In this addition of Athlete Profile I had the pleasure of catching up with the bubbly and benevolent teammate Amber Moran. Amber's love for the trails and swift feet help her to be a force to be reckoned with! I was able to catch up with Amber to ask her a few questions and she was kind enough to take time to answer them.
Inov-8 Athlete Profile Interview: Amber Moran
Interviewed by: Wynn Davis
1. Can you tell us a little bit about how your running career began? I ran track in high school but would get super nervous before the meets & hated it! I played v-ball in college & would find that I really enjoyed the 2 mile runs to get fit for the v-ball season. After college, I signed up for a 5k road race & loved it! I began running on the roads & quickly became injured. I would get healthy & then get injured again. After a terrible back injury in 2004, I was told that by 2 doctors that I would never run again. After trying all kinds of complimentary therapy & physical therapy, I visited a back specialist in Asheville. After medication, treatment & more physical therapy, the doctor there told me to try a pair of Inov8 shoes & try an easy trail run. I ran pain-free for the first time in 1 ½ years! I was back to racing a few months later & was hooked on Inov8 shoes & trails from that point forward! I haven’t looked back & feel blessed every day that I am out on the trails & wearing Inov8 shoes!
2. Living in Arden, North Carolina could you offer a wandering trail enthusiast any recommended trails to experience while visiting the Tarheel state? There’s loads of trails throughout the state & in Arden, we are very lucky to have quite a few right on the doorstep. One of my favorites is the Mountains-to-Sea trail, a single-track trail that is quite technical & has some steep ups & downs. Another favorite place is the NC Arboretum area that has miles & miles of trails that vary from single track to less technical fire roads. More trails can be found in the Pisgah Forest, Mills River & Dupont Forest area.
3. Can you tell us a little bit about your profession as a school nurse? School nursing is challenging & exciting! As a school nurse, the opportunity is there to provide loads of health promotion through teaching healthy lifestyle choices to the students. As a school nurse, I case manage students with chronic health conditions, train the teachers to provide specialized care to these students & link students & families to community resources. The role of a school nurse greatly varies from school to school & from elementary, middle & high school. I am a school nurse for an elementary school & a high school.
4. Can you tell us what running brings to your life/outlook? Is there an ultimate goal in the end or is it an ongoing process? Running gives me a positive outlook on life. Running on the trails is such a spiritual experience & a great stress reliever! Running encourages discipline, goal-setting & perserverance. Running is definitely an on-going process. Each period of training & goals is a building block. Once the training & goals have been achieved, new ones are set. I think that’s part of the fun of it…. It is great to test yourself, to test the limits & see how far or how fast you can go!
5. What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses? I am always motivated to run which can be a strength (I can get out to train no matter what) & a weakness (I can get overtrained easily). Speed & strength comes to me naturally but I have to work at endurance. I also break down easily & have to balance work with rest & recovery to keep from getting injured. Dark chocolate & red wine are also weaknesses!
6. Can you tell us what your training philosophy is and what some of your favorite workouts include in preparation for a goal race? I believe that Pete Pfitzinger is absolutely correct when he says,”run smarter, not harder.” I believe that rest & recovery is just as important as a tough workout. My workouts vary depending on the race distance but 90% of my workouts are completed unmeasured on trails. I do fartleks on the trails for interval training & speed & tempo runs for endurance. I have a measured route at Carrier Park that I use for 10k training to complete long intervals such as 1½ & 2 mile repeats.
7. Last month you ran a brisk time winning Calhoun’s 10miler. Can you describe your thoughts on the race and or goal(s)? Calhoun’s was a very hilly course which suited me perfectly. It was rainy & cool conditions & I felt great! I went into the race wanting to win. I didn’t really have a time goal but wanted to run the second half faster than the first. I achieved my goal & felt great the whole race. Even though I felt great during the race, I felt really tired for a few days afterward & had to decrease training & add more rest than initially planned.
8. Last year you were champion of the Blue Ridge Trails circuit. Was there a favorite race or one you felt “the perfect race”? Yes! Shut-in Ridge, a 17.8 mile trail race which ascends over 3,000 feet from start to finish was the perfect race. I went into the race physically & mentally ready but in the back of my mind, knew that anything could happen. I can’t explain but it felt like I was running on a cloud the entire race. Even the most grueling parts of the course was a fun adventure. It was a time where I was fit & everything feel into place on the day. I wore the Mudroc 280’s & did not slip, slide or go over my ankle. This was the perfect race!
9. Any X-training substitutes you find effective in sequence with your running? I am a big believer in supplementary training like stretching & strength work. I also incorporate cross training periods in my training schedule 2-3 times a year where I substitute running for aqua-jogging & using the elliptical trainer. This lets the joints have a break & has me itching to run again for the next goal.
10.. What do you know now that you wish you would have known when you first started running? I wish I had known that rest & recovery are as important as training & that the perfect fitting & type of running shoes are the most important piece of equipment that one would need. Of course, I wish I had known about trail running & Inov8 shoes!
11. Is there a particular INOV-8 shoe that you gravitate toward and why? I love training in the Flyroc 310 & Terroc 308’s. Both of these shoes fit my foot (preventing friction & blistering) & are perfect for the single track & fire roads that I train on. I never have to worry about traction or going over an ankle in these shoes!
12. Any other things you enjoy when not running? I love to socialize with family & friends, hang out with my husband Stuart & our “babies”, Derby, Reece & Olive, sing karaoke, read good books, travel to new places & play other sports.