Tag Archives: road trip

Desert Rats 10k Race Recap

Better a little late than never right?! πŸ˜‰

I’ve been trying to sort through all of my thoughts on this race, but I still haven’t been able to pull them all together. I’m gonna try though! But this post might end up being s jumbled mess. πŸ˜‚

I’ve also been waiting for the professional race photos to be posted onto Gemini Adventures’ website. Mission accomplished on that front! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜‰

That being said, I still have a ridiculous amount of photos thanks to my dad. He’s become quite the shutterbug and we definitely stopped more than once just so he could take pictures. But I mean, I can blame him when the views from the course looked like this…

Anyway, let’s recap this thing!

So, the day before this race my dad and I drove about 5 hours from Longmont to Grand Junction, which was super close to Fruita, where the race was being held. We made a few stops along the way, including one stop to take around 3 hours to hike to and from Hanging Lake. I won’t go into all of that again since I’ve already written about that here. But I will say that whole adventure was super hard, fun, and beautiful. Not exactly something I’d recommend doing the day before a race, but I don’t regret it. πŸ˜‚

After that adventure we made a stop for some burgers and then made our way to one of my dad’s drivers houses (my dad basically runs several FedEx terminals). He invited us to stay the night with him and his family so that we didn’t have to stay at a motel. That was super nice of him and he and his whole family were super welcoming and incredibly nice. 😊

I ended up getting to bed around 11 that night and I’m not sure when my dad finally made his way to bed. But we were up before the sun at 5 am Sunday morning. The guy we stayed with laid out breakfast for us the night before; a couple of water bottles, some instant oatmeal, bread, candy bars, and an invitation to anything in the fridge or pantry that we wanted. I definitely like oatmeal before a run though, so that’s what I stuck with. πŸ˜„ So we ate, got dressed, and loaded up our stuff into my dad’s van and then made our way to the staring line in Fruita.

It only took us about a half an hour to get there. So we actually got there super duper early at around 6:30 am. The race didn’t even start until 8:30 am. πŸ˜‚ So we drove up this pretty gnarly Jeep trail. That was a bit iffy in my dad’s van. But it was fun.

This was AFTER we made it back down the super iffy section of road we went up. πŸ˜‚

We didn’t go too far though. There wasn’t a lot of parking for this race so we made our way back to the starting/finish area and snagged us an awesome parking spot.

We sat in the van for a while. Talking, people watching, and sipping at water and nibbling on a few snacks. Packet pick up started at 7 am, so we got out our stuff right as they open up. Being some of the first people there definitely had its benefits! Along with our bibs and participation shirts, we also got buffs. They had a limited supply of them that were donated to them so not everyone got one. Hahaha I was pretty stoked though! Mine sure came in handy during the race. I wiped my nose on it more times than I can count. πŸ˜‚

After we collected our things we stopped at the port-o-potties. There weren’t many of them but at this point it was still pretty early so no one was in line. Score!! 😁 Hahaha after our business with the port-o-potties was taken care of we went back to the van to warm up because it was pretty chilly out that morning. And of course while we were there we pinned on our bibs and got the rest of our gear ready.

Before we picked up our bibs we obviously needed to get a selfie with the starting line. πŸ˜„

At about 15 minutes to the start time we shed our outer layers (and oh boy was that hard! It was still pretty chilly out! πŸ˜‚), strapped on our hydration packs, and made our way to the starting area. We also marveled at the line for the port-o-potties and we’re grateful that 1. We went when we did and 2. Didn’t have to go again. πŸ˜‚

There was very little organization going on. Half marathoners were mixed in with the 10k-ers and as far as I could tell no one was really lined up according to pace. It wasn’t really a super big deal though because this was a really small race. Just several hundred people really. Those aren’t negatives though! Just facts. 😁

A race official counted us down but honestly we couldn’t hear him all that well, but it was kind of easy to tell when we were supposed to take off because everyone cheered and started moving forward. πŸ˜‚ So we took off down the trail, starting with a slight down hill that I definitely didn’t feel and sure didn’t notice until we had to climb up it on our way back to the finish line. 🀣

That downhill was short lived though! We began one of the bigger climbs of the race (and there were several) in the first few minutes. Those climbs KILLED me. My legs were actually pretty prepared for them thanks to the hill work I had done on my treadmill, but my legs were also sore sand tired from our hike the day before. And unfortunately that never went away… That wasn’t what actually killed me though. It was the elevation. Here in Kansas I’m just about 1,000 feet above sea level. I. Fruita Colorado we were at 5,000 feet and we gained around 600 feet getting up some of those hills. I’m sure that’s not a lot for you mountain runners out there, but for this flatlander who also happens to be exclusively a road runner it was TOUGH.

