Tag Archives: 5k training

Gourdyโ€™s Pumpkin Run Virtual 5k

Happy Halloween!! ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ–ค

How does one recap a virtual 5k? Because honestly Iโ€™m not sure. ๐Ÿ˜‚ With no pre/post race festivities to talk about (because obviously there were none) this โ€œraceโ€ really just felt like any other training run.

I am really glad that I signed up for it though! After not running for two weeks because of a knee injury this was really good motivation to get out the door and run 3.1 miles.

I decided to switch things up a little bit and go to a paved trail not far from where I live. I figured that would be more fun than running around my neighborhood for the 8 millionth time and it definitely was! Plus it was a beautiful day and there was some really nice fall foliage to be seen!

So this trail is like 20 miles long I think, so no loop for me today. I did an out and back which was actually really nice! Coming back from an injury feels a lot more manageable when you get to turn around and start heading back to your car at 1.5 miles into your first run back. ๐Ÿ˜‚

My knee felt alright during this run although I did do quite a bit of walking. But I am thinking Iโ€™ll be able to start doing a few short and easy runs every week now so Iโ€™m pretty stoked about that!

Once I finished my 5k I immediately took my medal out of its packaging (I never opened it because I didnโ€™t want to see it until I had finished the virtual run) and put it one. Honestly it felt kinda weird. Like I said, this felt just like a normal training run, although I did feel rather accomplished for getting it done.

Iโ€™m not gonna lie, I really miss IRL racing. My local running companies have been doing some IRL races over the summer and now into the fall but right now I really donโ€™t want to risk going to one. I donโ€™t want to be the reason we end up with COVID back in the nursing home I work at. Although we are kinda preparing for round two of it…but still. I just donโ€™t feel comfortable doing things like that right now.

And speaking of COVID, is anyone doing anything fun for Halloween? Or are you just hanging out at home? Hahaha my virtual 5k was my Halloween fun for the day. ๐Ÿ˜‚ We bought candy just in case we do get trick-or-treaters but honestly I donโ€™t know if we will. I guess we shall see.

I miss precedented times…

Hahaha anyway, I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!!

~Ashley ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ–ค

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 Iโ€™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 Iโ€™m trying to embrace it. Iโ€™m currently registered for two virtual 5kโ€™s, the virtual half marathon that Iโ€™m currently training for, and Iโ€™m thinking I need to find a fun Christmas themed 5k to register for as well, since the other two 5kโ€™s are pumpkin and thanksgiving themed! ๐Ÿ˜‚ And on top of that the half marathon my dad and I were registered for in May was turned into a virtual race. But thatโ€™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 Iโ€™m kinda thinking that itโ€™s going to end up being canceled.

That all being said a local running company has been putting on IRL races but Iโ€™m not sure Iโ€™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 donโ€™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 Iโ€™m signed up for a virtual half marathon on November 7th! ๐Ÿ˜‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜

So this will be my second half marathon this year! Although Iโ€™ve attempted it a few times Iโ€™ve never actually run multiple half marathons in a year so Iโ€™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 Iโ€™m feeling really good! It took me about three weeks to actually feel good though. Iโ€™m pretty sure I spent the first three weeks of this plan constantly sore, tired, and out of shape feeling. Iโ€™ve definitely made progress though and I totally overcame all of the hardships that came with the first three weeks!

At this point Iโ€™m looking forward to see what the next four weeks bring and Iโ€™m excited to get this half done!! I definitely donโ€™t think any PRโ€™s are going to happen, not this time around considering the shape Iโ€™m in, but the goal is to finish it and to enjoy it! Two very doable goals!! ๐Ÿ˜„

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

Running With The Cows 5k, 2019 Race Recap

Woohoo! The Sloth Running Team was back at it again!!

Hahaha except my dad forgot his shirt, so we didnโ€™t wear them for this race. ๐Ÿ˜‰

On Friday my dad drove here to Kansas from Colorado so that we could tackle the Running With The Cows 5k on Saturday! Yay!

