Tag Archives: 13.1

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

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

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

Half Marathon Training Round 7

Wow! Racing sure looks different this year, am I right?!?

People are definitely taking advantage of virtual racing which is kinda cool, although I’ve never been a huge virtual race person. I would absolutely prefer to be standing in a starting corral surrounded by other runners, get cheered on by spectators, and get handed chocolate milk by wonderful race volunteers. But those are all things that are a little tricky in our new social distancing situation. So the obvious solution is virtual racing!

And I’m trying to embrace it. I’m currently registered for two virtual 5k’s, the virtual half marathon that I’m currently training for, and I’m thinking I need to find a fun Christmas themed 5k to register for as well, since the other two 5k’s are pumpkin and thanksgiving themed! 😂 And on top of that the half marathon my dad and I were registered for in May was turned into a virtual race. But that’s another story for another day. We are also registered for another local 5k that was supposed to be done in March but has been postponed twice and I’m kinda thinking that it’s going to end up being canceled.

That all being said a local running company has been putting on IRL races but I’m not sure I’ll be participating in one anytime soon. I work in a nursing home now and we had COVID-19 in our facility for 6 weeks. It was hell. And I don’t want to be the person who brings it back into the facility (and we are expecting a round two this cold and flu season).

So all of that is a very round about way of saying that I’m signed up for a virtual half marathon on November 7th! 😂

Nuun is doing an online group half marathon training thing for their ambassadors so I figured I might as well too! They capped the actual half marathon registration to 2,500 people but I was able to get in and do it officially. 😁

So this will be my second half marathon this year! Although I’ve attempted it a few times I’ve never actually run multiple half marathons in a year so I’m pretty stoked!

The training plan that Nuun has provided is a big change from what it used to though! The plan is only 8 weeks, which is really short for me! Not to mention that I was very out of shape when I started…..

But today is the first day of week four and right now I’m feeling really good! It took me about three weeks to actually feel good though. I’m pretty sure I spent the first three weeks of this plan constantly sore, tired, and out of shape feeling. I’ve definitely made progress though and I totally overcame all of the hardships that came with the first three weeks!

At this point I’m looking forward to see what the next four weeks bring and I’m excited to get this half done!! I definitely don’t think any PR’s are going to happen, not this time around considering the shape I’m in, but the goal is to finish it and to enjoy it! Two very doable goals!! 😄

Who else is training for a fall race? Are you doing virtual races or in person races?

Guess who’s back, back again?!

Hello hello hello, my beautiful friends!
If you were following my blog before I took one long ass hiatus, I’m back! If you’re just joining me then welcome to my weird little corner of the internet!

I mostly use this blog as a personal journal; documenting my running journey. But I also share tips and tricks, the things I’ve learned in my 7 years of running, recipes, pet photos, music stuff, and just a whole bunch of randomness that I’m into.

If you’re new here you might want to check out my “about” page to learn just a little bit about me and how I got into running. 👍🏻😄

If you’ve been following me here before I stopped blogging for a while or follow me on Instagram then you probably already know what you’re in for from me. 😉

I’m not sure if I’ll be blogging as frequently as I used to, I’m much more busy nowadays, but I have really wanted to start writing again. I also want a better place to share stuff because a lot of times an Instagram caption just isn’t enough! I’ve still got quite a bit of work I want to do on this blog. I’ve deleted almost all of my old posts. I kept my race recaps with the intention of updating them (and they badly need updated) but we’ll see. I might just delete those too and start fresh. I do have a lot of other ideas for this blog that I’m looking forward to exploring though!

Anyway, that’s all for now! I just wanted to say a quick “hello” and quickly explain what this blog is all about! I’m super excited about embarking on this blogging journey again and I can’t wait to share my running adventures with you (I’m currently training for half marathon number 7 so there will be plenty of stories to share)!

Until next time,

~Ashley

Longview Half Marathon Recap 11/11/17

It’s done! Finally! This terrible, horrible, crazy training cycle is finally over! My 3rd half marathon is done, I did it, and I never have to worry about half marathon number 3 ever again!!!! 😉

I know I’ve talked about how and why this training cycle just did not go well about 8 billion times, but I figure for the purpose of this race recap I should mention why, yet again. So just real quick, I hurt my knee in August, was unable to run for most of August and September because of that. I had a bunch of crazy life stuff going on; family stuff, a friend who died, and some other randomness. Then a week before race day I got sick with a terrible chest cold and I found out during the race that I definitely was not as over it as I thought it was.

