Marathon motivates Armstrong


Kathleen Ortiz

With half marathon experience in her past, English teacher Abby Armstrong prepares to run the Houston Marathon this weekend.

Kathleen Ortiz, Photography Editor

English teacher Abby Armstrong began running in eighth grade. She initially just ran a mile at a time because it was good exercise and relieved her stress. Now, she is preparing for a marathon after running a half marathon in October.

“I got serious about training for a half marathon back in the spring; and then I decided that while I was doing that I might as well just go all in and do a full, so I registered for the Houston Marathon back in June,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong will run in the Chevron Houston Marathon on Jan. 19 after formally training for 10 months. She wakes up at 4:30 a.m. to run before school. She listens to audiobooks, podcasts and a mixture of playlists she’s created for herself to keep the runs interesting.

“I think you just have to get up and do it,” Armstrong said. “For me, that means I get up at 4:30 in the morning and I get it done before I come to work, because once I come to work and I’m on my feet all day and then something comes up or I stay late after school, I don’t feel like going to the gym. I don’t feel like going on a run. You have to know yourself and know when the best time is for you to work out and what feels good for you, but also you have to just make yourself do it sometimes.”

Armstrong has to be conscientious about the amount of sleep she is getting. When she’s home she has to make sure her feet are raised and her compression socks are on.

“It’s not that I just love working or that it’s something that I always want to do. It’s something that I know is good for me and I know makes me feel better, so I make the time to do it by getting up and doing it first thing,” Armstrong said.

In August a bad case of tendonitis in Armstrong’s ankle kept her from running for a month. She took spin classes and got her monthly mileage back up in September.
Armstrong ran more than 1,100 miles in 2019. She ran 20 miles several weeks ago, which is the longest she’ll run before the race. She is trying to stay positive about adding a marathon to the list of 5K races and the half marathon she ran.

“I think the marathon will be a really cool experience,” Armstrong said. “I’ve heard from people who have run it in the past. There are a lot of spectators who line the streets, and so there are just tons of people cheering you on, but also I think it’s a really cool lesson in endurance. Not only are you testing yourself physically, you’re testing yourself mentally. So for me it’s one of those things where if you know that you can push through something that difficult, then you know that you can also push through other difficulties in life.”