Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Miles of Motivation: Mile 18

I've been trying for weeks to run my best mile ever. Every day, I tried to prepare myself mentally for my run. I would listen to Nicki Minaj music to pump me. I would smile at complete strangers. I would stretch out my muscles. I would focus on speed, not distance.

But every day until now, I let my mind defeat my body. I would tell myself I needed a 30 second walking break- which would sometimes turn into a 60 second walking break.

But this time? I said SCREW IT. No walking breaks. Bust your butt. The faster you go, the faster you finish.
It also helped that I had a pretty bad day. After venting about life, my friend Chad told me, "Sounds like it's time for a sub-10 minute mile."

He was right. And I wasn't going to prove him wrong. More importantly, I wasn't going to prove myself wrong...(THANK YOU for the motivation and support, Chad!)

I put on my bright orange shirt with white lettering and my black running pants. ExactTarget colors. Tonight I knew just who I would run my best mile ever for, Meggie Dials.

Mile 18 was for one of the most inspiring friends, runner and blogger I know- Meggie Dials (who works at ExactTarget- hence the color section for my workout clothes).

Meggie in the Middle.

I can't even explain in enough words how much I love Meggie. She is the most uplifting, postive, beautiful, inspiring, loving and compassionate person I know. She makes me laugh. She makes me want to become a better runner. She makes me want to grow professionally. She makes me want to become a better person. She makes me want to wear adorable peacock earrings (see above picture). And she makes the MOST amazing cake balls I've ever had...so addicting.

Tonight, when I was running mile 18, I pictured Meggie next to me. Pushing me along. Telling me to keep going. No walking breaks. Don't give up. Encouraging me to remember my goals. I was reflecting on her blog posts and hearing her voice in my head, especially the pep talk she gave me over the weekend.

When I was hugging her goodbye on Saturday night, she gave me a giant hug. She said, "This is our year, Ash. 2012 is our year."

Pretty soon, I was 8:45 minutes into my run, so I jacked up my speed to 7.4. I finished hard remembering Meggie's kind words and inspiration.

And sure enough, the Meggie self-talk worked!!

I ran the fastest mile of my life!!!

Even Nicki Minaj would be proud of this pace! #superbass

It was hard. I was holding onto the sides of the treadmill at some points of my run...but I didn't stop. I didn't take a walking break...I just kept on running like Meggie.

Thank you, Meggie. For being YOU! Seriously, everyday just wake up and be yourself.

This really will be our year.

80 miles to go!

Much love,

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Miles of Motivation: Miles 16-17

Last night at Winterfest this happened....


I quickly turned around to see who was calling my name.

"Carla! Hi, it's amazing to see you!" I said back to the beautiful Carla Jo Truex.

"Wow, I didn't even recognize you- you are getting so skinny!" Carla said back to me.

WHAT?! I thought.

Did she really just say I was "getting skinny?"

I never thought my name and the word skinny would ever be in the same sentence.


That comment alone 100% made my night.


Today I went to the YMCA for my run. Even though the sun was shining bright, that wind was not impressive. 

Mile 16 tonight was for Audrey Lash. I met Audrey through Justin's friend from college, Phil (her husband). Audrey is honestly one of the most positive and motivating people I know.

Audrey & myself taking a dancing break for a picture together.
May 15, 2010.

She is always writing on my Facebook and blog posts to encourage me to keep going..to never give up...and to hit all of my goals. The love and support from Audrey is truly invaluable! When I was running mile 16 for Audrey tonight, I was rocking out to Nicki Minaj - which I am SURE made Audrey proud. She loves Nicki as much as I do. Audrey, you're a blessing and a great friend! I know you will do GREAT at your upcoming half marathon! Maybe we can do a few training runs together at the YMCA or outside on nice days! Thank you so much for always inspiring me to reach for the stars and dance like no one is watching!

Mile 17 was for Ashley Griffith. I've meet Ashley in August of 2006.We went to Ball State together and actually graduated in the same Public Relations program together. We were summoned "the party table" Day 1 of Brad King's media ethics class. A title we held on strong until the very end of the semester...

The first day of our senior year in college.
August 2009. Where does time go?
Ashley knows everyone. You can't go anywhere without her knowing at least 2 people there. And by the time she leaves anywhere, she knows EVERYONE and at least 5 interesting facts about them. For these reasons, it's no surprise why I love Ashley. While I was running mile 17 tonight for Ashley, I couldn't stop thinking about all of our adventures and laughs together. Late night trips to Papa Johns, critical Starbucks trips before class, nights out together at Dill Street, bachelorette parties together and cruising around in the chicken limo for my birthday. Thank you for making life so much fun, Ashley. I'm so happy you are back in Carmel and can't wait to catch up with you again soon!

