You know those people that you stalk on the internet but haven’t really met? Yeah, that’s Amanda. I mean, seriously. Just scroll through the first page of her blog. Arrested Development? Alton Brown? She’s a serious-runner-in-the-making (she has some serious goals!), an avid reader, and she’s trying out CrossFit (oh, the humanity). Say hi to Amanda! And let’s all try to get her to come out and run/walk/wog with us!
Why did you start running?
I started running because my cousin had completed the Couch to 5k program and was on her way to training for the Derby Half Marathon and I was jealous. I had always wanted to be a runner but thought I was too out of shape and overweight to be able to do it. I didn’t realize that there was a way to get into it so that I wouldn’t be either one of those things. It didn’t help that she and I worked together at the time and I had to hear about it all day.
How long have you been running?
Well, funny story about that. I started running with the Couch to 5k program on a treadmill in summer 2010. I made it a few weeks and then my knee started locking up. I was diagnosed with patellar femoral pain syndrome. I quit. Then in the fall I started again, only I started running outside. Way better. I made it to the first 20 minute run before I quit again. This time I was filling up my water bottle in the house in a sort of squat/crouch position and thought that my right calf muscle ripped off of my body. It took a few weeks before I could even walk normally again. I finally completed the Couch to 5k program in the summer of 2012, after repeating several weeks and generally being afraid that I would die in the process. After that I’ve embarked on several different running goal/ideas/plans but none of them have come to fruition. Right now I’m lucky if I run once a week.
What keeps you motivated?
When I was training for the RtB Rookie 7 mile run, I was motivated. Once I realized that I was an idiot and couldn’t run the race because of a prior engagement, I fell off the training/motivation wagon. I think my problem is that I’m entirely too goal oriented. I need a plan, and an end game, or else I don’t keep up with the training and just look for something new and shiny to distract me – like Arrested Development coming out on Netflix!
Are you training for a race or an event?
I keep going back and forth about signing up for Iron Horse. Everyone I know keeps telling me to do it, but I’m afraid that I won’t complete the training and that I’ll fail. Right now I’m just trying to stay active, so that I don’t lose all of my cardiovascular endurance.
What is your favorite race?
I’ve never run a race. I’m intimidated. I’m pretty sure I’ll have to go to the bathroom a lot. Mostly before. Probably during.
Where is your favorite place to run?
I live off of Leestown, so I typically run in my backyard, which is the Towne Branch Trail I think. I’ve done the Arboretum a few times, but I typically just stay home. I’ve tried to run the Masterson Station Park a few times as well but I wasn’t clear on the “trail” and just felt like I was running around randomly. It made me nervous and I felt like the moms at the park thought I had escaped from Eastern State.
What are your running fears?
Honestly, its not injury from running, its injury from being attacked while I’m out running. I’m not crazy, but I might be a little paranoid. I’ve seen some shady individuals while I’ve been out before and it makes me take out a headphone and look behind me every once in a while. I know increasing numbers would help, but I’m not a good planner. And I’m slow. Also, I would hate to run a race and then, you know, lose my bowels. I know that’s an extreme circumstance usually reserved for people running ultra marathons and crazy trails, but I’m not into that.
Do you measure your runs or do you just run for fun?
I have to measure everything. I’m the kind of kid who tracks everything they do. I’ve even started using a fitbit that tracks not only my distance while running, but every step I take, every stair I climb, every calorie I burn, and every time I wake up when I sleep. However for run specific tracking I use the Nike+ Running app on my phone.
Have you ever dealt with injury?
I’ve had a couple, which is surprising to me due to the relatively short amount of time I’ve spent running. My first was the knee locking – that came from not having strong enough quads to guide my knee correctly while running. After going to the doc and getting some NSAIDs and strengthening exercises, I was fine in a few days. Next was the calf. That bothered me for a while, like months. I never figured out if it was a strain or just soreness, but once I started foam rolling and increasing my time off between runs it improved. I was also having back issues when I picked up running the last time. It was from not engaging my core while running. Basically bad form. Once I figured it out, took a few days off, and remembered to suck in my gut, I was fine.
