I have received so much positive feedback about my Epic Ironmother feature in the April issue of Runner's World (it's not online yet); thank you all for your kind words and notes. I promise, I won't be all Midwestern middle child and detract from my race or effort or training, because I rocked those 140.6 miles.
That said, I wanted to repeat a line I wrote in the story that somebody tweeted back to me, and I'm very glad wasn't edited at all.
Going big isn't really about the distance: It's about taking on something that isn't necessarily a gimme.
On our 100th episode podcast, we relistened to Bart Yasso talking about the incredible stories he hears at races. Stories that floor him, stories told by people who he can't believe are standing in front of him and are going to cross a finish line.
In the past few weeks, I've been reading a lot of mother runner stories that floor me—and make my heart hurt. Paula, a mother runner in the AMR Strava Prove It Challenge, lost her husband to colon cancer. The son of Anna, another mother runner in the Challenge, was disagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Cynthia, a total BAMR I had the honor of running with a few years ago, had a huge scare when her son Sam started seizing and needed a helicopter evac. I've also read of breast biopsies and season-ending injuries. All stuff that stops me in my tracks and makes me want to simulateously give the mother runner a hug and take her for a run and let her vent and cry and laugh.
And I've read notes and tweets and status updates about the Epic story that also make me want to give the writer a hug and go for a run with her and talk about how she's going to do something that isn't a gimme.
I've done a lot of virtual hugging and running lately.
I wrote this post in my head at 6 a.m. this morning as I loped through six miles, but it's not tying neatly up with a bow as I mentally made it in the morning darkness. (Hate it when that happens.)
So I just want to acknowledge that I'm thrilled to inspire people to go big, to take on something that isn't necessarily a gimme.
But I also want to acknowledge that the inspiration goes both ways. Both Sarah and I are motivated daily by women living floor-us stories, women who are in the process of doing epic, tough-to-even-comprehend things that don't even involve running. And they're still running. That is epic.
We all put in the miles. If we're lucky, it's so we can simply cover more miles in a race. Sometimes, though, we need them to withstand an epic journey we never saw coming. Sending Ironmother strength, hugs, and virtual runs to all who are in those kind of journeys right now. xo
Hoping you feel the Mother Runner Circle of Life too: How has it graced you lately?