In Her Shoes: Meghan (@joyful.runner.meg)



It’s time for another In Her Shoes interview!

In my 2ish years doing this whole blogging thing, Meghan has been the sweetest, most unexpected gift. She has been such a good friend to me and is always so encouraging! Meghan is super fast, an excellent cheerleader, a trusted friend, and above all – she has unshakeable faith that you can’t help but admire. You’ll read more about her experience below, but she recently inspired me to race my marathon without a watch! I just love everything about her and I know you will too. Enjoy today’s interview with Meghan aka @joyful.runner.meg !

Welcome, Meghan! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us today. For anyone who might not know you, please give a brief introduction of who you are outside of your running life. 



Hey, I’m Meghan! I recently moved to Michigan after getting married to my wonderful husband 7 months ago. Our city is right on Lake Michigan so we love beaching now that it’s finally warm enough here! I started following Jesus in college, it has been my greatest adventure. I struggle with anxiety and focusing too much on perfection, which is a vicious cycle. Jesus always meets me where I’m at, helps me to be brave, and allows me to strive for progress versus perfection. I’m thankful to serve a God who shows up in both the big things and the tiny things in life! I am a physical therapist, and I work at an amazing hospital. I help sick and/or post-operative patients re-learn how to walk, and regain function again. It’s rewarding work and a lot fun!



What’s a typical day like in your shoes? 

I don’t really have a typical day because my work schedule is all over the place, sometimes my shifts end at 4:30, sometimes 9 at night! But other than work, most of my days consist of morning coffee, a work out of some type, quality time with my hubby, hanging out or catching up with friends, and prayer.

How long have you been running, and what made you get started?

I started running cross-country in 5th grade. I didn’t like it, but my basketball and soccer coaches told my parents to keep me in cross-country since I could run all over the court/field without getting tired. I stuck it out another year, and that’s when I fell in love. I ran cross-country up until my junior year of college!


What are your proudest running moments? 

My proudest running moments have been my most two recent races within the past month, where I raced without a watch. I ditched the watch in order to get out of my head and to better enjoy the race. I ran strong races and stayed mentally tough throughout. I crossed the finish lines feeling proud, full of joy, and crazy passionate about my sport, even without running PRs. The perfectionist in me tries to make me believe it’s either a PR or a failure. I’m learning that success in running is not just limited to getting a PR; it’s getting out there and doing what you love, wholeheartedly! There is so much more to racing than just a finish time!


Are there any goals that you’re currently chasing?

Getting a marathon or half-marathon (or both!) PR without my watch on! Also, completing a race in all 50 states!


What’s your advice to someone who wants to start living a healthy lifestyle? 

It’s always hard at first! It takes time for your body to adapt to new stresses, new activities, new exercises, etc. When I take a couple weeks off running, it always feels so hard on my lungs and my legs at first. But be persistent, because your body will adapt, and it will get easier. Start small and work your way up. Big changes don’t happen overnight. But don’t give up!

What fitness products/gadgets do you swear by?

I swear by my Garmin for marathon training. I love my goPro for the occasional mid-run selfie


What are some of your favorite things in life, apart from running? 

DISNEY! My husband and I are huge Disney fans. We actually got engaged and then spent part of our Honeymoon in Disney. We are kids at heart and love the characters, songs, and magic. I also love life chats with dear friends over coffee, sweet potatoes in any form, travelling and exploring new places, and all things Mexican food!




Just for fun – what are three things that you’re grateful for?

  1. To serve a God who never changes. Life gets crazy, unpredictable things happen, people change, etc. But God is the same God as He was yesterday, is today, and will forever be. It fills me with peace that God is dependable and consistent. I can trust Him with every circumstance that comes my way, and know that life will come from it!
  2. A husband who supports my craziness. He has biked in torrential downpour on race day just to watch me run by for 15 seconds. He is willing to travel and be my support crew for all my crazy running adventures. He listens to my panicking and pre-race freak outs and helps to calm me down. He supports my goals, and goes above and beyond for me. I just love him!
  3. Starbucks, ha! I’m a basic and love my coffee. I treat myself once a week to coffee shop coffee, and I always go back to Starbucks. Hot caramel machiattos, iced caramel lattes, and salted caramel mochas with half the pumps are my recommendations (do you see a theme here haha)

Closing: Thank you to Charlotte for this wonderful series. I have had the ability to be encouraged and follow so many amazing women in their running journeys because of these interviews. Charlotte is nothing short of an amazing woman of God and a dedicated runner. She’s also a light, not just to this amazing running community, but to everyone around her!  I love seeing the Lord work through her passionate and talented self!

