Tag Archives: Nike

Running is for EVERYONE

I just wanted to take a second to talk about the Nike mannequin that the internet is currently freaking out over.

This photo isn’t mine, obviously. I got it from a quick google search.

I kinda don’t get why people are freaking out. I read a piece of an article earlier today that said this theoretical person could never run, and is more likely to need a hip replacement and is probably on their way to having diabetes. WTF?!?

I’ve seen every shape, size, and body type lined up at pretty much every race I’ve done and I think that’s just fantastic!! And to me that solidifies the fact that EVERYONE can run.

And the fact that ANYONE is running is usually admired and encouraged in the running community. Sure Nike is a controversial brand (but I still buy their gear and run in their shoes 😉) but this is something they’ve definitely done right! Running and being active should be accessible to everyone! And that means the clothes and gear should come in varying sizes. Fitness and running isn’t just for thin people. It’s for EVERYONE. And anyone who thinks differently can kindly fuck off.

If anything I can only see this encouraging more people to start running, going to the gym, or embarking on their own healthy lifestyle. I can imagine it could be pretty intimidating to walk into an athletic wear store, being surrounded by fit looking people, fit looking mannequins, and maybe not even being able to find the proper gear in your size. Putting myself in that situation I’d be completely demoralized and might even decide to give up on my fitnesses journey right then and there.

But on the flip side, I walk into an athletic wear store and see ALL types of bodies being represented. In that case I’d feel accepted and like I actually belonged there. I’d feel even more encouraged to kick start my fitness/running journey.

Obviously these are just made up scenarios in my head. I’ve never experienced going to an athletic wear store and not been able to find my size (although I do have issues finding sports bras and tights that I like, are comfortable, and functional. but that’s a completely different issue.😉). But I HAVE felt like an imposter when it comes to being a runner sometimes. I’m not super thin or super fit looking. I definitely don’t have the type of body that screams “runner” to the average person.

Just ignore my dirty mirror. 😉

But you know what? That doesn’t make me any less of a runner! I run half marathons for goodness sake!! And that goes for any person of any shape, size, body type, or distance you can run. I don’t care if you weigh 90 pounds or 300. I don’t care if you run ultra marathons or can only run around your block. You are a REAL runner and I am proud of you! You belong here in this community, at any running expo, fitness event, or at the starting line of a race. Running is for EVERYONE!!

If this is the hill I have to die on then fine. I’ll gladly do it. I am NEVER going to discourage anyone from running or from starting a healthier lifestyle. The people who are angry about a freaking mannequin need a reality check. These are the same people who say that bigger people just need to go to the gym and workout to lose weight, but then they are really going to criticize Nike for having a mannequin to display the gear they have for bigger people?? The same people they’re saying need to go workout? It’s so hypocritical I can barely even wrap my mind around it!!

Running is for EVERYONE!!

I’ve said it many times in this post and I’m going to continue to advocate that point. And finally, I’m going to leave you with one of my all time favorite quotes:

Image found on Pinterest

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My Most Important Pieces Of Running Gear

Alrighty my friends! Do me a favor; quickly scroll through this list and then come back here…

Done?

Ok. 😄

Notice anything missing from this list? Running shoes, right? I mean, aren’t those literally the most important piece of running gear after all? And then after that a good sports bra, right?

Both of those things are super important, but here’s the thing, we all know that at this point! I mean, look at Runner’s World. At this point the magazine is 90% shoe ads. I stopped subscribing after they got a new editor and chief, but I’ve heard it’s just been going downhill ever since. But they aren’t the only company constantly telling us that we need shoes. Shoes shoes shoes shoes. Runners need their running shoes! Alright. We get it!

But I personally believe that finding the right running shoe for yourself is a very personal thing. Everyone’s feet, body, running stride, etc, are different. Therefore the perfect running shoe for someone else might be an injury waiting to happen for you!

So yes, maybe do a little bit of research before buying a pair of running shoes, but the best possible thing you can do is try on a variety of brands and styles. Run around in them a little bit at the store, and then just kinda hope that they’ll end up working for you. And if not, try again. I know that sounds like a lot of trial and error, but I really believe that’s the best way to figure out what’s going to work the best for you. You can also go to a reputable and trustworthy running specialty store, but take whatever they tell you with a grain of salt. Yes, they want to help you, but at the end of the day no one knows your feet and your body like you do.

Also if you have a particular shoe that works for you, don’t let anyone convince you that you’re wrong! I’m looking at you, people who say you can’t run long distances in Nike Frees!!

