Category Archives: Running

Benefits Of Exercise While Pregnant.

We’re 23 weeks today! That means we’ve officially entered the beginning our 6th month! “Only” 4ish more to go! 😂

And I’m still running!! I’ve cut back quite a bit but I’m still staying relatively active and I’m very grateful that I can! So today I wanted to talk a little bit about the benefits of exercising while pregnant!

I’m not a doctor of any sort so take everything I say with a grain of salt. 😉 That being said, these are all benefits of exercise during pregnancy that I’ve either experienced thus far, or have found in my research and endless reading on the topic.

Always consult with your care provider before starting a workout program.

That being said, my midwife and almost every article and book on the topic that you read usually advises that you can safely continue to do any kind of workout/exercise you were doing pre-pregnancy. With the obvious modifications that might need to happen to accommodate a growing belly and a shifting center of balance.

Now with that all out of the way, let’s crack into our topic for this post!

Benefits Of Exercise While Pregnant:

Pain relief

Running is literally the only thing that’s been able to put a dent in the back pain that I’ve been experiencing throughout this entire pregnancy. And let’s be real, the only kind of pain medication you can take while pregnant is Tylenol and Tylenol has literally NEVER done anything for me pain relief-wise. So I haven’t bothered with that and just stick to running and yoga for pain relief instead!

Helps boost your mood

Endorphins can be one hell of a drug and while you’re pregnant that and elusive runner’s high is the only kind of high you can experience without any potential adverse side effects to you or your fetus, so you might as well chase after it. 🏃🏻‍♀️😂

And even if you don’t manage to catch up to a real runner’s high (I’ve literally only actually experienced it two or three times in my seven years of running) you’ll still likely feel the mood boosting benefits of any exercise that you do!

Helps improve sleep

I’m going to be real with you (but honestly when aren’t I? 🤷🏻‍♀️), one of the biggest reasons that I hate being pregnant is how fucking hard it is to sleep.

But exercising while pregnant is supposed to improve the quality of your sleep for all of the same reasons exercise helps improve your sleep when you aren’t pregnant. Basically it all comes down to the fact that our bodies like to move and be active, exercise makes you tired, and helps with anxiety and depression that might be causing issues with sleep.

That being said, exercise hasn’t improved my sleep much. But it has been helpful in a very small way but only if I do some easy yoga or go for a nice walk too long before bed; it puts my baby to sleep.

I’m not sure if RJ actually likes the fact that I run/try to stay active or it it just bores him to sleep (more likely than not it’s just the gentle rocking motion that he’s probably experiencing), but either way so far it’s been a very reliable method of putting his ass to sleep. Because otherwise he likes to be very active the second I lay down in bed and even though I’m only 23 weeks pregnant those little movements that are getting stronger every day can make it really hard to fall asleep.

I swear this kid is training to be an Olympic swimmer. One night it felt like he was doing flip turns off of the sides of my uterus all night. That coupled with the fact that it’s literally impossible to actually get comfortable right now I didn’t sleep much that night. I should have gone for a walk before bed. 😂

It’s good for your baby

There’s like, a whole bunch of studies that go over all of the potential benefits (and I’ve read about A LOT of them) that your baby gets when you exercise while pregnant. So that helps motivate me to leave the comfort of my heating pad, set down my snacks, and get a quick workout in. 😉

Seriously though if you just do a quick google search of “how does exercise during pregnancy benefit the baby” and you’ll see what I mean.

Helps Prepare your body for labor and delivery

Honestly I’m not even remotely scared or worried about the whole birthing process. I’m an endurance athlete. My body is strong (maybe not as strong as it has been, but it’s still probably more fit than the average American if we’re still being honest), healthy, and I’ve trained my mind to embrace pain and long, hard efforts. In a weird way running and exercise in general has prepared me for this in a way that maybe a non-distance runner/athlete wouldn’t necessarily experience.

Currently I’m really interested in seeing how my body handles the birthing process. I’m interested in seeing just what my body is capable of doing, which is one of the many reasons why I plan on doing this with no pain relief or any kind of medical intervention as long as that’s safe for us. If it was exclusively up to me I wouldn’t even be giving birth in a hospital but my husband isn’t comfortable with that. Which is fair and valid for reasons that are personal and I won’t be talking about right now.

