A Controversial Interview

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A couple of days ago, I did an interview with a fellow Brooks runner at HungryRunnerGirl.com. You can read it here: http://www.hungryrunnergirl.com/2012/07/need-some-running-motivation-and-tips.html Brooks requires sponsored athletes to do certain things to maintain their sponsorship support, a small price to pay for the incredible amount of great things they do for us.

So I gladly agreed to the interview. The questions and answers went really well and the blog author and I thought it made a good post for her blog.

Ironically, I didn’t say anything bad, however, readers read what they wanted to see & neglected anything else. The result? Tons of positive feedback & a few trolls & haters hurling negativity & insults in response. Oh and emails to me…lots of emails…

[update!]
And then the forum of bored losers popped up – and the world stood still for a moment so they could speak their mind about my life. Hey, they make assumptions about my life, so I’m returning the favor! And suddenly I became a “meth head heart eater” a “psycho B-”, a terrible mother, and an awful excuse of a person! Ha! Wow. Such an accurate picture of me, right friends? Hmm…(Oh- and someone said they couldn’t wait to read my obituary! How sweet! Glad they got to know me!)

SO! Anways!

I took the opportunity to do a follow up interview with myself! Unusual for the outsiders, I know, but my real followers know this is in true Ash fashion.. Read on for a very candid and in depth look into the world of an [unknowingly] controversial runner girl….

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Oh, just pondering life’s deep questions…

A(Ashley) Wow.. Ashley.. Thanks so much for taking time out of your hectic day to do this interview with me. You are so insanely awesome.
A(Ashley) Thanks.. Thanks…I know, I mean, it was the least I could do. I felt I owed it to you.

A So Ashley, I couldn’t help but notice that with that interview you did the other day, most people said you were pretty cool, but others were outraged and attacked your character. How did that make you feel?
A Like I wanted to walk on a crowded sidewalk and punch a random complete stranger in the eyeballs! HA! Just kidding…It made me feel great. I loved it.

A Interesting.. interesting.. Some women said you were a poor picture of health, a complete addict, and an awful person to look up to. What do you have to say about that?
A Hmm. Great question Ash. You know, I completely agree that I’m an awful person to look up to. Because I pity the fool that has as much drive and determination as I do- they will strive to do their best at everything. Doing so takes time and commitment. Mediocrity is SO much easier to pursue! In fact, sitting on your (likely) cellulite infested behind while blasting someone for living life outside of the normal realm is really easy to do too..

A Whoa Ash, getting a little feisty there. Careful, remember to keep things politically correct. You shouldnt stoop to that level. We should change the subject…what are some other things you like besides pain?
A Oops! Sorry. Umm.. You know, just typical things: running, biking, hanging with my kids, orphans, nuns, puppies, double rainbows…

A All very good things! Also I think I remember you saying something in that interview about fueling. If I remember correctly, you said you eat shards of glass and arsenic before your ultras?
A I said that?….I could have sworn I said fruit..hmm. Next question?

A Okay, so why do you think that people freaked out so much and emailed you after that interview?
A I’m pretty sure it has to do with the fact that most women are made out of delicate daisies. I think most chicks are scared of getting dirty and pushing past their brinks–What I mean to say is, I think that there’s a huge gap between the workings of the mind of a half-marathon flower power chick to a 100 mile raging animal.. Huge gap. It might be that the readers are not aware of the world of ultra pain, too. But who knows for sure?

A And what about the person that messaged you saying you were a bad mom and that it was inconceivable to mother off of minimal sleep?
A Reflecting on the year and how I constantly poured myself into being the best mom I can be, instilling a love for the great outdoors and health into my children-who can do a five hour hike on the AT without complaining- it just made me laugh. Especially when I’m sure I could’ve found the commenter’s kids plopped in front of a TV set while their little brains churned into mush while mom facebooked and trolled the Internet.

A Wow, such brutally honest answers. Next time please consider what people might think of how you present yourself before you answer so openly. Internet haters could come out in full force.
A I know…I am so scared. Actually, I think I will change my whole perspective on life now to a more socially acceptable approach. Anyway, thanks for letting me clear some things up, Ashley. I’m going to get back to living my controversial life now…
________

;) I know I know. I’m immature to fire back. What’s new! Ha. Anyone ever attacked your character via online?…so silly…

& for the bullies posting on the forum…… get up, get off the Internet, focus on your own life, stop worrying about mine, and do something awesome…it feels good, see!:

ohh just me being a “bad mom”…

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And here I am being an even more awful wife!!!

