!!

But before we get to how the Whiskey 5k went for the two of us yesterday, I need to talk about what I did on Saturday, and how apparently it wasn’t as bad as an idea as I thought it would have been.

So. Saturday. The day before the Whiskey Run. My dad had to drive from Colorado to Kansas, which is an 11 ish hour drive. I’m sure that wasn’t an ideal way to spend the day before your first 5k race, but he’s a truck driver so I suppose he’s used to it. Plus this whole thing was kind of his idea! Haha you see, while I was in Colorado I told him about it and he said it was the perfect race for him! First off, he enjoys whiskey. Second, the race is in Martin City, and Martin is his last name (and it was mine as well until I got married πŸ˜‰ ). So he told me to sign us up and obviously I did. So he ended up getting to my house at midnight on Sunday morning. Not ideal, but hey, we made it work. πŸ™‚

I on the other hand, ended up going out on Saturday night with Luke, his brother, and his brother’s girl friend. To a bar. To play pool. So not my thing… I enjoy a little bit (or sometimes a lot hahaha) of drinking every once in a while, but I definitely don’t do it often. Especially not the night before a race! Or long run, or hard workout, or the night before I know I need to be up super early. I could keep going. πŸ˜‰ And I’m terrible and pool and don’t particularly enjoy playing it. But Luke really wanted me to go and I’m glad that I did. We all had a pretty good time and spent more time talking than playing pool, which was good, because like I said, I’m terrible at it. Luke and I also devoured a plate of cheese fries and an order of mozzarella sticks. So with all of that on top of the 4 or 5 beers I had, Luke and I joked all night that I was “carb loading”. Because you know, totally necessary to do that before a 5k. And obviously beer and cheese fries are the way to go! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

 

 

Oh man, it was a fun night though. And Luke and I ended up getting to our house about 5 minutes before my dad did, so that worked out nicely. πŸ™‚

I made my dad some food, we all hung out for about half an hour or so, and then the three of us decided we needed to go to bed. Luke had to work in the morning, my dad and I had to be up at 6 am, and oh, did I mention daylight’s savings happened Sunday morning? So we lost an hour of sleep. Terrific…

Setting my alarm for 6 am was slightly demoralizing knowing that in 4 short hours I would need to be awake. And actually waking up to that alarm was pretty sucky. But after initially waking up, the race day excitement kicked in and everything was fine after that. πŸ™‚ And I mean, coffee and a Honey Stinger waffle definitely helped.

 

 

Plus I do kind of have a pre race routine, which starts the day before. I set my coffee maker, decide what I’m having for breakfast, lay out all of my gear, and just make sure everything will be as easy as possible in the morning. I had taken care of all of that stuff the day before and I’m very glad that I did! But this time was a little different because now I had another person I needed to worry about. So at 6 am I got up, turned on the coffee maker, woke up my dad, got dressed, made both of us coffee, made sure we both ate a little something, and were ready to leave at 7. It all ended up going very smoothly, which was nice. πŸ™‚

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The outfit I had planned on wearing. And I did wear it haha. But it was a lot colder than I thought it was going to be thanks to a lot of wind, so I had to wear a hoodie over my super pretty St. Patrick’s Day shirt.

We got to the starting line about an hour and a half early, so we ended up finding a parking space very easily. While we were driving on part of the course we found port-o-potties, and the tent where the post run breakfast was being held (it was a few blocks away from the start/finish line, so that walk made a nice cool down haha). After we parked we picked up our packets and went straight back to the car to put on our bibs and timing chips because it was pretty cold and windy out. Not ideal for standing around in, but I’ll gladly take cold and cloudy weather for a race any day. πŸ™‚ Luckily for my dad, I’ve done this a few times before and made sure to grab him some safety pins at the packet pick up booth because he completely forgot haha. Also explained that the bib goes on the front of your shirt and that some people (i.e. me before my very first half) obsess over making it perfectly straight. I’m very much over that though. πŸ˜‰

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My kinda crooked bib number.

