amy running

Ten years ago, Amy Hardy set a goal for herself: For her 50th birthday, she wanted to complete five half marathons. She’d previously been running about one half marathon a year. She set, and met, that goal.

A decade later, Amy was coming up on her 60th birthday. She decided to revisit her 50th birthday goal, committing to run six half marathons in 2019 to celebrate her sixty years of life. She started looking for local races that wouldn’t require much travel. She started out with a half marathon in February, March, and April before deciding to take the summer off due to the heat. In September, she was back at it with another half marathon. She completed her fifth in October, and then—just two weeks later—found herself looking her finish line right in the eye at the Harvest Half Marathon hosted by the Brentwood Family YMCA. For those keeping track, that’s over 78 miles.

Amy has been an avid walker for years. “I walk around four miles daily,” she says. Sometimes, she takes it up to six or seven miles. “More if we are traveling and hiking is involved!” While she was comfortable with walking, Amy wanted to set a new goal for her half marathon training: a race in under three hours. This would require some running. “I used an app to set my pace of walking five minutes to warm up, and then I did a cycle of running for 30 seconds and walking for 4.5 minutes.” Amy found her rhythm and recorded the Harvest Half as her fastest race yet—2 hours, 57 minutes, and 57 seconds.

amy with medal

While Amy made walking part of her lifestyle, she credits her kids for encouraging healthy habits. “My husband and I have four adult children, and they and their spouses invite us on hikes and encourage us to do lots of exercise when we vacation together. Most importantly, we do it for our future grandchildren!”

Amy believes that “motion is lotion” for your joints, especially for older adults, and looks for little ways to add activity into her routine. “I would encourage everyone to set their own personal goals to be as active as they can,” she says. “Never give up on yourself!”

The most important thing, Amy says, is just to start. “Before you know it, you’ll be stronger, feel better, and have more energy. Set small, new goals for yourself.” She’s walked the Harvest Half path several times since the race with her husband, walking buddies, and daughters. “I may not be a fast runner anymore,” she shares, “but by golly, I can walk and talk for hours!”

Join us for a VIRTUAL Harvest 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon from Oct. 30-Nov. 1! You can run, jog, or walk it all at once, or gather your family and split the distance over the weekend. Make it your own and submit your results online to see how you compare with other runners. Register today and grab some awesome race swag!