Tag Archives: running gear

Ashleyโ€™s Tips For Surviving Summer Running

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Ah, summer. For some the thought of summertime brings up wonderful thoughts of days at the beach, road trips, ice cream, fireworks, fun in the sun, and relaxation. Not me though. While those things are fun in their own right, I’m a self-proclaimed cold weather person and I don’t particularly enjoy the summer months. The thought of summertime makes me think of super early mornings, that gross feeling of your thighs sticking to a chair on a warm summer day, getting third degree burns while trying to buckle your seat belt in a boiling hot car, and of course hot, slow, miserable runs, feeling like I’m drowning in my own sweat, and bugs. So. Many. BUGS!!

Haha alright, alright, I’m a bit melodramatic, I can admit that. I can also admit that summer running does have its perks and sometimes it can be down right enjoyable! Still though, I can’t wait for fall to get here. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But since summer is in full swing and we’ve got a while before fall blesses us with its wonderful presence, I thought it would be a good time to talk a little about surviving summer runs. It can be a little tricky sometimes! But these are my tips for making running in hot, humid weather, more bearable! ๐Ÿ™‚

1. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you could ever do for your body! Dehydration can cause a slew of unpleasant side effects such as feeling tired and sluggish, headaches, dizziness, and rapid heart rate. Yeah, that’s not a good way to feel in general, but side effects like that can make running an absolutely miserable experience, so staying hydrated is a must!! And not just before your run either. When the weather is hot you sweat a lot more and that dehydrates you pretty quickly, so it’s usually a good idea to take in some fluids while you run too. Water is always a fantastic option, but if you’re like me and sweat super salty, or are planning on doing a hard workout or are just going to be running for more than an hour sipping on a sports drink to replace electrolytes might be a good idea as well.

As for when and how much you should be drinking on a run, well, that’s going to vary from person to person. I generally like to take a few sips of water and maybe a sports drink if it’s particularly hot or if I’m going longer around every 2-3 miles. But that’s just what works for me. You’ll have to do a bit of experimenting to find what works for you.

A good way to gauge your hydration is actually your urine color! If it’s a darker yellow (think apple juice) then you need to drink more. If it’s a nice pale yellow you’re probably adequately hydrated. If it’s completely clear then you might be overdoing it on water and might need some electrolytes as well. Now more likely than not, when you finish a run your urine is probably going to be a dark yellow. That’s perfectly fine! Just make sure you drink enough to get it back to a pale yellow as soon as you can. I’m always weirdly proud when my urine is just the right color hahaha.

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My long run necessities.

2. Dress Appropriately

What you wear can make a really big difference on how you feel! In the summer its best to opt for light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, made with a breathable, moisture wicking material. When it’s really hot shedding as much clothing as you’re comfortable with and the law allows (as far as I know, most states in the US frown upon displaying your more intimate bits in public ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) can also help keep you cool.

The goal in the summer is to keep sweat and excess body heat moving away from the body and everything mentioned above will help with that. Tight fitting clothes can can actually trap in some heat and cotton material gets weighed down with sweat and doesn’t breathe the way moister wicking material does. That can leave you feeling more hot and even a little weighed down. Plus that can cause all kinds of uncomfortable chafing and blisters. Take it from someone who accidentally wore a pair of cotton socks on a hot summer day, moister wicking material is important! I’ve literally never made that mistake again haha.

3. Wear sunscreen

I’ve heard several conflicting things about sunscreen; That it prevents your body from absorbing as much UV rays and therefore keeping you marginally cooler. Or that it can block your sweat glands and prevents you from sweating as much and therefore making you retain more heat. Now I’m not sure if either of those things are true, but what I do know is that sunburn sucks. Protect your skin. Wear sunscreen.

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In 2013 Luke and I went on vacation in Florida. On our second day there we spent the whole day at the beach. I told him he needed to put on sunscreen but he didn’t listen. He spent the rest of the week we were there in a lot of pain. Seriously, WEAR SUNSCREEN!!

4. Wear A Hat

Hats have become one of my all-time favorite pieces of running gear. I started out my running career as a headband girl, but that quickly changed once I learned just how versatile and useful hats are! Now I rarely run without one. In the summer hats with a mesh back are probably your best option. That will allow some heat to escape while keeping your face nice and shaded (and in my case it also helps keep my hair out of my face and mouth. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Visors are also a good choice for the summer, but if you wear one you one really be able to do #5 on this list.

