Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon 2015

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon, Half Marathon

Alright my running peeps! I apologize for the silence and for the delay in reviewing this race. Despite the tardiness, I still wanted to share my thoughts because the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon. The company also hosts a Coastal 5K and a Doggie Dash the same weekend so, just to be clear, this post will focus on the half marathon.

Race Review

The surfing-themed Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon is extremely popular, drawing runners from all over the world to the warm and sunny Myrtle Beach area. According to the website information, it is a must-do race here on the Atlantic Coast. If you love to run and love the beach, then this race may be one you want to pay particular attention to!

The Course

The 13.1 mile course started at the Coastal Grand Mall right outside of Dillard’s and wove along roads and highways all the way to Plyler Park near Ocean Boulevard. It may go without saying, but the going was flat…like, utterly flat and paved. No trail running here, which could be difficult for runners who have not trained on harder surfaces.

Despite the distance and flatness, the course was quite stimulating. While runners did move through city and populated residential areas, there were also some amazing views to behold. One of the loveliest segments was through the a park around mile six. Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon also boasts five miles of oceanfront running. This is certainly true, but it was sometimes hard to see the sand and water from the road. In fact, much of the five miles is actually spent with huge buildings blocking what would have been the most stunning views.

There were a total of eight water stations, which provided adequate opportunities for hydration. Roads were also clear and the course easily identified.

Organization and Volunteers

Parking was free and close to the starting line! Participants were able to park in the Coastal Grand Mall parking lot, which was incredibly convenient. Volunteers were also amazing, despite the chilly morning weather. There were no issues with registration and everyone was so encouraging. Water stations were well-staffed and there were even “cheerleaders” at various locations, waving signs and even serenade runners.

Organization was on point. Roads were closed where needed and manned by very nice officers throughout. Everything seemed to run smoothly; even the shuttles returning participants to the parking area were on time.

Race Celebration and Festival Area

The Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon is relatively large, with 4,000 runners participating this year. Despite the large numbers, the post race concert and beer garden areas at Plyler Park were never over-crowded. One of the best aspects of the festival area was the view of the ocean. Runners were literally steps away from the water. Entertainment was also provided. Participants enjoyed listening to live surf-themed bands as well as a live post race concert.

It’s also worth noting the Health & Fitness Exposition, at which packet pick-up was located. This expo ran Friday and Saturday, so racers could enjoy visiting with a number great fitness vendors. This was an incredible addition for those looking to learn about and sign up for more races in the region. Not to mention all the cool running swag available for purchase!

Takeaways

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon, Half Marathon

This race offers some of the very best takeaways for participants. The finisher medals were epic, just as they were last year. These buggers are surfboard shaped, have a bottle opener built in, and are magnets! How cool is that? Racers also received a t-shirt and access to the beer garden with limitless refills.

Overall

This was a really neat race appropriate for experienced runners and first-time half marathoners. The flat terrain is particularly enticing for beginners. The course was interesting, everything was well organized, and the staff was wonderful. Aside from some slightly disappointing views, there isn’t much that could have been done better.

The Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon is a fantastic half marathon and it is completely deserving of my 4.5 out of 5.0 rating.

Personal Race Reflections

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon, Half Marathon

This was my very first go at a half marathon and I have to say, it was probably one of my favorite races ever. From the expo to the course, I enjoyed every minute of it.

While I have completed a Spartan Beast before, which was roughly 13 miles long, this was my first traditional 13.1 mile run. My training had tapered off a bit and I wasn’t sure how I would ultimately perform. In fact, I was a little worried I wouldn’t meet the 3.5 hour course limit! As it turned out, however, the slow and steady pace I set and kept throughout made for an almost relaxing run. I know that sounds crazy, but I really love when I can just go and go and go without pushing so hard I want to die by the time I reach the finish line. I prefer distance to speed and I dislike hills, so this was a near perfect racing experience for me.

  • Bib Number: 2692
  • Overall: 2096 of 4001
  • Overall Women: 1266 of 1654
  • Age Group: 127 of 176
  • Time: 2:49:17

Okay, so let’s break this down. The numbers show that I was in the top 53% of all runners, top 77% of women, and top 73% of women in my age group. Not so hot, but I’m actually really pleased overall. This was my first attempt at a race like this and I ran all but about six minutes of it. My placement may not be great, but I walked less than 4% of the entire course and I’m really proud of that fact. Granted, my pace was slow, but I kept the pace I set well. According to the splits on my phone, I maintained my pace within about 15 seconds every mile.

