Time to get ready for the next one…

I am still giddy from my race this past weekend. I still can’t believe I finished, and finished so strong. The results were posted and my official time was 2:20:25. Far from fast, but now I have a starting point and it can only get better from here, right? Well, that’s what I hope. I have already signed up for my second half marathon. I need something to keep me motivated! This time I signed up for the Edmonton (half) Marathon, which is held August 25th, with my friend Jen! This will be her first half marathon so we are going to arrange for a few Saturday runs to train together. I did all my training on my own last time so we’ll see if training with someone else will benefit me. It will be a much larger race than the one I ran on Sunday so I am so excited to see how they compare!

I haven’t done much activity wise since Sunday. I woke up Monday morning with such. sore. legs. I went to work but left around 2:30 because I couldn’t stand sitting still anymore. I am so over this office work! I had booked myself an appointment to get a massage so I relaxed at home for a while and then drove over to get my massage. Can you believe I have never had a massage before? The therapist I had was shocked. I haven’t had any major aches or pains before, sorry lady! I will be making these massages a priority now though; I loved every minute of it. She didn’t use very hard pressure on me since it was my first time and my legs were obviously pretty tender, but next time I will be asking for more pressure. It was glorious though. My legs are starting to feel back to normal now. I’ve been stretching and trying to avoid stairs as much as possible to prevent further strain. I have to get back to the gym and get some elliptical sessions in or something though. August is going to come up fast and I want to be even more prepared for this next race.

Training is going to be a little sloppy for the rest of June and into the beginning of July. In two weeks I will be flying home to Ontario for eleven days. Once I am there I am taking a trip to New York for four days with one of my best friends. The rest of the time will be spent catching up with my family and friends and I couldn’t be any more excited about it. I haven’t been home since October and that was for a friend’s wedding and only lasted a weekend. I need some quality time with some of my favourite people.

We had some crazy weather this afternoon with tornado warnings in place. We only got thunder/lightning/hail, but it was insane nevertheless. Good night!

I did it!

Wow.

I am so happy I get to write this post.  I have been putting it off all day simply because I can’t seem to put into words how great I feel.  Everyone I talk to on the phone barely gets two minutes of talking time in because I am just a blur of endorphin’s rambling on and on.  This is going to be all over the place because my mind just doesn’t stop.

I ran my first half marathon today.  Six months ago I couldn’t even run over two miles on the treadmill, let alone run 13.1.  I signed up for this race though in hopes of motivating me to get off my butt and finally do something for me.  I seemed a little over ambitious at the beginning, but once I make my mind up there is no way I will let myself down.

Today the six months of training made it all worth it.  I woke up this morning at 5:45 to start getting ready for the 8AM start.  I ate a piece of toast and a banana, plus a few bites of coconut greek yogurt.  My stomach was a ball of nerves so there was no way I could get anything else into me.  I left my place a little late as usual but made it to the start with about 10 minutes to spare.  They gave the half marathoners a choice of two different courses from the starting line which was a little weird, but I chose the second route knowing I’d avoid one monstrous hill near the end).  The race started on time and I knew right from the start that this was going to be a good race.  It started out sunny but a little cool, but about a quarter of the way through it started getting overcast and misting slightly.  It definitely wasn’t hot out but I think it was the optimal temperature.  I wore a t-shirt and capri’s from Old Navy and didn’t overheat or feel too cool once, even when the wind picked up by the river.

The miles just seemed to fly by and my legs didn’t start to bother me until about the tenth mile.  Both my hips were starting to ache and a few times I really had to focus on keeping on foot in front of the other.  You really are running off of adrenaline though.  The atmosphere was incredible.  My biggest complaint about the race is that the miles weren’t marked at all and they only had an occasional arrow showing which way you are supposed to go.  There were a couple times I couldn’t see  anyone in front of me and I wasn’t sure where exactly I was supposed to go.  This is the first year for this race though so of course there are going to be a few things to work out for next year.

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My friends Jen and Ryan were there waiting for me at the finish line.  I feel like I ran (jogged) the majority of the race.  I didn’t have to take too many walking breaks even with the amount of hills on the trails.  The energy running through me was incredible.  I even had enough in me to sprint to the end!  I highly recommend anyone who is considering running a half marathon or whatever to just do it.  Sign up for something but give yourself plenty of time to train beforehand but just do it.  If I can friggen run a half marathon, anyone can!

I finished around 2:20.  I don’t know my exact time because the finish line was such a blur but all I know is that I definitely beat my goal of running it in 2:30.  That is an amazing feeling.  I spoke earlier about basically changing my goal from 2:30 to just being able to finish the race because I didn’t think it would be possible to finish before 2:30, but I sure did!  Crushed it!

Even though I can barely walk I managed to drive myself to Dairy Queen a little earlier for a little bit of sugar recovery:

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I heard ice cream helps with the healing process?  