Anyway, the first 1.5 miles were the hardest. I think. Hahaha honestly from this point on everything is a blur. The aide stations were each about a mile and 1/2 apart and that’s what I’m kinda basing everything on. πŸ˜‰

So by the time we made it to the first aid station we were DFL (Dead Fucking Last). At least as far as the 10k-ers went. But considering how small the race was and all of the other circumstances that was pretty unsurprising. And honestly, not at all upsetting. I went into this thing just wanting to survive it and to have some fun. I knew it was going to slow going and I had put any kind of ego aside for this one.

Anyway, the volunteers at the aide were all super awesome. We got many complaints on our Sloth Running Team t-shirts, and I got several laughs and sympathetic looks every time my dad told people I was from Kansas.

Ps. Next time I do a trail race in Colorado I’m wearing a shirt that says “I’m from Kansas”. Just so everyone understands why I look and sound like I’m dying. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Anyway, the next 1.5 miles were much more rugged. There were loose rocks and the rail definitely got more technical. Honestly though I had so much fun on the harder (but more flat/downhill!) sections of the course. Having to chose you’re footing and trying not to trip over rocks was a lot of fun! And I was actually pretty good at it!

You can definitely see the rocks in this photo, but there were more fun sections of the trail than this!😁

Now, if I remember correctly (and I probably don’t πŸ˜‚) pretty close to the next aide station and the half way point there was part we had to kinda scramble up! Oh man, that was hard! My poor lungs were just not doing well this less oxen than they’re used to. But we both made it up it. With lots of huffing and puffing on my part. 🀣

At the next aide station I took a little cup of tailwind to drink and a couple of Honey Stinger gels (score!!). I don typically like gels for fuel while running because they upset my stomach but I took some just incase. But at this point I was doing pretty well on just water and a Gatorade that I had stashed in my hydration pack.

This side station was located on Pizza Overlook. Sadly they didn’t have any pizza. πŸ˜‚

After we left the second aide station is when we ended up running around the rim of the canyon (at least I’m pretty sure. Hahaha like I said. Everything is a blur. πŸ˜‚). Pictures will never do justice to how beautiful it actually was.

After a few twists and turns we stumbled upon the one and only race photography. Shout out to him for sitting there and waiting for our DFL asses. πŸ˜‚ of course I had to be a total dork for my photo. But at the very least I was being a total dork during a super hard 10k with some incredible views! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

On the way to the final aid station at about 4.3 miles were we’re blessed with some amazing downhills. The trail was still a little tricky but I picked it up quite a bit going down those hills (around 10 minutes per mile pace according to the one time I actually glanced at my Garmin πŸ˜‚). That was a ton of fun!! At this point we were starting to head back the way we came and the last aide station was also the very first aide station. We were also heading back up hill. Yuck. 🀒🀣Basically the whole last mile was uphill, with one super short down hill in the middle of it.

The finish line was just on the other side of that hill on the left side of this photo.

We crossed the finish line at the EXACT same time, cheering and holding hands! That was pretty cool! And according to the official results, we weren’t actually DFL. Hahaha neat! But also still, not a big deal. πŸ˜‚

Once we crossed the finish line we were handed our “medals” (really just a dog tag on a chain, but still super neat!), and made our way to the food tables were we got pancakes, fruit, coffee, and a few other things, although they did have quite a bit of other post race snacks as well. πŸ˜„ we found a nice place to sit and cheered on some of the first half marathoners to start running in.

After we ate we went back to the van, wiped ourselves down with wet wipes and I changed my shirt (and managed to get out of my wet sports bra without showing any boobies to the world. πŸ˜‚). And then we started our 17 hour drive back to Kansas.

So yeah. This was my first trail race ever. My first official 10k. The farthest I’ve ever run at 5,000 feet above sea level, and the slowest 10k/race I’ve ever done. It was hard. It was beautiful. And it was absolutely so much fun!!

Apparently we’re doing the half next year. Hahaha we’ll see about that. 🀣🀣

But for now, the next race on the schedule is the Running With The Cows 5k on May 11th here in Kansas! I’m very excited about that!!

Until next time,

~Ashley

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Hanging Lake, April 13th 2019

Happy Marathon Monday!

Who else spent most of the day keeping up with the Boston Marathon? πŸ€šπŸ»πŸ˜‚

Anyway, I am back home from Colorado! Yesterday my dad and I did our trail race in Fruita, Co (I’ll have a full race recap on that soon!) and then spent 16 or 17 hours on the road, making our way back to Kansas. And then eventually Illinois for my dad. Hahaha I’m very happy to say I get to stay home in Kansas. 😁

So, I’ve been busy, having lots of fun, and out of phone service for a while, so I haven’t really had a chance to write about our adventures in Colorado over the weekend. So I’m going to play a little bit of catch up the next few days.

Friday was actually a pretty chill day. That Thursday was a lot of fun and while we didn’t do anything on Friday I’m actually pretty glad about that now. Saturday and Sunday were fun, busy, painful, and absolutely gorgeous.