Okey Dokey, now that that’s out of the way, I just want to take a second to say that I’m a little bit disappointed with how the Longview Half was organized this year. I know this race is still really new (this was literally the 4th year they’ve held it) and I’m sure there are plenty of kinks to work out, but I just feel like the previous two years that I ran this race it went a little bit better. Especially in regards to the aid stations.

So first off, I don’t think there are enough porta potties at the starting line. Especially now that there are more runners because of the 5k that’s attached to this event now. I’m pretty sure the half started a few minutes late because of the amount of runners still in line to use the porta potties. I do, however, really appreciate the person (I’m not sure if he was a race official or a volunteer, but I can only assume he was somehow involved with putting on the race) who was encouraging the 5k runners to let the half marathon runners go first. I do not appreciate the man who was wearing jeans and obviously not a runner, who was in front of me in line….Come on people, let the runners go first!!! We paid to be here, do this thing, and use all of the race amenities.

Second off, I feel like the aid station situation was a complete disaster! I’m not sure who the aid station volunteers were this year, but for the most part they seemed to mostly be a bunch of high school age kids and they were super duper unorganized. Like, last year and the year before the first couple of people handing out cups would have water and then the next couple of people would have water and it was nice and organized and easy to make it through the aid station with what you needed. This was not the case this year. This year it was all completely random. Some people had Gatorade, some had water, some had both, and a lot of them weren’t telling you what they had, so you’d have to ask. I guess that’s not really that big of a deal, but it was a little confusing. But what really sucked was that a lot of these kids were running around the tables, in the road, and just all over the place. That was super stressful and confusing. At one point I wasn’t even sure where I was supposed to go because people were running around everywhere and standing in front of the arrows pointing out the race course, and it sucked. Also, I don’t think the Gatorade was mixed properly. The previous two years I ran this race the Gatorade tasted fine, but this year it was super watered down and gross…That was crazy disappointing.

And yet again the person who was supposed to be calling out names at the finish line missed a bunch of people this year. I didn’t get to witness this and I actually got announced as I crossed the finish line this year (last year I didn’t), but my husband Luke did, and he told me it was really starting to piss him off. He told me that just doesn’t seem fair because this is a bunch of people’s big day and that everyone deserves to feel like a bad ass athlete at the finish line of their race, and I totally agree! I don’t think it’s fair that some people miss out on that. And I can personally say that it is a little bit disappointing when you don’t get to hear your name being announced as you cross the finish line, because like I said, I didn’t get that last year.

Alrighty then! Now that that’s out of the way, lets talk about my race day!!

It started at 5:45 am, which I now know was waaay too late haha. The race started at 8 am and is 40 minutes away from my house, so I thought that would give me enough time to eat, get dressed, and then get to the starting line with plenty of time to spare, but that was not the case. I ate what I could (I was getting pretty nervous at this point so that wasn’t much haha), drank some coffee, let my dogs out, got dressed, let two of the dogs back in because they are the two that can’t/don’t want to be left in the yard for extended periods of time, woke up Luke (who was my chauffeur/coach/motivational speaker/photographer/cheerleader/anything else I needed him to be. Basically what I’m saying is he had to do all of the hard work and all I had to do was run 😉 ), and got all loaded up into the car by about 6:20 am, which was about 20 minutes later than we should have left. Oops.

That really only ended up being a problem because of race day traffic, which was obviously expected, and I just want to say that I think the police officers who were out there directing traffic in the cold did an awesome job. They were all super nice and took very good care of us runners, so I thanked as many of them as I could while I was out on the course. Seriously, I’m so great full for what they were out there doing. 🙂

So anyway, the parking situation seemed to go pretty smoothly, and we got parked and to the start area with about 10 minutes before the starting time. That kinda sucked because like I said before, the lines for the porta potties were pretty long and I had to pee, but on the bright side, at least I didn’t have to stand in the cold for a long amount of time. Haha not gonna lie though, while standing in line for the porta potties Luke was starting to stress me out by constantly asking me what time it was and saying that some of the runners weren’t going to start on time. A bunch of us missed the national anthem (I was literally peeing while it happened) but the race started a few minutes late, so I think most of us got lined up just in time. 🙂

img_7569-2

Me being slightly stressed out by the 5k runners who were mingling in with the half marathoners at the starting line, but at least I made it there! 🙂

Luckily all of the confusion with the 5k runners just generally being in the way at the starting line didn’t last too long. I had just enough time to shove my phone into the pocket in my tights before we were counted down and sent onto our 13.1 mile journey back to where we started.