81 more miles to go! :)

Much love,

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday Confession

Okay, I confess.

I went out for Ann's birthday last night and...I had a few drinks.


And, I ate a deep dish pizza.

This happened.

Like Chicago style.

Lots of cheese.

Thick crust.

I didn't eat the whole 10 inch pizza on my own (2 slices). 

But it was heavenly.

The best part?

I didn't gain 58 lbs like I thought I would.

In fact, I lost 1 lb.



I awoke up at 11:30 a.m. (also NOT normal for me) and ate leftover (cold) pizza and coffee for breakfast / lunch.

Who am I?

Not sure.

But I promise this isn't "normal" for me.

And I won't do it all the time.

This is my Saturday confession.

And it feels good to get it off my chest.

Tomorrow, I will have a LONG run to make up for Friday and Saturday's damage.

Until then...

I am reminded that I am human.

And not perfect.

And finally, I'm slowing becoming OK with this idea of imperfection...

Much love,

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Miles of Motivation: 8-15

Sometimes I don't hit my goals.

Sometimes I don't run as fast as I would like.

Sometimes I let my mind defeat my body.

All of these things happened tonight.

But in the past, I would have felt sorry for myself. I would have came home and stuffed my face with any and everything I could find in the pantry.

But tonight was different.

Tonight I came home- inspired to not give up. I

nspired to let my mind beat my body in the end.

The sky was dark and foggy. But I didn't let that bring me down or keep me inside. I yelled for Bandit and we took off together in the dark. Don't worry, Mom- I had my mace and flashlight with me. And we didn't go very far because I had just completed 2 miles at the gym.

My first night run. Our first night run together.

And it was exactly what I needed to perk up my spirits.

I went fast.

Faster than I have ever ran - and probably because I was scared someone was going to pop out of a bush and kidnap me.

Tonight, I didn't hit my goals.

I didn't run a 9:45 / mile.

But I made huge progress.


I didn't let my mind beat my body.

And I didn't come home and eat away my emotions.

So, now that I'm feeling happy and inspired -  it's time to catch up on some MUCH needed miles of motivation posts. There are a lot of you to thank tonight!

Mile 8 was for Jocelyn Linder. I often joke that she is my sister from another mister. I'm actually honored when people tell me that we resemble each other. She is one of the most beautiful people I know - inside and out- and she is the hardest working college student I have ever met. While most college kids are off partying away their weekends, she is working 12 hour shifts at the hospital. In her free time, she has dinner dates with her grandma and play dates with her adorable niece. She truly understands what life is all about...Jocelyn, I love you dearly.

Anyone who wears a Big Mac outfit is a friend for life.

Never change, Jozzy. Your hardwork will pay off in the end and you will come out on top. This I promise you, my dear. And while running my mile for you, I kept thinking about our very first date together - OAR 2006! :) Let's go see them again this summer....

Mile 9 was for Robyn Miller. I've known Robyn my entire life. She is my mom's best friend and I am pretty sure we are related somehow! When I was running mile nine for Robyn, I kept thinking about how I can only DREAM of looking as good as she does when I am her age. Not that she is old, obviously she is only 29 ;) -- but she is absolutely beautiful!! I've always admired her long, beautiful hair and perfect figure! And fun fact, Robyn was one of the first people to teach me how to do ab workouts. You've been a fitness idol of mine from the beginning Robyn! Thank you for always supporting and believing in me - it means more than you'll ever know! I love you!

Mile 10 was for Marcie Hale. I met Marcie through my good friend Ann, and for the longest time I thought her name was Darcie. Close enough, right? Sorry about that...Marice is a fitness legend in my book. She looks absolutely incredible! She is everything I dream of being...she runs fast, strong and never misses a day at the gym. In fact, she teaches classes at the gym. One of them is cycling...which I have NEVER tried because I'm terrified I'll die. While I was running mile 10 for Marice, I kept thinking about how happy I am that she is finally doing her first half marathon. I've been encouraging her to do a half marathon for about a year now...and Marcie, you will kick ass. You will inspire the world with your time. I'm positive of this...train hard girl and I'll be there in spirit cheering you on!

