Tales for the Road…or Trail or Treadmill 

Two longtime mother runners offer a third installment in their series of inspiring guides for moms on the run.

By Diana Price

When I was training for my first marathon, I had a routine before my weekly long run: waking in the dark (far too early for a summer Sunday), I would shuffle into my running clothes, pad downstairs shoes in hand to avoid waking sleeping kiddos, make coffee, and pull up the Another Mother Runner (AMR) Facebook page. It was there, in the glow of that virtual community, as I read comments and tips and stories from mother runners across the country similarly juggling training with family life, careers, and all the other pieces of their busy lives, that I would find the inspiration to actually put on my shoes and head out the door.

The fearless leaders of that inspiring AMR tribe, Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea, both mother runners and journalists, have recently published a third installment in their series for mother runners: Tales from Another Mother Runner (Andrews McMeel, 2015; $14.99). Having previously released Run Like a Mother (2010) and Train Like a Mother (2012), this third book is less how-to and more hearthis; it gathers all the inspiration that appears daily on the AMR website (AnotherMotherRunner.com) and Facebook page in a collection of essays, quotes, and tips from the women of the AMR community as well as from professional runners and experts. The result is a deep well of feel-good vibes, practical insight, and hard-won enlightenment for moms committed to their running life and their family life.

As I read Tales from Another Mother Runner, I was struck by the sense that each quote and essay in the book is an offering, a generous gift from one mother runner to another, variously marked by honesty, humor, heartache, and passion. Whether describing the buoying role that running has played in the most intense challenges of their lives or laugh-out-loud moments of hilarity encountered in the circus ring that is the life of a mother runner, these words provide connection, compassion, and fuel to stoke the running fire.

Take a look at the excerpt we have included here and learn about the journey that brought this book to life in the Q&A with Dimity and Sarah.

Take It From A Mother: What Did Your First Continuous Mile Feel Like?

“Burning, gasping elation!”
Set half-marathon personal record (PR) less than a week after learning she was pregnant with her third baby. “I puked on some lady’s shoes. Whoever you are, sorry.” 

“Like my legs were heavy logs, and I was just plodding along like an idiot.”
Started running when she was 16. “The high school cross-country coach needed more warm bodies, and I was lounging in the hallway after school.”

“I was a rock star! In gym during freshman year of high school, I finished right along with the ‘athletic’ kids.”
Won her age group at a 5K with a 27:15. “Usually, that time wouldn’t be fast enough, but there were only seven of us in my age group in a race of mostly high-school kids. It was an amazing feeling!”

“The most torturous mile of my life. I felt like my lungs were collapsing, like my legs were revolting, and I’m certain my brain gave up on me. But I did it and haven’t looked back…mostly.”
On night before a race, called the hotel front desk at 10:45 to have them shut down a party on her floor. “I felt like the oldest, meanest lady ever but, hey, I needed my sleep.”

“Hopeful. I’d just been dumped, and I knew I could either eat chocolate or get fit. I picked the latter. As I learned to redefine myself, I was happy. I was doing something constructive for the new me and secretly relieved the boyfriend was gone.”
Eventually ended up with a “delicious new boyfriend” who trained with her for the London Marathon. He is now her husband.

Reprinted with permission from Tales from Another Mother Runner.