Mom starts running and qualifies for Olympic trials

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Mom qualifies for Olympic trials after running to lose baby weight. (KTRK)

A few years ago, Amanda Cruise started running just to get in shape. Now, she's chasing dreams and accomplishing them one by one.

Cruise has an 8-year-old and twin 6-year-old boys. She started running after her twins were born to lose the baby weight.

"It's an individual sport. You get what you put into it. That's what I really liked about it," said Cruise.

The more she ran, the more she loved it.

"I started as a 35-minute 5K runner, and I really wanted to work that 5K," recalled Cruise.

So, she created a 5K goal for herself.

"I broke 18. I ran a 17:42," Cruise said about her 5K accomplishment.

She also started running marathons, and in just five years of running, Cruise accomplished her next goal on Dec. 3: qualifying for the Olympic trials.

"When I turned that corner in California and saw that I had 15 seconds to make it across that line to qualify for the Olympic trials -- it was just surreal. I can still see it in slow motion," remembered Cruise.

Now, Cruise has nearly 70,000 followers on Instagram and owns her own running coaching company called RUN2PR. She says her accomplishments are a team effort because her husband always supports her, especially on long runs.

"He would follow me in the car for hours with the kids when they were little," said Cruise.

Now, he and the boys pace her on their bikes - each run another step to success.

"It means a lot to me to show them that they can be great at something and work to make it better," added Cruise.

She says we should create goals for ourselves and envision our future.

"I used to line up in the back of races and look at the girls in the front and say, 'One day I want to be able to do that.' And I said, 'You know, I'm just going to work at it,'" said Cruise.

And once we create our goals, never compare ourselves.

"My favorite quote is "comparison is the thief of joy" -- and it truly is. If you compare your accomplishments to someone else's, it makes you not feel as great about what you just did. I think just start the process and be willing to learn," she added.

For race day at the Chevron Houston Marathon, Cruise will be out there. She's actually running the half marathon this year because she's prepping for the Boston Marathon and believes in listening to her body. For all the runners, her best advice is to breathe, enjoy the moment and be proud of your hard work.

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