Amy Heveran is somewhat of a half-marathon expert. In the last 12 months, Amy completed 20 Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathons. That’s not a typo for two. That’s 20! But for one of the last races of the season, Amy couldn’t just cap off a spectacular year of running with another half. Amy stepped it up for her first full marathon!
At Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio, the 33-year-old teacher from Chicago accomplished her goal of running her first full marathon and already has her sights on the next one and running a sub-4-hour time. Go, Amy, go!
Here’s some more from Amy on what motivates her and what she has planned next:
What made you want to start running?
I’m an active person who embraces activity, travel and opportunity. So my love for running, activity, travel and opportunity all blend well together for me to run the states and sometimes the world. This choice has added friends and family to the mix, which has made running one of the most enjoyable things for me. Plus running makes me feel so healthy and the running community that I have met makes me so happy!
What were your first runs like?
When I first started running they were tough. I can remember being sore for a few days after, blisters and being so tired post race. That has all changed now that I’m running more consistently. I now finish a race and feel great. I still get a blister here and there and a lost toe nail, but that comes with the territory. But the post race soreness and tiredness isn’t apart of my half marathon life anymore. My brother always text me after runs and asks how I’m feeling, and checks in on me a few days later with “how are your legs?”. I love being able to reply and tell him “I’m great”!
How did you decide to run your first race?
My first memory of a desire and passion to run was back in college. I played softball and played everyday with passion and desire to work my absolutely hardest. As a freshman I remember our coaches telling us to run 2 miles. That’s when the desire stuck with me. As college continued I ran at practice and around campus at night. After I began my career, I started running a couple small races here and there and and then tackled my first half marathon. Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon series is where the big running started and has kept me going, and I’m no where near done. I want running to be apart of my life always!
What race did you pick and why? What were your first few RNR races like, and what did you like about them?
Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago half marathon was my first big race where I completed my first half marathon. I live in Chicago which is why I choose this location, and Rock ‘n’ Roll provides so much energy and a great crowd so that was the run for me. It fits with my personality and who I am as a person- active and energetic! I ran this race two or three times and then decided I need to travel to more. I loved the RNR races so decided to run a few more, including Chicago. Then I had the runners bug and the travel bug. I couldn’t get enough of the energy, music, expos, new cities and now friends.
Why did you do so many this year?
I decided to register for the Rock ‘n’ Roll 2015 tour pass with a goal of running 10 runs. When I heard about the hall of fame opportunity requiring 15 runs in the year, I figured “what’s five more?” As I started running and meeting people at the first couple of races it was only desirable to keep on running putting me at completing 21 Rock ‘n’ Roll races in 2015. This was one of the best decisions I could have made, for I am now a marathon runner and had the best year of my life.
What made you want to take the leap to running a full?
This year I had ran so many half marathons that I felt that I was getting stronger and I was PR’ing more than ever. So the next step in challenging myself was considering a full marathon. The final decision to do it was belief and motivation from friends and that was it. I knew I wanted to try it someday, just didn’t think it would happen this soon. So, I signed up for the San Antonio RNR marathon at the airport leaving Savanna RNR. At that point not running the San Antonio marathon wasn’t an option. After making this commitment, other running friends joined me in the marathon goal for San Antonio and it was amazing to have my mom and other family members join in the trip and other running distances to be there for my big day!
How did you prepare?
I prepared for my first marathon by running 20 RNR half marathons throughout 2015. Running so much really made me feel strong, confident and ready. In the fall RNR had six consecutive weekends of events putting me at six weekends of half marathons and other small distances mixed in. That much running put me in the zone. At the Las Vegas RNR run I put in a 5K on Saturday and 22 miles on Sunday and felt amazing. Following Vegas there was a 3 week span of no RNR runs, so I walked with my mom and brother on holiday in Arkansas and got a few high intensity workouts in at Shred415 in Chicago, my favorite place to workout! I am a PE teacher, so at work I was able to stay active with my students through tabata workouts, pacing runs and a variety of activities. All of this helped me be prepared for my first marathon. As you can probably see, the community of people in my life all played a major role in my preparedness for the marathon- I’m a lucky girl!
How did you pick San Antonio?
I choose San Antonio as my first marathon because it was the last Rock ‘n’ Roll event of 2015. I was running 21 Rock ‘n’ Roll events in 2015 and thought why not go out with a bang. The conversation and motivation to take on this new challenge began at the post race party of RNR Seattle, and then the desire never stopped. I always thought that the Bank of America Chicago Marathon would be my first marathon stop, but Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio ended up being the place and I loved it.
How did the run go for you?
The run went really well. It definitely had its challenges as runs do, but I ran with three friends who pushed me, motivated me and supported me the entire way. We all were a positive asset to the group at some point throughout the run. It’s amazing how much support, passions and friendships can motivate you and keep you going.
Now that you’ve run, what are your initial thoughts on it?
After running the marathon, I can’t wait to get back out and run another race. I’m ready to run again. I do plan on continuing with many half marathons with maybe one or two full marathons in a year. My schedule is busy with all the traveling, working, coaching and being a social person like I am. For me, half marathons are perfect for my life and I will make sure that I keep myself challenged. My next goal is to lower that half marathon PR and to run a sub-4 hour marathon. I know I can do it!
What’s next for you?
2015 was such a great year running 21 races with great fiends; I have decided I just can’t stop. I have already registered for the Rock ‘n’ Roll world tourpass for 2016. I’m not sure if I will make RNR hall of fame next year but I would really love to try. I also plan on running a Ragnar for the first time, along with the Banff half marathon in June. I’m thinking I will continue to run a lot of ½ marathons and maybe 1-2 marathons next year.
My family has really taken to my running and have started to join me on my adventures. So now I will be excited to share even more experiences with my family and my running family as I continue to do what I love, running! Running makes me feel healthy and happy and this is what I want for me in my life.