Overcoming addictions and tips.

I had the coolest opportunity from Brooks to interview an incredible woman.  Her name is Ashley Walsh and she is from Georgia.  She is 25 years old, a mother of two and a beyond amazing trail runner and ultra marathoner (including 3 100 mile races!).  It was so great to be able to talk to a woman that is passionate about running but even more passionate about her family and able to fit running into her life (um, she ran 6000 miles in 2011) without it taking away time from her family.   Need some motivation?  Ashley is your woman!

1.  Why did you start running?  What keeps you running everyday?

I began running to shave of the baby weight I gained from my 2nd child. I became fat, lazy, unkempt, and way too comfortable with being that way! As a teenager, I struggled with a crystal-methamphetamine addiction, but conquered it completely. Not taking care of myself or my body reminded me of the bondage that crystal-meth had over me. I needed to escape it, so I started joining my sister at a gym and hopped on the least intimidating equipment- a treadmill! After several painful sessions, I finally found my love. I still run every day to clear my brain. As a mom of two, I need the time to myself to recharge. I don’t run anywhere but trails usually, and running among the trees is comforting and peaceful to my soul. I like to pray, think, dream, and move out there. That always keeps me coming back for more.
 
2.  What got you into trail running?  (Your love of adventure, thrill and pain inspires me!) 

Aw thanks!:) I started trail running as a way to get back to my roots. I grew up on a huge horse farm riddled with lots of fun trails, and my family explored them on a daily basis. Something about being in the woods feels like true home to me. In fact, when I’m inside of my house, I crave to be outside of it no matter the season. Trail running is the simplest and most enjoyable method for me to explore the outdoors. I love how many places I’ve explored with my own two feet! 

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3.  What are some things that you do to help prevent injuries?  Do you ever cross-train?  

YES! I cross train very hard. I am not an advocate of cross-fit, but I train regularly with safe functional style training. I do a lot of weighted pullups, pushups, squats, lunges, abs, etc & regularly run up a mountain with my 4 year old on my back. I also mountain bike a lot, and explore any other mode of outdoor fun available to me: rock climbing, kayaking, open water swimming- anything!

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4.  How do you fit in running 100-140 miles a week while being a mom (I need all the tips I can get:)  I know that being a mom is your number one priority so how do you fit it all in?  

I trained at very high volume all of 2011. I ran over 6000 miles. I had to wake up regularly at 4am, or stay up running through the night. I got used to the schedule, but was only “happy mommy” with a large serving of caffeine! Eventually, the mileage took a huge toll on my body in various ways and I began to break down. In 2011 I suffered several serious injuries: a hip stress fracture, a torn gluteus minimus, rhabdomyolosis (my body ate my own heart for fuel!! 4 weeks bed rest!) and  the added stress of successfully running 3 100 milers in a 1 year span, winning one, and winning a 12 hour race with over 70 miles. This year, I finally succumbed to Over Training Syndrome, adrenal fatigue, and low iron. I realized that due to my addictive personality, I was most likely dealing with a running addiction as means to deal with emotional issues, and not just “training hard”. I took a step back from training, and focused all of my energy on family and fun to get healthy again. I can still crank out a 100 miler at the drop of a pin, but I doubt I will ever take my training above 90 miles a week again. I am positive now that the key to a healthy hobby is staying well rounded, and well rested:).
 
******I included this to show that running and addictions are VERY dangerous.  I think that Ashley is amazing for learning from her mistakes with her training and working on learning how to balance her life!!!
 
5.  What are some of your future goals? 

I’m very competitive, so I would like to win some more races. I would also like to go sub 3 in the marathon soon! I had the opportunity to go to AdventureCORPS Badwater Ultramarathon this year to write for my website UltraChicksUnite.com. I realized while out there that I would love nothing more than to competitively race at Badwater- so that one is definitely on my list as well. As for my non racing goals, I would love to do the Appalachian trail, and pretty much just tear up any sick trail anywhere on the globe. The trails call to me the most!

6.  How do you fuel during your runs?  What do you eat before and after a workout?  

I pride myself in not being someone who follows trends, so I tend to stay away from anything I feel is “trendy” in the food realm- even for fueling. I tend to just grab whatever I feel my body needs. For ultras lasting over 12 hours, I drink Boost and coconut water and chow down on anything I can get my hands on. I’m not picky! For daily life, I’m a very clean eater and usually just have some fruit and granola before/after a run.
 
