Runner Spotlight features every day women runners who are passionate about running and manage to make time for it in between the demands of their work, home, and/or family life. Meet Allyson Syntad. Allyson , 29, has been the Marketing Manager at Dignity Health Dominican Hospital for 2 years now. She relocated to the Bay Area from Virgina and as a runner and health enthusiast she loves working for a company that believes in health prevention. Currently her team has been working on the upcoming Women’s Health Expo in Santa Cruz on May 18th. We are honored to work with partners that we connect with both personally and professionally. Learn more about Allyson’s journey below.
When did you first start running and what was your inspiration to start? I grew up playing sports and running was always a component of my training. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college, when I no longer played team sports, that I really began to focus on – and find joy in – running. My initial motivation was getting rid of the freshman, or in my case sophomore, 15, but then I discovered how much I loved running for running’s sake.
Where is your favorite place to run and why? Around downtown Los Gatos. I am familiar with the location and have different routes mapped throughout the neighborhoods. This gives me the freedom to extend or shorten my runs depending on my time and mood. I even have a route that makes for a good warm up on the way to the gym :).
When running…Capri’s or Shorts? Capris, they are just more comfortable in my opinion.
When running…headphones or unplugged? It depends. When running longer distances or in a race, I always start with headphones and usually remove them for the last half mile to mile so I can give all my focus to crossing the finish line as fast as possible. Track days are usually shorter sprints where time and speed are the focus, and therefore no headphones needed.
Why do you run? Aside from the health benefits and endorphins, I like the personal competition it provides. I track all of my distances and times, and usually try to set a goal to beat my previous time – even if it’s only by a second. By no means do I set records compared to my peers, but I consistently beat my own personal race times, which is a huge win for me.
How does your career in health care impact your own personal health? A career in health care has provided me with an education on the importance of prevention. How I take care of my body now will affect my future profoundly. The more proactive I can be now in establishing healthy habits, the more likely they are to stick and hopefully be passed down to my children.
What are the challenges you face as a busy working woman wanting to live a healthy life? Time – it never seems like there is enough of it.
How do you work through these challenges? If I don’t have time to get in a regular workout, I try and take a quick walk during lunch or walk the dog a little bit longer in the morning or night. Every little bit helps.
We know you have been helping put together the Women’s Health event in May, tell us about some of the people or business you are most excited to visit with? Oh my, there are so many that I don’t think I can pick! We have a great line up of speakers who will present on various topics such as heart health, pregnancy, sexual health, and nutrition. We also have over 50 local health and wellness vendors – massage therapists, fitness demos, health screenings, and so much more! PSA: Registration is still open for the Women’s Health and Lifestyle Expo on May 18. Visit mysantacruzdoctor.org for more information!
What’s one proactive health tip that has changed your life? More fruits and veggies, and less processed foods. My husband and I have made an effort to cook at home more often and with raw ingredients. This gives us a better understanding and more control of what is going into our bodies. Don’t get me wrong, I still occasionally indulge – especially since becoming pregnant!