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Barb snapped this pic during her best recent run along the shores of her favorite Great Lake.

With her 5Ks, full marathon, and a handful of sprint triathlons, mother runner Barb Ruess of Crown Point, Ind. has racked up some serious miles in the three years she’s been running. This year she mapped out a plan to run half-marathons each season—she’s got just one to go, this weekend. I couldn’t help feeling a kinship with Barb—mom to 13-year-old Katie, 11-year-old Emily and 8-year-old Jackson—because she, too, loves Lake Michigan and running along the shores of this Great Lake whenever she can.

Best recent run: I am lucky enough to live about 30 miles away from Lake Michigan – the place I call my heart home because I love it so much. In late September, just as the leaves were changing color, I dropped the kids at school, drove up to the lake and ran. I pushed my pace. I breathed in the lake air. I reveled in the joy of a solo treat on a quiet beach. And I purposely ran extra past my car so I could take off my shoes and walk in the sand on the way back.

‘Quick Like A Bunny’: It makes me laugh to think of myself as quick when running. I started blogging years before I started running, so the name comes from a saying my children hear often as I’m hustling them from place to place urging them to move “quick like a bunny.” I suppose it still applies to my running – I am “quick-like” because we each have our own fast, don’t we? “Quick Like A Bunny!” It’s our mantra… our creed… our motto. Life is hectic and we’ve got a schedule to keep damn it!

Barb (right) celebrated her 40th birthday by running the Inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon. When she runs this weekend's Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, she'll earn a "Coast-to-Coast" medal.

Race Reporter: As I’ve run more and more races, I’ve come to appreciate the unique perspective a runner has about an event. I love to read other people’s race reports – the good, the bad, and the ugly. I relate to them as a runner and I often learn things I can apply to my own running or race choices. In that spirit, I try to cover all the details of a race. It might help another runner, it might help another race organizer and I know it helps me to look back. [Check out Barb’s latest race report, of Chicago’s Hot Chocolate 15K/5K held last weekend, on her blog]

Favorite race distance: A half-marathon because the average runner (as in me) can’t just run out and do one. It requires training. The feeling of accomplishment from successfully juggling my schedule, logging those long runs and then crossing the finish line is awesome. This year I set out to run a half-marathon every season and it’s been hard to maintain the long training runs all year with three kids, but I’m proud that I have. My final half is Nov. 10 at the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon – a perfect race to celebrate the completion of my goal!

Go-to running outfit: This changes regularly since I’ll run in nearly any weather and in Northwest Indiana we get it all. No matter the season, you’ll never find me running without my orthotics and my Garmin.

Favorite post-run/race meal: Beer and salty chips. They never taste better than after a long run.

Follow This Mother on Twitter and at her Quick Like A Bunny blog.

4 responses to “Follow This Mother!

  1. What a great idea to run the Tinkerbell half for her 40th Birthday. I am running the upcoming Tinkerbell half on the morning of my 40th Birthday! I couldn’t think of a better way to start out the day of celebration =)

  2. this Hoosier is smiling because we throw around the “quick like a bunny” expression in our house too. Happy running!

  3. Hey, I know this badass mother runner! Barb has been my virtual (and IRL) training partner for 2 Disney races – we both ran the Tinker Bell Half and now this weekend we’ll run the Wine and Dine Half. She’s motivating and fun and I’m honored to be able to call her my friend.

  4. I am beyond lucky to call Barb one of my best running buddies. To date, she’s gotten me through two of my longest runs (14 and 15 miles), coming out of her house and cheering for me as I finished 14 and sticking by my side for 12 out of 15 even though she would find out two days later that she was battling strep throat. Not only is Barb motivated in herself, but she goes above and beyond to motivate others. Yeah, she rocks!

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