This Is Easy for You (And “Run Like a Mother” Book Giveaway)
By Kate G.
You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
I’m about two weeks away from running my seventh half marathon. I’ve been training for two months. I ran a half back in May and it went just fine, but this time I’m having a sudden crisis of confidence. I’ve been skimping on my long runs, believing they’re just too hard for me. I’m burned out.
I fantasize about skipping the race under the ruse that what my body and spirit really wants to be doing is yoga, swimming, weight work, cycling—anything but running. What gets me out the door to train these last days is the mantra I recently read in a self-help book that you can apply to anything in your life:
What if you didn’t struggle? What if this was easy?
The fact that I feel tired and heavy and slow is no reason to quit now. I wanted to hit a PR in the upcoming race, and I don’t believe I can do it. Maybe I can. Is it important? What if I don’t struggle to hit some goal that no one else cares about and instead I run the race easy? What if it’s fun? What if I trust my lungs and my legs and all the running I’ve been doing and forget the number on the scale and feel pride in my fortitude? I’m going to choose believe it’s easy. I don’t really have another choice.
I ran my first half marathon in October of 2001 in Hartford, Connecticut with a very good friend who had been a high school track star, and for the first time in my running life I really felt like I had arrived as a runner. This fall, things have naturally changed. Now instead of skipping drinks with friends after work to run or missing brunch on the weekend, I’m pushing my 3 yr old in a stroller during my Thursday run and waking up early for my Saturday long run to in order to make it to soccer practice. My training schedule includes speed work and the exhaustion and rewards that come from pushing my body to its limits. My endurance is better than it was a decade ago, and I am a stronger, more confident runner. I love the way running is a journey.
In celebration of this and my decision to keep my chin up and my feet moving, I’d like to give away my copy of Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving—and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea.
I’ve really enjoyed reading and referring back to this book since I got it earlier this year. As the title suggests, it’s obviously focused on mothers who run or who are interested in starting, and is collaboration by the authors and a large handful of mothers they’ve interviewed about the running lifestyle. The end result is a pleasant group of essays, lists, and conversations.
In her chapter called “Motivation: Creating My Own Stimulus Package,” Dimity makes a list of what keeps her going. Some of my favorites on this topic include:
Being able to drink a beer (or three), scarf a Twix at the movies, or order a bacon double cheeseburger without (much of) a second thought.
The active lifestyle my kids think are the norm, not the exception, and will, fingers crossed, replicate in some form.
The mellow demeanor my post-run self brings to being a parent and spouse. I’m more patient, more engaged, and less quick to snap.
The book includes music playlists, advice on what to wear head-to-toe, chapters on what marathon training is like, the importance of cross training, and even a great piece on body image. The book is great fun to read and Dimity and Sarah have an active Facebook page on which they regularly engage their audience in conversations about running and help answer questions about running as a mother.
If you’d like to win this copy, drop a comment here and I’ll announce a winner the day after my half marathon: Sunday, November 6.