SoleMate Spotlight: Joya Ahmad

Today we are shining a spotlight on Joya Ahmad, a Girls on the Run NYC Coach and a SoleMate running the TCS NYC Marathon in November!

Why did you choose to run for Girls on the Run? Running has been a huge part of my life and shaped me into who I am today. I ran cross-country in high school and moved on to road racing when I got to college. I was lucky enough to have some great mentors along the way, and I really couldn't have grown into the runner I am today without them. So I want to pay it forward and be that mentor. I think I could have really benefited from running earlier in life and learning the lessons that come with it, so Girls on the Run really inspires me because of its focus on younger girls and on life lessons through running. I'm coaching for Girls on the Run this season, and I'm finding the curriculum to be not only useful for the girls, but for me too.  

Is this your first marathon? I've run 3 marathons so far, all very spaced out, and all trail races, so this is my first road marathon and definitely my most popular one. All of my other marathons have been under 1,000 runners, so I'm really excited to run this gigantic race that has such a deep and rich history.

Favorite place to run? I grew up in Philadelphia, PA, and there's a park reserve on the outskirts of the city called the Wissahickon. There was one trail we ran in high school called Pipeline that takes you on a winding path through the woods and involves running over these gigantic pipes, ending at a trailhead by a pond. It's absolutely gorgeous and I try to run it every time I visit my family.

Favorite time of day to run? Early, early, early in the morning so that I can watch the sunrise over the reservoir in Central Park

Favorite post-run snack/meal? Anything with peanut butter!

Favorite running accessory? I still use my iPod shuffle from the mid-2000s and I think it's perfect. There was a time in high school when I actually ran with a Discman!

Group or solo run? Depends on the day and the distance! I love running with other people during my longer, slower runs because we can chat and catch up, but for speed work I like to be by myself and really power through.

What shoes do you run in? Nike Free 5.0, black and white.  I've run in them so much that the soles are beginning to fall off!

Favorite non-running activity? Reading!

Farthest distance you’ve run? 30 miles

Inspirational Quote/Words to Live By? This one is so hard! I love quotes. So here are the two on the whiteboard in my apartment:

"If you were born with the weakness to fall, you were born with the strength to rise" - Rupi Kaur
"Let us endeavor so to live so that when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry" - Mark Twain

What’s your Myers-Briggs? ISFJ - the Defender (I found this description quite apt)

Thanks, Joya! If you'd like to support Joya in her fundraising efforts, you can visit her virtual fundraising webpage here.