I will definitely be doing more half marathons in the future. In fact, we have already started signing up for a few and I can’t wait for the next one!

If you are interested in trying out a half marathon for the first time or are a seasoned runner looking for a new adventure, I highly recommend the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon. You can register here!

And there we are, folks! Hope you enjoyed this race review and, as always, keep trotting!

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Legend Race Obstacle Course September 19, 2015

Legend RaceHolla to all those who completed the Legend Race in Oxford, NC this past Saturday, September 19, 2015! I hope to see all of you and more at the upcoming Legend Race on April 16, 2016. Early bird registration is open and it’s only $27 to participate in this epically awesome obstacle course race. But act fast – this price only lasts until October 1, 2015.

Race Review

Legend Race, OCR

Legend Race is a quickly growing company that has a lot to offer. Created by Fred Augustine, these races are becoming known for their unique obstacles and obstacle groupings. These races are designed to challenge multiple areas of athleticism, from running and jumping to swinging and climbing to – sometimes all in a single obstacle! This year’s race definitely did not disappoint.

The Course

Legend Race, OCR

The course was located on a shooting range and was right at 4.25 miles long (according to my husband’s GPS watch). It offered many opportunities for long spouts of trail running through primarily wooden areas. There were several downed logs along the way, so some technical running was required. For the most part, however, the path was clear. Further, there were no rocky sections to wreak havoc on the ankles, nor any steep hills to climb or descend. It was definitely a runner’s course. The most daunting portion of the trail wound through a streambed filled with murky water. While the bed was mostly sanded, it was intimidating being unable to see the ground for footing purposes. Overall, though, the path was well-chosen, maintained, and enjoyable.

The Obstacles

  Legend Race, OCR

This is where Legend Race really shines. Fred strives to create exciting and physically challenging obstacles that are unique and less familiar to experienced obstacle course racers. There were 20+ obstacles this go-around, but some had a bit of a twist. For example, the final obstacle, referred to as The Gambit, was actually three obstacles in one. This was an interesting way to increase the difficulty of the course while still maintaining a set number of obstacles per race.

The Legend Race also boasted a half-mile log carry, a Tarzan swing into a net, and a pole-climb that transitioned into a rope traverse, along with many, many other totally fantastic obstacles!

Legend Race, OCR

One of the best elements of these obstacles was that they were distinctly different from other race companies. It wasn’t uncommon to see racers stop and mentally assess their plan of attack before attempting something. They inspired creativity and that was a really neat touch.

It’s also worth noting that mud was not an issue in this race so, while the obstacles were a little wet from morning dew, there was no danger from slipping due to mud as racers moved through the course. There were also no “punishments” for being unable to complete an obstacle. Racers could make as many attempts as they wished and helping others was encouraged.

Race Celebration and Festival Area

Legend Race, OCR

Legend Race is still relatively small, so the festival area wasn’t huge, super loud, or plagued with over-crowding. Things were placed appropriately and onlookers had a good view of both the starting line and the end of the course. The music was enjoyable and all racers received a shirt, medal, and a free beer! Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center had a very nice table present with engaging volunteers as well.

Organization and Volunteers

Parking was $5 and delightfully close-by. The race festival area was directly across the road, so no need for long walks or shuttles this time! Volunteers at the registration table were super polite and pumped about the race. Fred and his wife, Gail, also made rounds, greeting and engaging many participants. Volunteers on the course were also helpful and quite enjoyable to interact with.

There were no organizational issues; everything seemed to run smoothly and go as planned. The only issue to arise was a small problem with bees on the course. Volunteers addressed this situation quickly, however, and it had minimal impact on the race.

Overall

This was a fantastic race for both beginning racers and those more experienced, as it provided a good introduction to obstacle course racing but still offered experiences that were physically challenging. The course was enjoyable and allowed racers the opportunity to actually run between the obstacles, which were also superb. What’s more? There was no mud which, for me personally, was a huge plus!

There is so very little bad that could be said about this Legend Race. As such, I’m awarding it a rating of 4.5 out of 5.0. Great job Legend Race, volunteers, and all involved! Keep up the good work.

Personal Race Reflections

Legend Race, OCR

The first obstacle course race I ever did with my husband was a Legend Race so, needless to say, this company holds a special place in my heart. Legend Race has also sponsored my husband, Ryan. I encourage you to read about some of his athletic experiences on his blog as well!

