Bounding in with sweaty sports bras and smiles on our faces to celebrate our 8th year of Another Mother Runner! Run Like a Mother was released on March 23 of 2010--and depending on the day, that either feels like yesterday or many, many (mostly) happy miles ago.
We are celebrating this week with posts Another Mother Runner, a podcast bit we recorded on the fly (truly!) in San Francsico; and amazing race entries (think Twin Cities Marathon, OKC Marathon and plenty of others!) for you and your BRF, which will be hosted on our Instagram account. (Be sure to follow us there if you don't already!)
Today and tomorrow, Sarah and I are going to run through our top eight AMR moments from the past eight years; some are more personal and others are tribe oriented.
I'm up first.
Moment #1, 2008: Writing the Run Like a Mother Book Proposal
Ok, so the oohs and aahs may be minimal for my first Moment, but honestly, writing sample chapters and sidebars, putting together the Table of Contents, and otherwise pouring our hearts into this proposal (abbreviated here) was rewarding in a way that I know I'd never felt as a freelance writer. Super authentic, and able to speak from our own experiences without putting a magazine gloss over the whole thing.
We didn't know if Run Like a Mother would sell, but the exercise was definitely worth the effort; it solidified the main perspectives of Another Mother Runner:
- Running is hard, but it's worth it.
- You can't be number 458 on your to-do list and expect to feel healthy, balanced, or confident.
- Running makes you a more patient mother, a more loving partner, a more efficient professional, and everybody, from the grovery store clerk to the school principal, with whom you come in contact with benefits from your miles.
Plus, I love that the first few pages of our proposal were actually the beginning of Run Like a Mother; bonus points for multitasking from the very beginning.
Moment #2, 2012: Hitting the Road for Train Like a Mother Tour
We tried a traditional book tour for Run Like a Mother. Like most freshwater lakes, there were a few hot spots—but lots of cold spots. So we went back to the drawing board, and came up with Plan B: parties at #motherrunner houses + running stores, where friends could come, dressed in jeans, and enjoy a glass of wine, a cupcake, win some prizes, get inspired + motivated, and talk about running—but not have to run! (As the Brits would say, brilliant!)
So many smiley pictures from this tour, but I picked this one because of the homemade pillow cases that we used as our sign. I loved hanging those up. (And yep, we got the authentic mother part through and through.)
Moment #3, 2013: My Ironmother Journey
Coeur d'Alene feels at least 10 years ago, not just five. That said, there are so many moments from training and the race that I can still remember clearly. Most of all, though, I remember the spirit of the whole journey: how I had so many BAMR friends rooting for me; how I carried you all with me for so many miles, especially during training; how it all solidified the person I thought I was—and always want to be.
Reading through old posts, this one—a post about a bike training ride and having to turn around at Mile 40, during a long descent, to continue to climb—makes me smile. Things may have changed physically for me over the past five years, but I always still turn around at Mile 40.
For better or worse, challenges like Mile 40 define who I am. Even on the days when I question my goals and my lifestyle with every.single.pedal.stroke, I take comfort and pride in the fact that I will always turn around at Mile 40. I will always do, to the best of my ability, the work that needs to be done.
Moment #4, 2013: Putting Together AMR's First Ragnar Team
The good news about being a small business? We're nimble and can execute (most of the time) pretty quickly. The hard part about being a small business? Sometimes we're winging it as we nimbly execute.
When we put out the call for two teams of 12 for our first Ragnar team in 2013—a Team Dimity vs. Team Sarah showdown situation—we had no idea really how it all would work. There were lots of what-are-we-doing-again? moments. But despite a government shutdown, crazy humidity, and a few wrong turns, we had an absolute blast. We replicated the experiment in Napa in 2014, Ragnar Trail Alafia last year, and will be having more BAMR Ragnar action again this year.
The best part for me? I feel like I'm still besties with my teammates. Sure, I haven't seen most of them since our adventure, but I know if we went out for a run (or a hike in Crested Butte, Aimee!), we'd pick up right where we left off, #motherrunner style.
Moment #5, 2014: Launching the Mother's Day Strava Prove It Challenge
When we initially partnered with Strava in late 2013, the were on the cusp of launching their campaign for early 2014: Prove It. Love that sentiment, and wanted to piggyback on it and help #motherrunners, especially those who were wishy-washy when it came to their status as "real runners", prove to themselves that they could finish a 10k or a half-marathon.
There were a few—or ten—hiccups along the way (see: aforementioned small business), but the overall response and sense of team was phenomenal, and it made us realize that we #motherrunners need teammates who unconditionally support and cheer for us. Two years later, we launched the Train Like a Mother Club to give the Prove It concept—and all you #motherrunners looking for a coach, teammates, camaraderie, and all the laughs, connection and insight that come with it—a permanent home.
Moment #6, Eight Years and Counting: Working with BAMRs
Our tribe wouldn't exist if we didn't have the teamwork on the backend to back things up. Naturally, my sister from another mother runner—SBS—tops the list. She is the perpetual marathoner; I am the adventurer. She finds her groove around 4 pm on Friday. Me? 8 am, Monday. She can name 10 flowers in one block, and 10 flavors in one dish, while I know the difference between deciduous and conifer trees, and only need to know: Are they serving pizza? Nevertheless, we have formed a partnership that works on so many levels, and is enhanced by the fact that she laughs at every single joke I make, regardless if it's worthy or not.
The rest of our team is equally as dynamic. Adrienne's columns never fail to make me laugh. In the fall of 2015, Coach MK dared me to count my beats and changed my perspective on running—soon thereafter, with her heart-rate programs, that of many other BAMRs. Ellie lets me show up weekly and be her co-pilot as she explains all things nutrition with grace and accessibility. I read triathlon coach Liz Waterstraat's blog for years, and still can't believe she's part of the Train Like a Mother Team.
At the risk of this sounding like an Oscar speech, I won't name everybody, but they all matter greatly. And I have to give a special shoutout to Susan, who had to share a king size with me in Philly after I had chili for dinner. (Ugh. so sorry again!)
Moment #7, 2016: DNF (Did Not Finish) + DNS (Did Not Start)
Not finishing one race, and then not starting the Superior Trail 50k is a highlight? Yes. Because once again, I had the opportunity to remind us all that, despite our best efforts and intentions, we BAMRs are not invincible. And you all reminded me that it's not about crossing one specific finish line or setting a PR. It's about showing up and making the best of what you've been given on any particular day. (Or, um, always turning around at Mile 40.)
This was also kind of the beginning a long injury cycle that basically ended with the a trusted doctor gently suggesting I should consider not running anymore. The love that came through then—and continues to come through—continues to sustain me on the days when I'm not sure I've still got the creds to post the second half of our favorite #motherrunner hashtag.
Moment #8, Always + More to Come: Impromptu #Motherrunner Moments
I'll never tire of seeing (and shooting) signs like these, of listening to tales of rockstar races (or crappy runs), of hearing somebody laugh when they read our Badass Mother Runner tops. Despite the fact that science—or our splits—may tell us otherwise, we are all the fastest in the world—and I can't wait to keep flying with you all!