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Thursday Things

Buckle in my friends, I have quite a bit of stuff to talk about today! Mostly involving fun fall stuff, but some running stuff too! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Including a fantastic #throwbackthursday photo from the start of the Longview Half last year. So, let’s get started!

Processed with Rookie Cam

I don’t think Luke really understands why I love this season, or really just the last few months of the year, so much. And honestly sometimes I’m not sure either. Well, aside from the fact that the best holidays happen in October, November, and December, my birthday is in November, the weather is fantastic, and everything just feels all warm and cozy and festive. So never mind, I’m totally sure! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But he’s a wonderful husband and is always making sure I get to experience all of the fun fall/winter related activities! Even if they seem ridiculously small and almost meaningless. Like baking pre-cut, Halloween sugar cookies (for real though, I think we can all admit that these are some of the best cookies ever!).

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So yeah, I’m not sure that he gets it. But he’ll still randomly show up after he gets home from work with things like this, and it makes me so ridiculously happy. It really is the little things in life you guys. ๐Ÿ™‚ Haha he also knows me incredibly well! While I was making them he asked how many raw cookies I ate. ๐Ÿ˜‚ The answer was 4. But come on, cookie dough is delicious and has anyone actually ever gotten salmonella from cookie dough anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰

He also lets me decorate ALL OF THE THINGS!! Haha inside and outside! Although this is the first year we’ve actually had inside Halloween decorations. He even helps me pick out new ones and put them up! Haha but I’m not allowed on ladders (worlds biggest klutzs here!), so he kinda has to. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyway, so far our yard is looking pretty spooky! We’ve got a nice little graveyard set up (pictured below), spooky spider webs all over our trees, and several bats hanging around. We had ghosts hung up too, but the wind blew them down haha. We’re gonna fix that though. And Luke wants to figure out a better way to set up our lights. His mom sent us some really cool ones, but our house has no outdoor outlets, so setting up lights is always a pain in the ass. Good thing Luke’s got a degree in electrical design. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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He also tolerates me sending him ALL of the Halloween memes and our neighbor’s Halloween decorations. And by the way, some of my neighbors are totally KILLING it with their decorations! I love it! I also love that I’m not the only one who likes to go all out for Halloween. ๐Ÿ™‚ So far these are a few of my favorite houses. Haha actually, I talk to the guy who lives in the red/white house all of the time. He’s a really cool guy! He has two black labs that are always excited to see me and he always goes all out with Halloween and Christmas decorations. Obviously his blowups aren’t currently inflated, but they’re still really neat!

So yeah, I’m currently having ALL of the fall fun and my husband is THE BEST! ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ–ค

Okey dokey then, lets talk about running stuff!

So, today’s run should have been fantastic! The weather was great, the leaves in my neighborhood are starting to change, everyone is starting to put up their Halloween decorations (haha the two photos above are actually from my run this morning), and I felt pretty great! Well, except for my right shin actually.

I am what most people would refer to as an โ€œinjury prone runnerโ€. A lot of that actually has to do with my klutzy-ness, but I also have notoriously weak hips. Which has caused me problems with my IT bands and shins. Iโ€™ve also had plantar facial issues, but that was from running in a pair of shoes that were waaay too supportive for my very high arches in my feet. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

Anyway, I was just beginning to think I might make it through this training cycle unscathed. Iโ€™ve been working on my hips and doing a pretty good job of keeping up with my recovery activities, but this morning my right shin/knee was feeling kind of off this morning… Thatโ€™s actually super weird because itโ€™s usually my left leg thatโ€™s the problem, but whatever. ๐Ÿ˜‚ So at first my stubborn ass thought I was just going to run through it and finish my 5 mile run as planned. I have a ridiculously high pain tolerance, so that was something I could have easily done. But the more I thought about it the more I realized I needed to stop. Iโ€™m obviously going to be better off taking care of whatโ€™s hopefully just a niggle and not a full blown injury before it gets any worse. Iโ€™m actually really good at being a lot more hurt than I think I am because of my crazy pain tolerance. So yeah, I made it 2.5 miles before I decided that those last 2.5 miles werenโ€™t going to be worth it. ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

Honestly though, I think whatever it is that Iโ€™ve done to myself happened on the treadmill yesterday. I legit canโ€™t run properly on a treadmill. I thought that maybe I was starting to figure it out, but apparently not. I’m beginning to think treadmill running is actually a hazard to my health.