That being said, I don’t think there is any “right” or “wrong” way to bring a baby into this world. You gotta do what right (and sometimes medically necessary) for you and your baby and I’ll never judge anyone for those very personal decisions that you have to make.

But this is my truth; right now I think a non-medicated birth, with no unnecessary medical intervention, and definitely not while lying on my back is what’s going to be best for me and RJ. And I honestly believe I’ll be able to get through all of that because of all of the running and training I’ve done. I also have a really high threshold for pain which will probably come in handy as well.😂

Potentially leads to a shorter labor, fewer birth complications, and a faster postpartum recovery

Obviously the jury is still out on all of this because is it’s definitely not always the case and issues can arise no matter how fit or healthy you are, but if there’s even a small chance that it could help in any of these departments I’ll definitely take it!! And the potential of any of the above actually happening is definitely motivating for me to keep exercising throughout the entirety of my pregnancy!🤷🏻‍♀️😂 As always assuming that it is safe to do so and I’m still cleared by my midwife to keep going.

These points are really just a few of the potential benefits exercising while pregnant! But they are all reasons that I have either experienced or that resonate with me.

In my personal opinion I think that as long as it’s cleared by a care provider, exercising in whatever way feels best to you in whatever capacity that you can (gentle yoga and nice, leisurely walks definitely count, folks!) is incredibly impactful to you and your baby in some really amazing and beneficial ways!

But don’t just take my word for it. ALWAYS consult with your care provider with any questions or concerns that you might have.

~Ashley

10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Running

I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two in the seven years that I’ve been running. Setting out before the sun comes up on a hot summer day, putting on layers upon layers on a wet winter afternoon, bonking, DNF-ing, and PR-ing races, trying different shoes, trying different fuel, doing long runs, speed work outs, and running of course reading countless books, magazines, and internet articles on running. Sometimes it feels like the only thing I haven’t done in running is actually doing a marathon. Maybe one day though. 😂

It’s safe to say I’ve been around the block a few times. Literally. So here are 10 things I wish I knew when I started running.

1. Speed Is Relative 

The comparison trap is a very easy one to fall into. Especially if you’re on any form of social media and follow all sorts of badass, super speedy runners. And that’s great for them!

But the thing is, speed is relative. What’s super speedy for you might be slow for someone else. A hard workout for one person might be a easy run for you. It’s all relative.

It’s best to not compare your paces to anyone else’s because it’s all different for everyone! You do you and be proud of your accomplishments! No matter what they might be!

2. It’s Ok To Walk

When I first started running I was under the impression that didn’t “count” unless you ran the whole time. If you had to walk then you weren’t a “real” runner. But that’s just not true!

Once I learned about the run/walk/run method and how many people actually implemented it, my life pretty much changed. I was able to run farther and faster (yes, I’m still a slow runner, but remember, speed is relative 😉) when I took walking breaks. Sometimes those breaks happen for about a minute after each mile, sometimes on bad days I walk up hills, sometimes I do more structured intervals of 90 seconds of running 30 seconds of walking, and sometimes I don’t walk at all.

But just knowing that I can take a walk break if I need to catch my breath, change up my rhythm a little bit, take a sip of water, eat a little something, walk up a hill, or just need to mentally collect myself, I can! It doesn’t make me any less of a runner! How cool is that?

Seriously though the run/walk/run method made a huge difference in my running life and I suggest you look it up! Jeff Galloway has some really helpful books on the subject!

3. “Bad” Weather Makes Tough Runner’s

Referring back to my first point, bad weather is also relative. For me, “bad” weather would be anything over 75 degrees (I’m a baby in the heat, what can I say! 🤷🏻‍♀️😂), on a humid, sunny day. But for other people that’s PERFECT running weather.

But back to my point, when I first started running I spend a good majority of a summer running on a treadmill, and there’s nothing wrong with treadmill running, but running in any kind of challenging condition is going to make you so much tougher! Physically because you have to work harder and mentally because you have to push through your mental barriers to keep going! Which are both important things to learn to do if you’re going to do any kind of racing or just have big goals that you want to accomplish, but those lessons also can be easily applied to other situations in life!

