Amanda and I met in June of 2011 at day 1 of Chicago Marathon training. It was our first marathon, we were in the same pace group, and we became friends right away. For those of you that have trained for a marathon, you know there are good days and bad days out on the trail. We would always stick together and help each other out and keep that motivation going. We started the Chicago Marathon together and had a pact.
|Amanda and I before the start of the Chicago Marathon|
We would stay together as long as we could, but if one person was doing better than the other, we'd wish each other well and split up. We stuck together until mile 10.5 where I had to drop back because I was struggling. I wished her well and she went on to cross the finish line! Amanda has a really great race recap here, explaining both of our experiences.
|Amanda at mile 23 of the Chicago Marathon|
I started running in 2003 when a friend wanted to do a run for her 30th birthday and wanted me to participate. My friend stopped running a few years later but I kept on running. I like the challenge of running. For me, it's not easy to do, it doesn't come naturally. So to be able to do it and run half marathons and even a marathon, is a huge sense of accomplish.
Actually, even though I was running (and even did my first half in 2006), I never considered myself a "runner" until maybe 2009 when I ran 6 miles one day and didn't have to stop and walk! I literally stopped afterwards and couldn't believe it. I used to just think I was a person who ran, but not a "runner".
Since 2003, I have lost approximately 90 pounds and even ran my first marathon last year. Running is not easy for me but I've met a terrific group of running friends and I love doing it!
Yes, you read that correctly--90 lbs!!! Amanda has some before and after pics on her blog and the transformation is amazing. What a great accomplishment and how inspirational to others! Not only is she a great runner, but she is a great friend. When I went to Grand Rapids to try marathon attempt #2 (Amanda's recap here), Amanda drove the 3 hours and was there to cheer me on!
|Us at mile 18 in GR|
|About to cross the finish line!|
Notice, Amanda has all my gear like a true runner friend! :)
|Sporting our finisher medals!|
Why am I doing all this talking about Amanda (other than the fact that she is awesome)? She has been nominated for Athlete of the Month for the Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA). I would like all of your help to vote for her because she deserves to win!
What do you have to do to vote? Simply head on over to CARA's Facebook page and "like" her photo. The photo with the most "likes" wins!
Thanks in advance for all of your help and votes!!!!