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Running with Soul: Meet Amy (#13)

How many years have you been running? 
2 years

Little bit about yourself: 
I was previously almost 250 pounds. I finally decided to do something about my weight and began to slowly change the way I ate. After losing over 50 pounds, I knew I needed to begin some time of exercise. I began a program that incorporated kettlebells and simply walking every day. My walks slowly became faster until one day I began running, for about 5 seconds. Running did not (does not) come easily for me. But it is something I have grown to love and appreciate, even if I do still hate it. It's a complicated relationship. I have since branched out into cycling which naturally led me to do triathlons. 

Who or what inspires you to run? 
I am inspired to run by the shear challenge of it. I love putting myself to the test every day and conquering something I never thought I could. When I look back on who I used to be, I am amazed that I am able to run one complete mile, something I was unable to do in high school, much less a half marathon. I am motivated by that fat girl who never even dreamed of being able to accomplish the physical challenges of running, cycling, yoga or triathlon. Every time I line up for a new race I am in awe that I am able to do what I do. The sense of accomplishment when I complete each new challenge keeps me coming back for more and pushing myself farther than I thought possible.

What is your running mantra?
Just keep moving! (a la Dori of Finding Nemo)

What is your favorite running/fitness blog?
Because work has been very busy lately, I haven't had a lot of free time to read as many blogs (or write) as I would like to. However, one of my favorites is Runs for Cookies ( I love how honest and real she is about her struggle with weight.

What has been your most memorable race?
My most memorable has to be my first half marathon. For months my husband pushed me to do a half ironman. I was extremely timid about signing up for a race of that length. Because of this I compromised and told him I would have to try a half marathon before I tried a half ironman. I researched one that was relatively flat for my first experience and chose Rock N Roll San Diego. 

I trained for months before. When my training pushed into the double digits, I began to have difficulty with my knee. Then two weeks before the race I was forced to stop running completely in order to allow my knee time to heal. I showed up to the race extremely nervous about not just my knee but my ability to finish the race. However, I was determined to finish. As I stood at the start line, I couldn't believe how far I had come from that fat girl who was unable to run a few feet. 

I was able to finish the race in a decent amount of time. The sense of accomplishment I felt was unbelievable. Being a person who previously loathed running and refused to do it in any way, this was a major accomplishment for me, one I never dreamed I would even attempt much less finish.

What is your dream race? (Besides Boston)
Any Disneyland race. I would really love to do the Coast to Coast challenge.

What are you currently training for?
Right now I'm not training for any particular race. I recently began a new training program that focuses more on weights than cardio. Starting in January, I will begin training for a sprint reverse triathlon, which happens to be the first triathlon I did a few years back.

What one piece of running gear can you not live without?
A good pair of earbuds. I love having my music while I run. I hate having my earbuds constantly slipping out of my ears. So I love my yurbuds. They are great!

If you could share any words of advice/encouragement to a new runner, what would it be?
You can do it! It doesn't matter how slow you run. It doesn't matter how far you run. Simply getting out there and running is all that really matters. If you put the time and effort into it you will get faster, it will get easier. Like most things in life you get what you put into it.

Be sure to follow Amy on her journey!

Huge thanks to Amy for participating in this series! 

Check back each week, Monday 9 am CST, as another runner shares their journey of running with soul!

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