Mile 11 was for Josh Farr. I've known Josh for about 2 years now. Anyone who knows Josh, knows he has a pretty legit body. The dude looks good. The dude workouts. The dude is a personal trainer. Josh is also one of the nicest guys I know and I'm so happy that he is with an AMAZING girl (Hi Steph) who is also really into fitness. When I was running mile 11 for Josh, I thought of the time he jumped into a freezing cold lake. In his boxers. During our friend Thanksgiving dinner. It made me laugh really hard. I'm thankful to have such adventurous friends like you, Josh! And I might look you up for a personal training session soon. Biggest Loser style...are you ready!?!!?

Mile 12 was for Megan Fawbush. I've known Megan since high school. We were both managers of the basketball team together! She has such a kind heart and bright smile. While running mile 12 for Megan, I kept thinking about how much I admire her faith and positivity. I hope you never change your outlook and passion for life. You have such a kind soul; you have a positive impact on those around you. Never forget that!

Mile 13 was for Bobbi Shane. I've known Bobbi for nearly 10 years now. We worked together at Arnold's Drive-In for years..and our friendship has continued ever since. She does my hair. She makes me feel beautiful. AND she has a handsome son, who happens to share the same birthday as me. Birthday twins!!

Bobbi as a witch & I'm dressed as white trash (yes I made my outfit out of white trash bags).

While I was running mile 13 for Bobbi, I kept thinking about show is making plans of her own to run 13.1 miles. She is currently training to run her first ever 5K and has dreams of doing a half marathon one day. And the best part? I'll hopefully be there...running along side her! :) I'm so proud of you, Bobbi. Believe in yourself and remember that you can do absolutely anything you put your mind to accomplishing! I am beyond excited to be a part of your running journey.

Mile 14 was for Carolyn Richie (formerly known as Carolyn Votaw). I've known Carolyn for more than 12 years now. We went to middle school, high school and college together. We've played basketball, volleyball, softball and track together. And I think it's safe to say, that she is one of the most athletic people I've ever met in my entire life. She is fit, fast and frustratingly good at everything she does. While I was running mile 14 for Carolyn, I was thinking about her father / daughter at her wedding - just a few short months ago. Everything from The Bernie to the Stankey Legg to the Superman was a part of their dance. And Stan (her dad) has some pretty amazing dance moves. As a freelance dancer myself, I must say - I was beyond impressed and inspired by Carolyn and Stan's dance moves. So, I would like to take the time to thank Carolyn and her dad for teaching me some awesome dance moves in your recent dance video.

Mile 15 was for the best running partner in the world, Bandit.

Running pep talk.
He is the best.

When the weather is cold and snowy, I don't run with Bandit outside. This makes me feel extremely guilty, especially when he gets SUPER excited when he sees me put on my workout clothes and lace up my running shoes. He jumps around. He barks. He runs straight to the door and looks at me, waiting for me to put him his running gear. Instead, I lean down and whisper in his ear, "I'm sorry buddy boy- it's too cold to run outside. I'm going to the gym."

He stares at me for a minute, watches me put on my coat and runs upstairs to "his room." 





But tonight- I didn't care how cold or dark it was outside. I needed my running partner as much as as he needed me. And we had an amazing run together tonight.

Much love,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Daily Inspiration

"It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get back up again."
-Vince Lambardi

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

This is The Face

Kindergarten smile.

This. Right Here. Is the face of a very happy girl who has lost 10 lbs so far in 2012.

And yes, yes I know I've been slacking on my Miles of Motivation posts! BUT I haven't been slacking on my miles (entirely at least).

I'll write more tonight after I run a 5K at the gym tonight.

Much love,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Grow Happiness Under Your Feet

"The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet."

All to often, we say we will be happy when we will get somewhere else. 

WHEN I lose 10 more lbs. 

WHEN I get a new job. 

WHEN I travel to this new place. 

WHEN I meet the perfect partner. 

WHEN I graduate from college. 

WHEN I leave this town.

But- that is the wrong theory.

Be happy where you are today.

My dad taught me at an early age that life is about the journey, not the destination

Much love,

Monday, January 16, 2012

Miles of Motivation: 6-7

The gym was worse than Black Friday shopping tonight. It was busy. Stressful. So many sweating people, desperately looking for an open machine.

 I'm ready for it to slow down any day now...but, until then - I will continue to walk around for 10 minutes looking for an open treadmill. I will continue to be harassed by a tiny Asian woman who watched me run until my "sign-up" time was over.

But more importantly, I will continue to run my miles of motivation!!

Tonight, I did miles 6 and 7 for two beautiful ladies who not only share the same name, but the same initials!!!

