Tag Archives: running with the cows

Running With The Cows 5k, 2018

Oh my gosh you guys! This race is just so much fun!! I think I might have to do it for a 3rd time next year because I had an absolute blast on Saturday! Haha I told Luke that, and he told me that he’s going to sign me up for the half instead of the 5k without telling me, just to force me to do the half marathon. And while I do love half marathons, I know for a fact that I wouldn’t like to run one in the weather conditions we had on Saturday.

The half marathon was supposed to start at 7:30 am on May 12th, but there were a scattered showers in the area and some of those little pockets of rain were producing lightning. They actually had someone there from one of the local news stations who had to check in with their meteorologist to make sure it was safe enough for the runners to go out.ย  According to the news station’s meteorologist it was though, and just a few minutes past 7:30 am the half marathoners took off. It was raining a little bit, but oh boy was it humid! And the temperatures were in the 70’s and it was only supposed to go up from there. Gross. I really feel for those runners doing the half. I feel like running 13.1 miles in that kinda sticky, heavy feeling, heat would have been terrible.

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Half Marathoners lining up at the starting line.

Which is exactly why I’m so hesitant to do this particular half marathon! The weather around this time of year in the Midwest can be unpredictable. Back in 2016 when I did this 5k for the first time it was cold enough for me to comfortable run in a hoodie. This year I would have absolutely baked in anything heavier than a light tank top haha. I think I’m just gonna stick with my fall half marathons, thank you very much. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway that’s enough talk about the gross weather and why I’ve only run half marathons in the fall, and lets back track a little bit!

So, on Friday night I had laid out all of my gear, made sure my bib was pinned to my tank top, and my timing chip was secured to my shoe. I had my coffee maker ready to go and knew exactly what I was going to eat for breakfast the following morning. Haha I like to be prepared and have to do as little thinking as possible in the morning. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Coach Bubbles helping me assemble my running gear.

When my alarm went off at 6 am on Saturday I was ready to roll! I got up, let the dogs out, started my coffee maker, ate, drank some water and my coffee, got dressed, applied a little bit of sunscreen, drank some more water, woke Luke up, and by 6:40 am we were ready to leave! At the last second Luke decided to take Dean with us. We always see other spectators at races with dogs so he figured why not? Plus Dean is the most calm out of all 3 dogs we have and is the only one that wouldn’t obsess over the livestock that they have at the starting area of this race. So the three of us loaded up into the truck and we were on our way.

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Normally it would take us about 20 minutes for us to get to Bucyrus. Kansas, where the race is held, but since we had to drive on part of the half marathon race course to get there it took a little bit longer because there were police officers already out directing traffic and getting ready to shut down the road. That wasn’t a big deal though, we had left early for that very reason. Well, that and I wanted to pet the cows and goats before the 5k started haha. But anyway, we got there and got parked quickly and without any trouble. The volunteers who were directing traffic were very efficient! Then Luke, Dean, and I started walking towards all of the fun stuff they have set up near the start/finish line.

Honestly at first we were a little nervous. We weren’t exactly sure if dogs were aloud to be there. Especially since they had livestock set up in pins there. But we saw several other people with dogs so we figured it was ok. And as it turns out, Dean was probably one of the most well behaved dogs there. Luke and I were both very proud of him. All of the people kind of made him nervous, but for the most part he took it really well. He wasn’t in the least bit interested in the cows and goats that were there (ha, some border collie he is ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), but they were very interested in him! We brought him up near the goat pin so I could pet them, and he didn’t care one way or the other about them. They were very curious about him though! One came right up to the fence to investigate the whole situation. They didn’t seem too afraid of him though. I bet they’ve been around dogs before.

The cow, on the other hand, wasn’t a fan of Dean. You could tell he was making her nervous. Probably because she had a calf. So Luke backed off with Dean so I could pet them haha. One of the little kids who were manning the cow pin (I guess they belonged to their parents) even gave me a treat to give her. She was still keeping an eye on Dean though and wouldn’t take it. Her calf did come up to the fence and let me pet it though, so that was neat!!

Once a bunch of people started crowding around the pens we left and stared meandering around near the starting area while the half marathoners started to line up. Once most of them were the race directer said a prayer, they played the national anthem, aaaand then the half marathoners had to wait for the weather update before they could take off. But like I said, that only took a few minutes. So Luke and I watched them start and cheered them on along with the other 5kers and spectators. After they took off we still had half an hour to kill, so we wandered around a little more, Luke took a picture of me and Dean in front of a giant cow, and then I got in line to use a port-o-potty. That was probably one of the worst port-o-potty experiences in my life! The urinal was literally almost over flowing with urine. It was absolutely disgusting sitting mere inches away from that disaster. Luckily I was quick and didn’t have to be in there with that mess for too long.

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Me, Dean, and a giant cow.

After I had finished up in the nasty port-o-potty we started making our way to the corral. Before I actually lined up Luke and I ended up talking to another lady about border collies haha. Dean really liked her (I guess he knew she had a border collie at home ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and kept walking over to sniff her. So she started petting him and told us about her border collie. She was worried that she wouldn’t do well with all of the people so the lady had to leave her at home. After we had talked to her for a little bit I bid Luke and Dean farewell and started making my way into the corral and lined up near the back, since I’m a slow runner and all. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Plus with the heat and humidity and the lack of speed work I’ve been doing, I wasn’t sure how this race was going to end up going. But as the countdown on the timer got closer and closer to “0” I started getting kinda nervous and realized I still wanted to go for my time goal of 38 minutes.

