Tag Archives: fall running

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

Snow In October

We donโ€™t usually get snow this early here in Kansas, but today itโ€™s been snowing pretty much all day! Honestly Iโ€™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 Iโ€™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 Iโ€™m stubborn and REALLY good at ignoring pain. Yeah, thatโ€™s not a good way to go about dealing with an injury and I definitely donโ€™t recommend it because my knee has just gotten progressively worse. So at this point Iโ€™ve stopped running and am trying to stay off of my feet as much as possible (but thatโ€™s really hard to do when your job requires you to be on your feet for extended periods of time).

So Iโ€™m starting to think that my virtual half on November 7th isnโ€™t going to happen and honestly Iโ€™m not really all that upset about it. The more I think about it the more I realize that o really didnโ€™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 thatโ€™s pretty much where I am right now. Rehabbing am injury, continuing with my dad to day life, and today Iโ€™m soaking up and enjoying the October snow!

Happy Monday, everyone! ๐Ÿ’œ


โฃ

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? ๐Ÿ˜‚

Seriously though the wind was a major factor today, but I just didnโ€™t feel great in general. My body is just so tired. I know Iโ€™m not recovering very well but itโ€™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 Iโ€™ve definitely developed relationships with people that I really do cherish. So thereโ€™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 didnโ€™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. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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 Iโ€™m still not sure about how Iโ€™m going to do this virtual half in November. But no matter how that ends up going Iโ€™m swearing off longer distances for a currently undetermined amount of time.

I honestly just canโ€™t keep doing this. I really wish I was one of those people that running just naturally comes easy to but Iโ€™m not. Although Iโ€™m not ready to swearing off of it completely. Just the longer stuff. And maybe one day Iโ€™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 Iโ€™m not even 30 and Iโ€™m hardcore struggling to get through any run thatโ€™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! Iโ€™m getting wine drunk tonight so I know Iโ€™m in for a good night!

Until next time,

~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 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?

Pumpkin Picking 2020

Itโ€™s spooky season bitches!!!!!!! ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ–ค

I mean, itโ€™s pretty much spooky season year round for me, but itโ€™s officially the main event! So obviously Iโ€™ve been lightning my fall candles, putting up my Halloween decorations, and baking ALL OF THE PUMPKIN THINGS!

This is my weekend off work (I usually get every other weekend off) so we took advantage of that today and went pumpkin picking!

Guys, there were sooooo many people out there picking apples and pumpkins today. It was kinda crazy! And Of course no one was attempting any kind of social distancing. ๐Ÿ™„ Luckily once we walked away from the main shop area/confession stands there were much fewer people. And it probably helped that we walked to the farthest pumpkin patch in an effort to avoid crowds.

And we were very successful in that! There were only two other families in the patch we went to and we were all spread out pretty far so that was good. Plus it meant I could take my time frolicking among the pumpkins and finding THE MOST perfect ones! Seriously, we found some really awesome pumpkins! Iโ€™m pretty darn excited about it!

Maybe we went a little overboard? Iโ€™m not sure. ๐Ÿ˜‚ With the seven pumpkins (well, one is a different kind of gourd), half a dozen cider donuts, and small cider slush I paid $85. Worth it.

After picking our pumpkins we went home and the first thing I did was arrange them on the porch exactly how o wanted them. And then I put up more Halloween decorations. I need to get done extension cords for a few light up things we have, but so far I think itโ€™s coming along nicely!

So thatโ€™s pretty much all Iโ€™ve done today. Although I think Iโ€™m going to make some pumpkin bread tonight! ๐Ÿ˜‹ Originally I was going to do my long run today but pumpkin picking was more important.๐Ÿ˜‚ So Iโ€™m going to do my long run tomorrow instead!

Anyway, thatโ€™s all for now! I just wanted to show off my pumpkins!

~Ashley ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ–ค

Guess whoโ€™s back, back again?!