And don’t even get me started on sports bras. There is a lot wrong with that particular part of the athletic wear industry right now. I can’t find anything that isn’t super heavy duty that feels like you’re clipping yourself into a straight jacket, that has no pads or underwire (I get why some people like padded sports bras, but I hate them), or that had a bottom band that digs into and chafes the rib cage. I’ve seen women who end up bleeding pretty badly from these terrible sports bra bands. Nike used to make THE PERFECT sports bra for me, but they don’t anymore and I’m so freaking pissed! It’s been YEARS since I’ve had a sports bra that was actually comfortable…

But anyway. That’s why sports bras are also not on this list.

Hahaha oh wow. I really didn’t mean for that to turn into a rant like that. It just kinda happened. 😂 But really I think someone needed to say it.

So, let’s get into a more positive track, shall we?

Obviously I’ve got a bone to pick with certain areas of the running gear/athletic wear industry, but there are actually quite a few brands and products out there that I love, trust, and believe in! Which is great because obviously running gear is fun! But it can also make or break your workout (I’m looking at you, terrible sports bras!), help you keep track of your training, progress, time, mileage, mile splits, or whatever, keep you comfortable in certain weather conditions, help keep you safe, provide you with a little extra piece of mind, or just make you feel like a total badass. Which is also super important!

So, today I wanted to share what I would consider to be my most important pieces of running gear. Obviously if asked, most runners would give you different answers as to what their most important gear is because we’re all different and need and want different things! How awesome is that?! 😊 But for me, these are a few of the things I just can’t live without when it comes to running.

ROAD iD

Safety first, my friends!!

My ROAD iD contains my name, birth year, blood type, and emergency contact. All things that could definitely come in handy in case of an emergency. Plus having all of that right on my wrist means I don’t have to carry my ID or anything else with me while I run, which is nice. 😄

At this point I WILL NOT run without my ROAD iD. Heck, I rarely ever take it off! It just gives me so much peace of mind knowing that if something were to ever happen to me my husband would be contacted right away. I seriously think everyone should have one!

(PS if you don’t have one yet, you can follow my special link to get you one and save 20% on your order. 😉)

Garmin Fenix 5

I am a run by feel kinda gal, so I actually don’t pay a lot of attention to or get distracted by the paces that my Garmin is constantly providing me. Which is a problem that some people run into on occasion and something that can become a bit of an issue.

But, since it’s not a problem for me I always run wearing my Garmin Fenix 5. It’s a super fancy GPS watch and I do enjoy all of the data it can provide me, the biggest thing I’m looking for is my mileage. Yup, I’m the kind of person who can’t end a run at 4.8 miles even if I’m standing right in front of my house (and even though I know that GPS watches aren’t 100% accurate). But keeping track of my mileage is super important to me. It’s how I know if I’m being consistent and actually working hard instead of just phoning it in. Some people can measure that with time, but I prefer miles. Everything else that my Fenix 5 can do is just an added bonus. 😄

Oiselle Pocket Jogger Capris

You guys, the pants CHANGED MY LIFE!!!!!

I know that’s a little dramatic. 😂 But seriously, the amount of pockets on running gear is too damn low!! I don’t need to carry much with me on my runs, but at the very least I like a pocket that my phone will fit in along with a few other pockets that I can keep fuel and chapstick in. But I literally never had that until these pants came into my life. I LOVE them. Now I just need to get the Pocket Jogger Shorts! Not one pair of my running shorts contains enough pockets.

I do have photos of my pair of pocket jogger capris, but they aren’t as good as this one from Oiselle’s website. 😉

Trucker Hats

Oh trucker hats! Where would I be without you?!?

Gagging and choking on my hair, and constantly trying to keep my bangs out of my eyes, probably. 😂

Trucker hats are an absolute MUST for me during the warmer months. I have what I affectionately refer to as a “choppy hair cut”. There are multiple layers, bangs, it’s kinda long, messy, and nothing is the same length. It can be hard to contain. 😂 Even braids and headbands can’t keep it all out of my way. But trucker hats help without holding in too much heat thanks to their mesh backs. Plus I like to have some kind of brimmed hat anyway to keep the sun/wind/rain/who knows what out of my eyes if need be. 😄

Moisture Wicking Socks

Honestly the brand and style don’t matter much to me. Sometimes I wear compression socks. Sometimes I don’t. As long as my socks keep me feet from getting too sweaty and gross then I’m good to go!

