Friday Featured Runner (series 8)

Today’s Friday Featured Runner is Ashtyn over at Fit Life with Ashtyn. I’m so excited to feature this amazing lady. I met her through our facebook pages and she has inspired me in so many ways. 

Ashtyn’s Running Journey

I am a single parent (with an amazing family and boyfriend) who splits custody of my daughter across the U.S. and I spend longer amounts of time away from my child. I would become depressed and anxious and worry and eventually it lead me to be a worn down, wore out, over weight version of myself. I woke up one day and decided that if I had to be away from her, I would make the most of myself. My daughter deserves the strongest version of her mother, one who can play, keep up and be around for the long haul. I started by setting a crazy goal of a half marathon. I fell in love with running and found out more about myself than I ever knew I had in me. Every time I ran, I came back a different person. I decided to keep going and signed up for my first full marathon in November of 2013. After training from the couch to a marathon for 31 weeks, on November 12th, 2013 I ran my first full marathon in 4:42:45. As soon as I crossed the finish line and saw my daughter I knew I had more in me and I wanted to keep going! After maintaining my running all last winter, I signed up and completed two more full marathons and am currently training for two ultra marathons (50k & 50M) and two more full marathons this summer/fall. My hope is to inspire and let others know that your hardships and struggles can define you in a positive way!

-What is your go to fuel for long runs? Tailwind Endurance Fuel and PlowOn Gum are the only fuels I use while running. I have a hard time eating while under race stress, so mixing the Tailwind up in my Camelbak is the best option for me. Lemon is my favorite flavor! I use Plow for caffeine and an extra boost when I need it

– What race is on your bucket list? I would love to see if I can conquer a distance greater than 50 M ;-)

– Favorite Running shoe? I am loyal to Asics Gel Cumulus for my road running shoe! But I wear Brooks Cascadias on the trails

-Your favorite race medal? All of my races and medals are special to me and share a story of personal growth and development. I choose my second marathon medal because I got to run and finish with a friend who was completing her first marathon, It was such a happy moment and it meant a lot to me to be there at the finish with her. 

– What advice would you give to something who is just starting their running journey? My advice to new runners is to enjoy the journey! No one starts out a pro and you can’t always run hard. If you set unrealistic time goals or expectations you will burn out quick and not enjoy the run. I personally started training for a half marathon with run/walk combos and was logging 14-15 min miles. I now run between 9-10 min miles but I took my time, went slow and avoided injury and burnout. I also think signing up for a race gives you motivation and encouragement to stay on task!