5. Put Ice In Your Hat

Obviously the logistics of this one can be a little tricky, but if you’re running near home, have the ability to stop at a gas station/restaurant/store, or have an awesome person supporting you on a run or who is willing to meet you somewhere, putting a few ice cubes in your hat can be a real life saver!!! It cools you off pretty quick but since it takes the ice a little bit to melt it can help keep you a little bit cooler for longer than just dumping water in on your head. Although in a pinch, dumping water on your head is also refreshing! It doesn’t keep you as cool for as long though, that’s why I prefer ice! Another good place to stick a few ice cubes is in your sports bra! Cool boobs are happy boobs, that’s what I always say! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hahaha ok, I’ve never actually said that, but a few ice cubes in the sports bra when it’s crazy hot out is also nice way to cool off a bit. ๐Ÿ™‚

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6. Run In Shade If You Can

Never underestimate the cooling effects of running in the shade!! It can feel around 10-15 degrees cooler in the shade. Not because it’s actually cooler or anything, the temperature is still the same, but while in the shade you get hit with less solar radiation and therefore don’t feel as hot. It also might help you avoid getting a sun burn, but you shouldn’t have to worry about that, because you’re wearing sun screen, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

But anyway, planning a route with some nice, tall trees can be a life saver on a hot day, when the sun isย out!

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7. Get Out Before The Sun

Did you know on a hot summer day asphalt can get up around 140 degrees?? That’s why it’s usually not safe to walk your dog on in when it’s hot out, but that’s another post for another day. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But you know what happens to the heat the asphalt absorbs on hot days? It reflects it right back up. So imagine this; your out running on a hot summer day, it’s about 85 degrees out, the sun is shining directly on you, and the asphalt is just reflecting even more heat back up at you. Doesn’t sound too pleasant, right? So the solution to this little problem is to get out before the sun comes up and heats up the asphalt. Which unfortunately requires waking up pretty early haha. Don’t get me wrong, running has turned me into a morning person, but like, a 6:30-7:00 kinda morning person. Waking up around 4:30-5:00 am is justย too muchย morning, ya feel me? ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s usually worth it on a hot summer day though. Running at 5 in the morning is a lot more comfortable than running at 5 in the afternoon, after the suns been out all day and the asphalt is burning hot. Plus you’re usually greeted with some pretty amazing sunrises!!

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8. Slow Down

I know this is something that a lot of people don’t want to hear, but when it’s really hot and humid out one of the best things you can do is slow down. Maybe even take walking breaks if you have to. I know runners are constantly striving to better themselves and get discouraged when they feel like they’re working really hard but their paces don’t reflect that. Well Ashley is here to tell you that that’s ok!! The heat can really slow you down and if you’re not careful you can easily end up overheating. Heat exhaustion is no joke! So stay safe out there. Slow down. Don’t over exert yourself and end up sick or injured. Summer is the perfect time of year to focus on running by feel instead of running by whatever pace your GPS watch is reading. I promise you’ll end up feeling better when your run is done, and once the weather starts getting better you’ll be able to run faster again.

9. Be Aware Of Heat Exhaustion/Heat Stroke

Just as you must be wary of frost bite and hypothermia in the winter, you must be wary and know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Especially if you plan on being outside in the sun for long periods of time (and remember that it can happen in a short amount of time as well). This kind of stuff can and does happen, even to the most fit and prepared people, so I think it’s very important to know the symptoms and what to do if you, your running buddy, or some guy out mowing his yard, starts exhibiting said symptoms. THESE ARE SERIOUS CONDITIONS AND CAN TURN ANY RUN OR OUTDOOR ACTIVITY INTO A LIFE OR DEATH SITUATION!

Stay safe out there guys! The point is to enjoy running for as long in life as possible, not to push yourself so hard that you end up sick or in the hospital.

10.ย When Worst Comes To Worst, Stay Indoorsย 

You wake up early in the morning, before the sun is even out and get ready to run; you drink some water and enjoy a nice breakfast, apply a liberal amount of sunscreen, don your lightest colored, loose-fitting, dry fit tank top and shorts, your most favorite trucker hat, and bad-ass reflective sunglasses, you plan to stop back at your house every 2-3 miles for a sip of water and to cool down with some ice. You’re ready to roll! “But better check my weather app first” you think to yourself as your about to walk out the door, and are greeted with several alerts about the heat and air quality.

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You know you’re a heat sensitive person with asthma. Your also smart enough to know that sometimes running outside just isn’t worth it. Right??

Haha obviously that’s a situation I’ve found myself in several times in the almost 5 years that I’ve been running. And usually I am smart enough to know that running outside just isn’t worth it. There have been a few times I was not smart though and tried to run anyway. Luckily in those situations I’ve always ended up cutting my runs short after realizing I’d made a bad decision, and so far I’ve always managed to realize that well before I’d run into any serious trouble. Luckily for me, I’ve become a little more cautions about this kind of thing as I’ve gotten a little older and learned more about running and life in general.

The lesson here, my friends, is sometimes it’s just not worth it. If the weather is ever detrimental to your health or safety, it’s usually best to stay indoors. Maybe run on a treadmill instead, or do some laps in a pool, take a spin class, try out some yoga, or something. I know getting in your miles or doing certain workouts are important, but that’s never more important than staying healthy. There really are times when you’re better off doing nothing than risking injury, illness, or even death. Don’t risk your well-being on something as stupid as some arbitrary number of miles or a specific work out. It’s not worth it.

