All About Amanda
Girls on the Run Coach
Michiana Trail Heads Running Club Founder and President
Loves to Run: 5k- Ultra Marathon Training
How did you start running?
My parents forced me to run cross-country in high-school for my extra-curricular activity. I hated having my coach yelling at me to run. The first two years of college, I stopped running. Then my junior year, I actually started to love running without having someone yelling at me!
Do you run with a club?
I started a running club called Michiana Trail Heads. There was no one connecting all the trail-runners in my area, and I thought starting my club would be a cool way to connect everyone. My Michiana Trail Heads group started running in 2014. We are a collaboration of Indiana and Michigan runners. I have gotten to know some race directors and make new friends.
I am a Girls on the Run coach! I coach GOTR every year, this is my second year of running SoleMates. The best thing ever, is watching the girls on my team progress and mature. One girl has been running with me two years in a row. The first year she was so quiet and in a little shell, this year she is very outgoing and loves to take charge!
Fleet Feet Social Runs, is another club I run with a few times a week.
Where is your favorite place to go running?
My favorite place to go running in the world is Catalina Island, California. Airport in the Sky, have supplies dropped 26 miles off the coast of Long Beach. The tour guide takes you up there, then you ride back down on bikes! You would not even think that Catalina Island is in California, it looks like an island in Italy.
Locally, I enjoy running along Lake Michigan. Running in trails, in the fresh air, is best for me because of my asthma.
What is it like to be a runner with asthma?
When I was first diagnosed, my happy mileage was ten miles. It is getting better! Starting running again, in college, was more annoying than hard. I just need to take my inhaler with me running.
My symptoms are worse during allergy season. If you are in a running group, and all the sudden have an asthma attack you lose all of your motivation. Running with asthma is very difficult at times.
Even though asthma gave me a hard time running longer distances, I have finished over ten half-marathons.
How many races have you run?
The first official race I signed up for was a half-marathon. Since my first race, I have done countless 5k’s, 10k’s and more than 10 half-marathons.
My first full-marathon is this year, I will be running as a SoleMate with Girls on the Run. This is a trail-marathon, and I am using my race as training for my 50k in November!
I actually know the race director for my ultra and the course is supposed to be very flat. All of my friends are coming out to support me. This will be scary but fun!
What is your favorite race?
The Kalamazoo Half Marathon. My first year running this race, I fell in love. I have run the Kalamazoo Half Marathon three years in a row. It is all hills and the only road race I have ever run and truly enjoyed.
The town is awesome, everyone is so supportive cheering runners on and our names are on the race-bibs. There are live-bands playing music and popsicles throughout the course. It feels like a Rock’n’Roll race!
Anybody ever looking for a half in the Michigan or Chicago area should run Kalamazoo, because it is so much fun!!
Who are your greatest supporter?
My husband, Adam, is super supportive of my running. We met in elementary school, and have been together since middle-school. We started really dating during college. After college graduation, we moved in together while he was in medical school and I was working as a Pharmacy Tech in the ER. I married my sweetheart! Adam cheers me on through all of my running.
How do you fuel during races?
The way I fuel depends on the distance. If I am running a shorter distance like a 5k or 10k, I like to have energy chews. I love Honey Stinger Gels.
The morning of a race, I need something with electrolytes and a little bit of carbs. My go-to breakfast is a bagel with peanut-butter and coffee.
What is your favorite way to cross-train?
I love Hot Yoga Class! We are always flowing, not holding the poses a long-time.
Yoga really complements running. If I miss a day of weight-training it does not effect me, but my body feels different if I miss yoga. I have yoga class once a week.
After I started having hip problems, yoga really helped my body heal. The pigeon pose, opens my hips and helps them feel better. After a long run I always do all my yoga poses.
Do you have a favorite running workout?
I really like hill repeats, even though my friends really hate it! I have met people who never do hills and once they start they feel stronger and can handle more.
Running hills, gives me an advantage in my races. Recently, I was one of the only runners in my 15k to actually run up all the hills!
What is your most memorable running moment?
Probably last year when I was running the Kalamazoo Half Marathon. It was such a fun race!
Going into the half-marathon, I did not have a specific time goal in mind. I was just there to have fun! When I crossed the finish-line and looked up, I thought “Wow, I have to run Kalamazoo every year! I beat my previous time by over five minutes!”
What do you bring with you running?
My Go-Pro! I have used it in California, Arizona, and Florida. The Go-Pro was perfect for capturing the trail I went running on in Miami this past March. Miami was really humid, my average pace was 8:30!
I love my Garmin 235! This stopwatch keeps track of my heartrate, steps and everything.
How does running make you feel?
Running is a stress reliever. I usually just go and run. I might not be so happy before running but I always feel awesome afterwards!
How has running changed you?
Running taught me to be more mentally strong.
What type of sneakers do you like to wear?
Altra’s for trails and Newton’s for roads.
I like my Altra’s for road and trail running, just because they are really comfortable. My Altra’s are so comfy I wish I could wear them all the time.
How do you like to style your hair for running?
I usually just wear a hat with my hair down or pink-tails with a Bic Band!
What do you like to wear running?
When it is really hot, I wear shorts or capris with a t-shirt.
Do you like to listen to music while you run?
If I am doing a road run, a race with other people or weightlifting, I do not feel like I need to listen to music. I only listen to music if I am board!
There are so many fun things to look at while running in nature; peacocks, cranes, pheasants, coyotes, foxes and Moose. I love bird watching!
Do you have advice for other runners?
Focus on yourself and your own pace, make sure you do what is best for you!
Be social and run with a club. We have a joke in my group I am the “social runner.” I love to talk on the run!
How did you become a Bic Chick?
I have an entire drawer devoted to my Bic Bands. I love the product so much and want everyone to see it. For every Bic Band sold, a percentage is donated to a charity. By being a Bic Band Ambassador, I hope to motivate others to live a healthful lifestyle.
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Photography, courtesy of Amanda Losch.
That Pretty Runner