I’ll be honest though – I wasn’t as prepared for this race as I wanted to be. After running the Spartan Super at Wintergreen a few weeks ago, my body was completely shot and it took me a long time to fully recover. As a result, I didn’t run as much as I should have leading up to this event. Combine that with the fact that I was one of the poor, unfortunate souls attacked by bees in the first heat and you get the results below.

  • Bib Number:144
  • Overall: 53 of 134
  • Overall Women: 17 of 55 (roughly)
  • Age Group: Not provided
  • Time: 1:25:00

I’m pretty disappointed, overall, because this could have been a course I really excelled at. I like races that allow for more running and have a few obstacles thrown in to liven things up. Still, my time wasn’t terrible. I managed to remain in the top 40% of all racers and roughly the top 30% of females. Legend Race didn’t provide official rankings, so I counted females to get as close as possible. If I’m a little off, please forgive me!

I will definitely plan to be better prepared in April 2016!

As always, folks, keep trotting…oh, and register for the next Legend Race! You’ll love it!

Spartan Virginia Super at Wintergreen 2015: Race Review and Personal Reflections

Amanda Vosloh-Bowyer with her Spartan Virginia Super 2015 at Wintergreen finisher's medal.
Spartan Virginia Super at Wintergreen 2015. Photo credit: The wonderful Spartan Race photographers!

It’s taken me four days to recover from this year’s Spartan Virginia Super at Wintergreen 2015. This was not a race for the light of heart or the heavy of foot. Congratulations to everyone who completed this rigorous course – you deserve many pats on the back!

Race Review

Spartan Virginia Super 2015 at Wintergreen. 
Spartan Virginia Super at Wintergreen 2015.

The Spartan Super at Wintergreen has become an iconic race among Spartans and OCRers. It is widely known to be one of the most difficult Spartan races each year and some racers consider all other Spartan Supers to be sub-par in comparison. Truthfully, even Spartan Beasts could be considered inferior in terms of difficulty.

The Course

This year’s course was no exception in relation to difficultly. Racers began this nine-mile trek with a gentle ascent into a forested area, followed by a very pleasant descent under the tree canopy. Don’t be fooled, though! Around the bend awaited a huge incline up a relatively steep ski slope with no tree cover.

At the top, we entered another forested area and worked our way down a slightly sharper decline. This was somewhat deceiving, as the trail soon opened up to yet another beastly hill, larger than the last. Up, up, and up the course went, until reaching the woods once more and descending briefly. Once at the bottom? You guessed it – another, even steeper and longer incline.

This pattern continued throughout most of the race until about mile seven when the real challenge began.

Racers are coining this segment of the race the “death march” and/or the “trail of tears.” For me, it was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other as I made my way up this mile-long black diamond ski slope. I didn’t stop…but others did. In fact, the trail was littered with fallen runners massaging muscles and inhaling salt tabs. Not only did it seem to go on forever, but the trail wound around bends that made you think the end was near, only to dash your little runner dreams into the ground as the torturous ascent continued.

The death march was followed by a pretty technical descent over slippery rocks and mud, making going slow even when it should have been fast. But the worst was over – at least in terms of the course itself – and there were no more major surprises as we crawled our way up and down a few more smaller hills to the finish line.

The Obstacles

Spartan Virginia Super 2015 at Wintergreen big cargo obstacle.
Spartan Virginia Super at Wintergreen 2015 big cargo obstacle. Photo credit: The wonderful Spartan Race photographers!

Spartan seems to be upping their obstacle game this year. There are more obstacles per race, sandbags and weighted objects are heavier, and walls are higher (even the starting wall has gotten taller!). The average number of obstacles for Spartan Supers in 2014 was only 24.5 – Wintergreen sported 29 obstacles, which is actually above the average number of obstacles in the Spartan Beast series last year. Overall, though, the obstacles were pretty typical of other Spartan races.

A few highlights: the barbwire crawl was uphill, the bucket carry was .25 miles long, and the tyrolean traverse was awesome!

If you do OCRing for the obstacles, Wintergreen did not disappoint. They were challenging enough, but nothing that couldn’t be done given enough preparation. Placement along the course seemed natural, although it did feel end-heavy. About 1/3rd of the hardest obstacles happened in the last two miles of the race.

Race Celebration and Festival Area

Spartan Virginia Super 2015 at Wintergreen festival area.
Spartan Virginia Super at Wintergreen 2015 festival area.

