Danielle & Amanda
Hi! We're Danielle and Amanda. We are two best friends from California with a recent interest in and great ambition to become runners. It is our purpose to bring you along on our journey to not only inspire and motivate you, but to show you that you don't need to be a professional or a fitness expert to be a runner. We ourselves are in no way professionals; we're average girls just like you trying to figure out the road map of running for both fitness and enjoyment. We do our research, and use tips from friends, licensed personal trainers, nutritionists, and other various reputable resources and apply them to our own lives.
I'm Danielle! I grew up playing sports and was consistently active throughout my childhood. The activity slowly started to dwindle by the end of high school and well into my twenties. During college, I was the girl that would work out and "diet" when I noticed my clothes getting tighter. It was never on a regular basis and half the time I wasn't really sure what I was doing. Is running stairs for 20 minutes with push-ups and sit-ups here and there 2-3 times a week really doing anything? Is jogging around the block a few nights a week here and there actually working off that cheeseburger and beer I consume on a regular basis? My guess is no.
Over time I eventually fell in love and moved to Alaska (my husband is in the Army). Do you know what the comforts of marriage and cold weather will do to a girl? Well, let's just say it was the heaviest I had been in years. One day after a shocking discovery on the scale, I decided enough was enough. I quit drinking any type of alcohol cold turkey and started working out 5 days a week. In a couple weeks, the pounds came off and I had never felt so good. Then the holidays hit. The no drinking really helped with all the calories I was consuming. However, I was still working out. Time passed, life went on, and Amanda and I decided it was time for something new. Running.
The idea of signing up for a half marathon came randomly and to be honest, it never quite crossed my mind that I would actually be running 13.1 miles. And who better to run and train with than Amanda?! Luckily I was able to talk her into it.
My husband and I are now in Texas (he's still in the Army) and Amanda and I are in the process of training for our first half marathon. Sometimes I still ask myself "what were you thinking?", and I know I won't believe it until I see myself cross that finish line, but I am beyond excited for the adventure that comes with it all. There is nothing more exciting, uplifting, and motivating than being able to add mileage to your run!
I'm Amanda! Like Danielle, I too grew up a very active child and teenager. I started dancing when I was four, and by the time I was in junior high I was dancing competitively with my local dance team. I continued to dance (ballet, tap, jazz/hip-hop, and modern dance) until high school when I decided to give it up for school and competitive soccer. While I had a lot of fun times and made some amazing friends, looking back I wish I had stayed with dance instead of soccer. Long story short, I went from team and tournament MVP to benchwarmer overnight. I'm not exactly sure how this happened, but I'm still bitter about it. I also wish I had continued to dance because my body was in the best physical condition ever as a dancer.
In elementary school and my first year of junior high I also did gymnastics, played softball, and ran track. All things that clearly didn't stick, but I enjoyed nonetheless. Fast forward a few years later and I'm in college being recruited to be the goal keeper for my city college team. Being the person that I am, I succumbed to the peer pressure and played. After that, though, my years as an athlete began to fade. I was no longer participating in sports or athletics of any kind, but instead was partying and studying my life away at Fresno State. I did manage the occasional gym sesh, or run around the neighborhood with my favorite neighbor and running partner, and also managed to ward off the "freshman 15" (all but 5lbs of it, but who's counting?). But ultimately, I just wasn't feeling like the person I really was deep inside. Someone who has a drive and passion to be active, healthy and work hard to accomplish something physical.
This brings me to my current juncture in life. Last September (2010) I went on my first real hike in Pine Crest, CA and I fell in love. This was the first step in bringing out the lost passion of a healthy and active lifestyle that I had been missing for so long. In January of this year (2011) I decided to turn to a vegetarian diet/lifestyle. I slowly started removing meat from my diet, and in June I read Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin which pretty much turned me vegan over night (not 100%, but damn close to it). I don't remember when exactly, but sometime this year I also started working out seriously with a personal trainer who has given me some amazing strength training workouts. Her confidence in me paired with her amazing workout routines helped me to love working out again (it also helped me to discover and tone muscles I hadn't seen in a long time)! Also this year, but again unable to remember the exact date (I'm thinking it must have been March or April) Danielle came to me with the idea of running a half marathon. At first I thought she was crazy because never in my life had I had any desire to run a half or full marathon; but, somehow she twisted my arm and convinced me to sign up. We picked the Rock N' Roll Marathon Series in San Jose for the convenience of it's location and training window. Once I paid for the race, I began to kick my workouts into over drive, and in June I officially started training for our upcoming 13.1 on October 2.
Oh, and if I thought she was crazy before, just weeks ago Danielle had yet another brilliant idea (she's full of 'em I tell ya)... "let's do the runDisney Tinker Bell Half in January!" I'm seriously questioning my sanity at this very moment, but you better believe I agreed and we signed up! You also better believe that I'm fully prepared to sport some sort of Disney themed get-up during that race!
So, that's me and my "active" life in a nutshell. You can read more about me and see my non-running life on my other blog Pandamonium.
**An important note for all non-runners (because after all, that's who this blog is designed for); I must say that while apprehensive at first, I have honestly come to love running in just five short weeks of training. I look forward to my morning runs, and I welcome the challenge as I increase my milage each week. Already, running has helped to transform my body and clear my mind. I admit that it is sometimes painful, but it's the most liberating and enjoyable part of my day.
Happy Running, and Happy Blogging!
Amanda and Danielle