Amanda…A Message For You!

Today is Amanda’s Birthday & to celebrate her 27th birthday, tomorrow she will be running the San Francisco Marathon!  This Blog post is dedicated to YOU bella Amanda!  Buon Compleanno!

Here’s a little story about your journey, how it started and the incredible progress to bring you where you are today.  We all know that you are a runner, a good one at that, but distance running is a whole new thing for you.  You are a track star, but now you will be able to say you are a “Marathoner”.  When I ran the Boston Marathon this year, you were extremely supportive and encouraging, I was happy you came to watch me because I knew that a Marathon was on your bucket list and the warmth and excitement of being at the marathon would be just what you needed to commit.  So obviously I had to find out right away so I asked you as we walked to the train from the finish line “So Amanda, don’t you want to run your marathon now?”  And to my surprise you replied “No Way!  Now I really don’t want to run one, did you see how much pain all those people were in.”  You weren’t exactly in the best place to be watching, at about mile 26, so you got to see all of the runners at their worst, however it was just a little before they showed the joy and accomplishment on their faces…oops!

Now let me bring you to 3 days later, just as I had predicted you sent me this in an email.  “Okay, so maybe I was a little bit inspired…and I was thinking that perhaps, maybe, I might want to do this…”  Needless to say you signed up without hesitation, or fear I was not surprised one bit.  Right away you dove into your training, and although you keep trying to give me credit, it has all been you.  You did everything right, even pushed it a little hard sometimes… there were some bumps in the road with injuries and mental blocks, but you never gave up and I am so proud of you for that.

Bump number 1) You had already signed up for the Tough Mudder, and 8 mile obstacle course designed by the British Special Forces (not my idea of a good training run) and you said; “Yeah, sternum is broken, sad ant! The medics said I should stay off the roads for 4-6 weeks, but that’s not happening, lol” Typical you, and the sign of a true spirit.

Bump number 2) And this was a long drawn out bump.  You’ve battled shin splints & Plantar Fasciitis, but you rested without being scared it would hurt your training.  You iced it, put on balm, stretched a lot and took the dreaded ice bath.  I couldn’t believe how quickly you recovered and got back on your training.

You had some tough training runs, and you got jitters along the way, but who doesn’t?  It’s normal to be nervous, I mean after all you are going to be running a marathon, a small percentage of people can say that.  You’ve embraced these jitters and have turned them into adrenaline and training fuel.  You did such an amazing job getting those miles in, and even turned your 20 Miler into 21, you are GOLDEN.  You did everything you were supposed to do and most importantly you never gave up.  You trained you mind too and as you know the marathon is a lot mental, as I’ve told you many times before just have confidence in your training Bella and NO NEGATIVE thoughts! JUST POSITIVE!!  And when you need that extra push just remember that we are on your shoulder yelling “VAI VAI, Forza” And “1 Mile at a time”.  You’re strong, and you’re ready, you’re determined, you’re dedicated, you’ve got this!  Savor every moment of this experience as it is going to be life changing… Enjoy the Journey!  Buona Fortuna!

“Divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart.”

I collected encouraging messages from people that LOVE YOU,  we want to make this journey that will change your life more incredible and unforgettable.  So read along…


I am sending you all of our positive energy and encouragement!  You are so amazing and consistently awesome and a wonder in this world! We are so proud of you for all that you do every day and wish that you have the best time ever while you run the marathon and soak up every moment of wonder!  We love you and send you lots of POSITIVE energy!!!

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. ~ 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities. 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
 ~ Harriet Tubman

The significance of a man is not in what he attains but in what he longs to attain.
 ~ Kahlil Gibran


My dearest Amanda,

Well, I have to start with a huge  Happy Birthday!!! I am so impressed by the ways you’ve chosen to direct your energy toward yourself over the past year and this birthday, while I know it is no Grand Finale, is certainly a testament for this commitment you’ve made to yourself and your life.  I applaud you: loudly, with laughter, from deep in my soul, I applaud and celebrate who you are and all you are doing.  You are an incredible woman, full of light, love, joy, courage, and two helpings of piss & vinegar.  May that perfect Amanda-recipe take you flying across the finish line (hopefully on both feet with no missing appendages or acquired infectious diseases).

While you’re running, I want you to know that I am thinking of you.  That WE are thinking of you.  I am sure there will be some easier times when you are bubbling over with laughter, but there might also be some harder times.  Think of me then, when those hills look  HUGE and your body feels small and heavy, think of me and everyone who loves you surrounding your body with loving, guiding arms, pushing you onward and replenishing you with indomitable  strength and spirit.  And if that doesn’t work, try this: picture me in a giant Tigger suit, bouncing right next to you on my tail, saying “Hey Amanda!! You’re doing great!” in a silly Tigger voice.  Because that’s what friends are for, right?  Just don’t bust a lung laughing during a marathon….
I love you, dear friend.  Adam loves you too.  We all do and we embrace your strength, tenacity, and courage and you take on this next challenge.  Sweet dreams to you the night before!


