Saturday Spotlight- Anne-Marie Dunn

Name: Anne-Marie Dunn
Age: 35
Town: Elmont Birth – 8
Massapequa 8 – 18
West Chester, PA (college) 18-21
Massapequa 21-27 (yep lived at home till I got married!
Current West Babylon
Marital Status: Married to Matt Dunn, runner, pilot, craft beer lover, and one sarcastic s.o.b!
Children: Brayden (5) Shane and Aston (3…yes they are twins) YES I have 3 boys and haven’t
been committed…yet
Occupation: Special Education Teacher (West Islip) – 9th grade self contained Algebra, 9th grade
integrated Algebra and resource room

In case you don’t get to the bottom of this post (guilty as charged) I want to wish all the mothers in the group a HAPPY MOTHER’SDAY! Go out and run because you deserve a little “me” time!

Okay so here it goes…..
Running, what’s running? I was a dancer.
I played soccer at age 6 for one season and quit because I had to run! My spot was in front of the net, not the goalie, but right above it so I didn’t have to run down the field. Dancing was my life…no sports except for the 2 years of volleyball high school. Stopped playing my senior year because, well, I was too short and couldn’t jump so I would just play the bench. So more dance! I danced 6 days a week. I would take the train to the studio so my parents only had to drive to pick me up at the end of the night. Tap was my favorite but did hip hop, ballet, jazz…you name it I danced it. Recap…no running!
After high school, I attended West Chester University of Pennsylvania for teaching. I joined the dance team and various companies..still no running…I joined Alpha Sigma Tau sorority, any sisters in the group?? I earned a degree in special education with minors in elementary school math and psychology (no wonder I have issues). I came home and got a job at the Paris program in Wantagh. The program was an extended school year program for students with disabilities. During second summer I met Chris Miltenberg. He and I became friends. He was working the program until he started Coaching track at Columbia University in the fall. One day after all the kids left he asked if I would be willing to meet his friend. A guy he ran with in college. I had nothing to lose and went for it. I went to Chris’s house and waited. Matt pulled up with the top and doors off his Jeep Wrangler. I was sold. At the night’s end I gave him my number and didn’t hear from him for days. He finally called at 9pm the following Monday. I asked how he was and what he was up to and he replied he had just gotten back from a race. He was doing these runs at some of the state parks on the island!! In that moment I wondered what i was getting into dating a runner. Guess I had to start to impress him!
Enter running…on the treadmill. I hated running and would never run outside, that was not a controlled environment. I was a gym goer and if i was going to run it was going to be at the gym on a treadmill. My now brother-in-law, Villanova runner btw, told me to make sure I always had a 1% incline to simulate outdoor running. As the first year of our relationship went on I ran more and actually started to like it. The summer after we met Matt said he was going to run the Diamond Dash. I told him I would watch…I was not runner. He said. you go to the gym why don’t you run with me. I had to impress him so I did. After I crossed the finish line I looked all over for him. I finally found him and asked, “How did you do?” He said, so humbly, “I won”. Oh boy what was I getting myself into. Apparently, Georgetown has a good track team! He always supported me as a began to run and motivated along the way. He didn’t care how fast I was. It was something we had in common.
After 3 years of dating we got engaged. We married a year later. We never lived together. The first night in our home was the night we got home from our honeymoon.
After 3 years of being married we decided we wanted to have kids. My running was becoming more of a passion and obsession! Anyone know what that is like??? We tried to get pregnant and couldn’t the doctor said may I needed to cut down on my running! WHAT! The stress relief, my therapy (5am runs with my friends), my outlet. I couldn’t give in. I didn’t for almost a year. I told my dr that I wanted to run a half marathon and after I did I would calm down on the running. In May of 2011 I ran the Long Island Half Marathon. Shortly after I got pregnant, with a little help from clomid, with Brayden. I ran until 4 months. I only stopped because I fell outside and was too nervous to take another step. I continued to workout until the day he was born.
2 years later we decided Brayden needed a sibling. So again, with a little help from clomid, we got pregnant but this time with twins, We knew there was a chance, at 5% chance. We should have played lotto instead! This time around there was no running or working out. I was put on bed rest for 4 months. My physical activity was going to the bathroom. I carried the twins to 34 weeks! A miracle, the doctors didn’t think I would make it past 28. My little frame carried a 6.9 lb and a 5.5 lb baby. The boys were in NICU for a week but are healthy as can be now!
I didn’t think that I could ever run again and believe me your body changes. I am not able to do what I did before babies … yet. After Brayden I suffered a stress fracture in my right hip. Doctor said got back to runner to quick, too fast, and too many miles. That healed and was injury free for a while. I developed an awful case of planters fasciitis. My podiatrist was progress and said to consider surgery. I got an MRI and it showed I had a tear in the medial tendon of my planters. The doctor said, I give you surgery or you will give it to yourself if you keep running. I was not wearing a boot so surgery it was. I had surgery on a Wednesday and by Saturday I was in a sneaker walking around. I started running 2 weeks after surgery. No pain since! The following year was not a good year. I was hurt a lot. Had a stress fracture in my foot and then followed up by knee surgery. More to come on that! Lesson learned…listen to your body. We only have one so take care of it.
I did finally get back to running and found a running buddy at work, Nancy Yost. I don’t remember how we connected but fate put us together. One day she told me about this track group behind her house. It sounded cool and then she said she had to run these hills in order to find out what the workout would be that week. She did. A few months later I mentioned I wanted to run this Kings Park race. She said her “running group” was doing a training run. I joined and got suckered into running the hills! I was taken in as if I had been running the hills for years. That is what is great about this group, no matter who you are, where you are from, you will always find a friend!
Thank you for reading and allowing me to be your warrior of the week…to be continued…

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