Wednesday, September 14, 2016

City of Lakes Half Marathon Recap

Gooood morning/afternoon/evening to you all! Today I am going to recap my experience with the City of Lakes Half Marathon. If you are unsure what I am talking about, check out my announcement on running the race here and how I felt about the run the week before here.

One word to describe the experience: HARD.

Besides my knee pain and the bottom of my feet feeling like they were on fire, I think it went really well. I had two goals for this race. To finish in under 2:30:00 and to get an under 12 minute average mile. Well, I accomplished both!

But first, lets talk about the couple of days before hand. On Friday, I went out for a last 4 mile run and it went really well! I had no knee pain and I ran the fastest splits so far this training. It was a great ending to help me feel like I was ready to concur the race. On Saturday, I got all of my stuff ready. I knew which pants I was going to wear and I had decided to wear my old Asics.

For  a little bit of energy during the race, I picked up a Honey Stinger in Gold. Turns out that was a great idea on my part! Saturday night I just couldn't calm my nerves and felt almost nausaus from thinking about it constantly so I had a beer. So worth it. After that I was in bed by 9:30pm and slept until about 2am. From there I tossed and turned every 45ish minutes until it was time to get up. We were out the door by 6:30am to make sure to get a parking spot and get ready!

This sunrise was just beautiful as well. Sign of a good morning coming!


After we arrived, Bill and I waited for the couple that I was running the race with. Now don't read that as us running the same pace but that is crazy! I was definitely the slowest person of us all! At about 7:45am we took our obligatory group photo and we were off!

Grant, Rachel, I

The first few miles went by super quick actually. I got to about mile 6 running a 10:20 mile. You guys, that is super fast for me. I think it had something to do with all of the people that were running around me and the adrenaline.


The above picture is the route of the race. Bill took up his spot at between the 6 and 13th mile. I ended up passing him 4 times which was super awesome. There were quite a few hills during this race as well. The first time around they weren't too bad but the second time around was a lot harder. The thing running through my head the whole time? Little steps, Ash, little steps. I was doing okay until I hit mile 11. At that point, my pace slowed up a lot and I started walking. Since I knew what time it was and how much mileage I had left, I knew that I was allowed to walk a little bit. Mile 11 and 12 were the hardest for me. This was the longest I have ever ran for goodness sake! Once I saw Bill on mile 13, I kicked it into high gear and finished super strong. I would have loved to see how fast I was actually running that last little bit. Bill was also able to get this sweet picture of me during the race.


I believe this was the second time that I saw him so I was still pretty fresh on the running part. :)

I ended up finishing in 2:28:23 with an average 11:26 per mile. I accomplished both the goals that I set for myself and I couldn't be happier with the results. Even if I did walk quite a bit at the end.

After the race, I met up with the other two runners and Bill. We headed to grab our "swag" and chomp down on a banana. I was starving! I actually went from just fine to starving around mile 9. At this point, I took my Honey Stinger and immediately felt better. After getting our "swag" = pint glass and metal, we headed home for me to shower and RELAX. I relaxed all day and was in bed by 8pm. No shame over here.


Overall, I would say that I liked doing this race but will not do it again. I just felt that the atmosphere could have been better, there were barely any spectators and the swag was not that great. I mean come on, we all just ran 13.1 miles!

I am signed up for one more race this fall. I (along with two other friends including Rachel from the photo above) are running the Twin Cities 10 mile run. I am really looking forward to this one as we are running from Minneapolis to St. Paul and I have heard the atmosphere is great. The "swag" is also better ha. 

So there you have it. My take on the City of Lakes Half Marathon. 

Until next time!

Linking up with these pretty ladies!

AnnMarieJenNicole, and Michelle for Wild Workout Wednesday!

grab button for The Fit Foodie Mama

Also linking up with Running on HappySuzlyfeCrazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs for Running Coaches Corner!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Thoughts for Thursday

HOW is it almost the middle of September already?!?!

August was a super busy month over here! As you can probably tell by my lack of blog posts :(

Since today is Thursday, I thought I would link up with Amanda for some random updates!

1. My half marathon race is on Sunday and I am in awe about how fast it has come up. If you want to hear more about the race and how I am feeling about it, check out yesterday's post! Eeek, can't wait to update you all!

2. Last week after quite a few restless nights, we decided to go out and look at beds. We have been wanting a king bed for some time now but just haven't jumped on it. Last friday we spend 3.5 hours in HOM furniture and ended up walking out with a new mattress and bed set (which also included two new pillows and a sheet set!). Not literally walked out...the lady gave us delivery for free! It was delivered on Sunday and I ran to Target to check out some new bedding since all of ours is either full or queen. I was able to score a lot of things on clearance and here is what I came up with:

I was initially thinking navy with grey accents but ended up going with this 1/2 off coral color with navy pillow cases. I also scored this cream and gold pillow as well to act as an accent pillow. You can't really see the gold on the cream pillow but I promise it is there! I really like the look of it all. The comforter came with two pillow cases made for king size pillows so we may be investing in some cheap ones just to help fill out the look of the pillows since we don't have any that size.