7.  Did you run throughout your pregnancies? 

I actually did not run throughout my pregnancies! Running was something I didn’t discover until after my kids were born. I became pregnant with my son when I was in high school, and at the time, I wasn’t concerned with anything other than loud music, fast cars, and punk clothes. So running for health was a foreign concept to me. I actually failed my PE class in 10th grade twice because I refused to participate in the running workouts! Ha!
 
8.  Does your husband run?  What do your family and friends say about your running? 

Yes, my husband, Daniel, is extremely fit and very active. He is a personal trainer as well. He is obsessed with training like I am with running. Daniel has never been anything other than extremely supportive of my running. He makes it all possible. He encourages me to go on running adventures, and watches the kids for me some afternoons so I can catch a break. When I first started doing100 milers, my extended family didn’t like it or approve because they thought it was something harmful to me, and they didn’t understand it. To this day, I don’t think any of them really get it, but they love me and support me anyway, and that’s all I can ask for. My mom is the funniest. She freaks out whenever I run really really far. It’s so cute! She’s scared my legs will break for some reason.  But, she watches my children for me so I can escape to epic trails every now and then. She’s always scared that I run dangerous trails like the Appalachian Trail all alone, but she knows it’s what I love…. so she puts up with me. Typical mom:) I love her.

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9.  What is your absolute FAVORITE running moment? 

Man. I have so many sacred moments in my life that I keep close to my heart. I could name so many right now. The most recent memory I have is from when I went trail running in the Grand Canyon with my best friend. We had a goal to run from the South Rim to the North Rim and back in one day 46 miles- a dangerous feat for two chicks in the sweltering and desolate canyon. The entire trip was filled with beautiful moments between us. Just two girls, pouring our hearts out and pounding the earth-in one of the most beautiful creations in the world. The colors, the conversation, the miles– it was incredible and I’ll never forget it.
 
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10.  Tell me about some of your favorite gear to train with? 

I am obsessed with Brooks so all Brooks clothes for me. I don’t run any trails without being armed with the Brooks Cascadia 7. Cascadias were my first trail shoes in 2008, and I still prefer them over any others. I regularly wear the Nathan Intensity, a hydration pack designed for women. It has a 2 Liter bladder which is great for my long outings, cord to strap my unused layers, and enough pockets for me to stash my gear & my trusty knife-which I take on every run through the woods! I also love the shoe accessory Sole Spikes from SoleSpikes.com-traction increasing spikes that I find come in handy when tackling the trickiest of trails. 
 
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Can you do pull-ups?  
 
-No but I REALLY want to! 
 
Anyone else hate running in high school?  Did you love or hate PE?

What was the last thing that you used to fuel during one of your long runs?

Have you had any overtraining injuries (physical or mental)?



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84 comments

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Great interview. Ashley is pretty amazing. I ran about 6K miles last year too, but I cannot imagine doing that and taking care of a family – kudos to her. Wow. I like that she has that adventurous spirit and likes to do all sorts of outdoorsy stuff. I find that definitely helps keep things in balance and keep running in perspective.

I’ll admit that one of the first times I went “running” – like, for exercise… I got dropped by my Mom. I was maybe in 6th or 7th grade and I hated it – just wanted to play basketball. How times have changed! :-)

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HAHAHA does your mom ever bring up that she dropped you way back then:) You did 6k last year too, you guys are insane and you work a full-time job, WOW to you! Yeah, you and Andrea really do have that same adventurous spirit!

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I’m not that much of a online rdeaer to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later on. All the best

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Thanks for that interview! I love reading about other ultarunners. Ashley is so inspiring and hard core.
Oh, and can’t do a pull-up. I biked for the first time in years yesterday and realized my poor arms needed some muscle when I could barely hold myself up without getting tired!

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Wow, I can’t imagine running 6,000 miles in a year. I’d feel accomplished running 1,000 in 12 months!

Right now, I definitely can not do a pull up, ha. I would love to get my upper body strength back to the point where I can though.

I totally hated running in high school. I viewed it as more of a punishment than anything else. Other than the 1 mile run we had to do in PE, I didn’t mind it. I can still remember the day we had to run the mile and truly thinking I was going to throw up by the end!

