ANOTHER
MOTHER RUNNER

August in Four Acts

How I felt at the end of August: Victorious just to see the calendar turn.
How I felt at the end of August: Victorious just to see the calendar turn.

As August drenched us in sweat and chlorinated water, I realized missed writing about my life and my running. So here's a quick catch-up, with the promise—both to myself and you, lovely mother runners—that I'll be better about documenting my miles here.

In the meantime, here's a rewind on the month that came and went:

The mother runner posse at Ironman Boulder,, ready to spring into action.
The mother runner posse at Ironman Boulder,, ready to spring into action.

First up was volunteering at Ironman Boulder. A small army of mother runners and I had the privilege of helping in Transition 2, which is when athletes, fresh off a 112-mile bike ride, come in, regroup, change their clothes, and then head out for a short 26.2 mile run. The volunteers I encountered in Couer d'Alene couldn't have been more helpful, and I was eager to repay the favor. So, for about four hours, we tied shoes and rubbed Vaseline in chafed armpits; we fastened number belts and stuffed snotty, sweaty, TMI clothes in bags they'd pick up later; we asked about the bike ride (good, mostly, although hot, hilly, and windy) and pumped them up for the run.

I loved it, and so did my fellow volunteers. We sweated crazy—note to self: wear a sports bra next time—and squated countless times to slip on socks and tie shoes, surreptitiously gave some athletes Nuun (ok, maybe that was just me) and did everything we could for them, minus run 26.2. Later, I heard were called the Nordstrom of Ironman Boulder. Sweet.

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In between changing people's shorts, we organized and moved bags. So.much.stuff.
I remember this: I was smiling in this picture taken towards the top.
I remember this: I was smiling in this picture taken towards the top.

Less than a week later, I took on the Pikes Pike Ascent. The whole race was a bit of a haze, and now, three weeks later, it's even hazier. Here's what I remember: it was mostly a fast hike in a conga line of people. There was little opportunity to pass—and even if I fired up my jets, I'd pass a few people and then get caught in the back of another conga line. With a few exceptions, the trail was pretty narrow the whole way up, and there were times when it was pretty rocky and techincal, so I mostly just cooled my jets until I felt like I really had enough energy and space to pass a significant group. The time passed pretty quickly—I was mostly concentrating on my footing and chatting with some folks (a crazy number of runners from Oklahoma there)—until I got above treeline, which meant there was about 3 miles to go. The last three miles took quite some time...I don't know for sure, but over an hour. I felt strong through the whole race, which I credit to living in 'rado (there were clearly some people having a tough time with altitude) and not having any expectations, other than to finish. I'd call that a win.

Behold the blue.
Behold the wild blue yonder.

Less than a week after that, Tales From Another Mother Runner: Triumphs, Trials, Tips, and Tricks From the Road was due. (And yes, that's the Amazon link! Woo!) We'll have plenty of time to promo it—it's not out until next March—but let me tell you this: we LOVED working on this. So much good stuff from a variety of people from first time 5K'ers to Kara Goucher, half-marathon newbies to ultra-marathon pros. It is truly a reflection of this community, of our common goals and shared strengths, our lives as mother runners—sometimes balanced, sometimes, not so much.

An easy hike with part of the family—that's my awesome stepdad and my kids with three working arms—in Rocky Montain National Park was a perfect way to bookend August.
An easy hike with part of the family—that's my awesome stepdad and my kids with three working arms—in Rocky Montain National Park was a perfect way to bookend August.

And then, the next night, my daughter, Amelia, broke her arm as she stepped off a trampoline. Her right arm—the dominant, writing one—in two places. It's been a week since then, so it doesn't feel as crazy as it did last week. For those of you who listened to the most recent podcast and asked how she is, we got great news last Wednesday. (And thanks for asking!) The bones have stayed where they were supposed to, and a real, signable cast should be wrapped around her broken wing, above her elbow, this Wednesday morning. If all goes well with that, she'll get a short cast (below her elbow) in about two weeks, and she'll be cleared to try cross-country again.

So that's my month in four acts. Add in the start of school and soccer, and it's been beyond crazy. The good thing, besides a new book and a shiny medal and some good quality time with my daughter? Being so busy allowed me to keep Michael Brown and the Fergurson Riots, nine-year-olds shooting Uzis and other horrific news in the wings of my brain.

While I try to be a thoughtful citizen of the world, sometimes I'm grateful for diversions.

What happened in your August? Happy to see September wave hello or would you rather not see fall a knockin'?

 

 

6 responses to “August in Four Acts

  1. I just wanted to say thank you so much for volunteering in T2 in Boulder – I was one of the athletes that you helped. It was such an honor to meet you that day! You told me to “go get ’em on the run”! and while the altitude was not my friend that day in Boulder on the run (I’m from the midwest) – I just finished Ironman Wisconsin on Sunday in 11:51!! a 2 hour and 9 minute PB from Boulder!!!! You are such an inspiration to me – I listen to you IM podcast race report over and over 🙂

  2. Had to go pin the new book! What a surprise to see a quote from me on the top of things.

    August was August. Started off with a camping trip. Next was a relationship discussion that ended the relationship. Got into a lot more trail running. Went to my 35th high school reunion. Packed up and headed west for seven weeks where I will wrap up my marathon training in the desert.

  3. So ready for September! My husband and I both work from home – this summer without child care for the first time. We gave each other a high-five last night after tucking our girls in. School starts this morning and we made it!!

  4. I ran my first marathon on the last day of August. So I’m happy to see that goal accomplished. I’m a teacher though and September is a mixed bag of feelings–sad to see the summer go and all that wonderful time with my daughters, but also excited for a new group of students to get to know and impart knowldge upon.

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