You may not know her, but Ashley is a huge supporter of ours all the way down in Georgia. She even has LexRunLadies and Run the Bluegrass shirts. She’s been training right along with us for her first half this weekend – the Asheville Half – and I’m so proud of her. Nathan and I will be there too! I’ve known Ashley for years thanks to the magic of the interwebs, but will be meeting her in person this weekend. I’m so excited to give this girl a hug. Say hi to my sweet girl, Ashley!
Ashley and her very first race bib.
Why did you start running? How long have you been running?
I started running in May 2011. I told myself if would be a way to lose weight, but I think deep down, I knew it would be so much more than that. I saw how exuberant it made Krissie thought “I can have that, too.” I’d started and stopped C25K a couple of times, but by the end of the first run in May, something felt different. I knew it would stick and I haven’t looked back.
What keeps you motivated?
Sometimes, nothing. There are days I just don’t want to run. But most days, it’s because I feel Barney Stinson levels of awesome after a run. I feel strong, and no matter how crappy the rest of my day may be, it will never change that I ran that morning. Having motivating friends and family really helps, too. My husband always tells me he’s proud of me, and my friends are always congratulatory when I run.
Are you training for a race or an event?
I’m running the Asheville Citizen Times Half Marathon on Sept. 15th. I’m both terrified and thrilled. I’m also running Augusta’s Broad Street Ramble (10k) in late October. I’m excited about that because it’s at night, James Brown is on the race shirt, and it ends with beer.
What plan are you using?
I’m a Hal Hidgon girl all the way (though I love and use Jeff Galloway’s run/walk theory). Training gets easier each week, but sometimes I really hate having such a strict regimen.
What is your favorite race?
I’ve only ran 2 races! The Run Like Hell 5k in Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery was fun because it’s around Halloween and costumes are awesome. I ran the Color Run in Atlanta, too. Races should be fun. They should have weird themes and be in weird places, and if they don’t have those, then they should be run with people you love in places you love.
Where is your favorite place to run?
I love running at the Augusta Canal. No cars–only bikers and pedestrians. There are always turtles, snakes, birds, lizards, and squirrels, which I love. It’s beautiful in every season and I always feel really happy there. The canal has a history, and I like to be a part of its story by running it.
What are your running fears?
Not finishing a race, or finishing dead last. It’s never happened, but I’m so terrified I’ll just be the slowest person at a race, or worse, having the race officials sweep me off a course. Would that even be that bad?
Do you measure your runs or do you just run for fun?
I use Nike+ to track distance and time, but I’m not compulsive about it. I couldn’t tell you my mileage splits. I do set out with a mileage goal, but never a timed goal (too much stress!), and I can’t wait for the day when I just go out the door without any technology on me.
Do you do any cross-training?
I do crossfit/strength training 2x a week with my Pretty Trainer Chris. He’s the best and I’m getting crazy sexy arms. I love the results from strength training–I feel so STRONG. I also ride my Huffy beach cruiser a couple of times a week for extra (relaxing) cardio. Everyone should ride a bike. It’s the BEST (sometimes better than running!).
Do you have a long-term running goal?
Not really. I want running to always be a part of my life, but have no ambitions to run great distances or beat great times. I just want it to be a fun, persistent presence in my identity.
What gear is absolutely necessary for you?
I’m so glad the Shock Absorber Run bra exists. All other sports bras are dead to me now.
What gear is on your wish list?
No gear, but if someone would register me for the Disney Wine and Dine half, I would do unspeakable things out of gratitude.
What is your favorite running song?
I’m pretty proud of the playlist I’ve built for the ACT half. I really like Florence + The Machine’s Rabbit Heart, Fiona Apple’s Criminal, River Deep Mountain High by Ike and Tina Turner, and it is not, NOT a successful run unless I hear Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now. Amen.
Are you listening to any podcasts or audiobooks while you run?
I’m listening to 11/22/63 by Stephen King. The narrator is very talented and the story is so gripping! I’ve never been a huge Stephen King fan but this one is hitting me right in the gut. 2 tracks of audiobook, 1 track of music is my magic formula.
What are your favorite running/health-related websites or apps?
Zombies, Run! is the best app ever for fun runs.
What is the strangest thing that happened on a run?
Augusta had a really bad storm and high winds one night, and I ran the next morning. On the trail, I passed two gentlemen that informed me I wouldn’t be able to go the way I was going because a big tree had fallen. Even though I hadn’t, I told them “Well, I came that way, so I should be able to get back that way, too.” (Do you ever stop to find your mouth talking when it shouldn’t? That happens to me all the time). They were shocked that I came that way, and I’m thinking, “What’s the big deal? A few branches? Pfsh.” So of course, I head farther down the trail, and not just one, not two, but THREE humongous old trees had been knocked right across the trail. Couldn’t turn around, though–too embarrassed! I ended up climbing over, under, and through these giant felled trees just so two complete strangers wouldn’t know I was full of crap. (But then I felt awesome for braving obstacles they couldn’t/didn’t. So there, complete strangers, I’m NOT full of crap).
Do you have a running pet-peeve?
If you let your dog poop on a trail and you do not pick it up, I hate you. I hate you so, so much.
What is your one guilty pleasure?
It’s really, really rare that I eat meat, but sometimes, a girl needs a Spicy Chicken Sandwich, waffle fries, and a Diet Dr. Pepper. I may or may not slather that meal in mayo. (Don’t judge me.)