Best Mother Runner Moments of 2016: What’s the Definition of a Runner?

Not only are you a runner, you're a badas$ mother runner. But what if you've struggled with feeling like "a runner" at all? Sarah and Patti wrote to us with very different stories, but they still tug at the notion that we might not see ourselves as one—and have to change our point of view on the matter. Here, each explain the defining moments that helped them close in on what being a runner means and how they got a little closer in 2016.


"I started running with my dad in 8th grade. He's an All-American offensive lineman so he certainly does not have a runner's body—nor do I. While I have always loved running over the last 25 years, I never have had a 'runner's body.' Heart rate training has reinvigorated my running and allowed me to run and get what I need. I am so grateful for the encouragement to do what's best for me. I feel confident and passionate. Thanks!


"This is me after finishing the Lake Minnetonka Half the week of my 40th. Looking forward to bettering my time in 2017 at Grandma's Half!" —Mother Runner Sarah


"The year was not the best for me, running-wise. I was trying to overcome ITB injury that I incurred during my debut ultramarathon in 2015. It was two steps forward, one step back throughout the whole year. I hobbled through a half marathon in May, and was actually able to race my favorite clothing optional 5k in June (see me above with fellow a Mother Runner!). But a week later, the injury returned with a vengeance. The rest of the year was spent bagging the other three races I had signed up for (because if I had signed up and paid for them, there was no way the injury would come back, right? WRONG), and mentally/ emotionally getting over the fact that I had defined myself as a runner over the past eight years, and now that might not be so anymore.

"After much soul searching, I realized that I GOT to be a runner for the last 8 years, and what I wonderful thing that was. Now, I had to search for a new definition (at least a amended definition). Hell, we all have LOADS of words that define us, what's one more? So, as long as I can do a 5k (which I loathe), I am going to give my all to my first triathlon. I've been swimming like a fiend. Now, to get those running shoes out again..." —Mother Runner Patti


How has your POV changed over the last year? Are the labels and definitions you had of yourself at the beginning of 2016 now different? Tell us below.

3 responses to “Best Mother Runner Moments of 2016: What’s the Definition of a Runner?

  1. I din’t have to call myself anything to know that I have enjoyed running for 45 years, cycling for 40 years and triathlon for 35. I have many interests. I like to prepare nice meals, but I am not a ‘chef’. I love to paint, both walls, ceilings and on watercolor paper, but I am not a “painter”. I love to try and grow things in my garden and yard, but I am not a “horticulturist”. I love to watch and take photos of birds, but I am neither a ‘birder” nor a “photographer”. Just do what you love and love what you do and unless you are getting paid for what you do, you don’t need any label of any kind. It’s suffocating.

  2. I have found new enjoyment in 2016 by doing HRT. My runs are more relaxed, plus I know I how long my runs will take. Running for time is awesome

  3. I started out 2016 running the Disney Marathon, with another disappointing finish. I am finishing the end of 2016 as a non runner. Why you ask? Because in September I donated 65% of my liver to my friend. I thought crossing the finish of a marathon was exhilarating, and it is, but being an organ donor has been life changing! I am spending the beginning of 2017 getting stronger so I can start running again. Will I ever run another marathon? Not sure, but I will get back to running just for the pure enjoyment of it. I will do it because I love my group of running friends and to feel the sun on my face. And to feel alive, because I know that’s how my liver recipient feels.

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