Her husband was on the end line, mouth agape. “I crossed the end line and simply waved two fingers at him,” D’Amato mentioned. “I used to be two minutes off the Olympic qualifying time. I didn’t suppose I’d break three hours that day. The truth that I used to be two minutes off that commonplace? That’s when all the pieces got here again.”
She returned to a coach, Scott Raczko, with whom she had labored after faculty, to see simply how far she may go.
D’Amato was in good firm: amongst greater than 450 girls who certified for the Olympic trials marathon in February 2020 in a present of the deep amateur talent among American female distance runners. They included an aeronautical engineer, an Air Pressure first lieutenant, a trainer, an occupational therapist and an instructional adviser. She was additionally as soon as once more racing in opposition to skilled athletes like Des Linden and Molly Huddle, runners she had confronted in her collegiate days.
D’Amato completed in fifteenth place — with a time of two:34:24. She didn’t make the Olympic group, but it surely was throughout the realm of risk once more.
“I by no means thought these could be my objectives once more,” she mentioned. “In 2016, once I was pregnant with Quin, a pal requested if I ever thought I’d run competitively once more. I used to be eight months pregnant, feeling probably the most out of form I ever had, and laughed and mentioned, ‘No, no, I can assure you I’ll by no means run competitively once more.’”
Within the subsequent few months, she surpassed her faculty 5-kilometer time by a minute, set a 10-mile American record and lowered her marathon time by greater than 11 minutes, ending the Marathon Project in Chandler, Ariz., in second place behind Sara Hall with a 2:22:56.
Whereas her occasions dipped and her profile rose as the most recent underdog on the rostrum, she was supported by runners like Molly Seidel and Emma Bates, who, she mentioned, had helped her via what she described as impostor syndrome.