Thursday, June 17, 2010


in•spi•ra•tion (nsp-rshn)
a. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.
b. The condition of being so stimulated.
2. An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention.
3. Something, such as a sudden creative act or idea, that is inspired.
4. The quality of inspiring or exalting: a painting full of inspiration.
5. Divine guidance or influence exerted directly on the mind and soul of humankind.
6. The act of drawing in, especially the inhalation of air into the lungs.
It seems as though I am beginning this whole blogging- running log quite late in the game of my marathon training, but hopefully not late in the game in perspective of the miles I have ahead of me in my running journey. My best friend and I are running the Seattle Rock n' Roll marathon in a week and a half (June 26th) - our first! Where better to start than on my taper weeks and during a week at the beach with my family. The beach…a truly perfect setting to be inspired, to have to time to be inspired and to actually sit down and write about it. I have to say that so many others running blogs have become encouragement to me that I thought I may as well join the fun! I do have to make a disclaimer that I am not as gifted with time management as the rest of you with posting or let's be honest - even checking my e-mail. I usually take care of whatever is right in front of me and my computer never ends in front of me some days. So, I am going to do my best to keep up with this and share thoughts on running and everything else that comes along with it.

Ok -I just have to say that in the definition that I included at the beginning - look at #6 - how perfect is that??!! Love it!

What inspires me to run??............ Probably the same things that inspire me through most things in life - but these are the things that swarm through my mind as I am pushing the pavement (or treadmill).
As anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I am quite the daddy's girl - so that is where my first memories of running junior high going out for runs with my dad. So, how appropriate that my dad will be running the last 6 miles of my first marathon with me!

My incredible Dad who first sparked my love of running!

I have always enjoyed running, but have picked it up again in the last few years. My two beautiful children put a little hold on my running for a little while. My best friend and decided to run a half marathon together about 3 years ago (my husband ended up running as well - but vows to only do 10k or less from now on) - knowing that with little ones at home we needed to have a goal on the calendar. And so the journey began. At that time I was inspired by the challenge of running, the idea of having something of my own, the freedom of a break from the joys and challenges of being a stay at home mom. Julie & I chose The Surf City Half Marathon - knowing that a guarantee of a little time away with our hubbies and some sun would keep us motivated. Through my training it was so encouraging to feel like I successfully completed something that day –as I found that motherhood also came along with a never disappearing to do list. Even if a shower was not in the cards that day - it felt great to finish a run.

The day before my first half marathon my mom (my best friend) - was diagnosed with cancer. That day my whole perspective changed. I had to make a decision to be driven by fear and anger or hope – I chose HOPE (a little fear certainly crept in there at times). My sweet mom wouldn't let me miss my race. So I ran - I ran for her and found a whole new meaning to inspiration. As much as I remember that race being fun – I was in such a fog that I don’t even remember my finish time – somewhere under 2 hours. While I walked beside, sat beside, & lay beside my sweet mom during her battle with cancer - I would find time for a run & running became a needed escape from my reality and an on-call therapist. I ran hard (partly because if I was really sweaty then my tears wouldn't show!)...I had no PR's in mind, no goals in mind, no race on the calendar - I had HOPE in mind and was inspired by the thought of what my mom's body was not capable of. My sweet mom lost her battle with cancer 9 months later. Her beautiful face gives me inspiration! Every time I want to stop, slow down or think I can't do it - I keep going knowing that she is cheering me on and if she can fight the battle that she did...then I can do this. During this chapter of my life I drew from the strength of my little sister (affectionately called Sissy), my other family and friends that held me up during those days and still continue to as I heal from an incredible loss. I learned that my best friend and running buddy is not only the best support and encourager in running but even more so in the downhills of life. In truth, I know my real strength – the kind that cannot be explained, came from God - He gave me more strength than I ever thought I embodied. That is one reason I run today - I am inspired and encouraged by the strength that I have been gifted when it seems impossible to run or even stand strong. What strength does God reserved for me that I haven't tapped into so far? I am still strengthening - remain to heal. I will always be inspired by the life of and the battle my mother fought.. I take a part of her on every run. I look forward to the miles ahead of my life - good and bad whether the journey is in running shoes or not.

