Fit To Be Spotlight: Amber Poole April 17, 2014 18:13

Fit to Be!
We love hearing the stories of athletes who are working towards specific goals. Runners, cyclists, triathletes, CrossFit fanatics...the people who are working hard and training diligently  for something special. Every month, we are featuring someone who inspires us and motivates us to be strong. To be fit. To be fast. To be better. Welcome to our "Fit To Be" series.


THIS MONTH: We are featuring Amber Poole! 

We all run for different reasons. For some of us, it’s a refreshing escape from the daily grind. For others, natural talent has lead to a lifelong love affair with roads and trails. Amber Poole from Fit, Foodie Runs, this month’s Fit To Be athlete, turned to running as a method to deal with anxiety and depression. It started in the form of a simple 2013 New Year’s resolution - she wanted to take up a new hobby, why not running? - and has resulted in a deep love of the sport.

Amber has signed up to participate in over 6 races this year. She recently competed in her first 10K at the Sole of the City Race, and will soon compete in the Baltimore 10 Miler in June. She is modest about her achievements, but manifests true determination and is a true inspiration.

Our Q&A with Amber: 

What inspired you to start running and when did you start?
When I was a little girl, I saw a photo of my gram and pop crossing the finish line of their one and only 5k. I remember thinking I wanted to be like them. I made my 2013 New Year’s Resolution to do just that, one 5k.

What was the first “big” race you signed you up for?
Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock 5k in Baltimore.

What was your goal in signing up for it?
I signed up just to say I did it and put it on the bucket list.

What did you do to train for your first 5k?
I started training two weeks prior to the race! I didn’t put a lot of thought into it. I may have ran a few times but I was a heavy smoker and just wanted to get through the finish line.

As a then newbie to the running/racing scene, what did you learn from that first 5K & training experience?
Running is hard and training should is necessary! I also learned I can’t smoke and run so I quit smoking, just like that. 

You recently completed your first 10K, Sole of the City- how did that feel?
AMAZING! I couldn’t have been happier or more proud of myself!

What were you looking forward to most about your Sole of the City experience?
I’m not a fast runner, so I looked forward to crossing the finish line and just taking in the surrounding beauty. I love cheering on other runners, the scenic views and thanking our security personnel. The positive energy at races is unbelievably overwhelming and warming.

How did doing Sole of the City help you grow as a runner?
This race heightened my self-confidence. I didn’t think I could run a 5k, but I did and now a 10k. Racing gives me the confidence to believe in myself more.

How did you train for Sole of the City? Do you have any tips/advice for others that are training for their first 10K? 
I wanted to be as best prepared as I could for my first 10k so I took training at Charm City Run. My advice is to never give up because when you do, it’s over. Keep pushing even on days you don’t want to and see what you are really capable of doing.

What’s your next race?
I have ten planned out including a big half at the end of the year. I’m an Ambassador for ZOOMA Annapolis 10k which I’ll be running at the end of May. Maybe, even with a tutu.

Any new training tips that you’ll incorporate in your next race?
Yes! I’m incorporating strength training and yoga in my weekly routine. Weights always intimidated me but after gathering a “plan of action” I seemed to not only like them but enjoy them!

What is your most memorable moment in running so far?
I was running down a very big hill in a race last year when I realized racers were coming back up the other side. There’s nothing that made me want to run back up! But instead of grunting, I gave high-fives to the people going down and it lifted not only my spirit but my feet.

Do you have a favorite inspirational quote/mantra that keeps you going?
I have two: “Keep Positive!” and “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

Any running advice or words of wisdom that you would give to others who are just starting out in the sport?  
Running isn’t just something you do and it’s over. It may also help you to view the world differently. You may even notice that it impacts other areas in your life such as self-care, diet, change in wardrobe; you may be happier, etc. One change may inspire another and once this takes place, there’s no going back.

Life Beyond Running- Flash Round:

Beer or wine? Wine
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Summer or Winter?  Winter
Salt or Sugar? Sugar
Poached or Scrambled? Scrambled
Twitter or Instagram? Instagram
Cat or Dog?  Dog
Beach or Mountain? Mountain
Sunset or Sunrise? Sunrise