The Daily Beet

06 Jan Adventures with Ami: 10K

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Starting the new year off with fitness in mind, began with a 10k run on the path at Forest Park.  We have some amazing parks here in St Louis, Forest Park is a gem! It’s 500 acres larger than Central Park in New York City.  Situated in Midtown St Louis, there are many path options, Art, History and Science Museums, a planetarium, ice skating rink, golf course and a zoo to name a few of the attractions.  On the first day of the year, my only focus was the 6 mile path around the outer perimeter of the park.  We met up in the parking lot of the planetarium in the Southwestern corner of the park with one of the boxers from my husband’s gym.  The three of us set off on our run – a beautiful partly cloudy day, 46 degrees with no wind.
It had been over a year since I have run this distance, I usually run 5k instead. The last time I did 10k was on a treadmill too.  So this was my first10k distance run outdoors.  The path at the park is paved, but there is also a gravel path next to it for those who prefer a softer surface. I like the asphalt trail better. I had a great playlist, my Garmin Forerunner 620 and my goal in mind.  I enjoy my runs, the time I have to focus on me, my breathing, the feel of the pavement under my feet.  I thought a lot about my goals for the new year.  My half-marathon training specifically.  I am excited about it!  I was so apprehensive about my first 5k race, so being super excited about the half-marathon feels great!  I haven’t registered yet, but I am leaning toward the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon here in October.
My running path was nice, hilly on two sides, flat on the other two sides of the rectangular park.  Lots of folks out and about on bikes, walking and running.  I set out to keep a steady pace, not too fast, just an easy pace to go the distance.  I’ve been enjoying my Garmin Forerunner 620 watch and heart monitor. I am a gadget girl, I like data. Charting my runs and all of the info gleaned each time I set out has been informative and fun.  For me, the cardio aspect of running has always been a challenge. Learning how to work within my optimal heart rate zones has been helping me a lot.  When I started running in 2012, it was on the treadmill, with zero incline.  I have been working on running outdoors this past year, dealing with hills and natural terrain instead of my static treadmill runs.  It’s good to be outside, to challenge myself and roll with the hills as they come.

As I wrapped up my 10k run (6.23 miles in 1 hour and 22 minutes) I felt strong.  The guys finished well before me, but that’s ok.  They were there at the end cheering for me, like a real race finish line.  It was really sweet of them! In truth, I got a little emotional just then, grateful for being able to do this.  To be plant-strong, to feel this good and having the courage to start running in the first place.  I never thought I’d be a runner.  You never know until you try.

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Ami Mackey for Engine 2
Ami Mackey

Ami Mackey is the Curator of Creative Content at Engine 2. She is also a food coach at Engine 2 and has been plant-strong since 2011. When she isn't attending to all things Engine 2, she is the Program Director at St Louis All City Boxing a nonprofit youth program. She has earned certificates from eCornell in Plant-Based Nutrition & Fitness Nutrition from NASM.

  • Susan Baxter-Blum Sr.
    Posted at 11:02h, 07 January

    I am so proud of you Ami!!Such an amazing accomplishment!! I will try to increase my walking..not my favorite..xxoo Also loved the video with you “Boxer” so handsome and kind looking..Hot hot bod right..wow why a joy to be fit!!!

  • Betsy Cantrell McLaughlin
    Posted at 07:32h, 18 January

    Ami, that is my favorite park to run. It makes you feel like you’re in NY Central Park.

  • Sunny
    Posted at 07:00h, 07 February

    Hi Ami, I just started the 28 day challenge and it was great to see another St. Louis girl out there! I love Forrest park as well. They even plow it when it snows, so it’s always a great choice. Now if we could just get above and stay above freezing that would be nice. I’m doing the Go St Louis half in April. I’m hoping to be a little lighter by then!

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