Tag Archives: half marathoner

A Long Run

A really fucking hard long run…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time,

~Ashley

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

The short answer; not well. 😂

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rinse and repeat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Ashley

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 11/09/19

Sloth Running Team strikes again!!!

Yeah, just ignore how messy my bathroom is. 😂

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? 😂 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. 😉 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! 😂).

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. 😆 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. 😂

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 😉) my dad is bad at pacing. And occasionally it drives me, who is a little more experienced at this kind thing, a little crazy. 😂 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. 🤷🏻‍♀️😂

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. 😂 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. 😄

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. 😂😂

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? 😂

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! 😂 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. 😁

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. 😂

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!! 😋

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. 😂

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. 😂 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. 😉

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

Desert Rats 10k Race Recap

Better a little late than never right?! 😉

I’ve been trying to sort through all of my thoughts on this race, but I still haven’t been able to pull them all together. I’m gonna try though! But this post might end up being s jumbled mess. 😂

I’ve also been waiting for the professional race photos to be posted onto Gemini Adventures’ website. Mission accomplished on that front! 👍🏻😉

That being said, I still have a ridiculous amount of photos thanks to my dad. He’s become quite the shutterbug and we definitely stopped more than once just so he could take pictures. But I mean, I can blame him when the views from the course looked like this…

Anyway, let’s recap this thing!

So, the day before this race my dad and I drove about 5 hours from Longmont to Grand Junction, which was super close to Fruita, where the race was being held. We made a few stops along the way, including one stop to take around 3 hours to hike to and from Hanging Lake. I won’t go into all of that again since I’ve already written about that here. But I will say that whole adventure was super hard, fun, and beautiful. Not exactly something I’d recommend doing the day before a race, but I don’t regret it. 😂

After that adventure we made a stop for some burgers and then made our way to one of my dad’s drivers houses (my dad basically runs several FedEx terminals). He invited us to stay the night with him and his family so that we didn’t have to stay at a motel. That was super nice of him and he and his whole family were super welcoming and incredibly nice. 😊

I ended up getting to bed around 11 that night and I’m not sure when my dad finally made his way to bed. But we were up before the sun at 5 am Sunday morning. The guy we stayed with laid out breakfast for us the night before; a couple of water bottles, some instant oatmeal, bread, candy bars, and an invitation to anything in the fridge or pantry that we wanted. I definitely like oatmeal before a run though, so that’s what I stuck with. 😄 So we ate, got dressed, and loaded up our stuff into my dad’s van and then made our way to the staring line in Fruita.

It only took us about a half an hour to get there. So we actually got there super duper early at around 6:30 am. The race didn’t even start until 8:30 am. 😂 So we drove up this pretty gnarly Jeep trail. That was a bit iffy in my dad’s van. But it was fun.

This was AFTER we made it back down the super iffy section of road we went up. 😂

We didn’t go too far though. There wasn’t a lot of parking for this race so we made our way back to the starting/finish area and snagged us an awesome parking spot.

We sat in the van for a while. Talking, people watching, and sipping at water and nibbling on a few snacks. Packet pick up started at 7 am, so we got out our stuff right as they open up. Being some of the first people there definitely had its benefits! Along with our bibs and participation shirts, we also got buffs. They had a limited supply of them that were donated to them so not everyone got one. Hahaha I was pretty stoked though! Mine sure came in handy during the race. I wiped my nose on it more times than I can count. 😂

After we collected our things we stopped at the port-o-potties. There weren’t many of them but at this point it was still pretty early so no one was in line. Score!! 😁 Hahaha after our business with the port-o-potties was taken care of we went back to the van to warm up because it was pretty chilly out that morning. And of course while we were there we pinned on our bibs and got the rest of our gear ready.

Before we picked up our bibs we obviously needed to get a selfie with the starting line. 😄

At about 15 minutes to the start time we shed our outer layers (and oh boy was that hard! It was still pretty chilly out! 😂), strapped on our hydration packs, and made our way to the starting area. We also marveled at the line for the port-o-potties and we’re grateful that 1. We went when we did and 2. Didn’t have to go again. 😂

There was very little organization going on. Half marathoners were mixed in with the 10k-ers and as far as I could tell no one was really lined up according to pace. It wasn’t really a super big deal though because this was a really small race. Just several hundred people really. Those aren’t negatives though! Just facts. 😁

A race official counted us down but honestly we couldn’t hear him all that well, but it was kind of easy to tell when we were supposed to take off because everyone cheered and started moving forward. 😂 So we took off down the trail, starting with a slight down hill that I definitely didn’t feel and sure didn’t notice until we had to climb up it on our way back to the finish line. 🤣

That downhill was short lived though! We began one of the bigger climbs of the race (and there were several) in the first few minutes. Those climbs KILLED me. My legs were actually pretty prepared for them thanks to the hill work I had done on my treadmill, but my legs were also sore sand tired from our hike the day before. And unfortunately that never went away… That wasn’t what actually killed me though. It was the elevation. Here in Kansas I’m just about 1,000 feet above sea level. I. Fruita Colorado we were at 5,000 feet and we gained around 600 feet getting up some of those hills. I’m sure that’s not a lot for you mountain runners out there, but for this flatlander who also happens to be exclusively a road runner it was TOUGH.