Obviously if it’s too hazardous outside it’s best to swap your running days or stick to a treadmill, but if it’s possible I think we should all brave harder weather whenever we can! It really does toughen you up for a hard race! Or other potential difficult situations!

4. You Need To Size Up Your Running Shoes

Maybe just by half a size or maybe even by a whole size, because here’s the deal, your feet swell when you run. And if I would have know that I wouldn’t have lost a toenail during my first half marathon. 😂

What happened in my situation was I had bought my running shoes in my normal size. Which is fine for non-running activities but I quickly learned that 10 miles into a half marathon your feet aren’t the same size as they were when you started. Which means your toes are going to be jamming into the front of the toe box of your shoes and that can cause you to lose toenails. It’s not fun. 😂

So don’t be like me during my first half marathon. Size up your shoes and give your toesies plenty of room too move in the tie box of your shoe. But not so much room that you’re tripping over excess shoe or feel clumsy in them! No clown shoes needed! Unless that’s your thing I guess! 🤷🏻‍♀️😂

5. Safety First!

A lot can happen on the open road, trail, or even your gym treadmill.

It’s a good idea to always tell someone where you’ll be running and how long you anticipate being gone. That way someone has an idea of where you should be and when they should start looking for you/seeking help if you don’t show up on time (but I also recommend a call or text of you’re taking longer than anticipated.

If you’re running on the road ALWAYS run against traffic, so in the US that means you should be on the left side of the road. That should give you a few more seconds to spot any potential issues and bail into a ditch if you have to. It also makes you more visible to drivers.

Always wear clothing that is easy to spot from far away. Anything reflective is your friend! A blinking light is a MUST if you run in the dark and I HIGHLY recommend that everyone wears a Road ID!

Mine has my name, birth year, spouse’s name, phone number, and relationship to me, my blood type, my penicillin allergy, and a quote on it, but you can basically add anything you want to it! I think these are super important to have, just in case.

If you have to run with headphones (guilty!) always keep the volume low enough so you can hear what’s going on around you and just try to be aware of your surroundings in general.

Obviously that’s just and incredibly brief overview of some key points, but I think they’re important things to keep in mind!

6. Racing Is Fun But It’s Not A Necessary Part Of Being A Runner

Don’t get me wrong, I love participating in races! But 2020 had different plans for all of us and IRL racing wasn’t possible for a lot of people. Myself included.

As much as I missed having races on my calendar to set goals for, I learned to find a different kind of purpose for my running. And while I’m looking forward to doing a few actual races (looking at you fall 2021!) I am glad I was able to find a different kind of joy in running!

So if racing isn’t your thing I say don’t do them! Running can be so much more than starting lines, finisher medals, and participant t-shirts.

7. Vaseline Is Your Friend

Slather that shit anywhere you have chafed, might chafe, or under any part of your running gear that might rub you the wrong way. Literally.

For me that means on my thighs and the sides of my feet in the summer. But I’ve heard of people putting it under their sports bra straps, the waistline of their shorts, nipples, armpits, honestly the possibilities are endless!! Plus Vaseline isn’t all that expensive so go crazy if you’re haunted by the memories of getting into the shower after a long run and experience the stinging only freshly chafed skin can bring.

Another thing you can use Vaseline for is any exposed skin on a cold run! An nice layer of it is supposed to help keep those areas warm! I’ve never tried it but some people swear by it!

8. Hats Are Much More Functional Headbands

Ok but seriously, they really are! When I first started running I never considered wearing a hat. I just pulled my hair back with a hair tie and headband. But I have really thick hair and that never really kept it out of my face. Something that really annoyed me. Then one hot summer I started wearing a hat to keep the sun off of my face and I realized that I should have been doing just that from the very beginning. First off, a hat keeps my hair out of my face better than any headband ever has. Plus you can use it to keep the sun, rain, snow, dust, or whatever out of your eyes. And in the summer you can put some water or ice in it to help cool you off a bit. You can’t do that with a headband haha.

9. You Need To Fuel Your Body Properly

I’m not a nutritionist so I can’t tell you what the proper way to fuel your body for running is (and it’s different for everyone anyway!).

