Hey there! I sure did get lucky one day at the Summer Solstice 8k in 2013. I was enjoying a beer post race, and ran in to a teammate that I had only known from facebook. P. Mark and I talked for a little while, and parted ways. A few weeks later he asked to meet up for drinks or dinner. Little did he know at the time, it was because of him I started doing speedwork. and now we are happily married, and happily running and training together!
So a little about myself: I was a single mom with a beautiful daughter for 5 years before I met P. Mark that hot summery day. Amelia is 7 now, and every bit of a teenager most of the time. There are those glorious occasions I still get to pick her up and hug her like a baby, even though she is almost as tall as me!
I have been teaching group fitness for 13 years now, running for 10, and started multisports, aka triathlon, in 2011. I am also an accountant for a local blood bank, Medic, Inc. and I personal train and teach now for Tennova Health and Fitness Center in Powell, TN. I have most recently started working for Endurance Sports Management timing races and assisting the Race director. I also do timing for Knoxville Track Club when needed. Both are great organizations that benefit a host of people! In 2014 I completed my first Ironman in Louisville KY at 15:49:20, and will be working towards another in August of 2016 in Boulder, CO.
I have completed several marathons, starting with the Disney Marathon in 2008, and then next was Savannah in 2011. I have done Savannah 4 times, The Knoxville Marathon 2 times, the Country Music Marathon, Charleston Marathon, The Strolling Jim Marathon, The Flying Pig Marathon, and most recently the Sequoyah Marathon where my husband took first place overall and I took third place female (small race!). I have competed in 6 Half Iron distance triathlons including The Atomic Man (first one), Storm the Fort, Lake Laurel, Challenge Atlantic City, Challenge Cedar Point, and The Rock N Roll Man Macon. Add in several upon several 5k’s, 10k’s, and half marathons to complete my racing resume. All of these races presented learning opportunities and an experience factor.
I started running in 2005 as a means for Cross-training. I was an avid stepper, but knew that I needed another cardio to protect my body. Although I compete a lot, and run regularly, I only run 3-4 days per week at most. I do 2-3 strength training sessions per week and at least one soak in a hot salt bath per week!
I am lucky to have a husband who is willing to team up and combine our training styles. His is more research based; whereas I am
more feel based. Realizing that mentality is 99% of any race, we must keep strong minds to accomplish our goals. Sharing my experiences hold me accountable, to my clients, family, and daughter who loves it when mommy “wins”. Hopefully I will have some great tales to tell and tid bits to train!
Happy training, and don’t forget to CHARGE THE HILLS!
I do not claim to be wise; I only claim to collect wisdom & share it. On a good, day, I learn from it, too.
I am a runner, too. I run for health. I run for inner peace. I run for the challenge. I run because God made me for it. I run long runs to have alone time with God. I run shorter runs with friends and family to get connected.
I am an RRCA Certified Running Coach. I love working with individuals in Knoxville and across the nation as they seek to reach their goals.
I blog about running because I think about it a lot and want to share what I have learned, what I am learning, and how I learn it. I hope you enjoy this site as much as I enjoy the process of putting it together. Let me know if there is anything that you would like to learn more about, okay?
P. Mark Taylor
Stories of My Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs in Running…
I ran cross country and track in high school, but then I was sidelined by a tenacious tendonitis. I tried to start again multiple times with the assistance of sports experts, doctors, and coaches. After 20 years, I finally figured out that I needed bigger shoes. If my big toe can move freely, the tendonitis does not show up.
With the tendonitis finally conquered, I began to run again. This time, my knees were beginning to ache. I went to a knee specialist. He said, and I quote, “You’ve got bad knees. You were born with them because your calves are too short. Run short distances and stay off of hills.” He charged me $100 to tell me what I already knew! I ran periodically, but I could never run consistently because of my knees – plus the fact that I live in East Tennessee means that I run on ridges and other big hills if I run at all!
Back in high school, I saw myself running marathons for the rest of myself. Unfortunately, my first marathon would not be run until 25 years after graduating from high school. In 20010, I ran the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. I could not train for it every day and my longest training run was only 17 miles, but I did it. It was not pretty. I finished in 5 hours and 35 minutes, walking the last seven miles… but I did it!
The big breakthrough in my running came in late 2010. I heard about the minimalist movement and shoes that looked like gloves. The idea of running barefoot seemed logical enough… if God created us to run (which I do believe), then our bodies are capable of doing all of those things that we are trying to accomplish with shoes: cushioning, motion control, … the idea of shoes that allow for the feel of barefoot running but offered protection from sharp rocks made even more sense.
I bought my first pair of Vibram Five-Finger shoes in late December of 2010. They were far from perfect… I had lots of friction issues due to the fact that the first pair did not fit just right… but my toe was free to move (no tendonitis) and my knees no longer hurt! Hallelujah, I was free! I wore Vibram Bikila LS most of 2011 & they fit better than the KSO model.
I have tried several minimalist shoes now and still prefer Bikila LS.. They fit like a glove, have a great feel for the road, and offer decent protection from sharp rocks. I currently run 20-45 miles per week depending on where I am in the training schedule.
As of December, 2015, I have competed in 10 full marathons.
- My first one was completed in 5:34:38 back in 2010.
- My personal record was set at the Sequoyah Marathon in 2015, finishing in 3:08:32 at the age of 48!
- I have exceeded my qualifying time for Boston on six different courses:
- 7 Bridges 2012 (Chattanooga)
- Shamrock Marathon 2013 (Virgina Beach)
- Indianapolis Marathon 2013
- Savannah Marathon 2014
- Boston Marathon 2015
- The Sequoyah Marathon at Pinson Mounds 2015
My next goal is to run the marathon in under three hours. If I do that, I will beat the BQ time for my age group by 25 minutes. If I don’t go sub-3 at the Savannah Marathon on November 8, 2015, then I will just keep trying… because I can.
I will share more stories through this blog. Stay tuned!
“Train smart, eat well, & enjoy the run!” — P. Mark Taylor
Check out these books by P. Mark Taylor for more advice on running: