Tag Archives: training

Thursday Things

Remember how almost a year ago I got to see my all time favorite band for the second time and it was literally the best thing ever and I was the happiest camper that ever was?!?!? Yeah, me too.

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#throwbackthursday

Yeah that was super-duper irrelevant, but I shared that on Instagram this morning so I thought why not share it here as well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, this week has been a little hard so far, half marathon training-wise. I had a rest day on Monday, followed by an interval session on Tuesday. That went REALLY well and I had a blast doing it. Probably because it was raining and a little bit cooler that day. And I also really like interval work haha. But after that everything had been a bit of a struggle. I’ve just been really tired this week (menstruating does that to me sometimes) and have been struggling to get up and moving in the mornings. Plus after the rain on Tuesday it got really hot, humid, and gross out again. And we’ve been getting more air quality alerts which really sucks. I was hoping we were done with heat and air quality warnings, but obviously we are not. I’m really hoping that August ends up being our last really hot month, but September can still be pretty warm too. I guess we’ll have to wait and see though.

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Now that being said, I’ve still been sticking to my training plan and getting shit done!! Just a little more slowly this week. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The plan for today was an easy 5 miler. I started out on the road but I didn’t wake up early enough this morning, so at about 3 miles in it was 80 degrees with 90% humidity, sunny, and the air quality was really bad. So I gave up finishing my run outside and completed it on the treadmill instead. Really glad I have that option now, otherwise this run would have been cut short! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve got a hill workout on the scheduled for tomorrow and I still haven’t decided if I want to try to do it outside or just do the whole thing on the treadmill. It’s supposed to be pretty gross out tomorrow as well…

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Anyway, after my run this morning I was pretty busy! I spent the rest of the morning cleaning EVERYTHING haha. I did a bunch of laundry, watered and tended to the garden, cleaned both of my rabbits’ cages which is a time-consuming process for various reasons, completely cleaned and took every inch of the room they live in, and then kinda spot cleaned the rest of the floor through out the house. Oh and periodically checking on the chickens and giving them ice, since they seem to hate this weather just as much as I do. After all of that was taken care of I showered, ate lunch, and sat down to read for about an hour because I felt like I needed a bit of a break after all of that haha. But at around 2 pm I was back at it again, this time doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen, and then putting away laundry. Usually I don’t enjoy doing chores around the house, but today I really was for some reason so I was trying to take advantage of that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Oh and I’ve been doing a pretty good job of keeping up with my little push up challenge! Las night I thought I had forgotten to do them during the day, but when I checked the scheduled yesterday was actually a rest day so that worked out haha. I did my 7 push ups for today later in the afternoon after my cleaning frenzy. I did all 7 on my toes which I was pretty darn proud of! I’m still not able to go down all the way, but before 5 was the most I could do on my toes and I felt like I was dying doing them. Now it’s still hard, but I feel pretty good doing them! Haha and maybe by the time this challenge is over my push ups wont look so half assed. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Well, that pretty much sums up what I’ve done today though. Like I said, tomorrow I’ve got a hill workout to do, and probably a little bit of strength work too. And of course Saturday is my long run day. Then Saturday evening Luke and I are going to a housewarming party. I’m not sure who is all going to be there but the only people I’ll know are the couple who are throwing the party and Luke. Not exactly an introverts idea of a good time haha. Not gonna lie, I’m already looking forward to my rest day on Sunday. I’m already worn out just thinking about all of that! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I’ve been pushing through and getting it done! I’m so so so very ready for fall to get here, but I can’t deny that all of these hard summer miles aren’t helpful. They make running in the colder months seem so much easier and feel that much more enjoyable. Summer miles bring fall smiles!

All righty then! That is all from me for now!

How’s your summer running been going? Are you currently training for anything? Do you like running in the warmer months or the colder months better and why? Apparently I’m just full of questions today! But I would really like to know your answers! ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Friday eve!! I hope your week has been good so far!

~Ashley

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First Long Run Of Half Marathon Training Is Done!!