The countdown hit 10 seconds. The announcer started counting us down. “3, 2, 1, 0, go!!!” Then we were off!! There was lots of cheering, cowbells, and the loudspeakers that were playing music were also playing cow sound effects too, which I though was pretty neat!

So I tried to go out conservatively for about the first mile. I mean, that’s what you’re supposed to do right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I found that my legs wanted to go and apparently my brain wasn’t about to stop them I kept telling myself that I was going to end up regretting that, but weirdly enough that didn’t happen! And although I ended up going out a little faster that I had originally planned, I spent probably about the first mile just taking in the sights, sounds, and enjoying the excitement of race day that was going on around me. The course is an out and back, so you don’t really get to see a lot in just 3.1 miles, but it’s still really pretty. It’s basically just a bunch of cow pastures out in the middle of nowhere Kansas which I think is super awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

This course is also a little bit hilly. Nothing too crazy but still, those hills could be challenging if you aren’t careful or prepared for them. As I was getting closer to the water station which was also the turnaround point, I started noticing a very interesting pattern that quite a few of my fellow racers where doing. Some of them would fly on the downhills and then slow down a lot or even start to walk on the uphills. Now, I’m a big fan of running downhill with reckless abandon and I tend to do that around my neighborhood for shits and giggles. But in the almost 5 years that I’ve been a runner I’ve learned and am just now finally admitting to myself is that when I put my mind to it, running uphill can actually be a strong point for me! So once I noted that some people were wearing themselves out on the downhills (and probably trashing their quads in the process. Trust me, I’ve been there) and hardcore slowing down on the uphills I decided to take the opposite approach. I started to run the downhills a bit more conservatively. “Recover!” I’d tell myself in my head. And I starting to hit the uphills pretty hard!

Once I’d made it through the water station (I’ve yet to master the art of the aid station and have trouble drinking while on the move, so that whole process slowed me down a bit. If it wasn’t for all of that I probably could have negative split this whole race haha. But my last mile was my fastest, so at least there’s that. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), made it around the turn around point, and I went fishing! If you don’t know, “going fishing” is when you pick out a person in front of you “reel” them in, pick another person in front of you, and repeat. All while continuing my pattern of going easy on the downhills and harder on the uphills. So I ended up getting passed by people I had reeled in. I yo-yoed with a couple of people for a while, but going up the final hill, right before we turned back onto the road (well, I guess it’s actually the school’s driveway. This race is held at a Catholic school haha), that took us to the finish line, I had left most of the people I had “fished” for behind me and crossed the finish line with the timer reading 39 minutes and some change. So I knew I probably hadn’tย  hit my goal of 38 minutes but I probably semi close.

So I crossed the finish line, stopped my watch, got my timing chip clipped off, got a water bottle and a cowbell from very nice volunteers, spotted Luke and Dean in the crowed, and started making my way towards them, while checking my time on my Garmin. It read that I have covered 3.15 miles in 38:54, which is about a 12:22 pace. Not bad! considering the heat and humidity! I know I made it sound like I was feeling super strong, especially on the uphills, and at some points I was! But there were also times when I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath, was suffocating because of the humidity, and just felt like general shit because of the heat. But still, I felt like I ran strong, I didn’t wimp out because of the weather, and man I felt like a badass running up those hills! All in all, I’m very happy with how this race went. Plus I kinda figured my chip time would a few less seconds. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Once I had made it to Luke and knew what my time roughly was, I started excitedly recapping all of this to him, while we made our way to the buffet. On our way there we passed theย Chick-fil-A tent that was set up just outside the school where the rest of the food was. They were handing out sandwiches so obviously I had to grab one of those! But it turned out to be a chicken/bacon/biscuit sandwich. I don’t likeย biscuit so I gave that to Luke and headed inside to get me something tasty! Haha but once I saw all of the food I realized just how not hungry I was. That was slightly disapointing because there was so much awesome looking food that I normally would have wanted to try, but running in the heat makes me kinda nauseous, so I just ended up grabbing a super cute cow cookie. It was slightly smashed, and to be honest with you I didn’t even want a cookie at that point, but it was adorable and I had to take it haha. I’m glad I did though, it was very tasty! I also got half a Panera bagel, a banana, and a turkey sub from subway. Haha I actually took my sandwich home and ended up eating it for lunch.

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You cannot tell me that that kinda smashed cow cookie is not adorable!

After I had gotten my food all 3 of us were pretty much over the big crowed of people, so we made our way back to the truck and then headed home. On the way I told Luke that nothing in the world sounded better to me at that moment than a watermelon. So he stopped at a store and got me one. He is literally the best. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

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A very good race, an (almost) John Deer green cowbell, and a watermelon. Ashley was one very happy camper.

On the way home I also got my chip time: 38:51! I knew it had to of been just a few second faster than what my watch read. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Either way though, I was very happy with how I did.

