Ashley Kurt Reinhard PIC4

Ashley Kurth Reinhart PIC1Name Ashley Kurth-Reinhart

Age 34

Where do you live? Alexandria, VA (suburb of Washington, DC)

BMI and/or Dress Size 16/18 US BMI category obese

Ashley Kurt Reinhart PIC3When did you start running and why? I started about a year ago to get in better shape and lose weight for my sake and for being healthier when having future children, but it has become more an outlet for my sanity and a huge confidence booster. No matter how my weight fluctuates, I am proud of what my body can achieve when I participate in races. It is liberating!

Running also helped lift me up when I struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety. I’ve never been athletic and was always struggling with running when I was in grade school so to be able to call myself an athlete is so life changing. I kind of wish I could go back and tell my gym teachers who allowed other kids to severely harass me during fitness tests (where I could barely finish a mile run) that I now run at least two 5k races a month and just completed my first triathlon.

What motivated you to join The Clubhouse? I read about Julie and The Fat Girls’ Guide to running in a fitness article about “plus sized” athletes. It was so inspiring and made me think maybe I could tackle some running challenges, too, despite my size. After following the Facebook page for awhile, I decided to join The Clubhouse and it is one of the best decisions I’ve made. There are so many amazing ladies who are achieving wonderful things and they are SO supportive. It’s a great environment for lifting each other up and helping each other to achieve our dreams.

Where are you at the moment on our coloured ability scale? Between a run/walker and a jogger

What do you hope to get from being part of this running club? Friendship from other athletes who really understand where I’m coming from and the struggles I face. I also love to encourage others and see them succeed after they had doubted themselves. It’s so transformative and selfishly it makes me really happy to know if I’ve helped someone. It would be great to race together someday, as well.

How often do you run? I try to run 3 times a week when I’m training.

What kind of distances do you run in training? Usually about 2 miles, sometimes longer.

Have you taken part in any races? Please tell us about them, and also any races you would like to do in the future. Yes, mainly 5ks, one 4 mile run, one 5 mile run, and one triathlon. There is a running company called Pacers here in the Washington DC area, and they host really well done theme runs every few months. My longest run was a 5 miler in the snow and sleet around the Washington monuments. It was gorgeous and terrible all at the same time! I also LOVE fun runs like color runs where I get sprayed with colored paint. I really like to dress up for the race theme, if it isn’t as serious a race. I temporarily dye my hair, do my nails, put on bright makeup, and wear crazy colored pants, etc.

Sometimes I race with my two year old in a stroller, and that is tough, but I really like high fiving him after we’re done since he’s my little race buddy. I can’t wait to run with him when he’s older.

I have definitely gotten the race bug and love 5ks and how I feel after finishing them. I’m hoping to look for some 10ks to take it to the next level for this summer and fall.

I’m also really looking forward to training for two 10 mile runs next spring- the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, which is during the peak cherry blossom blooms and the tidal basin and monuments, and the George Washington Memorial Classic, which is a gorgeous course that runs along the Potomac River between Mount Vernon (George Washington’s home) and historic Old Town Alexandria.

If I feel prepared, I plan to try the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in DC next May and possibly a few others!

I also hope to do another triathlon in the fall since I had so much fun the first time around.

Ashley Kurt Reinhart PIC2

What is your running goal for this year? I hope to complete a 10 miler, and possibly a half marathon. I also want to improve my breathing abilities and finishing times for 5ks.

What is the one thing which you think would improve your running Breathing techniques. It’s a struggle!

How can other members best support or encourage you? Psychologically! 🙂 Most of all of our limitations are just in our minds. When I was preparing for the triathlon, this group lifted me up and told me I could when some others doubted or were discouraging. And they were right, I did it, thanks to their support!

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