I started out near the 3 hour pacer, but within the first half mile-ish I ended up near the 2:50 pacer. I knew that probably wasn’t a good idea, but the second I started running I felt amazing! The weather was nice; cloudy and chilly. My legs were fresh and felt great. I was ready to go! At this point I still had no plans other than finishing, but I thought it was going to be a great run!! Unfortunately I was very wrong…

The first mile flew by, as I think most first miles do during a race. By mile two I was nice and warmed up, so I ditched my hoodie at the first aid station and only got away with a single cup of water instead of a cup of Gatorade like I had wanted, because of some of the aid station confusion that I had mentioned before. But that early into the race I wasn’t all that worried about it.

So mile two is where the biggest hill on the course is, and the Longview Half has a timing mat at the bottom and top of this hill, and gives out a “King Of The Mountain” award to the fastest man and woman to make it up the hill, which I think is super duper neat! Even thought that’s something I’ll never win hahaha. Especially since I walked up most  of the hill, but that was part of my plan and I was gonna stick to it because I wanted the good feelings I was experiencing to last. Near the top of the hill I started running again and I felt strong as hell! Apparently I looked strong too, because the announcer at the top of the hill said I was making it look easy. I liked him. 🙂 There was also another race photographer at the top of the hill and I think those would have been some of my best race photos. They actually posted the race photos last night, but the King of the Mountain photos stopped at the 2:40 pace group and at that point I think I was still running near the 2:50, which sucks…I asked about that on their Facebook page and haven’t heard anything back yet, but it is still pretty early and I’m still super impressed that they got most of the photos up so quickly!

Anyway, around the 5k mark I backed off a little because I knew I was probably running too fast considering the lack of training I went into this thing with. So once I got to around mile 4 I was running near the 2:55 pacer and still feeling good! At the mile 4 aid station I discovered the gross, poorly mixed Gatorade, but I was glad that I had gotten some, along with a cup of water. This was also the aid station that I got a bit confused at because of all of the craziness that was going on with the volunteers, but it didn’t take me long to continue on my way in the correct direction. This was also the point in the race that I wanted to eat the first half of one of my Honey Stinger waffles, but the gross Gatorade upset my stomach and was only able to take a few bites of one. But it was still pretty early into the race and I was still feeling great, so I wasn’t all that worried about it. Especially since I was hoping that the Gatorade at that aid station was just a fluke and that it would be better at the other aid stations, but it did not…

Miles 5 and 6 were pretty uneventful. I was still feeling good, running in between the two 2:55 pacers (I think one was planning on finishing a little bit before 2:55 and the other planned on finishing a little after). At mile 6 I was yet again disappointed by the nasty Gatorade situation, but there was no point of worrying about it then, so I didn’t. But I did get two cups of it at that aid station, because it was so diluted and I wanted to make sure I was getting an adequate amount of electrolytes.

Anyway, around mile 7 I was feeling strong as hell. I was tackling the hills and felt great doing it, still running with the 2:55 pacer and talking to her a little bit. I’m pretty sure she started calling me “Nike” at this point because of my shirt haha. She was pretty awesome!

Around this time I had started getting anxious to see Luke, because near the end of mile 7 was where he had planned on being. I finally found him and he walked with me for a few seconds. He had a water bottle with him so I took a drink and I handed off my gloves because my hands felt warm enough and my sunglasses because they were fogging up and pissing me off. He told me I looked good, wished me luck, and then we parted ways.

Then mile 8 happened. Fuck you mile 8! I made it through the aid station alright. Got more water and gross Gatorade. Tried to eat a few more bites of one of my Honey Stinger waffles, but I was nowhere near following my fueling plan at this point. Anyway, about half way through mile 8 the wheels completely came off the bus. I was starting to get really dizzy, which was super frustrating because aside from the dizziness I still felt great!

Around mile 9 I started coughing and hacking pretty badly. That’s when I realized I wasn’t as over my cold as I had thought and that I obviously still had phlegm in my lungs, which I think what might have been causing me to be dizzy. That along with my not so great fueling. I was getting even more dizzy at this point, so I ended up walking all of mile 9 and losing the 2:55 pace group.

