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Hi guys! I ran the Applefest half on Saturday and it was definitely an interesting race! I ran this race last year as well.

The race has a later start of 10:00, which I love, so I didn’t have to be up super early. I usually don’t sleep very well the night before a race but I didn’t have any problems this time and woke up at 7:00, well rested.

A coffee and a plain bagel with an egg (no cheese) served as pre-race fuel (and worked well). I ate it on the way to meet my dad, and then we headed off to the race. It started pouring on the drive over…I was getting pretty nervous and jittery!


We parked and then hopped on a bus to drive us to the start. We tracked down my brother for a picture and then checked our bags. The rain had just about stopped by this point.



We lined up and before we knew it, we were off!! My dad and I started the race together but he took off shortly after. We had planned that we would both just find a comfortable pace and not worry about sticking together. He’s much faster than I am! 🙂

I usually start off much too fast so I really concentrated on keeping a do-able pace. I wanted to stick to 10:00-10:30/miles and did so for the first eight miles. I felt awesome! It started raining again, and was pouring at one point, but it helped to keep us cool. I was very thankful, especially after the heat of last year.

I ate half of a GU around mile 5, and then finished it at mile 8. One was plenty and my energy levels were steady. Around mile 8 was when the hills started. I struggled with them last year so I was kind of dreading them. But once I hit them, they weren’t that bad! Definitely a bit of a challenge but nothing I couldn’t handle.


Unfortunately, right about when the hills started, I started to feel a tightening in my calves (worse in the right than the left). I’m not exactly sure what brought this on but they started cramping up badly! I kept pulling of to the side to stretch them, even going into downward-dog a few times. I kept this up for a few miles but was getting frustrated. I felt so strong otherwise and knew it was hurting my pace.

When I was running, I had to step cautiously since my calf felt like it would cramp up at any minute. And at mile 11, it did. I’ve never experienced a cramp like that and I never want to again!! I stumbled to my knees on the side of the road and tried to massage it out, but that wasn’t exactly possible. Wow, did it hurt! I couldn’t even move my foot and it took my breathe away.

A few people asked if I needed first aid but I waved them off. I’m sure I looked like a sight, sitting in the mud, clutching my leg. I sat there for about 5 minutes until I could finally stand up and limp along. I ran when I could, and walked the rest of the time. It still hurt like crazy but it didn’t cramp up that badly again, thank goodness.

I was able to run across the finish line, coming in at 2:27:16. This was 15 minutes faster than last year and a PR by 5 minutes! I was a little disappointed since I knew I could’ve done better but I’m still excited about beating my previous times! That’s all that matters, right?

My dad did great, coming in around 2:02. And he just turned 60 last week! Pretty awesome, if you ask me! My brother rocked it around 1:38. Speedy!


We hung around for a little while…I grabbed a water, half a bagel and some apple crisp (their signature). I could barely walk so we headed out after a little while. I had to have my dad drive home since I couldn’t press the gas pedal! Yeah, I was a mess.


Once home, I devoured almost an entire small pizza and iced my leg (frozen brussel sprouts to the rescue). The thought of stretch was too painful and I was really wishing I had a foam roller. I actually had to wait until Sunday night before I could stretch! I’m just now able to walk and climb stairs normally. Oh the joys!

Overall, an eventful race! I’m happy with my PR and will hopefully be able to run it next year!



Hi friends! Hope you’re enjoying your Sunday!

A few weeks ago I was invited to run the Viking 5K, a local race to raise money for the high school booster club…of course I jumped at the offer! I love racing close to home. It makes things so much easier!

The race started at 8 a.m. yesterday morning, with registration and pick-up opening at 7:00. I woke up at 6:30 to temperatures in the 30’s. Yikes! My knee was really tight so I told myself I would just take it easy.

Prerace fuel, though I only ate half of the bagel…


really could have used some hot coffee…


I needed to get a long run in so I packed up my fuel belt and a change of clothes so that I could just stop at my parent’s house afterwards and head out for some extra mileage post race. By the time I was heading out it had warmed up a little bit to perfect running temps.

The race was held at the high school and was really well-organized…plenty of parking close by and lots of room at the start!