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Wow, she is like superwoman! Her family is adorable too!

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wow, she is amazing!

Can you do pull-ups?
No, I am no upper body strength, like zero. Quite pathetic!

Anyone else hate running in high school? Did you love or hate PE?
I loved running in middle and high school! I used to always try and be the first one back so I could go and change without everyone in the locker rooms. I loved PE! While I was just average at sports I loved to be outside and play.
What was the last thing that you used to fuel during one of your long runs?

Have you had any overtraining injuries (physical or mental)?
Nope, no so far. Only thing is shin splints but nothing major.

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I’ve been having a hard time fueling for my long runs during marathon training, and someone on my blog suggested those bite sized Snickers– GENIUS! I used them last weekend and they were perfect and so delicious! I’m like beyond happy that my body loves them as much as my taste buds :)

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they don’t turn in to a melty mess?

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Yeah how do they not melt? I seriously want to try that out for fuel so bad! Candy +running= perfection.

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I freeze them before hand and keep them in my hand held. I put ice in my hand held too, so maybe the combo of those two things keep them from getting disgusting?

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Love hearing about moms that do amazing things!

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Wow what an amazing story!! And I thought my trail run through the canyon by my house in Oregon was sweet intense this morning! She makes it look like I did nothing. But I did get up to 4 miles today!!!!!! And the back feels great. I too found I love running on trails. I love the softer service. And I hated P.E. in high school… NOT! I loved it and loved beating all the boys!! I always have!!!

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Darcee!! AHHHHH 4 miles that is awesome. Look how far you have come in your back injury, this is a huge accomplishment. I wish we could go trail running together. I was going to say there is NO way you hated PE in high school.

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Love the pink roses and all your pink goodies!! Pink is my fartovie color so it all looks gorgeous to me!! Hope you’re enjoying your weekend, Cindy!!Oh, I’ve been meaning to ask you, do you know of any really cute shabby chic, cottage style stores in our area? Since I’m still pretty new to this style of decorating, I don’t know of any, and my mom and I are going to be going shopping together in the next few days. I thought I’d see if you had any good tips on stores to visit for our fartovie style of decorating.Thanks so much!!Michele R.(CA)luvkittysmeowmail@gmail.com

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Absolutely LOVED reading this! Thanks Janae!

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Great read.
I love her line “the trails call to me” I feel the same way.

I almost didn’t try out for tennis because part of the tryout is running the mile.
Jellied toast fueled my last long run.
on a side, Frosted flakes fueled my lunch dessert. I forgot how good those babies are for dessert cereal. Sugar = ymmmmmm.

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Wow. A-mazing. Thanks for interviewing her. I love learning about other women and their love of running. Very inspiring.

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Wow! That’s some serious dedication !

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I can pull off about 3 1/2 pull ups I call that a success!!
That woman is truly amazing i don’t know how she does it all. I hated running in gym because I was really overweight in high school, now I’ve developed a love for running because it frees my mind and keeps me in shape!
Never used fuel during a run but now I’m thinking about taking bite size candy to reward myself for running farther.

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Wow. Just wow. I love how motivated she is, but I also hope she continues to take care of herself! Those injuries are kind of scary!

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Very awesome! I can relate to her on Question #4 … it’s hard to find a balance with training and life. But, I am trying to more than ever focus on being a well rounded person first and forthmost. The running will still be a part of who I am, just not the only thing.

Great interview! Thanks for sharing her story!

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Awesome story, definitely checking out her site!

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Dang…..that’s some hardcore stuff right there. 6,000!?! I can’t fathom that, lol…but thats great she’s so dedicated and loves it. I can’t do a pull-up but I want to!

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While I am in awe and absolutely amazed by all she has accomplished, part of me is a little bothered by this. She broke her hip, torn muscles and her body ATE HER OWN HEART before she realized what a toll her running was taking on her body. That’s insane!

I am definitely impressed by her high mileage and obvious talents, but less so by her inability to strike a healthy balance. One reason I love your blog, Janae, is the honest way you strive to achieve HEALTH over everything else. Ashley, I am way impressed but sometimes you need to slow down! Is running worth your health?