So our Saturday began with a 5 am wake up call. Fun! πŸ˜‰ My dad and I packed up his van and started making our way to Fruita from his apartment in Longmont for our trail race the next day. But of course we had to make several stops along the way. πŸ˜‚

First we stopped in Genesee Park to check out a little herd of bison. Well, really we stopped along the side of the highway and walked over to the fence where the were for a few minutes.

I’ve actually seen a bigger herd of bison in the Grand Canyon National Park back in 2014, but it was still fun to go see some more here. There was even a brand new baby which was cool! Only the one though, but we definitely saw some very pregnant bison.

 

 

 

 

We stopped a few other places. Nothing too exciting though. Mostly just gas stations and little viewing areas along the highways. Going through Vail was pretty interesting though. We ended up going through a blizzard. My second blizzard of this trip. In a shitty little van that my dad and brother use mostly for work. πŸ˜‚ We made it through alright though.

At about 1 pm we made it to our main stop for the day; Glenwood Canyon. A few weeks ago my dad hiked up the mile-ish (I think?) trail to Hanging Lake and he said I absolutely had to see it while I was there, so that was the plan for Saturday afternoon.

It was actually snowing a little bit when we got there! And it continued to snow a little bit off and on for most of our hike up and eventually a little bit of the hike back down.

So you start out on a little paved path, maybe about half a mile to the trailhead. At this point I was already feeling the elevation. Oh boy I had no idea what I was actually in for. πŸ˜‚

So like I said, the hike up to Hanging Lake was around a mile, but it was hard, steep, icy and treacherous in places, and oh yeah, it was super hard! πŸ˜‚ It was fun and super pretty though.

 

 

 

The trail started off super rocky, but eventually it turned into more dirt as you started to follow a creek (I’m not sure which creek that would be and I’m too lazy to look it up. πŸ˜‰ ). Then the farther we went up the more ice/snow was on the trail. Luckily my dad has some tracktion that we put on our boots and that helped us out a lot. But we saw a lot of people who weren’t as prepared and they were slipping and sliding all around. On our way down we actually saw a dude who fell on the ice and broke his leg. He was ok, he had several people in his group taking care of him and the rescue team was on his way to get to him.

 

 

 

Anyway, did I mention how freaking hard this climb up was?!? Haha oh man, it seemed to take us FOREVER. But the the trail was super pretty and we had a hydration pack and lots of snacks, so at least there was that. πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

I think it took us close to two hours to hike up the trail to Hanging Lake. It was a tough hike. Especially for someone from Kansas who isn’t used to being at 8,000 feet above sea level, let alone doing hard hiking at that kind of elevation. Once we finally made it to the lake though, man, words can’t even describe how amazing it was! Photos barely even do it justice. But wow. Once I saw that lake, it was totally worth it!

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We hung out there for a while. We ate some snacks and made a few friends. Yeah, I know, I know, you’re not supposed to feed the wildlife. But theses little guys were so unafraid of people, so they obviously get fed all of the time. Hahaha we actually got pretty much everyone who was up there with us feeding the chipmunks. It was so funny. Everyone was sharing snacks, pointing out where our little friends were, taking pictures for each other, and just smiling and laughing with a large group of mostly strangers. So in a weird way, breaking the rules brought a bunch of people together that day!

 

After sharing our snacks with our new friends, we hiked out just a little bit farther to Spouting Rock. That was super duper neat! We took some pictures for this group of women so they took some pictures of us. You guys, if you ever need to be reminded that people are generally good, hike somewhere. Or run a race. But we’ll get to that later. πŸ˜‰

Okey dokey, after seeing Spouting Rock we began our hike back down. Oh boy going down was a lot easier, especially once we got past the slippery ice/snow. We even did a little bit of running! πŸ™‚ Hahaha so we got down A LOT faster than it took us to get up. The downhill was much more enjoyable.

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So we hung out at near the trail head for a little bit. Mostly just looking at wildflowers. But my dad actually found a pair of Lululemon leggings crumpled up in the weeds. Why the heck you’d get rid of a pair of expensive leggings like that I’ll never know, but we took them and I’m pretty sure they’ll fit me. So yeah, hiked up to Hanging Lake and obtained a pair of fancy Lululemon leggings. πŸ˜‚

After we were done I was STARVING! So we went to s little restaurant in Glenwood Springs and got cheeseburgers. Holy cow! That was the best burger and fries I’ve ever had. Probably because I was so hungry. πŸ˜‚

After we ate we drove about another hour to one of my dad’s driver’s houses. He invited us to stay there the night before our race so we didn’t have to stay at a motel. He was really nice as well as his whole family. We went out to ANOTHER restaurant to eat again πŸ˜‚, and then my dad and I showered and went to bed once we got back to their house. We had a another 5 am wake up for Sunday before our race.

I’ll recap the race tomorrow probably. But for now, that’s it! We had lots and lots of fun on Saturday! 😊

I hope everyone had a great weekend as well!