So, this marathon is in honor of her. The strongest, funniest, most generous, honoriest and most loving woman I have ever known. How appropriate that the Seattle Rock n' Roll Marathon benefits the American Cancer Society. Hopefully one day we will find the answers to this horrible disease.

My Incredible husband, my beautiful kids, my sisters, my best friend, my health, my other sweet friends, shared stories of successes and struggles from other runner's/women, a good runners high, fun running gear.....heck, even a good Justin Timberlake song( I know, I hate to admit it), some days just to get a break……… all inspire me to run. There is meaning behind our miles. What inspires you??

So, as I have been encouraged and inspired my so many others (even many of you out there I have never met) - now my cyber running journey begins. My miles ahead may not always be taken on with running shoes (I do like to wear a great pair of wedges too!), but they will remain inspired. Here are my thoughts whether compelling or random. I come with my sore muscles (remember I am in week and a half away from my FIRST MARATHON), my triumphs and failures, my goals, my fears and my thoughts on this mom's inspired miles.


  1. crying. i love you. and i think this blog will be surprisingly a source of healing for you, as well. Here we come, Seattle! The hot mess mommas will forever leave their mark! ;)

  2. andrew, your wife is still the same wife you had before even though she started a blog. Please don't hold it against her or me, for that matter. It was not my fault. ;)

  3. ashley - such a beautiful post. so excited for you to do your run. your mama would be SO proud of you - her precious girl!! welcome to the world of blogging.

  4. I don't read blogs much, infact, embarassed to say I still have one that I kind of gave up on... Oh well, what a great first post. I love the part about maybe not getting a shower, but hey you got your run in. I can relate. I'm not a marathon runner, but can also relate to the inspiration and sense of accomplishment that comes from doing some kind of physical activity, and doing it with all you've got. Best wishes to you and Julie in Seattle.

  5. Tears flowing and feeling inspired. Love you Ashley!

  6. I just made a cup of coffee, and now i'm drinking the coffee, and now typing, and i feel good about drinking the coffee, and the typing, and will probably have some more thoughts and feelings soon.

  7. Ashley ~ can you believe all the work you've put into this and your race is finally here!! What an acomplishment!! Honestly, the hard part is over ~ the months and months of training. The race ~ well,that's you're reward so enjoy it!! Go get 'em honey ~ I wish I could be there to watch you cross that finish line ~ I'm all teary eyed just thinking about it. Your mama would be SO proud!!

    Last year, during the race at around mile 21 ~ there was this guy, he looked and sounded like Morgan Freeman .... maybe I was dreaming ~ he was walking along saying over and over, "Your body is giving up, your mind has got to take over" And it was true, my body was shutting down .... my mind is what got me accross that finish line, injury and all.

    Ashley, not only are you physically ready, you have a gift ~ you have enormous strength in your mind ~ I love that your mom will be with you every step, how special is that!!

    You're amazing and you're ganna Rock Seattle!! Go, Ashley, Go!!!

  8. i don't know you but i do. we have walked down the same path, but you are before me.
    my mother was diagnosed june 17, 2008 with incurable cancer. i signed up with team in training to raise money for lymphoma research. i completed the nation's triathlon on september 13, 2009 and thankfully was able to call my mom at the finish line.
    i remember crying & running. and running hoping to stop the tears.
    i remember my heart hurting so badly that i drove my body to hurt worse thinking it would lessen the pain in my heart.

    i still run. i still do triathlons.
    and i still have my mother here on earth - which is a miracle.
    i am so sorry for your loss. it gives me hope that when the
    time comes to say goodbye to my mom the world won't end....not completely at least.

    thanks so much for sharing! you are a strong woman -
    rock seattle & savor the feeling that only crossing the finish line brings!
    take care!

  9. Ashley, I can't wait to hear more about your race...Your post on inspiration was so beautiful. You are amazing, and your mom would be SO proud of you!

  10. Beautiful! So glad you found me so I could find you on here.