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I’ve signed up for a 4 miler……ack, my insides are nervous!


Be sure to check out my review of the Polar FT7, Personal Heart Rate Monitor/Watch.  This gadget has been my favorite so far……..and lets me know exactly how hard I’m working.  No matter where I am.  Love it. 

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Woo-wee, I’ve gone and done it.  I signed up for a race.  (In case you didn’t catch this, check out my running tips for beginners or slow/clunky runners like me.  All came from my marathon runner friend.


I have run a few 5k’s and 10k’s in the past few years but have totally lost the training for them.  So why am I nervous? ;)  Haha……I guess it just comes with getting back into it.


The only way I keep running and keep trying to improve my distance, is if I have a race to work towards.  I don’t just enjoy running for the thrill of running.  That’s like saying that I clean toilets because it’s enjoyable.  Nope, I clean them because I enjoy a good clean sanitary toilet.  That’s it.  As for running, I run for my health and to prove to myself that I can do it.  And the longer I run, the more surprised I am at myself.  I don’t ever wake up and think, “Ahhh, I can’t wait to slip into my jogging shoes today.”  (I leave that kinda crazy talk to the serious runners.)  In fact, I have to force myself out the door.  And it isn’t until I have conquered the 1st mile or so, that the rush kicks in and keeps me going.  But I do have to admit, that the endorphins produced after a run are priceless.  I wish I could bottle that stuff up and sell it. 



Anyway, back to the race.  It’s a little lovey-dovey Valentine’s race.  And I’m going to run it.  It’s 4 miles total and is for all ages.




Here’s proof that I’m registered:





Nope, I can’t back out now.





I hope the weather is kind.  We have had lots of snow lately……but the race is this weekend and says this:




Yeah, a little chilly but at least there’s no snow.  But 36 degrees means I’ll be all snuggled up in a hat, jacket, and gloves.

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I was reading my online trainer’s advice this last week (thanks for all the tips Alysa!!) and she talked about staying motivated.  I couldn’t agree more with her “Pump Up the Jams” suggestion.  Music keeps you going.  And makes you feel a bit more care-free as you pound the pavement.


Do you want to know my number one running buddy?  My music.



Here’s what’s been on repeat on my RUNNING playlist lately:

  • Happy, Natasha Bedingfield
  • Beautiful (SMASH Cast Version) [feat. Katharine McPhee]  
  • Mercy, Duffy
  • Set Fire to the Rain, ADELE
  • Good Life, OneRepublic
  • Hold Me (feat. tobyMac), Jamie Grace 
  • Marchin On (feat. OneRepublic), Timbalan
  • Waka Waka (This Time for Africa), Shakira 
  • King of Anything, Sara Bareilles
  • I’m Yours / Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Straight No Chaser  
  • Here Comes Your Man, Meaghan Smith
  • Be OK, Ingrid Michaelson
  • Say Hey (I Love You) [feat. Cherine Anderson], Michael Franti & Spearhead
  • I Gotta Feeling, The Black Eyed Peas 



I know.  Kind of a random list.  I always skip around and listen to these and then in a few weeks, it may be something completely different. But these current songs keep me going for some reason.  But there are 2 songs that I have to listen to every time I start running. 


Last time I was really into running (about 2 years ago), I had different songs that I was really into.  But these 2 current songs were ones that I listened to when I started running again about 5 or 6 weeks ago.  And I had this tremendous surge of energy and motivation to make some changes.  It was as if my whole body decided right then and there to welcome running back into my life.  A serious surge starting at my toes and bursting up and out the top of my head.  And these 2 songs were playing when this happened.  So, any time these songs come on, I immediately have a renewal of energy……and my motivation continues.  Funny, right?  Because the songs are so random.



The first is:

  • Billionaire (feat. Bruno Mars),  Travie McCoy

(And let the truth be told that I actually can’t really stand this song and don’t have any written goal or determination to become a billionaire.  But that beat gets me hopping right along.



The second is:

  • We Are the World 25 for Haiti, Artists for Haiti    

(And this one, wow, it cracks me up to write this title too.  Because, some of the artists make my skin crawl.)



Music is powerful.  And because of the circumstances, these 2 songs will forever remind me of running.  And my renewal to jump back into it.  And no joke, if I get tired while running, I replay these songs and I always have a few more minutes left in me.  Ahhh, music.  You can surprisingly make me a lover of something that I, well, normally wouldn’t love.