~Ashley

The Stanley Hotel and Rocky Mountain National Park

My dad and I had us some adventures yesterday!!

But first and foremost, after making it through a blizzard the day before, we were blessed with an absolute gorgeous morning here in Longmont Colorado!

My Thursday actually started with me getting woken up by one whiny and pathetic Russian bear dog. He wanted to go outside to go potty. But he also wanted to play in the snow because it’s like, his most favorite thing ever! But the problem with that is after a while he’ll just lay down in the snow and refuse to move. And trust me it hard to get a stubborn, 146 pound dog to move. πŸ™„ Hahaha that being said, we still had a nice little walk on Thursday morning.

Mr. whiny pants, Niko begging to be taken outside right after we had gotten back in. πŸ˜‚

So after Niko had gotten walked 3 times, first by me, then by my dad, and finally by my brother, we began to make plans for the day. My dad basically runs several FedEx terminals and drives semi trucks (even though he’s not really supposed to because he’s supposed to be running the whole operation, but they currently don’t have enough drivers) and he had several things for my brother to do on Thursday. After giving him all of his assignments and sending him on his way, we decided we were going to drive to Estes Park and go check out the Stanley Hotel!

So no one I know personally has ever actually stayed at the Stanley Hotel before (although I’d totally like to one day!) I’ve actually been there a few times!

You see, the Stanley Hotel was Stephen King’s inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. And Stephen King has been my all time favorite author since I was in 7th grade. So I just think it’s super duper cool to go there and look around outside a little bit. πŸ˜‚

This time around my dad has me bring my copy of The Shining and we got some pretty neat pictures!

I got my butt very wet sitting on those steps. πŸ˜‚

So yeah, that was fun! After that we decided we might as well go mess around in the Rocky Mountain State Park while we were there. By first my dad took me to a discount outdoors wear store because I was not prepared for winter. πŸ˜‚ I came to Colorado ready for spring, but boy was I wrong! Up until then I had been borrowing one of my brother’s coats (hence the camo. Hahaha that’s not really my thing) and wearing on thoroughly soaked pair of retired running shoes. So I got me a pair of discounted, waterproof hiking boot and a super nice North Face coat for over 50% off. Both of these are men’s items because in weird and prefer men’s coats/hoodies and the selection of women’s hiking boots was kinda sad. But either way, after that I was actually prepared to spend some time in Rocky Mountain National Park.

I have been into Rocky Mountain National Park before, but not very far. So this was a super fun experience! We didn’t really hike that much because it was cold, we were ill prepared, and my dad had to work that night, but we drove around for a while and would get out and walk around some cool places.

First we stopped at Sheep Lakes, which ironically enough, my dad (who’s been there often) has never seen any sheep there. And today was no exception. πŸ˜‚

Then we drove around for a while, admiring how pretty everything looked covered in snow. We saw lots of mule deer and elk, and of course we had to stop to observe them and take pictures! πŸ˜‰

This guy got super close to the van when we stopped on the side of the road. That was neat!

Then my dad decided he wanted to go to Bear Lake because he had only been there once and obviously I had never been there before, so we continued on with our journey through the park.

We stopped a few more times on our way there because everything looked super pretty covered in snow, so it was kinda hard not to. πŸ˜‚ But by the time we finally made it it was actually kinda snowing and the wind was blowing super hard! We hiked a short ways from the parking lot to the lake itself which was kinda interesting because the snow drifts were pretty high! It was a lot of fun though!

Bear Lake was frozen, covered in snow, and absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. Unfortunately pictures will never be able to do it justice. The wind was cold and blowing snow directly into our faces which was painful. But the way it was swirling in the air was beautiful.

We didn’t stay there long. Like I said, the snow pelting our faces was painful. πŸ˜‚ But we both think we need to come back in the summer and actually hike around Bear Lake when we’re actually prepared for it.

After our short adventure at Bear Lake we started making our way out of the park. But of course we ended up stopping a few more times. Hahaha I sure put my new hiking boots to good use today! πŸ˜‰

After we finally made our way out of Estes Park and back home my dad heated up the Keto version of broccoli and cheddar soup that he had made the day before. At that point it was the best thing I had ever eaten. Probably because I didn’t really eat much before that. πŸ˜‚

And that was the end of our adventuring on Thursday. We were both really tired after we ate so I showered and then we both ended up taking naps. πŸ˜‚ But obviously my dad needed to since he had to work that night.

