This week is all about new team members, new goals, and new projects. Yesterday we introduced two new AMR team members (myself being one of them, ahem), and today we're unveiling our Role Mothers. During this year-long project, you'll get to know our six hand-picked mother runners of various ages, geographic locations, family sizes, and speeds who represent all types of runners: the Beginner, the Marathoner, the Grandmother, the Triathlete, the Sputterer, and the Everyday Runner.
We'll tap our Role Mothers throughout the year to help educate the Another Mother Runner tribe on a variety of topics, from nutrition to injury prevention, from hydration to chafing. If you have a question, they have an answer--at every experience level.
Meet our first three below, and come back tomorrow for more!
Ashley Hinze; 28; Oshkosh, Wisconsin
My story: I am a new mom to our adorable little 10-month-old, Reese (We call her Reesie Roo), and I just started running in December. I’ve played volleyball and softball multiple nights during the week for years, but neither pushes my body to continuously work like running has. Although I continue to play in the leagues, it has been a change adapting from team sports to taking on an individual fitness goal. I have never run a single race, not even a 5K, but I am determined to train my butt off to run a half-marathon in 2016!
Favorite song to run to: "My House" by Flo Rida or a good Adele ballad that I can pretend I sing well to.
Cold-weather running essential: Some good tunes to jam to and some Saucony tights: Wisconsin is chilly this time of year!
Best post-run snack: A banana—it’s easy to pack when busy and on the go!
Melissa Fenton; 43; Dade City, Florida
My story: I run because it makes me a better mother. Pure and simple. A better, less anxious, and happier mommy. I will escape in the dark of early morning, and with each stride I will take back myself, pick myself up if you will. I will be selfish, and I will not regret it. Then I will go home, get back on the merry-go-round, and plan with great excitement and fervor my next escape, err, I mean race. And I keep running like a mother.
Why audiobooks rule: A decent whodunit is always a good pick for a run, because of the off-chance you need to listen to just one more chapter to wrap up some mysterious detail, which means an extra unplanned but enjoyable mile or two.
On mile 12, I'm usually thinking: OK, OK. I’m awake now. This isn’t so bad. I mean, someone is gonna hand me a free banana here like any second now. And another 2.5 hours without thinking about what to make for dinner? Yep. I got this.
On mile 25, I'm thinking: Sweet mother of God, Mary, Joseph, and whoever else is currently keeping me upright, just exactly how long is 1 POINT 2 miles anyway? Please mirage of a finish line, come closer!!
Pam Shaffer; 57; Douglass, Kansas
My story: I started out as a walker shortly after I was diagnosed with Lupus in 2001. The doctor said I would probably feel better if I dropped a few pounds and was a little more active. I started walking, a lot. I lost about 20 pounds over the next four years.
In 2006, my rheumatologist told me I also had fibromyalgia. But I kept walking and logged a little over 400 miles the following year. In 2009, I logged almost 1,400 miles. And I was moving faster, with a combination of walking and running.
In January of 2013, my daughter decided that if her mother with Lupus and fibromyalgia could run that she might like to give it a try. We signed up for a Color Run in May of that year and never had so much fun. In 2015, I ran in six 5Ks, one 10K, and my first half-marathon!
When I don't get to exercise for an extended period of time: I get a little cranky. My husband, Gary, now includes hiking and biking on our vacations.
My post-race ritual usually involves: A doughnut. We have several great doughnut shops in town, and it's my husband's job to meet me at the finish line with a maple-glazed doughnut.
I usually go through ____ pairs of running shoes a year: I go through three to four pairs a year. Although my husband will tell you he thinks I get a new pair every month.
Come back tomorrow to meet our three remaining Role Mothers, then we'll get this party started!