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April 2010

Running Mom - Oldies but Goodies

I was scanning back through the archives and came across some good stuff about and for running moms.   You may have seen in the past this but definitely worth another look (or listen) and to pass along to mom runners.

  • Running Mom Podcast - Kristina from Marathon Mama joins me to talk about running moms.  She has interviewed many "mother Loungecast logo runners" for her upcoming book project about how running works for moms and shares her insight with the Lounge.

A Salute to Ultimate Runner Moms

With Mother's Day just 10 days away, it seems fitting to kick off our annual Salute to Running Moms (recite The ultimate runner mom award with us now...annual salute to proclaim).  Each year (look back at 2008 and 2009) we pause for the cause to celebrate all mom's out there who are starting to run, continue to run, return to running or run better while fulfilling their motherly duties.

This year we would like to honor moms in a couple of ways:

  • Collect stories of ExtraOrdinary running moms who deserve a shout out - we think they deserve some recognition and you deserve more running stories to read.  What makes a running mom an ExtraOrdinary Ultimate Runner Mom?  The fact that they run and they are a mom.  Both are hard.
  • Help those families and friends who are clueless when it comes to Mother's Day gifts.  Yeah sure, the day isn't about gifts.  But there is bound to be something, so we might as well give husbands and kids a hand and point them in the right direction.

If you know of a mom who deserves her story told and her running celebrated, drop by the Lounge (The Ultimate Runner section) and take a few minutes to pen her story.  Don't forget links to her blog or site so we know who she is!   Sometimes there is no greater present to a mom than recognition of all that she does!

But for those times when there SHOULD BE a greater present.....

Drop by the forum and leave your two cents on the Ultimate Runner gift for a mom.  You can be serious or have some fun with it!    Tell us what you think running moms really want or need for Mother's Day.

We will choose a winner for each category on Wednesday, May 5 and gift them with a copy of our new book, The Ultimate Runner.   So act fast!  The storyteller and ultimate running mom will both receive the book as will the person with the great running mom gift ideas and the significant mom in their life.

We are serious about our salute and would love it if you could spread the word - the more chatter about moms the better!

Why Run?

Why should I start running?

I have been asked that question more than a few times in the last few months.  I originally resort to some typical, text book answers including, "Its good for you.", "it's so much fun.". "there is nothing like it" , "it's easy", "it's addictive" ,"try it and find out for yourself" ,"you don't know what you are missing".

And each time I answered I found myself disappointed in my own response.  I could never seem to adequately convey the passion, the emotion, or the wondrous feeling of the accomplishment running brings to the runner.

With each short phrase, what I was trying to say:  You should run if:

  • You want to feel the absolute high of achievement.  The elapsed time, speed, or distance is completely irrelevant to the level of pride.  The first time you run farther, faster, or longer than you thought you could, I can guarantee you will pump your fist, smile to others around you and whisper a silent "yes!". There are very few sports or activities which provide such an immediate sense of accomplishment.  Do you walk off a soccer or baseball field after a practice with a renewed sense of belief in what you are capable of?  Generally, no.  With running, yes.  It might not be the first run or every run, but if you persist, it will come often but not lose the power of the emotion.
  • Because running forces you to evaluate what you are capable of doing.   Most of us sell ourselves short in terms of we think we can do.  And in everyday life, we don't know any different because we aren't tested on it in a measurable way.  But running..ahhh running... It provides the ruler for our personal measurement of what we can do. And again, it's not about the absolutes of time or distance, it is personal limitations that hold us back.  And it is running which shows us that there is still more we can do. I have yet to find a runner who overestimated what they could do when they believed they could do it.

That is why you should try running. 

Do it to remind yourself of all that you are capable.

A Chat with Tom

Here is a link to a quick interview with Tom about the upcoming book.  We love to do interviews with runners but don't many do focused on us.  Enjoy!

Meet The Writers: Samantha Ducloux Waltz

Book cover One of the great joys of compiling our book, The Ultimate Runner, was the joy of connecting with other runners who are also writers - whether professionally or as a way to express their adventures in running.  We found the stories seemed to jump off the page and grab us even more when we also knew something about the person writing it. 

Over the next few weeks we will be introducing you to the writers and photographers who are responsible for putting in the stories and content.   Our first stop is with Samantha Ducloux Waltz from Portland OR.  She took some time to record a podcast with us as well as answer written questions.  She is a runner, and has a passion and career with writing.   But what makes her an Ultimate Runner in my book is that she loves running and is determined to get back to the distances she loves.   She is rehabilitating knee injuries, but hasn't given up hope.  

