Follow This Mother!

Jubilant Phoebe last September after qualifying for Boston Marathon
The reason Phoebe VanScoy Giessler, a 37-year-old momma in Mirror Lake, New Hampshire, originally caught my eye on our Facebook page was her, you guessed it, name--the same as my older daughter. But it was her quick wit and quirky personality that kept me coming back for more. And the friendship-deal was sealed when she drove like 4 (or was it 5?) hours to listen to a Run Like a Mother reading and run with me in a blazing heat wave on Cape Cod last July. I know you'll love her as much as I do.

Best recent run: An 11-miler on Mother’s Day. It was the first non-rainy/freezing day we’d had in eons, and it was GLORIOUS weather. No bugs. No gloves. The sweet spot. At mile 3 I realized I had failed to turn on my Garmin, and so.... I just.... ran. I stopped along the way--not because I was tired but because the lake looked beautiful. I knew I was going to go home to homemade chocolate chip pancakes and a cup of chai tea. Perfection.

She's got her back: Phoebe carries her cousin Polly with her in every race.
No, not “Public Relations”: My first half marathon I ran to help a dear friend (Hi, Megan!) who was brand new to running. My second half marathon (1:45:36) I ran as part of a marathon training plan I hoped would score me a BQ. Sunday’s half-marathon I ran with a very specific goal in mind (break 1:45) and a very specific training/pace plan. I was shocked (and thrilled) at how “exact” I ran the race and met my goals: 1:44:19.

“Race Phoebe” not “Phoebe Run”: I consider it a flaw in my character that at the end of a race... I am... fine. I look around at my dry-heaving, collapsed-in-the-arms-of-race-volunteers peers and wonder: Why don’t I go there? On the other hand, I love talking with (harassing??) other runners, volunteers, and spectators, and I get far more energy FROM my smartass comments than I give. If I were a dehydrated, muscle spasm-ing wreck, I’m sure I would re-think the whole running thing!

Taking a pass: My dear cousin Polly died of breast cancer on September 1, 2010, at the age of 39. She was beyond-belief inspiring to our (huge) family and her community of Candor, NY. My husband, a high school theater teacher and playwright, wrote and produced with his students a one-act play (“Dispatches From Candor”) inspired by her life, her battle with cancer, and her death. The only opportunity we had to take this play to my hometown (some eight hours away) was the weekend of Boston. I considered trying to do both but one morning in February it hit me: Polly, my family, and these amazing students deserved 100% of my focus and attention that weekend. I had (and have) absolutely no regrets about my decision. Another local runner picked up my race bib and shirt for me, so that was cool! I will admit to a brief wave of sadness when I watched “my” wave start, but it was fleeting. My BQ time is good for 2012...maybe by some miracle the race won’t fill up with speedsters before my window to register opens. Otherwise, who knows? Maybe I can get 5-minutes faster and hit it in 2013?

Fancy skirt instead of running skirt: Phoebe with her hubby, sons, and parents, pre-play
In real life, she’s….: Besides being the mom to a couple of fantastic boys (ages 5 and 7) and wife to the World’s Most Understanding Husband, in real life, I’m still searching. This is why running is so important to me. I have had a couple of great jobs (public broadcasting and fund raising) but life events led to my early departure from those. I gave teaching a whirl (everyone thought I was great...I knew I was a phony!) and for the moment, I run an in-home daycare. It is not my calling, by any stretch. So, for now, I get my cognitive kicks listening to public radio, writing my blog, performing and producing community theater, blocking a naked SBS from the prying eyes of pre-teen boys [EDITOR'S NOTE: LONG STORY], and going over the word limit given to me in a Q&A.

Love the one you’re with: I had every reason one scary o’clock morning to bag my run (late alarm, ridiculous speed workout scheduled, torrential rain) but I fought my instincts, went anyway, and heard that song. It is icky (at best) when taken literally, but it’s perfect when you put it in almost any other the context of your life. It’s not that you have to just “live with” a situation that isn’t good for you. Instead, you can map the road out of there and stay tuned in for the lessons (read: love) the universe is trying to teach you in the present.

If money was no object…: I’d buy/invent a Star Trek-esque beaming machine so I could travel all over the world to take long, chatty runs with all the amazing Mother Runners I’ve come to know through the Interweb!

Follow this (wacky) mother at:

Yes, Phoebe is the nipped-out runner from this week's TMI Tuesday (a phrase SHE suggested!)

18 responses to “Follow This Mother!

  1. This is so cool! Good for you Mrs. Invinsable! Hope all goes well and you have lots of fun!
    GOOD LUCK! Is there any way we can help out?

  2. Way to go, girl! Looked the video and you made me laugh at 6:30 this morning. What a way to start the day. My wish is that you will be selected for your run. You’ve worked very hard for it and with everyone’s support for you and nunn, you’ll be a winner, like you’ve always been in my eyes.
    Good Luck, girl, and fly everyone to the nuun!

  3. “Fancy skirt instead of running skirt: ”
    This chick isn’t fooling anyone, we know there’s a running skirt under the fancy one!

  4. Oh yippee! I just started following Phoebe last week! Her blog has helped me giggle through a week of wearing a big ugly black ortho-boot. Thanks Phoebe for keeping me smiling!

    1. PS – don’t blush over SBS broadcasting the ‘nips’ as I was at an ‘event’ at her house once with my infant daughter and she verbally recognized my breast pads! 🙂

  5. Loved reading this. Your posts and comments always crack me up. Who cares about your nips when your skirt is so cute. What kind is that?

  6. I have to admit it: I already follow this mom. Some would say I stalk her, really. But, she’s the best friend I could ever have and I wouldn’t be running without her.

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