Tag Archives: running with the cows

Weekly Recap: January 7th-13th, 2019

With 2 races on my schedule for this spring it’s time to get to work!! If I’m gonna survive the trail 10k I’m doing with my dad in Colorado this April I figure I need to get stronger. Actually, I really just need to get stronger in general. ๐Ÿ˜‚

So that’s kinda what I want to focus on right now. Although I missed my big strength day this week. Oops. But I wasn’t feeling well on Thursday. Plus earlier in the week I had a little strain or something in my right quad. Luckily after taking it easy for a few days it’s gone away, so hopefully that’s the end of that! But other than that it’s been a pretty good week!!

Monday:

  • 2 miles
  • 30 minutes of yoga

The plan for Monday was a hard, interval workout. Unfortunately that’s not what happened. During my one mile warm up I noticed that my right quad wasn’t feeling right. I was hoping it would work itself out during my warm up but it never did. So I ran another easy mile home and called it a day. That afternoon I spent some time on my yoga mat trying to stretch it out a little bit but it still just wasn’t feeling great.

Tuesday:

  • 30 minutes of yoga
  • 20 minutes of Pilates

My quad still wasn’t feeling great on Tuesday. In fact, it was even more sore! So I decided not to run. I did clean out the chicken coop though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also did some more yoga, done Pilates for strength work, and really got into my quad with my foam roller that night. That REALLY seemed to help!

Wednesday:

  • 4 easy miles

My quad was still a bit sore, but feeling much better by Wednesday! Got in 4 relatively easy miles that morning. The first two miles were nice, slow, and easy. Just to see how my leg felt. It seemed fine so I finished the last two a little bit faster. Nothing too crazy or hard or anything. I felt like I was still going easy, but I also felt like I finished strong. That’s actually been my mantra lately. Whenever I find myself in a tough spot I just repeat the word “strong” to myself. It’s really been resonating with me lately. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Thursday:

  • Rest Day

Thursday was supposed to be my cross training day dedicated to a longer strength work out, but my stomach was not happy and I just wasn’t feeling well. So it kinda turned into a rest day. I’m not really happy about that because I really want to dedicate myself to doing this kinda thing on Thursdays, but shit happens I guess. Obviously taking a rest Day was a good idea because I felt a lot better on Friday. ๐Ÿ˜„

Not really related to anything, but hereโ€™s a picture of Jethro eating a banana. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Friday:

  • 3 miles

Felt really good going into Friday! My quad was feeling much better as was my stomach! Plus it was cold and rainy out! My favorite! ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐ŸŒง The rain was supposed to turn into a big snow storm and while I didn’t deal with anything like that during my run I did get hit with a tiny bit of sleet and saw a few snowflakes. Then much later that afternoon, the rain finally started turning into snow! โ„๏ธโ˜ƒ๏ธ

Saturday:

  • 4 miles in a snow storm!

Oh man, Saturday was crazy! We had a snow storm come through that started Friday afternoon and didn’t let up until Saturday afternoon. I talked all about that here. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyway, I ran in a blizzard in November so of course I had to run in this snow storm as well!

The original plan for Saturday was 6 miles but that became negotiable once it started snowing on Friday. Running in the snow is fun but it’s also really hard! I like to think these snowy miles were the equivalent of 6 miles on a normal day. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sunday:

    Snow storm clean up

Sundays are usually my rest days but I didn’t really rest at all today. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I spent a good majority of my morning shoveling snow out of the chicken coop and dragging the big ass tree limbs that fell in our backyard to the wood pile. Once it started getting close to lunch time I was hungry and needed a break so I went inside, showered because I was covered in chicken poop, ate lunch, and then did stuff around the house while my hair dried. Then I went back out in the afternoon to take care of the tree branches in the front yard. I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to be able up get them all because some of them were really big and heavy! I did it though!! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Shoveling snow and moving those tree branches was HARD WORK! But I like to think that made up for the fact that I skipped my strength workout on Thursday. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‰

This photo doesnโ€™t even do it justice! There were even more branches than this and the biggest one isnโ€™t even pictured! But theyโ€™re all in our wood pile now. ๐Ÿ˜

Honestly I’m pretty stoked about how this week went! In a perfect world I would have gotten more miles in, but a sore quad (which is feeling 100% better now!) and a snow storm (slowed me down but didn’t stop me!) didn’t exactly help. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Still though, it was a good week! I’m very happy to be back into my normal routine after the holidays. Now that I’m feeling back on track, it’s only up from here! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Happy Sunday!