But I can tell you that eating right and eating enough is incredibly important! You can’t run your best if you aren’t eating enough!

And treats and not necessarily “healthy things are a part of a healthy diet! So there’s no need to restrict yourself to a ridiculously “clean” diet!! Veggies, fruits, complex carbs, proteins, and fats are all very important as well!

Give your body the very best of you want to run your very best. Sometimes that means a nice fruit smoothie. Other times that means pizza.

10. Find Your “Why”

When I first started running my “why”, the reason and motivation for taking up this weird and wonderful sport in the first place, wasn’t a great one. I was trapped in a bad cycle of body dysmorphia and food restriction. My “why” was literally to burn extra calories and let me tell you that is NOT a good reason to take up running.

Sure, running does burn more calories than a lot of other forms of exercise (roughly 100 calories per mile, depending on your build and metabolism). But that’s really not enough to keep you going when the going gets tough.

If you actually want to stick with running long term you need something more substantial than that! And it can’t be something super rigid or just one big goal. For example, there is a pretty decent sized population of people who have run a marathon and then never run another step in their lives.

Your “why” will definitely change over the years. Mine went from just being a calorie burn, to proving people wrong (my WHOLE life I was always told I was un-athletic and I BELIEVED that for the longest time), then it turned into me proving to myself that I can do hard things. At certain times it was just to keep me sane. That turned into me running just because I thought it was fun. Right now my “why” is running to keep myself and my unborn baby happy and healthy. And to help relive some of the aches and pains that come with pregnancy. 😂

Your “why” could be that your using running to fill the void after you lost a loved one. Or something to help you recover from an addiction. It can be a celebration of life! Maybe you overcame cancer or you run for someone who can’t anymore or who never could in the first place.

Everyone’s “why” is different and deeply personal. If you haven’t found yours I STRONGLY recommend taking some time to sit down and really think about why you run and what you actually want from your running. Writing it out in a journal, blog, Instagram post, or even just a scrap of paper can be very helpful in this situation. But I really think everyone who runs should really take some time to consider this! Even if it does sound a little “out there” to you. 😉

Well, that’s it from me!

Is there anything you wish you had known when you started running?

Weekly Recap January 18th-24th: 20 Weeks Pregnant Edition

I’m not sure if I’m actually going to start doing weekly recaps again. I don’t know if I want to dedicate time to doing that again and I’m not sure if anyone is actually interested in reading my weekly training updates anyway. 😂

That being said, I figured I’d give you a little peak into what my running and fitness schedule looks like half way through my first pregnancy!

Honestly I actually don’t have much of a “schedule” at the moment. I’m just trying to be flexible and do what I can when I can, but I do try to run at least 3-4 times a week and supplement that with my stationary bike, Pilates, body weight exercises and yoga.

And now a days my runs are SUPER short, because right now that’s just what feels best. But running is also the only thing that puts a dent in the back pain that I’m experiencing so I want to be able to do these short runs for as long as possible!!

So here’s what my training looked like this week!

Monday:

  • 30 easy minutes of run/walking with one round of strides thrown in at the end
  • A few minutes of stretching before bed

I can’t exactly say my one round of strides felt good, but it was fun to ease into a little bit of speed! Even if it was only for a few minutes! 😂

Tuesday:

  • Rest Day

I didn’t particularly need a rest day on Tuesday, but I was busy and we had our anatomy scan that day, so it was just easier to take a rest day instead of stressing over trying to fit in a workout.

Also, I hit 20 weeks pregnant on Tuesday! Which means we’re half way there!! 👏🏻😁

Wednesday:

  • 30 easy minutes of run/walking
  • Cleaned my kitchen from top to bottom (it counts! 😉)
  • 25 minutes of yoga

Actually had some semblance of energy on Wednesday! Which meant my kitchen got cleaned!! 😂

Thursday:

  • 20 minutes on the stationary bike
  • 20 minutes of strength work

Took me a while to get up the motivation to do anything on Thursday. It seems like I’m always paying for whatever I ended up doing the day before. 😴

But I do know that I always feel better after a little bit of movement so I hopped on my stationary bike for a little bit and after that got in a really good strength session! I’ve really been enjoying booty bands lately! They’ve helped me up the intensity of my workouts without upping how much time I have to spend doing them and that’s been incredibly helpful!

