Category Archives: Running

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! 💜


A Long Run

A really fucking hard long run…

We have been under a wind advisory all day here in Kansas so obviously the wind was no joke! It seriously felt like I was running straight into a headwind during a majority of my 8 miles today. Extra resistance training anyone? 😂

Seriously though the wind was a major factor today, but I just didn’t feel great in general. My body is just so tired. I know I’m not recovering very well but it’s really hard to rest and recover when your job is relatively physical. And just stressful in general. Helping you care for people, even in the very small ways that I do, can be so so so draining. But it is also kinda rewarding and I’ve definitely developed relationships with people that I really do cherish. So there’s that side of it as well.

Anyway though, I walked A LOT during this run. And at only 3 miles in I stopped back at my house, sat on my porch, and threw myself a pity party because I felt like shit and I didn’t think I was got to make it any further. Obviously I did, but just barely. There were a few minutes there that I really was going to quit.

I made it 8 miles! More than I thought I would but less than my training plan called for. Although I do kinda feel like the extra resistance from the wind basically counts as 2 extra miles anyway. 😂 And boy do I have the windburn on my face to prove it!!

I am happy that I was actually able to do a longer run this week though, especially after last week, but honestly I’m still not sure about how I’m going to do this virtual half in November. But no matter how that ends up going I’m swearing off longer distances for a currently undetermined amount of time.

I honestly just can’t keep doing this. I really wish I was one of those people that running just naturally comes easy to but I’m not. Although I’m not ready to swearing off of it completely. Just the longer stuff. And maybe one day I’ll be in a place that I can come back to it. Hopefully anyway. I wanted to be that 80 year old lady still doing half marathons but at this point I’m not even 30 and I’m hardcore struggling to get through any run that’s longer that 3 or 4 miles.

Sorry this post turned into a pity part but this is where I am right now. Anyway, I hope you have a good Saturday! I’m getting wine drunk tonight so I know I’m in for a good night!

Until next time,

~Ashley

How I’m Juggling Work, Half Marathon Training, and Everything Else In Life

The short answer; not well. 😂

Up until last week I was doing really well with my training but I’m hoping to jump back into the wagon this week! But anyway, this is basically a look into what my life looks like right now.

My house is always a mess, I definitely have to sacrifice time with my husband and pets, and I don’t always get enough sleep. But we’re all fed and taken care of. The bills are getting paid, my race is getting trained for, and my household is still functioning. So things definitely aren’t falling apart by any means!

So here’s a typical day in my life on a work day. Obviously there are going to be some variables depending on certain situations, but this is the gist;

Wake up at 5:30 am. Make coffee, eat breakfast, get all of my stuff ready for work. Check my email and social media while I do all of that.

Be at work by 6 am. Get shit done. Keep up with social media on my breaks (because I’m still. “Content creator”, “blogger”, influencer”, whatever you want to call it. Leave at 2 pm. Although a lot of times I finish early and leave around 1-1:30. 😂

Come home. Eat a snack. Feed/care for all of the animals. Usually I’ll start laundry and unload, load, and start the dishwasher. During the summer I would nap for an hour or two at this point of the day. Because it would be too hot to run until later in the evening. But now that fall is here I’ve been able to skip the nap and just head out for my runs!

Get changed, attempt to warm up. Get whatever run I have planned for that day done. Get back home from running. Chug water. Clean something/do some small chore that doesn’t take too long. Shower. Write instagram and blog posts while sitting in a wet towel/drying off/getting dressed.

Make dinner for my husband and myself, make breakfast and lunch for myself for the next day, lay out my work clothes and other things, get the coffee make ready so all I have to do is push a button in the morning. 😉😂

Watch a little tv while keeping up with instagram, the blog, and emails. Doing all of that content creator shit. Sometimes I eat a snack or drink some tea, then I brush my teeth and start getting ready for bed around 8 pm. Right before I actually go to sleep though I like to do a little bit of restorative yoga while in my bed. It’s a nice way to end the day. Set my alarm for 5:30 the next morning and actually get to sleep around 9-9:30 pm.

Rinse and repeat.

Sometimes it all gets a bit overwhelming. And quite often I end up doing literally nothing on my days off because I’m too tired/burnt out to function. But I’m making it work. Kind of. 😂

I had a really tough moment yesterday. I was literally at the point where I was questioning why I even keep trying. Why I bothered signing up for and attempting to train for another half marathon. Why I don’t just pick an easier, less physically taxing hobby.

Actually if I’m being honest all week felt that way to a degree. But I thought I just needed to back off a little bit. But it all cumulated together with the physical and emotional demands of work, trying to keep up with my responsibilities in regards to our house, pets, and everything else.

I got my flu shot on Friday which did make me feel a little bit more tired, achy, and my arm was pretty sore for a few days. Then yesterday my husband sprayed bug spray in our house (in asthmatic and don’t do well with ANY kind of aerosols) so that was just the icing on the cake. On top of everything else my lungs were very unhappy.

So I didn’t think I was going to accomplish the 10 mile long run I had planned for Saturday, but I was hoping I’d at least make it 7 or 8. But nope. I barely made it 1 mile. Which lead me to my whole existential crisis.

I decided to not even attempt to run today and just took the rest day that my training plan called for. Not like it’s actually a rest day though because I did have to work. So that brings my mileage for the week to a whopping 4.5 miles…That’s kinda disheartening because last week I hit 17.5 miles for the week and up until this week I actually felt like my half training was going really well.

At this point I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do. I think I’m going to continue to attempt to stick to my training plan, I’m a little over half way through with it anyway, and then I’ll still attempt this virtual half. But after all of that is said and done I think I’m going to have to be done with longer races for a while. Which is incredibly frustrating because really half marathons aren’t even that long (obviously that’s all relative but to this seasoned half marathoner it really isn’t that long), but I think I’m just at a point in my life where my body can’t physically handle the demands of work, keeping up with every day life, and half marathon training. I really just feel broken down and exhausted all of the time…

So, maybe it’s just best to stick with 5k’s and 10k’s after this half marathon. I’m already signed up for a couple of virtual 5k’s anyway! 😊 I do miss IRL racing though, but I do talk a little bit about why I’m not doing any in person races anytime soon in this post.

Anyway, I don’t know what else to say except that life is hard and this year has sucked horribly. And it seems like everyone has had a really rough go at things this year. But we’ll keep moving forward. It’s really all we can do.

Happy Sunday everyone! Here’s to a new week and a new start!

~Ashley