Bounding in with sweaty sports bras and smiles on our faces to celebrate our 8th year of Another Mother Runner! Run Like a Mother was released on March 23 of 2010 -- and depending on the day, that either feels like yesterday or many, many (mostly) happy miles ago.
We are celebrating this week with posts Another Mother Runner, a podcast bit we recorded on the fly (truly!) in San Francsico; and amazing race entries (think Twin Cities Marathon, OKC Marathon and plenty of others!) for you and your BRF, which will be hosted on our Instagram account. (Be sure to follow us there if you don't already!)
Sarah and Dimity ran through their top eight AMR moments from the past eight years. Today I’m hijacking the blog to run through mine.
Memory #1: You never forget your first time.
This isn’t my 8th anniversary of writing for AMR -- but my time in the Tribe may measure that long. The first time I stumbled across Run Like a Mother was in the Green Toad Bookstore, which is my town’s indie store and where I’d work most Saturdays just because I wanted to get out of the house for a bit and hang with the books. The bookstore’s owner, a mother runner herself, had ordered a copy for our fitness shelves. I flipped through it, loved it, and made a mental note to buy it the following Saturday.
Which I couldn’t do because someone beat me to it. While that was great news for SBS, Dimity, and the publisher, it also meant that I had to wait for another copy. In the meantime, I contented myself with the blog.
Memory #2: The exotic wilds of Albany, NY.
I met Dimity and SBS at a book-signing in Albany in, I think, 2013. They were in town for the Freihofer’s Run for Women and I hooked my then-small kids up with playdates so that I could road trip in peace. Plus, I had a secret plan: I would slip my contact info to one of ‘em because I had an idea for a column....
Here’s the thing few people tell you about being a writer: you hear the word “no” all the time. You either get used to it or let it break you. After many, many years of taking it personally and being afraid to pitch because of that two letter word, having two toddlers finally made me unafraid of “no.” Because, sheesh. How many times per day did I hear it anyway? At least no potential editor was also going to make me clean his or her bottom later.
(Note: Neither Dimity nor Sarah have made this request.)
Memory #3: Martini Fridays is born!
And with this publication, I found myself committed to running a half-marathon. Which I finished!
Memory #4: I fall down the slippery slope.
That first half marathon in my hometown (I’ll be running it for the 4th (5th?) time in May), led to running halfs in Syracuse, Portland (Maine), Austin, Seaside, and Corning, New York (a couple of times). In between there have been 5Ks and 10Ks and a relay. Oh, and just btw, I ran the New York City marathon. No big.
Memory #5: I sit in a series of small rooms talking at my computer.
Sarah decided to bring on some extra co-hosts for the AMR podcast and I was thrilled to be chosen. Not only do I get to talk to interesting people about interesting things (like my pelvic floor, which I find fascinating), I also get to talk about my running routines to an audience who might actually want to hear a mile-by-mile recitation about my tempo run. Unlike my family, who are over it. The best part is having mother runners come up to me at an Expo or during a race and say they know my voice from the pod. From there, the conversation always takes off.
Memory #6: Schlepping boxes. Hawking merch.
I’m pretty sure I was a flower seller or rug merchant in a past life. I love matching mother runners with hats or tees or hoodies at race expos. Or, if they aren’t in the market for merch, I love chatting with them either a) about their membership in the AMR Tribe or b) why they should check us out. Hauling boxes and folding (and unfolding and refolding) tops can be a bummer, as can running a race the next day on sore legs, but, man, getting to meet mother runners is totally worth the work.
Memory #7: Retreat, Restore, Run, Repeat.
I was lucky enough to be in on the first AMR Retreat, which took us to the delightful Capital Hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas. I was dubious. I mean, what would one actually do at a running retreat? How could group foam rolling be fun? Why am I hauling my rear to Arkansas, which is lovely but hardly a big tourist draw?
Cut to Sunday morning, when I realized how much I didn’t want to leave this magical space that we had created. That same feeling happens on the last day of every single retreat. You don’t think that one weekend could forge such strong bonds between women scattered across the country (and globe!) Yet some of my best friends (running or otherwise) are those I made at retreats. I know the same thing will happen to me in Ogden and Cape Cod.
Memory #8: You guys.
So many great women and experiences and experiences with great women (um) have come into my life because I stumbled upon the first book at my local bookstore and I boldly introduced myself to Dimity. Because of that choice, I found myself at the finish line of the NYC marathon stealing a selfie with winner Shalane and meeting some marathoning moms. I’ve helped two BAMRs reach their dream of running a half: one in Philly, one in Vermont. I’ve gotten to talk with one of my favorite writers who is also a mother runner. I’ve run trails in Western Washington (which I loved) and boardwalks in Massachusetts.
Mostly, though, I’ve met amazing women putting in the miles because they make them feel whole. It’s been an honor to hear your stories at expos or meet-ups or in starting corrals or at the finish line. You guys make the writing easier and fulfilling.
Here’s to another eight years! By then, we’ll be able to get our driver’s licenses.
Just in case you haven’t had enough of me, I’m planning a meet-up before the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race on April 7 at 1 p.m. at Potomac River Running. Click here to sign-up for the mailing list so that I can keep you in the loop -- and so that I know how many swag bags to pack.