Alright, I know those last 2 points were kinda serious and I’m not trying to scare anyone off of summer running or anything. Summer running can be fun and has all sorts of benefits! I just think it’s important to keep those things in mind.

Enjoy your summer (or at least try to if you’re like me and dislike the heat haha), have fun, stay safe, and remember; summer miles bring fall smiles!

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Happy summer running, everyone!

~Ashley

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Treadmill Running

I started out my running journey almost 5 years ago on a treadmill in my old apartment complexes fitness center, but once I started running on the paved trail that was near by, I ditched the treadmill and never looked back. In that time I’ve forgotten a little something about myself; I’m super duper awkward on treadmills!

So just going back a little bit, last weekend Luke and I went to Illinois for one of his brother’s high school graduation party. While we were there we picked up my sister’s old treadmill from her boyfriend’s mom’s house. My sister (actually, both of my sister’s, my brother, and both of my parents) live in Colorado now. It would have been more expensive for her to rent a truck and drive all the way to Illinois just to get it, and since she knew Luke just recently bought a new truck, she told me that we could take it. And that, my friends, is how I ended up getting a $600 treadmill for free. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Originally I wasn’t going to take the treadmill. “I’m a road runner!” I told myself, “I pride myself in running in ALL OF THE WEATHER CONDITIONS!” And that is true, but in the summer months I always end up runningย a lot less and basically not doing any kind of speed work, because I do not do well in the heat. It absolutely drains me and my running kinda suffers because of it. So after thinking about that for a while, I figured why not take the treadmill? I could probably utilize it in a way to supplement my outdoor running and actually do some speed work in the summer! So at this point I’m pretty stoked to have it. Even though it’s kinda huge and taking up a lot of room in my living room haha.

Anyway, back to my original point. I run weird on treadmills. And I’ve kinda forgotten about that little fact until now. Once I had started running on that trail back in the apartment days I realized how natural treadmill running felt to me. I also realized how quickly I tore shoes up while running on a treadmill. Once I started running on asphalt my shoes started lasting me a lot longer. Probably because running on a revolving belt is just naturally going to wear them out faster, but also because my running gait is just super awkward while moving on said revolving belt and I’ve never been able to get into a good rhythm on one. And honestly I probably never will.

So I’ve only run twice since Sunday when we brought this thing home. Both runs were on the treadmill and both runs felt super weird. Now, I know I’m slow, but a little simple math told me that my Garmin wasn’t reading correctly with that first run on Monday and that I was going somewhere around a 13:30 pace and not a 15 minute per mile pace. Haha that was a huge relief! Because that first run felt HARD! So I’m not actually sure about the distance on this run. I’m not all that worried about it though, I figured out how to calibrate my watch to the treadmill and it was pretty close to what the treadmill was reading on Tuesday. Still not sure how accurate the treadmill is, but I’m just gonna roll with it haha.

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First treadmill run in a very long time on Monday!

You might notice in the photo above that I’m not wearing any shoes. Haha remember how I said I tear shoes up while running on the treadmill? Yeah, I don’t want to be doing that right now. You see, I’m down to one pair of running shoes (I just had to retire my current pair of Nike Free’s. It was a sad day), my Nike Pegasus and they’re getting close to being halfway through their running life with me. I can usually get about 300 ish miles out of a pair of shoes before they have to retire to my “everyday” shoes, and then I can usually wear them for about another year before I have to get rid of them. It’s a good system for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ But anyway, since I’m down to one pair of running shoes and currently not able to spend $100 to get a new pair (that whole trip to Illinois, our up coming family vacation that Luke’s mom has been planning, and having to pay bills, buy food, and other adult stuff like that is really slowing the whole getting new running shoes thing down). So in order to preserve my current pair of shoes I’ve done both of my runs this week in my socks!!

(Just a little side note here guys, I have a ko-fi account now! You might have notice the “Buy Me A Coffee” button on the side of my blog. I actually spent a lot of time thinking about whether or not I should join ko-fi, because I didn’t want anyone to think I was like, begging for money or anything. And I’m totally not! But you know, I do work pretty hard on this blog and my other social media accounts. I put myself out there and share my story in some pretty up close and personal ways. So I figured why not give people a way to show me some love and support in the small way of “buying me a coffee” if they want to. And if they don’t, no big deal and no hard feelings. It’s not like I started this blog to make boatloads of money. Although I’d be lying if I said that wouldn’t be nice. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But anyway, just thought I’d throw that out there really quick. I probably wont be bringing it up much though.)