Well, I’m blushing. Didn’t I tell you guys that she’s the best? Thank you, friend!

To keep up with Meghan, follow her on Instagram: @joyful.runner.meg
Or read her blog: I Run For Him.

Click here to recommend someone who has a story to share!


In Her Shoes: Amanda Ghent

Hello friends, and thank you for reading an interview with this week’s featured runner, Amanda Ghent! It’s been a joy to follow her running journey on the web for what has felt like forever! I really enjoyed getting to ask her these fun questions – and I hope you’ll have as much fun reading her story as I did!


Welcome to In Her Shoes, Amanda! For those who might not already know you, please say hi!

Thank you so much for having me be a part of story sharing with Stay Great My Girl friends! For those that may not know me, or follow me on any of the social platforms (IG: amandaghent or The Running Señora WordPress blog are my busiest outlets)…my name is Amanda. I am a sinner, saved by God’s grace, with the privilege to reflect the love of Christ in my everyday. I’m a wife for almost 12 years, mother to two daughters (7 & 6), a preschool teacher, violin playing instructor, and Spanish speaking lover of avocados and bananas (of which I’ve recently discovered cause me some horrible health side effects😭).  I’m also a self-proclaimed professional recreational runner. I live in my hometown in SC in the only house we’ve ever owned since marriage and I’m a sucker for fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and a good cup of coffee. One day, just maybe, our family will live in a foreign country…and if I got to pick, it would be Honduras!

What’s a typical day like in your shoes?


Most days start at 4:15 am – I’m able to spend the first chunk of my morning reading Scripture, whatever passage tags along with the devotions on the First5 app (a ministry by the Proverbs31 folks that I HIGHLY recommend for anyone, but specifically women who need a guided walk through studying scripture and applying it to their everyday!). By 4:40 I’m up and dressed, ready to meet my teacher running friends for some miles, followed by strength training. By 6:30, it’s go-time. I get my girls to school, then head to the preschool for the morning with my sweet babies 6 months-5 yrs old! I seriously have the best job and the joy of teaching Spanish, science, and leading Chapel each week and love all 120+ children I get to see on a regular basis. I’m also thankful for an hour of “free time” before I get my girls from school, do the afterschool/Park/homework thing and head to swim team practice for the night. I’ve also gotten down prepping dinner and having it ready within 10-15 minutes after we get back home! 🙌🏼 Somehow, our days go by so quickly, but we get much accomplished and have fun doing it!!  I LOVE sleep more than TV, girls nights, or food/drink. So being in bed between 8-9 pm is not uncommon!


How long have you been running? How did you get started?

So, the first time I ran (when I became a runner) was in Spring 2000. I was a senior in college and on the recovery side of an intense eating disorder. I was just beginning to find a healthier relationship with food and exercise, and I realized that Running was so much more enjoyable than walking (what I had been doing excessively during the ED). I felt so accomplished after running just 2-3 miles and so much more energized. And that made me WANT to fuel my body to do it again the next day.  I ran for the years that followed here and there 2-4 days a week but no “serious training.” Running helped me cope with lots of life during that season: stressful job, relationships, my mother’s illness and death (brain cancer), and infertility. When i finally got pregnant, I took a break from exercising regularly (2010) up until my youngest turned 4 (2016). I can probably count on two hands how many times I ran between that season. But since May 2016, I’ve been nonstop with training: first for a triathlon, then half marathons, a full marathon and more half marathons. And it just keeps getting better!!


What are some of your proudest running moments?