The thing is, one time in my early days as a runner I forgot to switch into moisture wicking socks. It was a miserable experience for my poor, sweaty feet and I have never and probably will never make that same mistake again. I always double check my feet before I hit the pavement, just to be sure that I did indeed put on a pair of my running socks. 😂

I’m a simple girl with simple needs. Aside from my Garmin I really don’t have any super duper fancy gear. Obviously there is nothing wrong with having the latest/expensive/technologically advanced/super spiffy gear. But I like to remind people that while all of that stuff can be fun, you really don’t need much to start running. That’s one of the cool things about this sport! It really doesn’t take fancy equipment. You just need a pair of shoes that work for you and whatever allows you to move comfortably over however many miles you want to cover.

Alrighty! That’s all from me for now!

What running gear can’t you live without? I’d love to hear your answers!

But for now I’ll wish you happy Monday and a wonderful new week!!

~Ashley

How I Dress For Cold, Dry Winter Runs

How do you dress for cold runs? Well, I’m not sure. But I can tell you how I do it. 😉

Honestly I think that gearing up for any kind of weather condition is a very personal thing. Everyone runs at different temperatures and everyone experiences the elements in different ways. So while one runner might be wearing shorts and a t-shirt when it’s 40 degrees outside another might be wearing tights and a light jacket. Neither runner is wrong. If you feel comfortable then you are dressed properly!

That being said, dressing for the cold and I mean the real cold, I’m talking single digit temps here (or even real feel temperatures in the single digits) can be kinda tricky. But before we get started on how I gear up for the bitter cold I just wanted to note a couple of different things;

First and foremost the importance of moisture wicking material! It is absolutely CRUCIAL to wear materials that are going to move moister away from your skin in the winter. Being wet and cold is a dangerous state to be in. You can develop hypothermia rather quickly in very cold conditions so you’re going to want to stay as dry as possible. Moisture wicking material will help. Especially the layers closest to your skin. I try to wear only moisture wicking material, but when it’s super cold and windy out I’ll usually throw a cotton pullover hoodie on over the rest of my moisture wicking gear.

Secondly, I’ve specified dry conditions for a reason. Running when it’s cold and wet (snow, ice, sleet, freezing rain, etc.) is a whole different animal. We’ve already talked about how important it is to stay dry when it’s cold out, but that’s not to say you can’t run when it’s cold and wet out. That just takes a little bit more prep, slightly different gear, and the ability and willingness to exercise caution (especially in icy conditions) and modifying or cutting your run short as need be.

Okey Dokey! Now that that’s out of the way, here is how I dress for cold, dry winter runs!!

So yesterday was a pretty cold day here in Kansas. Cold enough that even I wasn’t super stoked about running outside. 😂 It was 22 degrees with a real feel temperature of 8, cloudy, and with winds coming in from the south east at about 16 mph. Honestly it’s the wind that always gets me. I HATE it.

But, I would most definitely rather run in the cold wind than run on a treadmill (which I am lucky enough to have as an option. I’m well aware of that fact. 👍🏻😁) so I decided to gear up and do my run outside! One of the most important aspects of gearing up for the cold is layers! Layers that you can take off or adjust as need be are also very helpful. But layering your clothing probably will make a huge difference in how you feel in the cold.

(Sorry in advance for the not-so-great photos. I’m working with the bad lighting in my house and an iPhone camera here. 😉)

My layers laid out on my bed.

Alrighty, let’s start from the bottom and work our way up! I like to go with one pair of socks. Crew cut to help keep my ankles warm. I’m kinda tall so my pants sometimes don’t cover them. 😉 In life in general my feet are always freezing, but when I run they are always hot and sweaty, so one pair of thin socks is all I need when it’s dry out.

I always go commando while running. I’m just more comfortable that way. So when the winter winds start to blow I double up on pants. At least when the temperatures are super low. That wind can really cut through a single layer and that can make your crotch really cold and nobody wants a cold crotch. 😉 So I like to wear a pair of fleece lined leggings with with either a pair of windbreakers or nice thick sweatpants overtop.

For the top I wear a sports bra of course, followed by a thin shirt. I’m rather fond of quarter length sleeves, but a long sleeved shirt is also a good option. Followed by a running jacket. I LOVE my Nike one. It’s got thumb holes which are always fantastic. Vents in the armpits and a little bit thinner fabric on the back and under arms where most people tend to get hot and sweaty. Plus it’s a quarter zip which can really come in handy if you start feeling a little too warm. You’d be surprised how big of a difference that can make!