It wasn’t all that long of a run, only 8 miles. But that’s what I kept telling myself last night and this morning and I’m pretty sure that’s how I ended up getting through it ahahaha. “It’s only 8 miles. It’s only 8 miles. It’s only 8 miles.” After saying it enough times it really did feel like “only” 8 miles. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Which is great! Because yesterday Luke and I helped some of our friends move. We actually only took one truckload of stuff from their old house to their new house and after we unloaded that into their new garage, got a tour of the house, and then sat out on their deck and drank some beer for a little bit, we went out for dinner. I don’t remember what the place was called (I think it was named after a famous chef or something? I’m not sure…) but it was pretty good! I got their mac and cheese (because carb loading. Duh! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and it was pretty awesome! It had ham, bacon, and green onions in it. Yum! Everyone else got another drink but not me. I didn’t want to risk feeling too bad the next day haha. And of course Luke had to make fun of me because apparently you can’t have fun at a dinner with friends unless you’re drinking alcohol? ๐Ÿ™„ Whatever. He obviously doesn’t get why this is so important to me. But I mean, running is kind of a crazy sport and makes us do some weird things, so I can kind of understand that.

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Anyway, after dinner we ordered a few desserts to go and then were going to walk around and explore the area we were in for a little bit, so Luke and I got coffee at the most fancy Starbucks I’ve ever been in ever. Haha it was pretty crazy! But after walking around for a few minutes we decided to call it a night and just hang out another time. I had a few sips of my coffee, but I knew if I drank the whole thing right before we went home and went to bed that I’d never sleep, so I just saved it instead. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I was very happy with my decision not to drink my coffee when I got up this morning. First off, I was able to get to sleep, which is pretty much necessary for me to function. Haha I don’t do well on minimal amounts of sleep. And second, I had a delicious and already made coffee waiting for me in the fridge. All I had to do was warm it up! Obviously it wasn’t as good as fresh coffee, but I’m not seeing whyย  re-heated up coffee gets such a bad rap. It was still pretty good!

Getting out of bed was still a little bit hard this morning. We were out a little later than we had thought we’d be last night and like I said, I don’t function well when I don’t get enough sleep. Haha I woke up a little later than I would have liked, so I ended up getting around 7 hours which isn’t bad, but I still would have and always prefer to get 8 hours of sleep. That seems to be just the right amount for me. But anyway, I got up drank my re-heated coffee and ate the rest of my mac and cheese from last night. Breakfast of champions, obviously. ๐Ÿ™‚ Then I went out and got my run done!

Since I got up later than I’d have liked I got outside on the road a little after 8 am. That’s actually the time I really like to run pretty much any time of the year that is not summer. In the summer I like to get up and out the door before the sun has been out for too long. But I got really lucky today and it was in the low 70’s and cloudy when I started my run, so not bad!!

All in all it was a relatively uneventful run. For a little bit it looked like I might get rained on and I was really hoping that I would, but it never happened. In fact, the sun actually came out when I had about 1.5 miles left to go and that really started to warm things up, which made the going a little bit rough, but I still got it done!

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And with that my first week of training for Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days is pretty much done! I’ve got a rest day tomorrow and then it’s on to week 2!

I’m actually pretty surprised by how well this week has gone for me, considering that last week we were in Branson on vacation and I did zero running while we were there haha. Obviously that’s a pleasant surprise though! I’ve still got 15 more weeks to go and I know they wont all be smooth sailing, but I’m hoping that a lot of them end up as good as this week was! ๐Ÿ™‚

But anyway, that’s all I’ve got for today! I hope you’ve had a super Saturday and have a great rest of the weekend!

~Ashley

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Weekly Recap: July 9th-15th, 2018

Woohoo!! I was back at it this week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, kinda haha. I didn’t get as much done as I probably should have, but I still ran, and did a little bit of strength training, and stretching, and that’s much better than nothing!

And Good thing too! Because this week was the last week before our little family trip to Branson, Mo. I’m not sure how much running I’m going to be able to get done while we’re there. Luckily we won’t be gone for long. We’re leaving tomorrow morning and will be driving back home by Friday, so it’s nothing too crazy.