Hello hello hello, my beautiful friends!
If you were following my blog before I took one long ass hiatus, Iโ€™m back! If youโ€™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 Iโ€™ve learned in my 7 years of running, recipes, pet photos, music stuff, and just a whole bunch of randomness that Iโ€™m into.

If youโ€™re new here you might want to check out my โ€œaboutโ€ page to learn just a little bit about me and how I got into running. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜„

If youโ€™ve been following me here before I stopped blogging for a while or follow me on Instagram then you probably already know what youโ€™re in for from me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Iโ€™m not sure if Iโ€™ll be blogging as frequently as I used to, Iโ€™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 isnโ€™t enough! Iโ€™ve still got quite a bit of work I want to do on this blog. Iโ€™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 weโ€™ll see. I might just delete those too and start fresh. I do have a lot of other ideas for this blog that Iโ€™m looking forward to exploring though!

Anyway, thatโ€™s all for now! I just wanted to say a quick โ€œhelloโ€ and quickly explain what this blog is all about! Iโ€™m super excited about embarking on this blogging journey again and I canโ€™t wait to share my running adventures with you (Iโ€™m currently training for half marathon number 7 so there will be plenty of stories to share)!

Until next time,

~Ashley

Gobbler Grind 10k 11/10/19

Yes you read that correctly. 10k. Not half marathon. Hahaha I’ll get there, but first let’s start where we left off yesterday. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So after we finished the Longview half (which you can read all about here), Luke drove us to Garry Gribble’s so we could get our race packets since that running store is relatively close to the start/finish area of the Longview half. Well, it’s closer to there than it is to our house anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‚ So we went there, got our stuff, and then went to 5 Guys to eat because that’s our post-race tradition now!

After that we went back home, hung out at my house for a little bit, went to bed, and then got up at 5:30 am to do it all over again.

Except when we got up and started getting ready I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to do it all again. My hamstrings were tight and hurting but I do think of I would have paced myself properly I could have done it! But my dad is a less experienced runner and isn’t a good pacer. ๐Ÿ˜‚. But he said he was hurting 3 steps into the Longview half and the last 3 ish miles were a struggle for him. So I started thinking we needed to drop down to the 10k. Which I told him. But as we were getting ready he was adamant that we signed up for two half marathons so we were going to do two half marathons.

On the drive to the starting line (which Luke so graciously did again so we wouldn’t have to worry about it) I was still trying to convince him that this was a bad idea, but he wasn’t having it. So, we arrived at the starting area, parked, and walked (well my dad limped) to the port-o-potties.

Now, I absolutely love everything about this race, but my only real issue with it is that there are no where near enough port-o-potties for the amount of people who participate. We got there over and hour early so there was no line yet, but we knew from our experience last year that the line would get RIDICULOUSLY long and span most of the parking lot. So we used the facilities early and while we still could.

The starting line before everyone showed up.

Anyway, once we were done I put my foot down and told my dad we were dropping to the 10k. I thought that one or even both of us would end up getting hurt if we attempted another 13.1 miles. So I walked to the packet pick up area and switched distances, so he kinda had to as well. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I think it was for the best though.

After getting our new bibs we walked back to the truck and hung out in there for a while since it was a chilly morning and we had arrived so early. By then the line for the port-o-potties was already super long and getting worse by the minute. There was no way we’d be able to use them again and actually start the race on time. And yet we continued to drink water and coffee. ๐Ÿ˜‚

With about 10 minutes until the race started we walked out to the starting corral but I had to pee REALLY bad. I decided I couldn’t wait so I walked into the woods, found a big tree off of the trail a ways, and peed there. I used to run on this particular trail EVERYDAY when I lived in an apartment near by, and I still go there to run every once in an while, so this definitely wasn’t the first time I’ve peed in that woods. ๐Ÿ˜‚ A few minutes later my dad did the same thing and THEN we went to line up in the starting corral.

A few minutes later we were off!! Not gonna lie, I was super stoked that we were only going 6 miles that day instead of 13. Plus I was very excited to be at another race! Especially since I don’t race very often. I mean, look at that smile! I was loving it!!

