Those of us with kids in school are now looking out at nine homework-free weeks and there seems a bit of time to fine tune and maybe even amp up our exercise plans. With that in mind, I’m looking closely at a couple of books and I wanted to share with you.
I have a bit of a mother-runner crush on Dimity McDowel (@Dimityontherun) and Sarah Bowen Shea (@SBSontherun), the authors of Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving – and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity and Train Like a Mother: How to Get Across Any Finish Line – And Not Lose Your Family, Job or Sanity (not yet in the Ottawa Public Library).
Run Like a Mother has 26.2 chapters that cover everything from motivation, clothes and shoes, hill training, maintaining your relationship with your husband and children and running during and after pregnancy. Sarah and Dimity are definitely more athletic than average but they write as “regular” people and their stories and advice are definitely within the realm of what is reasonable for people like me and you. There are lots of quotes and stories from other mother runners that illustrate and expand on the chapter. The .2 sections of the chapters were my favourite parts: from playlists and best t-shirt slogans to safety advice and pre-race beauty do’s and don’ts, they are distilled goodness.
Run Like a Mother is a good book for people thinking about becoming a Another Mother Runner because it will introduce you to the welcoming tribe you are about to join and also good for people who already runners because you’ll see yourself in some of the stories and learn a few things along the way, too.
I’m in the early pages of Train Like a Mother but I can recommend it already. It has 13.1 chapters and the tone and stories written by Sarah and Dimity are equally relevant and well told as the first book. There are eight training plans, created by Christine Hinton (of the Running Coach) for 5k, 10k, Half-Marathon and Marathon distance. Each distance has a “Finish it” option, for people who want to try a distance for the first time or is coming back from an injury. and the “Own it” option, for intermediate or advanced runners who want to set a personal record. The training plans call for a minimum of four workouts a week. (I’ve trained for many 5k and 10k races by only working out 3 times a week but I’m not a running coach and so won’t say that you could drop another one.) Dimity and Sarah have included more information on nutrition, injuries and strength training.
The authors also maintain Another Mother Runner, a website with workouts, playlists, information on women’s races and clubs, and a blog. There is also a store with t-shirts, tanks and headbands with funny, positive messages (my favourite is “This is the easiest part of my day”) and, of course, copies of their book.
For those of you who like to listen to your inspiration and information, Sarah and Dimity also do a weekly podcast on Another Mother Runner Radio. I’m a big fan of people talking to me when I run, especially when I don’t need to formulate responses and this podcast is a great option.
Okay, so you’ll know I’m a fan girl but I think you should check out the books, website and podcast. Or at least one of them. Let’s take advantage of the no-homework time to do a bit of extra work on ourselves.
The only negative thing I might say is that I feel sorry for men who are like us – in need of encouragement and reasonable support from people looking to be fit in the midst of a real life -who would be turned off by the “mother” references. A man could see himself in many of the stories (pregnancy and such aside) but since he could also stand up at the side of the road to pee during a race, my sympathy is limited.
Tale of the scale
My scale is not moving in the right direction but I feel ready to make the necessary changes to see that start happening and give them the focus to succeed. I’m doing a full on measure and photo taking this morning. I’m optimistic, folks, and that’s unusual of late.
I participated in the Perth Kilt Run two Saturdays past and the Walk/Run for Life on Canada Day. In my training runs, I ran my longest continuous run and that’s given me a bit of a swagger. I like breaking these “longest ever” barriers.