Also Luke took me golfing for the first time ever (for me anyway๐Ÿ˜‰). Obviously the thing you wanna do the day before your race is pick up a brand new sport and then spend something like 3 hours doing it. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Surprisingly I wasn’t as terrible at golf as I thought I would be! Plus I didn’t end up hurting myself (world’s biggest klutz right here) so that was good! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Honestly though I wasn’t too worried about it. I’m still suffering from/getting over a cold, so all of the plans I had for this race kinda went out the window. That was kind of a bummer, but there are always other races. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ Plus Running With The Cows is a super duper fun race no matter what! ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ˜Š

We didnโ€™t keep score, but my first round of golf wasnโ€™t too terrible! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Other than my dad getting here and a rousing round of golf, Friday was relatively uneventful. Saturday was obviously when all of the real fun happened! ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ„

My dad and I were up at 6:00 Saturday morning! We didn’t have to get up super duper early because Running With The Cows is only 20 minutes from my house, which is super nice! We are our breakfasts, got dressed, then we headed out to the starting line!

The half marathon was originally supposed to start at 7:30 am and the 5k was supposed to start at 8, but it was raining a little bit and people were still pulling into the parking area (that was kinda slow going because of the rain as well. The parking area was really just a field and it was pretty muddy). That wasn’t a big deal though. That just gave us a little extra time to find packet pick up and to use the port-o-potties. Both of which we accomplished with relative ease! We got our packets and walked back to my dads van to put on our bibs and timing chips, then it was off to the port-o-potties! At that point the half marathoners were lined up and getting ready to take off, so there was no line! Sweet!!

The most crooked race bib youโ€™ll ever see! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I did in fact race with it like this. ๐Ÿ˜‚

After we had taken care of we got in line to have our picture taken with a baby cow! This race always has farm animals at the starting line. This year they had two sheep, a miniature pony, and the baby cow of course. This was the first time that they actually had a little photo op with it though (at least out of the 3 times that I’ve done it now ๐Ÿ˜‰) so I thought that was super neat!

He was such a cute little guy!!

After that my dad has to make another pit stop at the port-o-potties and then it was time to line up in the starting corral! It was pretty crowded! This race is pretty darn popular so that’s unsurprising, nor is it a bad thing. Although we were lined up a little too far back. We ended up getting stuck behind some slower people, which would have been more annoying if we were actually trying for a specific time. We weren’t though. The only goal for this race was to have a bunch of fun since I was still getting over being sick.

Anyway, after a quick countdown we were off! To a pretty slow start. ๐Ÿ˜‚

You can kinda see both me and my dad directly under the Running With The Cows banner. Both with huge smiles on our faces, of course! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Like I said, we did get stuck behind some slower people. Plus there are just so many people that it’s kinda hard to get into a good groove until everyone spreads out a bit. Which eventually they did of course, but it took until about half was through the race for that to really happen. Not a big deal though. ๐Ÿ˜Š

This race is put on by a Catholic Church/school so close to a mile in I think (they don’t put up mile markers for the 5k course. Probably because it’s an out and back so it is pretty straightforward. You go out about 1.5 miles then you come back about 1.5 miles. ๐Ÿ˜‰) the school band is out on the course playing for everyone. I think that’s super cool! Hahaha I cheered extra loud for them because I didn’t think enough people were. ๐Ÿ˜‚ This is also the only intersection you come across on this course (it’s super rural ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ˜) so I also made sure to thank the police officers who were out there blocking traffic and keeping everyone safe.

So at this point we’re trucking along and still weaving around slower runners. Honestly doing things like that really motivates me to go faster! I’m not typically a competitive person, but there is just something super fun about reeling groups of people in and then weaving past them. Hahaha we also went off roading a few times to get around people. We’d jump off of the road into the dirt and then hop back on after we passed someone. That was a lot of fun! I was actually pretty impressed with how well I was running and how good I felt considering I was sick all week leading up to this race and I still wasn’t feeling 100% on Saturday.