Monday:

  • 4 treadmill miles
  • 13 minutes of yoga

Kicked off the week with 4 miles on the treadmill! We had anther air quality alert from Sunday-Monday evening, so I figured it was best to do my run indoors. Had a little fun with this run and did kind of a ladder workout. Increased my pace incrementallyย  going up and then back down. It was actually a lot of fun!

Is it just me, or has this summer been particularly brutal?!? We’ve been getting heat and air quality warning like crazy here in Kansas. Hopefully the next 3 months wont end up as more of the same…

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Tuesday:

  • 3 more treadmill miles
  • 15 minutes of strength work

Tuesday brought another heat and air quality advisory with it. So another treadmill run was had. Haha Luckily Luke and I have been going for short little walks in the evening. Obviously that’s not gonna be the same as the pounding I’d do while running on the asphalt, but at least I’m still spending a little bit of time out on the roads. Photo is from the night before on one of our walks, because running on the treadmill doesn’t exactly come with very exciting views. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Wednesday:ย 

  • 15 minutes of pilates
  • 10 minutes of stretching

The heat warning continues!! I didn’t think it was safe for me to run outside and Iย reallyย didn’t want to get on the treadmill again, so no run for me on Wednesday. Did a few other things in place of running though, so there’s that!

Haha so, since it’s been so hot out I’ve been having to keep ice in the chicken coop to keep them cool! They do not like being so hot, so it’s been kinda hard on them. But they’re doing ok. Every couple of hours I have to run out there, change their water, and give them more ice.

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Thursday:ย 

  • 3.33 treadmill miles

More time on the treadmill. Fun! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I just kinda hopped on with the intent to see just how long I could stay on. Apparently the answer was 3.33 miles. About then I was absolutely dying of boredom. Haha but at least it was something! Thursday night Luke and I went on yet anther little walk around the neighborhood. It was hot, humid, and gross, but still kinda nice. At least the sunset was pretty. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Friday:

  • Did lots of work in the garden

So, yet another day without a run, but I was still pretty busy!! I spent quite a bit of time weed eating in and around the garden, pulling weeds, watering the plants, pruning back my tomatoes a little bit, and then picking and washing tomatoes and a few zucchini. Oh and did I mention it was another crazy hot day? Haha because of course it was! We are in desperate need of some rain and a break from all of this heat…

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Saturday:

  • 3 miles

Oh hey! I ran outside on Saturday!! It was the first day in like, 3 weeks I think, that we haven’t had a air or heat warning and the first day in forever where the high was only 85. Crazy stuff, man! So obviously I had to get out while the weather was a little more decent! Unfortunately it was still pretty humid and I only ended up making it 3 miles before I felt like death and had to quit. Haha the humidity and heat just saps everything out of me…But I ran outside and I was still very happy about that! Even if it wasn’t a good run.

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And then FINALLY, Saturday afternoon we had a little thunderstorm roll through! It rained for a little over an hour and then stayed cloudy for pretty much the rest of the day which was great! Weย reallyย needed the rain and a little break from the sun. It was fantastic!! But unfortunately it’s not looking like we’ve got much of a chance of that happening again anytime soon. There’s supposedly a few chances for more rain next week, but they’re really low; 30 and 40%. But hopefully that will change and we’ll get more rain. It’s been terribly dry and hot here and we need as much rain as we can get! Even if it does make the air more humid. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Sunday:

  • 2 miles

On Sunday my mother-in-law, her two kids (haha obviously Luke is her kid, and so is my brother-in-law. And obviously they are my brother and sister in law as well, but really I just consider them to be more of my brother and sister. Haha it’s just that our family, especially Luke’s side, is really big and gets kinda confusing and I don’t want to have to go over all of that on here. That is a lot of long stories that are not mine to tell. So, for all intents and purposes, this is what I’m going with hahaha), and her boyfriend stopped here on their way from Minnesota, which is where they live now, to Branson, MO. They didn’t stay long, they just wanted to take a little pit stop on their way there, and we’re gonna be there on Monday anyway, so it’s not like we’re not going to see each other again for a while. So they just kinda hung out for an hour or so and then hit the road again.