After the initial excitement of starting wore off we slowed down quite a bit. We were both feeling that half marathon from the day before. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Several spectators and race volunteers recognized us from the day before though so that was pretty cool!!

So the first few miles of this 10k were on the roads around Corporate Woods Park. So obviously there are big corporate buildings, some side walks and parking lots, and we were on the road and not the trail (yet) but it was still very pretty. Especially because of all of the fall colors!

After about 2.5 miles we turned onto the trail though. And this is the section of trail that I really did run or walk on every single day for 3 years and still often one back to. It’s not like being out in the woods somewhere secluded or anything like that, but it’s about as close as you can get in Overland Park, which is a huge city, so I’ve always been very fond of this trail and I very much enjoyed getting to do a race on it!

Anyway, for the second half of this 10k we finally settled into a good rhythm and what felt like a very consistent pace. We cheered on the other runners going the opposite direction and at this point and until the very end we never passed anyone but we were also never overtaken by anyone else. So that was just interesting.

At about mile 4.5 we turned around and started heading back the way we came, making our way closer and closer to the finish line! I think at that point my dad was very ready to be done, but I was in super high spirits and enjoying myself very much!

Finally the finish line was in sight! We sped up a little bit and finished with smiles on our faces! We got our medals and some post race cinnamon rolls and then wandered around a little bit to see what goodies they had to offer at all of the booths set up out there.

We got free bananas, chocolate milk, a mini ice pack, among a few other things. We also met the social media manager of the race which was super cool! She saw us out on the 10k course and cheered for us which of course we returned, but we didn’t know who she was. I thought it sounded like she recognized us and of course it turns out that she did! We interact quite often on instagram! I just didn’t know what she looked like because she runs the race’s Instagram page. But anyway we talked for a little bit and that was pretty cool!

Hahaha and one of the race photographers at the finish area also got several photos of of which I thought was neat! They even got Luke in one of them! ๐Ÿ˜„

And that was pretty much it! A little less exciting than the half marathon I guess, but I thought it was a lot more fun.

After we were done hanging out at the race we went to 5 Guys of course! It’s our post-race tradition after all!!

Then we headed back home. Luke headed out to go golfing but I stayed behind this time because my dad wanted to leave after he showered. So he did that, we packed up his truck, and he headed off to Illinois where he was going to meet my brother who had left in their camper that morning before we went of to our race. Our busy and fun filled weekend was officially over. Not gonna lie, after my dad left I spend a lot of time laying on my couch like this before I finally got up to shower and collect myself. ๐Ÿ˜‚

And thus ends the adventure of two races in two days. They weren’t both half marathons, but I think we made the right decision switching to the 10k. Plus back to back races are impressive no matter what the distances are!

Well, that’s that on that!

I’ve got a 5k coming up on Thanksgiving that in doing by myself and I think that’s gonna wrap up my racing for this year. It was a good one as far as race experiences go, I think!

But anyway. That’s all for now!

Until next time!

~Ashley

Longview Half Marathon Recap 11/09/19

Sloth Running Team strikes again!!!

Yeah, just ignore how messy my bathroom is. ๐Ÿ˜‚

As you probably already know, last weekend my dad and brother drove from Colorado to Kansas so my dad and I could tackle the Longview Half on November 9th and then the Gobbler Grind Half on November 10th.

Two half marathons. Two days. No big deal, right? ๐Ÿ˜‚ Well, it might have been less of a big deal if either of us we’re actually trained and prepared to run the equivalent of a full marathon over the course of two days, but due to a plethora of reasons neither of us were.

That sure wasn’t going to stop us from trying though!!

So my dad and brother got here on Friday and honestly things just moved very quickly after that! After they got here Luke drove my dad and I to the KC Running Company store so we could pick up our packets and so my dad could get himself some Honey Stinger to fuel both of these races!

Packet pickup was smooth and uneventful, like it usually is for these smaller, local races. I’m cool with that though! I don’t need some big event surrounding packet pick up. I’m happy to just get my stuff and get out of there so I can start thinking about the upcoming race!