Friday:

  • 30 minutes easy run/walking

Nothing too eventful went down on Friday. Just a nice, easy run. 👍🏻

Saturday:

  • Rest day

If you can actually call it that. I ended up going to bed at 8 pm after that days excitement.😂

If this would have been a normal Saturday I probably would have gotten in another run, but my nephew’s 6th birthday party was that day and I wanted to conserve what energy I actually had for that. Which ended up working out well! We had a good time hanging out with my nieces, nephew, and brother in law and sister in law!

But seriously, I was exhausted afterwards. 😂

Sunday:

  • 15 minutes of yoga

Sunday was a chill day. Or it was supposed to be. What really happened was I attempted to set some boundaries down with my mother because there have always been some issues there and I just feel like they’ve gotten worse since I’ve gotten pregnant. It didn’t work though. She doesn’t want to play by my rules as it pertains to my son and that’s fine. She’s made her choices, and her choices have led to her not being a part of my life anymore. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Obviously there’s MUCH more to the story than that, but that’s where I’m leaving it for now.😉

Anyway, after dealing with that whole ordeal for a while I did a whole bunch of laundry and a little bit of yoga. Lol it was very therapeutic. 😉

So yeah, that’s a not-so-typical, typical week in my life right now. Meaning that literally nothing is actually “normal” and we’re just taking things day by day and doing what we can!

Anyway, like I said, I’m not sure if I’m going to be writing out a weekly recap every week, but if it’s something you’d like to see more of let me know!

Happy Sunday!

~Ashley

Things I’m Looking Forward To In 2021

  • A better year than 2020? Fingers crossed! 🤞🏻
  • ⁣Seeing how my running changes. I’m thinking a postpartum reset is coming and honestly I’m looking forward to that! ⁣
  • Giving birth. Because holy fuck I hate being pregnant. 🙃⁣
  • Being able to eat normally again…⁣⁣
  • An IRL race or two?? Hopefully!! 🏃🏻‍♀️⁣
  • Having a whole ass human being to care for and teach stuff. Very much looking forward to the day when I can start teach him about plants, animals, and the great outdoors! ⁣
  • More time with family. If anything that’s definitely going to happen this year! ⁣

Happy New Year! Here’s hoping we’re not in for another complete shit show! 🎆🥳🤞🏻⁣

Suprise!!

It’s a boy!!

Now that our family know I can put it out into the world! Baby RJ is coming June 2021!

Well, that’s my “official” due date is June 8th but I have a feeling that he’ll come earlier than that. Just like I had a feeling that he was a boy, before we even actually knew he was a boy. 😉

Everyone is very excited about the coming addition to our family! This is my mom and dad’s first grandchild, and it’s the first grandson my father-in-law and step-mother-in-law will have which is something that my father-in-law is particularly excited about! My mother-in-law has grandchildren of both sexes but it still excited for us anyway! 😄

So far pregnancy has been a miserable experience for me. I don’t like it, have declared that I’m never doing it again, and I’m very ready to not be pregnant anymore. And I’m only 15 weeks in. 🙃 Like, obviously I love this kid but damn, I ready to have him here in the world and not inside of my body anymore. But we’ll get there. Eventually…😂😂

Mg running has definitely taken the backseat to everything else that’s been going on, but I am slowly starting to get back into something that almost resembles a consistent running plan. But I’m hoping to be able to actually run more than a mile or two now that I’m in the second trimester and an starting to get some energy back. But we’ll see! At this point I’m literally taking things one day at a time and rolling with whatever my body feels capable of doing. Some days that means I’m able to run and be a productive human being and other days that means I barely leave the couch. 🤷🏻‍♀️😂

Anyway, I’ll get more into all of that later! Right now I just wanted to post a quick and exciting update!

~Ashley

That Time I Ran In A Blizzard. Literally.