How about you?  Have you signed up for any races to keep you motivated?

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Read all ‘Inpiration to Fitness’ related posts here.  There’s tons of inspiring articles from trainers and other bloggers who are trucking right along with me. 


Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Carissa says:

    I would fall asleep listening to your playlist while I was running! I like to rap and sing reggatone and listen to really up beat music. When you are running for more than 2 hours you need something to keep you energetic and keep your pace up. I especially love ones that I feel like pumping my arms in the air or doing other dance moves just to stretch my arms and get the blood moving. I probably look funny but after running for so long you gotta do something:) Go ghetto and you can’t go back

  2. Kristen says:

    Thank you for posting your last running tips post and this one! I received so many great tips and I’m going to check out your music because I need some good songs! I’ve never run any race but Im currently training for my first sprint triathlon with my 10 yr old daughter! I live all your advice! Thanks soooooo much:)

  3. Chris V says:

    Yay for you! I guess i am one of those ‘serious runners’… I get up three mornings a week at 4:30 to go for a 5 – 10 km run, plus a long one on the weekends! I love it! I have been back at running for a years now after an 8 year hiatus, and am planning on running my first half marathon this fall. I mapped out and ran a couple half marathons last year, so I know I can do it — I am quite excited about it!!! But I don’t listen to music. I listen to the birds, the dogs, cars, people around me… :o)

  4. Alice says:

    Way to go! That’s the spirit…get registered, get focused and RUN! The first song I listen to to motivate me to get on the treadmill is Supermassive Black Hole by MUSE (Twilighter here) and the last song to get me through that last minute of my work-out is You Better Run by Pat Benatar. Good luck!!!!

  5. cat says:

    My running playlist changes alot except for the last song for the final mile of EVERY run -Holla back girl by Gwen Stephani. Funny because I never want to hear it outside of the last mile on a run. 3 or 4 miles in on a 102 degree day (I live in north TX) and falling out in the the bar ditch suddenly looks more inviting than a weekend at a luxury spa – its the one song that triggers the burst to push through.

  6. Alysa (InspiredRD) says:

    So excited for you! I know you will do great :) Glad you are finding motivation through music. I loved looking through your playlist. Keep it up!

  7. Susie Hamlin says:

    Thanks for the music suggestions. I am re-loading my iTunes as I write…(had a little bit of a problem last week) I am back on the Couch to 5K training program and will be doing one in March – not long after my 56th birthday. It’s nice to know others out there have the same love/hate relationship with running I do. I look forward to following your progress.

  8. Kiersten says:

    Thank you for telling us that “Say Hey” is on your list! My 2 year old has a dance class and they dance to that song re-done by Kidz Bop and I have been wanting to find it! Anyway, I wasn’t a runner until about 2 years ago and I wouldn’t have considered myself a runner until about a year ago. It took me at least a year to finally say that I somewhat enjoy it. Now I feel a loss if I don’t get my run in on MWF, although I almost would always rather sleep in still. But I know how much better I feel afterwards. The biggest thing that keeps me going is my running buddies. We always meet at the same time, same place and run the same route. It’s so nice to know I have somebody counting on me to be there. It gets me out of bed and on my feet at 5:30 in the morning. And I just signed up to run the So Cal Ragnar in April. I’m so excited (and a little nervous)! Good luck to you on Tuesday!

  9. Leeanne says:

    You can do it. I know you have inspired me to start running and I have run 35km in he last 12 days since I started (and I haven’t run one step since before babies – ages ago). I am doing the Michelle Bridges 12wbt here in Australia and it starts Monday and I am going to follow her half marathon training program – eek! I’ll ease into though – I have an 8km and 2 10km runs first.

    I’ll be thinking of you on Tuesday!

  10. karolynah says:

    Congrats!! Just by sharing your goal with us, you’re halfway there. I also signed up for my first 5k next month. I don’t know how it will be but I’m determined to have fun and make the best of it. I’m sure you will have a blast and be so proud of yourself when you’re done!

  11. Kimberly says:

    My new year’s resolution is to run a 5K this year! And I already signed up for one called the color run! I’m so excited about it, and I never thought I would say that about running.

