Hello fellow runners!

My name is Ashley Murphy and I am a runner. I am also a writer, a Realtor, a trainer and a boxer. While I have not professionally fought in my lifetime, I have trained in boxing and kickboxing for about 3 years now and feel pretty confident that if put to the test, I would survive. I feel the same way about running every bit as much. Though my furthest experience as a runner is a half marathon, I can confidently say I am a distant runner and proud of it. I’m sure you are too. You see, it doesn’t matter how far you run, how fast your pace or whether you run uphill or down. If you run, whether it’s for fun or you are training for a race, you are a runner. Be proud of that! You may be asking yourself, what’s the purpose of this post.  I have been given the delightful opportunity to share my experience of training for my first full marathon with you all before the GO! St. Louis Marathon Weekend: April 5-6, 2014.  To understand a little more about where I come from, here are some fun facts about who I am as a person and a runner:

*Age: 26
*Height/Weight: 5’7, 149 lbs.
*Hometown: Bridgeton, MO. I also consider Chicago, IL a second home after living there for 8 years during and a bit after college.
*First Race Experience: Lake Saint Louis Sprint Triathlon – Placed 4th in age division. (Why not dive in head first, right?!)
*Favorite Trail in St. Louis: Creve Coeur Lake Loop
*Favorite Trail of ALL Time: Chicago, IL Lakefront Path
*Favorite Quote: “Go the extra mile, it is never crowded” – Unknown
*Previous Experience: Dallas, TX Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon March 2013; numerous races in STL (including 5ks, 4 mile, 5 mile & 10k) including all of the GO! St. Louis themed races.
*Training Plan: a mix of several plans that I have found online.
*Long Run Day: Wednesday
*Currently Reading: The New Rules of Marathon and Half Marathon Nutrition By: Matt Fitzgerald
*Marathoner I Watch: Kara Goucher
*Inspiration: To push my limits and body to a point that most others have told me I could not go. At points, I have told myself this as well.

I am extremely excited to not only put my marathon training experience down in writing, but to also share it with anyone and everyone going through the same process. I have a ton of friends and a HUGE support system helping me through this process; some with several marathon experiences. I would love nothing more than to help and support those who either may not have the support system I do, those who may need a kick start of inspiration, those who may not know where to look for nutritional tips, etc. You’re not alone! Believe me when I tell you, I know how much of a struggle training for ANY race can be. The length of the race is irrelevant; training takes time, dedication and loyalty to yourself and your plan. I’ve been lucky enough to stick with set goals for running and have never regretted a run since I have started. The saying “I have never regretted lacing up my shoes and going,” couldn’t be more true. I have been running solidly at least 4 days a week now for about a year and a half and could not be happier with the life lessons my body has taught me and is still teaching me. I’m sure most can relate. Running is not just something to do, it is a lifestyle. I look forward to connecting with each and every one of you every week up until race day in APRIL! Do you have goals of your own that you’d like to share? Please feel free in commenting and sharing your own inspiration stories and tell people what made you set this goal! 12 weeks and counting!

Ashley