So since my dad is doing the whole Keto thing there are NO carbs aside from some veggies in his apartment, and that’s super boring. πŸ˜‚ I knew he had been doing the Keto thing though, so I had brought a whole big thing of Cheerios with me. Still not super fun, but I NEED my carbs man, and I’ll take them were I can get them. πŸ˜‚

But once my brother got back from everything he had to do today he order us a bunch of carb-y deliciousness. He’s not into Keto either, but neither of us felt like going to the store. So we had the carbs brought to us. πŸ˜‚ I swear after like, a day of eating very few carbs, this personal pizza was the best thing I’ve ever eaten! πŸ˜‹πŸ• Hahaha I paced myself though and only ate half of it and saved the other half for today. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, that just about covers Thursday! I don’t think we’re going to be doing anything as exciting today, but tomorrow my dad and I are driving to Fruita, CO for our race on Sunday! We’re going to be staying at one of his driver’s houses that night (which was super cool of him to let us stay with them!), and we might do some hiking while we’re there. The day before our race. πŸ˜‚ Probably not the best idea, but we aren’t going for any world records at this trail race anyway. πŸ˜‰

But alrighty! That’s all for now!

Happy Friday!

~Ashley πŸ—»πŸŒ²β„οΈπŸ˜Š

Hello Again, Colorado!

It’s race week!!

Destination race week really! I’ve never done a destination race or “racecation” before so I’m pretty excited!

Anyway, my brother had some stuff to do in Illinois which worked out pretty well for me! Yesterday he drove from Illinois to my house in Kansas and then stayed the night. Then this morning I did all of my usual chores, especially the ones pertaining to the animals πŸ˜‰, then we packed up his work van and hit the road to Colorado!

This isn’t even everything I packed. Hahaha I kinda brought an excessive amount of stuff with me. But at least I’m prepared for pretty much any situation! πŸ˜‰

Our drive was mostly uneventful. We didn’t stop anywhere outside of a few rest areas and gas stations so we made pretty decent time at first. Hahaha every time my dad and I make the trip either to Colorado from Kansas or to Kansas to Colorado we end up stopping several places so we end up taking a lot longer. Our record is 16 hours for what should be around a 10 hour drive. πŸ˜‚ My brother an I would have made it in 10 hours if it wasn’t for the blizzard.

The super scenic views of western Kansas. πŸ˜‚

Really though it’s a good thing that we didn’t do much dicking around. Several people warned us that we were in for some bad weather and they were right! The farther west we got the colder it got, and not too long after crossing the Kansas/Colorado state line it started raining and snowing off and on.

Hahaha of course we had to stop at Colorado’s welcome sign. πŸ˜‰

My sister who lives in Colorado Springs warned us that the Denver area was expecting a pretty bad blizzard. She told us that all of the flights out of the Denver airport were canceled. My dad basically runs several FedEx terminals and he told us that they probably weren’t going to have drivers out running tonight either. So yeah, they were expecting it to get pretty bad. And of course I kept getting alerts for it on my phone. πŸ˜‚

For a while there was actually a decent amount of snow on the ground! And it was blowing around so sometimes everything was just super white. It was kinda crazy, but honestly not too terrible. But the farther we went the more snow that was on the ground.

It did really start snowing about an hour out from our destination. Things got a little bit iffy at that point. It was just s snowy, icy, slushy mess. It was pretty gross for a while, but eventually it did get a little bit better.

We made it though! And my dad had a bunch of food waiting for us. πŸ˜„

Hahaha so the most fun part of this trip is watching the altimeter on my Garmin steadily go up. It’s super amusing. πŸ˜‚

Hahaha but anyway, we made it. My dads dog Niko was super duper excited to see me, and now I’m just hanging out with my dad.

Happy Wednesday!

~Ashley

Upcoming Adventures

Things have been kinda quite around here lately! Aside from some chicken drama we haven’t really had much going on since Christmas time. That’s going to change here very shortly though! This spring is going to be a busy one and I’m pretty excited about sone of the things that are going to go down and the adventures that are going to be had!

First on my list is my upcoming trip to Colorado! That’s this week actually!

So currently, the plan is my brother is driving here from Illinois to pick me up and bring me to Colorado with him (Luke and I only have one vehicle and obviously he’ll need that to go to and from work, so this was the option that worked best for everyone). I’m not sure what my dad has planned for the week, but on Saturday we’re going to be driving from Longmont to Fruita (about a 5 hour drive) and then do some hiking there. Then we’re going to stay at a motel there and then on Sunday is the Desert Rats 10k trail race that we’re doing together. After that my dad and I will head back to Kansas where obviously I live and he might stay the night, and then he needs to to take care of some stuff in Illinois so that kinda works out well for him.

We’re planning on squeezing in as much fun as possible in the short amount of time I’m there and I’m sure we will! I’m very much looking forward to spending some more time in Colorado. 😊

Views while hiking up Rabbit Mountain with Luke and my brother on Thanksgiving of 2017

Next on the agenda is the Running With The Cows 5k! I’ve done this race twice now and I absolutely love it! One day I’ll end up doing the half marathon. Once I get over my fear of racing in warm weather. πŸ˜‚

So this is coming up on May 11th and my dad is doing this one with me as well!