At around 1.5 miles we came upon the only aid station and the turnaround point! My dad and I both grabbed a cup of Gatorade, cheered when the race volunteers said we were half way there, and pretty much just got out of there as quickly as we could. Since so many people do this race the aid station was a bit hectic, but the volunteers were totally on top of it! Huge kudos to them! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜Š They were also handing out orange slices, which I thought was kinda funny since this was only a 5k, but hey, whatever floats your boat! ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Š

Anyway, after the turnaround point things get lots and lots of fun because you get to run down the hill you had to run up to get there! The hill doesn’t make it all the way to the finish, but it is all a net downhill back the way you came. I wouldn’t say we were flying at that point, I was feeling good, but still not good enough to be at that point, but we were definitely going strong! Honestly the whole way felt like it took no time at all! Probably thanks to the downhill. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So right before you turn back into the church parking lot that the race starts in there is a grain silo with another Running With The Cows banner hung up on it. And since I’ve done this race twice before I knew they have a photographer at that point. So we were able to kinda pose for our photo. Hahaha I had to crop some people out, but I think it’s a good one!

Iโ€™m pretty sure we both were smiling like that throughout the whole race. ๐Ÿ˜

After that we made our final turn an crossed the finish line in 39:21! Except at that point I didn’t really have a good guess as to what our official time was because they had the clock running for the half, not the 5k. Once I did find out our official tune though I was pretty stoked! We did much better than I had though we would! Especially considering the fact that I was still getting over a horrible cold. ๐Ÿคง๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Š

I swear we were the happiest people there that day! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚

After crossing the finish line we went through all of the usual post race stuff. We got our medals which was actually a first for this particular 5k. Before they only gave the half marathon finishers medals, but they were celebrating they’re 10th anniversary of this race so I guess they wanted it all to be special. ๐Ÿ˜Š This was also the first time I actually had a medal hung around my neck. Every other time I’ve received a medal the race volunteer has just handed it to me, but this lady hung it around my neck and I just thought that was so cool! I know it’s such a small gesture, but honestly it really made me feel like I had accomplished something. I don’t know if that’s weird or not, but hey, it’s true. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

After having our timing chips cut off of our shoes we got in line for a second picture with the baby cow. But I mean, how could you pass it up! He was just too cute!! Plus this photo turned out better which is cool. ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’œ

After getting more baby cow hugs we headed inside the school for the post race buffet! They always have an awesome spread for the race finishers which is super awesome! And for that reason alone this could easily have been one of my favorite races ever! Hahaha but really I just adore the cow theme and the whole atmosphere. ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ˜

After enjoying our post race meal we headed on out and just kinda messed around for a while. We stopped back at my house, went to Scheels just for fun, and then we got burgers at 5 Guys. Going to 5 Guys is officially our new post race tradition, as we also went there after we did the Gobbler Grind Half last year! Hahaha I gotta say though, there burgers taste better after running a half. ๐Ÿ˜‰ They’re still pretty good though. ๐Ÿ˜‹

After our post race burger my dad took a nap and then had to leave to start driving back to Colorado around 6:30 pm that night. He had to work on Monday, so he couldn’t stay any longer. It’s all good though! If everything works out well Luke and I just might head out to Colorado for a few days this summer! And then of course my dad is going to be coming back here in November for Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days: Take Two, which he’ll be doing with me. ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜

Oh man, for real though. We both had an absolutely amazing time at this race! If you ever find yourself in the Kansas City area on the second Saturday in May you NEED to do this race! 5k or half, doesn’t matter. It’s a FANTASTIC event! ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ‚

Alrighty my friends! That is all! I hope you have a fantastic week!!