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

So anyway, in order to preserve the life of my remaining pair of running shoes, I’ve done both of my runs this week in just my socks. I figured it wouldn’t be that big of a deal though. As kids my sisters and I would run around the farm barefoot all the time. We’d walk around corn fields, cow pastures, the woods, our gravel driveway, and even ride our bikes all sans shoes, and it was great!! And it’s not like I wear shoes all the time anyway. Nowadays I always walk around my house in just socks. I ride my stationary bike barefoot, tend to my garden barefoot or in flip flops or rubber boots (so, shoes that basically have no support whatsoever). I’ve even played tennis and helped Luke practice for softball either barefoot or in socks. Haha we’ve actually discoverd that I pitch better without shoes on! Although that’s probably just a weird coincidence, but now whenever we got out to the softball fields and there’s no home plate out we just use my shoes because I’m a-ok with not wearing them haha.

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P.S. I’m totally in love with my Zensah watermelon compression socks!!ย ๐Ÿ‰๐Ÿ˜„[/[/[/[/[/[/

I’ve also got an affinity for minimalist shoes. Hence why I love Nike Free’s so much. Don’t get me wrong, I love myย Pegasus. They’re a great training shoe and a good way for me to switch things up a little bit, but I wont do races in them haha. Compared to the Free’s they just feel heavy to me. I don’t even like wearing them on long runs, but I do because I know it’s good for me. But anyway, since I’m quite often barefoot, or wearing socks or minimalist shoes, I figured my feet, ankles, and legs would be strong enough to do my treadmill running in just my socks. But I think I might have overdone it a bit yesterday. I ran 4 miles on the treadmill, very awkwardly because like I said, treadmill running is weird and hard, in just my socks. I’m not hurt or injured or anything, but my calves are just super tight today! My guess is from running super duper awkwardly on the treadmill two days in a row and now wearing shoes probably didn’t help.

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Haha yesterday I actually spent those 4 miles watching part of a full Green Day concert on YouTube. I have no idea how people can go to a concert and record the whole thing! I’m too busy singing and dancing to even consider taking decent pictures, let along record a video! But I am incredibly grateful to the people who do! Haha yesterday’s 4 miles flew by thanks to whoever recorded this concert! I find treadmill running to be incredibly boring, so I never thought I’d say treadmill miles just flew by! So that was really nice!! But like I said, I woke up with super tight calves today, so I figured I needed to rest them and stretch them, so that’s been my goal for today.

I actually wanted to run outside today. The weather has been a little less hot thanks to some rain we have in the forecast, so it would have been nice to take it outside today. But my tight calves are making my heels hurt a little bit. I’ve dealt with plantarย fasciitis before (and ironically I got it from running in a pair of shoes that were waaay to supportive for my feet. I have very high arches and I’ve found the less support a shoe has, the better!) and I definitely didn’t want to go through all of that again, so I figured taking the day off and getting my calves to loosen up a bit was obviously the better option. So I spent about 30 minutes on my yoga mat doing just that. I still felt a little tight, but a lot better after that!

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So I’m hoping tomorrow they feel even better and I’ll be able to run on them. The weather forecast is saying that it’s supposed to be in the 60’s and cloudy with a chance of rain, so I’d like to run in that before it starts getting hot and gross again!! But once it does, at least I’ll have the treadmill as an option. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve also got another dentist appointment tomorrow to get my permanent crowns put on. So hopefully that all goes well. But that is all I’ve got for now, so happy hump day everyone!

~Ashley

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Thursday Things

My dad signed us up Tuesday, so there’s no turning back now! This November he’ll be running his first half marathon and I’ll be running two half marathons in two days! That should be an interesting experience!

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I think I’m up for the challenge though! Plus its pretty darn exciting that my dad and I are doing another race together and the fact that this will be the first of hopefully many half marathons that he will run! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s also pretty exciting that I have someone who actually wants to do these things with me! Not gonna lie, for the most part I do prefer to run alone, but I’m always open to run with other people anyway! Especially my family!

So like I mentioned on Monday, he’s been gearing up in preparation for half marathon training! On Sunday he got himself a legit pair of running shoes, an r8 roller, a bunch of Honey Stinger waffles, and a pair of compression socks, and on Tuesday, along with registering ups both for the Gobbler Grind, he got himself a Road ID (which I think is one of the most important pieces of gear you can own. I’ve got a whole post about what they are and why I think they’re important that you can read here ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and a bunch of badges for it.

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So he should be pretty much set! Plus he has the added benefit of being able to talk to someone who’s done the whole half marathon thing, has been running for almost 5 years, and who is always reading, listening to podcasts, and talking to more experienced runners about the subject. Lucky him haha! Aside from all of the various resources I’ve mentioned I’ve been pretty much on my own with the whole running and half marathon-ing thing. Maybe one day I’ll hire a coach. At least that would take a lot of the guess work out of it. But I do kinda like flying solo. ๐Ÿ˜‰

As for me, well, I’m not too worried. At least not yet haha. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be able to pull off this stunt and when I do I’m pretty sure that’s just gonna be even more justification to myself that I absolutely need to run a full marathon, probably next year. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But we’ve still got a ways to go before we get anywhere near that territory.

