Tag Archives: longview half marathon

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ )!

 

 

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

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 getย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • 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 actualย plan,ย 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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

~Ashley

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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. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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!!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 reallyย 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 myย 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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 feltย amazing!ย 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 mostย  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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!ย 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’veย everย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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,ย  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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

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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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. Thereโ€™s been some drama going down in my family, Iโ€™ve been dealing with a lot of personal stuff, and I lost a good friend to depression. Iโ€™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 wasnโ€™t sure I was gonna make it, but somehow I crossed the finish line in 3:02:34. Thatโ€™s better than my first half marathon 2 years ago, but not as good as my second last year. Itโ€™s all good though, I made to the finish and that was my only goal, so Iโ€™m proud of myself for accomplishing it! 


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

~Ashley

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. Thereโ€™s been some drama going down in my family, Iโ€™ve been dealing with a lot of personal stuff, and I lost a good friend to depression. Iโ€™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 wasnโ€™t sure I was gonna make it, but somehow I crossed the finish line in 3:02:34. Thatโ€™s better than my first half marathon 2 years ago, but not as good as my second last year. Itโ€™s all good though, I made to the finish and that was my only goal, so Iโ€™m proud of myself for accomplishing it! 


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

~Ashley

Friday Fives: OMG Tomorrow Is Race Day Thoughts and Feelings

Tomorrow’s the day I’ve been waiting for/dreading for a while now and I’m trying to gather my thoughts a little bit, because they’ve just been all over the place this week. I’m pretty excited, because races are fun! I mean, you get to hang out with a bunch of other runners, have roads closed off and the police out making sure you’re safe from traffic, there are volunteers handing you water and Gatorade, and a bunch of people cheering you on, some of whom have fun signs, and hi-fives aplenty. What’s not to like?! You know, aside from the fact that I feel very unprepared for this half marathon. I got injured over the summer, got sick a week before the race, and am already a super slow runner, so being even slower because of those things really really sucks.

So I suppose that basically sums up how I feel, but in the spirit of “Friday Fives” here are 5 thoughts and feelings I have about the Longview half marathon tomorrow;

1. It’s Gonna Be A Total Suckfest…

Mostly because of the hills that I did not train for. So that’s probably just going to be loads of fun. But I’m fully aware of how sucky it’s going to be (running this course twice before helps with that) and I’m ready to embrace it. There have been a couple times in this training cycle that I said I wanted to hurt, and I guess I’m finally going to get my wish tomorrow! And I guess at this point I’ve just kinda hyped myself up so much for it that I’m just like “Yes! Bring on the pain!!!”. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not though. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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At least the course is pretty, being around a lake and all. ๐Ÿ˜‰

2. It’s Going To Be Another Warm Year.ย 

Ok, so the weather isn’t going to beย thatย bad. As of yesterday they’re calling for a high of 46 degrees a low of 41 and it’s supposed to be cloudy with a chance of rain (which is great for me!). But this race is held on the second weekend of November. I’ve signed up for this race 3 years in a row now hoping that it would be nice and cold out. But 3 years in a row, the high has been around 50 degrees. I’m about 2 seconds away from turning this into a climate change thing, but that wasn’t my original intent for this post, so I’m gonna stop there. Just know that I’ve been kinda disappointed that the weather has yet to be as cold as I’d wish it would beย during this race.

But fun fact! The very first year they held this race, the only year I have not run it so far, race day fell on my birthday and they got some snow flurries. So yeah, I wish I would have done it that year, but I was not ready for a half marathon at that point of my life and I had no idea that this race or the KC Running Company even existed back then, so there’s that hahaha.

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3. I’ve Still Got A Few Things I Need To Get Done.

So usually I’m super on top of preparing for big events like this, but I’ve been very lax about it all this year. I mean, I’ve gotten my gear and fuel plan all figured out so at least there’s that. But I still need to make a playlist (because I like running with music damn it!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), figure out where I’m going to keep my fuel (why does running gear have so few pockets???), pick up a throwaway jacket and gloves, bananas, chap stick. I’ve also got to go to packet pick up at some point this afternoon. I should theoretically get all of that done today though. And maybe it would be a good idea for me to come up with some kind of race plan? But meh. I’m not too worried about it honestly. As long as I keep moving forward I’ll make it to the finish line and that’s really my only goal. ๐Ÿ™‚

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But hey, at least I know what I’m gonna wear! ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

4. I’m Excited!ย 

I know I’ve been a bit of a negative Nancy about things going wrong during this training cycle, and I do think this half marathon is gonna be super hard and suck and be painful but I’m still excited for it! I’m excited to line up at the starting line, thank all of the volunteers and police officers (seriously, if you wanna take your mind off of running for a little bit, start thanking all of the people out there making the race possible for you. It helps and everyone volunteering definitely deserves A LOT of recognition for what they’re doing), talk to other runners, hi five spectators, and crossing the finish line. I’m also excited to be ridiculous and laugh with the race photographer at mile 11, have a volunteer tell me I really made sure that my timing chip was secured to my shoe (because so far someone has said something about it at EVERY. SINGLE. RACE. I’ve done hahaha), get my medal, and partake in whatever food that will be at the finish line this year. Last year it was chili, which I didn’t think was a great choice…and this year they did not specify anything in the participant’s guide, so I guess I’ll just find out what it is when I get there! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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5. I Get A Sweet Hoodie, Nifty Medal, and My Streak With This Race Continues! So Totally Worth It.ย 

I think this might actually be more than one point, but I’m just gonna roll with it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So first off, the participation shirt for this race has just gotten better every year! This year it’s a pretty sweet hoodie, and I’m actually going to go pick that up along with my bib number later today! I’m pretty stoked about that. ๐Ÿ™‚ And the finisher’s medal is pretty nifty too! Although I think I liked last years better, but still, not too shabby! Along with some neat finisher’s stuff, I get the pride of crossing another finish line and of completing this race 3 years in a row. And that’s a streak I’d like to keep going for as long as I possibly can!

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Most Recent Vlogs

Three. More. Days. Until. My. Third. Half. Marathon!!!!!!

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I’m actually not all that nervous about it right now. I have a feeling that’s gonna come the day before though hahaha. So yeah, I’m not nervous, but I am currently just all over the place. I’m pretty sure I’m experiencing the taper crazies, which I think is something you hear more about with marathoners, but I think half marathoners also experience a little bit of taper madness in the week leading up to a race.

So that being said, I’ve been getting back into vlogging again! I’m not a good vlogger by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t script anything, I don’t do any editing, have any fancy equipment, or anything like that, but I have found that there is something a little bit therapeutic about ranting into a camera for 10-20 minutes hahaha. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So if you want to witness my taper crazies first hand I suggest you check out my latest vlogs.

11/4/17: Let’s Talk Running Gear, Fuel, and Race Day Strategy!

11/6/17: Unboxing My November StrideBox

11/8/17: Taper Craziesย 

In my StrideBox unboxing video I share a pretty nifty coupon code for the upcoming holiday season! I’ll talk a little bit more about that here eventually, but if you’re at all interested in gifting a StrideBox subscription to a running buddy or even to yourself for the upcoming holiday season, I suggest you go check that one out!! ๐Ÿ™‚

But anyways, that’s all I’ve got for today. I hope everyone has a happy happy Wednesday and that you don’t feel as crazy as I do right now haha. ๐Ÿ˜‰

~Ashley