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Once we got home we got the other 2 dogs and took the 3 of them to the dog park for a little bit. Haha I was getting kinda tired, but walking around a little bit was probably good for me. After we were done there I finally got to shower and then take a nice nap with Bubbles. That was a nice way to end this whole adventure. ๐Ÿ™‚

Whew! That was kind of a long recap for just a 5k, but whatever haha. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of me running or crossing the finish line. I saw some photographers at the start and it looked like they were taking photos, but if there are photos of the 5k then they haven’t posted them online yet. Not like that’s a big deal or anything though. ๐Ÿ™‚

So there you have it! Running With The Cows 5k, 2018. If you actually stuck around to the very end and read this whole post, then I thank you very much!

Have a wonderful week!!

~Ashley

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Weekly Recap: May 7th-13th, 2018

This week was a good week. I’ve been having a little bit of trouble with my neighbor’s dog, Ozzy, but other than that, I’ve really got nothing to complain about! Well, except for the warm weather maybe, but we all know I’m never going to stop complaining about that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Had some good runs, got my monthly StrideBox, my garden is growing and doing well, as are my chickens, and did one of my favorite races ever on Saturday. Like I said, it’s been a good week. ๐Ÿ™‚

Monday:

  • 4 miles

Kicked off the week with 4 hot and sunny miles! Obviously that’s not my favorite kind of weather, but I still had some fun.

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Tuesday:

  • 5 miles
  • 10 minutes of yoga

Tuesday was the day I had the most issues with Ozzy. When I woke up that morning I let the chickens out as usual, then went to eat breakfast. About a half an hour later I happened to look in my backyard and there was Ozzy, bothering the poor chickens. So I caught him, put him in his yard, fixed some of the bricks that were covering the holes next to the fence we share with this neighbor (we’re currently in the process of replacing it, so it’s in terrible shape right now), then headed out for my run. After about 3 miles I happened to run by my house and saw that Ozzy was in my yard again. So I had to stop, repeat the whole process again, and then went out and finished my last 2 miles. But of course when I finished that Ozzy was back in my yard again. So this time I put even more bricks in the holes by the fence and lined the outside of my chicken coop with them. He’s been trying to dig under it, so I’m hoping at the very least the bricks will slow him down enough for someone to realize he’s not where he’s suppose to be before he can hurt my chickens.

But anyway, at least I got my run in, and got some strength training done because dead lifting a 30 pound dog over a fence multiple times has to count for something, and moving all of those bricks around was hard haha.

 

 

Wednesday:ย 

  • 4 miles

Another easy 4 miler on Wednesday. This time Ozzy stayed in his yard and Dean was waiting to great me when I got back! Nothing is better than getting ALL OF THE PUPPY LOVIN’ when you get back from a run. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Thursday:

  • rest day

I had 2 easy miles planned for Thursday but oh man was I tired! So I figured taking a rest day was probably a good plan. I actually ended up spending most of the day reading/finishing Cujo. Can you believe this was legit the first time I’ve ever read Cujo?!? Stephen King is my all time favorite author and it took me this long to read one of his most iconic books? That’s just nuts! Haha and I talk about that more here, if you’re interested. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thursday was one of the packet pick up days for Running With The Cows, so I went to get mine that evening. How super neat is this t-shirt?!?

 

 

Friday:

  • 15 minutes of stretching

So, Friday’s tend to be the day Luke and I run around and do a bunch of errands, and this Friday was no different. In the morning we had to meet with our insurance agent to go over all of our policies. Fun Stuff. Then the rest of the day was actually spent getting the truck titled. First we had to take it to get inspected since Luke bought it in Missouri, then we had to wait at the DMV for 8 million years haha. We ended up getting so bored that we wandered around the building, found a blood pressure machine,so obviously we had to play with that. Good news is we both have good blood pressure!

When we finally got home that evening I did some stretching and got all of my stuff ready for Running With The Cows. ๐Ÿ™‚

Saturday:

  • Running With The Cows 5k

I had so much fun at this race!!!

I had a goal time of 38 minutes for it, but it was hot, humid, and this course is a bit hilly, so I ended up running it in 38:51. Not bad though! I’m very happy with how it went!! I’ll be posting a full recap on Monday, so stay tuned for that. ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜„

 

 

Sunday:

  • rest day

I actually thought about doing a few easy miles today, but running in the heat yesterday really took it out of me! Plus my legs were a little sore from running hard on those hills. So I figured I could use a day off from running. I did spent some time cleaning out the rabbit cages today, cleaning out the chicken coop, and pulling a few weeds out of the garden, so at least I got a little bit of something done. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Total Weekly Mileage: 16.15

Considering the fact that I didn’t do a long run this week I’m pretty happy with that! Definitely not what I want to be and should be running, but still not bad. All in all I’m quite happy with how this week is gone and how well Running With The Cows went. But now that I’ve got that done it’s time to really kick into gear my “pre half marathon” training. I’m going to be focusing on more miles and strength training. I feel like being stronger and more resilient is going to help with the whole two half marathons in two days thing that’s going down in November. So bring it on!!

Oh and happy Mother’s Day you all of you awesome moms out there! You guys are true superheros!!

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Until next time,

~Ashley

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Thursday Things

Woke up early this morning, briefly considered doing my run, very quickly decided โ€œfuck thatโ€, and went back to bed. Haha I was just really tired. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I only had an easy 2 mile run planned for today, so I figured skipping it wasnโ€™t a big deal.

