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Follow This Mother!

Laura rocking a skirt at Siskiyou Outback 50K
Dimity and I groove on the tribe-vibe generated by women runners, and Laura McClain is pumping up the volume by uniting chicks through her group Run Momma Run. I’m excited to meet Laura in person this weekend at the Eugene Women’s Half-Marathon—we’re going to be together at RLAM table at packet pick-up from 4-6 p.m. We hope to see you!


Best recent run: Last Saturday, I set off for a 10-mile trail run with my friend Dani and we almost, literally, ran into my other good friend Carolyn. I absolutely LOVE the spontaneity of bumping into a friend on the trails. The three of us did another couple miles, then Dani peeled off for home to take care of her sore IT band. Carolyn, currently training for a 100 miler, and I continued on a random route that included trails, hills, neighborhoods, and the Willamette River path. I forced myself to quit after 19 miles. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Ya catch that--she nearly went twice as far as she intended!] Carolyn is my ultra-momma idol.  She and I both ran the Siskiyou Outback 50K (appropriately nicknamed the S.O.B.) this July. Saturday felt like a magical surprise bumping into her.

Moms unite: A little over a year ago, at book club, I asked all the gals (most of whom I also ran with) where they put their race medals. Some let their kids play with them, some were stuffed in a box. Mine were hanging on a towel rack in the bathroom. How sad is that? We know how seemingly impossible it is to train when you’re pulling 17-hour days filled with diaper changes, business meetings, meal prep, and singing 5 Little Ducks for the millionth time. That bling is hard-earned! So, I decided to create the Runner Momma Medal Rack. Run Momma Run has three prongs: celebrate, support, and serve. The medal rack and our other products are the celebration part. Support comes from the community we’re gathering with our weekly fun runs as well as online with Facebook, Twitter, and the blog. I just finished co-teaching a speedwork sampler clinic, and I’m planning a beginning trail running series. My mission is to foster mom-running communities because exercise, good nutrition, being outdoors, and taking care of yourself helps to build strong lives and strong children. Service comes in the form of connecting with like-minded local organizations like Lane Coalition for Healthy Active Youth. I’m currently on their 5K fund-raising planning committee. If you’re running the Portland Marathon, come visit our booth at the expo!

GU rhymes with poo: But there’s nothing fun about either of those things when you’re on a run. Since I started trail running and especially since increasing my distances beyond 26.2, I’ve been on a quest to find the right fuel. Plain GU has been my go-to nosh in most trainings, but dang if I don’t get REALLY hungry out on the trail. Something about the woods. You know how you eat more when you’re camping? Anyway, I’m experimenting with peanut butter sandwiches, potatoes, crackers, granola, and fruit. My fave is plain Lay’s Potato Chips. But you can’t eat just one, as we know.

The adoption route: I’ve told my gettin-to-be-a-momma story many times to curious ears on long runs. Every time I tell it my heart grows just a bit bigger. Years before I met my husband, I had a premonition about adopting. When we did get married, we tried to have birth kids without success for several years. I remember one day sitting in my fertility doctor’s office listening to nurses in the hallway talk about procedures, tests, instruments, and appointments. It hit me like someone who just realized they are on the wrong plane: This ain’t my journey. It was time to listen to that voice I had heard inside years ago. We now have two gorgeous kids, Jack Woo, 7, and May Se-Jin, 4.5, whom we brought home from Korea when they were each 4 months old. We’ve always told them we picked the best ones, and we were right.

Favorite night-before-a-race dinner: My grandmother started teaching me how to cook sans cookbooks when I was 5. Many things I make are inspired by recipes, but I rarely follow them verbatim. When I started writing down recipes for the blog in “Feed the Family, Fuel the Fun,” I wanted to focus on finding ways for kids to get fed and moms to get fueled for running. The Moroccan Medley Salad given to me by my friend Tasha is a great pre-race dinner. The Israeli couscous in it offers a heap of carbs without the heaviness of spaghetti, the grilled veggies and greens give ya just enough fiber, but not too much. Add a protein and you’re ready to pound the pavement.

Plan for spanking SBS in Eugene Women’s Half: I miss my running partner, Leah, terribly (she’s recovering from an injury) so we aren’t racing this one together. Plotting my goals alone, I have secretly wanted to finish with Sarah in the Eugene Women’s Half. It won’t happen because she’s just, well, faster than me (right now). I remember reading her mile repeat times on FB months ago and making it a personal challenge to match them. And I came within seconds! But, alas, I’ve been too distracted by long slow distances on trails and too many evenings this summer that include gin and tonics and plates of stinky cheese to get too serious about race days. I’m a foul-weather runner and tend to relax more in the summer. (At least that’s my excuse this year. Maybe next year...)

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16 responses to “Follow This Mother!

  1. Thanks for this-so much…I too went through the fertility pills,doc appointments, and dissapointment-of not being able to have kids-but my hubby and I adopted two beautiful boys from Haiti -Isaac in 2004 and Felix in 2005. We (we are Canadians) live and work in Liberia, West Africa for a non-profit relief and development org. helping with the recovery of the civil war here. My boys have grown up here-they were with me as I trained for a marathon in 2008-passing mom water and GU when i needed it. We live on a compound that is only 1.6 miles around-I run only here for security and safety reasons. They rides their bikes around and around with me always encouraging me-lots of laps!!! I take them into the jungle to our projects and we hike for sometimes more than an hour-they never comlain! They are just exactly the boys that were meant for us and us for them…they are now helping me train for a half marathon in Dec.(Kiawah Island, SC) and the London marathon in April 2011.
    Again thank you so much for your story -always cool to read about other adoptive moms out there-especailly those who run!

    1. Hiya! Checked out your blog – your goals are awesome and you have a personal trainer – soooo jealous! Thanks for reading and take care of that IT band – yuck! I have suffered in the past with that too.

  2. Amazing mother to follow – Laura is the best! We’ve yet to meet in real life, but that all changes this weekend in Eugene! Can’t wait. Laura, you are one inspiring runner, mother–woman! See you soon! (and can’t wait to meet you, too, Sarah – See you both at packet pick-up!)

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