Once that was all taken care of, we hung out in the nice, warm car for a while, watching all of the other runners arrive. We actually watched the people who ended up being the overall male and female winners warming up. Turns out they are married and both won a bottle of whiskey so that’s pretty cool! Party at their house, right? πŸ˜‰

Anyway, around 8:00, half an hour before start time, I had to pee (of course πŸ˜‰ ). So we set out to brave the cold and wind to get in line for a port-o-potty. There was only one at the start line though, so we walked a few blocks down to the port-o-potties by the buffet tent. I’m glad we did! That was a nice little warm up for us and there was no line for those haha! After that we were both pretty cold, so we warmed up in the car again for a few minutes and then we lined up at the start/finish line!

 

We are both slow runners, so we lined up at the back and we actually didn’t even hear the national anthem playing, but about midway through we noticed that people at the front had their hats off and their hands over their hearts, so we followed suit along with a few others in the back. We did hear the announcer counting down though! Everyone started surging forward, we crossed the timing mat, and my dad took off like a bat out of hell!

Holy cow I was not ready for that! As someone who’s race a few times, has been running for a few years, and has read several books on the subject, I now know that it’s best to start off all races conservatively. I told my dad that, he didn’t care, the first half mile was hell haha. Especially since my stomach wasn’t feeling all that happy after the beer and cheese fries the night before…

So throughout the first mile we kept getting separated. We were doing run/walk intervals and I was trying to take the run intervals somewhatΒ conservatively at first, but my dad would take off and start weaving between people. Eventually I told him that that was fine and I’d just catch up to him once he started feeling terrible and was regretting going out so fast, so I just started doing my own thing haha. Well, until he started talking shit! As we were closing in on mile two he told some lady that I was half his age and couldn’t keep up. Oh hell no! At that point I was feeling better and my stomach had settled so I planned on taking off! Haha we ended up getting kinda separated by a police officer on a motorcycle who was in front of the lead runner and I never saw my dad when I decided to take off.

So we ended up running most of mile two without each other, but that’s what he gets for starting out too fast! πŸ˜‰ I ended up seeing him at a turn around as I was leaving the water station and he was going through it. When I saw him I yelled “hey slow-poke” to get his attention,and I slowed down and he spend up and eventually caught me. By that point he was huffing, puffing, and wanting to take longer walking breaks, so we did. Haha I made fun of him the whole time though, telling him that now I felt great and that he should have listened to me at the beginning. It was all in good fun though.

During the last mile I realized that I did feel really good though! Like, freaking fantastic! At that point I got super duper excited about everything that is to come for me, running wise. I’ve got another 5k in May and I’m already signed up to do the Longview Half for the 4th year in a row, and I cannot wait to see what training for that will bring!

Anyway, we ended up walking the uphills during the last mile, and absolutely killing it on the downhills. I might have been pushing the pace a little bit. Plus running down hill with reckless abandoned is one of my favorite pass times. Plus did I mention how amazing I felt?Β  Haha my dad was still huffing and puffing, but he was a total trooper and kept up with me during my downhill escapades!

At the very end we were just behind this other guy and my dad goes “Ashley, we’re beating him”. Now in the back of my mind I started thinking that shooting past someone else at the finish line is kinda bad race etiquette, when you’re not really fighting for any particular place (I could be wrong about that, but I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere). But I was caught up in the moment, felt amazing, and now it was my turn to take off like a bat out of hell! I crossed the finish line feeling super strong and my dad came in about 2 seconds behind me! Not bad!! All in all I’d say my dad’s first 5k was a total success!

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Anyone remember me saying that my goal for Running With The Cows is 38 minutes? This result makes that feel a whole hell of a lot more doable than I had originally thought! πŸ™‚

Well, kind of. You see, my dad has this old injury in his calf, and that stunt at the finish line ended up irritating in. So apparently he was in a lot of pain crossing the finish line and spent the rest of the day limping around on it. Haha and I spent the rest of the day joking about how this means he obviously needs to start running more and should definitely do more races with me. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, at the finish line we took some photos on my phone, a race photographer took some photos of us with the KC Running Company trailer, we got and enjoyed our shot of whiskey, and we talked to a few people. Haha mostly because they were concerned about my dad who was obviously in pain and limping around. Ah man, I love runners. In general we tend to be some really awesome people. πŸ™‚

 

After hanging out at the finish line for a little bit we started making our way to the buffet tent. Although very slowly, because my dad couldn’t walk very fast on his hurt leg. I talked to a really nice kid (he was probably 17 or 18) about how much fun this race was and how finishing times didn’t matter and that having fun was the most important thing. That’s pretty much my philosophy for all things running, so I totally agreed! He was a very cool guy. πŸ™‚ By that time I was really feeling that shot of whisky haha. I don’t drink a lot of hard liquor so it tends to affect me pretty fast. Apparently even more so after running! So I was one happy camper heading to that breakfast buffet!