~Ashley

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Spring 2019 Races

I have officially got two races lined up for this year already! Hahaha that doesn’t exactly happen often. I don’t really race much and I’ve never had two races lined up this early in the year! ๐Ÿ˜Š Well, technically I was registered for both of these races in December before the price increase, but whatever. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After Christmas I had several Visa gift cards burning a hole in my pocket and I figured a race would be a good thing to spend one of them on, so I decided to do the Running With The Cows 5k on May 11th. I’ve done this 5k in 2016 and 2018 and absolutely LOVED it, so I figured why not do it again? Plus it’s only 15 minutes away from my house, so super convenient. ๐Ÿ˜

The 5k is really just an add on to the half marathon they have though. One day I’d like to do the Running With The Cows half, but last year it was pretty hot and humid for May and I’m kinda terrified of doing a longer race on a hot day. Like, that’s one of my biggest fears. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Which is kinda dumb, because so far of done all of my half marathon training in the summer because I’ve always done my half marathoning in the fall. But I don’t know man, training in warm weather and actually racing in warm weather just seem like two very different things to me. Eventually though I am gonna suck it up and sign up for this half, but this is not that year. Besides, I just go to this race to pet the cows that they have there.๐Ÿ˜‰

I got to feed this mama cow last year! ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿ˜Š

Alrighty, so not a very exciting story about how I ended up registered for Running With The Cows, but how I ended up registered for another spring race is!

So on December 30th, the day before New Year’s Eve and two days before all of the price increases for race registrations, my dad and I had been texting back and forth for awhile. He had found these cool “Sloth Running Team” t-shirts and he sent me a picture of them. Well I said that we obviously needed them because they also say “we’ll get there when we get there” on them, which is something we said A LOT during the half marathon we did together in November. After that I got nothing but radio silence for about 5 minutes and then the next text I got from him was a screen shot of the order confirmation for two “Sloth Running Team” t-shirts. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Obviously I was pretty stoked about that. So I asked him what race are we running next? He had found this trail running festival thing in Colorado in April and wanted to do either the half or the 10k there. They also have a full marathon, 50k and a hundred miler (I think?). Luckily he didn’t want to do any of those. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Anyway, I wasn’t sure about going to that because it’s hard for me to leave my small petting zoo behind. Especially now that the chickens are laying eggs. Luke and I noticed that they don’t seem to like it when I’m gone. While we were in Illinois for Christmas and then New Year’s Eve we only got one egg each time we were gone and that was over a few days. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Poor chickens.

My hens are laying some really good looking eggs though! And theyโ€™re tasty too! ๐Ÿ˜Š

But I told my dad I’d talk to Luke about it and see what he thought. In the meantime, I told him that I was doing the Running With The Cows 5k again, which he and my mom actually spectated at in 2016, so he knows how neat this race is. After that I got more radio silence, and then a screen shot of his registration confirmation for Running With The Cows. ๐Ÿ˜‚

So the Sloth Running Team will be tackling another spring 5k together! Last March we did a Whiskey Run 5k together and I’m pretty sure that’s what go him hooked on the whole racing thing. Hahaha I’m ok with that though! That’s how we ended up doing a half marathon together in November. That was an absolute blast!!

Anyway, I talked to Luke about the trail running thing in Colorado. He said while it’s hard to deal with everything around here on top of him working, he could handle it if I wanted to go do one of these races. So I told my dad that I was going to be able to go and to send me a link to their website so I could register, and asked him exactly which race am he wanted to do because we hadn’t really figured that out. ๐Ÿ˜‚

We eventually decided to do the 10k because that was the shortest race at this festival thing. I live in Kansas at 862 feet above sea level, according to my Garmin. My dad lives at almost 5,000 feet above sea leaving in Longmont, CO and that elevation change is rough. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I found the elevation map for this race which is in Fruita, CO and it is to too terribly crazy, so that’s good. It’s still gonna be hard as hell though.

