I would like to introduce you to Amanda! I have really enjoyed sharing everyones running stories, and I hope Amanda’s story gives you inspiration and motivation.
I ran my first half marathon, the Chicago Half Marathon on September 11, 2011. I think this is when I secretly stopped hating physical activity. I was in horrible shape when signing up for my first half and could not even run a mile. I wanted to prove to myself however that this was something I could do and that I would not let my poor health get in the way of accomplishing my goals.
After signing up and starting training I realized how unhealthy I was. My diet consisted of fast food, frozen pizza, mac and cheese and ice cream almost every night. This was something that needed to change. Along with my unhealthy eating until signing up for the run, exercise to me was a foreign concept. I mean, who would waste their time sweating for fun?
I spent 12 weeks preparing for the half and it was one of the most challenging and rewarding things I had ever done. Race day came and I ran the first 10 miles at a 13 minute mile pace and then crashed at mile 10. I had consumed too much water and my stomach felt horrible. I threw up and started to cry but I was determined to finish so I walked the last 3.1 miles. Two hours 58 minutes and 27 seconds later I finished.
After the Chicago Half-Marathon, September 11, 2011
After completing the Chicago Half Marathon I wanted to run the Indy Mini (the largest half in the US), so I signed up riding my runners high to May 5 2012. I was finishing my last semester of graduate school (graduation was even the next day, May 6th). With working full time and finishing graduate school I did not properly train for this race. I finished at 3 three hours 22 minutes and 34 seconds which consisted of mostly walking. At this point I felt defeated as I wanted to accomplish a respectable time. I stopped running and went back to my old ways of junk food and not working out.
On my 26th birthday, April 28, 2013, I weighed in at 215 pounds and realized it was time to get healthy and to get there I would seriously take up running. I had proven it to myself that I could complete a half, but now I wanted to run one. So I signed up to run a Thanksgiving Trail Run in the Chicagoland area and finished in 2 hours 15 minutes and 32 seconds.
I ran the entire race, all 13.1 miles. I felt amazing both physically and mentally. I cried when crossing the finish line. I was so excited to take over an hour off my previous half marathon time. After the race I knew I needed to sign up for another and what better race than the Mini Indy. A place I could go back and prove to myself that I had changed. I ran the Mini Indy again in May and came in at 2 hours 3 minutes and 40 seconds. I was so happy. Sixty pounds lighter and I felt on top of the world.
Indy Mini 2014
After the Mini Indy in May I continued to run for fun; still doing long runs on the weekends to keep up my miles. Then one of my neighbors got me thinking about a full marathon. I had thought running 13.1 miles was crazy, but 26.2 was even crazier. But then I thought why not? What is the worst than happens? That I have to walk?
So I am currently training to run the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on November 1. With 14 weeks to go and 8 weeks into training I have stayed motivated by joining a running club and reading running blogs like Courtney’s. They have provided so much inspiration and motivation to keep running with the tips and encouragement.
I am sure it will be a challenge as I continue to build my miles, but I am excited and determined. I love how good running makes my body feel, especially how much energy and confidence it gives me. Running has made me feel healthier and given me a new perspective on life. It has taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to and has taught me discipline through truing.
Chicago Trail Run
Thank you for sharing your story Amanda, and best of luck to you as you train for your marathon in November!
Please leave a comment if you have any comments or questions for Amanda!