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Home >> Blog >> Guest Blogger >> Inspiring Runner: Ashley Lipsett

Inspiring Runner: Ashley Lipsett

  • Half Marathon

Sensing something lacking in her life, Ashley passionately pursued running and it wasn't long before she fell in love with the road. Nothing could stand in her way....Read how Ashley overcame injury and the resulting weight gain to get back into her running shoes...

My running journey began at the end of 2011. I decided I needed a passion in life, and so I took to the roads. Over time, and with the right shoes and gear, I fell in love with road running. My weekends went from big nights out on the town, to quiet nights in anticipating races every Saturday / Sunday morning.

Running saved my life, and OMTOM 2012 made me fall in love with long distance running. This was my future...

In April 2012, I crossed the finish line at UCT, for the Two Oceans Half Marathon in a time of 2 hours and 32 minutes. I was exhausted. I was so cold due to the terribly freezing weather conditions. I could barely walk. My left knee was in excruciating pain. I got back to my hotel room and sat in a hot shower for a good 30 minutes, crying from the pain. And it was at that moment I decided I needed to see a specialist to help strengthen my knee.

Upon arrival back in JHB, I booked to see a biokinetist. The appointment was a fail; she couldn’t tell me what was wrong. So I went to a physiotherapist. She was more helpful and gave me a file full of daily exercises to do to help my knee. Weeks passed and still no improvement, so in a moment of desperation, I booked an appointment to see a surgeon.

I was told I had a common running injury called ITBS - an ailment where the muscle attaching the knee to the hip is severely strained. It was suggested that I have an operation. Not wanting to take such drastic measures, I headed off to an appointment with a chiropractor, where needles were inserted into the muscle to release tension, and cortisone was prescribed. NO exercise was recommended. My knee was so far beyond repair that I ended up taking a 2.5 year break from running, and exercise in general.

It was the most heartbreaking time of my life. I became a sad person, I became lazy and unmotivated. I lost all confidence in myself and I made my degree my whole life. I would sit in front of the laptop for 16 hours a day. I was wasting away and my relationships began to suffer. I lost friends, I lost all motivation and self worth, and I wasn’t interested in dating anymore. My injury changed my life. It made me depressed.

However, in 2015, I got back into the gym. I decided that after the 10kg weight gain I experienced since stopping running, I needed to get back into a fitness routine. I started cycling at the gym. I started lifting weights, But nothing was shredding the fat and excess weight. Until I met my best friend Melissa. We met at the gym and she helped me find a routine to tone my body up. I was getting happier, I was seeing a change in my body and attitude and I was slowly becoming the person I was in the years of 2011/2012.

I however needed something more. So I decided in August 2015 to get back on the road. I was a bag of nerves, I was dreading feeling that pain in my knee again. I started with a quick 3km. My knee was fine, but my cardiovascular fitness needed some serious improvement. I worked at it every day, and I entered my first 10km race back in August 2015. I crossed the finish line with Melissa in a time of 1 hour and 16 minutes. Improvements needed to be made. But I was back. The passion was back, the dedication and motivation was back. I was happy again.

Everything just seemed to be going right. I was back on the road, I was losing weight and I met the most incredible man. August 2015 changed my life, and I will never look back.

At the time of submitting my story, I have already completed six 10km races (over over a period of three months) and three half marathons within a month.  By the time you're reading this, I would already have completed a lot more!

My fitness and running journey is lined with goals that include: Finishing full marathons. Completing the OMTOM Ultra in 2017 and partaking in the Comrades Marathon.

ULTIMATE GOAL: entering and completing the 100 mile challenge (160km).

I can’t wait to show you where Im going!!! Since starting running in August 2015, I have lost 8kg, and plan to spread a further 6kg before OMTOM 2016. Cant wait to get my body back. 

Before & After