Anyway, like I mentioned before, on particularly windy days I’ll wear a pullover hoodie on top of all of that. It really helps keep me from feeling that cold wind. A nice windbreaker jacket would also probably help but I do not have one of those. 😂

Then come the hat, gloves, and a bandanna that I borrowed from my dog. 😂 So the hat and gloves are pretty obvious. Gotta keep those ears and fingers warm! I just wear cheap little cotton gloves. Nothing fancy, but they work for me. And I’m sure they’re are better beanies for winter running, but my Carhartt has never done me wrong! I know some people prefer to run with just earmuffs or whatever because a whole hat on your head does get pretty warm. I’m not a fan of just having my ears covered though so I like a full on hat. If I start feeling too hot I just take it off for a few minutes.

Now, on to the bandana! Honestly I really need a good buff or something, but I do t have one and this is what I’ve got to work with. A buff or a bandanna or a balaclava will give you some extra face and neck coverage, which can be necessary when it gets crazy cold out. You can also pull them up over your nose and mouth to give your lungs a little break from the cold air. I know some people like to run with their nose and mouth covered the whole time and I’m sure that’s pretty practical in places where it gets even colder, but I prefer to just wear the bandanna and pull it over my mouth and nose as I need it.

And last but not least sunglasses!! I actually wear my sunglasses during a good majority of my runs for several reasons. First off, my eyes are pretty sensitive to bright lights. So even if it’s cloudy out I still like to wear them. Especially if there is snow on the ground. They also offer a little more protection from the cold. Sure it’s not a lot, but it is something! Especially on those really windy days or when it’s so cold it feels like your eyes are gonna freeze.

And that’s it! Once all of my layers are on, I lace up my shoes and head out into the world ready to face the elements! Sure I feel a little bit like Randy from A Christmas Story, but hey, at least I feel relatively comfortable whenever it’s extremely cold out! 😉

So this is what works for me on dry, windy days, when temperatures get into the single digits. As you can see, while I do have a few really nice pieces of winter running gear, I don’t have too many crazy fancy things for when the weather get crazy cold, but I am able to make it work! I do have the option of running on the treadmill but I like to avoid that whenever possible. 😂 But obviously that’s not an option for everyone, so I just wanted to say that it is possible to get out there and be relatively comfortable even in low temperatures!

Alrighty! I think that about covers it for today! Happy Tuesday!!

~Ashley

What My First Three Half Marathons Taught me

I actually posted a much smaller version of what this post is on my Instagram account a couple of weeks ago, but the more I thought about it the more I wanted to get a little bit more in-depth with it and share my thoughts here. Especially since I’m getting pretty deep into my half marathon training at this point. I just thought it would be nice to reflect on the things I’ve learned from my previous halfs, and since it half/full marathon training season is in full swing, I thought maybe other people could take something away from the things I’ve learned so far as well! 🙂

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Half Marathon Number One: Longview Half, 2015.

My first half marathon actually taught me quite a lot! But I mean, that does make sense considering that it was my very first. My first half and my very first race ever! Haha it’s not exactly recommenced to start off your racing career with a half, but what can I say? I’m an overachiever. 😉

Anyway, my first half marathon taught me to set big goals, dream big, and that I’m capable of more than I thought. Before I even signed up for my first half the farthest I’d ever run was 5 or 6 miles. I had no idea if I could actually cover 13.1 miles in one go. At that point I was still impressed and amazed at the fact that I could do 5! That was still relatively new to me! I also knew nothing about proper running attire, fueling, or actual running workouts. Back in 2015 I was still a relative newbie to the sport. But one day I just kinda decided that I was going to run a half marathon, so I signed up, started a training plan, and never looked back. It was a rocky road to the starting line, like I said, I had no idea what I was doing. But the second I crossed that finish line I learned that setting big, crazy goals could be a good thing! Dreaming big will help you accomplish those goals! But most importantly, I learned that I was capable of doing hard things and that I really was a runner. Not just some person who was faking it. Not that there’s any fake runners or anything. That’s just something I had struggled with for a while. But once I became a half marathoner I never hesitated to call myself a runner ever again.

Crossing the finish line of my first half was an incredible experience and it’s something I’ll never forget!

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Longview half marathon, 2015. Mile 11.

Half Marathon Number Two: Longview Half, 2016 

I went into my second half marathon much more knowledgeable and prepared! I knew I could cover the distance having done it once before, and I had a few 5k’s under my belt as well, so I had a little bit of a better idea of what I was getting myself into. Training went well and the race itself went even better!

