Training for Summertime 5Ks (June 15-21)

It was a tough week in Charleston.


Wednesday night, nine people at a bible study at the Emmanuel AME Church in Downtown Charleston were murdered in a racially motivated hate crime. The murders made the world news and shocked our city. I’ve had a heavy heart since the tragedy and it’s been a struggle to stay away from social media and the media, to take a break from seeing the coverage, reflect, and remember the victims.

I’ve only lived in Charleston for 3 years, but it’s home and like a small town. So many of us have connections to the victims or to Emanuel AME. One of the victims, Cynthia Hurd, was the branch manager at my public library, and another victim, Tywanza Sanders, went to high school with one of my college friends. Emanuel AME Church is a historical church in the heart of downtown- I’ve run and walked by it so many times.

The day after the murders, my friend (and fellow blogger) Melissa had a *great* idea to run 9 miles, one in memory of each victim. I don’t want to attend crowded religious services, so dedicating my running miles and yoga practices to the victims, and spending quiet moments reflecting on their lives, is how I prefer to remember them.


Charleston has come together in the face of tragedy. People are also being nicer to one another and hugging their families and friends a little tighter. Kids in neighborhoods are selling lemonade and sno-cones and donating the proceeds. If the murderer’s goal was to start racial tension, he has certainly failed.

Hate cannot bring down a city that loves. We are Charleston Strong.


This week, I ran 42.5 miles. I also did some core workouts and a sunrise yoga class.

Monday: 6 miles + Dirty Dozen Core Workout

Tuesday: 7.25 miles

Wednesday: Sunrise Yoga + 5.1 miles (track workout)

Thursday: 7.1 miles

Friday: No workout.

Saturday: 7.1 miles

Sunday: 10 miles (1 warmup + 9 in memory of the 9 Emanuel AME victims) + sports massage

I overslept on Monday (probably just needed the rest), so I hit Planet for six miles on the treadmill that afternoon. It was my first time at Planet Fitness, and aside from not knowing how to plug in my headphones to listen to TV, it was a good experience. Planet Fitness sometimes gets a bad rep in the media, but I haven’t had any issues- I went three times this week. It’s kinda nice to have the treadmill option on the really hot days.

On Wednesday, I went to the Summerville High School track with a group of friends for mile repeats. My Garmin said it was 97 degrees, 50% humidity, and felt like 110, but it really wasn’t that bad because the humidity was low, we had a breeze, and it was cloudy. Honestly, last Saturday’s Run the Runway 5K felt a lot hotter.


We ran 5.1 miles with 3 mile repeats. Summer track workouts are the best because you’re running with others (safer), you run laps so you are never far from your water or cold towel, and you get breaks/recovery between the intervals.


On Sunday, OnShore Racing ran 9 miles starting at 9 AM in memory of the Holy City 9 who were murdered in the Emanuel AME Church shooting.

We had a nice crowd even though it was Father’s Day, and I finished the 9 miles in just under a 9 min/mile pace. We normally run 8 on Sundays so we just added an extra lap around Hampton Park. I was hoping to hear the church bells at 10 (most of the downtown churches planned to ring bells in unison to honor the victims), but I guess I was too far up the peninsula to hear. It was a great reason to run.


I hope everyone has a great week. Please continue to remember the victims families, everyone affected by the murders, and the Charleston area.

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13 Responses to Training for Summertime 5Ks (June 15-21)

  1. Pam says:

    It is wonderful that Charleston has pulled together as a city to remember the victims and not give any attention to the sick person who did this. Letting him know that he has no voice and racially motivated crimes are not tolerated is also so important. Hugs and prayers for all who were affected by this horrific act.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      The city has pulled together quite well. The national media hasn’t covered the good things, like 10,000+ people walking in the Cooper River Bridge pedestrian path last night holding hands and waving signs to remember the victims, the chalk art near the bridge, or the many vigils, fundraisers, etc.

      The local news coverage of the positive events has been outstanding, but I guess when the national media figured out no one would riot here, they went ahead and left.

  2. Running outside these days is becoming a bear…. glad we have access to good treadmills, even though I am not fond of them, at least I can get my runs in!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, if I can get out by 7 on weekdays, I’m fine- and I’m finished and showered and working at 8. The Sunday runs that begin at 9 are extremely tough because it’s already feeling 90+ by then. I was adding on a cooldown to get some extra mileage in on Sunday, but I’ve started adding it to the beginning of the run even if it requires getting up earlier.

  3. Melissa says:

    I totally wish all the positive things that Charleston is doing would be on National news too! This city HAS and IS pulling together well and proving that this hate crime meant to start a division has done the complete OPPOSITE!!!!!
    That in and of itself is reason to make my heart smile despite the heaviness it has felt this past week….
    On a more positive note-Great job on getting the miles in! I may have to make the drive and meet up with your onshore group on sundays to get some longer runs in.I signed up for the sweet tea half marathon a few weeks ago(-I ran it last year and didnt train for it except for one long run of 12 miles, lol!! never again will I do that!!!!!) i figure if i get a good mileage base down over the summer, this fall I can focus more on speed over longer distances…
    Oh and I did laugh to myself when you mentioned planet fitness because all I could think about was this commercial:(which is how I felt after getting back in the gym after having babies)

    and this one:

    Heres to a good week of summer training ahead and keeping #Charlestonstrong!!!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks girly! Hope to see ya Wednesday at the track too.

      You should definitely come on Sunday to run club, we have a nice crowd and a wide range of paces and now distances. In the Fall/Winter/Spring most of us do 8 but lately a lot of people are just running 5-6. I’m still running at least 8 each Sunday because I like to run a little longer than I do on the weekdays since I have extra time on the weekends. Also we typically do brunch afterwards, although I’m usually getting a massage or busy lately (I should be able to brunch this Sunday, at least).

      With the kinds of workouts we do and doing any weekend long runs you will do great at Sweet Tea. At least we’ll have better weather for the halfs!

  4. Laur says:

    I would not want to attend the actual memorials either. I have anxiety so I believe being there would send me over the edge. It’s a GREAT idea to run a mile for each one of the victims! Charleston should host a 9 mile race with proceeds to the church or a local organization which promotes equality!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I also get anxious around very large crowds, which is why I did not go to the Unity Walk on the Cooper River Bridge last night. I read 10,000+ people attended, and it looks like it was a very moving event. It’s a shame the National media did not mention the Unity Walk.

  5. yuenjennifer says:

    What a good idea to run 9 miles in memory of each victim – a nice way to pay tribute to them beyond a traditional vigil or memorial. So nice to see the city come together.

  6. backatsquarezero says:

    I am so proud of how our city has responded. It is amazing to see people really pulling together instead of splitting apart.

  7. jillconyers says:

    Cities and communities always come together and stand strong when faced with adversity. Love the tribute by running one mile for each victim.

  8. harveylisam says:

    I was thinking of you when I heard about the shooting. So incredibly tragic and I really hope this brings about real change and more frank discussions about racism. Glad to hear the community is coming together.

  9. Elizabeth C. says:

    I was actually thinking about you when the shootings happened. Sounds like you found your own special way to remember the victims. My thoughts go out to you and your city, and I hope that you can move forward stronger than before.

    Great week on the books. That workout in the heat– wow. I can’t imagine running in the 90’s. I’d probably pass out. Mile repeats are tough even when it’s not hot.

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