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Oh another of me being a bad friend!

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And running in a dangerous scary place!! Oh no!!!

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Oooh and looking super unhealthy!

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And here I am being “prideful” & a “meth head heart eater”

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Hope you had fun drinking up my heinous life!

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73 thoughts on “A Controversial Interview

  1. I was rolling! Awesome interview with yourself.

    I was read the riot act once because I chose to run a marathon…a trip I’d planned months in advance as a bday present to myself…instead of going to a cousin’s last-minute wedding, a cousin I haven’t seen or talked to in 15 years. I am apparently a selfish, self-centered, spoiled brat. But I’m a happy & healthy one. :)

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  2. I found you through that interview and was blown away by the determination and ability to know what is working/not working for you. I agree, most people expect women to do the easy, not pushing it too hard activities and it’s hard to swallow when they see a woman with real determination! Keep it up, I find your honesty and strength inspiring! And I was also excited to see you’re from the east coast – so am I. My hubs is into ultras, done VT100 and VT50 a handful of times. Hes going out to do leadville100 next month. I want to do the 100 next summer to experience the whole thing. I paced him for the last 30, what an experience!

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    • Hi Katie! Thanks so much for the comment and for your kind words. Yes!! a fellow east coast runner- you near Ga?! That’s cool about your hubs doing Leadville, have a friend heading out as well. Let me know if you get into ultras, would like to hear about your experiences!

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  3. This is great! Love it! I had read the other interview which I thought was fantastic. Just went back to read some of the comments–people just don’t get it! Ridiculous!
    I have only run a 50-mile ultra so far, but I definitely want to do a 100 someday. You are inspiring!

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    • Thanks for reading!! Yeah I don’t know where they got off critiquing my motherhood skills! It was a little much! At first it really hurt my feelings and I considered eating a gallon of M&M’s, ….until I realized those people have never met me or my family. Haha. Like you said, just mean spirited people. Thanks for the comment:)

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  4. I found your blog through hrg. I love her!! I didn’t see anything you said bad. I mean, I think you are a normal person who may have had a rough beginning, but you are on the right path now! You have a wonderful testimony and you can help so many others. I think you are beautiful, a great mom, and super speedy! Keep shining for HIM. I can’t wait to read all your posts. :)

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    • Thanks so much for your comment! I didn’t see anything bad I wrote either? Oh well… I guess that’s what you get when you post to the Internet! Yes I will happily and proudly live for the one who made me me!;) thanks girl!

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  5. Love it! I have never found anything you have written offensive. Honest – yes – brutally honest – one could say so. You have really turned you life around and are an insperation to me a guy….. I find your candor refreshing. Keep it up!

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      • You know it is funny today. I did a marathon in South Carolina today. The heat and humidity got to me bad. I waited at mile 17 for about 10 min to see if I could get a ride. No one came and so long story short I finished 6:18. Not a great time etc but pride took over and I was wondering how I would tell people including you that I DNFed. I broke today but did the best I could! You do a geat job keep it up!

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  6. I read the interview and was inspired to go to your site for more information. You should be very proud of all you have accomplished. Don’t let the judgmental ones get the better of you. I love to run, but only fantasize about doing what you do. I will continue to read your blog and I’m sure I will continue to be inspired by you.

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  7. Goodness I can’t believe people waste time writing hate. I read the interview and was so impressed I clicked over to find out more about you. I think you’re crazy but in a great way. Crazy that you run that much but totally admire that you know what you like and you work hard to excel at it. As for people saying your a bad mom-whatever! I am a MUCH better mom when I get a good sweat session in. I’m guessing you’re the same. Don’t listen to the haters. Keep doing what you love–that’s all that matters!

