We always say that a BRF—best running friend—is the most important piece of gear you can have: accountability, commraderie, companionship, and a good ear and good laughs all rolled into one.
Unfortunately, they don't sell BRF's on the web. (Well, not the kind of BRF's we're looking for anyway...)
But you can join our new Another Mother Runner Club on Strava, a place where for any and all female runners—fast or slow; motivated or not; beginner or BQ'ers; mothers to kid or four-leggeds (or none)—to post their miles, get stronger and faster, connect with each other, give kudos out like kisses, and generally just run like mothers.
Here's the 411 on Strava: it's a free GPS app for smart phones (works on both iPhone and Androids). Not only does it track your runs and rides, you can also name your runs with specific workouts (3 miles at tempo) or descriptions (My best one so far? Running away from PMS); ask questions of and give answers to fellow runners (here's the AMR discussion board, and like all things AMR, no question is too basic or TMI); cheer each other on with kudos and comments on individual runs; keep track of the miles you put on each pair of your running shoes; mark your training runs accordingly (long run, run, race); paste an Instagram pic to your runs; and otherwsie pretend you've got hundreds of BRF's—which, thanks to Strava, you pretty much do.
We've found it's best to just download Strava and dive right in—it's fairly intuitive, and if you spend a little time poking around, you'll easily get the gist of it. That said, here's a link to How Strava Works, which hits on important things like privacy. Also, if you live in a place where phone reception can be spotty, or you'd prefer to download your Soleus or other GPS watch, that's also an option: here's a helpful post on 5 GPS Watches that Work with Strava. (Garmin, not included in the previous link, also works.) Finally, one more link: the 101 on how to download to Strava.
From there, you can join the AMR club (again, this is all free); follow me and Sarah (and we'll follow you back!) and anybody else in the AMR Club (or anywhere on Strava); and start logging your miles.
One thing to note: Yes, Strava records your pace. (And yes, Strava is a bit generous with your paces...for me, it's typically about 10 seconds faster/mile than I usually run.) Yes, there's a Leaderboard. But guess what? Nobody in the AMR Club is going to judge your pace or place—and everybody wants your presence, whether you're running 7:30 per mile or 13:30 per mile, training for your first 5K or a 50K, #2 or number #282 on the leaderboard.
Long story short: if you're feeling intimidated, please don't be. Being a BAMR is about attitude and expectations, not speed or mileage.
An army of BRF's are waiting for you: you in? Hope so.
If you have any questions about Strava, chances are, somebody else does too. Ask it in the comments below, and we'll do our best to answer it asap. Thanks.