Anyway, after we got our stuff we went to Bo Ling’s for dinner. Because obviously Chinese food is the ideal pre-race meal. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I mean, I got noodles though so that counts as carb loading, right??

At the end of our meal we all opened our fortune cookies and shared aloud fortunes as a group does when eating at a Chinese restaurant. Luke and I both got typical “fortunes” but my dad’s was absolutely PERFECT for our situation!!

After we ate we had to run to tractor supply and then Walmart to pick up a few things, then after that we headed back home where we got our gear ready, set our alarms for 5:30 am, and then went to bed.

Race day morning was dark sand chilly (my favorite!) but the sun was supposed to be up and shining by the time we started. My dad and I ate, made coffee, and got dressed pretty quickly. Luke (he offered to drive us) got up around 6 am and by 6:30-ish we were headed to the start line!!

Unfortunately we ended up almost completely stopped on the highway. Later, while we were running, Luke overheard some people talking about the traffic we almost got stuck in. Apparently someone had hit a deer and that caused such a mess that it completely backed up the highway. Luckily Luke got off the highway before we got completely stuck in the traffic so weren’t stuck in that mess.

Getting off of the highway and going around did add some time to our drive though. Not much, but you’ve got to get to the start of this race early if you want a decent parking spot and if you want to use the port-o-potties. They seem to have the same issues directing traffic into the designated parking areas every year, and they never have enough port-o-potties. Especially considering now this race is a half, 10k, and 5k, so a lot more people are participating than they did in previous years (hahaha remember this is the 5th year I’ve been to this race! ๐Ÿ˜‚).

Very pretty view from our walk from the truck to the starting are.

And of course we ran into those same issues. Parking was a bit of a hassle, but it wasn’t too bad. We still had to walk a ways to the actual starting line, but no where near as far as we had to last year. But we were getting down to the wire as far as time goes, and we still wanted to use the port-o-potties. Which of course had a huge line… But we got in it and waited our turn. We waited for a little over 10 minutes, missed the national anthem, but we both did finally get to go!! By the tine we were both done the announcer was calling for 30 seconds until the start time and there were still a bunch of people in line!

We made it just in time though! And luckily we line up in the back so we didn’t have to fight through any people to get to where we belonged in the starting corral. We had time to snap a quick photo and then we were off on our my 5th and my dad’s 2nd 13.1 mile journey!

We went out fast. Too fast for two slow people who had little to no training. ๐Ÿ˜† For about the first 3 miles we hung with/in front of the 3 hour pace group. They were a lot of fun and we joked with them for a little bit. We are the party in the back and it sure felt that way!!! We also drank the beer that an aid station was handing out a little after mile 3. I’ve never done that before, but I decided a while ago that the next race I was offered alcohol while running I was gonna take some! Hahaha and I’m glad it did! It was only a little bit of beer, but it made the next mile a lot more fun. ๐Ÿ˜‚

At about mile 4 we started fading. I figured we would though. I knew we went out too fast and pushed too hard during the first few miles. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and I’ve told him this at every race we’ve done together ๐Ÿ˜‰) my dad is bad at pacing. And occasionally it drives me, who is a little more experienced at this kind thing, a little crazy. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Ah well, we were having fun! As you can definitely see in this photo taken a little after mile 4.

After this point we began our slow slog through some hills. They actually weren’t even that crazy of hills but they felt that way at the time. They actually changed this course last year so this was the first time I’ve run the new route and I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I probably should have looked up the course map and description, but I didn’t. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‚

But like I said, there was nothing really too crazy. And the last several miles were a net downhill.

Anyway, I’d say things really took a turn for us around mile 7, you know, about halfway through the race. ๐Ÿ˜‚ that’s when we REALLY slowed down and then eventually we just ended up walking all of miles 8 and 9.

