As a resident in training at Madigan Army Medical Center, Ashley Urick works 60 to 80 hours a week.
Despite her ambitious schedule, the JBLM Army captain makes time to run. While its a challenge to train with a demanding work schedule, her dedication to her sport continues to pay off. Urick led the JBLM Army Ten-Miler womens team to its first Commanders Cup victory last October in Washington D.C., and earlier this month she helped the All-Army womens team win gold at the 2013 Armed Forces Cross-Country Championships in St. Louis., Mo.
I dont think I would run the way I do if I wasnt on the teams Im on, Urick said. This last year for the Ten-Miler we had a great group of people and were really motivated to take home the trophy. The same goes for the All-Army team.
Urick 56th overall with a time of 30 minutes, 42.5 seconds. She also ran for All-Army two years ago when the race was in San Diego, Calif., a much different setting than this years muddy and cold race in St. Louis.
It felt like real cross-country, Urick said.
And Urick would know. The aspiring OB/GYN ran cross-country and track-and-field long distance events throughout high school in Indiana and went on to run as a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
I found when I was looking at colleges the military academy really focused on the person and character that they develop, rather than just the education they offer, Urick said. It was about being a more complete person.
Urick, 28, still holds the track and field outdoor records at West Point in the 1,500-meter event and the mile run. She also ranks in the top seven of six other outdoor and indoor track and field records at her alma mater.
Urick thought her running career ended after college. She took a break from racing while in medical school, but found the Army offers several opportunities to compete at an elite level. Besides running twice in the Armed Forces Cross-Country Championship, Urick also ran twice in the Army Ten-Miler.
Urick is in her third year of a four-year residency at Madigan before she moves on to be an attending physician in her next Army assignment. In her job she experiences challenges and long hours, but she finds solace through her running, even if it means waking up at 4 a.m. to get a run in before her 6 a.m. shift.
I make time for it, she said. Its something that gives me an outlet. Its just something I make time for every day because fitness is really important to me personally and also as a military officer.