ANOTHER
MOTHER RUNNER

Follow This Mother!

A little slice of Deb's trail nirvana.

I liked Deb Bosilevac, a 36-year-old mother of 3 girls (5.5-year-old twins and a 4-year-old), when, scrolling through her blog, I found a short post called What Made Me Smile. It made me smile.

Three of the items:
My kids slept until after six this morning.  Granted, it was only six minutes after six, but it was after six.

I put on my running shoes, and although I dreaded going out in 37 degree rain, I felt completely at home once my legs started moving.

In my friend’s bathroom, the scale had a piece of masking tape on it that said, “You’re beautiful.”

She started running four years ago because she, "gave birth to three babies in less than 16 months, and the body that I once had was no longer recognizable." We're thinking her body is most definitely back, since Deb, a lawyer in her pre-kid life, is an ultra-runner.

Best recent run: While not my most comfortable runs for many reasons, the 100km (62 miles) that I  finished at Pac Rim is my best recent run.  It’s the longest run I have done to date, and it was the first run that attempted over 36 miles. It’s my favorite because it really erased the idea that I “can’t” do something because it seems impossible.

Deb, temporarily smiling during this part of her 100-miler.

Add 'em up: I have run 1 5k, 2 halfs, 1 25k, and 4 marathons.  Beyond that, I lose track because it really depends on how one defines the criteria for ultra.  I have run about ten shorter ultras (27-36 miles), one 50 miler, and one 100k.

What a self-described veganish vegetarian eats before a run: Uncooked tortillas have fewer additives than shelf-ready tortillas and taste so much better when cooked.  There is nothing like a warm flour tortilla with sunflower seed butter and banana slices a couple of hours before a long run.

First shot at 100: I had a great run for 35 miles. For the next 15 miles, my body was done running, but my mind was not. My pacer pulled me out of the race at roughly 43 miles for vomiting/hallucinating.  I sat down for a couple of hours and recovered so that I could finish out 50 miles.  I was very upset because the reason I was sick is that I had taken in too much water and not enough electrolytes. The rest of my body felt strong and wanted to finish.

I really learned what a full-body experience running a 100 miler is.  Every part of your body and your mind have to be working in the same direction to finish the race.  It’s not like a marathon, where you can finish pretty strong, even though you really didn’t feel like running that day.

Like mother, like daughters: My girls don’t know--and wouldn't understand--a world where I don’t run. For a long time, they didn’t get it, but now it’s just a part of Mom, like my hair color or the eyes that I have in the back of my head. They have gotten to the point now where we go trail run together as often as we can, and we integrate discussions of form and technique into our sessions.  If it ever isn’t fun for them, we don’t run, but for the most part, they love it.

I object, body: I think that my lawyer skills have taught me to see both sides of any argument, which gives me a more detached conversation with my body about pain. Where others might say, “I hurt.  I want to quit,” I am constantly trying to negotiate with myself to the next aid station or milepost.

Deb and her trio from three years ago. Another way she falls into the mom trap: she has few pictures of herself with her kids.

Perspective for the masses: I've had a bunch of illnesses and a serious foot injury. Last week, I had to have my gallbladder removed. I’m just starting to run again. I think that illness and injury are frustrating, but we have to remember two things. One, you must rest adequately while you train. If you don’t, your body will find a way to rest via injury or illness. Two, running isn’t everything. While it stinks to be sidelined from your passion for, in my case this time, three weeks, I can remember how to do some other valuable things in my life while I let my body heal.  There will be a time and place for running again very soon.

Follow this mother at: http://dorthybitestoto.wordpress.com/ and @dorthybitestoto on twitter.

Backstory on dorthybitestoto: A few years ago, I began to see myself slipping dangerously into a trap what I think a lot of mothers fall into: I gave every ounce of myself to my children. I saved no energy for myself and gave nothing back to the world.  Among other things, I didn’t want my kids to think that, in order to be a mother, they had to give up all of the person they once were.  So I made a pact with myself to rediscover myself and my hobbies while raising my kids. dorthybitestoto (Dorothy is shortened because of Twitter requirements) is a play on “man bites dog,” or the anti-cliche. The Wizard of Oz reference, of course, comes from the fact that my hometown is in Kansas.

18 responses to “Follow This Mother!

  1. Debbie, I love what you have written about being injured. I just got sidelined with a lovely black boot. Spent the first couple days really feeling sorry for myself since I’m missing a half this weekend. Then I remembered that I would actually love to keep running over the next 40 years. Duh! There are other things to do like swim, sew, read a good book, and rest. Thanks for helping me maintain that mindset.

  2. I am the mom of a 3 year old boy and 1 1/2 year old twin girls. I started running in March and I find this very motivating. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Deb is one of my favorite writers on the web for several reasons; her writing is exquisite, her topics so varied, her running stories incredible and her motherhood journey oh-so-helpful to me on my journey. Many of her posts have me on the edge of my seat, crying, laughing out loud or pondering an issue or question. She asked (via twitter) the other day which of her posts were our (reader) favorites and I didn’t respond because I couldn’t decide.

  4. I love you Debbie! Next year, Lumberjack is yours. And I will be there to pace you. You have been an almost daily inspiration to me since we first connected on twitter. Thank you.

  5. This post was very fitting after reading the Runner’s World quote of the day:
    “The challenge and the energy running requires may be a selfish one, but it actually motivates me to be stronger in my relationships. “

  6. Great profile! Awesome that your girlies enjoy running too! My boy always wants to go out with me, he just turned 7, so we are gonna train over the summer for his first 5k on labor day.

  7. I am so grateful to find this blog. I love her writing and she’s already answering questions I had about longer distance running as a mama. Thank you, again, for a great recommendation!

  8. I love your friend’s scale – I may have to adopt that one! I also appreciate the backstory on your web name. That is a familiar trap for a lot of us moms, which I think is why we become so devoted to our running time. You can’t be expected to do anything else when running except run. The ultimate “me” time!

  9. I laughed when I read, you negotiate with your pain to keep yourself running. 100m is one long settlement conference!

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