I’m not sure when he plans on coming here from Colorado for that, but no matter when he does I’m sure we’ll end up having lots of fun! 😊

Running With The Cows 5k, 2018

Later in May one of my brother-in-laws graduates from high school so Luke and I will be driving to Minnesota for that! We’ve been going on vacations in the summer with Luke’s mom’s side of the family so we actually haven’t even been up to Minnesota since 2015! Crazy stuff!!

So aside from celebrating the new high school grad I’m not sure what all is going down while we’re there but I’m sure it will involve some fun stuff! Last time we were there we went to Itasca State Park. That was super cool! Especially for a group of people who all used to (and a couple still do) live near the Mississippi in Illinois!

Unfortunately no running events will be taking place while we’re in Minnesota. Hahahaha that would have been fun though! Maybe I’ll look up some races and see if I can swing one while we’re there. πŸ˜‰ honestly though there probably won’t be time for that.

Itasca State Park, October 2015

Alrighty, so those are the big ones coming up soon! Of course we’ve got all sorts of smaller adventures along the way. Like starting our garden for instance. Now that spring is finally here we’ll be getting that started soon! I’m very excited about that. I wanna grow ALL OF THE THINGS! πŸŒ±πŸ…πŸ₯¬πŸ“πŸ₯¦πŸ‘πŸŽƒ

And I’m sure at some point we’ll be making our way back to Illinois again. Another of my brother-in-laws girlfriend just had their baby on March 19th. That’s kind of a whole thing, but I’m sure Luke’s dad will convince him to come meet her before too long. I mean, she is our first…”official” (for lack of a better term.) niece.

Hahaha Luke’s whole side of the family is a little bit confusing and I’m not about to get into all of that here. But we do already have a couple of nephews and a niece on his mom’s side. They just aren’t directly related to Luke. But this new baby is like for reals related to him. So “official” sure. But not our first niece or nephew or relative of that sort. πŸ˜‚

Anyway, right now that covers the majority of the races I’m doing this year. For now. There’s always the possibility that more might be added to the schedule though. πŸ˜‰

But for now there are only two other races on tap for 2019; the Longview Half and the Gobbler Grind Half, which I’ll be doing with my dad again. Jeez I’m beginning to think he likes this whole racing thing! 😁 I’m currently trying to convince him to do Longview with me too, but that one is the day before the Gobbler Grind. Yeah, I’m trying that again. πŸ˜‚ But anyway, he’ll be coming back to Kansas again for that. We had an absolute blast running it last year!

So, will I be seeing any of you guys there on November 10th?!?

This is such a fun race held in Overland Park Kansas! I can’t say that the whole course is super pretty because it is in a pretty big city and I ain’t a about that life, but a lot of the course is on a super pretty paved trail that follows a nice little creek. I actually used to run on parts of the course all of the time back when Luke and I lived in an apartment in Overland Park so I thought that was super cool!!

And don’t even get me started on the volunteers! They were the best!!

If you’re looking for a fun half marathon in the Kansas City area I can’t recommend this one enough! And of course you can use my code GG19AD to get $20 off of your entry fee!

http://gobblergrindmarathon.com

Right now that comes out to be about 33% off, but once the price increase my discount stays the same at $20, so if you wanna save a little extra money now is the time to register!

I hope to see you there!!!

So yeah, I’m pretty excited about my upcoming adventures! Both in the near future and the ones happening later this year! Yay for exciting adventures!!

What about you? Got any fun adventures coming up soon?? I sure hope so!

But for now, I need to start packing!! Colorado here I come!!

~Ashley

Ya know, just me hanging out with an Elk on my last trip to Colorado, March 2018

Thursday Things

Ashley’s continuing saga of slowly but surely getting her terrible teeth taken care of had yet another chapter today! (Yeah, I don’t know why I’m talkings I’m 3rd person. I’m gonna stop now. πŸ˜‚)

My 3rd root canal is officially finished as of this morning! I went to the dentist again and I got the temperature crown taken off, the permanent crown put on, and a regular cleaning for good measure. πŸ˜„ I’ve still got more work that needs done on my teeth. Like a lot. But at least I’m one step closer to having a healthier mouth. Plus this time I didn’t need 8 million shots of novocaine so I left this dental appointment with feeling in my face. That was definitely nice. πŸ˜‚

I’m glad that’s done. Maybe later this year I’ll get some more work on my teeth done. It really just depends on how much insurance Luke and I have left and if we’re able to save up some more money for it. Oh man don’t even get me started on how terrible the health care/dental care system in the US is just completely fucked. Because it is…

Anyway, let’s talk about some more sun stuff shall we? 😊

So, my chickens are laying much much much more consistently now! Obviously that’s to be expected as they’re much more mature now and now that the weather is getting warmer and the days a little longer. But it’s still pretty exciting!!

Right now I have about 2 and a half dozen eggs. We are officially at the point that we aren’t able to eat a of the eggs that they’re laying. I’ve given some to my brother-in-law and to my neighbors, but at this point I think I could start selling some. Luke isn’t sure that we actually have enough chickens for that, but I don’t see why we couldn’t sell a carton of eggs every week or so. Obviously that’s not a lot, but hey, it’s something!