At around mile 8 we turned onto a really nice gravel trail. It was super nice to go from asphalt to gravel in the last miles of this race. Plus it was SUPER pretty on the trail! The views there are much nicer than they were in previous years. ๐Ÿ˜„

I think mile 9 ended up being close to an 18 minute mile. That was tough for me. Physically because weirdly enough running was less painful than walking. But mostly mentally. Knowing we had three more miles to go. And we were walking. Ugh. I was mentally DONE at that point. Hahaha but again, the views were GREAT!

So a little after mile 10 I did something I swore I wasn’t going to do. I left my dad behind. Oh man, I felt shitty doing it, but I just couldn’t keep walking like that. It was KILLING my hips. A little earlier in the race he told me to go ahead and at this point I just had to.

So I went back to running and I actually ended up passing most of the people that had passed us over the last 2 or 3 miles. That was kind of a fantastic mental boost for me! Also the few people who I ended up talking to who weren’t part of the race but weren’t really spectators either (they were just out walking the trail I guess) helped too. One guy with a HUGE, happy looking pit bull told me I was doing great and that I was almost there. I could have hugged that man if I weren’t on a nice roll at that point. Hearing those words were literally the best thing to ever happen to me. At least it felt that way at that moment. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

I think that happened around 12.7 miles. And I only know that because I had checked it on my watch a few minutes earlier. I don’t typically like watching my watch during hard races or workouts. It just makes it seem like the misery is dragging on and on. But I NEEDED to know how close I was, ya know? ๐Ÿ˜‚

Anyway, once I knew how close I was I could hear the announcer calling out names. So I sped up a little and ended up passing this couple who were also in the race. I guess after I did that I slowed down and they sped up because I heard then getting closer. I decided I was too close to the finish to let them pass me so I sped back up and turned off of the trail and onto the road to the finish before they did.

I crossed the finish line at 3:19:32. That was the biggest relief of my life! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I was so happy to be done. I don’t even care that this was my second slowest half marathon time (with all of the factors going into this race I knew it would be slow), finishing was a FANTASTIC feeling.

After I got my medal and had my timing chip clipped off of my shoe, and found Luke, I got my snacks and then had one of the active releases therapy people who were there stretch out my hamstrings. That was fantastic! It felt great after all of that walking! Hahaha apparently they weren’t ready to deal with all of that walking which was weird, but I guess does make sense. Walking is a different motion than running and I wasn’t ready for that.

Anyway, after that was done it was only a few more minutes before my dad came in sight of the finish line. The 3 hour pacer has walked back along the course and found him and ends up walking with him. He said she was great and played all sorts of music for him on her phone. She let him cross the finish line on his own though. He finished his second half marathon in 3:34:56, while I screamed and cheered my head off. ๐Ÿ˜

After he finished we watched the very last guy finish. He carried a full sized American flag with him the entire way which is pretty badass. Then he was quickly followed by the very last pacer. She’s the sweeper who makes sure everyone makes it and that no one technically finishes last. We talked to her a little bit out of the course this year and found out that she was going to be at the Gobbler Grind the next day as well. My dad and I are also fairly certain that we talked to her during the Gobbler Grind last year as well. Either way, she’s one awesome chick!

Once we were done cheering for the last runner, my dad also went to the active release therapy booth where he had him work on his hips. It looked painful, but he said that it felt progressively better every time the guy moved his leg. ๐Ÿ˜‚

And then we were done! We walked back to the truck and Luke drove us to Garry Gribbles so we could pick up our packets for the Gobbler Grind. Then we went to 5 Guys for burgers, which is now our post race tradition. 5 Guys is already pretty good but their burgers taste even better after completely a half marathon!! ๐Ÿ˜‹

After we ate we went back home, where I promptly made hot chocolate and then took an ice bath. Getting into the ice bath initially sucked as it usually does, but after that it actually felt sooooo good on my feet, hips, and hamstrings. Those were all really hurting at that point. But completing a half marathon on basically no training will do that to a person. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Then my dad showered while Luke and I went to Walmart because he had promised my dad and I pies after we finished, so he bought us a pumpkin pie and an apple pie. ๐Ÿ˜‚ So that evening me, my dad, my brother, and Luke hung out in my living room, eating pie, and getting ready for our race the next day. At least I was attempting to do that anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Aaand I guess that’s where I’m going to end! This post is long enough as it is anyway.