Once I did finally get up I ended up spend way too much time scrolling through all of my social media. Jeez that is a really good way to lose a good chunk of your time haha. But I did get to see a few of the cows that are going to be hanging out at the Running With The Cows starting line area and I was pretty excited about that! How adorable are these two?!? Iโ€™m very excited about seeing them on Saturday!

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Obviously this isnโ€™t my photo. I screen shot it from the Running With The Cows facebook page.ย 

Luckily I didnโ€™t end up wasting my whole day on the social media. Thatโ€™s crazy easy to do haha! Eventually I got up and got some stuff done. I cleaned the ferret cage while they ran around for a while, and then did some stuff in the garden. Mostly just watered it, but I pulled out a few weeds too haha. Everything out there is looking pretty good right now though! Before too long weโ€™re gonna have a bunch of tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, eggs, and all sorts of other good stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚ Iโ€™m very excited about that!

After the ferret cage was clean and the garden was watered I took Lily and then Dean for a walk, worked on a few blog posts, started some laundry and general tiding of the house, and then I sat down with another cup of coffee and the book Cujo. Can you believe this is legit the first time Iโ€™ve read Cujo?!? Stephen King is my all time favorite Author and he has been since I was in like, 7th grade. The first ever โ€œgrown upโ€ book I read was The Stand. 2 whole shelves on my huge book shelf are dedicated to and are absolutely overflowing with his books. But still, this is the first time Iโ€™ve read Cujo haha. But I mean, Iโ€™ve seen the movie about 8 billion times so I always reached for anther one of his books whenever I would go to get one. Iโ€™ve also never read Carrie or Pet Sematary. Pretty crazy, right? But again, Iโ€™ve seen both of those movies about 8 billion times as well. But since Iโ€™ve finally gotten around to Cujo Iโ€™ll eventually get to Carrie and Pet Sematary as well. I mean, the book is always better than the movie anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Will (and did) Run For Pizza, Tomatoes, Zucchini, and Green Beans, Oh My! And One More Week Until Running With The Cows! ๐Ÿฎ

Ya know, I don’t think that title is long enough. I feel like I could have done a lot better. I mean, why not just write the whole blog post in the title? Problem solved! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Haha obviously coming up with catchy titles is not my strong suit, but whatever, I make it work. I think…

Anyway, Luke and I have officially got our garden started! Last year we had to rent a tiller because ours had broken and neither of us knew how to fix it and we kinda didn’t want to mess with it anyway. But yesterday we bought a new one because it was on sale at Tractor Supply, and because why not? ๐Ÿ˜‰ So once we had that we were pretty much set on everything else, so we went to a local farm to get our plants.

I think the very first year that we lived in this house we started most of our plants from seeds, but that’s a lot of extra work haha! Plus I really like this farm we get ours from. Everything there is organic, non GMO, and the plants always look really good and do well, so that’s where we’ve been getting and will probably continue getting our plants. This year we ended up getting 16 tomato plants (8 “Jet Star” plants and 6 cherry tomato plants), 4 zucchini plants, 4 banana pepper plants, 4 watermelon plants, 2 green bean plants, another strawberry plant, 1 black berry bush, 1 raspberry bush, and a goji berry bush. We also wanted a few cucumber plants but they didn’t have any so we’ll have to get those somewhere else and hopefully really soon!

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So now that we were armed with our new tiller and most of the plants that we wanted, Luke recruited his brother and his whole crew to come “help” us put in the plants. Originally he just wanted him there because Luke wanted to build some structures for all of the vine plants, but we didn’t end up getting to that last night. We did, however, get some tilling done and the tomatoes, peppers, and berry bushes planted! I even had 3 kids (my brother-in-law’s girlfriend’s kids and my next door neighbor) fighting over who got to dig the next hole for me haha. That was pretty funny but it also kinda made the whole process take a little longer. Oh well, at least they had fun and we got some of our plants into the ground.

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During all of those shenanigans Luke had ordered pizza, and while I was eating I realized I was wearing a very fitting shirt haha! And I mean, it is very true, I will definitely run for pizza! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Actually, what I really like to do is have pizza for dinner the night before my long run, because it always seems like when I do my long runs go soo much better haha. Still not sure if that’s just a coincidence or not, buy hey, I’ll gladly say its true if it means I get to eat more pizza. ๐Ÿ•๐Ÿ˜‰ And at that point I was thinking that ended up working out really well for me, because I’d planned on doing a long run today.