~Ashley

Ward Parkway 5k Turkey Trot Race Recap

Oh man, I wanted to have this race recap up on Friday but Luke and I were quite busy! Lol a good majority of our day was spent installing a new dishwasher. That was a lot more difficult than it should have been thanks to the guy who lived in this house before us and his supposed handyman skills. ๐Ÿ™„ Hahaha buy we did eventually get it up and running and I couldn’t be happier! Our old dishwasher broke about two weeks ago and I’ve been having to do our dishes by had, which is my least favorite thing in the world to do. ๐Ÿ˜‚

After our dishwasher was installed we went out and did a little bit of Black Friday shopping. Usually we don’t like to go out on Black Friday but Like thought we both deserved presents after the dishwasher debacle. So I got a new Green Day T-shirt (because obviously I need more of those. ๐Ÿ˜‚ But hey, it was only $10 because Black Friday), a new necklace, and a new sorts bra that o desperately needed. Luke got Red Dead Redemption 2 and a new hard drive for his PS4. All on sale of course. ๐Ÿ˜‰ All though I’m not sure braving all of the crowds and craziness was worth it!

After all of that fun I needed a day to recover. So most of my Saturday was spent doing just that. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Anyway, enough about Black Friday. Let’s talk about my very first turkey trot!! ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿฆƒ

This particular race started at 9 am so I didn’t have to wake up crazy early for it, which was really nice. But Luke and I still got up around 7 am and left our house about a half hour later. I still needed to be there early because I still needed to pick up my race packet. Honestly I hate picking up my packet on race day. I’ve only ever had to to that once before and I hated it haha. But I wasn’t able to go to packet pick up up the day the day before. Anyway, on our way to the race Luke had to stop for gas and to get some snacks haha.

Once we got to the race site things got a little bit more stressful. The mall where the starting line was was jam packed with cars. A lot of them were from other runners, but there were also stores around the mall that were still open even though it was Thanksgiving, so finding a parking spot was a whole ordeal even though we got there about an hour early.

Eventually we did find a spot and we followed the rest of the crowd of runners and spectators into the mall. The mall was actually closed on Thanksgiving, but they had some security guards letting people walk through it to get to the other side of the mall parking lot, which was where the race started. Haha it was kinda confusing really. While we were doing that I was trying to figure out where exactly packet pick up was. The directions to where exactly they was were kinda vague in the participants guide and from the sounds of the conversations going on around us, I wasn’t the only one trying to figure out where we were supposed to go. Hahaha looking back now it’s kinda funny, but at the time I was kinda freaking out.

Anyway, we did eventually find it. It was inside the mall, kinda. But in some weird hallway area that looks like could only be accessed through one particular door from outside the mall. It was weird. But at least we’d made it with some time to spare. At this point it was about 30 minutes to the start time. The line for packet pick up was long, but luckily it moved pretty quickly. I’d didn’t take too long for me to get my bib, participant shirt, turkey hat, and a sweet temporary turkey tattoo. ๐Ÿฆƒ

So I pinned on my bib number and then started to fiddle with my turkey hat while we walked towards the port-o-potties. I’ve never experienced this at a race before but there was NO line for the port-o-potties! It was amazing haha! So I was able to get in and out of one quickly and the continued to mess with my turkey hat.

The problem was it was freaking huge! There was no way it was going to stay on my head without my beanie so I had to leave that on even though I’d actually planned on not wearing it during the race. Eventually I ended up pinning it to my beanie with an extra safety pin that I’d grabbed at packet pick up. I didn’t mean to take 5 safety pins, but it ended up working out for me. ๐Ÿ˜‚

After that was all taken care of and figured out Luke and I wandered around the starting area a little bit. They had some nifty photo op areas, so of course I had Luke take a couple of pictures for me. ๐Ÿ˜ I also took a couple of pictures for a group of ladies who needed some help. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Once we had about 10 minutes to go I made my way into the starting corral and lined up near the back-ish/middle area where I belong. As race time got closer more and more people started squeezing in and I finally realized just how many people were at this race! So far I think it might have been the biggest race I’ve ever done which was pretty cool!! The only problem was a lot of people didn’t line up correctly. People with strollers were supposed to line up BEHIND everyone else for safety reasons, but I saw a couple in front of where I was and even more that weren’t at the very back. And a lot of walkers lined up in front of the runners so that was kind of a problem for the first mile or so of the race. But I’ll get to that in a second.