My chickens lay very pretty eggs. πŸ₯šπŸ“πŸ˜Š

I plan on bringing some to Colorado to my dad and brother when I go there. That’s coming up soon! I’ll be headed there in around 10 or 11 days. Something like that. πŸ˜‰

My dad has planned out some hikes he wants to take me on and then that weekend we’ll be doing our trail race! We’re both pretty excited about that! Even though I think it’s gonna be a total suffer fest. πŸ˜‚ The course description includes phrases like “steep hills”, “rocky gully”, and “rugged Jeep trail”. Yeah, I’m not sure how this road runner is gonna handle all of that. Plus the whole being at altitude thing. That’s definitely not going to help. Still though, it’ll be a good time and the mountain views should be totally worth it! 😁

The view of Long’s Peak (I think? I’m probably wrong) from near where my dad lives. This isn’t where the race is though, it’s actually 5 hours away from here. πŸ˜‚ But it’s supposed to be super pretty there too.

So yeah, I’m pretty excited to hang out with my dad, brother, and their Russian bear dog, Niko. Maybe even my sisters too if we have time! They live about 2 hours away from my dad and brother in Colorado. I don’t get to see them very often since they all live 11 hours away from Luke and I.

Hahaha last time I stayed with my dad Niko was super excited to see me, but at night he wouldn’t let me sleep on the couch in the living room! That asshole would just stare at me and growl. One night he even cornered me in the kitchen. Having a 140 pound dog corner you like that is kinda scary. Pretty much every night I was there my brother had to come save me and then let me sleep in his room. πŸ˜‚ Niko’s just weird. πŸ™„ He can be sweet though.

Niko and I on Rabbit Mountain in 2016

Anyway, I’ll keep you all updated on my next set of Colorado adventures as they come! 😊

So yeah, that’s pretty much what’s going on in my world at the moment. Nothing too terribly exciting yet, but that’s life sometimes. More exciting stuff is on the way though. Obviously I’ve got the trail race coming up soon. In May I’ve got a 5k to look forward to, along with starting our garden. Hopefully it’ll do better this year than it did last year! But last summer was pretty brutal as far as weather goes. It was crazy hot and we barely had any rain and my poor garden suffered because of it. But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what this year brings.

As far as running goes I’ve just been kinda grinding away. If you keep up with my weekly recaps you probably already knew that. πŸ˜‰ I haven’t been doing anything glamorous or sexy, but oh man I feel like I’m making some real progress! I feel like I’m running stronger and more constantly than I ever have before! It’s a really awesome feeling. I think 2019 is already shaping up to be a great year for me! Well, running-wise at least. We’ll see about the rest of it.

I can’t really go into too much detail about certain things, but life has just been kinda crazy. Weird things are going on with my family. And just…I don’t know. Things I can’t talk about here. It’s just kinda messy. But life can be that way sometimes. Inevitable it’ll get worked through, one way or another.

Alrighty then! Not exactly a super duper awesome place to end things, but that’s all I’ve got for today! πŸ˜‚

I hope everyone has happy Thursday and a fantastic weekend!

Until next time,

~Ashley

Thursday Things

Hello friends!!

I’ve been kinda slacking on the whole blogging thing, I know. Honestly I’ve been super focused on growing my Instagram account lately. Instagram sure isn’t making that easy thanks to it’s weird algorithms. But I have been making some progress on that front! 😁

Instagram is lots of fun. And if you do it right it can also become a community of some really awesome and supportive people! I love the community I’ve become apart of on Instagram! But story telling, sharing thoughts, ideas, even just random ramblings is a lot easier to do on a blog! I mean, people come to blogs expecting to read! That’s not exactly the case on Instagram. A lot of people are there just to look at pretty pictures. Which is totally fine! It can just be a little bit limiting sometimes.

So I definitely want to get more back into blogging!! I know I’m not the best writer out there or anything, but lately I’ve been writing down these little…well I’m bot sure what to call them exactly. Poems? I don’t think that’s right… Anyway, I’ve shared a few of them on Instagram and I’ve gotten some very positive feedback from them and that’s just made me want to start writing and sharing more again on my blog! 😊

So I figured I’d start easy and go for a “Thursday Things” post. I like to ramble and my “Thursday Things” posts are usually a pretty good place for me to do that! 😊

So let’s get right into it!

Team ROAD iD!

Obviously I’ve already talked about being an ambassador for ROAD iD his year (which you can read about here. πŸ˜‰). I’m super duper excited to be working with a brand that I love and believe in the way I do ROAD iD. I’ve been wearing mine since 2015 and at this point I rarely ever take it off.

