Ashley Tukes

After all that you accomplished, what drives you to continue running?

What drives me to keep running is my daughter. I see her sweet face every morning and every night before I close my eyes. Never in a million years would I have ever thought I would be where I am today, married and a mom. When I had her people kept trying to tell me that as a mom I’d have to stop running and going for my running goals. People said that once you have a child your life is over but my daughter has done the opposite of that. It seemed as if my life just started to begin when she was born. I run so that she can see her mother being a strong woman and never giving up on herself no matter what.


How do you motivate yourself on days when you don't feel like running?

I get motivation to go out and run from my daughter. She will ask me on sunny days if its warm enough to go for a run with mommy. If that's not motivation to go for a run I don't know what is!


On average, how many times and miles do you run a month?

I am not the typical runner. My range of events vary from the open/hurdles 400 meters to half marathons! It always depends on what season it is and what I'm training for. If it's outdoor track season and I'm training for the 400 meter hurdles and 800 meters, I think I do an average of 1,000 meters to 2,000 meters per workout. If it’s indoor and I'm training for the 400 to 1,000 meter runs, I think I'll do about the same. During 5k to half marathon seasons of course my average will be about 40 to 50 or more miles per week give or take.


What's the weirdest or funniest thing that ever happened to you while running?

I think the weirdest or funniest thing that ever happened to me was during a 5k race this summer. It was a new race in an unfamiliar neighborhood that had a lot of one way, dead end, cut off streets and the course wasn't well marked . I was leading the race so I didn't have anyone to follow and at about mile 2 I ended up taking a wrong turn and running through someone's backyard! I got so turned around that I had to hop a fence and ask a lady doing yard work to help my out of the Cul-de-sac!


What are your favorite types of fuel for running and why?

My favorite type of any kind of fueling is coffee! But for race days, I always have oatmeal and grape juice for breakfast. I love to stay fueled up on Kar's Nuts Sweet and Salty trail mix and sunflower seeds and of course water during race days. The trail mix has a lot of peanuts, raisins, sunflower seeds and chocolate. Just right for a protein and energy fuel up at any time of the day.


What's your favorite cheat food & drink?

I don't do diet’s so I don't have a favorite "cheat meal," but I cannot lie, I love snacks! Yet, I have learned to watch what I eat because I see my 3 year old has started to love snacks too because they learn from us. So now I try not to do much snacking, but when I can with out little eyes watching, I go straight for the Better Made BBQ Chips and a ice cold Vernors! It’s a Michigan thing.


Do you like ice baths? Why or why not?

What crazy person would love ice baths?! I DO!! Oh they feel absolutely awful for the first 45 to 60 seconds but then it's so refreshing after that and the gratitude you get from your sore muscles the next day for taking one cannot be beat.


What's the most important tip you like to give new runners?

The most important tip I give any new runner is to not EVER give up and do not waste energy on negativity! No matter if you're training for your first race ever or on your middle school track team, you cannot let failure, stress, pain, negativity or anything else get the best of you. We all fall but the difference in being average and being great, is who is willing to get up, dust off and keep pressing forward.


What is your favorite running accomplishment so far?

My favorite running accomplishment so far is to be a sponsored runner. It's an amazing feeling to find a company who believes in you even when others didn't. I thank God everyday for my sponsors sharing my running vision with me and helping accomplish those goals.


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