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It is definitely scary but I think that it is important to share stories like that to help readers dealing with even minor overtraining issues to stop and get the help they need. She definitely realized that she had a huge addiction and needed to change! I fractured my femurs from overtraining etc and wish I would have known more about the dangers of running too much without the proper nutrition/coaching etc. Thanks so much for your comment Ashley, finding a healthy balance is the key and that is what I love about your blog!

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I enjoyed reading this. partially just from a rubber-necking point of view, I mean….her body started eating her heart!!!???? What!? Can she share some tips on how to make sure this never, ever happens? I’m in the 70-85 mile/week range all year , and I’d…. like to avoid that.

There is also a big addiction alert (as she herself admitted) from all the injuries it took for her to tone it down. Doesn’t she have a coach or trainer to tell her when to back down?

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I love that she did admit to the addiction (she isn’t trying to hide it) and she is learning from the mistakes that she made last year. I will definitely ask her about a coach and get back to you on that because I am not sure if she had one or not!

Your mileage impresses me big time and I am going to need tips from you! Remember how we are moving to your neck of the woods? You better go for a run with me someday.

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What really bothers me about all of this is that her husband is a PT!? He didn’t tell her it was wayyy too much??

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Thanks for the interview Janae! And thanks to your readers for all of the kind comments! To Ashley @ This is the Place : Yes, I realized what running did to me, I noted that I realized I had a running addiction fueled by some very heavy stuff I have been through from childhood through adulthood–, and also wrote that now I find that a happy balance and well rounded approach is more suitable to a healthy lifestyle! (Which is why I will never run that much again.) thanks again Janae!

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And also my story on when my body used cardiac enzymes for fuel http://ashwalsh.wordpress.com/2011/07/09/surviving-the-fort-clinch-furnace/ thanks!!

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That is an amazing story! I want to be her;-) I can do pullups – depending on my fitness level anywhere from 5 – 9.
I did not care for running in PE, who wants to run and get all sweaty in the middle of school???:)
What a great interview!! Thanks for sharing!

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I HATED running in high school. I only played sports that required none. Volleyball and softball.

I didn’t start running until I was almost 26

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How stinkin’ cute is Ashley and her family?! Very…that’s the answer! I’m super jealous of the $5 ball find (last post, but I read them back to back)! I battle a lot of stupid, silly mental struggles with running, but am trying to learn to overcome them.

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What do you think your biggest mental struggles are with running? I think we probably all have them so we should totally email about this:) If you need an exercise ball you really should look them up on craigslist or something because there were a TON of cheap ones in our area at least.

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Thanks so much to you and Ashley for sharing her story! You’re right, she’s definitely inspirational–she has overcome so much but is still able to be a kick-butt runner.

I definitely was NOT a runner in high school and I was not a fan of PE. I wish PE teachers would be better about helping kids learn how to run, like how you would start an adult on a couch to 5K program running intervals. PE always made me feel like I just couldn’t be a runner, which is really sad. It would be nice if schools could get some good running coaches to help slow kids who want to learn how to run longer distances.

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Janae,
where did you do your certification for cycling?

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Hey!! If you are wanting to teach for a gym make sure to talk to that specific gym first to see what they require or want as far as certification goes. I did mine online through ACSM! Let me know what you end up doing!

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What a story – filled with inspiration you are right! I have been able to do one pull up – I am not sure if I could still….

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As one of Ash’s best friends I can attest top a few things
1. she really is that awesome
2.she really struck a balance this year
3.her kids really are that cute
4. her husband really is that hot

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She is one badass lady! Pretty amazing stuff!
I wish I could do a pull up! Senior year of high school I worked and worked at it and was able to do one!

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Wow!! How cool!! She is definitely dedicated.

I can do pull ups but not many. And I hated hated hated running in HS. I hate PE too. There was nothing worse than being the uncoordinated, swaety, acne prone, nerd in a gym class full of 60 people. Oh the joy.

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I loved reading about Ashley. What a cool (and powerful) lady!

I HATED running in gym class. I did miserably almost every year except for a fluke occasion when I actually did a 10 minute mile (I haven’t been able to hit that time since). One year I even got a doctor’s note to excuse me from the mile test!!

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Wow, talk about dedication!

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GREAT INTERVIEW> I can totally relate to turning an addictive into something amazing in running :) and I’m a mom so I obviously love this chick! I can’t do a pull up ….yet ;)

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Hated running at school- I succumbed to every excuse under the sun! Amazing interview- she’s so inspiring!

