Name: Ashley Stearns
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Went to The Ohio State University for undergrad, got my B.S. in Industrial Engineering with a minor in psychology. Currently pursuing my MBA through UT Dallas. Hired by Eaton Corp. right out of college into their Leadership Development Program where I got to spend time working in Athens, Georgia and Newbern, Tennessee. Now back in Cleveland working for Eaton at an Aerospace plant that makes jet engine fuel pumps where I’m a production supervisor. I’m a huge foodie- there are very few foods I don’t like, but I’m a sucker for good Mexican, good Chinese and amazing pizza. My favorite overall food though would have to be a really really good salad, no joke! I’m a TV buff and love crime shows- Criminal Minds, SVU, CSI (which I miss terribly!) I’m also a sap for Nashville and Grey’s!
How does Ashley know Brittany?
I met Brittany back in 2003 through the Lake County Captains. Our dads both were involved with the organization.
When did Ashley’s running/fitness adventure begin and why?
I’ve always been active- was a competitive dancer most of my life. I actually didn’t enjoy running at all prior to this year. Last Oct, on a whim, I signed up for a half marathon from the encouragement of my cousin Amy who ran the Chicago marathon around that time. I was in a workout slump and needed a goal to work towards.
What is something Ashley absolutely needs to have for every run or workout?
Pre-long run I always ate the SAME breakfast- I mix like, 10 different cereals that are a combo of Kashi, Special K, Trader Joe’s, random granolas, etc. with unsweetened vanilla almond milk about an hour before I start. Also, for every long run or race, I had to wear my pink Ohio State hat- I got it from my mom’s house at some point (I think I stole it :-/) but it’s my good luck charm.
What is one of Ashley’s biggest running pet peeves?
When you are running towards a group of people or a person walking their dog and they are taking up the entire side walk who doesn’t move over at all and you are forced to run in the grass to get past them. I also hate when my socks or clothes ride up/down- cue the socks and the shirt.
What is Ashley’s biggest motivation for running?
A few things- how accomplished I feel when I finish a long run. Also, knowing how it’s transforming my muscle and my body in the process.
What is the longest race Ashley has done to date?
Ran two half marathons- PR is 1:47:51.
What goals or aspirations does Ashley have for her fitness or running adventure?
To run a sub-1:45 half marathon, possibly a full (if I can find time to fully commit to training, especially during the week), to run a Tough Mudder and to complete a duathlon (forget the swimming part for sure!)
What advice would Ashley give to someone who says, “I’m not good at running” or “Running is boring/awful/hard/[insert negative connotation here]”?
No one is ever good at running when they first start. I couldn’t run more than 2 miles when I first started back in January. I used to think it was monotonous and boring. I made a great playlist that keeps me going. Also, I love to listen to podcasts while I run- I’m a big fan of The Chalene Show and Marathon Training Academy. Podcasts help me not focus on a certain beat and help me to keep lose track of time- when I run with music, I count songs which translates to minutes which translates to how much longer I have to go. For those who say they aren’t good at it, don’t focus on pace or distance. Just set a goal to run for a certain amount of time and try, and don’t be afraid to alternate walk/run when you first get going. Just think- you are still steps ahead of the people sitting on the couch!
Favorite race Ashley has run to date?
Definitely the Spartan Sprint about a year and a half ago outside of Atlanta. I did it with a group of co-workers and we got muddy and tired but had an absolute blast!