After living in Canton for a year and change, there are certain runners who I always run into along the promenade as we all tackle our morning runs. Carly Spataro is one of those runners. In addition to being an amazing, speedy runner (Boston Qualifier), Carly is an inspiration to her 22,000+ Instagram followers (yes, you read that right) and that certainly includes me. So naturally, I used this opportunity to get to know the gal behind the gram and share Carly’s story with you. Enjoy!
Why did you start running?
I used to run a little here and there with my mom or on the treadmill when I was younger, but it was only ever a few miles at a time. Then, while in college, I stopped exercising completely. I literally did nothing for about 4 years. I moved to Baltimore a few years ago and from my apartment I would constantly see people running and decided to just go for a run one day, I think around April 2016. I did about 3 miles and while it was hard, it felt amazing. From that point on, I would do up to 6 miles at a time a few days a week. It wasn't until I signed up for my first half marathon that I really got into it and discovered that I was capable of so much more than I thought.
How long did it take before you ran your first marathon?
I somehow got in my head that I wanted to run a marathon by the time I turned 30. I figured I should probably do a half marathon first. I signed up for my first half and ran it in November 2016. A few hours after finishing, I signed up for my first marathon and ran it in February 2017.
What motivated you to start documenting your running journey on Instagram?
I started it as a way to motivate myself and help hold myself accountable. I had no idea there was such a large running community on Instagram. As time went on and I grew as a runner, I would get messages and comments from other people that I was motivating them!
What is your favorite part of the online running community?
They get me! They have a passion for running, just like I do. We all support each other! Everyone has different running goals and are in different places in their lives, yet we are there for each other.
What are the common questions you get asked on Instagram?
What I eat in a day. How many miles I run a week. If I have a coach. What running watch I use and if I like it.
What is your favorite place to run in Baltimore?
The promenade! I live in Fell's point, so it is the most convenient for me and I love the views!
You train with our Charm City Run Boston Training Group. How has training with a group helped you reach your goals?
I push myself harder with my group than I do on my own. We are a team and we have similar goals. We all support each other. It's not easy to find people that choose to get up early on Saturday mornings and run 20+ miles!
What is next on your running agenda?
The Chicago Marathon in October! Then the Boston Marathon in April. I'm not sure about in between yet, maybe a half or two?
What is one thing you wish people knew about you?
I'm actually a really shy person. I've come a long way from hiding under tables from people that would try talking to me like I did when I was younger, but I still am quite shy especially when first getting to know someone. Running helps to push me out of my comfort zone.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is just starting to run?
Stick with it. Running is hard, but you can do hard things!
Thanks so much to Carly for taking the time to answer my questions! You can follow her on Instagram at @carlyspat for a daily dose of running inspiration.
About the Author: Lizzy Peper
Lizzy is the Senior Marketing Manager and a middle distance coach for Charm City Run. She ran competitively as a member of the cross country and indoor and outdoor track teams at (local) Towson High School and (not so local) Marist College.
When she isn't working at CCR, running the Canton waterfront, or teaching barre classes at Barrevolution, Lizzy enjoys sharing plant-based recipes, exercise inspiration and positive vibes on her personal blog, Pep In Your Step and Instagram, @peppysteps.