Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mother Runner!

Let's face it. I'm a chicken. Not about all things, but definitely about running on snow. I'm always scared I'm going to slip and fall in some glorious arms-flailing, feet-splaying, old-time-cartoony fashion. And, I will be left flat on my back, staring up at the falling snow, seeing tweeting birds circling my head. Plus, I'd have a monster sprained ankle. At least, that is what my imagination does to me at the thought of running outside in the snow. (Don't get me started on where my morbid imagination takes me when I run under a highway overpass!)

This winter has been amazing for me as a runner. Last winter, we had weeks and months when the snow didn't melt from the sidewalks. But, this winter, we've had maybe 2 inches of snow total. It has been heavenly! I don't like cold. I really don't like snow. And, I hate being trapped on a treadmill with feet of snow blocking my normal running route.

So, with less than 2 inches of snow, I had no worries about fancy falls from stepping on ice. I just had to bundle up and go. I've only run on the treadmill two times this whole winter. In fact, the only downside to this winter was that my neighbor/running partner was pregnant. (I know, right, how dare she!?!) So, instead of miles of uninterrupted girl talk every morning, it was just me and my imagination. Scary thought. I was forced to find ways to pass the hour every morning on my own. Now, I know a lot of runners say that you should be able to run with just you and nature to truly enjoy and be at one with your run.

That is not me.

I need a distraction. If ever, heaven forbid, I end up out there without something to distract me, I spend way too much of my run thinking that my knee hurts. Or my ankle. Or my back. Or, it's just too hard. Or, it's just too long. It is not a fun run.

Now, I have to clarify, I've actually been able to enjoy some girlfriend running time on the weekends. There have been these Rock the Parkway Groupie Runs, which are supported runs (meaning they provide hydration every couple miles of an out-and-back course) that some of my other running girlfriends have been participating in leading up to our first half in KC. At least I'm getting a little girlfriend running time, just a lot less than I'm used to.

So, I've been forced to find other ways to entertain myself on my weekday runs. Cory finally brought me into the iPod world by getting me an iPod Nano for my birthday. (Yes, I know this is more than 10 years after it came out. I'm slow to this newfangled stuff, apparently.) This has been a lifesaver for me this winter. I've discovered a number of things that help me get through my solo runs.

  • The radio. Ok, so this isn't a new concept to me, but it's so much easier to access with my tiny little iPod. I have one channel I listen to in the morning because I like the morning show. But, the commercials can drive me crazy. They play the same ones every morning, and I don't like flipping around the dial like I do in my car, so I'm stuck listening to them all. Did you know that it is possible to put the word "seriously" five times into a 30-second spot? Five times. Seriously. I've counted. Again and again.
  • Audio books. These can be awesome, but I can only listen to certain kinds of books while I run. Nothing too serious or deep-thinking. I prefer a little action and/or humor. But, the real kicker is the voice of the person reading the book. I listened to one book where the main characters were teenagers, so the reader read everything with an upturn at the end of every sentence. Like it was a question? But it wasn't. Apparently, that's how teenagers talk now. Just shoot me now before my girls start talking that way. 
  • Podcasts. My new favorite obsession! I've discovered the podcasts of my favorite mother runners. Dimity and Sarah from Another Mother Runner. They are funny, and they talk about all the things this mom and runner wants to hear about.
So, my last solution has brought me to the whole point of this post. Yes, I know it's taken a while to get there. I've fallen in love with Dimity and Sarah. They wrote this book, Run like a Mother, that made me laugh out loud so many times. It covers life, running and mothering - all rolled into one book. Their Facebook page and web site are great, too. The podcasts make me feel like I'm having a conversation with a girlfriend, which is what I've been sorely missing on my weekday runs. I highly recommend if you are a running woman (you don't even have to be a mother). Men might not appreciate the sports bra chapter, but still could enjoy parts of it. 

Well, come to find out, Dimity and Sarah (See, I talk about them on a first-name basis, as if they were my real-life girlfriends!) were coming to KC to give a talk and launch their new book, Train like a Mother. Yes! My girlfriends were coming for a visit! So, I went to the talk along with my princess running buddies. We had a night out sans kids, heard Dimity and Sarah talk, bought advanced copies of their new book, and got to eat dinner and cake. Seriously, what could be better? 

A picture with them, of course!
Dimity, Kelli, Anne, Me and Sarah
Forgive the lighting and the phone-picture quality. And, yes, they really are that tall. I was just happy not to be the tallest girl in the picture with Kelli and Anne for once! 

So, in conclusion: 
  • If you need a good book about running, check out Run like a Mother. It's awesome. Also, get Train like a Mother. I haven't finished it yet, but am assuming it will continue being awesome.
  • If you need a good podcast to listen to while running, check out theirs on iTunes. It's like a two-way conversation with girlfriends. But, you're the third girlfriend. And, they don't listen to you. But, other than that, it's just like it. 
  • I realize that I kind of sound a little stalker-ish. And, I'm ok with it. Just don't tell my good friends, Dimity and Sarah. It might scare them off.
  • And last, I am so happy that my real-life girlfriend and weekday running partner is finally back to running after delivering her baby girl Ava. She will actually listen and talk back to me! Plus, there will be less time for my imagination to go wild. Although, considering she's the one who convinced me that a squealing sound we heard on the trail was a panther, I don't know if she's going to be much help. (Yes, a panther. In suburban Kansas. And, yes, I believed her.) That being said, my sprint out of the woods that day was the fastest I've ever run. Seriously? Seriously.

Spot the 5 times the word Seriously is used and you win a brand new, shiny ... accolade. Congratulations.


  1. Another reason not to run....... :-)

  2. That is so funny! Kevin read this with me and keeps repeating "a panther, that's funny" and laughing! I am laughing too. It was really early and my brain was not getting a lot of oxygen at the time! :) Sarah R.