My second half taught me how to really have fun during training and to enjoy every mile during a race. Even when it started to hurt and get really hard. This was definitely my best half so far! Maybe even my best race so far! I’m hoping that will change this November though. 😉

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Longview half marathon, 2016. Mile 11.

Half Marathon Number Three: Longview Half, 2017

My third half marathon is a little bit notorious in my mind. Training went pretty well, but I crashed and burned hard at about mile 8 during this half. By mile 10 I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to finish. I did, buy jeez it was pretty terrible…

My third half was my first bad racing experience. I’m still a relative newbie at the whole racing thing. At this point I’ve only got 7 actual races under my belt, but this half, this half was by far the absolute worst I’ve ever done. That being said, I still learned a few things from this race. First and foremost, I learned just how important proper fueling and hydrating is. I mean, I already knew, but I experienced firsthand why during this race. The Gatorade at the aid-stations wasn’t mixed properly and that made my stomach unhappy. Since my stomach was unhappy I wasn’t able to eat my Honey Stinger waffles. One of the wonderful pacers gave me a Twizzlers at one point and I was able to eat that in slow, little bites, but that was about it. I crashed. I burned. I suffered.

Suffering was the most important thing I learned during this half. I thought I had suffered through hard workouts before, but it was nothing compared to the last 3 miles of this race. It was a hard lesson to learn. Finishing hurt and then dealing with my finishing time hurt even more. But eventually I got over it and learned that I can suffer and suffer badly, but still finish. And at the end of the day finishing is still a huge accomplishment!

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Longview half marathon, 2017. Mile 11.

There you have it! What half marathoning has taught me so far! I’m pretty excited to take these lessons into the two half marathons I’m doing in November. The Longview Half again on November 10th and the Gobbler Grind Half on November 11th. I’m sure Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days will end up teaching me a few things as well. 😉 Hahaha right now I’m thinking that suffering lesson is going to come in quite handy for this little challenge.

I’m also pretty excited to finally be doing a half marathon that is not Longview. I love that race and want to continue to do it as many years in a row as I can, but it’s going to be fun to be doing a race that’s new to me! Actually, they changed the Longview course this year, so both races are going to be kind of new to me. At this point I’m really looking forward to both of them! I’m not really nervous yet, but I know that will come soon.

Anyway, have you learned any important lessons from a race? How have you applied them in life, running, or other races? I’d love to hear your answers!

But for now, wishing you a happy Monday!

~Ashley

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Longview Half finish, 2016

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Weekly Recap: July 23rd-29th, 2018

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

Monday:

  • 3 easy miles
  • 30 minutes of strength work

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

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Tuesday:

  • 2 “steady” miles

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

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Wednesday:

  • 5 easy miles
  • 30 minutes of yoga

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

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Thursday:

  • rest day

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

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Friday:

  • 2 easy miles
  • about 10 minutes of strength work

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

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

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Saturday:

  • 8 miles

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

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Sunday:

  • rest day

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

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Total Weekly Mileage: 20.12

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

Your currently very motivated runner friend,

~Ashley

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Training For “Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days” Begins Today!

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I’ve been trying to figure out just exactly what I wanted to call this training cycle. Haha is that weird? Last year I went with “Half Marathon Training Round Three” but that wasn’t exactly going to work this time around, so after some thinking I figured “Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days” worked just fine! 😉

But yeah, my training plan officially begins today! I am Kicking off this training cycle with a rest day, as is pretty usual with the Garmin training plans that I use haha. I’m ok with that though. Mostly because I basically forgot this was coming up until some point yesterday evening. That’s my bad. 😂 I guess being in vacation mode for most of the week kinda threw me off but it’s all good! At least I’ve got today to start to mentally prepare for all of the training that’s coming my way. 😉 Especially since I did absolutely no running while we were in Branson. The little town our cabins were in seemed super sketchy and I didn’t feel safe going anywhere alone, let alone running several miles by myself. And it turns out it was a super sketchy place because we ended up getting some fishing gear (along with a leatherman’s tool that my grandpa gave me…) stolen. So it was probably a good decision not to run there.

But while we were there I did get a new pair of running shoes at the Nike outlet store, so at least there’s that! The pair of Free’s that I had been running in were getting super worn out and were pretty much at the end of their running life, so they’ve officially become my new everyday shoes. And the pair of Free’s that were my everyday shoes got thrown away. They served my very well, first as running shoes and then as everyday shoes, but they were basically ripping to shreds and it was long past time to get rid of them.

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From left to right; my new running shoes, my now everyday shoes, and the shoes I finally threw away. Haha it’s hard to tell in this photo, but they were in rough shape.