Here’s the thing I never claimed to have good decision making skills. In fact I’m pretty good at making bad decisions. Especially when it comes to run in bad weather. 😂

You see, I like to consider myself an “all weather runner” and I find a very huge thrill in running in possibly dangerous weather conditions like thunderstorms, or in this case, an actual blizzard.

As far as I know blizzards aren’t a common thing here in Kansas but back in November 2018 my weather app popped up with a blizzard warning and all of the weather stations were talking about the high winds, cold temperatures, and whiteout conditions that this particular snowstorm was going to bring. So of course I decided that I was going to go run in in. 😂

“Just a short run”, I told myself. Had to be because I knew the weather was dangerous and that I didn’t want to be too far from my house in case something were to go wrong, so I geared up in several layers, laced up my shoes, and began my blizzard adventure.

Going out wasn’t too bad. I’m obviously it was snowing pretty hard and it was definitely hard to see things further away, it all just looked white, but visibly wasn’t terrible. Yet. But the other thing that I did not account for was that the wind was at my back to being with which was great! But it eventually became a huge problem when I did finally turn around to head back home. But I’m getting ahead of myself, first we need to talk about the loose dog.

Loose dogs are a huge problem in my neighborhood and they have been for the whole 5 years that I’ve lived in this town. But the absolute last thing I needed to encounter on this run was a dog running loose.

I saw him around a mile in, right about the time I was getting ready to turn around and head back home. He was a small dog, looked like a shi zu, so I knew I was probably in for at least a minor annoyance. Small dogs usually don’t present a big threat which is good but they can disrupt an otherwise fun (albeit very dangerous) run.

By the time I saw him the snow was coming down harder, the wind had picked up significantly, and visibility was pretty bad at this point. I really only saw him because he was running around and barking, while being chased by his owner. This dog ran up to me, excited, so I stopped and pet him so his owner could come and grab him, which he did. Awesome! So I continued upon my merry little way.

I turned around at the end of the street and realized that my mile trek back home was going to get a really hard one. The wind was driving the snow into my face, the only part of my that was exposed, and it hurt! It especially stung when the snow would hit me in my eyes. Not very fun, but also kind of hilarious. I basically finished my last mile of this run alternating between keeping one eye closed and the other open.

I didn’t make it very far after I turned around though. That little dog was chasing after me again! I don’t know why his owner decided to put him down again instead of taking him inside but apparently he did. 🤷🏻‍♀️ This time I have no intention of stopping though, the snow was coming down hard and I couldn’t see very far in front of me. I wanted to get home as quickly as possible, so I just kept running. The dog was kinda following me, but mostly just running around in circles in the middle of the street. His owner has the audacity to yell “hey, help me!!!”, at me. I was like, dude WFF?! This isn’t my problem. So I yelled back “nope, sorry!”, and kept heading back towards home.

The rest of my run was uneventful aside from the fact that I had snow stinging my eyes, the wind blowing directly into my face, and whiteout conditions so bad that I could really only see a few feet in front of me. 😂

I did make it home safely though! Crusted in snow and a little wind burnt in my face but other than that no worse for wear!

Now I definitely don’t recommend running during a blizzard, or in any kind of potentially dangerous weather, but I still look back at this run fondly because it was such a stupid thing to do but also a lot of fun! Plus now I can say that I have run in a real blizzard! I feel like not a lot of people can say that. 😂

Let’s talk running shoes! 👟

Personally I believe that running shoes are a very personal and individual choice! Just because someone can run in a particular pair of running shoes doesn’t mean ANYONE can.

Take me for example, I can’t run in anything that has stability control, too much cushion, or anything with a big sole. (I know I’m going to end up getting shoe recommendations on this post so PLEASE don’t recommend me Hoka’s. The soles on those shoes are waaaaay too much for me). I like a lightweight shoe that doesn’t get in my way and that I can actually feel the ground in while wearing them. So for probably around 5ish years now I’ve done most of my running in Nike Free’s.

But I’ve been trying to move away from Nike gear. Between sweat shops, they way they treat females athletes (specifically pregnant ones), and doping scandals, among other things, they’re just a brand I don’t want to support anymore. So began my quest to find another shoe that I can run it! Alas after much trial and error, I quickly learned that there really is no shoe that is comparable to the Nike Free. Unfortunately.