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Hello! I’ve been reading your web site for a while now and fnllaiy got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the fantastic job!

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I love the Brooks Cascadia 7, too – did my first 50K with those bad boys! I have that same weird green/orange color combo. But they are crazy light for a trail shoe!

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What an amazing woman!

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Ack, I’d love to say that this was motivating, because running that much is definitely amazing and admirable, but it actually made me feel the opposite. I should probably thank her though, because this post reminds me what truly matters in life. I think I’ll go cuddle my kids now.

I don’t know much about ultras, but they seem selfish to me. If she ran 6,000 miles last year, that averages to 16.5 miles a day. There had to be rest days in there (and injury days), so we are talking more like 20+ miles 5-6 days a week (and surely some huge mileage days, like 50+ in a day??). I can take one guess who gets the shaft in that equation.

I also find it scary that she said in the post linked above that she likes that running ultras can kill her.

Quote: “I found out that my discipline and grit can actually kill me if I’m not careful. And honestly, I like that. (I’m not gonna lie!) ”

On a more positive note, she’s gorgeous and so is her family!

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Wow that was harsh! Ha! I took the shaft actually, I went most all nights without sleep and gave it my all to function normally. But that’s when I broke down- realized I was dealing with something big (addiction) and in 2012 I’ve only ran for fun.

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Sorry if that came off harsh. I didn’t intend to hurt feelings. Good for you for seeking balance in 2012. That is more admirable (in my opinion) than running till you nearly die.

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I think it’s sad when I see women criticizing who’s the “best mom” and who sacrifices the most. First of all Ashley is a stay at home mom, so at the very most she probably spends 4 hours running. When I have children I will be spending 8+ hours a day at work (if I want my kids to eat this is my only option) and I also plan to work out about an hour 3 or more days a week. Does that make me a bad person? I think it’s great she is going for her dreams and showing her kids the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle.

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Arent’ your kids going to be in daycare? I doubt as a stay at home mom that she has her children in daycare. Nobody goes to work and leaves their kids alone. That is essentially what she does by running all day long. No SAHM in the history of the world has 4-5 hours of free time to spend running. ha!

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Anonymous,
I taught Ashley’s beautiful daughter this past year. I also trained with Ashley until my foot wouldn’t let me so I know a thing or two about The Walsh’s. First, she doesnt leave her kids alone, essentially, (whatever that means.) It’s really neat how she can run while they are actually in school, which she did. She dropped her off in the morning and picked her up everyday. Considering how little you know about Ash and her family and how they manage their time I’m just going to assume that you don’t manage your time very well. And I have been a SAHM and have had that extra time becuase I would get up before my kids and I went to bed after my kids. Maybe you don’t have kids, maybe you were bored and left this comment, maybe you’re jealous. Who knows. But since you don’t know Ashley and I do, I will assure you and anyone else on here that she has the time because she makes the time, she loves being with her kids and her husband, and she and Dan are selfless. I admire and respect her greatly for many reasons, but first and foremost, for how present and involved she is with her children. She makes every second count with what ever she is doing. When you are passionate about something you make the time, and she did, at her own expense.
This is a great interview, typical Ashley, courageous and transparent.

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It’s motivating, that’s for sure. Scary, too. And I’m SO impressed by Ashley having overcome her unhealthy ways from when she was younger. Good for you, Ashley! Yes, Care, you’re right, it’s scary but then do we know if Ashley has a full time job? If she hast to squeeze in running amongst work and family, yes, that’s a huge sacrifice. But if she has the eight hours a day that I spend at work to go and do her runs, then no harm done, is there? Family should always come first but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have something else important in your life that defines you, no?!

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Wow, this was incredibly thought provoking interview in terms of the question, “is running addictive?” We hear of exercise addictions-is it the same? I mean her body eating her heart? Very interesting and lots to think about.

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Going off of what “care” said, if she truly ran 6,000 miles, how? If she went through all three of those very serious injuries, what was that: at least 3 months off? Elite marathon runners don’t even run that much. As far as going sub-3 in the marathon, the fastest time I found for her is 3:45 full and 1:36 half. That’s a far reach from a sub-3 hr. Exaggerate much?

