Illusion or Injury?

Hello Everyone, Ashley here!

I will start out by saying that I am pretty sure after reading this blog entry most of you are going to say “illusion” was not the right word to use in the title,  given that info it probably is not but here is the explanation.  A few weeks ago a friend and I went for a run, it was more than I had ever gone before- both length of time running during intervals, and distance so I was tired.  I was discouraging myself thinking I was too tired to continue and even though I got over the pain of pushing myself and did eventually catch my breath without passing out, I was made very aware of my leg and foot muscles.  Still to this day I’m being made aware of it and think I may have my first official injury.

About two weeks ago we got word that our town (Amy and I live in the same town) is holding a 5K run in Amy’s neighborhood, and it would be super silly of us to NOT participate, so I ventured over to Amy’s house the weekend after we found out and we decided to run the course of the 5K.   Part way through,  my body started shutting down, everything hurt and I just really couldn’t even force myself to start running again… I realized then that something may be wrong as the arch of my foot was burning causing my whole leg to tighten up and it just kept moving up my body, getting a cramp while breathing and then even making it hurt to have my eyes wide open.   Blaming it on my serious habit of  not drinking enough water before I push my body like that…. Amy provided me with an article about dehydration, and none of the symptoms I had matched that of dehydration…so I guess i’m properly hydrated but WHY is my body still hurting.

Now comes the argument (with myself) is this fact or fiction; its it all in my head do I need to get past this and keep going, or am I really hurt and should I take some time to heal or figure out if I need to see a doctor.  The weather has finally cooled off here making runs much more enjoyable as it doesn’t feel like its only me and the sun out there.  This week I have chosen to go for long walks with no running involved to hopefully adjust my body back to not pushing itself so hard.  My right ankle swells no matter how intense the work out and no matter what I do to try to stop it.  And now favoring the ankle has caused my calf and knee to give me some more  trouble.

All of this being said, I still can’t even tell you if its illusion or injury but I really hope that it’s just illusion and my body is only adjusting to the weather change and different distances while running.

I’ve purchased arch support inserts for my running shoes, as well as the official “runners” socks.  I feel my next step is going to be wrap up my ankle during runs and my knee all of the time but I really don’t want to have to get to that point.

So runners….tell me

What are some good ways to avoid injury and let my body heal while not getting out of the habit of running?


This or That

If you now us, you know we love a good survey. So, when I saw this survey on Paige’s and Katie’s blogs, I swiftly dropped it in my favorites to remember to do it on just a lazy Sunday evening such as this one. Here we go!

1. Run/workout in the heat and humidity or freezing cold temps and snow?

Amy: Freezing cold for sure. My first half marathon was about 45 degrees and rainy. My second was mid 80s and full sun. While I bested my time the second time around, the first was very enjoyable…here is photographic proof. 🙂



Ashley:   I would also have to vote freezing cold!  I started running in the summer so really all I know is running in the heat and I’m not sure I can say I really LIKE it.

2. Washboard abs or flat abs?

Amy: Flat. I feel like washboard can look weird sometimes.

Ashley:  Flat!

3. Dr. Oz or The Doctors?

Amy: Well, I’ve only ever seen Dr. Oz, so I guess he has to be the winner here.

Ashley:  Is it bad that I have never seen either one?

4. Cardio or strength?

Amy: Well, I like to switch it up, so I enjoy both. I’ll probably go with cardio, though, just because the time flies by while I’m doing it.

Ashley:  I’ve only been doing Cardio but talked to Amy this morning about the fact that maybe I have to start adding more than just running to my work out routines.

5. Cravings: Protein or carbs?

Amy: Carbs, carbs, and more carbs. If I wouldn’t feel horrendously guilty, I could make a meal out of bread.

Ashley:  Carbs… I struggle to find a good source of Protein that I really like.

6. Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper?

Amy: Bob. I just love him. 🙂

Ashley:  I don’t know who Bob Harper is… I better find out.  Jillian Michaels is intimidating but she does her job well.

7. Frozen yogurt or ice cream?

Amy: Fro yo. For some reason I feel like ice cream is too sweet.

Ashley: Fro Yo!

8. To train: upper body or lower body?

Amy: Probably upper body. I’m a wuss and lower body workouts make me sore for days, haha.