Anyway, I’m a little bit annoyed right now. Earlier this week my neighbor let her daughter come over while she was really sick. Literally the first thing that kid said when she walked through my door was “I have a really bad cold.” Yup, after she said that I knew I’d be getting sick…and now, of course I am. It was really bad yesterday, but I seem to be improving a little bit today. My throat is pretty sore though and that’s super annoying. Plus I’ve been super crazy tired, so I didn’t run yesterday or today. I figured it was probably best to let my body rest.

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I’m annoyed though because now Luke has also come down with it and had to come home early from work today. All of this could have been prevented if my neighbor would have just kept her kid at home. Or at least would have told me that the kid was sick when she asked if she could come over, because then I would have said no. Don’t get me wrong, I like my neighbors and I really don’t mind that her kid comes over all the time. She likes to hang out with me and play with all of our animals. But I don’t exactly think it’s cool to be sending your sick kid to someone else house so that she can infect everyone else. Like I said, now both Luke and I have it and it fucking sucks..

Especially since it’s really nice outside right now and there is a bunch of stuff we need to get done for the garden, the rabbits, the chickens, and whatnot and this evening would have been a good time to get a start on some of that because Luke doesn’t work tomorrow, but now we aren’t going to get a chance to take advantage of that or the nice weather (it’s supposed to rain on tomorrow, and then get kinda cold again on Saturday and Sunday) which sucks. I don’t know man, obviously I don’t have kids, but if I did I don’t think I’d be sending their sick asses around to infect the neighbors.

So yeah, did a whole lot of nothing yesterday. This morning I walked Lily since it was crazy nice out and I figured getting a little bit of vitamin D might help my situation a little bit. I’ve also been trying to drink more water today because I didn’t drink much yesterday. It’s super hard to motivate yourself to drink water when your throat hurts. Which is weird because right now cold stuff seems to be making my throat feel a little better, but I still don’t feel like drinking water. Haha bodies are weird. I’ve also been making a point to eat super well today. Trying to get lots of nutrients in to help my body fight off this thing as quickly as possible. I’m already tired of all of this “resting” nonsense, but I know I’ll probably get well faster if I do it. I just don’t really do the whole sitting around doing nothing thing well. Especially on really pretty days like today when I’d rather be outside.

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Oh well. I can’t do much about it now, aside from what I’m already doing. Hopefully this illness wont stick around for too long because both Luke and I are already very tired of it haha.

Oh, but possible on the bright side, my Oiselle pocket jogger capris should hopefully be getting here tomorrow! There was a whole freaking debacle about that haha. I had originally ordered a pair on March 16th, but long story short, the UPS lost them and it took them 3 weeks to figure that out. Yeah, that was super annoying. But Oiselle’s customer service is pretty great and they refunded the order right away after the UPS officially declared them lost or whatever. So I re-ordered them last Friday and hopefully they’ll actually get here this time. If not I’m gonna have to make a point to not order anything online that ships via the UPS. This isn’t the first time I’ve had issues with the UPS but it’s been the worst by far. I really really want to try out Oiselle’s leggings though and this particular pair has ALL OF THE POCKETS! So fingers crossed that the UPS doesn’t fuck up a second time. I mean, what are the odds, right?

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Alrighty then, that’s all for today! I’m gonna go back to wallowing in my own misery now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

~Ashley

Thursday Things

Ah Thursday. My my favorite day to do a bunch of random ramblings. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So I guess we should get some running talk out of they way. Or well, kinda lack there of. I have been suffering from a bit of a stomach thing. I’m not sure what or why, and I’ll spare you all of the gory details, but it’s kinda sucked haha. On Monday I tried to run but only made it a mile before I had to call it quits. So on Tuesday I took the day off, rested, and ate a lot of potatoes and white rice. Fun times. I was feeling a little bit better on Wednesday and got out and ran, but only 2 miles. That’s definitely better than nothing though! Today I just wasn’t feeling it. I could have run. Probably should have run. But I ended up doing 30 minutes of yoga instead.

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Not sure what caused my stomach troubles. I haven’t really been eating anything different, new, or weird. I guess I just got some kinda bug or something. Whatever. I seem to be getting better and that’s all that matters. ๐Ÿ™‚

I have made one slight adjustment to my diet though. I’ve been making myself oatmeal for breakfast for about the last week now! That’s kind of a big deal for me. I’m not all that big into making myself a decent meal for breakfast. That just takes extra effort that I don’t feel like putting into my food first thing in the morning. But breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as they say. So I figure I should be eating a little something more than just a piece of fruit, a cheese stick, a Honey Stinger waffle, or even worse, just coffee. Eating a bowl of oatmeal every morning seems to be doing me quite a bit of good though! I’m not absolutely starving about halfway through the morning and usually just need a small snack a few hours before lunch. So actually taking the time to make a decent breakfast seems to be a good habit for me to be in.

