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Tales From Another Mother Runner Thursday: Alisa Bonsignore

Alisa board

Our final (boo!) Tales From Another Mother Runner Thursday profiles Alisa Bonsignore, who is a mother of an eight-year-old in San Francisco. We're really bummed to see this series come to a close—wishing we had 50 authors in the book!—but we know there's always another story in the next mile.

One last favor 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!

Ok, back to Alisa:

My running history: I never willingly ran a single step until after my son was born. I was 33, had no running friends and generally no clue what I was doing, but after delivering a baby, suddenly things that I’d once deemed painful or impossible seemed like no big deal in comparison.

My writing history: I started writing as a stringer for the local paper in college, 20+ years ago. I went in to their office to beg them for an internship. They later told me that they accepted my meeting just to mock the clueless college student, but they ended up liking me and offering me a paid job, which was something absurd like $0.25 per inch of copy. I went full-time freelance shortly after my son was born, and I work mostly for large healthcare and tech companies translating really technical or clinical jargon into plain English that real people can understand. I also write a blog, which gives me an outlet for storytelling that I don’t get from my day job. TAMR is my first book.

Moral of my essay "Expectations are Everything”: For my Type-A personality, I’ve come to learn that I have a much better running experience when I don’t put tons of pressure on myself because there are so many elements that are out of my control. Case in point: I joined the AMR 10k program to give myself the motivation to keep moving through the winter. I joined up with another former Team in Training runner who was training for a local half. Instead of cutting my runs short at my 10k training distances, I ended up sticking with her for her longer runs, and discovering a BRF in the process. I registered for her half marathon two weeks before race day, and crushed my PR.

Update on another go at Nike Women's and Philly, both notable races in my essay: Last year, I trained with the TNT Nike group, but chose to race in Nürnberg, Germany while on a business trip, instead; why run the same old race when you can have the experience of a foreign race? I went to Nike as a spectator to cheer on my teammates, and then two weeks later ran the US Half in SF — a much smaller and more scenic race that crosses the Golden Gate Bridge. I’m still and perpetually debating Philly. I’m actually always in Philly that weekend, but as I’m traveling with my son there are some child care logistics to work out before I can commit.

Recent memorable run: The Livermore Half where I crushed my PR. I don’t check my time while I’m running, and I didn’t feel like I was going particularly fast on the hilly course. In fact, I was so far ahead of expectations that when I heard someone mention the time at the 10-mile marker, I was convinced that we’d actually started the race at 7:30 and not 8:00. There’s a picture of me approaching the finish line where I spotted the race clock and burst out laughing because it was absurdly far ahead of what I expected.

Recent horrible run: Two weeks after the half marathon PR, my BRF and I ran the school’s charity 15K. There was nothing particularly challenging about the course, but both of us struggled through on legs of lead, gasping and wheezing like we’d never run a single step before. (What’s that about??)

Next up on my running calendar: We’re doing our best to maintain our routine of long Saturday runs, in spite of the fact that my schedule as a little league coach has put a serious crimp in many a Saturday morning. The next thing on the calendar is the annual 5K with my son on 4th of July, but I don’t have anything bigger scheduled until fall. I’m already registered for the Golden Gate Half (formerly US Half) in November, and the Livermore Half again next spring. Nothing like a good discount code to make me commit early!

2 responses to “Tales From Another Mother Runner Thursday: Alisa Bonsignore

  1. Alisa,

    Totally off topic but is that a running dress? What do you love/hate about it?

    I also love a few “fun” races – photos, joking around and generally having a good time!

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