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Lol!!! Email me I’d like to talk to you personally: ultrachicksunite@gmail.com

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Stalk much? That’s a pretty douchey thing to say. Let’s see your marathon times…

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It is so ridiculous how those who are the usually the rudest in comment forums are also those who post anonymously. Hey anonymous, you don’t have the guts to even post a fake name, let alone answer interview questions openly in a way that exposes some of your deepest challenges, so shut your pie hole.

What you have here is an interview with a passionate person who admittedly struggles with her own demons and is doing it in the most constructive way she knows how. She obviously has the full support of her husband and family and has said she recognizes where she has gone wrong in the past and is actively trying to fix those things. If that isn’t admirable, I don’t know what is.

The fact is there are very few people willing to put themselves out there in hopes of trying to help others to learn and grow in any personal and meaningful way. Furthermore, it is easy to cast stones from a keyboard when you 1) have no skin in the game and 2) are likely struggling with your own issues that are probably just as personally destructive but easily overlooked.

Let’s leave the judgement behind, recognize a unique person trying to find her best way through life, and then get yourself out and go do something positive today.

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You nailed it Matthew!

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OK. I don’t want to jump into this heated debate, but I think everyone should take a step back. This is Jenae’s blog, and there usually isn’t negative feedback, arguments or angry posts. I think whoever Anonymous is, she is entitled to her opinion. Maybe the idea of the health issues is really scary for her. I know, suffering from similar injuries when I over train (stress fractures), it is for me. And if you feel like you’re addicted take a page from this book and reevaluate. That said I think its best to keep a positive attitude, recognize the progress Ashley has made and let that be that. She puts in impressive mileage no matter what her time is and who knows if you were able to find all her times. We are all here because we love reading about running, and I would guess actually love running. Let’s be friendly!

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Holy Moley! What an interesting interview! I honestly believe some people struggle with addictive tendencies (we have a few in my family!) and I’m impressed Ashley is dealing with hers! I think addictions to things that are good for you might be the hardest to deal with (food, exercise etc) because you don’t want to cut them out all together – I think finding balance is harder than going cold turkey. I hope you are able to stay healthy but still engage in this sport you obviously love so much Ashley!

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Wasn’t expecting to find so much controversy over this! I too failed PE for non participation and ended up marrying my personal training whom I met at the gym! How is that for ironic? I’m newer to running and couldn’t imagine doing all she does, but I admire the fact she realized that even something healthy can turn into an addiction for people with a tendency towards them. Here’s to finding balance – or the pursuit of it. Something we all can probably use more of.

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The thing about addicts is that you can’t dabble in the addiction for fun. Raging alcoholics can’t drink 1 drink, drug addicts can’t just get high from time to time. Thus, I don’t believe this woman is capable of being a “casual” runner.

This interview is actually scary! She gave up sleep to run, but was still present as a mom? Inconceivable. You need sleep to get through life. Ladies, please do not idolize an unhealthy lifestyle and HRG, please don’t advocate it through interviews like these!

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I think the moral of the story flew right over your head. Being married to her, I can attest that she was an outstanding mom last year while in peak training. She was training for specific races that in themselves involved staying up and running all night (24 hour races), so training on little sleep and at night was not out of line. The only person who was negatively impacted by last year’s training load was her. And, this was only because she was depriving herself of the rest she needed in order to put me and our children first.

I can also attest that she is indeed capable of backing off of running – as she has done since last September. She’s by no means “casual” because she trains with an unrivaled intensity and has a ridiculous work capacity. But, the training volume is much easier for her body to handle as the mileage is lower.

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I commented above also, but as her husband – and I read somewhere that you are also a personal trainer – where was the word of caution from you? It wasn’t mentioned. I am just curious as to how you let it go unchecked to the point of her ill health….? Honest curiosity here…

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Yes. I am a trainer. However, I do not train ultra athletes. She knows far more about her own body, her training, and the sport she loves than I do. Hindsight is always 20/20 and so is reading about it online a year later from the outside looking in. I’m extremely proud of her discipline and all that she has accomplished. And those accomplishments are a direct result of her drive to train so incredibly hard. She now knows the limits of her own body. You first have to find the edge in order to approach it and not fall off in the future. Just my opinion.

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Great job with the interview!

