Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Running the ING Miami Marathon

Six months ago I set a goal - to run the full ING Miami Marathon. This would be my first marathon, I ran the half last year. On Sunday, January 30th I crossed the finish line, running 26.2 miles in 4 hours and 43 minutes. It was an amazing, exhilarating, emotional experience which I will never forget.

Starting back in August, I gave up my Friday nights to wake up every Saturday at 4am and sometimes 3am to train with the Footworks group I signed up for. Our trainers Ralph and Jose slowly worked us from running just 30 minutes to running 22 miles. I forced oatmeal down my throat at an ungodly hour for energy. My eyes burned like hell when putting in my contacts after only a few hours of sleep. When my alarm went off, I forced myself out of bed. Tuesdays and Thursdays I ran in the early morning before work and on Mondays and Wednesdays I was in the gym focusing on strength training. I rarely missed a run and when I did, I felt incredibly guilty and found a way to make it up.

The rigorous training and preparation was a huge time commitment but it all paid off. I ran the marathon, and never once did I think I might give up or that I couldn't finish. When my muscles felt fatigued, I pushed through. When I started feeling nauseous, I kept going. I was determined. I had worked too hard. I was going to finish strong.

Along my side the entire way was my amazing friend Eleni. I'm so lucky I had such a motivational, dedicated, resilient running buddy. I fought back tears when we crossed the finish line together.

This post wouldn't be complete without mentioning my incredible support system. A big thank you to...

My mom and dad who woke up extra early to drive to Miami and cheer me on. They took the first photo below at mile 14.
My sister Jaime and her husband Jody who were at mile 18 with the best sign of the whole race.
My sister Britt who was also at mile 18 and was the mastermind behind the gift certificate to the Vicerory spa for a post-marathon massage. It was heaven.
My colleagues Carmen and Chad, as well as his wife Bibi and son Mathias, for being at mile 25.5 - a crucial mile as you can tell from the second photo below.
The Kastrenakes family and Chris who were staggered at various mile markers to keep Eleni and I pumped up.
My boyfriend's mom Judy who was at the finish line screaming my name.
And last but definitely not least my boyfriend Mark for not yelling at me when my alarm went off at 3am  every Saturday for training, for realizing how important this race was to me, and for being so proud.

Here are a few photos that were snapped along the way!


  1. So inspirational. I am so proud of you and all your dedication and hard work!!

  2. So proud of you Amanda. You described the pain and joy of running. Congratulations!

  3. INCREDIBLE accomplishment! Go YOU!

  4. CONGRATS! I loved reading this. Almost makes me want to sign up for the marathon next year. I loved Ralphs group.

  5. You're a marathoner. Welcome to the very exclusive club.


  6. You are a special person. Once you set your mind to something there is no stopping you!

  7. Amanda The dedication and hard work you exhibted is an inspriration to us all!

  8. Awesome! Congrats and welcome to the club. Will you be at the happy hour tonight?

  9. Congratulations Amanda. It was a pleasure training with you. This was my first one too, and it was well worth the effort and sacrifice. My folks drove in from Vero Beach to see me finish, along with my wife and sons, who were also at the finish line. Take care.