This is one that we don’t wanna miss

Current Music: Randy Houser – Runnin’ Out of Moonlight

Well I am happy to report my leg is already feeling a lot better. It makes me giddy just typing that out!    All day at work the only thing I had on my mind was taking a bubble bath, so once I got home last night (and after receiving some bad news), I hopped into an Epsom salt filled tub for an hour with my music and no lights on and relaxed. I got out of the bath and did a little bit more stretching and miraculously my leg felt amazing. I could take a step without cringing! This is amazing news considering my race is only 3 days away!  See what happens when I stop being so negative?  I’m going to take it easy the next couple of days and no more running or strength training until Sunday. I’ll get to the gym and do a couple elliptical sessions, but that’s it! Gah, so nervous!

I mentioned I got a bit of bad news last night, so I’m going to get a little dramatic for a minute.    D got home from work last night after being away for two weeks which is amazing, but he found out he has to leave again on Saturday for an even longer period of time. He won’t be waiting for me at the finish line on Sunday. I know that is definitely far from being the end of the world, but I am really upset about it. I don’t have much support out here to begin with, so I was really hoping he’d be there to cheer me on. Oh well, there is nothing we can do about it and anyways, this race isn’t about him, it is about finding the strength inside of ME to get across that finish line. I know he feels terrible about it so I’m trying not to sulk too much. I have a couple friends stopping by, one of them is running the 5K race so I won’t be totally alone at the end.

I better get back to work. I have to leave early today so there’s a few more things I need to check off of my to-do list before I head out. Happy Thursday!!

Pain is temporary!

Current Music: Serena Ryder – What I Wouldn’t Do

I really haven’t been doing much, hence the lack of posting.  As I said last time, when D is gone I don’t do much.  Luckily he is coming home tonight for a few days… before he is gone again.  I did get all caught up with Glee.  Nothing wrong with finishing four years worth of tv in two weeks or so, right?

I went for my (actual) final long run on Satuday before my race this Sunday!  I did just over 10 miles at an 11:19 pace.  I am SO NERVOUS for my race.  Training was going so well until Saturday, and since then I have been having a little pity party for myself.  Why, you may ask?

I have a pain in my leg.  It seems to be more in my hip flexor.. Maybe?  I am new to all of this so it’s only a guess, but I had a slight ache at the end of last week but I didn’t really think much about it.  I have been very cautious with my training when it comes to running.  If I felt like I needed to take a few days off in between runs, I took them.  I didn’t incorporate much strength training in between, however, and I think that is my downfall.  After my long run on Saturday, it was no longer an ache but full out pain.  It didn’t bother me while I was running, but it was once I drove home and I was walking up the stairs of my building that I realized I may have just did something really stupid.  I have been cursing myself ever since.

I streched lots, took a really cold bath after my long run, and I have been continuing with that ever since.  I went to the gym yesterday and used the elliptical for 45 minutes, pain still there.  I decided to try the treadmill this morning to see how it went.  Let’s just say it didn’t go well.  I could barely run a mile and then I stopped and did some light weights to strech it out a little more.  It hurts when I put weight on it.

After my cold bath (I just make the water as cold as it will get and then sit in it, no “ice” bath for this girl) and more ‘As if’s”, I decided to put the negativity away and stop worrying about it.  While that is sometimes easier said then done (especially with the constant reminder every time I step on it), I finally realized that it doesn’t matter.  I am still really hoping to run this half marathon this weekend, but if I end up having to drop out of it, who really cares?  Sure, it’ll be a huge blow to my ego, but really, when I started all this six months ago I could barely run a mile let alone 10.  What an accomplishment to even get that far.  There will be more races to sign up for, the season is only just beginning.  I took a giant leap when I committed to this race.  I spent a good three weeks going back and forth with myself on whether I should even set a goal that was quite possibly so far out of my reach, but I committed.  I could have easily signed up for the 5km or 10km race, but I was determined.

My fingers are still crossed.  My leg is going to heal.  I will ice it and take it easy from this point on and we’ll see how I feel when I wake up on Sunday.  Enough with the negativity, I have amazed myself so much already, so now we just wait and see.

I made these last night to satisfy my (never ending) sweet tooth, only I had to use a mix of dark chocolate and white chocolate chips because I didn’t have enough dark chocolate. This is probably my fourth time making them since they are so easy to make. Cookies typically burn when I bake them, even if I am watching the oven like a hawk, so these no-bake bites are perfect.

You have to try this & the last LR before my race

Current Music: Glee – Red Solo Cup

Hi there!  

I hope your Sunday has been awesome so far!

Mine has been pretty low key, but I have no complaints there.  D has been away for work the last few days, and he probably won’t be back for another week and a half, so it’s been pretty quiet around these parts.  I stayed home last night and watched Silver Linings Playbook and a couple of episodes of Glee.  I only recently got into Glee when I saw it was on Netflix, but I am addicted now.  Better late than never!  I have gone through the episodes embarrassingly fast, but there’s no shame here.  Also, has anyone tried a Chocolate Peanut Butter Drumstick?  Um.. go out and find one if you haven’t yet, because they are amazing.