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    • Hey Alicia! Thanks for your comment! Haha definitely crazy, but I’ve always owned up to that… Being a “bad mom.– yeah I’ll never be that. My kids are my everything!! Lol thanks for reading. I’ll check out your blog too:)

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  8. I love this. Like I said earlier, I think you’re an amazing mom, Ash! And you definitely inspire me. I read some of those comments and they were harsh! But you have a beautiful family!!:) love you girl! <3 Keep writing:)

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  9. Dude. I’m so sorry that stupid people exist…and are legally able to procreate. I personally loved the interview on Janae’s blog and consequently started following yours! You rock!

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  10. I think what was missed by some of the commenters were a couple of things. A driven person (I mean, really driven) will explore and push limits, which you did. That same person will also learn from the good and the bad of such experiences, which you did. If these folks read the whole interview they would have seen that.

    Quick story: In a similar vein, I climbed a mountain back in 08 when my health wasn’t quite up to snuff. I thought I was well, and for much of the climb, I was fine. But then I got really sick with pneumonia/pleurisy to the point where I could easily have died. I lost 18 pounds in 10 days after that climb, and it took me more than 2 months to recover. Many people questioned my climbing habit then, and also questioned it later when I went back to the high country to climb some more.

    I learned from what happened. I got myself well. And then I returned to what I loved to do, and still do to this day.

    It is totally possible to climb and run ultras, have serious issues occur, learn from that and then use that experience later on, having grown from it. That’s what I gathered from the interview. Not sure why others didn’t.

    Happy trails, Ashley.

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    • Thanks for sharing your story, & good for you. I’m not easily deterred. If I love something, I find a way to make it work like you did. Plus I don’t like to give up….:) thanks for the kind words!

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  11. Like many other people, I found your blog through HRG. Love this post! You are very inspiring to me, and I added you to my reader as soon as I read the interview. Can’t wait to read all about your running adventures :)

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  12. Hi there! Also found you from Janae… While I don’t agree 100% with your lifestyle (which is exactly why it is your lifestyle not mine, right?…we would be a bunch of boring people if we all agreed with everything), I can admire what you do and HOW you do it. I did read the one comment saying it was impossible for an addict to ever causally indulge in said addiction. While this may be true in many cases, there are certain things that are exception. Having been a bulimic, sick, exercise addict myself who can now enjoy exercise and running in a healthy way, I get it. I mean there are food addicts…are they never allowed to eat again without being relabeled as an “addict”? Anyway, congrats on all you’ve accomplished but most of all congrats on what you’ve overcome. And your kids are gorgeous!

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  13. Ashley, loved your interview on Janae’s blog. It is evident that you can still juggle your family and your runs. As someone who is running far less than you weekly, I didn’t view your intense lifestyle as negative motivation. It was inspiring and highly motivating, quite honestly. I often struggle to coordinate my own running life and find true balance with everything else, so it was amazing to see someone handling so much more. So what if you are up @ 4AM to get your run in. If three coffees is what gets you through the day with the kiddos, let it be. Keep on trucking- looking forward to reading your blog. ~Marissa

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    • Thank you Marissa! I havent done that 4am wake up in awhile, because I haven’t been training for a 24 hour race; but I will start up again next week actually! I have another 24 hr in September! Scared! It’s brutal the first week or two, but then YES, coffee becomes my friend and life moves on haha! Just having kids is hard enough to stay energized you know? There are other ultra moms that have a way heavier workload & more kids! Don’t know how they do it! Thanks for your comment! :):)

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  14. Ashley: I’m a 58 year old male and I’ve only been running for 2 years. It has revolutionized my life in many ways. I remember watching Frank Shorter win the marathon in the ’72 Olympics and was totally in awe of even the possibility of running that far – at any speed – let alone as fast as they do on the elite level (imagine my surprise when learning of the ultrarunning world!). I’m training for my first marathon this fall and gain SOOO much inspiration from runners like yourself who dare to push themselves further then they ever have before. For the life of me, I couldn’t see anything wrong with your interview and quite frankly loved your response in interviewing yourself. I’ve spent my entire life doubting myself and what I could accomplish; UNTIL I started running at 56. Thank you for daring to be yourself in print and not being ashamed of it. I love your web site and eagerly look forward to reading about your first Badwater run someday.

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      • Baltimore Running Festival in Oct. – not the best choice for the first one as it is a hilly course (my first half marathon was here), but it is close to home and doesn’t have any logistical problems to deal with.

