My Running Life: Meet Amy

My Running Life: Meet Amy

Hey guys, my name’s Amy and I’ll be with y’all every month, offering running advice and insights based on my marathon running experiences.

Let me start by saying this: I’m in no way an elite runner. Yes, I’ve run two marathons, but I’ve only been running a little over three years, and the fact I decided to run a marathon before I’d even registered for a 5K makes me an anomaly (and crazy, apparently).

At the end of 2009, my friends Amanda and Meredith pitched me with a crazy idea: We’d all run the 2010 Marine Corps Marathon (MCM). Amanda was living in DC, I was in Florida, and Meredith was stationed in Afghanistan. The plan was we’d train in our separate locations but run the MCM together.

In January 2010, I started my running journey. At the beginning of the year, I could run one lone mile without stopping. By the end of the year, I had finished a full 26.2 mile race, proving that any distance is possible with enough training and perseverance. It might have taken me over five hours to finish that race, but I did it. Within an hour of finishing, I’d mentally committed to doing it all over again the following year. (Read: Crazy running lady.)

This isn’t something that I’d recommend to everyone. It was a long year of hard work that got me to the starting line, but it worked for me. I absorbed as much information as I could about running by reading blogs, magazines and books. And also by asking experienced running friends for advice. Now, I’m the person doling out advice, and it brings me so much joy to welcome others into this great and accepting community of runners.

Running is something that’s completely mine: No one else can take credit for my successes, and at the end of the day it’s my internal motivation that pushes me to keep going. That isn’t to say that running comes easily to me. I’ve fought hard for these miles, and lately I’ve had more bad runs than good. But I understand that all those tough workouts make the good runs that much sweeter.

I’ll probably never qualify for the Boston Marathon or place in my age group at a distance race, and I’m okay with that. For me, it’s all about the indescribable feeling of joy you get after crossing the finish line that makes the long months of training worthwhile. I’m testament to the fact you don’t need to be the fastest to love running, and the elites aren’t the only ones out there on the race courses.

So, come along with me on this journey as I begin preparing for my third marathon in February. I’ll be sharing tips and tricks, as well as personal anecdotes, about my life on the run.