The Third Time's a Charm

by Elizabeth Moran

National Harbor, MD

"I am not a runner”, I used to say that and believe it.  I met Amy my first couple months in Albuquerque, NM when I called her dog walking ad to walk my yorkie.  There was this immediate connection over our love of yorkies.  I knew she was a professional runner which just blew me away; it still does.  It happened to be around the time that I was getting married the next summer.   Like most brides I wanted to rock my dress.  Amy agreed to be my personal trainer because I flat out told her "I will NEVER RUN".  Over a two month period Amy would meet up with me to walk.  I am in pretty good shape so walking was just not giving me the results I wanted.   So after many hours of Amy convincing me I could do it we came up with a walk-run plan.  It was tough at first, not the running but believing I could run.  We started with a basic 2 minutes walking with 1 minute running and we progressed from there.   By the time I got married, I was able to run for 30 minutes without walking.  I would love to say it happened for me, it "clicked" but it didn't.   After the honeymoon, we came back home and I lost my goal.  I walked away from running and my BUM got bigger and I got a bit sad.  It was always in the back of my head "GO RUNNING" but I didn't...I got pregnant!

I love being a Mum it’s amazing but when I got home from the hospital with this new little baby girl I looked in the mirror and I said "CALL AMY"!  I did, I called my BFF in Oregon.  I call her my personal Olympian.  I said I want to run again, lose this weight and train for a 1/2 marathon.  It was October and I picked a race in New England, the Smutty Rock Half marathon for the following Oct. I had a year!  Amy was amazing!! I ordered my running skirt.  I then went to a running store and bought my sneakers and followed my friend’s advice.  I made my husband and some friends from home start running with me.  It was great having Amy in my corner; she called me every day that week.  The morning of my FIRST RACE she called me from Oregon at 4:00 am her time to give me a pep talk.   I needed it!! I was freezing and it was HARD!!! I finished in 2:35 and I was elated, you would have thought that I won the race.

That was my second go around with running...we broke up AGAIN!!  What I discovered was that I was lonely.  I wanted to run with people.  I loved the race.  It felt so exciting to be a part of something, I counted damn it.  Even my 2:35 half marathon finish counted.  I got a NUMBER and a MEDAL.  But I put the brakes on running.  Amy would call and ask, "how's your running?”   I would say, “I am a little busy right now the Holidays and blah blah blah...”.             

Then I met other women that ran!!  It was amazing!! We all decided to do a local 10k in the tidal basin for Christmas.  We did the Jingle Bell Run with reindeer shirts and antlers.  I came home and called Amy again.  I told her that my new goal was to run a race every month for the next year.  I also wanted to run a 10 minute mile pace.   That goal worked!!! This time it took!!  My husband and I ran 16 races last year including: two half marathons, one 10 miler, five 10 k's and eight 5k’s.  I love it!  I have run Disney,  Rock'n'Roll, Cherry Blossom, Chocolate race and Charity races.  I get excited to find my next race.  I love the race experience including the EXPO, race photos and looking at new gear. The best part is talking to other women about running and encouraging women to keep going, just like my friend and coach Amy Begley. 

Now I am in a routine where I run 4 to 5 times a week.   I can run a 9:00 minute per mile pace in long distances and 8:47 minute per mile pace in short distances.  I am so excited to meet more crazy gals that love to run races.   It will be a great experience to hang out with other strong women encouraging each other to reach our goals.  Guess what??  "I am a RUNNER"!!