Ashley Law is a new Runner from Philadelphia, with an inspiring story. She has only been running a year and has already completed two half marathons and has her sights set on a full marathon. I love her energy and willingness to share her story. Running has changed Ashley’s life for the better!
How long have you been running? I started in January 2013
Why did you start running? Last January I went through a devastating break up. As someone who already had anxiety, it really broke me. My anxiety got a lot worse. I stopped doing things that I loved and I was having issues concentrating on things, doing my job and I could see things spiraling. I knew I needed to make a change. I promised myself to do something out of my comfort zone. My brother who has run marathons and half marathons convinced me to join him and my sister-in-law in doing the Philadelphia Rock N Roll Half Marathon and I agreed.
Where do you usually run? I run outside mostly, but since this winter has been brutal I have been running on the treadmill, which I hate. There’s something about running outside… it’s so freeing.
Do you run with other people or by yourself? Usually I run by myself. When I run at the gym, I go with my girlfriends. Unfortunately my brother lives in Texas so I can’t run with him.
How do you motivate yourself to run when you don’t feel like it? I have a board on my door that I wrote motivational quotes/reminders to help me. Also the day of races, I always write on my hand: Remember why you started!
What are some challenges you’ve faced with running? Getting started and finding my routine was the hardest part for me. I stopped doing a lot after the break-up. I needed to find myself.
Have you done any races or events? Do you plan on racing in the future? I ran my first half marathon September 15th, 2013. Then did a Spartan Race on September 28th. This past weekend I ran the Houston Half Marathon (Jan 2014). My next race is the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in Washington DC in April.
Do you have other running goals? I want to do a marathon! My brother and I have a bunch of runs for our running list. The biggest one we want to do is the Disney Dopey Challenge! 4 days, 4 races: 5k, 10k, Half Marathon and Full Marathon.
Brag about yourself – what challenges have you overcome? What are your biggest accomplishments? 2013 was the year of challenges. I was always there to support and cheer my big brother on but I always thought, “You’ll never see me running one of these!” My brother and sister-in-law have been my biggest supporters and biggest inspirations. The morning of the Philly Half, I was a wreck. I was so nervous, I couldn’t eat, I felt like I was going to throw up and I wanted to back out. But I knew I couldn’t. My parents, nieces and family were going to be at the finish line. I couldn’t let them down – and more importantly I couldn’t let myself down. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I didn’t have a time I wanted to finish by – I just wanted to finish. I really struggled after I hit 6 miles but I pushed through. There were a few times I had to walk. I was really struggling by the time I got to the 10th mile. My entire body was aching, but I literally ran into some friends from high school and we ran together until the 12th mile. When I got to the 12th mile, I got the best surprise. My big brother who had already finished the half ran back to meet me. He ran the last mile with me, which made all the difference in the world and led me across the finish line. I finished in just under 3 hours and it was my greatest accomplishment.
We ran the Houston Half this past weekend and we both set PRs. I maintained my pace the entire time and set a PR by 30 minutes! He wasn’t allowed to run back to meet me at the 12th mile this time, but he was waiting for me as soon as I crossed the finish line. Running has completely changed my life. It brought my brother and I even closer together and it has helped me to become the person I was always meant to be. I just needed a push to find myself, and now I have never been happier!