Feature Friday: Runners part 4

Well what do you know..here we are at the end of another week and its time once again for Feature Friday!

Once again I have two fabulous women with truly inspiring running stories to share with you. But enough outta me; here they are!

Amanda- Because Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Amanda is one busy gal from Richmond, Va. When she isn't out training for her first marathon this fall, she bounces between two jobs, studying for her LSAT, hanging out with her adorable Chihuahua mix Daisy and planning her next travel adventure. She's gone from C25K to training for the Marine Corps Marathon, which she will complete with her running team/support system "The Fat and the Furious" on October 30th.

When did you start running and what inspired you to start?

I have always been overweight. I was a cheerleader in high school, but I was the largest and least athletic girl on the squad. I loved it though, but that was the extent of my athletics. I always said I would rather die than run. My motto was "I wouldn't run unless I was being chased, and even then, depending on what the person wants, they can just have it because I don't want to run!"

I graduated college and moved from Wisconsin to Virginia and found myself all alone and completely lazy. My parents came to visit for my 22nd birthday and we were at Monticello touring Thomas Jefferson's home...and I had to walk up this small hill. I was so out of breath. I was embarrassed and knew I had to make a change. I joined Weight Watchers and began running shortly after. Now when I say running, I use that term loosely. I began by using the Couch to 5K program and would "jog" for 30 seconds at a time. Eventually, I was able to complete my first 5K. I finished in 48 minutes and 46 seconds. Walkers were passing me. The cop car at the end of the race was right behind me. But I finished. It was the first time I had finished a 3.1 mile race and I was on top of the world. I didn't care that I was last, I had done something that I never thought I'd be able to do!

What is one obstacle you overcame to become a stronger runner?

Not giving up because I wasn't physically the typical runner. I have to work hard at it. I always will. I'm not a natural runner and I don't think I ever will be. But not giving up is something I have overcome. I want to walk, a lot, but I don't. One of my teammates even called me "Energizer" one day because no matter what, I just keep going.

What keeps you motivated to run?

My various running teams... The Fat and the Furious is my rock for this marathon training. My Aunt said it best, "Who knew a group of SLOW runners could become such FAST friends". It's true. 10 weeks ago, we were all strangers. And now, I don't know what I'd do without them. The man who even really pushed me into joining, has moved to New Orleans, but we all still keep in touch and plan to do the Marine Corps Marathon together still. Accountability by my running teams is what keeps me going!!

Do you have a running mentor or inspiration?

 Yes, my Aunt Lori.  She began running about 11 years ago and lost over 115 pounds in the past 11 years in the process.  She inspired me to begin running and we've done everything from 5K, 10K, half marathon, and now marathon training together

What's your favorite running memory?

Finishing the McDonalds Half Marathon last year with my Aunt Lori. We ran the entire race, step by step, side by side. At the end, we joined hands and ran across that finish line together. I immediately burst into tears because I couldn't believe what we had just accomplished.

What top 3 things do you love most about running?
  • the feeling when i finish...i feel so accomplished!
  • i love that its a solitary sport that i can also do with a team...everyone runs their own race
  • i can do it anywhere, any time, no excuses

Aneta- Checking It Off the Bucket List

Aneta is an avid runner from Richmond Hill, Canada who blogs over at www.runningbucket.com. She started the blog under the name Confessions of a Runner, but after a year,  decided to change the path of her blog and make it a big bucket list of her running goals. (You can check out that bucket list HERE.) Slowly, but surely, and with fierce determination she is making her way through all of it. When she isn't running she loves spending time with her loving boyfriend.

When did you start running and what inspired you to start?

I started running in the summer of 2008 after a big breakup with a boyfriend. My first run was just a few days after my breakup and it was one of the first things that I did after crying in bed for a few days. I remember this run very clearly. I had to go send the RSVP for my best friend's wedding and I told myself that if I can run to the post office without stopping, I can do anything. The post office is about a 1.5k from my parents' house and I made it all the way there. I did not stop, I did not take walking breaks....I just ran. When i got to the post office, I mailed the RSVP and sat on the ground in front and decided to run a race. And i did just that by running my first race - a Half Marathon in October 2008.

What's one running pet peeve or drawback?

With all the technology and gadgets, sometimes I forget to run for the love of running. I worry too much about pace and time and distance that I forget that I run because I can, and should enjoy it more!
What's your favorite running memory?

I have a few fave memories:

  • My first Half marathon - it was such a great accomplishment in a short time. I felt so proud and so strong, I felt like I could accomplish anything! I wore my race medal to work that whole week! haha 
  • Running a 5k with a friend - My friend, Just K, ran her first race ever in May 2010 and running beside her made me love the sport even more!
  • Walking a half marathon with the bf's sister - walking a half marathon might be harder then running one. But with good company and a camera in hand, it was a party!
  • Running my first Full Marathon - this day I will remember for the rest of my life. Despite the injury, the pain, the tears, the wall that i hit at mile 18 - it was sooooo worth it. And knowing that people were waiting for me at the end, was unbelievable and so motivational.

Are you training for any races at the moment?

I am currently training for a 30 K which is on Saturday, August 20th. and my big goal race is the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon on October 16, 2011 where I will try one more time to get that sub-2 hour time.
What is your favorite distance to run?

I like a nice 5 or 10 miler. (8-16 k). Its not too short where you have to sprint, but not long enough that you have to worry too much about too much training or nutrition during the race.
What's one tip you would give to a new runner or someone coming back after a break?

My one tip to a new runner would be to keep at it. Running is very simple, yet very complicated. Practice makes you better! You will get faster, you will get stronger and you will be able to run longer, I promise. But it all takes time. Walking is ok. Actually, taking walking breaks is good. It prevents injury and will allow you to run for longer distances. And don't forget to rest. Rest is important for recovery and to grow strong muscles. And enjoy it! Smile at the end of your run. One of my fave running quotes comes from Jeff Galloway, founder of the Running Room: "When I finish a run, every part of me is smiling"
And once again, I am completely inspired by these awesome ladies!!
If you want to be featured in the Runner Series all you have to do is email health.happiness.skinnyjeansATgmail.com. And remember, this is about runners on all levels so whether you are brand new and working on your first C25K or you've completed an Ironman, we want to hear from you!!!

Happy Friday!

So tell me, do you have a bucket list? If you do whats one thing that is still on it that you plan to tick off this year?



  1. Great features! I loved reading their point of views.

  2. thats me! yay!

    thank you for featuring me. this is such a great segment! lots of great runners that i dont know but am now going to check out their blogs!

    thank you again for letting me be part of this and have a great weekend~!


  3. I look forward to this every Friday. As a new runner, I find it so encouraging to hear others stories.

    1. This is a really cool website. Great job, the comments are really insightful.