Distance Runner Amy Arenas Overcomes Obstacles To Reach Goals

Written By: Ashley Trevizo for NM State Media Relations

LAS CRUCES - If there's one thing that cross-country runner Amy Arenas of Las Cruces, N.M., is great at, it's pushing herself to her limits with every run.

During her sophomore year, Arenas limits were tested when she discovered she had asthma, but she was determined to work through both the physical and mental challenges ahead of her and face them head on.

"You just have to learn how to work with it," Arenas said, "My goal was to try my hardest, not give up and work to get back to where I was last year."

Throughout the 2009 season, Arenas did more than just work through her asthma; she also broke two NM State records, and finished in second at the Western Athletic Conference Championships in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 17:35.41.

Assistant coach Paul Harkins also saw a great deal of improvement and drive in Arenas throughout her sophomore year.

"Amy wants to continue to improve," Harkins said, "her drive and determination got her to where she is today. She just wants to run and push herself."

Currently, Arenas continues to train by running 70-75 miles per week and is working on staying positive to motivate her through the pains that can sometimes stand in the way of her overall goals.

"In the back of my mind I just tell myself, 'okay, you can do this run, you've done it before." Arenas said, "You just have to push yourself to where you know you can do it."

Arenas is optimistic about her future as a runner. Looking forward to the upcoming season, Arenas is sure she will be able to deliver.

"If you set your min to something, you can do it," Arenas said, "I've already accomplished so much. I broke a record at school and I never thought I'd be able to do that, but I did."

On the off-chance that you find Arenas not running, you'll find her spending time with family or attending church at the First Assembly of God, both of which are a huge part of her life. Arenas' also enjoys spending time with her niece and nephew and frequently babysits the two just to have the opportunity to spend quality time with them.

Arenas is currently double majoring in accounting and criminal justice. After completing her time at NM State, she hopes to joins the police force and eventually work her way up to the FBI or DEA.