Once we finally go there we filled up our plates with bacon, eggs, sausages, and potatoes. Yum!! My dad also got biscuits and gravy. Gross… πŸ˜‰ Sat down and enjoyed our breakfast! And it was really good!! πŸ™‚ Jack Stacks did not disappoint!

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On our way out we both grabbed some coffee for our not-so-long, but definitely slow walk back to the car. On our way home we stopped at Target so my dad could get some Epsom salt and I grabbed a Kombucha which I definitely enjoyed in the shower. πŸ˜‰ When I was done my dad took his Epsom salt bath, we both napped (haha the 4 hours of sleep we both got was definitely catching up to us), and then around 5 pm my dad had to leave. He had to work today so he couldn’t stay any longer.

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We both had a great time and I think I might have convinced my dad to become a runner! I sure hope so, anyway! πŸ˜‰

I hope you had a good weekend!

~Ashley

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2018 Goals, Potential Races, and Finn’s First Birthday!

Happy New Year, everyone!!

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I hope you had a very merry Christmas, a fun (and safe) New Year’s Eve, and a happy holiday season in general. Mine sure was!!

For Thanksgiving Luke and I drove to my parents’ place Colorado and only really got to spend one full day there, but we jam packed that day with all sorts of fun (which you can read all about here πŸ™‚ )!

 

 

For Christmas we drove to Illinois and were able to stay there for a little longer. We spent A LOT of time running around all over the place trying to go everywhere we needed to go, see everyone we needed to see, and attended the usual family Christmas parties. We totally succeeded at all of that and had lots of fun doing it! It hardcore wore us out though and I think all of that contributed in my getting a gross chest cold later in the week haha. You can read about that craziness here, if you’d like. πŸ˜‰

 

And as for New Year’s Eve well, we were going to hang out with some friends, but one of them had just had surgery and since I was sick that didn’t end up happening. So I spent most of the morning making the Carrot-Ginger soup from Run Fast Eat Slow and it turned out great!! Then Luke and I just hung out at home together all night. It sucks that I’m sick but it was still nice. Plus he’s taken a couple of days off of work this week, so we’ll getΒ even more time to spend together which is nice. He works a lot so we don’t get that very often anymore.

But anyway, enough about holiday stuff, lets talk about my goals for the new year!! Honestly I don’t have many that are super thought out or anything. One day a week or two ago I just wrote down a few things I wanted to do and work on and kinda sorta built on those, pretty much as I wrote this blog post hahaha.

Goals For 2018:

  • Be more constant about hitting my step goal. Thanks to the whole fitness tracker crazy, it seems like nowadays a goal that a bunch of people have is to take 10,000 steps everyday, and I am one of those people. 10,000 steps is kind of an arbitrary number, but I think it’s a good goal to have, especially in our modern world in which we do a lot of sitting. It’s definitely a very obtainable goal and I’m usually pretty good about it, but I’ve been slacking a little bit over the past several months. Now I decided to go with being more consistent instead of trying to aim for it every single day because that seems like the better way to go. I mean, every once in a while it’s nice to have a day were you sit around doing nothing, or life happens and you just can’t get it done without going to extremes, or becoming super neurotic about it. And besides, consistency is key. πŸ™‚
  • Build up my weekly running mileage to about 50-60 miles a week. This is something I’ve been wanting/needing to do for a while, but have never really come up with a plan to accomplish. Technically I still don’t have an actualΒ plan,Β but I do have a pretty good idea about how I want to go about doing it, so at least there’s that.
  • Keep a training log. Another thing I’ve been needing to do for a while! Actually, I have kinda sort kept a written log before. I do really well for a while but then kinda taper out. But now I plan on keeping an alarm on my phone to remind me to do it haha! I think a written log is definitely going toe help me find things I can do to help me improve my running, figure out how/when/why I get injured (I’m kinda sort injury prone πŸ˜‰ ), and help me keep up with my goals. I mean, it seems like the most successful runners keep a written training log, so there’s gotta be something to it!
  • Write down one positive thing in said training log every day. I think this will just be a good way to remember that not everyday is good, but there is good in everyday. Even if that good is something super small like met a new dog, ate a yummy cookie, my hair looked nice today, and stuff like that. πŸ™‚

