CEP Brand Ambassadors | Ashley Nelson | Compression Socks in Action

Ashley Nelson

April 24, 2019

“Competitive ultra marathoner” only begins to describe Ashley Nelson. Add survivor of a hit and run, not expected to make it to the ambulance. The achievements of this Bay Area mother of two, ages 8 and 6, are simply awe-inspiring.

The 2009 accident left Nelson with severe brain injuries. "I was given no hope.Longstory short, I ran my first marathon in 2015, my first ultra in 2016. I ran the Lake Sonoma 50 in 2018 and did very well."

What drives me is I need to show my kids, and everybody else, that you can do almost anything you want to do, not matter who tells you that you can’t. You don’t have to stop your life if something changes it. There are new roads you can go down.

How she started

Active as a kid, Nelson started bicycling when she met her husband, a serious competitive cyclist. In a few years, she also was racing. "I’d only been trying to race hard and realize my potential for about two years before the accident. Now, I can’t race my bike any more. There is fear around it. 

I didn’t accept neurologists’ telling me you’re never going to walk again. That was not okay with me. As soon as I learned to walk again, I was active.After my daughter was born, I started running. But I didn’t like it at first."

Then, in the middle of a road marathon she didn’t expect to enjoy, "I remember just yelling out, ‘I love this!’ I hit that high. I wanted to go forever."

How about the pressure?

"My accident itself is not pressure to me. There’s no memory of it. There are plenty of times since then, as a normal person and athlete, that I’ve been under pressure.I’m going to see if I can Boston-qualify as a normal athlete. I already qualify as a para-athlete, but that’s too easy for me. I’m training to qualify in my age group, sub 3:30, which is really fast. Telling people I want to do this puts pressure on me to perform, to eat right, to train, to wear my recovery socks, to do all the things that I’m supposed to do.

You can’t avoid pressure. The best way to handle it is to let a little bit go at a time, so it’s not so overwhelming.It’s like training for a marathon. You wouldn’t go from a 5K to a 26.2 overnight. There are little steps."

About wearing compression

Introduced to compression to help her circulation when she was bedridden, Nelson had tried different brands before she found CEP. "I instantly swore by them. I can feel the difference."