Ashley:  Lower body

9. Protein powder or food with protein?

Amy: Food with protein. I was on a protein powder kick or awhile, but I’m kind of in a stage right now where it grosses me out. Peanut butter is the better way to go. 🙂

Ashley:  Food with protein…I feel weird adding powder things to my food or drinks.

10. Squats or lunges?

Amy: Squats. I especially love sumo squats. 🙂

Ashley:  lunges

11. Sweet or salty?

Amy: I have an insatiable sweet tooth.

Ashley: Salty!

12. Workout attire: cute or comfy?

Amy: A mix of both. I like to find cute things, but if they aren’t comfortable, I won’t wear them.

Ashley:  comfy..there is usually NOTHING cute about my workout clothes.

13. Body Pump or heavy lifting?

Amy: Can’t really choose, as I’ve never done Body Pump, but it seems like something I might like.

Ashley:  I don’t really know many details about either of those…

14. Yoga or Pilates?

Amy: Yoga. Although the only Pilates I’ve done is a rather lame video.

Ashley:  I haven’t tried either one but i’d love to try yoga.

15. Nike or Adidas?

Amy: No preference here.

Ashley:  I don’t prefer one to the other.

16. Running: On the treadmill or outside?

Amy: No question here: outside it is. I can’t stand the treadmill.



Ashley:  Love outside.. I have yet to try running on a treadmil but i’m not a fan of walking on it.

17. Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s?

Amy: I’ve never been to Whole Foods, so I guess TJ’s wins this battle.

Ashley:  I enjoy Trader Joe’s.  I’ve never shopped at Whole Foods but I have tried food purchased from there and it was good too.

18. Summer or Winter Olympics!

Amy: Summer! Pretty sure I have never watched so much TV in my life as I have in the past two weeks. I even watched speed walking…

Ashley:  Summer!  I’m watching the closing ceremony right now and it is kind of sad to see it end.

19. Exercise classes or exercise videos?

Amy: I love working out with others, so classes it is. I just wish there was a more convenient option for my time, budget, and schedule.

Ashley:  I’ve been a “loner” with my workouts lately so I might have to vote videos.

20. Steamed veggies or roasted veggies?

Amy: Well, I like them either way, as I am a bit of a rabbit and love me some veggies. Roasted would probably be my preference though.

Ashley:  Steamed, yum!

We would love to hear from you! Pick one of the choices and answer in the comments!

5k reservations

As the date of my first 5k approaches I find myself very worried about it. I just do not feel like I’m ready. My body isn’t moving as fast as I want it to in terms of becoming a runner. I’ve lost some motivation after a few bad runs, and I still struggle to figure out how to have my breathing match my pace. So, as it approaches, I find myself feeling reserved about the 5k for the following reasons.

I, however, (it’s Amy in italics today) think that Ashley can do it for sure! So, I thought it would be nice to take a look at some reservations and give another perspective to them. Hopefully this helps people out there who are thinking about running a 5k as well!

1. Amy and I would like to get a big group of people together for this 5k. Most of these people HAVE run a 5k or are runners by nature and enjoy doing it. Yes, I enjoy it too, but I am still in the mindset that I don’t want to slow a whole group of people down because I’m the slow one.

In my experience, runners who offer to run a 5k with a newbie don’t worry about pace. They race for fun. As a runner, I find it really rewarding to help take part in someone else finding enjoyment in something that brings me so much confidence.

Plus, everyone has to start somewhere! Not so very long ago, I was the one slowing down my running buddy, and she, bless her heart, even let me cross the finish line first!


2. I really want to cross the finish line. I know I can get there, but not running more than I walk. I don’t want to be “that” girl who signs up for a 5k run just to step off the course and walk in the grass while everyone blows right by me.

This fear is probably one that everyone has. Once you see the number of people who have to walk, you don’t pay it any mind. Plus, the adrenaline makes you walk a lot less than you might expect.

3. I don’t want to struggle so badly that I give up before the finish line.

I won’t lie; you will struggle. However, running is all about strength, and I don’t mean muscles. Your mind can do powerful things to your body, and you have to believe with all your might that you can do it. Enter, Pinterest quotes. 🙂

(This picture is from tumblr, but I don’t have an account so I can’t link up.)

4. The dreaded cramp I get if I don’t time my breathing to correspond with my pace. I’d also feel awful if i’m the one walking on the side of the road gripping my stomach like once again “that” girl who signed up and can’t do it.