Mile 6 was for Jen Royer. When I think of our friendship, these two words pop into my head: MSN Chat. Seriously, I lived on MSN Chat in middle and high school. Jen and I would talk ALL of the time on MSN Chat. Mostly about boys. Other times about losing weight. A few other times about mean girls. But mainly, about boys. I would do anything to dig up some of our old conversations...they would make good material for my book one day for sure. Jen never failed to make me laugh or smile, not matter what kind of mood I was in! :)

Recently, Jen started working out, eating healthier meals and watching her portions. She is now down 20 lbs!!!!! How amazing!!! She wants to lose 40 more lbs. I'm so stinking proud of her- she looks fantastic and she is well on her way to reaching her goals! Keep it up, Jen!!! Never stop believing in yourself!

Mile 7 was for Jen Regnier. I went to Ball State with Jen- we shared the same major (Public Relations)! In fact, I think we were both at Orientation Day at Ball State together. What a small world...Even though we are the same age, she graduated a year ahead of me because I changed my major 43 times. Sorry I wanted want to save the world and felt I had way too many options to do so! :)

Anyway, I digress.

Jen is an AMAZING runner. She can literally run a FULL marathon in about the same time that I run a half marathon. She is an inspiration to so many other runners. When I first started running, Jen gave me really great advice,"Just take it one mile at a time. Don't think about how much you have to run in total, just focus on every step. Every mile." I love it. I remind myself of this conversation EVERY single long run I have during my training.

Jen is currently training for the Boston Marathon, which you must qualifier for in order to run! Jen, you will ROCK at the Boston Marathon! I'll be cheering you on all the way from Indy.

A Boston Qualifier! :)
What an accomplishment, Jen!

So, Jen & Jen - thank you very much for being so inspirational to me and those around you. Whether it's weight loss or running, you remind me to take it one lb / mile at a time. The best and healthy way for me to meet my goals and grow.

Update: 88 people have now liked my status! 81 more miles to go!!

Much love,


Friday, January 13, 2012

Super Bass

I'm getting pretty legit at rapping "Super Bass" by the beautiful Nicki Minaj. I'll make my video debut when I feel ready....

Who knows, I might just end up on The Ellen Show singing with this adorable little girl.

Much love,


"Goals determine what you're going to be."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Miles of Motivation: 3-5

First and foremost, I'm proud to report that I've lost 7.5 lbs so far in 2012.

4 lbs this week alone!!! :) :) :)

While we are talking numbers...as of tonight I have 85 miles to complete for my friends and family who liked my status the other night. I am completely blown away at my amazing support system! (THANK YOU ALL!)

So, tonight after work I went to a happy hour...I had an IPA and an Alabama shooter. I don't recommend drinking before working out, but I didn't want to skip another day at the gym.

I came home.

Ate dinner (baked fried chicken - it was AMAZING!).

Let my tummy settle for about 15 minutes.

Bundled up.

Left for the gym with Justin.

Because the gym was a mad house and I had a full stomach, I decided running probably wasn't my best option! SO, I opted for the 3 miles on the elliptical.

My first mile tonight was for my friend Trevor Logan! Trevor is my good friend Sabrina's younger brother. The last time I saw him, he was holding his newly born nephew, Bryar Leland Skramstad:

When I was talking to Trevor that night, he mentioned during boot camp he ran a mile in a super fast pace...I can't remember what exactly it was... Maybe 6 minutes and some change...either way, I was inspired. I thought about going to boot camp for millisecond and then decided it was best to give him a "HIGH FIVE" and move on with my thoughts. So Trevor, I didn't do a mile in 6, 7, 8 or even 9 minutes...but I sure hope I made you proud. Otherwise, "you can get this audience out of here!"

My second mile was for Darlene Rodriguez. She is married to one of Justin's best friends from high school, Harry. While I was pushing through mile two, I thought of how hard Darlene is becoming healthy this year by working out and eating better. And let me tell you, that is the "secret" to weight loss. No diet pill or magical drink...simply devote time to working out hard and eating a balanced diet- I should write a book. Anyway, I am beyond proud of her and I even saw a post today that she found swimsuits for her upcoming vacation! :) So exciting!! My hope is that she continues to believe in herself and work hard this year. Her positive attitude and outlook will certainly come in handy!

My third and final mile was for Gina Raymond. Oh Gina. I love Gina so much. Gina is Brittany Raymond's mother, and the last time I saw her was at the softball benefit we had in memory of Brittany.

