Tag Archives: health and wellness

Suprise!!

It’s a boy!!

Now that our family know I can put it out into the world! Baby RJ is coming June 2021!

Well, that’s my “official” due date is June 8th but I have a feeling that he’ll come earlier than that. Just like I had a feeling that he was a boy, before we even actually knew he was a boy. 😉

Everyone is very excited about the coming addition to our family! This is my mom and dad’s first grandchild, and it’s the first grandson my father-in-law and step-mother-in-law will have which is something that my father-in-law is particularly excited about! My mother-in-law has grandchildren of both sexes but it still excited for us anyway! 😄

So far pregnancy has been a miserable experience for me. I don’t like it, have declared that I’m never doing it again, and I’m very ready to not be pregnant anymore. And I’m only 15 weeks in. 🙃 Like, obviously I love this kid but damn, I ready to have him here in the world and not inside of my body anymore. But we’ll get there. Eventually…😂😂

Mg running has definitely taken the backseat to everything else that’s been going on, but I am slowly starting to get back into something that almost resembles a consistent running plan. But I’m hoping to be able to actually run more than a mile or two now that I’m in the second trimester and an starting to get some energy back. But we’ll see! At this point I’m literally taking things one day at a time and rolling with whatever my body feels capable of doing. Some days that means I’m able to run and be a productive human being and other days that means I barely leave the couch. 🤷🏻‍♀️😂

Anyway, I’ll get more into all of that later! Right now I just wanted to post a quick and exciting update!

~Ashley

I Am Not A Weight Loss Success Story Anymore. And I’m Ok With That!

I was at one point though.

Between 2012-2014 I lost over 30 pounds. I completely changed my lifestyle and became a person who lived a “healthy” lifestyle. Clean eating, counting calories, exercising, staying active, always hitting 10,000 steps a day, and drinking plenty of water. And I was praised for it! Because not only was I walking the walk but I looked the part as well; thin, “athletic” looking, everything a healthy person was supposed to be.

And I was praised for it. I was praised for losing the weight, getting fit, and looking good. And that was kinda fucked because I wasn’t healthy. I was obsessive, unhappy, and basically starving myself. I was miserable. But people were happy for me, inspired by me, and cheering me on, so I thought I had to be doing something right. I thought that this is what it took to be beautiful.

Diet culture is fucked. But like a lot of people, I bought into it. I did everything “right”. I lost weight sure, but at the cost of my mental health and my physical well being.

Here’s the thing; I can tell you from personal experience that eating 1,200 calories a day is not healthy. Especially if you are running, have a physically demanding job, or do any kind of workouts. It’s just not enough.

Absolutely having to hit 10,000 steps on your fitness tracker everyday or else you feel ridiculously guilty is not being committed. It’s obsessive.

Not eating desserts, being afraid to eat out at restaurants, or even enjoy food at a party is also not being committed. It’s a real sign that something isn’t right. You should never feel bad for a little indulgence now and again. Being afraid of going over your calorie limit of eating anything that’s not considered “clean” isn’t ok. Food is meant to be enjoyed! For a plethora of reasons. And let me tell you life is a lot more enjoyable when you can actually eat the cookies, or order something that not on the “diet” menu, or have a few beers when your hanging out with your friends. Depriving yourself from anything is never the answer.

Eventually I got over all of that though. It took a lot of time and a lot of work on my part but I think I’ve stuck a healthy balance between eating well but not depriving myself of anything. Exercising without getting obsessive about it and running because I think it’s fun and it makes me feel good!

Now that Blanche was thrown off quite a bit during the pandemic and everything I’ve experienced and had to deal with because of that, but that’s another story for another day. What matters is that I have learned how to find that balance to actually be happy, healthy, and not give a fuck what society says that I should look like.

I’ll leave you with this; again, diet culture is fucked. 𝐋𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐞𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐦𝐚𝐝𝐞 𝐦𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐲. But letting go of our societal ideas of what beauty is and what a fit body should look like did. I don’t give a fuck anymore. Ever since I’ve let that all go I can actually pursue my passions and do things that make me happy. I’m heavier yes, but I’m also healthier and happier that I ever was when I was “skinny”. ⁣

Let’s talk running shoes! 👟

Personally I believe that running shoes are a very personal and individual choice! Just because someone can run in a particular pair of running shoes doesn’t mean ANYONE can.

Take me for example, I can’t run in anything that has stability control, too much cushion, or anything with a big sole. (I know I’m going to end up getting shoe recommendations on this post so PLEASE don’t recommend me Hoka’s. The soles on those shoes are waaaaay too much for me). I like a lightweight shoe that doesn’t get in my way and that I can actually feel the ground in while wearing them. So for probably around 5ish years now I’ve done most of my running in Nike Free’s.