I walked up to the table and was handed a packet with my race bib, safety pins, t-shirt, and some goodies! Food is always a good thing. Winking smile


The course was downhill for the first two miles and uphill for the last mile…I was dreading the hill but it actually wasn’t too bad! I finished at 28:52 and was happy with that.


Some post-race shots…

Professional timing…


I loved that they had times listed immediately…


Food and water…


Another great perk of a local race…friends!! Smile


Darci, Chanel, and Nicole…great job girls!! You all rocked it!

Overall it was an awesome event and I hope it becomes an annual thing! You could tell that it was organized by runners! Smile

Disclaimer: I received free race admission in exchange for writing about this event. As always, any opinions expressed on Will Run for Food are honest and my own.

I hung out at the race for a little while and then headed out. I dropped my car off, filled up my fuel belt, removed my bib, and set out on a 7-mile loop. It had a nice mix of hills and flat areas and the temps were hovering in the 60’s. Perfection. My knee was still bothering me a little but I didn’t notice it after the first mile. 10 miles complete, sans music! I finished up in about an hour and 44 minutes (including my time and mileage from the race).

Very thankful for an unheated pool afterwards!!



And snacks…


And some furry company (Max).


It was a great running day!! I’m feeling a little more confidant for my upcoming half marathon. Only two weeks left!

Hi guys! Sorry for being MIA for a while…I’ve been here and there…did you watch the Royal Wedding? Sick of hearing about it? 🙂 Well, I was up at 5 a.m. yesterday to watch and I loved every second. So romantic! And now I’m done, I promise. 🙂

My dad and I signed up for another 5K and it crept up on me! I haven’t really been running as much as I would’ve liked but I figured I’d run it anyway and see what I could do. I woke up this morning around 7:20, a little later than I had planned, and quickly got everything together to meet my dad at 8:00. The race wasn’t until 10:00 but it was about 50 minutes away.

I grabbed an egg and cheese bagel sandwich and an iced coffee for the road.


I wasn’t sure how the iced coffee would affect me since I hadn’t drank it before a race yet (though I drink it almost every day) but it was fine! I wouldn’t have tried it out for the first time if the race was longer but I figured I could still finish a 5K even if I wasn’t feeling that great. I’m a risk taker, what can I say? 😉

The race was a 10K and 5K in Manchester, NH. It was very well organized and there was plenty of parking, always a plus! We didn’t register soon enough for t-shirts but ended up getting some after the race so it worked it. We picked up our packets and hung out for a while. It was around 50 degrees and partially overcast so it was a little chilly at first, but perfect for racing.

I was hoping for PR (under 30:32) but was really wanting to come in somewhere around the 27 minute range. Since my runs have been inconsistent I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be.

Well, I finally got my new PR! It was an awesome course with a few small hills but nothing major. The weather was perfect for running and I was feeling good. I probably started out a bit too fast (the first mile was around 8 minutes) but then, I always do. I don’t have the official time and I forgot to stop my Garmin (as always!) but I think the clock was around 27:50…hooray!

My dad and I (can you tell that we’re related? ;)), after the race.


He ran an awesome race and came in a few minutes before me. Can’t wait to get the official results!

We hung out for a bit and then headed home. I had a ton of water and a banana, and then a date at home. Love these!


Time to find some lunch and look for our next race! Did anyone else race today?

Hi friends! Happy Saturday! Hope your week was great…mine was okay, just a tad boring! 🙂 My meals were super repetitive and I just didn’t really feel like blogging about them…eggs, again?? 😉 And nothing exciting was really happening around these parts…

I mentioned earlier this week that my dad had signed us up for a 5K today. The race started at 9 so he planned to pick me up at 8.

I usually prepare for races the night before but just wasn’t too into it…so I was left scrounging for some clothes this morning (they may or may not have been dirty) and getting all of my gear together. I ate breakfast (yup, eggs and toast) and finished getting ready.


Some blurry berries were also consumed.