  12. stacey says:

    You will do great! I am so excited for you. The thrill and energy of an official race may just pull you in loving running. The goodie bags are always a plus too. :)

  13. kaelee says:

    I’ve never even considered running, but just last night i stumbled across a race held here in Utah, and a few other states throughout the year called “The Dirty Dash”. It’s five miles and includes obstacles, mud pits, and a massive slip and slide. Now running is all I can think about. good thing you wrote this post, so I can get started on the right foot so to speak.

  14. Jennifer says:

    I just started running last year because all my friends run and talked me into it plus I’m not a fan of diabetes. I figure if I can keep in motion then I just might dodge the Type 2 that could be in my future. I ran the Disneyland Neverland 5K at the end of January. Next up for me is the Ragnar SoCal in April and then Ragnar Napa in September. If I didn’t have these races I wouldn’t be running. It is so hard to get motivated to run. After all, I have a craft room not an exercise room. ;)

    Good luck on your race!

  15. Tayler says:

    From one runner to another: Good luck! You’ll do great!!

  16. Kelly Strei says:

    I just signed up for the Warrior Dash! (

    I hate running too but if I have a goal to work towards I find that I can at least tolerate it. :)

  17. Angie says:

    Ashley, all our your running posts are seriously making me homesick! I miss our run-and-chat-mornings :) Good luck with the race! You are simply amazing :)

    1. Ashley says:

      Awwww, Angie!! I was just thinking about you this morning while I was hurdling piles of snow. I was remembering how nice it was to run in the nice morning sunshine during the summer. Ahhhhh, I miss our mornings too! It’s good to hear from you. Hope things are going well and you’re staying busy!


  18. Ashley says:

    Awesome!! I totally understand. As I am typing this, I am awaiting running friends to show up, as 2 of us are training for the half marathon and 2 for the full! (I am in the full marathon training…as they say…cuz I am full of crazy!) But it is so much fun to do the races, the people sheering you on, the sense of accomplishment/the feeling of taking on something hard and totally finishing, all of that stuff makes it so very worth it, no matter what time you finish. (We did our first full marathon last year and it took us 5 1/2 hours…talk about slow-pokes! LOL)

  19. dkb says:

    not really sure if i should comment or keep this to myself. but all of these fitness posts seem to be an ad for best buy to push some product. Knowing that many of these posts were sponsored it makes it hard for me to take the none sponsored fitness posts seriously. Just feels like there is an ulterior motive to some of them- like its the set up for the next sponsored post.

  20. christy says:

    I am running Wings to Fly at a historic fort here in our state. It will be in march and I am running with my mom, my 13 yo daughter and 2 of my friends. Pretty excited. It will be my 3rd race.

  21. Joy says:

    I’m running a 5k in May. I know i can run the mileage, but this time I’m working on speed. I need something to motivate me too!

  22. Laci Jamison says:

    I signed up for a half marathon on Mother’s Day which happens to be my 30th birthday and for that I am super excited, but I am worried about actually completing the distance. Enjoy your 4 miler!

  23. Emily Claire says:

    I HAVE to have a race to be working towards, otherwise I get lazy in my running. I ran the Baltimore 1/2 marathon in October (which was my first race ever– go big or go home I guess…) and I registered for the Thanksgiving Point 1/2 marathon at the end of April… because since the half, the most I’d run was a mile or two before hitting the weights. But seriously. I also make a big deal, tell all my friends so that they hold me accountable for my running/finishing the race.
    ALSO– thank you for the review of the sports watch. I got one for Christmas and have been sporting the watch, but hadn’t used the features (not enough time/motivation to figure it out…) till I read your post! Now, the band is coming with me the next time I hit the gym and we will TRACK those calories burned!!

  24. Jessica Johnston says:

    Hi – just wanted to let you know if you’re trying to keep your location secure, it’s really easy to find that race location with the info given. May want to take that off if you’re being stealthy ;) Hope the race goes well!!

  25. Kelly says:

    Best wishes on your 4 miler! I have to have music when I’m doing my cardio. Most days it’s 80% Jesus Culture with very random stuff mixed in. Rockin’ worship music keeps me motivated and helps me stay grounded in faith all week!

  26. Shary says:

    Well good luck! My birthday is later this month and I’ve decided that with my birthday cash I’m going to buy a new pair of tennis shoes and a sports bra and start running. It’ll be my first time. I had cervical cancer treated a few years ago, my grandmother died of cancer last August after a nearly 5-year battle, and my father just had cancerous cells removed from HIS FACE. I have decided to run for cancer research. I’ll probably run for babies too though, because babies are beautiful.