So that pretty much covers my goals for the year. I think they’re all achievable goals. Now I just have to remember to stick with them hahaha. πŸ˜‰

Along with my goals there are also a few races that I want to run this year; the Garmin 10k in April (I thought about doing the half but I’ve yet to do an “official” 10k and that’s something I want to cross of my bucket list. Plus a 10k takes a lot less time to train for haha), the Running with the Cows 5k (which I signed up for before the price increase last night! πŸ˜‰ ) in May, and the Longview half in November (that’ll make it 4 years in a row that I’ve run this race and I want to keep that going!!!

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The Garmin 10k will be a new one for me, if I do it, and that’s pretty exciting!! Plus, it’s held at the Garmin world headquarters which is legit 10 minutes away from my house, so that’s really nice! I did the Running with the cows 5k in 2016 and it was a lot of fun!! There were baby goats and cows at the start line, It’s held on a pretty rural road with all sorts of pretty views of cow fields, and there is a ridiculous amount of food at the end! So what’s not to love?!? Oh and this one is like 15 minutes away from my house which is also super awesome. πŸ™‚ And of course the Longview half. My first and only half marathon experience and my November tradition. Eventually I will run another half that is not this one. Eventually…hahaha.

 

 

Aaaaand last but certainly not least; today is Finn’s first birthday!! Yay!!

Finn started out life as a not so cute puppy (I mean, ALL puppies are cute, but Finn was the least cute puppy I’ve ever seen hahaha. He was mostly just awkward.) with ears that were way too big for his body and couldn’t make up their mind if they wanted to be up or down. He’s always been a little shit disturber and that hasn’t changed, but he’s learning how to act, how to behave, and how to function in scary/different environments. He’s way too smart for his own good, but eager to please (as most border collies are). His ears have finally made up their minds and he has finally grown into them, and he’s grown into a very handsome boy. His herding instincts are amazingly strong, he has a very strong eye, and has an obsessive need to circle things, and likes to cut the head of whatever it is he’s herding (dogs, cats, rabbits) and is definitely a nose biter. I really want to take him somewhere and get him some herding lessons. He’s the perfect age for that, but unfortunately we don’t currently have the time or money to do it. Maybe one day though. And maybe one day after we have some testing done on his eyes and hips, Mr. Finn just might become a proud father. πŸ˜‰

 

Mr. Finn isn’t the only one with a winter birthday though. Dean was born on January 17th and will be 3 this year, and Lily was born in February and will be 8 (haha my friend who’s dad bred her, and her boyfriend at the time who originally ended up with her but ended up giving her to me, couldn’t remember the exact day, but it was definitely February. πŸ˜‰ ). So we might just have to have another puppy party for the three of them. They’re all good dogs and I’m very glad that I was lucky enough to end up with all of them.

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Having 3 border collies and no farm/livestock is hard though, I’m not gonna lie. These dogs do require a lot of work, time, attention, exercise, and mental stimulation. I’m also very lucky to have the time, patience, and knowledge to be able to handle the task of keeping 3 high energy, highly intelligent dogs happy. πŸ™‚

But anyway, that’s everything I’ve got for today! I hope everyone has a fantastic 2018!!

~Ashley

I Believe My Streaking Days Have Come To An End

And like, 2 days after my optimistic and yet slightly delusional “half way there” post. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

But oh man, this morning I woke up feeling pretty miserable. I mean, I was just so exhausted that I legit woke up at 7 am and just sat on my couch doing nothing for 2 hours. At that point I decided I should probably do a little bit of soul searching, take inventory of my body and mind, and decide if this is something I should even continue do.