In the starting corral waiting to get going!

The national anthem was sung, we were counted down, and then….nothing haha. The leaders and front of the pack took off, but it was really slow going for everyone else. I’m not entitled sure how long it took before I finally made it over the starting line, but it was definitely well over a minute. Honestly it could have been closer to two maybe even three. Hahaha Thank goodness for timing chips!! Honestly though I thought it was kinda fun though. This was my first ever super packed starting experience and I thought it was kinda neat watching everyone take off in all of their turkey gear. ๐Ÿ˜

So like I said, a lot of people didn’t line up correctly so a lot of runners, myself included, spend a lot of time trying to make their way around the walkers. That was kind of annoying. But it was also kinda fun. I ended up going out too fast because it was just so darn easy to pick people off. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I ended up doing that for about the first mile, but I eventually had to stop and slow down. My legs were feeling really good! Well, the still felt heavy from not running much after my races earlier this month, but they felt really good to be moving again! My lungs on the other hand weren’t exactly ready for that. Especially since we started up a gradual uphill that basically kept going and then got bigger through the rest of the course. I wasn’t quite ready for that either. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Anyway, mike Two was relatively uneventful. I’m not exactly used to being surrounded by other people like I was in this race, but I was really enjoying checking out everyone’s turkey and Thanksgiving themed gear! At the mile two marker they had a little aid station with cups of water, getting one was a little bit hectic because of all of the people, but it wasn’t too bad. Then I hi fived a person dressed as a turkey on my way out of the aid station. Haha that was fun.

Around mile 3 there was a girl in a driveway with a laptop and speaker, playing Christmas music, and cheering everyone on. That was neat! Actually there were quite a few people sitting in their driveways watching everyone run by. Also a first for me. ๐Ÿ˜Š The last half mile or so was definitely the biggest uphill portion of the course. That was kinda tough. My lungs weren’t ready for that just yet. ๐Ÿ˜‚ And my legs decided they weren’t having as much fun anymore. But I still finished pretty strong, all things considered. Hahah I was a little worried at first, because the time clock was reading something close to 43 or 44 minutes. But once I crossed to finish line and checked my watch it read that I actually finished in 41:21. Then I remembered how long it took me to cross the starting line. ๐Ÿ˜‚

After I finished I went to go get my pumpkin pie and I texted Luke to let him know I had finished and where I was. The pie line actually moved really quickly despite how many people were there! Those race volunteers were awesome!! So I got my pumpkin pie and Luke found me near the line for that. Then I went to the food “lines” to get my snacks. “Lines” being in quotes because there were no actual dedicated lines that I could see. People were just kinda shoving their way to the tables. After a few minutes of waiting and trying up figure out the whole line thing I said fuck it and did the same thing. I felt incredibly rude doing it, but that seemed like the only way to actually get a half a banana, a cup full of cookies, and coffee. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Haha I was lucky and managed to get some shortbread Christmas cookies before they ran out. It was that or vanilla wafers or ginger snaps. I love me some shortbread cookies though. So I was super excited to get some! ๐Ÿ˜

After I had my pie and snacks I was done being around that many people. So was Luke hahaha. So we made our way out of the staring area and then had to walk all the way around the mall because they weren’t letting people cut through the mall anymore. I didn’t really mind though. I had a pie, half a banana, a cup of cookies, and some coffee to keep me happy. ๐Ÿ˜‚

And that’s pretty much it! Once we got to the truck we left and went to the Indian Creek Trail (the part where the Gobbler Grind Half started and finished actually ๐Ÿ˜‰) and we played Pokรฉmon go for a little bit, then we when home, hung out for a while, then went to my brother-in-law’s girlfriend’s apartment for Thanksgiving dinner.