Anyway, the first 1.5 miles were the hardest. I think. Hahaha honestly from this point on everything is a blur. The aide stations were each about a mile and 1/2 apart and that’s what I’m kinda basing everything on. 😉

So by the time we made it to the first aid station we were DFL (Dead Fucking Last). At least as far as the 10k-ers went. But considering how small the race was and all of the other circumstances that was pretty unsurprising. And honestly, not at all upsetting. I went into this thing just wanting to survive it and to have some fun. I knew it was going to slow going and I had put any kind of ego aside for this one.

Anyway, the volunteers at the aide were all super awesome. We got many complaints on our Sloth Running Team t-shirts, and I got several laughs and sympathetic looks every time my dad told people I was from Kansas.

Ps. Next time I do a trail race in Colorado I’m wearing a shirt that says “I’m from Kansas”. Just so everyone understands why I look and sound like I’m dying. 😂😂😂

Anyway, the next 1.5 miles were much more rugged. There were loose rocks and the rail definitely got more technical. Honestly though I had so much fun on the harder (but more flat/downhill!) sections of the course. Having to chose you’re footing and trying not to trip over rocks was a lot of fun! And I was actually pretty good at it!

You can definitely see the rocks in this photo, but there were more fun sections of the trail than this!😁

Now, if I remember correctly (and I probably don’t 😂) pretty close to the next aide station and the half way point there was part we had to kinda scramble up! Oh man, that was hard! My poor lungs were just not doing well this less oxen than they’re used to. But we both made it up it. With lots of huffing and puffing on my part. 🤣

At the next aide station I took a little cup of tailwind to drink and a couple of Honey Stinger gels (score!!). I don typically like gels for fuel while running because they upset my stomach but I took some just incase. But at this point I was doing pretty well on just water and a Gatorade that I had stashed in my hydration pack.

This side station was located on Pizza Overlook. Sadly they didn’t have any pizza. 😂

After we left the second aide station is when we ended up running around the rim of the canyon (at least I’m pretty sure. Hahaha like I said. Everything is a blur. 😂). Pictures will never do justice to how beautiful it actually was.

After a few twists and turns we stumbled upon the one and only race photography. Shout out to him for sitting there and waiting for our DFL asses. 😂 of course I had to be a total dork for my photo. But at the very least I was being a total dork during a super hard 10k with some incredible views! 👍🏻😁🏃🏻‍♀️

On the way to the final aid station at about 4.3 miles were we’re blessed with some amazing downhills. The trail was still a little tricky but I picked it up quite a bit going down those hills (around 10 minutes per mile pace according to the one time I actually glanced at my Garmin 😂). That was a ton of fun!! At this point we were starting to head back the way we came and the last aide station was also the very first aide station. We were also heading back up hill. Yuck. 🤢🤣Basically the whole last mile was uphill, with one super short down hill in the middle of it.

The finish line was just on the other side of that hill on the left side of this photo.

We crossed the finish line at the EXACT same time, cheering and holding hands! That was pretty cool! And according to the official results, we weren’t actually DFL. Hahaha neat! But also still, not a big deal. 😂

Once we crossed the finish line we were handed our “medals” (really just a dog tag on a chain, but still super neat!), and made our way to the food tables were we got pancakes, fruit, coffee, and a few other things, although they did have quite a bit of other post race snacks as well. 😄 we found a nice place to sit and cheered on some of the first half marathoners to start running in.

After we ate we went back to the van, wiped ourselves down with wet wipes and I changed my shirt (and managed to get out of my wet sports bra without showing any boobies to the world. 😂). And then we started our 17 hour drive back to Kansas.

So yeah. This was my first trail race ever. My first official 10k. The farthest I’ve ever run at 5,000 feet above sea level, and the slowest 10k/race I’ve ever done. It was hard. It was beautiful. And it was absolutely so much fun!!

Apparently we’re doing the half next year. Hahaha we’ll see about that. 🤣🤣

But for now, the next race on the schedule is the Running With The Cows 5k on May 11th here in Kansas! I’m very excited about that!!

Until next time,

~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! 😂

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 here 😉 ). 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. 😉

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.  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. 😉 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. 😉

I hope you had a great weekend!

~Ashley

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