Even if you have to walk across the finish line (which you won’t), you CAN do it.

5. I love my runs, but I’ve disovered lately that I may be best out there on my own, because I only have to answer to myself. Any day it is not too hot, I make sure to go out there and run, so that means that sometimes I go a few days in a row. With a 5k, I’m worried about being a member of the pack and being judged.

All the runners I know do not judge the people who try. People judge those who talk like the can do it but never try. True runners admire those who try, even if all they can do is a mile. Those who run know that, sometimes, that one mile is a bigger success than a marathon ever could be.

I guess those are really my own reservations about running in my first 5k, and I really hope that I can overcome these fears and reservations in the next few weeks before the big race that will lead me to my first finish line!!

These reservations make me think of a post I saw on Tina’s blog today about taking risks. Signing up for my first 5k was a risk of me, as I was terrified of many of these exact same things. Now, I actively seek out the joy that these races give me, especially when I can run with people I care about. Ashley, I know you can do it, but I hope you only choose to do it because it will make you happy. That is all that matters.


5k newbies, what aresome of your reservations?
5k veterans, how did you overcome your reservations?

St. Jude from Another Perspective

I am finally back up on the Internet and able to blog about how I felt about the St. Jude run from a few weeks ago.

Amy brought up to me that she was thinking about running it this year, and it immediately made me think of a little girl. Her name is Lucy Krull, and her story is here . I have never met little Lucy or her family, but, having a love for children of all ages and her inspirational story of strength, I just knew I HAD to be at this St. Jude run, if not for Lucy then for every other child who needed our help.

I have not been a “runner” enough to run it comfortably, but I have capable hands and feet so I was in for the day to volunteer my time as a support person. I was a little nervous on the day of but was up at 3:30 AM and on the road by 4 AM to meet up with Amy and our friends. We got to the starting point, and I was told I would be working collecting donations from residents of the community. Now let me just let you all in on a not-so-secret… I do NOT enjoy collecting money from people. Moneyis a precious valuable, so I feel bad asking for it from anyone, but on this day I happily grabbed my milk jug and stood in the middle of the road at an intersection in the small town where the runners started. People pulled up in their cars, and my support team would ask different drivers “Would you like to help the children of St. Jude?” Let me tell you, the generosity of people out there is unbelievable. An older lady pulled up, rolled down her window and dropped a rather high-valued bill into my milk jug with the comment “I just took my dog to the vet and the vet didn’t charge me so I will give all of this to you guys.” That put a huge smile on my face, and I responded, “Thank you from the kids!”

A few cars later, a man pulled up with a badge on his sleeve. He said, “Guess where I am headed right now?” His response was “I’m headed to St. Jude in Memphis, Tennessee. My daughter just got admitted there, so please… please send some up for her. ” Of course I will! I hope his little girl is fighting a winning battle. I think about her often, even though, once again, I do not know her. On and on through the morning hours, people pulled up and dropped money in my jug. We thanked, they honked, they waved, and, most of all, we all smiled!

The strong people running (including Amy) came galloping past us, Amy with a huge smile and an outstretched hand waiting for a high-five. Shortly after I saw her running, I received a text message from her saying “I am having so much fun!” I was too!!

I had heard so much about this day, especially about how the whole team gathers at the end of the day to run the last mile and into a huge reception for all running teams (as Amy has mentioned there was a team of runners that ran to Illinois from Tennessee) and all volunteers and families of St. Jude children. I ran in with Amy and, let me just tell you, the feeling that ran through my body was one of the best I have felt in my whole life. There was a little girl with her hand out yelling “Thank you,” and we smiled and waved at her as we ran by. I saw her again later and got a better look; her purple shirt said, in glittery writing, “I am a St. Jude kid,” and, at that point, my heart was full. I had done enough in that one day to give me a life time of happiness, and I will again next year– hopefully joining the runners out on the road to contribute a few miles to the run.

Even though Amy and I have concentrated on this St. Jude run a lot lately, who can really say they ran 20 miles in 1 day for these children (like Amy did), and who will stand behind them 150% every step of the way like I will?

And Lucy- If you ever get a chance to read this, even though you don’t know meand I have never met you, I will continue to keep up with your story through your mom’s blog. I just want to thank you for helping me want to start running so I can help you and all of your friends get better!