Tundra Trailblazer: Saturday Morning Bliss

Is it weird to say that I look forward to waking up super early on the Saturday mornings?!!? Are you that person too!?!??

I never had a 9-5 job. It was always something like, 10-7pm or 12-8pm and I always worked Saturdays. As my fitness interests grew, I needed to find more time for myself. I was eventually able to drop my Saturdays from my work. This allowed me to be able to train for my first marathon.

Realistically, people look forward to their weekends as laid back, kicking their feet up, and being lazy. Well, not for our household :) We enjoy being active and on the go. Ok, maybe I like it more than my husband! LOL. Then there is the others like us, who send their kids over to the in-laws for the night so we partake in the Prevea training runs!

The training runs have been going awesome for me. I’m feeling strong, confident, conditioned and MOST important, I’m having fun!!! We are heading into our 10 miles this Saturday and I am super pumped about it. We’re getting into those higher miles that just seemed so unrealistic back at day one.

On the morning group runs, I always try to make a point of meeting one new person. So far I have been successful!!! I get to run with someone new and learn a little bit about them. And best part of it all, it passes the time. I get sick of listening to my music day, after day, after day. Sometimes it’s nice just to turn that all off and get engaged. Ask questions. Ask people their struggles and strengths. You will find motivation and inspiration from others!

Keep on running my friends and keep your eye on the prize! My prize is Boston 2017!!!

Ashley King

Tundra Trailblazers: Learning about goals

Hello Runners!!! We are still fairly early in our training, and I am still on the treadmill.  I WILL get outside.  I promise! I really do prefer to run outside but am so afraid of getting hurt that I’m waiting until March-ish. I’m not afraid of colder temps but want to avoid the ice. Power to those of you who are braver than me and run outside all year (Ahem… Bradly). Maybe next year for this chica. Maybe. I am looking forward to fresh air, sunshine and breaking in my new running shoes. They are so pretty!!!

I’m learning a lot about goals. Ultimately, we all have the same goal of finishing the race whether we are looking for a PR or just to get across the finish line. Each training day is a goal: the distance, the pace, the activity. Each mile or quarter mile is a goal. I find myself making deals (If you make it to xxx distance then you can walk), and depending on how I feel, I may keep running and make a deal for the next xxx distance. We are such a short attention span society that this has become a kind of game for me. The terrible thing about treadmills is trying to avoid the numbers. And before you say it, putting a towel over it doesn’t work for me. I just peek. I gotta know!!! Some runs feel better than others ranging from “I don’t care about what’s on the screen” to “That’s all the further I went since I last looked??? You’ve got to be kidding me!” Either way, I finished. I ran, and that is what matters.

Schedule issues still come and go. Life just gets in the way, but if I plan ahead and rearrange my activities I am still able to get all my runs in. Last week, I had plans on Saturday to do a LOT of dancing so I did my long run on Wednesday instead. This week, my work schedule and appointments make Wednesday an impossible day to run so Sunday was a run-day not a rest-day. This can be hard for me because I like to follow directions and going against what my plan says to do makes me twitch a bit.

I’m definitely in the “What did I get myself into?” stage which will probably continue until I cross the finish line. Why did I think that making my first half marathon training and race so public was a good idea? Don’t get me wrong.  The Tundra Trailblazers is an incredible opportunity, but there’s nothing like the fear of letting all of Green Bay down to motivate a person.  In reality, it’s still MY race.  I just have a REALLY big support group.  You have been encouraging me and cheering me on already, so I thank you!  And let’s be honest… I can’t quit with all of you staring at me.  Happy training!

2016 Tundra Trailblzer

(Spoiler alert: Becky took to the streets last Saturday. More to come on that!)

Tundra Trailblazers: You vs. You

Ok, so here is a glimpse of my training and some of my story-

So it is now February! Training has begun. January was my lowest mileage month since November of 2014, coming in at 76ish run miles for the month. Completing my 2 month “run rest”, and now it’s go time, now the stories begin, the adventures both by yourself and the running buddies that are made.  The training is the best part of the race, the actual race is just the reward.

I decided in December to back down on my running, as I was on an 8mi run with some friends, and at mile 5, I felt this twinge in the bottom of my left heel, I knew it was Plantar fasciitis (even though I’ve never had it) from listening to all my running friends describe the symptoms of theirs, so that’s one reason why I dropped it back, the other was just to give the rest of my body a rest, I am currently on Run Streak Day 789 of running 1 mile or more outside per day, for my normal rest days I slow the pace down and just run 1 mile.  I believe this has helped me with consistency, and accountability to myself to continue to stay active, and believe me that is working! (I often hear about it from my very loving and understanding wifeJ).

Two weekends ago I helped with set up and volunteered at the Lighthouse BIG CHILL Winter run (part of a 5 &10K race series in the Milwaukee area). I am usually out there racing along with everyone, and believe me I really wanted to, but one of the things that I just love about the race community is the people, the support by others, the friendships that are made just from being a runner.