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So I’ve spent the rest of the day resting my leg. I’m wearing my compression gear and did a bunch of stretching and foam rolling this afternoon. And I plan on taking tomorrow off too. I’m hoping that if I rest it and give it a little extra TLC that it will feel good enough to do my long run on Saturday. Possibly Sunday if it’s still feeling off on Saturday. But anyway, hopefully it’s just a little niggle from running weird on the treadmill.

Moving on, I’m super duper excited to announce that I get to be a part of the Honey Stinger Hive for the 3rd year in a row! ๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿ’œ

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I’m sure by now a lot of you know that Honey Stinger waffles are my go-to running fuel! They’ve gotten me through 3 half marathons and most of my training! Along with their chews and new cracker and nut butter bars. Those things are amazing!

Of course I love the product, but what I really love is the community that Honey Stinger has created. Some of us are runners, cyclists, swimmers, hikers, surfers, snowboarders, golfers, the list goes on and on and on! But no matter how fast or slow, what sport or activity you participate in, what walk of life youโ€™re in, whether youโ€™re a stay at home mom, 9-5er, or a professional adventurer, youโ€™re a complete beginner or are going pro, everyone is here for each other. Always positive. Always supportive. No one gets left out. And I just think thatโ€™s the beeโ€™s knees. (See what I did there. ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‚). So I’m very stoked that I have the privilege of representing this brand for another year. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Alrighty, as promised, the fantastic #throwbackthursday photo from last year…

Have you ever looked back through old race photos and thought to yourself “wow, I’m super photogenic!” Yeah, me neither. In all fairness though, getting your headphone placement just right is super important. Especially at the start of a race.

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I couldn’t remember if I’ve actually shared this photo on here or not, but I figure it’s too good not to. Haha I find candid race photos to be very amusing. And why not? It’s hard to look good for a camera when you’re focused on the task ahead. It makes for fun photos to look back on. At least I think so. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Whew! Alright! I’m pretty sure that covers everything for today!

I hope you have a great Thursday and the MOST fantastic fall!

~Ashley ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ–ค

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Weekly Recap: June 4th-10th, 2018

This week I was finally back to my normal schedule, which was very welcome after all of last weeks shenanigans!! It was a tough week of running though. It was all slow going this week. Lots of hot and sweaty runs. At some point not too long ago I saw someone on Twitter call running in the heat/humidity “the poor mans altitude training”. I like to think that’s true!! Summer running is no fucking joke!

Monday:

  • 2 miles
  • 30 minutes of strength training

Oh man I did not want to do anything on Monday!! I woke up late and seriously considered just not running that day. Haha but not gonna lie, after spending some time scrolling through Instagram and seeing a bunch of people I follow on there getting work done, well, I had to go get something done too. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Tuesday:

  • 5 miles
  • 40 minutes of stretching/foam rolling

Tuesday’s run was hot, slow, and sweaty. I was feeling a little sore because of the strength work I had done the day before, but that mostly worked itself out over those 5 miles. And what didn’t get worked out during my run definitely did after all of that stretch and foam rolling I did! Man did I feel great after that!!

Wednesday:

  • Rest day

I hadn’t planned on taking a rest day on Wednesday, but the night before I ate something that my stomach did not like(pumpkin seeds?? I’ve never had an issue with them before…). That happens to me every once in a while though. It has ever since I had an appendectomy when I was 13. I get debilitating stomach cramps that can last for several hours and it’s absolutely no fun. Luckily by the next day I was feeling better, but I knew that running still probably wasn’t a good idea, so, rest day.

Thursday:

  • 3 miles
  • 30 minutes of strength training

Another day of me finding hard to get going…I had wanted to run 6 miles on Thursday, but once I eventually did get out on the road I knew that wasn’t gonna happen. Still happy with the 3 I did do though. ๐Ÿ˜„ Followed that up with a little bit of work in the garden and another 30 minute strength session.

