Natural Running + Perseverence = A New PR

Let me just start off with this. I am not a “sporty” person. I was never that girl who made all the goals while playing soccer in PE class. I didn’t run around with the boys playing football at recess as I much rather preferred to sit on my trusty bench under a giant, shady tree and read a book. So, as you can imagine, my family was quite surprised when I decided to join my high school cross country team at the beginning of my freshman year. I had no clue what I was getting myself into.

For the entire season, I was always in the back…. always! Every single meet, I was that girl – the one that everyone claps for at the end because even if she got a terrible time, at least she tried.

To be honest, I wasn’t all that ashamed of it because at every meet, my time improved. I was getting faster even though I had to walk a lot. My endurance level was not strong enough yet to last 3.1 miles. At the time, I didn’t know it was due to my lack of muscular endurance and my improper running form.

Natural Running for Cross CountryAs the cross country season neared its end, I was finally able to start keeping up with some of the girls on my team. I remember our last week of practices, and how my coach kept telling me that I had improved a lot since the beginning. I wasn’t where I wanted to be, but I was still improving.

And then the season ended… right as I started to feel like I might be getting good at the sport. So as a result of this, I made it my personal goal to continue to do cross country throughout all 4 years of high school.

Time went on, and as spring rolled around and I decided that I should start training. My mom and I had tried some cross-fit places, but none of them worked for us. Then my mom stumbled upon Amy’s website of AVC Elite Training, and we decided to check out her programs. The first thing she did was schedule an appointment with Amy to examine my running form.

I knew that I was doing something wrong. I had gotten some minor injuries during the XC season, and didn’t want to be injured again due to improper running form. We met with Amy and she had me run around the block a little. She immediately knew what I had to fix. She even told me how to correct my running form and gave me exercises to help improve and perfect it.

2014 Newtons with 5 LugsAmy also ordered me some Newton running shoes. I LOVE them! I still wear them on every run as I feel they are a game changer. Anyway, since that day that I met with Amy every time I would go out for a run, I kept in mind her tips and could feel the difference. I didn’t tire as easily, I could go without stopping for a longer time, and I wasn’t getting hurt.

Around the beginning of summer, my mom and I decided to join Amy’s Group Training Program. I wanted to start getting in shape for the season. I had never experienced a workout like this! Seriously, it was intense.

Functional Fitness Small GroupMy mom and I joined in the middle of the program and all the people there were so strong and had crazy endurance. My mom and I were practically DYING during the sessions, but we kept with it and became stronger each time we trained. Amy got us hooked on FLUID, which helped a lot as we didn’t realize how dehydrated we were and the difference between feeling hydrated and how it helps in our training.

We continued to improve and were eventually able to keep up with the others. I was able to improve my strength and endurance from these work-outs in every way.

At the beginning of August this year, my second season of cross-country began. I am a sophomore currently and I knew that this season would have just as many mountains to climb (both literally and figuratively) as last season.

I still hadn’t perfected my running form as of yet, but was constantly working on it and thinking about trying to improve. I began the season confidently. I went to all the practices and gave it my all.

I was actually able to complete 4 miles without stopping. I was ecstatic! That morning after practice, I was texting my mom practically all day just saying how I was so proud of myself!

Then, first meet rolled around.  I don’t know if I was just really nervous or didn’t drink enough water because I did terrible and felt terrible. I don’t even remember my time, I completely erased it from my memory. It was like 40 something. I had never gone that slow before. I had to stop a couple times which I hadn’t done once during practice.

So… we called up good ol’ Amy who looked at my running form and again was able to point out some things. This time, it was extremely difficult for me to make the changes she suggested in my form. I was so sore from working out muscles I didn’t even know existed. But, as we cross country people are best at… I persevered.

My next meet, which Amy was able to attend, was still in the 40’s (like 40:05 or something like that). It was a better time than my first meet, but still, not at all where I wanted to be at this point, I was getting frustrated. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t improving.

The next week at practice, I made it a goal to keep up with one of the girls on my team. I liked her pace, so I decided to make it my pace (which was way faster than my personal pace, might I add). I was able to keep up with her with the consequence of being totally dead after practice. I think I fell asleep in my chemistry class every day that week, but that’s beside the point.

I decided that I was done with being slow. I was literally mad at the fact that I was always in the back. Amy said that there were a lot of gals that I could certainly run equally as fast as if not faster.

Natural Running PRAll I remember thinking before the race was…”What the heck? What’s the worst that could happen?” When the shot was fired, I ran faster than I ever have. I ran like there was a hot boy in front of me and a creepy guy behind me. I remember thinking, Come on, is that all you got? And I kept in mind all of Amy’s tips about my knees, picking up my feet and all the other tips she provided.

I got a 33:11 at that meet. I improved by 7 minutes in one week!

And all the sudden I discovered a strength and endurance inside me that I didn’t even know existed. My meet after that, I got a 33:01…AND..I wasn’t last! My last meet was just a couple days ago. I ran a 31.

Arizona Natural Running CoachI still cannot believe how much I have improved, and I owe much of it to Amy. She has helped me so much. I cannot even begin to express my gratitude. Her theories and tips work! Like most times with trainers, they tell you things and you’re like YEAH THERE’S NO WAY THAT’S HAPPENING, but she is just amazing with athletes and her knowledge with running is incredible. I am so blessed to have had her help me, it has been immensely beneficial.

Now that I know how to run correctly, have my strength and endurance levels up, and am confident in myself, I can say that I am excited for the next season. I’m going to stick with this thing; turn my weaknesses into strengths.

So let me just end with this. I am a runner. I run. I’m slower than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter, but, I run.

And it can only get better from here. Wish me luck.

~Katy

Looking for a running PR? Meet Mesa Newton Running Coach Amy and get an run analysis and footstrike assessment to discuss your route to natural running success.

One thought on “Natural Running + Perseverence = A New PR

  1. Katy you are such an incredible inspiration! I have read your testimonial 3 times now and each one of those times, you brought tears to my eyes. You shared a journey with all of us which bleeds with passion and complete honesty. You are one amazing young person who understands the true heart of an athlete. I don’t think there are too many girls out there your age (or any age for that matter) who would have persevered the way you have the past 2 years with your Cross Country experience. You just never gave up and look what you accomplished! I am so darn proud of you and feel honored that I was sought out to help you and be a part of this wonderful experience. You are my hero…
    And yes, Katy….You ARE a Runner! I

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