Anyways, I only have two weeks to go until my first race/first half marathon, so I decided today was the perfect day to take my final long run.  I like doing my long runs on Saturday’s, but yesterday was a drizzly, windy day outside and so I wimped out of going, so I was mighty thankful that today was the perfect running temperature.  I did just over 8 miles at a 11:42 pace.

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Yea, I’m definitely no speed demon.

I felt pretty good during this run.  I went to my regular trail in the river valley, lots of little hills and a couple BIG hills that just killed me.  I used up so much energy the last mile or so because of this one long, steep (to me) hill, it was such a relief to be done.  I hate hills!!     The trail I run will be part of the half marathon course, so once I started running it and realizing just how hilly it was, I changed my goal from finishing in 2:30 to just plain finishing.    This is my first race, I’m allowed to change my goals halfway through, right?  Like I said before, it was a beautiful day out:

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I fueled my run with citrus and strawberry Clif Shot Blocks.  This is only my second long run that I have fueled with them (I previously used raisins and Swedish Fish, haha), but I do feel like they work.  I think I took three in total, at miles 3, 4.5, and 6 maybe?  I also use this Camelbak on my runs, which I absolutely love.  I used to run holding a water bottle, but I love having my hands free now.  My only complaint is there is no front pockets to store anything, only a small zipped pocket in the back that requires taking the  bag off to grab anything in the pocket.  Not a big problem for me since I take many walking breaks so it doesn’t hold me back much, but if I was on a roll and needed to grab some fuel, it’s pretty inconvenient.

Anyways, it’s time to make something for dinner, and I am missing valuable Glee time, so until next time!  

I can’t tell where the journey will end, but I know where it starts

Current Music: Avicii ft. Aloe Blacc – Wake Me Up

A fresh, new blog…My least favourite thing!  I have anxiety over starting a new journal or blog simply because of this first page.  I’m never quite sure how to make it perfect.  Yes, feel free to call me crazy.  

Allow me to introduce myself-my name is Ashley and I am..not sure where to begin (still).  I wrote a short bio in my about me section, so I guess you could get the quick lowdown there… Now, I will give some quick facts about me so you get the gist of who is behind this blog:

  1.  I live with my boyfriend Derek and our cat, Trixie.  D and I have been together for six years now!  I never imagined being in love with someone for so long, but I think I found myself a keeper.   We’ve  survived a cross country move and a lot of time apart due to his job, but we make things work and he puts up with all my crazy (and trust me, there is a lot of it).
  2. All my family is living back in Ontario.  My parents just plain rock and are so supportive.  I talk to my mom nearly every night (unless they are off on some wonderful vacation, as they both just retired less than a year ago..Jealous!!).  They gave me two of my best friends, my older sister and younger brother.
  3. I love music.  I don’t have a favourite genre, I can appreciate it all.  I love music that gets me motivated to get my butt moving though!  With that said, Britney Spears is my girl, but please don’t judge me for that!! 
  4. I have struggled with my weight for years now.  I love my (bad) food, what can I say?  I lost all the weight a few years ago, but since then it has crept up again!  That my folks is what happens when you stop exercising completely and eat everything in sight..
  5. That is why running came back into my life… But I have been training for my half marathon since December and I haven’t really changed my eating patterns all that much, so I haven’t lost much weight.  I just want to finish this half marathon, I’m not really worried about losing the weight.  Food comes first (kidding, sort of)…
  6. Our cat, Trixie, is the first pet I have ever owned, and we got her when her previous owners abandoned her.  We’ve owned her for a little over a year and she is a sassy, independent suck and I can’t imagine life without her now.   She loves being in the car and spending time outdoors.  She hates nearly anyone else that enters our apartment, but has so much love for D and I.  She’s spoiled.
  7. My favourite food is probably pizza.  We order it far too often, and if we aren’t ordering it I am making it homemade.
  8. And ice cream.  If it was socially acceptable to eat ice cream for dinner (and breakfast and lunch and midnight snack) then that is what I would do.
  9. The above two facts most definitely explain my weight issues I spoke of above.  
  10. I was addicted to Diet Coke.  I’ve only had one can in at least two months.  I still don’t drink nearly enough water, but the first step is admitting you have a problem, and then baby steps from there.  Right?
  11. My original goal when I signed up for the marathon in June was to finish it in 2:30, but since I have trained on the course a couple of times and realized how hilly it is going to be, at this point I just want to be able to cross that finish line.
  12. I miss my girlfriends from back home terribly.  I have had the same group of best friends since kindergarten, and I miss them in my life so much.  
  13. I love travelling.  Small trips, big trips, don’t matter, sign me up!!  I get stir crazy if I am at home for too long.  To me, the biggest perk about living in Alberta is being in such close proximity to the Rocky Mountains.  I live in Edmonton right now but I have always said that if I don’t live in the mountains before I move back to Ontario that would be my biggest regret.
  14. My birthday is November 28th.
  15. I love taking pictures, but hate being in them.  Eventually I will get some photos posted to this blog…

Okay, that’s all I’ve got.  That’s as interesting as I can make myself sound.  Fail!

Anyways, that’s it for now.

Big hugs! 

(Yep, I’m suuuper cheesy, clearly).