And once they left I did too! But on foot. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was yet another super hot, super humid day, but I wanted to run outside again, so I did 2 easy miles. Well, they were slow anyway. Haha they sure didn’t feel easy! But I know it was good for me. Doing tough summer runs like that is only going to make fall running (and hopefully training for and then doing those two half marathons is two days) that much more enjoyable!

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Total weekly mileage: 15.36ย 

Meh, that’s not that great. But honestly it’s a lot better than I thought I was gonna do, so I’ll take it!

Anyway, I spent a lot of time yesterday packing for our family trip and today I’ve finished that up, gotten all of the animals situated, and took care of everything in the garden that I had wanted to do before we leave. So we should be good to go! Tomorrow morning we’re going to drop the dogs off at the kennel, which is going to be terrible and heart-wrenching and I’m not looking forward to it. Every other time we’ve ever gone anywhere we’ve either been able to bring the dogs with us (can’t do that this time. The owners of the cabins we’re staying in don’t allow pets), they’ve stayed with my mom and dad or Luke’s dad, or someone has been able to stay at home with them. But this time we couldn’t do any of that. So a kennel it is! And my family owned a kennel, I grew up working in it, so I know they’re gonna be fine. It’s just that they’re gonna be so sad and confused because they’ve never been to one before and they’ve never been left alone with people they don’t know (except for Dean who got neutered and had to stay at the vet over night, but that was the only time). They’re probably going to whine, cry, be pitiful, and not eat the whole time they’re there and like, think we’ve abandoned them or something. And that just makes me sad haha.

Obviously it works for some dogs. Sure, they miss their owners, but they’re friendly, like other dogs and people, and think they’re just on some fun adventure. Like I said, I worked in a kennel, I’ve known many, many,ย many,ย dogs like that. I’ve also known dogs like mine who don’t particularly like other dogs or people (it’s just a border collie thing. They have their family and they don’t care about anything else) and don’t understand why they’d ever get left behind. Dogs like that tend to be a pain in the ass at a kennel and don’t eat. I hope they don’t cause too much trouble. My dogs don’t listen to people the don’t know/like, so that could be a problem…but I just kinda foresee them being sad and pathetic the whole time they’re there and that just kinda makes me sad haha.

Like with our Florida trip last year, I’ll probably be posting our adventures here everyday. Not sure how that’s all gonna go down since Luke and I are really tight on cash right now and after gas to get there and back we’ll only have about $200 while we’re there.ย  So we probably won’t be doing much…

Anyway, I hope you had a fantastic week and are staying cool! Happy Sunday!

~Ashley

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Weekly Recap: July 2nd-8th, 2018

Hello and happy Sunday, friends!! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, this week my weekly recap is going to be a little bit different, because, well, I only ran once this week. And aside from that one run and a lot of walking, I haven’t done much else to supplement my running fitness or anything like that. Honestly I’ve just needed a break! The crazy heat wave we got last week has subsided a little bit. We haven’t had any more excessive heat warnings or anything like that, but it’s still been pretty hot out and that just completely wears me out. I needed a break from super early mornings, toughing it out on the treadmill, and from just constantly worrying about how I was going to get in a decent amount of miles for the week. That was all just getting too exhausting, so I took a break. ๐Ÿ™‚

That being said, I’ve still had a pretty busy week! Obviously the 4th of July was on Wednesday, it was Luke’s birthday on Friday, and we’ve been walking around like crazy because both Luke and I have been hardcore playing Pokemon Go again haha. So let’s recap this week, shall we? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Monday:ย 

On Monday I woke up feeling tired and dreading the thought of even lacing up my running shoes. At that point I figured I probably just needed an extra rest day so I decided not to run. Although that evening Luke and I walked around the neighborhood and caught Pokemon on our phones.

