Why, sure! The Best Damn Running Duo on Earth (Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell Davis) are going to be featured in Viv, an online magazine. another mother runner has asked it's Cult Members (ooops, I mean followers) to fill out another survey to help the effort. There's snowballs chance something I said maybe be published. But.... if I put it HERE... it will DEFINITELY be published. Take THAT, Interweb!
Of course you should totally scoot on over to the website and fill out your own survey if you want to be part of the action.
(cuz I just BQ'd!)
As a young kid I was a somewhat serious gymnast and rhythmic gymnast. When that got too intense for my adolescent brain/body at age 12, I looked for a sport at which my “perfect” older sister was not already, ummm, perfect. So I joined track. (Joke was on me – the next year she took up track and, naturally, broke all kinds of records and was champion of all things! I really love her, but COME ON!) After high school it was left over inspiration from my senior year's track coach who became a dear friend. She was a runner and OLD (ahem... 32!) and always said how important it was to her. Before her I never knew any adults who ran, like, at ALL!
2. What motivates you to exercise?
From the age of 5 I have always been some flavor of athlete. I feel very lucky that I am a Post-Title IV Chica and never had to beg for equality when it comes to athletic participation. Beyond “sport” though, the most basic facts about my emotional life are I love to eat chocolate and I love to NOT feel like a total lard. Those two truths add up to only one sane response: exercise. Pile on the boost to my self-esteem, a desire to hold on to my not-too-shabby-for-her-late-thirties legs and the example I set for my 2 boys and you get A Lady Who Moves.
3. What do you love about running—what has it done for you physically, mentally, and emotionally?
Oddly enough, my main motivation isn't physical at all. Genetics was kind to me so I don't pack on pounds too severely, even when I am dormant for awhile. Sure, I love feeling myself get more fit and have been known to check out my own quads in post-race photos, but running is definitely about the mental and emotional for me.
There's not a huge running community where I live. I think I love running because it makes me a bit of an odd ball around here: “Oh, you're that runner I see all the time.” I also enjoy it because – relatively speaking – it comes easily to me. Don't get me wrong, I work my tail off, but my frame is fairly small and my form is naturally decent so I don't have to spend a lot of time thinking about it. (Just please please please don't ask me to swim!) I like looking at my calendar of training days and knocking them off one by one and closing in on a race.
Because I run an in-home daycare, running is undoubtedly my single source of sanity some days. By 3:00 on non-run days, I'm toast. Given that I once had – and always thought I would have - a “big girl” career, running and racing are also outlets for me to feel like an accomplished human being as opposed to “the day care lady”. When I'm on a run I remember that soon, my kids will be in school full time. Soon, I will uncover the vocation that was meant for me. Soon, the world will benefit from my greatness!
4. What tips can you offer other women to stick with exercise, to squeeze it in?
I can't profess to be one of those ladies who jumped right back into running after I had kids. I was a very casual runner after my first child and until my second (and last) was about 2, I really didn't Train Like a Mother. So, anyone who is spending their nights nursing a fussy baby or Ferberizing... well, from me you get a pass. If you can do it, I bet running would be a huge help to you. But after the kids are sleeping through the night, I say, Go Get 'Em, Girl.
With my husband's schedule, I can't imagine fitting in a workout if I didn't get up at 4:30 or 5AM. For me, it works. And it has gotten easier and easier as the habit has gotten older. I can't remember how many days in a row you have to do something before it becomes a habit – I'm sure Google knows – so I say, challenge yourself to simply get through that many days of exercise and see how you feel about it when you're done.
The other mistake I've seen people make again and again is to be overly zealous in the beginning and burn out. The first weeks of running can be like a new relationship and you just want more, more, more! But you HAVE to schedule in rest days and you HAVE to keep your mileage increases to a reasonable amount week-to-week . Otherwise... illness, injury, frustration.... and back to square one.
5. Are you training for a race or have you done one in the past? What is especially helpful about racing?
I find that I almost always have to have a race on the horizon. If I don't, I get lazy about running and then my whole life – mentally, physically & emotionally - becomes hard. So, I have to have a “next”. The most helpful thing about racing is the motivation it gives you to keep training. It's also simultaneously ego-boosting (“I can't believe I just passed that kid.... He can't be more than 25!”) and humbling (“Good God, that lady has to be at least 60 and she's kicking my ass up this hill!”). A road race is so full of characters and back stories (most of which you have to make up in your head since you can't get to know these strangers beyond what they put on their racing shirt)... It's like the best night of television EVER! And you get to have it almost as many times a year as you want.
6. What role does the another mother runner/Run Like a Mother: The Book social media world play for you with your running?
I cannot overstate the role Run Like a Mother: The Book and another mother runner play in my running-life.... and my life-life! I am (partially by choice and partially by circumstance) a lone wolf when I run. I don't have a running buddy or running group that I meet up with . Ever. So all the amazing Mamas on the Facebook page and website act as my running partners. The Tribe has every conceivable type of running Mom. I have an opportunity to ask (sometimes awkward!) questions and I always get insightful, good humored and well-intended feedback from those who have dealt with my problem-of-the-week. It's also a safe place to lament a poor showing at a race or “celebrate your awesome” when things go your way. I also have a chance to respond to other runners who need a virtual attagirl, hug, or glass raised. Since The Tribe is so vast in number, there's always someone who's been where I am and there's always someone who might benefit from my experience. And always, ALWAYS, there's room for a good laugh at ourselves and how we cope. The weekly “Follow This Mother” feature on the website is a great favorite, too, because I have been able to find and get to know even better many, many Sole Sisters.
7. What is it about the another mother runner/Run Like a Mother: The Book community that helps/supports/inspires/entertains you?
Much of this addressed in question 6, but here's a bit more:
Opportunity for giving and getting feedback.
Shared sense of purpose... “Run! (For Your Life!)”
Links to great resources for training, races, music...
Perfect mix of irreverence and sweetness.
Never-fail, always-there, amazing-how-they-do-it, relevant-and-inspiring new posts daily! How do they DO that!??!