Guest Post: Meet Ashleigh from Daily Cup of Asheejojo

January 2, 2014

Hi Everyone!  My name is Ashleigh and I blog over at Daily Cup of Asheejojo – (almost) daily doses of a frequent runner and sometimes yogi.  I am so happy to write a guest post for Sara today! 


As far back as I can remember I hated running.  From the President’s Fitness Test in 5th grade when we were forced to run a mile, to acting up in cheerleading and being punished with running one mile.  The torture, the agony!

As a kid, I was active, dabbling in a variety of sports (soccer, basketball, baseball) not being all too good at one.  Finally in high school I settled on swimming.

Swimming was great.  It meant I never had to run.  However, by my senior year of high school, I was over swimming.  So over it I didn’t join the team, even after they added my long-pleaded diving team.  So to stay in shape, I started to run.  I started out slowly on the treadmill, running a quarter mile, then walking a quarter mile.  After a while I started to build the amount of running I was able to do, but always followed it up by a portion of walking.  As I continued, the walking started to decrease to about 0.1 miles for every mile.  One thing was for sure, boy, did I love the treadmill.  I couldn’t imagine running outside.  How boring!  Running on the treadmill meant multi-tasking and watching my favorite talk shows like Ellen and Rachael Ray.

I don’t remember when the transition actually happened, but by my freshman year of college, I started to run outside.  It was revolutionary.  It was freeing and amazing, and I couldn’t believe I had waited so long to get outside.  Everyday I would run the campus loop (which amounted to about 4 miles).  This became part of my daily ritual and I loved it.

By the beginning of sophomore year, I became preoccupied with “college things.”  You know, the ones that aren’t so good for you.  Aren’t so good for keeping routine, waking up early, making healthy choices, running.  However, after one quarter of “living it up,” I felt out of shape and disgusting.  So in an attempt to commit myself to running and regaining my fitness, I signed up for my first half marathon.  Well, I didn’t exactly sign up for it at the time I decided to start training (BIG MISTAKE!).  Two other girls had agreed that they would run the half marathon with me.  It was all great in theory, we would sign up together.  So I waited, hesitant that they would back out.  This was just dumb because I was the only one who fully dedicated myself to a training plan and increasing my mileage.  By the time I reached my longest run (10 miles!!!) I decided I would sign up, regardless if my friends were going to run it or not.  To my dismay, the race was already sold out.  I was so heartbroken, especially after I had already run ten miles.  Luckily, I had a friend with a friend who had sprained her ankle, so I was able to buy her bib (not transfer).  So for my first race, at 19, I ran not as myself, some other 25-year-old. 


Looking back at my first race, I honestly don’t know how I did it.  I was so unprepared.  I didn’t have a watch. I didn’t know what to wear. I didn’t know what I was doing.  Maybe my naivete was a blessing.  I ran a 1:46 in a race I would later complete 2 more times.  To this day, I have not been able to break that first course goal.

After my first half marathon (2010) I didn’t think too much about running another one.  I did one, and it was done.  The next year, 2011, I eventually ran 3 to achieve a local “triple crown” award.  And in 2012 I fell out of running and into the year I like to refer to as “the year of selling bibs” (I tried to sell my January race bib but failed so had to run it, but successfully sold my August race bib).
In 2013 I have more than doubled my number of completed half marathons.  I can honestly say that writing my own blog has provided more accountability and motivation, and reading other blogs, like Run Sara Run, has provided so much inspiration. 


I never could have imagined how much my running and surrounding mentality has changed over the years.  It’s no longer just trying to get in shape, but trying to excel and better myself, and my running.

2 comments:

  1. I love this post and Ashleigh's blog too (thanks for introducing it to me, Sara)! The transition from running for fitness to running to better yourself always fascinates me. I love reading stories like this. If only everyone knew how magical running can be ;)

    P.S. I'm dying to hear your great news,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course! I think the best thing about blogging is finding other bloggers to connect with. I'm so glad you love hers as well!

      PS. I am dying to tell you but I don't exactly have "it" just yet. ;) Soon enough!!

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