This breakfast sat well and I didn’t have any stomach issues. This race was more of a local fun run to raise money for a woman with MS and there weren’t too many runners there…but the organizers did a good job and even had a water station (I didn’t partake though)! We picked up our bibs and t-shirts and bundled up…it was a whopping 32 degrees (come on, New England). Gloves and ear warmers were donned, as well as jackets.


I didn’t get any photos at the race since it was just my dad and I…

We lined up at a cross walk that was the ‘start line’ and on "go," we were off! I really focused on not going out too fast since that has been an issue for me. Our pace was steady for the first half mile but then the hills set in…it was completely uphill until the halfway point! Ugh…I was not pleased! Our pace dropped drastically and I was pretty bummed. I was really hoping for a PR! We made up some time on the last mile that had a lot of downhill sections but we couldn’t fully recover the lost time.

Luckily, at one point I glanced down at my watch and realized we were at the 3.1 mile mark…with no finish line in sight. I was able to hit the lap button to catch our time of 31:32 (darn hills). The finish line was another .4 mile…seriously? That was a little annoying. I can see being a little off but almost a half mile?

I was really glad I got to run it with my dad, though, and I think we both had a good time. We grabbed some waters (and an apple for me) and headed out. Now I need to find our next race! I’ll get this PR one way or another! 🙂

I munched on this granola bar when I got home.


And the t-shirts (the best part? :))…


All in all, an ok race…but they raised over $16,000, which is awesome!!

PR, I’m out to get you! 😉

Any fun plans for the weekend?

Finally a race that was totally amazing!! The weather was a bit chilly but the sun was shining and the course was mostly flat!

Since the race didn’t start until 1 pm I was able to make it to church this morning and just left a little early. I headed to my parents house to change since it is closer…and stole a banana for some pre-race fuel.




(That is the running jacket that I picked up yesterday…I usually don’t run in new clothes on race day but since it was a shorter distance I figured I could handle any malfunctions…it was a bit big! but warm…)

I was a little nervous about parking (I was alone today) so I left with plenty of time to spare. They didn’t have a designated parking lot so we just had to find our own spots…not ideal but it actually wasn’t too bad. I parked and had about 45 minutes until the start so I hung out for a little bit in my car and then headed to the race area.

I chatted with a few other runners and hopped around for a bit to keep warm…it was time to head to the starting line before we knew it! It was a gun start but even with over 1100 runners it only took about 20 seconds to get over the line.

There was a small hill at the beginning but then the course was mostly flat/downhill! What a difference from my other races! It was a great course and I was able to keep a fairly steady pace of 9:30-10:00 minute miles. I don’t have my splits…can you set the Garmin 305 to automatically record mile splits?? I need to figure this out because I never remember to hit the split button.

I had chatted with a friend at the start but we weren’t planning on running together…we were actually pretty evenly matched for pace because we ran most of it together! It was nice to have someone to chat with (though I am not really a chatter when I run) and it really motivated me to stay on pace.

One thing I didn’t realize beforehand was that there were no water stops on the course…not a huge deal since it was only five miles but I still could’ve used some water!! My lips were soo dry at the finish!

At mile 4.5 there was a small hill that felt like Everest! I struggled to keep my pace but pushed through it! It was downhill from there to the finish line! I didn’t see a clock and I forgot to stop my Garmin until a bit after I crossed so I’m not sure of my time…my watch read 49:30 so possibly around 49 minutes? I was really happy with my time as my secret goal was to beat 50:00! Woo hoo! I felt so good after which makes me think I could’ve pushed it a bit more but overall it was a great race!

I grabbed a water, half a turkey sandwich, and a small cup of vegetable soup. It was delicious! Since I didn’t have anyone waiting on me I took my time and enjoyed it! Maybe I like going to races alone after all! 😉


Trying to snap a picture before anyone walked by… 🙂


I found my car and headed to Boston Donuts for an iced coffee (Hazelnut) and an egg and cheese bagel…it hit the spot!



I’m excited for the official results to be posted!

Headed to make myself a bowl of soup to warm up!

Enjoy your Sunday!

I'm Ashley. Wife and new mom. Lover of food, running, baking, strength training, fashion, iced coffee, interior design, and photography. Welcome to Will Run for Food, where I document bits of all of the above (and more)! Thanks for stopping by!

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