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Tuesday:ย 

  • 1 treadmill mile

I hopped on the treadmill on Tuesday with the intent to do a few miles, but after one I was just done. Running on the treadmill is hard. Probably more so mentally than physically, and mentally, I was feeling a bit burnt out. So after that one mile I hopped right back off the treadmill and called it good. That’s when I decided I probably needed a little break from running haha.

Luke had a softball game on Tuesday night, but after he was done at that we were back at it with the Pokemon thing. We stayed out until 2 am taking over the gyms in our town and catching stuff. Excessive? Yes. Totally worth it? Absolutely!

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Wednesday:

So since we were up until 2 in the morning the night before, we didn’t wake up until 9:30 am on the 4th. Once we did though we were crazy busy! First we brought the chicks outside and put them in the coop, so they could run around out there for the day. We also did a little bit of work/maintenance on the chicken coop. After that we took the dogs to the park so they could run around a little bit. It was pretty hot out though, so we didn’t stay there long. So we brought the dogs home, checked on the chicks to make sure they were doing alright outside, then drove to Walmart and picked up a few things. Did some work around the house after we got back from the store, and then got ready for the evening’s festivities.

We ended up going to some 4th of July event at school with my brother-in-law, his girlfriend, and her kids. They made it sound like this super awesome thing with lots of games, activities, and live music. But the games were all for little kids (and didn’t look very fun for them either), there were no activities for adults, and the live music sucked. So we literally sat at the playground for 3 hours and watched her kids play. It was highly disappointing. And on top of all of that, there were a bunch of people out there vaping, including my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. You couldn’t really go anywhere without walking through a cloud or two of nasty vape shit which is kind of a problem for me, because I have asthma and that stuff really bothers me. And the people who vape don’t seem to give a shit if they’re hitting a bunch of other people with the gross clouds of fruit scented chemicals because “it’s just water vapor”. Bullshit. It’s a lot more than just water vapor… And some dude kept walking in front of me at the playground and kept blowing it right in my face. So that was fucking great. I spent the next two days coughing, hacking, and feeling like shit because people who vape are inconsiderate assholes who don’t give a shit if their vape clouds are bothering other people.

But at least the fireworks were decent.

Thursday:ย 

I didn’t do much on Thursday. I felt too gross after being exposed to all of that vape nastiness the day before.

Friday:

The 6th was Luke’s 27th birthday! Yay!!

It was also another eventful day! We woke up at 6 am so we could get in the crazy long line for the DMV before the place was even open, because Luke’s driver’s license expired that day. Seriously. We got there at 6:30 in the morning, half an hour before it was even open, and there were at least 40 people in line ahead of us. But Luke got it taken care of, at 8:40 am we finally walked out of the DMV with Luke’s temporary ID (because Kansas mails them to you? In Illinois they printed them out right there so you didn’t have to wait for them). Once that was taken care of we went and got some breakfast and then went to the trail that I used to run on everyday when we lived in the apartment. Luke wanted to play Pokemon Go for his birthday, so we spent over 3 hours on that trail walking around haha. Even though it was crazy hot, it was a lot of fun, and we got a lot done in our games.

At around 2 pm we left the trail, went to Aldi to get groceries and pick up some stuff to grill for Luke’s birthday dinner. His brother, his girlfriend, her kids, and their two dogs came over that night to celebrate. But before they did Luke made sure his brother knew that they couldn’t vape at our house anymore. I was still coughing pretty bad that day and was kinda struggling walking around on the trail earlier. So luckily they FINALLY listened to him and they didn’t (trust me, this was not the first time both of them have been asked politely not to do it around me. But my brother-in-law’s girlfriend literally told me that she usually doesn’t think about it or try to keep it away from other people. That is exactly what I was talking about before…). Anyway, we all ended up having a good night! My next door neighbor came over too because, when doesn’t she come over? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Haha we don’t mind though, she’s a cool kid. So we all ate ribs and cake, listened to music and watched the kids dance to Baby Shark several times haha, played corn hole, played with the dogs and chickens, and played with silly string, confetti cannons, and glow sticks. It was a good night. ๐Ÿ™‚

Saturday:

Saturday was relatively uneventful. I spent quite some time picking up the aftermath from Luke’s birthday party though haha.