So I’m gonna try to have your Gobbler Grind recap tomorrow! So wishing you the best until then!

~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

Longview Half Marathon – DNF, 2018

If you read my post from yesterdaypost from yesterday then you already know the result from the Longview Half on Saturday. In fact, if you read the title to this post then you probably know the outcome of this half marathon.

Did Not Finish

My very first DNF. And it was just about as fun as you’d probably imagine. But it was still a race that I showed up to the starting line for, so we’re gonna recap it!

So if you follow me on Instagram you probably already know about my pile. Hahaha so people like to create a “flat runner” with all of their gear laid out nice and neat a day or so before a race. I am not one of those people. Last week around Monday or Tuesday I started gathering up all of the gear that I needed and thought I might wear for both of my half marathons. But instead of being all nice and neat I just kinda threw it all on a stool in my bedroom. But hey, at least it was all in one place! ๐Ÿ˜‚

So my gear pretty much stayed like that until after packet pick up on Friday.

Luke and I were actually super busy on Friday (which you can read more about hereย ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). We had a lot of stuff we needed to get done, including packet pick up for Longview and my dad was driving to Kansas from Colorado that day so we had to be ready for him as well. Plus we had to go to 4 DIFFERENT STORES to find a box of freaking frozen whole grain waffles for my race day breakfasts. That was a whole thing haha. We did finally find me some waffles, got to and from packet pick up (which is usually an uneventful affair for a lot of the local races that I do) without any incidents, and my dad did eventually get to Kansas.

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We did end up getting everything done that we needed to of Friday, so that was great! So I ended up spending that afternoon/night resting, relaxing, and getting my gear ready, making a playlist, setting my coffee maker, you know, important stuff like that!! By the time Luke and I went to bed at 10:00 pm my pile was actually looking kinda civilized! But my dad didn’t make it to our neck of the woods until around 10:30 pm that night, so he went straight to his hotel instead of stopping at our house first.

 

So I woke up at 6:30 am on Saturday morning feeling good, confident, and ready to go! I drank my coffee, at my pre-race breakfast, and got dressed all while texting my dad haha. I wasn’t sure if he wanted to just meet us at the race, if he wanted us to pick him up at the hotel, of he wanted to meet us at the house, or whatever so that’s mostly what we were trying to figure out. Eventually we decided that Luke and I were going to meet him at his hotel and he was going to follow us to the race. So after I was ready that’s where Luke and I headed.

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Before we move on we need to discus the weather a little bit. That was also a big topic between Luke, my dad, and I that morning, because it was crazy and unseasonably cold. The temperature just kinda dropped out of nowhere on Saturday and I don’t think a lot of people were really prepared for that drastic of a drop in temperature in the middle of November. I know I sure wasn’t…

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Anyway, Luke and I met up with my dad at his hotel and then were off to the starting line! The whole parking situation was a little bit weird (isn’t it always haha) and the guy who was directing traffic wasn’t really being specific about where and how people were supposed to park in this field, but I guess enough people had done this kinda thing enough times and we eventually figured it out. Usually we park in the field right next to the starting line, but this year we ended up in a different field about 1/2 a mile away. Eventually I ended up being really grateful for where we ended up parking hahaha. Luke complained the whole way walking to the starting line because it was COLD. But the views of the lake were beautiful!

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Once we got to the starting line we thought we had actually made it in time for me to stand in line to use a port-o-potty and not have to worry about missing the starting gun! It was a really close call last year! But yet again we were wrong and 20 minutes was not enough time…. I’m telling you, they need more port-o-potties at the start of this race! But anyway, I was still able to line up before the gun went off. They started the race about 10 minutes late again this year, probably because of all of the people in line to use the bathroom. I’m not sure if they actually played the national anthem this year. If they did Luke, my dad, and I sure didn’t hear it haha! But they counted us down and sent us on our way.