I’ve been trying to focus more on strength work since I’m running two half marathons in two days in November. I figure the stronger I am, the more resilient and less injury prone I’ll be. Plus I figure being a little stronger will help prevent me from dying during that second half. At least I sure hope so. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Friday:

  • Rest day

And this one was planned!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

What wasn’t planned was waking up at 5:30 am to clean up dog vomit. We got them a new kind of food (a brand that they’ve had before) and apparently that didn’t agree with Dean’s stomach this time around and he ended up throwing it all up at 5:30 in the morning. Exactly how I wanted to start my day. ๐Ÿ˜‘

Haha oh well, the rest of the day wasn’t so bad. We went grocery shopping which we desperately needed to do and then did a few more errand type things. Had a Honey Stinger waffle for breakfast because we’re legit that low on food and I didn’t feel like cooking the very last egg because I’m lazy. And I mean, Honey Stinger waffles are delicious, so why not start the day off with one.๐Ÿ˜‰

Saturday:

  • 8 miles

Oh man, this ran was basically just a slog through hell! So hot. So humid. No fun. But getting up early and watching the sun rise on these early morning runs is nice. So there’s that. โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒณ๐Ÿ˜„

Saturday evening Luke and I went to a softball field and I pitched him some softballs so he could do some practice hitting. His company league starts up next week so he wanted to get a few hits in before that. We did this a lot last year as well, and I’m proud to say that my softball skills have greatly improved! Haha I’ve never actually played in a game, and I cant hit to save my life, but I’m actually pretty decent at pitching and catching the ball. Last year Luke spent a lot of time making me catch fly balls and ground balls haha. Anyway, that was a nice way to end the day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunday:ย 

  • 30 minutes on the stationary bike

I almost considered running a couple of miles today, just to get my weekly mileage up to 20. But when I woke up at 7 this morning it was already 80 degrees and pretty humid. Plus I was feeling a little dehydrated and tired from yesterday’s hot 8 miler, so I opted for a little bit of time on the stationary bike, some yoga, and dyeing my hair instead (before, during, and after photos below. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). I think I made a good decision. We’re heading to Illinois next weekend for one of Luke’s brother’s High School graduation party so I plan on doing another 8 on Monday since I won’t be able to get in a long run on Saturday. So not running today was probably the best option for me. Although if it was fall or winter I probably would have done those 2 miles. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Total Weekly Mileage: 18

Much better than last week!! But I kinda figured it would be, since I didn’t have a bunch of weirdness going on this week. Next week might be a bit challenging to do what I want to get done since we’ll be going to Illinois for the weekend, but I’ve got a plan for that so we’ll see how that goes! ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Sunday!!

~Ashley
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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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Thursday Things

They’re here!!!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

Happy Friday eve!

~Ashley

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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Streaking Is Hard

But it’s starting to get easier. At least I think it is haha. Accomplished 2.5 miles for day 12 of #RWRunStreak. ๐Ÿ™‚ The plan was actually 3, but I’m super tired and once I got to 2.5 I figured that was close enough. ๐Ÿ˜‰ On the bright side, my legs are feeling a lot less sore/tired today soย  that’s good! I guess they’re starting to adjust to the whole streaking thing.

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How super awesome are my matching skills?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

After my run I did day 2 of the 30 Day Shred. Now that was really hard. Mostly because my upper body isย crazyย sore today. But I suppose that’s just another reason to stick with this workout program. My upper body has always been pathetically weak and that’s something I really need to work on. So I am working on it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Right now I’m motivating myself to keep up with this workout program, the streak, upping my running mileage, cross training, and stretching, by telling myself it’s all pre-marathon training. Because I want to train for and run a full marathon in 2019! I think I’ve kinda mentioned that here before already, but I’ve already been looking into local marathons and trying to figure out which one it is that I’m gonna want to do. ๐Ÿ™‚ A couple of people have asked me why I don’t do one next year in 2018. Well the answer to that is basically what I mentioned above. I want to build up my running base and mileage, get stronger, and hopefully less injury prone. So that’s the plan! Spend next year really working on all of that and then hopefully I’ll be ready to tackle my first marathon in 2019!