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Yay oatmeal!

My oatmeal for breakfast habit might be a little difficult to keep up with this weekend though. On Saturday night Luke and I are going to be driving to St. Louis, so he can spend Easter with his dad, step mom, and two of his brothers. And I’ll get to spend at my grandma’s house with my mom, brother, and uncle. So my grandma is going to have a pretty full house for Easter. I’m sure that’ll make her really happy! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’ll be fun for all of us though. I believe on Monday Luke plans on taking his brothers, my brother, and obviously myself to the St. Louis zoo! I sure hope we get to do that! the St. Louis zoo is so much fun!! I’m pretty sure it’s one of the best zoos in the country (at the very least it’s about 100 times better than the Kansas City zoo). And if you’re willing to walk a little bit there are plenty of places to park for free in Forest Park, so you don’t have to pay for parking and entry to the zoo is free. Pretty awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, not sure what my family will be doing for Easter. We used to go to Church every Easter (and every Sunday really), but I’m not sure that’s what we will be doing. But I’m sure my grandma and Uncle will make a bunch of yummy food! You can always count on them to cook on holidays! I wonder if my grandma will have her Easter tree out (or even if she still has it). Did you guys have an Easter tree? Haha I’ve just recently learned that’s something that not everyone does! Apparently it’s a German tradition, which does make a lot of sense. My mom’s side of my family is super German. My late grandpa’s parents immigrated here before he was born. Pretty neat! So I’ve grown up doing a lot of German things without even really knowing it. That also explains why my family is of the Lutheran denomination haha. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So here’s a photo of me (I’m the one standing up) and my sisters (yes they’re twins) on Easter in 1997. So that would be the year before my brother was born. It’s not a great photo, but you can kinda see our Easter tree on the table. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Here’s a better photo of one from Google. ๐Ÿ™‚

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A few people in my neighborhood have decorated trees and bushes in there front yards for Easter, so that’s pretty neat!

Anyway,ย  it’s been a super muddy mess outside because it’s been pretty rainy and wet out. My backyard is basically a giant mud pit and Dean and Finn are both super gross. They’re gonna have to be bathed before we got to St. Louis on Saturday. They’re not gonna be happy about that, because after they’re clean, the won’t be able to go back outside and that’s where they both prefer to be pretty much all day, every day.

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So. Much. Mud…

So, remember almost 2 weeks ago when I ordered a pair of running tights from Oiselle? The ones with all of the pockets that I was so super excited about?? Yeah, they still haven’t gotten here yet…

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So. Many. Pockets!!

It’s the UPS’s fault. Every time I order something online and it ships via the UPS it always ends up getting delayed. Never for this long before though… So on Tuesday I emailed Oiselle to if they knew anything about the situation with my order. All they could tell me was that it’s delayed with the carrier (but I’m hoping they’ve contacted the UPS and they’re working on getting my package to me), but they were kind enough to refund me the $8 I paid for 3 day shipping. I really appreciate how quickly Oiselle got back to me and that they were kind enough to refund my shipping charge. That was great! This morning I reported it to the UPS as a lost package, so hopefully they’ll be able to find it and finally get it to me. I was so excited about all of those pockets and I really want to put them to use!!!

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So semi related, but when my feet were feeling a little bit sore last week I realized that the only compression gear I have for my feet are holiday themed (Thanksgiving and Christmas to be exact). Really that’s not a big deal and obviously that’s not gonna stop me from wearing them when I need them, but I still thought that was boring, so I spent some time waiting for Zensah’s watermelon socks to be restocked and yesterday they finally were, so I bought myself a pair! ๐Ÿ™‚ Luckily those are coming through the USPS so at least I know they’ll get here when they’re supposed to and I wont have to wait who know’s how long for them to get here.

Anyway, I’m thinking that’s all I’ve got for today!

Happy Thursday!

~Ashley

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Weekly Recap: March 12th-18th, 2018

I’ve been back home for a two weeks now, the 5k that my dad andย  I did together was a success, and now I’m pretty much back to scheduled programming. I’m training for my next 5k in May, making plans for my garden, farming chickens, and handling 3 border collies. So you know, same old same old. ๐Ÿ™‚

Monday:

  • Rest Day

I usually try to take my rest days on Sunday, but since the Whiskey run was on Sunday I just moved that to Monday. So Monday was pretty uneventful, but my spiffy new Zensah compression sleeves got here, so there’s that. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Tuesday:

  • Easy 2 miles
  • 15 minutes of strength work

Nothing exciting or fancy on Tuesday. Just doing thing that need to be done.