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That didn’t exactly end up happening though. When I woke up this morning my calves were crazy sore. Not sure how I managed that one, but they were. Plus I was feeling kinda tired. I guess that’s not very surprising considering all of our gardening adventures last night. But I told myself I was gonna try for 8 miles anyway. And foolishly thought to myself that hey, maybe it’ll go really well and I can do 10. I did not do 10…

I felt alright during the first 3 ish miles, but by the time I got to 5 I was just absolutely done. The sun was all the way up at that point and I had started to heat up even more than I already was which sucks. Being hot is like, my least favorite thing ever, and it kinda turns me into a huge baby. But I stuck it out through another mile and a half before I just called it quits. Ooooh man it was really hard. But I’m happy with the 6.5 miles I got done. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Fueled by Honey Stinger.๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿซ Feet kept happy by Zensah. ๐Ÿงฆ๐Ÿ‰

Honestly I’m thinking it’s not a bad thing that I didn’t run 10 miles today. My next 5k is next Saturday and obviously I want to good and have fresh legs for that! And I mean, I’m pretty freaking stoked for this race! I did it once before in 2016 and it was so much fun! There were goats and a baby cow at the start/finish line, the course was pretty, rural, and full of cows, and there was a HUGE buffet at the end. Seriously, there was SO. MUCH. FOOD. It’s definitely my kind of race! And maybe one day I’ll end up running the half instead of the 5k haha. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Originally I was doing a 5k specific training plan for this race, but that kinda went to the wayside once I made the potentially bad decision to run two half marathons in two days. Haha I’m running the Longview half on November 10th and on November 11th my dad, brother, and I are going to do the Gobbler Grind half marathon so that should be interesting. But the second my dad signed us up for the Gobbler Grind I pretty much stopped everything I was doing and started focusing on milesย miles miles. I really need to start getting more in now that I’m attempting the crazy stunt, so I’ve been focusing on upping my mileage and have pretty much stopped doing speed work. Although I have thrown in a few short and fast sessions in over the last few weeks, just for fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

But anyway, I haven’t completely given up on the time goal I had for Running With the Cows though. Depending what kind of weather we get on race day (have I mentioned how big of a baby I am when it comes to hot/sunny weather? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and how I’m feeling next Saturday, I think I might actually be able to do pretty well! I mean, my dad and I crushed it at the Whiskey 5k we did together in March and I kinda want to see if I can do this race faster. But I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what race day brings! I’m pretty excited for it! But I’m even more excited about the buffet at the end. I’m definitely gonna go all out on that. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰

Okey dokey then! I just kinda wanted to give a little update on what I’ve been up to and to say how stoked I am about Running With The Cows next week! So that is all for today!

Happy Saturday from me and this chubby bunny!

~Ashley

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Whiskey Run 5K 3/11/18

I haven’t done an “official” 5k since I did Running With The Cows back in May of 2016. Actually, last year the only race I did was the Longview half. Haha I don’t get to race very often, so it’s pretty exciting when I do! ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus this one was even more exciting because my dad did it with me! It was his first official 5k and that’s so super awesome!!

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

So. Saturday. The day before the Whiskey Run. My dad had to drive from Colorado to Kansas, which is an 11 ish hour drive. I’m sure that wasn’t an ideal way to spend the day before your first 5k race, but he’s a truck driver so I suppose he’s used to it. Plus this whole thing was kind of his idea! Haha you see, while I was in Colorado I told him about it and he said it was the perfect race for him! First off, he enjoys whiskey. Second, the race is in Martin City, and Martin is his last name (and it was mine as well until I got married ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). So he told me to sign us up and obviously I did. So he ended up getting to my house at midnight on Sunday morning. Not ideal, but hey, we made it work. ๐Ÿ™‚

I on the other hand, ended up going out on Saturday night with Luke, his brother, and his brother’s girl friend. To a bar. To play pool. So not my thing… I enjoy a little bit (or sometimes a lot hahaha) of drinking every once in a while, but I definitely don’t do it often. Especially not the night before a race! Or long run, or hard workout, or the night before I know I need to be up super early. I could keep going. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I’m terrible and pool and don’t particularly enjoy playing it. But Luke really wanted me to go and I’m glad that I did. We all had a pretty good time and spent more time talking than playing pool, which was good, because like I said, I’m terrible at it. Luke and I also devoured a plate of cheese fries and an order of mozzarella sticks. So with all of that on top of the 4 or 5 beers I had, Luke and I joked all night that I was “carb loading”. Because you know, totally necessary to do that before a 5k. And obviously beer and cheese fries are the way to go! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

Oh man, it was a fun night though. And Luke and I ended up getting to our house about 5 minutes before my dad did, so that worked out nicely. ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Setting my alarm for 6 am was slightly demoralizing knowing that in 4 short hours I would need to be awake. And actually waking up to that alarm was pretty sucky. But after initially waking up, the race day excitement kicked in and everything was fine after that. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I mean, coffee and a Honey Stinger waffle definitely helped.

 

 

Plus I do kind of have a pre race routine, which starts the day before. I set my coffee maker, decide what I’m having for breakfast, lay out all of my gear, and just make sure everything will be as easy as possible in the morning. I had taken care of all of that stuff the day before and I’m very glad that I did! But this time was a little different because now I had another person I needed to worry about. So at 6 am I got up, turned on the coffee maker, woke up my dad, got dressed, made both of us coffee, made sure we both ate a little something, and were ready to leave at 7. It all ended up going very smoothly, which was nice. ๐Ÿ™‚

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

We got to the starting line about an hour and a half early, so we ended up finding a parking space very easily. While we were driving on part of the course we found port-o-potties, and the tent where the post run breakfast was being held (it was a few blocks away from the start/finish line, so that walk made a nice cool down haha). After we parked we picked up our packets and went straight back to the car to put on our bibs and timing chips because it was pretty cold and windy out. Not ideal for standing around in, but I’ll gladly take cold and cloudy weather for a race any day. ๐Ÿ™‚ Luckily for my dad, I’ve done this a few times before and made sure to grab him some safety pins at the packet pick up booth because he completely forgot haha. Also explained that the bib goes on the front of your shirt and that some people (i.e. me before my very first half) obsess over making it perfectly straight. I’m very much over that though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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My kinda crooked bib number.