But after some trial and error I’m learning to run safely in Brooks Ricochet 2. It’s definitely been an adjustment and I’m still doing a majority of my running in Free’s, but the most important thing is that my Ricochet’s haven’t given me plantar fasciitis. An issue I tend to get while running in a shoe that is just “too much shoe”.

I’m still having trouble with that 8mm drop and the fact that I still feel like I’m pretty far off of the ground. Not so much so that it’s causing me problems, but it’s definitely something I notice. Something that keeps me from doing speed work in them and it makes me very wary running in wet weather. That is kinda funny though! I can run in the slipperiest, nastiest weather in my Free’s and I feel sure footed and safe. But I tried running in my Ricochet’s in the rain and I found myself worried about slipping on wet pavement.

Anyway, what I’ve concluded so far is that I CAN run in Brook’s shoes as long as they have natural support. Carefully, but it is possible!!

I’m still not ready to give up my Nike Free’s yet though. And I probably never will until some other company makes a comparable shoe but I’m not holding my breath on that front.

What kind of shoes do you run in?

Virtual Whiskey Run 5k

For once I was actually happy to see a race get turned into a virtual run! Which is definitely impressive because I am over virtual racing. Even though I’ve only done 3 virtual races so far this year. 😂

So the Whiskey Run 5k is a local race that is usually held in March, right around Saint Patrick’s day. But this year the ‘rona obviously put a stop to that. So this race got pushed back. Then it got pushed back again, and again, and again. Until finally it was supposed to be held today, November 22nd.

So waaaay back at the beginning of the year my dad registered both of us to do this 5k. We had done it before in the March of 2018 and it was a lot of fun! Plus you get a fully catered breakfast and a shot of whiskey at the finish line! What’s not to like? 😉

But the problem with them moving it back to the middle of November is my dad’s work. He’s a truck driver and this is his busy season! Especially now that more and more people are doing their Christmas shopping online thanks to the pandemic, truck drivers are busier than ever this year! So we didn’t think we were going to be able to do this one, because obviously it’s hard for him to get time off this time of year and because he has to drive all the way from Colorado to Kansas.

And on my end, well, I’m very wary of going anywhere there is going to be a group of people. At this point I don’t even like going grocery shopping because the stores are so busy and NO ONE even attempts to social distance anymore. But I work at a nursing home and I don’t want to bring COVID-19 back into the facility. We already had it once for 6 weeks and it was awful…

Anyway, 3 days before race day it was announced that the Whiskey Run 5k was going virtual! Because the county I live in keeps hitting record highs of new cases in a day, which is obviously really bad and that means all gatherings of people, road races included, are getting canceled.

And like I said, for once that actually ended up being a good thing! On Friday I went to packet pickup, which they did via drive through which was both convenient and very neat! And my dad was able to get a couple of days off at the last minute so he left Colorado late Friday night and he got to my house in Kansas around 5:30 am on Saturday morning!

Our participation medals, cups, and a mini bottle of whiskey! Not pictured is the really nice race t-shirts that we got as well!

So Saturday morning my dad went to sleep in our extra bedroom/the room Luke has been using as an office since he’s been working at home for a while now, and I headed off to work! Which was another thing that ended up working out well because my dad was able to sleep while I was gone because I couldn’t get the day off since this ended up being a very spur of the moment thing.

After I got off of work my dad and I hung out for a while, just catching up and what not, and then we headed out to get our 5k done! By then it was cold and rainy. Very wet. Very windy. Not exactly ideal weather for a lot of people but I really love it! 😂

We didn’t go anywhere special or exciting. We just ran my usual 3 mile route around me neighborhood. But that was kinda cool though because my dad has never run in my neighborhood with me so I got to show him a lot of different, random things that I’ve told him about. So that was kind of cool!

But aside from that and the wind, rain, and cold it was a relatively uneventful run. But we got it done and earned our medals and our whiskey! 🥃😂

My dad, me, and his truck Matilda.

The me, Luke, and my dad just kinda hung out for the rest of the night. We basically celebrated Thanksgiving a little early but instead of having actual Thanksgiving food we ate barbecue from a local restaurant. It’s actually the restaurant that i live right behind and we always smell them smoking their meat. 😂 But that was nice.