3. Mya has been out of her kennel at night for a little over a month and out during the day for the last couple of weeks. Wellll at night is going pretty well. It's during the day that we have had some troubles. First it was my favorite pair of shoes from Target, then it was a toy house for Bruce (good thing he didn't really play in it anymore) and today it was my awesome new pillow that we just got on Sunday that came with our new mattress. Like come on, girl. Bill even made the bed this morning so she had to jump up on the bed, pull the comforter down and get at the pillow. Ugh. It may be time for her to go back in her kennel during the day. It is really hard to be mad at this face...

4. I think I have narrowed down to my self hosting site...but I have heard good and bad things about both. Not only that, but since Blogger is powered on its own I would have to start all over with my template. This wouldn't be a big deal but I paid someone to come up with this and like how it turned out. Although, it would be nice to be able to have control over everything and make everything easy to find. Decisions, decisions. JUST MAKE A DECISION ASHLEY...sorry about that...

5. Last night I made cauliflower rice for the second time. The first time it was utterly disgusting and I threw it all away. Ick. But this time I sauteed it for about 5 minutes with some coconut aminos, garlic powder and ginger. I didn't really follow any type of recipe. I was serving it with a stir-fry so I just used some of the same ingredients so that they could compliment each other. I was super nervous but it was actually pretty good.

6. Last week was the MN State Fair and we indulged twice. We went once on the first day and again the 3rd before the last day. The first time we were there bright and early and it was nice to walk around and not have 1000's of people around. The second time was at night and there was people everywhere. I think I liked going in the morning a little better. Here are some snapshots:  




That it what I will leave with you today since I am all scatterbrained due to my race. Check back in to see my review on the Twin Cities Half Marathon!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Workout Wednesday

I have been off the blog for a little big getting my life aka procrastinating all of the organizing at our house.

What better way to come back on a Workout Wednesday, especially since my big race is THIS SUNDAY. Omg you guys, I cant believe it is already here. I feel like I just agreed to run this thing. Training was going well until a couple of weeks ago. I started feeling some pain in the back of my left knee but decided to push through it during my 10 mile run. I probably shouldn't have done that, but I did. Later that night after my run, I experienced something that I haven't before. I felt sore in every single joint, I was weak and I felt very nauseous. I was finally able to get my hands on some Excedrin. I took two and within 20 minutes (and a couple beers), I was feeling pretty much back to normal. I don't really know what happened but it was scary. Fast forward to my last long run before my race and I only made it 6 miles. My knee started hurting after about mile 2 but it wasn't too bad. Then around mile 5.5, I felt a weird twinge/pop in my knee. The pain then wrapped around the front of my shin. At this point, I tried to run a little more but ultimately decided that it wouldn't be a good idea. I walked the rest of the way home -- which thankfully I was only about .5 miles from the house. After getting home, I ate some lunch while icing and wrapping my knee. By Saturday, I could feel that there was still some soreness but nothing too crazy. I decided to take Saturday, Sunday and Monday off of running to really see if it would help. Well last night I went out for a 3 mile run and ended up running an average of 10:15 for 3.2 miles. If you have followed any of my other updates, this is faster than normal for me. I pushed last night since I knew that I only have 3 runs left and I finished feeling really good. My knee still hurts but its more of a nuisance now. I am really hoping that it holds strong for the run. Coincidentally, the person that asked me to run is also having some foot issues. So we will be finishing it, even if it takes a little longer than planned.

As for the day of, I am already nervous :( I really believe that I can do it and am at a point right now where I am the most fit, cardiovascularly anyway. I think the only other time that I have been this fit would be when I was in basic training and that was 8 years ago! I think all of the running I have been doing has given me the tools to run this thing. My goal is 2 hours and 45 minutes. Ideally I would like to be at 2.5 hours but I want to give myself some leniency. I plan to start at around an 11:00 mile and go from there.

The weather is supposed to be around 60* and the humidity is supposed to be low. Honestly perfect conditions if you ask me :) I plan on getting some gels this week that I can take during my run. It really helps to focus mentally on those times where I take them. It makes the time go by way faster. I was able to sample a Honey Stinger gel in Mango Orange and really liked it. I took about half 45 minutes into the run and finished it about 20 minutes after that. It was just a lot to take in at once if I would have done the whole packet. I also slowed to a walking speed to give my stomach a chance to catch up. I didn't get an upset stomach afterwards and the rest of the day I felt good as well. Since I tried this brand, I am going to stick with it for the race.

Right now I am debating which shoes to run in. I got a new pair of asics for my running style (overpronator) and I just feel that I am still adjusting to them. Last night I did wear them and I have seen a pattern in being able to go a little faster in them. I guess we will just have to see how the last two runs of the week go!

With that said, I have a 4 mile and a 2 mile run left this week, and then the race on Sunday! Bill is planning on coming to cheer me on/motivate me. Now if I could just tell him the best place to go...(any suggestions on spectator placement???).

Here is a map of the course:

You end up running around the lakes twice. I have not run either one of these lakes before so I am looking forward to new scenery!

Well there you have it. My next workout post will be all about the race and what I thought about it. I am hoping to get this up next week (within a timely manner)! 

Wish me (and my friends) luck!

Linking up with these pretty ladies!

AnnMarieJenNicole, and Michelle for Wild Workout Wednesday!

grab button for The Fit Foodie Mama

Also linking up with Running on HappySuzlyfeCrazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs for Running Coaches Corner!