Last weekend I received my welcome package for team ROAD iD. They sent all of their Team ROAD iD members a bunch of fun goodies! And check this out! How awesome is the box it all came in! πŸ˜„

I was very excited about that hahaha. I’m also very excited about the neat-o things said box contained; more bands for my ROAD iD and a new badge for it, a t-shirt, stickers, a super sweet Thule backpack (I’ve needed a new backpack for a while now!), and a bunch of gift cards! I used one of the gift cards to get my dad a new faceplate fit his ROAD iD since the info on his wasn’t up to date, but the rest of then will be used in giveaways!! Probably on Instagram, but I might do one on here as well. I’m still trying to figure out how I wanna do all of that. But it’s coming soon so be on the lookout for that!

I’m very excited about the prospects of hosting a giveaway! I’ve never done one before but I’ve always wanted to, and now I’ve got the perfect opportunity to host one! 😊 Like I said though, I’m still working out the details, but I expect to be doing one next month!

But for now, if you need a ROAD iD now and don’t want to wait and attempt to win a giveaway, remember that you can save 20% on ROAD iD’s website by following my handy dandy link;

road.id/ashley

Okey dokey, enough about that! Let’s talk about running!

Last week I had an AMAZING week of running! It was soooo good! Like, most of my runs felt great and I had so much fun! It’s been a while since I’ve had a whole week like that. where most of it just felt fun and carefree even though I was putting in some hard work.

Unfortunately all of that fun came to an end this week…

I almost did it. I almost made it through cold and flu season without getting sick. Almost. On Monday I felt a little bit tired and my body was kinda heavy feeling, but I thought that maybe I was just tired from the work I’d put in last week. I did a super slow 3 mile slog on the treadmill (because it felt like -15 and I didn’t feel like dealing with that. πŸ˜‚), in hopes that I would feel better afterwards, but nope.

I woke up on Tuesday and my whole body felt sore. At that point I was at a loss as to why. So I skipped my run and spent an hour on my stationary bike instead and then followed that up with about 30 minutes of yoga. I was hoping that would help with the soreness, but honestly I felt worse afterwards than I did before, which I thought was weird.

But then I woke up actually feeling sick yesterday and it all kinda made sense after that. πŸ˜‚ So yeah, that sucks, but at least I know why I’ve felt off all week. I took a rest day yesterday and woke up feeling a little bit better today, but not 100%, so I took today off as well. I was doing so well and being super consistent with my running since the beginning of this year, so it’s kind of a bummer to have to stop that for now, but I also know that it’s definitely for the best and the thing I need most right now is rest.

But if I was gonna get sick now wasn’t the worst time to do it. πŸ˜‚ My first race of the year, a trail 10k in Colorado, is next month and I obviously want to be healthy for that!!

I’m doing that one with my dad who hasn’t really been able to train due to work, and since it’s in Colorado near the mountains the elevation change is gonna kick my ass. It always does. So it’s going to be a tough day for us and we aren’t exactly going to be “racing”. Especially since I’ve done exactly 0 trail runs in preparation for this.πŸ˜‚ Honestly I’m hoping to rely on the skills I’ve built in the first 20 years of my life tracking around the woods and family farm. So at the very least I’m not a complete stranger to a little bit of off road terrain! Hahaha but we’ll see how that actually goes!

Honestly while it’s probably going to be slow and painful, it should still be a lot of fun! My dad and I have had lots of fun during the two other races we’ve done together so far, so I don’t think this one will be any different. 😊

My dad and I am mile 13 of the Gobbler Grind Half marathon. Friendly reminder that you can use the code GG19AD to get $20 off of your entry fee for this race!! I hope to see you there this November! http://gobblergrindmarathon.com

Then in May my dad is coming to Kansas to do Running With The Cows 5k (one of my all time favorite races!) with me, and he’ll be doing the Gobbler Grind Half with me again in November! 😊 So far that’s all of the racing I’ll be doing this year. Although I would like to register for another 5k or two later this year, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make that happen yet. Mostly I want to because I’ve got done time goals I’m aiming for and I won’t be able to go after then running with my dad. Which is totally fine! I’d much rather get to spend more time with him that hit a PR. But I’d still like to end up with a shiny new PR this year. πŸ˜‚

Honestly I can do a fast 5k anytime I want on my usual running routes. That should be easy enough and I’m not the kind of person who only counts PR’s if they happen within a race. But the half marathon time I’m shooting for might be a little more difficult. Depending on how things go during the Gobbler Grind this fall, that might have to wait until next spring. Assuming I can get in another half then that is. We shall see.

But to back track a little bit, I’m currently nursing a cold and haven’t run in 3 days. πŸ˜‚ But really 3 days off isn’t too bad. I’ll be able to jump back into the swing of things pretty easily if that’s all I end up missing. Which I’m thinking it will be. I’m gonna test out my legs and lungs tomorrow with 2 or 3 easy miles just to see how I feel and then go from there!

But I think that’s enough for today!

Happy Friday Eve!

~Ashley