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Wednesday:ย 

  • 10 minute warm up on the stationary bike
  • 4 miles

Running is hard…

Seriously did not want to do this run on Wednesday, but I got out there and muddled through it. Barely haha. But I did it and that’s all that matters, right?

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Thursday:

  • Rest Day

Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope.

I woke up feeling like shit on Thursday. I was crazy sore, tired, and just gross feeling all around, even though I really hadn’t done anything all week to warrant feeling that way. So I skipped my run and opted to walk the dogs and do some yoga instead. I’m still not entirely sure if I should have just muddled through another run or not. But I mostly think my body was trying to tell me something and that I might have avoided an illness or injury by opting out of Thursday’s run. Either way though, it didn’t get done.

But on the bright side, my Honey Stinger order came on Thursday and I got to try out one of the new Almond butter/dark chocolate snack bars! They. Are. Amazing!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Friday:

  • Walked around the dog park

Well, and spent the whole day running around like crazy trying to get some stuff done haha! Luke’s Friday’s off (he gets a Friday off of work every other week), tend to be like that though. The day started off super rainy and chilly so we weren’t actually sure if we were gonna be able to get the dogs to the park, which was something we desperately wanted to do! So we ended up going to several stores in the mall, and the to Scheels looking for new everyday shoes for Luke and running tights for me. Luke and I are kind of die hard Nike people haha, but we’ve both been a bit disappointed by them lately. They’ve seemed to have done away with Nike Shox (Luke loves them for some reason. I think they’re super uncomfortable and not at all sad to see them go haha). Eventually he did find another pair of Nike’s that he likes though. My problem is the seem to have done away with my favorite kind of running tights. I’ve been looking everywhere for them or something similar for going on 2 years now, but nope, it’s looking like they’ve done away with them as well. Sad face… After being super disappointed at several stores, Luke told me that maybe I should try something new, so I ended up ordering a pair of Oiselle pocket jogger capris. This is the first Oiselle item I’ve ever purchased, so I’m pretty excited for them to get here and see what they’re all about. Plus I’ve always said running gear never has enough pockets, so these capris should solve that issue for me! So. Many. Pockets!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, after our shopping adventures it had gotten a lot nicer outside and the rain had mostly dissipated, so we took the dogs to the park, did some errands, then had my brother-in-law, his girlfriend, and her 2 kids over for dinner. Haha it was a very busy/eventful day.

 

 

 

Saturday:

  • 30 minutes of yoga

Oh man, my stomach was not happy with me on Saturday. I’m not entirely sure what that was all about, but it probably had something to do with the fact that I have not been eating very well lately. Obviously I need to work on that. So I kept it super easy and did 30 minutes of restorative yoga on Saturday. That ended up feeling really nice. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sunday:

  • 20 minutes on the stationary bike

Ugh, Lily and Finn kept Luke and I up all freaking night…That was a whole thing. I had planned on getting in a few miles at the very least today, but after last night’s fiasco that wasn’t going to happen. I always read/hear that after a shitty night of sleep you should go run because it’ll make you feel better, but try telling that to tired, cranky Ashley. Nope, not worth it in her opinion.

So, dyed my hair, cleaned the house, and spent a little bit of time on the stationary bike instead.

So yeah. This was a weird week. Sometimes running kinda gets in the way of life but this week life kinda got in the way of running. It happens and I’m not too worried about it. I have a feeling that next week will be better. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope everyone has had a good weekend!

~Ashley

 

 

 

 

Thursday Things

They’re here!!!!!

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I’ve mentioned before how excited I was about these Honey Stinger cracker n’ nut butter snack bars, right? Well, if not, I’m super duper excited about theseย  Honey Stinger cracker n’ nut butter snack bars!! Haha so of course I ordered a box of the almond butter and dark chocolate bars on Monday. Along with a couple of boxes of waffles because priorities. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So that all got here today and I was able to try out one of the snack bars. They. Are. Amazing! Honey Stinger has yet to disappoint! ๐Ÿ™‚

You can get a box of these bad boys here, if you’re interested. ๐Ÿ™‚

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

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Haha I think they’re pretty freaking great. Plus along with being super neat looking (who doesn’t like rubber ducks?), I love Zensah’s compression sleeves (and socks). They’re super comfortable and I don’t feel like I’m being squeezed to death when I’m wearing them, but they still provide a pretty good amount of compression. I think they’re great. ๐Ÿ™‚

These rubber ducky sleeves, mini crew socks, and no-show socks are limited edition, so if you’re into that kinda thing like me, I’d snatch them up while I can! And obviously I did haha. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, I finally got around to updating my “Goals and PR’s” page. You know, we’re only halfway through the 3rd month of the year, but better late than never, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ At some point I need to get around to update my “About” page. I think it’s been something like 2 years since I’ve updated that, and obviously some things have changed. Plus I’ve just never been a fan of my “about” page so I really probably should just sit down and work on that. I’ll do it at some point haha.