To be honest, I spent my most alert moments running and didn’t get to enjoy the festival area. I will say that things were organized well and the view was stunning! They played upbeat music that could be heard (joyously!) from the course at times and it was easy to watch the heats leave and runners finish.

I did note that the festival area seemed extremely empty when I was there. I attribute this mostly to the fact that the course took so long to complete for so many people. Average racers literally didn’t have time to enjoy the festivities after they finished. I didn’t even get my free beer!

Organization and Volunteers

Parking was the standard $10 per car, however it was a good 20 minute bus ride up to the festival area afterward….and by the end of the day, those buses were scary! I asked one of the drivers if they were used to driving up to the resort like that and he very adamantly told me that they were not. In fact, I personally saw one bus break down. As tired as I was on the way down, I was keenly aware of the way the breaks were screeching and smelling during our descent back to our car…

Registration was quick and easy, as was the bag check. They had plenty of scissors to cut off wristbands and, frankly, it was the smoothest racing process I have ever gone through. Volunteers knew what they were doing and helped with anything we needed. Overall, I’d say many kudos to the race planners and volunteers for a job very well done!

Overall

This was a hard race, to say the least. I hesitate to say that it was too hard, but only because I know how many dedicated Spartan OCRers will criticize my assessment, saying “If I didn’t like it, I shouldn’t have done it.” But that’s not what I’m saying. I like to be challenged and I totally embrace the Spartan mission to push the limits. What I do take issue with is misrepresenting facts or false advertising.

Spartan races have a hierarchy – Sprint, Super, Beast, Ultra Beast, Hurricane Heat, and so forth. They are supposed to progressively get harder, gradually introducing racers to new levels of exertion. I am working on my second trifecta, with some extra races thrown in, and it is my genuine opinion that the Virginia Super at Wintergreen 2015 did not adhere to the advertised Spartan progression. This super was, hands down, twice as hard as the Beast I ran in last year. In fact, this nine mile race took me an hour longer to complete than my twelve mile Beast and had just as many obstacles.

Spartan advertised this race with an average completion time of 2.5 hours – the winning time in the elite heat this year was 1:54:48 and the best time in the open was 2:30:10. The last racer crossed the finish line with a time of 14:55:53…I’m going to type that again…14:55:53. And just to show that wasn’t a fluke time, 60 other racers came in after the ten-hour mark. Even without calculating the exact average time, I’d say the 2.5 hour mark that Spartan advertised was a gross misrepresentation.

I was also disappointed that there was not more opportunity to run in this race. While I loved the obstacles and the ski slopes certainly provided a unique challenge, running is a different kind of fitness and I feel that it was underrepresented in this Wintergreen Super.

So, where does that leave my assessment? I give the Spartan Virginia Super at Wintergreen 2015 a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0. It was a great race, for sure, and I am so happy that I can say I completed it. However, this is not a beginner/intermediate-friendly course and, personally, I believe the Spartan race organizers got too caught up in the hype surrounding the anticipated difficulty of the race.

Personal Race Reflections

Spartan Virginia Super 2015 at Wintergreen fire jump obstacle.
Spartan Virginia Super at Wintergreen 2015. Photo credit: The wonderful Spartan Race photographers!

When I say that completing this year’s Wintergreen course was the single most physically difficult thing I have ever done, it is still probably an understatement. I literally cried at the finish line as the nice man gave me medal and a hug. Granted, I tweaked my arm and it hurt like hell, but that wasn’t the only reason I was crying.

This race pushed me to the edge. I love the feeling I get from accomplishing something I initially thought I couldn’t do. It’s a rush! But Wintergreen beat me down so far and so hard that my body was having trouble completing tasks I know I can do.

An example: I have done the slippery wall with rope several times without any trouble; this time, I actually fell (quite hard) into the wall and slid back down because I was so far beyond my physical and mental abilities. I remember kneeling there in the mud thinking, “This race has worn me so far down that I can’t even complete the obstacles I know I can do.”

Frankly, it was a shitty feeling. It sucked and that’s why I was crying. No Spartan race has ever made me feel that way and I hope I never feel that way again. While I did manage to make it over the wall, that memory of feeling hopeless still outweighs the feeling of success in this case, because I never should have struggled so badly with it to begin with.

I have been training quite hard recently, preparing for the Battlefrog Extreme I have coming up in 2016. My long runs are up to 10 miles and I consistently complete them in under two hours. Imagine my shock when I realized this race took me over five hours to finish! My finale time was 5:15:14.