    Anyhow, I like your music tastes. There’s lot of songs I hate right now, but I can see how the beat would keep you going. Keep posting running playlists so I can copy them! :)

  27. Taryn Bown says:

    I’m doing the Color Run Las Vegas and just thrilled about it. I can’t wait! It’s my first ever race and to be honest I probably won’t run the whole thing but I wanted to get out there and try something new this year. And I totally hear ya on the music thing except I get moving to the Britney Spears station on Pandora. Love it! And I’ve decided whether I’ll do another lap based on which song come on. Good luck at your race!

  28. Cerise says:

    You can do it! I have a color run coming up next weekend and I’m in full panic mode. We’ve had a lot of sickness and insanity going on lately and I have NOT trained as I should have. I know I’ll end up walking a lot more than I want to. :o/ Good luck!!

  29. Alli says:

    Good job! I have found I am not a runner (causes pain in my knees), so I envy those who can! I’m not sure your exact location, but have you heard of these races?

    1. Lani Derrick says:

      Just did my first Color Run this past weekend!!

  30. Jennifer says:

    How exciting! Good luck. I am not a runner at all but I have a friend who pushed me into doing the Couch to 5K program, then moved on to the Bridge to 10K program. We now have signed up for a Mini Marathon in May and our training through our local Y. It seems crazy that I will be able to run 13 miles (I really don’t believe it) but I also am proud to say I ran 4 miles this morning! We’ll see how it goes. Thanks for sharing your music list :-)

  31. Kati says:

    Yay! For me, I have to be signed up for a race in order to keep running. We are signed up for Warrior Dash, an obstacle 5k at the end of March. I’ve been back to running for one month now and I’ve tracked 40miles! A big deal for me was my run last night, 3 full miles and I ran the whole time!! :) Have fun! I also have to force myself out the door!

  32. CathGrace says:

    Good Luck! My husband and I signed up for a 10K on the 31st of march, and I am hecka nervous because I’ve never been in any sort of a race before, as well as I only ran my first mile ever last summer! We are running 4 times a week to try to build up to it over the next 8 weeks, but I am still nervous! The big picture goal is fitness for us too.

    1. Katie Leatherwood says:

      We signed up for the Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, SC. It’s March 31st too and a 10K, but we figured since the birth of our son Cooper that we HAD to do this race! It’s my first race since 2004, Eek!

    2. CathGrace says:

      We’re Doing the Monument 10K in Richmond VA, so not too far from you!

  33. Melissa says:

    ASH… I am sooooo very excited you are back into running! WAHOO! Good luck! We need to chat soon! I miss you!
    And PS… I am signed up for a marathon on June 9th! EEK!!! I started my training this week and it is getting so exciting! 17 weeks and I will have accomplisehd on of my huge goals of 26.2 miles!

  34. Jenny says:

    I just signed up for a 50 mile bike ride. It’s not til June, so I’ve got lots of training time. But today, my rear hurts.

  35. Sarah says:

    You go girl! Just keep signing up. It is definitely a good motivator. Speaking of…you should check out the Bolder Boulder for May. It’s the largest road race in the US, close to home and totally worth it. If only for the people watching! I’ve got a few races coming, a couple of triathlons but mostly fun adventure races with my hubby :)

    1. Robin says:

      yes the bolder boulder is fun!

    2. Christina says:

      YES! This will be my 20th Bolder Boulder and it is AWESOME! Come!

  36. Jana says:

    Way to go!! I signed up for an event when I needed motivation to recover from my third pregnancy. It worked so well. I had something to train for and lots of acountability for my training. Good luck in the race! (but be careful, they are addictive :))

  37. Kate says:

    Way to go! Good luck! I’m not running currently, but instead I’m doing Irish Dance (it’s so fun it should be illegal…seriously!), and at age 34 and after four kids, I just signed up to compete against other adults. Terrifying, but a great way to stay motivated in practicing hard!:)

  38. sorahart says:

    Here’s an idea for an upcoming tutiorial–DIY armband holder for an MP3 player! Thanks for the running inspiration. I’ve never ever been a runner but now I’m starting to consider it.

    1. Jo says:

      What an awesome idea! DIY Armband!

  39. Lani Derrick says:

    You can do it! Just posted about running too. check it out!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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