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Wow! It seems like many of you missed the “moral” of Ashley’s story. Contrary to the opinion that she leads a lifestyle unworthy of praise, I have been fortunate enough to share many great times with Ashley. Yes, there were moments spent running, but many others were spent enjoying her company, devoid of physical persuits. I must say that she is one hell of a well rounded, grounded individual, with a big heart, living a life full of passion and without regret. My life is enriched by her presence. To all of you doubting that, it doesn’t really matter;)
Amber

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Thanks for the motivating interview. That pushed me off the couch to join my local lululemon thursday night running group even though it was 99 degrees in VA and I would have rather been sitting in the AC. So worth it to get moving!

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Glad you were able to another cool runner like Ashley. I visited her blog and read her long story about her life and instantly found so much inspiration!

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Could you please identify what I said that was so insanely awful? And furthermore, please email me with your rude comments instead of bashing Janae’s stellar blogging: Ultrachicksunite@gmail.com

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You’re too cute “karin” go check my blog now got a response for people just like you. Enjoy and happy running!:)

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Great interview! Ashley is a pretty amazing woman and I will definitely read more about her. Stories like this motivate me to keep running.

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First of all THANK YOU to Ashley for being do candid and sharing your story. Anyone who can claim triumph over a crystal meth addiction is inspirational to me. I appreciate your candidness.

When you eat in excess you become fat. When you spend in excess, you create debt. When you exercise in excess, it is often dangerous. Especially running 100 miles in hot humidity. My boyfriend has the same thing happen to him after running Keys 100. His rhabdomyalysis was treated in the ICU before it affected his cardiac muscle. Other than GI issues during the race, he had NO symptoms. It wasn’t as if his body was saying “hi, I am breaking down muscle at a rate that your body cannot handle. Please get rid of the excess of we will shut your kidneys down.” He had no symptoms at all for almost 24 hours after the event was done. I don’t think Ashley was reckless for doing the race, and it’s unfortunate that she ended up so sick from it.

Is it not conceivable that she runs from 4a-7am while her kids are asleep? I have plenty of friends that do that.

I am pretty sure the comment “I found out that my discipline and grit can actually kill me if I’m not careful. And honestly, I like that. (I’m not gonna lie!) ” Has more to do with liking adrenaline than actually being some type of suicidal extremist. Ever met a base jumper? Rock climber? Avid skydiver? There is a certain allure to things that are potentially dangerous, I get that.

The bottom line is that this is someone overcame something horrific, developed a passion for running, overtrained, learned from it, and is sharing her experience with others. It’s not our place to judge and criticize.

AND….to the person who said the sub-3 marathon is exaggeration? You just plain suck. Who are you to say someone can’t do something?

“Great minds have purposes; little minds have wishes. Little minds are subdued by misfortunes, great minds rise above them. ” -Washington Irving

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What a raw, real interview! It just amazes me that people can take this beautiful story and pick out the piece from your past yr and turn it a bashfest.
Ashley, you are an amazing young woman who has overcome some huge obstacles at a young age. I don’t know what anyone else was doing at 25, but I certainly wasn’t running regularly, wasn’t prepared to have a family and battle and a drug addiction.. most people dont truly understand addiction and they’ll never will. You are such an inspiration! Keep your head up high and keep doing what works for you (no one knows that better than you) and your beautiful family!!

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Such an amazing story! Ashley is a beast! I can’t even imagine being that kind of running shape! 12 hour races? Holy cow. This interview is my new running motivation.

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Psssh to all the negativity…this was a really great interview and this woman is absolutely amazing. kudos to her for overcoming addictions. I find her quite inspirational!

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I can manage a pull up or two maaaaaaybe two and a half.

Hated running in PE. Hated PR except for when we had to do the presidential fitness test because I would score above average on almost everything (not running of course).

What am amazing women! I cannot imagine 100-140 mile weeks. Thanks for sharing the interview!

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i’ll be looking for her obit

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Janea, I love love love your blog. As a new-ish mom myself, who ran through my entire pregnancy, I can relate so much. But this post? I can’t relate to. And it is so disappointing that you would portray someone who ran until her body starting eating her heart for fuel as “running motivation”.

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It amazes me how people seem to grow a foot taller when they start bashing people over the internet. Mrs. Walsh was very clear in her interview that she realized that she needed balance. I am proud of anyone who can overcome what she’s overcome.
Let’s live and let live, and realize that running is meant to be fun.

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