I completed my last Beast in 4:22:30 and I actually injured my leg half-way through! That’s a huge difference. Couple that simple comparison with my utter exhaustion at the finish line and I was initially pretty damn disappointed.

I’ve sense recovered and can examine my performance more rationally.

  • Bib Number:11354
  • Overall: 1,973 of 4,990
  • Overall Women: 304 of 1312
  • Age Group: 71 of 308
  • Time: 5:15:14

That means I was in the top 40% of racers in the open, which isn’t terrible considering how difficult this course was. Even better, I came in at 23% for both my age group and females overall. Despite the difference in time, when I compare my percentages to my previous Super and Beast, I actually did quite well!

And so ends my epically long review of the Spartan Virginia Super at Wintergreen 2015.

Become a fellow Spartan! Check out and sign up for one of Spartan’s upcoming races today!

Amanda and Ryan Bowyer with their Spartan Virginia Super 2015 at Wintergreen finisher's medals. Photo credit: The awesome Spartan Race photographers!
Amanda and Ryan Bowyer with their Spartan Virginia Super at Wintergreen 2015 finisher’s medals. Photo credit: The awesome Spartan Race photographers!

Keep trotting, folks. Or, if you ran at this year’s Wintergreen, keep crawling!

Dirty Myrtle Mud Run 2015

Beginning of the Dirty Myrtle 2015 course. That's me in the front and Ryan running with me in the blue.
Beginning of the Dirty Myrtle 2015 course. That’s me in the front and Ryan running with me in the blue.

Hiya!  This update is a wee-bit late, but I wanted to give a quick update regarding how the Dirty Myrtle Mud Run went back in May, as well as review the course and my performance.

Race Review

Let’s start with my thoughts on the race.  When it comes down to it, obstacle races really have four main components: the course, the obstacles, the post race celebrations and festival area, and the race organization and volunteers.  These will be my primary points of discussion during this review.

This was actually the second time I have run the Dirty Myrtle Mud Run, the first time being in May of 2014.  The location was the same this year, consisting of a three mile course in an undeveloped area of a subdivision in the Carolina Forest community.  As settings go, this one fits the bill for racing in the southern coastal region.  If you are looking for natural elevation change of any kind, this is not the race for you.  That said, if you dislike hills and prefer running on flat trail, then you would probably find this course pretty enjoyable.  The overall terrain here is good, with plenty of soft trail that’s easy on the knees.  The biggest downside, however, is that there are also long stretches of sanded trail and sand can be hard on the leg muscles!

I was actually a little disappointed in the obstacles this go-around.  While I can’t quite pinpoint specific differences between this year’s race and the one last year, this component left something to be desired.  Aside from the largest, deepest, and thickest mud pit I’ve ever seen, the majority of the 20 obstacles were man-made dirt hills which varied in size, but not ingenuity.  I do want to take a moment to highlight this epic mud pit, as it was the most exciting (and challenging) obstacle of the race.  My group arrived early enough to see a backhoe stirring the mud in said pit before racers started the course.  We watched in horror as the giant claw disappeared several feet down with each stir and we were actually concerned for one of our shorter party members.  The consistency was too thick to swim through, but too thin to roll on top of, which made for difficult going right at the race’s end!

The post race celebration and festival area was relatively basic for obstacles courses of this size.  They played upbeat music over the speakers to get racers pumped up and transitioned to a live cover-band as racers started crossing the finish line.  We didn’t stay long after rinsing off, so I can’t give too much input on the performers.  I will say the shower system they devised is one of the best I have experienced.  Water was pumped from a pond through shower heads at just the right pressure to remove all the mud, which can be a struggle sometimes.  It was located close enough to the water source that the water simply drained back into the pond afterwards.  I also have to mention the food and beer!  All racers were provided with plenty of snacks, as well as a free BBQ sandwich and chips after the race.  Racers were also allotted two beer, a step up from some bigger races!  Between you and me, though, they didn’t have a tracking system and I did snag an extra BBQ sandwich…

Organization was a little subpar, resulting in some confusion about bib placement and pinning procedures, as well as additional marking requirements.  Kudos to the race announcer, though, who asked each racing group what song they wanted to start the race to.  There’s nothing better than a little “Pour Some Sugar On Me” to get your blood pumping and legs working!