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

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

So, instead of running I took an epsom salt bath at 9 am (that was really nice ๐Ÿ™‚ ), walked my dogs, did some yoga, drank some bone broth, and spent quite a bit of time working on blog posts. I definitely felt better doing all of that than I probably would have if I’d attempted to run. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

And on that note; who wants to see some super unflattering photos of my dad and I at the Whiskey Run 5k last Sunday? Because the official race photos were posted a few days ago, and oh boy we are some very photogenic people! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

They got a great photo of me walking up a hill, I totally nailed the “stopping your watch at the finish line” photo (that’s the first time I’ve done that, I think! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), there’s a great photo of my dad being in pain because he hurt himself in the last few feet of the run (he’s feeling better now though), and post race/breakfast coffee while walking to the car while my dad was still in pain. Haha oh man, they’re all pretty great, but none of them beat my photos from mile 11 at last years Longview half marathon.

 

 

 

My goal for this year at Longview is to not be making that face at mile 11. ๐Ÿ˜‚

And finally, how about a little chicken update? My tiny raptors are growing like crazy! Look at all of those feathers they’re growing!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Since they are doing so well, getting a little bigger, and the weather’s been relatively nice, Luke and I took them outside and let them explore their chicken coop a little bit for the first time last night. Initially they were kinda freaked out (and understandably so) but after a few minutes they started wandering around and checking everything out. After about 10 or 15 minutes we brought them back inside though. Don’t want them getting sick or too stressed out or anything. We want them laying eggs ASAP! They should start around June or July, so that’s not too long of a wait. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Plus by then they’ll be living outside full-time, and thank goodness for that! Having chicks living in your house is kinda fun, but they are messy little creatures haha.

 

Alrighty then! I guess that pretty much covers everything I wanted to talk about today. Today is basically my Friday because Luke is off work tomorrow and apparently we’re going to be super busy tomorrow! Should be fun though! ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Friday eve!

~Ashley

Friday Fives: Stocking Stuffers For The Runner In Your Life

It’s that time of year again! Stressing over making sure you have a little something to give to your friends, family, coworkers, etc. It can be tough! But worry not my friends, you’re friendly neighborhood runner is here to give you some stocking stuffer ideas for the runner in your life. ๐Ÿ™‚

1. Their Favorite On The Run Fuelย 

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

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

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Honey Stinger waffles are my personal favorite. ๐Ÿ™‚

2. Glovesย 

If there’s one piece of running gear that I could consistently use more of, it would probably be cheap, throwaway gloves. Now, there are some fancier gloves out there; touch screen gloves, wind resistant gloves, moisture wicking gloves, etc. And those are all super neat! But honestly I’d rather receive a pair of gloves I could ditch at the starting line of a Turkey Trot, Santa Shuffle, or a Hangover Half Marathon (don’t let me lie to you, the only holiday themed running event I’ve ever done was a “run with Santa 5k” in my town haha. But I’d like to participate in others eventually. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Also, I have a bad habit of blowing my nose into my hand (and I know I’m not the only runner who does this!!) and I don’t think I’d want to do that into a pair of $40 gloves haha.

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3. Custom Race Bib Ornamentย 

Did your runner crush a new PR, finish a big goal race, or just has a race bib that they particularly like? I think these race bib ornaments are super neat and a great way to remember a big race!! Also, shout out to my family and friends who might be reading this, looking for gift ideas for me. I think these are super duper neat and I don’t have one hahahaha. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Goneforarun.com actually has a bunch of cool custom race bib stuff, I just think the ornaments are particularly neat. ๐Ÿ™‚

4. Runner Nation Coffee Mug

Fact; runners love coffee. Also fact; I’m not entirely sure how true that first “fact” is hahaha. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But for real though, in my experience, a lot of runners do enjoy a nice cup of coffee. Especially on a day when they have to wake up particularly early or before a long run when a little bit of caffeine is definitely appreciated. And here’s another “fact” for ya, coffee tastes better when it’s in a neat mug. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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5. A StrideBox Gift Subscription

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

So I’m not gonna lie, I was always a bit hesitant about subscription boxes because I was worried that after a few months the products that come in the box would get kinda lame after a while, but that hasn’t been my experience with StrideBox! It always comes full of all sorts of neat stuff to try! And good news!! If you use the codeย RunningRebel10, which isย good until 12/24/17, you can get 10% off of a 3 or 6 month gift subscription for the runner in your life! Or for yourself, because you deserve a gift too, and I swear the day StrideBox comes in the mail is basically like Christmas morning. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Again, you can use the code RunningRebel10 to get 10% off of a 3 or 6 month gift subscription!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Good until 12/14/17.

So there you have it! Some nifty gift ideas for the runner in your life! Or at least I think they are. Fellow runners, what are some gift ideas that you’d like to receive or give during this holiday season? ๐Ÿ™‚