My dad to leave this morning to drive back to Colorado, so we definitely wouldn’t have been able to do this 5k if they had actually had it in person. So everything really worked out for us in the end! And really it was just a good excuse for my dad to come and visit for a little bit. 😄

I know virtual race recaps aren’t all that exciting, but in all fairness, neither are virtual races. 😂 I’ll be one happy camper when I’m actually able to do an in person race, but right now I’m just not comfortable doing it. Maybe sometime next year though!

Anyway, holy cow it’s almost Thanksgiving!! What do your Thanksgiving plans look like this year??

As of right now we don’t have any, but we did at least get to celebrate with my dad a little bit early. 😄

Well I guess that’s it for now! Tomorrow I’ll be jumping on the “what am I grateful for this year” bandwagon so be on the lookout for that!

Happy Sunday! 💜

~Ashley

Why Running?

“Why running?”

It’s a question I get a lot whenever I tell people I’m a runner. Which honestly isn’t exactly often, partially because of this question.

It can be kind of hard to explain to someone who’s already made up their mind about running. “Running sucks.” “Running is painful.” “Running is boring.” “I could never run that far.” Statements like these often follow that particular question.

It’s hard to convince people that you quickly grow to embrace the discomfort. That sometimes you get excited when you start feeling that burning in your legs. Some days you gladly welcome the shortness of breath and the pounding of your heart. Sometimes you even chase the pain and discomfort that some people are so afraid of. Because pushing your body and testing your limits feels good!

How do you adequately describe to someone the absolute joy and freedom that running brings? That just like in life, it’s often the smallest things that make it so great; how quite and peaceful it is while running through the falling snow, splashing through puddles after a rainstorm, watching the sunrise at 5 o’clock in the morning, the rhythmic sound of your feet hitting the pavement.

It’s not easy to articulate that the big wins, PR’s, and successful runs, training cycles, and races are great, but that the big losses are good too. Not that they always feel that way in the moment, but when you look back on them days, weeks, months, or years later it seems like you always realize that you learned an important lesson from that big loss.

Over the years I’ve learned that running is good for your body, your mind, and your soul. I’m not sure any other form of movement or exercise program can be as fulfilling and painful and beautiful and heartbreaking and amazing and pure and I could literally go on and on, as running is. But I’ve found that it can be hard to explain that to the people who’ve already made up their minds on running. And that’s fine.

I think running is almost like a religion in that way; people don’t want it shoved down their throats, especially by the people who are highly devoted to it. So I’ve taken a similar stance on running as I do with religion and politics and other sometimes hard to talk about subjects, I just won’t talk about it unless you ask me. Because I’m not about to try to change someone’s mind on anything. I just don’t have that kind of energy in my life.

So when I do get asked “why running?” I usually just respond with a smile and a quick “because I think it’s fun.”. Because a lot of people just don’t get it or already have their minds made up about it and that’s alright! Because I’m just going to keep on running.

Snow In October

We don’t usually get snow this early here in Kansas, but today it’s been snowing pretty much all day! Honestly I’m surprised we even ended up getting as much snow as we did and on top of that it even stuck instead of just melting right away!

I wish I could have gone out and run in it, but I’ve taken a bit of a break from running. At some point last week I tweaked my knee pretty bad. But I kept running on it because I’m stubborn and REALLY good at ignoring pain. Yeah, that’s not a good way to go about dealing with an injury and I definitely don’t recommend it because my knee has just gotten progressively worse. So at this point I’ve stopped running and am trying to stay off of my feet as much as possible (but that’s really hard to do when your job requires you to be on your feet for extended periods of time).

So I’m starting to think that my virtual half on November 7th isn’t going to happen and honestly I’m not really all that upset about it. The more I think about it the more I realize that o really didn’t want to do another virtual half. Especially not alone. I did one earlier this year with my dad and that was a lot of fun, but tackling one alone without any of the usual race day fanfare just sounds like no fun right now.

So that’s pretty much where I am right now. Rehabbing am injury, continuing with my dad to day life, and today I’m soaking up and enjoying the October snow!

Happy Monday, everyone! 💜