After doing a little bit of thinking, I realized I’ve kinda been tired for a while. I’ve also felt sore and achy in some places I normally wouldn’t considering what I’ve been doing. I’ve been constantly hungry and look like I might have gained some weight (although I think most of that just might be water retention).I feel like I might be coming down with a cold. I haven’t been sleeping well and for the last week or two I haven’t really been able to run more than 3 miles. Sounds kinda like symptoms of over-training, right? Haha yeah, well my stubborn ass didn’t realize that until this morning. And even then (and now) I was kind of unsure about whether or not I actually need a break from running, or if this is something I should continue to work through. Especially since I really haven’t done all that much running over the last two weeks. But after I decided that I was going to take a short break from running I didn’t even feel upset or disappointed about ending the streak. I felt relived. And that pretty much told me everything I needed to know. πŸ˜‰

So did I learn anything during this crazy streaking adventure? As a matter of fact I did! I learned to push through physical discomfort in a way that I hadn’t before (and what kind I should and shouldn’t try to run through πŸ˜‰ ). I learned not to use long, busy days as an excuse not to run. I learned that cross training really helps with recovery and soreness and my legs actually felt a lot better the day after I did it. And possibly most importantly, I’ve learned that, at least at this point in my running career, that streaking is not for me haha. I need at least a day or 2 off from running every week in order to recover and be able to function properly. πŸ˜‰

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So now it’s time for a break! A break from running, tracking food, workout scheduled, and goals! I kind of already did that in November after my half marathon, but now seems like a good time to do it again. Especially with all of the holiday festivities going on. πŸ™‚ I do need to figure out and come up with goals I want to work towards in 2018, but I’ll worry about all of that later.

Alrighty then! Now that’s all taken care of and figured out, lets take look at my top 9 Instagram posts of 2017!

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Haha oh man, my hair’s been on quite the journey this year! It started out the year super long and natural colored, with my signature blonde streak. Then I cut it super short. Then I dyed it black. And now it’s more medium length hahah. Oh yeah, and I did some running stuff too. πŸ˜‰ Funny how a photo from my half marathon last year made it into my top 9, but one from this year didn’t haha. Probably because I looked much happier to be at mile 11 last year than I did this year. Seriously though, lets compare…

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Mile 11 of the Longview Half Marathon, 2015, 2016, and 2017. Let’s play a fun game called “guess which years I was having fun and which year I was not!” I like to think it’s pretty obvious. πŸ˜‰ But I’ve finished that damn half 3 years in a row and I plan on continuing to do so! At least I’ve managed to keep that streak alive and will hopefully be able to continue to for years to come. πŸ™‚

Well that was a fun little trip down memory lane, but I think I’m done for today. I have a full day of doing absolutely nothing in front of me and I plan on taking full advantage of it!

Happy happy happy Thursday!!

~ 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!!!! πŸ˜‰

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 reallyΒ 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 myΒ 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 πŸ˜‰ ), 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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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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! πŸ™‚

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 feltΒ amazing!Β 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 mostΒ  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. πŸ™‚ 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!Β 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’veΒ everΒ 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. πŸ™‚

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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. πŸ™‚

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,Β  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. πŸ™‚

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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. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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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! πŸ™‚ 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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Half Marathon Number 3 Is Done! Thank Goodness!!!

This training cycle kicked my ass. It chewed me up, spit me out, and stomped me into the dirt for good measure. I battled a hot, miserable summer, just long enough to get hurt. I spent most of August and September not running thanks to a nagging knee injury. I started running again in October and was able to slowly and carefully start re-building a little bit of mileage, just to get hit with a chest cold from Hell the week before race week. Thanks to said cold, I missed three more days of running and spent a week and a half trying to get healthy again. Or at least healthy enough to cover 13.1 miles without feeling like absolute death. 
In the midst of all of that I dealt with the same old everyday stuff we all have to deal with. There’s been some drama going down in my family, I’ve been dealing with a lot of personal stuff, and I lost a good friend to depression. I’ve dealt with a lot of bullshit to say the least. 

So yeah, it came as no surprise to me that the race also kicked my ass haha. It actually started off really well and I felt super strong going up the hills and basically unstoppable on the down hills. Unfortunately the wheels came off the bus maybe half way into mile 8. I got really dizzy, ended up having to walk quite a bit, and not gonna lie, at mile 10 I wasn’t sure I was gonna make it, but somehow I crossed the finish line in 3:02:34. That’s better than my first half marathon 2 years ago, but not as good as my second last year. It’s all good though, I made to the finish and that was my only goal, so I’m proud of myself for accomplishing it! 


Alrighty then, that’s all for now! But I will have a full race recap up in the next few days! 

~Ashley