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Tales from Another Mother Runner Thursday: Kara Douglass Thom

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We're excited to return to our regularly scheduled Tales From Another Mother Runner Thursday and to keep the #TAMRTour  momentum going. (TAMR rhymes with BAMR, btw.)

Today we're profiling Kara Douglass Thom, a mother of four kiddos in the Twin Cities. Kara is going to join us on the Midwest leg of our #TAMRTour in mid-May, when we're going to hit Indiapolis, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, (likely) and Minneapolis/St. Paul. You can RSVP for all the events here

My running history: I started running and racing in 5Ks after college. 5Ks turned into 10Ks, then marathons, then triathlons, then Ironmans. Running and racing has been stop and go between and after kids, but I’m finding myself as a running mother in ways I never expected.

My writring history: I’ve had the good fortune to write about fitness as I'm living it. I wrote Becoming an Ironman: First Encounters with the Ultimate Endurance Event, after finishing my first ironman; I wrote my first children’s book, See Mom Run, during my first pregnancy; then I co-wrote Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom while finding fitness in the chaos of motherhood; and finally I’ve been penning the Go! Go! Sports Girls children’s book series while raising athletic girls.

My essay, “Mother Runner Defined” is about: My need to let go of running in order to heal my damaged body; not let go of running temporarily so I could get back to running but let it go completely. I don’t need to explain here why this is hard to do, especially when your identity is wrapped up in running for so long. But as I usher in a new generation of runners I am discovering a new spin to the label “Running Mother.”

Clarification about that not running thing: I’ve always been able to run, just unable to run pain-free. Important distinction! Once I let up and lived life without NSAIDs and felt good enough to run again a curious thing happened: I didn’t. But since last fall I occasionally run when the urge strikes; maybe once a week and only a few miles.

A few weeks ago I had a running dream (coincidentally about the same time TAMR came out). This running dream was unusual and I felt telling, or at least trying to tell me something. I analyzed my dream on my blog, which feels like a follow-up of sorts to my essay in TAMR. As I mention in my post: Since allowing myself to run, I feel I have cracked open a door Im not sure I want to open any wider. I cant help but wonder if my three easy miles will continue to satisfy me or if I will feel an urge to race again.

My running substitute: That’s the thing when you're injured; you can’t imagine when running is “that thing you do.” You can’t imagine anything else filling the void. You would not believe how much I love hiking in the woods with my dog. I’ve always loved yoga, but it was never a fitness priority until now. While on spring break, I could have run every day, which is what I expected to do, but I didn’t: I played tennis.

Random, but Kara and I had a spontaneous mother runner reunion in Puerta Vallarta airport last week.
Random, but Kara and I had a spontaneous mother runner reunion in Puerta Vallarta airport last week. (We were both heading home. Sigh.)

Advice for runners with chronic injuries? I think I would prefer to hold my tongue. The reality is the struggling runner never wants to hear what “worked” for a recovering runner, and rightly so, because everyone is different. We have to find what works for our own body and mind, and most of all we need to feel in control of those choices.

Next up on my athletic calendar: Looking forward to warmer days for sure, which will see me out on a lake paddle boarding, riding my bike with friends, and taking tennis lessons. I’m also looking forward to joining my daughter on runs as she prepares for her first cross country season on the middle school team.

Quick, easy ask: If you have purchased and found the time to read Tales From Another Mother Runner, we'd love, love it if you could take a minute a put up an honest review on Amazon, which, for reasons we don't totally understand, is huge in spreading the TAMR word and helping women find the book. Thanks in advance!

3 responses to “Tales from Another Mother Runner Thursday: Kara Douglass Thom

  1. I met Kara at a motherhood writing retreat a number of years ago now. It’s so exciting to see her in this venue! Worlds colliding! I also also bought my daughter Ella the Go Go Sports Girl doll and book!

  2. I know that if I couldn’t run I would definitely find another physical activity that I enjoy to replace it….if not more than one….but I don’t know if I would be able to find one that in addition to the cardiovascular benefits, would give me that same time for mental rumination that running does. The run-therapy would be hard to replace. http://www.momontherunsanity.com

  3. As a runner coming back from yet another injury, this last one involving couch time, I did end up finding (or re-finding) another hobby, quilting. But what a struggle it has been! And over a year and a half now trying to heal my torn hamstring. Ouch Ouch Ouch. Thanks for sharing your struggles too Kara.

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