The softball benefit was in June and when I was doing my mile, I realized that is simply unacceptable. I need to see her and the rest of Britt's family soon! I keep up with her on Facebook often, but there is just something about her smile and voice that isn't captured in pictures. She is lovely. I look up to her in many ways. She is an English teacher, and I've always dreamed of becoming a teacher, especially in English and Journalism! Gina is a very inspiring and loving woman who would do absolutely anything for anyone. I'm truly honored to know such a strong and beautiful woman like Gina.

Thank you Trevor, Darlene and Gina for your love and support!

80 more times to go....

Much love,

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Miles of Motivation: 1-2

"If you don't use it, you lose it."

I've learned this lesson the hard way. The holidays came...and so did the weight gain. The vacation started...and so did the laziness. I was really good at working out for the first two days, but then I got sick. I could barely breathe and sleeping became the activity of choice.

And much to my surprise, by New Year's Eve...I was topping the scales. The EXACT SAME WEIGHT that I started at the year before...

I spent 3 solid minutes in the bathroom crying. Listening to people say, "Where is Ashley?"

Bawling my eyes out...that is where...I busted my ass and threw it all away at the end.

I stepped on the scale and then off again.

The number was the same.

That damn haunting number was the same...


So, I came out of the bathroom bummed. I walked up to Justin and said, "I'm so upset...the scale said I weigh 236 again."

He looked me straight in the eyes and told me what I've known all along, "Only you can change that.."

Sure, I was bloated.

Sure, I was drinking.

Sure, it was the end of the day.

But that is still unacceptable.

I literally just threw all my hardwork out the window and let December defeat me.

For this reason, I did not post a before and after picture from Jan. 1, 2011 to Jan. 1, 2012. What would be different? What is so inspirational about zero pounds?

So I was depressed.



So, I didn't know what to write about..didn't know what pictures to post..and didn't know how to admit to everyone how I royally bombed.

But did I bomb?

Did I really consider 2011 a failure?

I did 2 half marathons, 3 5K races and countless other miles. I hiked up a mountain with Justin and tried to run up a mountain top on our vacation.

I lost inches.

I fit into new sizes- going from a size 16 (almost 18) to a SIZE 12-14!!!!!

I joined a gym.

I ran my fastest mile at 9:51.

I did not fail in 2011. I just wasn't committed. I wasn't motivated to transform my diet...because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how many miles I run if I am shoving high fat & high carb meals in my face every single day.

I made a decision on Saturday to stop letting food control my life.

I made a decision to keep a food journal.

Track everything.

And have a goal....last year, I just wanted to get healthy. This year, I don't want to obsess over a number, but I do want to lose 50 lbs. I want to weigh 185 lbs again.

Our first picture together. 50 lbs ago.
She will be back this year.

But it's not just about changing the number on the scale, it's about changing my life. It's about living longer so I can see my future children grow old...and I mean- I really do want to be that awesome grandma running races and doing triathlons with her grandkids.

So in order to kick off 2012, I decided to let YOU all inspire me. Motivate me. Encourage me. And more importantly, keep me accountable!

I posted this Facebook status last night: "I need some motivation so I am stealing this idea from my friend, Jenny. "Like" my status and I will complete a mile in your honor in the next 30 days + give you a shout out on my blog when I complete it! :)"

77 "Likes" later...I'm overwhelmed with the amount of people who love, support and believe in me!

My first two miles tonight were for my friends Annette Chmieleski and Daniel Malinski.

When doing my first mile, I was  thinking of the first time I met Annette. She was wearing a tutu. Obviously, I loved her from the beginning. It was Halloween. I wasn't sure who she was supposed to be, but she was very friendly and we kicked it off right away. She told me that she had previously read my blog and thought it was really inspiring. What? Me? How cool...we then began to share running stories.

Half way through my mile, I started thinking about my hopes for her this year; I'm very positive  2012 will be a great year for Annette. She is a beautiful and intelligent woman and I am thrilled that she was the first person to like the status. Who knows, we might even do a race together in 2012!

My second mile was dedicated to my Twitter friend Dan aka @cubicledad - we connected on Twitter and I was instantly impressed with his running story. When I was running, The Biggest Loser was on the TV. But instead of watching the show, I was blocking out the sound. And instead of focusing on the timer...I kept repeating this number in my head...




He lost 100 lbs in one year by training for the Chicago Marathon. HOW AMAZING is that!?! Even more inspiring, he is a member of the Start! Running Team through the American Heart Association- and raised an amazing amount of money last year- nearly $12,000. He was running for his health...and also his daughter. You can read about Dan and his story on his blog: http://cubicledadruns.com/

Thank you Annette and Dan for pushing me to kick off this goal. And for the other 75 of you, I'm coming after you...one mile at a time!

Much love,