I have my training plan in front of me. I still have my base mileage from last year. As I have lowered the monthly mileage, the long runs on the weekends (6-10mi) have still been there with friends.

This weekend I plan to head out to Lapham Peak State Park for some long slow trail miles for my long run this weekend, I will let ya’ll know how it goes!

SOME RUNNING HISTORY JAN 2008-MAY 2010 (part 1 of my running story)-

One of my favorite movies is Rocky (mainly III & IV), being the underdog is just something that drives. It’s me against myself, not only physically but mentally. I love the challenge of running and racing, breaking thru new barriers that I never thought possible. The gym that I normally go to is the Watertown Area YMCA, it is located in Watertown in the old High School. Back in 2008 my buddy and I started a journey, a journey to get our lives back. I was 296 lbs, and was not active like I once was. Life was taking its toll, working, going out with friends, not taking care of myself.  Then we went to this place call The Watertown HAWC (Health & Wellness Center, now the Y). We started walking for 30 min in the morning, then started mixing in weightlifting, we just did it.  We went for a year, then one of the days I was jogging at 6mph on the treadmill for about .75 mi, I got done, and could hardly breathe, he looked over at me, and asked this one question that changed my life forever. I will never forget it, at the time it was so minimal, but now I look back and am thankful that he asked the following question “What are you trying to do, RUN A MARATHON?” That question right there changed my life, it made me think, maybe, maybe I could run.  That question was asked in January of 2009, we then switched to a different gym in February, the 2nd day I was at the new gym, I ran my first mile! It was an 11 min mile, but I will not forget that day either.  Four months later that June I ran my first 5k (my weight was 266), by September I had run 4 5k’s first one being 33min, the 4th one was 28 min. Also that September I ran my first Duathlon (a 2mile run-20 mile bike-2mile run), That really got me going!  That winter was the first year of the Great Lakes Multisport Winter Running Series in the Milwaukee area (now named Light House Events Winter Running Series). I participated in that, and my love for snow/ winter running began!  In December of 2009, I decided that I would like another goal to aim for, so that’s when I signed up for the 2010 Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon. This race also changed my life, I followed the Prevea training program they offered as close to it as I could (with my weight down to 242), come race day I was ready, the hay was in the barn, now I just needed to use it to plan. I raced the first 11 mi of this race with my 5th grade basketball coach and very good running friend Cole Braun, he ended up running the full, my goal for the race was 2hrs, I ended up running it in 2:02 (very happy with that time for first half, but also very determined for the next one). Yep, there was no question I was going to be running another one, my mind was made up for that when I signed up for the first oneJ!  I will leave it here for now, and will continue on the next entry!

My Theme for the Week, is (IT’S PERSONAL- Remember it’s you against yourself, not others).  That’s how you progress, you challenge yourself with ideas and things that you never thought were possible. Happy Training and talk to ya’ll next week!

2016 Tundra Trailblazer

Tundra Trailblazers: Train smart

Hello fellow runners!

How is everyone feeling after our third training run?? Is anyone experiencing major emotions? Excitement, nervousness? Maybe thoughts like, “What am I getting myself into?” Well, I’ve been there for sure! My advice is to just focus week by week and not look at the big picture. Those longer miles can sound defeating. That’s why we train smart and take care of our bodies along the way. When we get to that start line on race day, we will be focused and prepared for anything because we have experienced it all along the way while training. Race day is nothing compared to the last 4 months of training!

In this blog, I want to touch base on the importance of cross training with your running. I have trained both ways and having some other activities in my program helped me get stronger. Cross training can be anything from biking, swimming, aerobic classes, yoga, CrossFit, weights and many more functional movements. We want to train our bodies to move in all planes of motion. Not just moving forward,  like running! Try adding one or two days of cross training to your schedule. Now might be easier with the miles still pretty low.

I would love to get your feedback and thoughts about cross training. You can find me on Facebook or email me at ash20hair@aol.com.
Until next time, my friends!

Ashley King

2016 Tundra Trailblazer


Tundra Trailblazers: Set up for Success

As I’ve gotten my introduction out of the way, it’s on to the fun stuff! Some people might say I am OCD (or rather CDO per alphabetical order) – so having free reign to write whatever/however stressed me out “a little”. Don’t judge. I created a format for my blogs – more for myself than for you readers :)

Reason for Running: Running is not only good for your soul, but is also good for your health – shocker!  Most of us already know that studies have shown that running can help prevent a host of unpleasant conditions (obesity, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc).  However, for me, the biggest change has been in how I have slowly kicked some not-so-good-for-me habits (soda, smarter/healthier food choices, portion control – well, sometimes) as I have realized how much they affected me not only energy wise, but also in my performance. Like they say: you are what you eat!

Current Celebration/Accomplishment: I have *almost* successfully completed round 2 of the 4 week training cycle I am following (next week is recovery – a piece of cake compared to the last 3 weeks!). I usually allow myself one workout within each 4 week cycle that if it doesn’t go as planned or am just not “feelin it”, I don’t beat myself up about (hey, life happens!) – but this round I haven’t had to use up that freebie. GO ME!