Anyways, since I am so tired from this streak I feel like I haven’t been getting a whole lot accomplished haha. I’ve been sleeping in a little bit every morning, I napped for an hour and a half yesterday, and I’ve just been focusing on recover activities right now. I’ve been using my self massage stick thing-y on my quads for a few minutes pretty much everyday, stretching, wearing compression gear, and stuff like that. So yeah, I feel like my whole life is revolving around running and recovering from running right now. But I’m thinking that tiredness will go away once my body adjusts a little bit more and I get stronger. This is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while, not just streaking but upping my mileage as well, so I’m just gonna stick with it because I know it will eventually get easier. ๐Ÿ™‚

And I say that I feel like I’m not getting anything accomplished and feel almost lazy, but I still won both step challenges that I was competing in last week, have managed to keep the house in somewhat decent shape, wrapped a bunch of Christmas presents, spent a good amount of time cleaning and doing/putting away laundry today, and still had time to walk one of the dogs. Haha and we don’t go for walks around the block, our walks tend to be around 2 ish miles every time. Sometimes longer. ๐Ÿ™‚ So I guess I’m not actually being as lazy and I feel like I am.

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Anyways, I suppose that’s all I’ve got for today. I hope everyone has a great week!

~Ashley

Thursday Things

The weather has been…well, I was going to say crazy, but I suppose it’s actually pretty typical for the Midwest haha. All week we’ve been alternating between sunny and storming. Seriously, one minute it will be absolutely beautiful outside but then the next it will be pouring down rain. But like I said, that’s pretty typical around here during this time of year.

What wasn’t exactly typical was the amount of hail that we got on Tuesday. It for realย poured down hail for 2-3 minutes. It wasn’t the biggest hail I’ve ever seen, but it was most definitely the largest quantity of hail I’ve ever witnessed falling from the sky.

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This was taken 10 or 15 minutes after the storm had stopped so a lot of it had already melted. But there was still quite a bit of it on the ground.

Luckily after the hail storm on Tuesday we’ve only had a bunch of rain and scattered storms. I don’t know if my garden could recover from another beating from hail like that. A lot of my plant’s have holes in the leaves and are looking a little beat up, but they are recovering which is good. ๐Ÿ™‚

After a short run yesterday, I spent quite a bit of time tending to my poor injured plants. I pulled off broken leaves and branches, pulled flowers off of my tomato plants and little tiny cucumbers from my cucumber plants (the plant’s aren’t big enough for me to want them to be producing anything yet). I also did a bit of tilling andย a bunchย of weeding.

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The joys of gardening. ๐Ÿ™‚

Our lawn mower can’t really fit into our garden plot so that means I’m doing a lot of grass pulling in and around my little garden plots, and along the fence that we share with our neighbor as well. Eventually I got tired of grass pulling, so I decided to kill like, three birds with one stone, and move the rabbit hutch into the garden. When Luke and I built the rabbit hutch, we made it without a bottom so that we could move it around the yard and the rabbits could eat as much grass as they wanted. So by moving it into the garden, the rabbits will get to eat as much grass as they want, their poop will fertilize the ground wherever they are (bunny poop makes GREAT fertilizer!), and the grass in the garden will get mowed down. So it’s a win win win situation. ๐Ÿ™‚ Well, it would be if I could keep them out there for more than a few hours at a time. All this rain has kinda put a damper on that situation, but eventually it’ll all work out.

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Finn’s not a fan of his rabbits being separated from him by a fence.

After all the work I put into the garden yesterday, I woke up super sore pretty much everywhere this morning. Especially in my upper back and triceps. That’s ok though, I could definitely use some more upper body strength anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And even though I haven’t exactly been doing a lot of running lately, Thursday’s are usually my rest days, so that worked out quite nicely. ๐Ÿ™‚

So anyway, I spent my rest day dyeing my hair (something I’ve been procrastination for far too long), attempting to get rid of some of the mud that’s taken over my house, playing with the dogs, waiting for my package from Honey Stinger to get here, signed up for a nifty running challenge for the month of June that I saw on Instagram, and thought about my plans for running in general this summer.

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This is a 3+ hour process, so no it’s no wonder than I put it off until Iย absolutelyย have to do it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Whenever I’m in the process of dyeing my hair, it’s kinda hard for me to do any kind of workout because the dye would just get everywhere, so that was pretty much out of the question all afternoon. But I can usually do most of my usual chores without any issues. Soย I didn’t exactly get the house completely clean, but I’ve definitely made some progress at ridding the dirt and mud from the floor and that’s a step in the right direction.

I walked Finn this morning because he was being a little spaz but I didn’t get a chance to walk Lily or Finn since who wants to walk around their neighborhood with bleach in their hair? Plus I would imagine that dust, dirt, and other grossness would stick to it, and that would be no bueno. So we played a bunch of fetch instead and then they went absolutely banana’s when the Fedex guy bearing my package from Honey Stinger came by. Haha my dog absolutely hate Fedex, UPS, and our mail lady. I always feel bad because none of those people stop and wait for me to answer the door anymore. They just leave packages on the porch. I don’t blame them though. I mean, my dogs sound vicious when they think their territory or people are under any kind of threat.