All in all it was a really fun race and a great day overall. Some parts were slightly stressful because of all of the people, but I’d definitely do this race again! ๐Ÿฆƒ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Š

Alrighty! That’s all for now! Still no weekly recap for this week because honestly I haven’t been doing much so that would be kinda boring. ๐Ÿ˜‚ But since I kicked off my Thanksgiving with a fun turkey trot I’ve decided that would be a fun way to start another holiday run streak, so until further notice, that’s currently what I’m planning on doing.

But ok, I’m done now!

Happy Sunday!

~Ashley

Running With The Cows 5k, 2018

Oh my gosh you guys! This race is just so much fun!! I think I might have to do it for a 3rd time next year because I had an absolute blast on Saturday! Haha I told Luke that, and he told me that he’s going to sign me up for the half instead of the 5k without telling me, just to force me to do the half marathon. And while I do love half marathons, I know for a fact that I wouldn’t like to run one in the weather conditions we had on Saturday.

The half marathon was supposed to start at 7:30 am on May 12th, but there were a scattered showers in the area and some of those little pockets of rain were producing lightning. They actually had someone there from one of the local news stations who had to check in with their meteorologist to make sure it was safe enough for the runners to go out.ย  According to the news station’s meteorologist it was though, and just a few minutes past 7:30 am the half marathoners took off. It was raining a little bit, but oh boy was it humid! And the temperatures were in the 70’s and it was only supposed to go up from there. Gross. I really feel for those runners doing the half. I feel like running 13.1 miles in that kinda sticky, heavy feeling, heat would have been terrible.

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Half Marathoners lining up at the starting line.

Which is exactly why I’m so hesitant to do this particular half marathon! The weather around this time of year in the Midwest can be unpredictable. Back in 2016 when I did this 5k for the first time it was cold enough for me to comfortable run in a hoodie. This year I would have absolutely baked in anything heavier than a light tank top haha. I think I’m just gonna stick with my fall half marathons, thank you very much. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway that’s enough talk about the gross weather and why I’ve only run half marathons in the fall, and lets back track a little bit!

So, on Friday night I had laid out all of my gear, made sure my bib was pinned to my tank top, and my timing chip was secured to my shoe. I had my coffee maker ready to go and knew exactly what I was going to eat for breakfast the following morning. Haha I like to be prepared and have to do as little thinking as possible in the morning. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Coach Bubbles helping me assemble my running gear.

When my alarm went off at 6 am on Saturday I was ready to roll! I got up, let the dogs out, started my coffee maker, ate, drank some water and my coffee, got dressed, applied a little bit of sunscreen, drank some more water, woke Luke up, and by 6:40 am we were ready to leave! At the last second Luke decided to take Dean with us. We always see other spectators at races with dogs so he figured why not? Plus Dean is the most calm out of all 3 dogs we have and is the only one that wouldn’t obsess over the livestock that they have at the starting area of this race. So the three of us loaded up into the truck and we were on our way.

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Normally it would take us about 20 minutes for us to get to Bucyrus. Kansas, where the race is held, but since we had to drive on part of the half marathon race course to get there it took a little bit longer because there were police officers already out directing traffic and getting ready to shut down the road. That wasn’t a big deal though, we had left early for that very reason. Well, that and I wanted to pet the cows and goats before the 5k started haha. But anyway, we got there and got parked quickly and without any trouble. The volunteers who were directing traffic were very efficient! Then Luke, Dean, and I started walking towards all of the fun stuff they have set up near the start/finish line.

Honestly at first we were a little nervous. We weren’t exactly sure if dogs were aloud to be there. Especially since they had livestock set up in pins there. But we saw several other people with dogs so we figured it was ok. And as it turns out, Dean was probably one of the most well behaved dogs there. Luke and I were both very proud of him. All of the people kind of made him nervous, but for the most part he took it really well. He wasn’t in the least bit interested in the cows and goats that were there (ha, some border collie he is ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), but they were very interested in him! We brought him up near the goat pin so I could pet them, and he didn’t care one way or the other about them. They were very curious about him though! One came right up to the fence to investigate the whole situation. They didn’t seem too afraid of him though. I bet they’ve been around dogs before.