Around mile 10 I was still dizzy, still walking, and had been passed by the 3 hour pace group, but I was just right behind them. But I felt fucking awful. This was for real the worst I’ve ever felt and I had no idea how I was going to make it another 3 miles…Especially since mile 11 takes you over the lake which tends to be the hardest part of the race for me, since you have to deal with some strong bursts of wind coming off of the lake. But once I saw the mile 11 sign I started running again. I was still feeling pretty awful, but I wasn’t as dizzy. Plus I having 2 miles to go seemed a little less daunting than 3. There is another race photographer on the bridge during mile 11 and that’s where I’ve been doing my smiley, thumbs up photo, but this year I didn’t have it in me. This photographer was doing a really good job of getting a photo of every person by themselves and she perfectly captured how I felt in that moment. Fucking terrible.

Haha in the moment I knew I was going to look terrible in these and I regretted that a little bit, but now I’m actually really glad I have them. They definitely show just how much I was struggling, but I persevered and made it to the finish line!

Anyway, once I made it to the 12 mile mark I knew I was going to finish, but I had lost sight of the 3 hour pacer and I honestly thought I was going to be coming in at 3:10, 3:15 ish. Part of me was really upset about that, but I was also just really glad to be that close to the finish and I started chanting “One more mile. One more mile. Just one more mile.” to myself. And honestly that last mile wasn’t too bad. I was feeling less awful by then and knowing that I was so close to the finish line was definitely helping.

And then the finish line was in sight! I swear I’ve never been so happy to see a finish line in my life! Haha and I feel like that’s kinda saying something, considering I’ve only done 5 races (including this one) at this point. Once I got close enough to read the clock I glanced up and was genuinely surprised to see something close to 3:03. I was still under the impression that I was going to be crossing the finish line of my 3rd half marathon slower than I had finished my first. So that was a pleasant surprise. It was also nice to get to hear my name called as I crossed the finish line, because like I said before, I didn’t get that last year.

So my official time was 3:02:34, which was better than my first half (which I did in 3:09:32), and slower than my second half last year (which I did in 2:52:42). So I’m actually pretty happy with that time. Considering my not so great training, how badly the second half of this race went for me, and the fact that my only goal was to finish. 🙂

img_7590

After I crossed the finish line I got my medal, had my timing chip clipped off, was handed a bottle of water, and found my husband. I also looked for someone handing out mylar blankets because it was still pretty chilly, but it didn’t appear that they had any. I asked Luke if they had run out, but he said he never saw anyone with one and he didn’t think they handed them out at all, which was just yet anther disappointing thing at this years race, but oh well.

So at that point I was ready to go, but Luke told me I needed a photo by the finish line so he told me to stand in front of the Longview sign, told me to look a little less miserable, and took the photo.

img_7573

This was my best attempt at not looking miserable haha. But I was pretty darn stoked to be done and wearing my medal. 🙂

After Luke took my photo I went to see if there was any food left. Most of the booths that had been set up at the start were either gone or in the process of being taken down which kinda sucked, but I can’t really complain considering they technically want you to finish in 3 hours. Anyway, all that was left was a few yogurt, some chocolate milk, and granola bars. But the first year I did this half there was still a bunch of chicken noodle soup left, and I believe there was still some chili left last year (haha but I definitely didn’t want any chili after running 13.1 miles), so that was just kinda the cherry on top of all of the disappointment of how this thing was organized this year.

That all really sucks because I really do love this course and this race, and I think it could get more popular over the years, but only if it’s organized better. There needs to be more porta potties and maybe the porta potties need to be sectioned off so that only the runners can use them. And they need better aid station volunteers. And I mean, I really do appreciate them all being out there for us, but the aid stations were super chaotic this year,  whereas the previous two years I’ve run this race they were much more organized.

But on the bright side, the finisher’s medal is pretty spiffy and the participation hoodie is pretty sweet, so at least there’s that. 🙂

img_7572

Haha I got a little off track there. But anyways, I grabbed a chocolate milk and while we were walking to the car Luke told me all of the things he was disappointed with about how this years race was organised and promised me any kind of food that I wanted haha. So at first I wanted a bagel from Panera, but then I though Starbucks coffee sounded really good. So while we were on our way to Starbucks I changed my mind and told Luke we should get Chinese food, so we ended up going to a Bo Lings instead. Hahaha so I guess I just want to take this time to thank Luke for being so patient with my slightly out of it, post half marathon self, and for taking me to Bo Lings. 🙂 🙂 🙂

img_7577-2

Post race feast!!

So yeah, this post is pretty long so thanks to anyone who read it all the way to the end! But I think that pretty much covers it! 🙂 I’m very happy for this training cycle to be over and to have a 3rd half marathon under my belt. Now it’s time to rest, recover, and then move on to other things!

~Ashley

img_7581-2