Current Challenge/Fear: Blisters! I already have a few, and know I should expect more – but this week the appearance and location surprised me. Normally I can feel “the burn” as they come on, but I didn’t feel the HUGE one that showed up after this weeks longest run right at the web between my big/second toe. Those of you who know me, know how much I LOVE feet (100% sarcasm), so if I just have to tend to some blisters and get to keep all my toenails throughout this journey – I’ll take it!

Strategy Shared with me for Success: “Take it in small chunks – don’t think of it as 26.2 miles. That would be like running from Green Bay to Appleton. Increments of 2 or 5 miles are a lot less daunting.”

Focus/Goal for next week: Keep next week as a true recovery week – don’t push myself to do more than I should. Soak the easy week up!

If you have any tips/hints/tricks to dealing with blisters and/or strategies for success, please share!


Runnin’ for Recovery,


2016 Tundra Trailblazer

Tundra Trailblazer: It’s personal, but not lonely

Hello Runners!  I hope the start of your training is going as well as mine. I seem to have been welcomed into the running world with open arms. Friends are telling of their experiences, memories of their first half marathons, tips and tricks that they have learned on the way, even product suggestions. Several people have offered to run with me which is amazingly comforting. I am learning so much!  I’m not afraid to ask questions but don’t always know what I don’t know or what to ask. It didn’t occur to me until a couple of days ago that I would have to EAT during my longer training runs and the race. This coming from a lady whose husband replies, “Shocker!” in the most sarcastic of tones when she expresses her hunger. I’m pretty sure the term “hangry” was invented because of me.

Running on a treadmill is becoming tolerable, and with the right music or Netflix show, is enjoyable.  Winter and icy sidewalks do not agree with me. Sometimes, I feel like I’m behind in my distances, but I just keep reminding myself (with the help of my husband and friends) that I am new and shouldn’t be too hard on myself.  Progress not Perfection, right? As long as I stick to my Runcoach plan, I will be fine. I have also been reminded that I will have to let some things go in order to focus on training. I have fallen in love with several group fitness classes, but to keep from overtraining, some things will have to give way. I plan to keep my TRX and yoga for sure as people have made it very clear that cross training is an important part.  Also, the foam roller is my new best friend. I’ve been asked if it “hurts so good” and I reply, “No, it just hurts.” Overall, my recovery is quicker, and my joints feel better.

The biggest issue right now is already my schedule. I work 12-hour night shifts as a Labor and Delivery nurse. Those of you in this type of work know that the shifts are not the same week to week and include weekend obligations. Sleep is irregular, at best. I have to plan my week ahead and put my runs in my calendar around my rest and work. I stand by my statement that, “It’s personal but not lonely.” Everyone has their schedules and obligations. I’m not the first one to have to figure this out. One of my night shift coworkers has been through this process, and I understand it is only going to get more complicated as the training progresses. I’m a planner but will have to learn some flexibility. For now, I am trying to follow Runcoach as much as possible to attempt to establish some good habits.

Until the next entry, keep on keeping on, and keep posting #cgbm16 so I can follow your progress as well!  Happy training!!!


2016 Tundra Trailblazer

Tundra Trailblazers: Meet Ashley

I can still remember that dreadful day in middle school when our gym teacher said, “today is the one mile run!” Ughhhhhh!!!! I hated running!! I hated everything about it. I don’t want to do it! I’m going to be all sweaty for next hours class. Why does anyone think this is fun and why do we have to do this in gym class???!! Pretty sure I walked most of that mile.

Now, let’s fast forward about 20 some years…I LOVE RUNNING!!!! I love to sweat! I love to push myself out of my comfort zone. I might be able to convince someone who doesn’t like running that it can actually be fun! Right!?!?! We wouldn’t be training if it wasn’t something we enjoyed doing.

Running has seriously changed me from the inside out. From my physical appearance, to my mental awareness. I run to clear my mind and to hear the PEACEFULNESS dancing through my head. I run for the JOURNEY from the time my legs start moving to the time they stop. I run to be a healthy role model for my two children. Most importantly, I run to experience the FINISH LINE! No one can put into words what crossing that line feels like! Sometimes it’s good feelings, sometimes not so good.  You must experience it for yourself.

I started off by running the Bellin. That was my first big race. Six miles- wow! That was the craziest thing ever! (But now I’m running 20+ more than that! Why is running so addicting?!?!) Then I started to dabble with half marathons and triathlons. Which then turned into marathons and half ironmans. (Once again, ADDICTING!!!) Triathlons are a whole other subject which I will eventually blog about too!

This years Cellcom Marathon is all about trying to qualify for Boston 2017. Last year I didn’t quite make the qualifying time. Every race that I have ran since, has provided me with more experience and knowledge for reaching this high goal of mine. I’m hoping this year will be the year.

I am so honored to be able to share this wild and crazy journey with you. We will all experience many ups and downs along the way, but there will always be our dedication and determination to power us through.

Now let’s all go run and be happy. #itspersonal
Ashley King

2016 Tundra Trailblazer

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