Hey Amanda,
I am not one to use the word proud very often but after thinking this week about what you are about to accomplish makes me proud of you and proud to be your friend.  You are and inspiration to me and so many people.  Who knows maybe in 10 years after lots of training and possibly a knee replacement surgery I will join you in Hawaii for the Iron Man competition!  Ok maybe not but who knows that’s how inspirational you are!  I will be sending you encouraging thoughts and best wishes on Sunday.  I know you will do great.  I don’t have a lot of practice with inspirational messages so I have picked a few quotes instead.  It’s going to be Epic!  😉

All the best,

“You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.” `~ Steve Prefontaine

“Just Do It” ~ Nike

No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.” ~  Yoda

“I think I can.  I think I can.” ~ The Little Engine that Could

Your friends in Vermont are thinking of you and sending light feet and encouragement from the other coast as you run your very first marathon. We hear that mantras help runners get through the tough spots. A couple good ones are “Running is a gift” and “You are stronger than you think you are!” We can’t wait to hear how you do and see glorious photos of you completing that 26.2!


My Dearest Cousin Amanda:

The inspirational speeches will be offered, the music will be playing, the balloons will be flying over head and the “horn will sound”.  About 10-minutes later you’ll cross that Starting line and your heart will pound with anticipation and trepidation like never before.  The thousands of people to your right and the thousands of people to your left and those in front and behind are all one in spirit with a single purpose, a single thought, finding their way several hours later to that finish line some 26.2 miles in front of you.  You think you’ll know how you’ll feel.  You think you’ll feel exhausted and yet satisfied of this accomplishment.  You have NO IDEA… it is a feeling like no other… those last few miles, you will be carried not by stamina, training, or a really good pair of sneakers, it will be that single heart beat of the faces to your left and right, in front and behind… it will be that sense of never-stop, never give up, keep moving forward.  Each spirit will be entwined with yours and you will find that moment of truth.  That spiritual moment of clarity where you know that the only thing that has ever held you back from accomplishing anything in your past has been fear, and no more will that feeling ever own you again.  The first step resulted in this moment… the finish line will open up emotional doors like you’ve never witnessed before.  Empowerment, strength, and confidence in their purest sense will be yours in 26.2-miles.  You’ve already accomplished the hardest part… you’re at the starting line.  You’re in the race, and you will own it!

Much Love,



We are so proud of you! Good luck! We will be thinking about you and will send some good vibes your way. You’re awesome…..YEAH you are!!! Love you!


“Every morning in Africa, an antelope wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion, or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest antelope, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or an antelope – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” – African Proverb

And when the sun comes up Amanda will wake up running because it seemed like a good idea at the time! Deanna and I are cheering for you! You Rock!

  1. One mile at a time.
  2. Race Mantra: Toora loora toora loo rye aye.
  3. When you cross the finish line, you will not be the same person as when you started.
Grandpa said you could run all the way to Alpine if you wanted to – Run, Gueda, Run!


Let’s track Amanda tomorrow!  Her bib number is 7444
If you want to track Amanda during her first Marathon tomorrow, go to the San Francisco Marathon website and you can:
  • Download the Smartphone App by texting “RUN” to 99731 to download the application to your device.
  • Via SMS text.  Text Amanda’s bib number which is 7444 to 99731 to get started!  You’ll be prompted to select tracking through SMS Text Messaging or the Mobile Application.   SMS Texting costs $2.99 per athlete!
  • You may also live track Amanda from a computer at home by logging onto  Just  Click here !

3 thoughts on “Amanda…A Message For You!

  1. B-E-S-T THING EVER!!!! Thank you SO very much for this post, and for all the positive support and vibes that everyone sent my way for birthday wishes and marathon mantras. Yes, I did the training for weeks, but without encouragement from a team of proud supporters like all of you, and without the guidance and consistent positive reinforcement from such an amazing running coach like Natascia, there is surely no way that I could have completed the marathon or had such a fun time doing so. I read these words over the night before the race, and woke up feeling embraced by a sea of smiles and the most loving people cheering me on in spirit. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this. And words cannot describe how incredibly grateful I am to Natascia Armitage for her ability to normalize my fears and doubts, build up my confidence, and provide me with the technical training and physical discipline needed to achieve this goal….best running coach ever, period. LOVE TO ALL!

  2. Pingback: Magnificent Monday: Special Guest Blog | The Journey of a Passionate Runner

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