Totally floored by the 600+ responses to #AMRinSaucony post. We knew you were all badass, all had incredible stories that brought you to running, compelling reasons that keep you logging miles, but we just.had.no.idea.
We read stories about post-partum depression—and the necessary lift that the miles gave you. We read stories about making 2015 your year to run your first 10K, half-marathon, your first marathon, your first Boston Qualifying time, your fastest Boston time. We read stories about infertility, adoption, miscarriage, stillbirths. We read stories about (not yet) mother runners logging miles with their dads, and being inspired by their moms. We read stories about losing best running friends, about kicking cancer to the curb (sometimes more than once), about using running to finally define a healthy body image and eating habits.
We read some great lines, including, but not limited to:
"I Find my Strong in my leaner shadow running with me on the ground." —Heather
"By all rights, I am not your typical athlete. It feels like I’ve punk-rocked it through my entire running journey."—Jackie (who also has, "a really awesome idea for a running-related musical number, which will be pretty epic, at least in my mind.")
"My running clothes are clearance rack, but my confidence is haute couture." —Tara
"I Find my Strong in the universal truth that a good mood is always only one run away." —Megan
"I Find my Strong when I get at 2 a.m. for a crying kiddo, and can feel yestersday's run in my quads." —Katye
Finally, after hours and hours and hours of reading each one carefully, we had to make some tough decisions.
First, we narrowed 600+ applicants down to about 60, and then 30, then 20, then 5, and finally, we made our decision.
Ready for our #AMRinSaucony?
Before you groan, why didn’t you pick me? please check out Amy, whose entry—and perspective and life—encompasses pieces of so many of your entries.
Point One: Her running journey began when life wasn’t exactly working out as she expected.
“I was running away from the crap in my life, figuratively and literally. Running helped me find the strength to get through that part of my life and taught me I was a lot stronger than I gave myself credit."
Point Two: She's currently initimately familiar with sleepless nights, sore boobs, and wondering what it's like to use the bathroom solo. Her kids are 5 years old, 2 years old, and two months old.
"I have three small, needy kids. And I love them, but they demand all of me most of the time.” And she also works as a web developer with need, not small co-workers (our words...not her's).
Point Three: She embraces the power of a mile...
"When I strap on my shoes and walk out the front door, I enter this magical fairy world where the only thing that matters is my run. And though the time is finite, I get to decide how the story plays out: slow and steady. Fartleks. Hills for fun. Long run until I’m ready to pass out. The stories all don’t go as planned, but they’re a chance for me to reset and refuel."
Point Four: ...even though she, "will never be a regular fixture on the finisher's podium."
"I don’t have any natural talent for running. I am, however, terribly stubborn and good at putting one foot in front of the other and powering on."
Point Five: She's run 10 marathons, including one six-months post-partum in 2012. ("Yeah, that was kind of rough."). And guess what? Now she has to start.all.over.again. Using her resilience she's honed over the years, she's going to use 2015 to find a whole new perspective on her strong.
"Running postpartum has been really difficult. I want to build my strength back in places it’s always been lacking: namely, my core. I'll run some races, set new goals—not necessarily just time-related—and enjoy running again."
If you want to congratulate Amy on being selected, feel free to do so below, or via @amyupnorth, her Twitter account. (You can also follow her on Instagram at @amyupnorth, or on her blog Amy, up north.)
As Amy shares her journey to a new strong over the course of 2015, we hope this exercise has resonated with you like it did with Robin, who wrote:
"Thanks for the opportunity to think about these questions.
Answering them has helped me realize it is time to get my strong on again and put more time into ME."
We hope you found a little kick in your badass, like Robin did, by slowing down and thinking about where you've been—and where you want to go.
And while Amy epitomizes many of the traits we mother runner share, we still know there is a lot of #AMRinSaucony love to be created and shared in this mother runner tribe.
Periodically through this year, we're going to have opportunities to win sweet new Saucony gear beyond the usual Hump Day Giveaways. We're going to want to see your muscles, your mojo, your miles...so be prepared. In the meantime, feel free to hashtag it up with #AMRinSaucony when you have a great run, a moment you want to celebrate, or just want to show us how cute your Triumph ISOs look on the green grass of spring.
Finally, thanks again for all your thoughtful, entertaining applications; we were honored to read them all, and we're going to circle back to quite a few of them as we hit on different topics this year. As the opportunities arise, we'll reach out and see if you're interested.
Many happy, strong miles this—and every—Monday.