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  15. I also found your blog through HRG and love it. I blog over at http://www.offthebeatenpathblog.com and wrote a post on spelling errors. Someone really hates me because they sent me hate responses on not checking my spelling in my posts. I then followed up saying I am not perfect and got more hate responses from that same person. Oh well, we can’t make everyone happy. But that is why are all different people. We would be boring if we all did the same thing. I added you to my reader as well.

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    • Hahahaha wow!!! Someone has a lot of time on their hands. Truth is… I can write whatever the heck I want to write on my own blog, and nobody, regardless of their “life police” or “spelling nazi” skills and verbose comments can stop me, or you, or anyone else. Thanks for your comment!! I will check out your blog! :)

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  16. Haters gunna hate! You inspire so many people on a daily basis, both men and woman! Your drive and passion for life, adventure and your Family is to be commended, not shunned! Keep up the good work and the good people will continue to read and grow with you! Roll on!

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  17. Read the threads in the forum and outraged. Do they not know that you trained while your kids were at school or trained with them or pushing them in that stroller or carrier and I know you said your husband watched them while they slept so you could get in a 3 hour at 4. OMG! You ran to 7am? How deadly! (?????) And since when does anyone know about your personal life based off an interview? Have they never heard of the hundreds of other ultra moms that do the same things? Everyone who reads their trash believes they are all just jealous and that they are FAB (fat angry b******) and not fab as in fabulous like you! Anyone that knows you loves you dearly and knows that you give life your all and you have a beautiful soul. Who cares what a bunch of chat room lame-o’s who post as gutless “anonymous” have to say? You are an exception to the rule, because you make things seem possible that they deemed impossible! And you are drop-dead gorgeous on top of it. They will fight you to try to bring you down to make themselves feel better. Let them. I’m sure they are all ugly miserable and sad about not having guts to love life the way you do and as everyone in the ultra world keeps saying KEEP DOING YOUR THING! We got your back!!

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    • Thanks Andrea!!!! I know these people are bogus. I’ve never been hated by anyone. They are insane. And my “below the belt reply” one chick said- ha! are you freaking kidding me?!? Hurl direct insults calling out MY mothering, calling me a meth head, etc, directly to MY inbox and I’M BELOW THE BELT for replying sarcastically to “anonymous” give me a freaking break. Let’s see you handle emails and insults you NEVER EVER asked for!!! They can all go rot in hell where they belong and I don’t care who reads that. Losers. I don’t spend my time in Internet chat rooms posting crap about other women. As my Brooks rep said : “ignore the haters, maybe if they got off their computer and ran more they’d be happy and less cruel” <-true! And YES your dang right I'm prideful in who I am bc I'm proud of everything I've accomplished and overcame. Now ppl hoping to comment hateful crap- get off of MY blog, take your bogus words elsewhere and move on with your sorry pathetic runner-bashing lives! And furthermore of you’re hoping to comment on here with some life-policing and advice, get over yourself. You don’t know me – go work on your own life, your comments will be deleted. This is my place.

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  18. Personally, I find your story…your journey to be amazing. I, too, read your interview on Janae’s blog. While the old lady mommy in me had some concerns for your health, it was apparent that you do strive for balance and learn from your experiences. Why people are hating on you is really and truly on THEM. I wish you all the very best with your training and with your family :)

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  19. I came across your site through Janae’s blog and immediately visited and read your journey. It was truly inspirational as I’m a mom of three and trying to get back into running. It saddens me that people bullied you with their words. After reading your journey, I had tears in my eyes because God has given you a strong testimony! You wouldn’t be where you are today without your past. I have learned the same lesson and it isn’t always easy. Hold true to who you are and don’t let the haters get to you. If anything, you are showing them that you are a strong, beautiful woman, mother and wife. God has given you this body and you chose to do something great with it. That is something to admire and I know your kids are blessed that God chose you as their mommy.I know I will continue to follow your journey.

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    • Tabaitha- I really appreciate your heartfelt words! Thanks for reading my blog! I am thankful for all experiences, because I know they only make me stronger and further grow my faith. I am going to check out your blog. I’m always in awe of moms that have more kids than me- right now we have a parent for each kid, haha, I know things get crazy when you start adding more!