Sunday:

So who’s tired of hearing about Pokemon Go yet? Haha because well, there was an event thingy today where squirtles appeared very frequently from 1-4pm. There’s a pokestop that I can reach in my backyard, so I spent two hours sitting out there with a lure on that stop, catching a buch of squirtles! I ended up with 1 shiny blastoise, a regular blastoise, a a special sunglasses wearing squirtle (squirtle squad, anyone????), and a shiny squirtle. But since Luke had to work today I’m gonna trade him the regular blastoise and the shiny squirtle.

But anyway, I also spent quite a bit of time cleaning the house today (because if I’m not gonna run then I might as well clean ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and ready Game Of Thrones. Haha I guess it’s been a nerdy day, but it was great! ๐Ÿ™‚

I think I’ve had a successful almost no running week! Honesty I feel soooo much better today! I’m actually looking forward to running tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes!

Anyway, I hope everyone had a good week!

~Ashley

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Ashleyโ€™s Tips For Surviving Summer Running

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

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

1. Stay hydrated

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

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

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

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My long run necessities.

2. Dress Appropriately

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

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

3. Wear sunscreen

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

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

4. Wear A Hat

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

5. Put Ice In Your Hat

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

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6. Run In Shade If You Can

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

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

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7. Get Out Before The Sun

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

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8. Slow Down

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

9. Be Aware Of Heat Exhaustion/Heat Stroke

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

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

10.ย When Worst Comes To Worst, Stay Indoorsย 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy summer running, everyone!

~Ashley

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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

 

 

Weekly Recap: April 16th-22nd, 2018

I was still sick for a good portion of this week, but I definitely started to feel better and was pretty much recovered from this illness by the end of the week which was awesome! And bonus, I was able to do pretty much all of the running I wanted to accomplish. It was mostly slow and kinda boring stuff and some of it got cut a little shorter than I wanted, but hey, it was a vast improvement over last week and I will gladly take that! ๐Ÿ™‚

Monday:

  • 3 easy miles

Marathon Monday. Wow! Still can’t get over Des Linden’s win at the Boston Marathon! That was just incredible!

So since I spent the whole morning watching the Elite coverage of the Boston Marathon, I didn’t end up running until around 12:30 that afternoon. That wasn’t a big deal, but it felt kinda weird haha. I like to get my running done and out of the way first thing in the morning that way I don’t have to worry about it throughout the day. Anyway, just did an uneventful 3 miles on Monday. After that I had to take care of all of the things I neglected to do since I spent so much time watching TV haha.

Tuesday:

  • 5 miles

I was still feeling kinda bleh on Tuesday and had originally only planned to do 2-3 miles because I sill wasn’t feeling great. But it seemed like the more I ran the better I felt, so I ended up doing 5 haha. It wasn’t exactly fun and I spent a lot of time coughing and wiping my nose, but I’m glad I did it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Wednesday:ย 

  • 3 miles with a couple strides thrown in for fun
  • 20 minutes of yoga/foam rolling

I was finally starting to feel better by Wednesday! Not at 100% but still, I was very happy with the improvement and it showed during my run! It was hard, but fun hard and not I’m still sick and feel like I’m dying, which I will gladly take! After my run I spent over 2 hours cleaning out our spare bedroom where the chickens had lived until Tuesday night when we finally moved them into the coop. That was an adventure in and of itself! Wednesday was a good day and you can read more about it here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Thursday:

  • 30 minutes on the stationary bike
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Cross training is a necessary evil as far as I’m concerned. I don’t particularly enjoy doing it, I usually find it to be boring, but I know it’s good for me. So I do it. Sometimes hahaha. But by Thursday I was feeling sooooo much better! Still probably not 100% better, I still had a cough, but for the most part I was feeling pretty good! ๐Ÿ™‚

Friday:

  • 2.5 miles

Friday was an interesting day. Started off with a run as usual. I warmed up with what was supposed to be a nice and easy mile, but my new favorite band finally released their new album the night before so obviously I had to listen to that while I ran. I new that was a bad idea but I did it anyway haha. New music makes me a happy camper. But it also makes me go out waaaay too fast during my warm up and then that tends to make the rest of the workout a huge suffer fest. Luckily it was a short on on Friday though haha. After my “warm up” I did some cadence drills (about a mile of ’em ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and then cooled down with a little more easy running. Like I said, it was kinda a huge suffer fest, but it was also pretty fun!