But I’ve been trying to move away from Nike gear. Between sweat shops, they way they treat females athletes (specifically pregnant ones), and doping scandals, among other things, they’re just a brand I don’t want to support anymore. So began my quest to find another shoe that I can run it! Alas after much trial and error, I quickly learned that there really is no shoe that is comparable to the Nike Free. Unfortunately.

But after some trial and error I’m learning to run safely in Brooks Ricochet 2. It’s definitely been an adjustment and I’m still doing a majority of my running in Free’s, but the most important thing is that my Ricochet’s haven’t given me plantar fasciitis. An issue I tend to get while running in a shoe that is just “too much shoe”.

I’m still having trouble with that 8mm drop and the fact that I still feel like I’m pretty far off of the ground. Not so much so that it’s causing me problems, but it’s definitely something I notice. Something that keeps me from doing speed work in them and it makes me very wary running in wet weather. That is kinda funny though! I can run in the slipperiest, nastiest weather in my Free’s and I feel sure footed and safe. But I tried running in my Ricochet’s in the rain and I found myself worried about slipping on wet pavement.

Anyway, what I’ve concluded so far is that I CAN run in Brook’s shoes as long as they have natural support. Carefully, but it is possible!!

I’m still not ready to give up my Nike Free’s yet though. And I probably never will until some other company makes a comparable shoe but I’m not holding my breath on that front.

What kind of shoes do you run in?

Christmas In November

Guys it’s 2020, there are no rules anymore! So Luke and I put up our Christmas tree last night. 😂

Not the best photo, but you get the idea.

Actually, what we really did last night was go to Walmart, bough a new Christmas tree because our old one was a little bit sad looking, bought some new Christmas decorations, then went home and started decorating while listening to Christmas music.

Now we don’t have EVERYTHING up yet, but we’ve got a pretty decent start with some of our Christmas stuff. We figure that 2020 has pretty much been a really shitty year and it’s looking like things are going to get shut down again, so we might as well start Christmas early!

Seriously though, I don’t know how things are where you live but the number of COVID cases in my county are skyrocketing. It’s gotten to the point where we have to get tested twice a week at the nursing home I work at, instead of the once a week we were doing. Fun times…

We had COVID in our facility for around 6ish weeks earlier this year and we are kinda expecting to get it again. Obviously I cannot say much but we have already had someone test positive last week. And we’re getting tested again today so I kinda expect that we’re going to end up with more positives… But I guess we’ll find out in a couple of days.

Honestly though I’m not surprised that my county’s numbers are so high. Last night there were soooo many people at Walmart and absolutely none of them were even trying to stay 6 feet apart from other people. And the amount of people wearing their masks incorrectly, touching their masks/face, or only wearing face shields (spoiler alert: those don’t do much in the way of preventing the spread of anything coming out of your mouth and nose. 🙄). It’s just stressful.

Luke and I rarely venture out but obviously we need to go out sometimes. Mostly for grocery shopping but last night was kind of an exception because we needed a little holiday cheer. But if we do end up contracting COVID it’s probably going to be from someone at a grocery store. That or from my work. Luke’s been working from home since like March so that’s kinda been nice.

Well sorry that this little life update kinda turned into a huge bummer. But hey, that’s where we are right now.

I hope you and your families are all staying safe and healthy! And go put up your Christmas tree! Let’s get holly jolly a little bit earlier this year! I think we all need it! 🎄💜

~Ashley

Why Running?

“Why running?”

It’s a question I get a lot whenever I tell people I’m a runner. Which honestly isn’t exactly often, partially because of this question.

It can be kind of hard to explain to someone who’s already made up their mind about running. “Running sucks.” “Running is painful.” “Running is boring.” “I could never run that far.” Statements like these often follow that particular question.

It’s hard to convince people that you quickly grow to embrace the discomfort. That sometimes you get excited when you start feeling that burning in your legs. Some days you gladly welcome the shortness of breath and the pounding of your heart. Sometimes you even chase the pain and discomfort that some people are so afraid of. Because pushing your body and testing your limits feels good!

How do you adequately describe to someone the absolute joy and freedom that running brings? That just like in life, it’s often the smallest things that make it so great; how quite and peaceful it is while running through the falling snow, splashing through puddles after a rainstorm, watching the sunrise at 5 o’clock in the morning, the rhythmic sound of your feet hitting the pavement.

It’s not easy to articulate that the big wins, PR’s, and successful runs, training cycles, and races are great, but that the big losses are good too. Not that they always feel that way in the moment, but when you look back on them days, weeks, months, or years later it seems like you always realize that you learned an important lesson from that big loss.

Over the years I’ve learned that running is good for your body, your mind, and your soul. I’m not sure any other form of movement or exercise program can be as fulfilling and painful and beautiful and heartbreaking and amazing and pure and I could literally go on and on, as running is. But I’ve found that it can be hard to explain that to the people who’ve already made up their minds on running. And that’s fine.