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  20. I just read “my (very long) personal story” post and I just wanted to say how inspiring it was.

    In a day of countless digital distractions, it’s good to see parents engaging their children in the great outdoors. You and your husband are an inspiration to parents, including myself. Just remember, no matter what we do in this life, there will be people who disagree or disapprove of our actions or beliefs. You survived a wrong turn that has left so many good people lost. That’s something to be proud of and it takes a lot of courage to put that out there in the world. Your example, your story, just may be the extra push someone needs to take the steps to saving their own life. I look forward to reading more of your candid posts.

    PS. I joined the other 887 email subscribers to your blog. Perhaps 888 will be a lucky number… not just a toll free one. :)

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  21. As an ultrarunner with a sordid past who also works in the fields of mental health and addiction, I find it silly and uninformed when people equate hard training and passion with drug addiction. Anyone who’s been through anything knows what a benefit all this running around can be for the family and for life in general. People who think that logging big miles will ruin your life have obviously never seen a real ruined life. Like yours, my kid is happy and healthy, he knows that he’s loved and knows the story of how his old man fixed himself through a love of mountains and forests and trails.
    Thanks for these interviews and for the ongoing inspiration. I’m glad to have stumbled upon this.

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    • Thank you for your comment! It’s always nice to hear from someone who’s “been there” too. I wouldnt change anything I’ve been through for the world.. Tough, but made me ME! Running will (hopefully) always going to be my thing and the way I express myself and sort my thoughts- I am thankful for it! My kids have already taken up endurance hiking, couldn’t be happier:) thanks again for your comment!

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  22. I loved that interview and am glad I found your blog. I’m surprised you got such negative backlash! Keep up what you’re doing. As long as your happy and you feel healthy, what else matters?? You remind me of Catra Corbett–former addict turned ultra runner. She’s such a positive and happy person. While I doubt I could (or would want to) do the mileage you do, I think you’re awesome for being you and not caring.

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  23. Hey Ashley- Love that you explore the world through running and mtn. biking. I have been a long time runner/triathlete (just turned 59 today) and am still planning adventures. I have done a double crossing of the canyon (12hrs. 30 min) and over 100 tris, a dozen marathons, some xterra tris and 100 other ones (including two IMs)- planning big for age 60. Like you I am a mom (my daughter is 25 now) and a speech pathologist, so I work a lot. Hubby and I are hiking a 12,000 ft. peak up in Flagstaff next week. Took down my blog as I didn’t have time for the negative comments anymore. It’s draining and I needed to focus on work/family/training. They are just jealous. Keep on keeping on!

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  24. I’m pretty late to the party… probably because I recently started following you. I think the comment was pretty douchy (as many people think here too). I’m a new dad and trust me I’m still trying to balance everything. It’s nice to see how other runners do it, instead of sitting and being jealous. Keep kicking @ss.

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  25. Comments mean nothing (including, and especially THIS comment). But if you stay true to yourself and your family (at the end of the day, the only things that TRULY matter), then the others who spend time reading, being jealous, and posting hateful ignorant nonsense can go F*#K themselves. There’s a massive difference between reputation and character (I should know, both my “good rep” and “bad rep” have nothing to do with who I really am). Throw out the worst comments, and throw out the best comments. We’re all human, the truth is somewhere in between. While you & I are at opposite ends of the ultra running spectrum with what we believe in and indulge in, I respect you, your views and what you do to inspire others. Keep doing what your doing, Ash. The more successful you are at it, the more trolls/haters there will be. Measure that negativity as a measure you’re inspiring passionate feelings and stay the course…

    Much Love & Great Respect,
    Coach Jimmy

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  26. Forget what they say. You know to follow your own voice. Don’t stop! I can relate in that I am a diabetic and I run a lot. So much so that there are moments where I do not require insulin. To everyone involved this is unheard of. Even perceived as dangerous. In the end it is what I know, am comfortable with, so I do it and I share it. This past year I ran across the US. I did this because diabetics needed to know that they could. To share with a world that it is not an end. I don’t advocate for others to run 30 miles a day. That is not the point. We all need to find our own outlets and our own passions. The example you set for others is huge. It promotes and advocates for a world that there is a way. Never stop being genuine to that. The world needs more people like you to share, show, inspire others.

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