On Saturday I ran my third half-marathon. Now, this may not be a big deal for most people but considering I just started running April of last year and I ran my first half marathon in October, it is major for me! When preparing for the Nike Women’s Half-marathon last October, I trained for several months. Like many new runners I injured myself (heck, it can happen to seasoned runners too) and had to take some time off from training. A friend of mine advised me to read the book Run Like a Mother by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. It was the best advice ever.
Dimity and Sarah are both writers for Runners World, and the book concept was born from their article documenting the balancing act of preparation for a marathon, parenting and keeping a family together. The book is divided into 26 and each chapter has a .2 little tidbit at the end (like the length of a marathon -- clever, right?). When reading the book I felt like I was talking to a good girlfriend. I could totally relate to their reasons for running (me time, get away from kids, etc) and also was amazed that their race was the Nike Women’s Marathon. Mine too! (Well, half-marathon, but still.)
Reading the book helped me to pass the time while I rested my injured hip. I especially liked the words of inspiration from real women like me, mother runners that discovered joy and solace in running. Their voices - our voices - were included in the book too! Once I finished reading the book I didn’t want my “relationship” with my running girlfriends to end (so what if it was a one-sided relationship and neither Dimtry or Sarah really knew me?). I happily discovered that not only did these ladies have a blog, but they have a very active Facebook page!
I’d found my community of mother runners! The blog is like an extension of the book, like the never-ending story and, as a bonus, weekly giveaways of running essentials! Weekly a mother runner is identified - a woman just like me and we are all introduced to her and her blog (if she has one)! The Facebook group is nothing short of amazing. There women of all fitness levels post photos of themselves, ask questions and get updates about where Dimtry and Sarah are going to be next!
Yes, these ladies are avid runners and sometimes do meet-ups and book signings that include a short group run! On Facebook, I’ve asked about clothing to wear for my runs, I’ve posted victory photos and lamented when I just didn’t want to do my next training run. Usually Sarah or Dimtry will respond but even if they don’t, mother runners can always be relied on to give an encouraging word.
I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the authors when I ran the Nike in October. I truly felt like I was meeting old friends. I’d read their book, connected on Facebook and the blog and even talked with them on Twitter! If you are a mother runner please run don’t walk to your nearest book seller and purchase Run Like A Mother! It will keep you motivated, you will laugh and shed some tears while reading this totally relateable book. After reading, join in the discussions, I promise you will thank me!
Renee is a BlogHer Contributing Editor, mother runner and the author of the blog Cutie Booty Cakes.
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