I think running is almost like a religion in that way; people don’t want it shoved down their throats, especially by the people who are highly devoted to it. So I’ve taken a similar stance on running as I do with religion and politics and other sometimes hard to talk about subjects, I just won’t talk about it unless you ask me. Because I’m not about to try to change someone’s mind on anything. I just don’t have that kind of energy in my life.

So when I do get asked “why running?” I usually just respond with a smile and a quick “because I think it’s fun.”. Because a lot of people just don’t get it or already have their minds made up about it and that’s alright! Because I’m just going to keep on running.

Wild Turkeys

Here’s a fun fact you may not know; wild turkeys can be fucking mean!

When you live on an 80 acre farm that contains a good amount of woods, several ponds, a creek, and drainage ditches that branch off of said creek, along with animal pastures, and farm fields, well, sometimes some interesting wildlife ends up making its way from the woods and into your front yard. Or in this case, occasionally perched on the roof of your grandma’s house.

One of the wildlife experiences that we had that sticks out in my mind is the 2 or 3 years we had a family of turkeys live in our barnyard. This always happened in the fall, usually around November had to of been around the time I was 12, 13, and 14. But I don’t remember exactly when.

Wild turkeys tend to nest on the ground and roost in trees. But these turkeys decided that they were going to roost on the roof of my grandma’s house. There were always two adults; a male and a female, and the usually had one or two juveniles with them.

I don’t know if it was people deer hunting that drove them up out of the woods or if they just realized that predators didn’t exactly frequent the front yards/barn lot. Well aside from our dogs, barn cats, and the dogs being boarded in the kennel, that is. But either way, these turkeys would take up residence in the barn lot and around our yards. They’d wander around pecking away at the ground to their heart’s content. And probably getting to enjoy cat food, cow feed, and chicken feed in the process.

But at night they would roost, like most birds do. But not in any of the available trees. And there were plenty of them! No, these turkeys took a liking to roosting on my grandma’s roof. Which was kind of cool! But this thing is wild turkeys can be aggressive! Especially if they have babies with them! So if you ran across them by accident they were prone to chase after you and might even try to peck/spur you! Sometimes they would even attack from above if you happened to be trying to get into my grandma’s house while they were roosting there.

You see turkeys, much like many roosters, have “spurs” on the back of their legs. Almost like a thorn or a single claw. Unlike chickens though both the males and females have them! And I can tell you from personal experience that getting spurred really does hurt! So you don’t exactly want to mess with a pissed off turkey so we tried to avoid them whenever we could, but I do think recall them ever sticking around for an entire winter.

I’m not sure what happened to the turkeys. Eventually they just stopped showing up. I’m not sure if my timeline is right, but we might have eaten one of them for Thanksgiving dinner! We did that once or twice when my dad would shoot a wild turkey. Turkeys are also super hard to pluck, but that’s a story for another day.

There was really never a dull moment on the farm and I sure do miss it!

This was my grandma’s yard on the farm. You can see part of the kennel on the left and part of her house in the right.

Gourdy’s Pumpkin Run Virtual 5k

Happy Halloween!! 🎃🖤

How does one recap a virtual 5k? Because honestly I’m not sure. 😂 With no pre/post race festivities to talk about (because obviously there were none) this “race” 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. 😂

My knee felt alright during this run although I did do quite a bit of walking. But I am thinking I’ll be able to start doing a few short and easy runs every week now so I’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 didn’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.

I’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 don’t want to risk going to one. I don’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 don’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. 😂 We bought candy just in case we do get trick-or-treaters but honestly I don’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 🎃🍂🖤

Snow In October

We don’t usually get snow this early here in Kansas, but today it’s been snowing pretty much all day! Honestly I’m surprised we even ended up getting as much snow as we did and on top of that it even stuck instead of just melting right away!

I wish I could have gone out and run in it, but I’ve taken a bit of a break from running. At some point last week I tweaked my knee pretty bad. But I kept running on it because I’m stubborn and REALLY good at ignoring pain. Yeah, that’s not a good way to go about dealing with an injury and I definitely don’t recommend it because my knee has just gotten progressively worse. So at this point I’ve stopped running and am trying to stay off of my feet as much as possible (but that’s really hard to do when your job requires you to be on your feet for extended periods of time).

So I’m starting to think that my virtual half on November 7th isn’t going to happen and honestly I’m not really all that upset about it. The more I think about it the more I realize that o really didn’t want to do another virtual half. Especially not alone. I did one earlier this year with my dad and that was a lot of fun, but tackling one alone without any of the usual race day fanfare just sounds like no fun right now.

So that’s pretty much where I am right now. Rehabbing am injury, continuing with my dad to day life, and today I’m soaking up and enjoying the October snow!

Happy Monday, everyone! 💜


A Long Run

A really fucking hard long run…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time,

~Ashley

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

The short answer; not well. 😂

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rinse and repeat.

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