And just for some clarification; I’ve been joking about The Longshot being my new favorite band for a while now (if you know me then you know I’m the biggest Green Day fangirl in ALL THE LAND!). But the thing is, it’s literally just another side band that the front man for Green Day has come up with. So its pretty much just Green Day with a few different people. Haha I still thing it’s fucking great though and I absolutely love their album. Hence the going out too fast during my warm up on Friday. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyways, on Friday evening my brother-in-law, his girlfriend, and her two kids came over to our house to hang out. And so did one of my neighbor’s and her kid (the one who likes to come over and hang out with me). So for some reason all of the small children (they were 7, 4, and 3 years old) all flocked to me, fought for my attention, and over who got to sit in my lap. Small children terrify me. Haha so not sure why they all wanted to be my friend (well, except for my neighbor, like I said, she likes hanging out with me). So that went on for several hours and was exhausting. I passed out right away when I finally went to bed that night.

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Saturday:

  • 5.58 miles

Saturday’s are usually my long run day. So the original plan was to do 8 miles. But between getting over an illness, going a little too hard during my workout on Friday, and then having 3 young children all over me the night before I was kinda worn out and just not feeling it. After about 2 miles I just started laughing at myself and was like “yeah, 8 miles definitely isn’t gonna happen today.” Then at about 3 miles I got chased to two little demon dogs that were running around unleashed in a non-fenced in front yard. Once the took off after me the followed my for a little bit, so I stopped and looked back to their house to see if their owner was out. She was, but she was just throwing her hands in the air, then covering her face, and I’m pretty sure she started crying… Like, I get that your dogs running off is a frustrating situation, but freaking out like that isn’t going to do anyone any good. Plus those little assholes were trying to bite at my ankles and I wasn’t about to try to catch them and bring them back to her. As far as I’m concerned that’s not my problem (and remember this is coming from the person who has caught and returned several dogs to their owners while out running). Ugh, I’ve grown to despise people who let their dogs run after people like that, then act like it’s the person who the dogs are chasing’s fault. Like, I’m on a public road. The law says that I can be here. And the law also says that your dogs can’t be out in public like that without a leash. Therefore, not my problem.

As someone who goes to great lengths to train her dogs not to do shit like that, and follow all the laws that pertain to dogs, I find it super frustrating when other people don’t. And then throw a fit whenever they let their dogs get into a potentially dangerous situation and are chasing/trying to bite a random passerby.

Anyway, I was in a standoff with those two dogs for several minutes, and had to resort to growling at them to keep them from coming close enough to bite me (usually a firm “no!” does the trick, but that didn’t work this time). Eventually some kid in a truck drove by and that distracted them long enough for me to get away. I’m not sure what happened to them after that, but again, not my problem.

After that it took me another 2 ish miles to loop back around to my house and once I got there I was just done. That was enough excitement for me that day. Oh well, aside from being chased by 2 little dogs (and can we just take a second to acknowledge that smaller dogs breeds are much more aggressive than most medium/large dog breeds?), I was happy with what I got done on Saturday. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sunday:

  • rest day

And a well earned one, I think!!

Total Weekly Mileage: 19.20

Between getting over an illness and all of the shenanigans that happened this week, I still got shit done!! All things considered, I got a decent amount of miles in and got a tiny bit of cross training and stretching done. All in all, I felt like I had a productive week. And my Garmin is telling me that I’ve been productive, so go me!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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I hope you’ve had a good week and a fun weekend!

Until next time,

~Ashley

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