BM race training

During this past winter, there seemed to be three types of weather in Bucks and Montgomery counties – cold, icy and snowy. Sometimes it was a combo platter. Cold mixed with snow. Cold mixed with ice. Cold mixed with snow and ice.

That kind of weather is perfect for those who love drinking hot chocolate to keep warm. But it’s not quite ideal for those who want to tackle the 2019 Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K race, which was held April 6.

Among the Hot Chocolate’s participants was Amy Glascott, a school psychologist in the Palisades School District. Glascott is more of a casual runner who usually competes in two events per year. Whether you’re a casual runner or determined to win an age-division championship, you need to get an early jump on training to be able to handle a long-distance event. 

Glascott was hoping to get some serious training in before spring, but the weather in eastern Pennsylvania during January and February did not allow as much outdoor running as she would have liked. So, Glascott and some fellow staff members did what they could to get as much training as possible in before the race.

“The weather is really not cooperating for that kind of training,” she said when interviewed in February. “But you do the best you can. You have to keep up with it because if you don’t, you can get kind of blobby.”

On days she had to stay in, she headed to her basement.

“I have a treadmill, which is not anywhere near the training you would get running outside,” she says. “But it will at least get your heart rate going and helps with your interval training, and that’s helpful.”

When the weather cooperated, she had an outdoor game plan.

“Ideally, I would have started in early January,” she says. “You try to do three shorter runs, maybe three-and-a-half to four miles each week, and do a long run on Sunday, typically. Maybe six miles. Then you gradually increase the longer run.”

But the 55-year-old Ottsville resident did more than just run to get ready for the Hot Chocolate.

“I also do some weight training and core strengthening,” she said. “We also have an AMT [Adaptive Motion Trainer] in the basement, which gives you cardio without putting too much stress on your knees.”

For the past 10 years, Glascott and some fellow Palisades staff members have been running informally to get ready for various 5K, 10K, 15K and half marathon races.

“People said, ‘Hey, do you want to start running after school?’” Glascott says. “People come, people go. People get interested in running and then they stop. Sometimes we have serious runners who do half marathons join us.”

After the Hot Chocolate race, Glascott's plans were to concentrate on the St. Luke’s VIA Marathon in Bethlehem, in which she plans to compete as a member of a relay team. She hopes this year to have enough runners to form two teams.

Glascott started running when she played basketball at Sewickley Academy near Pittsburgh. She continued her education and eventually earned a doctorate, at Penn and Temple, and ran for fun while at those schools. For many years she kept it up casually, and 10 years ago got serious enough about it to start entering races.

Glascott’s proudest moment in running doesn't come from setting a personal record or placing in an event.

“I’m proud that I’m still doing this,” she says. “It’s a really great stress reliever and it makes you feel good. I’ve tried other exercises, but this is the one that has always been my favorite.”

This article was originally published in Community Health for Bucks and Montgomery County Schools Health Care Consortium.