Once that was all taken care of, we hung out in the nice, warm car for a while, watching all of the other runners arrive. We actually watched the people who ended up being the overall male and female winners warming up. Turns out they are married and both won a bottle of whiskey so that’s pretty cool! Party at their house, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, around 8:00, half an hour before start time, I had to pee (of course ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). So we set out to brave the cold and wind to get in line for a port-o-potty. There was only one at the start line though, so we walked a few blocks down to the port-o-potties by the buffet tent. I’m glad we did! That was a nice little warm up for us and there was no line for those haha! After that we were both pretty cold, so we warmed up in the car again for a few minutes and then we lined up at the start/finish line!

 

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

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

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

So we ended up running most of mile two without each other, but that’s what he gets for starting out too fast! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I ended up seeing him at a turn around as I was leaving the water station and he was going through it. When I saw him I yelled “hey slow-poke” to get his attention,and I slowed down and he spend up and eventually caught me. By that point he was huffing, puffing, and wanting to take longer walking breaks, so we did. Haha I made fun of him the whole time though, telling him that now I felt great and that he should have listened to me at the beginning. It was all in good fun though.

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

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

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

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Anyone remember me saying that my goal for Running With The Cows is 38 minutes? This result makes that feel a whole hell of a lot more doable than I had originally thought! ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, kind of. You see, my dad has this old injury in his calf, and that stunt at the finish line ended up irritating in. So apparently he was in a lot of pain crossing the finish line and spent the rest of the day limping around on it. Haha and I spent the rest of the day joking about how this means he obviously needs to start running more and should definitely do more races with me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, at the finish line we took some photos on my phone, a race photographer took some photos of us with the KC Running Company trailer, we got and enjoyed our shot of whiskey, and we talked to a few people. Haha mostly because they were concerned about my dad who was obviously in pain and limping around. Ah man, I love runners. In general we tend to be some really awesome people. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

After hanging out at the finish line for a little bit we started making our way to the buffet tent. Although very slowly, because my dad couldn’t walk very fast on his hurt leg. I talked to a really nice kid (he was probably 17 or 18) about how much fun this race was and how finishing times didn’t matter and that having fun was the most important thing. That’s pretty much my philosophy for all things running, so I totally agreed! He was a very cool guy. ๐Ÿ™‚ By that time I was really feeling that shot of whisky haha. I don’t drink a lot of hard liquor so it tends to affect me pretty fast. Apparently even more so after running! So I was one happy camper heading to that breakfast buffet!

Once we finally go there we filled up our plates with bacon, eggs, sausages, and potatoes. Yum!! My dad also got biscuits and gravy. Gross… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sat down and enjoyed our breakfast! And it was really good!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Jack Stacks did not disappoint!

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On our way out we both grabbed some coffee for our not-so-long, but definitely slow walk back to the car. On our way home we stopped at Target so my dad could get some Epsom salt and I grabbed a Kombucha which I definitely enjoyed in the shower. ๐Ÿ˜‰ When I was done my dad took his Epsom salt bath, we both napped (haha the 4 hours of sleep we both got was definitely catching up to us), and then around 5 pm my dad had to leave. He had to work today so he couldn’t stay any longer.

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We both had a great time and I think I might have convinced my dad to become a runner! I sure hope so, anyway! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope you had a good weekend!

~Ashley

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Weekly Recap March 5th-11th, 2018

I had a lot of fun in Colorado and you definitely can’t beat the views there, but it’s nice to be back home and running the streets that I know like the back of my hand! Plus it’s much more comfortable being back at the elevation that I’m used to haha. Longmont may only be at around 5,000 feet above sea level, which is probably nothing for some people, but I live 1,000 feet above sea level, so that’s a pretty big difference for me! Oh and sleeping in my own bed is also really nice! I do miss waking up to views like these though…

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Anyway, lets recap this week, shall we? ๐Ÿ™‚

Monday:ย 

  • 2 easy miles
  • 10 minutes of strength work

My 5k training plan for Running With The Cows started on Monday! So I kicked things off with 2 easy miles because I’m doing a beginner’s plan haha. That seemed like a smarter decision since I’m coming back from about 2 weeks off after breaking my toe and just a not so great winter of running. It’s all good though! I’m thinking this is actually going to end up being really good for me! Anyway, followed my easy run with 10 minutes of strenght work. Mostly because I kinda didn’t want to do it, but also because I had another 5k that I planned on doing with my dad on Sunday so I didn’t want to do anything too crazy that would make me sore for that. Not like a strength session on Monday was likely to still have me feeling sore by Sunday, but still. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Tuesday:

  • Rest Day
  • 15 minutes of yoga

I like beginner’s training plans because they include a lot of rest. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Actually, this is the first actual 5k training plan that I’ve ever done, so I don’t really know if that’s true or not. But I’m gonna go ahead and assume it is. I actually thought about doing another easy mile or two on Tuesday because “I’m definitely at least an intermediate runner” and “miles matter” and “I don’t need 3 rest days in a week”. All of which are probably fair points. But I woke up feeling really tired and still a little run down. Probably from the traveling to, staying in, and then traveling back from Colorado. Let me tell ya, that 10 hour car ride sucks! And my dad, brother, and I managed to make the trip there and back a lot longer than it should have been haha. We all have fun together though.