What else makes her interesting to us?  It could be her cat running partner from her story "My Running Partners".    Say...I have a cat who loves to run with me.  That's weird.  We wonder out loud in the podcast if we have the only two running cats on the planet.  

Or it could be her perfect expression of her running, "wildly enthusiastic but not well informed".  Wow.  That pretty well describes my weakness with my running which has caused all kinds of injuries.  Add "stubborn" to the end of the phrase and you have it. 

Or it could be that she is looking for other runners, like her, who want to run, love to run, run for health, run for enjoyment, and wish running was less painful.  We love that she wants to connect with other runners to make her running more enjoyable!

Enjoy the podcast with Samantha - take her along on your next run.   And for more interesting ways to connect with Samantha, read the tidbits below. 

Podcast:  Download Samantha waltz

Why did you start running?

A  friend and I thought it would be fun. And "cool." (I loved the T-Shirts.)  Looking back I realize I was also desperate for a stress reliever. We could run from the house early in the morning while our husbands watched our young children.

Best running advice you ever received?

Train on the hills and the distance will take care of itself. (To a point.)

Running wisdom you wished you learned earlier in your running?

I wish I'd known more about the importance of stretching and of warming up before running hills.  In my eagerness to be a "runner" I didn't inform myself enough and damaged my knees within a year.

Favorite tip you pass along to runners?
Be thoroughly trained for the runs you take on. Stretch well before and after. That's your best strategy for preventing injuries.

Most read/used running book?

Women's Running

Favorite running memory, run or race?  

The Hood to Coast. I was in a van of coworkers who were so funny I laughed until my stomach hurt and tears ran down my face. (The school psychologist, drama teacher, a counselor and several teachers at the high school where I taught made up our van. The other van for our team  held one of our vide-principals, another counselor, and several more teachers.)  Punchy with lack of sleep, we revealed sides of ourselves no one at our school had seen. The school psychologist and drama teacher became a comedy team creating the best "improv" I'd ever seen.  We created the rule "What's said in the van stays in the van" so we would have at least a bit of dignity when we returned to school the following Monday. It was magical. To top it all off, my leg out of Mist, Oregon,  I was running literally in the pre-dawn mist and another runner came along and started chatting.  We loped along, talking and laughing,  and I picked up at least two minutes a mile in my time. More magic. (He must have lost time but he was running a fourth leg for a sick van mate so he claimed to not mind.) I was high for at least three days after laughing that much and running so well.

Your running dream?

For my knees to recover enough for me to run distance.

What keeps you running?

Addiction. Nothing gives the same high, and the same bright spin on life.

Contact? Samantha: Website is www.pathsofthought.com and email at samanthawaltz@comcast.net

Inspiration From The Blue Oval

My kids love to play the game , "If you could have any superpower what would it be?" Usually my answer is power of no need for sleep, on demand cloning, or teleportation.

But after a few days at the Drake Relays, my answer is extreme speed and time travel.  Spending a few days watching high school, college, and elite athletes run their hearts out my only thought has been, "I want to do that!"

It was hard to contain the urge to get out there and run.  They made it look so easy, fluid, fun and rewarding.DSCN4801

 All kinds of records were made and broken.  Many personal bests were achieved.  It was an awesome day in the running world.

I was lucky enough to snap this picture of world class high jumper and performer extraordinare Chaunte Lowe as she cleared a new record of 6'5".

  I was also at the finish line to see the awesome showdown in the 100m hurdles with LoLo Jones and Damu Cherry.  The determination on their faces were clear.  And they DSCN4808 were separated at the finish by .02 of a second.  Wow.

Even as an amateur, recreational, slow, plodding, love the long run, mom runner I was inspired by the incredible feats on the blue oval.

In watching I was reminded of two things:

First, to take some time and watch more running events - they are fuel for my own running.  And second, as runners we all have the potential to inspire others to run just by getting out there and giving it all we've got.

Who might you inspire today by getting out there and running?

Beautiful day at the Relays

Yesterday was soggy but today is beautiful!

This us Toms 38th consecutive year at the Relays. What a great streak to have.

There is nothing more inspirational to running than watching these athletes give it their all.

And an extra bonus is watching LoLi this afternoon!

Hope you find time to enjoy and celebrate running this weekend.

