By Amy Bailey
MRG Contributor

Hi! I’m Amy and I’m a runner.

I loved chatting with Heather on the Michigan Runner Girl podcast about some of the many similarities between running — and living — in Wisconsin and the Mitten State.

I’m so happy to work with Heather and write for Michigan Runner Girl! So … about me. On the podcast, I got to talk a bit my history in the Midwest, my background in journalism and my passion for running. A few more things:

Running in Wisconsin… 

Amy, in front of the Lambeau Field Atrium, at this year's Cellcom Green Bay Half.
Amy, in front of the Lambeau Field Atrium, at this year’s Cellcom Green Bay Half.

I live in Green Bay. Cue the deep-throated ‘LAMBEAU FIELD’ narration.

While you automatically think the Frozen Tundra when you hear Green Bay, you might not think about running. But Green Bay is actually where I became a runner.

Amy, running the 2009 Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon -- her first half marathon.
Amy, running the 2009 Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon — her first half marathon.

Like so many women, I found running after I became a mother. I ran my first half marathon in 2009. Since then, I’ve tried to be pretty consistent in logging miles each week. Half marathons are kind of my sweet spot; they’re challenging enough for me to think ‘Why do I do this?’ at Mile 10, but ‘easy’ enough so that training does not consume my life or worse — derail a whole weekend.

Amy, reading from her essay in Tales From Another Mother Runner, at a Milwaukee running specialty store last year. She is one of 22 essayists who contributed to this book edited by the founders of AnotherMotherRunner.com
Amy, reading from her essay in Tales From Another Mother Runner, at a Milwaukee running specialty store last year. She is one of 22 essayists who contributed to this book edited by the founders of AnotherMotherRunner.com

This year, I was able to do a few of my very favorite Wisconsin races. In 2016, and each year since 2009, I ran the Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon, which ends with a lap around the track of Lambeau Field. It’s an incredible experience and the streets of Green Bay on the half marathon course are gorgeous in the spring when the race is held, full of newly greened buds.

We recorded the podcast before I ran the Bellin Women’s Half Marathon on Oct. 8. It’s an incredible race and it’s where I got my half marathon PR last year. But the thing about running and doing races? You never know what a particular day is going to bring. It’s a bit like golf, I think. You can run the same course year after year after year and have completely different results.

Two shots of Amy at the Bellin Women's Half Marathon -- the left one is from last year, while this year's is on the right.
Two shots of Amy at the Bellin Women’s Half Marathon — the left one is from last year, while this year’s is on the right.

This year marked the second ever Bellin Women’s Half Marathon. The race a few weeks ago was actually in September last year. As you can imagine, two weeks in the fall makes a really big difference in northeast Wisconsin. While we wore tank tops and shorts for the inaugural event last year, this year’s suddenly colder temperatures (and a wild wind) required tights, jackets, gloves, hats … basically all the winter gear you had to dig up after being packed away for months.

Whatever the weather, the day featured a race with hundreds of women who trained hard over several months and showed up for race day. The race again lived up to its motto: ‘A race to empower women.’

So here’s where we are. It’s the final lap of 2016 with just two months left on the calendar. 1. Wait. What? and 2. How did that happen? But here we are, in November. I’ve got one last Wisconsin race on my calendar and it’s in Milwaukee, where I started this whole Wisconsin experience as a kid who left Cleveland, Ohio, for Marquette University in 1994.

And here we go. With Michigan Runner Girl and the last lap of 2016. I can’t wait to tell you about it in the coming weeks!

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