Ashley Nelson

Decorated Ultra Marathon Runner

San Jose, California

ashley-nelson selfieHello! My name is Ashley Nelson. I am a 32 year-old wife, a stay-at-home Mom of two little kids and a dedicated trail and ultra-runner with a passion for nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. Before I became a mom and before I discovered running, I would call myself an amateur competitive cyclist. In 2009 I was run over by a hit-and-run driver. I suffered multiple broken bones, including my C1, and I sustained a traumatic brain injury that left me with a left-sided weakness, from my left eye down to my toes, and a cognitive brain injury. After months of rehabilitation I’ve been told the only explanation for the remarkable recovery I made is my solid nutrition, the supplement regime and the exercise that I do. Due to the accident I no longer ride a bike although I did keep my nutrition the same and stuck with NOW products to fill in the gaps and make my nutrition complete.

Once I made a full recovery my daughter was born, this is when I discovered my love for running. I started with a mile or two in the morning before my daughter woke up and my husband went to work, just to get out of the house and have some time for me. Before I knew it, I was logging five miles a day and running multiple days a week. Then in 2011, I did my first running race and I was hooked. Shortly after, I had my son and completed a half marathon.  And, every year after that I would do the same half- marathon. I never thought I would run ultra-marathons.

ashley-nelson running w/headbandIn 2015, a friend talked me into doing a trail race with her. I even ran it in road shoes and finished Third Place in my age group. This is when I knew I found my sport – my second chance. Exactly a month after my trail debut I tried it again, and this time I placed 2nd in my age group.  Shortly after I ran my first ever road marathon and finished in 3:59:27, a sub four-hour finishing time when I would have been happy just crossing the finish line.

I went on to place in various half marathons and 30ks while training for my fist ultra-marathon. I continued to push my limits and set new boundaries. Since running my first ultra-marathon in May of 2016 and placing 3rd in my age group, I no longer question my abilities as a gifted and talented runner. I have overcome the odds that were stacked against me. I compete as a parathlete among regular athletes and I continue to set personal records in all my races. To date, I have competed in two ultra-marathons and I am already registered for my next two. My 50k personal record is 5:48:42 set at The North Face Endurance Challenge 50k. I have also run two full marathons, winning the second marathon as the first female and second place overall. I am currently training for my third ultramarathon. It is not an easy race and I have set high standards for myself. I will be using multiple NOW products to help me reach these goals.

I love being a mom. I love running. I love eating. I love cooking and I love NOW products. And, I’m so grateful I was able to persevere through my injuries, believe in myself, and find my place in life. I hope I can be an inspiration to you, too!

Accomplishments

ashley-nelson leading 1st place female Crystal Springs Trail Marathon.

1st place female Mt. Diablo Trail Challenge 10 mile

1st place Mermaid Series Quicksilver 9 mile race

1st place female Woodside Trail Run 17k

1st place in division. 3rd place female overall at Quicksilver half marathon

2nd place in division. Oakland Hills 35k

2nd place in division. Trail Hog 10k.

2nd place in division. 3rd place female Saratoga Trail 30k.

3rd place in division Quicksilver 50k

3rd place in division Santa Cruz Trail 10k

3rd place in division. 5th place female Zoom Quarry Lakes 15k

4th place female Mt. Diablo Vertical Challenge half marathon

50k PR at North Face Endurance Challenge 7,244ft of elevation 6th place in division 26th woman out of 218 finishing time 5:48:42

 

Training Routine

Endurance weeks can range from 41-56 miles a week.

  • Monday = Core exercise
  • Tuesday = 5 to 6 miles easy with core exercises
  • Wednesday = intervals.  20 min warm up , 8 x 5min effort, 1 min recovery. 20 min cool down.
  • Thursday = 40 minutes on indoor bike or elliptical and core exercises.
  • Friday = 5 to 6 miles steady
  • Saturday = 22 miles or 30k fun trail race.
  • Sunday = 12 miles

Daily Regimen

Before each meal
For breakfast. I mix it into pancake batter for a healthier more fulfilling way to start my day
On training days that require speed work or hills, as well as when cross-training
Replaces salad dressing for lunch or dinners. It tastes great, has a really smooth texture, and a little bit goes a long way.
Before bed
Before bed, I mix it with unsweetened vanilla almond milk