Beautiful day at the Relays

I Have A Body Built For Blogging

Thanks to the runners who have offered to give the book a look and review!  I have sent off requests for The Book cover Ultimate Runner to be sent to you - I know you will enjoy it!  We have a few more copies, so drop me a note at amy@runnerslounge.com if you want to review and spread the word.

We have been working on sharing runners stories with other runners so long that you would think this would be just another day's event, but both Tom and I continue to be energized by the fact that there is excitement by others to read and enjoy these stories.   

We had a chance to talk with our local paper, the Des Moines Register about the book.   In the conversation, the reporter snapped these photos of us.  Go here for Register pic pictures of Tom and Amy.

We told him that we had a runner body and face built more for blogging and books versus photos, but he took pics anyway (with a really, really big lens).  He tried to reassure me that the lens had special effects which created great photos, but I have yet to see a camera lens which can make my running pictures look like those runners on the cover of magazines or books.    Ok, you be the judge.   Runner cover picture on the Left and Real life running picture on the Right.    I guess I am glad they went with professionals on the book cover.  We like the real stories from runners but ordinary runners on the cover is a little too real?!??!  :}  

Although, most days I feel like the runners on the left while I'm running.

Nonetheless, it was wonderful to talk about the stories of runners and share it with our local paper.

I am looking forward to hearing which stories, photos and tips are your favorites!   Here is a link to one review.

Want a Sneak Peek?

We have been a never ending mission for three years to connect runners to runners and running information.  We know that runners are all different and have different ways they connect with others, so trying to connect runners in just one way won't accomplish our goal.  We try to reach out in many ways - blog, online community, twitter, Facebook, podcasts and even good 'ole regular conversations.   We subscribe to the old adage "7 times, 7 ways".   At least the '7 Ways' part anyway.  :}

And now with the book, we have an official seventh way to connect with runners.  For all those runners who aren't crazy about the online-social-media-virtual-running world, we have a more traditional way to connect runners to other runners - the book.   It feels like we are getting closer and closer to reaching more types of runners.

In the book are 40 stories from all types of runners.  They are ordinary runners who have shared their running story with us because they want to share it with others.  The book includes stories of why they run, the social side of running, memorable races, and emotional insights from running.   And there are 10 expert tips that cover the real stuff runners need to know about stretching, strengthening, long distance running, nutrition and more.    It's like a box of chocolates - a sampler.

And we would love to get this book into the hands of runners as a way to keep runners moving and connecting to other runners.  If you are the type of runner that fuels their running by reading about running and enjoy listening to other stories, we would love to send you a copy to review and share with others.

If you are interested in doing a book review and sharing it with other runners through your blog, Twitter, Facebook, email exchange, Runners' Lounge forum, or conversations, please drop off a comment and let us know your interest.  We have a limited number of copies, but would love to have all of them in the hands of runners!

Grand Experience at the Grand Blue Mile

I mentioned the Grand Blue Mile in my Sunday post.  It is the first running of the one mile street run as part of the Tucker and rebecca at grand blue mile Drake Relays.

My son Tucker and my niece Rebecca had a ball running the mile.   The smiles in the picture on the right show their emotion.   These are some happy runners!

My favorite moment of the evening with the two of them wasn't the start or run or finish.  But instead when I caught them hanging out with another runner after the race and doing a blow by blow of their race and then ASKING the other runner about her race.   For a good 15 minutes they chatted about the run and then...... it happened......the two runner kids and the big grown up runner started planning their next race event.

The three were all so excited about what they had done that they were ready to do it again.   I hear their next race destination is May 8 - The 1 and 3 mile mud run.   Hum....I think I am in!  Who doesn't love a good mud run.  

Outside of our experience, the evening was fantastic!  The competitive and elite divisions were amazing to watch.   A 13 year old girl won the women's competitive division.   And the invitational men all finished under 4:00.   Isn't it amazing that not that many years ago it was thought impossible to break 4:00 in the mile but yet last night we watched 6 men run under that number in little ole Des Moines Iowa.  

And the most memorable story (outside my little clan) was seeing the son of a coworker finish in the Top 10 competitive men's race.  Which means, he tells me, that he gets to run in the actual Drake Relays.   And what's so cool about that?  Because he says, that this kid didn't make it to the Relays in high school or college but know he realized his dream and is going run in the Relays now.   How cool is that?   It just shows you anything is possible with our running if we keep trying and believe.    As Rebecca said at the end of race (when asked for advice), "Always do your best and believe in what you do."  

Well said little runner.

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