Each month, we celebrate two athletes monthly in our #motherrunnner community.
[because sports awards aren’t just for youth soccer]
One athlete participates in our Many Happy Miles program and the other one is in a Train Like a Mother Club program: nothing like vicariously living through workout specifics, training cycles, and upcoming (virtual) races, right?
More importantly, they both epitomize the traits that keep us all moving forward: perspective, diligence, badassery, flexibility, and grit.
Location: Gaithersburg, Maryland
Kids: 4 kids (ages 14, 11, 9, and 5). Having four kids attending four different schools has been interesting, watching them navigate distance learning. We have a beautiful senior cat named Boh who was given to us for re-homing and he’s been the best pandemic pet.
What's your running story?
I started running after the birth of my third child which was about nine years ago. I wish I had discovered it before the birth of my first child. I think it would have been instrumental in helping me navigate postpartum depression better.
My first big race was the Baltimore Running Festival where I ran the marathon relay with family which solidified my love for running. On the way to our leg of the race, I met a woman on the bus who suggested I run a local half-marathon the next spring. The power of suggestion led to me contacting an old college friend for advice on long distance running. After she encouraged me to go for it, my running journey truly began.
I was given the orange Train Like a Mother book as a birthday present to help me prepare and fell into our amazing Another Mother Runner community of fellow #motherrunners. Nine years later, I’m still lacing up.
Two years ago, I found a love for trail running and with the same friend who encouraged me to try for that first half-marathon, I completed my first trail half. My favorite accomplishment is getting eight of my nieces and nephews and two of my children to join my brothers-in-law and me to run the annual 4th of July Arbutus Firecracker 10K in 2019.
While life has been a roller coaster, especially this year, running has remained my constant and has brought unexpected and wonderful friendships.
Why did you join Many Happy Miles?
I had participated in the Stride through the Holiday groups for a few years and loved the camaraderie. I was thrilled to find the same type of encouragement and “consistent, not perfect” mentality with Many Happy Miles, but have it all year long.
I love the monthly workouts and without Dimity, I probably would give strength circuits the side-eye and pretend I didn’t see them. But doing the workout with Dimity gives me the accountability I need to incorporate the workouts and yes, I’m definitely stronger.
Most importantly, having an already established virtual running community through Many Happy Miles (complete with monthly workouts and a personal cheering section) has helped me stay active throughout my HER2+ breast cancer diagnosis and treatment this year.
Best workout in Many Happy Miles so far:
Anything that involves swimming is my favorite workout. It brings back fond childhood memories of swimming on a summer swim team.
The music intervals are a close second on favorite workouts. And if I have to like strength circuits the #5anddone are perfect for me.
Hardest workout in Many Happy Miles so far:
Yoga. Don’t hate me.
My body just does not bend easily and I always feel like the tin man when trying to maneuver my body into the right configurations. Many thanks to Brenda for making it accessible and easy for this inflexible gal.
Upcoming races?After the pandemic and cancer treatment, I would really like to tackle a 50K trail race…but maybe I should try a marathon first?
When I run, I feel: accomplished.
Bonus amazing thing about Heather:
Before being notified of being October's Many Happy Miler of the Month, she had published this online article about Many Happy Miles, "Just Keep Running: How a virtual running group keeps me running through a cancer diagnosis and a pandemic."
Heather's description of her love of the Many Happy Miles community:
"They [Many Happy Miles] provide a dedicated social media group to ask questions, gain clarification, and to get support when needed.
The best part of this group: zero judgement, only support.
Whenever I didn’t feel like lacing up, someone would post the workout of the day or ask a question.
Sometimes, someone else would post, "I’m posting this here for accountability," and within minutes the thread is flooded with fellow mama runners posting positive comments. Honestly, if it weren’t for this group, I’d give up social media.
I belong to several other running groups and this is the one group where I have never felt judged for being slow, for being overweight, or for being unable to do all the workouts. We all have our personal goals."
Location: Los Ranchos, New Mexico
Kids: twins Brendan and Charlotte (17) and Nora (13), two dogs (a black lab and a Havanese), one cat, and four chickens. Whew!
What’s your running story?
In a word, perseverance.
I started running in 2013, but then had surgery, an ankle sprain, and then a broken ankle and more surgery to fix that.
I restarted running in 2017. I thought my body was broken, so I cried when I finished my first Duke City Half-Marathon in 2018 because I never thought I could run 13 miles! I hope this gives people hope because if I can do it, so can you.
I’ve now run four half marathons injury free. The last one was Sedona in February 2020, and I plan to run more half marathons and hopefully my first marathon after in-person races return.
What led you to choosing the Heart + Sole: Intro to Running by Heart Rate and why do you enjoy it?
I’ve always been curious about heart rate training and when the Great Pause caused my main motivation — races — to go away, this was a way to stay motivated by getting interested in something new.
I also enjoy being a bit nerdy looking at all the data and comparing runs.
Best workout in Heart + Sole: Intro to Running by Heart Rate so far:
I find the drill runs go by so quickly.
There was also one long run on a gentle downhill earlier this summer with just the right music and my heart rate stayed in the prescribed range! Wonderful! We all have those, don’t we?
Most challenging workout in Heart + Sole: Intro to Running by Heart Rate so far:
Due to the pandemic, quarantine in New Mexico, and some travel due to a family emergency, I had to drop out of the Intro training for two weeks. When I came back, state law required us to wear masks while running. In those conditions, that first heart rate zone test was rough!
After completing the Heart + Sole Intro program, Heather began the Heart + Sole: 10K program.
Do you have a goal race for the Heart + Sole 10K program? If so, what race is it?
I’m looking for a socially distanced 10K race. If I can’t find one, I plan to race a bike path along the Rio Grande River.
What was your goal for your 10K?
I’ve only raced one 10K before I started running half marathons, so I’m shooting for a 10K PR. I still need to figure out what a realistic, yet challenging, time will be.
When I run, I feel: Strong and stress-free, and like I might be around long enough to meet my great grandkids.