Do you do any cross-training? What is your favorite?
Yes! I love yoga, Zumba, and I’m currently doing CrossFit bootcamp. It’s brutal, but in a good way.
Do you have a long-term running goal?
I want to run a Disney half or full marathon. And I want to run a full marathon before I complete my 30th year of life. So, by my 31st birthday.
What gear is absolutely necessary for you?
A GOOD SPORTS BRA. I’m too well endowed to just throw on a $10 compression one or even two. Unfortunately if they aren’t strapped up it basically ruins the entire run. It didn’t take me long to figure that out, but it has taken me a long time to find the best one. Right now I’ve got it narrowed down to a few in my rotation, but they aren’t perfect. I’ve put my boyfriend to the test of developing the perfect one at some point, but he has a job and stuff so it could take a while.
What gear is on your wish list?
I want a Garmin, but I don’t feel like I run enough to justify the purchase at this point.
Do you eat on the run?
I haven’t done a long enough outing to need to, but I have taken some of those Gatorade chews with me a couple times just in case.
What is your favorite running song?
“The Pretender” by the Foo Fighters. I have a whole list of ever changing favorites, but this is always Top 5 every time. Some other good ones I’m into right now are “Workin’ Day and Night” by Michael Jackson, “Potential Breakup Song” by Aly & AJ, “Comeback Kid” by Sleigh Bells, and “Girl” by Beck.
What are your favorite running/health-related websites or apps?
Apps: I use MyFitnessPal, which correlates with my fitbit and automatically subtracts calories burned from my daily allowance. Nike+ Running is how I track all of my runs and I also used the Couch to 5k (now called Ease Into 5k) and Bridge to 10k running apps. I also love the Nike Training Club and Yoga Studio apps for cross training.
Websites: I use dailymile for when I actually do run. Some blogs that I like that deal with running and healthy living are: Twenty-Six and Then Some, Bangs and a Bun/Spikes and Heels, and Skinny Runner. I used to be obsessed with Skinny Runner and found her really motivating, but she runs like 7 min miles and does a marathon or half marathon like, every weekend. I got kind of discouraged reading race recap after race recap, and instead of using that as fuel I just stopped entirely. Bangs and a Bun and Spikes and Heels are written by the same lady. When she got really into fitness and wrote about it heavily in her main blog (Bangs) I think there was some backlash from people not wanting to read about her new found love of running (haters). So now she manages the other site, with the tagline “be pretty on rest days” – which I like for various reasons: you can be athletic and pretty, you don’t have to be pretty while working out (in fact if you look too good you’re probably doing it wrong), and you can take rest days!
What is the strangest thing that happened on a run?
Once I got tackled by a dog at Masterson Station Park. Another time I was running the track at EKU and my bra like, rubbed a hole in my chest. But probably the strangest and best thing that ever happened on a run was one day when I decided to go without music. I thought it was going to be horrible and long and I was dreading it, but I was so in sync with my body it was unreal. My breathing was natural, my speed was fine, my muscles were alive. It was kind of fantastic.
Do you have a running pet-peeve?
Well. In my limited experience, I get rather irritated when people on the trail run on “the wrong side”. I mean, it’s supposed to be like driving right? You stay on the right and use the left to pass? It’s polite! There are two people that I can think of specifically that do not follow this guideline that I see on the regular. And also, would it kill you to acknowledge my friendly “Hello”?!
What are you reading right now?
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. It’s all about the different uses of cadavers in science and industry. I’m actually participating in a thing called the Cannonball Read, which is a race to read 52 books in a year. You can head over to the website to check it out.
What is your one guilty pleasure?
TV on DVD! I will sit on the couch for ridiculous amounts of time watching TV. It’s disgusting. I’m addicted. But at least I’ll draw the line at shows I don’t like. I mean, I can’t watch everything.
What is your favorite meal?
I love pasta. I could eat it every meal of every day and I would be cool with it. But I live with my boyfriend and he doesn’t like it as much as I do, so I usually limit our pasta to once a week. For both my waistline and his sanity.