“It was very hot and humid and I didn’t feel like I was in my zone like I usually do in races, so I was excited to find out that I actually ran a PR.”
Would you run a marathon as a college course final exam? Amy Schlotthauer of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin did—and it served to ignite her passion for the distance. The former high school track and cross country athlete successfully earned her grade in the collegiate marathon training course, then went on to grad school with dreams of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. She completed school, secured a “BQ,” and ran the iconic race in 2007, the year she married her husband. After the birth of the couple’s second child, she was again inspired to attempt a Boston qualification—a feat she achieved in 2015, logging her second Boston finish in 2016. And in 2017, she scored a marathon personal best with a 3:11:09 at the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon in May.
But the fleet-footed 36-year-old isn’t only about going the distance; Schlotthauer also recently clocked a PR at the BTN Big 10K on July 23, crossing the line in 41:59. “The 10K distance is not something I have a lot of experience with, as I usually opt for the 5K in shorter races,” says Schlotthauer. “I wanted to work on my 10K time this summer and see where I was at with it.
No one was more surprised with the result than Schlotthauer herself. “I didn’t have a great race in terms of how it felt on the course,” she says. “It was very hot and humid and I didn’t feel like I was in my zone like I usually do in races, so I was excited to find out that I actually ran a PR. I didn’t realize that it was a PR until I claimed the result in Athlinks!”
Schlotthauer uses the site in a myriad of ways. “Athlinks has made it really easy to track my finish times and race participation over the long period of time that I have been running. I typically use it after a race to log race times, places, etc.,” she says. “But I also recently started to use it to enter races using the ‘Start List” feature and to connect with other people I know.”
Schlotthauer is driven by pushing herself toward ever-greater athletic goals, the connections she makes within the running community, and the impact that running has on the rest of her life. “I like having a challenge to work towards. In the last three years, as I have become more and more focused on running, I have noticed a lot of parallels between running and my non-running life that have helped in my personal and professional development,” she says. “Also, I have two young kids and I like to think that I am setting a good example for them. I also draw a lot of inspiration from various running-related social media groups that I am a part of, including Oiselle Volee and BibRave Pros.”
Having Athlinks as an easy-access online home for all of her race results and running stats has helped Schlotthauer track her progress and define new goals. “That’s the best thing about Athlinks, in my opinion—having all the info in one place. I use this to help me set goals for races as well as to inform the coaches that I work with on the trajectory of my times over time,” says Schlotthauer.
With both 10K and marathon PR’s firmly in place, what’s next for this fast-running mom? She plans to split the distance. “Right now I’m training for a PR in the half marathon. And there are a few races on my bucket list, including the NYC Marathon, the California International Marathon, and the SeaWheeze Half Marathon in Vancouver.”
Considering Schlotthauer’s accumulated experience and obviously increasing speed, we’re confident nothing will hold her back or slow her down. “Reflecting back on the 22 years that I have been running, there were lots of peaks and valleys in my training as a whole. Some of those years, there wasn’t a whole lot of running,” she says. “But I am on track that 2017 will be my highest mileage year in all of that time!”
Have you been surprised by a PR or other personal stats in your Athlinks results? Share your story in the comments below.