One of the proudest running moments I have is crossing the finish line at my first (and currently only) full marathon. That training cycle introduced commitment, grit, determination, scheduling, and sadly injury for me and it took everything I had to complete miles 21-26 on race day. But for the last .2, I washed away my wallow, forgot the pain, and trotted across the finish line. Emotion swelled in-I’ll never forget it! You only become a marathoner for the first time once. And while it wasn’t the race I dreamed up, it was still a spectacular moment!
One other time my husband decided to join a race at the last minute. And because he was so overly zealous about running with the lead pack of guys, he crashed at mile 3 of 4.93….so I beat him across the finish line. VICTORY! And will remember that moment for forever! 🙂 maybe, just maybe, I’ll cross another finish line and beat him! Haha.
What are you most proud of, not running related?
Some of my prouder moments without running shoes on: making it to the end of each day; road tripping to MS (10 hr drive) with a 3 and 2 yr old; living for a semester in a foreign country and walking away speaking like a native; conducting my college symphony upon graduating; learning to bake a pound cake; and acquiring a taste for black coffee (when only powdered creamer is available 😵).
What running goals are you currently chasing?
I’ve been doing a lot of distance running over the last year. Since March of 2017, I’ve been training for 13.1-26.2 miles. But I always feel the desire to go faster. So this summer, I’m speed training. Not for specific races in mind, though I have several lined up. I just want to show up, work hard, and go faster. Ideally, I’ll work on the 5k distance. I’ve always wanted a sub22, and since that’s already come and I feel like I have more room to grow, I’ll be shooting for that sub21 by the end of October. It’s quite possible I’ll get back on the marathon train and have a late fall marathon (goal would be closer to a BQ…but realistically, just finish without the injuries this time!). Who knows?!  One thing I do know-this year has already been a super fun year of training!
Any non-running goals?
As for non-running goals, I’ve got the desire to play in our local bigshot symphony. I played with them right out of college for some shows but haven’t been able to get back in. My techniques and skills have dwindled some, but I’ve had a few private lessons and hopefully will make it back in the orchestra soon!
What is the hardest running-related lesson you’ve learned?
As runners, we make ourselves vulnerable to injury, pain, burnout, pride, ridicule, celebration, camaraderie, and joy. It’s who we are. We work hard, harder than our bodies can keep up sometime, and we become obnoxious (guilty🙋🏻‍♀️) and obsessed with something that we LOVE to do. Not everyone will agree, understand, or rejoice with you.
BUT, we also have the ability to motivate, encourage, and inspire others who just want to be better than yesterday. Sometimes that vulnerability can cause a chasm between others, but it can also bring about movement (physically and metaphorically) in the greatest sphere of influence (the social platforms). To me, it’s worth sharing what I love to do so much so that it may be a catalyst for someone else to feel the freedom and joy of living out their dream with such passion.
What’s your advice to someone who wants to be a runner, but feels intimidated?
Just start. Go. While a good supportive pair of shoes and comfortable clothes would be ideal, you really need NOTHING to start, just the desire to begin. For some that means running to the mailbox and walking back home, maybe once, maybe 10 times for days or weeks.  Or maybe it looks completely different. But just deciding to get out the door is the first step. Don’t pay attention to a distance or a pace. Do what feels right to you. The idea isn’t to feel like you’re going to die, but also know that it won’t be easy.  Remember, you can do hard things. And from there, you just keep building!!
What role does your faith play in your running?

I could run without my faith.

I could probably train without my faith.

I bet I could even make progression, little by little, without my faith.

But without my faith, I am certain I’d lose all perseverance, perspective, and the purpose in my training and running. I wouldn’t be able to see the big picture, “trust the process,” or even view each workout/run/race a success even if it didn’t meet goal paces, the right distance, or a PR. It is only by the grace of God that I have breath and strength every day to move forward.  And for that, I’m extremely grateful. I actually GET to do something that I love to do!! But because of knowing the hope I have in Jesus, my running is not the end all/be all of life. It’s a beautiful passion that God has given me to see lived out for His glory.

But as much as my faith is used in running, it’s really broader than that: running lessons=life lessons.

The days that are hard, I always remember perseverance is key: give yourself grace and keep moving forward. The moments where I am humbled, I remember to keep things in perspective: there is a lesson to learn, I have to see the joy in the simple things, and I need to be generous and share that grace with others. I’m not a finish line success story, and I’m certainly not a daily human success story! I’m just a gal, who falls down, but has the courage to get back up again, puts one foot in front of the other, and gives praise to the One who sees me there. No one is going to steal that joy!


What are three things that you’re grateful for?

I am especially thankful that God created me to enjoy the beach…or He created the beach for me to enjoy. Either way, the sand and waves and salty air give my heart all the feels!
I’m grateful for passions, desires, and the means to fulfill them. I firmly believe God places them in our hearts and allows us to pour ourselves into them for His glory. For me, that list seems quite long, but I’m so thankful for gifts of music, activity, creation, and writing!
I’m grateful for the spirit of conviction, for without it I’d be a hot mess!! I used to always wonder what that “little voice” was when I felt tugged in one way or another, and as I’ve grown in my faith, I’ve come to understand that it’s the Holy Spirit guiding me in the way I ought to go! What a gift is it to have this wisdom instruct us!!!
Thanks for inspiring us, Amanda!
To keep up with Amanda, follow her on Instagram: @amandaghent
Check out her interview (episode #63) on the Rambling Runner Podcast!

Click here to recommend someone who has a story to share!