The cow, on the other hand, wasn’t a fan of Dean. You could tell he was making her nervous. Probably because she had a calf. So Luke backed off with Dean so I could pet them haha. One of the little kids who were manning the cow pin (I guess they belonged to their parents) even gave me a treat to give her. She was still keeping an eye on Dean though and wouldn’t take it. Her calf did come up to the fence and let me pet it though, so that was neat!!

Once a bunch of people started crowding around the pens we left and stared meandering around near the starting area while the half marathoners started to line up. Once most of them were the race directer said a prayer, they played the national anthem, aaaand then the half marathoners had to wait for the weather update before they could take off. But like I said, that only took a few minutes. So Luke and I watched them start and cheered them on along with the other 5kers and spectators. After they took off we still had half an hour to kill, so we wandered around a little more, Luke took a picture of me and Dean in front of a giant cow, and then I got in line to use a port-o-potty. That was probably one of the worst port-o-potty experiences in my life! The urinal was literally almost over flowing with urine. It was absolutely disgusting sitting mere inches away from that disaster. Luckily I was quick and didn’t have to be in there with that mess for too long.

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Me, Dean, and a giant cow.

After I had finished up in the nasty port-o-potty we started making our way to the corral. Before I actually lined up Luke and I ended up talking to another lady about border collies haha. Dean really liked her (I guess he knew she had a border collie at home ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and kept walking over to sniff her. So she started petting him and told us about her border collie. She was worried that she wouldn’t do well with all of the people so the lady had to leave her at home. After we had talked to her for a little bit I bid Luke and Dean farewell and started making my way into the corral and lined up near the back, since I’m a slow runner and all. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Plus with the heat and humidity and the lack of speed work I’ve been doing, I wasn’t sure how this race was going to end up going. But as the countdown on the timer got closer and closer to “0” I started getting kinda nervous and realized I still wanted to go for my time goal of 38 minutes.

The countdown hit 10 seconds. The announcer started counting us down. “3, 2, 1, 0, go!!!” Then we were off!! There was lots of cheering, cowbells, and the loudspeakers that were playing music were also playing cow sound effects too, which I though was pretty neat!

So I tried to go out conservatively for about the first mile. I mean, that’s what you’re supposed to do right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I found that my legs wanted to go and apparently my brain wasn’t about to stop them I kept telling myself that I was going to end up regretting that, but weirdly enough that didn’t happen! And although I ended up going out a little faster that I had originally planned, I spent probably about the first mile just taking in the sights, sounds, and enjoying the excitement of race day that was going on around me. The course is an out and back, so you don’t really get to see a lot in just 3.1 miles, but it’s still really pretty. It’s basically just a bunch of cow pastures out in the middle of nowhere Kansas which I think is super awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

This course is also a little bit hilly. Nothing too crazy but still, those hills could be challenging if you aren’t careful or prepared for them. As I was getting closer to the water station which was also the turnaround point, I started noticing a very interesting pattern that quite a few of my fellow racers where doing. Some of them would fly on the downhills and then slow down a lot or even start to walk on the uphills. Now, I’m a big fan of running downhill with reckless abandon and I tend to do that around my neighborhood for shits and giggles. But in the almost 5 years that I’ve been a runner I’ve learned and am just now finally admitting to myself is that when I put my mind to it, running uphill can actually be a strong point for me! So once I noted that some people were wearing themselves out on the downhills (and probably trashing their quads in the process. Trust me, I’ve been there) and hardcore slowing down on the uphills I decided to take the opposite approach. I started to run the downhills a bit more conservatively. “Recover!” I’d tell myself in my head. And I starting to hit the uphills pretty hard!

