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A 14-Year Old Memory

A few weeks ago, I had a flash of a memory of a day on campus at the University of Florida, when I was a student, fourteen years ago. While going through a box of my things, I found an old journal, where I actually wrote an entry about that very morning. It was such a clear memory that I must have felt the need to write it down. I found it so interesting that I thought I would share it here on my blog.

Century Tower

Century Tower at the University of Florida. I wish I had a high-res version of this image!

Tuesday, October 15, 2002, 11:21 AM

I got to school this morning at 11 am. As I walked by Century Tower, the bell started ringing. It was very eerie. On a usual Tuesday morning, campus would be bustling with tons of students walking through Turlington Plaza, but today, though, even my bus was unusually empty. I walked through campus to the Reitz to buy my morning coffee and noticed that the scene at the food court was similar – it’s dead!

Maybe the weather threw everyone for a loop. Despite the humidity, today could be a day right out of an Alaskan summer. It’s about 70° and it’s cloudy enough to start storming at any moment, but I love it.

There are so many things about this place that I’m taking note of, knowing that I’ll be leaving in just a year. I have a feeling that time will pass by quicker than any of us can imagine.

AmyAugust 19, 2016 - 11:33 pm

Did you notice the time of your entry? :) Interesting!

What’s your speed? part 2


{ This was written and originally published on Facebook on June 13, 2016 }

It’s been a year since I decided to get faster. Since I decided to get serious with improving my running. My Self. When my friend Ann told me to set an alarm on my phone for a year from that day asking myself, “What’s my speed?” I set it, but didn’t know what to expect. At that point, the fastest I could run was about 7mph on the treads for my all out. I felt like I would never get any faster. I was still running 14min/mi and dreams of a sub-40 5k were just that – dreams.

Fast forward one year. Not only have I shaved nearly 10 minutes (TEN!!!!!!!!!!) off my 5k PR time in the past year, but I’ve maxed out on the treads at 9.6mph for my all out speed, nearly a 3mph improvement. I’m insanely proud of all I’ve accomplished, but it’s still a little surreal to me. It just shows what time and perseverance will do. Progress, no matter how slow, is still progress.

While you’re in the thick of it, it’s so hard to see the big picture. Looking back on the past year, I am filled with an indescribable feeling. I am beyond grateful for this journey and so very blessed with the people who have guided me through it with their never ending support. The journey goes on – and the alarm is reset for the next year.


A tale of two 5Ks… Faster than I ever thought I could be.

Work in Progress

April 22nd was Endurance Day at Orangetheory. I was supposed to take off that day, but I decided at the last minute to sign up – I always love a good endurance run. Well, I beat my time AND distance from the day before, beating my 2 mile time by just over a minute (23:09), and averaging about an 11:20-ish min/mi pace for the entire run, which, at that point in time, was officially my FASTEST. Ever. About halfway in, I started calculating my time and I knew. I knew I was going to do it.

I started running for the first time in my (unathletic, sedentary) life when I was 30, on 5/27/13… Almost a year to the day before I took my first OTF class, coincidentally. I can’t believe the progress I’ve made since then, and especially, over the past year.

It’s crazy to compare my times from 2013 to 2016:

Comparison 2013 to 2016

Sometimes things are just meant to happen… a certain place, a certain time… the way you least expect it, you know? I never run two days in a row and I should have taken that particular day off. But I surprised myself. I don’t always feel like a runner… but that day, I did.


A couple days later, I surprised myself again. I ended up running two 30-second all outs at 9.5mph, officially the highest speed I’ve ever run at before! Gears started turning in my head…

What if...

That week, I decided that it was time to sign up for my first 5k of the year. I had run the Fiesta 5K the previous year, and my results were… not great, let’s say that. Haha. I was not in the best running shape, we had just moved to Georgia, and I was not used to the hillier terrain up here. Thankfully, they moved the 5K to the Big Creek Greenway at Fowler Park for 2016 compared to the extremely hilly course it was on last year. The Greenway is much flatter! It seemed to be fate that I was signing up for that race, since my Orangetheory Fitness studio was registering to sponsor it as they did last year, and they asked me to run it to advertise them, just as I did last year. Yay for a free race entry!

Considering the times I’d been running at OTF, I set a goal for finishing this 5K somewhere in the 35-36 minute range, which would shave a couple minutes off my last 5K time from December.

Again, I totally surprised myself…

Fiesta 5k

My GPS did not register 3.1 miles on the trail but the time IS correct. My official chip time was 34:06! That means I shaved FIVE MINUTES and 20 seconds off of my last 5K in December! The feeling I had after finishing this race was simply unbelievable! I knew that if I tried a little harder, I could maybe… just maybe, get a few seconds faster…

You can.

Two weeks later, I decided to do another race, the Saddle Buddies 5K! It ended up being a great weekend to run, the temperature that morning was a cool 65 degrees. I was actually quite cold waiting for the race to start, but I knew I would warm up quickly. It was a beautiful course going through rural North Forsyth County, bright and sunny and cool and perfect.

I felt great going into it and kept going strong the whole way. I was amazed to find that I beat my PR from 2 weeks ago, with a time of 33:36, and I placed 3rd in my age group!

Saddle Buddies 5k

Saddle Buddies 5k

Just looking back at my race times from the past few years, it’s incredible to think that I ran my first 5k in 48 minutes in September 2013 in FL, and that on May 16th I ran the same distance (and not even in flat Florida!!) in just over 33 minutes.

I feel like I’ve learned a lot about running in the past few months. There was a time I thought I would never get under 40 minutes. I did that in December. I never imagined getting under 35 minutes. I did that in April. And then in May… I was even faster. I don’t know if I will ever get under 30 minutes, and it’s okay if I don’t… but I’m light years better than I ever thought I would be, and that’s enough for me.