I think it’s pretty exciting to kick off a new training cycle with a new pair of shoes! And of course I’ve still got my Nike Pegasus to run in as well. I like to have at least two pairs of shoes to rotate between. So now I’m all set on that front!

Anyway, getting into half marathon training mode should be interesting, considering that I haven’t done a whole lot of running this month. Between the heatwave and our family vacation I just haven’t really been feeling it. But the weather has gotten a little less hot, our vacation is done, and I’m feeling ready to get this show on the road! So things are kicking off with an easy 3 miler tomorrow and we’ll just see how that goes! 🙂 I’ve learned a lot training for and then completing my first 3 half’s, so now that I’m armed with that knowledge I’m pretty confident for this training cycle. Well, I’m also a bit terrified because I’m running two half’s in two days, and I’d be very confident if I was just doing one, or  a couple a few months or weeks apart. But all in all I’m pretty exciting to see how this all goes!

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Mile 11 of the Longview Half Marathon, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Okey dokey then! Getting back into the swing of things and back into running. I’m ready to go! Bring it on!

Until next time,

~Ashley

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Branson Adventures: Day 3

Today was more laid back than yesterday. Good thing too, because we were up late last night!! We had a lot of fun though. After we got back to the cabins from the pizza buffet/arcade thing we hung out outside for a little bit and played corn hole in the dark haha.

But like I said, today was a more chill day. We slept in a little (if you can consider 8 am sleeping in 😉) and in the morning Luke and one of his brothers went to Walmart to pick up a few things, so I hung out with their mom, my brother-in-law’s girlfriend and her two kids for a while. We mostly just sat on the porch of one of the cabins and talked. It was nice. 😊

Luke and my brother-in-law ended up being gone for a lot longer than I thought they would be, but once the finally did get back they had a bunch of fishing gear. My brother-in-law went somewhere to do something with his girlfriend since today is their first anniversary, but no one else really had anything planned for today so Luke figured we could do a little bit of fishing. So he got our poles all ready and then we headed down to the river.

Today the water was a little higher and the current was a little faster, so wading across and then walking to the spot we swam at the first day we were here was a bit difficult, but one we got to that spot the water was much more calm.

After we cast out our lines it don’t take us very long to catch a couple of bluegill! I got one first and a few minutes after that Luke’s brother got one too! But the both swallowed the hooks and since we were just planning to catch and release we didn’t want to kill anymore fish like that, so we switched to bigger hooks (haha I know none of this is very technical. Luke’s the big fisher, not me, I prefer deer hunting). After that the bluegill were able to just pull our bait right off the hooks, but eventually Luke ended up catching a few more.

After a while I started to get hungry, so I walked back up the the cabins to eat lunch and kinda cool off in the air conditioning for a little bit. But eventually I did go back out and we all ended up catching a good amount of fish! Luke ended up with 15, his brother got 13, and I had 7. Not bad considering they were out longer than me. 😉 I also ended up catching the biggest and smallest bluegill (which was a good majority of what we caught), Luke’s brother caught a catfish, and Luke caught a bass. I’d say we had a good day! But then around 3:30 pm it started to get really hot and the fish stopped biting, so we walked back up to the cabins, changed out of our swimming/fishing gear, and then went to a Nike outlet store because we couldn’t find anything thing else we really wanted to do.

So the Nike outlet store was basically heaven haha. So. Much. Running gear!!! And most of it was half price!! Luke and I are on a super tight budget, but I still got a sweet pair of sweat pants and the absolute BEST pair of Free’s ever! Seriously, I’ve wanted these shoes FOREVER and I finally got them for exactly half off. Pretty sweet deal! 😄

After I got my absolutely gorgeous new shoes, that I also desperately needed because my other pair of Free’s that I’m currently running in are completely worn out, we beaded back to the cabins with the intent to do some more fishing, bust some asshole stole our fishing poles and tackle box! WTF?!?! They were just shitty, cheap, Walmart fishing poles so they weren’t worth anything, but I had a super old leathermens tool that my now deceased grandpa gave me for my 16th birthday (it was a whole thing and it meant a lot to me) and the case for it that my dad handmade for me. So I’m super bummed out about that. The fishing poles are replaceable, that tool is not. ☹️

So we spent the rest of the evening coming up with crazy ways to try to figure out how to get it back. Unfortunately that’s probably not gonna happened…

Anyway, we’re currently just chilling on the porch talking. I hope you had a good day!!

~Ashley