Once I’d made it through the water station (I’ve yet to master the art of the aid station and have trouble drinking while on the move, so that whole process slowed me down a bit. If it wasn’t for all of that I probably could have negative split this whole race haha. But my last mile was my fastest, so at least there’s that. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), made it around the turn around point, and I went fishing! If you don’t know, “going fishing” is when you pick out a person in front of you “reel” them in, pick another person in front of you, and repeat. All while continuing my pattern of going easy on the downhills and harder on the uphills. So I ended up getting passed by people I had reeled in. I yo-yoed with a couple of people for a while, but going up the final hill, right before we turned back onto the road (well, I guess it’s actually the school’s driveway. This race is held at a Catholic school haha), that took us to the finish line, I had left most of the people I had “fished” for behind me and crossed the finish line with the timer reading 39 minutes and some change. So I knew I probably hadn’tย  hit my goal of 38 minutes but I probably semi close.

So I crossed the finish line, stopped my watch, got my timing chip clipped off, got a water bottle and a cowbell from very nice volunteers, spotted Luke and Dean in the crowed, and started making my way towards them, while checking my time on my Garmin. It read that I have covered 3.15 miles in 38:54, which is about a 12:22 pace. Not bad! considering the heat and humidity! I know I made it sound like I was feeling super strong, especially on the uphills, and at some points I was! But there were also times when I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath, was suffocating because of the humidity, and just felt like general shit because of the heat. But still, I felt like I ran strong, I didn’t wimp out because of the weather, and man I felt like a badass running up those hills! All in all, I’m very happy with how this race went. Plus I kinda figured my chip time would a few less seconds. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Once I had made it to Luke and knew what my time roughly was, I started excitedly recapping all of this to him, while we made our way to the buffet. On our way there we passed theย Chick-fil-A tent that was set up just outside the school where the rest of the food was. They were handing out sandwiches so obviously I had to grab one of those! But it turned out to be a chicken/bacon/biscuit sandwich. I don’t likeย biscuit so I gave that to Luke and headed inside to get me something tasty! Haha but once I saw all of the food I realized just how not hungry I was. That was slightly disapointing because there was so much awesome looking food that I normally would have wanted to try, but running in the heat makes me kinda nauseous, so I just ended up grabbing a super cute cow cookie. It was slightly smashed, and to be honest with you I didn’t even want a cookie at that point, but it was adorable and I had to take it haha. I’m glad I did though, it was very tasty! I also got half a Panera bagel, a banana, and a turkey sub from subway. Haha I actually took my sandwich home and ended up eating it for lunch.

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You cannot tell me that that kinda smashed cow cookie is not adorable!

After I had gotten my food all 3 of us were pretty much over the big crowed of people, so we made our way back to the truck and then headed home. On the way I told Luke that nothing in the world sounded better to me at that moment than a watermelon. So he stopped at a store and got me one. He is literally the best. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

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A very good race, an (almost) John Deer green cowbell, and a watermelon. Ashley was one very happy camper.

On the way home I also got my chip time: 38:51! I knew it had to of been just a few second faster than what my watch read. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Either way though, I was very happy with how I did.

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Once we got home we got the other 2 dogs and took the 3 of them to the dog park for a little bit. Haha I was getting kinda tired, but walking around a little bit was probably good for me. After we were done there I finally got to shower and then take a nice nap with Bubbles. That was a nice way to end this whole adventure. ๐Ÿ™‚

Whew! That was kind of a long recap for just a 5k, but whatever haha. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of me running or crossing the finish line. I saw some photographers at the start and it looked like they were taking photos, but if there are photos of the 5k then they haven’t posted them online yet. Not like that’s a big deal or anything though. ๐Ÿ™‚

So there you have it! Running With The Cows 5k, 2018. If you actually stuck around to the very end and read this whole post, then I thank you very much!

Have a wonderful week!!

~Ashley