Anyway, we didn’t end up registering that day though. My dad wanted to talk to my brother and see if he wanted to do it with us. But at that point in our conversation my dad had to go to work, so I didn’t hear anything else from him until the next day.

In the midst of our New Year’s Eve festivities at Luke’s dad’s house I received yet another screenshot from my dad. This one was a registration confirmation for the Desert Rats Trail Festival 10k on Sunday April 14th (which is the day before the Boston Marathon. I’m not sure why that’s relevant, but that was my first thought ๐Ÿ˜‚), for the both of us.

See that fun fact? Yeah, thatโ€™s what my dad came up with for me. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

My brother didn’t want to do it, so it’s just gonna be the two of us again. Oh well, we have lots of fun doing these things together. My brother doesn’t know what he’s missing! ๐Ÿ˜‚

So yeah, that’s what I’ve got lined up for this year so far! I’m probably going to do another fall half marathon and at this point the only thing I’m really not sure about is weather or not I’m going to be doing it alone or if my dad will be with me. ๐Ÿ˜‚

But for now, this road runner who lives in Kansas is gonna have to figure out how the heck she’s gonna cover 6.2 miles on a trail in Colorado. I see lots of hill repeats in my future. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I’m also going to have to start getting used to running with my hydration pack again. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t actually need to carry any fluid with me on a 6 mile run. But the air is much more dry in Colorado, so I’m thinking it would be better to carry water with me. Especially since the aid stations at this event are pretty far apart.

Anyways, those are my plans for this spring! My year of big goals is already off to a good start and I can’t wait to see how my dad and I do in these two races!

Happy Tuesday!!

~Ashley

How Running Changed My Life

Happy Global Running Day!!!

Earlier this week I had pledged to run 6 miles on globalrunningday.org. Mostly just for fun, but also as a way to celebrate the day and the sport of running in general. Plus I was planning on running 6 miles today anyway, so why not participate in the global running day festivities? ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

But unfortunaly, last night I ate something that my stomach did not like (pumpkin seeds?? I’ve never had a problem with them before…). That kinda thing happens to me sometimes. It has ever since I had an appendectomy when I was 13. Every once in a while I’ll eat something that my stomach doesn’t like (usually it’s spinach or fish. I absolutely will not eat either of those anymore) and then I getย terrible stomach cramps. Like, curled up in the fetal position trying not to move or vomit. It’s no fun. Luckily I’ve found that heat kinda helps. So last night I spent a lot of time in the shower just letting the hot water hit my stomach and back (because for some reason that tenses up really bad too) and once I ran out of hot water I spent the rest of the night with a hot water pack on my back and a mug of hot water resting on my stomach. That actually helped a lot!ย  And while I did feel a lot better when I woke up this morning, I knew that running wasn’t going to help my current situation, so I didn’t. That was kind of a bummer, but it was for the best. Besides, I can do my 6 miles tomorrow, anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, since I didn’t run today, I figured I could still take a look back and just kinda remember why I started running, how that reason has changed over the almost 5 years that I’ve been doing it now, and how running has changed my life. Because it really has.

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I started this whole crazy running adventure back in 2013. But really you have to go back to around 2012 to get the whole story. 2012 was a pretty busy year for me! I got married, moved 5 hours away from my childhood home to Kansas for my new husband’s job, so we were living all on our own 5 hours away from our family and any help that they might have given us. That was pretty crazy, but obviously we got through that all in one piece! But before we got married and moved to Kansas my now husband was finishing up college and I was working at a Walgreen’s.

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I did not, in fact, โค Walgreen’s haha. But I needed the money.

