My guest today loves being a part of the running community in a variety of ways.
She is actively involved in the Girls On The Run program and is working towards organizing a trail running event to help raise funds for a local nature preserve.
Amanda Love goes all in whether it’s for her own goals or to help her community.
Amanda grew up in a household where her parents required her to always be in 2 extracurricular activities.
Music was always her first choice and her parents chose cross-country as her second activity.
Running didn’t come naturally and once out of high school Amanda quit the sport.
Amanda signed up for a fitness and jogging class in college and her reaction to running was drastically different than previously.
She began consistently running and enjoyed it so much that she signed up for her first half marathon in 2010.
The following year she moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan and it was there that she discovered her love for trails.
Joining the trail community soon spurred thoughts of doing an ultra.
Keep Coming Back
Amanda’s first few attempts at a 50k didn’t go as planned.
She experienced 3 DNF’s before successfully completing her first ultra.
Inexperience, when it came to training and fueling, was a large part of her lack of initial success.
Amanda’s first DNF was a huge blow to her mentally.
After some introspection, she began looking at her perceived failures as learning opportunities.
Learning from her experiences have made her a stronger runner and role model.
Amanda has a self-imposed rule for herself, that if she runs a race one year she will make sure to volunteer for it the following year.
Along with giving back to the racing community, Amanda also coaches and volunteers with the Girls On The Run program.
Girls On The Run
Girls On The Run (GOTR) is a character building program that incorporates running for girls in grades 3rd to 5th.
Heart and Sole is a similar program geared towards older girls in grades 6th to 8th.
GOTR is an after-school program that lasts 10 weeks and is run solely by volunteers.
Some of the many lessons that GOTR strives to teach girls are:
- Instilling confidence
- Being happy with oneself
- Stressing mental as well as physical health
- How to work as a team
- Prepare them with healthy habits to carry into adulthood
- Providing another adult besides the parents to teach them lessons
Each lesson is taught with a variety of running games that uplift each other.
The distance the girls run gradually increases at each session until, eventually, the season culminates in a GOTR Celebration 5k where no one runs alone.
For Amanda, the best part of the process is seeing the positive changes in the girls.
Yoga For Runners
Amanda was recently certified to instruct yoga.
In her experience, most people have excuses for why they “think” they can’t do yoga.
Yoga has many benefits including:
- All you need is a minimum of 5 minutes per day
- Can be a great tool for recovery
- Low impact
- Helps with relaxation
- Positively affects breathing practices when running
- Can do anywhere and anytime
At a minimum, every runner should put their legs up on a wall every day in an “L” pose.
This is Amanda’s number one suggestion for a restorative yoga pose that many runners would benefit from.
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