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So I made a bad decision with how I was dressed this year. It was crazy cold so I figured I should wear one of my heavier hoodies over one of my warmer running jackets. That turned out to be a bad idea because I was starting to get really warm before I had even hit a mile. Well, my torso was anyway. At that point my legs were cold and heavy and I couldn’t feel my toes haha. Running like that was kinda hard. Anyway, I had to fumble around with my bib a little bit, but I managed to get the extra hoodie off, toss it, and put my bib back onto my other jacket haha. I think I might have finished the first mile or so during that whole ordeal? Honestly I don’t remember the miles very well haha. I’ve done this race 3 times before this year, but they changed the course this year so it was all new to me. Plus I was having some trouble paying attention to things. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, I remember seeing the 2nd mile marker and thinking that I didn’t feel so great. But at that point I was hoping it was just because I was really cold and needed to warm up a little bit.ย  Somewhere around miles 2-3 ish I crossed over the damn for the first time. There were timing mats at the begging and end of the dam along with a finish line at the end because there was a little “race within the race” to see who could get over the dam the fastest. Obviously I wasn’t a contender for that, but it’s still pretty neat! That’s also why it looks like I’m crossing a finish line in the photos below. Because I kinda was haha.

 

Just looking at those I can tell I was already struggling at that point. I remember seeing the mile 3 marker and just thinking that I wasn’t going to be able to do this for 10 more miles. It was sill crazy cold for this time of year and that was really making my asthma act up. I felt like shit. The wind crossing back over the dam was making my situation worse, and I started texting Luke telling him that I was struggling. Apparently after I did that him and my dad went and bought me a powerade and a banana and started walking in my direction. Not on the course though. They walked along the median in the road.

At mile 4 I knew I wasn’t going to make it. There was just no way. I texted Luke telling him I think I needed to stop and asked him how far away the car was from mile 4. He didn’t answer (we didn’t have a very good signal out there), so I texted my dad as well and got nothing from him either. Honestly at that point that was ridiculously heartbreaking. Looking back it’s kinda funny, but in the moment it really wasn’t.

As I approaching mile 5 I finally heard back from Luke. He told me they were approaching mile 5 with some stuff for me and I let him know I was coming up on mile 5 as well. Right as I passed the mile marker I saw them walking at me. That was equal parts THE BEST THING EVER and THE WORST THING EVER, because I knew I had to quit, but I felt like I was letting them down at that point. Along with everyone else who’s been following along with my training this year.

Once we got to each other they offered me all of the goodies they brought for me, but I told them I was done. They said ok, we’re only a mile away from the car. Haha I think it was actually less than that though, so thank goodness for that! So we started heading that direction, I took off my bib, stopped my watch, and walked off the course. Officially earning my very first DNF. Honestly I think walking away would have been a lot harder if I didn’t have another race the day after. If I didn’t I think I just might have tried to keep going and I don’t think that would have been a good idea…

Once we got to the parking area Luke started the truck for me while I cut off my timing chip. Then I sat in the truck while Luke and my dad walked another 1/2 mile to the starting line to give them my timing chip and let them know I wasn’t finishing (I was worried that the race officials would see that I started but didn’t finish and freak out about that). While they were there they also got me a yogurt and chocolate milk and walked back another 1/2 mile to get back to me hahaha. Oh man, I’m forever grateful that they did that for me though.

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We ended up hanging out in the parking area for a little while, just talking and then figuring out what we were going to do for the rest of the day. Luke had to go to work and my dad and I had a packet pick up to go to, so Luke went home to get ready for work and my dad and I ended up going to Garry Gribble’s running store to pick up our stuff for our half on Sunday.

But I’ll talk about all of that in my Gobbler Grind recap. Spoiler alert; that one ends on a much better note. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So that’s all for now! It’s been snowing all day and it’s still coming down at 12:44 pm as I type this, so I need to go play in it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope you had a great weekend!

~Ashley

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