On Tuesday I also started taking a magnesium supplement. I’ve been reading a lot about it and how is helps support something like 300 different processes in the body, and is supposed to be good for anxiety and teeth health (two things I could use all the help I can get for haha), and I figured since most people are deficient in magnesium I might as well try it out and see if I feel any different because of it.

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Wednesday:ย 

  • 2 easy miles

Holy cow! According to my Garmin, I got a lot more deep sleep the night before than I usually do! I’m not sure it that was a fluke or because of the magnesium, but I’m definitely interested in finding out! After I took the magnesium on Tuesday night I started to feel really calm and kinda tired after about 5 ish minutes. So I suppose there’s a good possibility that it really did make a difference in my sleep. I’m wondering if anything else will start to feel different as I continue to take it.

Anyway, Wednesday’s run was less than steller. I got chased by a dog again. I’ve actually been chased by this dog several times before. His owner always has him tied out in his front yard and the dog breaks off all the time. It’s really obnoxious and the dog tends to act pretty aggressively. But can’t really do anything about that…

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Thursday:ย 

  • 1 hour on the stationary bike

Cross training! Yay! Hahaha not really. Cross training is boring. The stationary bike is boring. Being on it for an hour is a special kind of torturer for me. But watching Green Day things makes it a little bit better.

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Friday:

  • 3 Miles

Whew man, this run was so. Freaking. Hard. Jeez Louise… Can we just talk about how difficult running is the week before your period? Because it really is. I was so tired. I felt like my legs were made of lead and that I was running through a foot of mud. It was pretty awful and tookย forever.ย But on the bright side, I found a rubber duck dressed as a gnome on this run. So obviously that made up for everything. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Saturday:

  • Rest Day

I felt a little better on Saturday. Less tired, but still bleh. I could have definitely run on Saturday. Maybe even should have run on Saturday. But I wanted to feel rested and have my legs feel good for the Whiskey run on Sunday that my dad and I did, so I focused on that instead.

But sticking with the rubber duck theme, yesterday I bought some new compression sleeves yesterday! And the shipped out to me on Saturday and should be here by Monday. I can’t wait for them to get here! They’re so spiffy! Plus I love Zensah’s compression sleeves! They’re pretty great! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sunday:

  • Whiskey Run 5k with my dad

Oh man this was so much fun!! We did really well, had lots of fun, got our shot of Whiskey at the end, and had a great breakfast afterwards! Haha that’s all I’ve got about that for now though. I’m gonna try to have a full race recap up at some point tomorrow. Haha there were a few reasons why both of us could have had a really bad day, but like I said, it went really well for both of us! ๐Ÿ™‚

Total Weekly Mileage: 10.10

Haha I’ve got a lot of work to do in the weekly mileage department. But I did spend two weeks doing nothing because of my probably broken to, and 10.10 miles is a whole lot better than that! So I’ll gladly take it!

Happy Sunday, everyone!

~Ashley

Yay StrideBox, Chick Update, and 5K Training

I got my March StrideBox yesterday! Yay!!

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I never got last months… The shipping tracker thing said it was delivered, but I think my mail lady might have stolen it. Yesterday I watched her scan it but then she didn’t put it in my mailbox and started to drive away. But I wonder if she saw me watching, because she ended up reversing the truck and putting it in my mailbox after all. Apparently I’m just gonna have to keep an eye on her whenever my StrideBoxes are supposed to be delivered. I have no actual proof, but like I said, I think she might have stolen last months.

I’m very glad I ended up getting this month’s StrideBox though! There were all sorts of neat/useful/and yummy goodies in there!! Super yummy protein cookies which I definitely already ate ;), sweet sunglasses, a bag that has a leak proof, air tight seal. That’s gonna come in real handy on rainy runs!! Haha I always bring my phone with me when I run, just in case, and on rainy days I usually just put my phone in a ziplock baggie. I think this bag thing is going to work out a lot better for rainy days. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

There was a also a Skratch Labs drink mix in there that I’m pretty excited about. Several different Skratch Labs products have come in a few different StrideBoxes and I’ve really liked all of them! I’m actually thinking I’m gonna have to order me some of their protein powered because I really liked it. I mixed it with plain water and it tasted exactly like chocolate milk! It was super yummy!! Haha that’s why I really enjoy getting these StrideBoxes! I get to try all sorts of new things that I would never see in a store or even think about picking up for myself. It’s pretty neat! Plus it’s basically like getting to open a gift every single month, and who doesn’t like that feeling?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I definitely recommend subscribing to StrideBox if you like trying new snacks, interesting running gear, and basically getting to open a gift every single month. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope I don’t sound too much like and ad or anything like that here, but this is something that I really love and a brand that I actually really believe in.ย  In all transparency, I am a StrideBox ambassador and I do get these things for free. But after trying it out I’m totally sold and would definitely pay for a subscription. It’s $15 per box and that includes shipping, which seems well worth it to me! You really do get some neat stuff in each box!! You can check out all of the details of what StrideBox is all about here. ๐Ÿ™‚

Not gonna lie, I wish I hadn’t eaten all of those protein cookies in one sitting yesterday. They were so freaking tasty…

Anyway, lets talk chickens!!