So back when I worked there, Walgreen’s slogan or whatever was “where there’s a way to stay well.” Not sure if that’s still the case, but sometimes when I answer the phone I have some weird flashback thing and want to answer with “Hi, thank you for calling you’re Troy Walgreen’s, where there’s a way to stay well. My name is Ashley, how may I help you.” In my best customer service voice of course haha. But since they’re whole thing was “staying well” they always had little challenges and incentives for their emplyoees to do that. We got free flu shots during flue season, could get check ups at the wellness clincic for a crazy reduced price, were encouraged and rewarded for participating in the 1 5k that small ass town held every year (haha if only I was a runner back then! Walgreen’s paid for your entry fee!). And at one point we were given the option to take a pedometer that they provided for free (it was a shitty one, and this was back in 2011 before fitbits and other wearable devices were really becoming a thing) and whoever got the most steps in a certain amount of time won something. Although I don’t recall what that prize was. I didn’t participate in the challenge though. But in 2012, the year I got married, I participated in the weight loss challenge that they held. We all bought in with $5 or $10 and whoever lost the biggest percentage of weigh won the pot. I didn’t win, but that did kinda kick off my weight loss journey.

I don’t want to get too much into that though, because that’s not what this is about. But I was pretty overweight as a teenager and in my early 20’s. And technically I think I might still be pushing toward the “over weight” category on the BMI chart, but I am much healthier now than I was back then. But anyway, so for that challenge I had started walking a lot more. Every single day I’d go out and walk around the woods on my family’s farm and I started counting calories on MyFitnessPal. Once we were married and moved I was still going at it and by then I was doing at home workouts. Mostly things like Jillian Michaels’ DVDs and blogilates, along with some other stuff on YouTube. I ended up getting down to 142 pounds, the lowest weight I’ve ever been in my adult life (and man do I wish I was at that weight now!! I’m currently fluctuating somewhere around 158-160 pounds these days, but I’m not as obsessed with the number on the scale as I was back then).

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I kept up with all of that really well for a while, but by the summer of 2013 I was getting kinda bored with it all. I was also getting super frustrated because although I was at a really healthy weight, and looked great, I didn’t think so. I was kind of in a super unhealthy place with food, calorie counting, and my body. I wanted to get down to 135 pounds (yikes! I don’t think that would have been healthy for me). I refused to eat anything that wasn’t “clean” and was very strict about my calorie limit, but eventually that lead to me being really unhappy and I would have binging episodes. And since the number on the scale refused to budge any lower than 142 pounds (I though I’d be happy if I could at least get to 140. Oh man I’m glad I don’t think like that anymore.), I decided I needed to switch it up and do something that burned a lot more calories than the at home workouts I was doing, so I downloaded a couch to 5k app and started doing it on the treadmill at my apartment complex’s fitness center. And in the worst pair of shoes for my feet, ever! Haha they were too small for me to be running in and waaay to supportive for my feet. Running in them wasn’t pleasant, but I was pretty proud of myself for trying though. But I don’t consider that point and time when I became a runner. And my life definitely didn’t change runnning on that treadmill. That didn’t happen until around October of that year.

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Oh man is the treadmill boring!! I hated it back then and I still hate it now. At this point in my life I absolutely refuse to use one, unless absolutely necessary. Which is probably a good thing considering I don’t currently have access to one haha. I’m not to upset about that though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But my hatred of the treadmill but my growing love for running made me start venturing outside that fall. Fall is my favorite season and the weather that year was amazing! So I wasn’t about to spend anymore time inside than I had to. Plus by that point I was a little more comfortable using the paved trail that was near my apartment. When we first moved there I was kind of experiencing a bit of….culture shock for lack of a better term. I had moved from a farm in a rural area to a pretty big city and was not used to being around people all of the time.ย  So I avoided the trail for the most part until what was well over a year after we had moved there that fall.

But that fall, when I started running outside, in what was kind of nature (there were some parks and woods, but remember, it was still in a big city), out in the elements, and surrounded by other runners. That’s when I really became a runner. That’s when my life changed. That’s when I started to feel free.

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I really started to change things then. I was reading just about any thing about running that I could get my hands on. Books, magazines, and of course I always had the good ‘ol internet. I got my first pair of real running shoes in the November of 2013. Nike Pegasus 30? Or maybe they were the 32’s. I don’t remember exactly. I just remember being really freaking excited because they fit me right, were comfortable, and super pretty. ๐Ÿ™‚

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From that point on everything became about running. Losing weight and counting calories became fueling my body for my runs and making sure I was getting the proper nutrients. Running was something I did for fun, not just to burn calories, and those at home workouts just became supplemental to my running. I stopped worrying so much about the number on the scale and was more focused on the number of my 5k time. Running had pretty much become my life and to be honest that probably saved me from going really deep into the disordered eating that I had doing and gave me something much more positive to focus on.