Anyway, the Fedex guy got here around 4:45 pm and I was super excited to see him, well you know, briefly because they never hang around long because of the dogs. But anyway, I’ve been super stoked about the stuff I ordered from Honey stinger! ๐Ÿ™‚ I finally got my hands on a box of one of the new flavors of waffles and I can’t wait to try it! I love mint chocolate anything, so I’m sure it will be right up my alley. ๐Ÿ™‚ I actually thought about trying both new flavors, but I wasn’t feeling that adventurous, so I opted for my two usual favorite Honey Stinger waffle flavors; chocolate and ginger snap. I also got me a thing of honey, because I can always use more honey, and a draw string back pack. Mostly because I needed to go over $50 to get free shipping and I was already super close and it was pretty cheap, but I also figured it would come in handy for the trip to Florida that we are taking with Luke’s family in July (and eventually I’ll write a post talking about our Florida plans, but today is not that day ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). So yeah, I’m super duper excited about all of that! Now I’m all stocked up on fuel for the summer and the beginning of half marathon training, which starts later in July! Yay!

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As far as my running goes, well, it hasn’t been all that great. Between being sick, traveling to Illinois, a week long anxiety attack thing (another post for another day), and a lack of motivation now that it’s getting pretty hot and humid out, I only ran a total of 30.59 miles for the month of May. That’s really sad. Especially since I’ve been trying (and miserably failing) to really up my weekly and monthly mileage.

So this morning on Instagram, someone had posted about one of these challengeville challenges. I thought they sounded like a lot of fun, so I looked through them all, decided that the TinMan would be perfect for me! Mostly because I’ve kinda been stuck at running 15-18 miles per week for what feels like forever, and this will obviously bump me up from that. Now I know that sounds like a big leap. Especially since I only covered 30.59 miles in May. But Iย knowย I’m fit enough to do it, I’ve been running pretty consistently for almost 4 years now. I’ve just become complacent and lazy and haven’t actually pushed myself to really preform at my best for a while now. I need some external motivation to actually make me want to put in the effort to get more miles in, and I think this will be the perfect challenge to get me there!

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As for the rest of the summer, I’m hoping I’ll build up enough momentum with the TinMan challenge this month to get me through most of July. The first week July will be a little tricky though. That’s when our trip to Florida is and it sounds like Luke’s mom has a pretty full itinerary for us while we’re there. So I guess I’m just going to try to run as much as I can, whenever I can, and hopefully that will be enough to keep the momentum going until I start my half marathon training plan that starts on July 23rd. I suppose that basically covers my running plans for this summer. Here’s hoping I’ll actually be able to keep up with this challenge and that I’ll start half marathon training feeling fit, happy, and injury free!

So speaking of half marathon training, I still haven’t signed up for the race I want to run this year haha. I’m planning on doing that very soon though. Hopefully I’ll beat the price increase, but at this point I’m not sure exactly when I’ll have the money to register. I’m also still not sure if my sister wants to run it with me or not. I sure hope she decides to. I think we’d both have lots of fun! Although if she does decide to run it with me, I’d like to do a few training runs with her so we can get a feel of what it would be like to run with each other. We’ve seriously never been on a run together! Actually accomplishing that may be a little tricky though, since now she lives 8 hours away from me in Colorado. But I suppose we’ve still got a little bit of time to work all of that out (if she even decides to run the race with me that is), this half marathon isn’t until November after all. ๐Ÿ™‚

So I’ve gotta say, I really enjoy writing these “Thursday Things” posts. It gives me a chance to go on and on about pretty much anything and everything that I’ve been up to or that’s on my mind and I think that’s a lot of fun! But that means that sometimes these posts end up being kinda long and I’m not sure how you guys feel about that. I mean, I enjoy reading blog posts that are short, sweet, and to the point, but I think I like longer, more detailed posts even better! I guess I’m just nosy like that. ๐Ÿ™‚

But for now that’s really all I’ve got to talk about for today.

Wishing you all the very best for your running goals, everyday adventures, and any of your other goals and challenges in life!

~Ashley