Overall, I would give the Dirty Myrtle Mud Run a rating of 3.5 stars.  It’s a fun little race and great for beginners.  I highly encourage new obstacle course racers to give this one a try.  They also have a great 1-mile course for children, making for a great family event.  Experienced OCR racers, however, might have difficulty looking past the challenge level of the obstacles, which is ultimately what brings down the overall rating here.

Personal Race Reflections

Now for my thoughts regarding my personal performance on this race.  See blow my placement result and time.

  • Bib Number: 537
  • Overall: 99 of 368
  • Overall Women: 22 of 202
  • Age Group: 10 of 52
  • Time: 00:55:06

I’m relatively pleased with my placements, although I was pretty disappointed in my running during and after the race.  It was just an off run, which we all have!  My body was heavy and tired and it was difficult to keep moving, even though I’ve run longer and more difficult races before.  My time put me in the top 11% of females, which was a pleasant surprise.  I was in the top 27% of racers overall and top 20% of my age group.  I attribute my negative feelings towards this race to the fact that I know I should have trained better – I really wasn’t running for several weeks leading up to this one.  I’ll call it a win though, because I still got myself out there and ran it the best I could!

Thanks for reading!  Were you at the Dirty Myrtle 2015?  If so, what were your thoughts on the race this year and how did you do?  I’d love to hear about your experience!

More updates and adventures to come.  Until next time, just keep trotting!

MapMyRun

While there are some days I will post an update about my progress or a personal best, I won’t be posting a my daily runs here.  If you are interested in this kind of information, however, you’re more than welcome to follow me (Amanda Vosloh) on the MapMyRun website or mobile app.

MapMyRun is an Under Armour company and I absolutely love the app.  In addition to tracking your workouts, you are also able to enter calorie information and water intake, as well as set goals and join challenges.  You’re also able to record almost any kind of athletic activity, from walking to kyaking or even riding a horse!  Ryan and several of our friends also use the app and we enjoy getting notifications about completed workouts.

I’ve been using it for years without much problem.  There have been a couple workouts that, for whatever reason, it didn’t track my mileage on the GPS.  This recently happened to one of my friends too.  Ryan has never had an issue, however, and he’s used the app longer than I have.  Just make sure you glance at your phone as your start your workout to check that it’s tracking and you should be fine.

Stay tuned and keep running!

Workout 6-11-15

Time – 1:10:15

Distance – 6.14 miles

Average Pace: 11:27

Ryan signed us up for the Battlefrog Extreme Carolinas.  It is April 23, 2016, but I’m getting ready now!  It will be the longest race for me so far, so I have changed up my workouts and instead of running for mileage, I’m focusing more on my times.

Today was my long run for the week.  I started with an hour and have been adding five minutes each week.  So far, I’ve really liked this.  Today’s run also felt really good.  The first four miles weren’t too bad at all, but at mile five I felt myself wanting to slow down.  By mile six I had to really tell myself not to walk at all in order to run the full time.

Overall, I was really pleased.  I walked an additional two miles afterward to cool down – I typically walk at least a mile after every workout, but I like to extend that to two on long days.

PS – Tis apparently the season for snakes!  I ran past two on the sidewalks along the road today.  Yikes!

Chronicles of a Late-Blooming Athlete

Charlotte Spartan Sprint 2014 - Our first Spartan race
Charlotte Spartan Sprint 2014 – Our first Spartan race

Hello!

My name is Amanda and I am a runner…

Those are words I never thought I would say!  I have never been an athletic person.  In fact, I have always been the quiet, geeky type who would much prefer snuggling up with a good book to physical activity.  Throughout the years, however, this has gradually changed.  A big part of this change has been my wonderful husband, Ryan.  Ryan has always been an athlete – basketball, baseball, cross country running…being physically active comes very naturally to him.  His excitement for working out and being active has been contagious, pushing me to take my own health much more seriously.

It started with hiking (which we still do whenever we can), evolved into running for fitness purposes, and has now progressed to training for and participating in numerous races a year.  Our apartment is full of various medals and pictures from our racing exploits but, more than anything, these activities have brought Ryan and I closer together over the years.  It means so much to experience this with him.

Without a doubt, Ryan’s relentless encouragement has made me into the athlete that I am today.  I know first hand the importance of having support and this is a big part of why I am starting this blog.  I plan on chronicling my journey to athleticism, sharing here details about my training, races, hikes, and any other related experiences.  Hopefully my reflections and occasional advice help provide the same support and encouragement I have been so fortunate to get from Ryan.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or advice.  I would love to hear from you!