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These photos were taken in November 2014. I legit just got rid of those running tights. Haha that was long over due. They were VERY worn out.

So from the fall of 2013 to about 2015, right before we moved out of the apartment and into the house we live in now, I was running for fun. I wasn’t doing any kind of training and I really didn’t have any real goals in mind. And at that point I hadn’t run any races. Not even a little 5k fun run. But I decided I wanted to challenge myself, try something new, and make a potentially bad decision (haha can you tell I kinda like doing things like that? ;), so I signed up for my very first race ever, a half marathon. Obviously that’s not exactly recommended, but what can I say? I’m a rebel. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Training for my first half was one of the craziest, most challenging, and exhausting experiences I’ve ever had. I learned a lot though. About myself and what I’m capable and about running too, although I did make a lot of mistakes during my very first training cycle. But who doesn’t? I was running more and farther distances than I ever had before and I absolutely loved it! Although there were bumps in the road, I spent a lot of time being tired, and even ended up getting injured, I had never had so much fun and felt so in tune with my body and mind. Honestly, training for my first half marathon was probably one of the happiest moments in my life at that point.

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Actually completing it, however, was on of the hardest things I’d ever done in my life at that point. I struggled. I didn’t fuel correctly. I definitely didn’t pace myself well (still have trouble with that though haha). And it was slow as fuck (which is something I still am, but also something I don’t care about anymore). When I crossed the finish line of my very first half marathon, my life changed again. Not as drastically as when I had first started running, but still, I felt almost reborn.

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Mile 11 of the Longview Half Marathon, 2015

I started this blog not long after finishing my first race ever, which just so happened to be my first half marathon. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I guess the rest is history. I’ve been sharing my story here and connecting with all sorts of amazing people ever since. ๐Ÿ™‚

I like to call myself a reformed couch potato, because it’s kinda true. I wasn’t very active in my teenage years and I was unhappy. Unhappy with my body and who I was as a person. Once I started losing weight in my late teens and early 20’s I thought I’d be happy once the scale read a certain number, but really I was just making myself even more unhappy with my body and going down the really slippery slope of disordered eating. Running didn’t exactly reform my couch potato ways, but it sure saved me from going down a really dark path and brought me back into the light. I still struggle with it sometimes, but I’m much happier with my body and who I am as a person now. I go out and chase my dreams instead of wasting my time on the couch. I’m much more healthy. I’m not so focused on how much I weigh, I can eat treats and all sort of yummy foods without feeling guilty and like I’m ruining my weight loss “progress”. I don’t run to burn calories. I run for fun and to achieve the things I once thought were completely impossible. Running saved me from myself. I am eternally grateful for the day that I decided to download that couch to 5k app. And for the day I decided to set a ridiculous goal and run a half marathon. And that’s why I’m going to continue to set crazy goals for myself (like running two half marathons in two days this November). Chasing goals is a lot more fun and rewarding than just trying to lose weight or look a certain way.

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Whew! That ended up being a lot longer and a little more deep than I had originally planned. I think it was finally time to go a little deeper into all of that though. I mean, if I’m going to be sharing my story here then I might as well shareย allย of it. And I think this part of it is pretty important. So if you took the time to read all of that I thank you! And thank you to everyone who’s supported me on my running journey! Honestly I don’t think I’d still be here today, running, training for half marathons, and blogging about it if it wasn’t for all of the support and love I get from each and everyone of you. โค ๐Ÿ™‚

That got kinda sappy and that’s not my usual style, but whateves, this whole post is a tad bit sappy anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Happy Global Running Day! And shout out to all of the runners out there. Yes,ย all of them. Runners are awesome. You are awesome. Period. Alright. I’m done now. ๐Ÿ™‚

~Ashley

 

 

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

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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