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I’ve had my own little flock for 3 whole days now, and I’m pretty sure I’m already a crazy chicken lady. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But in all fairness, I grew up on a farm in southern Illinois. I’ve been handling chickens literally for as long as I can remember. I’ve got a few interesting chicken stories spanning from my preschool days all the way through my time in high school, but those are stories for another day. Those were my grandpa’s and my dad’s flocks of chickens. Today I want to talk about mine!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Since they have to be in their brooder box under their red heat lamp its kinda hard to get good photos of them which sucks, but once they start needing that less and less and then eventually move into the coop I’m sure I’ll have tons of photos of them to share haha. Right now they’re currently growing like weeds. You can literally see them get a little bit bigger and grow a few more feathers everyday! That means they wont be cute little fluffy babies much longer and are gonna go through that award feather growing stage soon. That’s kinda sad haha, they’re so cute right now. But that also means we’ll be that much closer to getting eggs and that’s what we want!!

On Sunday I had started giving them a few meal worms. We usually keep a little container of live ones for our leopard gecko but I know that chickens love things like that so I figured it would be a fun little treat for them, and oh boy was it! They absolutely loved them and watching them chase each other and fight over them was pretty hilarious! Plus I made them take the worms from my hands, so now 3 of them will come running whenever I stick my hands in the brooder box. The other 2 are still kinda skittish but hopefully they’ll come around eventually.

They’re all pretty funny though! The more time I spend with them the more I’m noticing about their different personalities and its pretty great! I have a feeling they’re going to end up providing us with a bunch of entertainment! I’m gonna have to come up with names for them soon. Luke hasn’t liked any of the names I’ve suggested so far, but he’s said multiple time now that they’re my chickens so I’m gonna name them whatever I want to dammit!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

That’s probably enough chicken talk for now though. There will be plenty more as time goes on haha. They are a pretty exciting little addition to my backyard farm though! And speaking of my backyard farm, we’re going to have to get our garden tilled and think about what we’re going to be planting this year! I’ve got a pretty good idea of some things I want to get done, but a lot of that has to wait until it gets a lot warmer out.

Anyway, my 5k training plan officially started yesterday! I kicked off this little training cycle with an easy 2 mile run! ๐Ÿ™‚

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The very small amount of running I did in Colorado was fun and you definitely can’t beat the views there, but it was really nice to get back to running on the streets I know like the back of my hand. I never realized how much I enjoy zoning out on easy runs like yesterday’s and not having to pay attention to pot holes, cracks, and things of that nature. Sure running the same streets day in and day out can get a little boring, but it is nice to know exactly where everything is haha.

Anyway, this is the first 5k training plan I’ve ever done! I mean, at this point in my running career I’ve only done 2 “official” 5k’s, and I’ve always known that I’d be able to cover the distance without any issues so why train for it, right? Well now I know why! PR’s of course!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Haha or you know, just being able to run strong and to your full potential, but this time around I’m chasing a PR! Kinda.

You see, between illness, injury, traveling, and general life stuff, I didn’t PR at any distance last year. I’m not at all upset with how my year in running went in 2017 but for 2018 I’ve decided I want to start chasing time goals again. But the 5k PR that’s listed on my “Goals and PR’s” page (which I desperately need to update haha. I’ll get to that eventually) is from 2016, I think? It may actually be from 2015! Either way, I know I’m not going to be able to accomplish that time at the Running With The Cow’s 5k in May. That’s currently my goal 5k. So for now I think I’m going to aim to run that in 38 minutes. For where I am currently that will be a challenging goal, but still obtainable. So for now that’s my plan! I’m gonna stick to an actual 5k training plan and work toward that time! ๐Ÿ™‚

I did the Running With the Cows 5k back in 2016, so I know the course is a little bit hilly, but it’s nothing that I’m too worried about.

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Today my training plan called for a rest day which I am gladly taking! I’m still kinda worn down from traveling to Colorado, being at that elevation that I’m definitely not used to for a week, and then traveling back home. So I slept in a little bit today which was nice. And I just plan on walking the dogs and maybe doing a little bit of restorative yoga, so that should be nice. Plus I do have another 5k to look forward to on Sunday and I at least want to be semi rested for that haha!

Some things have come up so I’m not 100% certain if it’s going to go down anymore (I might still be able to make it, but due to recent developments I’m not so sure about my dad), but my dad and I are supposed to be running the Whisky Run 5k in Martin City MO. The only goal for that is to have fun and then collect our medals, pint glasses, shots of whiskey, and then enjoy our post run Sunday brunch that will be provided, so that should be easy enough. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh man, I really hope my dad will still be able to do this 5k with me.

 

 

 

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I got this photo from KC Running Company’s Instagram account. I really want to add this medal to my collection haha. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

Obviously I’ll let you guys know if there are any further developments in our ability to do the Whiskey run, but until I know more about the current situation I’m going to plan on doing it! Running With The Cows will still be a-go no matter what, so at least there’s that haha.

But that is all for now!

Have a terrific Tuesday!!

~Ashley